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Title: Cassell's History of England,  Vol. V - From the Peninsular War to the Death of Sir Robert Peel. - The King's Edition
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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    VOL. V







    REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_continued_).


    Napoleon's Desire for an Heir--The Archduchess Maria Louisa--The
    Divorce determined upon--The Marriage--Napoleon quarrels
    with his Family--Abdication of Louis Buonaparte--Napoleon's
    bloated Empire--Affairs of Sweden--Choice of Bernadotte as
    King--He forms an Alliance with Russia and Britain--His
    Breach with Napoleon--Insanity of George III.--Preparations
    for a Regency--Restrictions on the Power of the
    Regent--Futile Negotiations of the Prince of Wales with
    Grey and Grenville--Perceval continued in Power--The King's
    Speech--Reinstatement of the Duke of York--The Currency
    Question--Its Effect on the Continent--Wellington's
    Difficulties--Massena's Retreat--His Defeat at Sabugal--Surrender
    of Badajoz to the French--Battle of Barrosa--Wellington and
    Massena--Battles of Fuentes d'Onoro and Albuera--Soult's
    Retreat--End of the Campaign--Our Naval Supremacy continues--Birth
    of an Heir to Napoleon--Elements of Resistance to his
    Despotism--Session of 1812--Discussions on the Civil List--Bankes's
    Bill--Assassination of Perceval--Renewed Overtures to Grey and
    Grenville--Riots in the Manufacturing Districts--Wellington's
    Preparations--Capture of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz--Wellington
    and Marmont--Battle of Salamanca--Wellington enters
    Madrid--Victor's Retreat--Incapacity of the Spaniards--The Sicilian
    Expedition--Wellington's Retreat--Its Difficulties--Wellington's
    Defence of his Tactics--A Pause in the War                       1


    THE REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_continued_).

    Rancour of the Americans towards England--Their Admiration of
    Napoleon--The Right of Search and consequent Disputes--Madison's
    warlike Declaration--Opposition in Congress--Condition of
    Canada--Capture of Michilimachimac--An Armistice--Repulse of the
    Invasion of Canada--Naval Engagements--Napoleon and the Czar
    determine on War--Attempts to dissuade Napoleon--Unpreparedness
    of Russia--Bernadotte's Advice to Alexander--Rashness of
    Napoleon--Policy of Prussia, Austria and Turkey--Overtures to
    England and Russia--Napoleon goes to the Front--His extravagant
    Language--The War begins--Disillusion of the Poles--Difficulties
    of the Advance--Bagration and Barclay de Tolly--Napoleon pushes
    on--Capture of Smolensk--Battle of Borodino--The Russians evacuate
    Moscow--Buonaparte occupies the City--Conflagrations burst
    out--Desperate Position of Affairs--Murat and Kutusoff--Defeat
    of Murat--The Retreat begins--Its Horrors--Caution of
    Kutusoff--Passage of the Beresina--Napoleon leaves the Army--His
    Arrival in Paris--Results of the Campaign--England's Support
    of Russia--Close of 1812--Wellington's improved Prospects--He
    advances against Joseph Buonaparte--Battle of Vittoria--Retreat
    of the French--Soult is sent against Wellington--The Battles
    of the Pyrenees--The Storming of San Sebastian--Wellington
    forbids Plundering--He goes into Winter-quarters--Campaign
    in the south-east of Spain--Napoleon's Efforts to renew the
    Campaign--Desertion of Murat and Bernadotte--Alliance between
    Prussia and Russia--Austrian Mediation fails--Early Successes
    of the Allies--Battle of Lützen--Napoleon's false Account
    of the Battle--Occupation of Hamburg by Davoust--Battle of
    Bautzen--Armistice of Pleisswitz--Failure of the Negotiations--The
    Fortification of Dresden--Successive Defeats of the French by the
    Allies--The Aid of England--Battle of Leipsic--Retreat of the
    French across the Rhine--The French Yoke is thrown off--Castlereagh
    summons England to fresh Exertions--Liberation of the Pope--Failure
    of Buonaparte's Attempt to restore Ferdinand--Wellington's
    Remonstrance with the British Ministry--Battles of Orthez and
    Toulouse--Termination of the Campaign--Exhaustion of France--The
    Allies on the Frontier--Napoleon's final Efforts--The Congress
    of Châtillon--The Allies advance on Paris--Surrender of the
    Capital--A Provisional Government appointed--Napoleon abdicates
    in favour of his Son--His unconditional Abdication--Return of the
    Bourbons--Insecurity of their Power--Treaty of Paris--Bad Terms to
    England--Visit of the Monarchs to London                        32


    REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_concluded_).

    The Congress at Vienna--Napoleon's Escape from Elba--Military
    Preparations--England supplies the Money--Wellington organises
    his Army--Napoleon's Journey through France--His Entry into
    Paris--The Enemy gathers round him--Napoleon's Preparations--The
    New Constitution--Positions of Wellington and Blucher--The Duchess
    of Richmond's Ball--Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras--Blucher's
    Retreat--The Field of Waterloo--The Battle--Charge of the Old
    Guard--Arrival of the Prussians--The Retreat--French Assertions
    about the Battle refuted--Napoleon's Abdication--The Allies
    march on Paris--End of the Hundred Days--The Emperor is sent
    to St. Helena--The War in America--Events on the Canadian
    Frontier--Repeated Incapacity of Sir George Prevost--His
    Recall--Failure of American Designs on Canada--Capture of
    Washington by the British--Other Expeditions--Failure of the
    Expedition to New Orleans--Anxiety of the United States for
    Peace--Mediation of the Czar--Treaty of Ghent--Execution of Ney
    and Labédoyère--Inability of Wellington to interfere--Murat's
    Attempt on Naples--His Execution--The Second Treaty of Paris--Final
    Conditions between France and the Allies--Remainder of the Third
    George's Reign--Corn Law of 1815--General Distress--Riots and
    Political Meetings--The Storming of Algiers--Repressive Measures in
    Parliament--Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act--Secret Meetings in
    Lancashire--The Spy Oliver--The Derbyshire Insurrection--Refusal
    of Juries to convict--Suppression of seditious Writings--Circular
    to Lord-Lieutenant--The Flight of Cobbett--First Trial of
    Hone--The Trials before Lord Ellenborough--Bill for the Abolition
    of Sinecures--Death of the Princess Charlotte--Opening of
    the Session of 1818--Repeal of the Suspension Act--Operation
    of the Corn Law--The Indemnity Bill--Its Passage through
    Parliament--Attempts at Reform--Marriages of the Dukes of Clarence,
    Cambridge, and Kent--Renewal of the Alien Act--Dissolution of
    Parliament and General Election--Strike in Manchester--Congress
    of Aix-la Chapelle--Raids of the Pindarrees--Lord Hastings
    determines to suppress them--Malcolm's Campaign--Outbreak of
    Cholera--Campaign against the Peishwa--Pacification of the Mahratta
    district--Apparent Prosperity of Great Britain in 1819--Opening of
    Parliament--Debates on the Royal Expenditure--Resumption of Cash
    Payments--The Budget--Social Reforms--The Scottish Burghs--Roman
    Catholic Emancipation rejected--Weakness of the Government--Meeting
    at Manchester--The Peterloo Massacre--The Six Acts--The Cato Street
    Conspiracy--Attempted Insurrection in Scotland--Trials of Hunt and
    his Associates--Death of George III.                              87



    Growth of Material Wealth--Condition of the Working Classes--The
    Charity Schools--Lethargy of the Church--Proposal to abolish
    Subscription to the Articles--A Bill for the further Relief of
    Dissenters--The Test and Corporation Acts--The Efforts of Beaufoy
    and Lord Stanhope--Attempts to relieve the Quakers--Further Effort
    of Lord Stanhope--The Claims of the Roman Catholics--Failure
    of the Efforts to obtain Catholic Emancipation--Lay Patronage
    in Scotland--The Scottish Episcopalians--Illustrious
    Dissenters--Religion in Wales and Ireland--Literature--The
    Novelists: Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne--Minor
    and later Novelists--Scott--Historians: Hume, Robertson, and
    Gibbon--Minor Historians--Miscellaneous Literature--Criticism,
    Theology, Biography, and Science--Periodical Literature--The Drama
    and the Dramatists--Poetry: Collins, Shenstone, and Gray--Goldsmith
    and Churchill--Minor Poets--Percy's "Reliques," and Scott's "Border
    Minstrelsy"--Chatterton and Ossian--Johnson and Darwin--Crabbe and
    Cowper--Poetasters and Gifford--The Shakespeare Forgeries--Minor
    Satires--Burns--The Lake School: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and
    Southey--Scott, Campbell, Byron, Shelley, and Keats--Poets
    at the close of the Period--Improvement of Agricultural
    Science--Arthur Young--Drainage and Roots--Improvements in
    Road-making: Telford and Macadam--Brindley's and Telford's
    Canals--Bridges and Harbours--Iron Railways--Application
    of the Steam-Engine to Railways and Boats--Improvements in
    Machinery--Wedgwood--Manufacture of Glass--Collieries--Use of Coal
    in Iron-works--Improvements in various Manufactures--Scientific
    and Coinage--Manners and Customs                                  157



    Accession of George IV.--Meeting of Parliament--General
    Election--Opening of the New Session--Dulness of Affairs--Brougham
    on Education--Queen Caroline--Omission of her Name from the
    Liturgy--She rejects the King's Proposals, and arrives in
    England--Attempts at a Compromise--The King orders an Inquiry--The
    Secret Committee--The Bill of Pains and Penalties--Arrival of
    the Queen in the House of Lords--Discussions on the Form of
    Procedure--Speeches of Denman and the Attorney-General--Evidence
    for the Prosecution--Brougham's Speech--Abandonment of the
    Bill--General Rejoicings--Violence of Party Feeling--Popularity
    of the Queen--Her Claim to be crowned refused--The Queen's
    Attempt to enter the Abbey--Indiscretion of the Act--The
    Coronation and the Banquet--The subsequent Scramble--Death
    of the Queen--Departure of her Body--The King's Visit to
    Ireland--A Royal Oration and its enthusiastic Reception--The
    King and Lady Conyngham--Changes in the Government--Discontent
    of Eldon--Wellesley in Ireland--Alarming State of the
    Country--Canning's Speech on Catholic Emancipation--Parliamentary
    Reform--Agricultural Distress and Finance--Eldon's Outbreak on
    the Marriage Bill--Suicide of Lord Londonderry--Scene at his
    Funeral--Visit of George IV. to Scotland--Loyalty of Sir Walter
    Scott--Account of the Festivities--Peel's Letter to Scott--Return
    of the King--Canning takes the Foreign Office and Leadership of
    the House of Commons--Huskisson joins the Cabinet--The Duke of
    Wellington sent to Verona--His Instructions--Principles of the Holy
    Alliance--The Spanish Colonies--French Intervention in Spain--The
    Duke's Remonstrances with the French King--His Interview with the
    Czar--The Congress of Verona--Failure of Wellington to prevent
    Intervention in Spain--Vindication of Canning's Policy in the
    Commons--He calls the New World into Existence                    204


    REIGN OF GEORGE IV. (_continued_).

    Prosperity of the Manufacturers--Depression of
    Agriculture--Resumption of Cash Payments--A restricted
    Currency--The Budget of 1823--Mr. Huskisson--Change of the
    Navigation Acts--Budget of 1824--Removal of the Duties on Wool
    and Silk--Repeal of the Spitalfields Act and the Combination
    Laws--Speculative Mania--The Crash--Remedial Measures of the
    Government--Riots and Machine-breaking--Temporary Change in
    the Corn Laws--Emigration--State of Ireland--Efforts of Lord
    Wellesley--Condition of the Peasantry--Unlawful Societies--The
    Bottle Riot--Failure to obtain the Conviction of the
    Rioters--The Tithe Commutation Act--Revival of the Catholic
    Question--Peel's Views--The Catholic Association and its
    Objects--Bill for its Suppression--Plunket's Speech--A new
    Association formed--Rejection of Burdett's Resolution--Fears of the
    Moderates--General Election--Its Features--Inquiry into the Bubble
    Companies--Death of the Duke of York--Canning's vigorous Policy in
    Portugal--Weakness of the Ministry and Illness of Liverpool--Who
    was to be his Successor?--Canning's Difficulties--Peel and the
    Old Tories resign--State of Canning's Health--His Arrangements
    completed--Opposition to Him--His Illness and Death--Collapse of
    the Goderich Ministry--Wellington forms an Administration--Eldon is
    omitted--The Battle of Navarino--"The Untoward Event"--Resignation
    of the Canningites--Grievances of the Dissenters--Lord John
    Russell's Motion for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation
    Acts--Peel's Reply--Progress of the Measure--Lord Eldon's
    Opposition--Public Rejoicings                                     237


    THE REIGN OF GEORGE IV. (_concluded_).

    Opinions of the Irish Government on the Catholic Question--Renewal
    of the Catholic Claims by Burdett--Vesey Fitzgerald accepts
    the Board of Trade--O'Connell opposes him for Clare--His
    Reputation--His Backers--Father Murphy's Speech--O'Connell
    to the Front--The Nomination--O'Connell's Speech--The
    Election--Return of O'Connell--Anglesey's Precautions--Peel's
    Reflections on the Clare Election--Anglesey describes the State
    of Ireland--Peel wishes to resign--The Duke wavers--Anglesey
    urges Concession--Insurrection probable--Wellington determines
    on Retreat--Why he and Peel did not resign--The Viceroy's
    Opinion--Military Organisation of the Peasantry--The Brunswick
    Clubs--Perplexity of the Government--O'Connells "Moral Force"--The
    Liberator Clubs--Dawson's Speech--"No Popery" in England--The
    Morpeth Banquet--The Leinster Declaration--Wellington's Letter
    to Dr. Curtis--Anglesey's Correspondence with O'Connell--The
    Premier censures the Viceroy--Anglesey dismissed--He is succeeded
    by Northumberland--Difficulties with the King and the English
    Bishops--Peel determines to remain--His Views communicated
    to the King--The King yields--Opening of the Session--Peel
    defeated at Oxford University--Suppression of the Catholic
    Association--The Announcement in the King's Speech--Peel
    introduces the Relief Bill--Arguments of the Opposition--The
    Bill passes the Commons--The Duke's Speech--It passes the Lords
    by large Majorities--The King withdraws his Consent--He again
    yields--His Communication to Eldon--Numbers of the Catholics
    in Britain--The Duke's Duel with Winchilsea--Bill for the
    disfranchisement of "the Forties"--O'Connell presents himself
    to be sworn--He refuses to take the Oaths--He is heard at the
    Bar--Fresh Election for Clare--O'Connell's new Agitation--The Roman
    Catholic Hierarchy--Riots in the Manufacturing Districts--Attempt
    to mitigate the Game Laws--Affairs of Portugal--Negotiations
    with the Canningites--Pitched Battles in Ireland--Meeting
    of Parliament--Debate on the Address--Burdett's Attack on
    Wellington--The Opposition proposes Retrenchments--The Duke's
    Economies--Prosecution of Mr. Alexander--Illness and Death of
    George IV.                                                        268



    Character of the new King--Position of the Ministry--Discussion in
    the Lords on a Regency--Brougham's Speech in the Commons--The King
    in London--Brougham's Slavery Speech--The Dissolution--Sketch of
    the July Revolution--Its Effects in England--The Elections--Their
    Results in England and Ireland--Death of Huskisson--Disturbances in
    England--The King's Speech--Declarations of Grey and Wellington on
    Reform--Broughams Notice--Effect of the Duke's Speech--Agitation in
    Ireland--And against the Police--Postponement of the King's Visit
    to the Mansion House--Resignation of Wellington's Ministry--Grey
    forms a Ministry--Brougham's Position--The Ministry--Grey's
    Statement--Agricultural England--Cobbett and Carlile--Affairs in
    Ireland--Lord Anglesey--His Struggle with O'Connell--O'Connell's
    Prosecution dropped--The Birmingham Political Union--Preparation
    of the Reform Bill--It is entrusted to Lord John Russell--The
    Budget--The Bill introduced--The First Reading carried--Feeling in
    the Country--The Second Reading carried--Gascoigne's Amendment--A
    Dissolution agreed upon--Scene in the Lords--The Press--The
    Illuminations and Riots--The New Parliament--Discussions on the
    Dissolution and O'Connell--The Second Reform Bill--The Second
    Reading--The Bill in Committee--It is carried to the Lords--Debate
    on the Second Reading--The Bill rejected--Popular Excitement--Lord
    Ebrington's Resolution--Prorogation of Parliament--Lord John
    Russell's Declaration--The Bristol Riots--Colonel Brereton        312


    REIGN OF WILLIAM IV. (_continued_).

    The Coronation--Fears of Eminent Men--The Cholera--The
    Waverers--Lord John Russell introduces the third Reform Bill--Its
    Progress through the Commons--The Second Reading carried in the
    Lords--Behind the Scenes--Feeling in the Country--Disfranchisement
    Clauses postponed--Grey resigns--Ebrington's Resolution--Wellington
    attempts to form a Ministry--Popular fury--The Run on the
    Bank--Wellington abandons his post--Grey exacts the King's
    Consent to the creation of Peers--The Opposition withdrawn--The
    Bill becomes Law--The Irish Reform Bill--The Bill in the
    Lords--The Scottish Reform Bill--Becomes Law--Result of the
    Reform Bills--Mr. Stanley in Ireland--The Tithe-proctor--The
    Church Cess--Tithe Legislation of 1831--Irish Education--Wyse's
    Report--Stanley's Bill--Its Provisions for Religious
    Instruction--General Election--New Parliament--The Coercion
    Bill--The Church Temporalities Bill--The Poor Law Commission--Its
    Report--Sketch of the Poor Law System--Provisions of the Poor
    Law Amendment Act--History of the Emancipation Movement--Mr.
    Stanley's Resolutions--Provisions of the Act of Emancipation--The
    Dorsetshire Labourers--The Copenhagen Fields Meeting--Other
    Meetings and Strikes--Sheil and Lord Althorp--O'Connell's Motion
    on the Union--Baron Smith--Littleton's Tithe Bill--Mr. Ward's
    Motion--Resignation of Mr. Stanley and his Friends--An Indiscreet
    Speech of the King's--The Debate on Mr. Ward's Motion--Final
    Collapse of the Cabinet--Retrospect of Lord Grey's Ministry       343


    REIGN OF WILLIAM IV. (_continued_).

    The Remainder of the Session--The Coercion Bill carried--Rejection
    of the Tithes Bill--University Tests--Prorogation of
    Parliament--Brougham's Tour in Scotland--Burning of the Houses
    of Parliament--Fall of Melbourne's Ministry--Wellington
    sole Minister--Peel forms a Ministry--The Tamworth
    Manifesto--Dissolution and General Election--Mr. Abercromby
    elected Speaker--The Lichfield House Compact--Peel defeated
    on the Address--Lord John Russell announces a Resolution on
    Appropriation--Lord Chandos's Motion--Lord Londonderry's
    Appointment--The Dissenters and London University--Hardinge's
    Tithe Bill--The Appropriation Resolution--The Debate--Peel
    resigns--Melbourne's second Ministry--Conservative Successes--Lord
    Alvanley and O'Connell--The Duel between Alvanley and
    Morgan O'Connell--O'Connell and Disraeli--Character of Lord
    Melbourne--Municipal Reform--Report of the Commission--The
    Municipal Corporations Act introduced--Its Progress in the
    Commons--Lyndhurst's Amendments--It becomes Law--Irish
    Corporations--Report of the Commission--The Bill is mutilated in
    the Upper House, and abandoned--It becomes Law in 1840--Municipal
    Reform in Scotland                                                375


    REIGN OF WILLIAM IV. (_concluded_).

    Prorogation of Parliament--Agitation against the House of
    Lords--O'Connell's Crusade--Inquiry into the Orange Lodges--Report
    of the Committee--Mr. Hume's Motion--Renewed Attack in 1836--The
    Lodges dissolved--Lord Mulgrave in Ireland--His Progresses--Wrath
    of the Orangemen--Prosperity of the Country--Condition of Canada--A
    Commission appointed--Violence of the King--Lord Gosford in
    Canada--His Failure to pacify the Canadians--Upper Canada--Pepys
    becomes Lord Chancellor--Opening of Parliament--The King's
    Speech--O'Connell and Mr. Raphael--The Newspaper Duty--The Irish
    Poor--Appointment of a Commission--Its numerous Reports--The Third
    Report--Private Bills on the Subject--Mr. Nicholls' Report--Lord
    John Russell's Bill--Abandonment of the Measure--Debate on
    Agriculture--Finance--The Ecclesiastical Commission--Its first
    Report--The Commission made permanent--The Tithe Commutation
    Act--The Marriage Act--The Registration Act--Commercial
    Panics--Foreign Affairs--Russian Aggression--Occupation of
    Cracow--Disorder in Spain--Revolution in Portugal--Position of the
    Ministry--A Speech of Sheil's--The Church Rates Bill--Death of the
    King--His Treatment of the Ministry                               392



    Increase of Population--Nature of its Employment--Wealth
    of the Nation--The Cotton Trade--Hosiery--The Silk and
    Woollen Trades--Linen Goods--Minerals and Coal--Hardware and
    Cutlery--Roads--Railways--Steamboats--The Coasting Trade--Traffic
    between England and Ireland--Imports and Exports--Coffee and
    Tea--The Revenue--Houses and Carriages--Real Property and
    Savings-banks--Popular Education--Amelioration of Criminal
    Legislation--Effect of Education on Crime--The Religious
    Bodies--The Irvingites--Religious Leaders in England, Scotland,
    and Ireland--Progress of Science--Mathematicians--Astronomers:
    Herschel and Lord Rosse--Discoveries in Light by Brewster and
    others--Irish Men of Science--Mrs. Somerville, Wheatstone,
    Daguerre, and Fox Talbot--Cavendish and Dalton--Mechanicians:
    Sir Marc Brunel--Babbage--The Fine Arts: Turner--Lawrence and
    Wilkie--Haydon--Sculpture--Architects: Soane, Barry, and the
    Pugins--Historians: Mackintosh, Lingard, and Hallam--Napier
    and Gurwood--Biographers: Moore and Lockhart--Miscellaneous
    Writers--Cheap Literature--Sir Walter Scott--Lady Blessington
    and Lady Morgan--Mrs. Hemans--L. E. L.--Pollok--Professor Wilson
    ("Christopher North")--Sheridan Knowles and Bulwer Lytton--Manners
    and Morals--Almack's--Other Amusements--English Cookery--Hyde
    Park--Male and Female Costume                                     416



    The Queen's Accession--Separation of Hanover from England--The
    Civil List--The General Election--Rebellion in Lower Canada--Its
    prompt Suppression--Sir Francis Head in Upper Canada--The Affair
    of the _Caroline_--Lord Durham's Mission--His Ordinance--It is
    disallowed--Lord Durham resigns--Renewal and Suppression of the
    Rebellion--Union of the Canadas--The Irish Poor Law Bill--Work of
    the Commissioners--Attack on Lord Glenelg--Compromise on Irish
    Questions--Acland's Resolution--The Tithe Bill becomes Law--The
    Municipal Bill abandoned--The Coronation--Scene in the Abbey--The
    Fair in Hyde Park--Rejoicings in the Provinces--Dissolution of
    the Spanish Legion--Debate on the Intervention in Spain--Lord
    Ashley's Factory Bills--Prorogation of Parliament--The Glasgow
    Strike--Reference to Combinations in the Queen's Speech--Remarks
    of Sir Robert Peel--Rise of Chartism--The Six Points--Mr.
    Attwood's Petition--Lord John Russell's Proclamation--The
    Birmingham Riots--Dissolution of the National Convention--The
    Newport Riots--Murder of Lord Norbury--Meeting of the
    Magistrates--The Precursor Association--Debates in Parliament--Lord
    Normanby's Defence of his Administration--The Lords censure
    the Government--The Vote reversed in the Commons--The Jamaica
    Bill--Virtual Defeat of the Ministry--They resign                 443


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    The Bedchamber Crisis--Peel's Explanation--The Whigs return to
    Office--Mr. Shaw Lefevre is elected Speaker--Education Scheme--It
    is carried in a modified form--Post Office Reform--Rowland Hill's
    Pamphlet--The Proposal scouted by the Authorities--Select Committee
    appointed--The Scheme becomes Law--Cabinet Changes--Political
    Demonstrations--Announcement of the Queen's Marriage--Lady
    Flora Hastings--The Queen's Speech--Insertion of the word
    "Protestant"--Debate on the Prince's Precedence--His Income fixed
    by the Commons--Stockdale _v._ Hansard--Stockdale's second and
    third Actions--Stockdale and the Sheriffs committed--His fourth
    and fifth Actions--Russell's Bill settles the Question--Other
    Events of the Session--The Queen's Marriage--Oxford's Attempt
    on her Life--His Trial for High Treason--Foreign Affairs--the
    Opium Traffic--Commissioner Lin confiscates the Opium--Debates
    in Parliament--Elliot's Convention--It is disapproved and
    he is recalled--Renewal of the War--Capture of the Defences
    of Canton--Sir Henry Pottinger assumes Command--Conclusion
    of the War--The Syrian Crisis; Imminent Dissolution of the
    Turkish Empire--The Quadrilateral Treaty--Lord Palmerston's
    Difficulties--The Wrath of M. Thiers--Lord Palmerston's
    Success--Fall of Acre--Termination of the Crisis--Weakness
    of the Ministry--The Registration Bills--Lord Howick's
    Amendment--The Budget--Peel's Vote of Censure is carried--The
    Dissolution--Ministers are defeated in both Houses--Resignation of
    the Melbourne Ministry                                            461


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    Peel's Second Cabinet--Prorogation of Parliament--Growing
    Demand for Free Trade--Mr. Villiers--His First Motion for the
    Repeal of the Corn Laws--The Manchester Association--Bright
    and Cobden--Opposition of the Chartists--Growth of the
    Association--The Movement spreads to London--Renewal of Mr.
    Villiers' Motion--Formation of the Anti-Corn Law League--Its
    Pamphlets and Lectures--Ebenezer Elliott--The Pavilion at
    Manchester--Mr. Villiers' Third Motion--Want in Ireland--The
    Walsall Election--Depression of Trade--Peel determines on a
    Sliding Scale--His Corn Law--Its Cold Reception--Progress of
    the Measure--The Budget--The Income Tax--Reduction of Custom
    Duties--Peel's Speech on the New Tariff--Discussions on the
    Bill--Employment of Children in the Coal Mines--Evidence of the
    Commission--Lord Ashley's Bill--Further Attempts on the Life of
    the Queen--Sir Robert Peel's Bill on the subject--Differences with
    the United States--The Right of Search--The Canadian Boundary--The
    Macleod Affair--Lord Ashburton's Mission--The First Afghan War:
    Sketch of its Course--Russian Intrigue in the East--Auckland
    determines to restore Shah Sujah--Triumphant Advance of the
    Army of the Indus--Surrender of Dost Mohammed--Sale and the
    Ghilzais--The Rising in Cabul--Murder of Burnes--Treaty of 11th of
    December--Murder of Macnaghten--Treaty of January 1st--Annihilation
    of the Retreating Force--Irresolution of Auckland--His
    Recall--Disasters in the Khyber Pass--Pollock at Peshawur--Position
    of Affairs at Jelalabad--Resistance determined upon--Approach
    of Akbar Khan--The Earthquake--Pollock in the Khyber--Sale's
    Victory--Ellenborough's Proclamation--Votes of Thanks--Ellenborough
    orders Retirement--The Prisoners--They are saved--Reoccupation of
    Cabul--Ellenborough's Proclamation--The Gate of Somnauth          479


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    Opening of 1843--Assassination of Drummond--The _Quarterly_ on
    the League--Scene between Peel and Cobden--Mr. Villiers's Annual
    Motion--Peel's Free Trade Admissions--Progress of the League
    Agitation--Activity of its Press--Important Accessions--Invasion of
    the County Constituencies--The Free Traders in Parliament--Disraeli
    attacks Peel--Lord John Russell's Attitude--Debate on Mr.
    Villiers's Motion--Mr. Goulburn's Budget--The Sugar Duties--Defeat
    of the Government--Peel obtains a Reconsideration of the
    Vote--Disraeli's Sarcasms--The Anti-League League--Supposed Decline
    of Cobdenism--The Session of 1845--The Budget--Breach between Peel
    and his Party--The Potato Disease--The Cabinet Council--Memorandum
    of November 6--Dissent of Peel's Colleagues--Peel's Explanation
    of his Motives--Lord Stanley's Expostulation--Announcement in the
    _Times_--The Edinburgh Letter--Resignation of the Ministry--Russell
    fails to form a Government--Return of Peel--Parliament
    meets--Debates on the Queens Speech--Peel's general Statement--Mr.
    Bright's Eulogium--The Corn Bill passes the Commons and the
    Lords--Defeat of Sir Robert Peel--Some scattered Facts of his
    Administration                                                    505


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    The Repeal Agitation--Debate in the Dublin Corporation--The
    Monster Meetings--O'Connell's Speech at Tara--The Arms
    Bill--Dismissal of the Repeal Magistrates--Speeches of the Duke
    of Wellington--The Arms Bill becomes Law--Proclamation of the
    Clontarf Meeting--O'Connell's Counter-Proclamation--Arrest and
    Trial of O'Connell--The Sentence--It is reversed by the House
    of Lords--Rejoicings on O'Connell's Liberation--The Excitement
    at Cork--Decline of O'Connell--His Breach with the Young
    Ireland Party--Irish Debates in Parliament--Approach of the
    Irish Famine--The Devon Commission--Its Report--Arrival of the
    Potato Disease--The Famine--The Relief Committee of the Society
    of Friends--The Famine in Ulster--A Description of Cork and
    Skibbereen--Demoralisation of the Population--Policy of the Whig
    Cabinet--Lord George Bentinck's Railway Plan--Failure of the new
    Poor Law and of the Public Works--The Temporary Relief Act--Father
    Mathew--Private Benevolence--Munificence of the United States     525


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    Insecurity of the Orleanist Monarchy--The Spanish Marriages--Lord
    Palmerston's Foreign Policy--Meeting of the French
    Chambers--Prohibition of the Reform Banquet--The Multitude in
    Arms--Vacillation of Louis Philippe--He abdicates in favour
    of his Grandson--Flight of the Royal Family--Proclamation of
    the Provisional Government--Lamartine quells the Populace--The
    Unemployed--Invasion of the Assembly--Prince Louis Napoleon--The
    _Ateliers Nationaux_--Paris in a State of Siege--The Rebellion
    quelled by Cavaignac--A New Constitution--Louis Napoleon
    elected President of the French Republic--Effect of the French
    Revolution in England--The Chartists--Outbreak at Glasgow--The
    Monster Petition--Notice by the Police Commissioners--The 10th
    of April--The Special Constables--The Duke of Wellington's
    Preparations--The Convention on Kennington Common--Feargus O'Connor
    and Commissioner Mayne--Collapse of the Demonstration--Incendiary
    Placards at Glasgow--History of the Chartist Petition--Renewed
    Gatherings of Chartists--Arrests--Trial of the Chartist
    Leaders--Evidence of Spies--The Sentences                         548


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    The General Election--Crime in Ireland--Increased Powers granted
    to the Executive--Ireland on the Verge of Rebellion--Death of
    O'Connell--Viceroyalty of Lord Clarendon--Special Commission in
    Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary--The Commission at Clonmel--Rise
    of the Young Ireland Party--The _Nation_--Meagher and Smith
    O'Brien--They try to dispense with the Church--The Irish
    Confederation--The _United Irishman_--News of the French
    Revolution--Panic in Dublin--Lord Clarendon and Mr. Birch--The
    Deputation to Paris--Smith O'Brien in Parliament--Preparations
    for Civil War--Young and Old Ireland at blows--Arrest and
    Trial of Mitchel, Smith O'Brien, and Meagher--Transportation
    of Mitchel--Lord Clarendon's Extraordinary Powers--Smith
    O'Brien in the South--Commencement of the Insurrection--Battle
    of Ballingarry--Arrest of Smith O'Brien--Collapse of the
    Rebellion--Trial of the Conspirators--Trials and Sentences--The
    Rate in Aid--The Encumbered Estates Act--The Queen's Visit to
    Ireland--Cove becomes Queenstown--A Visit to Cork--Kingstown and
    Dublin--Departure from Dublin--An Affecting Incident--Belfast     560


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    The Year of Revolutions--Lord Palmerston's Advice to Spain--It
    is rejected by the Duke of Sotomayor--Dismissal of Sir H.
    Bulwer--The Revolution in Germany--Condition of Prussia--The King's
    Ordinance--He disclaims a Desire to become German Emperor--The
    National Assembly dispersed by Force--A New Constitution--The
    King declines the German Crown--The Revolution in Vienna--Flight
    of Metternich and of the Emperor--Affairs in Bohemia--Croats and
    Hungarians--Jellacic secretly encouraged--Revolt of Hungary--Murder
    of Lamberg--Despotic Decrees from Vienna--The second Revolution
    in Vienna--Bombardment of Vienna--Accession of Francis
    Joseph--Commencement of the War--Defeats of the Austrians--Quarrel
    between Kossuth and Görgei--Russian Intervention--Collapse
    of the Insurrection--The Vengeance of Austria--Death of
    Count Batthyány--Lord Palmerston's Protest--Schwarzenberg's
    Reply--The Hungarian Refugees--The Revolution in Italy--Revolt
    of Venice--Milan in Arms--Retreat of Radetzky--Enthusiasm of
    the Italians--Revolution and counter-Revolution in Sicily and
    Naples--Difficulties of the Pope--Republic at Rome--The War
    in Lombardy--Austrian Overtures--Radetzky's Successes--French
    and British Mediation--Armistice arranged--Resumption
    of Hostilities--Battle of Novara--Abdication of Charles
    Albert--Terms of Peace--Surrender of Venice, Bologna, and
    other Italian Cities--Foreign Intervention in Rome--The French
    Expedition--Temporary Successes of the Romans--Siege and Fall of
    Rome--Restoration of the Pope--Parliamentary Debates on Italian
    Affairs--Lord Palmerston's Defence of his Policy                  574


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    Our Relations with Scinde--Occupation of the Country--Napier in
    Scinde--Ellenborough's Instructions--A New Treaty--Capture of
    Emaum-Ghur--The Treaty signed--Attack on the Residency--Battle of
    Meeanee--Defeat of Shere Mahommed--Subjugation of Scinde--Napier's
    Government of the Province--Position of the Sikhs--Disorders in
    Gwalior--Battle of Maharajpore--Settlement of Gwalior--Recall
    of Lord Ellenborough--Sir Henry Hardinge--Power of the
    Sikhs--Disorders on the Death of Runjeet Singh--The Sikhs
    cross the Sutlej--Battle of Moodkee--Battle of Ferozeshah--The
    Victory won--Battle of Aliwal--Battle of Sobraon--Terms of
    Peace--Administration of the Lawrences--Murder of Vans Agnew and
    Anderson--Renewal of the War--Battles of Chillianwallah and of
    Goojerat--Capture of Mooltan--Annexation of the Punjab            589


    THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (_continued_).

    Events in England--The Budgets of 1848--Repeal of the Navigation
    Act--The Jewish Disabilities Bill--Election of Baron Rothschild by
    the City of London--He is refused the Oath--Election of Alderman
    Salomons--He takes his Seat in Spite of the Speaker--Action in
    the Court of the Exchequer--The Bill finally passed--Colonial
    Self-Government--Lord Palmerston's Foreign Policy censured by
    the House of Lords--The Don Pacifico Debate--Testimonial to Lord
    Palmerston--Peel's Last Speech--His Death--Testimony as to his
    Worth--Honours to his Memory                                      602



    The Garden at Hougomont                                        1

    Napoleon I.                                                    5

    The Agents of Britain and Sweden signing the Treaty
      against Napoleon                                             8

    Carlton House, London (1812)                                   9

    Marshal Beresford                                             13

    The Fusiliers at Albuera                                      17

    The Conscription in France: recruiting for Napoleon's Wars    21

    Assassination of Spencer Perceval                             24

    Marshal Soult                                                 29

    View of Washington from Arlington Heights                     33

    Invasion of Canada: Red Men on the War Path                   36

    Duel between the "Guerrière" and the "Constitution"           37

    The Cossack's Challenge                                       41

    The Retreat from Moscow                                       45

    Retreat of the French from Russia                             49

    Napoleon abandoning his Army                                  53

    Marshal Ney                                                   56

    Flight of King Joseph Buonaparte from Vittoria                57

    Pampeluna                                                     61

    Bernadotte (King of Sweden)                                   65

    Napoleon's Interview with Metternich                          68

    View in Dresden                                               69

    The Palace of Fontainebleau                                   73

    Attempt of the Cossacks to capture Napoleon at Brienne        77

    Alexander I.                                                  80

    Napoleon signing his Abdication                               81

    Elba                                                          85

    The Congress of Vienna                                        88

    Sir Thomas Picton                                             93

    Waterloo Views                                                96

    Marshal Blucher                                               97

    The Battle of Waterloo                                       101

    James Town, St. Helena                                       105

    Napoleon on Board the "Bellerophon"                          109

    New Orleans                                                  113

    Capture of Murat                                             116

    Lord Castlereagh                                             117

    The Mob of Spenceans summoning the Tower of London           121

    The "Nottingham Captain" and the Agitators at the
      "White Horse"                                              125

    William Cobbett                                              129

    Old Bailey, London, 1814                                     132

    Beaus and Belles of the Regency Period                       133

    Gibraltar                                                    137

    Surrender of the Peishwa                                     140

    The Mint, London                                             144

    Sir Samuel Romilly                                           145

    The Peterloo Massacre: Hussars charging the People           149

    View of Cato Street, London, showing the Stable in
      which the Conspirators were captured                       153

    Surprise of the Cato Street Conspirators                     156

    Charles, Third Earl Stanhope                                 161

    Costumes at the Beginning of George III.'s Reign             164

    St. John's Episcopal Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh       168

    Rowland Hill preaching to the Colliers of Kingswood          169

    Jane Austen                                                  173

    Laurence Sterne                                              173

    Samuel Richardson                                            173

    Oliver Goldsmith                                             173

    Tobias Smollet                                               173

    Dr. Johnson reading the Manuscript of the "Vicar of
      Wakefield"                                                 176

    Dr. Johnson                                                  177

    David Garrick as Richard III.                                181

    Exterior of the Cottage at Alloway in which Burns was born   185

    Interior of Burns's Cottage at Alloway (two views)           186

    William Wordsworth                                           189

    John Keats                                                   189

    Robert Burns                                                 189

    Percy Bysshe Shelley                                         189

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge                                      189

    Waterloo Bridge, London                                      192

    Menai Suspension and Tubular Bridges                         193

    James Watt                                                   197

    Costumes at the end of George III.'s Reign                   200

    Sir Joshua Reynolds                                          201

    Great Seal of George IV.                                     205

    Queen Caroline entering the House of Lords                   209

    The Pavilion, Brighton                                       213

    George IV.                                                   217

    Landing of George IV. at Howth                               220

    Lower Castle-Yard, Dublin                                    221

    Sir Walter Scott                                             225

    Dalkeith Palace                                              228

    George IV. holding a Levee in Holyrood Palace                229

    Verona                                                       233

    The Admiralty, London                                        240

    George III.'s Library, British Museum                        241

    Scene in Dublin: Painting King William black                 245

    Mr. Huskisson                                                249

    Election Meeting in Ireland                                  253

    Lisbon                                                       257

    Lord Liverpool                                               260

    Devonshire Villa, Chiswick                                   261

    Battle of Navarino: the "Asia" engaging the Ship of the
      Capitan Bey and Mohurrem Bey                               265

    Lord Byron                                                   269

    The Clare Contest: Father Murphy leading his Tenants
      to the Poll                                                273

    Daniel O'Connell                                             277

    The Four Courts, Dublin                                      281

    The Flight of Lawless                                        285

    Scene at the "Surrender" Banquet in Derry                    288

    The Marquis of Anglesey                                      289

    Lord Anglesey leaving Ireland: Scene at Kingstown            293

    Apsley House, Hyde Park Corner, London                       297

    The Duke of Wellington's Duel with Lord Winchilsea           300

    Lord Eldon                                                   301

    Captain Walpole Intercepting the Duke of Saldanha's Ships    305

    Mr. Alexander's Levee in King's Bench Prison                 309

    Virginia Water                                               313

    Revolution in Paris: Capture of the Hôtel de Ville           317

    Lord Grey                                                    321

    Mob burning a Farm in Kent                                   325

    O'Connell's House in Merrion Square, Dublin                  328

    Arrest of O'Connell                                          329

    William IV.                                                  333

    Jedburgh Abbey                                               336

    Great Seal of William IV.                                    337

    Attack on Sir Charles Wetherell at Bristol                   341

    Clerkenwell Green, London                                    342

    Earl Grey Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne                          344

    Lord Brougham                                                345

    Coronation of William IV.: The Royal Procession              349

    Scene in Ireland: Visit of the Tithe-Proctor                 353

    Mr. Stanley (afterwards 14th Earl of Derby)                  357

    The Cathedral, Tuam                                          360

    Agricultural Labourers at the Period of the First Reform
      Parliament                                                 361

    Mr. (afterwards Lord) Macaulay                               365

    Slavery Emancipation Festival in Barbadoes                   369

    Kennington Common, London, about 1840                        373

    Burning of the Houses of Parliament                          377

    Lord Althorp (3rd Earl Spencer)                              381

    Lichfield House, St. James's Square, London                  384

    Sir Robert Peel                                              385

    The Mansion House, London                                    389

    Conference between the Houses of Parliament, 1835            393

    Irish Prisoners liberated during Lord Mulgrave's Progress    397

    Joseph Hume                                                  401

    Irish Tramps                                                 405

    British Line-of-Battle Ships (1836)                          408

    Ripon Cathedral                                              409

    Deputation of Constitutionalists before the Queen of
      Portugal                                                   413

    Arrival of the Mail Coach                                    417

    Bell's "Comet"                                               420

    Sir James Mackintosh                                         421

    The Overland Route: Scene at Boulak                          425

    Dr. Chalmers                                                 429

    Joseph Mallord William Turner                                432

    Abbotsford and the Eildon Hills                              433

    St. George's Cathedral, Southwark                            436

    Thomas Moore                                                 437

    The Duke of Wellington at Almack's                           440

    Rotten Row in 1830                                           441

    Niagara Falls                                                445

    The Capture of the _Caroline_                                449

    The Coronation of Queen Victoria                             453

    Chartists at Church                                          457

    Buckingham Palace, from the Garden                           461

    Sir Rowland Hill, 1847                                       465

    Marriage of Queen Victoria                                   473

    Attack on the Chinese Junks                                  477

    Queen Victoria                                               480

    Dunford, near Midhurst, where Cobden was born                481

    The Mob boarding the Grain Ship at Garry Kennedy             485

    Richard Cobden                                               489

    Seizure of Sir William Macnaghten                            493

    Arrival of Dr. Brydon at Jelalabad                           497

    Rescue of the British Prisoners from Akbar Khan              501

    Whitehall Gardens, London                                    505

    Capt. Thomas Drummond, Under-Secretary for Ireland           509

    Free Trade Hall, Manchester                                  513

    Charles Pelham Villiers                                      517

    Maynooth College                                             521

    The Great Seal of Victoria                                   525

    O'Connell at the Meeting at Trim                             528

    Sir James Graham                                             529

    O'Connell returning Home from Prison                         533

    Father Mathew and the Famine-stricken Poor                   537

    Father Mathew                                                540

    On board an Emigrant Ship at the time of the Irish Famine    541

    Fighting at the Barricades in Paris                          545

    Louis Philippe hears of the Revolution                       549

    Louis Blanc                                                  553

    Somerset House, London (River Front)                         557

    Trinity College, Dublin                                      561

    Muster of the Irish at Mullinahone                           565

    Smith O'Brien                                                569

    The Queen at Kilmainham Hospital                             573

    Frankfort                                                    576

    Louis Kossuth                                                577

    Assassination of Count Lamberg                               581

    Giuseppe Garibaldi                                           584

    Pius IX. quitting the Vatican in Disguise                    585

    The Chandni Chowk, Delhi                                     589

    The Charge of the Cavalry at Meeanee                         593

    Thackwell at Sobraon                                         596

    Arrival of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh at the British Camp   601

    Benjamin Disraeli                                            604

    Arrest of British Sailors by Greek Soldiers                  605


    Vereker M. Hamilton_)                               _Frontispiece_

    PRISONERS OF WAR. (_By W. F. Yeames, R.A._)        _To face p._ 18

      Stanfield, R.A._)                                         "   34

      JUNE 21ST, 1813. (_By Robert Hillingford_)                "   58

    MAP OF THE STATES OF EUROPE IN 1815.                        "   87

    QUATRE BRAS. (_By Vereker M. Hamilton_)                     "   97

      BRITISH SQUARE. (_By P. Jazet_)                           "   98

      (_By Marcus Stone, A.R.A._)                               "   102

      (_By Ernest Crofts, R.A._)                                "   113

      (_By F. Goodall, R.A._)                                   "   157

    A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. (_By George Wright_)                   "   194

    A VILLAGE MERRYMAKING. (_By W. P. Frith, R.A._)    _To face p._ 200

    THE CORONATION OF GEORGE IV. (_By Pugin and Stephanoff_)    "   214

    SOLICITING A VOTE. (_By R. W. Buss_)                        "   250

     (_By D. O. Hill, R.S.A._)                                  "   429

      BROKEN UP. (_By J. M. W. Turner, R.A._)                   "   441

    THE QUEEN'S FIRST COUNCIL. (_By Sir David Wilkie, R.A._)    "   444

      (_By C. R. Leslie, R.A._)                                 "   449

    H.R.H. PRINCE ALBERT. (_By F. X. Winterhalter_)             "   466

      (_By F. X. Winterhalter_)                                 "   524

    AN IRISH EVICTION. (_By F. Goodall, R.A._)                  "   569


    _Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ld., Bushey, Herts._







REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_continued_).

    Napoleon's Desire for an Heir--The Archduchess Maria Louisa--The
    Divorce determined upon--The Marriage--Napoleon quarrels
    with his Family--Abdication of Louis Buonaparte--Napoleon's
    bloated Empire--Affairs of Sweden--Choice of Bernadotte as
    King--He forms an Alliance with Russia and Britain--His
    Breach with Napoleon--Insanity of George III.--Preparations
    for a Regency--Restrictions on the Power of the
    Regent--Futile Negotiations of the Prince of Wales with
    Grey and Grenville--Perceval continued in Power--The King's
    Speech--Reinstatement of the Duke of York--The Currency
    Question--Its Effect on the Continent--Wellington's
    Difficulties--Massena's Retreat--His Defeat at Sabugal--Surrender
    of Badajoz to the French--Battle of Barrosa--Wellington and
    Massena--Battles of Fuentes d'Onoro and Albuera--Soult's
    Retreat--End of the Campaign--Our Naval Supremacy continues--Birth
    of an Heir to Napoleon--Elements of Resistance to his
    Despotism--Session of 1812--Discussions on the Civil List--Bankes's
    Bill--Assassination of Perceval--Renewed Overtures to Grey and
    Grenville--Riots in the Manufacturing Districts--Wellington's
    Preparations--Capture of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz--Wellington
    and Marmont--Battle of Salamanca--Wellington enters
    Madrid--Victor's Retreat--Incapacity of the Spaniards--The Sicilian
    Expedition--Wellington's Retreat--Its Difficulties--Wellington's
    Defence of his Tactics--A Pause in the War.

The spring of 1810 witnessed one of the most important events of the
reign of Napoleon, and one which, no doubt had a decided influence
on his fate--his divorce from Josephine and his marriage with Maria
Louisa, the archduchess of Austria. It had long been evident to those
about Napoleon that a change of this kind would take place. Josephine
had brought the Emperor no child, and, ambitious in every way, he
was as much so of leaving lineal successors to the throne and empire
which he had created, as he was of making that empire co-extensive
with Europe. Josephine, strongly attached to him, as well as to the
splendour of his position, had long feared such a catastrophe, and
had done all in her power to divert his mind from it. She proposed to
him that he should adopt an heir, and she recommended to him her own
son, Eugene Beauharnais. But this did not satisfy Buonaparte. She then
turned his attention to a child of her daughter, Hortense Beauharnais,
by his brother Louis, the King of Holland. This would have united her
own family to his, and to this scheme Buonaparte appeared to consent.
He showed much affection for the child, and especially as the boy
displayed great pleasure in looking at arms and military manœuvres;
and on one occasion of this kind Buonaparte exclaimed, "There is a
child fit to succeed, perhaps to surpass me!" But neither was this
scheme destined to succeed. The child sickened and died, and with it
almost the last hope of Josephine. Whilst at Erfurt with the Emperor
Alexander, in 1808, Buonaparte had actually proposed for a Russian
archduchess; nay, in 1807 he had made such overtures at the Treaty of
Tilsit. Thus the idea had been settled in his mind three years, at
least, before it was realised. The Russian match had on both occasions
been evaded, on the plea of the difference of religion; but the truth
was that the notion of such an alliance was by no means acceptable
to the Imperial family of Russia. The Empress and the Empress-mother
decidedly opposed it; and though the plea of difference of religion
was put forward, Buonaparte could not but feel that the real reasons
were very different--that he was looked on as a successful adventurer,
whose greatness might some day dissolve as speedily as it had grown,
and that, be this as it might, the Russian family were not disposed to
receive him, a _parvenu_ monarch, into their old regal status.

The Austrian campaign, and Buonaparte's sojourn at Schönbrunn, gave him
a sight of the Archduchess Maria Louisa, and determined his conduct.
The house of Hapsburg, however ancient and however proud, was under
the foot of the conqueror, and the sacrifice of an archduchess might
be considered a cheap one for more favourable terms than Austria
was otherwise likely to receive. It had the fate of Prussia before
its eyes, and the bargain was concluded. It might have seemed to
require no little courage in an Austrian princess to venture on
becoming Empress of France after the awful experience of her aunt
Marie Antoinette. But Maria Louisa was scarcely eighteen. She had
seen Buonaparte, who had endeavoured to make himself agreeable to
her; and so young a girl, of a military nation, might be as much
dazzled with the conqueror's glory as older, if not wiser, heads. She
made no objection to the match. In appearance she was of light, fair
complexion, with light-brown hair, of a somewhat tall figure, blue
eyes, and with a remarkably beautiful hand and foot. Altogether, she
was an animated and agreeable young lady.

Buonaparte apparently lost no time, after his return to Paris from
Schönbrunn, in communicating to Josephine the fact that the business
of the divorce and the new marriage was settled. On the 30th of
November, 1809, he opened the unpleasant reality to her in a private
interview, and she fell into such violent agitation, and finally into
so deep a swoon, as to alarm Napoleon. He blamed Hortense for not
having broken the matter to her three days before, as he had desired.
But however much Napoleon might be affected at this rude disruption
of an old and endeared tie, his feelings never stood in the way of
his ambitious plans. The preparations for the divorce went on, and on
the 15th of December a grand council was held in the Tuileries on the
subject. At this important council all the family of Napoleon, his
brothers and sisters, now all kings and queens, were summoned from
their kingdoms to attend, and did attend, except Joseph from Spain,
Madame Bacciochi--that is, Elise--and Lucien, who had refused to be
made a king. Cambacérès, now Duke of Parma and arch-chancellor of the
Empire, and St. Jean d'Angély, the Minister of State, attended to take
the depositions. Napoleon then said a few words expressive of his
grief at this sad but necessary act, of affection for and admiration
of the wife he was about to put away, and of his hope of a posterity
to fill his throne, saying he was yet but forty, and might reasonably
expect to live to train up children who should prove a blessing to the
empire. Josephine, with a voice choked with tears, arose, and, in a
short speech, made the act a voluntary one on her part. After this the
arch-chancellor presented the written instrument of divorce, which they
signed, and to which all the family appended their signatures. This act
was presented to the Senate the very next day by St. Jean d'Angély,
and, strangely enough, Eugene Beauharnais, Josephine's son, was chosen
to second it, which he did in a speech of some length. The Senate
passed the necessary _Senatus Consultum_, certifying the divorce, and
conferring on Josephine the title of empress-queen, with the estate of
Navarre and two millions of francs per annum. They also voted addresses
to both Napoleon and Josephine of the most complimentary character.
This being done, Napoleon went off to St. Cloud, and Josephine retired
to the beautiful abode of Malmaison, near St. Germains, where she
continued to reside for the remainder of her life, and made herself
beloved for her acts of kindness and benevolence, of which the
English _détenus_, of whom there were several at St. Germains, were

Another council was immediately summoned to determine on the choice
of a new Empress. All had been arranged before between the House of
Austria and Napoleon, and the cue was given to the council to suggest
accordingly. Eugene Beauharnais was again strangely appointed to
propose to Prince Schwarzenberg for the hand of the archduchess, and,
having his instructions, his proposal was accepted, and the whole of
this formality was concluded in four-and-twenty hours. Josephine set
out for her new estate in Navarre, and Marshal Berthier was appointed
to act as proxy for his master in the espousals of the bride at Vienna.
There were difficulties in the case which, strictly Catholic as the
Hapsburg family is, it is surprising that they could be so easily
got over, and which show how much that Imperial family was under
the control of "the Upstart," as they familiarly styled him amongst
themselves. The Pope had been too grievously insulted and persecuted
by Buonaparte for it to be possible for him to pronounce the former
marriage invalid; had it not been also contrary to the canons of the
Church to abrogate marriage, which it regards as an entirely sacred
and indissoluble ceremony. To remove this difficulty, it was stated to
the Austrian family that Buonaparte's marriage with Josephine had been
merely a revolutionary marriage before a magistrate, and therefore no
marriage at all--the fact being originally true, but it had ceased to
be so some days previous to Buonaparte's coronation, when, to remove
the Pope's objection, they had been privately married by Buonaparte's
uncle, Cardinal Fesch. The wedding took place at Vienna, on the 11th
of March, 1810, and a few days afterwards the young Empress set out
for France, accompanied by the Queen of Naples. Buonaparte, who
maintained the strictest etiquette at his Court, had had all the
ceremonies which were to attend his marriage in Paris arranged with the
most minute exactness. He then set out himself to meet his Austrian
bride, very much in the manner that he had gone to meet the Pope. Near
Soissons--riding alone, and in an ordinary dress--Buonaparte met the
carriage of his new wife, got in, and went on with her to Soissons and
thence to the old château of Compiègne.

Soon after his marriage Buonaparte made a tour with his Imperial bride.
It was very much the same that he had made with Josephine shortly
before their coronation--namely, through the northern provinces of
France, through Belgium and Holland. He decided, during this journey,
on the occasion of his uniting the part of the Low Countries called
Zealand with the Department of the Mouths of the Scheldt, on annexing
the whole country to France for ever. But whilst conversing with Louis
Buonaparte, his Holland king-brother at Antwerp, he suddenly stumbled
on a discovery of some daring proceedings of Fouché, his Minister of
Police, which sent him back to Paris in haste, and ruined that subtle
diplomatist with him. The arbitrary disposition displayed in this
arrangement very soon produced consequences between Napoleon and his
brothers which made more than ever manifest to the world that no law or
consideration could any longer influence Napoleon; that his self-will
was, and must be, his only guide. His brother Lucien, who had from
the first refused to become one of his puppets, and who was leading a
private life in Italy, received an intimation from Fouché that Napoleon
meant to arrest and shut him up. In consequence of this friendly hint,
Lucien fled from the Continent, and ultimately took refuge in England,
where he purchased an estate near Ludlow, and there resided till 1814,
when the fall of his brother permitted him to return to France. Lucien
Buonaparte (the ablest of the family next to Napoleon), now styled the
Prince of Canino, from an estate which he purchased in Italy, and which
the Pope raised to a principality, spent the three years in England in
writing a poem entitled "Charlemagne; or, the Church Delivered."

But if Lucien, who had rendered Napoleon such essential services in
enabling him to put down the French Revolution, could not escape this
meddling domination as a private man, much less could his puppet-kings,
whether brothers or brothers-in-law. He was beginning to have violent
quarrels with Murat and his sister Caroline, king and queen of Naples;
nor could the mild and amiable temper of Louis, king of Holland,
protect him from the insults and the pressure of this spoiled child of

Louis was a conscientious man, who was sincerely desirous of studying
the comfort and prosperity of the people over whom he was placed. But
the system of Buonaparte went to extinguish the welfare of Holland
altogether. To insist upon the Dutch shutting out the manufactures of
Great Britain, upon which the large trade of Holland subsisted, was
to dry up the very means by which Holland had made itself a country
from low-lying sea-marshes and sand-banks. Louis knew this, and
winked, as much as possible, at the means by which the trade of his
subjects was maintained with England. This produced extreme anger on
the part of Napoleon, who used terms towards his brother of rudeness
and even brutality. Relations between Louis, and his queen, Hortense,
the daughter of Josephine, had grown unbearable. In fact, they had
made a mutual, though not a legal separation; and in 1809 they each
demanded that a legal separation should take place. There was such an
intimate connection between Buonaparte and Queen Hortense that Louis
deemed it a matter that concerned his honour as well as his quiet.
But Napoleon bluntly refused to allow such a legal dissolution of the
marriage, and insulted his brother by calling him an ideologist--a man
who had spoiled himself by reading Rousseau. He did not even return a
written answer to Louis's demand, but satisfied himself with a verbal
one. Champagny, the Duke of Cadore, who had succeeded Talleyrand as
Minister, stated in a report that the situation of Louis was become
critical from the conflicting sentiments in his heart of duties towards
France and duties towards his own subjects; and Buonaparte intimated
his intention to recall Louis to France, and to unite Holland, as a
province, to the empire. Louis, on his part, intimated that unless the
Dutch were allowed to avoid universal ruin by the prosecution of their
commerce, he would abdicate. Buonaparte had already annexed Zealand to
France, and Louis displayed a remarkable indifference to retaining the
remainder. On this, Buonaparte seemed to pause in his menaces; but for
all that he did not suspend his resolution to compel an utter exclusion
of British goods. The Dutch, who esteemed Louis for his honest regard
for their rights, were alarmed at the idea of losing him; for it could
only be for Holland to be united to France, and put under the most
compulsory system. For some time they and Louis contemplated laying
the whole country under water, and openly repudiating the influence of
Napoleon. But cool reflection convinced them that such resistance was
useless; and in March of this year Louis submitted to a treaty by which
the Continental system was to be strictly enforced. Not only Zealand,
but Dutch Brabant and the whole course of the Rhine on both its banks
were made over to France. Louis signed the treaty on the 1st of July,
but significantly added, "as far as possible."

But no such easy rendering of the contract was contemplated by
Buonaparte. He did not even adhere to the letter of it. French officers
were to be placed in all the Dutch garrisons, and eighteen thousand
troops were to be maintained, of whom six thousand were to be French.
Instead of six thousand soldiers, General Oudinot appeared at the
head of twenty thousand at Utrecht. These, Buonaparte informed Louis,
were to occupy all the strong posts of the country, and to have their
headquarters at Amsterdam, his capital. Louis determined to be no party
to this utter subjugation of the country, nor any longer to play the
part of a puppet sovereign. On the 1st of July he executed a deed of
abdication in favour of his son, Napoleon Louis, expressing a hope
that, though he had been so unfortunate as to offend the Emperor, he
trusted he would not visit his displeasure on his innocent family.
He then drew up a vindication of his conduct, saying that he was
placed in an impossible situation, and that he had long foreseen this
termination of it. He sent this to be published in England, the only
place in which it could appear; and he then gave an entertainment to a
number of his friends at his palace at Haarlem, and at midnight entered
a private carriage and drove away. He proceeded to Graz, in Styria,
where he devoted his leisure to the instruction of his children, and
to literature, and wrote "_Documens Hìstoriques et Réflexions sur le
Gouvernement de la Holland_"--being an account of his administration
of the government of that country--and also a novel, called "_Marie,
ou les Hollandaises_." His wife, Hortense, went to Paris, where she
became a great leader in the world of fashion. On the 9th of July,
only eight days after the abdication of Louis, Buonaparte issued a
decree declaring Holland "re-united to France!" Oudinot marched into
Amsterdam, and took possession of it in the name of his master. It was
declared the third city of the French empire. The French Ministers
issued reports to vindicate this annexation, which was a disgraceful
breach of Napoleon's pledge to the Senate--that the Rhine should
be the boundary of France--and also of his repeated assurances that
Holland should remain an independent kingdom.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON I. (_From the Portrait by Paul Delaroche._)]

This conviction of all Europe that the ambition of Buonaparte would
swell till it burst in ruin, quickly received fresh confirmation. The
trans-Rhenish provinces of Holland did not form a proper frontier for
him. He immediately gave orders to form Oldenburg, Bremen, and all the
line of coast between Hamburg and Lübeck, into additional Departments
of France, which was completed by a _Senatus Consultum_ of the 13th
of December of this year. Thus the French empire now extended from
Denmark to Sicily; for Naples, though it was the kingdom of Joachim
Murat, was only nominally so; for the fate of the kingdom of Holland
had dissipated the last delusion regarding the reality of any separate
kingdom of Napoleon's erection. Italy, Jerome's kingdom of Westphalia,
the Grand Duchy of Berg--now given to the infant son of Louis--all
the territories of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Austria itself
were really subject to Buonaparte, and any day he could assert that
dominion. More than eighty millions of people in Europe owned this
quondam lieutenant of artillery as their lord and master, whose will
disdained all control. No such empire had existed under one autocrat,
or under one single sceptre, since the palmiest days of the Roman
supremacy. Denmark retained its nominal independence only by humbly
following the intimations of the great man's will. And now Sweden
appeared to add another realm to his vast dominions; but, in reality,
the surprising change which took place there created a final barrier
to his progress in the North, and became an immediate cause of his
utter overthrow. The story is one of the most singular and romantic in
all the wonderful events of the Napoleonic career.

Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Sweden--with all the military ardour of
Charles XII., but without his military talent; with all the chivalry
of an ancient knight, but at the head of a kingdom diminished and
impoverished--had resisted Buonaparte as proudly as if he were monarch
of a nation of the first magnitude. He refused to fawn on Napoleon; he
did not hesitate to denounce him as the curse of all Europe. He was
the only king in Europe, except that of Great Britain, who withstood
the marauder. He was at peace with Great Britain, but Alexander of
Russia, who had for his own purposes made an alliance with Napoleon,
called on him to shut out the British vessels from the Baltic. Gustavus
indignantly refused, though he was at the same time threatened with
invasion by France, whose troops, under Bernadotte, already occupied
Denmark. At once he found Finland invaded by sixty thousand Russians,
without any previous declaration of war. Finland was lost, and
Alexander saw his treachery rewarded with the possession of a country
larger than Great Britain, and with the whole eastern coast of the
Baltic, from Tornea to Memel; the Åland Isles were also conquered and
appropriated at this time. The unfortunate Gustavus, whose high honour
and integrity of principle stood in noble contrast to those of most of
the crowned heads of Europe, was not only deposed for his misfortunes,
but his line deprived of the crown for ever. This took place in March,
1809. The unfortunate monarch was long confined in the castle of
Gripsholm, where he was said to have been visited by the apparition of
King Eric XIV. He was then permitted to retire into Germany, where,
disdainfully refusing a pension, he divorced his wife, the sister of
the Empress of Russia, assumed the name of Colonel Gustavson, and went,
in proud poverty, to live in Switzerland. These events led to the last
of Sweden's great transactions on the field of Europe, and by far the
most extraordinary of all.

Alexander of Russia, having obtained all that he hoped for from
the peace of Tilsit and the alliance with Napoleon by the conquest
of Finland, was looking about for a new ally to aid him in freeing
himself from the insolent domination of Buonaparte, who was ruining
Russia as well as the rest of Europe by his Continental system, when
these unexpected events in Sweden opened up to him a sudden and most
marvellous ally. The Swedes had chosen the Duke of Sudermania, the
uncle of the deposed king. Charles XIII., the brother of Gustavus III.
(assassinated by Count Anckarström in 1792), was old, imbecile, and
childless. A successor was named for him in the Duke of Augustenburg,
who was extremely popular in Norway, and who had no very distant
expectations of the succession in Denmark. This prince--a member of an
unlucky house--had scarcely arrived in Sweden when he died suddenly,
not without suspicion of having been poisoned; in fact, various
rumours of such a fate awaiting him preceded his arrival. Russia, as
well as a powerful party in Sweden, was bent on restoring the line of
Vasa. Alexander was uncle to the young prince, who, by no fault of
his own, was excluded from the throne. Whatever was the real cause,
Augustenburg died, as had been predicted; and while the public mind
in Sweden was agitated about the succession, the aged king, Charles
XIII., applied to Napoleon for his advice. But Napoleon had bound
himself at Tilsit to leave the affairs of the North in the hands of
Alexander, and especially not to interfere in those of Sweden. He
therefore haughtily replied:--"Address yourself to Alexander; he is
great and generous"--ominous words, which were, ere long, applied, to
his astonishment and destruction.

Yet, on the first view of the case, the selection of the Swedes augured
anything but a Russian alliance; and showed on the surface everything
in favour of Napoleon and France, for it fell on a French general and
field-marshal, Bernadotte. The prince royal elect made his public
entry into Stockholm on the 2nd of November. The failing health of the
king, the confidence which the talents of Bernadotte had inspired,
the prospect of a strong alliance with France through him--all these
causes united to place the national power in his hands, and to cast
upon him, at the same time, a terrible responsibility. The very crowds
and cries which surrounded him expressed the thousand expectations
which his presence raised. The peasantry, who had heard so much of his
humble origin and popular sentiments, looked to him to curb the pride
and oppression of the nobles; the nobles flattered themselves that he
would support their cause, in the hope that they would support him;
the mass of the people believed that a Republican was the most likely
to maintain the principles of the Revolution of 1809; the merchants
trusted that he would be able to obtain from Napoleon freedom for trade
with Great Britain, so indispensable to Sweden; and the army felt
sure that, with such a general, they should be able to seize Norway
and re-conquer Finland. Nor was this all. Bernadotte knew that there
existed a legitimist party in the country, which might long remain
a formidable organ in the hands of internal factions or external
enemies. How was he to lay the foundation of a new dynasty amid all
these conflicting interests? How satisfy at once the demands of France,
Britain, and Russia? Nothing but firmness, prudence, and sagacity
could avail to surmount the difficulties of his situation; but these
Bernadotte possessed.

Napoleon, seeing that Bernadotte was become King of Sweden contrary
to his secret will and to his expectations, determined, however,
that he should still serve him. He gave him no respite. He demanded
incessantly, and with his usual impetuosity, that Bernadotte should
declare war against Great Britain and shut out of the Baltic both
British and American merchandise. Alexander regarded him first with
suspicion but his spies soon dissipated his fears. They soon perceived
that Bernadotte was not disposed to be at once master of a powerful
kingdom and the vassal of France. Alexander made offers of friendship;
they were accepted by Bernadotte with real or affected pleasure, and
his course became clearer. For the next two years there was a great
strife to secure the alliance of the Crown Prince; and the proud,
disdainful, imperious temper of Napoleon, who could not brook that one
who had been created by him out of nothing but a sergeant of marines
should presume to exercise an independent will, threw the prize into
the hands of the more astute Russian, and decided the fate of Europe
and of himself.

Great Britain, which had made some show of restoring the legitimate
prince, soon became satisfied that Bernadotte would lean to its
alliance. Meanwhile Alexander of Russia displayed more and more decided
symptoms of an intention to break with France. He hastened to make
peace with the Turks, and to pour his sentimental assurances into
the ear of Count Stadingk, the Swedish ambassador. As he called God
to witness, in 1807, that he had no wish to touch a single Swedish
village, so now he professed to be greatly troubled that he had been
obliged to seize all Finland. "Let us forget the past," said the Czar.
"I find myself in terrible circumstances, and I swear, upon my honour,
that I never wished evil to Sweden. But now that unhappy affair of
Finland is over, and I wish to show my respect to your king, and my
regard for the Crown Prince. Great misfortunes are frequently succeeded
by great prosperities. A Gustavus Adolphus issued from Sweden for the
salvation of Germany, and who knows what may happen again?" And he
began to unveil his disgust at the encroachments of Buonaparte. "What
does he mean," he said, "by his attempt to add the north of Germany to
his empire, and all its mercantile towns? He might grasp a dozen cities
of Germany, but Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen--'our Holy Trinity,' as
Romanoff says--I am weary of his perpetual vexations!" The result was
the offer of Norway to Sweden as the price of Bernadotte's adhesion
to the proposed alliance. Great Britain also offered to Sweden as a
colony, Surinam, Demerara, or Porto Rico.

But all this could not have prevailed with Bernadotte--who leaned
fondly and tenaciously towards France from old associations--had not
the unbearable pride, insolence, and domineering spirit of Napoleon
repelled him, and finally decided his course. So late as March, 1811,
Bernadotte used this language to M. Alquier, the French ambassador,
when pressed by him to decide for France:--"I must have Norway--Norway
which Sweden desires, and which desires to belong to Sweden, and I can
obtain it through another power than France." "From England, perhaps?"
interposed the ambassador. "Well, yes, from England; but I protest
that I only desire to adhere to the Emperor. Let his majesty give me
Norway; let the Swedish people believe that I owe to him that mark of
protection, and I will guarantee all the changes that he desires in
the system and government of Sweden. I promise him fifty thousand men,
ready equipped by the end of May, and ten thousand more by July. I will
lead them wherever he wishes. I will execute any enterprise that he
may direct. Behold that western point of Norway. It is separated from
England only by a sail of twenty-four hours, with a wind which scarcely
ever varies. _I will go there if he wishes!_"

But Napoleon would not listen to the transfer of Norway; that was
the territory of his firm ally, Denmark: Finland he might have, but
not Norway. In October of the same year an English agent landed at
Gothenburg, eluded the French spies, traversed, by night, woods, bogs,
and hills, and, in a small village of the interior of Sweden, met a
Swedish agent, where the terms of a treaty were settled, in which
Russia and Turkey, Britain and Sweden, were the contracting powers;
by which Sweden was to receive Norway, and renounce for ever Finland;
and Alexander and Bernadotte were to unite all their talents, powers,
and experience against France. In the following January the sudden
invasion of Swedish Pomerania by the French showed that the crisis was
come, and that henceforth Napoleon and Bernadotte were irreconcilable
opponents. From that time offers of alliance and aid poured in from all
quarters. Prussia sent secret messages, and concerted common measures
with Russia. The insurgents of Spain and Portugal, where Wellington
was in active operation--even the old Bourbon dynasty--paid court to
him. Moreau returned from America to fight under his banners, and
emigrants flocked from all quarters to combine their efforts against
the universal foe--Napoleon.

AGAINST NAPOLEON. (_See p._ 7.)]

In England a remarkable event closed the year 1810--the appointment
of a Regency. For some time the old malady of the king had returned
upon him. He had not attended to open and close the last Session of
Parliament, and there was a general impression as to the cause. But on
the 25th of October, when Parliament had voted the celebration of a
general jubilee, on the king's entrance upon the fiftieth year of his
reign, it was announced publicly that his Majesty was no longer capable
of conducting public business, and the House of Commons adjourned for
a fortnight. This was a melancholy jubilee, so far as the king and his
family were concerned; but the nation celebrated it everywhere with an
affectionate zeal and loyalty. The royal malady had been precipitated
by the death of his favourite daughter Amelia. On the 20th or 21st of
October he visited her on her death-bed, and she put on his finger a
ring, containing her own hair, and with the motto, "Remember me when
I am gone." This simple but sorrowful act completed the mischief in
progress, and George retired from the bedside of his dying daughter a
confirmed lunatic. The princess died on the 2nd of November, but her
father was past consciousness of the event.

At the end of the fortnight Lord Grenville and Lord Grey pointed out
the necessity of proceeding to appoint a regent. Ministers replied
that the physicians were confident of the king's speedy recovery; but
as there were repeated adjournments and the reports of the physicians
still held the same language, the sense of Parliament prevailed. On
the 17th of December Mr. Perceval moved that on the 20th they should
go into committee on the question of the Regency; and on that day the
same resolutions were passed as had been passed in 1788--namely, that
the Prince of Wales should be Regent under certain restrictions; that
the right of creating peerages, and granting salaries, pensions, and
offices in reversion, should be limited specifically, as in 1788. The
royal dukes made a protest against these limitations; but on the 30th
they were confirmed by both Houses, with additional resolutions for the
care of his Majesty's person and the security of his private property,
which were passed on the last day of the year 1810.

[Illustration: CARLTON HOUSE, LONDON (1812).]

The business of the Regency was so important that Parliament--without
adjourning, as usual, for the Christmas holidays--opened the year 1811,
on the very first of January, by proceeding with it. An alteration
in the fifth resolution, somewhat reducing the expense of the royal
household, and also limiting more strictly the authority of the
Queen, was proposed, and carried against Ministers, by two hundred
and twenty-six votes against two hundred and thirteen. Perceval in
the Commons, and Lord Liverpool in the Lords, moved amendments on
this change but without effect. Another alteration was proposed by
Lord Grenville, that the Regent should be allowed to elevate lawyers
and other civilians to the peerage, as well as military men; and this
was readily agreed to. The remaining restrictions were to terminate
in February, 1812, if the House had been sitting then six weeks, or
otherwise, after the sitting of the House for six weeks after its next
assembling. Deputations were appointed by both Houses to announce
these resolutions to the Regent and the Queen. The Regent complained
of the restrictions, but the Queen expressed herself quite satisfied.
The Great Seal was then affixed to a commission for opening Parliament
under the Regent, after some opposition by Lord Grey. The House then
adjourned till the 15th of January.

It was now expected by the Whigs, and by a great part of the public,
that they should come into office. At first the conduct of the Prince
Regent favoured this supposition. He applied to Grey and Grenville to
draw up the answer that he should return to the two Houses on their
addresses on his appointment. But he did not quite like this answer,
and got Sheridan to make some alterations in it. He then returned the
paper to Grey and Grenville, as in the form that he approved. But
these noblemen declared that they would have nothing more to do with
the paper so altered; and Sheridan, on his part, suggested to the
prince that he would find such men as Ministers very domineering and
impracticable. Nor was this all--Lord Grenville and his family held
enormous patronage. Like all the Whigs, the Grenvilles, however they
might study the interests of the country, studied emphatically their
own. Grenville had long held, by a patent for life, the office of
Auditor to the Exchequer; and in accepting office in "All the Talents"
Ministry, he managed to obtain also the office of First Lord of the
Treasury. The Auditorship of the Exchequer was instituted as a check
on the Treasury, but neither Lord Grenville nor his friends saw any
impropriety in destroying this check by putting both offices into the
same hands. They declared this union was very safe and compatible, and
a Bill was brought in for the purpose. But when the King had become
both blind and insane, and no Regent was yet appointed, Lord Grenville,
being no longer First Lord of the Treasury, but Perceval, he suddenly
discovered that he could not obey the order of the Treasury for the
issues of money to the different services. It was strictly necessary
that the Great Seal, or the Privy Seal, or the Sign Manual, should be
attached to the Treasury orders, or, failing these, that they should
be sanctioned by an express Act of Parliament. As neither Great nor
Privy Seal, nor Sign Manual was possible until a regent was appointed,
Lord Grenville's conscience would not let him pass the orders of the
Treasury, and all payments of army, navy, and civil service were
brought to a stand. Perceval, after in vain striving hard to overcome
the scruples, or rather the party obstinacy of Grenville, was compelled
to go to the House of Parliament, and get the obstacle removed by a
resolution of both Houses. The notice of the public being thus turned
by Grenville to his holding of this office, and his readiness to unite
the two offices in his own person, which his pretended scruples of
conscience now invested with so much danger, produced a prejudice
against him and his party, which was hostile to their coming into
power. Besides this, the Opposition were greatly divided in their
notions of foreign policy. Grey and his immediate section of the party
felt bound, by their advocacy of Fox's principles, to oppose the war;
Grenville and his friends were for a merely defensive war, and for
leaving Portugal and Spain, and the other Continental nations, to fight
their own battles; whilst Lord Holland, who had travelled in Spain, and
was deeply interested in its language and literature, was enthusiastic
for the cause of the Peninsula, and the progress which Wellington
was making there. It was utterly impossible that, with such divided
views, they could make an energetic Ministry at this moment, and it was
equally certain that they could not again form an "All the Talents" by
coalition with the Conservatives. And, beyond all this, it does not
appear that the Regent was anxious to try them. Like all heirs-apparent
of the house of Hanover, he had united with the Opposition during his
youth, but his friendship appeared now anything but ardent. Sheridan
still possessed something of his favour, and the Earl of Moira was high
in it; but for the rest, the prince seemed quite as much disposed to
take the Tories into his favour; and he, as well as the royal dukes,
his brothers, was as much bent on the vigorous prosecution of the war
as the Tories themselves. No Ministry which would have carried that on
languidly, still less which would have opposed it, would have suited
him any more than it would have done his father. The King, too, was
not so deeply sunk in his unhappy condition but that he had intervals
lucid enough to leave him alive to these questions, and he showed so
much anxiety respecting the possible change of the Ministry, and fresh
measures regarding the war, that his physicians declared that such a
change would plunge him into hopeless madness and probably end his
life. The Queen wrote to the prince, saying how much satisfaction his
conduct in regard to these matters had given to his father, and he
wrote to Mr. Perceval, declaring that this consideration determined him
not to change the Ministry at all. At the same time he expressed to
the Minister his dissatisfaction with the restrictions which had been
imposed upon him. Perceval, even at the risk of offending the prince,
justified the conduct of Ministers and Parliament. In this he might be
the more bold, as it was clear that there was no longer any danger of
a Whig Government.

On the 12th of February Parliament was opened by a speech, not from
the Prince Regent in person, but by commission, the commissioners
being the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of
Montrose, and the Earls Camden and Westmoreland. The speech was of
the most belligerent character, recounting the success of our arms
in the Indian seas, in repelling the attack of the Neapolitans on
Sicily, and, above all, in the Peninsula. Lord Grenville opposed the
address, considering the war as hopeless, and as mischievous to our
interests. It was carried in both Houses without a division. Perceval,
on the 21st, announced that the prince was desirous not to add any
fresh burdens to the country in existing circumstances, and therefore
declined any addition to his establishment as Regent.

One of the first things which the Regent did was to re-appoint the
Duke of York to the post of Commander-in-chief of the Forces. Old Sir
David Dundas, as thoroughly aware of his unfitness for the office as
the army itself was, had requested leave to retire, and on the 25th of
May the appointment of the duke was gazetted. There was a considerable
expression of disapproval in the House of Commons of this measure. Lord
Milton moved that it was highly improper and indecorous, and he was
supported by Lord Althorp, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Whitbread, and
others; but the facts which had come to light through Mrs. Clarke's
trials, both regarding her and her champion, Colonel Wardle, had
mitigated the public feeling towards the duke so far, that the motion
was rejected by a majority of two hundred and ninety-six against
forty-seven. It is certain that the change from the duke to Sir David
Dundas, so far as the affairs of the army were concerned, was much
for the worse. The duke was highly popular in that office with the
soldiers, and he rendered himself more so by immediately establishing
regimental schools for their children on Dr. Bell's system.

The unnatural state of things induced by the war had now brought
about a great change in our currency. As we could manage to get in
our goods to the Continent by one opening or another, but could not
get the produce of the Continent in return, it would have appeared
that we must be paid in cash, and that the balance of specie must be
in our favour; but this was not the case. By our enormous payments
to our troops in Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, as well as in the East
and West Indies, and by our heavy subsidies, gold had flowed out of
the country so steadily that there appeared very little left in it,
and bank paper had taken its place. On the Continent, impoverished as
they were, the people tenaciously clung to their gold, and Buonaparte
alone could draw it from them in taxes. He always took a heavy military
chest with him on his expeditions, and his officers also carried the
money necessary for themselves in their belts, or otherwise about their
immediate persons. The gold being enormously diminished in quantity
in England, was carefully hoarded on all hands, thus again increasing
the scarcity, and raising the value of it. The price of bullion had
risen from twenty to thirty per cent., and here was a further strong
temptation to hoard or send guineas to the melting-pot. This state of
things led a certain class of political economists to call for a repeal
of the Act for suspension of cash payments, and Francis Horner obtained
a committee of inquiry into the causes of the decrease of gold and the
increase of paper: and this committee came to the conclusion that the
true cause of the evil lay in the excess of paper, and that the way
to restrain it would be to allow the demand for gold at the Bank. But
the truth was that the cause of the evil was not the excess of paper,
but the enormous diminution of gold; and to have opened a legal demand
for gold which could not be had would only have produced a panic, and
a complete and horrible assassination of all credit and all business.
But there were clearer-sighted men in Parliament, who declared that,
though bullion had risen in price, bank-notes would still procure
twenty shillings' worth of goods in the market, and that they were not,
therefore, really depreciated in value. That was true, but guineas had,
notwithstanding, risen to a value of five- or six-and-twenty shillings,
and might be sold for that. Gold had risen, but paper had not fallen;
and gold could not take the place of paper, because it did not, to any
great extent, exist in the country; if it had, paper must have fallen
ruinously. Mr. Vansittart and his party, therefore, moved resolutions
that the resumption of cash payments being already provided for six
months after the conclusion of peace, was an arrangement which answered
all purposes, and ought not to be disturbed; that this would keep all
real excess of paper in check, and leave gold to resume its circulation
when, by the natural influence of peace, it flowed again into the
country. These were, accordingly, carried.

But the bullionists were still bent on forwarding their scheme, or
on throwing the country into convulsions. Lord King announced to his
tenants in a circular letter that he would receive his rents in specie
or in bank-notes to an amount equalling the advanced value of gold.
This raised a loud outcry against the injustice of the act, which
would have raised the rents of his farms twenty or more per cent.;
and Lord Stanhope brought in a Bill to prevent the passing of guineas
at a higher value than twenty-one shillings, and one-pound banknotes
at a less value than twenty shillings. There was a strenuous debate
on the subject in both Houses. In the Lords, Lord Chancellor Eldon
demonstrated the enormity of people demanding their rents in gold
when it did not exist, and when, if the person who could pay in notes
carried these notes to the Bank of England, he could not procure gold
for them. He denominated such a demand from landlords as an attempt
at robbery. Yet the Bill was strongly opposed in both Houses--in the
Commons by Sir Francis Burdett, Sir Samuel Romilly, Brougham, and
others. It underwent many modifications, but it passed, maintaining
its fundamental principles, and landlords were obliged to go on taking
their rents in paper.

But the agitation of this question produced a strong sensation on
the Continent. Buonaparte, who watched every movement of the British
Parliament and Government with the deepest anxiety, immediately seized
on the discussion as a proof that Great Britain was fast sinking under
his Continental system. That system, indeed, was rapidly prostrating
the Continent. From all sides complaints had long been pouring in upon
him that the suppression of commerce was ruining the great mercantile
cities--Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Naples, Genoa,
and the other parts of Italy; and that it was diffusing universal
poverty and distress. The breach which the Emperor Alexander had made
in it, and the determined resistance which the Swedes made to it, had
caused him to feel the necessity of relaxing the rigour of his system.
But now he took fresh courage. He believed that Great Britain was at
her last gasp; that there would speedily be universal rebellion within
her from starving citizens; and he held on in his plan, and this proved
his ultimate destruction; for it made him all the more determined to
coerce Russia, and thus precipitated his fatal campaign against that

After violent debates on the subject of Catholic emancipation, but
with the usual negative result, Parliament was prorogued on the 24th
of July. Ministers proceeded to prosecute the war in the Peninsula
with increased vigour. Lord Wellington needed all the support they
could give him. Notwithstanding his success and the millions of money
that Great Britain was sending to Portugal, the Portuguese Government
continued to annoy him, and showed itself as ignorant, as meddling
and as unthankful as the Spaniards had done. Though he and his army
were the sole defence of the country, which would at once have been
overrun by the French were he not there, and though he was fighting
their battles and defending their persons at the expense of England,
they appeared to have not the slightest sense of these obligations, but
continued to pester him on every possible occasion. They endeavoured
to compel him to maintain the Portuguese army, too, by themselves
neglecting to furnish it with pay and provisions. They demanded to have
the expenditure of the very money remitted for the needs of the British
forces. They raised a vast clamour because the soldiers cut down timber
for firewood. To all these disgraceful annoyances Lord Wellington
replied with a wonderful command of temper, but with firmness and
plain-spokenness. His dispatches abound with complaints of the scurvy
treatment of the Portuguese authorities. The aspect of things in Spain
was worse. There the Spaniards continued to lose every force that they
raised, but nevertheless to criticise all the movements of Wellington
as if they knew, or had shown, that they understood the management
of campaigns better than he did. In fact, if the interests of Spain
and Portugal alone had been concerned, the best thing would have been
to have quietly withdrawn, and have left the French to trample on
them, as a proper punishment for their stupid and ignorant pride. But
the attention which Wellington compelled Buonaparte to give to the
Peninsula, and the constant drain which this war was to him of men and
money, were enabling Russia, and Sweden, and the north of Germany to
prepare for another and decisive struggle with the oppressor.

[Illustration: MARSHAL BERESFORD. (_From the Portrait by Sir W.
Beechey, R.A._)]

We left Wellington occupying his impregnable lines at Torres Vedras
during the winter, and Massena occupying Santarem. Buonaparte thought
he could suggest a mode of putting down the provoking English general
which Massena did not seem able to conceive. After studying the
relative situations of the belligerents, he sent word to Soult to make
a junction with Massena by crossing the Tagus, and then, as he would
be much superior in strength, to continually attack Wellington, and
cause him, from time to time, to lose some of his men. He observed
that the British army was small, and that the people at home were
anxious about their army in Portugal, and were not likely to increase
it much. Having thus weakened Wellington, as soon as the weather
became favourable they were to make an attack from the south bank of
the Tagus. But there were two difficulties to overcome of no trivial
character in this plan. Wellington was not the man to be drawn into
the repeated loss of his men, and the Tagus was too well guarded by
our fleet and by batteries for any chance of taking him in the rear.
However, Napoleon sent Massena a reinforcement, under General Drouet,
who carried along with him a great supply of provisions: he assembled
an army in the north of Spain, under Bessières, of seventy thousand
men, and Soult moved from Cadiz, leaving Sebastiani to continue the
blockade, and advanced to make the ordered junction with Massena. But
he deemed it necessary, before crossing into southern Portugal, to take
possession of Badajoz. In his advance, at the head of twenty thousand
men, he defeated several Spanish corps, and sat down before Badajoz
towards the end of February. Could Massena have maintained himself at
Santarem, this junction might have been made; but, notwithstanding
the provisions brought by Drouet, he found that he had no more than
would serve him on a retreat into Spain. He had ten thousand of his
army sick, and therefore, not waiting for Soult, he evacuated Santarem
on the 5th of March, and commenced his march Spain-ward. Wellington
was immediately after him, and the flight and pursuit continued for
a fortnight. To prevent Massena from finding a temporary refuge in
Coimbra, Wellington ordered Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Trant to
destroy an arch of the bridge over the Mondego, and thus detain him
on the left bank of that river till he came up. But Massena did not
wait; he proceeded along a very bad road on the left bank of the river
to Miranda, on the river Coira. Along this track Massena's army was
sharply and repeatedly attacked by the British van under Picton, and
suffered severely. Ney commanded the rear-division of the enemy, and,
to check the advance of the British, he set fire to the towns and
villages as he proceeded, and, escaping over the bridge on the Coira,
he blew it up. But before this could be effected, Picton was upon him,
accompanied by Pack's brigade and a strong body of horse, and drove
numbers of the French into the river, and took much baggage. Five
hundred French were left on the ground, and to facilitate their flight
from Miranda, which they also burnt, they destroyed a great deal more
of their baggage and ammunition. Lord Wellington was detained at the
Coira, both from want of means of crossing and from want of supplies;
for the French had left the country a black and burning desert. The
atrocities committed by the army of Massena on this retreat were never
exceeded by any host of men or devils. The soldiers seemed inspired
with an infernal spirit of vengeance towards the Portuguese, and
committed every horror and outrage for which language has a name. The
Portuguese, on the other hand, driven to madness, pursued them like so
many demons, cutting off and destroying all stragglers, and shooting
down the flying files as they hurried through the woods and hills. The
whole way was scattered with the carcases of the fugitives.

A quarrel took place between Massena and Ney on the subject of
attacking the British and Portuguese who invested Almeida, where
was a French garrison, and Ney threw up his command, and retired to
Salamanca. Massena was daily expecting the junction of Soult, who had
taken Badajoz; but Wellington did not give time for this junction. He
attacked Massena at Sabugal on the 3rd of April, and defeated him with
heavy loss. Massena then continued his retreat for the frontier of
Spain, and crossed the Agueda into that country on the 6th. Wellington
then placed his army in cantonments between the Coa and the Agueda, and
made more rigorous the blockade of Almeida.

Having, for the third time, expelled the French from Portugal, with
the exception of the single fortress of Almeida, Wellington proceeded
to reconnoitre the situation of affairs in Spain. Whilst on his
march after Massena he had sent word to General Menacho to maintain
possession of Badajoz, promising him early assistance. Unfortunately,
Menacho was killed, and was succeeded in his command by General Imaz,
who appears to have been a regular traitor. Wellington, on the 9th
of March, had managed to convey to him the intelligence that Massena
was in full retreat, and that he should himself very soon be able to
send or bring him ample assistance. Imaz had a force of nine thousand
Spaniards, and the place was strong. He was besieged by about the same
number of French infantry and two thousand cavalry, yet the very next
day he informed Soult of Wellington's news, and offered to capitulate.
Soult must have been astonished at this proceeding, if he had not
himself prepaid it in French money--the surrender of Badajoz, under the
imminent approach of Wellington, being of the very highest importance.
On the 11th the Spaniards were allowed to march out with what were
called the "honours of war," but which, in this case, were the infamies
of treachery, and Soult marched in. He then gave up the command of the
garrison to Mortier, and himself marched towards Seville.

During his absence from the extreme south, General Graham, with about
four thousand British and Portuguese, had quitted Cadiz by sea, and
proceeded to Algeçiras, where he landed, intending to take Victor, who
was blockading Cadiz, in the rear. His artillery, meanwhile, was landed
at Tarifa; and on marching thither by land, over dreadful mountain
roads, he was joined, on the 27th of February, by the Spanish General
Lapeña, with seven thousand men. Graham consented to the Spaniard
taking the chief command--an ominous concession; and the united
force--soon after joined by a fresh body of about one thousand men,
making the whole force about twelve thousand--then marched forward
towards Medina Sidonia, through the most execrable roads. Victor was
fully informed of the movements of this army, and advanced to support
General Cassagne, who held Medina Sidonia. No sooner did he quit his
lines before Cadiz than the Spanish General De Zogas crossed from the
Isle de Leon, and menaced the left of the French army. On this Victor
halted at Chiclana, and ordered Cassagne to join him there. He expected
nothing less than that Lapeña would manage to join De Zogas, and
that fresh forces, marching out of Cadiz and the Isle of Leon, would
co-operate with them, and compel him to raise the siege altogether. But
nothing so vigorous was to be expected from a Spanish general. Lapeña
was so slow and cautious in his movements that Graham could not get
him to make any determined advance; and on arriving at the heights of
Barrosa, which a Spanish force had been sent forward to occupy, this
body of men had quitted their post, and Victor was in possession of
these important positions, which completely stopped the way to Cadiz
and at the same time rendered retreat almost equally impossible. Lapeña
was skirmishing, at about three miles' distance, with an inconsiderable
force, and the cavalry was also occupied in another direction. Seeing,
therefore, no prospect of receiving aid from the Spaniards, General
Graham determined to attack Marshal Victor, and drive him from the
heights, though the latter's force was twice as strong as the former's.
This Graham did after a most desperate struggle. Had Lapeña shown any
vigour or activity, Victor's retreating army might have been prevented
from regaining its old lines; but it was in vain that Graham urged
him to the pursuit. Lord Wellington eulogised the brilliant action of
the heights of Barrosa, in a letter to Graham, in the warmest terms,
declaring that, had the Spanish general done his duty, there would have
been an end of the blockade of Cadiz. As it was, Victor returned to his
lines and steadily resumed the siege. In the meantime, Admiral Keats,
with a body of British sailors and marines, had attacked and destroyed
all the French batteries and redoubts on the bay of Cadiz, except that
of Catina, which was too strong for his few hundred men to take.

Another attempt of the French to draw the attention of Wellington from
Massena was made by Mortier, who marched from Badajoz, of which Soult
had given him the command, entered Portugal, and invested Campo Mayor,
a place of little strength, and with a very weak garrison. Marshal
Beresford hastened to its relief at the head of twenty thousand men,
and the Portuguese commandant did his best to hold out till he arrived;
but he found this was not possible, and he surrendered on condition
of marching out with all the honours of war. Scarcely, however, was
this done when Beresford appeared, and Mortier abruptly quitted the
town, and made all haste back again to Badajoz, pursued by the British
cavalry. Mortier managed to get across the Guadiana, and Beresford
found himself stopped there by a sudden rising of the water and want of
boats. He had to construct a temporary bridge before he could cross, so
that the French escaped into Badajoz. Mortier then resigned his command
to Latour Maubourg, and the British employed themselves in reducing
Olivença, and some other strong places on the Valverde river, in the
month of April. Lord Wellington made a hasty visit to the headquarters
of Marshal Beresford, to direct the operations against Badajoz,
but he was quickly recalled by the news that Massena had received
reinforcements, and was in full march again to relieve the garrison in
Almeida. Wellington, on the other hand, had reduced his army by sending
reinforcements to Beresford, so that while Massena entered Portugal
with forty thousand foot and five thousand cavalry, Wellington had,
of British and Portuguese, only thirty-two thousand foot and about
one thousand two hundred horse. This force, too, he had been obliged
to extend over a line of seven miles in length, so as to guard the
avenues of access to Almeida. The country, too, about Almeida was
particularly well adapted for cavalry, in which the French had greatly
the superiority. Notwithstanding, Wellington determined to dispute his
passage. He had no choice of ground; he must fight on a flat plain, and
with the Coa flowing in his rear. His centre was opposite to Almeida,
his right on the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, and his left on fort

On the 5th of May, towards evening, Massena attacked the British right,
posted in Fuentes d'Onoro, with great impetuosity, and the whole fury
of the battle, from beginning to end, was concentrated on this quarter.
At first the British were forced back from the lower part of the town,
driven to the top, where they retained only a cluster of houses and
an old chapel. But Wellington pushed fresh bodies of troops up the
hill, and again drove down the French at the point of the bayonet, and
over the river Das Casas. The next day the battle was renewed with the
greatest desperation, and again the British, overwhelmed with heavy
columns of men, and attacked by the powerful body of cavalry, seemed
on the point of giving way. The cannonade of Massena was terrible,
but the British replied with equal vigour, and a Highland regiment,
under Colonel Mackinnon, rushed forward with its wild cries, carrying
all before it. The battle was continued on the low grounds, or on
the borders of the river, till it was dark, when the French withdrew
across the Das Casas. The battle was at an end. Massena had been
supported by Marshal Bessières, but the two marshals had found their
match in a single English general, and an army as inferior to their
own in numbers as it was superior in solid strength. Four hundred
French lay dead in Fuentes d'Onoro itself, and the killed, wounded,
and prisoners amounted, according to their own intercepted letters, to
over three thousand. The British loss was two hundred and thirty-five
killed--amongst whom was Colonel Cameron,--one thousand two hundred
and thirty-four wounded, and three hundred and seventeen missing, or
prisoners. Almeida was at once evacuated; the garrison blowing up
some of the works, then crossing the Agueda, and joining the army of
Massena, but not without heavy loss of men, besides all their baggage,
artillery, and ammunition.

The fame of this battle, thus fought without any advantage of ground,
and with such a preponderance on the side of the French, produced a
deep impression both in Great Britain and France. The major part of the
British side was composed of British troops, most of the Portuguese
having been sent to Marshal Beresford, and this gave a vivid idea
of the relative efficiency of British and French troops. Buonaparte
had already satisfied himself that Massena was not the man to cope
with Wellington, and Marshal Marmont was on the way to supersede him
when this battle was fought, but he could only continue the flight
of Massena, and take up his headquarters at Salamanca. With Massena
returned to France also Ney, Junot, and Loison; King Joseph had gone
there before; and the accounts which these generals were candid enough
to give, in conversation, of the state of things in Spain, spread a
very gloomy feeling through the circles of Paris.

On the return of Wellington to the north, Beresford strictly blockaded
Badajoz, and made all the preparations that he could for taking it
by storm. But he was almost wholly destitute of tools for throwing
up entrenchments, and of men who understood the business of sapping
and mining. He was equally short of artillery, and the breaching-guns
which he had, had no proper balls. The howitzers were too small for his
shells, and he had few, if any, well-skilled officers of artillery.
Besides this, the ground was very rocky, and the enemy, owing to their
slow progress in the works, were able to make repeated sorties, so that
they had killed four or five hundred of our men. In this situation,
on the 12th of May, Beresford received the intelligence that Soult
was advancing against him with nearly thirty thousand infantry and
four thousand horse. Soult had been set at liberty to leave Seville
by the conclusion of Graham's and Lapeña's expedition, and he had
received reinforcements both from Sebastiani and from Madrid. Beresford
immediately raised the siege, but instead of retiring he advanced
against Soult to give him battle. Beresford had about twenty-five
thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, but unfortunately ten
thousand of these were Spaniards, for Castaños had joined him. Castaños
was one of the best and most intelligent generals of Spain, and had a
mind so far free from the absurd pride of his countrymen that he was
willing to serve under Beresford. Blake was also in his army with a
body of Spanish troops; but Blake was not so compliant as Castaños, and
their troops were just as undisciplined as ever.

On the morning of the 16th of May Beresford fell in with the French at
Albuera, a ruined village, standing on ground as favourable for horse
as that at Fuentes d'Onoro. Blake's corps occupied the right wing of
the allied army, the British the centre, opposite to the village and
bridge of Albuera. Soult advanced in great strength towards the centre;
but Beresford soon saw that the attack was not intended to be made
there, but on the division of Blake on the right. He sent to desire
Blake to alter his front so as to face the French, who would else
come down on his right flank; but Blake thought he knew better than
the British general, and would not move, declaring that it was on the
British centre where the blow would fall. But a little time showed the
correctness of Beresford's warning, and Blake, attempting to change
his front when it was too late, was taken at disadvantage and rapidly

By this dispersion of the Spaniards the British battalions were wholly
exposed, and the whole might of Soult's force was thrown upon them.
A tremendous fire from the hills, where the Spaniards ought to have
stood, was opened on the British ranks, and several regiments were
almost annihilated in a little time. But the 31st regiment, belonging
to Colborne's brigade, supported by Horton's brigade, stood their
ground under a murderous fire of artillery, and the fiery charge of
both horse and foot. They must soon have fallen to a man, but Beresford
quickly sent up a Portuguese brigade, under General Harvey, to round
the hill on the right, and other troops, under Abercrombie, to compass
it on the left; while, at the suggestion of Colonel (afterwards Lord)
Hardinge, he pushed forward General Cole with his brigade of fusiliers
up the face of the hill. These three divisions appeared on the summit
simultaneously. The advance of these troops through the tempest
of death has always been described as something actually sublime.
Moving onward, unshaken, undisturbed, though opposed by the furious
onslaught of Soult's densest centre, they cleared the hill-top with
the most deadly and unerring fire; they swept away a troop of Polish
lancers that were murderously riding about goring our wounded men, as
they lay on the ground, with their long lances.

[Illustration: THE FUSILIERS AT ALBUERA. (_See p._ 18.)]

Napier, in his "History of the Peninsular War," describes the scene
with the enthusiasm of a soldier:--"Such a gallant line issuing from
the smoke, and rapidly separating itself from the confused and broken
multitude, startled the enemy's heavy masses, which were increasing and
pressing onwards as to an assured victory. They wavered, hesitated,
and then, vomiting forth a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to
enlarge their front, while a fearful discharge of grape from all
their artillery whistled through the British ranks. Sir William
Myers was killed; Cole, and three colonels--Ellis, Blakeney, and
Hawkshawe--fell wounded; and the Fusilier battalions, struck by the
iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships. Suddenly and
sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was
seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights. In
vain did Soult, by voice and gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain
did the hardiest veterans, extricating themselves from the crowded
columns, sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open out on
such a fair field; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and, fiercely
arising, fire indiscriminately on friends and foes, while the horsemen,
hovering on the flank, threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing
could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined
valour, no nervous enthusiasm, weakened the stability of their order.
Their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their front; their
measured step shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away
the head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the
dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd, as
foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant
vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the
French reserves, joining with the struggling multitudes, endeavour
to sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable
confusion, and the mighty mass, giving way like a loosened cliff, went
headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured
with blood, and one thousand five hundred unwounded men--the remnant
of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers--stood triumphant on
the fatal hill." The loss on both sides was fearful, for no battle had
ever been more furiously contested. The French are said to have lost
nine thousand men; the allies, in killed and wounded, seven thousand,
of whom two-thirds were British. The French had two generals killed and
three wounded. Some persons were inclined to blame Marshal Beresford
for risking a battle in the circumstances; but Wellington gave him
the highest praise, and declared that the frightful loss was owing to
the utter failure of the Spaniards; that their discipline was so bad
that it was found impossible to move them without throwing them into
inextricable confusion; that at both Talavera and Albuera the enemy
would have been destroyed if the Spaniards could have been moved; and
that the same course had prevented Lapeña from supporting Graham at
Barrosa. Beresford maintained his position for two days in expectation
of a fresh attack by Soult; but, no doubt, that general had heard that
Lord Wellington was rapidly advancing to support Beresford; and on
the morning of the 18th Soult commenced his retreat to Seville. With
his small handful of cavalry Beresford pursued him, and cut off a
considerable number of his rear, and, amongst them, some of the cavalry
itself at Usagnè, taking about a hundred and fifty of them prisoners.
Had we had a proper body of horse, the slaughter of the flying army
would have been awful. Soult did but quit the ground in time; for, the
very day after, Wellington arrived at Albuera with two fresh divisions.

The siege of Badajoz was again resumed, but with the same almost
insurmountable obstacle of the deficiency of the requisite material
for siege operations; and on the 10th of June, learning that Marmont,
the successor of Massena, was marching south to join Soult, who was
also to be reinforced by Drouet's corps from Toledo, Wellington fell
back on Campo Mayor, gave up the siege of Badajoz, and gathered all his
forces together, except a considerable body of British and Portuguese,
whom he left at Alemtejo. Marmont, observing Wellington's movement,
again retired to Salamanca. Some slight manœuvring followed between the
hostile commanders, which ended in Wellington resuming his old quarters
on the river Coa. On this, Soult also retired again to Seville.

[Illustration: PRISONERS OF WAR.


On the 28th of October General Hill surprised a French force, under
General Drouet, near Estremadura, and completely routed it, taking
all the baggage, artillery, ammunition, and stores, with one thousand
five hundred prisoners. By this action the whole of that part of
Estremadura except Badajoz was cleared of the French. This done,
General Hill went into cantonments, and the British army received no
further disturbance during the remainder of the year. Thus Wellington
had completely maintained the defence of Portugal, and driven back the
French from its frontiers. Wherever he had crossed the French in Spain,
he had severely beaten them too.

But the most discouraging feature of this war was the incurable pride
of the Spaniards, which no reverses, and no example of the successes
of their allies could abate sufficiently to show them that, unless
they would condescend to be taught discipline, as the Portuguese had
done, they must still suffer ignominy and annihilation. Blake, who had
been so thoroughly routed on every occasion, was not content, like
the British and Portuguese, to go into quarters, and prepare, by good
drilling, for a more auspicious campaign. On the contrary, he led his
rabble of an army away to the eastern borders of Spain, encountered
Suchet in the open field on the 25th of October, was desperately
beaten, and then took refuge in Valencia, where he was closely
invested, and compelled to surrender in the early part of January next
year, with eighteen thousand men, twenty-three officers, and nearly
four hundred guns. Such, for the time, was the end of the generalship
of this wrong-headed man. Suchet had, before his encounter with Blake,
been making a most successful campaign in the difficult country of
Catalonia, which had foiled so many French generals. He had captured
one fortress after another, and in June he had taken Tarragona, after
a siege of three months, and gave it up to the lust and plunder of his

Whilst our armies were barely holding their own in Spain, our fleets
were the masters of all seas. In the north, though Sweden was nominally
at war with us, in compliance with the arrogant demands of Buonaparte,
Bernadotte, the elected Crown Prince, was too politic to carry out his
embargo literally. The very existence of Sweden depended on its trade,
and it was in the power of the British blockading fleet to prevent a
single Swedish vessel from proceeding to sea. But in spite of the angry
threats of Napoleon, who still thought that Bernadotte, though become
the prince and monarch elect of an independent country, should remain a
Frenchman, and, above all, the servile slave of his will, that able man
soon let it be understood that he was inclined to amicable relations
with Great Britain; and Sir James de Saumarez, admiral of our Baltic
fleet, not only permitted the Swedish merchantmen to pass unmolested,
but on various occasions gave them protection. Thus the embargo system
was really at an end, both in Sweden and in Russia; for Alexander also
refused to ruin Russia for the benefit of Buonaparte, and both of
these princes, as we have seen, were in a secret league to support one
another. Denmark, or, rather, its sovereign, though the nephew of the
King of Great Britain, remained hostile to us, remembering not only
the severe chastisements our fleets had given Copenhagen, but also the
facility with which Napoleon could, from the north of Germany, overrun
Denmark and add it to his now enormous empire. In March of this year
the Danes endeavoured to recover the small island of Anholt, in the
Cattegat, which we held; but they were beaten off with severe loss,
leaving three or four hundred men prisoners of war.

In the East Indies we this year sent over from Madras an army and
reduced Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East India settlements, and
the island of Java, as well as the small island of Madura, so that the
last trace of the Dutch power was extinguished in the East, as it was
at home by the domination of Buonaparte. In the West Indies we had
already made ourselves masters of all the islands of France, Denmark,
and Holland; and our troops there had nothing to do but to watch
and keep down the attempts at insurrection which French emissaries
continued to stir up in the black populations. We had some trouble of
this kind in St. Domingo and in Martinique, where the negroes, both
free and slaves, united to massacre the whites, and set up a black
republic like that of Hayti. But the French settlers united with the
English troops in putting them down, and a body of five hundred blacks,
in an attempt to burn down the town of St. Pierre, were dispersed with
great loss, and many were taken prisoners, and fifteen of them hanged.

There was little for our fleets in various quarters to do but to watch
the coasts of Europe where France had dominions for any fugitive French
vessel, for the ships of France rarely dared to show themselves out of
port. In March, however, Captain William Hoste fell in with five French
frigates, with six smaller vessels, carrying five hundred troops up the
Adriatic, near the coast of Dalmatia, and with only four frigates he
encountered and beat them. Captain Schomberg fell in with three French
frigates and a sloop off Madagascar, seized one of them, and followed
the rest to the seaport of Tamatave, in the island of Madagascar, of
which they had managed to recover possession. Schomberg boldly entered
the port, captured all the vessels there, and again expelled the French
from Tamatave. On the American coast our ships were compelled to watch
for the protection of our merchantmen and our interests, in consequence
of the French mania which was prevailing amongst the North Americans,
and which was very soon to lead to open conflict with us.

Such were the circumstances of France in every quarter of the globe,
except on the Continent of Europe; and there already, notwithstanding
the vast space over which Buonaparte ruled by the terror of his arms,
there were many symptoms of the coming disruption of this empire of
arms, which sprang up like a tempest and dispersed like one. Spain and
Portugal, at one end of the Continent, were draining the very life's
blood from France, and turning all eyes in liveliest interest to the
spectacle of a successful resistance, by a small British army, to this
Power so long deemed invincible. In the North lowered a dark storm, the
force and fate of which were yet unsuspected, but which was gathering
into its mass the elements of a ruin to the Napoleonic ambition as
sublime as it was to be decisive. In France itself never had the
despotic power and glory of Buonaparte appeared more transcendent.
Everything seemed to live but at his beck: a magnificent Court,
Parliament the slave of his will, made up of the sham representatives
of subjected nations, the country literally covered with armies, and
nearly all surrounding nations governed by kings and princes who were
but his satraps. Such was the outward aspect of things; and now came
the long-desired event, which was to cement his throne with the blood
of kindred kings, and link it fast to posterity--the birth of a son.
On the 20th of March it was announced that the Empress Maria Louisa
was delivered of a son, who was named Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph,
Prince of the French Empire, and King of Rome.

But this prosperity lay only on the surface, and scarcely even there
or anywhere but in the pride and lying assertions of Buonaparte. If
we contemplate merely the map of Europe, the mighty expanse of the
French empire seemed to occupy nearly the whole of it, and to offer an
awful spectacle of one man's power. This empire, so rapidly erected,
had absorbed Holland, Belgium, part of Switzerland--for the Valais was
united to France,--a considerable part of Germany, with Austria and
Prussia diminished and trembling at the haughty usurper. Italy was
also made part of the great French realm, and a fierce struggle was
going on for the incorporation of Spain and Portugal. From Travemünde
on the Baltic to the foot of the Pyrenees, from the port of Brest to
Terracina on the confines of Neapolitan territory, north and south,
east and west, extended this gigantic empire. Eight hundred thousand
square miles, containing eighty-five millions of people, were either
the direct subjects or the vassals of France. The survey was enough
to inflate the pride of the conqueror, who had begun his wonderful
career as a lieutenant of artillery. But this vast dominion had been
compacted by too much violence, and in outrage to too many human
interests, to remain united, or to possess real strength, even for the
present. The elements of dissolution were already actively at work in
it. The enormous drafts of men to supply the wars by which the empire
had been created had terribly exhausted France. This drain, still kept
up by the obstinate resistance of Spain and Portugal, necessitated
conscription on conscription, and this on the most enormous scale. The
young men were annually dragged from the towns, villages, and fields,
from amid their weeping and despairing relatives, to recruit the
profuse destruction in the armies, and there scarcely remained, all
over France, any but mere boys to continue the trade and agriculture
of the country, assisted by old men, and women. Beyond the boundaries
of France, the populations of subdued and insulted nations were
watching for the opportunity to rise and resume their rights. In
Germany they were encouraging each other to prepare for the day of
retribution; and in numerous places along the coasts bands of smugglers
kept up a continual warfare with the French officers of the customs,
to introduce British manufactures. The contributions which had been
levied in Holland and the Hanse Towns before they were incorporated
in the Gallic empire were now not readily collected in the shape of
taxes. Beyond the Continent ceased the power of Napoleon; over all seas
and colonies reigned his invincible enemy, Great Britain. There was
scarcely a spot the wide world over where the French flag, or those
of the nations whom he had crushed into an odious alliance, waved on
which Great Britain had not now planted her colours. She cut off all
colonial supplies, except what she secretly sold to his subjects in
defiance of his system. She was now victoriously bearing up his enemies
in Spain, Portugal, and Sicily against him, and encouraging Russia,
Sweden, Prussia, and Austria to expect the day of his final overthrow.
There was scarcely a man of any penetration who expected that this vast
and unwieldy government could continue to exist a single day after him
who had compelled it into union, rather than life; but, perhaps, none
suspected how suddenly it would collapse. Yet the very birth of a son
was rather calculated to undermine than to perpetuate it. His great
generals, who had risen as he had risen, were suspected of looking
forward, like those of Alexander of Macedon, to each seizing a kingdom
for himself when the chief marauder should fall. It was certain that
they had long been at enmity amongst themselves--a cause of weakness to
his military operations, which was especially marked in Spain.

WARS. (_See p._ 20.)]

On the other hand, the kings whom he had set up amongst his brothers
and brothers-in-law added nothing to his power. Joseph proved a mere
lay figure of a king in Spain; Louis had rejected his domination in
Holland, and abdicated; Lucien had refused to be kinged at all; Murat
managed to control Naples, but not to conciliate the brave mountaineers
of the country to French rule. The many outrages that Buonaparte had
committed on the brave defenders of their countries and their rights
were still remembered to be avenged. Prussia brooded resentfully over
the injuries of its queen; the Tyrol over the murder of Hofer and his
compatriots. Contemptible as was the royal family of Spain--the head
of which, the old King Charles, with his queen, made a long journey
to offer his felicitations on the birth of the king of Rome,--the
Spaniards did not forget the kidnapping of their royal race, nor the
monstrous treatment of the Queen of Etruria, the daughter of Charles
IX. and the sister of Ferdinand. Buonaparte first conferred on her the
kingdom of Etruria, and then took it away again, to settle Ferdinand in
it instead of in Spain; but as he reduced Ferdinand to a prisoner, he
reserved Etruria to himself, and kept the Queen of Etruria in durance
at Nice. Indignant at her restraint, she endeavoured to fly to England,
as her oppressor's brother, Lucien, had done. But her two agents were
betrayed, and one of them was shot on the plain of Grenelle, and the
other only reprieved when the fear of death had done its work on him,
and he only survived a few days. She herself was then shut up, with her
daughter, in a convent.

But of all the parties which remembered their wrongs and indignities,
the Roman Catholic clergy were the most uncomplying and formidable.
They had seen the Pope seized in his own palace at Rome, and forced
away out of Italy and brought to Fontainebleau. But there the resolute
old man disdained to comply with what he deemed the sacrilegious
demands of the tyrant. Numbers of bishoprics had fallen vacant,
and the Pontiff refused, whilst he was held captive, to institute
successors. None but the most abandoned priests would fill the vacant
sees without the papal institution. At length Buonaparte declared
that he would separate France altogether from the Holy See, and would
set the Protestant up as a rival Church to the Papal one. "Sire,"
said the Count of Narbonne, who had now become one of Buonaparte's
chamberlains, "I fear there is not religion enough in all France to
stand a division." But in the month of June Buonaparte determined
to carry into execution his scheme of instituting bishops by the
sanction of an ecclesiastical council. He summoned together more
than a hundred prelates and dignitaries at Paris, and they went in
procession to Notre Dame, with the Archbishop Maury at their head.
They took an oath of obedience to the Emperor, and then Buonaparte's
Minister of Public Worship proposed to them, in a message from the
Emperor, to pass an ordinance enabling the archbishop to institute
prelates without reference to the Pope. A committee of bishops was
found complying enough to recommend such an ordinance, but the council
at large declared that it could not have the slightest value. Enraged
at this defiance of his authority, Buonaparte immediately ordered the
dismissal of the council and the arrest of the bishops of Tournay,
Troyes, and Ghent, who had been extremely determined in their conduct.
He shut them up in the Castle of Vincennes, and summoned a smaller
assembly of bishops as a commission to determine the same question.
But they were equally uncomplying, in defiance of the violent menaces
of the man who had prostrated so many kings but could not bend a few
bishops to his will. The old Pope encouraged the clergy, from his cell
in Fontainebleau, to maintain the rights of the Church against his and
its oppressor, and thus Buonaparte found himself completely foiled.

The year 1812 opened, in England, by the assembling of Parliament on
the 7th of January. The speech of the Regent was again delivered by
commission. The great topic was the success of the war in Spain under
Lord Wellington, whose military talents were highly praised. There was
a reference also to the disagreements with America, and the difficulty
of coming to any amicable arrangement with the United States. Lords
Grey and Grenville, in the Peers, pronounced sweeping censures on the
continuance of the war with France, and on the policy of Ministers
towards America, from which source they prognosticated many disasters.
In the Commons, the Opposition used similar language; and Sir Francis
Burdett took a very gloomy view of our relations both with France and
North America, and declared that we could anticipate no better policy
until we had reformed our representative system.

Another topic of the speech was the mental derangement of the king,
which was now asserted, on the authority of the physicians, to be
more hopeless; Mr. Perceval argued, therefore, the necessity of
arranging the Royal Household so as to meet the necessarily increased
expenditure. Resolutions were passed granting an addition of seventy
thousand pounds per annum to the queen towards such augmented
expenditure, and to provide further income for the Prince Regent. Two
Courts were to be maintained, and the Regent was to retain his revenue
as Prince of Wales. The Civil List chargeable with the additional
seventy thousand pounds to the queen was vested in the Regent; and no
sooner were these particulars agreed to than he sent letters to both
Houses, recommending separate provision for his sisters; so that the
Civil List was at once to be relieved of their maintenance and yet
increased, simply on account of the charge of a poor blind and insane
old man, who could only require a trusty keeper or two. The separate
income agreed to for the princesses was nine thousand pounds a-year
each, exclusive of the four thousand pounds a-year each already derived
from the Civil List--so that there was needed an annual additional
sum of thirty-six thousand pounds for the four princesses, besides
the sixteen thousand pounds a-year now being received by them. Some
members observed that the grant to the Regent, being retrospective,
removed altogether the merit of his declaration during the last Session
of Parliament that, "considering the unexampled contest in which the
kingdom was now engaged, he would receive no addition to his income."
In fact, little consideration was shown by any part of the royal family
for the country under its enormous demands. It was understood that
there was once more a deficiency in the Civil List, which would have to
be made up.

Mr. Bankes again introduced his Bill--which was about to expire--for
prohibiting the grant of offices in reversion; and he endeavoured again
to make it permanent, but, as before, he was defeated on the second
reading in the Commons. He then brought in a Bill confined to two years
only, and this, as before, was allowed to pass both Houses. Great
discussion arose on the grant of the office of paymaster of widows'
pensions to Colonel MacMahon, the confidential servant of the Prince
Regent. This was a mere sinecure, which had been held by General Fox,
the brother of Charles James Fox; and it had been recommended that,
on the general's death, it should be abolished; but Ministers--more
ready to please the Regent than to reduce expenditure--had, immediately
on the general's decease, granted it to Colonel MacMahon. Ministers
met the just complaints of the Opposition by praising the virtues
and ability of MacMahon--as if it required any ability or any virtue
to hold a good sinecure! But there was virtue enough in the Commons
to refuse to grant the amount of the salary, Mr. Bankes carrying a
resolution against it. But Ministers had their remedy. The prince
immediately appointed MacMahon his private secretary, and a salary of
two thousand pounds was moved for. But Mr. Wynne declared that any such
office was unknown to the country--that no regent or king, down to
George III., and he only when he became blind, had a private secretary;
that the Secretary of State was the royal secretary. Ministers replied
that there was now a great increase of public business, and that a
private secretary for the Regent was not unreasonable; but they thought
it most prudent not to press the salary, but to leave it to be paid out
of the Regent's privy purse.

On the 19th of February Lord Wellesley resigned his office of Secretary
of Foreign affairs, because he did not approve of the employment of
some of his colleagues. The Prince Regent now showed that he had no
intention of dismissing the present administration. He proposed to
Lords Grey and Grenville to join it, but they absolutely declined,
knowing that, with the difference of the views of the two parties on
many essential questions, especially on those of the Catholic claims,
of the prosecution of the war, and of our relations with America, it
was impossible for any coalition Cabinet to go on. Lord Castlereagh
succeeded the Marquis of Wellesley in the Foreign Office, but on the
11th of May a fatal event put an end to the Ministry and the life of
Spencer Perceval.

On the afternoon of this day, Monday, the 11th of May, as the Minister
was entering the House, about five o'clock, a man of gentlemanly
appearance presented a pistol, and shot him dead--at least, he did
not survive two minutes. In the confusion and consternation the man
might have escaped, but he made no such attempt; he walked up to the
fireplace, laid down his pistol on a bench, and said, in answer to
those inquiring after the murderer, that he was the person. He gave
his name as Bellingham, expressed satisfaction at the deed, but said
that he should have been more pleased had it been Lord Leveson Gower.
In fact, his prime intention was to shoot Lord Gower, but he had also
his resentment against Perceval, and therefore took the opportunity
of securing one of his victims. It appeared that he had been a
Liverpool merchant, trading to Russia, and that, during the embassy
of Lord Leveson Gower at St. Petersburg he had suffered severe and,
as he deemed, unjust losses, for assistance in the redress of which
with the Russian Government he had in vain sought the good offices of
the ambassador. On his return to England he had applied to Perceval;
but that Minister did not deem it a case in which Government could
interfere, and hence the exasperation of the unhappy man against both
diplomatists. The trial of the murderer came on at the Old Bailey,
before Chief Justice Mansfield, on the Friday of the same week. A
plea of insanity was put in by Bellingham's counsel, and it was
demanded that the trial should be postponed till inquiries could be
made at Liverpool as to his antecedents. But this plea was overruled.
Bellingham himself indignantly rejected the idea of his being insane.
He declared that the act was the consequence of a cool determination
to punish the Minister for the refusal of justice to him, and he again
repeated, in the presence of Lord Leveson Gower, that his chief object
had been himself for his cruel disregard of his wrongs. Both Lord
Mansfield and the rest of the judges would hear of no delay; a verdict
of "Wilful Murder" was brought in by the jury, and they condemned him
to be hanged, and he was duly hanged on the following Monday at nine
o'clock, exactly the day week of the perpetration of the act.

[Illustration: ASSASSINATION OF SPENCER PERCEVAL. (_See p._ 23.)]

An attempt was again made on the part of Grey and Grenville to form
a Ministry, but without effect. Overtures were then made to Lord
Wellesley and Canning, who declined to join the Cabinet, alleging
differences of opinion on the Catholic claims and on the scale for
carrying on the war in the Peninsula. In the House of Commons, on
the 21st of May, Mr. Stuart Wortley, afterwards Lord Wharncliffe,
moved and carried a resolution for an address to the Regent, praying
him to endeavour to form a Coalition Ministry. During a whole week
such endeavours were made, and various audiences had by Lords Moira,
Wellesley, Eldon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, etc., and Moira was
authorised to make proposals to Wellesley and Canning, to Grey and
Grenville. But all these negotiations fell through. Grey and Grenville
refused to come in unless they could have the rearrangement of the
Royal Household. This demand was yielded by the Regent, but Sheridan,
who hated them, did not deliver the message, and so the attempt failed.
But at the same time, apart altogether from this matter, they could not
have pursued any effectual policy. It was therefore much better that
they should not come in at all.

On the 8th of June the Earl of Liverpool announced to the House of
Lords that a Ministry had been formed; that the Prince Regent had been
pleased to appoint him First Lord of the Treasury, and to authorise him
to complete the Cabinet. Earl Bathurst succeeded Liverpool as Secretary
of the Colonies and Secretary at War; Sidmouth became Secretary of
the Home Department; the Earl of Harrowby President of the Council;
Nicholas Vansittart Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Melville, the
son of the old late Lord, First Lord of the Admiralty; the Earl
of Buckinghamshire President of the Board of Control; Castlereagh
Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Mulgrave Master-General of the Ordnance;
Eldon Lord Chancellor; Mr. F. Robinson became Vice-President of the
Board of Trade and Treasurer of the Navy; Lord Clancarty President of
the Board of Trade; Sir Thomas Plumer was made Attorney-General, and
Sir William Garrow succeeded him as Solicitor-General. In Ireland, the
Duke of Richmond became Lord-Lieutenant; Lord Manners Lord Chancellor;
and Mr. Robert Peel, who now first emerged into public notice, Chief
Secretary. The Cabinet, thus reconstructed, promised exactly the
policy of the late Premier, and, indeed, with increased vigour. On
the 17th of June the new Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced the
Budget--professedly that of Spencer Perceval--which exceeded the
grants of the former year by upwards of six millions--that having been
fifty-six millions twenty-one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine
pounds, this being sixty-two millions three hundred and seventy-six
thousand three hundred and forty-eight pounds. New taxes were imposed,
and two more loans raised and added to the Debt.

The effects of the monstrous drain of the war on the revenues of the
country were now beginning to show themselves in the manufacturing
districts, and the workpeople had broken out in serious riots in
Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. Instead of attributing their
distresses to the vast system of taxation, they attributed them to the
increase of machinery, and broke into the mills in many places and
destroyed it. This was only adding to the misery by destroying capital,
and stopping the very machinery which gave them bread. A committee
of inquiry was instituted, and the result showed that the members
of Parliament were not a whit more enlightened than the artisans
themselves. Instead of attempting to find some means of ameliorating
the condition of the starving population--which, indeed, they could
not do, for nothing but peace and reduction of taxation, and the
restoration of the natural conditions of commerce could do it,--they
recommended coercion, and Lord Castlereagh brought in a severe Bill for
the purpose,--the first of many such Bills of his, which nearly drove
the people eventually to revolution, and, by a more fortunate turn,
precipitated reform of Parliament. This Bill, the operation of which
was limited to the following March, was carried by large majorities,
and Parliament, thinking it had done enough to quiet hungry stomachs
in the north, was prorogued on the 30th of July, and on the 20th of
September dissolved.

The changes in, and uncertainty about, the Ministry gave great
uneasiness to Lord Wellington, whose operations in Spain depended so
much on earnest support at home. During the latter part of the autumn
and the commencement of winter, whilst his army was in cantonments, he
was actively preparing to surprise the French, and make himself master
of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. With much activity, but without bustle,
he made his preparations at Almeida. Pretending to be only repairing
the damages to its fortifications, he got together there ample stores
and a good battering train. He prepared also a portable bridge on
trestles, and regulated the commissariat department of his army; he
also had a great number of light, yet strong waggons constructed for
the conveyance of his provisions and ammunition, to supersede the
clumsy and ponderous carts of the Portuguese.

All being ready, on the 6th of January Wellington suddenly pushed
forward to Gallegos, and on the 8th invested Ciudad Rodrigo. Nothing
could be more unexpected by Marshal Marmont, who had never suspected
any attack in winter, and had placed his army in cantonments, and had,
moreover, sent several divisions to distant points. On the very first
evening Wellington stormed an external redoubt called the Great Teson,
and established his first parallel. On the 13th he also carried the
convent of Santa Cruz, and on the 14th that of San Francisco. He then
established his second parallel, and planted fresh batteries. On the
19th he made two breaches, and, hearing that Marmont was advancing
hastily to the relief of the place, he determined to storm at once,
though it would be at a more serious exposure of life. The assault was
rapid and successful, but the slaughter on both sides was very severe.
A thousand killed and wounded were reckoned on each side, and one
thousand seven hundred prisoners were taken by the British. What made
the British loss the heavier was that General Mackinnon and many of
his brigade were killed by the explosion of a powder magazine on the
walls. General Craufurd of the Light Division, was killed, and General
Vandeleur, Colonel Colborne, and Major Napier were wounded. Much
ammunition and a battering train were found in Ciudad Rodrigo. Marmont
was astounded at the fall of the place. The Spanish Cortes, who had
been so continually hampering and criticising Wellington, now created
him Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo. He was also, in England, advanced to the
dignity of an earl, and an annuity of two thousand pounds was voted him
by Parliament.

But Wellington was not intending to stop here. He immediately made
preparations for the siege of Badajoz. He had artillery sent out to
sea from Lisbon, as for some distant expedition, and then secretly
carried, in small boats, up the Setubal, to Alcacer do Sal, and thence,
by land, across Alemtejo to the Guadiana. On the 16th of March, after
a rapid march, he reached, with a strong body of troops, the Guadiana,
crossed, and at once invested Badajoz. By the 26th he had carried
the Picurina and the advanced work separated from the city by the
little river Rivillas, and made two breaches in the city walls. There
was the same want of besieging tools and battering trains which had
retarded his operations before; but the men worked well, and on the
6th of April, there being three breaches open, orders were given to
storm, for Soult was collecting his forces at Seville to raise the
siege. One of the breaches had been so strongly barricaded by General
Philippon, the governor of Badajoz, by strong planks bristling with
iron spikes, and with _chevaux-de-frise_ of bayonets and broken swords,
that no effect could be produced on the obstruction; whilst the French,
from the ramparts and the houses overlooking them, poured down the
most destructive volleys. But the parties at the other two breaches
were more successful, and on their drawing away the French from this
quarter, the spike-beams and _chevaux-de-frise_ were knocked down,
and the British were soon masters of the place. Philippon endeavoured
to escape with a number of men, but he was obliged to throw himself
into Fort San Christoval, on the other side the Guadiana, where he was
compelled to surrender. The loss of the allies was nearly one thousand
men killed, including seventy-two officers, and three hundred and six
officers and three thousand four hundred and eighty men wounded. The
French, though they fought under cover of batteries and houses, lost
nearly one thousand five hundred men; they also delivered up upwards of
five thousand prisoners of their own nation, and nearly four thousand
Spaniards, British, and Portuguese, who had been kept at Badajoz as a
safe fortress. The British soldiers fought with their usual undaunted
bravery, but they disgraced themselves by getting drunk in the wine
cellars during the night of the storming, and committed many excesses.
Wellington, who was extremely rigorous in suppressing all such conduct,
reduced them to discipline as quickly as possible, and on the 8th
Badajoz was completely in his hands. Soult, who was at Villafranca
when he received the news, immediately retreated again on Seville,
briskly pursued by the British cavalry, who did much execution on his
rear-guard at Villagarcia.

Wellington proceeded to put Badajoz into a strong state of defence,
but he was soon called off by the movements of Marmont, who, in his
absence, had advanced and invested both Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida.
Wellington left General Hill to watch the south, which was the more
necessary as Soult was in strong force at Seville, and Victor before
Cadiz. That general had made a vigorous attack on Tarifa towards
the end of December, but was repulsed with much loss by Colonel
Skerrett. Hill, who had about twelve thousand men, made a successful
attack on some strong forts near Almaraz, on the Tagus, erected by
the French to protect their bridge of boats there--thus closing the
communication between Soult in the south and Marmont in the north. In
these satisfactory circumstances, Wellington broke up his cantonments
between the Coa and the Agueda on the 13th of June, and commenced his
march into Spain with about forty thousand men. Of these, however,
one column consisted of Spaniards, on whom he wisely placed little
reliance, and his cavalry was small and indifferently officered in
comparison with the infantry. Marmont had as many infantry as himself,
and a much more numerous and better disciplined cavalry. As Wellington
advanced, too, he learned that General Bonnet, with a force upwards of
six thousand strong, was hastening to support Marmont. That general
abandoned Salamanca as Wellington approached, and on the 17th the
British army entered the city, to the great joy of the people, who,
during the three years which the French had held it, had suffered
inconceivable miseries and insults; not the least of these was to see
the usurper destroy twenty-two of the twenty-five colleges in this
famous seat of learning, and thirteen out of twenty-five convents.
Troops were left in different forts, both in the city and by the
bridge over the river Tormes, which forts had chiefly been constructed
out of the materials of the schools and monasteries. These were soon
compelled to surrender, but not without heavy loss. Major Bowes and
one hundred and twenty men fell in carrying those by the bridge. After
different manœuvres, Marmont showed himself on the British right,
near San Christoval, where he was met by a division under Sir Thomas
Graham, who had beaten the French at Barrosa. Fresh manœuvres then
took place: Marmont crossing and recrossing the Douro, and marching
along its banks, to cut off Wellington from his forces in Salamanca,
and to enable himself to open the way for King Joseph's troops from
Madrid. This being accomplished, and being joined by General Bonnet,
he faced the army of Wellington on the Guareña. On the 20th of July he
crossed that river, and there was a rapid movement of both armies, each
trying to prevent the other from cutting off the way to Salamanca and
Ciudad Rodrigo. On that day both armies were seen marching parallel
to each other, and now and then exchanging cannon-shots. The military
authorities present there describe the scene of those two rival
armies--making a total of ninety thousand men, and each displaying
all the splendour and discipline of arms, each general intent on
taking the other at some disadvantage--as one of the finest spectacles
ever seen in warfare. The next day both generals crossed the river
Tormes--Wellington by the bridge in his possession, the French by
fords higher up. They were now in front of Salamanca, Marmont still
manœuvring to cut off the road to Ciudad Rodrigo. On the morning of
the 22nd Marmont, favoured by some woods, gained some advantage in
that direction; but Wellington drew up his troops in great strength
behind the village of Arapiles, and Marmont extending his left to turn
the British right flank, Wellington suddenly made a desperate dash at
his line, and cut it in two. Marmont's left was quickly beaten on the
heights that he had occupied, and was driven down them at the point of
the bayonet. Marmont was so severely wounded that he was compelled to
quit the field, and give up the command to Bonnet; but Bonnet was soon
wounded too, and obliged to surrender the command to General Clausel,
who had just arrived with reinforcements from "the army of the north,"
of which Wellington had had information, and which induced him to give
battle before he could bring up all his force. Clausel reformed the
line, and made a terrible attack on the British with his artillery;
but Wellington charged again, though the fight was up hill; drove the
French from their heights with the bayonet once more, and sent them
in full rout through the woods towards the Tormes. They were sharply
pursued by the infantry, under General Anson, and the cavalry, under
Sir Stapleton Cotton, till the night stopped them. But at dawn the same
troops again pursued them, supported by more horse; and overtaking the
enemy's rear at La Serna, they drove it in--the cavalry putting spurs
to their horses, and leaving the foot to their fate. Three battalions
of these were made prisoners. As the French fled, they encountered the
main body of Clausel's army of the north, but these turned and fled
too; and on the night of the 23rd the fugitives had reached Flores de
Avila, thirty miles from the field of battle. The flight and pursuit
were continued all the way from Salamanca to Valladolid.

Lord Wellington did not give the retreating enemy much time for
repose; within the week he was approaching Valladolid and Clausel was
quitting it in all haste. On the 30th of July Wellington entered that
city amid the enthusiastic acclamations of the people. In his haste,
Clausel abandoned seventeen pieces of artillery, considerable stores,
and eight hundred sick and wounded. The priests were preparing to
make grand processions and sing a _Te Deum_ in honour of Wellington's
victories, as they had done at Salamanca; but he was much too intent
on following up his blows to stay. He was on his march the very next
day. He re-crossed the Douro to advance against King Joseph Buonaparte,
who had set out from Madrid to make a junction with Marmont, but on
arriving at Arevalo Joseph had learnt with amazement of the French
defeat, and diverted his march, with twenty thousand men, on Segovia,
in order to reinforce Clausel. Wellington left a division to guard
against Clausel's return from Burgos, whither the latter had fled,
and, collecting provisions with difficulty, he marched forward towards
Madrid. Joseph fell back as the British advanced. Wellington was at San
Ildefonso on the 9th of August, and on the 11th issued from the defiles
of the mountains into the plain on which Madrid stands. On the 12th he
entered the capital amid the most enthusiastic cheers--Joseph having
merely reached his palace to flee out of it again towards Toledo. He
had, however, left a garrison in the palace of Buon Retiro; but this
surrendered almost as soon as invested, and twenty thousand stand of
arms, one hundred and eighty pieces of ordnance, and military stores
of various kinds were found in it. These were particularly acceptable;
for it can scarcely be credited in what circumstances Wellington had
been pursuing his victorious career. We learn this, however, from his
dispatch to Lord Bathurst, dated July 28th--that is, very shortly
before his arrival at Madrid. After declaring that he was in need of
almost everything, he particularises emphatically: "I likewise request
your lordship not to forget horses for the cavalry, _and money_. We
are absolutely bankrupt. The troops are now five months in arrears,
instead of being one month in advance. The staff have not been paid
since February, the muleteers not since July, 1811; and we are in debt
in all parts of the country. I am obliged to take the money sent to me
by my brother for the Spaniards, in order to give a fortnight's pay to
my own troops, who are really suffering from want of money."

The news of Wellington's defeat of Marmont, and his occupation
of the capital, caused Soult to call Victor from the blockade of
Cadiz; and uniting his forces, he retired into Granada. The French,
after destroying their works,--the creation of so much toil and
expenditure,--retreated with such precipitation from before Cadiz that
they left behind a vast quantity of their stores, several hundred
pieces of ordnance--some of which, of extraordinary length, had been
cast for this very siege--and thirty gunboats. They were not allowed to
retire unmolested. The British and Spanish troops pursued them from
Tarifa, harassed them on the march, drove them out of San Lucar, and
carried Seville by storm, notwithstanding eight battalions being still
there to defend it. The peasantry rushed out from woods and mountains
to attack the rear of Soult on his march by Carmona to Granada,
and the sufferings of his soldiers were most severe from excessive
fatigue, heat, want of food, and these perpetual attacks. General Hill
meanwhile advanced from the Guadiana against King Joseph, who fell back
to Toledo, hoping to keep up a communication with Soult and Suchet,
the latter of whom lay on the borders of Valencia and Catalonia. But
General Hill soon compelled him to retreat from Toledo, and the British
general then occupied that city, Ypez, and Aranjuez, thus placing
himself in connection with Lord Wellington, and cutting off the French
in the south from all approach to Madrid.

But Wellington had no expectation whatever of maintaining his
headquarters at that city. His own army was not sufficient to repel
any fresh hordes of French who might be poured down upon him; and as
for the Spaniards, they had no force that could be relied upon for
a moment. The incurable pride of this people rendered them utterly
incapable of learning from their allies, who, with a comparatively
small force, were every day showing them what discipline and good
command could do. They would not condescend to be taught, nor to serve
under a foreigner, though that foreigner was everywhere victorious, and
they were everywhere beaten. They continued, as they had been from the
first, a ragged, disorderly rabble, always on the point of starvation,
and always sure to be dispersed, if not destroyed, whenever they were
attacked. Only in guerilla fight did they show any skill, or do any

When, therefore, Lord Wellington pondered over matters in Madrid, he
looked in vain for anything like a regular Spanish army, after all the
lessons which had been given to them. The army of Galicia, commanded by
Santocildes, considered the best Spanish force, had been defeated by
Clausel, himself in the act of escaping from Wellington. Ballasteros
had a certain force under him, but his pride would not allow him to
co-operate with Lord Wellington, and he was soon afterwards dismissed
by the Cortes from his command. O'Donnel had had an army in Murcia, but
he, imagining that he could cope with the veteran troops of Suchet, had
been most utterly routed, his men flinging away ten thousand muskets
as they fled. Moreover, Wellington had been greatly disappointed in his
hopes of a reinforcement from Sicily. He had urged on Ministers the
great aid which an efficient detachment from the army maintained by us
in Sicily might render by landing on the eastern coast of Spain, and
clearing the French out of Catalonia, Valencia, and Murcia. This could
now be readily complied with, because there was no longer any danger
of invasion of Sicily from Naples, Murat being called away to assist
in Buonaparte's campaign in Russia. But the plan found an unexpected
opponent in our Commander-in-Chief in Sicily, Lord William Bentinck.
Lord William at first appeared to coincide in the scheme, but soon
changed his mind, having conceived an idea of making a descent on
the continent of Italy during Murat's absence. Lord Wellington wrote
earnestly to him, showing him that Suchet and Soult must be expelled
from the south of Spain, which could be easily effected by a strong
force under British command landing in the south-east and co-operating
with him from the north, or he must himself again retire to Portugal,
being exposed to superior forces from both north and south. The
expedition was at length sent, under General Maitland, but such a
force as was utterly useless. It did not exceed six thousand men; and
such men! They were chiefly a rabble of Sicilian and other foreign
vagabonds, who had been induced to enlist, and were, for the most part,

[Illustration: MARSHAL SOULT. (_From the Portrait by Rouillard._)]

This armament, with which Sir John Falstaff certainly would not have
marched through Coventry, arrived off Tosa, on the coast of Catalonia,
on the 1st of August. The brave Catalans, who had given the French more
trouble than all the Spaniards besides, were rejoiced at the idea of a
British army coming to aid them in rooting out the French; but Maitland
received discouraging information from some Spaniards as to the
forces and capabilities of Suchet, and refused to land there. Admiral
Sir Edward Pellew and Captain Codrington in vain urged him to land,
declaring that the Spaniards with whom he had conferred were traitors.
Maitland called a council of war, and it agreed with him in opinion.
This was precisely what Lord Wellington had complained of to Lord
William Bentinck, who had propagated the most discouraging opinions
amongst the officers regarding the service in Spain. He had assured
him that a discouraged army was as good as no army whatever. The fleet
then, much to the disappointment of the Catalans, conveyed the force to
the bay of Alicante, and there landed it on the 9th of August. Suchet,
who was lying within sight of that port, immediately retired, and
Maitland, so long as he withdrew, marched after him, and occupied the
country; but soon hearing that King Joseph was marching to reinforce
Suchet, and that Soult was likely to join them, he again evacuated
the country, cooped himself up in Alicante, and lay there, of no use
whatever as a diversion in favour of Wellington, who was liable at
Madrid to be gradually surrounded by a hundred thousand men. Wellington
must proceed against one of the French armies, north or south. Had a
proper force, with a bold commander, been sent to the south, he could
soon have dealt with the northern enemies. A more dubious necessity now
lay before him; but it required no long deliberation as to which way he
should move. Clausel was expecting reinforcements from France, and he
proposed to attack him before they could arrive.

On the 1st of September Wellington marched out of Madrid, and directed
his course towards Valladolid, leaving, however, Hill in the city with
two divisions. He then proceeded towards Burgos, and, on the way,
fell in with the Spanish army of Galicia, commanded by Santocildes,
ten thousand in number, but, like all the Spanish troops, destitute
of discipline and everything else which constitutes effective
soldiers--clothes, food, and proper arms. Clausel quitted Burgos on
the approach of Wellington, but left two thousand, under General
Dubreton, in the castle. Wellington entered the place on the 19th, and
immediately invested the castle. The French stood a desperate siege
vigorously, and after various attempts to storm the fort, and only
gaining the outworks, the news of the advance of the army of the
north, and of that of Soult and King Joseph from the south, compelled
the British to abandon the attempt. General Ballasteros had been
commanded by the Cortes, at the request of Lord Wellington, to take
up a position in La Mancha, which would check the progress of Soult;
but that proud and ignorant man neglected to do so, because he was
boiling over with anger at the Cortes having appointed Lord Wellington
Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies. General Hill, therefore,
found it prudent to quit Madrid, and fall back on Salamanca; and Lord
Wellington, on the 21st of October, raised the siege of the castle of
Burgos, and moved to Palencia, to be near to General Hill. At Palencia
Lord Dalhousie joined him with a fresh brigade from England; and he
continued his retreat to the Douro, pursued briskly by the French,
under General Souham. At Tudela Souham halted to wait for Soult, who
was approaching.

Wellington did not feel himself secure till he had crossed the Tormes.
On his march General Hill came up, and once more taking up his old
position on the heights of San Christoval, in front of Salamanca,
which he did on the 9th of November, he declared, in his dispatch to
the Secretary at War, that he thought he had escaped from the worst
military situation that he ever was in, for he could not count at
all on the Spanish portion of his army. On the 10th Souham and Soult
united their forces, now amounting to seventy-five thousand foot and
twelve thousand cavalry; Wellington's army mustering only forty-five
thousand foot and five thousand cavalry. He now expected an immediate
attack, and posted his army on the heights of the two Arapiles for the
purpose; but the French generals did not think well to fight him, and
he continued his retreat through Salamanca, and on to Ciudad Rodrigo,
where he established his headquarters, distributing part of his army
in their old cantonments between the Agueda and the Coa. This was
accomplished before the end of November; and General Hill proceeded
into Spanish Estremadura, and entered into cantonments near Coria. The
French took up their quarters at some distance in Old Castile.

This retreat had been made under great difficulties; the weather being
excessively wet, the rivers swollen, and the roads knee-deep in mud.
Provisions were scarce, and the soldiers found great difficulty in
cooking the skinny, tough beef that they got, on account of the wet
making it hard to kindle fires. The Spaniards, as usual, concealed
all the provisions they could, and charged enormously for any that
they were compelled to part with. In fact, no enemies could have been
treated worse than they treated us all the while that we were doing
and suffering so much for them. The soldiers became so enraged that
they set at defiance the strict system which Wellington exacted in this
respect, and cudgelled the peasantry to compel them to bring out food,
and seized it wherever they could find it. In fact, the discipline
of the army was fast deteriorating from these causes, and Wellington
issued very stern orders to the officers on the subject. Till they
reached the Tormes, too, the rear was continually harassed by the
French; and Sir Edward Paget, mounting a hill to make observations, was
surprised and made prisoner.

As usual, a great cry was raised at the retreat of Wellington. The
Spaniards would have had him stand and do battle for them, as foolishly
as their own generals did, who, never calculating the fitting time and
circumstances, were always being beaten. Amongst the first and loudest
to abuse him was Ballasteros, the man who, by his spiteful disregard
of orders, had been the chief cause of the necessity to retreat. But
it was not the Spaniards only, but many people in England, especially
of the Opposition, who raised this ungenerous cry. Wellington alluded
to these censures with his wonted calmness in his dispatches. "I
am much afraid," he said, "from what I see in the newspapers, that
the public will be much disappointed at the result of the campaign,
notwithstanding that it is, in fact, the most successful campaign in
all its circumstances, and has produced for the common cause more
important results than any campaign in which the British army has been
engaged for the last century. We have taken by siege Ciudad Rodrigo,
Badajoz, and Salamanca, and the Retiro has surrendered. In the meantime
the allies have taken Astorga, Consuegra, and Guadalaxara, besides
other places. In the ten months elapsed since January, this army has
sent to England little short of twenty thousand prisoners; and they
have taken and destroyed, or have themselves retained the use of, the
enemy's arsenals in Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Valladolid,
Madrid, Astorga, Seville, the lines before Cadiz, etc.; and, upon
the whole, we have taken and destroyed, or we now possess, little
short of three thousand pieces of cannon. The siege of Cadiz has been
raised, and all the country south of the Tagus has been cleared of
the enemy. We should have retained greater advantages, I think, and
should have remained in possession of Castile and Madrid during the
winter, if I could have taken Burgos, as I ought, early in October, or
if Ballasteros had moved upon Alcaraz, as he was ordered, instead of
intriguing for his own aggrandisement."

The interval of repose now obtained continued through the winter, and
late into the spring of 1813. It was greatly required by the British
army. Lord Wellington stated that the long campaign, commencing in
January, had completely tired down man and horse; that they both
required thorough rest and good food, and that the discipline of the
army, as was always the case after a long campaign, needed restoration;
and he set himself about to insure these ends, not only in the troops
immediately under his own eye, but in those under Maitland and his
successors in the south. He had, even during his own retreat, written
to Maitland, encouraging him to have confidence in his men, assuring
him that they would repay it by corresponding confidence in themselves.
Lord William Bentinck, however, ordered Maitland to return to Sicily
with his army in October; Lord Wellington decidedly forbade it.
Maitland therefore resigned, and was succeeded by General Clinton, who
found himself completely thwarted in his movements by the governor of
Alicante, who treated the allies much more like enemies, and would not
allow the British to have possession of a single gate of the town,
keeping them more like prisoners than free agents. At the beginning
of December a fresh reinforcement of four thousand men, under General
Campbell, arrived from Sicily, and Campbell took the chief command; but
he did not venture to take any decisive movement against the French,
but waited for Lord William Bentinck himself, who now determined to
come over, but did not arrive till July, 1813. Whilst Campbell remained
inactive from this cause, his motley foreign troops continued to
desert, and many of them went and enlisted with Suchet.


THE REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_continued_).

    Rancour of the Americans towards England--Their Admiration of
    Napoleon--The Right of Search and consequent Disputes--Madison's
    warlike Declaration--Opposition in Congress--Condition of
    Canada--Capture of Michilimachimac--An Armistice--Repulse of the
    Invasion of Canada--Naval Engagements--Napoleon and the Czar
    determine on War--Attempts to dissuade Napoleon--Unpreparedness
    of Russia--Bernadotte's Advice to Alexander--Rashness of
    Napoleon--Policy of Prussia, Austria and Turkey--Overtures to
    England and Russia--Napoleon goes to the Front--His extravagant
    Language--The War begins--Disillusion of the Poles--Difficulties
    of the Advance--Bagration and Barclay de Tolly--Napoleon pushes
    on--Capture of Smolensk--Battle of Borodino--The Russians evacuate
    Moscow--Buonaparte occupies the City--Conflagrations burst
    out--Desperate Position of Affairs--Murat and Kutusoff--Defeat
    of Murat--The Retreat begins--Its Horrors--Caution of
    Kutusoff--Passage of the Beresina--Napoleon leaves the Army--His
    Arrival in Paris--Results of the Campaign--England's Support
    of Russia--Close of 1812--Wellington's improved Prospects--He
    advances against Joseph Buonaparte--Battle of Vittoria--Retreat
    of the French--Soult is sent against Wellington--The Battle
    of the Pyrenees--The Storming of San Sebastian--Wellington
    forbids Plundering--He goes into Winter-quarters--Campaign
    in the south-east of Spain--Napoleon's Efforts to renew the
    Campaign--Desertion of Murat and Bernadotte--Alliance between
    Prussia and Russia--Austrian Mediation fails--Early Successes
    of the Allies--Battle of Lützen--Napoleon's false Account
    of the Battle--Occupation of Hamburg by Davoust--Battle of
    Bautzen--Armistice of Pleisswitz--Failure of the Negotiations--The
    Fortification of Dresden--Successive Defeats of the French by the
    Allies--The Aid of England--Battle of Leipsic--Retreat of the
    French across the Rhine--The French Yoke is thrown off--Castlereagh
    summons England to fresh Exertions--Liberation of the Pope--Failure
    of Buonaparte's Attempt to restore Ferdinand--Wellington's
    Remonstrance with the British Ministry--Battles of Orthez and
    Toulouse--Termination of the Campaign--Exhaustion of France--The
    Allies on the Frontier--Napoleon's final Efforts--The Congress
    of Chàtillon--The Allies advance on Paris--Surrender of the
    Capital--A Provisional Government appointed--Napoleon abdicates
    in favour of his Son--His unconditional Abdication--Return of the
    Bourbons--Insecurity of their Power--Treaty of Paris--Bad Terms to
    England--Visit of the Monarchs to London.

From skirmishing at sea the British had now come to direct war with
the people of North America. From the period of the American colonists
obtaining their independence of Great Britain, they retained a
peculiar animus against the mother country. In the war by which that
independence was achieved by the aid of France, Holland, and Spain,
which all combined to attack Britain on sea and land, the Americans
displayed no traces of the magnanimity that usually accompanies
bravery. They resorted to many dishonourable practices, amongst which
was the breach of contract in retaining prisoners from the army of
General Burgoyne. The same spirit continued to animate them afterwards.
It was natural to suppose that their success would have the usual
effect of making them forget enmity when the cause of it was gone
by; but this was not the case. In all contests of Great Britain with
revolutionary France, they rejoiced over any disasters which befel her,
and were silent in the hour of her victories. Though they were bone of
our bone, and flesh of our flesh, and our population was pouring over
to swell their numbers, they displayed towards us a hostility that no
other nation, France excepted, had ever shown.

But it was not to Great Britain only that this want of generosity was
shown. No people rejoiced more vehemently than they did--none, indeed,
so much--over the fall and execution of Louis XVI. of France, the one
monarch of Europe who had been their chief benefactor, without whose
powerful aid they would have fought and struggled in vain, and who had,
in fact, lost his crown and his head, and his empire to his family,
by sending his soldiers to learn Republicanism amongst them. There
were feasts and public rejoicings in the United States to commemorate
the death of Louis, who was, in fact, the martyr of America. What was
equally extraordinary, whilst they exulted in the French Republic, they
followed with an equal admiration the career of Buonaparte, who crushed
that Republic, and raised up a despotism opposed in its principles to
all the political professions of Americans. But it was the idea that he
was born to humble and, perhaps, blot out Great Britain from the list
of nations, which served to render Napoleon so especially the object
of their unbounded eulogies. His victories were celebrated nowhere so
vociferously as in the United States, through the press, the pulpit,
and in general oratory. With them he was the Man of Destiny, who was
to overthrow all kings but himself, and drive Great Britain from her
dominion of the seas.


During the Republic of France, and in the worst times of Robespierre,
the French had their Minister, M. Genet, in the United States, who
excited the democrats to acts of hostility against Great Britain, and
gave them French authority to seize and make prizes of British vessels
at sea, though they were nominally at peace with England. And though
Washington, then President, protested against these proceedings, the
main body of the people were against him, and were supported in that
spirit by Jefferson, who was Secretary of State. When Jefferson became
President, in 1801, and Madison his Secretary of State, the hatred
to Great Britain was carried to its extreme, and the friendship of
Buonaparte was cultivated with the utmost zeal. When Jefferson was a
second time President, in 1807, he violently resisted our right of
search of neutral vessels, thus playing into the hands of Buonaparte
and his Berlin Decree, in the hope of carrying on a large trade with
the European Continent at our expense. Out of this arose the affair of
the _Leopard_ and the _Chesapeake_ off the capes of Virginia, in which
the _Chesapeake_, refusing to allow a search for British deserters,
was attacked and taken. This put the whole of the democracy of America
into a raging fury, though the boarding of the United States war-sloop,
the _Hornet_, in the French port of L'Orient, for the same purpose,
was passed over without a murmur. To prevent such collisions, Canning,
on the part of the British Government, issued orders that search of
war-ships should be discontinued. This, however, did not prevent
Jefferson from making proclamations prohibiting British men-of-war from
entering or remaining in American ports; and the utmost indignities
were offered to all the officers and crews of our men-of-war who
happened to be lying in American harbours. Moreover, Jefferson issued,
in December, 1807, an embargo against all American vessels quitting
their own ports, because if at sea they did not submit to be searched
to ascertain whether they were carrying goods to French ports, they
were treated as hostile by Great Britain, were attacked and seized.
This was in retaliation of Buonaparte's Berlin Decree, and made
necessary by it. On the other hand, Buonaparte seized any American
or other vessel entering into any port of Europe under the power of
France, which had submitted to search. To prevent this certain seizure
of trading vessels, the embargo was issued, and all merchant vessels
of all nations were prohibited from entering American ports. A more
suicidal act than this could not be conceived, and the people of the
United States soon complained loudly of the consequences. In 1809,
Madison succeeding Jefferson in the Presidency, and Buonaparte having
now rendered matters worse by his Milan Decree, besides his Berlin one,
Madison abolished the general embargo with all nations except France
and Great Britain, and declared this, too, at an end, whenever either
or both of these nations withdrew--the one its Decrees and the other
its Orders in Council. But in 1810 Madison declared that France had
withdrawn its Decrees so far as America was concerned; though this
was notoriously untrue. Numbers of American vessels continued to be
seized in French ports, though the United States Government dared not
complain, nor did they ever recover any compensation from Napoleon; it
was from Louis Philippe that they first obtained such compensation,
and, curiously enough, through the friendly intervention of Great

The British Government had done all in its power, except annuling the
Orders in Council, to produce a better tone of feeling in America.
It put up with many insults and violations of neutrality. It sent
Mr. Foster as envoy to the United States to endeavour to adjust all
differences; but in vain. This continued so till 1812, when, on the
20th of May, Mr. Russell, the American _chargé-d'affaires_, presented
Lord Castlereagh with a copy of an instrument by which France had, on
the 28th of April, abrogated its Berlin and Milan Decrees so far as
they related to American vessels. To show an equal liberality, Great
Britain, on the 23rd of June, revoked its Orders in Council so far as
concerned America, on condition that the United States also revoked
its non-Intercourse Act. But this had no effect on the Government of
America, which had already concluded a secret treaty with France,
and was making every preparation for the invasion of our Canadian
colonies. The Americans had the most profound idea of the stability of
Buonaparte, and could not conceive that the expedition that he was now
preparing against Russia would prove his overthrow. But they expected
that Buonaparte would crush Russia altogether, and would rule unopposed
over Europe; that the Government of Great Britain was bankrupt, and
that they might assail her with impunity. Accordingly, all activity was
used in getting ready all kinds of ships to send out as privateers,
calculating on a plentiful spoil of British traders in the waters along
the American coast and amongst the West Indian Isles, before they
could be put upon their guard. At the same time, on the 14th of April
they laid an embargo on all American vessels, so as to keep them at
home; and on the 18th of June the President announced to Congress that
the United States and Great Britain were in an actual state of war.
There was a studied ambiguity in this declaration; it did not candidly
take the initiative, and assert that the United States declared war
against Great Britain, but said that the two countries were, somehow or
other, already in a state of war.

But this declaration did not issue without a violent debate in
Congress, where the moderate party stated that the interests of the
country were sacrificed to a mischievous war-spirit, and in the east
and north of the States there was raised a loud cry for severance, as
there had been in the south when Jefferson laid his embargo on American
vessels. They complained that if, as was now alleged, the French
Emperor had abrogated his Berlin and Milan Decrees in favour of America
as early as the 2nd of March, 1811, why was this not communicated
to England before the 20th of May, 1812? And when England had long
ago declared that she would rescind her Orders in Council when such
a notification could be made to her, accompanied by a repeal of the
American non-Intercourse Act; and when she did immediately rescind her
Orders in Council on this condition, why should there be all this haste
to rush into war with Great Britain? They complained bitterly that
though Buonaparte was professed to have abrogated his Decrees as early
as November, 1810, he had gone on till just lately in seizing American
ships, both in the ports of France and by his cruisers at sea. The
State of Massachusetts addressed a strong remonstrance to the Federal
Government, in which they represented the infamy of the descendants of
the Pilgrim Fathers cooperating with the common enemy of civil liberty
to bind other nations in chains, and this at the very moment that the
European peoples were uniting for their violated liberties.



But the condition of Canada was very tempting to the cupidity of
Madison and his colleagues. We had very few troops there, and the
defences had been neglected in the tremendous struggle going on in
Europe. At this moment it appeared especially opportune for invading
the Canadas from the States, as Britain was engaged not only in the
arduous struggle in Spain, but its attention was occupied in watching
and promoting the measures that were being prepared in Russia, in
Sweden, and throughout Germany, against the general oppressor.
At such a moment the Americans--professed zealots for liberty and
independence--thought it a worthy object to filch the colonies of the
country which, above all others, was maintaining the contest against
the universal despot. They thought the French Canadians would rise
and join the allies of France against Great Britain. The American
Government had accordingly, so early as in 1811, and nearly a year
previous to the declaration of war, mustered ten thousand men at
Boston, ready for this expedition; and long before the note of war was
sounded they had called out fifty thousand volunteers. Still, up to
the very moment of declaring war, Madison had continually assured our
envoy that there was nothing that he so much wished as the continuance
of amicable connections between the two countries.

As he made these professions, he was, from the very commencement of
the year 1812, and nearly six months before the avowal of hostilities,
drawing the invading force nearer to the frontiers near Detroit.
General Hull had a body of two thousand five hundred men ready for
the enterprise, well supplied with artillery and stores; and scarcely
was the declaration of war made than he hastened over the frontier
line and seized on the British village of Sandwich. There he issued
a bragging proclamation, calling on the "oppressed" Canadians to
abandon the despotism of kingship and become free citizens of free
America. To meet the invasion, the British had in Canada only about
four thousand regulars, and the militia might number as many more. To
make worse of the matter, the Commander-in-Chief, Sir George Prevost,
was a very inefficient officer. But Major-General Brock sent orders
to the British officers at Fort St. Joseph to attack the American
port of Michilimachimac, which he did on the 17th of July, a month
after the American declaration of war. The place was taken, with sixty
prisoners and seven pieces of artillery. This raised the courage of
the Indians in that quarter, who had long thirsted for revenge of the
continual injuries received from the Americans, and they called on
their different tribes to arm and support the British. At the news of
the capture of Sandwich by Hull, Brock sent Colonel Procter to Fort
Amherstberg to operate against him. He also followed quickly himself,
and found Procter besieging Hull in Fort Detroit, to which he had
retreated across the border. By the 10th of August he compelled Hull
to surrender with his two thousand five hundred men and thirty pieces
of artillery. Not only Fort Detroit and a fine American vessel in the
harbour were taken, but, by the capitulation, the whole of the Michigan
territory, which separated the Indian country from Canada, was ceded to
us, much improving our frontier.

Major-General Brock left Colonel Procter to defend Detroit, and marched
hastily towards Niagara, to surprise the American forts in that
direction. But, in the midst of his preparations, he was thunderstruck
to learn that Sir George Prevost had concluded an armistice with
the American general, Dearborn, and that this armistice stipulated
that neither party should move in any manner till the American
Government had ratified or annulled the engagement. Thus Brock had
the mortification of feeling that his hands were tied up, whilst the
enemy, aroused to the danger of their position, despite the truce, were
marching up troops, and strengthening every fort and port along the
line. As soon as a force of six thousand three hundred men and stores
were ready, Madison refused to ratify the armistice. On his part,
Sir George Prevost had done nothing to support Brock, and this brave
officer found himself with only one thousand two hundred men, partly
regulars and partly militia, to repel the swarming invaders.

On the 18th of October the Americans crossed the frontier opposite to
the village of Queenstown with three thousand men, and found only three
hundred British to oppose them. But Brock was with them, and cheered
them so gallantly that they made a desperate resistance. Unfortunately,
Brock was killed, and then the brave three hundred retreated, and the
American general, Wadsworth, posted himself, with one thousand six
hundred men, on the heights behind Queenstown. But the same afternoon
he was attacked by a fresh body of about one thousand British and
Canadians, and had nearly his whole force killed or taken prisoners.
Himself and nine hundred of his men were captured, and four hundred
remained on the field slain or severely wounded. The rest, a mere
remnant, escaped into the woods, or were drowned in endeavouring to
swim back to their own shore. Thus ended Madison's first attempt to
conquer Canada.

At sea he was somewhat more fortunate. He took care to have his
war-ships, such as they were, in readiness for sea at the very instant
that war was proclaimed. The declaration took place on the 18th of
June, and on the 21st Commodore Rogers was already clear of the harbour
of New York in his flag-ship, the _President_, which was called a
frigate, but was equal to a seventy-four-gun ship, and attended by a
thirty-six-gun frigate, a sloop of war, and a brig-sloop. His hope
was to intercept the sugar fleet from the West Indies, which was only
convoyed by a single frigate and a brig-sloop. Instead of the West
India merchantmen, about one hundred sail in number, he fell in with
the British frigate, the _Belvedere_, commanded by Captain Richard
Byron. Though the two other vessels of war were in sight, Byron did not
flinch. He commenced a vigorous fight with the _President_, and held
on for two hours, pouring three hundred round shot into her from his
two cabin guns alone. By the explosion of a gun, Commodore Rogers and
fifteen of his men were severely wounded. About half-past six in the
evening the _President_ was joined by the _Congress_ frigate, and then
Captain Byron cut away several of his anchors, started fourteen tons
of water, and otherwise lightening his ship, sailed away, and left the
_President_ to repair her damages. By thus detaining Rogers for fifteen
hours the West India fleet was out of all danger. Rogers then continued
a cruising sail towards Madeira and the Azores, and captured a few
small merchantmen, and regained an American one, and he then returned
home without having secured a single British armed vessel, but having
been in great trepidation lest he should fall in with some of our ships
of the line.


Captain Dacres, of the _Guerrière_, returning to Halifax to refit
after convoying another fleet of merchantmen, fell in with the large
United States' frigate _Constitution_, commanded by Captain Hull. The
_Guerrière_ was old and rotten, wanting a thorough refit, or, rather,
laying entirely aside. In addition to other defects she was badly
supplied with ammunition. The _Guerrière_ had only two hundred and
forty-four men and nineteen boys; the _Constitution_ had four hundred
and seventy-six men, and a great number of expert riflemen amongst
them, which the American men-of-war always carried to pick off the
enemy, and especially the officers, from the tops. Yet Captain Dacres
stayed and fought the _Constitution_ till his masts and yards were
blown away, and his vessel was in a sinking state. In this condition
Dacres, who was himself severely wounded with a rifle-ball, struck, the
only alternative being going to the bottom. The old ship was then set
on fire, the British crew being first removed to the American ship.
Though the contest had been almost disgracefully unequal, the triumph
over it in the United States was inconceivable. Hull and his men were
thanked in the most extravagant terms, and a grant of fifty thousand
dollars was made them for a feat which would not have elicited a single
comment in England. But when our officers and men were carried on board
the _Constitution_, they discovered that nearly one-half--a number, in
fact, equal to their own--were English or Irish. Some of the principal
officers were English; many of the men were very recent deserters; and
so much was the American captain alarmed lest a fellow-feeling should
spring up between the compatriots of the two crews, that he kept his
prisoners manacled and chained to the deck of his ship during the night
after the battle, and for the greater part of the following day.

(_See p._ 36.)]

There were three or four more of these utterly unequal fights, in which
the Americans succeeded in capturing small British vessels when at the
point of sinking. Such was the case with the _Macedon_, which, with
a crew of two hundred and sixty-two men and thirty-four boys, fought
the _United States_, with more and heavier guns, and with a crew of
four hundred and seventy-seven men and one boy. The _Macedon_ was a
complete wreck before she struck. Similar cases were those of the
_Java_ frigate, Captain Lambert, which struck to the _Constitution_,
and the British eighteen-gun brig-sloop the _Frolic_, which struck to
the American brig-sloop _Wasp_, of eighteen guns. Here the arms were
equal, but the crews most unequal, for the _Frolic_ had a small crew,
very sickly from five years' service in the West Indies, and the ship
itself was in bad condition. Within a very few hours the _Frolic_ was
re-captured by the British seventy-four gun-ship, the _Poictiers_,
which carried off the American vessel too. In none of these cases was
there anything like an equal fight, the Americans being too shrewd to
risk that if they could avoid it. In all cases a large proportion of
the crews was made up of British deserters. The accounts, however,
which the Americans published of these affairs were as usual of the
most vaunting character.

This was the fatal year in which Buonaparte, led on by the unsleeping
ambition of being the master of all Europe, and so of all the world,
made his last great attempt--that of subduing Russia to his yoke--and
thus wrecked himself for ever. From the very day of the Treaty of
Tilsit, neither he nor Alexander of Russia had put faith in each other.
Buonaparte felt that the Czar was uneasy under the real dictatorship
of France which existed under the name of alliance. He knew that he
was most restless under the mischief accruing from the stipulated
embargo on British commerce, and which, from the ruin which it must
bring on the Russian merchants, and the consequent distress of the
whole population, might, in fact, cause him to disappear from the
throne and from life as so many of his ancestors had done. Timber,
pitch, potash, hemp, tallow, and other articles were the very staple
of Russia's trade, and the British were the greatest of all customers
for these. The landed proprietors derived a large income from these
commodities, and they asked why they were to perish that Buonaparte
might destroy Great Britain, whence they drew their principal wealth.
He knew that Alexander looked with deep suspicion on his giving the
Duchy of Warsaw to the King of Saxony, a descendant of the royal family
of Poland. To this act was added the stipulations for a free military
road and passage for troops from Saxony to Warsaw; and also that France
should retain Dantzic till after a maritime peace. These things seemed
to point to the re-establishment of the kingdom of Poland, and the
demand, at some future day, for the surrender of the rest of the Polish
territory by Russia. So the Poles seemed to interpret these matters,
for they had, since these arrangements, flocked to his standard, and
were fighting Buonaparte's battles in Spain. To these causes of offence
and alarm, which Alexander did not hesitate to express, and which
Napoleon refused to dissipate, were added the seizure of the Duchy of
Oldenburg, guaranteed to Alexander's near relative, and the marriage
alliance with Austria. Alexander, on this last occasion, said--"Then my
turn comes next;" and in anticipation of it he had been strengthening
himself by a secret league with Sweden.

To the Czar it appeared most politic that the war with Napoleon, as it
must come, should come whilst the British in Spain were harassing him
and draining his resources; and, on his part, Buonaparte, resenting the
hostile attitude of Alexander, and suspecting his secret understanding
with Bernadotte, determined, notwithstanding the ominous character of
the war in Spain, to summon an army utterly overwhelming and crush the
Czar at once. It was in vain that such of his counsellors as dared
urged him to abstain from the Russian invasion. They represented the
vast extent of Russia; its enormous deserts, into which the army could
retreat, and which must exhaust so large a host as he contemplated;
the inhospitable climate; the difficult rivers; the unprofitableness
of the conquest, if it succeeded; and the improbability that success
there would put an end to the war in Spain, whilst any serious disaster
would cause the nations to stand up behind him as one man. These were
all arguments of mere policy; for as to the considerations suggested by
morality or justice, these had long been abandoned by Buonaparte, and
therefore were never even adverted to by his friends.

Regardless of all advice, Buonaparte hastened to precipitate matters
with Russia. He seized and confiscated fifty Swedish merchantmen, and
further to express his determination to punish Bernadotte for his
refusal to be his slave--he boasted before his courtiers that he would
have him seized in Sweden, and brought to the castle of Vincennes,
and he is said to have planned doing it--in January of this year he
ordered Davoust to enter Swedish Pomerania and take possession of
it. Buonaparte followed up this act of war by marching vast bodies
of troops northwards, overrunning Prussia, Pomerania, and the Duchy
of Warsaw with them. They were now on the very frontiers of Russia,
and Alexander was in the utmost terror. He saw already four hundred
thousand men ready to burst into his dominions, and as many more
following. He had only one hundred and forty thousand to oppose them;
he had no generals of mark or experience; confusion reigned everywhere.
In the utmost consternation he demanded an interview with Bernadotte,
now the sole hope of Europe, at Abo; and Bernadotte, who had his
objects to gain, took his time. When the Russian Ambassador, in great
trepidation, said to him that the Emperor waited for him, he rose, laid
his hand on his sword, and said, theatrically, "The Emperor waits!
Good! He who knows how to win battles may regard himself as the equal
of kings!"

Bernadotte took his time, and went. It was in March. At Abo, in
a solitary hut, he and Alexander met, and there the final ruin
of Napoleon was sketched out by a master's hand--that of his old
companion in arms. Bernadotte knew all the strength and weakness of
Napoleon; he had long watched the causes which would ultimately break
up the wonderful career of his victories. He listened to the fears
of Alexander, and bade him dismiss them. He told him that it was the
timidity of his opponents which had given to Napoleon the victories of
Austerlitz and Wagram; that, as regarded the present war, nothing could
equal his infatuated blindness; that, treating the wishes of Poland
with contempt, neglecting the palpably necessary measures of securing
his flanks by the alliance of Turkey and Sweden, east and west, he was
only rushing on suicide in the vast deserts five hundred miles from
his frontiers; that all that was necessary on the part of Russia was
to commence a war of devastation; to destroy all his resources, in the
manner of the ancient Scythians and Parthians; to pursue him everywhere
with a war of fanaticism and desolation; to admit of no peace till
he was driven to the left bank of the Rhine, where the oppressed and
vengeful nationalities would arise and annihilate him; that Napoleon,
so brilliant and bold in attack, would show himself incapable of
conducting a retreat of eight hours--a retreat would be the certain
signal of his ruin. If he approached St. Petersburg, he engaged for
himself to make a descent on France with fifty thousand men, and to
call on both the Republican and constitutional parties to arise and
liberate their country from the tyrant. Meanwhile, they must close the
passage of the Beresina against him, when they would inevitably secure
his person. They must then proclaim everywhere his death, and his whole
dynasty would go to pieces with far greater rapidity than it grew.

Every one knows how well these instructions were carried out; how the
final hope of Napoleon was destroyed by the conflagration of Moscow,
and the terrors of that fearful retreat, in which clouds of Cossacks,
mingling with those of the snow and hail, completed the most horrible
tragedy which the history of wars from the world's foundation contains;
with what consummate ability Bernadotte led his Swedes, through all the
great and eventful campaign of 1813, from Leipsic to Paris, and how he
received his reward--the possession of Norway, and a family compact
between himself and the Czar of Russia; while Denmark, with a fatal
blindness to the signs of the times, adhered to the falling power, and
became, like Saxony, dismembered and debilitated.

To any one viewing the situation of Buonaparte at this moment, it can
appear nothing but an act of madness to invade Russia. The British,
in Spain, were now defeating his best generals, and this would at an
earlier period have caused him to hasten to that country and endeavour
to settle the war in person. It is remarkable that he was not desirous
to cope with Wellington himself, all his ablest generals having failed.
But to leave such an enemy in his rear when he proceeded to the North,
impresses us with the idea that his enormous success had now turned his
head, and that the term of his career had been reached. Besides Spain,
too, there were Prussia and Austria, with whom it was only politic to
enter into some terms of security; for assuredly, if his arms suffered
a reverse in Russia, all these would rise and join his enemies.

The King of Prussia was anxious to unite with Russia, and to furnish
forty thousand men for the common defence. But all his strongest
garrisons were in the hands of France, and Alexander did not advise
him to subject his territories to the certain misery of being overrun
by the French till the contest in Russia was decided; for Alexander
meant to fall back during the early part of the campaign, and could,
therefore, lend no aid to Prussia. It was agreed, therefore, that
Prussia should afford the demanded twenty thousand men and sixty
pieces of artillery to the army of Napoleon, and act according to
circumstances. Prussia was also to furnish the French army with all
that it required during its march across it, the charge to be deducted
from the debt of Prussia to France.

Austria also furnished thirty thousand men, under Prince Schwarzenberg,
but with secret orders to do no more than just keep up appearances, as
Alexander had done during the campaign of Wagram. It was of the utmost
consequence that Turkey should have been conciliated by Napoleon.
Russia had long been ravaging the outlying provinces of that empire,
and nothing could have been more plain than the policy of engaging
Turkey against Russia at this crisis, to divide the latter's attention
by menacing its eastern boundaries. But Buonaparte ever since the
Treaty of Tilsit had been neglecting the Turks, to allow his ally,
Alexander, to make his aggressions on them, and now he altered his
plan too late. When he made overtures, so late as March of this year,
not only to put them in possession of Moldavia and Wallachia, but
to recover the Crimea for the Turks, on condition that they should
invade Russia from the east with a hundred thousand men, his offer
was rejected, the Porte having already been persuaded by the British
to make peace with Russia at Bucharest. Thus France, entering on this
great enterprise, left Spain and Sweden in open hostility, and carried
with her Austria and Prussia as very dubious allies. At the same time
the news arrived of the fall of Ciudad Rodrigo, in Spain, and, with
this, the certainty that Great Britain would do all in her power to
arouse and support the enemies of Napoleon in every quarter.

Under the influence of this persuasion, Buonaparte suddenly made
overtures of peace to Great Britain, though, on the conditions which
he proposed, they were certain to be rejected. The Duke of Bassano
wrote to Lord Castlereagh, offering to secure the independence of Spain
under the present reigning dynasty; that Portugal should continue
under the rule of the House of Braganza, and Naples under Murat. Lord
Castlereagh replied that if by the present reigning dynasty of Spain
was meant King Joseph, there could be no treaty, and there the matter
ended; for even Fouché says that Napoleon's Ministers were ashamed of
so clumsy a proposal of ignorance and bad faith. Failing with Great
Britain, Buonaparte turned to Russia herself, intimating a desire for
peace, but not finding it in his heart to offer any terms likely to be
accepted. In fact, he was now so demented by the ambition which meant
soon to destroy him, that he fancied that a mere mention of peace was
enough to win over any of his enemies in face of his vast armies.
Including the forces of his German and Italian subsidiaries, he had
on foot one million one hundred and eighty-seven thousand men. Of
these, he led four hundred and seventy thousand men into Russia. Italy,
Naples, Austria, Prussia, Würtemberg, Baden, Saxony, Westphalia, and
other Confederates of the Rhine furnished each from twenty thousand to
sixty thousand men. To swell up his French portion, he had called out
two conscriptions, each of a hundred thousand men, in one year, and
had organised a new system of conscription under the name of "National
Guards," which professedly were only to serve in France as a militia
but which were soon drafted off into foreign service. This consisted
of three levies, or bans--"the ban," "the second ban," and "the
arrière ban." They included all who were capable of bearing arms of
all classes. The ban was composed of youths from twenty to twenty-six
years of age; the second ban of men from twenty-six to forty, and the
arrière ban of those from forty to sixty. By such means was the native
population of France being rapidly drawn off into destruction by this
modern Moloch.

On receiving the Emperor Alexander's decisive reply that no terms could
be entered into with Napoleon till he had evacuated both Pomerania
and Prussia, Buonaparte--who professed to be greatly insulted by the
demand--immediately set out from Paris for the northern army, on
the 9th of May, and left his passports for the Russian Ambassador,
which were delivered two days afterwards. Buonaparte, accompanied by
Maria Louisa, proceeded immediately to Dresden, to which place he had
invited, or rather summoned, all his allied and vassal monarchs to meet
him. There, accordingly, were assembled the Emperor and Empress of
Austria--the Empress being the sister of the expelled Duke of Modena,
and mother-in-law of the Empress of the French,--the solitary King of
Prussia (whose queen had perished under the calumnies and insults of
Napoleon), and a crowd of lesser German monarchs. Whilst Napoleon was
playing the host to these crowned heads, and treating them to banquets,
plays, and operas, he was closeted with his cabinet, still planning
fresh humiliations for them when he had utterly extinguished Russia. He
declared to them that he should take Galicia from Austria, and Silesia
from Prussia. He summoned the Abbé de Pradt, now Archbishop of Malines,
and bade him go and promise the Poles the restoration of their kingdom,
so as to induce them to follow him in a mass to Russia. "I will," he
said, "put all Poland on horseback! I am on my way to Moscow. Two
battles there will do the business! I will burn Thoula! The Emperor
Alexander will come on his knees; and then Russia is disarmed. All is
ready, and only waits my presence. Moscow is the heart of their empire.
Besides, I make war at the expense of the blood of the Poles! I will
leave fifty thousand of my Frenchmen in Poland. I will convert Dantzic
into another Gibraltar."

In this wild but confident manner did this now pride-blinded man talk.
And all the time he had no intention whatever of re-establishing the
Poles; he meant only to use them. Once more, however, he sent General
Lauriston and the Count Narbonne to the Emperor Alexander at Wilna.
The pretext was to invite him to Dresden, "where," he said, "all
might be arranged;" the real object was to spy out the forces and
preparations of the Czar. Alexander refused to see Lauriston, and gave
to Narbonne a very curt and warlike answer. The French emissaries found
the Russians neither depressed nor elated, but quietly cheerful and

[Illustration: THE COSSACK'S CHALLENGE. (_See p._ 42.)]

Buonaparte put his enormous masses in motion. His object was to push
rapidly forward, and beat the Russians by one of those sudden and
decisive blows by which he had won all his victories. He expected
that he should not be able to supply his vast army with provisions
in Russia, and therefore he had had thousands of waggons and carts
prepared to draw his stores. He meant to seize one of the capitals of
the country--St. Petersburg or Moscow; and that, he quite imagined,
would finish the campaign, the Russians being then glad to capitulate;
and he resolved to concede no terms but such as should shut out the
Muscovites from Europe, and replace them with Poles. "Let us march!" he
said to his soldiers. "Let us cross the Niemen; let us carry war into
Russia. The war will be glorious; and the peace will terminate that
haughty influence which she has exercised for more than fifty years on
Europe." But his old general, Bernadotte, had foreseen and defeated his
plans. Alexander had commanded his generalissimo, Barclay de Tolly,
to show only so much opposition as should draw the French on into the
heart of Russia, and then--when they were exhausted by famine along a
line of desolation, and by their march--to harass them on all sides.
Should the French succeed in pressing so far, a Russian Torres Vedras
was prepared for them on the river Düna, at Drissa, so as to protect
St. Petersburg.

Of Napoleon's monster army, Marshal Macdonald commanded the left wing;
the Austrians were on the right under Schwarzenberg; and the main body
consisted of a succession of vast columns commanded by the most famous
French generals, including Bessières, Lefebvre, Mortier, Davoust,
Oudinot, Ney, Grouchy, King Jerome of Westphalia, Junot, Poniatowski,
Regnier, Eugene Viceroy of Italy, etc.; and Murat commanding all the
cavalry. Buonaparte led this centre of two hundred and fifty thousand
men with his Imperial Guard. To oppose this huge army, composed
of numbers and of officers such as the world had not seen before,
Alexander had about two hundred and sixty thousand men. He lay at
Wilna, with Barclay de Tolly and one hundred and twenty thousand men.
In different positions, more northwards, lay Count Essen, Prince
Bagration, the Hetman Platoff, with twelve thousand Cossacks; and,
watching the Austrian right in Volhynia, lay General Tormasoff, with
twenty thousand men. Advancing on them in three vast masses, the French
army approached the Niemen--the King of Westphalia directing his march
on Grodno, the Viceroy of Italy on Pilony, and Buonaparte himself on
Nagaraiski, three leagues beyond Kovno. On the 23rd of June the head of
Napoleon's column came upon the Niemen, and saw the other bank covered
with vast and gloomy forests. As the Emperor rode up to reconnoitre
this scene, his horse stumbled and threw him; and a voice, from the
crowd behind him, was heard saying, "A bad omen! A Roman would return!"
When the head of the column the next morning crossed the river, a
single Cossack issued from the solemn woods, and demanded their reason
for violating the Russian soil. The soldiers replied, "To beat you, and
take Wilna!" The Cossack disappeared, and left all solitary as before.
Three days were required to get the army across, and before they
could pitch their tents they were assailed by a violent thunderstorm,
accompanied by torrents of rain.

The Russians were seen to be falling back as they advanced, and
Buonaparte--impatient to overtake and rout them--pushed forward
his troops rapidly. On reaching the river Wilna it was found to be
swollen by the rain, and the bridges over it were demolished; but
Buonaparte ordered a body of Polish lancers to cross it by swimming.
They dashed into the torrent, and were swept away by it almost to a
man, and drowned before the eyes of the whole army. On the 28th of
June, however, Napoleon managed to reach Wilna, which Barclay de Tolly
had evacuated at his approach, and there he remained till the 16th of
July, for he had outmarched his supplies, few of his waggons having
even reached the Niemen, owing to the state of the country through
which they had to be dragged, and the Russians had taken care to carry
off or destroy all provisions for man and horse as they retreated.
His vast host began, therefore, at once to feel all the horrors of
famine, and of those other scourges that were soon to destroy them by
hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, the mission of the Abbé de Pradt to
Poland had failed. The abbé, believing in the reality of the promises
of Buonaparte, had faithfully executed his mission. The Poles met in
diet at Warsaw, and expressed their gratitude to the Emperor for his
grand design of restoring their nation. The country was all enthusiasm,
and a host of soldiers would soon have appeared to join his standard,
when Napoleon returned them an evasive answer, saying that he could
not do all that he wished, as he was under engagement to Austria
not to deprive her of Galicia. As to the provinces held by Russia,
he assured them that--provided they showed themselves brave in his
cause--"Providence would crown their good cause with success." This
positive information regarding Austria--this vague statement regarding
Russia, at once showed the hollow hypocrisy of the man, and from that
moment all faith was lost in him in Poland. To have restored Poland
was in the power of Buonaparte, and would have been the act of a great
man; but Buonaparte was not a great man, morally: he could not form
a noble design--he could form only a selfish one. But he immediately
felt the consequences of his base deceit. The Poles remained quiet; nor
did the people of Lithuania respond to his calls on them to rise in
insurrection against Russia. They saw that he had intended to deceive
the Poles, and they felt that, should he make peace with Russia, he
would at once sacrifice them. They were about to form a guard of
honour for him, but they instantly abandoned the design; and thus his
miserable policy destroyed all the effect which he contemplated from
the action of the nations on the Russian frontiers.

During the eighteen days that Buonaparte halted at Wilna he was
actively employed in endeavouring to cut asunder the Russian host.
Whilst Barclay de Tolly, under the Czar, commanded the main force,
which had now fallen back from Wilna to Drissa, Prince Bagration
was lying far to the south-east in Poland, at Volkovisk, with seven
thousand Cossacks under Platoff at Grodno, and another body of men
under Dorokhoff as far as Lida. Buonaparte ordered Murat, with his
cavalry, to drive the rear of the main Russian army in the direction
of Drissa. Murat was followed by a division of infantry, under Oudinot
and Ney, whilst the King of Westphalia was ordered to advance eastward
to cut off Bagration's division from all chance of junction with De
Tolly, and Davoust was to attack him in the rear. He himself proposed
to push forward between these bodies towards Vitebsk, and thus threaten
both St. Petersburg and Moscow. By this arrangement he made himself
sure of destroying Bagration's division, or compelling it to surrender.
But contrary to his wont, Buonaparte was found not to advance with his
usual rapidity; and the fact was that there were sufficient reasons
for the delay. His supplies had failed already. The country, already
impoverished by a bad harvest in the preceding year, was swept by the
Russians of all possible provisions; and the vast horde of French,
Germans, and Italians now advanced treading down the unripe corn of the
present. Owing to the state of the roads, flooded by torrents of rain,
the provision-waggons could not get along. Twenty thousand sick men had
to be left behind wherever they could, for they had no good hospitals;
and, in crossing Lithuania, one hundred thousand men fell from fatigue,
from exhaustion, from surprises by the Cossacks, and from diseases
which they brought with them.

Bagration, prevented by Jerome of Westphalia from pursuing his route
towards Drissa, changed his course towards Minsk; but finding himself
outstripped there too, he made for the Beresina, and effected a
passage at Bobruisk. He then ascended the Dnieper as far as Mohilev;
but, finding himself anticipated by Davoust, he attacked that general
in the hope of cutting his way through. In this he failed, after
a sharply-contested engagement, and once more he retired down the
Dnieper, and crossed at Nevoi-Bikoff, which enabled him to pursue his
course for a union with Barclay de Tolly, who was making for Smolensk.
Thus Bagration, though running imminent hazard of being cut off,
managed to out-manœuvre Napoleon himself--a new event in his campaigns.
On his march, his troops had several encounters with the French and
Polish cavalry; but Platoff showed great gallantry, and often severely
punished the enemy.

On the other hand, Barclay de Tolly, anxious to unite with Bagration
and reach Smolensk, abandoned the strong encampment at Drissa, leaving
Wittgenstein near there to watch the enemy and cover the road to St.
Petersburg. The French pursued him with great rapidity, which, though
it endangered his immediate union with Bagration at Vitebsk, yet served
the Russian policy of drawing the enemy into the interior. Murat
continually rushed forward with his cavalry to attack the rear-guard
of De Tolly; but the Russian infantry maintained steady order, and
continually withdrew before him. Every evening he was close upon them;
every morning he found himself again distanced. The Russians appeared
in full vigour, and well supplied with everything; the French were
sinking with famine and fatigue. At Polotsk the Emperor Alexander left
De Tolly, and hastened on to Moscow to prepare the inhabitants for that
grand catastrophe which he already foresaw, and had resolved upon.

On the 14th of July, when Barclay de Tolly was close pressed by
Napoleon, he learned that though Bagration had been repulsed at
Mohilev, he was now advancing on Smolensk; he therefore himself again
retreated before the French towards Vitebsk. At that town he had a
partial engagement with the French; but he quitted it in good order.
Here Murat and most of the other general officers entreated Napoleon
to close the campaign for this year; but he refused. The soldiers were
dispirited by this continual pursuit without result; Murat himself was
heartily sick of endeavouring to get a dash at the enemy and being
as constantly foiled; King Jerome had been disgraced and sent back
to his Westphalian dominions, on the charge of having let Bagration
escape by want of sufficient energy; and Wittgenstein had, to the great
disgust of Napoleon, on the 2nd of July, crossed the river, surprised
Sebastiani's vanguard of cavalry in Drissa, and completely routed
them. These things had embittered Buonaparte; and if he ever intended
to encamp for the winter at Vitebsk, he now abandoned the idea with
indignation. It was still midsummer; the enemy had so far eluded him;
he had not been able to strike one of his usual great blows and send
terror before him. He was impatient of a pause. "Surrounded," says
Ségur, "by disapproving countenances, and opinions contrary to his own,
he was moody and irritable. All the officers of his household opposed
him, some with arguments, some with entreaties, some--as Berthier--even
with tears; but he exclaimed, 'Did they think he was come so far
only to conquer a parcel of wretched huts? that he had enriched his
generals too much; that all to which they now aspired was to follow
the pleasures of the chase, and to display their splendid equipages in
Paris. We must,' he said, 'advance upon Moscow, and strike a blow, in
order to obtain peace, or winter-quarters and supplies.'"

De Tolly halted at Rudnia, half way between Vitebsk and Smolensk,
and there was considerable manœuvring between the rival generals to
surprise one another, but this resulted in nothing but the loss of
several days. On the 14th of August they arrived at the Dnieper, and
Murat dashed across and attacked the rear-guard of the Russians on
the opposite bank. Newerowskoi, the general in command, stood his
ground well, and then made a good retreat to Smolensk. His retreat was
reckoned an advantage on the part of the French; and as it happened to
be Buonaparte's birthday, and the anniversary of the canonisation of
St. Napoleon--whom Buonaparte had had made a saint,--a hundred guns
were fired in commemoration. On the 15th Buonaparte pressed after the
Russians towards Smolensk. The united Russian army now amounted to
one hundred and eighty thousand men, and Buonaparte had already lost
one-third of his active force. Barclay de Tolly, therefore, appeared
here to make a stand, much to the delight of Buonaparte, who cried out,
exultingly, "Now I have them!"

But De Tolly was only remaining to defend the town whilst the
inhabitants carried off with them their movable property. Whilst on
the side of Smolensk, when Buonaparte arrived, all was silent, and the
fields were empty, on the other side it was one vast crowd of people
moving away with their effects. Buonaparte hoped that the Russians
would deploy before the gates, and give him battle; but they did
nothing of the sort, and he determined to storm the place. Its walls
were old but very thick, and it might hold out some time, and the
assault must cost many lives; but Buonaparte determined to make it. The
French, however, learned that the Russians were already in retreat;
and Murat observed that to waste these lives was worse than useless,
as the city would be theirs without a blow immediately. Buonaparte
replied in an insulting manner to Murat, and ordered the assault the
next morning. On this, Murat, driven to fury, spurred his horse to the
banks of the Dnieper, in the face of the enemy, between batteries, and
stood there as voluntarily courting death. Belliard called out to him
not to sacrifice himself--he only pushed on still nearer to the fire of
the Russian guns, and was forced from the scene by the soldiers. The
storming commenced, and Tolly defended the place vigorously, killing
four or five thousand of the French as they advanced to the attack.

But Tolly did not mean to remain longer than was necessary for the
inhabitants to have made a safe distance; he was afraid of Napoleon
making a flank movement and cutting off his way to Moscow. In the night
fires broke out all over Smolensk: they could not be the effect only of
the French shells; and Buonaparte sat watching them till morning. Soon
bridges, houses, church spires, all of wood, were enveloped in roaring
flames. The next day, the 18th of August, the French entered the place
whilst it was still burning around them. The dead, half consumed, lay
around the smoking ruins; and the French army marched through this
ghostly scene with military music playing, but with hearts struck with
consternation and despair at this proof of the inveterate determination
of the Russians to destroy their whole country rather than suffer it to
be conquered. Here they were left without shelter, without provisions,
without hospitals for the sick, or dressings for the wounded, without
a single bed where a man might lie down to die; and all before them
was the same. The Cossacks beset the flanks of march, and burnt down
all villages, and laid waste all fields ere the French could reach
them. Again the officers entreated that they might form an encampment
and remain; but Buonaparte replied still, "They must make all haste to

From Riga Buonaparte learned that Macdonald maintained the blockade,
thus keeping Courland in awe, and alarming St. Petersburg; that St.
Cyr, more to the south, had compelled Wittgenstein, after a severe
battle at Polotsk, to assume the defensive; and that Regnier had
defeated Tormasoff at Gorodeczna, in Poland. But Tormasoff fell back
on the Moldavian army, commanded by Admiral Tchitchigoff; and General
Steingel was marching with the army of Finland to join Wittgenstein.
These distinct successes, therefore, were but of small moment in
comparison with the lowering prospects before him.

Napoleon dispatched Murat with his cavalry, Junot, Ney, and Davoust,
in pursuit of the Russians, whom they overtook at a place called
Valoutina, where a desperate battle was fought, and many men were
killed on both sides; but the Russians moved off again without the
loss of guns, prisoners, or baggage. Buonaparte, on proceeding to the
spot, blamed Junot, imputing to him want of activity in the action,
and threatening to deprive him of his command. The whole road between
Smolensk and Valoutina was strewn with the dead and wounded; and as
he entered the city on his return, he met whole tumbrils of amputated
limbs going to be thrown away at a distance. The scene is said to have
overcome even his senses, so long hardened to human suffering. On
the 24th of August he marched forward to Gjatsk, where his advanced
guard had halted. There he learned, to his great satisfaction, from
a Frenchman long resident in Russia, that the people and the new
levies, impatient of continual retreat and the ravage of their country,
had demanded that Barclay de Tolly, a German, whom they imagined not
sufficiently careful of Russian property and interests, should be
superseded by the old general, Kutusoff, and that they should stand and
fight. This was precisely what Buonaparte wanted, and the prudent De
Tolly knew to be little better than madness, as it must cause a fearful
loss of life, and would not rid the country of the invader, who was
better left to starvation and the elements. But Alexander, though of
De Tolly's opinion, gave way, and the Russians entrenched themselves
on the heights of Borodino, De Tolly most magnanimously continuing to
serve under Kutusoff. There, after a march of two hundred and eighty
versts in seventeen days, the French came up with them; and, after a
halt of two days, they attacked the Russian lines.

[Illustration: THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW. (_After the Picture by

This most bloody of battles took place on the 7th of September.
There were about one hundred and twenty thousand men engaged on each
side, and the guns on each side are said to have amounted to one
thousand. Before the battle, the priests passed along the ranks of
the Russians, reminding them of the wrongs they had suffered, and
promising paradise to all that fell. Buonaparte, on his side, issued
this proclamation:--"Soldiers! here is the battle you have longed for!
It is necessary, for it brings us plenty, good winter-quarters, and a
safe return to France. Behave yourselves so that posterity may say of
you--'He was in that great battle under the walls of Moscow.'" It was
rather a damping circumstance that the day before the battle Buonaparte
received the news of Wellington's victory at Salamanca. The battle
commenced at seven o'clock in the morning, and continued the greater
part of the day, the Russians, even to the newest levies, fighting with
the most immovable courage. Buonaparte demanded of Caulaincourt whether
the Russians were determined to conquer or die? He replied that they
had been fanaticised by their leaders, and would be killed rather than
surrender. Buonaparte then ordered up every possible gun, on his plan
of battering an army as he would batter a fortress. Still the Russians
fought on furiously, and Berthier urged him to call up his "young
Guard." But he replied, "And if there is another battle to-morrow,
where is my army?"

At length the firing mutually ceased, but the Russians did not quit
their position; it was the French who drew off, and their outposts,
during the following night, were alarmed by the Russian cavalry. The
Russians had fifteen thousand killed and thirty thousand wounded; the
French ten thousand killed and above twenty thousand wounded, and of
these latter very few recovered, for they were destitute of almost
every hospital necessary, even lint. The Russians made one thousand
prisoners and the French about two thousand. The loss of guns on either
side was nearly equal. Had the battle been resumed the next day it
must have gone hard with the French; but Kutusoff was not willing to
make such another sacrifice of his men, and he resumed the policy of
De Tolly and made his retreat, continuing it to Moscow in so masterly
a manner, that he left neither dead, nor dying, nor wounded, nor any
article of his camp equipage behind him, so that the French were at
a loss to know where he had really gone. On the 12th they learned,
however, that he had retreated to Moscow, and Buonaparte instantly
resumed his march. At Krymskoi Murat and Mortier came upon a strong
body of Russians, and were repulsed, with the loss of two thousand men.
The Russian rear-guard then hastened on again towards Moscow.

There, a council of war was called, and it was debated whether they
should make a stand there or not. The conclusion was that they should
not, but should abandon the sacred city--the Jerusalem of Russia--to
the enemy, and, there can now be little doubt, to the flames.
Rostopchin, the governor of the city, had for some time been preparing
for the grand catastrophe. Under pretence of pouring down liquid fire
on the French from a monster balloon, he had employed great numbers
of women in making such a balloon, and men in preparing fireworks and
combustibles--the accumulation of the latter being his real object.

On the 14th of September the Russian army filed through the streets
of their beloved but doomed city, with sad looks, furled banners, and
silent drums, and went out at the Kolomna gate. The population followed
them. Rostopschin had encouraged vast numbers already to transplant
all their wealth and stores from the place, and, as his last act, he
called up two prisoners--a Russian traitor, and a Frenchman who had
dropped hostile expressions. The Russian he ordered, with the consent
of the culprit's own father, to be put to death; the Frenchman he
set at liberty, telling him to go to Buonaparte and say that but one
traitor had been found in Russia, and him he had seen cut to pieces.
Rostopschin then mounted his horse and rode after his countrymen,
having first ordered all the gaols to be set open, and their wretched
inhabitants to be allowed to make their escape.

On the 14th of September the French army came in sight of Moscow, and
the soldiers, worn down and miserable with their long and severe march,
shouted with joy, "Moscow! Moscow!" They rushed up the hill called
the Mount of Salvation, because there the natives coming in full view
of the city kneel and cross themselves. There the splendid spectacle
of the widely-spread ancient capital lay before their eyes, with its
spires of thirty churches, its palaces of Eastern architecture, and
its copper domes glittering in the sun. Interspersed were beautiful
gardens, and masses of noble trees, and the gigantic palace of the
Kremlin rising above in colossal bulk. All were struck with admiration
of the place which had so long been the goal of their wishes. Napoleon
himself sat on his horse surveying it, and exclaimed, "Behold at last
that celebrated city!" But he immediately added, in an under-tone, "It
was full time!" He expected to see trains of nobles come out to throw
themselves at his feet and offer submission; but no one appeared, and
not a sign of life presented itself, no smoke from a single chimney,
not a man on the walls. It looked like a city of the dead. The mystery
was soon solved by Murat, who had pushed forward, sending word that
the whole population had abandoned Moscow! Two hundred and fifty
thousand people had forsaken their home in a mass! The tidings struck
the invader with wonder and foreboding; but he added, smiling grimly,
"The Russians will soon learn better the value of their capital." He
appointed Mortier governor of the place, with strict orders that any
man who plundered should be shot; he calculated on Moscow as their home
for the winter--the pledge of peace with Alexander--the salvation of
his whole army. But the troops poured into the vast, deserted city,
and began everywhere helping themselves, whilst the officers selected
palaces and gardens for residences at pleasure.

Buonaparte took up his residence at a palace in the suburbs. In the
night there was an alarm of fire; it broke out in the quarter full
of bazaars and coachmakers' factories. Napoleon rushed to the spot,
and the flames were extinguished by the exertions of the soldiers.
The next day all was quiet, and such French as lived in Moscow came
out of their hiding-places and joined their countrymen. The following
night the fires burst forth again. At first the conflagration had
been attributed to accident; now it was felt to be the result of
design, and Russians were seen fanatically hurrying from place to place
with combustibles in their hands--the preparations of Rostopschin.
Buonaparte during the day had taken possession of the Kremlin, and it
was in imminent danger. When the fire was discovered near it, it came
with the wind; it was extinguished, but the wind changed, and fire rose
on that side, and again blew towards the palace. This occurred several
times during the night; it was clear that there was a determined
resolve to burn down the Kremlin. The flames defied all the efforts of
the soldiers; they hunted down, according to Napoleon's twenty-first
bulletin, no less than three hundred incendiaries, and shot them on the
spot. These were armed with fusees six inches long, and inflammables,
which they threw on the roofs. Buonaparte, who that day had dispatched
a letter to Alexander proposing peace, was in the utmost agitation.
He walked to and fro in distraction. "These are indeed Scythians!"
he exclaimed. The equinoctial gales rose in all their wild fury.
Providence commenced its Nemesis. The Kremlin was on fire, and all was
raging fire around it; churches, palaces, streets, mostly of wood, were
roaring in the storm. It was with difficulty that Buonaparte could be
induced to leave the Kremlin, and as he did so he said gloomily, "This
bodes us great misfortunes." He began to foresee all the horrors which

The fire raged with unabated fury from the 14th till the 19th--five
days. Then the city lay a heap of burning ashes. All the wealth which
was left behind was burnt or melted down. But there could be no stay
at Moscow, for all their provisions had to be brought from distant
districts by water carriage in summer, and on sledges in winter. But,
as the Russian population had fled, the Russians were only too glad
to starve out the French. Not a single article of food came near the
place. Alexander returned no answer to Buonaparte's letter. The pledge
which he might have made some concessions to redeem had been destroyed
by his own orders, and Buonaparte had now nothing to offer worthy of
his attention. He and his army were awaiting the attack of the wintry
elements to join them in the extermination of the invaders. Buonaparte
dispatched General Lauriston to Alexander with fresh offers; but
Alexander refused to see him, and turned him over to Kutusoff, who
flattered him with hopes and professions of desire for peace, in order
to put off the time, for every day nearer to winter was a day gained
of incalculable importance. But he said that he must send Napoleon's
letter to St. Petersburg, to the Czar, and await his reply. This was
on the 6th of October, and the reply could not be received before the
26th; there was nothing for it but to wait, and Lauriston waited--a
fatal delay for the French!

Kutusoff had made a dexterous march and encamped at Taroutino, a strong
position near Kaluga, between Moscow and Poland, so as to be able to
cut off the retreat of the French into the fertile plains of Poland,
and to cover Kaluga and Tula, the great Russian manufactory of arms and
artillery. Buonaparte sent Murat with the cavalry to watch the camp of
Kutusoff, and the King of Naples established himself in front of the
Russian lines. Murat entered into a sort of armistice with Kutusoff
whilst waiting for the reply from Alexander, in the hope that thus they
should obtain supplies from the peasants; but neither food nor firing
was obtainable except by fighting for it, nor was the armistice at
all observed, except just in the centre, where Murat lay. From every
quarter Cossacks continued to collect to the Russian army--strange,
wild figures, on small, wild-looking horses with long manes and tails,
evidently drawn from the very extremities of the empire. All Russia
was assembling to the grand destruction of the invaders. Behind the
camp the French could hear the continued platoon-firing, indicating the
perpetual drilling of the peasantry that was going on. Other bodies of
peasants formed themselves into troops of guerillas, under the chiefs
of their neighbourhood. The whole of the Russian population since the
burning of Moscow had become grimly embittered, and had taken arms to
have a share in the mighty revenge that was coming. And now, as the
sudden descent of winter was at hand, the same men who had pretended
to admire the soldier-like figure and gallantry of Murat--who galloped
about in all his military finery in front of the Russian camp--began to
ask the officers if they had made a paction with winter. "Stay another
fortnight," they said, "and your nails will drop off, and your fingers
from your hands, like rotten boughs from a tree." Others asked if they
had no food, nor water, nor wood, nor ground to bury them in France,
that they had come so far?

Murat sent continual intelligence of these things to Napoleon, and
urged him to commence his retreat without another day's delay. But, as
if deprived of sense and spirit, Buonaparte continued to linger on in
Moscow, vainly hoping for the answer from Alexander, which never came,
for the Czar not only refused to read the letter of the French Emperor,
but snubbed Kutusoff for sending it to him, or receiving Lauriston for
a moment. Sometimes Napoleon resolved to make an entrenched camp of
Moscow, and pass the winter there, but then came the recollection that
he could procure no provisions. Then, when he resolved upon retreat,
he could not renounce his old habit of plundering the country that he
invaded, collecting all the pictures, images, and ornaments of the
churches which had escaped the fire, and loading them on wains. He had
the gigantic cross on the tower of Ivan the Great, the tallest steeple
of Moscow, taken down, vainly hoping to display these memorials of
his visit to Moscow with the other spoils of the nations in Paris. He
determined to drag away all his artillery with him, and ordered twenty
thousand horses to be bought for the purpose of trailing all this
encumbrance over a vast marsh, where all the Cossacks and fierce tribes
of Russia would dog his heels, and where winter was sure to prostrate
his hosts. But no horses were there, and the command was sheer madness.

But at length the thunder of the Russian cannon roused him from this
delirious dreaming. Kutusoff, inducing Murat by a stratagem to declare
the armistice at an end, attacked his position and defeated him, with
a loss of two thousand men killed, and one thousand five hundred taken
prisoners. He took his cannon and baggage, and drove him from his
entrenchments. The only food found in the French camp was horseflesh
and flayed cats; the King of Naples had no better for his table--thus
showing the miserable straits to which they were reduced. On the 19th
of October Buonaparte marched out of Moscow, leaving, however, a strong
garrison in the Kremlin, under Mortier, for it would appear that he
still intended to return thither. The army which followed him still
consisted of nearly one hundred and twenty thousand men, accompanied
by five hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, and two thousand artillery
waggons. Buonaparte spoke with affected cheerfulness to his generals,
saying that he would march by Kaluga to the frontiers of Poland,
where they would go into comfortable winter quarters. After the army
came another host of camp-followers of French who had been resident
at Moscow but dared not remain behind, and a vast train of carriages
loaded with baggage and the spoils of Moscow.

[Illustration: RETREAT OF THE FRENCH FROM RUSSIA. (_See p._ 50.)]

Buonaparte endeavoured to manœuvre so as to get into Kutusoff's rear,
and thus to have the way into the fertile provinces beyond him open.
He sent forward Delzon to occupy Maloi-Jaroslavitz, a very strong
position; but Kutusoff penetrated his design, made a rapid march, and
encountered Delzon in the very streets of Maloi-Jaroslavitz. A severe
battle took place, and the French finally recovered Maloi-Jaroslavitz,
but only to find it, like Moscow, in flames, and to lose Delzon and his
brother, as well as some thousands of men. Beyond the burning town they
also saw Kutusoff and one hundred thousand men drawn up in a position
which the French generals declared impregnable. Buonaparte received
this information with expressions of consternation unusual to him. He
determined the next morning to examine this position for himself, and
in so doing was very nearly captured by a band of Cossack cavalry. A
council of war was held in a wretched weaver's hut, and he reluctantly
concluded to forego this route, and take that by Vereiva and Viasma,
the same by which he had advanced on Moscow. This was, in fact, to
doom his army to perdition; for all the way by Borodino, Smolensk, and
Vitebsk, the country had been ravaged and desolated in coming; there
was nothing in it to keep alive an army. Had he waited only a few
hours, he would have found Kutusoff himself retreating from his strong
defiles from fear of being outflanked by the French, and their making
their way beyond him to the fertile provinces. Thus the two armies were
each in retreat at the same moment, but Buonaparte's was a retreat upon
death and horror.

At Vereiva, where Buonaparte halted on the 27th of October, Mortier
arrived from Moscow, having blown up the Kremlin with gunpowder, and
with it a crowd of Russians who had rushed in at the moment of his
evacuation. Mortier on his march had also surprised and captured
General Winzengerode. From this place Buonaparte issued a bulletin,
announcing that not only Moscow but the Kremlin was destroyed; that
the two hundred thousand inhabitants of Moscow were wandering in the
woods existing on roots; and that the French army was advancing towards
St. Petersburg with every means of success. Such was the audacity of
lying by which he hoped to conceal the truth from Paris. At this moment
he was exasperated almost to frenzy by his prospects, and since the
defeat of Maloi-Jaroslavitz he had been gloomy and unapproachable from
the violence of his temper. On the march the army passed with horror
the field of Borodino. "The ground," says Segur, "was covered with
fragments of helmets and cuirasses, broken drums, gun-stocks, tatters
of uniforms, and standards steeped in blood. On this desolate spot lay
thirty thousand half devoured corpses. A number of skeletons, left on
the summit of one of the hills, overlooked the whole. It seemed as if
here death had fixed his empire. The cry, 'It is the field of the great
battle!' found a long and doleful murmur. Napoleon passed quickly; no
one stopped; cold, hunger, and the enemy urged us on. We merely turned
our faces as we proceeded to take a last melancholy look at our late
companions in arms."

On the 6th of November came down that fierce Russian winter of which
Buonaparte had been so long vainly warned. A thick fog obscured
everything, and snow falling in heavy flakes blinded and chilled the
soldiers. Then commenced wild winds, driving the snow around their
heads in whirls, and even dashing them to the earth in their fury.
The hollows and ravines were speedily drifted full, and the soldiers
by thousands disappeared in the deceitful depths, to reappear no more
till the next summer revealed their corpses. Numbers of others fell
exhausted by the way, and could only be discovered by their following
comrades by the slight hillocks that their bodies made under the snow.
Thus the wretched army struggled and stumbled to Smolensk, only to
find famine and desolation, seeming to forget, in the mere name of a
town, that it was now but a name, having been burnt by the Russians.
On commencing this terrible march of the 6th of November Buonaparte
received the ill news that there was insurrection in Paris--that
produced by Mallet, but soon put down; and also that Wittgenstein
had driven St. Cyr from Polotsk and Vitebsk, and reoccupied the
whole course of the Düna. To clear his retreat of this obstruction,
Buonaparte dispatched Victor to repulse Wittgenstein and support
St. Cyr. But this was only part of the evil tidings which came in
simultaneously with winter. Two thousand recruits from France, under
Baraguay d'Hilliers, had been surprised and taken prisoners on the
road to Kaluga, and other detachments in other quarters. On arriving
at Smolensk Buonaparte's troops had acquired such a wild, haggard, and
ragged appearance that the garrison at first refused to admit them;
and many perished before they could be relieved from the stores. They
had no shelter amid the terrible frost but wretched sheds, reared from
half-burnt timber, against the fire-blackened walls.

Meanwhile the second and rear divisions of the army under Davoust and
Ney were labouring hard to reach Smolensk, assailed by all the horrors
of the season, and of the myriad Russians collected around them, who
killed all who straggled or fell behind from fatigue and starvation.
The rearguard of Ney suffered most of all, for it was not only more
completely exposed to the raids of the Cossacks and of the enraged
peasants, but they found every house on their way burnt, and nothing
around them but treeless, naked plains, over which the freezing winds
and the hurrahing Cossacks careered in deadly glee. At the passage
of the Dnieper, it was only by stupendous exertions that Ney saved
any part of his army. He lost many men, and much of his artillery.
On the 13th of November, as he approached Smolensk, he was appalled
by the apparition of the remains of the army of Italy pursued by a
cloud of Cossacks, who were hewing them down by thousands. Eugene,
the Viceroy of Italy, had been sent with this division on a northward
route to support Oudinot, who was retreating before Wittgenstein; but
he had found it impossible to reach Oudinot, and had again made for
Smolensk. His passage of the river Vop had been no less destructive
than the passage of the Dnieper by Ney. He had lost all his baggage
and twenty-three pieces of cannon and was only saved by the fortunate
arrival of Ney.

Buonaparte allowed his army, now reunited in Smolensk, five days' rest
and enjoyment of the stores there, and on the 14th of November he
again marched out to force his way into Poland. The second division,
under Davoust, followed on the 16th, and the rear, still under Ney,
on the 17th. The worn-down Italians of Prince Eugene could not move
till the 15th, and did not overtake Buonaparte and assume their proper
position till the 17th. The road which Buonaparte was taking was by
Wilna, Krasnoi, and Borissov to Minsk; at the last two places he had
his stores. But his way was now hemmed in on all sides by Russian
armies. Wittgenstein was already at Vitebsk, and thence advanced on
Borissov on the Beresina, where Buonaparte hoped to cross; whilst
Tchitchagoff, who had joined Tormasoff, and thus raised their force
to sixty thousand men, had driven the Austrians, under Schwarzenberg,
back on the Bug, and had taken Minsk on the very day that Napoleon
marched out of Smolensk. At the same time Kutusoff, with the grand army
of Russia, was marching in a parallel line on the left flank of the
Emperor, ready to fall on him whenever he was reduced to extremities by
the other converging Russian forces. Now was coming the grand crisis.
The elements were fighting fearfully against him; his men were wearied,
half-starved, and disheartened; his enemies on all sides were alert
with hope and revenge. Had Kutusoff used more alertness, and secured
the passage of the Beresina as it ought to have been secured, the event
which Bernadotte had planned must have taken place, and Buonaparte,
with the remainder of his army, must have remained a prisoner there.

As it was, the extreme caution of Kutusoff saved Buonaparte and the
little remnant of his army that ever reached France again. Buonaparte
left Smolensk with only forty thousand, instead of four hundred and
seventy thousand men, which he had on entering Russia, and a great
part of the Italian division of Eugene was cut off by the Russians
before the Viceroy could come up with Buonaparte. Napoleon, therefore,
halted at Krasnoi, to allow of the two succeeding divisions coming up;
but Kutusoff took this opportunity to fall on Buonaparte's division,
consisting of only fifteen thousand men, and attacked it in the rear
by cannon placed on sledges, which could be brought rapidly up and as
rapidly made to fall back.

Sir Robert Wilson, the British Commissioner, urged Kutusoff, indeed,
to make one general and determined attack on Buonaparte and this
small body before the other divisions could come up; and there
can be no doubt that, had he done so, he would have destroyed the
division utterly, and made himself master of Napoleon's person. But
though Kutusoff had fought the battle of Borodino, he had now grown
over-cautious, and did not do that which it was the plan of Barclay de
Tolly, whom he superseded, to do when the right moment came. Whilst
Kutusoff was thus timidly cannonading, the division of Davoust came
up, and he retired, allowing both Buonaparte and Davoust to secure
themselves in Krasnoi. As for Ney, he was left behind wholly surrounded
by the Russians who had harassed the rear of Davoust, and were thus
interposed between Davoust and himself, as well as swarming on his own
flanks and rear. Napoleon could not wait for him, even at Krasnoi. He
learned that the Russians were drawing fast towards his crossing-places
at the Dnieper and the Beresina; that Prince Galitzin with a strong
force was about to occupy Krasnoi; that the Dnieper at Liady would be
immediately in the hands of the enemy. He therefore called Mortier,
and squeezing his hand sorrowfully told him that he had not a moment
to lose; that the enemy were overwhelming him in all directions; that
Kutusoff might have already reached Liady, perhaps Orcha, and the last
winding of the Dnieper was yet before him. Then, with his heart full of
Ney's misfortunes, he withdrew, in despair at being forced to abandon
him, towards Liady. He marched on foot at the head of his Guard, and
often talked of Ney. He called to mind his _coup-d'œil_, so accurate
and true, his courage, proof against everything--in short, all the
qualities which made him so brilliant on the field of battle. "He is
lost! Well! I have three hundred millions in the Tuileries; I would
give them all were he restored to me!"

And, in truth, Ney was in the most terrible of situations. When he left
Smolensk he was at the head of eight thousand men, but followed by
an army of stragglers, whom the cannon of Platoff caused to evacuate
Smolensk instantly, leaving behind him five thousand sick and wounded.
When they reached the battle-field of Krasnoi they saw the carcases of
their late comrades lying in heaps on the ground, and, a little beyond,
the Russians in full force occupying the banks of the Losmina, and
crowding all the hills around. In spite of this, Ney endeavoured to
cut his way through, but failed, after a dreadful slaughter, and only
saved one thousand five hundred men of his whole force by retreating
and taking another route to the river, where he lost all his baggage,
and such sick as he brought with him, for the ice broke with their
weight. Pursued by the Cossacks, he came up with Davoust's division
on the 20th of November. "When Napoleon," says Segur, "heard that Ney
had reappeared, he leaped and shouted for joy, saying, 'Then I have
saved my eagles! I would have given three hundred millions sooner than
have lost him.'" The losses which troubled Napoleon were those which
endangered his own safety or reputation; he thought little of the
hundreds of thousands who had perished through this mad expedition; but
he rejoiced over the safety of Ney, because he deemed it a pledge that
his own escape was also assured.

Napoleon's grand army had now dwindled down to twelve thousand men,
with about thirty thousand stragglers, who added little to his
strength. They were in Poland, and provisions were now more abundant;
but they had still to cross the Beresina, and at this moment he heard
of the fall of Minsk, and that Victor and Oudinot, instead of attacking
Wittgenstein, had quarrelled about the manner of doing it, and so had
not done it at all. Wittgenstein and Kutusoff were thus at liberty
to attack his flanks, and Tchitchagoff to occupy the Beresina before
him. On this, he turned from the route to Minsk and made for Borissov.
At Borissov was a bridge of three hundred fathoms in length, and
this he had sent Dombrowski to secure and hold; but now he heard of
Dombrowski's defeat, that the bridge was in the hands of the Russians,
and that they had broken it down. In his agony, he stamped his cane on
the ground, and exclaimed, looking upwards--"Is it, then, written that
we shall commit nothing but errors?"

Here he heard his faithful servants, Duroc and Daru, whispering, as
they thought he slept, of their critical situation, and caught the
words "prisoner of State." On this, he started up, and demanded whether
the reports of his Ministers were yet burnt, and being answered in
the negative, he had both them and all documents which could give
information of his affairs to the enemy put into the fire. Segur says
that amongst these were materials for writing his life, for, like
Cæsar, he had determined to be his own historian. In tracing the map
for a passage over the Beresina, his eye caught the word Pultowa, and
he said, "Ah! Charles XII.--Pultowa!"

The crossing of the Beresina, in the circumstances, was a desperate
design, but there was no alternative but surrender. Tchitchagoff
was posted with his army on the opposite or left bank; Wittgenstein
and Platoff were pressing down to join them; and Kutusoff, with the
grand army of Russia, was in the rear, able, if he could have been
induced to do it, to drive Buonaparte and his twelve thousand men
into the Beresina, and destroy them. After reconnoitring the river
Napoleon determined to deceive Tchitchagoff by a feint at passing at
Borissov, but really to make the attempt at Studienka, above Borissov.
He therefore kept up a show of preparations to cross at Borissov,
but got ready two bridges at Studienka, one for the artillery and
baggage, the other for the troops and miscellaneous multitude. At this
juncture he was joined by Victor and Oudinot with their fifty thousand
men well provided with everything. Thus he was now possessed of
sixty-two thousand men besides stragglers; and his design of deceiving
Tchitchagoff succeeding so completely that the latter withdrew his
whole force from opposite to Studienka and concentrated it at Borissov,
he began on the 26th of November to cross the river, and had a strong
force already over before Tchitchagoff discovered his error and came
back to attack him. So far all went so well that Buonaparte again
boasted of his star.

But whilst Tchitchagoff attacked the French on the right bank,
Wittgenstein attacked them on the left. The Russians then threw
a bridge of pontoons over the river at Borissov, and, being in
communication, attacked the French vehemently on both sides of the
river at once. Buonaparte and the troops who were over the river
forced their way across some marshes over wooden bridges, which the
Russians had neglected to destroy, and reached Brelowa, a little above
Borissov on the other side. But terrible now was the condition of
the forces and the camp-followers who had not crossed. Wittgenstein,
Victor, and Oudinot were engaged in mortal combat on the left bank at
the approach of the bridge, the French generals endeavouring to beat
off the Russians as the troops and people pressed in a confused crowd
over the bridges. Every moment the Russians drove the French nearer to
the bridges, and the scene of horror became indescribable. The throngs
rushed to make their way over the bridge; the soldiers, forgetting
their discipline, added to the confusion. The weak and helpless were
trampled down; thousands were forced over the sides of the bridge, and
perished in the freezing waters. In the midst of the struggle a fierce
tempest arose, and deluges of rain fell; and to carry the horror to the
highest pitch, the bridge over which the baggage was passing broke
down, plunging numbers of sick, and women and children, into the flood,
amid the most fearful cries and screams. But all night the distracted
multitude continued to press over the sole remaining bridge under the
fire of the Russian artillery, and amongst them passed the troops of
Victor, who gave up the contest on the left bank, and left those who
had not crossed to their fate. Thousands of poor wretches were seen, as
morning dawned, huddled on the bank of the river, amid baggage-waggons
and artillery, surrounded by the infuriated Russians, and in dumb
despair awaiting their fate. To prevent the crossing of the Russians,
the French set fire to the bridge, and left those behind to the mercy
of the enemy.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON ABANDONING HIS ARMY. (_See p._ 54.)]

No scene in history ever was fraught with such multiplied horrors.
Thirty thousand French perished in that fatal passage of the Beresina;
and had Kutusoff done what he might, not a man, not Napoleon himself,
could have escaped. But this cautious old general was contented that
winter should finish the work. In the first few days after Napoleon had
quitted Smolensk the Russians had taken twenty-six thousand prisoners,
including three hundred officers, and two hundred and twenty-eight
guns, with numerous standards. They had killed ten thousand Frenchmen,
and now thirty thousand more had perished. That was enough for Kutusoff.

On assembling his remnant of an army in Brelowa, Buonaparte beheld a
state of general disorganisation prevailing. Perishing with cold and
hunger, every man was only mindful of himself. In a short time the
whole village was pulled down to make camp-fires of the timber, for
the weather was fiercely cold. He could scarcely prevent them from
stripping off the roof under which he had taken shelter. He set out on
his march for Wilna on the 29th of November. The army hurried along
without order or discipline, their only care being to outstrip the
Russians, who were, like famished wolves, at their heels; the Cossacks
continually cutting down numbers of their benumbed and ragged comrades,
who went along more like spectres than actual men. The thermometer was
at twenty degrees below zero.

On the 3rd of December Buonaparte announced to his officers his
intention to leave them and make the best of his way to Paris. He
pleaded the state of affairs there, and especially the conspiracy
of Mallet; but he was now approaching the frontiers of Prussia, and
as he knew that he had declared that, if he returned successful, he
would deprive Frederick William altogether of his crown, he was as
apprehensive of that monarch as of the Russians themselves.

But he went on to Smorgony, and there, the remains of the army
having come up, he called a council of war on the 5th of December.
He told his generals that he had ordered Ney to reorganise the army
at Wilna, and had appointed Murat, King of Naples, generalissimo in
his absence. He assumed a tone of great confidence, promised his army
good winter-quarters beyond the Niemen, and assured them that he was
hasting away to present himself directly at the head of one hundred and
twenty thousand men to keep the Austrians and Prussians firm to their
alliance, and thus to make those he left behind more secure than he
could do by staying with them. He then passed through the crowd of his
officers, who were drawn up in an avenue as he passed, bidding them
adieu with forced and melancholy smiles. He then stepped into a sledge
with Caulaincourt and shut themselves in, and Duroc and Lobau followed
in another sledge; and thus the man who entered Russia with nearly half
a million of men, stole away, leaving the miserable remnant of his vast
army to the elements and the Russians!

Napoleon reached Warsaw on the 10th of December, after a narrow escape
of being taken at a village named Youpranoui. On the 14th of December
he was in Dresden, and had a long conversation with his satrap king
there; and, after escaping some endeavours of the Prussians to seize
him, he arrived safely in Paris at midnight of the 18th, where the
Parisians, who had with some indifference suppressed the conspiracy
got up by the Republicans under General Mallet, hastened to overwhelm
him with the most fulsome flatteries. The story of his rubbing his
hands over the fire on his arrival at the Tuileries, and saying, "This
is pleasanter than Moscow," shows an intensity of selfishness which
no history on earth can equal. In this one campaign, that magnificent
army, the very flower of French, German, and Polish soldiery--perhaps
the finest army ever assembled--had perished to a mere fraction, and
that amid the most unheard of, the most hitherto unconceived horrors.
The remnant of these soldiers was still struggling on in their deserted
march, through these horrors even still more intensified. Numbers
were falling every day all along the frozen desert tracks, exhausted
by famine and cold, and the snows immediately buried them. When they
approached any place of rest or refreshment, they fought furiously for
fragments of firewood or pieces of horse-flesh. When a horse fell under
the burdens they had piled upon him, he was torn by them limb from
limb, while yet palpitating with life, and devoured raw. Such was the
weariness of these miserable fugitives over immeasurable deserts of
frost and snow, through cutting, scythe-edged winds, that nothing but
the sound of the Cossack drum, and the howls of the Cossack avengers
could induce them to rise and pursue their desolate march. And the
man who had brought all these terrible calamities upon nearly half a
million of men--and more than half a million by far, including women,
children, and other camp-followers, to say nothing of the invaded
Russians--felt not a pang for these vast human sufferings, but only for
his own detestable pride.

We need not follow the track of the deserted army with much minuteness.
The moment Buonaparte was gone, all discipline and command ceased. The
chief officers quarrelled vehemently; and Murat denounced his Imperial
brother-in-law in the bitterest terms, and escaped away into Italy on
the first opportunity. The Austrians and Prussians marched off, and
the French, pursued by the Russians till they crossed the Niemen, were
continually assailed, and dispersed or killed; so that Macdonald at
length reached Königsberg with nine thousand men, the body of French
presenting anything but the appearance of an army! In this fatal
campaign, Boutourlin states that, of this splendid army, one hundred
and twenty-five thousand were killed; one hundred and thirty-two
thousand died from fatigue, hunger, and the severity of the climate;
and one hundred and ninety-three thousand, including forty-eight
generals and three thousand officers, were taken prisoners--an awful
comment on the assertions of Buonaparte that he had beaten the
Russians everywhere. The nine thousand soldiers who returned with
Macdonald leave only eleven thousand to be accounted for of the whole
four hundred and seventy thousand, besides women, children, and camp
servitors, who entered Russia. These eleven thousand were, no doubt,
dispersed fugitives, some of whom might eventually reach France. Such
a destruction of human life in one campaign, so utterly unfelt for by
the man who occasioned it, stands alone in the history of this world's
miserable wars. The crime of it, as it rests on the head of that guilty
soul, is beyond mortal calculation.

During this momentous struggle, Russia was munificently supported by
Great Britain. The peace which Mr. Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford
de Redcliffe, our ambassador at Constantinople, had been the means of
effecting between Turkey and Russia, released Admiral Tchitchagoff and
his army of thirty thousand men to march against Buonaparte; and had
not that stupid personage suffered himself to be so grossly deceived by
the French Emperor at the Beresina, neither Buonaparte nor a man of his
army had ever got across that river. At the same time peace was made
with Russia by Great Britain, and Russia sent her fleet, for security,
to an English port during the invasion. Peace also was ratified between
Great Britain and Sweden; and Bernadotte was at liberty to pursue his
plans for aiding in the general movement of the North for the final
extinction of the Buonaparte rule. Great Britain also bountifully
supplied the Russians with money and arms, and other necessaries,
so that a French officer who accompanied General Lauriston to the
headquarters of the Russian army was astonished to find abundance of
British money circulating and in the highest esteem, though Buonaparte
had represented Great Britain as on the verge of bankruptcy. "When I
saw British bank-notes passing," he said, "as if they were gold, I
trembled for our daring enterprise."

Whilst the latter scenes of this great tragedy were passing, in Britain
a new Parliament assembled on the 24th of November, and amongst its
first acts were, before Christmas, to vote one hundred thousand pounds
to the Marquis of Wellington, and two hundred thousand pounds for the
relief of sufferers in Russia. And thus closed the remarkable year of

The year 1813 opened in Great Britain with high hopes. The defeat of
Napoleon in Russia, and the destruction of his army, opened prospects
of at length seeing this ambitious and unprincipled man, who had
drenched all Europe in blood, brought down and removed from the scene.
Lord Liverpool had for some time predicted that one day a British army
would march into Paris, and encamp on the Bois de Boulogne, and now it
really seemed probable. The nations of the north and centre of Europe
were mustering to follow the aggressor home, and Lord Wellington, in
Spain, was daily advancing towards the southern frontiers of France
by victory after victory. True, there was much yet to be done, and
enormous calls on the wealth of Britain had yet to be made; and at this
time, whilst Great Britain and all Europe were engaged in this mighty
contest, the people of the United States, instead of sympathising
with the grand occasion, were doing all they could to divide our
attention and weaken our hands. There were warm debates in Parliament
on the American question, but Government carried addresses expressing
approbation of the course which Great Britain had taken in regard to
the United States. But this annoying quarrelsomeness of the Americans
tended necessarily to raise the amount of the Budget, already too much
swelled by the aids to Russia and our contest in Spain. The supplies
demanded were seventy-two million pounds--more than had been granted
in any former year. Amongst the ways and means were a fresh loan of
twenty-one million pounds, and vote of credit for six million pounds.
It was, however, some consolation that the nation at last saw the
beginning of the end.

Before pursuing the immediate story of Buonaparte and his pursuers
from the North, we will narrate the progress of Lord Wellington during
this year. It was a favourable circumstance for him that, although he
continued to receive no little trouble, impediment, and discouragement
from the proud and thankless Spaniards, the turn of affairs in the
North compelled Napoleon to withdraw some of his best troops and
his best general from that country to aid him in his new campaign
against Russia, Sweden, and Germany. He had altogether two hundred
and seventy thousand men in Spain, in one quarter or other, to oppose
the small Anglo-Spanish army in the south, and the miscellaneous army
under Lord Wellington, amounting only to about seventy thousand men.
He therefore withdrew one hundred and fifty skeletons of battalions
from Spain--amounting, nevertheless, to only about twenty thousand
men--as a means of disciplining his young conscripts. What was of far
more consequence, he withdrew Soult, the only general that occasioned
Wellington much trouble. The nominal Commander-in-Chief of the French
armies in Spain was King Joseph, but the real commanders were Marshal
Jourdan and Generals Clausel and Foy in the north, General Reille at
Valladolid, Drouet at Madrid, and Suchet at Toledo.

The Spaniards had at length made Lord Wellington Commander-in-Chief of
the Spanish armies, but this appointment was little more than nominal,
for the Spanish generals continued as froward and insubordinate
as ever; and the Spanish Government was poorer than ever, its
remittances from the South American colonies, which were asserting
their independence, being stopped. Wellington's dependence, therefore,
continued to rest on his army of British and Portuguese--sixty-three
thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry.

[Illustration: MARSHAL NEY.]

About the middle of May Wellington entered Spain, leading the centre
division himself, the right being commanded by General Hill, and the
left by Sir Thomas Graham, the victor of Barrosa. As they advanced, the
French hastily retreated towards Valladolid, thence towards Burgos; and
by the 12th of June, Wellington being close on that city, they blew
up the fortifications of the castle, and retreated beyond the Ebro,
which they hoped to be able to defend. But Wellington left them no time
to fortify themselves. On the 14th he crossed the Ebro; on the 16th
he was in full march after them towards Vittoria, for they found the
Ebro no defence, as they had not time to blow up the bridges. On the
16th and 17th Major-General Alten harassed their rear, and dispersed
a whole brigade in the mountains, killing considerable numbers, and
taking three hundred prisoners. On the 19th they found the French
army, commanded by Joseph Buonaparte, with Jourdan as his second and
adviser, drawn up under the walls of Vittoria. It was so placed as to
command the passages of the river Zadora, and the three great roads
from Madrid, Bilbao, and Logroño. Their left extended to the heights
of La Puebla, and behind this, at the village of Gomecha, was posted
a reserve. The position was remarkably strong, and commanded by the
hills interesting to Englishmen as those where the Black Prince, in his
day, had defeated the French army at Najera, commanded by the gallant
Duguesclin. Wellington took till the morning of the 21st to reconnoitre
the position and to concentrate his army for the attack.


In the morning of that day--a fine and sunny day--Hill leading on our
right drove the French from the heights of La Puebla. This was not
done without a severe struggle. The Spanish general, Morillo, led on
his brigade bravely, and was wounded. Colonel the Hon. G. Cadogan, in
the action on the heights, was also mortally wounded, but refused to
quit the field, and was carried to an elevation where he could watch
the progress of the battle while he lived. General Hill then pushed
the French across the river Zadora and the defiles and heights beyond
to the village of Subijana de Alava, which he took possession of, and
the French left fell back on Vittoria. The other divisions, under Lord
Dalhousie, Sir Thomas Picton, and General Cole, also crossed the river
at different bridges or fords, and everywhere drove the French before
them. The scene from the heights, which were crowded with people, was
one of the most animating ever beheld; the British everywhere advancing
amid the roar of cannon and musketry, the French retiring everywhere
on Vittoria. In the meantime, our left, under Sir Thomas Graham,
having a considerable number of Spanish and Portuguese troops in it,
advanced to the heights beyond the Zadora, along the Bilbao road, and
carried the village of Gamara Mayor, while the Spanish division of
Longa carried that of Gamara Monor. Both the Spanish and Portuguese
troops behaved admirably. While Major-General Robertson's brigade
carried Gamara Mayor, Colonel Halkett's, supported by that of General
Bradford, carried the village of Abechuco. Here a determined effort was
made by the French to recover this post, but they were driven back by
Major-General Oswald, with the fifth division.

These points being all gained, the French were not left long in
possession of Vittoria. They were pushed out of the town, and the whole
united army joined in chasing them along the road towards Pampeluna. So
complete was the rout that, according to Wellington's dispatch, they
left behind them all their baggage, ammunition, every gun but one, and
a howitzer.

So close were they upon King Joseph, that a party of the British,
under Captain Wyndham, came upon him in his carriage, and fired
through the window. Joseph had the good fortune to escape to horse,
and gallop off, but his carriage fell into the hands of the British,
and it was found crammed with the most precious spoil of the churches
and palaces of Spain. Amongst his baggage, which also was taken,
were found some of the finest paintings of the Spanish masters, rich
plate, including a splendid dinner-service, a gorgeous wardrobe, and
a number of his women, for he was a perfect Sybarite in luxury and
voluptuousness. No such scene was witnessed, except on the defeat
of some Eastern army. The officers had gorged themselves with the
spoils of Spain, and here they were left, amid crowds of wives and
mistresses, monkeys, poodles, parrots, silks, satins, and jewellery.
The officers and soldiers had run for it, with nothing but their arms
and their clothes on their backs, and all along the roads leading from
the city was one vast crowding, jostling mass of waggons, loaded with
all sorts of rich spoils, splendid dresses, and wines, and money, and
fine ladies in the most terrible hurry and fright. Sheep, cattle,
lambs, like a great fair, were left behind, and became the booty of
the pursuers. There was a vigorous bursting open of packages, and rich
wardrobes of both officers and ladies were soon fluttering in the
winds--gorgeous uniforms on the backs of common soldiers and Portuguese
camp-followers--fine silks and satins, and laces and gold chains, on
the persons and necks of common women. The military chest was seized,
and the soldiers freely helped themselves to its contents. Lord
Wellington says that the troops got about a million of money. Planks
were placed from waggon to waggon, and a great auction was going on
everywhere, the lucky captors converting everything possible--even the
heavy Spanish dollars--into gold, as more convenient for carriage. The
inhabitants of the city made rich bargains, besides managing to help
themselves plentifully in the scramble.

JUNE 21st, 1813.


The army of Joseph dispersed at full speed, and as our cavalry could
not pursue them across the hedges and ditches, they managed to escape,
and made their way to Pampeluna in one wild, chaotic herd. On the field
they profess to have left eight thousand men in killed and wounded, but
their loss was far greater. They left, also, one hundred and fifty-one
pieces of brass ordnance, four hundred and fifteen caissons, more than
forty thousand rounds of ammunition, nearly two million musketball
cartridges, forty thousand six hundred and sixty-eight pounds of
gunpowder, fifty-six forage waggons, and forty-four forge waggons.
The allied army had killed, British, five hundred and one; Portuguese,
one hundred and fifty; Spaniards, only eighty-nine: wounded, British,
two thousand eight hundred and seven; Portuguese, eight hundred and
ninety-nine; Spanish, four hundred and sixty-four. Lord Wellington
reported the conduct of almost every officer engaged as admirable. King
Joseph did not stop till he was safe, for a time, within the strong
walls of Pampeluna, but the garrison there would not admit the rabble
herd of fugitives, but sent them off like enemies; and they were forced
to continue their flight into the Pyrenees.

News of this most extraordinary defeat acted on the French, on all
sides, like the concussion of some violent explosion. They fell back
and fled in confusion before any enemy appeared. General Clausel,
who was advancing from Logroño with fifteen thousand men, fled back
to Saragossa with such precipitation, and thence through the central
Pyrenees into France, that he left all his artillery and most of his
baggage on the road. The same was the case with General Foy, who fled
from Bilbao to Bayonne in hot haste, with General Graham at his heels.
Except at San Sebastian and Pampeluna, where the garrisons were soon
besieged, the French were scarcely to be found in Spain, except those
with Suchet in the south-east.

Pampeluna and San Sebastian being invested, Lord Wellington proceeded
with his main army to occupy the passes of the Pyrenees. These,
Wellington, in his dispatches, says amounted to about seventy, and,
in the service of securing these, he complains that he was left
very much without the necessary supplies for his army. The British
Government had, from some cause--he supposed to send them against the
Americans--reduced the number of convoys, and many of our store-ships
were taken by the French frigates and privateers. It was, as much as
ever, in vain to expect the Spaniards to do anything to supply the
deficiency, after all that the English had done for them. As fast as
they got rid of the French, they busied themselves in making war on the
clergy and putting them down. Wellington was, therefore, continually
obliged to arrest his marches to wait for provisions. Notwithstanding,
by the 7th of July he had driven Joseph Buonaparte through the
mountains into France, chased Clausel beyond Tudela on the Ebro, and
taken his post on the very edge of France. Buonaparte, alarmed at the
progress of Wellington, displaced Jourdan as incapable, and sent back
Soult to do what neither he, nor Ney, nor Marmont, nor Massena had
been able to do before they were necessarily displaced--that is, arrest
the onward march of Wellington into France.

Soult hurried southward, collecting fresh forces to repel the
conquering invader, and issued a proclamation, telling the French
soldiers that they had at length taught the English to fight, and they
must show them that they were still their superiors. Whilst Wellington
was superintending the sieges of San Sebastian and Pampeluna, Soult
advanced, having gathered an army of nearly seventy thousand men, and,
on the 25th of July, he suddenly attacked our outposts simultaneously
in the passes of Roncesvalles and of Maya. Both these passes converged
into one leading to Pampeluna, where Soult hoped to raise the siege.
He himself led on thirty thousand fresh men up the Roncesvalles pass
against Generals Cole and Picton, who had about ten thousand to oppose
him. He compelled them to retreat to some greater elevations, but with
considerable loss, and he hoped there to have them joined by General
D'Erlon, who had ascended the Maya pass, with thirteen thousand men,
against General Stewart, who had only four or five thousand men to
oppose him. The conflict there had been terrible; the British fighting
and giving way only step by step against the superior force. The awful
struggle went on, five thousand feet above the plains of France, amid
clouds and fogs. Stewart did not fall back till he had sixteen hundred
of his small force killed and wounded, and the defiles were actually
blocked up with the slain.

Matters were at this pass when Lord Wellington, who had heard of the
attack, at his headquarters at Lezaco, two days before, came galloping
up on the morning of the 27th. He found Soult only two leagues from
Pampeluna, and saw him so near that he could plainly discern his
features. Wellington caused his own presence to be announced to his two
bodies of troops, and they answered the announcement with loud cheers.
That day the troops of Soult were pushed backwards by a regiment of the
Irish, and a body of Spanish infantry, at the point of the bayonet.
The next day, the 28th, the French were driven down still farther. On
the 29th both armies rested, but on the 30th the fight was renewed
with fury; but Picton and Dalhousie, being sent across the mountains
in opposite directions, managed to turn both flanks of Soult, and the
French fled precipitately as far as Olaque. There the pursuing troops
fell in with the right of the French, which had been worsted by Hill.
In the darkness the French continued their flight, and the next morning
were found in full retreat for France. The British gave chase, and made
many prisoners, taking much baggage. These battles, which have been
named "The Battles of the Pyrenees," Wellington describes as some of
the most severe that he ever saw. He states the loss of the British
in killed at one thousand five hundred, but in killed and wounded at
six thousand. The French, he says, admitted that they had lost fifteen
thousand men, and he therefore gave them credit for the loss being much
more. On one occasion Wellington surprised Soult, and had so laid his
plans for surrounding him that he felt sure of capturing him; but three
drunken British soldiers, rambling carelessly beyond the outposts, were
taken, and let out the secret of Wellington being hidden close at hand,
behind the rocks, and thus saved the French commander. A second time
he was saved by the Spanish generals, Longa and Barcenas, not being
at their posts in a narrow defile near St. Estevan, where he could
only pass by a slender bridge. Still the British were at his heels,
and committed dreadful havoc on his troops in this pass. On the 2nd of
August there was a fresh encounter with Soult's forces near the town of
Echalar, where they were again beaten, and driven from a lofty mountain
called Ivantelly. Soult retired behind the Bidassoa, and concentrated
his routed forces; and Wellington, having once more cleared the passes
of the Pyrenees of the French, gave his army some rest, after nine days
of incessant and arduous action, where they could look out over the
plains of France, which they were ere long to traverse. But the army
had not much rest here. The French made determined efforts to raise the
siege of San Sebastian, while Wellington was as active in endeavouring
to force Pampeluna to capitulate. Unfortunately he had still scarcely
any proper men or tools for siege-work. He had long urged on the
Government the formation of companies of sappers and miners. But,
after eighteen months, they had formed only one company, whilst, as
Wellington informed the Government, there was no French _corps d'armée_
which had not a battalion of them. This first British company of
sappers and miners came out on the 19th of August, and were immediately
set to work. Sir George Collier sent his sailors to assist, and on
the 31st Wellington considered that he had made sufficient breach for
storming. But that morning Soult sent across the Bidassoa a strong body
of French to attack the besiegers. These were met by a division of
eight thousand Spaniards, who allowed the French to ascend the heights
of San Marcial, on which they were posted, and then, with a shout,
charged with the bayonet down hill, at which sight the French instantly
broke, and ran for it. They were pursued to the river, in which many
plunged, and were drowned. In the afternoon Soult sent over again
fifteen thousand men, having put across a pontoon bridge. These, under
the eye and encouragement of Lord Wellington, were charged again by the
Spaniards, and routed as before; many again rushing into the river,
and the rest, crushing upon the bridge, broke it down, and perished in
great numbers also. The Portuguese troops likewise met and defeated
another detachment of French, who had come by another way. These were
supported by British troops, under General Inglis, and with the same
result. Wellington was highly delighted to see the Spaniards thus, at
length, doing justice to their native valour under British discipline,
and praised them warmly. Soult is said to have lost two thousand men.

While this was going on, the town of San Sebastian was stormed by the
British. Sir Thomas Graham conducted the assault, which was led on by
the brigade of General Robinson, bravely supported by a detachment of
Portuguese under Major Snodgrass. The place was captured; the French
were driven through it to the castle standing on a height, in which
they found refuge. Seven hundred prisoners were taken. The British
lost two thousand men in the assault--a loss which would have been
far greater had a mine, containing one thousand two hundred pounds
of gunpowder, exploded, but which was fortunately prevented by the
falling in of a saucisson. Many less would have fallen, however, had
General Graham allowed shells to be thrown into the town, which he
would not, on account of the inhabitants. But the French had not only
prepared this great mine, but exploded various other appliances for
setting the town on fire. In fact they showed no care for the people
or the town. When driven to the castle, after a murderous street
fight--in which they picked off our men from behind walls and windows,
killing Sir Richard Fletcher, the commanding engineer, and wounding
Generals Robinson, Leith, and Oswald, besides slaughtering heaps of our
men--they continued to fire down the streets, killing great numbers
of the inhabitants besides our soldiers. Yet, after all, they charged
Lord Wellington with not only throwing shells into the town, but
with setting it on fire, and plundering it. His lordship indignantly
repelled these accusations in his letter to his brother, Sir Henry
Wellesley. He declares that he himself had been obliged to hasten to
his headquarters at Lezaco, on the morning of the 31st of August, but
that he saw the town on fire in various places before our soldiers
entered it; in fact, the French had set it on fire in six different
places, and had their mine exploded scarcely a fragment of the town
would have been left, or a single inhabitant alive. The lenity shown
to the town by Wellington and Graham, who acted for him, was not used
towards their calumniators in the castle. It was stoutly bombarded, and
being soon almost battered to pieces about the ears of the defenders,
the French surrendered on the 8th of September, two thousand five
hundred in number; but the siege of both town and fort had cost the
allies four thousand men in killed and wounded. Had the town been, as
the French represented, bombarded like the castle, some thousands of
English and Portuguese lives would have been spared, but at the expense
of the inhabitants.

[Illustration: PAMPELUNA.]

Lord Wellington, early in October, called down his troops from their
cold and miserable posts in the mountains, and marched them over the
Bidassoa, and encamped them amongst the French hills and valleys of
La Rhune. The last division moved across on the 10th of November, the
town of Pampeluna having surrendered on the 31st of October. This
was a very agreeable change to the troops; but, before crossing,
his lordship issued the most emphatic orders against plundering or
ill-using the inhabitants. He told them, and especially the Spanish and
Portuguese, that though the French had committed unheard-of barbarities
in their countries, he would not allow of retaliation and revenge on
the innocent inhabitants of France; that it was against the universal
marauder, Buonaparte, and his system, that the British made war, and
not against the people of France. But the passions of the Portuguese
and Spaniards were too much excited against their oppressors, and they
burnt and plundered whenever they had opportunity. On this, Wellington
wrote sternly to the Spanish general, Freyre. "Where I command," he
said, "no one shall be allowed to plunder. If plunder must be had, then
another must have the command. You have large armies in Spain, and
if it is wished to plunder the French peasantry, you may then enter
France; but then the Spanish Government must remove me from the command
of their armies. It is a matter of indifference to me whether I command
a large or a small army; but, whether large or small, they must obey
me, and, above all, must not plunder." To secure the fulfilment of
these orders, he moved back most of the Spanish troops to within the
Spanish frontiers. The strictness with which Lord Wellington maintained
these sentiments and protected the inhabitants produced the best
results. The folk of the southern provinces, being well inclined to the
Bourbons, and heartily wearied of seeing their sons annually dragged
away to be slaughtered in foreign countries for Buonaparte's ambition,
soon flocked into camp with all sorts of provisions and vegetables; and
they did not hesitate to express their wishes for the success of the
British arms.

Under sharp fighting, Wellington crossed the Nivelle on the 10th of
November, and proposed to go into cantonments at St. Jean de Luz,
on the right bank of the Nivelle; but he did not find himself in a
position to obtain supplies there, and he therefore crossed the Nive,
and occupied the country between that river and the Adour. Soult made
desperate efforts to drive the enemy back; but he was compelled to
fall back on his entrenched camp in front of Bayonne; and Wellington
went into winter-quarters about the middle of December, but quarters
extremely uncomfortable. Their late conflicts, between the 9th and
13th of December, had been made in the worst of weather, and they had
marched over the most terrible roads. During these conflicts they
had lost six hundred and fifty killed, and upwards of one thousand
wounded and five hundred missing. The French had lost three times that
number. But the French were at home amid their own people; while the
allies were in a hostile country, suffering every species of want.
At this moment Britain was sending clothes, arms, and ammunition to
the Germans, the Sclavonians, and Dutch; but her own gallant army,
which had chased the French out of Spain, and which had to maintain
the honour of Great Britain by advancing towards Paris, was suffered
to want everything, especially great-coats and shoes, in that severe
season. Wellington had earnestly implored a reinforcement of twenty
thousand men, but it did not arrive.

In the south-east of Spain the motley army of British and Sicilians
had done sufficient to keep the attention of Suchet engaged, so that
he could not quit that post to follow and assist Soult against the
main British army. Lord Wellington had instructed Sir George Murray to
embark his troops at Alicante, and, sailing to Tarragona, endeavour
to make himself master of it; if he found the French too strong in
that quarter to enable him to effect his purpose, he was to re-embark,
return to Valencia, and then attack the French lines on the Xucar
before Suchet could make the long march which would be necessary to
support them. Murray had had his army weakened by the withdrawal of
two thousand troops by Lord William Bentinck, very unnecessarily, to
Sicily; but he undertook these manœuvres, and might have succeeded in
capturing Tarragona, but, alarmed at a rumour of Suchet and General
Mathieu having combined their forces, and being in march against him,
he abandoned the place panic-stricken, and, in spite of the indignant
remonstrances of Admiral Hallowell, embarked his troops in the utmost
precipitation. Lord William Bentinck arrived on the 17th of June,
immediately after the embarkation, but not in time to save nineteen
pieces of artillery, which Murray had abandoned in the trenches. Lord
Bentinck battered down Fort Balaguer, and then sailed away to Alicante,
leaving the Spanish general exposed to the enemy, but he saved himself
by escaping into the mountains. For this conduct, Sir George Murray
on his return to England was tried by court-martial, and gently
reprimanded, but nothing more.

Lord William Bentinck, after having retired to Alicante, once more
returned to Tarragona, and made himself master of that place.
Attempting further advantages in this country, he was compelled to fall
back on Tarragona with considerable loss. He then returned to Sicily,
and General Clinton took the command of the forces, and strengthened
the defences of the post. At the same time news arrived of the retreat
of Buonaparte from Russia and the rising of Germany, which compelled
Suchet to disarm his German regiments, and march them into France
under guard. He had also to send some of his best French troops to
recruit Buonaparte's decimated army, and the Italian ones to resist the
Austrians in Italy, who were once more in motion through the Alps. In
these circumstances the campaign in the south-east of Spain closed for
the year.

During the winter of 1812 and the spring of 1813 Buonaparte was making
the most energetic exertions to renew the campaign against Russia and
the German nations that were now uniting with the Czar. He called
out new conscriptions, and enforced them with the utmost rigour;
the militia were drafted extensively into the regular army, and the
sailors, whose service had been annihilated by the victorious seamen of
Great Britain, were modelled into regiments, and turned into soldiers.
He sent for part of his forces from Spain; and in the spring he was
enabled to present himself in Germany at the head of three hundred and
fifty thousand men. But this was a very different army from that which
he had led into and lost in Russia--an army of practised veterans,
familiar with victory through a hundred fights. It was necessarily but
ill-disciplined, and much more full of the sense of wrong in having
been dragged from home and its ties than of any thirst of glory. The
cavalry was especially defective, and had lost the commander who gave
it such spirit by his own example. Disgusted by the insolence and
sarcasms of Buonaparte, and believing that his career was about to end,
Murat quitted his command on the 16th of January, 1813, and hastened
to Naples, where he was not long in opening negotiations with Great
Britain and the other Powers for the acknowledgment of his kingdom
as one independent of France, and ranking with the other established
Powers of Europe. Nor was this the only alarming circumstance.
Bernadotte was at the head of an army of Swedes against him--Bernadotte
whom he had driven by the same insolent and unbearable domination
into the arms of his enemies, and whom he now denounced as a renegade
Frenchman who had renounced his country. The truth, however, was that
Bernadotte had been adopted by a new country, and was bound to defend

Next came the declaration of war by the King of Prussia, which
Buonaparte styled a treachery; but, on the contrary, the King of
Prussia had only preserved faith towards his oppressor and insulter too
long. Not only all Prussia, but all Germany was on fire to throw off
the detested yoke of the oppressor, and Frederick William would have
been a traitor to his people and to common sense to have hesitated.
Yet he proposed terms of a mutual settlement. To place himself in a
position of independent treaty, he suddenly left Berlin on the 22nd of
January, and made his way to Breslau, where he was out of the reach of
French arms, and in certainty of the arrival, at no very distant date,
of Russian ones. He invited, however, the French ambassador to follow
him, and he there proposed an armistice, on the conditions that the
French should evacuate Dantzic and all the other Prussian fortresses on
the Oder, and retire behind the Elbe, on which the Czar had promised
that he would stop the march of his army beyond the Vistula. But
Buonaparte treated the proposition with contempt; he was determined to
give up nothing--to recover everything.

Immediately on the rejection of his terms Frederick William concluded
a treaty with Alexander on the 28th of February, and Austria was
invited to join the league. Alexander had joined his army himself
on the 22nd of December, and had marched along with it through that
horrible winter. On the 1st of March Prussia concluded its alliance
with Alexander, offensive and defensive. On the 15th Alexander arrived
at Breslau, and there was an affecting meeting of the two sovereigns,
who had been placed in outward hostility by the power of Buonaparte,
but who had never ceased to be friends at heart. The King of Prussia
was moved to tears. "Courage, my brother," said Alexander; "these are
the last tears that Napoleon shall cause you."

The next day the war against France was proclaimed, and for the
righteous cause of restoring the independence of the nations. Prussia,
and indeed all Germany, had now been trampled on sufficiently to crush
the effeminacy out of all classes--to rouse the true soul of liberty
in them. Men of every rank offered themselves as the defenders and
avengers of their country; the students at this moment not only sung,
but aided freedom. The volunteers were formed into Black Bands, and
others assumed the dress and arms of the Cossacks, who had won much
admiration. They were disciplined in the system of Scharnhorst, and
soon became effective soldiers. A leader was found for them after their
own heart--the brave and patriotic Blucher, who had been reserving
himself for this day, and Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, better tacticians
than himself, were appointed to assist him, and carry out all the
strategic movements; whilst Blucher, never depressed by difficulties,
never daunted by defeat, led them on with the cheer from which he
derived his most common appellation of Marshal Forwards--"Forwards!
my children, forwards!" All classes hastened to contribute the utmost
amount possible to the necessary funds for this sacred war. The ladies
gave in their gold chains and bracelets, their diamonds and rubies, and
wore as ornaments chains and bracelets of beautifully wrought iron.

Austria stood in a hesitating position. On the one hand, she felt
reluctant to join the Allies and assist in destroying the throne of
the Emperor's son-in-law; but at the same time she was anxious to
strengthen her own position by giving more strength to her neighbour,
Prussia. For this purpose Austria offered her mediation for a peace
on terms that would restore Prussia to a more becoming position, and
such proposals of mediation were made by the Austrian Minister to
Great Britain. But these entirely failed. On the one hand, Napoleon
would concede nothing, but declared that he would entirely annihilate
Prussia, and would give Silesia to Austria for her assistance in the
war; on the other hand, Great Britain declared that there could be no
peace unless France disgorged the bulk of her usurpations.

On the 15th of April Buonaparte quitted Paris, for the last time as
a permanent abode; on the 16th he was at Mainz, and on the 25th at
Erfurt. Before quitting Paris he had appointed Maria Louisa regent in
his absence. This he deemed a stroke of policy likely to conciliate the
Emperor of Austria. But the Empress's power was merely nominal. She
could appear at the Council board, but it was only as the instrument
of the Emperor; he carried all active power along with him, and ruled
France from his camp. He had still upwards of fifty thousand troops
in the garrisons of Prussia, commanded by Eugene, the Viceroy of
Italy; and he advanced at the head of three hundred thousand men.
Eugene Beauharnais had been compelled necessarily to evacuate Dantzic,
Berlin, and Dresden as the Russians and Prussians advanced, and to
retreat upon the Elbe. In the month of May Bernadotte, according to
concert, crossed over to Stralsund with thirty-five thousand men, and
awaited the reinforcements of Russians and Germans which were to raise
his division to eighty thousand men, with which he was to co-operate
with the Allies, and protect Hamburg. The Allies, under Tetterborn,
Czernicheff, and Winzengerode, spread along both sides of the Elbe, the
Germans rising enthusiastically wherever they came. Hamburg, Lübeck,
and other towns threw open their gates to them. The French general,
Morand, endeavouring to quell the rising of the people of Lüneburg, was
surprised by the Russians, and his detachment of four thousand men was
cut to pieces, or taken prisoners. Eugene marched from Magdeburg to
surprise Berlin, but was met at Möckern, defeated, and driven back to
Magdeburg. Such was the success of the Allies, and the exulting support
of the people, that even Denmark and Saxony began to contemplate going
over to the Allies. Blucher entered Dresden on the 27th of March,
driving Davoust before him, who blew up an arch of the fine bridge to
cover his retreat. The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia entered
the city soon afterwards, and were received by the inhabitants with
acclamations. On the 28th of April died the old Russian general,
Kutusoff, at Bautzen, and was succeeded by General Wittgenstein.

At the approach of the new French levies, Eugene Beauharnais retreated
from Magdeburg, and joined them on the Saale. The Allies and Napoleon
now lay face to face, the Allies cutting off his advance towards
Leipsic and thence to Dresden. He resolved to make a determined attack
upon them, and demoralise them by a blow which should make him master
of Leipsic, Dresden, and Berlin at once, and give its impression to
the whole campaign. In the skirmishes which took place previous to the
general engagement at Weissenfels and Poserna on the 29th of April and
the 1st of May, Buonaparte gained some advantages; but in the latter
action his old commander of the Imperial Guard, Marshal Bessières, was
killed. His death was deeply lamented, both by his men, who had served
under him from the very commencement of Buonaparte's career, and by
Buonaparte himself.

The first great battle was destined to be fought on the very ground
where Gustavus Adolphus fell, 1632. Buonaparte marched upon Leipsic,
expecting to find the Allies posted there; but he was suddenly brought
to a stand by them at Lützen. The Allies, who were on the left bank of
the Elster, crossed to the right, and impetuously attacked the French,
whose centre was at the village of Kaya, under the command of Ney,
supported by the Imperial Guard, and their fine artillery drawn up in
front of the town of Lützen; the right wing, commanded by Marmont,
extending as far as the defile of Poserna, and the left stretching from
Kaya to the Elster. Napoleon did not expect to have met the Allies on
that side of Leipsic, and was pressing briskly forward when the attack
commenced. Ney was first stopped at Gross-Görschen. Had Wittgenstein
made a decided charge with his whole column, instead of attacking by
small brigades, he would assuredly have broken the French lines. But
Buonaparte rode up, and galloped from place to place to throw fresh
troops on the point of attack, and to wheel up both of his wings so
as to enclose, if possible, both flanks of the Allies. The conflict
lasted some hours, during which it was uncertain whether the Allies
would break the centre of the French, or the French would be able to
outflank the Allies. Blucher was late on the field; the officer who was
sent overnight to him with orders from Wittgenstein is said to have put
them under his pillow and slept on them till roused by the cannon. At
length, after a desperate attack by Napoleon to recover the village of
Kaya, out of which he had been driven, the Allies observing that the
firing of Macdonald and Bertrand, who commanded the two wings, was fast
extending along their flanks, skilfully extricated themselves from the
combat, and led back their columns so as to escape being outflanked
by the French. Yet they did not even then give up the struggle for
the day. The Allied cavalry made a general attack in the dark, but
it failed from the mighty masses of the French on which they had to
act. The Allies captured some cannon, the French none. The loss of
the Allies was twenty thousand men, killed and wounded: that of the
French was equally severe. Seven or eight French generals were killed
or wounded. On the side of the Allies fell General Scharnhorst--an
irreparable loss, for no man had done more to organise the Prussian
landwehr and volunteers. The Prince Leopold of Hesse-Homburg and the
Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, both allied to the royal family of
England, were slain, and Blucher himself was wounded; but he had his
wounds dressed on the field, and would not quit it till the last moment.


Napoleon, who had every need of success to regain his former position
in the opinion of France, sent off in all haste to Paris the most
exaggerated account of the battle of Lützen, as one of the most
decisive victories that he had ever won, and that it had totally
scattered the Allies, and neutralised all the hopes and schemes of
Great Britain. The Empress went in procession to Notre Dame, where _Te
Deum_ was celebrated by Cardinal Maury, who drew the most extravagant
picture of Napoleon's invincible genius. The same false statements were
sent also to every friendly Court in Europe, even to Constantinople.
The stratagem had its effect. The wavering German princes, who
were ready to go over to their own countrymen, still ranged their
banners with the French. The King of Saxony had gone to Prague as a
place whence he might negotiate his return to the ranks of his own
fatherland; but he now hastened back again, and was in Dresden on the
12th of May with Napoleon, who conducted him in a kind of triumph
through his capital, parading his adhesion before his subjects who had
hailed the Allies just before with acclamations. The Saxon king, in
fresh token of amity to Napoleon, ceded to him the fortress of Torgau,
much to the disgust of his subjects.

But the Allies had only fallen back behind the Elbe, and taken up a
strong position at Bautzen, on the Spree, about twelve leagues from
Dresden, whilst an army under Bülow covered Berlin. No sooner did the
Allies fall back to the right bank of the Elbe than Davoust attacked
Hamburg on the 9th of May with five thousand men, and vowed vengeance
on the city for having admitted the Allies. To their surprise the
citizens found themselves defended by a body of Danes, from Altona,
who were the allies of France, but had been just then thinking of
abandoning Napoleon. But the fate of the battle of Lützen changed their
views, and they retired in the evening of that day, leaving Hamburg to
the attacks of the French. Bernadotte, not having received the promised
reinforcements, did not venture to cover Hamburg. Davoust entered the
place like a devil. He shot twelve of the principal citizens, and drove
twenty-five thousand of the inhabitants out of the city, pulled down
their houses, compelling the most distinguished men of the town to work
at this demolition and at raising the materials into fortifications.
The people had long been subjected by the French to every possible
kind of pillage and indignity; no women, however distinguished, had
been allowed to pass the gate without being subjected to the most
indecent examinations. But now the fury of the French commander passed
all bounds. He levied a contribution of eighteen millions of dollars:
and not satisfied with that, he robbed the great Hamburg bank, and
declared all his doings to be by orders of the Emperor.

Napoleon, reinforced by a number of French, Bavarian, Würtemberg, and
Saxon troops, moved off to attack the Allies at Bautzen, on the 19th of
May. He had detached Lauriston and Ney towards Berlin to rout Bülow,
but they were stopped by Barclay de Tolly and Yorck at Königswartha and
at Weissig, and compelled to retreat. On the 21st Ney combined with
Napoleon, and they made a united attack on Blucher's position on the
fortified heights of Klein and Klein-Bautzen. In this battle German
fought against German, the Bavarians against Bavarians, for they took
both sides, such was the dislocated state of the nation. It was not
till after a long and desperately-fought battle that the Allies were
compelled to give ground, and then they retired, without the loss of
a single gun, and posted themselves strongly behind the fortress of
Schweidnitz, so famous in the campaigns of Frederick of Prussia.

In this battle the Allies lost in killed and wounded ten thousand
men, the French not less than fifteen thousand. The French generals
Bruyères, Kirchner, and Duroc were amongst the killed. Duroc had long
been one of the most intimate friends and attendants of Buonaparte,
who was so much cut up by his loss that for the first time in all his
terrible campaigns he became unable to attend to further details, but
answered every call for orders with "Everything tomorrow!" When he came
to find that not a gun, not a prisoner was left behind by the Germans
and Russians, Napoleon seemed to comprehend the stern spirit in which
they were now contending, and exclaimed, "How! no result after such a
massacre? No prisoners? They leave me not even a nail!" He advanced to
Breslau, various slight conflicts taking place on the way, and on the
1st of June he entered that city, the princesses of Prussia removing
thence into Bohemia.

An armistice was now demanded by the Allies--it is said at the instance
of Austria, who desired to act as mediator--and gladly assented to by
Napoleon, who was desirous of completing his preparations for a more
determined attack. The armistice was signed on the 4th of June at the
village of Pleisswitz.

At the time of this armistice, Napoleon, by the great battles of Lützen
and Bautzen, had recovered his _prestige_ sufficiently to induce the
German Confederates of the Rhine to stand by him; but he was by no
means what he had been. The opinion of his invincibility had been
irreparably damaged by the Russian campaign, and the success in these
battles was not of a character to give confidence to his own army. They
saw that the Allies had lost all superstitious fear of him. To assist
in the negotiations of this armistice, Buonaparte sent for his two
ablest heads, Fouché and Talleyrand, whom he had so long thrown from
him for their sound advice. If Buonaparte could have heard, too, what
was really going on in France, what were the growing feelings there, he
would have been startled by a most ominous condition of things. But he
had thoroughly shut out from himself the voice of public opinion, by
his treatment of the press and of liberty, and he now was to suffer for
it. Great Britain, on the 14th of June, had concluded an alliance with
Russia and Prussia, and promised to send ample materials of assistance,
even an army to the north of Prussia; and many British officers of
the highest rank repaired to the headquarters of the Allies. When
Great Britain was asked to take part in this negotiation she refused,
declaring it useless, as Napoleon would not grant the only demands
which the Allies ought to make.

Austria professed great friendliness to Napoleon, and he thought that
she would not like to break with him on account of the Empress. But
Austria, on the 27th of June, signed an engagement with Russia and
Prussia, at Reichenbach, in Silesia, binding herself to break with
him if he did not concede the terms which they demanded. These were
to restore Illyria and the whole of Austrian Italy; to reinstate the
Pope; to leave Poland to the three Powers who had formerly possessed
themselves of it, and to renounce Spain, Holland, Switzerland, and the
Confederation of the Rhine. Buonaparte treated these demands as sheer
madness; but he was nearly mad himself when Talleyrand and Fouché, and
still more, his best military counsellors, advised him at least to
fall back to the left bank of the Rhine, and make that the boundary of
France. He offered to annihilate the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, giving up
the whole of Poland to Russia--such was his gratitude to the Poles!--to
restore Illyria to Austria, but to cut down Prussia still more by
pushing the Rhenish Confederation to the Oder.

His terms were rejected with disdain. Yet he had a last interview with
Metternich, in which he hoped to terrify him by a dread of the future
preponderance of Russia; but, seeing that it made no impression, he
became incensed, and adopted a very insolent tone towards the Austrian
Minister. "Well, Metternich," he demanded, "how much has England
given you to induce you to play this part towards me?" Metternich
received the insult in haughty silence. Buonaparte, to try how far the
diplomatist still would preserve his deference towards him, let his
hat fall: Metternich let it lie. This was a sign that the Austrian
had taken his part; it was, in fact, the signal of war. Yet, at the
last moment, Napoleon suddenly assumed a tone of conciliation, and
offered very large concessions. He had heard the news of the defeat of
Vittoria. But it was too late. The Congress terminated on the 10th of
August, and the Allies refused to re-open it. On the 12th of August,
two days after the termination of the armistice, Austria declared
herself on the side of the Allies, and brought two hundred thousand
men to swell their ranks. This redoubtable force was commanded by her
general, Prince von Schwarzenberg.

Immediately after the termination of the armistice the Russians and
Prussians joined the great army of the Austrians, which had been
concentrated at Prague. Their plan was to fall upon Buonaparte's rear.
Full of activity, that unresting man had been busy, during the whole
armistice, in defending his headquarters at Dresden by fortifications.
He had cut down all the trees which adorned the public gardens and
walks, and used them in a chain of redoubts and field-works, secured
by fosses and palisades. He was in possession of the strong mountain
fortresses of the vicinity, as well as those of Torgau, Wittenberg,
Magdeburg, and others, so that the valley of the Elbe was in his
hands; and he had a bridge of boats at Königstein, extending his
communications to Stolpe: thus guarding against an attack on the side
of Bohemia. In the beginning of August he assembled two hundred and
fifty thousand men in Saxony and Silesia. Of these, sixty thousand lay
at Leipsic under Oudinot, and one hundred thousand in different towns
on the borders of Silesia, under Macdonald; he himself lay at Dresden
with his Imperial Guard. Eugene Beauharnais he had dispatched to Italy,
where he had forty thousand men. Besides these, he had a reserve of
Bavarians, under General Wrede, of twenty-five thousand men.

Besides the grand army of the Allies, of two hundred thousand, marching
from Bohemia, one hundred and twenty thousand Austrians, and eighty
thousand Russians and Prussians, Blucher lay on the road to Breslau
with eighty thousand; the Crown Prince of Sweden, near Berlin, with
thirty thousand Swedes and sixty thousand Prussians and Russians;
Walmoden lay at Schwerin, in Mecklenburg, with thirty thousand Allies;
and Hiller, with forty thousand Austrians, watched the army of Italy.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON'S INTERVIEW WITH METTERNICH. (_See p._ 67.)]

Whilst these gigantic armies were drawing towards each other, in
the early part of August, for what was afterwards called "the grand
battle of the peoples," the weather seemed as though it would renew
its Russian miseries on the French. They had to march in constantly
deluging rains, up to the knees in mud, and to risk their lives by
crossing flooded rivers. Amid these buffetings of the elements the
conflict began, on the 21st of August, between Walmoden and Davoust, at
Vellahn. A few days afterwards, in a skirmish with Walmoden's outposts
at Gadebusch, Korner, the youthful Tyrtæus of Germany, fell.

The plan of the campaign is said to have been laid down by Bernadotte,
and adopted, after some slight revision, by General Moreau. That
general, whom the jealousy of Buonaparte had expelled from France,
and who had retired to America, now returned in the hope of seeing
the fall of Buonaparte effected, and peace and a liberal constitution
given to his country. He came not to fight against France, but against
Buonaparte. The plan showed that they who devised it knew Napoleon's
art of war. It was to prevent him from attacking and beating them in
detail. Whichever party was first assailed was to retire and draw
him after them, till the other divisions could close round him, and
assail him on all sides. Blucher was the first to advance against
Macdonald and Ney. As had been foreseen, Buonaparte hastened to support
these generals with the Imperial Guard and a numerous cavalry, under
Latour-Maubourg. But Blucher then retired, and, crossing the Katzbach,
sat down near Jauer, so as to cover Breslau. The purpose was served,
for Schwarzenberg, accompanied by the sovereigns of Russia and Prussia,
as well as by Moreau, had rushed forward on Dresden, driving St. Cyr
and twenty thousand men before them, who took refuge in Dresden. The
Allies were at his heels, and on the 25th of August began to attack the
city. They hoped to win it before Buonaparte could return, in which
case they would cut off his line of communication with France--stopping
the advance both of his supplies and reinforcements. But the very
next day, whilst they were in vigorous operation against the city, and
had already carried two redoubts, Buonaparte was seen advancing in hot
haste over the bridges into Dresden. Warned of its danger, he had left
Macdonald to defend himself, and now led his troops across the city
and out at two different gates upon the enemies. The battle continued
that day, and was resumed the next, by Buonaparte pushing forward
immense bodies of troops from different gates, and concentrating them
on the Allies. The attempt to take the city in Buonaparte's absence
had failed, and now they saw themselves in danger of being enclosed by
Murat--who had again been induced to join the Emperor--on the Freiberg
road, and by Vandamme on the road to Pirna, by the Elbe. They were,
therefore, compelled to fall back, and the withdrawal soon proved a
flight. Napoleon pursued them hotly amid torrents of wind and rain,
and made great slaughter, especially of the Austrians, who were seized
with a panic of the enemy who had so often beaten them. Seven or eight
thousand French were killed and wounded; but of the Allies, chiefly
Austrians, more than twenty thousand were killed or disabled. During
the engagement Moreau had both his legs shot away by a cannon ball, and
died in a few days.

[Illustration: VIEW IN DRESDEN.]

Buonaparte continued the pursuit of the Allies as far as Pirna, whence,
owing to indisposition, he returned to Dresden; but Vandamme, Murat,
Marmont, and St. Cyr pushed forward by different ways to cut off
the route of the fugitives into the mountains of Bohemia. Vandamme,
however, having passed Peterswald, beyond which he had orders not to
proceed, was tempted to try for Töplitz, where the Allied sovereigns
lay, and take it. In doing this he was enclosed, in a deep valley near
Kulm, by Ostermann and other bodies of the Allies, completely routed,
and taken prisoner, with Generals Haxo and Guyot, the loss of two
eagles, and seven thousand prisoners. This was on the 29th of August.

On the 26th Blucher had nearly annihilated the division of Macdonald.
No sooner did he learn the return of Buonaparte to Dresden than he
wheeled round upon Macdonald, taking him by surprise, and driving his
troops into the rivers Katzbach and Neisse, swollen by the rains. The
battle raged the most fiercely near Wahlstadt, and, on the subsidence
of the floods, hundreds of corpses were seen sticking in the mud. A
part of the French fled for a couple of days in terrible disorder along
the right bank of the Neisse, and were captured, with their general, by
the Russian commander, Langeron.

The same fate befell the troops of Ney, who had been sent to dislodge
Bernadotte and Bülow before Berlin. He was beaten at Dennewitz on the
6th of September, with a loss of eighteen thousand men and eighty guns.
Macdonald had lost on the Katzbach many thousands slain or dispersed,
eighteen thousand prisoners, and a hundred and three guns. His army was
nearly annihilated. Between this period and the end of September the
French generals were defeated in every quarter: Davoust by Walmoden;
another body of French by Platoff, on the 29th; Jerome by Czernicheff,
on the 30th; and Lefebvre by Thielemann and Platoff, at Altenburg.

These defeats, which were gradually hemming Napoleon round by his
enemies in Dresden, were the direct result of the active aid of Great
Britain to the Allies. Sir Charles Stewart, the brother of Lord
Castlereagh, had been dispatched to the headquarters of the Allies.
By means of the abundant supplies of arms and money, the population
of Hanover was raised; Bernadotte was kept firm to his support of the
Coalition; and, by Sir Charles, he was also urged to march on Leipsic,
and be present at the final conflict. Brigadier-General Lyon was sent
to head the troops in Hanover; and the Duke of Cambridge to conduct the
civil government of the country. Money was supplied in abundance, in
addition to military stores. Two millions were advanced to the Crown
Prince of Sweden for his army, two millions more to the Russians and
Prussians, and another half million to Russia to equip its fleet in the
Baltic. Without these vast supplies the combined armies could not have
kept their ground.

From the 24th of September till the commencement of October Buonaparte
continued to maintain himself at Dresden, though the Allies were fast
gathering round him. Occasionally he made a rush from the city, and on
one occasion pursued Blucher as far as Nollendorf, beyond Kulm; but
these expeditions only served to exhaust his troops, without producing
any effect on the enemy. As he chased one body on one side, others were
closing up on other sides. Seeing that he could not remain long at
Dresden, and that Bernadotte and Bülow had quitted the neighbourhood
of Berlin, he suddenly conceived the design of marching rapidly on that
city, and taking up his headquarters there; but this scheme met with
universal disapprobation from his officers, and he was compelled to
abandon it. He then continued for days, and even weeks, in a state of
listless apathy, for hours together mechanically making large letters
on sheets of paper, or debating some new schemes with his generals; but
the only scheme to which they would listen was that of retreating to
the left bank of the Rhine. In fact, they and the army were completely
worn out and dispirited.

The Allies now determined to close in on all sides, and compel the
French to a surrender. But Buonaparte, after some manœuvres to bring
Blucher to action--that general and the Crown Prince of Sweden having
crossed to the left bank of the Elbe--found it at length necessary
to retreat to Leipsic. He reached that city on the 15th of October,
and learned, to his great satisfaction, that whilst his whole force
would be under its walls within twenty-four hours, the Austrians were
advancing considerably ahead of the Prussians; and he flattered himself
that he should be able to beat the Austrians before the other Allies
could reach them.

Leipsic is nearly surrounded by rivers and marshy lands, and only,
therefore, accessible by a number of bridges. The Pleisse and the
Elster on the west, in various divisions, stretch under its walls;
on the east winds far round the Parthe; on the south only rise some
higher lands. On the 16th of October, at break of day, the Austrians
attacked the southern or more accessible side with great fury, headed
by Generals Kleist and Mehrfeldt, and were opposed by Poniatowski
and Victor. Buonaparte was soon obliged to send up Souham to support
these generals. Lauriston also was attacked by Klenau at the village
of Liebertvolkwitz. After much hard fighting, Buonaparte ordered up
Macdonald, who broke through the Austrian line at the village of Gossa,
followed by Murat; Latour-Maubourg and Kellermann galloped through with
all their cavalry. Napoleon considered this as decisive, and sent word
to the King of Saxony that the battle was won, and that poor dupe and
unpatriotic king set the church bells ringing for joy. But a desperate
charge of Cossacks reversed all this, and drove back the French to
the very walls of the town. In the meantime, Blucher had attacked and
driven in Marmont, taking the village of Machern with twenty pieces
of cannon and two thousand prisoners. On the side of the Pleisse
Schwarzenberg pushed across a body of horse, under General Mehrfeldt,
who fell into the hands of the French; but another division, under
General Giulay, secured the left bank of the Pleisse and its bridges,
and had he blown them up, would have cut off the only avenue of retreat
for the French towards the Rhine. Night fell on the fierce contest,
in which two hundred and thirty thousand Allies were hemming in one
hundred and thirty-six thousand French; for the Allies this time had
adopted Buonaparte's great rule of conquering by united numbers.

The next day the battle paused, as by mutual consent; and as it was
evident that the French must eventually retreat, this day should have
been spent in preparing temporary bridges to cross the rivers; but, as
at Moscow, the presence of mind of Buonaparte seemed to have deserted
him. He dispatched General Mehrfeldt to the Allied monarchs, to propose
an armistice, on condition that he would yield all demanded at the
previous Conference--Poland, and Illyria, the independence of Holland,
Spain, and Italy, with the evacuation of Germany entirely. Before he
went Mehrfeldt informed him that the Bavarians had gone over in a body
to the Allies. But in vain did Buonaparte wait for an answer--none was
vouchsafed. The Allied monarchs had mutually sworn to hold no further
intercourse with the invader till every Frenchman was beyond the Rhine.

On the morning of the 19th the battle recommenced with fury. The French
were now fighting close under the walls of the town, and Napoleon,
posted on an eminence called Thonsberg, watched the conflict. Till
two o'clock the fight raged all along the line, round the city; and
neither party seemed to make any advance. At length the Allies forced
their way into the village of Probstheide, and threw the French on that
side into great confusion. Ney, on the north side, was also fearfully
pressed by Blucher and the Crown Prince of Sweden, and was compelled
to retreat under the walls. On a sudden, as the Russians advanced also
against Ney, the Saxons--ten thousand in number--went over to them
with a shout. They were sent to the rear, but their cannon was at once
turned against the enemy. By evening it was clear that the French could
not hold their position another day. Schwarzenberg announced to the
Allied sovereigns that victory was certain, and they knelt on the field
and returned thanks to God. The French knew this better than their
opponents, for in the two days they had fired two hundred and fifty
thousand cannon-balls, and had only about sixteen thousand cartridges
left, which would not serve for more than two hours, much of their
artillery having been sent to Torgau. The retreat, therefore, commenced
in the night. There was only one bridge prepared, of timber, in
addition to the regular stone bridge, over which one hundred thousand
men must pass, with the enemy at their heels. To add to the misery, the
temporary bridge soon broke down. Napoleon took a hasty leave of the
King and Queen of Saxony, ordered Poniatowski to defend the rear, and
himself made for the bridge. It was not without much difficulty, and
considerable alarm lest he should be surrounded and taken, that he and
his suite got across. Then there was a terrible scene of crushing and
scrambling; and the enemy, now aware of the flight, were galloping and
running from all sides towards the bridge, to cut off the fugitives.
Soon after Buonaparte had got over, the bridge was blown up by the
French officer in charge of the mine already made, and twenty-five
thousand men were left to surrender as prisoners in the town. Amongst
these were Marshals Macdonald and Poniatowski; but, disdaining to
surrender, they sprang, with their horses, into the Pleisse--to swim.
Macdonald escaped, but Poniatowski, though he crossed the Pleisse, was
again nearly cut off, and plunging into the deep and muddy Elster,
was drowned. No braver man perished in these tragic campaigns; both
Allies and French in Leipsic followed his remains to the tomb, in
sincere honour of his gallantry. The triumph of the Allied monarchs was
complete. They met in the great square of the city, and felicitated
each other. The King of Saxony was sent, without any interview, under
a guard of Cossacks to Berlin, and at the General Congress he was made
to pay dearly in territory for his besotted adhesion to the invader of
Germany. In this awful battle the French lost three hundred guns. The
slain on both sides amounted to eighty thousand, and thousands of the
wounded lay for days around the city, exposed to the severe October
nights, before they could be collected into lazarettos; and the view of
the whole environs of Leipsic, covered with dead, was fearful.

On the 23rd of October Napoleon reached Erfurt, whose fortifications
afforded him the means of two days' delay, to collect his scattered
forces. As they came straggling in, in a most wretched condition, and
without arms, his patience forsook him, and he exclaimed, "They are a
set of scoundrels, who are going to the devil! I shall lose eighty
thousand before I get to the Rhine!" In fact, he had only eighty
thousand men left, besides another eighty thousand in the garrisons
in the north of Germany--thus also lost to him. Of his two hundred
and eighty thousand men, had utterly perished one hundred and twenty
thousand. He sent orders to those in the garrisons to form a junction
in the valley of the Elbe, and so fight their way home; but this
was not practicable; and in a few months they all surrendered, on
conditions. He here dismissed such of the Saxons and Baden troops as
remained with him, and offered the same freedom to the Poles; but these
brave men--with a generosity to which the betrayer of their country
had no claim--refused to disband till they had seen him safe over the
Rhine. Murat, with less fidelity, took his leave again, on the plea
of raising troops on the frontiers of France to facilitate Napoleon's
retreat, but in reality to get away to Naples and make terms for

Before Buonaparte quitted Erfurt he learned that his late allies, the
Bavarians, with a body of Austrians under General Wrede, were marching
to cut off his line of retreat to the Rhine, and that another body of
Austrians and Prussians were marching from near Weimar, on the same
point, with the same object. He left Erfurt on the 25th of October,
amid the most tempestuous weather, and his rear incessantly harassed by
the Cossacks. He met Wrede posted at Hanau, but with only forty-five
thousand men, so that he was able to force his way, but with a loss of
six thousand, inflicting a still greater loss on the Austro-Bavarians,
of nearly ten thousand. On the 30th of October Napoleon reached
Frankfort, and was at Mainz the next day, where he saw his army cross,
and on the 7th of November he left for Paris, where he arrived on the
9th. His reception there was by no means encouraging. In addition to
the enormous destruction of life in the Russian campaign, the French
public now--instead of the reality of those victories which his lying
bulletins had announced--saw him once more arrive alone.

When the advanced guard of the Allies came in sight of the Rhine, over
which the last of the hated invaders had fled, they raised such shouts
of "The Rhine! the Rhine!" that those behind rushed forward, supposing
that it was a call to action; but they soon learned the true cause,
and joined in a mighty acclamation, that proclaimed the haughty and
sanguinary oppressor driven out, and the soil of Germany at length
freed from his licentious and marauding legions. It turned out that
they had left behind them one hundred and forty thousand prisoners,
and seven hundred and ninety-one guns. On the 2nd of November Hanover
was again delivered to Great Britain; the Duke of Brunswick, who
had maintained his stern hatred to Buonaparte, also returned to his
patrimonial domains; the kingdom of Westphalia dissolving like a
dream, the different portions of Jerome's ephemeral realm reverted to
its former owners. The Confederacy of the Rhine was at an end, the
members of it hastening to make peace with the Allies, and save as
much of their dominions as they could. Bernadotte, immediately after
the defeat of Buonaparte at Leipsic, entered Denmark, and overran the
country of that ally of France. The Danish army speedily consented to
an armistice, by which it was agreed that the Swedes should occupy
Holstein and a part of Schleswig till the French were expelled from all
the Danish fortresses. It was already stipulated as the price of his
co-operation, that the Crown Prince should receive Norway to add to the
Swedish Crown.

Holland rose in exultation on the news of the overthrow of Buonaparte
at Leipsic. His dominion over that country had been a bitter thraldom.
Its sons had been dragged yearly, by conscription, to his great
slaughter-houses called battle-fields in distant regions. Their trade
had been crushed by his Continental system; their colonies seized by
Great Britain; their mercantile sources thus dried up--in fact, he had
squeezed the wealth and the life out of Holland as out of a sponge,
and hordes of French officials maintained an insolent dominance all
over the country. At news of the Russian disasters, the Dutch had risen
to throw off this hateful and ruinous yoke; but the French forces in
Holland had then been sufficient to put them down, and to severely
punish them for the attempt. But the necessities in Germany had nearly
drained Holland of French troops, and they now rose once more joyfully
at Amsterdam, on the 15th of November, and at the Hague on the 16th.
They received the most prompt assurances of assistance from Great
Britain. A man-of-war was immediately put at the service of the Prince
of Orange, and after a nineteen years' exile he embarked on the 25th,
and entered Amsterdam on the 1st of December as King of Holland, amid
the most enthusiastic acclamations. An army of twenty-five thousand
men was soon enrolled; the Allies were at hand; the French authorities
fled, after laying hands on all the booty they could carry off; and
with the exception of the fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom, the country was
speedily cleared of them.


The Swiss acted a more cautious part. Fearful that Napoleon might
yet, by some other wonderful chance, regain his power, they summoned
a Diet, passed an order for the neutrality of the cantons, and issued
an order calling on the Allies to respect this, and not attempt to
march troops through their country. This would have suited Buonaparte
extremely well, as it would have closed his eastern frontiers to the
Austrians, who were marching that way under Count Bubna; but the
Austrians informed the Swiss authorities that they should certainly
march through; and the Allied sovereigns dispatched Count Capo d'Istria
and Herr Lebzeltern to Zurich to state that the power of France over
Switzerland was at an end, and to desire them to send deputies to meet
them, and to establish an independent government for Switzerland. Thus
assured, the greater part of the cantons sent their deputies to Zurich,
who proclaimed the restoration of national independence, and gave free
consent for the armies of the Allies to march through the country.

Whilst all the countries which Buonaparte, at such an incalculable cost
of life and human suffering, had compelled to the dominion of France
were thus re-asserting their freedom, Buonaparte, in Paris, presented
the miserable phantom of a vanished greatness. He called on the Senate
to vote new conscriptions, telling them that theirs had been made by
him the first throne of the universe, and they must maintain it as
such; that without him they would become nothing. But the Allies were
now entering France at one end, and Wellington was firmly fixed in the
other; ere long the insulted nations would be at the gates of Paris,
and the Senate and people demanded peace. Buonaparte refused to listen,
and the Senate voted the conscription of three hundred thousand men,
knowing that there was no longer any authority in the country to raise
them. La Vendée, and all the Catholic South, were on the verge of
insurrection; Murat, in Naples, was ready to throw off his last link of
adhesion to Buonaparte; and the defeated usurper stood paralysed at the
approach of his doom.

It was natural that this mighty turn in affairs on the Continent
should be watched in Great Britain with an interest beyond the power of
words. Though this happy country had never felt the foot of the haughty
invader, no nation in Europe had put forth such energies for the
overthrow of the usurper; none had poured forth such a continual flood
of wealth to arm, to clothe, to feed the struggling nations, and hold
them up against the universal aggressor. Parliament met on the 4th of
November, and, in the speech of the Prince Regent and in the speeches
in both Houses, one strain of exultation and congratulation on the
certain prospect of a close to this unexampled war prevailed. At that
very moment the "Corsican upstart" was on his way to Paris, his lost
army nearly destroyed, the remains of it chased across the Rhine, and
himself advancing to meet a people at length weary of his sanguinary
ambition, and sternly demanding peace.

Lord Castlereagh, in recounting the aid given by Great Britain to
the sovereigns of the Continent in this grand effort to put down
the intolerable military dominance of Buonaparte, drew a picture of
expenditure such as no country had presented since the commencement
of history. He said that the nations of the north of Europe were so
exhausted by their former efforts, that not one of them could move
without our aid; that this year alone we had sent to Russia two million
pounds; to Prussia two million pounds; to Austria one million pounds
in money, and one hundred thousand stand of arms; to Spain two million
pounds; to Portugal one million pounds; to Sicily four hundred thousand
pounds. By these aids Russia had been able to bring up men from the
very extremities of the earth, and Prussia to put two hundred thousand
men into the field. We had sent during the year five hundred thousand
muskets to Spain and Portugal, and four hundred thousand to other parts
of the Continent. There was something sublime in the contemplation
of one nation, by the force of her wealth and her industry, calling
together the armies of the whole world to crush the evil genius of the

But Lord Castlereagh called on Parliament to maintain the same scale
of expenditure and exertion till the great drama was completed. He
estimated that there would still be wanted for 1814 four million pounds
for the Peninsula, and six million pounds for Germany. He stated that
our army in all quarters of the world amounted to two hundred and
thirty thousand men, and that it was probable that we should have
occasion to send from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand men to
Holland, which, he recommended, should be raised by drafts from the
militia. Of seamen, one hundred and forty thousand, and thirty-one
thousand marines were voted, as it was resolved to chase the flag of
the troublesome Americans from the seas. All these proposals were
assented to without hesitation, and with the warmest encomiums on the
achievements of Lord Wellington in Spain and the south of France,
Parliament adjourned on the 26th of December till the 1st of March,

At the opening of the year 1814 Buonaparte was busy endeavouring to
make good some of his false steps, so as to meet the approaching
Allies with all possible strength. He made haste to liberate the
captive Pope, and thus remove one of the causes of the hostility of
the Italians to him, for in Italy the Austrians were bearing hard on
his Viceroy, Eugene, who had but about forty-five thousand men there,
whilst Murat, at Naples, so far from supporting the claims of Napoleon,
was endeavouring to bargain with the Allies for the kingdom of Naples.
Buonaparte, at the commencement of the year, sent Cardinal Maury and
the Bishops of Evreux and Plaisance to Pius VII. at Fontainebleau.
But even in such pressing circumstances Buonaparte could not make a
generous offer. He endeavoured to bargain for the cession of a part
of the Papal territories, on condition of the surrender of the rest.
But Pius, who had always shown great spirit, replied that the estates
of the Church were not his to give, and he would not give his consent
to their alienation. Foiled on this point, Buonaparte then sent word
that the Pope should be unconditionally liberated. "Then," said Pius,
"so must all my cardinals." This was refused, but he was permitted to
go alone, and a carriage and guard of honour were given him. Before
departing, Pius called together the cardinals, seventeen in number,
and commanded them to wear no decoration received from the French
Government, and to assist at no festival to which they should be
invited. He then took his leave, on the 24th of January, and reached
Rome on the 18th of May. Thus ended the most foolish of all the
arbitrary actions of Napoleon. The folly of it was so obvious that he
disclaimed having ordered the seizure of the Pope, but he showed that
this was false by keeping him prisoner more than five years.

Another matter which he was eager to set right was the captivity of the
King of Spain. He had one hundred thousand of his best disciplined and
most seasoned troops in Spain, and he was anxious to get them out to
meet the approaching Allies. Besides this, he was equally anxious to
render the stay of Wellington in the south of France indefensible. To
effect these purposes, he determined not only to liberate Ferdinand of
Spain, but to send him home under the conditions of a treaty, by which
a full exchange of prisoners should be effected, and the continuance
of the British there be declared unnecessary. Nay, he did all in his
power to embroil the Spaniards with their deliverers, the British.
By a treaty Buonaparte recognised Ferdinand VII. and his successors
as King of Spain and the Indies, and Ferdinand, on his part, bound
himself to maintain the integrity of his empire, and to oblige the
British immediately to evacuate every part of Spain. The contracting
powers were to maintain their maritime rights against Great Britain;
and whilst Buonaparte surrendered all fortresses held by him in Spain,
Ferdinand was to continue to all the Spaniards who had adhered to King
Joseph the rights, privileges, and property they had enjoyed under him.

Could this treaty have been carried out, Buonaparte would at once have
obtained his one hundred thousand veterans from Spain, and completely
paralysed the army of Lord Wellington. The Duke de San Carlos conveyed
the treaty to Spain. He was instructed to inquire into the state of
the Regency and the Cortes, whether they were really so infected with
infidelity and Jacobinism as Napoleon had represented; but, whether
so or not, he was to procure the ratification of the treaty by these
bodies, and Ferdinand undertook to deal with them himself when once
safe upon the throne. San Carlos travelled eastward into Spain, and
visited the camp of Suchet, who very soon communicated to General
Capons, who was co-operating with General Clinton, that there was peace
concluded between Spain and France, and that there was no longer any
use for the British. Capons was very ready to act on this information
and enter into a separate armistice with Suchet; but fortunately for
both Spain and the British, neither the Regency nor the Cortes would
sign the treaty so long as the king was in durance in France.

Lord Wellington had been duly informed of the progress of these
manœuvres, and they had given him great anxiety; nor were these the
only causes of anxiety which affected him. The British Ministry were
so much absorbed with the business of supporting the Allies in their
triumphant march after Buonaparte, that they seemed to think the
necessity of Lord Wellington's exertions at an end. At the close of
1813 they recalled Sir Thomas Graham and some of his best battalions
to send them into Holland. They appeared to contemplate still further
reductions of the Peninsular army, and Lord Wellington was obliged
to address them in very plain terms to impress them with the vital
necessity of maintaining the force in this quarter unweakened. He
reminded them that thirty thousand British troops had kept two hundred
thousand of Buonaparte's best troops engaged in Spain for five years;
that without this assistance Spain and Portugal would have long ago
been completely thrown under the feet of the invader, and the Allies of
the North would have had to contend against the undivided armies and
exertions of Napoleon; that to render his own army inefficient would
be at once to release one hundred thousand veterans such as the Allied
armies had not had to deal with. This had the proper effect; and as
soon as Wellington had obtained the necessary supplies, he resumed his
operations to drive Soult from under the walls of Bayonne.

Early in February he commenced his operations, and carried them
forward with a vigour most extraordinary. He drove Soult from all his
entrenchments before Bayonne, and again on the 27th he routed him at
Orthez and pursued him to the banks of the Adour. This was a sharply
contested field, the British having nearly three hundred killed and
two thousand wounded; but the loss of the French was far heavier, for
they flung down their arms and ran, and there was a great slaughter
of the fugitives. The towns of Bayonne and Bordeaux being now left
uncovered by the French, Wellington sent bodies of troops to invest
them. Bordeaux opened its gates on March 8th, and proclaimed Louis
XVIII. Lord Wellington had issued orders that the British should take
no part in any political demonstrations, but should leave all such
decisions to the Allies, who would settle by treaty what dynasty should
reign. He himself followed Soult to Tarbes, where he expected that he
would give battle; but Soult was anxious for the arrival and junction
of Suchet, who was advancing from Spain with upwards of twenty thousand
men. Soult, therefore, retreated to Toulouse, which he reached on the
24th of March.

Lord Wellington came up with him on the 9th of April, in the meantime
having had to get across the rapid Garonne, with all his artillery
and stores, in the face of the French batteries. The next morning,
the 10th, being Easter Sunday, Wellington attacked Soult in all his
positions. These were remarkably strong, most of his troops being
posted on well-fortified heights, bristling with cannon, various
strongly-built houses being crammed with riflemen; while a network of
vineyards and orchards, surrounded by stone walls, and intersected
by streams, protected his men, and rendered the coming at them most
difficult. The forces on both sides were nearly equal. Soult had about
forty-two thousand men, and Wellington, besides his army composed of
British, Germans, and Portuguese, had a division of fifteen thousand
Spaniards. The difficulties of the situation far out-balanced the
excess of about three thousand men on the British side; but every
quarter was gallantly attacked and, after a severe conflict, carried.
Soult retired into Toulouse, and during the ensuing night he evacuated
it, and retreated to Carcassonne. The loss of the Allies in killed was
six hundred, and about four thousand wounded. Soult confessed to three
thousand two hundred killed and wounded, but we may calculate his total
loss at little less than that of the Allies, although his troops had
been protected by their stone walls and houses.

On the 12th of April Wellington entered Toulouse amid the acclamations
of the people. But Lord Wellington was accused by the French of
fighting the battle five days after the abdication of Buonaparte, and
therefore incurring a most needless waste of life. The fact was, that
it was not till the afternoon of the 12th of April that Colonel Cooke
and the French Colonel, St. Simon, arrived at Toulouse, bringing the
official information that Buonaparte had abdicated at Fontainebleau on
the 4th. Thus it happened that the battle was fought a week before the
knowledge of the peace was received. Moreover, we have the evidence
of Soult's own correspondence, that on the 7th of April, after he had
heard of the entrance of the Allies into Paris, he was determined to
fight another battle, and for the very reason that the Allies had
entered Paris. When the English and French colonels arrived at Soult's
camp with the same news that they had communicated to Wellington, Soult
refused to submit to the Provisional Government until he received
orders from Napoleon; nor did he acknowledge this Government till the
17th, when Wellington was in full pursuit of him towards Castelnaudary.
On the 18th a convention was signed between Wellington and Soult,
and on the following day a like one was signed between Wellington
and Suchet. On the 21st Lord Wellington announced to his army that
hostilities were at an end, and thanked them "for their uniform
discipline and gallantry in the field, and for their conciliatory
conduct towards the inhabitants of the country."

In preparing to meet the invasion of the Allies Napoleon had to
encounter the most formidable difficulties. In Russia and in
this German campaign he had seen the bulk of his veteran army
dissipated--nay, destroyed. After all his years of incessant drafts on
the life-blood of France, six hundred thousand men could not be readily
replaced. To replace a fourth of that number with well-disciplined
troops was impossible. He could draw none from Germany, for his
boasted Confederation of the Rhine had disappeared as a summer cloud,
and the very princes on whom he had relied were marching against him
in the vast army of the Allies. He could draw none from Italy; for
there Eugene Beauharnais was contending, with only about forty-five
thousand men, against the much more numerous Austrians; whilst his
brother-in-law, Murat, his dashing cavalry general, was gone over to
the enemy. Poland would send him no more gallant regiments, for he
had grievously deceived the Poles; and his trusted ally of Denmark
lay trodden under foot by his former companion-in-arms, Bernadotte.
When he turned his eyes over France, which had so long sent forth her
hordes to desolate Europe at his bidding, he beheld a prospect not
much more cheering. The male population, almost to a man, was drained
off, and their bones lay bleaching in the torrid sands of Egypt and
Syria, the rugged sierras of Spain and Portugal, in the fens of Holland
and the sandy flats of Belgium, on many a heath and plain in Germany,
and far away amid the mocking snows of frozen Muscovy. The fields of
"la belle France" were being cultivated by old men, by women, and
mere boys. Those who had been so long buoyed up under the loss of
husbands, fathers, and children, by the delusive mirage of the glory
of the "grand nation," now cursed the tyrant whose insane ambition had
led such millions of the sons of France to the great slaughter-house
of war. The conscriptions, therefore, were very little attended to.
Besides this, Buonaparte was well aware that there remained a strong
leaven of Jacobinism in Paris and the large towns, and he was afraid
of calling out city guards to set at liberty other soldiers, lest, in
the hour of his absence and weakness, they should rise and renounce his

Finding that there remained no other means of reinforcing his army,
he drained the garrisons all over France, and drew what soldiers he
could from Soult and Suchet in the south. He was busy daily drilling
and reviewing, and nightly engaged in sending dispatches to urge on the
provinces to send up their men. The _Moniteur_ and other newspapers
represented all France as flying to arms; but the truth was they looked
with profound apathy on the progress of the Allies. These issued
proclamation after proclamation, assuring the people that it was not
against France that they made war, but solely against the man who would
give no peace either to France or any of his neighbours; and the French
had come to the conclusion that it was time that Buonaparte should be
brought to submit to the dictation of force, as he was insensible to
that of reason.

(_See p._ 78.)]

On the 25th of January Buonaparte conferred the Regency again on Maria
Louisa, appointed King Joseph his lieutenant in Paris--the poor man
who could not take care of the capital which had been conferred on
him--and quitted Paris to put himself at the head of his army. This
army, in spite of all his exertions, did not exceed eighty thousand
men; whilst the Allies were already in France with at least a hundred
and fifty thousand, and fresh bodies marching up in succession from
the north. He arrived the next day at Châlons, where his army lay,
commanded by Marmont, Macdonald, Victor, and Ney. The Austrians, under
Schwarzenberg, had entered France on the 21st of December by the Upper
Rhine, and directed their march on Lyons. On the 19th of January, a few
days before Buonaparte quitted Paris, they had already taken Dijon,
and were advancing on Lyons, where, however, they received a repulse.
Blucher, at the head of forty thousand men, called the Army of Silesia,
about the same time entered France lower down, between Mannheim and
Coblenz, at four different points, and pushed forward for Joinville,
Vitry, and St. Dizier. Another army of Swedes, Russians, and Germans,
under the Crown Prince of Sweden, was directed to assist in clearing
Holland and Belgium, as the Crown Prince naturally wished to take no
part in the invasion of his native soil. Whilst, therefore, Bernadotte
remained to protect Belgium, Sir Thomas Graham, who, with General
Bülow, had cleared Holland of the French, except such as occupied the
fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom, remained to invest that stronghold, and
Bülow and Winzengerode entered France by its northern frontier.

As Blucher was, as usual, much ahead of the other divisions of the
Allies, Buonaparte resolved to attack him before he could form a
junction with Schwarzenberg. Blucher, informed of his purpose,
concentrated his forces at Brienne, on the Aube, fourteen miles below
Bar. Brienne is only a small village, having but two streets, one of
them ascending to the château--occupied as a military academy, where
Napoleon himself received his military education--the other leading
to Arcis-sur-Aube. Blucher had quartered himself in the château, and
was at dinner with his staff, on the 27th of January, when he was
astonished to find that Buonaparte was already upon him. The château
being surrounded by a woody park, Napoleon had approached under cover
of it, and suddenly driven in two thousand Russians posted there,
and was rushing on to capture the general and all his staff. A most
miserable look-out must have been kept by the Prussian outposts.
Blucher and his generals, startled by the terrible uproar, had just
time to escape by a postern, and by leading their horses down a flight
of steps. Recovered, however, from their surprise, the Russians turned
on the French, and were soon supported by the Prussians. The Cossacks
galloped forward, and nearly succeeded in capturing Buonaparte at
the head of his troops. One man was laying hands on the Man in the
Grey Coat, when Gourgaud shot him with a pistol. Buonaparte gained
possession of Brienne, but, like Moscow, it was burned over his head,
and it was not till eleven o'clock at night that Blucher, who had
only twenty thousand men engaged, retired, and took up a position
at La Rothière. It could scarcely be styled a victory, yet Napoleon
proclaimed it a brilliant one, asserting that he had taken fifteen
thousand prisoners and forty pieces of cannon, when he had taken no
cannon whatever, and only a hundred prisoners.

Immediately after this engagement Blucher was joined by part of the
grand army, under the Prince of Würtemberg; he therefore determined
to attack Napoleon, and on the 1st of February drew out his forces.
Napoleon would have declined the engagement; but he had the deep river
Aube in his rear, and only the bridge of Lesmont by which to pass it.
He preferred, on this account, to risk the battle, rather than retreat
in such circumstances. Blucher attacked at once from the villages of La
Rothière, Dienville, and Chaumont. The battle was severely contested
for the whole day, the Prince of Würtemberg greatly distinguishing
himself in it. In the end Buonaparte was wholly defeated, lost four
thousand prisoners and seventy-three guns, and must have been captured
himself, had not the Austrians, by surprising slowness, allowed him to
escape over the bridge. He then retreated towards Troyes, where he was
joined by his Imperial Guard; but his losses had been very heavy. Had
Blucher and Schwarzenberg, who had now met, marched on united, they
must have been in Paris in a very short time; but, with the German
fatality of dividing, they had no sooner experienced the benefit of a
powerful union than they called a council at the château of Brienne,
and agreed to separate again. Blucher, joining to his own the divisions
of Yorck and Kleist, proceeded towards Paris by the Marne, and Prince
Schwarzenberg followed the course of the Seine.

Buonaparte saw his opportunity, and, making a movement by a body of
troops on Bar-sur-Seine, he alarmed Schwarzenberg, who thought he
was intending to attack him in full force, and therefore changed his
route, separating farther from Blucher. This point gained, Buonaparte
marched after Blucher. That general had driven Macdonald from Château
Thierry, and had established his headquarters at Vertus. Sacken was in
advance as far as Ferté-sous-Jouarre, and Yorck at Meaux, much nearer
Paris than Buonaparte himself. Paris was in great alarm. But Napoleon,
taking a cross-country road, and dragging his artillery by enormous
exertions over hedges, ditches, and marshes, came upon Blucher's rear,
to his astonishment, at Champaubert. Driving in the Russians, Napoleon
defeated him, taking two thousand prisoners, and most of his artillery;
and being thus posted between Sacken and Blucher, he first attacked and
defeated Sacken, destroying or squandering five thousand men--about
one-fourth of his division--and then turned to attack Blucher himself,
who was marching rapidly up to support Sacken. Blucher, finding himself
suddenly in face of the whole army of Buonaparte, in an open country,
fell back, but conducted his retreat so admirably that he cut his way
through two strong bodies of French, who had posted themselves on the
line of his march, and brought off his troops and artillery safe to
Châlons. Napoleon then turned against Schwarzenberg, and on the 17th
of February he met and defeated him at Nangis. Such were the immediate
consequences of the folly of dividing the Allied forces. In these
movements Napoleon displayed a military ability equal to that of any
part of his career.

The Parisians were now afforded proofs that Napoleon was once more
victorious. The prisoners, banners, and cannon which he had taken
were sent forward rapidly to the capital, and ostentatiously paraded
through the streets. Meanwhile, the Allies were so alarmed, that the
sovereigns wrote to Buonaparte, expressing their surprise at his
attacks, as they had ordered their Plenipotentiaries to accept the
terms offered by his ambassador, Caulaincourt. These terms had indeed
been offered by Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza, at a Congress held
at Châtillon-sur-Seine on the 5th of February, and which was still
sitting; but the Allies had never, in fact, accepted them, and now,
as he was again in the ascendant, Napoleon was not likely to listen
to them. He therefore left the letter unanswered till he should have
thoroughly defeated the Allies, and then he would dictate his reply.

He next attacked and took Montereau from the Allies, but at a terrible
cost of life. Finding then that the Austrians and Prussians were once
more contemplating a junction, he sent an answer to the letter of the
Allied sovereigns, but it was addressed only to the Emperor of Austria,
and its tenor was to persuade the Emperor to make a separate peace.
"Only gain the Austrians," he had said to Caulaincourt, on sending
him to Châtillon, "and the mischief is at an end." The Emperor sent
Prince Wenceslaus of Liechtenstein to Napoleon's headquarters, and it
was agreed that a conference should be held at Lusigny, between him
and Count Flahault, on the 24th of February. But Buonaparte did not
cease for a moment his offensive movements. On the night of the 23rd he
bombarded Troyes, and entered the place the next day. The Congress at
Châtillon still continued to sit, Caulaincourt amusing the sovereigns
and the ambassador of Great Britain, Lord Aberdeen, with one discussion
after another, but having secret instructions from Buonaparte to sign
nothing. At length he wrote to him, on the 17th of February, saying,
"that when he gave him his carte-blanche it was for the purpose of
saving Paris, but that Paris was now saved, and he revoked the powers
which he had given him." The Allies, however, continued till the 15th
of March their offer of leaving France its ancient limits, and then,
the time being expired, they broke up the conference. It is said that
as Caulaincourt left Châtillon he met the secretary of Buonaparte
bringing fresh powers for treating, but it was now too late. On the
1st of March the Allies had signed a treaty at the town of Chaumont,
pledging themselves to combined action against Napoleon, should he
still prove to be obstinate.

A succession of battles now took place with varying success, but
still leaving the Allies nearer to Paris than before. If Buonaparte
turned against Blucher, Schwarzenberg made an advance towards the
capital; if against Schwarzenberg, Blucher progressed a stage. To
check Schwarzenberg whilst he attacked Blucher, Napoleon sent Oudinot,
Macdonald, and Gerard against Schwarzenberg; but they were defeated,
and Napoleon himself was repulsed with severe loss from Craonne and
the heights of Laon. But Buonaparte getting between the two Allied
armies, and occupying Rheims, the Austrians were so discouraged that
Schwarzenberg gave orders to retreat. The Emperor Alexander strenuously
opposed retreat; but the effectual argument was advanced by Lord
Castlereagh, who declared that the moment the retreat commenced the
British subsidies should cease. A sharp battle was fought on the 20th
of March, between Schwarzenberg and Napoleon, at Arcis-sur-Aube, and
Napoleon was compelled to retreat. Blucher, who had received the order
to retreat from Schwarzenberg, had treated it with contempt, and
replied to it by his favourite word, "Forwards!" Napoleon had now to
weigh the anxious question, whether it was better to push on, and stand
a battle under the walls of Paris, with his small, much-reduced force,
against the Allies, and with the capital in a state of uncertainty
towards him--or to follow and harass the rear of the enemy. He seems
to have shrunk from the chance of a defeat under the eyes of his
metropolis, and he therefore, finding a Prussian force in Vitry,
crossed the Marne on the 22nd of March, and held away towards his
eastern frontiers, as if with some faint, fond hope that the peasantry
of Franche Comté and Alsace might rise and fly to his support. But no
such movement was likely; all parts of France were mortally sick of his
interminable wars, and glad to see an end put to them. The Allies had
now taken the bold resolve to march on Paris and summon it to surrender.

The Emperor Francis determined to remain at Aube, with the division
under General Ducca, not thinking it becoming him to join in
the attack on the French capital where his daughter ruled as
empress-regent; and a body of ten thousand cavalry, under command
of Winzengerode and Czernicheff, was ordered to watch the motions
of Napoleon and intercept his communications with Paris, whilst the
Russian and Prussian light troops scoured the roads in advance,
stopping all couriers. Blucher, at the same time, having thrown open
the gates of Rheims, was moving on Châlons and Vitry, to form a
junction with the army of Schwarzenberg. The flying parties captured,
near Sommepuix, a convoy of artillery and ammunition; and, on another
occasion, they fell in with a courier bearing a budget of the most
melancholy intelligence to the Emperor--that the British had made a
descent on Italy; that the Austrians had defeated Augereau, and were in
possession of Lyons; that Bordeaux had declared for Louis XVIII.; and
that Wellington was at Toulouse. These tidings gave immense confidence
to the Allies. Near Fère-Champenoise the Allies met, finding Blucher
in the act of stopping a body of infantry, five thousand in number,
which was bearing provisions and ammunition to the army of Napoleon.
The column consisted of young conscripts and National Guards, who had
never been in action, but they bravely defended their charge till they
were surrounded by the mingling forces of the two armies, and compelled
to surrender.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER I.]

The Allies now advanced in rapid march. They put to flight the
divisions of Mortier and Marmont, whom Buonaparte had posted to give
them a check. These divisions lost eight thousand men, besides a vast
quantity of guns, baggage, and ammunition. A similar fate awaited a
body of ten thousand National Guards. At Meaux Mortier and Marmont
blew up a great powder-magazine as Blucher approached, and then
retired beneath the walls of Paris. The Allies, in three days, had
marched seventy miles. On the 28th of March they were in full view of
Paris, and had driven Marmont and Mortier close under its walls. The
north-east side of Paris, on which they were approaching, was the only
one then fortified. A ridge of hills along that side, including the
heights of Belleville, Romainville, and Montmartre, was defended by an
old wall, and there the French authorities had placed the defenders of
the city--the shattered forces of the two retreating marshals, bodies
of the National Guard, and youths from the Polytechnic schools, many of
them mere boys of from twelve to sixteen years old, some of whom served
the guns on the batteries. The whole of the forces left to defend the
great and wealthy city of Paris amounted to between thirty and forty
thousand men.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON SIGNING HIS ABDICATION. (_See p._ 83.)]

The other side of the city was only defended by the Seine, but the
Allies, who had first to cross that river, feared that Buonaparte
might come up and attack their rear while they were doing so. They
determined, therefore, to attack the line of fortifications. The most
lying proclamations were issued by the ex-King Joseph to assure the
inhabitants that the bodies of the enemy who came in view were only
stragglers who had managed to get past the army of the Emperor, who was
dispersing the Allies most triumphantly. The forces in Paris--eight
thousand troops of the line and thirty thousand of the National
Guard--were reviewed in front of the Tuileries on a Sunday, to impress
the people with a sense of security; but on the morning of the 29th
the Empress and her child quitted the palace, attended by a regiment
of seven hundred men, and fled to Blois, carrying with her the crown
jewels and much public treasure, and followed by nearly all the members
of Government. The population--unlike their fathers, who stopped Marie
Antoinette in her attempt to escape--suffered this departure with
murmurs, but without any attempt to prevent it. When she was gone they
began heartily to curse Buonaparte for the trouble and disgrace he
had brought upon them. That very morning Joseph issued a most flaming
proclamation, assuring the Parisians that the Emperor was at hand, and
would annihilate the last traces of the audacious enemy. But already
the assault had commenced, and the next day, the 30th of March, it was
general all along the line. The Parisians fought bravely, especially
the boys from the Polytechnic schools; and as the Allies had to attack
stone walls and batteries, their slaughter was great. Joseph rode along
the line to encourage them in this useless, because utterly hopeless,
waste of life. The Allied monarchs had, before commencing the assault,
issued a proclamation, promising that all life and property should
be strictly protected if the city quietly opened its gates; and, in
the midst of the storming, they sent in again, by a French prisoner,
the same offer, adding that, should the city be carried by assault,
no power on earth could prevent it from being sacked by the enraged
soldiers, and probably destroyed. Yet Joseph did not give the order for
capitulation till the whole line was in the hands of the Allies, except
Montmartre. The Cossacks were already in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and
bombs flying into the Chaussée d'Antin. Then King Joseph, whose lying
proclamation was still selling on the boulevards at a sou each, ordered
Marmont to capitulate; and though he had vowed in his proclamation to
stand by the Parisians to the last gasp, he then fled after the Empress
to Blois. In this defence four thousand French were killed and wounded,
and double that number of the Allies, as they had to face the towers
and batteries crowded with soldiers and to fight their way up hill.

Meanwhile Buonaparte had taken the route for Troyes and Dijon, ignorant
of the rapid advance of the Allies on Paris. Never in any of his
campaigns does he seem to have been so ill-informed of the movements of
the enemy as at this most momentous juncture. On the 26th of March he
was attacked by the flying squadrons of Winzengerode. At Doulaincourt
he was startled by learning that Paris was on the point of being
assaulted by the Allies. From this place he dispatched one courier
after another to command the forces in Paris to hold out, and, ordering
the army to march with all speed, he himself entered his carriage
and was driven in all haste to Fontainebleau. Thence he was driving
to Paris, when, at an inn, called La Cour de France, he met General
Belliard with his cavalry, who gave him the confounding information
that the Empress, King Joseph, and the Court had fled; that the Allies
were in Paris, and a convention was signed. At this news he began
to rave like an insane man, blamed Marmont and Mortier--as, during
his defeats, he had often bitterly upbraided his generals,--blamed
Joseph, and everybody but himself, and insisted on going to Paris, and
seeing the Allies himself, but was at length persuaded to return to
Fontainebleau, and ordered his army to assemble, as it came up on the
heights of Longjumeau, behind the little river Essonnes.

On arriving in Paris, the Emperor Alexander took up his quarters
at the house of Talleyrand, and there the King of Prussia, Prince
Schwarzenberg and others came to consult. Talleyrand now spoke out,
and declared that it would be madness to treat with Buonaparte;
the only course was to restore the Bourbons, under certain limits.
As early as the 12th of March the Duke of Angoulême had entered
Bourdeaux, and had there proclaimed, amid acclamations, Louis XVIII.
The Comte d'Artois came along in the rear of the Allied army, and had
everywhere issued printed circulars, calling on the people to unite
under their ancient family, and have no more tyranny, no more war, no
more conscriptions. This paper had also been extensively circulated in
Paris. On the 1st of April the walls of Paris were everywhere placarded
by two proclamations, side by side, one from the Emperor Alexander,
declaring that the Allied sovereigns would no longer negotiate with
Napoleon nor any of his family, and the other from the municipality
of Paris, declaring that, in consequence of the tyranny of Napoleon,
they had renounced the allegiance of the usurper, and returned to that
of their legitimate sovereign. On the same day the Senate, under the
guidance of Talleyrand, decreed that he had violated and suppressed
the constitution which he had sworn to maintain; had chained up the
press, and employed it to disseminate his own false statements; drained
the nation, and exhausted its people and resources in wars of mere
personal ambition; and, finally, had refused to treat on honourable
conditions: for these and other plentifully-supplied causes, he had
ceased to reign, and the nation was therefore absolved from all oaths
sworn to him. This decree, on the 2nd and 3rd of April, was subscribed
by the public bodies in and around Paris. A Provisional Government was

Caulaincourt, who had been sent by Buonaparte from Fontainebleau to
the Allied sovereigns to treat on his behalf, returned, and informed
Buonaparte of all these events. He declared that he would march on
Paris; and the next day, the 4th of April, he reviewed his troops, and
told them that some vile persons had insulted the tricolour cockade
in Paris, and they would march there at once and punish them. The
soldiers shouted, "_Paris, Paris!_" but, after the review, the marshals
produced the _Moniteur_, told him what had taken place, and that it
was necessary that he should submit. He appeared greatly agitated,
and asked them what they wished. Lefebvre said, bluntly, that he had
been advised by his best friends to make peace in time, when he would
have saved everything; there was nothing for it now but to abdicate.
Napoleon then called for a pen, and abdicated in favour of his son.
Caulaincourt and Ney were to carry this to the Allied sovereigns. They
inquired what terms they should ask for himself. He replied--"None: I
ask nothing." Yet, the moment the commissioners were gone, he started
up and vowed that he would fight with Marmont's corps and the Guards,
and would be in Paris on the morrow.

When Ney and Caulaincourt saw Marmont at Essonnes, he informed them
that he had entered into a convention with the Allied sovereigns on
his own account. They begged him to suspend it and accompany them, and
he consented. Whilst the three commissioners were with the Emperor
Alexander, news was brought that Count Souham, with whom Marmont had
left the command of his troops, had gone over, and marched the division
into the lines of the Allies. On this the Emperor said they had better
return to Napoleon, and assure him that the Allies would accept nothing
short of an absolute and unqualified abdication. When they announced
this to him, to their surprise, he exclaimed, "But what provisions are
made for me? How am I to be disposed of?" They replied that it was
proposed by the Emperor Alexander that he should retain the title of
Emperor; should have the island of Elba, a guard, a small fleet, and
all the attributes of royalty, with a suitable income. With a mood of
mind incomprehensible in any other person, he immediately called for
maps and books about Elba, and began contemplating his future position,
as though he had only been changing one France for another; but there
can be no doubt that he, in reality, was weighing the facilities of
the place for that effort to regain the empire of France, which he
certainly never renounced for a moment. On the 11th of April he drew
up a form of unconditional abdication, signed, and dispatched it.
Ney, Macdonald, and Caulaincourt arrived with the treaty to which the
Allied sovereigns had agreed. Elba was assigned to him--an island
twenty leagues in extent, with twelve thousand inhabitants--and he
was to have an income of six millions of francs, besides the little
revenue of the island. Two millions and a half more were assigned
as annuities to Josephine, and the other members of his family. The
Empress was to be created Duchess of Parma, Placentia, and Guastella,
in full sovereignty. The marshals and other officers of his army were
received into the same ranks and dignities in the army of the Bourbon
sovereign. Lord Castlereagh, who had arrived after the conclusion of
this treaty, pointed out the folly of it, which must have been apparent
to every man of the slightest reflection; for, to a certainty, Napoleon
would not for a day longer than he was compelled observe it in a place
like Elba, in the very vicinity of France. He declined, on the part of
Great Britain, any concern in it; but to avoid a renewal of the war, he
offered no formal opposition. Napoleon arrived at Elba on the 4th of

The Provisional Government of France lost no time in framing a new
constitution, in which the limited monarchy and the House of Lords of
Great Britain were imitated. They declared Louis XVIII., the brother of
the last king, Louis XVI., the rightful occupant of the throne, and his
brothers and the other members of the House of Bourbon, after him in
due succession. Talleyrand was the first to put his signature to this
document; and the Abbé Siéyès, though he did not sign it, declared his
adhesion to the abdication of Buonaparte. On the 11th of April, the
same day that Napoleon signed his abdication, the brother of Louis,
the Count d'Artois, arrived, and the next day was received by the new
Government in a grand procession into Paris. There was a show of much
enthusiasm on the part of the people, but this was more show than
reality; the Bourbonist party was the only one that sincerely rejoiced
at the restoration; and when it was seen that a troop of Cossacks
closed the prince's procession, the people gave unequivocal signs of
disapprobation. The Duke of Angoulême had already entered the city of
Bourdeaux amid much acclamation, for the Bourbonist interest was strong
in the south, and he now came on to Paris. The new king, who had been
living, since the peace of Tilsit, at Hartwell, in Buckinghamshire, a
seat of the Marquis of Buckingham assigned by the British Government
for his residence, now went over. Louis was a quiet, good-natured man,
fond of books, and capable of saying witty things, and was much better
fitted for a country gentleman than for a throne. He was conducted into
London by the Prince Regent, and by crowds of applauding people. The
Prince Regent also accompanied him to Dover, where, on the 24th of
April, he embarked on board a vessel commanded by the Duke of Clarence,
afterwards William IV. He was accompanied by the Duchess of Angoulême,
the Prince of Condé, and his son, the Duke of Bourbon. On landing at
Calais, he embraced the Duchess of Angoulême, saying, "I hold again the
crown of my ancestors; if it were of roses, I would place it upon your
head; as it is of thorns, it is for me to wear it."

On the 2nd of May, two days only before Buonaparte entered his little
capital of Elba, Louis made his public entry into Paris amid quite
a gay and joyous-seeming crowd; for the Parisians are always ready
for a parade and a sensation; and none are said to have worn gloomy
looks on the occasion except the Imperial Guard, now, as they deemed
themselves, degraded into the Royal Guard--from the service of the most
brilliant of conquerors to that of the most pacific and unsoldierlike
of monarchs, who was too unwieldy even to mount a horse. For a time all
appeared agreeable enough; but there were too many hostile interests
at work for it to remain long so. In the new constitution, by which
the Senate had acknowledged Louis, they had declared him recalled on
the condition that he accepted the constitution framed for him; and
at the same time they declared the Senate hereditary, and possessed
of the rank, honours, and emoluments which Buonaparte had conferred
on the members. Louis refused to acknowledge the right of the Senate
to dictate a constitution to him. He assumed the throne as by his own
proper hereditary descent; and he then gave of his free will a free
constitution. This was the first cause of difference between the king
and the people. The Royalists condemned the new constitution as making
too much concession, and the Republicans resented his giving a charter
of freedom, because it made them the slaves of his will. The Royalists
soon began to monopolise offices and honours, and to clamour for the
recovery of their estates, now in the hands of the people, and these
were naturally jealous of their prevailing on the king and his family
to favour such reclamations. The clergy, who, like the Noblesse, had
been stripped of their property, and had now to subsist on annuities
of five hundred livres, or about twenty-six pounds sixteen shillings
and eightpence a-year, looked with resentment on those who were in
possession of the spoil; and the well-known disposition of the king
and his family to restore the status and the substance of the Catholic
Church, made those who had this property, and those--the greater part
of the nation--who had no religion whatever, readily believe that ere
long they would attempt to recall what the Revolution had distributed.
These suspicions were greatly augmented by the folly and bigotry
of the clergy. They refused to bury with the rites of the Church a
Mademoiselle Raucour, simply because she was an actress. Great tumults
arose on the occasion, and the Government was compelled to interfere
and ensure the burial in due form. The more regular observance of
the Sabbath was treated as bringing back the ancient superstitions;
and the taking up of the remains of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette
and conveying them to the royal place of sepulture in the Abbey of
St. Denis was regarded as a direct censure of the Revolution. It was
quite natural that Louis XVIII. should do this, and equally so that
he should show some favour to the surviving chiefs of La Vendée; but
these things had the worst effect on the public mind, as tending to
inspire fears of vengeance for the past, or of restoration of all that
the past had thrown down. In these circumstances, the Royalists were
discontented, because they thought Louis did too little for them, and
the rest of the community because he did too much. The Jacobins, who
had been suppressed, but not exterminated, by Buonaparte, now again
raised their heads, under so mild and easy a monarch, with all their
old audacity. They soon, however, despaired of reviving the Republic,
and turned to the son of their old partisan, Philip Égalité, the Duke
of Orleans, and solicited him to become their leader, promising to make
him king. But the present duke--afterwards King Louis Philippe--was
too honourable a man for their purpose; he placed the invitation
given him in the hands of Louis, and the Jacobins, then enraged, were
determined to bring back Napoleon rather than tolerate the much easier
yoke of the Bourbons. Carnot and Fouché soon offered themselves as
their instruments. Carnot, who had been one of the foremost men of the
Reign of Terror, had refused to acknowledge the rule of Buonaparte, who
suppressed the Revolution, for a long time, but, so late as the present
year, he had given in his adhesion, and was appointed engineer for
carrying on the fortifications of Antwerp. He had now the hardihood to
address a memorial to Louis XVIII., which, under the form of an apology
for the Jacobins during the Revolution, was in truth a direct attack on
the Royalists, describing them as a contemptible and small body, who
had allowed Louis XVI. to be destroyed by their cowardice, and now
had brought back the king by the hands of Englishmen and Cossacks to
endeavour to undo all that had been done for the people. He represented
kings as naturally prone to despotism, and priests and nobles as
inciting them to slaughter and rapine. The pretence was to lead the
monarch to rely only on the people; the object was to exasperate the
people against kings, nobles, and the Church.

[Illustration: ELBA.]

Carnot pretended that this memorial had been published during
his absence, and without his knowledge, but he did not deny the
composition; and it was most industriously circulated throughout Paris
from little carts, to avoid the penalties which would have fallen on
the booksellers had they issued it. As for Fouché, he endeavoured to
persuade Louis to declare himself attached to the Revolution--to assume
the tricolour flag and cockade. For Louis to have ruled according to
the more liberal ideas introduced by the Revolution would have been
wise, without declaring himself formally the disciple of opinions which
had sent so many of his family to the guillotine; but to have followed
the invidious advice of Fouché would have let loose at once that
terrible race of Jacobins which had never ceased to massacre all other
parties and then their own so long as they had the power. The cannon
of Buonaparte alone had arrested their career; the advice of Fouché
would have recalled it in all its horrors. Not prevailing on Louis to
do so foolish an act, he wrote to Napoleon, advising him to get away to
America, or it would not be long before the Bourbons, in spite of the
treaty, would seize and put him to death; and then Fouché entered heart
and soul into the plots of the Jacobins for the restoration of Napoleon.

Whilst these elements of a new convulsion were in active operation,
the Allies had settled to some extent the affairs of Europe, and
had returned home. On the 30th of May a treaty had been signed at
Paris, between Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with France.
The boundaries of France were settled as they existed in 1792; it was
decreed that Holland and Belgium should be united to form a strong
barrier against France; the independence of Switzerland was restored;
the north of Italy was again made over to Austria, including Venice,
but not including Sardinia, which was enlarged by the addition of
Genoa, out of which Lord William Bentinck, with a British army, had
driven the French. Murat had assisted the Austrians to conquer Eugene
Beauharnais, and hoped to be allowed to retain Naples, yet having many
fears of his new allies, the Austrians, and of the Allies generally.
The Pope was again in peaceful possession of his States; the arms and
the money of Great Britain had triumphed over Buonaparte, and had
restored the monarchs of Europe to their thrones; but it was not to
be denied that in restoring them they had restored so many detestable

Not one of these monarchs, whose subjects had shed their blood and
laid down their lives by hundreds of thousands to replace them in
their power, had in return given these subjects a recompense by the
institution of a more liberal form of government. The German kings
and princes had openly promised such constitutions to induce them to
expel Buonaparte; and, this accomplished, they shamefully broke their
word. As Lord Byron well observed, we had put down one tyrant only to
establish ten. In Spain, where we had made such stupendous exertions to
restore Ferdinand, that monarch entered about the end of March; and his
arrival was a signal for all the old royalists and priests to gather
round him, and to insist on the annihilation of the Constitution made
by the Cortes. He went to Gerona, where he was joined by General Elio
and forty thousand men. Thence he marched to Saragossa and Valencia.
At that city _Te Deum_ was sung for his restoration, and, surrounded
by soldiers and priests, he declared that the Cortes had never been
legally convoked; that they had deprived him of the sovereignty, and
the nobles and clergy of their status; and that he would not swear to
the Constitution which they had prepared. On the 12th of May he entered
his capital, amid the most frantic joy of the ignorant populace, and
proceeded at once to seize all Liberal members of the Cortes, and throw
them into prison. Wellington hastened to Madrid, and with his brother,
Sir Henry Wellesley, the British Ambassador, and General Whittingham,
in vain urged on Ferdinand to establish a liberal constitution,
and govern on liberal principles. It was clear there was a time of
terrible and bloody strife before Spain between the old tyrannies and
superstitions and the new ideas.

In balancing accounts at the Congress at Paris, there was a resignation
on the part of Great Britain of the colonies which she had won with so
much cost of money and men. Our statesmen never thought of placing some
of the enormous sums we had bestowed on the Powers we helped against
the islands we had conquered. We had dearly purchased them. But Great
Britain gave back to France all the colonies possessed by her in 1792,
except Tobago, St. Lucia, and the Isle of France. Still more absurdly,
we returned Pondicherry, in the East Indies, as a focus for fresh
annoyances there from the French, whom we had expelled at such cost
for their meddling and exciting the natives against us. We restored
to the French, under certain conditions, the right of fishing on the
bank of Newfoundland, as they had enjoyed it in 1783; conditions which
they boldly violated, and which the British Ministry did not venture to
insist on being observed. We gave back also to Spain several islands
and colonies; and the same to Holland--namely, Demerara, Essequibo,
Berbice, the immense island of Java, and the rich one of Sumatra,
retaining only the Cape of Good Hope and the settlements in Ceylon.

These arrangements having been made, the sovereigns of Russia and
Prussia came over to London on a visit to the Prince Regent, and
to take a look at that wonderful capital which had poured out such
torrents of gold to bring up their armies to Paris. With them came
the Duchess of Oldenburg, the sister of the Czar, the two sons of the
King of Prussia, and a great number of the victorious field-marshals,
generals, princes, dukes, barons, and the like. But the two grand
favourites of the people were Platoff, whose Cossacks had charmed the
British people so by their wild prowess, and the bluff old Marshal
Blucher. This was a hero exactly after the British heart--blunt,
uncompromising, and, like the British, never knowing when he was


    in 1815.


REIGN OF GEORGE III. (_concluded_).

    The Congress at Vienna--Napoleon's Escape from Elba--Military
    Preparations--England supplies the Money--Wellington organises
    his Army--Napoleon's Journey through France--His Entry into
    Paris--The Enemy gathers round him--Napoleon's Preparations--The
    New Constitution--Positions of Wellington and Blucher--The Duchess
    of Richmond's Ball--Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras--Blucher's
    Retreat--The Field of Waterloo--The Battle--Charge of the Old
    Guard--Arrival of the Prussians--The Retreat--French Assertions
    about the Battle refuted--Napoleon's Abdication--The Allies
    march on Paris--End of the Hundred Days--The Emperor is sent
    to St. Helena--The War in America--Events on the Canadian
    Frontier--Repeated Incapacity of Sir George Prevost--His
    Recall--Failure of American Designs on Canada--Capture of
    Washington by the British--Other Expeditions--Failure of the
    Expedition to New Orleans--Anxiety of the United States for
    Peace--Mediation of the Czar--Treaty of Ghent--Execution of Ney
    and Labédoyère--Inability of Wellington to interfere--Murat's
    Attempt on Naples--His Execution--The Second Treaty of Paris--Final
    Conditions between France and the Allies--Remainder of the Third
    George's Reign--Corn Law of 1815--General Distress--Riots and
    Political Meetings--The Storming of Algiers--Repressive Measures in
    Parliament--Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act--Secret Meetings in
    Lancashire--The Spy Oliver--The Derbyshire Insurrection--Refusal
    of Juries to convict--Suppression of seditious Writings--Circular
    to Lords-Lieutenant--The Flight of Cobbett--First Trial of
    Hone--The Trials before Lord Ellenborough--Bill for the Abolition
    of Sinecures--Death of the Princess Charlotte--Opening of
    the Session of 1818--Repeal of the Suspension Act--Operation
    of the Corn Law--The Indemnity Bill--Its Passage through
    Parliament--Attempts at Reform--Marriages of the Dukes of Clarence,
    Cambridge, and Kent--Renewal of the Alien Act--Dissolution of
    Parliament and General Election--Strike in Manchester--Congress
    of Aix-la-Chapelle--Raids of the Pindarrees--Lord Hastings
    determines to suppress them--Malcolm's Campaign--Outbreak of
    Cholera--Campaign against the Peishwa--Pacification of the Mahratta
    District--Apparent Prosperity of Great Britain in 1819--Opening of
    Parliament--Debates on the Royal Expenditure--Resumption of Cash
    Payments--The Budget--Social Reforms--The Scottish Burghs--Roman
    Catholic Emancipation rejected--Weakness of the Government--Meeting
    at Manchester--The Peterloo Massacre--The Six Acts--The Cato Street
    Conspiracy--Attempted Insurrection in Scotland--Trials of Hunt and
    his Associates--Death of George III.

The Allied sovereigns and their Ministers met at Vienna, in the opening
of the year 1815, in congress, to settle the boundaries of all such
States as had undergone disruptions and transformations through the
will of Buonaparte. They were proceeding, with the utmost composure, to
rearrange the map of Europe according to their several interests and
ambitions. Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia,
Russia, and Sweden had their sovereigns or their representatives there.
Those for Great Britain were the Duke of Wellington, the Lords Cathcart
and Clancarty, and Sir Charles Stewart. All at once a clap of political
thunder shook the place, and made every astute diplomatist look aghast.
It was announced that Buonaparte had escaped from Elba, and was rapidly
traversing France on the way to Paris, and that his old soldiers were
flocking with acclamation to his standard. It was what was certain to
occur--what every man not a cunning diplomatist must have foreseen
from the first, as certainly as that a stone thrown up is sure to come
down again. Yet no one seems to have foreseen it, except it were Lord
Castlereagh, who, not arriving at Paris before this foolish scheme was
adopted, had protested against it, and then yielded to it. On the 13th
of March the ministers of the Allied Powers met, and signed a paper
which, at length, was in earnest, and showed that they were now as well
convinced of a simple fact as the dullest intellect had been ten years
before--that there was no use treating Buonaparte otherwise than as a
wild beast. They now declared him an outlaw, a violator of treaties,
and an incorrigible disturber of the peace of the world; and they
delivered him over to public contempt and vengeance. Of course, the
British ambassadors were immediately looked to for the means of moving
the armies of these high and mighty Powers, and the Duke of Wellington
to plan and to lead the military operations against the man who had
once more developed himself from the Emperor of Elba into the Emperor
of the French.

The Duke of Wellington wrote to the British Government to inform them
of this event, and that the Allied sovereigns were this time resolved
to make sure of the fugitive; that the Emperor of Austria had agreed to
bring into the field three hundred thousand men; the Czar, two hundred
and twenty-five thousand; Prussia, two hundred and thirty-six thousand;
the other States of Germany, one hundred and fifty thousand; and that
it was expected Holland would furnish fifty thousand. Thus nine hundred
and sixty thousand men were promised, independently of Sweden and Great
Britain; so that a million of men might be calculated upon to crush
Buonaparte, provided that the latter Power were ready to furnish the
necessary millions of money to put this mighty host in motion.


The Duke earnestly recommended the utmost promptness and liberality as
the only means to settle the matter effectually and at once. He said
that to give only moderate assistance was sure to enable Buonaparte
to protract the contest, and would cost Britain more in the end;
that, on the contrary, if Britain found the means of maintaining a
great army, he was confident that "the contest would be a very short
one, and decidedly successful." And this, in the circumstances, was
clearly the best advice. Great Britain, having been no party to the
silly arrangement for setting up Buonaparte as a burlesque emperor
at the very doors of France, might very well have said to the Allied
sovereigns--"This is your work; we have no further concern in it; you
may finish it as you please." But Britain was sure not to do this; as
both the Government and nation had set their mind on hunting down the
slippery and mischievous adventurer, they were sure to follow up the

The British Ministry adopted the advice most cordially. Lord Liverpool,
in the House of Lords, and Lord Castlereagh, in the Commons, on
the 6th of April, announced the astounding fact of the escape of
Buonaparte, and proposed addresses from both Houses to the Prince
Regent, recommending the most energetic measures of co-operation with
the Allies now finally to crush this lawless man. Whitbread vehemently
opposed this measure, declaring that it was not our business "to
commence a new crusade to determine who should fill the throne of
France." This was true enough; but it was a truth, in the then temper
of the Government or public, which was not likely to be attended to.
The addresses were carried in both Houses without any division, and
Lord Wellington was nominated to command the forces which should take
the field for Great Britain; and these were to amount to no fewer than
one hundred and fifty thousand, and to consist of a moderate number of
British soldiers, and the rest to be paid Hanoverians, Belgians, Dutch,
and Germans. Parliament immediately voted the enormous sum of ninety
million pounds for supplies, knowing the vast subsidies which would be
required by the Allied monarchs, besides the large sum necessary to pay
our own quota of troops.

On the 23rd of March the Allied sovereigns, including that of the
United Kingdom, signed, by their plenipotentiaries, a new treaty of
alliance offensive and defensive, on the same principles as the Treaty
of Chaumont, entered into in March, 1814. The Duke of Wellington then
hastened away to Belgium to muster his forces there--for Belgium, as
it had been so often before, was sure to become the battle-ground on
this occasion. So early as the 5th of April he announced that he had
placed thirteen thousand four hundred men in the fortresses of Belgium,
and had besides twenty-three thousand British and Hanoverian troops,
twenty thousand Dutch and Belgian, and sixty pieces of artillery.
Unfortunately, the bulk of his victorious army of the Peninsula had
been sent to the inglorious contest with America, where a good naval
blockade would have been the most effectual kind of warfare. But
he observed that Buonaparte would require some time to assemble a
strong force, and this time must be employed by Britain to collect
a correspondingly powerful army. The Duke, with accustomed energy,
not only applied himself with all his strength to this object, but
to stimulating, by letters, the Allied sovereigns to hasten up their
quotas, some of them notoriously the slowest nations in the world.

Buonaparte landed at Cannes on the 1st of March. His advanced guard
presented themselves before Antibes, and were made prisoners by the
garrison. This did not discourage Buonaparte; he advanced by forced
marches with his now less than one thousand men, and leaving behind
him his train of artillery. Till he reached Dauphiné, however, he
received very little encouragement from any party. All the authorities,
proprietors, and clergy, stood aloof; only a few peasantry occasionally
cried "_Vive l'Empereur!_" but did not join him. He began to be very
uneasy. But on the 7th of March, as he approached Grenoble, Colonel
Labédoyère, who had been gained over before, came out with an eagle
in his hand, and at the gates distributed tricolour cockades, which
had been concealed in a drum. Buonaparte advanced alone towards the
troops, and called on any one who wished to kill his Emperor to do his
pleasure. All cried "_Vive l'Empereur!_" and crowded round him. General
Marchand endeavoured to recall the soldiers to their duty, but in vain.

Whilst Napoleon was thus advancing towards Paris, the besotted Bourbons
rather rejoiced in it, for they said it would compel the two chambers
to invest the king with despotic power--that was what they were still
longing for; and Louis himself, addressing the foreign ambassadors,
bade them assure their sovereigns that he was well, and that the
foolish enterprise of "that man" should as little disturb Europe as it
had disturbed him.

Monsieur and the Duke of Orleans hastened to Lyons, and the Duke
of Angoulême to Nìmes. Corps of volunteers were called out, and an
address to the people was composed by Benjamin Constant, calling on
them to defend their liberties against Buonaparte; and a woman on the
staircase of the Tuileries exclaimed, "If Louis has not men enough
to fight, let him call out the widows and childless mothers who have
been rendered such by Napoleon!" Meanwhile the conspiracy of General
l'Allemand and his brother at Lille, to carry over the garrison of
eight thousand men to Napoleon, was discovered by General Mortier, and
defeated. Had this plot succeeded, Louis and his family must have been
made prisoners. But that was the extent of the adhesion to the Bourbon

When Buonaparte reached Lyons, the soldiers, in spite of the Duke
of Orleans, of Monsieur, and of Marshal Macdonald, went over to him
to a man. He was now at the head of seven thousand men, and Mâcon,
Châlons, Dijon, and nearly all Burgundy declared for him. Marseilles
and Provence stood out, the authorities of Marseilles setting a price
upon his head. But being now in Lyons, Buonaparte issued, with amazing
rapidity, no fewer than eight decrees, abolishing every change made by
the Bourbons during his absence, confiscating the property of every
Emigrant who had not lost it before, restoring the tricolour flag and
cockade, and the legion of honour; abolishing the two chambers, and
calling a _Champ-de-Mai_, to be held in the month of May to determine
on a new constitution, and to assist at the coronation of the Empress
and the King of Rome. He boldly announced that the Empress was coming;
that Austria, Russia, and Great Britain were all his friends, and that
without this he could not have escaped. These decrees, disseminated
on all sides, had a wonderful effect on the people, and he advanced
rapidly, reaching Auxerre on the 17th of March. He rode on several
hours in advance of his army, without Guards, talking familiarly with
the people, sympathising in their distresses, and promising all sorts
of redresses. The lancers of Auxerre and Montereau trampled the white
cockade under foot and joined him. He appointed Cambacérès minister of
justice; Fouché, of police; and Davoust Minister of War. But Fouché,
doubting the sincerity of Buonaparte, at once offered his services to
Louis, and promised, on being admitted to a private interview, to point
out to the king a certain means of extinguishing the usurper. This was
presumed to mean assassination by some of his secret agents, and was
honourably rejected by Louis, and an officer was sent to arrest Fouché;
but that adroit sycophant retired by a back door, locking it after
him, got over a wall, and was the next moment in the house of the
Duchess of St. Leu, and in the midst of the assembled Buonapartists,
who received him with exultation.

Thus surrounded by treason, Louis doubted the fidelity of Soult, who
resigned his command; but he trusted Ney, and sent him to attack
Buonaparte in the rear, whilst an army at Mélun, under Clarke, Duke
of Feltre, was to attack him in front. Ney took leave of Louis on the
9th of March, declaring that he would bring Buonaparte to him in a
cage; but at Lons-le-Saulnier, on the 14th, he received a letter from
Napoleon, calling him "the bravest of the brave," and inviting him to
resume his place in his army, and Ney went over at once. To abate the
public opinion of his treason, he pretended that this expedition had
been long arranged between himself and Buonaparte, but this Buonaparte
at St. Helena denied.

Astounded by these repeated defections, Louis tried to gather some
notion of the state of other bodies and troops about him. He attended a
sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, and was received with acclamation;
he reviewed twenty-five thousand of the National Guard, and there was
the same display of loyalty; he inspected six thousand troops of the
line, but there the reception was not encouraging. He finally summoned
a council at the Tuileries, and there the generals declared frankly
that he had no real means of resisting Buonaparte. This was on the 18th
of March, and Louis felt that it was time for him to be making his
retreat. At one o'clock in the morning of the 20th he was on his way
towards Lille, escorted by a body of Household Troops. It was time, for
that very day Buonaparte reached the camp of Mélun, where Macdonald had
drawn up the troops to attack him; but Buonaparte threw himself amongst
them, attended only by a slight escort of horse, and the soldiers all
went over to him with a shout. Macdonald rode back to Paris, and,
following the king, assumed the command of the Guard accompanying him.
Louis hoped that the troops at Lille, under Mortier, would stand by
him; but Mortier assured him of the contrary, and so, taking leave of
Macdonald on the frontiers, Louis pursued his way to Ostend and thence
to Ghent, where he established his Court. The Household Troops who had
accompanied him were disbanded on the frontiers, and in attempting to
regain their homes by different routes, most of them were killed, or
plundered and abused.

On the evening of the very day that Louis quitted Paris Buonaparte
arrived in it. He had slept on the night of the 19th at Fontainebleau,
where, in the preceding April, he had signed his abdication. No sooner
had the king departed than the Buonapartists, who were all ready for
that event, came forth from their hiding-places. Lavalette resumed
his position at the post-office, and thus managed to intercept the
proclamations of Louis, and to circulate those of Buonaparte. Exelmans
took down the white flag from the Tuileries and hoisted the tricolour,
and a host of the adherents of the old Imperial Government, hurrying
from all quarters, thronged the avenues to the palace, and filled
the court of the Carrousel. There were ex-Ministers of Buonaparte,
ex-councillors, ex-chamberlains, in imperial costume--in short, every
species of officers and courtiers, down to cooks, and butlers, and
valets, all crushing forward to re-occupy their places.

The Guards at the gates stood with tricolour cockades on their hats,
and the great ladies of the Court came driving in, for they were not
far off. The Duchess of St. Leu had been permitted to remain in Paris,
and her house had been the focus of all the Buonapartist adherents and
conspiracies. From that centre had been sent summonses to every branch
of the Buonaparte family to be in readiness, and all had responded
except Cardinal Fesch, Louis Buonaparte, and Eugene Beauharnais, who
had too much sense to quit Munich with his wife, the daughter of the
Bavarian king. Even Murat, to his ruin, had been induced to declare for
Buonaparte once more.

When the returned Emperor, therefore, drove up to the Tuileries, at
nearly ten o'clock on the night of the 20th--a foggy and wet night--his
carriage, covered with mud, was surrounded by his friends, as if he
had only been absent on one of his campaigns. As he stepped out of his
carriage in his old grey great-coat and cocked hat, now to be seen in
the museum of the Louvre, he was instantly so hemmed in that he called
out, "My friends, you stifle me!" and a number of general officers
at once hoisted him upon their shoulders, and thus bore him into the
palace and up into the State apartments amid deafening shouts of "_Vive

Thus was the man who had been put down by all the assembled armies
of Europe not twelve months before, who had quitted Paris weeping
like a woman, and threatened, in his exile southward, with being torn
limb from limb--thus was he as it were miraculously borne back again
on men's shoulders, and seated on the throne of the twice-expelled
Bourbons! It was far more like a wild romance than any serious history.
The peace of the world had again to be achieved. The Bourbons had
been worsted everywhere, even in loyal Vendée, and in Marseilles,
which had so recently set a price on Buonaparte's head. The Duke of
Angoulême was surrounded in Marseilles, and surrendered on condition of
quitting France. The Duke of Bourbon found La Vendée so permeated by
Buonapartism that he was obliged to escape by sea from Nantes; and the
Duchess of Angoulême, who had thrown herself into Bordeaux, found the
troops there infected by the Buonaparte mania, and, quitting the place
in indignation, went on board an English frigate.

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.

In England the Chancellor of the Exchequer had found no difficulty in
raising a loan of thirty-six million pounds, and this money was freely
devoted to put the armies of the Coalition in motion. Never had such
vast armaments been in preparation from the very north of Europe to
France. The Congress had removed its _locale_ from Vienna to Frankfort,
to be nearer the scene of action. The Emperors of Russia and Austria,
and the King of Prussia, were again at the head of their forces. On
the side of Switzerland, one hundred and fifty thousand Austrians, who
were liberated from Italy by the defeat of Murat, were ready to march
into France; another army of the same number directed its course to the
upper Rhine. Schwarzenberg was again Commander-in-Chief of Austria. Two
hundred thousand Russians, under Barclay de Tolly, were also marching
for Alsace, and Langeron, Sacken, and other generals were at the head
of other numerous divisions, all under the nominal leadership of the
Archduke Constantine. Blucher was already posted in Belgium with one
hundred and fifty thousand Prussians; and the army of Wellington, of
eighty thousand men, composed of British, and different nations in
British pay, occupied Flanders. The contingents of Holland, Sweden,
and the smaller German states raised the total to upwards of a million
of men, which, if they were not all at hand, were ready to march up in
case of any reverses to those first in the field.

To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most
surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred
thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to
name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he
endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National
Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down
into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April
the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of
the lower orders--the only class which had raised a cheer for him on
his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In
the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte
had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged
resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south
matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether
Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever
the tree of liberty was planted--for it was now the trick of Buonaparte
to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing
on which he had so uniformly trampled--it was cut down and burnt. It
was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers
into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended
the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications;
strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up
some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier.
Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses
on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly
garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Château-Thierry, Langres,
and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works,
and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow
Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate
blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on
the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with

He had, however, lost something of his old self-confidence, and the
opposition which he had met with from the State, and the alienation
of the people, were not exhilarating. Napoleon saw that he must
conciliate the French by concessions, but neither his temperament nor
his necessities permitted him to do this liberally. He gave nominal
freedom to the press, but he bought up the majority of the editors and
proprietors; yet, not being able to do this wholly, the opposition
spoke bitter things to him and of him, and damaged his cause seriously.
He called on Siéyès, Carnot, and Fouché to assist in framing his
constitution; and he gave peerages to Carnot and Siéyès, and those once
stern Republicans accepted them. But, even with their aid, he could not
bring himself to grant a free constitution. Nobody believed him to be
sincere even in what he did give. The police were as strict as ever,
and yet every night the walls of Paris were covered with proclamations
of Louis XVIII., forbidding the payment of taxes, and announcing the
approach of one million two hundred thousand men.

The very _Dames des Halles_, the market women, took up the word against
them. They sang a song with much vivacity, "_Donnez-nous notre paire de
gants_,"--equivalent in pronunciation to _notre père de Ghent_, that
is, Louis, who was then residing at Ghent. None but the very lowest
of the population retained the old illusions respecting him. In such
circumstances, not even his new Constitution could satisfy anybody. It
was very much the same as Louis XVIII. had sworn to in 1814. It granted
free election of the House of Representatives, which was to be renewed
every five years; the members were to be paid; land and other taxes
were to be voted once a year; ministers were to be responsible; juries,
right of petition, freedom of worship, inviolability of property,
were all established. But Buonaparte destroyed the value of these
concessions by publishing this, not as a new Constitution, but as "an
additional Act" to his former Constitution. The word "additional" meant
everything, for it proclaimed that all the despotic decrees preceding
this fresh declaration were still in force, and thus it neutralised or
reduced these concessions to a mere burlesque.

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS PICTON.

(_From the Painting by Sir M. A. Shee, P.R.A._)]

Napoleon, however, called his _Champ-de-Mai_ together for the electors
to this anomalous document; but, to add to the incongruity, the
assembly was held in the _Champ-de-Mars_, and not in May at all, but on
the 1st of June. There he and his brothers, even Lucien, who had been
wiled back to his assistance, figured in fantastic robes as emperor and
princes of the blood, and the electors swore to the Constitution; but
the whole was a dead and dreary fiasco. On the 4th the two Chambers,
that of Peers and that of Representatives, met. The Peers, who were his
own officers and picked men, readily agreed to the Constitution; but
not so the Chamber of Representatives. They chose Lanjuinais president,
who had been a zealous advocate of Louis XVI., and who had drawn up the
list of crimes under which Buonaparte's forfeiture had been pronounced
in 1814. They entered into a warm discussion on the propriety of
abolishing all titles of honour in that Chamber. They rejected a
proposition to bestow on Napoleon the title of Saviour of his Country,
and they severely criticised the "additional Act," declaring that "the
nation would entertain no plans of aggrandisement; that not even the
will of a victorious prince should lead them beyond the boundaries of
self-defence." In this state of things Buonaparte was compelled to
depart, leaving the refractory chamber to discuss the articles of his
new Constitution.

Napoleon was at Vervins, on the 12th of June, with his Guard, and on
the 14th he had joined five divisions of infantry and four of cavalry
at Beaumont. The triple line of strong fortresses on the Belgian
frontiers enabled him to assemble his forces unobserved by the Allies,
whilst he was perfectly informed by spies of their arrangements.
Wellington had arrived at Brussels, and had thrown strong garrisons
into Ostend, Antwerp, Nieuwport, Ypres, Tournay, Mons, and Ath. He had
about thirty thousand British, but not his famous Peninsular troops,
who had been sent to America. Yet he had the celebrated German legion,
eight thousand strong, which had won so many laurels in Spain; fifteen
thousand Hanoverians; five thousand Brunswickers, under their brave
duke, the hereditary mortal foe of Napoleon; and seventeen thousand
men, Belgians, Dutch, and troops of Nassau, under the Prince of Orange.
Doubts were entertained of the trustworthiness of the Belgians, who
had fought under Napoleon, and who had shown much discontent of late;
and Napoleon confidently calculated on them, and had Belgian officers
with him to lead them when they should come over to him. But, on the
whole, the Belgians behaved well; for, like all others, their country
had felt severely the tyranny of Napoleon. Altogether, Wellington's
army amounted to about seventy-five thousand men. He occupied
with his advanced division, under the Prince of Orange, Enghien,
Braine-le-Comte, and Nivelles; with his second, under Lord Hill, Hal,
Oudenarde, and Grammont; and with his reserve, under Picton, Brussels
and Ghent. What he had most to complain of was the very defective
manner in which he had been supplied with cannon on so momentous an
occasion, being able to muster only eighty-four pieces of artillery,
though he had applied for a hundred and fifty, and though there were
cannons enough at Woolwich to have supplied the whole of the Allied

Blucher's headquarters were at Namur, his right extending to Charleroi,
near the left of Wellington, and his left and reserves covering Gevil
and Liége. His force amounted to eighty thousand men, supplied with two
hundred cannon. On the 15th Buonaparte addressed his army, telling them
that the enemies arrayed against them were the same that they had so
often beaten, and whom they must beat again if they were the men they
had been. "Madmen!" he exclaimed, "the moment of prosperity has blinded
them. The oppression and humiliation of the French people are beyond
their power. If they enter France they will there find their tomb!"
This address had such an effect that the French advanced with all the
spirit of their former days. They swept the western bank of the Sambre
of the Prussian outposts; they advanced to Charleroi, drove out the
Prussians under Ziethen, and compelled them to fall back on the village
of Gosselies, and thence to Ligny and St. Amand. It was now seen that
the object of Buonaparte was to cut off the communication between the
Prussians and British, and defeat the Prussians first, instead of
having to fight the two armies at once. To complete this Ney had been
dispatched to attack and drive back the British advance at Quatre Bras
and Frasnes; but, hearing firing in the direction of Charleroi, which
was the engagement with Ziethen, he sent a division to support the
French there, and thus found his main body too weak to move the British
at Quatre Bras. For doing this without orders, Buonaparte reprimanded
Ney, as he afterwards did Grouchy for too implicitly following his
orders in pursuit of Blucher.

The Duke of Wellington was informed, at Brussels, on the same day, of
this attack of Napoleon on the Prussians at Ligny, and of the British
advance, under the Prince of Orange, at Quatre Bras. It has been said
that he was taken by surprise. Quite the contrary. He was waiting in
the most suitable position for the movement of Buonaparte. This was
announced to him by a Prussian officer of high rank, said to be Baron
Müffling, who arrived at half-past one at his hotel in Brussels.
Wellington immediately dispatched orders to all the cantonments of his
army to break up and concentrate on Quatre Bras, his intention being
that his whole force should be there by eleven o'clock the next night,
Friday, the 16th. At three o'clock his Grace sat down to dinner, and
it was at first proposed that notice should be sent to the Duchess of
Richmond to put off a ball which she was going to give at her hotel
that evening; but, on further consideration, it was concluded to let
the ball proceed, and that the Duke and his officers should attend it,
as though nothing was about to occur, by which the great inconvenience
of having the whole city in confusion during their preparations for
departure would be avoided. Accordingly, every officer received orders
to quit the ball-room, and as quietly as possible, at ten o'clock, and
proceed to his respective division _en route_. This arrangement was
carried out, and the Duke himself remained at the ball till twelve
o'clock, and left Brussels the next morning (April 16) at six o'clock
for Quatre Bras. Such were the facts which gave rise to the widespread
report that the Duke knew nothing of the attack of Napoleon till
the thunder of his cannon was heard by the Duke of Brunswick in the

Wellington arrived early in the forenoon at Quatre Bras, and then
rode to Brie, to consult with Blucher. It appeared as if it was the
intention of Buonaparte to bear down with his whole force on Blucher;
and though Bulow's division, stationed between Liége and Hainault,
was too far off to arrive in time, Blucher resolved to stand battle;
and it was agreed that Wellington should, if possible, march to his
assistance, and _vice versâ_, should the attack be on Wellington.
Ney, with a division of forty-five thousand, attacked the British at
Quatre Bras and Frasnes, whilst Napoleon directed the rest of his
force on Blucher at Ligny, and General D'Erlon lay with ten thousand
men near Marchiennes, to act in favour of either French force, as
might be required. Buonaparte did not attack Blucher till about three
o'clock, and then he continued the battle with the utmost fury for
two hours along his whole line. Buonaparte, finding that he could not
break the Prussian line, sent for the division of D'Erlon, and then,
contriving to get into the rear of Blucher's position at Ligny, threw
the Prussians into disorder. Blucher made a desperate charge, at the
head of his cavalry, to repel the French, but his horse was killed
under him; and the French cuirassiers galloped over him, a Prussian
officer having flung a cloak over him. He escaped with his life, and,
remounting, led the retreat towards Tilly. The loss of the French in
this battle is stated by General Gourgaud at seven thousand, but is
supposed to exceed ten thousand. The Prussians admit the loss of as
many, but the French declared that they lost fifteen thousand. It
was, however, a severe blow for the Allies; and had Ney managed to
defeat Wellington, the consequences would have been momentous. But
Ney found that the British had evacuated Frasnes that morning, and
lay across four roads at Quatre Bras--one leading to St. Amand, the
Prussian position. On another, leading from Charleroi to Brussels, was
a wood, called the Bois de Bossu; and here the attack commenced on
the Belgians. The wood was sharply contested, and about three o'clock
the Belgians were driven out by the French, who, in their turn, were
expelled by the British Guards. The battle then became general and
severe, the 42nd Highlanders suffering greatly. Ney endeavoured to
cut through the British by a furious charge of cavalry; but this
was repelled by such a deadly fire as heaped the causeway with men
and horses. Ney then sent for the division of D'Erlon, but that had
been already summoned by Buonaparte. The battle was continued till
it was dark, and the British remained on the field, hoping that the
Prussians had also maintained their ground, and that they might form a
junction in the morning. But the Prussians had retreated in the night
to Wavre, about six leagues in the rear of Ligny, and had gone off in
such silence that Napoleon was not even aware of it. But Wellington
was aware of it, and, on the morning of the 17th, began a retreat also
on Waterloo, where he and Blucher had concerted to form a junction
and give battle. Blucher had made his retreat so artfully, that the
French were at a loss to know which way he had taken. It appeared as
if he had directed his march for Namur, and about three o'clock on
the 17th Grouchy received orders to pursue Blucher, wherever he might
have gone. This dispatch of Grouchy with thirty-two thousand men to
deal with Blucher proved a serious mistake for Napoleon, who, not
having Grouchy's division to support him at the battle of Waterloo,
severely blamed him, and charged his own defeat upon him. But it was
the ungenerous practice of Buonaparte, whenever he was defeated, to
charge it upon some of his generals, even when they had been acting
most meritoriously. This he did in Russia, and this he repeated in the
retreat on Paris in 1814, and this we shall find him doing again in the
battle of Waterloo, to the undaunted and indefatigable Ney. Grouchy
has shown satisfactorily that he himself first brought to Napoleon the
news of Blucher's retreat, and requested orders to pursue him with his
cavalry, but that he could not obtain such order till noon on the 17th,
and then the order was to follow him wherever he went. We shall soon
see that Thielemann, by Blucher's orders, kept Grouchy well employed,
and took care to prevent his return to Waterloo.

[Illustration: WATERLOO VIEWS.]

[Illustration: QUATRE BRAS.


[Illustration: MARSHAL BLUCHER. (_From the Portrait by Sir Thomas
Lawrence, P.R.A._)]

Napoleon, finding Blucher gone, turned his attentions to Wellington,
expecting to find him still at Quatre Bras; but, as we have said, the
Duke was now on his retreat to Waterloo. Buonaparte dispatched his
cavalry in hot haste after him, and they came up with his rear at
Genappe, where the British had to pass through a narrow street, and
over a narrow bridge across the Dyle. There the French came with such
impetus that they threw the light cavalry into confusion; but the heavy
dragoons soon rode back, and drove the French with such effect before
them, that they made no further interruption of the march. Without
an enemy at their rear the march was repugnant enough to the soldiers.
British soldiers abominate anything like a retreat. They had heard of
the defeat of the Prussians at Ligny; and this retrograde movement
looked too much of the same character to please them. Besides, it was
raining torrents all the way; and they had to tramp across fields up to
the knees in mud. At five in the evening, however, the Duke commanded
a halt, and took up his position on ground which thenceforth was to
be immortal. He was on the field of Waterloo! Long before this the
position had attracted his attention, and he had thought that had he
to fight a battle anywhere in that part of the country, it should be
on that ground. About two miles beyond the village of Waterloo, which
has been chosen to bear the name of this famous battle, and about a
mile beyond the hamlet of Mont St. Jean, there stretches across the
Charleroi road a ridge of some elevation. On this Wellington posted
his army, his left extending to a hamlet called La Haye, and his right
across the Nivelles road, to a village and ravine called Braine Merbes.
These two roads united in the highway to Brussels, just behind the
hamlet of Mont St. Jean, and close behind the centre of Wellington's
position was the farm of Mont St. Jean; a little below his centre, on
the Charleroi road or causeway, leading through Genappe to Quatre Bras,
whence they had come, was another farmhouse, called La Haye Sainte. On
Wellington's right, but down in the valley near the Nivelles road, lay
an old château, with its walled orchard, and a wood beyond it, called
Hougomont--a contraction of Château-Gomont. Below this position ran
a valley, and from it ascended opposite other rising grounds, chiefly
open cornfields; and along this ascent, at about half a mile distant,
Buonaparte posted his army, shutting in by his right the château of
Hougomont, and commanding it from the high ground. Nearly opposite to
Wellington's centre stood a farmhouse, enclosed in its orchards, called
La Belle Alliance. There Buonaparte took his stand, and kept it during
all the fight--each commander being able to view the whole field. Close
behind Wellington the ground again descended towards Mont St. Jean,
which gave a considerable protection to his reserves, and kept them
wholly out of the observation of the French. To make the situation of
Wellington`s army clear, we have only to say that behind the village of
Waterloo extended the beech wood of Soigne along the road to Brussels
for the greater part of the way.

When Buonaparte, early in the morning of the 18th, mounted his horse to
reconnoitre Wellington's position, he was rejoiced to observe so few
troops; for many were hidden behind the height on which Wellington took
his stand. One of his staff suggested that Wellington would be joined
by Blucher; but so wholly ignorant was Napoleon of the settled plan
of the two generals that he scouted the idea. "Blucher," he said, "is
defeated. He cannot rally for three days. I have seventy-five thousand
men: the English only fifty thousand. The town of Brussels awaits
me with open arms. The English opposition waits but for my success
to raise their heads. Then adieu subsidies and farewell coalition!"
And, looking again at the small body of troops visible, he exclaimed,
in exultation, "I have them there at last, these English!" General
Foy, who had had ample experience of "these English" in Spain, said,
"Wellington never shows his troops; but, if he be yonder, I must warn
your majesty that the English infantry, in close fighting, is the very
devil!" And Soult, who had felt the strength of that infantry too
often, confirmed Foy's assertion.

Wellington was quite prepared for the fiercest attack of Buonaparte.
Notwithstanding his loss at Quatre Bras, he had still about sixty-eight
thousand men, though the British portion did not exceed thirty-five
thousand; and Buonaparte, as he had stated, had about seventy thousand,
but most of them of the very best troops of France, whilst few of
Wellington's army had been under fire before, and some of the Belgians
and Hanoverians were of very inferior quality. In point of cannon,
Buonaparte had more than double the number that Wellington had. But
the Duke informed Blucher that he should make a stand here, and the
brave old Marshal replied to Wellington's request of a detachment of
Prussians to support him, that he would be there with his main army.
Wellington therefore expected the arrival of the Prussians about noon;
but though they lay only about twelve miles off, the difficulties of
the route over the heights of Chapelle-Lambert, and the occupation of
part of Wavre by the French division under Grouchy, prevented their
advance under Bulow from reaching the field till half-past four.
Wellington, however, rested in confident expectation of the support of
the Prussians and of their numerous cannon.

Buonaparte posted himself in his centre, near the farmhouse of La Belle
Alliance, having Ney and Soult near him, but Counts Reille and D'Erlon
being in immediate command of the centre. His left, which stretched
round the château of Hougomont, was commanded by his brother Jerome;
his right by Count Lobau. Wellington took his post on the ridge near
where the great mound of the dead surmounted by the Belgian lion now
stands. His troops were divided into two lines; the right of the first
line--consisting of British, Hanoverian, and Belgian troops--under Lord
Hill. The centre, under the Prince of Orange, consisted of troops of
Brunswick and Nassau, flanked on the right by the Guards under General
Cooke, and on the left by the division of the Hanoverian general Alten.
The left wing consisted of the divisions of Picton, Lambert, and Kemp.
The second line consisted of troops in which less confidence was
placed, or which had suffered severely at Quatre Bras on the 16th. In
and around the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte, in advance of the centre,
was placed a body of Germans. The plan of each commander was simple:
Wellington's, to keep his ground till Blucher should come up, and then
all simultaneously charge forward to drive the French from the field;
Napoleon's, by his brisk and ponderous charges to break and disperse
the British before the Prussians could arrive.


    _By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ld._

    _Reproduced by André & Sleigh. Ld., Bushey, Herts._



It was not till between eleven and twelve o'clock on the morning of
Sunday, the 18th of June, that this terrible conflict commenced; for
the troops of Napoleon had not yet all reached the ground, having
suffered from the tempests of wind and rain equally with the Allies.
The rain had now ceased, but the morning was gloomy and lowering. The
action opened by a brisk cannonade on the house and wood of Hougomont,
which were held by the troops of Nassau. These were driven out; but
their place was immediately taken by the British Guards under General
Byng and Colonels Home and Macdonald. A tremendous cannonade was kept
up on Hougomont by Jerome's batteries from the slopes above; and under
cover of this fire the French advanced through the wood in front of
Hougomont, but were met by a terrible fire from the British, who had
the orchard wall as a breastwork from which to assail the enemy. The
contest here was continued through the day with dreadful fury, but the
British held their ground with bull-dog tenacity. The buildings of the
farmyard and an old chapel were set fire to by the French shells; but
the British maintained their post amid the flames, and filled the wood
in front and a lane running under the orchard wall with mountains of

The fire had soon become general, and a desperate struggle was raging
along the whole line. Buonaparte threw column after column forward
against the British squares; but they were met with deadly volleys of
artillery and musketry, and reeled back amid horrible slaughter. A
desperate push was made to carry La Haye Sainte and the farm of Mont
St. Jean, on Wellington's left centre, by the cuirassiers, followed
by four columns of French infantry. The cuirassiers charged furiously
along the Genappe causeway, but were met and hurled back by the heavy
British cavalry. The four columns of infantry reached La Haye Sainte
and dispersed a body of Belgians; but Picton, advancing with Pack's
brigade, forced them back, and the British cavalry, which had repulsed
the cuirassiers, attacking them in flank, they were broken with heavy
slaughter and left two thousand prisoners and a couple of eagles behind
them. But the British, both cavalry and infantry, pursuing their
advantage too far, were in turn repulsed with great loss, and Generals
Picton and Ponsonby were killed. The French then again surrounded La
Haye Sainte, where a detachment of the German legion, falling short of
ammunition, and none being able to be conveyed to them, were literally
massacred, refusing to surrender. In a little time the French were
driven out of the farmhouses by shells.

Soon after, a resolute attack was made on the right of the British
centre by a great body of cavalry, which rode impetuously into the
front of the squares and of thirty pieces of artillery. Though cut
down in heaps, they drove the artillerymen from their guns, but these
only retreated amongst the infantry, carrying with them the implements
for serving the guns, and, the moment the infantry repelled their
assailants a little, the men were at their guns again, and renewed the
firing. The cuirassiers fought most undauntedly; they rode along the
very front of the squares, firing their pistols into them, or cutting
at them with their swords. Again and again they dashed forward to break
the squares, but in every instance were met with such a destructive
fire that they were compelled to draw off, only a mere fragment of
this fine cavalry surviving this heroic but fatal attempt. From that
time the French continued the battle chiefly by an incessant fire of
artillery along the whole line, which the British avoided in great part
by lying on their faces.

By six o'clock in the evening the Allied army had lost ten thousand
men in killed and wounded, besides a great number of the dispersed
Belgians and other foreigners of the worst class, who had run off, and
taken refuge in the wood of Soigne. But the French had suffered more
severely; they had lost fifteen thousand in killed and wounded, and had
had more than two thousand taken prisoners. At about half-past four,
too, firing had been heard on the French right, and it proved to be
the advanced division of Bulow. Grouchy had overtaken the Prussians
at Wavre, but had been stopped there by General Thielemann, by order
of Blucher, and kept from crossing the Dyle till it was too late to
prevent the march of Blucher on Waterloo; so that whilst Thielemann
was thus holding back Grouchy, who now heard the firing from Waterloo,
Blucher was on the track of his advanced division towards the great
battle-field. When Buonaparte heard the firing on the right, he
thought, or affected to think, that it was Grouchy, whom he had sent
for in haste, who was beating the Prussians; but he perceived that he
must now make one gigantic effort, or all would be lost the moment
that the main armies of the British and Prussians united. Sending,
therefore, a force to beat back Bulow, he prepared for one of those
thunderbolts which so often had saved him at the last moment. He formed
his Imperial Guard into two columns at the bottom of the declivity of
La Belle Alliance, and supporting them by four battalions of the Old
Guard, and putting Ney at their head, ordered him to break the British
squares. That splendid body of men, the French Guards, rushed forward,
for the last time, with cries of "_Vive l'Empereur!_" and Buonaparte
rode at their head as well as Ney, as far as the farm of La Haye
Sainte. There the great Corsican, who had told his army on joining it
this last campaign that he and they must now conquer or die, declined
the death by suddenly wheeling his horse aside, and there remaining,
still and stiff as a statue of stone, watching the last grand venture.
The British right at this moment was wheeling towards Buonaparte's
position, so that his Guards were received by a simultaneous fire in
front and in the flank. The British soldiers advanced from both sides,
as if to close round the French, and poured in one incessant fire,
each man independently loading and discharging his piece as fast as he
could. The French Guards endeavoured to deploy that they might renew
the charge, but under so terrible a fire they found it impossible:
they staggered, broke, and melted into a confused mass. As they rolled
wildly down the hill, the battalions of the Old Guard tried to check
the pursuing British; but at this moment Wellington, who had Maitland's
and Adams's brigades of Guards lying on their faces behind the ridge
on which he stood, gave the command to charge, and, rushing down the
hill, they swept the Old Guard before them. On seeing this, Buonaparte
exclaimed, "They are mingled together! All is lost for the present!"
and rode from the field. The battle was won. But at the same moment
Wellington ordered the advance of the whole line, and the French,
quitting every point of their position, began a hasty and confused
retreat from the field.

Buonaparte, in his bulletin of June 21st, found a reason for this utter
defeat in a panic fear that suddenly seized the army, through some
evil-disposed person raising the cry of "_Sauve qui peut!_" But Ney
denied, in his letter to the Duke of Otranto, that any such cry was
raised. Another statement made very confidently in Paris was, that the
Old Guard, being summoned to surrender, replied, "The Guard dies, but
never surrenders!"--a circumstance which never took place, though the
Guards fought with the utmost bravery.

As this rout was taking place, Bulow, who had beaten back the French
battalions from Frischermont and Planchenoit, was approaching La
Belle Alliance, and Blucher with the main army soon after appeared
following him. At a farmhouse called Maison Rouge, or Maison du Roi,
behind La Belle Alliance, the Duke of Wellington and Blucher met and
felicitated each other. Blucher, in the Continental manner, embraced
and kissed the victorious Duke; and it was agreed that, as the army
of Wellington had been fighting hard for eight hours, the Prussians
should make the pursuit. Blucher swore that he would follow the French
whilst a horse or a man could move, and, with three cheers from the
British, he set forward with his troops in chase. So far from "the
Guards dying, but not surrendering," these brave men flew now before
the stern old Prussian, and immediately in the narrow passage at
Genappe they abandoned to him sixty pieces of their cannon. Amongst
other spoil they captured the carriage of Napoleon, and found in it,
amongst other curious papers, a proclamation for publication the next
day at Brussels. As it was moonlight, the Prussians continued the
chase till late into the night, slaughtering the fugitives like sheep.
Numbers quitted the road and fled across the country, seeking shelter
in the woods, where many of them were afterwards found dead or severely
wounded. The highway, according to General Gneisenau, was covered with
cannon, caissons, carriages, baggage, arms, and property of every
kind. The wounded were humanely sent to Brussels, but those who could
continue their flight did so till they had reached France, where they
sold their horses and arms, and dispersed themselves to their homes.
The grand army was no more, with the exception of the division of
Grouchy, who made good his retreat to Paris, only to be upbraided by
Buonaparte as the cause of his defeat. In this battle and retreat the
French lost more men than at Leipsic, the killed and wounded exceeding
thirty thousand.

But the loss of the Allies had also been perfectly awful. The
Prussians, besides the great slaughter at Ligny, had been engaged in a
bloody struggle at Planchenoit, and the British and their Allies had
lost in the battle of Waterloo two thousand four hundred and thirty-two
killed, and nine thousand five hundred and twenty-eight wounded; these,
added to the numbers killed and wounded at Quatre Bras, raised the
total to fifteen thousand. Of British and Hanoverian officers alone
six hundred were killed or wounded at Waterloo. The Duke of Brunswick
fell at the head of his troops at Quatre Bras, without having the
satisfaction of witnessing the final ruin of Buonaparte. So many of
Wellington's staff were disabled that he had at one time no officer to
dispatch with a pressing order. A young Piedmontese, of the family of
De Salis, offered himself. "Were you ever in a battle before?" asked
the Duke. "No, sir," he replied. "Then," said the Duke, "you are a
lucky man, for you will never see such another." When the Duke, who
had witnessed so many bloody battles, saw the carnage of Waterloo, and
heard, one after another, the losses of so many companions in arms, he
was quite overcome. In his despatches he says: "I cannot express the
regret and sorrow with which I look round me, and contemplate the
losses that we have sustained." And again, "The losses I have sustained
have quite broken me down, and I have no feeling for the advantages we
have gained."

[Illustration: THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. (_See p._ 99.)]

It is scarcely worth while to attempt to expose the assertions due to
Napoleon and the mortified vanity of the French, which have declared
that Wellington made a bad choice of his battle-field, and that he
would have been beaten had not the Prussians come up. These statements
have been amply refuted by military authorities. The selection of
the field may be supposed to be a good one when it is known that
Marlborough had chosen the very same, and was only prevented from
fighting on it by the Dutch Commissioners. But no one can examine the
field without seeing its strength. Had Wellington been driven from his
position, the long villages of Mont St. Jean and Waterloo behind him,
succeeded by the beech wood of Soigne, would have enabled him to hold
the French in check for days--much more for the time sufficient for the
whole Prussian force to come up. When it is seen what resistance such
a mere farm as La Haye Sainte, or the château of Hougomont, enabled
the British to make, what would the houses, gardens, and orchards
of Mont St. Jean and Waterloo have done, stretching for two miles,
backed by the wood of Soigne--not a forest choked by underwood, but
of clear ground, from which ascended the tall, smooth boles of the
beech trees? As to the danger of being defeated had not the Prussians
come up, there was none. No advantage through the whole day had been
gained by the French, except making an entry into the court-yard of
Hougomont, and in capturing La Haye Sainte, from both of which they
had long been driven again. The cuirassiers had been completely cut up
before the arrival of the Prussians; not a square of infantry had been
broken; and when Buonaparte made his last effort--that of hurling his
Guards on the British columns--they were, according to the positive
evidence of Marshal Ney, who led them on, totally annihilated. It is
true that the Prussians had been for some time engaged on the right of
the French, and had stood their ground; but they had been terribly cut
up at Planchenoit, and they do not appear to have made much advance
till the total rout of the French by the last charge of the British.
Wellington had advanced his whole line, and was leading on the pursuit
in person when he and Blucher met on the high ground behind La Belle
Alliance--that is, beyond the very ground on which Buonaparte had
stood the whole day. The Prussians fought bravely, but they did not
affect the question of victory or defeat as it regarded the British;
they came in, however, to undertake the chase, for which the British
were too tired after standing on the field twelve hours, and fighting
desperately for eight; and they executed that chase most completely.

On the 19th of June Paris was excited by the announcements of
Buonaparte's bulletin that terrible defeats had been inflicted on the
Prussians at Ligny, and on the British at Quatre Bras. A hundred cannon
and thousands of prisoners were declared to be taken. The Imperialists
were in ecstasies; the Royalists, in spite of the notorious falsehood
of Buonaparte on such occasions, were dejected. On the 21st whispers
were busily circulating that not only had a most dreadful pitched
battle been fought, but that the fine French army which had so lately
left France was utterly annihilated or dispersed. It was soon added
that, instead of being at the head of victorious forces, as he had
represented, Buonaparte had again fled from his army, and was in the
Palace of the Elysée-Bourbon. And this last news was true. Napoleon had
never stopped in his own flight till he reached Philippevillè. There
he proposed to proceed to Grouchy, and put himself at the head of his
division; but he heard that that too was defeated, and he hurried on
to Paris, fearful of the steps that the two legislative Chambers might



Buonaparte, seeing that nothing was to be expected from the
Chambers--for even the Peers adopted the resolutions of the
Representatives--who had already demanded his abdication--assumed the
air of the despotic emperor, and demanded of Carnot that he should
issue orders for a levy of three hundred thousand men, and should find
supplies. Carnot said both propositions were impossible. Napoleon then
summoned, on the night of the 21st, a general council, consisting of
the late Ministers, the Presidents, and Vice-Presidents of the two
Chambers, where Regnault and Maret recommended a show of resistance
whilst offering terms of peace; but Lafayette said that would only
make matters worse. The Allies were victorious, and there was but one
course for the Emperor; and Lanjuinais and Constant supported that
view. On the 22nd the Chamber of Representatives met early, and again
demanded an act of abdication. Napoleon complied, but, as on his former
abdication, only in favour of his son. The Chamber thanked him, but
took no notice of the clause in favour of Napoleon II. But Lucien
Buonaparte and Labédoyère, in violent language, pressed on the House
of Peers the recognition of Napoleon II. They persisted in passing it
quietly over; but they required Napoleon to issue a proclamation to
the army, declaring his abdication, without which the soldiers would
not believe it, and, to conciliate them, he complied. Still, fearing
lest he should put himself at the head of Grouchy's division, or some
other, though small, troublesome force, they insisted that he should
retire to Malmaison--so long the favourite abode of the repudiated
Josephine, With this, too, he complied, but immediately discovered
that he was surrounded by Guards, and was in fact a prisoner. General
Becker was appointed to have surveillance over Napoleon; and it was
supposed that, as Becker had personal cause of resentment against him,
this surveillance would be rigorous. But Becker was a man of honour;
he respected the misfortunes of a man who, whatever had been his
crimes, had made himself almost master of the world, and he treated
him with the utmost courtesy. Orders were issued by the Provisional
Government for two frigates to convey Napoleon to the United States,
and Becker was to allow of his retirement to Rochefort, in order to his
embarkation--to accompany him there, but not to permit his movement in
any other direction.

Meanwhile, the British and Prussian armies advanced, and on the 1st
of July Wellington was within a few miles of Paris, with his right on
the heights of Richebourg, and his left on the forest of Bondy; and
Blucher, at the same time, crossing the Seine on the 2nd, posted his
army, with its right at Plessis-Piquet, his left at St. Cloud, and
his reserve at Versailles. In this position, Commissioners were sent
by the Provisional Government to Wellington, desiring a suspension of
hostilities, informing him that Buonaparte had abdicated and retired
from Paris. The Duke replied, that so long as the army remained in
Paris there could be no suspension of hostilities, and that he had no
authority to treat on any question of government. The Commissioners
demanded whether the Allies would stop if Napoleon II. was proclaimed?
Wellington said "No." Whether they would stop provided they chose
another prince of a royal house?--probably meaning the Duke of Orleans.
As the Duke said he had no orders to accept any such proposals,
they were useless, and he handed to them the proclamation of Louis
XVIII., offering to grant constitutional liberties, and to pardon all
offenders, excepting a few who had committed the most recent and
aggravated treason. These were supposed to mean Ney, Labédoyère, and
some others. Wellington offered, however, to remain where he was on
condition that the regular troops should be sent beyond the Loire,
and the town be held by the National Guard till the king's arrival.
The Commissioners did not comply with this demand; and the necessity
of such compliance was sufficiently shown by this army disputing the
advance of the Prussians on the 2nd of July. They had resisted Blucher
at St. Cloud, Meudon, and in the village of Issy. Blucher succeeded,
but with considerable loss; and the next day the French made another
attack to recover Issy, but without effect.

Wellington was therefore on the point of entering Paris when, on the
same day, the 3rd, he received a flag of truce from the Provisional
Government, asking for a military convention between the armies at St.
Cloud. This was accepted, and one English and one Prussian officer
met three French officers, and the convention was concluded by the
agreement that the French army should retire behind the river Loire,
and that the Allies should be put in peaceable possession of Paris,
with all the defences on the Montmartre side of the city, as well as
every other. This convention was signed the next day by Wellington,
Blucher, and Davoust, and, according to its stipulation, the French
troops evacuated Paris, and marched towards the Loire. Ney and
Labédoyère made their exit from the city, knowing that they would be
arrested by Louis XVIII., if possible.

On the 7th of July the British and Prussian forces entered Paris. The
former encamped themselves in the Bois de Boulogne, and the Prussians
bivouacked along the Seine. There they came into full view of the
Bridge of Jena, so named to commemorate the victory of Buonaparte on
that field, so fatal to the Prussians, and of the column in the Place
Vendôme, erected with cannon taken from the Austrians, and bearing
insulting mementoes of the defeats of Prussia. The Prussians had
already lowered the statue of Napoleon from the top of the column, and
were beginning to demolish the bridge, when the Duke of Wellington
interfered. He represented that, although these objects were justly
offensive to Prussia, they ought to be left to the decision of the
King of France, in whose capital they were, and that the name of the
bridge might be changed. Blucher was unwilling to give way, and also
insisted on the levy of a military contribution on the city of Paris of
one hundred million francs, as some reparation for the spoliations of
the French in Berlin. Wellington suggested that these matters should
be left for the determination of the Allied sovereigns, and at length

The next day, the 8th of July, Louis a second time entered his capital,
escorted by the National Guard. Fouché announced to the two Chambers
that their functions were at an end; but they still declared themselves
sitting in permanence. But General Desolles, commander of the National
Guard, proceeded to close the Chambers. He found both of them deserted,
and locked the doors, and put his seal upon them, setting also a guard.
Soon afterwards the members of the Chamber of Representatives, who
had only adjourned, began to arrive, but were received with jeers by
the Guards, which were eagerly joined in by the populace, and they
retreated in confusion. Fouché, in reward for his politic private
correspondence with the Allies, was reinstated in his old office of
Minister of Police, and the government of Louis recommenced in great
quiet--affording the French much more real liberty than they had
enjoyed either under Buonaparte or the factions of the Revolution. And
thus ended the celebrated Hundred Days from the landing of Napoleon to
his second exclusion.

Buonaparte had arrived in Rochefort on the 3rd of July--only fifteen
days after the battle of Waterloo. The two frigates provided by the
Provisional Government to convey him to America--the _Saale_ and the
_Medusa_, accompanied by the corvette _Balladière_ and the large brig
_Epervier_--lay in the Aix roads; but Buonaparte was very sure that
the British Government would not permit them to sail. That Government,
anticipating such an event as the endeavour of Napoleon to make his
escape to America--whence he might watch his opportunity of once
more renewing the troubles of the world--had, immediately after the
battle of Waterloo, placed no less than thirty vessels of different
descriptions along the whole coast of France, from Ushant to Cape
Finisterre, thus making it impossible for any vessel to pass out of a
French port without undergoing the severest search. Napoleon thereupon
embarking in a British frigate, the _Bellerophon_, wrote a theatrical
letter, claiming the hospitality of the Prince Regent:--

    "Rochefort, July 13th, 1815.

"Royal Highness,--A victim to the factions which distract my country,
and to the enmity of the greatest Powers of Europe, I have terminated
my political career, and I come, like Themistocles, to throw myself
on the hospitality of the British people. I put myself under the
protection of their laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness, as
the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my


This note contained much that was not true. It implied that Buonaparte
had come voluntarily and without necessity on board the _Bellerophon_,
whilst it was well known that perhaps another hour would have been
too late to secure him from seizure by the officers of Louis, king of
France. He affected to claim the protection of British laws, when he
was a notoriously proclaimed outlaw, so proclaimed by the whole of
the Allied Powers for the breach of his solemn engagement to renounce
all claims on the throne of France. There was, therefore, no answer
whatever to that note from the Prince Regent, who was under engagement
to his Allies, as they to him, to hold no communication with a man
who had so shamefully broken his word, and had, moreover, thereby
sacrificed so many valuable lives. The reply was from Lord Melville,
First Lord of the Admiralty, announcing to him that the British
Government, with the approbation of its Allies, had determined that,
to prevent any further opportunity for the disturbance of the peace of
Europe by General Buonaparte, he should be sent to St. Helena; that
they had been guided in this choice, not only by the desire of his
security, but also by the consideration that the island was extremely
healthy, and would afford him much greater liberty than he could enjoy
in a nearer locality; and that he might select three officers, with
his surgeon, and twelve domestics to attend him. From the number of
the officers Savary and Lallemand were expressly excepted. It also
added that the persons permitted to accompany him would be subject to
a certain degree of restraint, and would not be permitted to leave
the island without the sanction of the British Government. It was
finally added that General Buonaparte should make no delay in the
selection of his suite, as Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, appointed
to the command of the Cape of Good Hope, would convey him in the
_Northumberland_ to St. Helena, and would be presently ready to sail.
Napoleon left Plymouth Sound on the 5th of August, and died at St.
Helena on May 5th, 1821, having spent his last years in quarrelling
with his gaoler, Sir Hudson Lowe, and in an elaborate attempt to
falsify history.

[Illustration: JAMESTOWN, ST. HELENA.]

The war in America, amid the absorbing momentousness of the gigantic
conflict in Europe, went on with little attention from Ministers at
home, and, consequently, with the results which seem destined to attend
Britain's campaigns in that quarter. In Canada, which the Americans
were particularly anxious to obtain, there was a most meagre and
inadequate British force; and, what was much worse, the Ministry still
continued there the incompetent governor, Sir George Prevost. The only
circumstances to which Britain owed the preservation of those provinces
were the loyalty of the people and the sterling bravery of the handful
of soldiers. Early in the year 1813 the American general, Dearborn,
suddenly approached York, on Lake Ontario, and attacked it, supported
by the flotilla under command of Commodore Chauncey. The British had
about seven hundred men there, partly regulars, partly militia, with
some few Indians. General Sheaffe drew off the main part of his force,
and left the rest to capitulate, abandoning a considerable quantity of
military and other stores, which were most desirable for the Americans.
The British Government ought to have taken care to have had a fleet on
the lakes, but this had been neglected, so that the Americans could
not be prevented from bearing down on any point of the lake frontiers.
Dearborn, having a strong flotilla, embarked the stores he won at
York and sailed for Niagara, where he landed at Fort George, with six
thousand infantry, two hundred and fifty cavalry, and a good train
of artillery. The British there, under Vincent, were not a fourth of
the enemy. Vincent, therefore, after some gallant fighting, retired
up the strait to Burlington Bay, about fifty miles from Fort George,
and, collecting the little garrisons from Fort Erie and other points,
found himself at the head of about one thousand six hundred men, and
resolved to make a stand. Dearborn, rendered confident by his great
superiority of numbers, marched after him, and, on the 4th of June, was
seen approaching the British position. He encamped about five miles
from Vincent, with three thousand five hundred men and nine pieces of
artillery. He intended to attack the next morning, but in this he was
forestalled; for Colonel Harvey reconnoitred his camp, and advised
General Vincent to assault it at midnight with fixed bayonets. This was
done, and though the attacking party numbered only seven hundred and
four men, the Americans fled in all directions, leaving two generals,
one hundred prisoners, and four pieces of artillery in their hands.
Colonel Harvey, who had headed the charge, returned to the British camp
loaded with booty. It was expected that, in the morning, when Dearborn
ascertained the inferior force of British, he would renew the fight;
but after destroying provisions and stores, to facilitate his flight,
he decamped, and only halted eleven miles off, where he met with strong

About the same time Sir James Yeo, who had dared to attack the superior
squadron of Commodore Chauncey on Lake Ontario, and took two of his
schooners, now prevailed on the spiritless Sir George Prevost to
join him in an attack on Sacketts Harbour. Here the Americans had a
dockyard, where they built vessels for the lake fleet, and had now
a frigate nearly ready for launching. Sir George consented, but, on
reconnoitring the place, his heart failed him, and he returned across
the water towards Kingston. Sir James was highly chagrined, but
prevailed on this faint-hearted governor to make the attempt. Seven
hundred and fifty men were landed, who drove the Americans at the point
of the bayonet from the harbour, and set fire to the new frigate,
to a gun-brig, and to the naval barracks and arsenal abounding with
stores. Some of the Americans were in full flight into the woods, and
others shut themselves up in log barracks, whence they could soon have
been burnt out. In the midst of this success the miserable Sir George
Prevost commanded a retreat. Men and officers, astonished at the order,
and highly indignant at serving under so dastardly a commander, were,
however, obliged to draw off. The Americans, equally amazed, turned
back to endeavour to extinguish the flames. The arsenal, the brig, and
the stores were too far gone; but the new frigate, being built of green
wood, had refused to burn, and they recovered it but little injured.
Thus, however, was lost the chance of crushing the American superiority
on the lake, which must have been the case had Sacketts Harbour been
completely destroyed.

Sir James Yeo, greatly disappointed, put Sir George Prevost and his
troops over to Kingston again, and then proceeded to the head of the
lake, to reinforce General Vincent. Dearborn, as soon as he heard
of this junction, fled along the lake shore to Fort George, where he
shut himself up in a strongly-entrenched camp with about five thousand
men. There Vincent, however, determined to attack him, but once more
he was met by the curse of an incompetent appointment. Major-General
Rottenburg had been made Governor of Upper Canada, and assumed the
command over the brave Vincent, only to do nothing.

The western extremity of Lake Erie was the scene of a most unequal
contest at the commencement of 1813. Colonel Procter lay near
Frenchtown, about twenty miles from Detroit, with about five hundred
troops, partly regulars, partly militia and sailors. In addition,
he was supported by about the same number of Red Indians. The
Americans, under General Winchester--an old officer of the War of
Independence--amounted to one thousand two hundred men. With these
Winchester had scoured the Michigan country, and, at the end of
January, advanced to attack Procter. Sir George Prevost had commanded
Procter to act on the defensive; but scorning this cowardly advice, he
suddenly advanced by night, as the Americans had quartered themselves
in Frenchtown, surprised, and captured or destroyed the whole of them,
except about thirty who escaped into the woods. Winchester himself was
seized by Round Head, the Indian chief, who arrayed himself in his
uniform, and then delivered him up to Colonel Procter. From this point
Colonel Procter hastened to cross the lake in a flotilla, and attack
General Harrison at Fort Meigs. He knew that Harrison was expecting
strong reinforcements, and he was anxious to dislodge him before they
arrived. Procter had with him one thousand men, half regulars, half
militia, and one thousand two hundred Indians; but Harrison's force
was much stronger, and defended by a well-entrenched camp. Procter
erected batteries, and fired across the river Miami, endeavouring to
destroy the American block-houses with red-hot shot, but they were of
wood too green to take fire. On the 5th of May Harrison's expected
reinforcements came down the river in boats, one thousand three hundred
strong. Harrison now commenced acting on the offensive, to aid the
disembarkation of the troops; but he was defeated by Procter, who
routed the whole of the new forces, under General Clay, took five
hundred and fifty prisoners, and killed as many more. But his success
had its disadvantage. His Indian allies, loaded with booty, returned
to the Detroit frontier, and the Canadian militia to their farms.
Procter was compelled, therefore, to leave Harrison in his camp, and
return also to Detroit, for Sir George Prevost had provided him with
no new militia, or other force, to supply the place of those gone.
Still worse, Prevost could not even be prevailed on to send sailors to
man the few British vessels on Lake Erie, where the American flotilla
was now far superior to the British one. In vain did Captain Barclay,
who commanded the little squadron, urge Prevost to send him sailors,
or the few vessels must be captured or destroyed; in vain did Colonel
Procter urge, too, the necessity of this measure. Sir George, who
took care to keep out of harm's way himself, sent taunting messages
to Captain Barclay, telling him that the quality of his men made up
for the inferiority of numbers, and that he ought to fight. Barclay,
who was as brave a man as ever commanded a vessel, and had lost an
arm in the service, but who did not pretend to do impossibilities,
was now, however, stung to give battle. He had three hundred and
fifty-six men--few of whom were experienced seamen--and forty-six guns
of very inferior description. The American commodore, Percy, had five
hundred and eighty men, and fifty-four guns, with picked crews on
all his vessels. Barclay fought till he had taken Percy's ship, and
lost his remaining arm. In the end the British vessels were compelled
to strike, but not till they had lost, in killed and wounded, one
hundred and thirty-five men, and had killed and wounded one hundred
and twenty-three of the Americans. This success enormously elated the
Americans, and they now confidently calculated on defeating Procter,
and annexing Upper Canada. Harrison made haste to interpose nearly six
thousand men between Procter--who had now only five hundred, and as
many Indians--and the country on which he was endeavouring to retreat.
The forces of Procter were compelled to give ground, and Harrison
inflicted a severe revenge on the Indians, for their slaughter of the
Americans at Meigs. The chief, Tecumseh, being killed, they flayed him,
and cut up his skin into razor-straps, as presents to the chief men of
the Congress, and Mr. Clay is said to have boasted the possession of
one of these. The American armies now put themselves on the track for
Kingston and Montreal. Harrison marched along the shore of Lake Erie
with upwards of five thousand men, and General Wilkinson, with ten
thousand more, crossed Lake Ontario, towards Kingston, to join him.
General Hampton, at the same time also, was marching on Montreal. Sir
George Prevost was in the utmost alarm, and sent orders to General
Vincent to fall down to Kingston, leaving exposed all Upper Canada.
But as General Rottenburg was moving on Kingston, Vincent, who was now
joined by the remainder of Procter's force, determined to disobey these
orders; and several general officers confirmed him in this resolution,
and offered to share the responsibility. This was the salvation of
Upper Canada. The three American generals were attacked and routed. The
Canadian militia did good service, and the Americans were completely
driven out of both Upper and Lower Canada before winter. In their
retreat they grew brutal, and committed savage cruelties on the unarmed
population. They burnt down the town of Newark, near Fort George,
driving about four hundred women and children out of it into the snow.
They destroyed various villages in their route. This ferocity excited
the British and Canadians to retaliation. Colonel Murray crossed the
water, and pursued them in their own territories. He attacked and
carried Fort Niagara, killed or made prisoners of the whole garrison,
and captured the arms and stores. General Hull came up, with two
thousand men, to check the march of Murray, who with one thousand
regulars and militia, and between three and four hundred Indians, on
the 30th of December, repulsed him with great slaughter, pursued him,
and--to avenge the poor Canadians--set fire to Buffalo and the village
of Black Rock. The whole of that frontier was thus left defenceless.

Whilst these operations were going on the British blockading squadrons
rode in every American port and completely obstructed all commerce.
Their vessels ascended many of the rivers, especially the Chesapeake
and its tributaries. At the end of June Sir S. Beckwith landed, from
the squadron of Admiral Cockburn, at Hampton, in Virginia, where the
Americans had a fortified camp, and drove them out of it, and captured
all their batteries. In the following month Admiral Cockburn visited
the coasts of North Carolina and seized the islands, towns, and ports
of Portsmouth and Ocracoke. The complaints of the Americans of the
miseries of this state of blockade began very unpleasantly to reach the
ears of President Madison.

In the spring of 1814 the Americans made a fresh attempt to invade
Canada. Wilkinson, who had retreated so precipitately the preceding
autumn, was the first to cross the frontier; but he was repulsed and
pursued to Sacketts Harbour, where he took refuge. The British burned
some of his block-houses and barracks, and carried off great quantities
of stores. In April General Drummond, being put across Lake Ontario by
Sir James Yeo's squadron, stormed Fort Oswego, destroyed it, and burnt
the barracks. In May the British were not so successful in intercepting
some naval stores which the Americans were conveying to Sacketts
Harbour. They were repulsed with loss. At the beginning of July the
American general, Brown, crossed the Niagara with a strong force,
attacked and took Fort Erie, and advanced into Canada. General Riall
attempted to stop him at Chippeway, with an insufficient force, and
was compelled to retreat to near Fort Niagara. There he was reinforced
by General Drummond, with a detachment of the troops recently landed
from the army of the Peninsula. Riall and Drummond had now about three
thousand men, and Brown had five thousand. A severe battle was fought,
almost close to the cataract of Niagara, where the veteran Peninsular
men defeated Brown, killing and wounding one thousand five hundred of
his troops, but having six hundred killed and wounded themselves. They
pursued Brown to Chippeway, and thence to Erie. There Drummond rashly
attempted the reduction of the fort with his inferior numbers, and was
repulsed with loss.

Sir George Prevost now put himself at the head of the brave troops that
had so lately advanced from conquest to conquest under Wellington. He
had eleven thousand of these brave fellows, including a fine regiment
of cavalry, and a numerous train of artillery. With such an army, an
able general would not only have cleared the whole frontier of Canada,
but would have inflicted a severe chastisement on the Americans in
their own territory. The great object to be accomplished was the
destruction of Sacketts Harbour, with which must fall at once the whole
naval power of America on Lake Ontario. Every military man expected
that this would be done; but Sir George, after waiting in a camp at
Chamblay, advanced to Plattsburg Harbour, on Lake Champlain. But there
he would do nothing till the American flotilla, which lay in the
harbour, was also attacked. For this purpose Captain Downie was sent
by Sir James Yeo from the Ontario squadron suddenly to take command of
a squadron of a few ships and a miscellaneous naval force, as hastily
mustered and knowing little of each other--Downie knowing only one
of his officers. The ship which he commanded was just launched, was
unfinished, and everything was in confusion: yet in this condition, Sir
George Prevost insisted on their going into action against a superior
and well-prepared American squadron, promising to make a simultaneous
attack on the harbour and defences on land. Downie commenced the attack
on the water, but found no co-operation from Sir George on shore, who
stood still till he had seen Downie killed, and the unequal British
vessels, three in number, fairly battered to pieces, and compelled to
strike. And, after all, Sir George never did commence the attack on the
fort with that fine army, which would have carried it in ten minutes,
but marched back again, amid the inconceivable indignation of officers
and men, who could not comprehend why they should be condemned to obey
the orders of so disgraceful a poltroon. On their march, or rather
retreat, they were insulted by the wondering Americans, and abandoned
vast quantities of stores, ammunition, and provisions. The loss of
men during this scandalous expedition was not more than two hundred;
but eight hundred veterans--who had been accustomed to very different
scenes, under a very different commander--in their resentment at his
indignity went over to the enemy. In fact, had this unhappy general
continued longer in command, the whole British force would have become
thoroughly demoralised.

The officers who had served under Prevost had too long withheld their
remonstrances, expecting that the British Government would see plainly
enough the wretched incompetence of the man. But now Sir James Yeo made
a formal and plain-spoken charge against him, and especially for his
wicked abandonment of Captain Downie and his squadron to destruction.
He was recalled; but it was too late: a natural death had, in the
meantime, rescued him from that punishment which he so richly deserved.
It could not, however, rescue him from the disgrace which must hang on
his memory so long as the history of these transactions remains.

In September the Americans in Fort Erie, being strongly reinforced,
and elated by their repulse of General Drummond, marched out and made
an attack on the British lines. General de Watteville received them
with such effect that they rapidly fell back on Fort Erie and, no
longer feeling themselves safe even there, they evacuated the fort,
demolished its works, and retreated altogether from the shore of Upper
Canada. When the news of peace, which had been concluded in December of
this year, arrived in the spring, before the commencement of military
operations--though thirty thousand men at a time had invaded the
Canadian frontiers, and Hampton, Wilkinson, and Harrison had all been
marching in the direction of Kingston and Montreal simultaneously,
the British were in possession of their fortress of Niagara, and of
Michilimakinac, the key of the Michigan territory; and they had nothing
to give in exchange but the defenceless shore of the Detroit. They
had totally failed in their grand design on Canada, and had lost--in
killed, wounded, and prisoners--nearly fifty thousand men, besides vast
quantities of stores and ammunition. In short, they had incurred an
expenditure quite heavy enough to deter them from lightly attacking the
Canadas again.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON ON BOARD THE "BELLEROPHON." (_From the Picture
by W. Q. Orchardson, R. A._)]

In July, 1814, whilst the struggles were going on upon the Canadian
frontiers, the British projected an expedition against the very capital
of the United States. This was carried into execution about the middle
of August. Sir Alexander Cochrane landed General Ross, and a strong
body of troops, on the banks of the Patuxent, and accompanied them in a
flotilla of launches, armed boats, and small craft up the river itself.
On entering the reach at Pig Point they saw the American flotilla,
commanded by Commodore Baring, lying seventeen in number. They prepared
to attack it, when they saw flames begin to issue from the different
vessels, and comprehended that the commodore had deserted them; and
it was firmly believed that he had so timed the setting fire to his
vessels that they might blow up when the British were close upon them,
if they had not already boarded them. Fortunately, the flames had made
too much progress, and the British escaped this danger. The vessels
blew up one after another, except one, which the British secured.
Both soldiers and sailors were highly incensed at this treachery, and
prepared to avenge it on Washington itself. On the 24th of August they
were encountered at Bladensburg, within five miles of Washington, by
eight or nine thousand American troops, posted on the right bank of
the Potomac, on a commanding ridge. Madison was on one of the hills,
to watch the battle, on the event of which depended the fate of the

To reach the enemy the British had to cross the river, and that by a
single bridge. This was commanded by the American artillery, and it
might have been expected that it would not be easily carried; but, on
the contrary, a light brigade swept over it, in face of the cannon,
followed by the rest of the army; and the troops deploying right
and left the moment they were over, this single division--about one
thousand six hundred strong--routed the whole American force before the
remainder of the British could come into action. Few of the Americans
waited to be killed or wounded. Madison had the mortification to see
his army all flying in precipitation, and the city open to the British.

Before entering Washington, General Ross sent in a flag of truce--or,
rather, he carried one himself, for he accompanied it--to see that
all was done that could be done to arrange terms, without further
mischief or bloodshed. He demanded that all military stores should be
delivered up, and that the other public property should be ransomed at
a certain sum. But scarcely had they entered the place, with the flag
of truce displayed, when--with total disregard of all such customs
established by civilised nations in war--the party was fired upon,
and the horse of General Ross killed under him. There was nothing for
it but to order the troops forward. The city was taken possession of,
under strict orders to respect private property, and to destroy only
that of the State. Under these orders, the Capitol, the President's
house, the Senate-house, the House of Representatives, the Treasury,
the War-office, the arsenal, the dockyard, and the ropewalk were given
to the flames; the bridge over the Potomac, and some other public
works, were blown up; a frigate on the stocks and some smaller craft
were burnt. All was done that could be done by General Ross, and the
officers under him, to protect private property; but the soldiers were
so incensed at the treachery by which the Americans had sought to blow
up the seamen, by the firing on the flag of truce, and the unprincipled
manner in which the Americans had carried on the war in Canada, as well
as by the insults and gasconading of the Americans on all occasions,
that they could not be restrained from committing some excesses. Yet it
may be said that never was the capital of a nation so easily taken, and
never did the capital of a nation which had given so much irritating
provocation escape with so little scathe. The following evening it was
evacuated in perfect order, and without any enemy appearing to molest
the retreat. On the 30th the troops were safely re-embarked.

But this was not the only chastisement which the Americans had
received. On the 27th Captain Gordon, of the _Seahorse_, accompanied
by other vessels, attacked Alexandria, situated lower on the Potomac.
They found no resistance from Fort Washington, built to protect the
river at that point; and the authorities of Alexandria delivered up
all public property, on condition that the private property should be
spared. The British carried off the naval and ordnance stores, as well
as twenty-one vessels, of different freights. On the 12th of September
General Ross made an assault on the city of Baltimore. This was a
strongly fortified place, and the Americans can always fight well under
cover; and, on that account, the attempt should have been made with due
military approaches. But General Ross had so readily dispersed the army
that defended Washington, and another which had been drawn up in front
of Baltimore, that he made a rash endeavour to carry the place at once,
but was killed in the attempt, as well as a considerable number of his
men. He had inflicted a loss of six or eight hundred men, in killed and
wounded, on the Americans; but this was little satisfaction for his own

Earlier than this, in July, Colonel Pilkington took all the islands
in the Bay of Passamaquoddy; and in another expedition, in September,
the British took the fort of Castine, on the Penobscot river, defeated
double their number of Americans, pursued up the river the _John
Adams_, a fine frigate, and compelled the commander to burn it. They
took the town of Bangor, and reduced the whole district of Maine,
from Passamaquoddy Bay to the Penobscot. In fact, these ravages and
inroads, which rendered the whole seaboard of America unsafe, made the
Americans, and especially President Madison, exclaim loudly against the
barbarous and wanton destruction of their capital and ports.

But, not contented with this superiority, the British were tempted to
invest and endeavour to storm New Orleans. This was returning to the
old blunders, and giving the American sharp-shooters the opportunity
of picking off our men at pleasure in the open field from behind their
walls and batteries. This ill-advised enterprise was conducted by Sir
Edward Pakenham. Nothing was so easy as for our ships to blockade the
mouth of the Mississippi, and thus destroy the trade, not only of New
Orleans, but of all the towns on that river; but this common-sense
plan was abandoned for the formidable and ruinous one of endeavouring
to take the place by storm. The city of New Orleans lies at the
distance of one hundred and ten miles from the sea, on a low, boggy
promontory, defended on the river side by a chain of powerful forts,
and on the other by morasses. Having landed as near New Orleans as
they could, the British troops, on the 23rd of December, were met
by an American army, and received a momentary repulse; but this was
quickly reversed, and on Christmas day Sir Edward Pakenham encamped
at the distance of six miles from New Orleans. But he found at least
twenty thousand Americans posted between him and the city, behind a
deep canal and extensive earthworks. There was no way of approaching
them except across bogs, or through sugar plantations swarming with
riflemen, who could pick off our men at pleasure. This was exactly
one of those situations which the whole course of our former wars in
that country had warned us to avoid, as it enabled the Americans, by
their numerous and excellent riflemen, to destroy our soldiers, without
their being in scarcely any danger themselves. In fair and open fight
they knew too well that they had no chance with British troops, and
the folly of giving them such opportunities of decimating those troops
from behind walls and embankments is too palpable to require military
knowledge or experience to point it out. Yet Sir Edward Pakenham, who
had fought in the Peninsula, was imprudent enough to run himself into
this old and often-exposed snare. On the 26th of December he commenced
a fight on these unequal terms, the Americans firing red-hot balls from
their batteries on the unscreened advancing columns, whilst from the
thickets around the Kentucky riflemen picked off the soldiers on the
flanks. Pakenham thus, however, advanced two or three miles. He then
collected vast quantities of hogsheads of sugar and treacle, and made
defences with them, from which he poured a sharp fire on the enemy. By
this means he approached to within three or four hundred yards of the
American lines, and there, during the very last night of the year, the
soldiers worked intensely to cast up still more extensive breastworks
of sugar and treacle casks, and earth.

The new year of 1815 was commenced by a heavy fire along the whole of
this defence from thirty-six pieces of cannon, the immediate effect of
which was to drive the Americans, in a terrible panic, from their guns,
and walls composed of cotton bales and earth. Why an immediate advance
was not made at this moment does not appear. It would probably have
placed the whole of the American defences in the hands of the British
troops, and driven the Americans into the city. But even then little
advantage would have been gained, for the news of the contest was
bringing down riflemen in legions from the country all round, and the
British, struggling in bogs, and exposed at every fresh advance, must
be mowed down without a chance of retaliating.

In a little time the Americans, recovering their spirits, returned
to their guns, and plied them so well that they soon knocked the
breastworks of sugar and treacle casks to pieces. As nothing would
tempt the Americans to show themselves from behind their cotton bales
and embankments, after maintaining this murderous position for two
whole nights and days, Pakenham drew back his men, sacrificing some
of his guns, and formed a scheme of sending a detachment across the
river to turn the batteries and then play them upon the enemy. But
for this purpose it was necessary to cut a canal across the tongue of
land on which the army stood, in order to bring up the boats required
to carry the troops over the river. Major-General Lambert had arrived
with reinforcements, so that against the American twenty thousand
Pakenham had now about eight thousand men. All worked at the canal,
and it was finished on the 6th of January. Colonel Thornton was to
carry across the river one thousand four hundred men, and surprise
the great flanking battery of eighteen or twenty guns, whilst Sir
Edward Pakenham advanced against the lines in front. A rocket was to
be thrown up by Pakenham when he commenced his assault, and Thornton
was at that instant to make a rush on the battery and turn it on the
enemy. But they had not sufficiently calculated on the treacherous
soil through which they cut their canal. Thornton found it already so
sludged up that he could only get boats through it sufficient to carry
over three hundred and fifty men, and this with so much delay that,
when Pakenham's rocket went up, he was still three miles from the
battery--and that in broad daylight--which he ought already to have
taken. Unaware of this, Pakenham advanced against the chain of forts
and ramparts. He had ordered ladders and fascines to be in readiness
for crossing the canal, but by some gross neglect it was found that
they were not there, and thus the whole of the British troops were
exposed to the deadly fire of the American batteries and musketry. No
valour was of any use in such circumstances; but Sir Edward cheered on
the few but brave-hearted troops till the ladders and fascines could
arrive; but ere this happened, Pakenham was killed. Generals Gibbs
and Keane took the place of the fallen commander, and still cheered
on their men; but it was only to unavailing slaughter: the American
marksmen, under cover, and with their rifles on rest, picked off the
British soldiers at their pleasure. Gibbs was soon killed and Keane
disabled by a wound. In such circumstances the troops gave way and
retired, a strong reserve protecting the rear; but out of gun-shot
there was no further danger, for the Americans were much too cunning
to show their heads beyond the protection of their defences.

Meanwhile, Colonel Thornton, though delayed, and with only a handful of
men, still pushed on towards the battery, surprised the Americans, who
expected no attack in that quarter, and carried it against overwhelming
numbers. When about to turn the captured guns against the enemy, a
messenger came in haste to say that Pakenham had fallen, and the
attacking force had retired. But Thornton would not retrace his steps
without carrying off a good quantity of the artillery, amongst which
was a howitzer, inscribed, "Taken at the surrender of Yorktown, 1781."
On his return to the main body, which he did without any pursuit--for
even so small a band the Americans did not venture to pursue--it was
found that he had had but three men killed and forty wounded, he
himself being amongst the latter.

On the 18th of January, 1815, commenced the final retreat of the
British to their ships. They were allowed to march away without
molestation, taking all their guns and stores with them, except ten
old ship guns of no value, which they rendered useless before they
abandoned them. Andrew Jackson, afterwards President of the United
States, commanded in this defence of New Orleans, and loud were the
boastings of his prowess all over the States, when, in fact, he had
not risked a man. His merit was to have shown what excellent shots his
countrymen were, and how careful they were to keep out of the reach
of shot themselves. So far as the British were concerned, they had
shown not only their unparalleled bravery, but also, as on many such
occasions, their great want of prudence. This sacrifice of life would
have been spared by a single and much more effectual blockade, and the
most lamentable part of the business was, that all the time peace had
been made, though the news of it had not reached them.

But General Lambert did not retire far without striking another blow.
His predecessor had failed to take New Orleans, but he had brought away
the troops in excellent order, and he passed over in Sir Alexander
Cochrane's squadron and attacked and took the important forts of
Mobile, at the confluence of the Mobile, Tombigbee, and Alabama
rivers--the territories around which have since grown into States. This
was a basis for important operations on those shores; but they were
rendered unnecessary by the peace.


    _By permission of the Corporation of Liverpool._



[Illustration: NEW ORLEANS.]

When peace was made in Europe, the United States became anxious for
peace too. Madison had begun the war in the ungenerous hope of
wresting Canada from Great Britain, because he thought her too
deeply engaged in the gigantic war against Napoleon to be able to
defend that colony. He believed that it would fall an easy prey; that
the Canadians must so greatly admire the model republic that they
would abandon monarchy at the first call, and that he should thus
have the glory of absorbing that great world of the north into the
American Republic. In all this, he and those who thought with him
found themselves egregiously deceived. The Canadians showed they were
staunchly attached to Great Britain, and the attempts at invasion
were beaten back by the native militia and by our handful of troops
with the greatest ease. Meanwhile, the blockade of the east, and the
seizure of the merchant shipping, drove the New England and other
eastern States to desperation. Throughout this war Great Britain made
a uniform declaration of a preference for peace, but her offers were
regularly rejected so long as Napoleon was triumphant. The United
States, professing the utmost love of freedom, were the blind and
enthusiastic worshippers of the man who was trampling the liberties of
all Europe under his feet. It was not till the last moment--not till he
had been defeated in Russia, driven by Britain out of Spain, routed and
pursued out of Germany, and compelled to renounce the Imperial Crown of
France--that the American Government began to understand the formidable
character of the Power which it had so long and so insolently provoked,
and to fear the whole weight of its resentment directed against its
shores. It is certain that, had Britain been animated by a spirit
of vengeance, it had now the opportunity, by sending strong fleets
and a powerful army to the coast of America, to ravage her seaboard
towns, and so utterly annihilate her trade as to reduce her to the
utmost misery, and to precipitate a most disastrous system of internal
disintegration. The New England States, in 1814, not only threatened
to secede, but stoutly declared that they would not furnish another
shilling towards paying the expenses of the war. They even intimated
an idea of making a separate peace with Britain. In Massachusetts
especially these menaces were vehement. Governor Strong spoke out
plainly in the Legislative Chamber of that State. Madison endeavoured
to mollify this spirit by abandoning his Embargo and Emancipation Acts,
but this was now too late, for the strict blockade of the British, in
1814, rendered these Acts perfectly dead.

To procure peace, Madison now sought the good offices of the Emperor
Alexander of Russia with Great Britain, and these offices were readily
accepted, for the latter had never willingly gone into or continued
this unnatural war. A Congress was appointed at Gothenburg, and thence
transferred to Ghent. There, on the 24th of December, 1814, a loose and
indefinite peace was concluded, in which every principle on which the
war had been begun was left to be settled by commissioners; and some of
which--such was the difficulty of negotiating with the Americans--were
not settled for many years. On these points alone were the two Powers
agreed--that all hostilities between the contracting parties and the
Indians should be put an end to, and that both parties should continue
their efforts for the suppression of the slave-trade. Such was the joy
of the north-eastern States of America at the peace that the citizens
of New York carried the British envoy, sent to ratify the treaty, in
triumph through the streets.

When the Bourbons had entered Paris in 1814 they had shown the utmost
liberality towards those who had driven them from France and had
murdered those of their family on the throne and nearest to it. They
did not imitate the summary vengeance of Napoleon, whose Government,
in 1812, had put to death not only General Mallet, who had endeavoured
to restore the Bourbons, but also thirteen of his accomplices, on the
plain of Grenelle. When Louis XVIII. returned, there were numbers of
the bloody Revolutionists who had voted for, and some who had acted
in, the frightful atrocities of the Revolution--many who had urged
on the sufferings, the indignities, and the death of Louis XVI.,
Marie Antoinette, the Princess Elizabeth, the Princess Lamballe, and
the worst form of death of the unhappy Dauphin. Yet no vengeance was
taken, and numbers of these people were allowed to reside unharmed in
Paris. Having been now again driven forth, and seen the readiness with
which those who had sworn to maintain their Government had taken their
oaths and betrayed them, it might have been expected that there would
have been some severe punishments. But the natural mildness of Louis
XVIII., and the wise counsels of Wellington and Talleyrand, produced a
very different scene. Never, after such provocations, and especially to
the sensitive natures of Frenchmen, was so much lenity shown. In the
proclamation of Louis XVIII. of the 24th of July, nineteen persons only
were ordered for trial, and thirty-eight were ordered to quit Paris,
and to reside in particular parts of France, under the observation
of the police, till their fate should be decided by the Chambers. Of
the nineteen threatened with capital punishment, with trial before
a military tribunal, only Ney and Labédoyère suffered; another,
Lavalette, was condemned, but escaped by changing dresses with his
wife in prison. It was also stated that such individuals as should be
condemned to exile should be allowed to sell their property in France,
and carry the proceeds with them. Yet more clamour was raised by the
Buonapartists about the deaths of Ney and Labédoyère than had been made
in any executions by the Imperial or the Revolutionary parties over
whole hecatombs of innocent persons. As for Ney and Labédoyère, their
treason had been so barefaced and outrageous that no reasonable person
could expect anything but summary punishment for them. Ney had declared
to Louis XVIII. that he would bring Buonaparte to him in a cage, and
then carried over his whole army at once to the Emperor. Labédoyère
had been equally perjured after the most generous forgiveness of his
former treasons, and he had been particularly active in stimulating
the Parisians to make a useless resistance to the Allies approaching
Paris, by stating that the Bourbons were preparing a most sanguinary
proscription. Both officers knew that they had no hope of life, no
plea of protection, and they fled in disguise. Yet vehement reproaches
were cast on the Duke of Wellington for having, as the Buonapartists
asserted, broken the 12th article of the Convention of Paris, by which
the city was surrendered to the Allied armies. Madame Ney, after
the seizure and condemnation of her husband, went to the Duke, and
demanded his interference on the Marshal's behalf, as a right on the
ground of this article, which she interpreted as guaranteeing all the
inhabitants, of whatever political creed or conduct, from prosecution
by the restored Government. It was in vain that Wellington explained to
her that this article, and indeed the whole Convention, related solely
to the military surrender, and not to the political measures of the
Government of Louis, with which the Duke had publicly and repeatedly
declared that he had no concern, and in which he would not interfere.
When the Commissioners from the Provisional Government had waited on
him, so early as the 2nd of July, at Estrées, and claimed exemption for
political offenders, he showed them the proclamation of Louis, dated
Cambray, the 28th of June, making exceptions to the general amnesty,
and distinctly told them that he had no orders to interfere with the
measures of the Bourbon Government. To this the Commissioners had
nothing to object, and they thus clearly understood that the British
commander would not take any part in political, but merely in military
measures. Nevertheless, when Ney was executed, the clamour was renewed
that Wellington had betrayed him. We now anticipate, somewhat, to
dispose of this calumny, for there never was a party so recklessly
addicted to charging their enemies with breach of faith as that of
Buonaparte and his followers. The foul charge was so industriously
disseminated over Europe, that Wellington, at Paris, on the 19th of
November, 1815, issued a memorial on the subject, which he first caused
to be sent to all the Allied Powers and then to be published. In this
most decisive document he stated that the Convention of Paris related
exclusively to the military occupation of the place, and was never
intended, and could not be intended, to prevent either the existing
French Government, the Provisional, or any French Government that might
succeed it, from acting towards political offenders as it might deem
proper. He had refused before to enter into a question of settling the
Government. To make this clear, he quoted the 11th article, providing
for the non-interference of the Allied army with property; and the
12th:--"Seront pareillement respectées les personnes et les propriétés
particulières; les habitants, et en général tous les individus qui
se trouvent dans la capitale, continueront à jouir de leur droits
et libertés sans pouvoir être inquiétés, ou recherchés en rein,
relativement aux fonctions qu'ils occupent ou avaient occupées, à leur
conduite, et à leur opinions politiques." Labédoyère was shot on the
19th of August, 1815, and Ney on the 7th of December.

It remains only to notice the terminating scene of the once gay
Murat, Buonaparte's gallant leader of cavalry in so many campaigns,
and finally King of Naples. In consequence of plans that he had laid
with Buonaparte in Elba, Murat rose on the 22nd of March of this
year, and pushed forward with the intention of driving the Austrians
out of Upper Italy. But Austria was well aware of what had been in
progress, and, though Murat proclaimed the independence of Italy,
the Italians fled from him rather than joined him. On the Po he was
met by the Austrians, under General Fremont, fifty thousand strong,
and defeated. He retreated rapidly towards Naples again, suffering
other discomfitures, and at the same time receiving a notice from
Lord William Bentinck that, as he had broken his convention with the
European Powers, Britain was at war with him. To keep the Neapolitans
in his interest, he drew up a liberal Constitution, on the 12th of
May, amid the mountains of the Abruzzi, and sent it to Naples, where
his queen, Caroline Buonaparte, proclaimed it. It was of no avail; the
people, instead of assisting him, were ready to rise against him, and
his soldiers every day rapidly deserted and went to their homes.

Murat hastened in disguise to Naples to consult with his wife, who had
as much courage and more judgment than he had; but this availed him
nothing. On the 20th of May his generals signed a convention with the
Austrians at Casa Lanza, a farmhouse near Capua, to surrender Capua on
the 21st, and Naples on the 23rd, on condition that all the Neapolitan
officers who took the oath of allegiance to King Ferdinand should
retain their respective ranks, honours, and estates. At this news Murat
fled out of Naples, and, with a very small attendance, crossed over in
a fisherman's boat to the island of Ischia, and his wife went on board
the vessel of Commodore Campbell, which, however, she was only able to
effect by a guard of three hundred English sailors and marines, for the
lazzaroni were all in insurrection. Commodore Campbell, having received
Caroline Buonaparte, her property and attendants on board his squadron,
then sailed to Gaeta, where were the four children of Murat, took
them on board, and conveyed them altogether to Trieste, the Emperor
of Austria having given Madame Murat free permission to take up her
residence in Austria, under the name of the Countess of Lipano.

Well had it been for Murat could he have made up his mind to seek the
same asylum; for it appears clear that it would have been granted
him, for he was no longer dangerous. But he clung convulsively to the
fortunes of Napoleon, and making his way in a small coasting vessel,
he followed him to France, and reached the port of Fréjus on the 28th
or 29th of May, where Buonaparte had landed on his return from Elba.
From this place Murat wrote to Buonaparte through Fouché, offering
his services to him; but Buonaparte, who would have been duly sensible
of the services of Murat had he succeeded in holding Italy against
the Austrians, and thus acting as an important divider of the efforts
of the Austrians, was equally sensible of the little value of Murat
as a mere individual, defeated, and having lost Italy. He refused to
give him a word of reply. Murat accordingly lay in concealment with
his followers, vainly hoping for a word of encouragement, till the
news of the utter defeat of Buonaparte at Waterloo came upon him like
the shock of an earthquake. The south of France was no longer a place
for any who had been prominent amongst the retainers of Buonaparte;
some of Murat's followers made haste to escape from the search and
the vengeance of the Royalists. As for Murat himself, he wrote again
to Fouché, imploring his good offices with the Allies to obtain him a
passport for England. Receiving no response to this, Murat condescended
to write a most imploring letter to Louis XVIII., but he had no time
to wait for the slow progress of diplomatic life--he fled and, after
many adventures, reached Corsica. There he was allowed to remain, and a
few weeks would have brought him the assurance of entire freedom from
enmity on the part of the Allies. But, unfortunately, by this time the
shock of the utter overthrow and captivity of Buonaparte following on
his own misfortunes, had overturned his intellect. He conceived the
insane idea of recovering Naples by the same means that Buonaparte had
for a while recovered Paris. A large number of Neapolitan and Corsican
refugees encouraged him in the mad project.

[Illustration: CAPTURE OF MURAT. (_See p._ 117.)]

On the 8th of October Murat landed near Pizzo, on the Calabrian
coast--a coast more than any other in Italy fraught with fierce
recollections of the French. His army now consisted of only
twenty-eight men; yet, in his utter madness, he advanced at the head
of this miserable knot of men, crying, "I am your king, Joachim!"
and waving the Neapolitan flag. But the people of Pizzo, headed by
an old Bourbon partisan, pursued him, not to join, but to seize him.
When they began firing on him, he fled back to his vessels; but the
commander, a man who had received the greatest benefits from him, deaf
to his cries, pushed out to sea, and left him. His pursuers were
instantly upon him, fired at him, and wounded him; then rushing on
him, they knocked him down and treated him most cruelly. Women, more
like furies than anything else, struck their nails into his face and
tore off his hair, and he was only saved from being torn to pieces by
the old Bourbon and his soldiers, who beat off these female savages
and conveyed him to the prison at Pizzo. The news of his capture was
a great delight to Ferdinand. He entertained none of the magnanimity
of the Allies, but sent at once officers to try by court-martial and,
of course, to condemn him. Some of these officers had been in Murat's
service, and had received from him numerous favours, but not the less
readily did they sentence him to death; and on the 13th of October,
1815, he was shot in the courtyard of the prison at Pizzo--with
characteristic bravery refusing to have his eyes bound, and with
characteristic vanity bidding the soldiers "save his face, and aim at
his heart!"

[Illustration: LORD CASTLEREAGH.]

The Congress of Vienna, interrupted by the last razzia of Buonaparte,
now resumed its sittings, and the conditions between France and the
Allies were finally settled, and treaties embodying them were signed at
Paris by Louis XVIII. on the 20th of November. France was rigorously
confined to the frontier of 1790, losing the additions conferred on it
by the first Treaty of Paris; and to prevent any danger of a recurrence
of the calamities which had called the Allies thus a second time to
Paris, they were to retain in their hands seventeen of the principal
frontier fortresses, and one hundred and fifty thousand of their
soldiers were to be quartered, and maintained by France, in different
parts of the kingdom. The term of their stay was not to exceed five
years, and that term might be curtailed should the aspect of Europe
warrant it. The Allied sovereigns also insisted on the payment of
the enormous expenses which had been occasioned by this campaign of
the Hundred Days--the amount of which was estimated at seven hundred
millions of francs. This sum, however, was not to be exacted at once,
but to be paid by easy instalments.

There was one restitution, however, which the Allies had too delicately
passed over on their former visit to Paris--that of the works of art
which Napoleon and his generals had carried off from every town in
Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, during their wars. As has been
already stated, museums had been freely pillaged by Buonaparte or by
his orders. Accordingly, there was now a great stripping of the Louvre,
and other places, of the precious pictures and statues which the hands
of the greatest marauder that the world had ever seen had accumulated
there. The "Horses of the Sun," from St. Mark's, Venice, the "Venus di
Medici," the "Apollo Belvedere," the "Horses of the Car of Victory,"
which Buonaparte had carried away from Berlin, and many a glorious
painting by the old masters, precious books, manuscripts, and other
objects of antiquity, now travelled back to their respective original
localities, to the great joy of their owners, and the infinite disgust
of the French, who deemed themselves robbed by this defeat of robbery.

Louis XVIII., having raised an army of thirty thousand men, thought
that he could protect himself, and was anxious that France might be
spared the expense of supporting the one hundred and fifty thousand
men. Accordingly, one-fifth of the army was withdrawn in 1817. In the
following year a Congress was held, in the month of September, at
Aix-la-Chapelle, at which the Emperors of Russia and Austria and the
King of Prussia attended; on the part of France, the Duke of Richelieu;
and of Great Britain, the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh, when
it was determined that a complete evacuation of France might and should
take place by the 20th of November, when the three years terminated. At
this Congress it was determined also that, besides the seven hundred
million francs for the charges incurred by the Allied armies, another
seven hundred millions should be paid in indemnification of damages
to private individuals in the different countries overrun by France.
These and other items raised the total to be paid by France for
Napoleon's outbreak of the Hundred Days to about sixty million pounds

Great Britain, which had amassed so vast a debt in aiding the
Continental sovereigns against Napoleon, played the magnanimous to
the last. She gave up her share of the public indemnities, amounting
to five million pounds, to the King of Holland and the Netherlands,
to enable him to restore that line of fortresses along the Belgian
frontiers which our Dutch king, William III., had planned, and which
Joseph II. of Austria had suffered to fall to decay, thus rendering
invasion from France especially easy. Nor was this all: she advanced
five million pounds to enable the different sovereigns to march their
troops home again, as she had advanced the money to march them up,
the money demanded of France not being ready. Truly might Napoleon,
in St. Helena, say that England, with her small army, had no business
interfering in Continental wars; that "with our fleet, our commerce,
and our colonies, we are the strongest power in the world, so long as
we remain in our natural position; but that our gains in Continental
wars are for others, our losses are for ourselves, and are permanent."

Here, then, our history of the political transactions of the reign of
George III. terminates. That reign really terminated in 1811, with the
appointment of the Regency, which continued the ruling power during
the remainder of his life. From that date it is really the history of
the Regency that we have been prosecuting. But this was necessary to
maintain the unity of the narrative of that most unexampled struggle
which was involving the very existence of every nation in Europe. Of
all this the poor old, blind, and deranged king knew nothing--had no
concern with it. The reins of power had fallen from his hands for ever:
his "kingdom was taken from him, and given to another." He had lived
to witness the rending away of the great western branch of his empire,
and the sun of his intellect went down in the midst of that tempest
which threatened to lay in ruins every dynasty around him. We have
watched and detailed that mighty shaking of the nations to its end. The
events of the few remaining years during which George III. lived but
did not rule, were of a totally different character and belong to a
totally different story. They are occupied by the national distresses
consequent on the war, and the efforts for reform, stimulated by
these distresses, the first chapter of which did not close till the
achievement of the Reform Bill in 1832.

The Government and Parliament which, with so lavish a hand, had enabled
the Continental monarchs to fight their battles, which had spent
above two thousand millions of money in these wars, of which eight
hundred millions remained as a perpetual debt, with the perpetual
necessity of twenty-eight millions of taxation annually to discharge
the interest--that burden on posterity which Napoleon had, with such
satisfaction, at St. Helena, pronounced permanent--this same Government
and Parliament, seeing the war concluded, were in great haste to
stave off the effects of this burden from the landed aristocracy,
the party which had incurred it, and to lay it upon the people. They
saw that the ports of the world, once more open to us, would, in
exchange for our manufactures, send us abundance of corn; and, that
the rents might remain during peace at the enormous rate to which war
prices had raised them, they must keep out this foreign corn. True,
this exclusion of foreign corn must raise the cost of living to the
vast labouring population to a ruinous degree, and threatened fearful
convulsions from starving people in the manufacturing districts; but
these considerations had no weight with the land-holding Government
and its Parliamentary majority. In 1814 they were in haste to pass a
Corn Law excluding all corn except at famine prices; but the lateness
of the season, and an inundation of petitions against it, put it off
for that Session. But in 1815 it was introduced again and carried by
a large majority. By this all corn from abroad was excluded, except
when the price was eighty shillings per quarter. By this law it was
decreed that the people who fought the battles of the world, and who
would bear the bulk of the weight of taxation created by these wars,
were never, so long as this law continued, to eat corn at less than
four pounds per quarter. This was, in fact, not only a prohibition of
cheap bread, but a prohibition of the sale of the labours of the people
to foreign nations to the same extent. It was an enactment to destroy
the manufacturing interest for the imagined benefit of land-owners;
and it was done on this plea, as stated by Mr. Western, one of the
leading advocates of the Bill--"That, if there is a small deficiency
of supply, the price will rise in a ratio far beyond any proportion
of such deficiency: the effect, indeed, is almost incalculable. So,
likewise, in a surplus of supply beyond demand, the price will fall
in a ratio exceeding almost tenfold the amount of such surplus." The
avowed object, therefore, was to prevent the manufacturing population
from reaping the benefit of that Continental peace which they had
purchased at such a cost, and consequently to repress the growth of
their trade to the same degree. Mr. Tooke, in his "History of Prices,"
confirms this view of the matter, asserting that "the price of corn in
this country has risen from one hundred to two hundred per cent., and
upwards, when the utmost computed deficiency of the crops has not been
more than between one-sixth and one-third below an average, and when
that deficiency has been relieved by foreign supplies." Mr. Western
candidly showed that, to the farmer, years of deficiency were the most
profitable, from this principle of enormous rise from a small cause;
that if the produce of an acre of wheat in a good year is thirty-three
bushels at six shillings, the amount realised would be only nine pounds
eighteen shillings; but, if the produce were reduced by an unfavourable
season one-sixth, and the price raised from six shillings to twelve
shillings, the produce of twenty-seven and a half bushels would realise
sixteen pounds ten shillings, the difference being profit!

The effect was immediately shown by a rapid rise of prices, wheat
becoming one hundred and three shillings a quarter. But this did not
satisfy the land-owners, and Mr. Western, in 1816, introduced no less
than fourteen resolutions to make more stringent the exclusion of
foreign corn. It was openly declared "that excessive taxation renders
it necessary to give protection to all articles, the produce of our
own soil, against similar articles, the growth of foreign countries."
Mr. Barham declared that "the country must be forced to feed its own
population. No partial advantage to be derived from commerce could
compensate for any deficiency in this respect. The true principle of
national prosperity was an absolute prohibition of the importations of
foreign agricultural produce, except in extreme cases;" and on this
ground it was proposed to exclude foreign rape-seed, linseed, tallow,
butter, cheese, etc.

Some of the most eminent land-owners were clear-sighted and
disinterested enough to oppose these views with all their power.
The Dukes of Buckinghamshire and Devonshire, the Lords Carlisle,
Spencer, Grey, Grenville, Wellesley, and many members of the Commons,
voted and protested energetically against them; and the additional
restrictions were not carried. But enough had been done to originate
the most frightful sufferings and convulsions. We shall see these
agitations every remaining year of this reign. The Prince Regent, in
his opening speech, in 1816, declared "manufactures and commerce to
be in a flourishing condition." But Mr. Brougham at once exposed this
fallacy. He admitted that there had been an active manufacturing and an
unusual amount of exportation in expectation of the ports of the world
being thrown open by the peace; but he declared that the people of the
Continent were too much exhausted by the war to be able to purchase,
and that the bulk of these exported goods would have to be sold at a
ruinous reduction--at almost nominal prices; and then would immediately
follow a stoppage of mills, a vast population thrown out of employment,
and bread and all provisions made exorbitantly dear when there was the
least power to purchase. All this was speedily realised. British goods
were soon selling in Holland and the north of Europe for less than
their cost price in London and Manchester. Abundant harvests defeated
in some degree the expectations of the agriculturists, and thus both
farmers and manufacturers were ruined together; for, the check being
given to commerce, the manufacturing population could purchase at no
price, and, in spite of the harvest, the price of wheat was still one
hundred and three shillings per quarter. Many farmers, as well as
manufacturers, failed; country banks were broken, and paper-money was
reduced in value twenty-five per cent.; and a circumstance greatly
augmenting the public distress was the reduction of its issues by the
Bank of England from thirty-one millions to twenty-six millions.

The year 1816 was a most melancholy year. Both agricultural and
manufacturing labourers rose in great masses to destroy machinery, to
which, and not to the temporary poverty of the whole civilised world,
exhausted by war, they attributed the glut of manufactured goods,
and the surplus of all kinds of labour. In Suffolk and Norfolk, and
on the Isle of Ely, the agricultural labourers and fen-men destroyed
the threshing-machines, attacked mills and farms, pulled down the
houses of butchers and bakers, and marched about in great bands, with
flags inscribed "Bread or blood!" In Littleport and Ely shops and
public-houses were ransacked, and the soldiers were called out to
quell the rioters, and much blood was shed, and numbers were thrown
into prison, of whom thirty-four were condemned to death, and five
executed. The colliers and workers in the iron mines and furnaces of
Staffordshire and Warwickshire, as well as in the populous districts
of South Wales, were thrown out of work, and the distress was terrible.
The sufferings and consequent ferments in Lancashire were equally
great. In Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, the Luddites
broke out again, as they had done in 1812, and by night demolished the
stocking-frames and the machinery in the cotton-mills. Great alarm
existed everywhere, and on the 29th of July a meeting was called at
the "City of London" Tavern to consider the means of relieving the
distress, the Duke of York taking the chair, the Dukes of Kent and
Cambridge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others attending. Many palliatives
were proposed, but Lord Cochrane and other reformers declared that
the only effectual remedy would be the abolition of the Corn Law.
Soup-kitchens were recommended, but in Scotland these were spurned
at as only insults to the sufferers; at Glasgow the soup-kitchen was
attacked, and its coppers and materials destroyed; and at Dundee
the people helped themselves by clearing a hundred shops of their

During the whole of these scenes the attitude of Government was not
merely indifferent, but absolutely repulsive. At no time had so cold
and narrow-spirited a Ministry existed. The names of Castlereagh,
Liverpool, Sidmouth, and Lord Eldon as Lord Chancellor, recall the
memory of a callous Cabinet. They were still dreaming of additional
taxation when, on the 17th of March, they were thunderstruck by seeing
the property-tax repealed by a majority of forty. The Prince Regent
had become utterly odious by his reckless extravagance and sensual
life. The abolition of the property-tax was immediately followed by
other resistance. On the 20th of March a motion of disapprobation of
the advance of the salary of the Secretary to the Admiralty, at such
a time, from three to four thousand pounds a-year was made, but lost.
On this occasion Henry Brougham pronounced a most terrible philippic
against the Prince Regent, describing him as devoted, in the secret
recesses of his palace, to the most vicious pleasures, and callous to
the distresses and sufferings of others! Mr. Wellesley Pole described
it as "language such as he had never heard in that House before."

Not only in Parliament, but everywhere the cry for Reform rose with the
distress. Hampden Clubs were founded in every town and village almost
throughout the kingdom, the central one being held at the "Crown and
Anchor" in the Strand, London, its president being Sir Francis Burdett,
and its leading members being William Cobbett, Major Cartwright, Lord
Cochrane, Henry Hunt, and others. The object of these clubs was to
prosecute the cause of Parliamentary reform, and to unite the Reformers
in one system of action. With the spirit of Reform arose, too, that of
cheap publications, which has now acquired such a vast power. William
Cobbett's _Political Register_, on the 18th of November, 1816, was
reduced from a shilling and a halfpenny to twopence, and thence-forward
became a stupendous engine of Reform, being read everywhere by the
Reformers, and especially by the working-classes in town and country,
by the artisan in the workshop, and the shepherd on the mountain. The
great endeavour of Cobbett was to show the people the folly of breaking
machinery, and the wisdom of moral union.

(_See p._ 121.)]

It is only too true, however, that many of the Hampden Clubs
entertained very seditious ideas, and designs of seizing on the
property of the leading individuals of their respective vicinities.
Still more questionable were the doctrines of the Spenceans, or
Spencean Philanthropists, a society of whom was established in
London this year, and whose chief leaders were Spence, a Yorkshire
schoolmaster, one Preston, a workman, Watson the elder, a surgeon,
Watson the younger, his son, and Castles, who afterwards turned
informer against them. Mr. "Orator" Hunt patronised them. They
sought a common property in all land, and the destruction of all
machinery. These people, with Hunt and Watson at their head, on the
2nd of December, met in Spa Fields. The Spenceans had arms concealed
in a waggon, and a flag displayed declaring that the soldiers were
their friends. The crowd was immense, and soon there was a cry to go
and summon the Tower. Mr. Hunt and his party appear to have excused
themselves from taking part in this mad movement. The mob reached
the Tower, and a man, supposed to be Preston, summoned the sentinels
to surrender, at which they only laughed. The mob then followed
young Watson into the City, and ransacked the shop of Mr. Beckwith,
a gunsmith, on Snow Hill, of its firearms. A gentleman in the shop
remonstrated, and young Watson fired at him and severely wounded
him. Young Watson then made his escape, but his father was secured
and imprisoned; and the Lord Mayor and Sir James Shaw dispersed the
mob on Cornhill, and took one of their flags and several prisoners.
Watson the elder was afterwards tried and acquitted; but a sailor who
was concerned in the plunder of the gunsmith's shop was hanged. A week
after this riot the Corporation of London presented an Address to the
Throne, setting forth the urgent necessity for Parliamentary reform.

These events were a little diversified by the storming of Algiers on
the 27th of August. In 1815 the Government of the United States of
America had set the example of punishing the piratical depredations
of the Algerines. They seized a frigate and a brig, and obtained a
compensation of sixty thousand dollars. They do not appear to have
troubled themselves to procure any release of Christian slaves, or to
put an end to the practice of making such slaves; and, indeed, it would
have been rather an awkward proposal on the part of North Americans,
as the Dey might have demanded, as a condition of such a treaty, the
liberation of some three millions of black slaves in return. But at
the Congress of Vienna a strong feeling had been shown on the part of
European Governments to interfere on this point. It was to the disgrace
of Great Britain that, at the very time that she had been exerting
herself so zealously to put an end to the negro slave trade, she had
been under engagements of treaty with this nest of corsairs; and Lord
Cochrane stated in Parliament this year that only three or four years
before it had been his humiliating duty to carry rich presents from our
Government to the Dey of Algiers. But in the spring of this year it was
determined to make an effort to check the daring piracies of Tunis,
Algiers, and Tripoli. Lord Exmouth was sent to these predatory Powers,
but rather to treat than to chastise; and he effected the release of
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two Christian slaves. From Tunis
and Tripoli he obtained a declaration that no more Christian slaves
should be made. The Dey of Algiers refused to make such concession
till he had obtained the permission of the Sultan. Lord Exmouth gave
him three months to determine this point, and returned home. A clause
in the treaty which he had made with Algiers ordered that Sicily and
Sardinia should pay nearly four hundred thousand dollars for the ransom
of their subjects; they accordingly paid it. This clause excited just
condemnation in England, as actually acknowledging the right of the
Algerines to make Christian slaves.

But the matter was not to be thus peacefully ended. Before Lord Exmouth
had cleared out of the Mediterranean, the Algerines--not in any concert
with their Government but in an impulse of pure fanaticism--had rushed
down from their castle at Bona on the Christian inhabitants of the
town, where a coral fishery was carried on chiefly by Italians and
Sicilians, under protection of a treaty made by Britain, and under that
of her flag, and committed a brutal massacre on the fishermen, and also
pulled down and trampled on the British flag, and pillaged the house of
the British vice-consul.

Scarcely had Lord Exmouth reached home when he was ordered forth
again to avenge this outrage, and he sailed from Plymouth on the 28th
of July, 1816, with a fleet of twenty-five large and small ships.
At Gibraltar he was joined by the Dutch Admiral Van Cappellan with
five frigates and a sloop, to which were added a number of British
gunboats. On the 27th of August Lord Exmouth sailed right into the
formidable harbour of Algiers, and dispatched a messenger to the Dey,
demanding instant and ample recompense for the outrage; the delivery
of all Christian slaves in the kingdom of Algiers; the repayment of
the money received by the Dey for the liberation of Sicilian and
Sardinian slaves; the liberation of the British consul--who had been
imprisoned--and of two boats' crews detained; and peace between Algiers
and Holland. The messenger landed at eleven o'clock, and two hours
were given the Dey to prepare his answer. The messenger remained
till half-past two o'clock, and no answer arriving, he came off, and
Lord Exmouth gave instant orders for the bombardment. The attack was
terrible. The firing from the fleet, which was vigorously returned from
the batteries in the town and on the mole, continued till nine in the
evening. Then most of the Algerine batteries were knocked literally to
pieces, but the firing did not cease till about eleven. No sooner was
the assault over than a land wind arose and carried the fleet out of
the harbour, so that the vessels were all out of gunshot by two o'clock
in the morning. A wonderful spectacle then presented itself to the eyes
of the spectators in the fleet. Nine Algerine frigates, a number of
gunboats, the storehouses within the mole, and much of the town were in
one huge blaze, and by this they could see that the batteries remained
mere heaps of ruins. The next morning Lord Exmouth sent in a letter to
the Dey with the offer of the previous day, saying, "If you receive
this offer as you ought, you will fire three guns." They were fired.
The Dey made apologies, and signed fresh treaties of peace and amity,
which were not of long endurance. But within three days one thousand
and eighty-three Christian slaves arrived from the interior, and were
received on board and conveyed to their respective countries.

We must return from victory abroad to discontent at home. On the
28th of January, 1817, the Prince Regent opened the fifth Session of
Parliament. In his speech he expressed indignation at "the attempts
which had been made to take advantage of the distresses of the country
for the purpose of exciting a spirit of sedition and violence;" and
he declared himself determined to put down these attempts by stern
measures. The seconder of the Address in the Commons had the good sense
to believe that the demagogues and their acts would die of themselves.
Certainly, if the demagogues had no cause on which to base their
efforts, those efforts must have proved fruitless; and the wisdom of
Government consisted in seriously inquiring whether there were such
causes. To attempt to insure peace by smothering distress is the old
remedy of tyrants, and is like heaping fuel on fire to put it out.
Whilst this debate was proceeding, a message arrived from the Lords
to announce that the Regent, on his return from the House, had been
insulted, and some missile thrown through the windows of his carriage.
The House agreed upon an Address to the Regent on this event, and then

The next day the debate was resumed. It appeared that the Prince had
been hooted at, and a stone, or other missile, flung through the
window of the carriage. The Ministerial party endeavoured to raise the
occurrence into an attempt on the Prince's life; the Opposition hinted
at the expression of public disgust with the tone which Government
was assuming towards the distresses of the people, called zealously
for stringent reductions of expense, and moved an amendment to that
very effect. But the Government had yet much to learn on this head;
and Lord Sidmouth announced that the Prince Regent in three days would
send down a message on the disaffection of the people. It would have
been wise to have added to this measure a recommendation of serious
inquiry into the causes of this disaffection, for disaffection towards
a Government never exists without a cause; but the Government had
carried on matters so easily whilst they had nothing to do but to vote
large sums of money for foreign war that they had grown callous, and
had been so much in co-operation with arbitrary monarchs that they had
acquired too much of the same spirit; and they now set about to put
down the people of England as they, by means of the people of England,
had put down Buonaparte. It was their plan to create alarm, and under
the influence of that alarm to pass severe measures for the crippling
of the Constitution and the suppression of all complaints of political

In the debate on this subject, George Canning, who on many occasions
had shown himself capable of better things, breathed the very language
of Toryism. He declared the representation of Parliament perfect, and
treated the most moderate proposals for Reform as only emanations
from the mad theories of the Spenceans. The message of the Prince
Regent came down on the 3rd of February, ordering certain papers to be
laid before the House, "concerning certain practices, meetings, and
combinations in the metropolis, and in different parts of the kingdom,
evidently calculated to endanger the public tranquillity, to alienate
the affections of his Majesty's subjects from his Majesty's person and
Government, and to bring into hatred and contempt the whole system of
our laws and institutions." Lord Sidmouth endeavoured to guard the
House of Peers against the belief that the insult to the Regent had
any share in the origination of this message, but the House of Lords,
in its Address, directly charged this event as an additional proof of
the public disaffection. Unfortunately, the Regent had two Houses of
Parliament only too much disposed to make themselves the instruments
of such vengeance. The message was referred to a secret committee in
each House, and on the 18th and 19th of February they respectively
made their reports. Both went at great length into the affair of the
Spa Fields meeting, and the proceedings and designs of the Spenceans
were made to represent the designs of the working classes all over the
kingdom; that such men as Thistlewood, who not long after suffered for
his justly odious conduct, were conspicuous among the Spenceans, and
that there had been an affray in Spa Fields, were circumstances to give
ample colouring to the reports of these committees. The Lords' report
stated--"It appears clear that the object is, by means of societies,
or clubs, established, or to be established, in all parts of Great
Britain, under pretence of Parliamentary reform, to infect the minds
of all classes of the community, and particularly of those whose
situation most exposes them to such impressions, with a spirit of
discontent and disaffection, of insubordination, and contempt of all
law, religion, and morality; and to hold out to them the plunder of all
property as the main object of their efforts, and the restoration of
their natural rights; and no endeavours are omitted to prepare them to
take up arms, on the first signal, for accomplishing their designs."

The country societies were pointed out "as principally to be found in
the neighbourhood of Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Mansfield,
Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Blackburn, Manchester, Birmingham,
Norwich, Glasgow, and its vicinity; but," it added, "they extend, and
are spreading in some parts of the country, to almost every village."
The report of the Commons went over much the same ground, dwelling
particularly on the Hampden Clubs as avowed engines of revolution.
It dwelt on the acts and activity of the leaders, of the numbers
which they had seduced and were seducing, the oaths which bound them
together, and the means prepared for the forcible attainment of their
objects, which were the overthrow of all rights of property and all
the national institutions, in order to introduce a reign of general
confusion, plunder, and anarchy.

Now, though in some obscure and ignorant parts of the country
there were clubs which contemplated the foolish idea of seizing
on neighbouring properties, the committees must have been very
ill-informed to have drawn any such conclusion as to the Hampden Clubs,
which were organised for Parliamentary reform under the auspices of Sir
Francis Burdett, Major Cartwright, Lord Cochrane, Cobbett, and others.
Most of these persons had large properties to be sacrificed by the
propagation of any such principles, and the great topics of Cobbett's
_Register_, the organ through which he communicated with the people,
were the necessity of refraining from all violence, and of rising into
influence by purely political co-operation. But these reports answered
the purposes of the Government, and they proceeded to introduce, and
succeeded in passing, four Acts for the suppression of popular opinion.
The first was to provide severe punishment for all attempts to seduce
the soldiers or sailors from their allegiance; the second to give
safeguards to the person of the Sovereign, but which did not include
the most effectual of all--that of making him beloved; the third was
to prevent seditious meetings, and gave great power to the magistrates
and police to interfere with any meeting for the mildest Reforms; the
fourth was the old measure of suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act,
which armed the magistrates with the fearful authority to arrest and
imprison at pleasure, without being compelled to bring the accused to
trial. The last of these Acts was not passed till the 29th of March,
and it was to continue in force only till the 1st of July. But in the
meantime events took place which occasioned its renewal.

Within a few days after the first passing of this Act, that is, in
the first week of March, a body of weavers--said by the Government to
amount to ten thousand men, but by a more competent authority, Samuel
Bamford, the author of the "Life of a Radical," not to have exceeded
four or five thousand--met in St. Peter's Field, at Manchester, and
commenced a march southward. The intention was to proceed to London, to
present to the Prince Regent, in person, a petition describing their
distress. Bamford had been consulted, and had condemned the project as
wild, and likely to bring down nothing but trouble on the petitioners.
He believed that they were instigated by spies sent out by Government
in order to find an opportunity of justifying their arbitrary measures.
Suspicious persons had been trying him. But the poor, deluded people
assembled, "many of them," says Bamford, "having blankets, rugs, or
large coats rolled up, and tied knapsack-like on their backs. Some
had papers, supposed to be petitions, rolled up, and some had stout
walking-sticks." From their blankets, they afterwards acquired the name
of Blanketeers. The magistrates appeared and read the Riot Act, and
dispersed the multitude by soldiers and constables; but three or four
hundred fled in the direction of their intended route, and continued
their march, pursued by a body of yeomanry. By the time that they
reached Macclesfield, at nine o'clock at night, they amounted to only
one hundred and eighty; yet many of them persisted in proceeding, but
they continually melted away, from hunger and from the misery of lying
out in the fields on March nights. By the time that they reached Leek
they were reduced to twenty, and six only were known to pass over the
bridge at Ashbourne.

This was an attempt as constitutional as it was ignorantly and
hopelessly planned by suffering people; but more criminal speculations
were on foot. A second report of the Lords' secret committee,
recommending the renewal of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
Act, stated that a general insurrection was planned to take place
at Manchester, on the 30th of March--to seize the magistrates, to
liberate the prisoners, burn the soldiers in their barracks, and set
fire to a number of factories; and that such proposals were really in
agitation is confirmed by Bamford and other of the Radical leaders.
The report says that the design was discovered by the vigilance
of the magistrates, a few days before its intended taking place;
but it is far more probable that the magistrates had received some
intimation of what was in progress from those who had misguided the
ignorant multitude. Bamford tells us that both he and his friends
had been applied to to engage in the design, but they had condemned
it as the work of incendiaries, who had availed themselves of the
resentment of the Blanketeers at their treatment, to instigate them
to a dreadful revenge. The truth was, a number of spies in the pay of
Government, with the notorious Oliver at their head, were traversing
the manufacturing districts of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire,
and Lancashire, to stimulate the suffering population into open
insurrection, that they might be crushed by the military. Bamford and
the more enlightened workmen at once saw through the snare, and not
only repulsed the tempters, but warned their fellows against their
arts. The failure of the first design, however, did not put an end to
the diabolical attempt on the part of the spies. They recommended the
most secret meetings for the purpose; that another night attack should
be prepared for Manchester, and that Ministers should be assassinated.
Such proposals were again made to Bamford and his friends, but they not
only indignantly repelled them, but sought safety for their own persons
in concealment, for continual seizures of leading Reformers were now

HORSE." (_See p._ 126.)]

Disappointed in this quarter, the odious race of incendiary spies of
Government tried their arts, and succeeded in duping some individuals
in Yorkshire, and many more in Derbyshire. That the principal
Government spy, Oliver, was busily engaged in this work of stirring up
the ignorant and suffering population to open insurrection from the
17th of April to the 7th of June, when such an outbreak took place in
Derbyshire, we have the most complete evidence. It then came out, from
a servant of Sir John Byng, commander of the forces in that district,
that Oliver had previously been in communication with Sir John, and no
doubt obtained his immediate liberation from him on the safe netting of
his nine victims. In fact, in a letter from this Sir John Byng (then
Lord Strafford), in 1846, to the Dean of Norwich, he candidly admits
that he had received orders from Lord Sidmouth to assist the operations
of Oliver, who was, his lordship said, going down into that part of the
country where meetings were being frequently held, and that Oliver, who
carried a letter to Sir John, was to give him all the information that
he could, so that he might prevent such meetings. Here, as well as from
other sources, we are assured that Oliver only received authority to
collect information of the proceedings of the conspirators, and by no
means to incite them to illegal acts. We have also the assurance of Mr.
Louis Allsop, a distinguished solicitor of Nottingham, that Oliver was
in communication with him on the 7th of June, immediately on his return
from Yorkshire, and informed him that a meeting was the same evening to
take place in Nottingham, and he and another gentleman strongly urged
him to attend it, which Oliver did. Mr. Allsop says that Oliver had no
instructions to incite, but only to collect information. All this has
been industriously put forward to excuse Ministers. But what are the
facts? We find Oliver not only--according to evidence which came out
on the trials of the unfortunate dupes at Derby--directly stimulating
the simple people to insurrection, but joining in deluding them into
the persuasion that all London was ready to rise, and that one hundred
and fifty thousand from the east and west of the capital only waited
for them. We find him not only disseminating these ideas throughout
these districts from the 17th of April to the 27th of May, but also
to have concerted a simultaneous rising in Yorkshire, at Nottingham,
and in Derbyshire, on the 6th of June. Thornhill-lees, in Yorkshire,
was on the verge of action, and ten delegates, including Oliver, were
arrested. In Derbyshire the insurrection actually took place.

What immediately follows shows that Oliver had planned and brought to
a crisis, by his personal exertions, this unhappy rising. On Sunday,
the 8th of June, Jeremiah Brandreth, a framework-knitter of Nottingham,
appeared with some others at a public-house called the "White Horse,"
in the village of Pentrich, in Derbyshire. This village is about
fourteen miles from Nottingham, and about a mile from the small
market town of Ripley. It is in a district of coal and iron mines,
and is near the large iron foundry of Butterley. The working people
of the village, and of the neighbouring village of South Wingfield,
were chiefly colliers, workers in the iron mines or iron foundry,
or agricultural labourers--a race little informed at that day, and
therefore capable of being readily imposed on. This Brandreth had been
known for years as a fiery agitator. He was a little, dark-haired
man, of perhaps thirty years of age. He had been much with Oliver,
and was one of his most thorough dupes, ready for the commission of
any desperate deed. He had acquired the cognomen of the "Nottingham
Captain," and now appeared in an old brown great-coat, with a gun in
his hand, and a pistol thrust into an apron, which was rolled round his
waist as a belt.

Two of the workmen from Butterley Foundry entered the "White Horse,"
which was kept by a widow Wightman, whose son George was deep in the
foolish conspiracy into which Oliver and this his blind, savage tool,
the Nottingham Captain, were leading him. They found Brandreth with a
map before him, and telling them there was no good to be done, they
must march up to London and overthrow the Government. He said all the
country was rising; that at Nottingham the people had already taken
the castle and seized the soldiers in their barracks, and were waiting
for them. This shows that he had come straight from Oliver, who, on
the 7th, was at Nottingham, attending the meeting there, and who knew
that the meeting in Yorkshire had been prevented. Yet he had allowed
the people of Nottingham to believe that the Yorkshire men were coming,
according to agreement, in thousands; and he allowed Brandreth to go
and arouse Derbyshire, under the belief that Nottingham that night
would be in the hands of the insurgents. On Monday night, the 9th of
June, Brandreth and a knot of his colleagues proceeded to muster their
troop of insurgents for the march to Nottingham. They roused up the
men in their cottages, and, if they refused to go, they broke in the
doors with a crowbar, and compelled them to join them. Most of these
unwilling levies slipped away in the dark on the first opportunity.
At South Wingfield he assembled his forces in an old barn, and then
they proceeded through the neighbourhood demanding men and guns. An
old woman had the courage to tap the "captain" on the shoulder, and
say--"My lad, we have a magistrate here;" and many of the men thought
Brandreth must be mad or drunk. At the farm of widow Hetherinton he
demanded her men and arms, and when she stoutly refused him, he put
the gun through the window and shot one of her men dead. As the
day dawned, Brandreth and his infatuated troop appeared before the
gates of Butterley Foundry, and demanded the men; but Mr. Goodwin,
the manager, had been apprised of their approach, and had closed the
gates. Brandreth had planned to take Butterley Foundry, and carry away
not only the men but a small cannon kept there; but Mr. Goodwin went
out and told Brandreth he should not have a man for any such insane
purpose, and seeing an old man that he well knew, Isaac Ludlam, who
bore a good character, and had been a local preacher amongst the
Methodists, he seized him by the collar and pushed him into the foundry
court, telling him not to be a fool, but stay at home. Ludlam, however,
replied, "he was as bad as he could be," rushed out, and went on--to
his death; for he was one of those that were executed.

All this time it was raining heavily, and Brandreth, daunted by the
weather, or by the courageous conduct of the manager, gave the word to
march. The manager calculated that there were only about a hundred of
them at this point; but they were soon after joined by another troop
from Ripley, and they took two roads, which united about three miles
farther on, collecting fresh men by the most direful threats. When they
reached Eastwood, a village three or four miles farther on the road
to Nottingham, they were said to amount to three hundred, but ragged,
famished, drenched with the rain, and not half of them armed, even
with rude pikes. Near Eastwood they were met by a troop of horse from
Nottingham, which had been summoned by Mr. Rolleston, a magistrate, and
at the sight they fled in confusion. About forty guns and a number of
pikes were picked up, and a considerable number of prisoners were made,
amongst them Brandreth. These prisoners were afterwards tried at a
special assize at Derby. They were defended by Thomas (afterwards Lord)
Denman, whose eloquence on the occasion raised him at once into notice,
and whose generous, gratuitous, and indefatigable exertions on behalf
of these simple, ignorant victims of Government instigation, showed
him to be a man of the noblest nature. Notwithstanding his efforts,
twenty of these unhappy dupes were transported for different terms, and
three--Brandreth, Ludlam, and Turner--were hanged and then beheaded as

Such were the means employed by the British Government in 1817 to quiet
the country under its distress--a distress the inevitable result of the
long and stupendous war. The only idea was to tighten the reins of
Government--to stimulate the sufferers into overt acts, and then crush
them. Fortunately, with the exception of the Derby juries, the juries
in general saw through the miserable farce of rebellion, and discharged
the greater part of Oliver's and Lord Sidmouth's victims. Watson was
acquitted of high treason in London on the 16th of June, less than a
week after the Derbyshire insurrection. His son had eluded the pursuit
of the police. Seventeen prisoners on the like charges were liberated
in July in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and were paid seven shillings each to
carry them home. On the 22nd of August, of the twenty-four persons that
Oliver had entrapped in Yorkshire, twenty-two were discharged--against
eleven of them no bills being found by the grand jury--and the two left
in prison were detained there because, under the suspension of the
Habeas Corpus Act, they were not brought up for trial. The Manchester
Blanketeers were, in like manner, all discharged, though the Duke
of Northumberland did his utmost to stimulate Lord Sidmouth to get
them punished. On the country at large the impression was that the
Government had propagated a most needless alarm, and that those who had
fallen on the scaffold had been exalted by them from poor, ignorant
labourers into burlesque traitors, through the execrable agency of
their incendiaries, Oliver, Castles, Mitchell, and others.

But the Government had to receive another lesson this year on the folly
of endeavouring, in the nineteenth century, to crush the liberties of
Britons. There was an organ called the Press, which, partaking neither
of the Governmental fears of a natural complaint by the public of the
evils which preyed upon it, nor the Governmental hopes of silencing the
sufferers without any attempt to mitigate their calamities, reported
freely the mingled folly and cruelty of Ministers, and called for
the only remedy of the country's misfortunes--Reform. On moving the
second reading of the Bill for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
Act, Lord Sidmouth observed that some noble lords had complained that
the authors and publishers of infamous libels on the Government were
not prosecuted. He assured them that the Government were quite as
anxious as these noble lords to punish the offenders, but that the law
officers of the Crown were greatly puzzled in their attempts to deal
with them; that authors had now become so skilful from experience, that
the difficulties of convicting them immeasurably exceeded those of any
former time.

It would seem that the law officers of the Crown despaired of
proceeding in the old way, but they, or the Ministers themselves, hit
on a new and more daring one. On the 27th of March the Secretary of
State addressed a circular letter to the lords-lieutenant of counties,
informing them that the Law Officers were of opinion that a justice
of the peace may issue warrants to apprehend persons charged with the
publication of political libels, and compel them to give bail; and
he required the lords-lieutenant to communicate this opinion to the
ensuing Quarter Sessions, that all magistrates might act upon it. This
was the most daring attack on the liberty of the subject which had
been made in England since the days of the Stuarts. Lord Grey, on the
12th of May, made a most zealous and able speech in the House of Lords
against this proceeding, denouncing the investment of justices of the
peace with the power to decide beforehand questions which might puzzle
the acutest juries, and to arrest and imprison for what might turn
out to be no offence at all. He said:--"If such be the power of the
magistrate, and if this be the law, where, I ask, are all the boasted
securities of our independence and freedom?" But it appears from the
correspondence of Lord Sidmouth, that he was at this moment glorying
in this expedient and triumphing in its imagined success. He said the
charge of having put such power into the hands of magistrates, he would
do his best and most constant endeavour to deserve; and that already
the activity of the dealers in libellous matter was much diminished.
He had, in truth, struck a deadly terror to the hearts of the stoutest
patriots, who saw no prospect but ruin and incarceration if they dared
to speak the truth. Cobbett then fled, and got over to America. In
taking leave of his readers, in his _Register_ of March 28th, he gave
his reasons for escaping from the storm:--"Lord Sidmouth was 'sorry
to say' that I had not written anything that the Law Officers could
prosecute with any chance of success. I do not remove," he continued,
"for the purpose of writing libels, but for the purpose of being able
to write what is not libellous. I do not retire from the combat with
the Attorney-General, but from a combat with a dungeon, deprived of
pen, ink, and paper. A combat with the Attorney-General is quite
unequal enough; that, however, I would have encountered. I know too
well what a trial by special jury is; yet that, or any sort of trial,
I would stand to face. So that I could be sure of a trial of whatever
sort, I would have run the risk; but against the absolute power of
imprisonment, without even a hearing, for time unlimited, in any gaol
in the kingdom, without the use of pen, ink, and paper, and without
communication with any soul but the keepers--against such a power it
would have been worse than madness to attempt to strive."

Nor were the fears of Cobbett imaginary. The Ministry at this time were
such fanatics in tyranny, that they would have rejoiced to have thus
caged the great political lion, and kept him in silence. At this very
moment they had pounced upon one who was equally clever in his way,
and who had, perhaps, annoyed them still more, but whom they did not
so much fear to bring into a court of justice. This was William Hone,
who had for some time been making them the laughing-stock of the whole
nation by his famous parodies. Hone was a poor bookseller in the Old
Bailey, who had spent his life in the quest after curious books, and
in the accumulation of more knowledge than wealth. His parodies had
first brought him into notice, and it did not appear a very formidable
thing for the Government to try a secluded bookworm not even able to
fee counsel for his defence. His trial did not come on at the Guildhall
till the 18th of December, and then it was evident that the man of
satirical fun meant to make a stout fight. The judge, Mr. Justice
Abbott, and the Attorney-General, Sir Samuel Shepherd, from their
manner of surveying the accused, did not apprehend much difficulty in
obtaining a verdict against him. But they very soon discovered their
mistake. The charge against Hone was for having published a profane
and impious libel upon the Catechism, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten
Commandments, thereby bringing into contempt the Christian religion.
The special indictment was for the publication of John Wilkes's
catechism. The Attorney-General did not very judiciously commence
his charge, for he admitted that he did not believe that Hone meant
to ridicule religion, but to produce a telling political squib. This
let out the whole gist of the prosecution, though that was very well
perceived by most people before; and it was in vain that he went on to
argue that the mischief was just the same. Hone opened his own defence
with the awkwardness and timidity natural to a man who had passed his
life amid books, and not in courts; but he managed to complain of his
imprisonment, his harsh treatment, of his poverty in not being able to
fee counsel, of the expense of copies of the informations against him,
and of the haste, at last, with which he had been called to plead. The
judge repeatedly interrupted him, with a mild sort of severity, and the
spectators were expecting him to make a short and ineffective defence.
Hone, on the contrary, began to show more boldness and pertinacity.
He began to open his books, and to read parody after parody of former
times. In vain Mr. Justice Abbott and the Attorney-General stopped him,
and told him that he was not to be allowed to add to his offence by
producing other instances of the crime in other persons. But Hone told
them that he was accused of putting parodies on sacred things into his
books, and it was out of his books he must defend himself. The poor,
pale, threadbare retailer of old books was now warmed into eloquence,
and stood in the most unquestionable ascendency on the floor of the
court, reading and commenting as though he would go on for ever; and he
did go on for six hours. He declared that the editor of _Blackwood's
Magazine_ was a parodist--he parodied a chapter of Ezekiel; Martin
Luther was a parodist--he parodied the first Psalm; Bishop Latimer was
a parodist; so was Dr. Boys, Dean of Canterbury; so was the author
of the "Rolliad;" so was Mr. Canning. He proved all that he said by
reading passages from the authors, and he concluded by saying that
he did not believe that any of these writers meant to ridicule the
Scriptures, and that he could not, therefore, see why he should be
supposed to do so more than they. Nay, he had done what they never
did: as soon as he was aware that his parodies had given offence he
suppressed them--and that long ago, not waiting till he was prosecuted.
They, in fact, were prosecuting him for what he had voluntarily and
long ago suppressed. The Attorney-General, in reply, asserted that it
would not save the defendant that he had quoted Martin Luther and Dr.
Boys, for he must pronounce them both libellous. The judge charged the
jury as if it were their sacred duty to find the defendant guilty; but,
after only a quarter of an hour's deliberation, they acquitted him.

[Illustration: WILLIAM COBBETT.]

This signal and unexpected defeat seemed to rouse the Government to
a fresh effort for victory over the triumphant bookseller. The Lord
Chief Justice Ellenborough, who was not accustomed to let juries and
the accused off so easily, rose from his sick bed, where he was fast
drifting towards the close of his career. The defendant was called into
court the next morning, the 19th of December. There sat Ellenborough,
with a severe and determined air. Abbott sat by his side. Hone this
time was charged with having published an impious and profane libel,
called "The Litany, or General Supplication." The Attorney-General
again asserted that, whatever might be the intention of the defendant,
the publication had the effect of bringing into contempt the service
of the Church. Hone opened his books to recommence the reading of
parallel productions of a former day, or by persons high in esteem in
the Church, but this was precisely what the invalid Lord Chief Justice
had left his bed to prevent. The judge told him all that was beside the
mark, but Hone would not allow that it was so, opened his books, and
read on in spite of all attempts to stop him. Never had Ellenborough,
not even in his strongest and best days, been so stoutly encountered;
scarcely ever had such a scene been witnessed in the memory of man. The
spectators showed an intense interest in the combat, for such it was,
and it was evident that the general sympathy went with the accused,
who put forth such extraordinary and unlooked-for power. The exhausted
Chief Justice was compelled to give way, and Hone went on reading one
parody after another, and dwelt especially on the parodies of the
Litany which the Cavaliers wrote to ridicule the Puritan Roundheads.
When he had done, the Lord Chief Justice addressed the jury in a strain
of strong direction to find a verdict for the Crown. He said "he would
deliver the jury his solemn opinion, as he was required by the Act of
Parliament to do; and under the authority of that Act, and still more
in obedience to his conscience and his God, he pronounced this to be
a most impious and profane libel. Believing and hoping that they, the
jury, were Christians, he had no doubt but they would be of the same
opinion." This time the solemn and severe energy of the Lord Chief
Justice seemed to have made an impression on part of the jury, for they
took an hour and a half to determine their verdict, but they again
returned one of Not Guilty.

Here, had the Government been wise, they would have stopped; but they
were not contented without experiencing a third defeat. The next
morning, the 20th of December, they returned to the charge with an
indictment against Mr. Hone for publishing a parody on the Athanasian
Creed, called "The Sinecurist's Creed." The old Chief Justice was
again on the bench, apparently as resolved as ever, and this time the
defendant, on entering the court, appeared pale and exhausted, as he
well might, for he had put forth exertions and powers of mind which
had astonished the whole country and excited the deepest interest.
The Attorney-General humanely offered to postpone the trial, but the
defendant preferred to go on. He only begged for a few minutes' delay
to enable him to put down a few notes on the Attorney-General's address
after that was delivered; but the Chief Justice would not allow him
this trifling favour, but said, if the defendant would make a formal
request for the purpose, he would put off the trial for a day. This
would have injured the cause of the defendant, by making it appear that
he was in some degree worsted, and, fatigued as he was, he replied,
promptly, "No! I make no such request." William Hone, on this third
trial, once more seemed to forget his past fatigues, and rose with a
strength that completely cowed the old and fiery judge. He did not
desist till he had converted his dictatorial manner into a suppliant
one. After quoting many eminent Churchmen as dissentients from the
Athanasian Creed, and amongst them Warburton and Tillotson, he added,
"Even his lordship's father, the Bishop of Carlisle, he believed, took
a similar view of this creed." This was coming too near; and the judge
said, "Whatever that opinion was, he has gone, many years ago, where
he has had to account for his belief and his opinions. For common
delicacy, forbear." "O, my lord," replied the satisfied defendant, "I
shall certainly forbear." The judge had profited by the lesson to-day:
he gave a much more temperate charge to the jury, and they required
only twenty minutes to return the third and final victory of Not
Guilty. Never had this arbitrary Government suffered so withering a
defeat. The sensation throughout the country was immense. The very next
day Lord Ellenborough sent in his announcement of retiring from the
bench, and in a very short time he retired from this world altogether
(December 13, 1818), it being a settled conviction of the public mind
that the mortification of such a putting-down, by a man whom he rose
from his sick-bed to extinguish, tended materially to hasten that

The only matters of interest debated in Parliament during this year,
except that of the discontent in the country, were a long debate
on Catholic emancipation, in the month of May, which was negatived
by a majority of only twenty-four, showing that that question was
progressing towards its goal; and a motion of Lord Castlereagh for the
gradual abolition of sinecures. This intimated some slight impression
of the necessity to do something to abate the public dissatisfaction,
but it was an impression only on the surface. This Ministry was too
much determined to maintain the scale of war expenditure to which
they had been accustomed to make any real retrenchment. A committee
appointed to consider the scheme recommended the abolition of sinecures
to the amount of fifty-four thousand pounds per annum, but neutralised
the benefit by recommending instead a pension-list of forty-two
thousand pounds per annum. The country received the amendment with
disgust and derision.

The year, gloomy in itself from the dislocation of trade and the
discontent of the people, terminated still more gloomily from another
cause--the death of the Princess Charlotte. This event, wholly
unexpected, was a startling shock to the whole nation. This amiable
and accomplished princess was not yet twenty-two. She had been married
only in May, 1816, to Prince Leopold of Coburg, and died on the 6th
of November, 1817, a few hours after being delivered of a stillborn
child. What rendered the event the more painful was that her death
was attributed to neglect by her accoucheur, Sir Richard Croft. Dr.
Baillie, who saw her soon after her confinement, refused to join in
the issue of a bulletin which the other medical men had prepared,
stating that she was going on well, and a few hours proved the fatal
correctness of his opinion. Sir Richard, overwhelmed by the public
indignation and his own feelings, soon afterwards destroyed himself. No
prince or princess had stood so well with the nation for many years.
The people saw in her a future queen, with the vigour, unaccompanied by
the vices and tyrannies, of Elizabeth. She had taken the part of her
mother against the treatment of her father, and this was another cause
which drew towards her the affections of the people. All these hopes
were extinguished in a moment, and the whole nation was plunged into
sorrow and consternation, the more so that, notwithstanding the twelve
children of George III., there had only been this single grandchild,
and several of his sons remained unmarried.

The year 1818 commenced gloomily. On the 27th of January Parliament was
opened by a Speech, drawn up for the Prince Regent, but read by the
Lord Chancellor. The first topic was, of course, the severe loss which
the country and the prince had sustained in the death of the Princess
Charlotte. It was only too well known that the prince and his daughter
had not for some time been on very cordial terms, the princess having
taken the part of her mother; and the vicious and voluptuous life of
the Regent did not probably leave much depth of paternal affection in
his nature, which had originally been generous and capable of better
things. It was remarked by Mr. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward,
that the mention of the princess "was rather dry--sulky, rather than
sad." But the death of his only issue, and that at the moment that she
might have been expected to give a continued succession to the Throne,
was a severe blow to him. There was an end of all succession in his
line. He stood now without the hopeful support which his daughter's
affectionate regard in the country had afforded him, and he was ill
able to bear the loss of any causes of popularity. He received a
serious shock; and it was only by copious bleeding that he was saved
from dangerous consequences; yet, so little was the depth of his
trouble, that within three months of his loss he attended a dinner
given by the Prussian ambassador, and entertained the company with a

The rest of the Speech consisted of endeavours to represent the country
as in a prosperous condition; to have escaped from insurrection by
the vigilance of Ministers, and to have recovered the elasticity of
commerce. No amendment was moved to the Address in either House, but
not the less did the conduct of Ministers escape some animadversion. In
the Peers, Lord Lansdowne ridiculed the alarms which had been raised
regarding the movements in Derbyshire, which, he said, had not been at
all participated in by the working population at large, and had been
put down by eighteen dragoons. He contended that there was no evidence
of any correspondence with these conspirators in other quarters; but
this was notoriously incorrect, for there had been a correspondence in
Lancashire and Yorkshire, a correspondence especially disgraceful to
Ministers, for it was on the part of their own incendiary agents. He
observed truly, however, that the insurrection, as it was called, had
by no means justified the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, for it
could have been most readily put down without it by the regular course
of law. In the Commons, Sir Samuel Romilly thought that the Derbyshire
insurrectionists had been very properly brought to trial; for Brandreth
had committed a murder, and, therefore, those who acted with him were,
in the eye of the law, equally guilty. But if they were properly
brought to trial, there were others who ought still more properly
to have been brought to trial too--the very men whom Government had
sent out, and who had aroused these poor people into insurrection
by false and treacherous statements. There was no justice in trying
and punishing the victims, and screening their own agents; and this
was what Government had done, and were still doing. It is in vain,
therefore, that their defenders contend that they gave no authority
to Oliver and the other spies to excite the people to outbreak: these
spies having notoriously done it, they still protected and rewarded
them, and thus made themselves responsible for their whole guilt. If
they had not authorised the worst part of the conduct of the spies,
they now acted as though they had, and thus morally assumed the _onus_
of these detestable proceedings. One thing immediately resulted from
the pæans of Ministers on the flourishing state of the country--the
repeal of the Suspension Act. The Opposition at once declared that
if the condition of the country was as Ministers described it, there
could be no occasion for the continuance of this suppression of the
Constitution; and accordingly a Bill for the repeal of the Suspension
Act was at once brought in and passed by the Lords on the 28th, and by
the Commons on the 29th of January.

[Illustration: OLD BAILEY, LONDON, 1814.]

Now, much of this at the moment was true; the manufacturers were
naturally anxious to resume their business, and a fall in the price of
corn, after the plentiful harvest of 1817, to seventy-four shillings
and sixpence, relieved a little the pressure on the working classes.
Could cheap bread have been secured, the condition of the people
might soon have become easy; but the fatal Corn Law came immediately
into operation. By the end of 1817 corn had risen in price again to
eighty-five shillings and fourpence; and then the ports were opened,
but the supplies did not bring down the markets. The spring of 1818
proved wet, and then about the middle of May a drought set in, and
continued till September, so that the apprehension of a deficient
harvest kept up the price of all articles of life, notwithstanding that
a million and a half quarters of wheat had been imported during the
year. So long as bread was tolerably cheap, and work more abundant,
political agitation in the manufacturing districts subsided; but it was
soon proved that the apparent increase of activity in manufacturing
and commercial exports was but a feverish desire on the part of
manufacturers and merchants to force a trade for which the exhausted
Continent was not yet prepared. Nothing but a free importation of corn
could have carried the country comfortably through the crisis; and
this was denied by the measures of Government, except at a rate of
price that put the proper consumption of bread beyond the means of the
working classes.


Meanwhile Ministers, anxious to exonerate themselves from the odium so
fully their due for fomenting insurrection, commenced Parliamentary
inquiries which only the more clearly demonstrated their guilt. On the
2nd of February the celebrated green bag was sent down by the Prince
Regent to the Lords, and another green bag on the following day to the
Commons. These green bags--or rather, this green bag, for they were
classed as one by the public, their contents being one--made a great
figure in the newspaper comments of the time. They were stuffed with
documents regarding the late extraordinary powers assumed by Ministers,
and the occurrences in the midland counties which had been held to
justify them. No doubt the papers had been carefully selected, and they
were now submitted to a secret committee of each House, which, being
named by Ministers, was pretty sure to bring in reports accordingly.
On the 23rd the Lords' committee brought up their report, and on the
27th the Commons' produced theirs. As might have been expected from
their parentage, there was a striking likeness in the offspring of
the committees; they were veritable twins. Both travelled over the
same ground; the statements made by the secret committee of 1816
averring that schemes of conspiracy were in agitation, and the events
of 1817, particularly in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, as fully confirming
these averments. They were compelled, however, to confess that the
insurrections, though clearly connected in different counties, in
Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire, were not very
formidable, and that the mass of the population in these counties
did not at all sanction, much less second, such proceedings. Yet,
notwithstanding this confession, the fact remained that under the
arbitrary measures of Ministers a great number of persons had been
thrown into prison, against whom no charge could be established; and
that at Derby three had been executed, and twenty others transported
or imprisoned for long terms, and these, every one of them, through
the acts and incitements of the emissaries of Ministers themselves. On
the motion for printing the report of the Commons, which, of course,
justified Ministers, Mr. Tierney said it was scarcely worth while
to oppose the printing of "a document so absurd, contemptible, and

But Ministers were too sensible of the unconstitutional character
of their deeds to rest satisfied with the mere justification of an
accepted report. A Bill of Indemnity was introduced to cover "all
persons who had in 1817 taken any part in apprehending, imprisoning, or
detaining in custody persons suspected of high treason, or treasonable
practices, and in the suppression of tumultuous and unlawful
assemblies." Thus Ministers were shielded under general terms, and to
avoid all appearance of personal movement in this matter by those in
the Cabinet the most immediately active, the Bill was introduced by the
Duke of Montrose, the Master of the Horse.

There was an energetic debate in each House as the Bill passed through.
It was opposed in the Peers by Lords Lansdowne, Holland, and Erskine,
but was carried by ninety-three against twenty-seven. Ten peers entered
a strong protest on the journals against the measure, denying the
traitorous conspiracy or the extensive disaffection to the Government
alleged, affirming that the execution of the ordinary laws would
have been amply sufficient, and that Ministers were not entitled to
indemnity for causeless arrests and long imprisonments which had taken
place, for the Bill went to protect them in decidedly illegal acts.
In the House of Commons the Bill was strongly opposed by Brougham,
Tierney, Mr. Lambton--afterwards Lord Durham--and Sir Samuel Romilly.
They condemned the conduct of Ministers in severe language, while the
Bill was supported by Canning, by Mr. Lamb--afterwards Lord Melbourne,
who generally went with the other side--by Sir William Garrow, and Sir
Samuel Shepherd, Attorney-General.

Ministers carried their indemnity in the Commons by one hundred and
sixty-two against sixty-nine; but this did not prevent a prolongation
of the demands of the Reformers for a searching inquiry into their
employment of the spies. Many petitions were presented to the House
of Commons for this inquiry--one of them from Samuel Bamford, who had
been a sufferer by imprisonment. On the 3rd of February Hone's case
was brought forward by William Smith, of Norwich; on the 10th, Lord
Archibald Hamilton made a motion for inquiry into similar prosecutions
of persons in Scotland, and especially of Andrew M'Kinley, and this
was supported by Sir Samuel Romilly and others, but rejected; yet the
next day Mr. Fazakerley made a demand for a rigid inquiry into the
employment of the spies, and for ascertaining whether they really had
exceeded their instructions. Here was an opportunity for Ministers
to clear themselves, were they really innocent of sending them out
to excite as well as to discover conspirators. There was a violent
debate, but the motion was rejected by one hundred and eleven against
fifty-two. The discussion left no doubt of the employment of Oliver
and others, and this fact being put beyond dispute, Ministers should,
in self-vindication, have cleared themselves, if they were guiltless,
as their friends pretended; but they did not do so. On the 17th Lord
Folkestone moved for inquiry into the treatment in prison of Mr. Ogden
and others, and a similar motion was made on the 19th, in the Lords,
by the Earl of Carnarvon. In both cases Ministers, instead of courting
inquiry, resented it, and closed the door of investigation by large
majorities. Lords Sidmouth, Bathurst, and Liverpool were prominent in
staving off these inquiries; and Lords Grosvenor, King, and Holland
were earnest in urging the necessity of such inquiry for their own
good fame. Lord Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby, put this in the
strongest light. He said that he thought Ministers "had been much
calumniated, but they would be most so by themselves if they refused
to inquire into those acts, when inquiry, according to their own
statements, would fully acquit them of the charges laid against them."
This was so self-evident that the fact that they would not admit this
inquiry might, were there no other grounds for decision, be taken as
positive proof of their guilt. But it is not likely that Oliver and his
comrades, who were for months in daily communication with Ministers
whilst on their detestable missions, would have dared so far to exceed
their orders, or, had they done so, that they would have been protected
at the expense of the reputations of Ministers themselves, and rewarded
into the bargain. The instructions to these men were undoubtedly of too
dark a character to be produced in open daylight.

Amid this melancholy manifestation of a convicted, yet dogged, treason
against the people on the part of their rulers, many motions for reform
and improvements in our laws were brought forward. On the part of Mr.
Sturges Bourne, a committee brought in a report recommending three
Bills for the improvement of the Poor Law: one for the establishment
of select vestries, one for a general reform of the Poor Law, and one
for revising the Law of Settlement. On the part of Henry Brougham, a
Bill was introduced for appointment of commissioners to inquire into
the condition of the charities in England for the education of the
poor. There were many attempts to reform the Criminal Law, in which Sir
Samuel Romilly especially exerted himself. One of these was to take
away the penalty of death from the offence of stealing from a shop to
the value of five shillings, another was to prevent arrests for libel
before indictment was found, and another, by Sir James Mackintosh,
to inquire into the forgery of Bank of England notes. There was a
Bill brought in by Mr. Wynn to amend the Election Laws; and one for
alterations in the Law of Tithes, by Mr. Curwen; another by Sir Robert
Peel, father of the great statesman, for limiting the hours of labour
in cotton and other factories; a Bill to amend the Law of Bankruptcy,
and a Bill to amend the Copyright Act, by Sir Egerton Brydges; and
finally a Bill for Parliamentary Reform, introduced by Sir Francis
Burdett, and supported by Lord Cochrane, subsequently the Earl of
Dundonald. All of these were thrown out, except the Select Vestries
Bill, Brougham's Bill to inquire into the public charities, a Bill for
rewarding apprehenders of highway robbers and other offenders, and a
Bill granting a million of money to build new churches. The cause of
Reform found little encouragement from the Parliamentary majorities of
the Sidmouths, Liverpools, and Castlereaghs. This list of rejections
of projects of reform was far from complete; a long succession
followed. The Scots came with a vigorous demand, made on their behalf
by Lord Archibald Hamilton, for a sweeping reform of their burghs.
Municipal reform was equally needed, both in Scotland and England. The
whole system was flagrantly corrupt. Many boroughs were sinking into
bankruptcy; and the elections of their officers were conducted on the
most arbitrary and exclusive principles. The Scots had agitated this
question before the outbreak of the French Revolution, but that and
the great war issuing out of it had swamped the agitation altogether.
It was now revived, but only to meet with a defeat like a score of
other measures quite as needful. Lord Archibald Hamilton asked for the
abolition of the Scottish Commissary Courts in conformity with the
recommendation of a commission of inquiry in 1808; General Thornton
called for the repeal of certain religious declarations to be made on
taking office; and Dr. Phillimore for amendment of the Marriage Act
of 1753; and numerous demands for the repeal of taxes of one kind or
another all met the same fate of refusal.

The death of the Princess Charlotte left the prospect of the succession
to the Crown equally serious. Of the numerous sons and daughters of
George III. not one had legitimate issue. It might be necessary soon
to look abroad in Germany or in Denmark for an heir to the Crown. This
consideration led to a number of royal marriages during the earlier
part of this year. The first of these marriages was not of this
description. It was that of the Princess Elizabeth, his Majesty's third
daughter, to the Landgrave and Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Homburg, on
the 7th of April. As the princess was already nearly eight-and-forty,
no expectation of issue in that quarter was entertained. On the 13th
of April Lord Liverpool brought down a message from the Regent to the
Peers, and Lord Castlereagh to the Commons, announcing treaties of
marriage in progress between the Duke of Clarence and the Princess
Adelaide Louisa, of Saxe-Meiningen; and also between the Duke of
Cambridge and the Princess Augusta Wilhelmina, of Hesse, youngest
daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse. The House of Commons was also asked
to add an additional ten thousand pounds a year to the allowance of the
Duke of Clarence, and six thousand pounds a year each to those of the
Dukes of Cumberland and Cambridge, and to that of the Duke of Kent,
if he, too, should marry. Ministers intimated that it had been the
intention to ask much larger sums, but they found that it was necessary
to reduce the sum asked for the Duke of Clarence. It was a matter of
notoriety that the duke had already a large family by the actress,
Mrs. Jordan, and probably the feeling of the House was influenced
by his desertion of that lady; but there was a stout opposition
and the sum was reduced to six thousand pounds. Loud acclamations
followed the carrying of this amendment, and Lord Castlereagh rose
and said, after the refusal of the sum asked, he believed he might
say that the negotiation for the marriage might be considered at an
end. The next day the duke sent a message declining the sum granted;
yet, after all, his marriage took place. The Duke of Cumberland was
already married to the Princess Frederica Sophia, the daughter of the
Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had been divorced from Frederick
Louis, Prince of Prussia. The Duke of Cumberland was one of the most
unpopular men in the whole kingdom, for there were rumours of very
dark passages in his life, and Parliament had rejected an application
for an additional allowance on his marriage; and it now rejected this
application amid much applause. The sum asked for the Duke of Cambridge
was carried, but not without considerable opposition. The spirit of
reform was in the air.

On the 13th of May came down a message, announcing the approaching
marriage of the Duke of Kent with the daughter of the Duke of
Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Victoria Maria Louisa, sister of Prince Leopold,
and widow of Emich Charles, the Prince of Leiningen. The princess was
already the mother of a son and daughter. The nation was extremely
favourable to this match. The Duke of Kent was popular, and the more
so that he had always been treated with unnatural harshness by his
father. He had been put under the care of an old martinet general in
Hanover, who had received a large annual allowance with him, and kept
him so sparely that the poor youth ran away. He had been then sent
to Gibraltar, where the severe discipline which he had been taught
to consider necessary in the army brought him into disgrace with the
garrison. But towards the public at large his conduct had been marked
by much liberality of principle.

It was deemed necessary, before the end of the Session, which would
close the term of Parliament, to renew the Alien Act. It had been
renewed in 1814, and again in 1816, each time for two years. On the
last occasion it had been vehemently opposed, and as determined an
opposition was now manifested against its renewal. From the 5th of May
to the 29th the fight was continued, every opportunity and advantage
which the forms of Parliament afforded being resorted to to delay and
defeat it; but on the 29th it passed the Commons by ninety-four votes
against twenty-nine. It was introduced into the Lords on the 1st of
June by Lord Sidmouth. But it had been discovered that, by an Act of
the Scottish Parliament of 1685, all foreigners holding shares in
the Bank of Scotland to a certain amount became thereby naturalised;
and, by the Act of Union, all subjects of Scotland became naturalised
subjects of England. A clause, therefore, was introduced by the Lords
to obviate this, and passed; but on the Bill being sent down to the
Commons it was struck out; and Ministers were compelled to allow the
Bill without this clause to pass, and to introduce their separate Bill,
which was passed on the 9th of June.

Ministers were in haste to close and dissolve Parliament in order
to call a new one before the very probable demise of the king--for
though they had provided that in case of the decease of the queen
the Parliament should not reassemble, this did not apply to the
decease of the king; and should this take place before the day fixed
for the assembling of the new Parliament, the old Parliament--even
though formally dissolved--would reassemble: therefore, on the 10th
of June--the very day after the passing of the supplementary Alien
Bill--the Prince Regent came down to the House of Lords, prorogued
Parliament, and then immediately the Lord Chancellor pronounced it
dissolved. The members of the Commons were taken by surprise. No such
sudden dismissal had taken place since 1625, when Charles I. dismissed
his Oxford Parliament after a single week's session. On the return to
their own House the Speaker was proceeding, as usual, to read the Royal
Speech, but he was reminded by Mr. Tierney that there was no Parliament
in existence, and by Lord Castlereagh that, by so doing, he might
render himself liable to a Præmunire, and he therefore desisted and the
members withdrew.

The elections for the new Parliament were carried on with much vigour,
and there were upwards of a hundred contested ones. In some cases
the contest was extremely violent, considering the death of the king
was almost daily expected, and that the term of the Parliament must
necessarily be a short one. In Westminster there were no less than six
candidates. Lord Cochrane was about to depart for Chili to take the
command of the naval forces of that state, and therefore did not offer
himself again. There were Sir Francis Burdett again, the Honourable
Douglas Kinnaird, Sir Murray Maxwell, Sir Samuel Romilly, Major
Cartwright, and Mr. Henry Hunt, commonly called Orator Hunt. Of these
Sir Murray Maxwell was a Tory, and received severe treatment. Major
Cartwright and Hunt obtained very little support, and soon withdrew
from the contest. The members returned were Romilly and Burdett, a Whig
and a Radical. For London were returned four new members, all Whigs,
Wood, Wilson, Waithman, and Thorpe. Brougham patriotically stood for
Westmoreland, to break, if possible, the influence of the Lowther
family; but he was compelled to retire on the fourth day, and two of
the Lowther family were returned. A hundred and ninety new members
were returned, and the Opposition gained considerably by the election.
An acute observer, well accustomed to party battles, remarked that
Government did not appear much beloved, and that they had almost spent
all their war popularity; and they were not destined to recover it in
the coming year.

[Illustration: GIBRALTAR.]

Scarcely were the elections over when a strike took place amongst the
working cotton-spinners in Manchester. Food was dear, and the rate of
wages was not in any proportion to the dearness. The men who turned
out paraded the streets, and, as is generally too much the spirit of
strikes, endeavoured forcibly to compel the workmen of other factories
to cease working too. The magistrates, on the 1st of September, issued
a proclamation, that they were determined to resist such attempts,
and to punish the offenders. Sir John Byng, the same who had favoured
the endeavours of Oliver in Yorkshire, commanded the forces there,
and every precaution was taken to secure the factories still in work.
On the very next day the spinners were joined by a great mob from
Stockport, and they endeavoured to break into Gray's mill, in Ancoat's
Lane, and force the men to cease. But there was a party of soldiers
placed within in expectation of the attack, and they fired on the
assailants, and killed one man and wounded two others. The troops
then dispersed the mob, which was said to have amounted to at least
thirty thousand men. This ended the strike and the rioting for the
time. The coroner's jury pronounced the death of the man justifiable
homicide, and Ministers congratulated themselves on the speedy end of
the disturbance. But the elements of fresh ones were rife in the same
districts. The country was by no means in the prosperous condition that
they had represented it.

In the autumn the great Congress of Sovereigns assembled at
Aix-la-Chapelle. We have already anticipated their chief object--the
final evacuation of France by the Allied troops, and the settlement
of compensations. They assembled about the middle of September,
and remained together till the middle of November. Their business
conferences, however, did not commence till the 30th of September.
With regard to the evacuation of France, we need only state that it
was greatly promoted by the exertions of the Duke of Wellington.
Robert Owen was there to endeavour to enlist the Sovereigns in his
schemes of social reform, but did not make any proselytes amongst the
crowned heads, though the Czar Alexander told him he fully entered into
his views, as he was generally accustomed to tell all reformers and
religious professors, leaving them in the pleasing delusion that they
had won him to their opinions. Clarkson was there to engage them to
sanction the suppression of the slave trade, but with as indifferent a
result. This was the closing scene of the great European drama, which
opened with the French Revolution and terminated with the capture of
Buonaparte. The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle may be regarded as the
recital of the epilogue.

The year 1818 did not close without one more brush of war. This was
in India. There had not been much quiet, even after the destruction
of Tippoo Sultan and the power of Mysore. When the Earl of Moira
(afterwards Marquis of Hastings) succeeded, as Governor-General,
to Earl Minto, in 1813, he found the country still disturbed in
different directions, particularly on the north-west frontiers. The
Burmese engaged his immediate attention, and then the Nepaulese,
who were not quietened till after two campaigns. But there was a
far more troublesome enemy than either of these in the field. These
were the Pindarrees, a multitude of horsemen made up of the scum
of Hindostan--men who had either lost caste, or never had any--who
formed themselves into flying bands, and with the swiftness of the
wind rushed down on the cultivated districts, and swept all before
them--cattle, sheep, money, jewels, everything that could be made prey
of. The two most celebrated chiefs of the Pindarrees were Kureem and
Cheetoo, but Cheetoo managed to put down Kureem, and became the one
great and formidable head of these robbers. In 1811 he rode at the
head of twenty-five thousand cavalry. In 1814, whilst our troops were
engaged in Nepaul, the Pindarrees, under Cheetoo, crossed the Nerbudda,
the Godavery, and advanced to the Kistnah, ravaging the whole of the
Deccan and the neighbouring territories; and in spite of our forces
under Major Frazer in one direction, and Colonel Doveton in another,
they effected their retreat across the Nerbudda again, loaded with
enormous booty. In 1816 they made a still more extensive incursion,
ten thousand of them descending into the Madras Presidency as far as
Guntoor, and though Colonel Doveton exerted himself to come up with
them, it was in vain. In twelve days Cheetoo's marauders had plundered
three hundred and ninety villages in the Company's territory, put to
death one hundred and eighty-two people, wounded five hundred and five,
and tortured in various ways three thousand six hundred.

It was now found that our pretended Mahratta allies, the Peishwa,
Scindiah, and other chiefs, were in league with Cheetoo, and unless
this conspiracy were broken the most fearful devastations might be
expected on our states. The Governor-General represented this to the
authorities at home, and recommended that the Pindarrees should be
regularly hunted down and destroyed. In the course of 1816 he received
full authority to execute this scheme. At the end of October he posted
Lieutenant-Colonel Walker along the southern bank of the Nerbudda, to
prevent the Pindarrees from crossing into the Company's territories;
but as the line of river thus to be guarded was one hundred and fifty
miles in length, the force employed was found insufficient against such
adroit and rapid enemies. In November Cheetoo dashed across the river
between Lieutenant-Colonel Walker's posts, and his forces dividing,
one part made a rapid gallop through forests, and over rivers and
mountains, right across the continent, into the district of Ganjam, in
the northern Circars, hoping to reach Juggernaut and plunder the temple
of its enormous wealth. But this division was met with in Ganjam by the
Company's troops, and driven back with severe loss. The other division
descended into the Deccan, as far as Beeder, where it again divided:
one portion being met with by Major Macdonald, who had marched from
Hyderabad, was completely cut up, though it was six thousand strong.
The other body struck westward into Konkan, under a chief named Sheik
Dulloo, and then, turning north, plundered all the western coast, and
escaped with the booty beyond the Nerbudda, though not without some
loss at the hands of the British troops on that river.

As it was now clearly useless to endeavour to prevent these desperate
hordes from crossing the Nerbudda, it was determined to march into
their own retreats beyond that river, and regularly hunt them down.
Sir John Malcolm, one of our ablest officers, who has left us a most
graphic account of these transactions, had just now returned from
England, and he was appointed, with Major-General Marshall, to this
service. Not only Cheetoo, but Kureem, was again on foot; and Sir John
learnt that Cheetoo was posted near the camp of the Holkar Mahrattas,
and had received a lac and sixty thousand rupees from the Peishwa. By
this time he had advanced as far as Agra, but on this information he
fell back on Oojein, where Sir Thomas Hislop lay with another body of
troops. On the 21st of December, 1817, Holkar's army and Cheetoo's
army made a united attack on the British at Mahidpore, on the banks of
the Seepra. They were received with a murderous slaughter, and fled,
leaving seventy pieces of artillery, all they had, and a great quantity
of arms. They fled in confusion to Rampoora, a fortified town in Malwa.
The British on their part had suffered severely, having one hundred and
seventy-four killed, and six hundred and four wounded. Amongst these
were thirty-five officers wounded, half of them severely.

Sir John Malcolm and Captain Grant pursued the fugitives along the
banks of the Seepra, killing numbers, and seizing immense booty,
including elephants and numerous camels. He left them no time to
reassemble, but advanced rapidly on the capital of Holkar, joined by
reinforcements from the Bombay army under Major-General Sir William
Keir. Alarmed at this vigorous action, the Holkar Mahrattas hastily
concluded peace, gave up all their forts, and placed their territories
under British protection. Some Pathan chiefs attempted to resist,
trusting to the defences of Rampoora; but General Brown soon stormed
that place, and the whole country of the Holkar Mahrattas was reduced
to obedience. No respite was granted to the Pindarrees. Cheetoo was
followed from place to place by the Gujerat army under Sir William
Keir, and sought refuge in vain amongst the hills and jungles of Malwa
and along the Nerbudda. At length, in January, 1818, Cheetoo's last
camp was surprised and cut to pieces. After seeking refuge amongst
various tribes, Cheetoo was ultimately found in the jungle near the
fort of Aseerghur, torn to pieces by a tiger, his horse grazing not far
off, safe, and a bag on his saddle containing his remaining jewels and
two hundred and fifty rupees. And thus ended the existence of the long
formidable hosts of the Pindarrees.

Whilst this extirpation of the Pindarrees had been going on, the
cholera broke out at Jessore, in the low lands of the Delta of the
Ganges. This fatal disease has been supposed by medical men to receive
its force, if not its origin, from the want of salt in this unhealthy
district. Salt being one of the monopolies of the East India Company,
it was not permitted, though abundant in Madras, to be carried into
Bengal except on payment of a duty of two hundred per cent. The
natives, therefore, who subsisted on a rice diet, not being able to
procure this necessary antiseptic, frequently fell victims to the
terrible scourge of cholera. From this centre, where it may fairly be
said to have raged in perpetuity, it now spread rapidly up the course
of the Ganges, the Jumna, and their confluent rivers, and if the
British impost on salt had anything to do with the prevalence of the
epidemic, a severe retribution now fell upon those who profited by it.
The Marquis of Hastings, the Governor-General, was posted in Bundelcund
with his army, when it appeared there and swept away thousands. The
very men attending on the Governor-General at dinner dropped down
behind his chair and died. To seek a healthier region, he marched
eastward, but all the way the pest pursued him, and when he reached
the healthy station of Erich, on the right bank of the Betwah river,
towards the end of November, one-tenth of the force had fallen under
its ravages. The scourge did not stop there, but for a number of years
continued to spread at an amazing speed, and eventually overspread
Europe with its horrors.

During the time that Malcolm, Keir, Hislop, and other officers were
running down the Pindarrees, Major-General Smith, who had received
reinforcements at Poonah, was performing the same service against Bajee
Rao, the Peishwa who had furnished Cheetoo with funds. He marched from
Poonah at the end of November, 1817, accompanied by Mr. Mountstuart
Elphinstone. They encountered the army of the Peishwa on the Kistnah,
where his general, Gokla, had posted himself strongly in a ghaut. The
pass was speedily cleared, and the army of the Peishwa made a rapid
retreat. The chase was continued from place to place, the Peishwa
dodging about in an extraordinary manner, till, at length, he managed
to get behind General Smith, and, passing between Poonah and Seroor, he
was joined by his favourite Trimbukjee, whom he had long lost sight of,
with strong reinforcements of both horse and infantry. General Smith,
so soon as he could discover the route of the Peishwa, pursued it,
but soon after the Mahrattas showed themselves again in the vicinity
of Poonah. To secure that city from the Peishwa's arms, Captain F. F.
Staunton was dispatched from Seroor on the last day of the year with
six hundred sepoys, three hundred horse, and two six-pounders; but he
was not able to reach Poonah. The very next day, the 1st of January,
1818, he found his way barred by the whole army of the Peishwa,
consisting of twenty thousand horse and several thousand foot. Could
they have remained a little longer, General Smith, who was on the track
of the Peishwa, would have been up to support them. But in the night of
the 2nd of January, having no provisions, Staunton fell back, carrying
with him all his wounded and his guns, and reached Seroor by nine
o'clock on the morning of the 3rd of January.

[Illustration: SURRENDER OF THE PEISHWA. (_See p._ 141.)]

That very day General Smith reached Corregaum in force, and at this
apparition the Peishwa fled back towards the sources of the Kistnah,
whence he had descended. Not only General Smith, but Brigadier-General
Pritzler and Colonel Boles kept up the pursuit, advancing from
different quarters, as the slippery Mahratta chief turned and
manœuvred. At length weary of the chase, they determined to reduce
Satara, his capital, and then each of his strong forts and towns one
after another, thus depriving him of supplies, and leaving him no
place of refuge or subsistence. Satara surrendered to General Smith on
the 10th of February, the same day that he appeared before it. As one
place after another fell, Gokla, the Peishwa's general, made an effort
to arrest this process of reduction, and this enabled General Smith
to attack him on the 20th of February, at Ashtee, where he completely
routed him. Gokla himself was killed, and the Peishwa only escaped
by abandoning his palanquin and mounting a horse. General Smith and
Lieutenant Warrand were wounded, but not a man was killed on the
British side. Great booty was taken, including twelve elephants and
fifty-seven camels.

The remnant of the Mahratta army fled northwards, pursued and
continually reduced by the British. At the same time the reduction of
the towns and forts was steadily going on, and every day the fugitive
Peishwa became more and more involved in the toils of his enemies. He
endeavoured to escape into Nagpore, but on the banks of the Wurda he
was met, on the 1st of April, by Colonel Scott and driven back, only
to fall into the hands of Colonel Adams, who attacked him near Soonee
with only one regiment of native cavalry and some horse artillery, and
gave him a thorough defeat, taking five guns, three elephants, and two
hundred camels. More than a thousand Mahrattas fell, and the Peishwa
himself narrowly escaped, his palanquin, which he had abandoned, being
found shot through. Bajee Rao now endeavoured to get to the north-east
into Malwa, but he was stopped by General Sir Thomas Hislop, who was
advancing from that quarter towards the Deccan. At length, his forces
dispersed, his towns in possession of the British, his way on all
sides cut off, the Peishwa came in and surrendered himself to Sir John
Malcolm, on the 3rd of June, 1818, on promise of good treatment. Sir
John granted him eight lacs of rupees per annum, on condition that
he resigned the title of Peishwa for ever, and surrendered all his
possessions. This was confirmed by the Supreme Government at Calcutta.
Thus was the existence of the Pindarrees, and the power of the
Mahrattas, broken up, and the Rajah of Satara restored. He was a minor,
but on reaching the age of twenty-one, which was in the year 1821,
he was invested with the government of his dominions. These included
a district of about eleven thousand square miles, and produced a net
revenue of fifteen million rupees. Out of this, however, three lacs per
annum were reserved for chiefs who had become subjects of the Company,
and three more lacs were alienated. As for Trimbukjee, whose crimes and
murders had determined the British to secure him at any cost, he was
discovered, after a long quest, in the neighbourhood of Nassick, by
Captain Swanston, and carried to Tannah, the prison from which he had
escaped. He was thence transferred to Calcutta, and finally to the rock
of Chunar, near Benares. The last success of this war was the reduction
of the fortress of Aseerghur, one of the most formidable strongholds in
India, which had undergone some most arduous sieges.

None of the princes who accepted our protection benefited more than
Scindiah. He was relieved from the insolence of haughty military
chieftains, who commanded his armies, and left him as little free will
as they left to his subjects quiet possession of their property. He
was enabled to disband his vast armies, and reduce them to thirteen
thousand infantry and nine thousand horse. His disbanded soldiers
returned home, and became tillers of the land lately running into
jungle, by which, and other influences of peace, his revenue was nearly
doubled. All the districts wrested from him by the Pindarrees were
restored to him; he lost only the mischievous fortress of Aseerghur.
Sir John Malcolm cleared the country of the swarms of Arabs, and
of Mekranees from Beluchistan, who had acquired a most formidable
ascendency in the armies of the Indian chiefs; and these chiefs
were informed that again to employ these mercenary ruffians, or to
allow them to remain on their territories, would be regarded as a
declaration of hostility by the British Government. Similar changes
were introduced into the territories of the dethroned Peishwa by the
Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, who resided at Poonah; and by the
conquest of the Poonah territory, by the treaty of Mundissoor, made by
Sir John Malcolm after his great victory at Mahidpore, and by exchanges
made with the Guicowar of Baroda, and other arrangements, the British
dominions were now linked together in one broad and continuous expanse,
from Calcutta to Bombay, and from Bombay to Madras, as by the former
Mahratta war they had been established between Madras and Calcutta.

If we were to believe figures, and the returns of exports and imports,
and of duties paid, we must set down the opening of the year 1819 as
considerably prosperous. This was the view which Ministers took of the
condition of Great Britain when they met the new Parliament on the
14th of January. The speculations that had been carried on during 1818
had swelled the revenue, and given an impression of growing commerce,
which unfortunately did not exist. The results of these speculations in
imports of raw material, especially of cotton, and in extensive exports
of manufactures to countries not yet sufficiently reinvigorated to
purchase, had produced numerous and heavy failures during the latter
part of the past year, and these still continued, in strange contrast
to the self-congratulating language of Ministers. In nothing was the
fall of price so great as in cotton, and those who had bought largely
suffered in proportion. These bankruptcies were not confined to Great
Britain; they extended to New York, and to southern ports of the United
States, where the same speculation had been going on largely.

Besides the flattering assurances of the steady improvement in commerce
and manufactures, and, consequently, in the revenues, the Regent's
Speech, read, as usual, by the Lord Chancellor, justly congratulated
the country on the successful termination of the Pindarree war by the
Marquis of Hastings. It informed the two Houses that a new treaty had
been entered into with the United States for adjusting the different
points at issue between the two nations, not settled by the treaty of
peace, and also for regulating the commerce between them. It announced
the results of the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, and stated that some
new measures were needed for the care of his Majesty's person in
consequence of the death of the queen. The Address, in both Houses, was
carried almost _pro formâ_. Mr. Manners Sutton was elected Speaker of
the Commons by acclamation.

The new arrangements for the care of the king's person came on first
for discussion. On the 25th of January Lord Liverpool introduced a
Bill to make the Duke of York guardian of his Majesty's person in
place of the late queen. This question was decided with little debate.
On the 4th of February a message was brought down from the Regent
informing the House of Commons that, in consequence of the demise of
her Majesty, fifty-eight thousand pounds became disposable for the
general purposes of the Civil List; and recommending that the claims
of her late Majesty's servants to the liberality of the House should
be considered. Lord Castlereagh moved that the House should go into
committee on this subject, as, besides the fifty-eight thousand pounds,
there was another sum of one hundred thousand pounds, which had been
appropriated to the maintenance of the establishment at Windsor. It
was understood that Ministers would propose to reduce the sum for the
establishment at Windsor to fifty thousand pounds, but that they would
recommend that ten thousand pounds, which her Majesty had received in
consideration of her charge of the king, should be transferred to the
Duke of York. Mr. Tierney objected to the charge of fifty thousand
pounds for the maintenance of the establishment at Windsor. He said
he could not conceive how this money was to be spent, or on whom, for
certainly it could not be on the king, who, he understood, was in that
state of mental and bodily debility which made it necessary that as
few persons as possible should be about him, and that his regimen was
so very simple that it could cost next to nothing.

On the 22nd the Commons went into committee on this subject, and Mr.
Tierney then proposed that both the establishment at Windsor and the
salary to the Duke of York should be paid out of the Privy Purse
or other private funds of the Crown. There was a private property
belonging to the Crown of one hundred and forty thousand pounds a year,
and surely this was sufficient to defray the charge of the necessary
care of the king's person. He reminded the House also of the sums which
had been voted for the royal family since 1811. Besides fifty thousand
pounds a year set apart for the debts of the Prince Regent, he had a
privy purse of sixty thousand pounds a year, besides an additional
grant of ten thousand pounds a year made since. The king had also
a privy purse of sixty thousand pounds a year, with an additional
revenue of ten thousand pounds from the Duchy of Lancaster. Surely,
out of all these sums, there must be ample means of taking care of the
king's person. To all these second statements Mr. Peel--afterwards
the Sir Robert who began his political career in the ranks of high
Toryism--replied that the Duke of York would accept no salary which
came from the Privy Purse, and he quoted Sheridan and Adam, old friends
of the Prince Regent, and staunch Whigs, who had zealously advocated
the sacredness of the Privy Purse. When the vote was taken for the
disposal of the sum for the Windsor establishment, it was carried by
two hundred and eighty against one hundred and eighty-six, a sufficient
proof that in the new Parliament the Government possessed a strong
majority. On the 25th the proposal to confer on the Duke of York
ten thousand pounds per annum, for this charge of his own father's
person, was also carried by a still larger majority--two hundred and
forty-seven against one hundred and thirty-seven. In the debate, Denman
and Brougham opposed the vote, and Canning supported it. In the House
of Peers Lords Grey, Lansdowne, and other Whig peers opposed the vote
of the ten thousand pounds to the Duke of York. And truly, in private
life, it would not have seemed very filial conduct for a man, already
possessing a large income, to require a great annual payment for
discharging the simple duty of seeing that his aged father, a gentleman
also of ample means, was well looked after.

A great portion of the present Session was occupied with discussing
the return to cash payments, which, by the Act of Parliament, ought to
take place on the 5th of July of this year. It appears that no less
than fifty debates and conversations in both Houses took place on this
important subject during the Session. Very soon after the meeting of
Parliament a secret committee of each House was appointed to inquire
into the state of the Bank. These committees were, however, so managed,
by delivering to the members lists of suitable persons for such
committees, that scarcely any but Ministerial men were voted, though
these votes were given by ballot. In the Commons this result was so
evident that the Opposition declined to vote at all. The first reports
of the committees went rather to close more strictly than to open the
issue of gold by the Bank. It had been paying in gold its notes issued
previous to January, 1817. This payment it was proposed to stop, as,
at present, evidently injurious to the interests of the country. Mr.
Peel, on moving for a Bill for this purpose, stated that the gold at
the present price was fast finding its way abroad, and was as rapidly
absorbed in re-minting a gold coinage for France. It appeared that
during the first half of 1818 gold to the value of no less than one
hundred and twenty-eight million francs had been coined at the French
mint, of which three-fourths were derived from the gold coinage of
England. A Bill was accordingly passed to stop payment altogether
in gold till the necessary preparations were made by a fresh Bill.
Still, the condition of the Bank was represented as flourishing. Its
liabilities were stated in January, 1819, as amounting to thirty-three
million eight hundred and ninety-four thousand five hundred and eighty
pounds; its assets, including the debt due from Government, fifty-three
million seven hundred and eighty-three thousand seven hundred pounds.
The total Bank surplus appeared to be nineteen million eight hundred
and eighty-nine thousand one hundred and twenty pounds; and its
surplus, independent of the Government debt, and therefore available
for current use, was five million two hundred and two thousand
three hundred and twenty pounds. The committees adopted the scheme
broached by Mr. Ricardo in his "Proposals for an Economical and Secure
Currency," published in 1816. This was that the Bank, in the first
instance, should not pay for its notes in gold coin, but in ingots of
a certain weight, its fineness being attested by a stamp; and this
degree of purity should be regulated from time to time till the gold
descended to the Mint price of three pounds seventeen shillings and
tenpence-halfpenny per ounce. When the Mint gold at length reached this
rate of value, then the payment in coin was to be begun. Resolutions to
this effect were moved by the Earl of Harrowby on the 21st of May, and
they received the approval, not only of the Ministerial side, but of
the leading Opposition members, Lords Grenville, Lansdowne, and King.

In the House of Commons similar resolutions were moved on the 24th
by Mr. Robert Peel, who, on this occasion, made the first of those
candid admissions of new views which he afterwards repeated on the
question of Catholic Emancipation, and finally on the abolition of the
Corn Laws. This eminent statesman, though beginning his career in the
ranks of Conservatism, had a mind capable of sacrificing prejudice to
truth, though it was certain to procure him much obloquy and opposition
from his former colleagues. He now frankly admitted that the evidence
produced before the secret committee of the Commons, of which he had
been a member, had greatly changed his views regarding the currency
since in 1811 he opposed the resolutions of Mr. Horner, the chairman
of the Bullion Committee. He now believed the doctrines of Mr. Horner
to be mainly sound, and to represent the true nature of our monetary
system; and, whilst making this confession, he had only to regret
that he was compelled by his convictions to vote in opposition to the
opinions of his venerated father. Several modifications were proposed
during the debate, but there appeared so much unanimity in the House
that no alterations were made, and the resolutions passed without a
division. The resolutions were to this effect:--That the restrictions
on cash payments should continue till the 1st of May, 1822; that,
meanwhile, the House should make provision for the gradual payment of
ten millions of the fourteen millions due from the Government to the
Bank; that, from the 1st of February, 1820, the Bank should take up its
notes in gold ingots, stamped and assayed in quantities of not less
than sixty ounces, and at a rate of eighty-one shillings per ounce.
After the 1st of October of the same year the rate of gold should be
reduced to seventy-nine shillings and sixpence per ounce; and again
on the 1st of May, 1821, the price should be reduced to seventy-seven
shillings and tenpence halfpenny per ounce; and at this rate of gold,
on the 1st of May, 1822, the Bank should finally commence paying in
the gold coin of the realm. Bills to this effect were introduced into
both Houses by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Peel, and were
readily passed; and such was the flourishing condition of the Bank
that it did not wait for the full operation of the Act, but commenced
paying in coin to any amount on the 1st of May, 1821.

[Illustration: THE MINT, LONDON.]

The select committee of the Commons appointed at the instance of Lord
Castlereagh, to inquire into the state of the national income and
expenditure, now presented its report on the 3rd of June, and it was
agreed to. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated on its authority
that, since 1815, taxation had been reduced eighteen million pounds
per annum; that in 1816 the revenue of Great Britain and Ireland had
been consolidated, and that, at that time, the interest of the Debt
of Ireland, including the Sinking Fund provided for its reduction,
exceeded the entire revenue of that part of the United Kingdom by
one million nine hundred thousand pounds. He then announced that
supplies for the present year would be required to the amount of
twenty million five hundred thousand pounds; that the existing revenue
would only furnish seven million pounds towards this; and that it
would be necessary to have recourse to the Sinking Fund to make up
the deficiency of thirteen million five hundred thousand pounds. This
Sinking Fund was fifteen million five hundred thousand pounds, so that
it would leave only two million pounds; but as it was necessary to have
a tolerable surplus in hand to meet exigencies, it was proposed to
raise this reserve fund to five million pounds by fresh taxes to the
amount of three million pounds.

On this basis Mr. Vansittart, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on
the 9th of June, produced his Budget. Including the interest on the
Debt, the whole annual expenditure amounted to seventy-six million,
seventy-four thousand pounds--an ominous peace expenditure. Instead,
therefore, of the supplies, aided by the draft from the Sinking Fund,
leaving a surplus of two million pounds, a fresh loan of twelve million
pounds--besides the three million pounds of new taxes on malt, tobacco,
coffee, cocoa, tea, British spirits, pepper, and foreign wool was
needed. By the hocus-pocus of Exchequer accounts this was made to look
like a reduction of the Debt instead of an increase of it; but the
country saw with dismay that three years after the peace the incubus
of past war was still adding to its burden. Mr. Tierney, on the 18th,
moved for a committee to inquire into the state of the nation, but
this was negatived by three hundred and fifty-seven votes against one
hundred and seventy-eight; and a motion of Sir Henry Parnell on the 1st
of July for extensive retrenchments was got rid of in the same manner.

[Illustration: SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY.]

But amid the discouragements of monetary legislation, which showed that
it would require a determined contest to compel Ministers to retrench,
there were symptoms of a spirit of legal and social reform amongst
Parliamentary men generally which augured the approach of better times.
Mr. Sturges Bourne obtained the passing of his long-advocated Poor Law
Bill; but Bills for regulating settlements, and for preventing the
misapplication of the poor rates, were thrown out. A Bill was passed
to regulate the treatment of children in cotton factories, and to
limit the hours of their employment. Mr. Brougham's Act for inquiry
into the charitable foundations of England was extended, with the
support of Government, so as to apply to educational as well as to
all kinds of charities, except such as had special visitors, or were
maintained by private subscriptions. Sir James Mackintosh also took up
the humane track of labour occupied so nobly by the late Sir Samuel
Romilly. On the 2nd of March he moved for the appointment of a select
committee to take into consideration the subject of capital punishment
as regarded felonies. This was eminently needed, for the penal laws
during the reign of George III. were truly Draconian. Notwithstanding
a strong opposition by Ministers, the motion was carried, amid much
cheering, and on the 6th of July Sir James Mackintosh introduced the
report, which was ordered to be printed. Government, as if to wipe
out their disgrace in resisting so humane a measure, now proposed an
inquiry into the condition of gaols and other places of confinement,
and into the best method of employing and reforming delinquents during
their imprisonment. Some reforms were made in Scottish law. The old
rights of trial by battle, and of appeals of murder, felony, or mayhem,
were abolished as rendered unnecessary by the full exercise of the
institution of jury, and as belonging only to a barbarous age. The
severity of the Scottish law against duels was mitigated, that law
pronouncing forfeiture of all movable property, and banishment against
all persons sending, or even carrying, a challenge to fight a duel. The
principle of that law was sound, but its severity was its own defeat.
A more questionable Bill was one carried, after much opposition,
called the Foreign Enlistment Bill, which was intended to check the
aid of Englishmen in assisting the Spanish South American colonists in
throwing off the oppressive government of the mother country. Numbers
of Englishmen were engaged on the side of independence, and this Bill
was vainly intended to put an end to that generous aid.

The Scottish burgh question was brought forward again this Session.
The magistrates of the burgh of Aberdeen having been elected, in 1817,
in the same corrupt manner as those of Montrose had been in 1816,
the Court of Session had declared the election illegal. The burgh of
Montrose was found to have been disfranchised; but this was not the
case with Aberdeen, and the magistrates applied to Government to grant
a warrant for a new election, or rather a re-election of themselves.
This the Government, in the face of the decision of the Court of
Session, as well as of a numerously signed petition from the burgesses
praying that the election should be by open poll, issued. On the 1st of
April Lord Archibald Hamilton moved an address to the Prince Regent,
praying for a copy of this warrant. It was strenuously resisted by
Ministers, but the motion was lost by only a small majority. On the
6th of May Lord Archibald Hamilton renewed his motion in another
form--namely, that the petitions which had been presented from Scottish
burghs on the subject of Reform should be submitted to a committee of
inquiry. He showed that out of sixty-six royal burghs thirty-nine had
voted for Reform; that these thirty-nine contained a population of four
hundred and twenty thousand souls, whilst the remaining twenty-seven
contained only sixty thousand. The preponderance was so great that, in
spite of the opposition of Ministers, the House took another view of
the matter, and Lord Archibald's motion was carried, though only by one
hundred and forty-nine votes against one hundred and forty-four.

The question of Catholic Emancipation was brought forward on the 3rd of
May, by Grattan: it was the last time that he did so, but he had the
satisfaction of seeing that the question was rapidly advancing, for it
was lost by only two votes. A fortnight afterwards Lord Donoughmore
introduced a similar motion, in the hope of surmounting this small
difference, but, after a long debate, he found the majority increased
against it by thirty-nine votes. The closing contest of the Session
was for Parliamentary Reform. Sir Francis Burdett brought on his
annual motion, on the 1st of July, for the eighteenth time, but was
defeated by one hundred and fifty-three votes against fifty-eight. He
was seconded by Mr. George Lamb, younger brother of Lord Melbourne,
who, however, did not go the length of annual parliaments and universal
suffrage. Even at that day, Joseph Hume was for moderate reform, and
Lord John Russell was alarmed at anything further than Triennial
Parliaments, and the transferring the franchise from certain corrupt
boroughs to others not yet represented. Such were the feeble ideas of
Reform amongst its self-constituted leaders. Parliament was prorogued,
on the 13th of July, by the Prince Regent in person.

During this first Session of the new Parliament Ministers had carried
matters with a high hand, imagining that they had a majority which
would enable them to resist popular opinion, as they had done since the
conclusion of the war. But the progress of the Session did not warrant
this conclusion. They were defeated in several very important contests,
and before the Session came to an end were made to feel that they had
greatly declined in public confidence. In the severe debate of the
18th of May, on the motion of Mr. Tierney for a Committee of Inquiry
into the state of the nation, they had a majority of more than two to
one. But this was very different on the 3rd of June, when they only
carried their Foreign Enlistment Bill by a majority of thirteen. On the
question of the resumption of cash payments, the conversion of Mr. Peel
to the principles of Horner was a rude shock to the Cabinet, and shrewd
men prognosticated that, the entire system of Mr. Vansittart being thus
overturned, he must retire. Then came not merely partial conversions,
or near approaches to defeat, but actual defeats. Such were those on
Sir James Mackintosh's motion for inquiry into the criminal laws, and
on Lord Archibald Hamilton's for Scottish burgh Reform. The question
of Catholic Emancipation had approached to a crisis, and a majority
of only two against it was, in truth, a real defeat. The consequence
was that the conviction of the insecurity of Ministers was not only
shared by men of impartial judgment, but by themselves. Towards the
end of the Session Lord Liverpool himself was found writing to a
friend, that unless the measure for the return to cash payments raised
the confidence of the public in them, they must soon go out:--"I am
quite satisfied that, if we cannot carry what has been proposed, it is
far better for the country that we should cease to be a government.
After the defeats we have already experienced during this Session,
our remaining in office is a positive evil. It confounds all ideas of
government in the minds of men. It disgraces us personally, and renders
us less capable every day of being of any real service to the country,
either now or hereafter. If, therefore, things are to remain as they
are, I am quite sure that there is no advantage, in any way, in our
being the persons to carry on the public service. A strong and decisive
effort can alone redeem our character and credit, and is as necessary
for the country as it is for ourselves."

This appeal did something to strengthen them, but not permanently. The
fact that Parliament might terminate any day from the death of the
king did much to keep members in remembrance of their constituents;
but the great cause of Ministerial decay of popularity was that the
circumstance and spirit of the times demanded more liberal legislation
than such men as Liverpool, Sidmouth, and Eldon could comprehend,
much less originate. The manufacturing districts were especially in
a depressed condition. The efforts which had been made to force a
trade had failed. The excessive exportation of manufactured goods had
resulted exactly as Brougham had prognosticated: the foreign markets
had been glutted before the people were capable of buying, and the
fall in prices had been ruinous. The equally great importation of
raw material to continue the supply of fabrics for which the demand
was inadequate, had made matters worse. The bankruptcies during the
first half of this year were double the average number, credit was
severely shaken, and numbers of workmen were thrown out of employment
or reduced to very low wages. Wheat, though not so high as a year
or two ago, averaged eighty shillings per quarter. The consequence
was a renewed political action, and meetings were called by the
workmen in various parts of the manufacturing districts to consider
both their unsatisfactory position and the governmental as well as
commercial causes of it. The Corn Laws were justly denounced as one
potent cause of their sufferings, and the popular leaders of Reform
were called upon to assist them in getting rid of it. So early as the
18th of January a meeting of this character was held at Manchester.
Application had been made to the borough-reeve to summon a meeting to
petition Parliament for this object, but he declined, the Manchester
authorities of that day standing strangely aloof from the people in
their endeavours for relief from this enactment, which was as inimical
to their own interests as manufacturers, as it was to the comfort of
their work-people.

Refused in this quarter, the people proceeded to hold a meeting without
such sanction, and invited Mr. "Orator" Hunt to go down and take the
chair. Perhaps they could not have selected a more unsafe guide on the
occasion, for personal vanity was Hunt's besetting sin. Hunt, instead
of encouraging the very constitutional object of the meeting--to
petition Parliament for the repeal of the obnoxious law--treated
the petitioning that House as ridiculous, and persuaded the excited
people to put their sentiments into the form of a remonstrance to the
Prince Regent. The meeting then dispersed quietly; but Hunt found
occasion to keep himself in the public eye there a little longer. Some
officers of the 7th Hussars, who were posted at Manchester, treated
him rudely as he appeared at the theatre, asserting that when "God
Save the King" was called for, he hissed. Whether he did so or not,
the conduct of the officers answered his purpose of making political
capital; he wrote to the Commander-in-Chief, the Duke of York, and
then sent his letter to the newspapers. Still more, he wrote to Samuel
Bamford to support him in a scheme which was particularly calculated to
produce riot and bloodshed, and in this case Bamford did not exercise
his usual good sense. At Hunt's suggestion--to select a dozen stout
fellows, and appear on the evening of the following Monday in the
pit of the theatre, armed with stout cudgels, to inflict a summary
chastisement on the officers in case of a second demonstration of
their feelings--Bamford appeared at the time appointed with ten stout,
picked fellows, with knotty cudgels, marching along the streets to
the theatre. The object was immediately perceived by the people, who
crowded to the door of the theatre, completely filling the space in
front. But the manager was too prudent to open his theatre in such
circumstances. He announced that there would be no performance that
evening. Hunt was, therefore, disappointed of a catastrophe in the
theatre; but he drove up in a carriage, mounted the box, and addressed
the crowd in very exciting tones, declaring that the magistrates
desired nothing so much as an opportunity of letting loose the bloody
butchers of Waterloo upon them--meaning the 7th Hussars. It was not his
fault that all went off quietly.

In May the gingham-weavers of Carlisle and that neighbourhood held a
similar gathering, and in June meetings were held on Hunslet Common,
near Leeds, at Glasgow, Ashton-under-Lyne, and other places. The
meeting at Glasgow, on the 16th of June, was held on the Green, and
amounted to thirty or forty thousand people. They complained of the
low wages for cotton-weaving, and proposed a petition to the Prince
Regent, praying that he would enable them to get over to Canada,
promising that all such as received that favour should repay the
outlay by yearly instalments. But the bulk of the assembly protested
against emigration, asserting that the remedy for their distresses
lay in annual parliaments, universal suffrage, and the consequent
reduction of taxation; and they proposed that they should march up to
London in a body, and present their petition to the Prince Regent in
person. At Ashton the chair was taken by the Rev. Joseph Harrison,
and the strange creature called Dr. Healey, of whom Bamford gives an
extraordinary account in his "Life of a Radical," made a most wild and
seditious harangue. At a great meeting at Stockport, on the 28th of the
same month, a very different personage presided. This was Sir Charles
Wolseley, of Wolseley Park, in Staffordshire. Sir Charles said that
he had been engaged in the outbreak of the French Revolution, and had
assisted in the taking of the Bastille, and that he would spend his
last drop of blood, if it were necessary, in destroying the Bastilles
of his own country. The acquisition of such an advocate of Reform was
not likely to be received with apathy. Sir Charles was invited to
preside at a similar meeting at New Hall, near Birmingham, on the 12th
of July. At this meeting he was elected "legislatorial attorney and
representative" for that town. This was a circumstance that excited
the alarm of Government. They immediately issued warrants for the
apprehension both of Sir Charles and of Dr. Harrison for seditious
expressions used at the Stockport meeting. Sir Charles was arrested at
his own house, at Wolseley Park; and Harrison was taken on the platform
of a public meeting, at Smithfield, in London, on the 21st of July,
at which Hunt was presiding. On conveying Harrison to Stockport, the
constable who arrested him was attacked by the mob, and a pistol was
fired at him, the ball of which lodged in his body.

Circumstances appeared now to be growing serious. Meetings were
held in defiance of the strict measures of Government throughout
the manufacturing districts; and at Blackburn it was announced at
such a gathering, on the 5th of July, that the women had also formed
themselves into "Sister Reform Associations," and these called on their
own sex everywhere to imitate their example, so as to co-operate with
the men, and to instil into the minds of their children a hatred of
tyrannical rulers. The men, at the same time, made another advance in
the Reform agitation; this was drilling-a movement which gave great
alarm to the magistrates of Lancashire, who wrote from various quarters
to apprise Government of it. It was a circumstance that might well
excite suspicion that something more than Reform was intended. But
when it came to be explained by the parties themselves, it turned out
to mean nothing more than that the Reformers in the neighbourhood of
Manchester were intending to hold a great meeting in order to elect a
representative, as the people of Birmingham had done, and that they
wished to assemble in the utmost order and quiet. But the very means
employed by them to avoid confusion, and enable them to meet and
disperse with decorum, were just those most calculated to excite the
fears of a magistracy and Ministry already suspicious.

The great meeting had been intended to take place on the 9th of August;
and on the 31st of July an advertisement appeared in the _Manchester
Observer_ calling on the inhabitants to meet on the 9th in the area
near St. Peter's Church for the purpose of electing a representative
to Parliament, as well as for adopting Major Cartwright's plan of
Parliamentary Reform. This immediately drew from the magistrates
a notice that such a meeting would be illegal, and that those who
attended it would do so at their peril. The working men on this
announced that the meeting would not take place, and a requisition was
presented to the borough-reeve and constables, requesting leave to hold
such a meeting. It was refused; and on its refusal the people proceeded
with their original design, only appointing the 16th as the day of
meeting, with Hunt in the chair.

(_See p._ 151.)]

This was taking a bold step in defiance of the authorities, and orderly
and peaceable conduct was, more than ever, necessary. On the morning
of the day proposed there was little appearance of any stir amongst the
artisans of the town, and it does not seem that they took any or much
part in the assembly, but that it was made up of the parties marching
in from the country and towns around. During the forenoon of this day,
Monday, the 16th of August, large bodies came marching in from every
quarter, so that by twelve o'clock it was calculated that eighty or a
hundred thousand such people were congregated in and around the open
space designated. Some of them had disregarded the injunctions of the
general committee, and had gone extensively armed with sticks. Bamford
soon heard that his eccentric friend, called "the quacking" Dr. Healey,
of whom his narrative gives some ludicrous recitals, had headed the
band from Lees and Saddleworth, with a black flag borne behind him,
on which stared out in great white letters, "Equal Representation or
Death" on the one side, and on the other, "Love," with a heart and
two clasped hands--but all white on their black ground, looking most
sepulchral and hideous. Presently loud shouts indicated that Hunt was
approaching, who came, preceded by a band of music, seated in an open
barouche, with a number of gentlemen, and on the box a woman, who,
it appeared, had been hoisted up there by the crowd, as the carriage
passed through it.

The platform for the chairman and speakers consisted of a couple of
waggons boarded over, and Hunt and his friends had some difficulty in
reaching it through the dense crowd, the attendant bands continuing to
play "God Save the King," and "Rule Britannia," till they were safely
placed on the platform, when the music ceased, and Hunt, having been
called to the chair, took off his white hat, and was commencing his
address, when there was a strange movement in the throng, and a cry,
"The soldiers are upon us!" and this was the fact. The magistrates
had met in great numbers on the previous Saturday, and had determined
to seize the ringleaders; but instead of doing this as they might
have done, at their several localities when drilling, or on their
way to the town, they left this to be done after these vast numbers
were assembled, and by the aid of the soldiers, which was certain
to produce serious consequences. We have the statements of these
magistrates themselves, as laid before Parliament, and of Sir William
Jolliffe, M.P., lieutenant of the 15th Hussars, and personally engaged
on the occasion. The reason assigned by them was, that they waited
to see "what the complexion of the meeting might be;" but, if this
was the case, they might as well have waited till some disorder took
place, which they did not, but sent the soldiers into the crowd,
whilst peacefully and in an orderly manner standing to listen to the
chairman. Had they waited to the end, they would undoubtedly have
seen the immense crowd disappear as quietly as it had come. But the
magistrates were clearly excited by their fears. They had assembled a
great constabulary and military force. Two hundred special constables
had been sworn in; six troops of the 15th Hussars lying in the barracks
were held in readiness; a troop of Horse Artillery with two guns; the
greater part of the 31st Regiment of Infantry; several companies of
the 88th Regiment; the Cheshire Yeomanry, nearly four hundred men, who
had ridden in that very morning; and about forty Manchester Yeomanry,
chiefly master manufacturers. These were troops enough to storm a town,
much more to defend it from an unarmed multitude. The whole of this
force, except the Manchester Yeomanry, was put under the command of
Colonel L'Estrange, of the 31st Regiment, in the absence of Sir John
Byng, the general of the district, but who had his headquarters at
Pontefract, and who, it appeared, had received no information of these
military preparations, or of the imagined need of them.

We have the accounts of what took place from both sides--from the
magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of
magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of
Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the
leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable,
till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared
that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection
of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of
the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the
house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming
at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a
great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in
line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered
to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support
him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were
soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a
stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence,
said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of
yeomanry. They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over
the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they
were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it
required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the
necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars
now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the
mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and
the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet
stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their
own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued.
"People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these
hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another,
so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the
fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the
level of the ground."

Surely, both magistrates and soldiers might now have been satisfied.
A defenceless multitude have no means of resistance, and, doing their
best to get away, might have been left to do so without further
molestation, which would be equally brutal in the magistrates, and
cowardly in the soldiers. But neither of these parties seems to
have thought so on this unhappy occasion. The magistrates issued
no orders to desist, and the soldiers, by the confession of one of
their officers, went on striking with the flats of their swords at
the impeded people, who were thrown down in their vain efforts to get
away, and piled in struggling heaps on the field. Mr. Hulton confessed
that he walked away from the window after he had let loose the
horse-soldiers on the people. "He would rather not see any advance of
the military." He was, in fact, so tender-hearted that he did not mind
the people--men, women, and children, met to exercise their political
rights--being trodden down under the iron hoofs of horses, and cut down
by the sword, so long as he did not see it.

Hunt, and about a dozen of his friends, were seized on the platform.
Bamford and some others, who had escaped, were afterwards taken. The
streets were then cleared by the infantry. Such was the celebrated
Manchester massacre, in which the actual wounds inflicted by the
soldiers do not appear to have been many. About seventy people were
carried to the infirmaries, or went there, to have their wounds
dressed--a considerable number for severe cuts and fractured limbs; and
six lives were lost, including a special constable run over by the
cavalry, and a Manchester Yeoman, who was struck from his horse by a
brickbat, aimed by a man whom he was pursuing.

The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the
conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for
neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people,
and consequently received very little regard in return. There was
a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the
Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned
them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling
of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the
full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this
cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event
reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the
Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate,
to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a
Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester
gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that
had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General,
then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were
perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of
all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was
yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the
hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and
commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities
at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular
and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the
civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical
occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not
for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord
Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the
21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls
of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates
of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the
great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt,
decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public
tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high
treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not
to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only
for a treasonable conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this
mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer
assizes for the county of Lancaster.

Great meetings were held in various towns and counties to condemn
the whole proceedings, and addresses were sent up and presented to
the Prince Regent which were, in fact, censures of his own conduct,
and were not, therefore, received in a becoming manner. To one from
the Common Council of London he replied that he received it with
regret, and that those who drew it up knew little or nothing of the
circumstances which preceded or attended the Manchester meeting.
The fact was, that they knew these a great deal better than he did.
Similar addresses were sent up from Westminster, York, Norwich,
Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, and many other towns.
A meeting of the county of York was calculated at twenty thousand
persons, and amongst them was the Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord-Lieutenant
of the West Riding, who had also signed the requisition to the
high-sheriff. For this conduct he was summarily dismissed from
his lord-lieutenancy. Scarcely less offence was given by the Duke
of Hamilton, Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Lanark, who sent a
subscription of fifty pounds to the committee for the relief of
the Manchester sufferers, expressing, at the same time, his severe
censure of the outrage committed on the 16th of August. Of course,
the Ministerial party in town and country did all in their power to
counteract this strong and general expression of disapprobation. In
Scotland and the North of England the squirearchy got up associations
for raising troops of yeomanry, as in direct approval of the savage
conduct of the Manchester Yeomanry. In the immediate neighbourhood of
the scene of outrage the conflict of opinion between the two parties
ran high. Numbers of the Manchester Yeomanry were indicted for cutting
and maiming in St. Peter's Field, with intent to kill; but these
bills were thrown out by the grand jury at the Lancaster assizes. An
inquest at Oldham, on the body of one of the men killed, was also the
scene of a fierce and regular conflict for nine days, that was put an
end to by an order from the Court of King's Bench. But even men who
were accustomed to support Ministers generally were startled by their
conduct on this occasion. Mr. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, in
one of his letters written from Paris at the time, but not published
till a later date, says:--"What do reasonable people think of the
Manchester business? I am inclined to suspect that the magistrates
were in too great a hurry, and that their loyal zeal, and the _nova
gloria in armis_ tempted the yeomanry to too liberal a use of the
sabre--in short, that their conduct has given some colour of reason to
the complaints and anger of the Jacobins. The approbation of Government
was probably given as the supposed price of support from the Tories in
that part of the country."

But the Government was, at that juncture, very far from being a wise
Government. Parliament was called together on the 23rd of November, and
opened by the Prince Regent in person. In his Speech he spoke of the
unsettled state of the country, and recommended measures of repression.
The Addresses were in the same tone, and they were commented upon
with great warmth by the Opposition, and amendments moved. Zealous
debates took place in both Houses, especially in the Commons, where
the discussion continued two evenings, and till five o'clock on the
third morning. The Addresses, however, were carried in the Lords by
one hundred and fifty-nine to thirty-four, and in the Commons by three
hundred and eighty-one to one hundred and fifty. The Prince Regent
sent down a mass of papers to both Houses relating to the condition
of the disturbed districts, and a host of Bills, founded on these,
were introduced. In the Lords, on the 29th of November, the Lord
Chancellor Eldon introduced one in keeping with his alarms, namely,
"An Act to prevent delay in the administration of justice in cases of
misdemeanour." This was followed by three others, introduced by Lord
Sidmouth; one to prevent the training of persons to the use of arms,
and to the practice of military evolutions and exercises, another to
prevent and punish blasphemous and pernicious libels. Amongst others,
Hone was again at work, and ridiculing the despotically-spirited
Ministers in his "Political House that Jack Built." The third was to
authorise justices of the peace, in certain disturbed counties, to
seize and detain arms collected and kept for purposes dangerous to the
public peace. These were to continue in force till 1822. Not thinking
he had yet done enough, on the 17th of December Lord Sidmouth brought
into the Peers another Bill more effectually to prevent seditious
meetings and assemblies, which he proposed should continue in force
five years. In the Commons, in addition to all this, on the 3rd,
Lord Castlereagh had introduced a Bill for imposing stamp duties and
other regulations on newspapers, to prevent blasphemous and seditious
libels, as if Sidmouth's Bill on that subject had not fettered the
press sufficiently. All these Bills were passed, notwithstanding the
strongest remonstrances by the Opposition as so many infringements of
the Constitution, and they became known as Sidmouth's and Castlereagh's
Six Acts.

published in_ 1820.)]

These enactments, unaccompanied by any others the object of which
was to relieve the distress of the people, only tended still more to
exasperate the feelings of the working classes. In fact, nothing had
been so obvious as the effect of the proceedings of Government of late
in disturbing that peace which they professed themselves so desirous to
preserve. They, in truth, were the real agitators. The passing of the
Six Acts only made the popular resentment the deeper, and whilst this
tended to render the more prudent Reformers cautious, it stimulated the
lowest and most unprincipled of them to actual and deadly conspiracy.
The general conspiracy believed in by Ministers never existed, but
a conspiracy was actually on foot in London, which again was found
to have been, if not originally excited, yet actively stimulated, by
the agents of Government. The details of this transaction, and of the
concluding scene of the Manchester outrage, namely, the trial of Hunt
and his associates, necessarily lead us about two months beyond the
death of George III., which took place on the 29th of January, 1820.
In November, 1819, whilst Government were framing their Six Acts, the
more completely to coerce the people, they were again sending amongst
them incendiaries to urge them to an open breach of the laws in order
to furnish justifications for their despotic policy. The leading
miscreant of this class was a man named Edwards, who kept a small shop
at Eton for the sale of plaster casts. Some of the emissaries appeared
at Middleton, the place of Bamford's abode, but he was in prison
awaiting his trial with Hunt and the rest, and the people tempted were
too cautious to listen to these agents of Government. But in London
these agents found more combustible materials, and succeeded in leading
into the snare some who had been long ready for any folly or crime.
Chief amongst these was Thistlewood, who had been a lieutenant in the
army, a man who had, or conceived that he had, suffered injustice at
the hands of Ministers, and who had wrought up his temper to the
perpetration of some desperate deed. Bamford when in London, in 1816,
had found Thistlewood mixed up with the Spenceans, and to be met with
any day at their places of resort--the "Cock," in Grafton Street, the
"Mulberry Tree," in Moorfields, the "Nag's Head," Carnaby Market, No.
8, Lumber Street, Borough, and a public-house in Spa Fields, called
"Merlin's Cave." At these places they might be found, amidst clouds
of tobacco-smoke and the fumes of beer, discussing remedies for the
miserable condition of the people. At the latter place Thistlewood
was often to be found with the Watsons, Preston, and Castles, who was
employed to betray them. From this spot they issued for their mad
attempt on the Tower on the 2nd of December of that year. Thistlewood
was one of those seized on that occasion, but was acquitted on his
trial. Not warned by this, he no sooner got abroad than he sent a
challenge to Lord Sidmouth, for which he was arrested, and sentenced
to a year's imprisonment. He issued from gaol still more embittered
against Sidmouth and his colleagues, and resolved on striking some
mortal blow at them. He did not lack comrades of a like fiery and
abandoned stamp, and they determined on a scheme for cutting off the
whole Cabinet together. The detestable deed was to be perpetrated in
the autumn of 1819, a time when the public mind, especially that of
the working classes, was so embittered against the Government. They
did not, however, succeed in their intentions, and it was at this
crisis of unwilling delay that the man Edwards became privy to their
plans. In November he carried the important, and, as he hoped, to
him profitable secret to Sir Herbert Taylor, who was attached to the
establishment of the king at Windsor, and by him he was introduced to
Lord Sidmouth. This minister and his colleagues, with that fondness for
the employment of spies, and for fomenting sedition instead of nipping
it in the bud, immediately engaged Edwards, on good pay, to lead
forward the conspirators into overt action. It was not enough for them
that, by adding another witness or two to Edwards, they would be able
to produce the most complete proof of the treason of these men--they
rather luxuriated in the nursing of this plot, and thus ripening it
into something bloody and horrible; and in this they succeeded.

The Christmas holidays necessarily postponed the plans of the
conspirators by the Ministers going out of town, and the deaths of
the king and of the Duke of Kent produced further impediments by
preventing the regular Cabinet meetings. At one moment the plan
appeared to be in jeopardy from the Ministers being in danger of
dismissal for their refusal to procure the new king a divorce; but
all these hindrances only the more enabled Edwards to ply his arts,
and stimulate his victims to their destruction. So thoroughly had he
brought them to this point, that, on the 19th of February, they came
to the resolution to assassinate the Ministers each at his own house,
as they could not get them all together; but at this moment Edwards
brought them word that the Ministers were going to have a Cabinet
dinner the next day. To make sure, they sent out for a newspaper, and
finding that it was so, Thistlewood remarked that as there had not been
a Cabinet dinner for a long time, there would be fourteen or sixteen
there, and it would be a fine haul to murder them all together. The
dinner was to be at the house of Lord Harrowby, and it was planned that
one of the conspirators should call with a note, and then the rest
should rush in and put the Ministers all to death, and bring away the
heads of Sidmouth and Castlereagh in bags provided for that purpose.
They were then to fire the cavalry barracks by throwing fire-balls into
the straw-sheds, and the people rising, as they hoped, on the spread of
the news, they were to take the Bank and the Tower.

The Ministers being duly informed of all, the preparations for the
dinner were carried on ostensibly as though nothing was suspected. On
the 23rd of February, when the evening had arrived, carriages began
to collect about the house of Lord Harrowby, and the scouts who were
sent out to see that there were no soldiers or police stationed there,
reported all right. But the carriages were driving to the house of
the Archbishop of York, which adjoined Lord Harrowby's, and this had
deceived the conspirators. The Ministers had remained at home to dine,
and then had assembled at Lord Liverpool's to await the news of the
result. The police, conducted by the spies, meanwhile reached the
rendezvous of the conspirators, which was a stable in Cato Street,
near the Edgware Road. The soldiers had orders to be in readiness, and
surround the place immediately, and assist in securing the desperadoes.
But it seems that the soldiers were not ready at the moment, and on the
police entering the stable they found that the conspirators were in the
hayloft over it. They were proceeding up the ladder to the loft, and
Smithers, one of the police, had just entered it, when Thistlewood,
seeing that they were betrayed, stabbed the man to the heart, blew out
the light, and made his escape. There was a confused firing of pistols
in the dark, and the soldiers coming up, nine of the conspirators were
secured, with a quantity of arms and ammunition; but fourteen were said
to have succeeded in escaping.

The next morning London was thrown into consternation by the
announcement of this conspiracy, and by a reward of one thousand pounds
being offered in the _Gazette_ for the apprehension of Thistlewood.
He was captured before eight o'clock that morning, whilst in bed, at
the house of a comrade, in Moorfields. But his arrest did not diminish
the wild alarms which not only seized the capital but the country.
This was immediately believed to be only the centre of that universal
conspiracy of which Government had taken so much pains to propagate
an impression. People everywhere were arming for the defence of their
own neighbourhoods, and magistrates and yeomanry were turning out by
night to keep watch against a surprise, whilst people in town took
great care to lock and barricade their houses against the invisible
foe. Thistlewood and nine others were put upon their trial on the 13th
of April, and, after a trial of three days, he and eight of them were
pronounced guilty, and himself and four of the most desperate were
condemned to death; the others were sentenced to transportation for
life; but one man, who was proved to have been amongst them without
being aware of their object, was pardoned. Thistlewood and the four
others were executed on the 1st of May. The next day Alderman Wood
moved in the House of Commons for an inquiry into the conduct of
Edwards, but it was rejected by a large majority. On the 19th he
again returned to the subject, and supported his motion by producing
depositions from many persons brought before him as a magistrate,
demonstrating, in the plainest manner, that Edwards had recommended
to them the murder of Ministers and the destruction of Parliament,
had furnished plans for these objects, and had done all in his power
to seduce needy men into these measures. He proved, also, from the
same depositions, that Edwards himself had been living for six weeks
in great affluence in the house of a schoolmaster in St. George's
Street, Hanover Square, who was not aware of the occupation of Edwards
till the wretch himself informed him of it. Alderman Wood called on
Parliament to act on this unquestionable evidence, and purge itself of
any sanction of such disgraceful transactions. But Ministers again
resisted all inquiry, and their friends openly defended them in the use
of such means, even ridiculing Alderman Wood, and those who supported
his motion, for supposing that Lord Sidmouth would proceed against
Edwards through any depositions furnished by magistrates. The motion
was, of course, thrown out.

Before these discussions took place, an attempt had been made by
similar means to lead the people of Scotland into insurrection.
Emissaries appeared in the towns and villages informing the people
that there were preparations made for a general rising, and they were
ordered to cease all work and betake themselves to certain places of
rendezvous. On the morning of Sunday, the 2nd of April, the walls of
Glasgow were found placarded everywhere by a proclamation, ordering all
persons to cease labour and turn out for a general revolution. The next
morning the magistrates called out the military, and they were drawn up
in the streets in readiness for the appearance of an insurrection, but
none took place. The people were all in wonder, and assembled to see
what would happen; but there appeared not the slightest disposition to
make any disorder, and some of the cotton mills were at work as though
nothing was expected to take place. But still, the mischief had not
altogether failed. Some fifty poor ignorant men had been decoyed out of
Glasgow to near Kilsyth, on the assurance that four or five thousand
men would there join them, and proceed to take the Carron Ironworks and
thus supply themselves with artillery. These poor dupes were met on the
road, on some high ground on Bonnymuir, by a detachment of armed men
sent out against them, and, after some resistance, during which some
of them were wounded, nineteen were made prisoners and the rest fled.
Other arrests were made in different parts of Scotland, and they were
tried in the following July and August; but so little interest was felt
in this attempt, or in the details of what was called "the Battle of
Bonnymuir," that three only were punished and the rest discharged.

There remain only the trials of Hunt and his associates in the meeting
at Manchester to close the events which arose out of circumstances
originating under the reign of George III. These took place at York
spring assizes, whither they had been prudently removed out of the
district where both parties were too much inflamed for a fair verdict
to be expected. During the time that they lay in prison the conduct of
Hunt had greatly disgusted his humble associates. He showed so much
love of himself that Bamford says he began to think that he could never
have really loved his country. The Government had found it necessary
a second time to lower its charge against the Manchester prisoners.
At first it was high treason, then it subsided to treasonable
conspiracy, and now, at last, it was merely "for unlawful assembling
for the purpose of moving and inciting to hatred and contempt of the
Government." Of this they were all convicted, and were confined in
different gaols for various periods, and were called upon to give
substantial security for good behaviour in future before being set at
liberty. Hunt was imprisoned for three years in Ilchester gaol. It is
only justice to him to state that though, during this imprisonment, he
was continually sending to the newspapers complaints of ill treatment,
he was instrumental in making known to the public some flagrant
malpractices going on in the gaol, and which, through these exposures,
were afterwards corrected.


The trial of Sir Charles Wolseley and Dr. Harrison for their speeches
at the meeting for Reform at Stockport in June, 1819, terminated also
in their conviction and imprisonment for eighteen months, as well as
the giving of security for their future good behaviour on liberation.

With these inglorious events closed the long reign of George
III. Indeed, he had passed away before they were brought to
their conclusion. He died on the 29th of January, 1820, in the
eighty-second year of his age, and the sixtieth of his reign. Only
six days previously had died his fourth son, the Duke of Kent, in his
fifty-third year. But the duke had not departed without leaving an
heir to the Throne in the Princess Victoria, who was born on the 24th
of May, 1819. Could the old king have been made sensible of these
events, there were others which showed that his line, which of late
had appeared likely to die out in one generation, notwithstanding his
numerous family, was again giving signs of perpetuation. On the 26th of
March, 1819, a son had also been born to the Duke of Cambridge, and a
son to the Duke of Cumberland on May 27th of the same year, afterwards
King of Hanover.





    Growth of Material Wealth--Condition of the Working Classes--The
    Charity Schools--Lethargy of the Church--Proposal to abolish
    Subscription to the Articles--A Bill for the further Relief of
    Dissenters--The Test and Corporation Acts--The Efforts of Beaufoy
    and Lord Stanhope--Attempts to relieve the Quakers--Further Effort
    of Lord Stanhope--The Claims of the Roman Catholics--Failure
    of the Efforts to obtain Catholic Emancipation--Lay Patronage
    in Scotland--The Scottish Episcopalians--Illustrious
    Dissenters--Religion in Wales and Ireland--Literature--The
    Novelists: Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne--Minor
    and later Novelists--Scott--Historians: Hume, Robertson, and
    Gibbon--Minor Historians--Miscellaneous Literature--Criticism,
    Theology, Biography, and Science--Periodical Literature--The Drama
    and the Dramatists--Poetry: Collins, Shenstone, and Gray--Goldsmith
    and Churchill--Minor Poets--Percy's "Reliques," and Scott's "Border
    Minstrelsy"--Chatterton and Ossian--Johnson and Darwin--Crabbe and
    Cowper--Poetasters and Gifford--The Shakespeare Forgeries--Minor
    Satires--Burns--The Lake School: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and
    Southey--Scott, Campbell, Byron, Shelley, and Keats--Poets
    at the close of the Period--Improvement of Agricultural
    Science--Arthur Young--Drainage and Roots--Improvements in
    Road-making: Telford and Macadam--Brindley's and Telford's
    Canals--Bridges and Harbours--Iron Railways--Application
    of the Steam-Engine to Railways and Boats--Improvements in
    Machinery--Wedgwood--Manufacture of Glass--Collieries--Use of Coal
    in Iron-works--Improvements in various Manufactures--Scientific
    and Coinage--Manners and Customs.

The progress of Great Britain in commerce during the reign of George
III. had been extraordinary. At the beginning of the reign the
number of British vessels of all kinds amounted to only 7,075, with
a tonnage of 457,316 tons; but at the end of the reign the vessels
amounted to 30,000, with a tonnage of upwards of 3,000,000 tons. At
the commencement of the reign the exports were £14,500,000, and the
imports £9,579,159. At the end of the reign the exports had risen to
£43,438,989; and the imports to £30,776,810.

A great proportion of these results had been produced by the rapid
growth of manufactures. The introduction of steam, and the inventions
of the spinning-jenny and other kinds of machinery, had given such a
development to manufactures, that the value of these at the end of the
reign made three-fourths of the whole exports. Agriculture had made
considerable progress, and of this art the king was a zealous patron,
especially of the improvements in the breed of sheep, importing himself
merinos from Spain at great cost. There were also great promoters of
improvements in stock, such as Bakewell, Culley, and others, and the
high price of corn and of all kinds of agricultural produce during
the war acted as stimulants to farming. The value of land also caused
the enclosure of vast tracts, and much planting of trees was done,
especially in Scotland, which had previously been very neglectful in
that respect.

The growth of material wealth during this reign had in no degree
improved the condition of the working class in any proportion to
that of other classes. Landlords had greatly raised their rents,
and farmers, by the high price of corn and other provisions, had
grown comparatively rich, many very rich. The merchants and master
manufacturers had shared liberally in the benefits of a vastly
increased commerce, and the wonderful spread of manufactures; but
the working manufacturers, between the high price of corn and meat,
and the lowness of their wages, were in a miserable condition, and
frequently, as we have seen, were driven to riot and insurrection.
The handloom weavers were swamped by machinery, and those working the
machinery were living in wretched houses, and in a most neglected and
insanitary condition. Before the first Sir Robert Peel introduced his
Bill for reforming the hours and other regulations of cotton mills,
many of these worked night and day, one gang, as it was called,
succeeding another at the spinning-jenny, in hot, ill-ventilated rooms.
Apprentices were purchased of parishes, either children of paupers, or
orphans of such, and these were kept by mill-owners, and worked long
hours, one gang having to quit their beds in the morning for another
gang of these poor unfortunates to turn into them. The agricultural
labourers were little better off. Their habitations were of the worst
description, though squires' kennels on the same estates were equal, in
all sanitary conditions, to tolerable mansions. Their wages remained
only some eight or ten shillings a week--when the wheat which they had
raised was one hundred and thirty shillings per quarter, and a stone
of flour of fourteen pounds cost a gold seven-shilling piece. This
drove them in shoals to the workhouse, and produced a state of things
that is hardly credible. Their mental and moral condition was equally
deplorable. Education, either in town or country, was scarcely known.
There was not a school in all the swarming region of Whitechapel, and
many another equally poor and populous region of London, much less in
country towns and agricultural parishes. It was a settled maxim amongst
the landed gentry, that education, even of the most elementary kind,
would totally destroy the supply of servants; and it was gravely stated
in Parliament that the plot of Thistlewood was owing to the working
classes being able to read.

The charity schools throughout the country were discovered, by the
operation of Henry Brougham's Commission, to be monopolised by the
landlords of the different parishes and the clergy, and the ample
revenues for education embezzled by them. In some such schools there
was not a single scholar; in others, as at Pocklington, in Yorkshire,
the free grammar school, with an endowment of one thousand pounds
a year, had only one scholar. This state of physical and moral
destitution was made the more dreary by the equally low state of
religion. The Dissenters were on the increase, and, chiefly in towns,
were exerting themselves to disperse the Egyptian darkness of this
Georgian era, and Methodism was now making rapid progress amongst
the working classes, both in town and country. But the preachers of
Methodism met with a reception from the country squirearchy and clergy
which has no parallel since the days of Popish persecution. They were
dragged out of the houses where they preached, kicked and buffeted,
hauled through horse-ponds, pelted with mud and stones; and the
clergy and magistracy, so far from restraining, hounded on the mob in
these outrages. The lives of these preachers, and the volumes of the
_Wesleyan Magazine_, abound in recitals of such brutalities, which,
if they had not been recorded there, would not now be credited. What
John Wesley and his brother Charles, and George Whitefield suffered,
especially in Devonshire and Cornwall, reads like a wild romance.

The state of the Church of England was one of the most surprising
deadness and corruption. Vast numbers of the churches had no minister
resident, except a poor curate at a salary of some twenty pounds
per annum, who, therefore, was compelled to do duty in two or three
neighbouring parishes at once, in a manner more like the flying tailor
of Brentford than a Christian minister; and the resident incumbents
were for the most part given up to habits of intoxication, inherited
from the last reign. Some of these ruling pastors held three or four
livings, for the licence as to the plurality of livings was then almost

According to returns made by the bishops in 1807, the number of
incumbents in the eleven thousand one hundred and sixty-four parishes
of England and Wales was only four thousand four hundred and twelve,
or little more than one in every third parish. In 1810 the matter had
a little improved, for the whole number of residents was found to be
five thousand nine hundred and twenty-five. The duty of the kingdom
was chiefly done by curates, and how were these curates paid? Lord
Harrowby stated in the House of Peers, in 1810, that the highest scale
of salary paid by non-residents to their curates, who did all the work,
was fifty, sixty, or at the most seventy pounds a year; but that a far
more usual scale of payment was twenty pounds, or even ten pounds,
per annum; that this was much less than the wages of day labourers,
and that the worst feature of the case was that the non-residents and
pluralists were amongst those who had the richest livings, so that men
drawing eight hundred or even two thousand pounds a year from their
livings were often totally unknown to their parishioners, and that
often "all that they knew of the curate was the sound of his voice in
the reading-desk, or pulpit, once a week, a fortnight, or a month."

The consequence was that the condition of the agricultural population
was as debased morally as it was destitute physically--in the almost
total absence of education, the very funds granted by pious testators
for this end being embezzled by the clergy or squirearchy. Everything
which could brutalise the people was encouraged by the aristocracy
on the plea that it made them good soldiers. When the horrors and
brutalities of almost universal dog-fightings, cock-fightings, bull and
bear-baitings began to attract the attention of philanthropists, and
it was sought by Parliamentary enactment to suppress them, they were
defended by Windham, and others, on the ground that they accustomed
the people to the sight of blood, and made them of the "true British
bull-dog character."

The great struggles going on through the reign of George III. were not
so much for the advancement of religion, as to obtain release from
the impositions and restrictions on both liberty of conscience and
political liberty by the Church of England, and its ally, the State.
With the exception of the reign of Queen Anne, no reign since the
Revolution has taken so high a tone of Toryism as that of George III.
We have had to detail the evidences of that fact; and it is equally
true that, with Toryism in the State, Toryism--or what is called
High Churchism--prevailed coincidently in the Establishment. True,
the Indemnity Acts, the suppression of Convocation, the spread of
Dissent, and especially of Methodism, had in some degree clipped the
talons of the hierarchy, but these very things made it more tenacious
of its still existing powers. At the very opening of the reign the
Church was alarmed by a proposal by one of its own members to abolish
subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles. This question had been a
matter of controversy from the time of Bishop Burnet's "Exposition" of
these Articles; but in 1766 a very able work appeared, entitled "The
Confessional; or, a Full and Free Inquiry into the Right, Utility,
Edification, and Success of Establishing Systematic Confessions of
Faith and Doctrine in Protestant Churches." This was traced to the hand
of Archdeacon Blackburne, of Richmond in Yorkshire. It produced much
excitement and discussion amongst the clergy of the Establishment, as
well as amongst Dissenters, who were entirely shut out of one of the
national universities by these subscriptions, and their education at
the other hampered and impeded. An association was formed amongst the
established clergy, favourable to Blackburne's views, and in 1771, at
its request, he drew up "Proposals for Application to Parliament for
Relief in the Matter of Subscription." The association, from its place
of meeting called the "The 'Feathers' Tavern Association," determined
to address Parliament on the subject, and drew up a petition, which was
presented to the House of Commons, in February, 1772, by Sir William
Meredith. It was signed by two hundred clergymen, and fifty other
individuals, chiefly lawyers and physicians. A keen debate ensued, but
the motion for taking the subject into consideration was negatived by
two hundred and seventeen against seventy-one. Sir William Meredith,
notwithstanding, again introduced the subject in February of the
following year, only to be defeated by a majority of one hundred and
fifty-nine against sixty-seven; and a third attempt, the year after,
was met by such an overwhelming number of "Noes" that he declined
to divide the House. In all these debates, Burke, who now was grown
excessively Conservative, supported subscription with all his power.

The discussion of the question, though it was so summarily dismissed
as it regarded the Church, did not prevent a certain number of the
Dissenters from coming forward to endeavour to relieve themselves
of the yoke of these Articles. In the Toleration Act, passed after
the Revolution, it had been stated that this toleration was conceded
to those only who were willing to subscribe these Articles, with
the exception of the first clause of the 20th, which asserts that
the Church has power to decree rites and ceremonies, and to settle
controversies of faith; the 34th, which relates to the traditions of
the Church; the 35th, relating to the homilies; and the 36th, relating
to the consecration of bishops and ministers. With these exceptions,
the Articles had been little objected to by the Dissenters till the
Presbyterians of England had, for the most part, embraced Unitarianism.
It was chiefly from this class that the movement against these Articles
now took its rise; but not altogether, for the subscription to the
Articles included in the Toleration Act having for some time been
little insisted on, some Dissenters, who had not subscribed them, were
menaced with trouble on that account by officious clergymen. Amongst
these Dr. Doddridge was mentioned as one who had been so disturbed.
It was now thought fit to press the question on Parliament, and in
April, 1772, Sir Henry Houghton moved for leave to bring in a Bill
for that object, under the title of "A Bill for the further Relief of
Dissenters." Sir Roger Newdigate, destined for so many years to be the
champion of Church Toryism, led the way in opposition, as one of the
members of the University of Oxford; and he was supported by two or
three men of the same stamp. In this case, however, Burke voted for the
Bill as only reasonable, and it passed by a majority of seventy against
nine. But in the Lords, the Bishops came forward in full strength
against it, and Barrington, Bishop of Llandaff, pointed it out as a
Socinian movement, and quoted, with telling effect, some of the most
objectionable passages from the writings of Dr. Priestley. There were
cries of "Monstrous! Horrible! Shocking!" and, amongst the utterers of
these, the loudest was Lord Chatham. The Bishop of London said that, so
far from the Dissenters generally advocating this measure, he had been
waited on by some of their ministers to inform him that they regarded
it, not as a measure to relieve Dissenters from the Articles of the
Church, but certain persons from the obligations of Christianity. It
was thrown out by a hundred and two against twenty-nine.

In the following Session Sir Henry Houghton brought it forward again,
on the 17th of February. On this occasion a great many Methodist
congregations petitioned against the Bill; for the Methodists, though
separating themselves from the Church, still insisted that they
belonged to it, and held all its tenets, at least of that section of
it which is Arminian. It again passed the Commons, but was rejected
by the Lords. Finding the Lords so determined against the measure, it
was allowed to rest for six years, when circumstances appeared more
favourable, and it was again brought forward, in 1779, by Sir Henry
Houghton, and carried through both Houses, with the introduction of a
clause to this effect, that all who desired to be relieved by the Act
should make the affirmation--"I, A. B., do solemnly declare that I am a
Christian and a Protestant Dissenter, and that I take the Old and New
Testaments, as they are generally received in Protestant countries, for
the rule of my faith and practice."

In this same year, 1779, the Protestant Dissenters of Ireland were
relieved by their Parliament from the operation of the Test and
Corporation Acts, and it was not, therefore, very likely that the
Dissenters of England would rest quietly under them much longer. These
Acts were passed in the 13th of Charles II., and the 25th of the same
monarch, and required that no person should be elected to any civil
or military office under the Crown, including seats in Parliament or
corporations, unless he had taken the sacrament according to the rites
of the Church of England. On the 28th of March, 1787, Mr. Beaufoy,
member for Yarmouth, moved that the House of Commons should resolve
itself into a committee to consider the Test and Corporation Acts.
Mr. Beaufoy represented that these Acts were a heavy grievance, not
only to the Dissenters and to the members of the Established Church
of Scotland, but to many members of the English Church itself, who
regarded the prostitution of the most solemn ordinance of their faith
to a civil test as little less than sacrilegious. In reply, it was
contended that the Indemnity Acts had been passed to protect such as
had omitted to take the sacrament within the time specified; but Mr.
Beaufoy and his seconder, Sir Henry Houghton, who had carried the Bill
relieving Dissenters from subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles,
showed that these measures were not always sufficient, and were but a
clumsy substitution for the abolition of the obnoxious Acts.

The question was argued at great length. It was opposed by Lord North
and Pitt, and supported by Fox, and was rejected by one hundred and
seventy-six against ninety-eight. The question was raised again in
1789 and 1790, and in both cases was defeated. On the latter occasion
Fox introduced the motion, and Mr. Beaufoy, who usually took the lead
in it, seconded it. Fox alluded to the very Dissenters on whom Bishop
Barrington had thrown so much odium. He acknowledged the hostility of
such men as Drs. Priestley and Price to the Church, and to what had
taken place across the Channel against the national Church there; but
he treated these as warnings to the English hierarchy not to keep too
tight a grasp on the obstructions which they had thrown in the way of
Dissenters, and contended that the Church's safety depended in allowing
a just participation in civil rights, and thus disarming popular
resentment. The motion was opposed by Pitt, Burke, Wilberforce, Sir
William Dolben, and others. Burke also referred to the destruction of
the French Church, and contended that it was not a time to give way to
demands for surrender of what he called the safeguards of the English
Church. Mr. William Smith, of Norwich, who continued for many years the
staunch advocate of the Dissenters, strongly supported the motion; but,
on the other hand, a considerable number of members who had voted for
the repeal of these Acts had since been warned by their Church-going
constituents to tack about, and did so. The motion, therefore, was
rejected by two hundred and ninety-four against one hundred and five,
and the Dissenters were so convinced of the uselessness of attempting
to procure the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts under George
III., that the question was never again agitated during this reign.
They remained in force till 1828.

But a brave and liberal member of the peerage, Earl Stanhope, did not
flinch from endeavouring to get repealed a number of these disgraceful
evidences of Church bigotry, which still cumbered the Statute book from
long past periods. In May, 1789, a few days after Mr. Beaufoy's second
defeat on the question of the Test and Corporation Acts, Lord Stanhope
proposed "a Bill for relieving members of the Church of England from
sundry penalties and disabilities to which, by the laws now in force,
they may be liable, and for extending freedom in matters of religion
to all persons--Papists only excepted--and for other purposes therein
mentioned." His Lordship had given notice of his intention to introduce
such a Bill in the previous February, as Mr. William Smith had done in
the Commons, when what was called the Uniformity Clause in the Regency
Bill was discussed, contending that this clause, which prohibited
the Regent from giving the Royal Assent to the repeal of the Act for
Uniformity passed in the reign of Charles II., might prevent the repeal
of a preceding Act, of a very bigoted character, of a previous date.
The Bishops, with the Archbishop of Canterbury at their head, opposed
his intention, contending that this was not a proper time for such a
discussion. Lord Stanhope now detailed the names, dates, and characters
of the Acts which he had in view. They were these:--The Act of 1
Elizabeth, ordering every person to go to church, and imposing a fine
of twenty pounds--a very large sum then--on any one above the age of
sixteen absenting himself or herself from church for a month; and in
case of non-payment, ordering the imprisonment of the offender till the
fine were paid, or the offender conformed. In case of twelve months'
absence, the offender was to be bound in a bond of two hundred pounds,
with two sureties, for his compliance in future. By the 23 Elizabeth
these penalties were made still more rigorous, and by the 35th of her
reign, all persons who absented themselves for a month were liable not
only to the twenty pounds a month, but that money might be refused,
if tendered, and the offender be deprived of two-thirds of his lands,
tenements, and hereditaments, instead of the twenty pounds. By the 3
James I. these abominable powers were extended, and every person was
made amenable for every visitor, servant, and servant of visitors to
his or her house, and should be compelled to pay £10 per month for the
non-attendance at church of each of them; and over and above all these
penalties, the ecclesiastical courts might as fully exercise their
jurisdiction over these offenders as if no such special Acts existed.


Nor did these terms contain anything like the extent of tyranny imposed
on the conscience of the nation by these monarchs. By the 29 Elizabeth
it was provided that what right or property any person might dispose
of, or settle on any of his family, should still be liable to these
penalties if the proprietor and disposer of them neglected to go to
church. So that a son might be deprived of lands or other property
settled upon him at his marriage, or at any other time, if his father
ceased to attend church, though he himself went punctually; and by
the 21 James I. the informers were stimulated by great rewards to
lay complaints against all whom they could discover offending. And,
moreover, any person was to be considered an absentee from church, and
liable to all the penalties, who did not remain in church during the
whole time of the service; and, also, not only on Sundays, "but upon
all the other days ordained and used to be kept as holidays." All these
odious enactments were left in force by the Toleration Act, except that
they did not compel every one to go to church, but to some licensed
place of worship.

Next came the enactments regarding fasting. By 5 Elizabeth every
person who ate flesh on a fish day was liable to a penalty of three
pounds; and, in case of non-payment, to three months' imprisonment.
It was added that this eating of fish was not from any superstitious
notion, but to encourage the fisheries; but by the 2 and 3 Edward VI.
the power of inflicting these fish and flesh penalties was invested
in the two Archbishops, as though the offence of eating flesh on fish
days was an ecclesiastical offence. Lord Stanhope showed that the
powers and penalties of excommunication were still in full force; that
whoever was excommunicated had no legal power of recovering any debt,
or payment for anything that he might sell; that excommunication and
its penalties were made valid by the 5 Elizabeth and the 29 Charles
II.; that by the 30 Charles II. every peer, or member of the House of
Peers, peer of Scotland, or Ireland, or member of the House of Commons,
who should go to Court without having made the declaration against
transubstantiation, and the invocation of saints therein contained,
should be disabled from holding any office, civil or military, from
making a proxy in the House of Lords, or from sueing or using any
action in law or equity; from being guardian, trustee, or administrator
of any will; and should be deemed "a Popish recusant convict." His
Lordship observed that probably the whole Protestant bench of bishops
were at that moment in this predicament, and that he had a right to
clear the House of them, and proceed with his Bill in their absence.
He next quoted the 1st of James I., which decreed that any woman, or
any person whatever under twenty-one years of age, except sailors,
ship-boys, or apprentices, or factors of merchants, who should go over
sea without a licence from the king, or six of his Privy Council,
should forfeit all his or her goods, lands, and moneys whatever; and
whoever should send such person without such licence should forfeit
one hundred pounds; and every officer of a port, and every shipowner,
master of a ship, and all his mariners who should allow such person
to go, or should take him or her, should forfeit everything they
possessed, one half to the king, and the other half to the person

To all this his Lordship had to add various specimens of the Canons.
By the 3rd, every one asserting that the Church of England was not
a true apostolical church should be excommunicated. The 4th and 5th
excommunicated all who declared that there was anything contrary to
sound Scripture in the form of worship of the Church of England, or
anything superstitious or erroneous in the Thirty-Nine Articles.
The 65th enjoined all ordinaries to see that all offenders, under
the different Acts here enumerated, should be cited and punished
according to statute, or excommunicated. The 72nd forbade, under pain
of excommunication, all ministers, without licence of the bishop, to
attempt, upon any pretence whatever, to cast out any devil or devils,
under pain of deposition from the ministry. The 73rd made it a subject
of excommunication that any priest or minister should meet with other
persons in any private house or elsewhere to consult upon any canon,
etc., which may tend to impeach or deprave the doctrine, the Book of
Common Prayer, or any part of the discipline and government of the
Church of England; and by the 115th, all churchwardens are enjoined
to make presentments of offenders in any of these particulars; and
all judges, magistrates, etc., are bound to encourage, and not to
discourage, all such presentments. Lord Stanhope observed that the
Court of King's Bench, in 1737, had decided that these Canons, not
having ever received the sanction of Parliament, were not binding on
the laity; and he contended that the ratification of them by James I.,
not being authorised by the original statute, the 25th of Henry VIII.,
made them as little binding on the clergy. He had not, therefore,
included the Canons in his Bill. He took care, too, to except Catholics
from the benefit of the Bill; neither was the Bill to repeal any part
of the Test and Corporation Acts, nor the 12th and 13th of William
III., "for the better securing the rights and liberties of the
subject." He finally showed that these fierce and persecuting Acts
were not become utterly obsolete; they were ever and anon revived, and
might, any of them, be acted upon at any moment. It might reasonably
have been supposed that the bishops would have supported the Bill
unanimously; that they would have been glad to have all such evidences
of the odious means by which their Church had been forced on the
people, swept out of the Statute-book and forgotten. No such thing. The
Archbishop of Canterbury declared, if Dissenters were allowed to defend
their principles, the atheist and the theist might be allowed to defend
theirs. But Bishop Horsley, then of St. David's, was the chief speaker
against the repeal of these precious laws. He declared that this repeal
would level every bulwark of the Church; that "the Christian religion
would not remain in any shape, nor, indeed, natural religion!" It is
needless to say that the Bill was rejected; it could not attain even to
a second reading.

Undaunted by this display of prelatical bigotry, Lord Stanhope
immediately gave notice of a Bill to prevent a tyrannical exercise of
severity towards Quakers, whose principles did not permit them to pay
tithes, church-rates, or Easter offerings; this he did on the 3rd of
July of the same year. By the 7 and 8 William III. two justices of
peace could order a distress on a Quaker for tithes under the value
of ten pounds; and by 1 George I. this power was extended to the
non-payment of Easter and other dues; but his Lordship showed that of
late the clergy had preferred to resort to an Act of Henry VIII., a
time when Quakers did not exist, which empowered the clergy, by warrant
from two justices of peace, to seize the persons of the defaulters and
throw them into prison, where, unless they paid the uttermost farthing,
they might remain for life. Thus the clergy of the eighteenth century
in England were not satisfied with the humane enactments of William
III. or George I., by which they could easily and fully obtain their
demands, but they thirsted for a little vengeance, a little of the old
enjoyment of imprisoning and tormenting their neighbours, and therefore
went back to the days of the brutal Henry VIII. for the means. They
had, two months before, thrown a Quaker of Worcester into gaol for
the non-payment of dues, so called, amounting to five shillings,
and there was every prospect that he might lie there for life. At
Coventry six Quakers had lately been prosecuted by the clergyman for
Easter offerings of the amount of fourpence each; and this sum of
two shillings amongst them had, in the ecclesiastical court, been
swelled to three hundred pounds. For this three hundred pounds they
were cast into prison, and might have lain there for life, but being
highly respected by their townsmen, these had subscribed the money and
let them out. But this, his Lordship observed, would prove a ruinous
kindness to the Quakers, for it would whet the avarice of the clergy
and proctors to such a degree that the people of that persuasion would
everywhere be hunted down without mercy for small sums, which might be
recovered at once by the simple process of distraint. He declared that
he would have all clerical demands satisfied to the utmost, but not by
such means, worthy only of the dark ages; and he therefore, in this
Bill, proposed the repeal of the obnoxious Act of 27 Henry VIII. But
the glutting of their vengeance was too precious to the clergy of this
period, and the Bill was rejected without a division.

The benevolent exertions of Lord Stanhope on behalf of the Society of
Friends were, in 1796--that is, six years later--revived in the House
of Commons by Mr. Serjeant Adair. He stated that seven of the people
called Quakers were prisoners in the gaol at York for not paying
tithes, and unless some alteration in the laws on that subject took
place, they might lie there till they died. In fact, one of these
Friends, named Joseph Brown, did die in the prison, and his death is
the subject of a poem by James Montgomery. Mr. Serjeant Adair moved,
on the 26th of April, for leave to bring in a Bill to extend the
provisions of the Act 7 and 8 William III., by which tithes could be
recovered by distraint when amounting to ten pounds, to tithes of
any amount. Wilberforce, Pitt, Dolben, and others, usually opposed
to concessions, spoke in favour of the Bill. Sir Philip Francis
only opposed it on the ground that the petitioners probably did not
entertain any serious objection to paying tithes, but only wanted to
look like martyrs. The Bill went on swimmingly till it was about going
into committee, on the 10th of May, when Francis rose again. A new
light had burst upon him. He said that he had learnt that the Bill did
not proceed from the suffering individuals, but from the yearly meeting
of the Society itself--as if that were any solid objection, and as if
a measure ought not to come with more weight from a whole suffering
community than from a few individuals! The Bill readily passed the
Commons, but no sooner did it appear in the Lords than the Bishops
fell foul of it. The Archbishop of Canterbury saw danger to the Church
in it, and moved that it be read that day three months, and this was
carried. Thus the Bill was lost for that Session. Adair brought in a
fresh Bill for the same object, into the new Parliament, in October,
but this was thrown out.


     _Man and woman of middle class      Parson
     Lady and gentleman               Labourer and wife_


But the question of the restrictions upon Dissenters was again taken
up by Lord Stanhope, in 1811. On the 21st of March he presented to the
House of Lords a short Bill "For the better securing the liberty of
conscience." It had the same fate as his former ones. Ministers seemed
rather inclined to abridge the liberty of conscience, for immediately
afterwards, namely, on the 9th of May, Lord Sidmouth brought in a
Bill to limit the granting of licences to preach, asserting that this
licence was made use of by ignorant and unfit persons, because having
such a licence exempted them from serving in the militia, on juries,
etc. The Bill excited great alarm amongst the Dissenters, and Lord
Stanhope and Lord Grey, on the 17th of the month, when Lord Sidmouth
moved for the second reading of the Bill, prayed for some time to
be allowed for the expression of public opinion. The second reading
was, accordingly, deferred till the 21st, by which time a flock of
petitions came up against it, one of which was signed by four thousand
persons. Lord Erskine said that these petitions were not a tenth part
of what would be presented, if time were afforded for the purpose;
and he ridiculed the idea of persons obtaining exemption from serving
in the militia by merely taking out licences to preach. Lord Grey
confirmed this, saying that it was impossible for persons to obtain
such licences, except they were ministers of separate congregations.
This was secured by an Act passed in 1802, and still more, the party
applying for such licence was restricted from following any trade,
except that of keeping a school. These regulations, he stated, were
most minutely adhered to, both in the general and local militia, and he
challenged Lord Sidmouth to show him a single instance, since the Act
of 1802, where exemption had been improperly obtained by a Dissenter.
Lord Grey proved from actual returns that the whole number of persons
who had been licensed during the last forty-eight years had only been
three thousand six hundred and seventy-eight, or about seventy-seven
annually on an average, and that the highest number reached in any one
year had been only about one hundred and sixty. He contended that these
facts demonstrated the non-necessity of the Bill. It was lost.

In the following June Lord Stanhope again came forward with a Bill
to remove some of these enactments, and he showed that the literal
fulfilment of several of them was now impossible; that as to compelling
every man to go to church, by returns lately made to that House it was
shown that there were four millions more people in England than all
the churches of the Establishment could contain. With respect to the
Church enforcing uniformity, he said that the variations between the
Book of Common Prayer printed at Oxford and that printed at Cambridge
amounted to above four thousand. His Bill was again thrown out by
thirty-one against ten; but his end was gained. He had brought the
injustice towards the Dissenters so frequently forward, and it was
now so glaring, and the Dissenters themselves were become so numerous
and influential, that the question could be no longer blinked. On the
majority being pronounced against the Bill, Lord Holland rose and asked
whether, then, there was to be nothing done to remove the disabilities
under which Dissenters laboured? If that were the case, he should be
under the necessity of bringing forward a measure on that subject
himself. This compelled Ministers to promise that something should be
done; and, on the 10th of the same month, Lord Castlereagh proposed to
bring in a Bill to repeal certain Acts, and to amend others respecting
persons teaching or preaching in certain religious assemblies. This
Act, when explained, went to repeal the 13 and 14 Charles II., which
imposed penalties on Quakers and others who should refuse to take
oaths; the 16 of Charles II., known as the Five Mile Act, which
prohibited any preacher who refused to take the non-resistance oath
coming within five miles of any corporation where he had preached
since the Act of Oblivion, under a penalty of fifty pounds; and the
17, which also imposed fine and imprisonment on them for attempting to
teach a school unless they went to church and subscribed a declaration
of conformity. It also repealed the 22 Charles II., commonly called
the Conventicle Act. Instead of those old restraints, his Act simply
required the registration of all places of worship in the bishop's or
archdeacon's court; that they must not be locked, bolted, or barred
during divine service, and that the preachers must be licensed
according to the 19 George III. These conditions being complied with,
all persons officiating in, or resorting to such places of worship,
became entitled to all the benefits of the Toleration Act, and the
disturbance of their assemblies became a punishable offence. This Bill
passed both Houses, and became known as the Statute of 52 George III.
It was a great step in the progress of religious freedom; and Mr.
William Smith, the leader of the Dissenting interests in the House of
Commons, expressed his heartfelt gratification at this proof of the
increasing liberality of the times.

But whilst some little freedom from restrictions for Dissenters was
thus forced from the Church, a stout battle was going on, and continued
to go on through the whole reign, for giving to the Roman Catholics
the common privileges of citizens. On account of their faith they
were excluded from all civil offices, including seats in Parliament.
We shall see that some slight concessions of both civil and military
privilege were, in the course of this contest, made to them; but to
the end of this reign, and, indeed, until 1829, the full claims of the
Catholics continued to be resisted. We can only cursorily note the main
facts of this long-protracted struggle. In the early part of the reign
a degree of relief was afforded which promised well for the cause of
the Catholics; but these promises were not fulfilled. In May, 1778,
Sir George Savile brought in a Bill to relieve the Catholics from the
provisions of the Act of 1699 for preventing the growth of Popery.
By this Act Catholic priests were not allowed to enter England, and,
if found there, were at the mercy of informers; Roman Catholics were
forbidden to educate their own children, or to have them educated
by Papists, under penalty of perpetual imprisonment; and they were
not allowed to purchase land, or hold it by descent or bequest; but
the next of kin who was a Protestant might take it. Sir George's Act
passed both Houses, and by it all Roman Catholics were restored to the
privileges of performing divine service, if priests, and of holding
land, and educating children, on taking an oath of allegiance, of
abjuration of the Pretender, and rejection of the doctrine that it
was lawful to murder heretics, was right to keep no faith with them,
and that the Pope or any foreign prince had any temporal or civil
jurisdiction within these realms. The consequence of this degree of
indulgence to the Catholics was the famous Gordon Riots in London
and similar ones in Edinburgh, which had the effect of frightening
the Government out of further concessions. A similar Bill was passed
in Ireland in 1782. The Bill of 1778, however, was confirmed and
considerably extended by a Bill brought in by Mr. Mitford, afterwards
Lord Redesdale, in 1791, and, after a long discussion, was passed by
both Houses in June of that year. This Bill legalised Roman Catholic
places of worship, provided they were registered and the doors were
not locked during service; it recognised the right of Catholics to
keep schools, except in Oxford and Cambridge, and provided that no
Protestant children were admitted. It permitted Catholic barristers
and attorneys to practise on taking the new oath; and it removed
the penalties on peers for coming into the presence of the king; in
fact, it left little disability upon Catholics except that of not
being eligible for places in Parliament, or any other places under
Government, unless they took the old oaths.

In the following Session Fox introduced a Bill to grant some further
privileges to the Catholics, but it was rejected; but in 1793 the
Catholics of Scotland were admitted, by an Act introduced by Mr. Robert
Dundas, the Lord Advocate, to the same privileges as the Irish and
English Catholics. The question appeared to rest till 1799, when there
seems to have been a proposition on the part of the English Government
to make an independent provision for the Catholic clergy of Ireland,
on condition that they, on their part, should enter into certain
engagements. There was a meeting of Roman Catholic prelates in Dublin
at the commencement of that year on the subject, at which they agreed
to accept the proposal. Pitt was favourable to the Catholic claims,
though the Irish Parliament previous to the Union would not hear of
them. He had caused promises of Catholic Emancipation to be circulated
in Ireland in order to induce the Irish to accept the Union; and when
he found that the king's immovable resistance to this measure would
not allow him to make good his word, he resigned office. Nothing was
done in it during the time that he continued out, chiefly, it is said,
through his influence; and when he returned to office in May, 1804, he
did so without any mention of the Catholics. In truth, he appears to
have given them up for the sake of enjoying power again; for, when,
on the 9th of March, 1805, the question was raised by Lord Grenville
in the House of Peers, and, on the 13th, by Fox in the Commons, Pitt
opposed the motion on the ground that the reasons which had occasioned
him to quit office still operated against this measure, and that it
was impossible for him to support it. It was negatived by three hundred
and thirty-six against one hundred and twenty-four.

Both Pitt and Fox died in 1806, and a circumstance occurred in the
following year which showed the inveterate obstinacy of the king
regarding the Catholics. Lord Howick, Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
obtained leave to bring in a Bill to enable Catholics to hold the
higher offices in the army and navy; but the king soon let him know
that he should not ratify any such Bill, and he agreed to withdraw
it. But this did not satisfy George; he demanded from the Ministers a
written engagement to propose no further concessions to the Catholics,
and as they declined to do this, he dismissed them, and placed the Duke
of Portland at the head of a new Cabinet.

This was sufficient warning to Cabinets not to meddle with this tabooed
subject; but Grattan continued, year after year, to bring the question
forward, though often defeated by great majorities. In his speech in
1808 Grattan introduced the idea of giving his Majesty a veto on the
appointment of Catholic bishops. It appears that this proposition had
the approval of the Irish Catholic bishops, but the Irish priests made
a determined stand against it. In 1810 and 1811 the motion was thrown
out by strong majorities.

The continued resistance of the English Government meanwhile was
rousing the quick blood of Ireland. The old Catholic Convention of
1793 was revived, and from year to year met and passed increasingly
strong resolutions in Dublin. In 1810 its meetings, and the agitation
it occasioned throughout the kingdom, became very conspicuous. A
private letter was circulated all over the country, recommending the
appointment of committees everywhere in order to the preparation of
a monster petition. It was resolved that as soon as the Convention
met, it should sit in permanence, so as to keep up an incessant action
throughout the country. The Government took alarm, and Mr. Wellesley
Pole, Secretary of State for Ireland, issued a letter to the sheriffs
and chief magistrates throughout Ireland, ordering them to arrest
all persons concerned in sending up delegates to this Convention. No
sooner was this known in England than Lord Moira in the Lords, and Mr.
Ponsonby in the Commons, adverted to the subject, and called for a copy
of all correspondence by Government upon it. The demand was resisted in
both Houses. On the 4th of April Lord Stanhope moved a resolution that
the letter of Mr. Wellesley Pole was a violation of the law, being,
in fact, a prohibition of his Majesty's subjects to assemble for the
purpose of petitioning Parliament. This was negatived by twenty-one
votes against six.

In Ireland the magistrates acted on the circular, and on the 23rd of
February, 1811, two magistrates proceeded to disperse the Catholic
committee in Dublin. They were told by the committee that they were
sitting simply for the purpose of petitioning Parliament, and they did
not venture to interrupt it. The movement went on all over Ireland,
the committees were numerously attended, and, notwithstanding a
proclamation from Dublin Castle commanding the magistrates everywhere
to disperse all such gatherings, in Dublin the general committee,
numbering nearly three hundred persons, met in Fishamble Street on the
19th of October. Police were sent to disperse them, but on arriving
they had already signed the petition, and were coming away amid a vast
concourse of spectators. Several persons were arrested and tried, but
the juries returned verdicts of "Not Guilty."

On the 23rd of December the committee met again in Fishamble Street,
and resolved to address the Prince Regent on the invasion of their
right to petition, appointing a general committee to meet again
in Dublin on the 28th of February, 1812. In January, and at the
commencement of February, Earl Fitzwilliam introduced the consideration
of the state of Ireland, and Lord Morpeth proposed the same subject to
the Commons, but both motions were rejected.

In January, 1812, Government made another attempt to punish the
Catholic delegates, and they obtained a verdict against one of them,
Thomas Kirwan; but such was the public feeling, that they did no more
than fine him one mark, and discharge him. They also abandoned other
contemplated prosecutions. The Catholic committee met, according to
appointment, on the 28th of February, addressed the Prince Regent,
and then separated. The usual motions for Catholic Emancipation were
introduced into both Houses of Parliament, and by both were rejected.
It was the settled policy of this Ministry not to listen to the
subject, though the Marquis Wellesley, Canning, and others now admitted
that the matter must be conceded. The assassination of Mr. Perceval,
on the 11th of May, it was hoped, would break up that Ministry, but it
was continued, with Lord Liverpool at its head. Though Lord Wellesley
this year brought forward the motion in the Lords, and Canning in the
Commons, both Houses rejected it, but the Lords by a majority of only
one. The question continued to be annually agitated in Parliament
during this reign, from the year 1814, with less apparent success than
before, Ireland was in a very dislocated state with the Orangemen and
Ribbonmen, and other illegal associations and contentions between
Catholics and Protestants, and this acted very detrimentally on the
question in England. Only one little victory was obtained in favour of
the Catholics. This was, in 1813, the granting to Catholics in England
of the benefit of the Act passed in Ireland, the 33 George III.,
repealing the 21 Charles II. And thus the Catholics were left, after
all their exertions, at the death of the old king.

The movement going forward in the Established Church of Scotland during
this reign related almost exclusively to the subject of patronage.
This church, though drawing its origin from Switzerland, a thoroughly
Republican country, and rejecting bishops, took good care to vest the
right of presenting ministers to parishes in the clergy. The Government
insisted on this right continuing in lay patrons; but for some time
after the Revolution the people asserted their right to choose their
own pastors, and continued to carry it. But in 1698 the General
Assembly took the opportunity, when it had been accused by the English
Church of throwing the office of choosing ministers amongst the people,
to repudiate all such notion on their part. They declared unanimously
that "they allowed no power in the people, but only in the pastors of
the Church, to appoint and ordain to such offices."

The Act of 1712 restored lay patronage, and then the strife began, but
not between the people and the lay pastors, but between the clergy and
the lay patrons. There grew up two parties in the General Assembly,
styled the moderates, and the more advanced, or popular party. The
moderates were those who were ready to concede to the demands of
Government and lay patronage under a gentle protest; the more popular
party, as it was called, was for transferring the right of presentation
to the presbytery. The Act of William III., in 1690, gave the original
and exclusive nomination to the heritors, land-owners, and elders.
The person nominated was to be proposed to the congregation, who
might approve or disapprove. But to what did this right amount? The
congregation could not absolutely reject; and if they disapproved, the
right passed on to the presbytery, whose decision was final. By this
arrangement, either the landowners and elders remained the presenters,
or, after a vain show of conferring the choice upon the people, the
appointment fell to the clergy, or presbytery. From 1690 to 1712, Sir
Henry Moncrieff says, "there does not appear the least vestige of a
doctrine, so much contended for at a later period, of a divine right in
the people individually or collectively, to elect the parish minister."
This opinion was fully maintained by the law of William III., in
1690, and confirmed by that of Anne, in 1712. Sir Henry Moncrieff, in
confirmation of this doctrine that the people never had a right to
elect their ministers in the Scottish Church, quotes the "First Book
of Discipline," of 1567, which placed the election of pastors in the
people at large; but this error, he says, was rectified by the "Second
Book of Discipline," in 1581. By this book the congregation could only
consent--the presbyters must finally determine. This contains the law
of the Church of Scotland, and the great schism which took place in the
Scottish Church, in 1843--known as the Disruption--arose merely from
the resistance to lay patronage, but with the intention of transferring
that patronage to the clergy, not the people.

(_From a Photograph by A. A. Inglis._)]

In 1792 a measure of relief was passed for the Episcopalians of
Scotland. These had fallen into disgrace for their refusal to swear
allegiance to the House of Hanover. The conduct of many of them during
the rebellion of 1745 had increased the rigour of Government against
them, and an Act was passed, the 19 George II., ordering the shutting
up of all Episcopalian chapels where the minister had not taken the
oath of allegiance, and where he did not pray for the king and royal
family. Any clergyman of that church violating these regulations
was liable to six months' imprisonment for the first offence, and
transportation to one of the American plantations for the second, with
perpetual imprisonment did he dare to return thence. No minister was
to be held qualified to officiate except he had received letters of
orders from an English or Irish bishop of the Protestant Episcopalian
Church. All persons frequenting the chapels of such unqualified persons
were liable to a penalty of five pounds for the first offence, and two
years' imprisonment for the second. But now, the Pretender being dead,
and his brother, Cardinal York, being held on account of his clerical
character to have forfeited his claim to the Crown, the Scottish
Episcopalians came and took the necessary oaths; this Bill was passed
removing their disabilities, and the aristocracy of Scotland soon, for
the most part, became members of the church when it ceased to be in

(_See p._ 170.)]

The various triumphs in the direction of liberty of conscience evidence
a sense of civil right in the community, which forced itself on the
Government, rather than a sense of religion. But religion, too, was in
steady growth. The Dissenters had greatly increased during this period,
and amongst them the names of some of their ministers had acquired
a general reputation. Robert Hall, of Leicester, and afterwards of
Bristol, threw a new lustre on the Baptist community. He was the son of
a Baptist minister, was at first educated by Dr. Ryland, the learned
Baptist pastor of Northampton, and afterwards took his degree of M.A.
at King's College, Aberdeen. He commenced his ministerial career in
Bristol, and subsequently resided as minister at Leicester for twenty
years. On the death of his old tutor, Dr. Ryland, he became the
president of the Baptist Academy at Bristol, and pastor of Broadmead
Chapel, in that town. Robert Hall was not inferior to any of the clergy
of the Establishment in learning or eloquence. He was for eleven years
the Baptist minister in Cambridge before removing to Leicester. In
Cambridge he succeeded to a man nearly as remarkable, the celebrated
Robert Robinson. At this university town he attracted the notice of
some of the leading Established clergy and professors, and of the
world at large, by his "Vindication of the Freedom of the Press,"
and his splendid sermon "On Modern Infidelity." Dr. Parr has left a
testimony to the merits of Robert Hall in his will, which does honour
to his liberality:--"Mr. Hall has, like Jeremy Taylor, the eloquence
of an orator, the fancy of a poet, the subtlety of a schoolman, the
profoundness of a philosopher, and the piety of a saint." To the same
body belonged the celebrated author of "Essays on the Formation of
Character," John Foster, also of Bristol.

Amongst the followers of Whitefield became conspicuous Rowland Hill,
Matthew Wilks, and William Huntington. Of the followers of Whitefield,
Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, became the patron, as she had been of
Whitefield himself, whom she made her chaplain. This remarkable woman
founded schools and colleges for the preachers; and so completely
did she identify herself with this sect that it became styled "Lady
Huntingdon's Society." Perhaps the most celebrated of these preachers,
after Whitefield, was Rowland Hill, who was a younger son of Sir
Rowland Hill, of Hawkstone, in Shropshire. He was educated at Cambridge
for the Church of England, but preferred following Whitefield, and
for many years went about preaching in the open air, like Whitefield,
in different parts of the country, and particularly amongst the
colliers of Kingswood. In 1783 his chapel, called the Surrey Chapel,
being built, he settled in London, and continued his ministry in the
metropolis till his death in 1833, at the age of eighty-eight. Rowland
Hill was as much celebrated for his humour and eccentricity, which he
carried into his preachings, as for his talents. He was also an author
of various productions, the most popular of which were his "Village

Perhaps a still more remarkable man of the same denomination was
William Huntington, originally a coalheaver, struggling with severe
poverty; yet, believing himself called to the ministry, he boldly
followed his conceived duty, through much discouragement and
persecution. He has left an autobiography, in which his perfect faith
in and reliance on God are justified by the most remarkable supply of
all his wants, and support in a widely extended and useful ministry.
After the death of his first wife he married the wealthy widow of Sir
James Sanderson, a London alderman, and passed his latter years in

Amongst the Independents the names of John Clayton and William Beugo
Collyer, and amongst the Unitarians Dr. Priestley, Theophilus Lindsey,
and Thomas Belsham are conspicuous.

But the most remarkable growth of religion was through the
instrumentality of the Wesleyan Methodists. These spread over all the
country, through town and village, into places where the ministers
of the Establishment had fallen into a spiritual sleep from want of
rivalry. In Wales they found a great and almost unoccupied field. In
Cornwall, where Wesley had been abused and pelted with stones, they
became universal, and still continue to astonish the visitor to that
county by their extraordinary numbers, almost every Cornish miner
being of that sect. Throughout England the spread of Methodism has been
a most influential cause of the revival of activity and discipline in
the Established Church itself; for it soon became evident that the
Church must exert itself, or the body of the people, especially in
the country and in manufacturing districts, would be absorbed by the
Wesleyan interest.

In Wales, such was the neglect of religion by the Establishment,
that, previous to 1804, there was scarcely a clergyman of the Church
of England in the principality who was a native, or could preach in
Welsh. The capability of a minister to make himself understood by
his parishioners had been totally disregarded by those who had the
presentation to livings; the exercise of patronage had alone been cared
for; the souls of people went for nothing. About that time the Rev. Mr.
Charles was engaged as curate in a Welsh parish. He found not a single
Bible in the parish, and on extending his inquiries he scarcely found
a Bible in Wales. He made this fact known to the public, in an appeal
for Welsh Bibles, and for this appeal and the attendant exposure of
the clerical neglect he was dismissed from his cure, and could find no
bishop who would license him to preach in any other parish. But his
truly Christian act had excited the attention of the religious public,
and had the effect of establishing the British and Foreign Bible
Society in 1804.

In Ireland the bulk of the population had been left to the Catholic
pastors, who were maintained by their flocks, the property of the
Catholic Church having been long transferred by Act of Parliament to
the Church of England, or, as it was called, the sister Church of
Ireland. The number of parishes in Ireland had been originally only
two thousand four hundred and thirty-six, though the population at
that time was half that of England; but in 1807 Mr. Wickham stated
that, in 1803, these had been consolidated, and reduced to one thousand
one hundred and eighty-three. In some of these parishes in the south
of Ireland, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the incomes amounted to one
thousand pounds, to one thousand five hundred pounds, and even to
three thousand pounds a year; yet that in a considerable number of
these highly endowed parishes there was no church whatever. In others
there were churches but no Protestant pastors, because there were no
Protestants. The provision for religious instruction went wholly, in
these cases, to support non-resident, and often very irreligious,
clergymen. In fact, no truly religious clergyman ever could hold such
a living. The livings were, in fact, looked upon as sinecures to be
conferred by Ministers on their relatives or Parliamentary supporters.
It was stated that out of one thousand one hundred and eighty-three
benefices in Ireland, two hundred and thirty-three were wholly without
churches; and Mr. Fitzgerald said, "that where parishes had been
consolidated, the services rendered to the people by their clergyman
had been diminished in proportion as his income had been augmented;
for no place of religious worship was provided within the reach of
the inhabitants; nor could such parishioners obtain baptism for their
children, or the other rites of the Church; and the consequence was
that the Protestant inhabitants, in such places, had disappeared."

Measures to alter this disgraceful state of things were repeatedly
introduced, but as steadily rejected. The collection of tithes seemed
to occupy the chief attention of the Established clergy of Ireland,
even where they rendered no spiritual services, and eventually led
to a state of irritation and of dire conflict between the Protestant
incumbent and the Catholic population which did not cease till after
the death of George III. The clergyman called in the soldiery to assist
him in the forcible levying of tithes, and the bloodshed and frightful
plunder of the poor huts of the Irish in this _bellum ecclesiasticum_
became the scandal of all Christendom ere it was ended by the Act of a
later reign, which transferred the collection of tithes to the landlord
in the shape of rent.

In literature, and the amount of genius in every branch of it, as well
as in mechanical skill, few ages ever transcended that of George III.
Though he and his Ministers did their best to repress liberty, they
could not restrain the liberty of the mind, and it burst forth on all
sides with almost unexampled power. In fact, throughout Europe, during
this period, a great revolution in taste took place. The old French
influence and French models, which had prevailed in most countries
since the days of Louis XIV., were now abandoned, and there was a
return to nature and originality. "The Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry," collected by Percy, the Bishop of Dromore, and the publication
of the old Scottish ballads by Walter Scott, snapped the spell which
had bound the intellect since the days of Pope, and opened the sealed
eyes of wondering scholars; and they saw, as it were, "a new heaven
and a new earth" before them. They once more felt the fresh breath of
the air and ocean, smelt the rich odour of the heath and the forest,
and the oracles of the heart were reopened, as they listened again to
the whispers of the eternal winds. Once more, as of old to prophets
and prophetic kings, there was "a sound of going in the tops of the
trees." In Great Britain, Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey,
Byron, Shelley--in Germany, Goethe, Schiller, Wieland, Richter--in
Scandinavia, Tegner, Oehlenschläger, Stagnelius--with a world of lesser
lights around them, stood in the glowing beams of a new morning,
casting around them the wondrous wealth of a poetry as fresh as it was
overflowing. As in poetry, so in prose invention. The novel and romance
came forth in totally new forms, and with a life and scope such as they
had never yet attained. From Fielding and Sterne to Godwin and Scott,
the list of great writers in this department shed a new glory on the
English name. In works of all other kinds the same renewal of mind was
conspicuous; history took a prominent place, and science entered on new

Before the conclusion of the reign of George II. a new school of
fiction had appeared. De Foe had, besides his "Robinson Crusoe,"
opened up the inexhaustible field of incident and character existing
in actual life in his "Colonel Jack," "Moll Flanders," "Roxana," and
other novels, and Fielding and Richardson extended it. Fielding, too,
died six years before the beginning of this reign, and Richardson in
the first year of it. But their works were in full circulation, and
extended their influence far into this period. They have, therefore,
been left to be noticed here in connection with the class of writers
to whom they gave origin, and to whom they properly belong. Richardson
(_b._ 1689; _d._ 1761) seems to have originated the true novel of real
life in his "Pamela," which was the history of a servant, written with
that verisimilitude that belongs to biography. This was commenced in
1740, and brought to a conclusion in 1741. The extra-ordinary sensation
which it created was sufficient proof that the author had struck
into the very heart of nature, and not only knew where the seat of
human passion lay, but had the highest command over it. It was not,
in fact, from books and education, but from native insight and acute
observation, that he drew his power. He was born in Derbyshire, and
received his education at a common day-school. He was then apprenticed
as a printer in London, and established himself as a master in that
business, which he continued to pursue with great success. His "Pamela"
ran through five editions in the first year. In 1748 appeared his
"Clarissa Harlowe," and wonderfully extended his reputation, which
reached its full blaze in his "Sir Charles Grandison," in 1754. In all
these works he showed himself a perfect analyst of the human heart, and
detector of the greatest niceties of character. Though he could have
known little or nothing of aristocratic life, yet, trusting to the sure
guidance of nature, he drew ladies and gentlemen, and made them act
and converse as the first ladies and gentlemen of the age would have
been proud to act and speak. A more finished gentleman than Sir Charles
Grandison, or correcter lady than Miss Byron, was never delineated.
The only thing was, that, not being deeply versed in the debaucheries
and vulgarisms of the so-called high life of the time, he drew it as
much purer and better than it was. It is in the pages of Fielding and
Smollett that we must seek for the darker and more real character of
the age. The fault of Richardson was his prolixity. He develops his
plot, and draws all his characters, and works out his narrative with
the minutest strokes. It is this which prevents him from being read
now. Who could wade through a novel of nine volumes? Yet these were
devoured by the readers of that time with an avidity that not even
the novels of Sir Walter Scott were waited for in the height of his

Fielding (_b._ 1707; _d._ 1754) began his career by an attempt,
in "Joseph Andrews," to caricature the "Pamela" of Richardson. He
represented Joseph as Pamela's brother; but he had not proceeded far
when he became too much interested in his own creation to make a
mere parody of him. This novel he produced in 1742, the year after
the completion of "Pamela." The following year he gave to the world
"Jonathan Wild;" in 1749, "Tom Jones;" and in 1751, but three years
before his death, at the age of only forty-seven, "Amelia." But,
besides a novelist, Fielding was a dramatic writer, a political writer,
and the editor of four successive periodicals--_The Champion_, _The
True Patriot_, _The Jacobite Journal_, and _The Covent Garden Journal_.
Fielding, unlike Richardson, was educated at Eton, and afterwards at
Leyden. He had fortune, but he dissipated it; and had the opportunity
of seeing both high and low life, by his rank as a gentleman and his
office as a police-magistrate. His novels are masterly productions.
His squire Western and parson Adams, and his other characters are
genuine originals; and they are made to act and talk with a raciness
of humour and a flow of wit that might even yet render them popular,
if their occasional grossness did not repel the reader of this age.
It is, indeed, the misfortune of Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett, that
they lived in so coarse and debauched an epoch; their very fidelity now
renders them repulsive. Richardson and Fielding were the Dickens and
Thackeray of their day. In Fielding, the colder nature and the more
satiric tone make the resemblance to Thackeray the more striking.

Tobias Smollett (_b._ 1721; _d._ 1771), before he appeared as a
novelist, following in the track of Fielding rather than in that of
Richardson, had figured as poet, dramatist, and satirist. Originally
a surgeon from Dumbartonshire, and afterwards surgeon's mate on board
of a man-of-war, he had then lived as an author in London. Thus he had
seen great variety of life and character, and, having a model given
him, he threw his productions forth in rapid succession. His first
novel was "Roderick Random," which appeared in 1748, the same year as
Richardson's "Clarissa," and a year preceding perhaps the greatest of
Fielding's works, "Tom Jones." Then came, in rapid sequence, "Peregrine
Pickle," "Count Fathom," "Sir Launcelot Greaves," and "Humphrey
Clinker." Whilst writing these he was busy translating "Don Quixote"--a
work after his own heart--travelling and writing travels, editing _The
Briton_, and continuing Hume's "History of England." In his novels
Smollett displayed a deep knowledge of character, and a humour still
broader and coarser than that of Fielding. In Smollett the infusion of
indecency may be said to have reached its height. In fact, there is
no more striking evidence of the vast progress made in England since
the commencement of the reign of George III., in refinement of manners
and delicacy of sentiment, than the contrast between the coarseness
and obscenity of those early writers and the novelists of the present
day. The picture which they offer of the rude vice, the low tastes,
the debauched habits, the general drunkenness, and the ribaldry and
profanity of language in those holding the position of gentlemen and
even of ladies, strikes us now with amazement and almost with loathing.



The next novelist who appeared was of a very different school.
Richardson was an elaborate anatomist of character; Fielding and
Smollett were master painters of life and manners, and threw in strong
dashes of wit and humour; but they had little sentiment. In Laurence
Sterne (_b._ 1713; _d._ 1768) came forth a sentimentalist, who, whilst
he melted his readers by touches of pathos, could scarcely conceal
from them that he was laughing at them in his sleeve. The mixture of
feeling, wit, _double entendre_, and humour of the most subtle and
refined kind, and that in a clergyman, produced the oddest, and yet
the most vivid, impressions on the reader. The effect was surprise,
pleasure, wonder, and no little misgiving; but the novelty and charm
of this original style were so great that they carried all before
them, but not without the most violent censures from the press on his
indecencies, especially considering his position as a clergyman. Sterne
was the grandson of that Richard Sterne, a native of Mansfield, in
Nottinghamshire, who was chaplain to Archbishop Laud, and attended him
on the scaffold. Laurence Sterne was the son of a lieutenant in the
army, and was born at Clonmel, in Ireland, his grandfather having then
become Archbishop of York. Sterne, therefore, on taking orders, was
on the way of preferment, and received the rectory of Stillington and
the perpetual curacy of Coxwold, both in Yorkshire. There he wrote not
only sermons, but satire, particularly his "History of a Watchcoat."
But it was his novel of "Tristram Shandy" which brought him into
sudden popularity. After this, his "Sentimental Journey" completed
his reputation; and his Maria and her lamb, his uncle Toby, Corporal
Trim, Yorick, Doctor Slop, the widow Wadman, and his lesser characters,
usurped for a long period the tears and laughter of the nation.

But it was not till 1766 that the public became possessed of what
may be called the first domestic novel, in the "Vicar of Wakefield"
of Oliver Goldsmith (_b._ 1728; _d._ 1774). The works of Richardson,
Fielding, and Smollett had been rather novels of general life than
of the home life of England, but this work was a narrative of such
every-day kind as might occur in any little nook in the country. It
was a picture of those chequered scenes that the lowliest existence
presents: the simple, pious pastor, in the midst of his family, easily
imposed on and led into difficulties; the heartless rake, bringing
disgrace and sorrow where all had been sunshine before; the struggles
and the triumphs of worth, which had no wealth or high rank to emblazon
it; and all mingled and quickened by a humour so genial and unstudied
that it worked on the heart like the charms of nature herself. No work
ever so deeply influenced the literary mind of England. The productions
which it has originated are legion, and yet it stands _sui generis_
amongst them all. The question may seem to lack sequence, yet we may
ask whether there would have been a "Pickwick" if there had not been a
"Vicar of Wakefield?"

It is said that when Johnson called on Goldsmith to see what could be
done to raise money to pay the latter's landlady, who threatened him
with imprisonment, Goldsmith handed the doctor the MS. of a new novel
that might be worth something! This was the "Vicar of Wakefield."
Johnson recognised its merits instantly, and at once sold it to a
bookseller for £60, with which Goldsmith's rent was paid.

What a totally different species of composition was the "Vicar" to the
tale of "Rasselas," published by his friend Dr. Samuel Johnson (_b._
1709; _d._ 1784), the great lexicographer, seven years before! This was
conceived in the romantic and allegoric spirit of the time--"The Ten
Days of Seged," "The Vision of Mirza," and the like. It was laid in the
south, but amid Eastern manners, and didactic in spirit and ornate in
style. It was measured, and graceful, and dull--too scholastic to seize
on the heart and the imagination. On a nature like Goldsmith's it could
make no impression, and therefore leave no trace. The one was like a
scene amid palm trees, and fountains, and sporting gazelles; the other
like a genuine English common, on which robust children were tumbling
and shouting, amid blooming gorse, near the sunny brook, with the lark
carolling above them. There is no country in Europe, scarcely in the
world, where letters are known, which has not its translation of the
"Vicar of Wakefield." Even in England, "Rasselas" is almost forgotten.

Now followed a period in which many works were produced which were
extremely popular in their day, but of which few now retain public
appreciation. Amongst these none reached the same estimation as "Henry,
Earl of Moreland: or, The Fool of Quality," by Henry Brooke. It was
designed to show the folly and the artificial _morale_ of the age, by
presenting Henry as the model of direct and natural sentiments, for the
indulgence of which he was thought a fool by the fashionable world. The
early part of the work is admirable, and the boyhood of Henry is the
obvious prototype of Day's "History of Sandford and Merton;" but as
it advances it becomes utterly extravagant. Miss Frances Brooke, too,
was the author of "Julia Mandeville" and other novels. Mrs. Charlotte
Smith, long remembered for her harmonious sonnets, was the author of
numerous novels, as "The Old Manor House," "Celestina," "Marchmont,"
etc.; there were also Mrs. Hannah More with her "Cœlebs in Search of a
Wife;" Mrs. Hamilton with her "Agrippina;" Bage with his "Hermstrong:
or, Man as he is Not;" "Monk" Lewis with his "Tales of Wonder" and
his "Monk;" and Horace Walpole with his melodramatic romance of "The
Castle of Otranto." But far beyond Walpole rose Mrs. Ann Radcliffe,
the very queen of horror and wonder, in her strange, exciting tales of
"The Sicilian Romance," "The Romance of the Forest," "The Mysteries
of Udolpho," "The Italian," etc. No writer ever carried the powers of
mystery, wonder, and suspense, to the same height, or so bewitched her
age by them.

Far greater, however, as the wielder of human sympathies by the recital
of wrongs and oppression, was William Godwin in his "Caleb Williams"
and "St. Leon." "Caleb Williams" is a model for narrative: lively,
clear, simple yet strong, moving in a rapid career--in fine contrast to
the slow, wire-drawn progress of the later three-volume novel--till it
winds up in an intensity of sensation. Then came Miss Burney, better
known as Madame D'Arblay, with her "Evelina," "Cecilia," and "Camilla,"
returning again to the details of social life. Afterwards came Dr. John
Moore with "Zeluco," etc.; Mrs. Inchbald with her charming "Simple
Story;" Mrs. Opie with "The Father and Daughter" in 1801, followed by
various other novels; and in the same year Miss Edgeworth commenced her
splendid career with "Belinda," and in the next year "Castle Rackrent."
To this period also belongs Lady Morgan with her "Wild Irish Girl,"
though she continued to live and write long after this reign.

Amongst the novelists of the later period of the reign we may name
Horace Smith, author of "Brambletye House," etc.; Leigh Hunt, the
poet, author of "Sir Ralph Esher;" Peacock, author of "Headlong Hall;"
Beckford, author of the wild Eastern tale of "Vathek;" Hamilton, author
of "Cyril Thornton," etc.; Maturin, author of "Melmoth the Wanderer,"
etc.; Mrs. Brunton, author of "Discipline," "Self-Control," etc.; and
Miss Ferrier, author of "Marriage" and other novels of a high order.
Jane Austen (_b._ 1775; _d._ 1817), author of "Pride and Prejudice,"
"Mansfield Park," "Sense and Sensibility," etc., all distinguished by
the nicest sense of character, was far above any of these, and ranks
with the foremost of our writers of fiction.

But far above all rose, at this period, the already popular romantic
poet, Walter Scott. Before him, in Scotland, Henry Mackenzie had
occupied for a long time the foreground as a writer of fiction,
in "The Man of Feeling," "Julia de Roubigné," etc., but in a very
different class of invention. As Walter Scott (_b._ 1771; _d._ 1832)
had opened up the romance of the Scottish Highlands in his poems, so
he now burst forth, on the same ground, in historic romance, with a
vigour, splendour, and wonderful fertility of imagination and resource
of knowledge which far exceeded everything in the history of literature
since the days of Shakespeare. We need not attempt to characterise the
voluminous series of what are called the "Waverley Novels," which, in
their ample range, occupied almost every country of Europe and every
climate, from the bleak rocks of Orkney to the glowing plains of Syria
and India; they are familiar to all readers, and closed this period
with a splendour from the mingled blaze of invention, poetry, and
science, which no succeeding age is likely to surpass.

In history, as in fiction, a new school of writers arose during this
period, at the head of which stood Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon. David
Hume (_b._ 1711; _d._ 1776) had already acquired a great reputation
by his "Philosophical Essays concerning the Human Understanding," his
"Inquiry into the Principles of Morals," and his "Natural History of
Religion." In these metaphysical works he had indulged his extreme
sceptical tendency, and in the "Essay on Miracles" believed that he had
exploded the Christian religion. His works on this subject did not,
at first, gain much attention; but in a while were seized on by the
deistical and atheistical philosophers in Britain and on the Continent,
and have furnished them with their principal weapons. The first
two volumes of history met for a time with the same cold reception
as his metaphysics. He commenced with that favourite period with
historians--the reigns of James I. and Charles I.--because then began
the great struggle for the destruction of the Constitution, followed
by the still more interesting epoch of its battle for and triumph over
its enemies. Hume had all the Tory prejudices of the Scottish Jacobite,
and the reigns of James I. and Charles I. were extremely to his taste,
but as little to that of the English public. Hence the dead silence
with which it was received. But when there had been time to read the
second volume, containing the Commonwealth and the reigns of Charles
II. and James II., the storm broke out. In these he had run counter
to all the received political ideas of the age. But this excitement
raised both volumes into notice, and he then went back, and, in 1759,
published two more volumes, containing the reigns of the Tudors; and,
going back again, in 1762 he completed his history by bringing it down
from the invasion of Julius Cæsar to the accession of Henry VII. It was
afterwards, as has been mentioned, continued by Smollett.

WAKEFIELD." (_See p._ 174.)]

The history of Hume was much over-estimated in his own time, in spite
of the despotic notions which abound in it. It was held up as a
marvel of eloquence and acuteness. But after times always correct the
enthusiasm of contemporaries, and Hume's history has been found not
in every case trustworthy. When we now, indeed, take up Hume, we are
surprised to find it a very plain, clear narrative of events, with many
oversights and perversions, and nothing more. We wonder where are the
transcendent beauties which threw our readers of the eighteenth century
into raptures for which language scarcely gave expression. Whoever will
read the correspondence of contemporaries with Hume, will find him
eulogised rather as a demi-god than a man, and his works described in
extravagant strains of praise.

The "History of Scotland, during the Reigns of Queen Mary and James
VI.," by Dr. Robertson, was published in 1759, the year of the
appearance of Hume's "History of the House of Tudor." It was at once
popular; and Hume, writing to him, attributed this to the deference
which he had paid to established opinions, the true source of the
popularity of many works. This was followed, in 1769, by his "History
of Charles V.," and, in 1777, by his "History of America." Robertson's
chief characteristic is a sonorous and rather florid style, which
extremely pleased his age, but wearies this. His histories drew great
attention to the subjects of them at that period; but time has shown
that they are extremely superficial, and they have not held their place.

[Illustration: DR. JOHNSON. (_After the Portrait by Sir Joshua

"The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," by Gibbon,
began to appear in 1776, a few months before the death of Hume, and was
not completed till 1788. It consisted of six ponderous quarto volumes,
and now often occupies double that number of octavos. It is a monument
of enormous labour and research, filling the long, waste, dark space
between ancient and modern history. It traces the history of Rome from
its Imperial splendour; through its severance into East and West;
through its decadence under its luxurious and effeminate emperors;
through the ravages of the invading hordes of the North, to the period
when the nations of Europe began, in the dawn of a new morning, to rise
from the depth of barbarism into life, form, and power. The faults
of this great work are, that it is written, like Hume's "History of
England," in the sceptical spirit of the period; and that it marches
on, in one high-sounding, pompous style, with a monotonous step, over
every kind of subject. The same space and attention are bestowed on the
insignificance of the feeblest emperors, and the least important times,
as on the greatest and most eventful. It is a work which all should
read, but a large part of it will be waded through rather as a duty
than a pleasure. Still, Gibbon holds his own indispensable position; no
other man has yet risen to occupy it better.

Besides these leading histories, this reign produced many others of
great value. Amongst these appeared, in 1763, a "History of England,"
by a lady, Catherine Macaulay, from James I. to the accession of
the House of Hanover; which was followed by another series, from
the Revolution to her own time. Mrs. Macaulay was a thorough-going
Republican; had gone to America expressly to see and converse with
Washington, and her history presented the very opposite opinions and
phase of events to those of Hume. Lord Lyttelton wrote a "History
of Henry II.," in by no means a popular style; and the book is
now forgotten. In 1776 there was published the first volume of
Lord Hailes's valuable "Annals of Scotland," of which Dr. Johnson
entertained so high an opinion. Besides these may be named Macpherson's
"History of Great Britain from the Restoration;" Stuart's "History
of the Reformation in Scotland," and "History of Scotland from the
Reformation to the Death of Queen Mary;" Whitaker's "History of
Manchester;" Warner's "History of Ireland;" Leland's "History of
Ireland;" Grainger's "Biographical History of England;" Ferguson's
"History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic;"
Watson's "History of Philip II. of Spain;" Orme's "History of the
British Nation in Hindostan;" Anderson's "Annals of Commerce." In
1784 Mitford published his "History of Ancient Greece," and two years
later Gillies published another "History of Greece." In 1789 Pinkerton
published a "History of the House of Stuart down to Queen Mary." In
1790 Boswell published his "Life of Johnson," the most interesting
biography ever written; in 1796 Roscoe his "Life of Lorenzo de'
Medici," and, in 1805, the "Life and Pontificate of Leo X."

The miscellaneous literature of this reign was immense, consisting of
travels, biographies, essays on all subjects, and treatises in every
department of science and letters. Prominent amongst these are the
"Letters of Junius," who, in the early part of the reign, kept the
leading statesmen, judges, and the king himself, in terror by the
relentlessness of his scarifying criticisms. These letters, which
are the perfection of political writing, have been ascribed to many
authors, but most generally to Sir Philip Francis; though it is hard
to speak on the subject with certainty. The writings of Dr. Johnson
furnish many items to this department. His "Dictionary of the English
Language" (1755) was a gigantic labour; his "Lives of the Poets,"
his "Tour to the Western Isles," would of themselves have made a
reputation, had he never written his poetry, his periodical essays,
or edited Shakespeare. Burke, too, besides his Speeches, added largely
to general literature. He wrote his "Inquiry into the Origin of the
Sublime and Beautiful;" assisted in the composition of the _Annual
Register_ for several years; and, in 1790, published his most famous
work, "Reflections on the French Revolution." Besides these he wrote
political letters and essays. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu produced her
celebrated Letters about the middle of the century, and many other
women were popular writers at this period: Sophia and Harriett Lee,
Anna Maria Williams, Mrs. Lennox, Mrs. Catherine Talbot, Elizabeth
Carter, the translator of Epictetus, Mrs. Montagu, an essayist on
Shakespeare, Mrs. Chapone, author of "Letters on the Improvement of
the Mind," Mrs. Barbauld, and Mrs. Charlotte Smith. In theology,
metaphysics, and mental philosophy, the earlier portion of the reign
was rich. In rapid succession appeared Reid's "Inquiry into the Human
Mind," Campbell's "Answer to Hume on Miracles," Beattie's "Essay on
Truth," Wallace's "Essay on the Numbers of Mankind," and Stuart's
"Enquiry into the Principles of Political Economy." But nine years
after Stuart's work appeared another on the same subject, which
raised that department of inquiry into one of the most prominent and
influential sciences of the age. This was the famous treatise "On the
Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," by Adam Smith (1776),
which produced a real revolution in the doctrines of the production and
accumulation of wealth. In teaching the advantages of free trade and
the division of labour it has rendered incalculable services to mankind.

Besides those already mentioned as distinguished in various branches
of literature, there was a host of others whom we can only name. In
theology there were Warburton, South, Horsley, Jortin, Madan, Gerard,
Blair, Geddes, Lardner, Priestley; in criticism and philology, Harris,
Monboddo, Kames, Blair, Sir William Jones, Walpole; in antiquarian
research, Hawkins, Burney, Chandler, Barrington, Stevens, Pegge,
Farmer, Vallancey, Grose, Gough; in belles-lettres and general
literature, Chesterfield, Hawkesworth, Brown, Jenyns, Bryant, Hurd,
Melmoth, Potter, Francklin, etc.; in mathematical and physical science,
Black, the discoverer of latent heat, Cavendish, the discoverer of
the composition of water, Priestley, Herschel, Maskelyne, Horsley,
Vince, Maseres, James Hutton, author of "The Huttonian Theory of the
Earth," Charles Hutton, Cullen Brown, the founder of the Brownian
theory of medicine, John and William Hunter, the anatomists, Pennant,
the zoologist, etc.; discoverers of new lands, plants, and animals,
Commodore Byron, Captains Wallis, Cook, Carteret, Flinders, etc., Dr.
Solander, Sir Joseph Banks, Mr. Green.

Amongst these, or in the period immediately succeeding them, some
individuals demand a particular notice. Benjamin Franklin, though
an American citizen, ought perhaps to be mentioned, as so immensely
influencing science by his discoveries in electricity; and Sir William
Jones, for his great additions to our knowledge of Indian and Persian
literature and theology. There was a large number of translations made
by Pye, Twining, Gillies, Francis, Murphy, Parr, Tyrwhitt, Wakefield,
etc. By one or other of these the works of Aristotle, Tacitus, Horace,
Cæsar, Virgil, Lucretius, etc., were wholly or partly introduced to
us. Monboddo's "Origin and Progress of Language," and Horne Tooke's
"Diversions of Purley" made a great sensation; Paine's "Rights of Man"
and "Age of Reason" a still greater, and called out elaborate answers.
Richard Porson was equally distinguished for his classical knowledge
and his drunkenness. Mary Wollstonecraft published her "Rights of
Woman," as a necessary addendum to Paine's "Rights of Man." There were
also editions of Shakespeare issued by Dr. Johnson, Steevens, Capell,
Hanmer, Malone, and Reed. Warton, Ritson, Pinkerton, Macpherson, and
Ellis revived our older poetry by new editions. The controversy on the
poetry of Ossian ran high during this period. In theology and morals,
the works of Dr. Paley and Bishops Watson, Horsley, and Porteus, were
most prominent. In speculative philosophy, Malthus, by his "Essay on
the Principle of Population," carried to greater lengths the notions of
Wallace on the numbers of mankind.

In the later period of the reign some of our chief poets appeared also
as prose writers in biography, criticism, and general literature:
Southey, as biographer and critic; Campbell and Moore, Leigh Hunt
and Charles Lamb, in the same field; so also Hazlitt, Sydney Smith,
Jeffrey, Playfair, Stewart, Brown, Mackintosh, and Bentham--the last in
the philosophy of law. In physical science, Sir Humphry Davy, Leslie,
Dalton, the author of the atomic theory, and Wollaston, distinguished

Periodical writing grew in this reign into a leading organ of opinion
and intelligence. The two chief periodicals, according to our present
idea of them, were the _Gentleman's Magazine_ and the _Monthly Review_.
These were both started prior to the accession of George III. The
_Gentleman's Magazine_ was started by Cave, the publisher, in 1731; and
the _Monthly Review_ commenced in 1749. The former was a depository of
a great variety of matters, antiquarian, topographical, critical, and
miscellaneous, and has retained that character to the present hour. The
_Monthly Review_ was exclusively devoted to criticism. But in the early
portion of the reign a periodical literature of a totally different
character prevailed--the periodical essayist--formed on the model of
the _Spectator_, _Guardian_, and _Tatler_ of a prior period. Chief
amongst these figured Ambrose Philips's _Freethinker_; the _Museum_,
supported by Walpole, the Wartons, Akenside, etc.; the _Rambler_, by
Dr. Johnson; the _Adventurer_, by Hawkesworth; the _World_, in which
wrote chiefly aristocrats, as Lords Lyttelton, Chesterfield, Bath,
Cork, Horace Walpole, etc.; the _Connoisseur_, chiefly supplied by
George Colman and Bonnel Thornton; the _Old Maid_, conducted by Mrs.
Frances Brooke; the _Idler_, by Johnson; the _Babbler_, by Hugh Kelly;
the _Citizen of the World_, by Goldsmith; the _Mirror_, chiefly written
by Mackenzie, the author of the "Man of Feeling;" and the _Lounger_,
also chiefly conducted by Mackenzie. This class of productions,
appearing each once or twice a week, afforded the public the amusement
and instruction now furnished by the daily newspapers, weekly reviews,
and monthly magazines. Towards the end of the reign arose a new species
of review, the object of which was, under the guise of literature,
to serve opposing parties in politics. The first of these was the
_Edinburgh Review_, the organ of the Whigs, started in 1802, in which
Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith were the chief writers. This,
professing to be liberal, launched forth the most illiberal criticisms
imaginable. There was scarcely a great poet of the time--Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Southey, Byron, James Montgomery, Leigh Hunt, Shelley,
Keats--whom it did not, but vainly, endeavour to crush. To combat
the influence of this Whig organ, in 1809 came forth the _Quarterly
Review_, the great organ of the Tories, to which Scott, Southey, Wilson
Croker, Gifford, etc., were the chief contributors. In 1817 this was
followed by another Conservative journal, not quarterly, but monthly in
its issue, conducted chiefly by Professor Wilson and Lockhart, namely,
_Blackwood's Magazine_, in which the monthly magazines of to-day find
their prototype, but with a more decided political bias than these
generally possess.

In the department of the Drama the fertility was immense. Tragedy,
comedy, and farce maintained a swelling stream during the whole reign.
In the earlier portion of it the chief writers of this class were
Goldsmith, Garrick, Foote, Macklin, Murphy, Cumberland, Colman the
elder, Mrs. Cowley, and Sheridan. Several of these dramatists--as
Garrick, Macklin, and Foote--were, at the same time, actors. The most
eminent of them as writers were Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Colman. Horace
Walpole wrote the "Mysterious Mother," a tragedy, which, however,
was never acted; Goldsmith his two comedies, "The Good-Natured Man"
and "She Stoops to Conquer," which were extremely popular; Garrick,
the farces of "The Lying Valet" and "Miss in her Teens." He was said
also to have been a partner with Colman in writing "The Clandestine
Marriage;" but Colman denied this, saying that Garrick wrote the first
two acts, and brought them to him, desiring him to put them together,
and that he did put them together, for he put them together into
the fire, and re-wrote the whole. Another farce, "High Life below
Stairs," attributed to Garrick, was, it seems, written by the Rev.
James Townley, assisted by Dr. Hoadly, the author of "The Suspicious
Husband." Garrick was the great actor of his time, but, as a dramatic
writer, his merit is insignificant. Foote was the chief writer of the
comic before Colman. His productions amount to upwards of twenty, the
most of them farces; and amongst them are "The Minor," "The Liar," and
"The Mayor of Garrat." Foote was the wit and punster of the age. His
satiric keenness was the terror of his time, and he dared to think of
trying it even on the great essayist, Dr. Johnson, by introducing him
upon the stage; but Johnson sent him word that he would be in one of
the stage-boxes with a good, knotty cudgel, and Foote thought it best
to let him alone.

Macklin was the author of "The Man of the World," a most successful
comedy, as well as others of much merit. He remained on the stage till
he was a hundred years old, and lived to a hundred and seven. George
Colman had distinguished himself by the translation of Terence's plays
and Horace's "Art of Poetry" before he commenced as a dramatist. His
vein was comic, and his comedies and farces amount to nearly thirty,
the best being "The Clandestine Marriage," already mentioned, "Polly
Honeycomb," and "The Jealous Wife." Arthur Murphy was a native of
Cork, and was brought up a merchant, but his bent was to the drama,
and he quitted his business and went to London, where he wrote two
successful farces, "The Apprentice" and "The Upholsterer." He next
wrote "The Orphan of China," a tragedy. He then studied for the bar,
but had not much practice, and returned to writing for the stage.
"The Grecian Daughter," "All in the Wrong," "The Way to keep Him,"
and "The Citizen," were very successful, and raised him to wealth and
distinction. Not satisfied with being a popular writer, he desired to
act as well as write, like Garrick and Macklin, but failed. Besides
his dramatic productions, he translated Tacitus and Sallust, and
wrote the life of Garrick. Richard Cumberland, also an Irishman,
was a very voluminous as well as miscellaneous writer. His comedy
of "The West Indian" made him at once popular, and he wrote a great
number of productions for the stage, amongst the best of which were
"The Fashionable Lover," "The Jew," "The Wheel of Fortune," etc. He
was employed by Government as an envoy to Lisbon and Madrid, and by
it refused the payment of his expenses. This reduced him to sell his
hereditary property, but he retired to Tunbridge Wells, and continued
to write plays, novels, essays, criticisms, etc., till nearly eighty
years of age.

There was a number of lady dramatists of this period. Mrs. Cowley
wrote "The Runaway," "The Belle's Stratagem," "More Ways than One,"
etc.; Mrs. Brooke, Miss Marshall, Mrs. Lennox, and Miss Sophia Lee,
all wrote successful plays; Mrs. Sheridan, the author of the Eastern
story, "Nourjahad," was the writer of the successful comedies of "The
Discovery" and "The Dupe." But the chief dramatist of this period was
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, her son (_b._ 1751; _d._ 1816). He was
equally distinguished as a politician, an orator, and a critic. Like
Murphy, Macklin, and Cumberland, he was an Irishman. His dramas placed
him at the head of all the writers for the stage of his time. They
abounded with humour, wit, the smartest action, and knowledge of life
and human nature. His splendid comedy of "The Rivals," written when
he was not twenty-five, did not at first augur much success; but "The
Duenna," which appeared the same year, carried with it at once the
highest public favour; and his "School for Scandal," acted in 1777,
raised his reputation to the utmost. He also wrote the farces of "The
Critic," "The Trip to Scarborough," and "St. Patrick's Day." All these
were issued before 1780, and after that he was too much involved in
political affairs to renew this style of writing. Amongst his other
labours for the theatre was the adaptation of "Pizarro," one of
Kotzebue's numerous plays. Sheridan first appeared before the world as
the translator of "Aristænetus."

[Illustration: DAVID GARRICK AS RICHARD III. (_After Hogarth._)]

Comedy and farce occupied the middle portion of the reign, but
neither of them rose to the height of Sheridan. In tragedy, Murphy's
"Arminius," Godwin's "Antonio," and Madame D'Arblay's "Edwy and
Elgiva," were the best. Amongst the comedies, Holcroft's "Road to
Ruin," Morton's "Speed the Plough," Mrs. Inchbald's "Wives as they
Were, and Maids as they Are," and Colman's "Sylvester Daggerwood," were
the most popular.

In the latest period scarcely any acting dramas were produced.
Amongst the unacted tragedies, or such as were acted with no great
success--being better fitted for private study--were Coleridge's
"Remorse" and "Zapolya;" Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound" and "The
Cenci;" Byron's "Cain," "Manfred," "Sardanapalus," etc.; Maturin's
"Bertram," "Manuel," and "Fredolpho;" Joanna Baillie's "Plays on the
Passions," "The Family Legend"--the last acted with some success at
Edinburgh, through the influence of Sir Walter Scott, in 1810--Charles
Lamb's "John Woodvill," Milman's "Fazio," and Walter Savage Landor's
"Count Julian," "Andrea of Hungary," "Giovanni of Naples," "Fra
Rupert," "The Siege of Ancona," etc., all masterly dramas, constituting
a blaze of dramatic genius which, had it been adapted to the stage,
would have given it a new grandeur at the close of this reign.

The new spring in poetry broke forth as brilliantly in this reign as
that in prose. In the earlier portion of it, indeed, this was not so
visible. The school of Pope seemed still to retain its influence. This
school had produced a host of imitators, but little real genius since
Pope's time. Almost the only exception to this mediocrity was Collins,
whose odes were full of fire and genius. He died just before this
period, and Gray, Shenstone, and Goldsmith opened it with many of the
exterior characteristics of that school. But, in truth, notwithstanding
the mere fashion of their compositions, there were in them unmistakable
evidences of new life. Shenstone was the least vigorous and original
of the three, but his "Schoolmistress" possessed a natural charm that
still gains it admirers. He belongs, however, rather to the past
period than this, for he died but three years after the accession of
George III., and had ceased to write some time before. Gray's "Elegy
in a Country Churchyard" showed that he had deep feeling and a nice
observation of nature; and his "Long Story" that he possessed real
humour--a quality abounding in his prose, but, except in this piece,
little visible in his poetry. His odes are extremely vigorous, but
somewhat formal. His "Bard," his "Ode on Eton College," and his "Fatal
Sisters," are all full of beauty, but somewhat stilted. In the "Fatal
Sisters" he introduced a subject from the "Scandinavian Edda" to the
English reader, but in a most un-Scandinavian dress.

Goldsmith was in his poetry, as in his prose, simple, genuine, and
natural. His "Deserted Village" and "Traveller" were in the metre of
Pope, but they were full of the most exquisite touches of pathos,
of truth, and liberty; they were new in spirit, though old in form.
Charles Churchill, the satirist, was full of flagellant power. He has
been said to have formed himself on Dryden; but it is more probable
that his models were Lucian and Juvenal. He was a bold and merciless
chastiser of the follies of the times. He commenced, in the "Rosciad,"
with the players, by which he stirred a nest of hornets. Undauntedly he
pursued his course, attacking, in "The Ghost," the then all-powerful
Dr. Johnson, who ruled like a despot over both literary men and their
opinions. These satires, strong and somewhat coarse, were followed by
"The Prophecy of Famine," an "Epistle to Hogarth," "The Conference,"
"The Duellist," "The Author," "Gotham," "The Candidate," "The Times,"
etc. In these Churchill not only lashed the corruptions of the age,
but the false principles of nations. He condemned the seizure of other
countries by so-called Christian powers, on the plea of discovery.
It was only to be lamented that Churchill, who was a clergyman, in
censuring his neighbour's vices did not abandon his own.

Amongst other authors of the time, then very popular, but now
little read, were Armstrong, author of "The Art of Preserving
Health;" Akenside, of "The Pleasures of Imagination;" Wilkie, of
"The Epigoniad;" and Glover, of the epic of "Leonidas." Falconer's
"Shipwreck" and Beattie's "Minstrel" are poems much more animate
with the vitality of grace and feeling. Then there were Anstey, with
his "Bath Guide," half descriptive and half satiric; Stephenson's
"Crazy Tales;" Mason's "Isis," a satire on the University of Oxford,
and his tragedies of "Elfrida" and "Caractacus," which, with other
poems by the same author, enjoyed a popularity that waned before more
truly living things. Then there were the brothers Joseph and Thomas
Warton. Both of these deserve to be mentioned amongst our first-rate
prose writers--Joseph for his excellent "Essay on the Genius and
Writings of Pope," and Thomas for his "History of English Poetry,"
and this is merely a fragment, coming down only to the reign of Queen
Elizabeth. But that which, at this period, produced a thorough reform
of our poetry was the publication of "The Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry," by Bishop Percy. These specimens of poetry went back beyond
the introduction of the French model into England--to the times when
Chaucer, and still earlier poets, wrote from the instincts of nature,
and not from scholastical or fashionable patterns. In particular, the
old ballads, such as "Chevy Chace," "The Babes in the Wood," and the
like, brought back the public taste from the artificial to the natural.
The simple voice of truth, pathos, and honest sentiment was at once
felt by every heart, and the reign of mere ornate words was over.
After the Reliques came "The Border Minstrelsy" of Scott and completed
the revolution. These ancient ballads, in both Percy and Scott, were
found, in many instances, to be founded on precisely the same facts as
those of the Swedes and Danes, collected seventy years before, thus
showing that they were originally brought into Great Britain by the
Scandinavians--a proof of their high antiquity. A similar return to
nature was going on in Germany and the North of Europe, showing that
the very collection of Percy's "Reliques" originated in some general
cause, and that cause, no doubt, was the universal weariness of the
artificial style which had so long prevailed in literature.

About this time two publications occurred, which produced long and
violent controversies--those of the pretended "Poems of Rowley," by
Chatterton, and "Ossian's Poems," by Macpherson. Chatterton, who was
the articled clerk of an attorney at Bristol, a mere youth, pretended
that he had discovered Rowley's poems in the muniment room of the
Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. These poems, written on yellow
parchment, and in a most antiquated style, by a boy of sixteen, were
palmed upon the world as the genuine productions of one Thomas Rowley,
and took in many well-known authors and literary antiquaries, very
wise in their own conceit. As the productions of a boy of that age
these poems are marvellous, and nothing besides which Chatterton, in
his short, neglected life, produced approached them in merit. This,
too, was the case with Macpherson, who professed to have collected the
poems of Ossian, an old bard of Morven, in the Highlands, and simply
translated them into English. He was warmly accused of having written
them himself; but as Chatterton, so Macpherson, steadily denied the
authorship of the poems thus introduced, and as in Chatterton's case,
so in Macpherson's, no other compositions of the professed collector
ever bore any relation to these in merit. There can now be very little
doubt that Macpherson founded his Ossianic poems on real originals to
some extent; but that Chatterton, if he received Rowley's poems from
Rowley, did so by inspiration.

For some time after the revival of true poetry the old forms still hung
about what in spirit was new. The last of the old school of any note
may be said to have been Dr. Johnson and Dr. Darwin. Johnson was too
thoroughly drilled into the dry, didactic fashion of the artificial
past, he was too bigotedly self-willed to be capable of participating
in the renovation. In fact, he never was more than a good versifier,
one of that class who can win prizes for University themes on the
true line and square system of metrical composition. His "London," a
mere paraphrase of the third book of "Juvenal," and "The Vanity of
Human Wishes" are precisely of that stamp. Johnson lived at the time
of Chatterton's appearance, but he completely ignored him, and he
ridiculed the simplicity of the poems introduced by Bishop Percy by
absurd parodies on them, as--

    I put my hat upon my head,
      And walked into the Strand;
    And there I met another man,
      With his hat in his hand.


    If the man who turnips cries,
    Cries not when his father dies,
    'Tis a sign that he had rather
    Have a turnip than his father.

As for the poems of Ossian, he made a violent attack upon them in his
"Tour to the Western Isles."

Dr. Erasmus Darwin assumed the hopeless task of chaining poetry to the
car of science. He was a physician of Derby, and, like Sir Richard
Blackmore, "rhymed to the rumbling of his own coach wheels;" for we are
told that he wrote his verses as he drove about to his patients. His
great poem is the "Botanic Garden," in which he celebrates the loves
of the plants, and his "Economy of Vegetation," in which he introduces
all sorts of mechanical inventions. Amongst the rest he announces the
triumphs of steam in sonorous rhymes--

    Soon shall thy arm, unconquered Steam! afar
    Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car.

And he celebrates the compass in equally imposing heroics--

    Hail, adamantine steel! magnetic lord!
    King of the prow, the ploughshare, and the sword!
    True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides
    His steady helm amid the struggling tides;
    Braves, with broad sail, the immeasurable sea;
    Cleaves the dark air, and asks no star but thee!

This style of verse was thought very magnificent by Anna Seward, of
Lichfield, who was intimate with Darwin when he lived there in his
earlier career, and who herself was a poetess of some pretension. Miss
Seward, however, showed better judgment in being amongst the first to
point out the rising fame of Southey and Scott. The verse of Darwin
brought Pope's metre to the highest pitch of magniloquence; and the use
of the cæsura gives it a perfectly Darwinian peculiarity.

The poets who most retained the robes of the past, without disguising
the divine form within, were the Rev. George Crabbe and Cowper. The
poetry of Crabbe, all written in the metre of Pope, is, nevertheless,
instinct with the very soul of nature. It chooses the simplest, and
often the least apparently lofty or agreeable topics, but it diffuses
through these, and at the same time draws from them, a spirit and life
that are essentially poetry. Nothing at the time that it appeared
could look less like poetry. The description of a library, the dirty
alleys, the pothouses, the sailors, and monotonous sea-shores in and
about a maritime borough, struck the readers of the assumed sublime
with astonishment and dismay. "Can this be poetry?" they asked. But
those who had poetry in themselves--those in whom the heart of nature
was strong, replied, "Yes, the truest poetry." Nature smiles as the
rude torch flickers past, and shows its varied forms in its truest
shape. In his "Tales of the Hall" Crabbe entered on scenes which are
commonly deemed more elevated; he came forward into the rural village,
the rectory, and the manor-house; but everywhere he carried the same
clear, faithful, analytical spirit, and read the most solemn lessons
from the histories and the souls of men. Crabbe has been styled the
Rembrandt of English poetic painting; but he is not merely a painter of
the outward, he is the prober of the inward at the same time, who, with
a hand that never trembles, depicts sternly the base nature, and drops
soothing balm on the broken heart.

William Cowper (_b._ 1731; _d._ 1800) combined in his verse the
polish of Pope with the freedom and force of Churchill. He possessed
the satirical strength of Churchill with a more gentle and Christian
spirit. In Cowper broke forth the strongest, clearest sense that
had distinguished any writer in prose or verse for generations. He
painted nature like a lover, but with the truth of a great artist,
and he flagellated the vices of society in the very highest quarters
with unshrinking boldness; at the same time, with equal intrepidity,
he advanced the assertions of a perfect faith in the religion of the
Gospel, in the face of the hardest scepticism of the age.

It is a curious fact, that whilst Cowper was haunted by the most
agonising terrors of a nervous temperament, even to despair, his
poetry breathes the most consolatory tone. Whilst his mind was often
wandering in insanity, there is no composition so sane and so sound in
intellectual substance as his. Though seldom indulging in high flights
of imagination, yet his verse frequently rises into a richness and
nobility of voice nearly equal to the prophetic. The "Lines on his
Mother's Picture" exhibit the deep feeling of Cowper, and the ballad of
"John Gilpin" the genuine mirth which often bubbled up in a heart so
racked and tried with melancholy.

Contemporary with Cowper was Mrs. Tighe, the author of "Psyche," an
allegorical poem, in which the beauty of the sentiment made acceptable
that almost exploded form of composition. But there was at this period
a number of writers who had much more false than true sentiment.
The euphuism of the reign of Queen Elizabeth broke forth in another
fashion. A kind of poetical club was formed at Batheaston, the
residence of Lady Miller, near Bath. She and her guests, amongst whom
was Miss Seward, wrote verses, which they published under the title of
"Poetical Amusements." A still more flaunting school set themselves
up amongst the English at Florence, one of whom, a Mr. Robert Merry,
dubbed himself "Della Crusca," whence the clique became known as the
"Della Cruscan School." Amongst the members of it figured Mrs. Piozzi,
the widow of Thrale the brewer, Boswell, Johnson's biographer, Mary
Robinson, the younger Colman, and Holcroft, the dramatist, with others
of less name. They addressed verses to each other in the most florid
and extravagant style under the names of "Rosa Matilda," "Laura Maria,"
"Orlando," and the like. The fashion was infectious; and not only were
the periodicals flooded by such silly mutual flatteries, but volumes
were published full of them. Gifford, the editor of the _Quarterly
Review_, and translator of Juvenal, attacked this frenzy in a satire
called the "Baviad," and continued the attack in the "Mæviad," which,
however, was more particularly a censure on the degraded condition
of the drama. This put an end to the nuisance, and Gifford won great
fame by it; though, on referring to his two celebrated satires, we are
surprised at their dulness, and are led to imagine that it was their
heaviness which crushed these moths of literature. Gifford had himself
a great fame in his day, which was chiefly based on his formidable
position as editor of the _Quarterly Review_.

But whilst Gifford was thus demolishing an outbreak of bad taste, a
much more remarkable evidence that those who lay claim to good taste
frequently have it not was given by the appearance of several new plays
and other documents attributed to Shakespeare. The chief of these was
"Kynge Varrtygerne," a tragedy, edited by Samuel Ireland. Numbers
of persons of high name and pretension, as Dr. Parr, Boswell, Pye,
the laureate, Chalmers, the editor of an issue of "British Poets,"
Pinkerton, a writer of all sorts of things, etc., became enthusiastic
believers and admirers of these pretended discoveries. They turned out
to be impudent forgeries by the son of the editor, named William Henry
Ireland, and are in reality such trash that they are a melancholy proof
of how little value, from some learned persons, is the adoration of
Shakespeare. Malone, in an "Inquiry" into the authenticity of these
writings, in 1796, completely exposed their spuriousness. Pinkerton,
one of their most zealous advocates, himself perpetrated a similar
forgery of a volume of Scottish poems, issued as ancient ones. He
enjoyed the particular patronage of Horace Walpole.


A number of satires and other poems appeared at this time which
deserve only a mere mention. These are "The Pursuits of Literature,"
by Thomas James Mathias; "Anticipation," by Richard Tickell, being an
anticipation of the king's Speech, and the debates of Parliament; "An
Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers," by Mason, under the assumed
name of Malcolm Macgregor; "The Rolliad," also a political satire,
in 1785. To this succeeded "Probationary Odes," from the same party.
These were eclipsed by the publications of Dr. John Wolcot, under the
name of Peter Pindar, who for twenty years kept the public laughing
by his witty and reckless effusions, in which the king especially
was most unmercifully ridiculed. Wolcot had the merit of discovering
Opie, the painter, as a sawyer in the neighbourhood of Truro, and
pushing him forward by his praises. Of the Royal Academicians he was
a relentless enemy, and to them addressed several odes, of the most
caustic and damaging kind. Later on came the inimitable poems of the
"Anti-Jacobin," written by Canning, Hookham Frere, and others, among
which it is sufficient to recall the "Needy Knife-grinder," and the
satires on the Addington Administration. But now there came a voice
from Scotland that filled with envy the crowd of second-rate poets
of London, and marked the dawn of a new era. A simple but sturdy
peasant--with no education but such as is extended to every child
in every rural parish of Scotland; "following the plough along the
mountain side," laboriously sowing and reaping and foddering neat;
instead of haunting drawing-rooms in bob-tailed coat and kid gloves,
dancing on the barn-floor, or hob-nobbing with his rustic chums at the
next pot-house--set up a song of youth, of passion, of liberty and
equality, so clear, so sonorous, so ringing with the clarion tones
of genius and truth, that all Britain, north and south, stood still
in wonder, and the most brazen vendor of empty words and impudent
pretensions to intellectual power owned the voice of the master, and
was for a moment still. This master of song was Robert Burns (_b._
1759; _d._ 1796). Need we say more? Need we speak of the exquisite
beauty of the "Cotter's Saturday Night"?--of the fun of "Tam o'
Shanter"?--of the satiric drollery of his laughter at antiquarian and
other pretenders?--of the scathing sarcasms on sectarian cant in "Holy
Willie's Prayer," and a dozen other things?--of the spirit of love and
the spirit of liberty welling up in his heart in a hundred living
songs?--of the law of man's independence and dignity stamped on the
page of eternal memory in the few words--"A man's a man for a' that"?
Are not these things written in the book of human consciousness, all
the world over? Do not his fellow-countrymen sing them and shout them
in every climate under heaven? At the time when they appeared the poems
of Robert Burns clearly showed that true poetry was not altogether
extinct, and effectually put an end to that fatal rage of imitation of
the artificial school of Johnson and Pope which then prevailed.


(_From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson & Co._)]

Then came the Lake school, so called because the poets lived more
or less amongst the lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland; but
which would have been more correctly called the natural school, in
contradistinction to the artificial school which they superseded. The
chief of these were Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey. Wordsworth
and Coleridge had travelled in Germany, when few Englishmen travelled
there, and all of them had more or less imbibed that spirit of
intense love of natural beauty and of mental philosophy which
prevails in Germany. In Southey this evaporated in ballads of the
wild and wonderful, with a strong tinge of Teutonic _diablerie_. In
Wordsworth and Coleridge these elements sank deeper, and brought forth
more lasting fruits. But there was another cause which went greatly
to the formation of Wordsworth's poetic system. He was thoroughly
indoctrinated by his early friends, Charles Lloyd and Thomas Wilkinson,
members of the Society of Friends, with their theory of worship and
psychology. They taught him that the spirit of God breathes through
all nature, and that we have only to listen and receive. This system
was enunciated in some of his lyrical poems, but it is the entire
foundation of his great work, the "Excursion." In his earliest poems
William Wordsworth (_b._ 1770; _d._ 1850) wrote according to the manner
of the time, and there is nothing remarkable in them; but in his
"Lyrical Ballads," the first of which appeared in 1798, there was an
entire change. They were of the utmost simplicity of language, and some
of them on subjects so homely that they excited the most unmeasured
ridicule of the critics. In particular, the _Edinburgh Review_
distinguished itself by its excessive contempt of them. The same fate
awaited his successive publications, including his great work, the
"Excursion;" and the tide of scorn was only turned by a series of
laudatory criticisms by Professor Wilson, in _Blackwood's Magazine_,
after which the same critics became very eulogistic.


(_From a photograph by G. W. Wilson & Co._)]

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (_b._ 1772; _d._ 1834) published his earliest
poems in association with his friends, Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd,
and Charles Lamb. But his contributions, especially of the "Ancient
Mariner," soon pointed them out as belonging to a genius very
different. In his compositions there is a wide variety, some of them
being striking from their wild and mysterious nature, some for their
elevation of both spirit and language, and others for their deep
tone of feeling. His "Geneviève," his "Christabel," his "Ancient
Mariner," and his "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni," are themselves the
sufficient testimonies of a great master. In some of his blank verse
compositions the tone is as independently bold as the sentiments are
philosophical and humane. Besides his own poetry, Coleridge translated
part of Schiller's "Wallenstein," and was the author of several prose
works of a high philosophical character. Southey was as different
from Coleridge in the nature of his poetical productions as Coleridge
was from Wordsworth. In his earliest poems he displayed a strong
resentment against the abuses of society; he condemned war in his poem
on "Blenheim," and expressed himself unsparingly on the treatment of
the poor. His "Botany Bay Eclogues" are particularly in this vein. But
he changed all that, and became one of the most zealous defenders of
things as they are. His smaller poems are, after all, the best things
which he wrote; his great epics of "Madoc," "Roderick, the Last of the
Goths," "The Curse of Kehama," and "Thalaba," now finding few readers.
Yet there are parts of them that must always charm.

Since the appearance of the Waverley Novels the poetry of Scott has
been somewhat depreciated, but his metrical romances, if not of the
highest class of poetry, are always fresh, from their buoyancy and
the scenery in which they are laid. They are redolent of the mountain
heather and summer dews; and the description of the sending of the
"fiery cross" over the hills, and the battle in "Marmion," as well as
other portions, are instinct with genuine poetic vigour. Campbell, who
won an early reputation by his "Pleasures of Hope," is more esteemed
now for his heroic ballads "Hohenlinden," "The Battle of the Baltic,"
and his "Mariners of England;" Moore, for his "Irish Melodies," than
for his "Lalla Rookh;" Byron, for his "Childe Harold," rather than
for his earlier love tales of the East, or his later dramatic poems.
Amongst the very highest of the poets of that period stands Percy
Bysshe Shelley (_b._ 1792; _d._ 1822), the real poet of spiritual
music, of social reformation, and of the independence of man. Never did
a soul inspired by a more ardent love of his fellow-creatures receive
such a bitter portion of unkindness and repudiation. John Keats, of a
still more delicate and shrinking temperament, also received, in return
for strains of the purest harmony, a sharp judgment, in no degree,
however, equal to the severity of that dealt out to Shelley. In his
"Ode to a Grecian Urn," and his "Lamia," Keats left us examples of
beauty of conception and felicity of expression not surpassed since
the days of Shakespeare. In his "Hyperion" he gave equal proof of the
strength and grandeur to which he would have attained.

The distinguished poets still thronging the close of this period
would require voluminous space to particularise their works: the
vigorous and classic Savage Landor; the graceful, genial Leigh Hunt;
Charles Lamb, quaint and piquant; Rogers, lover equally of art and
nature; John Wilson, tender, but somewhat diffuse; Hogg, the Ettrick
Shepherd, linked in perpetual memory with his "Kilmeny" and the "Bird
of the Wilderness;" Allan Cunningham; MacNeill; Grahame, author of
"The Sabbath;" James Montgomery, amongst the very few successful poets
of religion; Tennant, author of "Anster Fair;" Kirke White, Sotheby,
Maturin, Procter (Barry Cornwall), Milman, Joanna Baillie, Miss
Mitford, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Howitt, Richard Howitt, Elliott the Corn-Law
Rhymer, whose most beautiful poems had been for twenty years steadily
ignored by the whole English press, till they were accidentally
discovered by Sir John Bowring.

In all those arts which increase the prosperity of a nation England
made the most remarkable progress during this reign. A number of men,
springing chiefly from its working or manufacturing orders, arose, who
introduced inventions and improvements in practical science, which
added, in a most wonderful degree, to the industrial resources of the
country. Agriculture at the commencement of the reign was in a sluggish
and slovenly condition, but the increase of population, and the
augmented price of corn and cattle, led to numerous enclosures of waste
lands, and to improvements both in agricultural implements and in the
breeds of sheep and cattle. During the thirty-three years of the reign
of George II. the number of enclosures averaged only seven per annum,
but in the first twenty-five years of the reign of George III. they
amounted to forty-seven per annum. During that period the number of
enclosures was one thousand one hundred and eighty-six, the number each
year rapidly increasing. The value of the produce also stimulated the
spirit of improvement in tillage as well as enclosure. Many gentlemen,
especially in Northumberland, Kent, Norfolk, and Suffolk, devoted
themselves to agricultural science. They introduced rotation of crops
instead of fallows, and better manuring, and also cultivated various
vegetables on a large scale in the fields which before had generally
been confined to the garden, as turnips, carrots, potatoes, cabbage,
parsnips, etc. Their example began to be followed by the ordinary class
of farmers, and the raising of rents greatly quickened this imitation.
At the opening of the reign the rental of land did not exceed ten
shillings per acre on an average; the rental of the whole kingdom in
1769 being sixteen million pounds, according to Arthur Young, but in
a few years it was nearly doubled. This gentleman, who has left us so
much knowledge of the agricultural state of the kingdom in his "Tours
of Survey," tells us that, northward especially, the old lumbering
ploughs and other clumsy instruments were still in use, instead of the
improved ones, and that there was, therefore, a great waste of labour,
both of man and beast, in consequence. But still improvement was slowly
spreading, and already Bakewell was engaged in those experiments which
introduced, instead of the old large-headed and ill-shaped sheep,
a breed of superior symmetry, which at once consumed less food and
yielded a heavier carcase. It was at first contemptuously said by the
old race of farmers and graziers, that Bakewell's new herd of sheep was
too dear for any one to purchase and too fat for any one to eat. As
he was pursuing his improvements in Leicestershire, Culley prosecuted
similar ones in Northumberland in both sheep and cattle.

Under the management of these enlightened men the disproportionate mass
of bone was reduced, and flesh increased, and the whole figure assumed
a regular and handsome contour. The quality of the meat was as greatly

Under the operation of the Corn Laws the price of wheat rose to one
hundred and fifty-six shillings a quarter in 1801, and the enclosure of
waste lands kept pace accordingly; and upwards of a million of acres
were enclosed every ten years. From 1800 the amount of enclosure in
ten years was a million and a half of acres. The rapid increase of
population, through the growth of manufactures, and the introduction of
canals, as well as the fact that the people at large began to abandon
the use of oats and rye in bread, and to use wheat, promoted the growth
of that grain immensely. In 1793 Sir John Sinclair established the
Board of Agriculture, which was incorporated, and received an annual
grant from Parliament. The indefatigable Arthur Young was elected its
secretary, and agricultural surveys of the kingdom were made. The
reports of these were published, adding greatly to a comprehension
of the real state of cultivation. In 1784 Young had commenced the
publication of the "Annals of Agriculture," by which invaluable
information was diffused, and new prizes were offered by the Board for
improvements, and great annual sheep-shearings were held at Woburn
and Holkham, by the Duke of Bedford and Mr. Coke, afterwards Lord
Leicester, which tended to stimulate the breed of better sheep. The
king himself had his model farms, and introduced merino sheep from
Spain. It was long, however, before the better modes of ploughing could
be introduced amongst the farmers. The Scots were the first to reduce
the number of the horses which drew the plough, using only two, whilst
in England might still be seen a heavy, clumsy machine drawn by from
four to six horses, doing less work, and that work less perfectly.

On the arrival of peace the fall of agricultural prices ruined great
numbers who had pushed their speculations and land purchases beyond
their legitimate means; but the Corn Laws again buoyed up both
farmers and landlords, and the progress of improvement continued.
Draining strong lands, manuring light ones with lime and marl, and the
introduction of artificial grasses, added incalculably to the produce
of the country. Turnips enabled the farmer to maintain his cattle
and sheep in high condition during the winter, and the introduction
of the Swedish turnip and mangel-wurzel extended this advantage till
rye, rye-grass, sainfoin, and clover became plentiful. Before the end
of the reign rentals had doubled, and lands, even in hilly districts,
where it had been supposed that nothing but oats would grow, and where
the reapers were often obliged to shake the snow from the corn as they
cut it, were seen producing good wheat, and, from the better system of
husbandry, at a much earlier period of autumn.

With the reign of George III. began the real era of civil engineering.
With respect to our highways there had been various Parliamentary
enactments since the Revolution of 1688; but still, at the commencement
of George III.'s reign, the condition of the greater part of our
public roads was so dreadful as now to be almost incredible. Acts of
Parliament continued to be passed for their amendment, but what was
their general state we learn from the invaluable "Tours" of Arthur
Young. He describes one leading from Billericay to Tilbury, in Essex,
as so narrow that a mouse could not pass by any carriage, and so deep
in mud that chalk-waggons were continually sticking fast in them,
till so many were in that predicament that the waggoners put twenty
or thirty of their horses together to pull them out. He describes the
same state of things in almost every part of the country--in Norfolk,
Suffolk, Wiltshire, and Lancashire. Some of them had ruts four feet
deep by measure, and into these ruts huge stones were dropped to enable
waggons to pass at all; and these, in their turn, broke their axles
by the horrible jolting, so that within eighteen miles he saw three
waggons lying in this condition. Notwithstanding, from 1785 to 1800 no
fewer than six hundred and forty-three Acts of Parliament regarding
roads were passed. But scarcely a penny of the money collected at the
toll-bars went to the repair of the roads, but only to pay the interest
of the debt on their original construction. Whatever was raised was
divided amongst the members of the body known as the trustees for
the original fund; and though many Acts of Parliament limited this
interest, means were found for evading the restriction.


                       ROBERT BURNS.

In Lancashire and Cheshire the principal roads were paved; but as there
grew a necessity for more rapid transit of mails and stage-coaches, we
find, from a tour by Adam Walker to the Lakes in 1792, that a better
system had been introduced; the paved roads were in many places pulled
up, and the stones broken small; and he describes the roads generally
as good, or wonderfully improved since the "Tours" of Arthur Young.
Except in the county of Derby, the highways were excellent, and broken
stones were laid by the roadsides ready for repairs.

But it was not till the days of Telford and Macadam that the system
of road-making received its chief improvements. The reform in roads
commenced in Scotland. Those which had been cut through the Highlands
after the Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, chiefly under the management
of General Wade, set the example, and showed the advantage of
promoting communication, as well as of enabling the military to scour
the mountains. In 1790 Lord Dare introduced the practice of laying
out roads by the spirit-level, and they were conducted round hills
instead of being carried over them. In 1802 a Board of Commissioners
for Roads and Bridges in Scotland was established, and Thomas Telford
was appointed the engineer. This able man had now a full opportunity
for showing his knowledge of road-making. He laid out the new routes
on easy inclines, shortened and improved the old routes by new and
better cuttings, and threw bridges of an excellent construction over
the streams. Where the bottom was soft or boggy he made it firm by
a substratum of solid stones, and levelled the surface with stones
broken small. Attention was paid to side-drains for carrying away the
water, and little was left for the after-plans of Macadam. Yet Macadam
has monopolised the fame of road-making, and little has been heard of
Telford's improvements, although he was occasionally called in where
Macadam could not succeed, because the latter refused to make the
same solid bottom. This was the case in the Archway Road at Highgate.
Macadam's main principle of road-making was in breaking his material
small, and his second _principle_ might be called the care which he
exercised in seeing his work well done. For these services he received
two grants from Parliament, amounting to ten thousand pounds, and
the offer of knighthood, the latter of which he would not accept for
himself, but accepted it for his eldest son.

Telford, under the commission for Scotland, thoroughly revolutionised
the roads of that country. From Carlisle to the extremity of Caithness,
and from east to west of Scotland, he intersected the whole country
with beautiful roads, threw bridges of admirable construction over
the rivers, and improved many of the harbours, as those of Banff,
Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Fortrose, Cullen, and Kirkwall. The extent of
new road made by him was about one thousand miles, and he threw one
thousand two hundred bridges over rivers, some of them wild mountain

The next step in the increase of means of traffic was the construction
of canals. The rivers had previously been rendered more navigable by
removing obstructions, deepening channels, and making good towing-paths
along their banks; but now it was projected to make artificial rivers.
In this scheme, Richard Brindley, under the patronage of the Duke of
Bridgewater, was the great engineer; and his intrepid genius dictated
to him to carry these canals over hills by locks, over rivers by
aqueducts, and through the heart of hills by tunnels. These enterprises
at that moment appeared, to the ordinary run of civil engineers,
as rash experiments, which were sure to prove abortive. As all new
ideas are, these ideas, now so commonplace, were ridiculed by the
wise ones as little short of madness. Mr. Brindley's first great work
was the formation of the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, from Worsley
to Manchester. In this he at once proved all his plans of locks,
tunnels, and aqueducts. He conducted his canal by an aqueduct over the
river Irwell, at an elevation of thirty-nine feet; and those learned
engineers who had laughed at the scheme as "a castle in the air," might
now see boats passing over the river at that height with the greatest
ease, while other boats were being drawn up the Irwell against the
stream and under the aqueduct with five times the labour. At Worsley
the canal was conducted into the very heart of the coal-mine by a
tunnel, with branches, which conducted the boats up to the different
parts of the mine, so that the coal could be loaded on the spot where
it was dug. The immediate effect of this canal was to reduce coals in
Manchester to half the former price; and the canal being extended so
as to connect it with the Mersey, at Runcorn, it reduced the freight
of goods from Manchester to Liverpool to the same extent, from twelve
shillings to six shillings per ton, the land carriage having been forty
shillings. Brindley was next engaged to execute the Grand Trunk Canal,
which united the Trent and Mersey, carrying it through Birmingham,
Chesterfield, and to Nottingham. This was commenced in 1766, and
exhibited further examples of his undaunted skill, and, as he had been
laughed at by the pedants of the profession, he now in his turn laughed
at their puny mediocrity. One of his tunnels, at Harecastle Hill, in
Staffordshire, was two thousand eight hundred and eighty yards long,
twelve feet wide, nine high, and in some parts seventy yards below the
surface of the ground. This tunnel, after half a century's use, was
found too confined for the traffic, and a new one, much wider, was made
by Telford. By this time the art of tunnelling had made great progress,
and whilst Brindley required eleven years to complete his tunnel,
Telford made his much larger one in three. Many causes intervened to
check for a time the progress of canals, so that from 1760 to 1774 only
nineteen Acts were passed for them; but in the two years of 1793 and
1794 no fewer than thirty-six new Bills were introduced to Parliament,
with others for extending and amending rivers, making altogether
forty-seven Acts, the expenditure on the canals of these two years'
projection amounting to five million three hundred thousand pounds. The
work now went on rapidly, and investments in canal shares exhibited
at that day, in miniature, the great fever of railway speculation at
a later period. Lines of canals were made to connect the Thames, the
Tweed, the Severn, and the Mersey; so that the great ports of London,
Liverpool, Hull, and Bristol were connected by them, and put into
communication with nearly all the great inland manufacturing towns. In
1779 a ship-canal was completed from the Forth to the Clyde--a work
proposed as early as the reign of Charles II. This canal, thirty-five
miles in length, had thirty-nine locks, which carried the canal to a
height of one hundred and fifty-six feet above the sea, and it crossed
the river Kelvin by an aqueduct eighty-three feet from the bed of
the river to the top of the masonry. A few years later a much larger
ship-canal united Gloucester to the Severn, and wonderfully increased
the trade and growth of that city.

Telford succeeded to Brindley, with all his boldness and skill, and
with much extended experience. He executed the Ellesmere canal, which
occupied a length of upwards of a hundred miles, connecting the rivers
Severn, Dee, and Mersey. In the construction of this canal Telford
introduced a bold, but successful, novelty. In aqueducts, instead of
puddling their bottoms with clay, which was not proof against the
effects of frost, he cased them with iron, and adopted the same means
when he had to pass through quicksands or mere bog. Some of Telford's
aqueducts were stupendous works. The Chirk aqueduct passed, at seventy
feet above the river, on ten arches of forty feet span, and cost twenty
thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight pounds. The aqueduct over the
Dee passed at a height of one hundred and twenty-one feet above low
water, and consisted of a great trough of cast-iron plates, supported
on eighteen piers, and having a towing-path of cast-iron, supported
on cast-iron pillars. This aqueduct took ten years in building, and
cost, with its embankments, forty-seven thousand pounds. Tunnels much
larger than that at Harecastle Hill were executed. That at Sapperton,
on the Thames and Severn canal, executed by Mr. Whitworth, was nearly
two miles and a half long, ran two hundred and fifty feet below the
summit of the hill, and was large enough for boats of seventy tons
burden. This was completed in 1788. These daring enterprises led to the
design of a tunnel under the Thames, from Gravesend to Tilbury; but
this was abandoned for want of capital. In 1804 a like attempt was made
at Rotherhithe, but stopped from the same cause, and was not completed
till 1843 by Sir Mark Isambard Brunel. Between 1758 and 1801 no fewer
than sixty-five Acts of Parliament were passed for making or extending
canals. At the end of that period canals extended over upwards of three
thousand miles, and had cost upwards of thirteen millions sterling.
In fact, the bulk of canal work was done by this time, though not
some few works of great importance. The Leeds and Liverpool canal,
begun in 1770, but not completed till 1816, opened up connection
with a vast manufacturing district; and the Rochdale, Huddersfield,
and Hull canals gave access for the Baltic traffic into the heart of
Lancashire. The Paddington and Regent's Canals wonderfully promoted the
intercourse between the interior and the metropolis. In the Highlands,
the Caledonian Canal, connecting the string of lakes between Inverness
and the Atlantic, gave passage to ships of large burden. At the end
of this reign the aggregate length of canals in England and Wales was
two thousand one hundred and sixty miles; in Scotland, two hundred and
twelve; in Ireland, two hundred and fifty; total, two thousand six
hundred and twenty-two miles. The attention paid to roads and canals
necessitated the same to bridges; and during this reign many new
structures of this kind were erected, and much improvement attained in
their formation. In 1776 a totally new kind of bridge was commenced at
Coalbrook Dale, and completed in 1779; this was of cast-iron, having a
single arch of one hundred feet span, and containing three hundred and
seventy-eight and a half tons of metal. Telford greatly improved on
this idea, by erecting an iron bridge over the Severn, at Buildwas, in
1796, having an arch of one hundred and thirty feet span.

[Illustration: WATERLOO BRIDGE, LONDON, IN 1890.]

Half the London bridges were built, or rebuilt, during this period.
Waterloo Bridge was begun in 1811, and completed by its designer and
architect, John Rennie, on the 18th of June, 1817, having cost upwards
of a million sterling. It is not only the longest of the Thames
bridges, but was pronounced by Canova the finest bridge in the world,
and is justly universally admired. Rennie built Southwark Bridge, an
iron one, at a cost of eight hundred thousand pounds, and completed
it in 1819, its erection occupying five years. Sir John Rennie, his
son, built the new London Bridge from the designs of his father; but
this was not begun till six years after the death of George III., nor
finished till 1831, at a cost of five hundred and six thousand pounds.

Iron suspension bridges were also introduced towards the end of this
reign. Chain bridges had been erected in China for nearly two thousand
years, and rope bridges in India and South America still earlier. In
England a foot-bridge of iron chains was erected at Middleton, over
the Tees, in the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1816 a bridge of
iron wire was thrown across the Gala Water; and another, on a different
principle, the following year, was erected over the Tweed, at King's
Meadows. But now much greater and more complete works of the kind were
to be executed. Captain (afterwards Sir Samuel) Brown introduced many
improvements into these structures. He substituted iron ropes for
hempen ones, thereby forming cable-chains, like those used in Wales
on quarry tram-roads, and these he applied to suspension bridges. In
1819 he was commissioned to construct an iron suspension bridge over
the Tweed, near Kelso, called the Union Bridge, which he completed in
1820, at a cost of five thousand pounds. In 1827 the first suspension
bridge was thrown over the Thames by Mr. William Tierney Clarke; and in
1818 Telford commenced his great work of throwing a suspension bridge
over the Menai Strait, near Bangor, which he completed in 1825. The
main opening of this stupendous work is five hundred and sixty feet
wide, and one hundred feet above high-water mark. The length of the
roadway of the bridge is one thousand feet. The cost was one hundred
and twenty thousand pounds. This was Telford's _chef-d'œuvre_. But the
same neighbourhood was destined to see a more stupendous structure
span the Strait from the Welsh shore to Anglesey. This was the tubular
railway bridge, connecting the London and Holyhead line, within view
of Telford's elegant suspension bridge. This was erected by Robert
Stephenson, from his own design, greatly improved by suggestions from
William Fairbairn of Manchester. It was completed in October, 1850,
at a cost of six hundred and twenty-five thousand eight hundred and
sixty-five pounds. Further description of this great work is not proper
here, as it belongs to a later date, but it seemed fit to mention it in
passing, as an evidence of the progress of the engineering science in
the reign of Victoria.

Photograph by Hudson._)]

Great improvements were made during this reign in the harbours,
especially by Telford and Rennie. Telford's harbour work in Scotland we
have already mentioned; Rennie's formations or improvements of harbours
were at Ramsgate, London, Hull, and Sheerness; he also built the Bell
Rock Lighthouse, on the same principle as the Eddystone Lighthouse,
built by Smeaton, a self-taught engineer, just before the accession of
George III.

The mechanical invention, however, destined to produce the most
extraordinary revolution in social life was that of railways, which
during this reign were progressing towards the point where, combined
with the steam-engine, they were to burst forth into an activity and
strength astonishing to the whole world. Tram-roads--that is, roads
with lines of smooth timber for the wheels of waggons to run upon--had
been in use in the Newcastle collieries for a century before. In
1767, at the Coalbrook Dale Iron Works, iron plates were substituted
for wood, and by this simple scheme one horse could, with ease, draw
as much as ten on an ordinary road. In 1776 iron flanges, or upright
edges, were used at the collieries of the Duke of Norfolk, near
Sheffield, and after this time they became common at all collieries,
both above and below ground. In 1801 an iron railway, by a joint-stock
company, was opened from Wandsworth to Croydon. Three years before iron
railways had been introduced to convey the slates from Lord Penrhyn's
quarries, in Carnarvonshire, to the Menai Strait for shipment, and
they were attached to canals for the conveyance of goods to and from
them. At the end of this reign there were two hundred and twenty-five
miles of iron railroads in the neighbourhood of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and
upwards of three hundred miles in the single county of Glamorgan.

Before the termination of the reign there were active preparations for
putting steam-engines on all iron railroads. So early as 1758, Watt,
who afterwards did so much in the construction of steam-engines, had an
idea that locomotive engines might be put on such roads. In 1770 such
an engine was actually made and worked by John Theophilus Cugnot, in
Paris, but he had not discovered sufficient means of controlling it.
In 1802 Messrs. Trevethick and Vivian exhibited such an engine running
along the streets in London. In 1805 the same gentlemen again exhibited
one of their engines working on a tram-road at Merthyr Tydvil, drawing
ten tons of iron at the rate of five miles an hour; and in 1811 Mr.
Blenkinsop was running an engine on the Middleton Colliery, near
Leeds, drawing a hundred tons on a dead level at the rate of three and
a half miles an hour, and going at the rate of ten miles when only
lightly loaded. Blenkinsop had made the wheels of his engines to act
by cogs on indented rails; for there was a strong persuasion at that
period that the friction of plain wheels on plain rails would not be
sufficient to enable the engine to progress with its load. The folly
of this idea had already been shown on all the colliery lines in the
kingdom, and by the engine of Trevethick and Vivian at Merthyr. The
fallacy, however, long prevailed. But during this time Thomas Gray
was labouring to convince the public of the immense advantages to be
derived from steam trains on railways. In five editions of his work,
and by numerous memorials to Ministers, Parliament, lord mayors, etc.,
he showed that railroads must supersede coaches for passengers, and
waggons and canals for goods. He was the first projector of a general
system of railroads, laid down maps for comprehensive general lines for
both England and Ireland, invented turn-tables, and very accurately
calculated the cost of constructing lines. For these services he was
termed a madman, and the _Edinburgh Review_ recommended that he should
be secured in a strait jacket. In his "Life of George Stephenson"
Dr. Smiles takes exception to the statement that Thomas Gray was the
originator of railways, and transfers that term to Stephenson. Let
us be correct; Gray was the projector, Stephenson the constructor of
railways. But it is not to be supposed that Gray had sold five editions
of his work without Stephenson, and perhaps every engineer, having read
and profited by it. Yet, so little had Stephenson any idea of the real
scope and capacity of railways, that it was not till five years after
the running of his engines on such lines, by Dr. Smiles's own showing,
that he ever imagined such a thing as their becoming the general medium
of human transit. He tells us Mr. Edward Pease suggested to him to
put an old long coach on the Darlington and Stockton line, attached
to the luggage trucks, and see if people might not wish to travel by
it. Gray had demonstrated all this long before. He stood in the place
of the architect, Stephenson only of the builder who carries out the
architect's design. Seven years only after the death of George III.
the railway line between Manchester and Liverpool was commenced, and
from its successful opening, on the 15th of September, 1830, dates the
amazing development of the present railway system.

[Illustration: "A HUNDRED YEARS AGO."


By permission of E. W. Savory, Ltd.]

The earliest idea of a steam-engine was that given by the Marquis of
Worcester, in his "Century of Inventions," in 1663, which idea he
obtained from De Caus, and reduced to action in London. The next step
was to Papin's Digester, and then to Savery's so-called "Atmospheric
Engine." This, improved by Newcomen in 1711, was introduced to drain
mines in all parts of the kingdom, but especially in the coal-mines of
the north and midland counties, and the copper mines of Cornwall. By
its means many mines long disused through the accumulation of water
were drained and made workable, and others were sunk much deeper.
Smeaton, in 1769, greatly improved this engine, which, from its rapid
working of a horizontal beam, was called by the miners a "Whimsey,"
as having a whimsical look. Watt, then a student in the University of
Glasgow, commenced a series of experiments upon it, which, between
1759 and 1782, raised the engine to a pitch of perfection which made
it applicable not only to draining water out of mines, but, by the
discovery of the rotatory motion, enabled it to propel any kind of
machinery, spin cotton, grind in mills of all kinds, and propel ships
and carriages. Watt was greatly aided in his efforts by Mr. Matthew
Boulton, and their engines were manufactured at Soho Works, near
Birmingham. They did not, however, enjoy the fruits of their patents
for protecting their inventions without many most unprincipled attempts
to invade their rights by masters of mines and others, by which they
were involved in very harassing law-suits. The first application of the
steam-engine to the machinery of a cotton-mill was at Papplewick, in
Nottinghamshire, in 1785, and the first mill built for the employment
of machinery driven by an engine was in Manchester, in 1789. The first
application of the engine to propel a vessel was at Dalswinton, on the
Clyde, in 1788, the boat being constructed by Patrick Miller, James
Taylor, and William Symington. In the following year these inventors
made a second experiment on the Forth and Clyde Canal at the Carron
Works, with perfect success, the vessel going at the rate of nearly
seven miles an hour. Symington was probably the real machinist in this
firm, and in 1802 he made a tug-boat on the Forth and Clyde Canal,
under the patronage of Lord Dundas, which was worked extremely well by
its engine. In 1807 Fulton followed up these experiments by launching
a steam-boat on the Hudson, in America, after having in vain solicited
the patronage of the British and French Governments for his enterprise.
The proposal of Fulton, submitted to the Academy of Paris, was received
with a burst of laughter, and Napoleon abandoned the project in deep
disgust at having been, as he supposed, made a dupe of by Fulton.
We have pointed out on the preceding page the period of the first
application of the steam-engine to railways.

By the marvellous aids of canals and steam-engines manufacturing power
became most immensely augmented in all directions, but especially in
the spinning and weaving of cotton goods. The machines invented by
Wyatt and Paul in 1733, and improved by Arkwright in 1767, if not
invented anew, without knowledge of Wyatt and Paul's plan of spinning
by rollers--a moot point; the spinning-jenny with seven spindles,
invented by James Hargreaves, a weaver near Blackburn, in 1767; and
the mule-jenny, combining the working of the machines of Arkwright and
Hargreaves, by Samuel Crompton, in 1779, completely superseded spinning
cotton yarn by hand. These machines were first worked by water power,
but steam power was used after the steam-engine had been invented; and
the growth of cotton-spinning became rapid beyond conception, spreading
over all Lancashire and the midland counties in a marvellous manner.
The cotton-mills of Robert Peel, in Lancashire and Staffordshire; of
the Strutts, at Belper, in Derbyshire; of Dale, at New Lanark; of
Robinson, at Papplewick; and Arkwright, at Cromford, which raised these
gentlemen to vast wealth, being only the leviathans amongst swarming
concerns of less dimensions.

To these, in 1785, the Rev. Dr. Edmund Cartwright introduced a loom
for weaving by water or steam power, which soon superseded hand-loom
weaving. In 1803 Mr. H. Horrocks greatly improved this, and from this
germ has grown up the system of weaving cottons, silks, and woollens
by machinery. Add to this the application of similar machinery to
calico-printing, and the like to weaving of lace, invented by Robert
Frost, of Nottingham, or by a working mechanic of that town named
Holmes, which afterwards received many improvements, and we have the
varied means by which the manufacturing power of England was raised
far above that of all the world; and which, reaching other countries
in spite of legislative impediments, soon established similar
manufactures in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and America.
In Great Britain alone the importation of raw cotton was increased
from 4,764,589 lbs. in 1771 to 151,000,000 lbs. in 1818; and such was
the spread of trade of all kinds from the use of machinery, that our
exports of manufactured goods in 1800, when the European nations were
incapacitated for manufacturing by Napoleon's general embargo, amounted
to £116,000,000.

Almost every other manufacture shared in this surprising impulse
from machinery and the spirit of invention. It was an age of new
creations and of unprecedented energies. In 1763 Josiah Wedgwood, of
the Staffordshire Potteries, commenced that career of improvement
in the biscuit, form, and printing of porcelain which constituted a
new era in the art. At that time the French fine pottery was so much
superior to the English that it was extensively imported. In fact, it
was a period when taste in every department of art was at the lowest
ebb. Wedgwood, being a good chemist, not only improved the body of his
earthenware, but, being a man of classical taste, introduced a grace
and elegance of form before unknown to British pottery. He invented
a new kind of composition so hard and marble-like that it resisted
both fire and acids; and in this he moulded statuettes, cameos, and
medallions from the Greek originals, of great beauty. Sir William
Hamilton having brought over from Italy a quantity of antique vases,
etc., Wedgwood benefited by them to introduce fresh forms and colouring
in his wares, and probably on this account called his pottery-works
Etruria. He had the aid of Mr. Chisholm, a practical chemist, in his
researches into the best composition and colours for his porcelain,
and his improvements laid the foundation of the great pottery trade of

Many improvements were made also in the glass manufacture during this
reign, and more would undoubtedly have been made but for the very heavy
duties upon it to help to support the ruinous wars of the period. In
1760, the first year of the reign, crown glass is said to have been
introduced. In 1763 the first glass plates for looking-glasses and
coach-windows were made at Lambeth. In 1779 flint-glass was first made;
and about that time plate-glass. The duties on different kinds of glass
at that date were about one hundred and forty thousand pounds per
annum. So oppressive were those duties that, in 1785, the St. Helens
Plate-glass Company petitioned Parliament, stating that, in consequence
of the weight of taxation, notwithstanding an expenditure of one
hundred thousand pounds, they had not been able to declare a dividend.

The introduction of the steam-engine, railroads, and canals enabled the
coal-miners during this reign to extend the supply of coals enormously.
In 1792 the coal-mines of Durham and Northumberland alone maintained
twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty persons, and employed a
capital of three million one hundred and thirty thousand pounds--a very
small amount of both people and money as compared with the workers and
capital engaged in the trade since the expansion of the manufacturing
and steam systems. The coal-fields of Durham and Northumberland extend
to nearly eight hundred square miles, but the beds in Northumberland,
Durham, Yorkshire, the Midland Counties, South of Scotland, and
Ireland, are still immense and not yet fully explored. Fresh strata are
discovered as steam power enables us to go deeper. In 1817 Sir Humphry
Davy perfected his safety-lamp, which, by means of a simple wire
gauze, enabled the miner to work amid the most explosive gases. These
lamps, however, were not able to protect the colliers from their own
carelessness, and most horrible destruction, from time to time, took
place amongst them from neglect.

With the reign of George III. commenced a series of improvements in the
manufacture of iron, which have led not only to a tenfold production
of that most useful of metals, but to changes in its quality which
before were inconceivable. Towards the end of the reign of George II.
the destruction of the forests in smelting iron-ore was so great as
to threaten their extinction, and with it the manufacture of iron in
Britain. Many manufacturers had already transferred their businesses
to Russia, where wood was abundant and cheap. It was then found that
coke made from coal was a tolerable substitute for charcoal, and, in
1760, the very first year of the reign of George III., the proprietors
of the Carron Works in Scotland began the use of pit-coal. Through
the scientific aid of Smeaton and Watt, they applied water-, and
afterwards steam-power, to increase the blast of their furnaces to make
it steady and continuous, instead of intermitting as from bellows; and
they increased the height of their chimneys. By these means, Dr. John
Roebuck, the founder of these works, became the first to produce pig
iron by the use of coal. This gave great fame to the Carron Works, and
they received large orders from Government for cannon and cannon-balls.
It was some time, however, before enough iron could be produced to meet
the increasing demand for railroads, iron bridges, etc.; and so late as
1781 fifty thousand tons were imported annually from Russia and Sweden.

[Illustration: JAMES WATT. (_After the Portrait by Sir W. Beechey,

The employment of pit-coal had not reached perfection, and in 1785
the Society of Arts offered a premium for the making of fine bar
iron with pit-coal. This object was accomplished by Mr. Cort, an
iron-founder of Gloucestershire, by exposing the pig iron on the
hearth of a reverberatory furnace to the flame of pit-coal. This
process was improved into what was called _puddling_, in puddling or
reverberatory furnaces. Cort also introduced the drawing out of iron
between cylindrical rollers; but he became ruined in his experiments,
and other iron-masters of more capital came in to reap the profit. Many
years passed before a pension was conferred on some of his children
for his services. In 1755 the whole population of Carron was only
one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four; in 1795 the workmen alone
employed in the works were one thousand, the population four thousand,
when the foundry had five blast furnaces, sixteen air furnaces, three
cupola furnaces, and consumed one hundred and thirty-six tons of coals
daily. It supplied to the Government eleven thousand tons annually
of cannon, mortars, shot, shells, etc.; to the East India Company
six thousand tons; and to all customers together twenty-six thousand
tons. The growth of the iron trade in Great Britain, through these
improvements, may be seen from the fact that in 1802 there were one
hundred and sixty-eight blast furnaces, producing two hundred and
twenty thousand tons of iron; in 1820 the annual production of iron
was four hundred thousand tons; in 1845 the production was calculated
at twice that amount--that is, in twenty-five years the production
had doubled itself. In 1771 the use of wire ropes, instead of hempen
ones, was suggested by M. Bougainville, and this was made a fact by
Captain Brown, in 1811. Before this, in 1800, Mr. Mushet, of Glasgow,
discovered the art of converting malleable iron, or iron ore, into cast
steel; and in 1804 Samuel Lucas, of Sheffield, further extended the
benefit by the discovery of a mode of converting any castings from
pig iron at once into malleable iron, or cast steel, so that knives,
forks, snuffers, scythes, and all kinds of articles, were converted
into steel, "without any alterative process whatever between the blast
furnace and the melting-pot." In 1815 it was calculated that two
hundred thousand persons were employed in manufacturing articles of
iron, the annual value of which was ten million pounds.

With the war the manufacture of guns and arms of all kinds was greatly
increased, and several important improvements were made in the
construction of gun-barrels and their breeches. All kinds of cutlery
were improved, but, at the same time, both Government, by contractors,
and foreign countries, by merchants, were imposed on by articles
that had more show than use, to the serious injury of the British
reputation. Knives and razors were sent out of mere iron, and our
pioneers and sappers and miners were often supplied with axes, picks,
and shovels more resembling lead than iron.

Great attention during this reign was devoted to the manufacturing
of clocks and watches. To such eminence had the English manufacture
of watches arrived, that in 1799 it was calculated that the value of
watches and marine chronometers alone manufactured in and around London
amounted to a million of money yearly. In 1762 John Harrison claimed
the reward offered by Act of Parliament for a chronometer which would
ascertain the longitude within sixty, forty, or thirty miles. For the
least accurate of these the reward was ten thousand pounds, for the
next more accurate fifteen thousand pounds, and for the best twenty
thousand pounds. Harrison produced a chronometer which, after two
voyages to the West Indies, entitled him to the highest prize, but a
fresh Act of Parliament was passed, refusing him more than two thousand
five hundred pounds until he had made known the principle of his
invention, and assigned his chronometer for the public use. Even when
these new terms were complied with he was only to receive ten thousand
pounds, and the remainder on the correctness of the chronometer having
been sufficiently tested. Harrison very justly complained of these
new stipulations, and of the delays thus interposed; but in 1767,
nine years before his decease, he obtained the full amount of the
premium. In 1774 a premium of five thousand pounds was offered by Act
of Parliament for a chronometer that should ascertain the longitude
within one degree of a great circle, or sixty geographical miles;
seven thousand five hundred pounds for one that would ascertain the
longitude within two-thirds of that distance; and ten thousand pounds
for one that would ascertain it within half a degree. This called
out the efforts of various competitors--Harrison, Meadge, Kendal,
Coombe, and numbers of others. In 1777 Meadge produced two, which were
submitted to the test of the Astronomer-Royal, Dr. Maskelyne, and
pronounced unfavourably upon; but Meadge petitioned Parliament against
this decision, and, on the report of a committee on his chronometers,
he was awarded a premium of two thousand five hundred pounds.

In 1783 the English carriage-builders, who had before been considered
inferior in elegance to the French makers, began to receive large
orders from Paris itself. In 1759 Walter Taylor and son introduced
machinery for cutting blocks, sheaves, and pins for ships. Saw-mills
were also introduced into Great Britain, in 1767, by Mr. Dingley, of

In the art of printing, the process of stereotyping (originally
invented by William Ged) was re-invented by Mr. Tulloch, in 1780. In
1801 lithography was introduced into England from Germany, but was not
much used till Mr. Ackermann began to employ it, in 1817. In 1814 steam
was first applied to printing in the _Times_ office.

The art of coining received, like other things, a new facility and
perfection from the application of the steam-engine. Messrs. Boulton
and Watt, at the Soho Works, set up machinery, in 1788, which rolled
out the metal, cut out the blanks, or circular pieces, shook them in
bags to take off the rough edges, and stamped the coins--in higher
perfection than ever before attained--at the rate of from thirty to
forty thousand per hour.

To this prolific reign belongs also the discovery of coal-gas. In 1792
William Murdoch, an engineer, lighted his own house with it in Redruth,
in Cornwall. The same gentleman illuminated the Soho Works of Messrs.
Boulton and Watt with it at the Peace of Amiens, in 1802; and in the
year 1804 some of the cotton mills in Manchester began to use it. In
1807 it was used in Golden Lane, in London; in 1809 Mr. Winsor, a
German, lit up Pall Mall with it; and in 1813 the first chartered gas
company was established in London, and gas soon spread through all the
large towns.

In astronomy, Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781; in 1802
he published, in the "Philosophical Transactions," his catalogue of
five hundred new nebulæ and nebulous stars; and in 1803 announced his
discovery of the motion of double stars round each other. In chemistry,
Sir Humphry Davy, in 1807, extracted their metallic bases from the
fixed alkalies; in 1808 demonstrated the same fact as it regarded
the alkaline earths; in 1811 discovered the true nature of chlorine;
in 1815 invented his safety lamp; and in 1817 (as already mentioned)
brought it to perfection. In 1804 Leslie published discoveries of the
nature and properties of heat; in 1808 Dalton announced his atomic
theory; and in 1814 Wollaston completed its development and proof.

Amongst the fine arts, the first to which we direct attention, that
is, music, was warmly patronised by the Royal Family, and therefore
maintained the status which it had acquired in the last reign, though
it produced no great original genius. Church music continued to be
cultivated, and the anthems of Kent, published in 1773, and those of
Nares, published in 1778, were of much merit. To these we may add the
services and anthems of Doctors Hayes, Dupuis, Arnold, Cooke, Ayrton,
and of Mr. Battishill. The "Shunamite Woman," an oratorio by Arnold,
appeared at a later date, as well as the anthems and services of Dr.

In the early part of the reign the English operas of Augustine Arne,
"Artaxerxes" and "Love in a Village"--the former principally a
translation from Metastasio--were much admired. For the rest, there
were numbers of lovers and professors of the art, both in sacred,
operatic, and glee music. The Catch Club was formed in 1761, and
zealously supported, as well as the Concerts of Ancient Music in 1776.
Under the patronage of this society, and particularly of his Majesty,
took place the celebrated Handel "Commemoration" in Westminster Abbey,
in May and June of 1784. During the early part of the reign, too,
appeared several distinguished works in this department. At the head
of these stood the "Histories of Music," by Sir John Hawkins and Dr.
Burney; Dibdin's "Musical Tour;" Dr. John Browne's "Dissertation on
Poetry and Music;" the "Letters" of Jackson, of Exeter; and Mason's
"Essays on Church Music." In the later portion of the reign there
was much love of music, but little original composition, except for
the stage, where Arnold, Shield, Storace, and Dibdin produced the
most delightful compositions. Arnold's "Castle of Andalusia," "Inkle
and Yarico," "The Surrender of Calais," and "The Mountaineers;" and
Shield's "Rosina," "The Poor Soldier," "The Woodman," and "The
Farmer," are universally admired. The sea songs of Charles Dibdin are
as imperishable as the British navy, to which they have given a renown
of its own. He wrote about one thousand four hundred songs, thirty
dramatic pieces, "A Musical Tour," and a "History of the Stage," and
was allowed, after all, to die in deep poverty, after charming the
world for half a century. During the latter part of the reign music
was in much esteem, and musical meetings in various parts of the
country--in London, the opera, Ancient Concerts, and performances by
foreign composers, such as Handel's "Messiah," Beethoven's "Mount of
Olives," Mozart's opera of "Don Giovanni," etc.--were flocked to, but
little native genius appeared.

During this reign architecture was in a state of transition, or,
rather, revolution, running through the Palladian, the Roman, the
Greek, and into the Gothic, with a rapidity which denoted the unsettled
ideas on the subject. At the commencement of the reign James Paine
and John Carr were the prevailing architects. Worksop Manor, since
pulled down, and Keddlestone, in Derbyshire, were the work of Paine;
but Robert Adam, an advocate for a Roman style, completed Keddlestone.
Carr built Harewood House, and others of a like character, chiefly
remarkable for Grecian porticos attached to buildings of no style
whatever. The Woods, of Bath, employed a spurious Grecian style in
the Crescent in that city, Queen's Square, the Pounds, etc., which,
however, acquired a certain splendour by their extent and _tout
ensemble_. To these succeeded Robert Taylor, the architect of the Bank
of England and other public buildings, in a manner half Italian, half
Roman. Sir William Chambers, of more purely Italian taste, has left
us Somerset House as a noble specimen of his talent. Robert and James
Adam erected numerous works in the semi-Roman semi-Italian style, as
Caenwood House, at Highgate, Portland Place, and the screen at the
Admiralty. In Portland Place Robert Adam set the example of giving the
space necessary for a great metropolis. James Wyatt, who succeeded
Chambers as Surveyor-General in 1800, destined to leave extensive
traces of his art, commenced his career by the erection of the
Pantheon, London, in the classical style, and then took up the Gothic
style, which had begun to have its admirers, and in which James Essex
had already distinguished himself by his restoration of the lantern of
Ely Cathedral, and in other works at Cambridge. Wyatt was employed to
restore some of the principal colleges at Oxford, and to do the same
work for the cathedral of Salisbury and Windsor Castle. In these he
showed that he had penetrated to a certain extent into the principles
of that order of architecture, but was far from having completely
mastered them. A greater failure was his erection of Fonthill Abbey,
for Beckford, the author of "Vathek," where he made a medley of half
an abbey, half a castle, with a huge central church tower, so little
based on the knowledge of the Gothic architects that in a few years
the tower fell. Wyatt, however, was a man of enterprising genius.
Co-temporary with Wyatt, George Dance made a much less happy attempt in
Gothic in the front of Guildhall, London; but he built Newgate and St.
Luke's Hospital in a very appropriate style. One of the most elegant
erections at this period was the Italian Opera House, by a foreigner,
Novosielsky, in 1789. Nor must we omit here the publication of John
Gwynn's "London and Westminster Improved," in 1766, by which he led
the way to the extensive opening up of narrow streets, and throwing
out of fresh bridges, areas, and thoroughfares, which have been since
realised, or which are still in progress.

[Illustration: _Schoolmaster_ _Lady_ _Parson_ _Gentleman_ _Servant_




Sir John Soane, who had been a pupil of Dance, Holland, and Sir William
Chambers, introduced a more purely Greek style, and his achievements
may be seen in Dulwich Gallery and Trinity Church, Marylebone. The most
eminent disciples of this school were William Wilkins and Sir Robert
Smirke. Wilkins was a servile copyist, and the National Gallery is the
chief monument of his skill, or want of it. Sir Robert Smirke was of a
higher order, and his erection of Covent Garden Theatre, the Mint, the
Post Office, the College of Physicians, the law courts at Gloucester,
Lowther Castle, etc., speak for themselves. Nash, the contemporary
and successor of these architects, has left us abundance of his
Græco-Romano-Italian medleys in the church in Langham Place, Regent's
Park, and Buckingham Palace. The great merit of Nash was, that, like
the brothers Adam, he gave us space, and showed, as in Regent's Park,
what was needed for an immense metropolis. Towards the end of the
reign Gothic architecture was more cultivated, and one of Wyatt's
last works was Ashridge House, in Buckinghamshire, a vast and stately
Gothic pile, imposing in general effect, but far from pure in style.
Still less so was Eaton Hall, in Cheshire, built by William Pordon;
but the real Anglo-Gothic was now receiving the true development of
its principles by the works of James Bentham, Carter, John Britton;
and, finally, Thomas Rickman, in 1816, published his "Attempt to
Discriminate the Styles of English Architecture," which placed these
principles perspicuously before the public.

[Illustration: SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. (_After the Portrait by Himself._)]

Under Sir Joshua Reynolds a perfect revolution in the art of painting,
as practised in England, was effected. He threw aside past traditional
fashions, and returned to nature; and his portraits at once excited the
consternation of the painters of the day, and placed him in the very
first rank of artists. In 1768 was established the Royal Academy, and
amongst its foreign members were Benjamin West and Angelica Kauffmann.
West produced all his great works in England, and, however much they
may now be criticised, they showed an advance on past art in England,
and had the merit of introducing modern costume for modern heroes,
as in the "Death of General Wolfe," contrary to the advice of even
Reynolds himself. Barry made a spasmodic attempt to lead the public
back to what he deemed the classical, but in vain; and the successive
appearance of Wilson, Gainsborough, and Opie, in different styles,
but all genuinely English, established the public in its attachment
to the true English school. Wilson, during his lifetime, indeed, was
neglected, and died in poverty; but the next generation made the
_amende_ to his fame, though too late for his own enjoyment of it.
To Paul Sandby we owe the origin of the water-colour school, which
afterwards grew so extensive and so rich in production. Amongst eminent
painters of this portion of the reign we must mention Wright of Derby,
Mortimer, Stubbs and Sawrey, animal painters, and Copley, who, though
an American by birth, produced most of his works in England.

Of water-colour painters who extended the fame of the school were
Payne, Cozens, Glover, Girtin, and Turner; but Turner soon deserted
water for oil. In 1804 the Water-Colour Society was established,
and Turner was not amongst its numbers, having already gone over to
oil-painting; but there were Varley, Barrett, Hills, Rigaud, and
Pocock. Wild and Pugin were exhibitors of architectural drawings at
its exhibitions. Afterwards came Francia, Westall, Uwins, De Wint,
Mackenzie, Copley Fielding, Robson, Prout, Gandy, and Bonington. In
their rear, but extending beyond the reign, appeared a brilliant host.

In general art the names of Fuseli, Northcote, and Stothard stand
eminent, and were the foremost contributors to Alderman Boydell's
celebrated Shakespeare Gallery. There were also Hoppner, Beechey,
Morland; in Scotland, Sir William Allan and Sir Henry Raeburn. In
caricature Gillray was a worthy successor to Hogarth.

In 1805 a great step in British painting was made by the establishment
of the British Institution; and in 1813 this institution opened the
National Gallery. The annual exhibitions soon became enriched by the
consummate works of Hilton, Etty, Haydon, Briggs, Sir Thomas Lawrence
(in elegant portraits), Phillips, Shee, Carpenter, Harlow, Wilkie,
Mulready, Turner, Calcot, Collins, Landseer, Martin, Danby, Howard,
Cooper, Leslie, and Hone. No age in England had produced so illustrious
a constellation of painters, as varied in character as they were
masterly in artistic power.

The art of sculpture, like that of painting, took a new spring in this
reign, but the early part of it was encumbered by the tasteless works
of Wilton, Read, and Taylor. It remained for the genius of Banks,
Nollekens, Bacon, Baily, Behnes, and Chantrey, to place sculpture on
its proper elevation in England.

To the art of engraving Woollett and Strange gave a first-rate
eminence, and were successfully followed by Browne, Byrne, Rosker, and
Major. In mezzotint M. Ardell admirably rendered the portraits of Sir
Joshua Reynolds; and Smith, Green, Thomas, and Watson also excelled in
this class of engraving. In engravings for books Heath and Angus stand
pre-eminent; and Boydell's "Shakespeare" spread the taste, though his
illustrations were chiefly done in the inferior style of dot engraving.
In line engraving the names of Sharp, Sherwin, Fittler, Anker Smith,
Neagle, Lowry, Turrell, Scott, and others, are of high repute. In
landscape engraving no names, in the middle period of the reign, stood
more prominent than those of Middiman, Watt, Angus, Milton, Pouncey,
Peak, and Taylor.

There arose a second school of mezzotint engravers, the chief of whom
were Earlom, Reynolds, Daniell, Sutherland, and Westall. The strange
but intellectual Blake was both painter and his own engraver, in a
style of his own. Towards the end of the reign flourished, chiefly in
architectural illustrations, Le Keux, John and Henry, pupils of Bazire,
Roffe, Ransom, and Scott; in landscape, William and George Cooke,
William and Edward Finden, Byrne, and Pye; in portrait, Charles and
James Heath, John Taylor, Skelton, Burnet, Bromley, Robinson, Warren,
and Lewis.

In wood engraving, Thomas Bewick, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, revived the
art, and threw such fascination into it by the exquisite tail-pieces
in his "Natural History," that his name will always be associated with
this style of engraving.

Of the coinage of this reign little is to be said. It was of the most
contemptible character till Boulton and Watt, as already mentioned,
struck the copper pence in 1797 in a superior style. In 1818 was issued
a gold and silver coinage, which was entrusted to a foreign artist,
Pistrucci, and which was turned out of very unequal merit. Flaxman
would have produced admirable designs, and there was a medallist of
high talent, Thomas Wyon, who would have executed these designs most
ably. In fact, the best part of the silver coinage was produced by
Wyon, from the designs of Pistrucci.

In the early portion of the reign the manners and customs differed
little from those described in the preceding one. There was great
dissipation, and even coarseness of manners, amongst the nobility and
gentry. It was the custom to drink to intoxication at dinners, and
swearing still garnished the language of the wealthy as well as of the
low. Balls, routs, the opera, the theatre, with Vauxhall and Ranelagh,
filled up the time of the fashionable, and gaming was carried to an
extraordinary extent. Amongst our leading statesmen Charles Fox was
famous for this habit. Duelling was equally common, and infidelity
amongst fashionable people was of notorious prevalence. George III.
and his queen did what they could to discourage this looseness of
morals, and to set a different example; but the decorum of the Court
was long in passing into the wealthy classes around it. An affluent
middle class was fast mingling with the old nobility, and this brought
some degree of sobriety and public decency with it. Amongst the lower
classes dog-, cock-, and bull-fights were, during a great part of
the reign, the chief amusements, and the rudest manners continued to
prevail, because there was next to no education. Wesley, Whitefield,
and their followers, were the first to break into this condition of
heathenism. Robberies and murders abounded both in town and country,
and the police was of a very defective character. For the most part
there was none but the parish constable. The novels of Fielding and
Smollett are pictures of the rudeness and profligacy of these times.
The resources in the country of books and newspapers were few, and the
pot-house supplied the necessary excitement. The clergy were of a very
low tone, or were non-resident, and the farmers, getting rich, aped the
gentlemen, followed the hounds, and ended the day with a carouse.

Gradually, however, a more refined tone was diffusing itself. The
example of the head of the nation had not been without its effect.
The higher classes abandoned Ranelagh and Vauxhall to the middle and
lower classes, if they did not abandon their theatre, opera, and rout.
But the theatres, too, became more decorous, and the spread of what
had been called Methodism began to reach the higher classes through
such men as Wilberforce, and such women as the Countess of Huntingdon
and Hannah More. The most palpable drawback to this better state of
sentiment and manners was the profligacy of the Prince of Wales and
his associates. But towards the end of the reign a decided improvement
in both manners and morals had taken place. The momentous events
passing over the world, and in which Great Britain had the principal
agency, seemed to have rooted out much frivolity, and given a soberer
and higher tone to the public mind. The spread of a purer and more
humane literature baptised the community with a new and better spirit;
art added its refinements, and religion its restraints. The efforts
to introduce education amongst the people had begun, and the lowest
amusements of dog-fighting, cock-fighting, and bull-baiting were
discouraged and put down. The new birth of science, art, literature,
and manufactures was accompanied by a new birth of morals, taste, and
sentiment, and this, happily, was a true birth; and the growth of what
was then born has been proceeding ever since.

In the opening of the reign the gentlemen retained the full-skirted
coat, with huge cuffs, the cocked-hats and knee-breeches of the former
period. Pigtails were universal, and the more foppish set up their
hair in a high peak, like the women. The ladies had their hair turned
up on frames half a yard high, and this hairy mountain was ornamented
with strings of pearls or diamonds, or surmounted with a huge cap edged
with lace. They wore their waists as long as possible, with a peaked
stomacher, and hanging sleeves of Mecklenburg lace. Their gowns were of
the richest silks, satins, and brocades, their skirts flowing; and the
fan was an indispensable article.

In the army the cocked-hat and pigtail at first prevailed, but these
were soon dismissed, as well as the great jack-boots of the cavalry.
With the employment of the Hessian soldiers in the American war,
and afterwards on the Continent, there prevailed amongst English
gentlemen the Hessian boot; instead of the _queue_, cropped hair and
close-fitting small hats became the vogue. Powdering became profuse,
both amongst ladies and gentlemen, till Pitt taxed it, when it
vanished, except from the heads of particularly positive old gentlemen
and servants.

During the French war, when the Paris fashions were intercepted, much
variety in the fashion of dress took place amongst both gentlemen and
ladies; but before the peace had arrived the most tasteless costumes
had become general, and the waists of both sexes were elevated nearly
to their shoulders. The tight skirts and short waists of the ladies
gave them the most uncouth aspect imaginable; and the cut-away coats
and chimneypot hats of the gentlemen were by no means more graceful.
The military costume had undergone an equally complete revolution, and
with no better success.

The changes in furniture were not remarkable. During the French war a
rage for furniture on the classic model had taken place; but on the
return of peace Paris fashions were restored. Rosewood superseded
mahogany, and a more easy and luxurious style of sofa and couch was
adopted. There came also Pembroke tables, Argand lamps, register
stoves, Venetian and spring blinds, a variety of ladies' work-tables
and whatnots; and a more tasteful disposition of curtains and
ornamental articles purchased on the Continent.



    Accession of George IV.--Meeting of Parliament--General
    Election--Opening of the New Session--Dulness of Affairs--Brougham
    on Education--Queen Caroline--Omission of her Name from the
    Liturgy--She rejects the King's Proposals, and arrives in
    England--Attempts at a Compromise--The King orders an Inquiry--The
    Secret Committee--The Bill of Pains and Penalties--Arrival of
    the Queen in the House of Lords--Discussions on the Form of
    Procedure--Speeches of Denman and the Attorney-General--Evidence
    for the Prosecution--Brougham's Speech--Abandonment of the
    Bill--General Rejoicings--Violence of Party Feeling--Popularity
    of the Queen--Her Claim to be crowned refused--The Queen's
    Attempt to enter the Abbey--Indiscretion of the Act--The
    Coronation and the Banquet--The subsequent Scramble--Death
    of the Queen--Departure of her Body--The King's Visit to
    Ireland--A Royal Oration and its enthusiastic Reception--The
    King and Lady Conyngham--Changes in the Government--Discontent
    of Eldon--Wellesley in Ireland--Alarming State of the
    Country--Canning's Speech on Catholic Emancipation--Parliamentary
    Reform--Agricultural Distress and Finance--Eldon's Outbreak on
    the Marriage Bill--Suicide of Lord Londonderry--Scene at his
    Funeral--Visit of George IV. to Scotland--Loyalty of Sir Walter
    Scott--Account of the Festivities--Peel's Letter to Scott--Return
    of the King--Canning takes the Foreign Office and Leadership of
    the House of Commons--Huskisson joins the Cabinet--The Duke of
    Wellington sent to Verona--His Instructions--Principles of the Holy
    Alliance--The Spanish Colonies--French Intervention in Spain--The
    Duke's Remonstrances with the French King--His Interview with the
    Czar--The Congress of Verona--Failure of Wellington to prevent
    Intervention in Spain--Vindication of Canning's Policy in the
    Commons--He calls the New World into Existence.

George III. expired on the 29th of January, 1820. Although it was
Sunday, both Houses of Parliament met according to the requisition of
the statute, 6 Anne c. 7. Lord Eldon merely appeared on the woolsack;
and, as soon as prayers were read, the House of Peers was adjourned.
The same day a council was held at Carlton House, when the usual
ceremonies were observed, as upon the commencement of a new reign,
although George IV. had been virtually king during the period of the
Regency. On this occasion the Ministers delivered up the emblems of
their different offices, and were all graciously reappointed. Lord
Eldon, in a letter to his daughter, felicitates himself on having
been thus placed "in the very singular situation, that of a third
Chancellorship." But Lord Campbell remarks that he was probably not
aware that one of his predecessors had been Chancellor five times. His
immediate successor had been four times Chancellor, and Lord Cottenham
three times. "It is amusing," says Lord Campbell, "to observe how
he enhances the delight he felt at the commencement of this third
Chancellorship by protestations that he was reluctantly induced again
to accept the worthless bauble, lest, by declining it, he should be
chargeable with ingratitude." The Chancellor made similar protestations
of reluctance and humility when George IV., grateful for his services
in connection with the prosecution of the queen, pressed upon him
accumulated honours; giving him, at the same time, two additional steps
in the peerage, as Viscount Encombe and Earl of Eldon--honours which,
he said, he had repeatedly declined to accept when offered by George

Parliament again met for a few days, but only to vote Addresses of
condolence and congratulation, as a dissolution had been determined
on. The Marquis of Lansdowne pointed out that there was not the usual
reason for a dissolution which occurred upon a demise of the Crown; but
Lord Eldon explained that, at common law, the Parliament died with the
Sovereign in whose name it was called; and although, by the statute
of William III., it could sit six months longer, it was liable to be
dissolved sooner; and constitutionally it ought to be dissolved as
soon as public business would allow; so that noble lords who started
any business to delay the dissolution would be obstructing the due
exercise of the Royal Prerogative. He, as Lord Commissioner, therefore,
concluded the Session by delivering the Royal Speech, which deplored
the loss of a Sovereign, the common father of all his people, and
praised the prudence and firmness with which the Lords and Commons had
counteracted the designs of the disaffected.

The general election was, on the whole, favourable to the Government;
the forces of Conservatism being roused into activity by the violent
democratic tendencies of the times, and by the threats of revolution.
The new Parliament met on the 21st of April. Mr. Manners Sutton was
re-elected Speaker. A week was occupied in swearing in the members,
and the Session was opened on the 27th by a Speech from the king, the
vagueness of which gave no ground for an amendment to the Address in
either House. In the old roll of members one illustrious name was
found, borne by a statesman who was never more to take his seat in
the House. Henry Grattan expired (June 4) soon after the Session
commenced. Sir James Mackintosh, in moving a new writ for Dublin, which
Grattan had represented for many years, observed "that he was, perhaps,
the only man recorded in history who had obtained equal fame and
influence in two assemblies differing from each other in such essential
respects as the English and Irish Parliaments."

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF GEORGE IV.]

The Session promised for some weeks to be very dull; no subjects more
stirring being brought forward or announced than the settlement of the
Civil List, the discharge of insolvent debtors, the suppression of
Sunday newspapers, and the reading of the Athanasian Creed. To one of
those subjects, the Civil List, Lord Eldon thus jocosely alluded in
a letter to his daughter:--"Our royal master seems to have got into
temper again, as far as I could judge from his conversation with me
this morning. He has been pretty well disposed to part with us all,
because we would not make additions to his revenue. This we thought
conscientiously we could not do in the present state of the country,
and of the distresses of the middle and lower orders of the people. To
which we might add, too, that of the higher orders."

But there was one subject of general and permanent interest brought
under the notice of the House of Commons. Mr. Henry Brougham made
an important speech on the great and difficult subject of Popular
Education, which he continued to advocate, with so much power and
success, throughout the whole of his lengthened and brilliant career.
He stated that there were then twelve thousand parishes or chapelries
in England; of these three thousand five hundred had not a vestige
of a school, and the people had no more means of education than the
Hottentots or Kaffirs. Of the remainder, there were five thousand
five hundred unendowed, depending entirely on the casual and fleeting
support of the parents of the children attending them. The number
of children receiving education at all the schools, week-day and
Sunday, was seven hundred thousand. Estimating the number educated
at home at fifty thousand, the whole number then under instruction
would be seven hundred and fifty thousand--about one-fifteenth of the
entire population. In Scotland the proportion at that time was about
one-tenth; in Holland and Prussia the same; in Switzerland one-eighth.
France was then at the bottom of the scale, only one-twenty-eighth
of the population being under instruction. Mr. Brougham proposed a
school-rate for England, according to the American plan.

The indisposition of Parliament to attend to the ordinary business of
the legislature, however important and pressing any portion of it might
be considered in other circumstances, may be easily accounted for. One
subject engrossed the minds of all men at this time, and agitated the
nation to a depth and extent altogether unprecedented in our history.
The story of Caroline of Brunswick is one of the saddest and most
romantic in the annals of the Queens of England. When the Prince Regent
became king, his wife, as a matter of course, became the rightful
Queen of England. But her husband had resolved that she should not
be queen; and, rather than not have his way in this, he was ready to
imperil his throne. She was as fully entitled to enjoy the well-defined
rank and position that devolved upon her by the laws of the country,
as he was to wear his crown, without regard to personal character. He
would break the marriage tie, if he could; but, failing that, he was
determined to degrade the queen by bringing against her the foulest
charges of immorality. She might, indeed, have escaped a trial on
these charges if she had consented to remain abroad, and had agreed to
forego any title that would have connected her with the Royal Family
of England. Till the death of George III., who had always been her
steady friend, she had been prayed for in the liturgy as the Princess
of Wales. There was now no Princess of Wales, and the king insisted
that she should not be prayed for at all. His Ministers, against their
own convictions--against what they well knew to be the almost unanimous
feeling of the nation--weakly yielded to the arbitrary will of their
licentious Sovereign. They and their apologists attempted to uphold
this conduct by alleging that she was prayed for under the words,
"the rest of the Royal Family." But Mr. Denman, who defended her,
afterwards observed with more truth that the general prayer in which
she was embraced was, "For all that are desolate and oppressed." The
moment the news of this outrage reached the queen, she resolved, with
characteristic spirit and determination, to come at once to England and
assert her rights in person. The Ministers flattered themselves that
this was a vain boast, and that, conscious of guilt, her courage would
fail her.

On the 3rd of May George received addresses at Carlton House, and on
the 10th he held his first levee since his accession to the Throne, at
which nearly eighteen hundred persons of distinction were present, who
testified their attachment to his person in the most gratifying manner.
The families of the great political party that formed and supported
his Government affected to treat the queen's pretensions with a quiet
disdain that evinced their confidence in the unbounded loyalty of the
nation. But their eyes were soon opened; and in a few weeks Ministers
sat abashed upon the Treasury benches as if conscious that they were
driving the vessel of the Constitution upon a rock, subservient to
the tyranny of their master. The Liberal party were vehement in their
denunciations, and the leading Whigs, whether from policy or a sense of
duty, came forward as the champions of the queen's rights. The people
were all enthusiastic in her favour, and wild with excitement.

On the 1st of June her Majesty arrived at St. Omer, intending to embark
at Calais without delay for England. She wrote a letter to the Prime
Minister, the Earl of Liverpool, commanding him to prepare a palace in
London for her reception; another to Lord Melville, to send a yacht
to carry her across the Channel to Dover; and a third to the Duke of
York, repeating both demands, and complaining of the treatment she had
received. Two days later Lord Hutchinson, with Mr. Brougham, who was
her legal adviser, arrived with a proposition from the king, offering
her fifty thousand pounds a year for life if she would remain on the
Continent, and relinquish her claims as Queen of England. The queen
instantly and indignantly rejected the offer, and started for England
with all haste, having dismissed her foreign suite, including Bergami,
her chamberlain, and the prime cause of the scandal that attached to
her name. She would not even be dissuaded by Mr. Brougham, who most
earnestly implored her to refrain from rushing into certain trouble
and possible danger; or, at least, to delay taking the step until Lord
Hutchinson should have received fresh instructions. She was peremptory,
and sailed at once for Dover, accompanied by Lady Anne Hamilton and
Alderman Wood, landing on the 6th of June. As this event was quite
unexpected by Government, the commandant, having had no orders to the
contrary, received her with a royal salute. The beach was covered
with people, who welcomed her with shouts of enthusiasm. From Dover
to London her journey was a continued ovation. In London the whole
population seemed to turn out in a delirium of joy and triumph, which
reached its climax as the procession passed Carlton House. No residence
having been provided for her by the Government, she proceeded to the
house of Alderman Wood in Audley Street.

The danger of civil war was felt to be so great that earnest attempts
were made to conciliate the queen, and to effect a compromise. Mr.
Wilberforce was very zealous in this matter. He wrote to the king,
entreating him to restore the queen's name to the liturgy. This was a
vital point. The Ministry had expressed their intention to resign if
this must be done. Mr. Wilberforce headed a deputation from the House
of Commons, who proceeded to her residence, in full court costume.
He describes her manner as "extremely dignified, but very stern and
haughty." He got no thanks from either party for his attempts at
negotiation. He was very much abused by Cobbett and other writers
on the popular side. Mr. Brougham and Mr. Denman met the Duke of
Wellington and Lord Castlereagh on the 15th of June to discuss an
adjustment; when it was laid down, as a preliminary, that the queen
must not be understood to admit, nor the king to retract, anything; and
that the questions to be examined were--the future residence of the
queen; her title, when travelling on the Continent; the non-exercise
of certain rights of patronage in England; and the income to be
assigned to her for life. This fourth topic the queen desired might
be altogether laid aside in these conferences; and the differences
which arose upon the first proposition prevented any discussion on the
second and third. They suggested that her Majesty should be officially
introduced by the king's Ministers abroad to foreign Courts, or, at
least, to the Court of some one state which she might select for her
residence; and that her name should be restored to the liturgy, or
something conceded by way of equivalent, the nature of which, however,
was not specified by her negotiators. It was answered that, on the
subject of the liturgy, there could be no change of what had been
resolved; that, with respect to her residence in any foreign state,
the king, although he could not properly require of any foreign Power
to receive at its Court any person not received at the Court of
England, would, however, cause official notification to be made of her
legal character as queen; and that a king's yacht, or a ship of war,
should be provided to convey her to the port she might select. These
conditions were wholly declined by the queen, and on the 19th of June
the negotiations were broken off. On the 22nd two resolutions were
passed by the House of Commons, declaring their opinion that, when such
large advances had been made toward an adjustment, her Majesty, by
yielding to the wishes of the House, and forbearing to press further
the propositions on which a material difference yet remained, would not
be understood as shrinking from inquiry, but only as proving her desire
to acquiesce in the authority of Parliament.

All attempts at negotiation having failed, sealed green bags were laid
upon the table of the House of Lords and of the House of Commons,
with a message from the king to the effect that in consequence of the
arrival of the queen he had communicated certain papers respecting
her conduct, which he recommended to their immediate and serious
attention. The bags contained documents and evidence connected with
a commission sent in 1818 to Milan and other places to investigate
charges--or rather to collect evidence to sustain charges which had
been made against the Princess of Wales. The principal of these charges
was that she had been guilty of adultery with a person named Bergami,
whom she had employed as a courier, and afterwards raised to the
position of her chamberlain and companion. The commission was under the
direction of Sir John Leach, afterwards Vice-Chancellor.

The Crown had resolved to proceed against the queen by a Bill of
Pains and Penalties, the introduction of which was preceded by the
appointment of a secret committee, to perform functions somewhat
analogous to those of a grand jury in finding bills against accused
parties. Mr. Brougham earnestly protested against the appointment of a
secret committee, which was opposed by Lords Lansdowne and Holland. The
course was explained and defended by the Lord Chancellor, who said that
the object of Ministers in proposing a secret committee was to prevent
injustice towards the accused; that committee would not be permitted
to pronounce a decision; it would merely find, like a grand jury, that
matter of accusation did or did not exist; such matter, even if found
to have existence, could not be the subject of judicial proceeding,
strictly so called. The offence of a queen consort, or a Princess
Consort of Wales, committing adultery with a person owing allegiance
to the British Crown would be that of a principal in high treason,
because by statute it was high treason in him; and as accessories in
high treason are principals, she would thus be guilty of high treason
as a principal; but as the act of a person owing no allegiance to the
British Crown could not be high treason in him, so neither could a
princess be guilty of that crime merely by being an accessory to such a
person's act. Yet although, for this reason, there could be no judicial
proceeding in such a case, there might be a legislative one; and the
existence or non-existence of grounds for such legislative proceeding
was a matter into which it would be fit that a secret committee should
inquire. In no case could injustice be done, because that committee's
decision would not be final. There might be differences of opinion
about the best mode of proceeding, but, for God's sake, said the Lord
Chancellor, let it be understood that they all had the same object
in view, and that their difference was only about the best mode of

Mr. Canning, who had been on terms of intimacy with her Majesty,
declined to take any part in the proceedings, declaring that nothing
would induce him to do anything calculated to reflect upon the honour
and virtue of the queen. The queen intimated to the Lord Chancellor
that she meant to come in person to the House of Lords when her case
should next be discussed there. He answered that he would not permit
her to enter without the authority of the House, for which she must
previously apply. She then desired that he would deliver a message to
the House in her name, which he declined, stating that "the House did
not receive messages from anybody but the king, unless they were sent
as answers to Addresses from the House." The petition was presented by
Lord Dacre, on which occasion the Lord Chancellor declared that he had
no objection to its being submitted to the consideration of the House,
adding that "he would sooner suffer death than admit any abatement of
the principle that a person accused is not therefore to be considered
guilty." Mr. Brougham and Mr. Denman were then called in to support
the petition, which prayed that their lordships would not prosecute a
secret inquiry against her. The powerful pleading of these two orators
had an immense effect upon the public mind. On the following day Lord
Grey moved that the order for the appointment of a secret committee
should be discharged. His motion was negatived by a majority of one
hundred and two to forty-seven. This was the first division on the
proceedings against the queen, and so large a majority naturally gave
great confidence to the Government. The secret committee accordingly
set to work, opened the green bag, and examined the charges. On the 4th
of July they brought in their report, which stated "that allegations
supported by the concurrent testimony of a great number of persons in
various situations of life, and residing in different parts of Europe,
appeared to be calculated so deeply to affect the character of the
queen, the dignity of the Crown, and the moral feeling and honour of
the country, that it was indispensable that they should become the
subject of a solemn inquiry, which would best be effected in the course
of a legislative proceeding." On the 5th Lord Liverpool introduced the
Bill of Pains and Penalties against her Majesty, which, having recited
in the preamble that she carried on an adulterous intercourse with
Bergami, her menial servant, enacted "that she should be degraded from
her station and title of queen, and that her marriage with the king
should be dissolved." Counsel were again heard against that mode of
proceeding, a second reading was set down for the 17th of August, when
the preamble was to be proved, and the trial to begin.

The memorable 17th of August arrived, and the curtain was raised on
a new act in the great drama, on which the whole nation gazed with
the deepest interest, and with feverish anxiety. The queen left her
residence in St. James's Square, and proceeded to the House of Lords in
her new state carriage, which the people were with difficulty dissuaded
from unyoking, that they might draw it themselves. As she passed
Carlton House, the crowd gave three cheers, and also at the Treasury.
The soldiers on guard at the former place, and at the House of Lords,
presented arms when she arrived. The queen's carriage was preceded
by Alderman Wood's, and followed by one of her Majesty's travelling
carriages, in which were the Hon. Keppel Craven and Sir William Gell,
her chamberlains. The way from Charing Cross to Westminster Abbey was
crowded, and all the windows of the houses on each side were filled
with people, particularly with ladies. Such was the enthusiasm of
the people, that the barrier erected at St. Margaret's Church was
insufficient to keep them back, and the dense mass forced their way
through, and reached Palace Yard shortly after the queen. Sir T.
Tyrwhitt, as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, attended by the officers
of the House, received the queen at the private entrance which had been
prepared for her. She entered at the door near the throne, supported by
Lord A. Hamilton, and attended by Lady A. Hamilton. She was dressed in
white, but wore a black lace shawl. Her demeanour was in the highest
degree dignified. On her entrance the peers all rose, and she was
pleased to salute them in return.

The Duke of Leinster, in pursuance of his intention to oppose the
Bill in all its stages, moved that the order of the day be rescinded.
The motion was negatived by a majority of two hundred and sixty to
forty-one; the number of peers present being three hundred and one.
Lord Carnarvon denounced the Bill of Pains and Penalties as a measure
unnecessary and unconstitutional. It was a species of _ex post
facto_ and illegitimate mode of proceeding against an individual, an
unprecedented anomaly in the law. In one of the cases which they had
adduced as the best precedent, the sentence passed on the criminal was
that he should be boiled to death! Far better to have drawn a veil
over the transactions, than to have searched the Alps, the Apennines,
and the ocean for evidence against the queen. The measure had excited
the disgust of every honest man in the kingdom.


Lord Grey moved that it should be referred to the judges to determine
whether adultery committed out of the country with a foreigner amounted
to high treason. The motion was carried. The judges retired, and,
after an absence of twenty minutes, returned, with their decision
announced by Chief Justice Abbott, which was, that the crime in
question was not punishable as high treason, under the Statute of
Edward III. Counsel on both sides were admitted; Brougham and Denman,
for the queen, sitting on the right of the bar, and the Attorney- and
Solicitor-General on the left. Mr. Brougham prayed to be heard against
the principle of the Bill. Permission was granted, and he addressed
their lordships in a strain of impressive eloquence, demonstrating that
the mode of proceeding now adopted was in the highest degree unjust to
his illustrious client. He concluded by imploring their lordships to
retrace their steps, and thus become the saviours of their country.

Next morning Mr. Denman spoke nearly two hours for the queen, strongly
maintaining her right of recrimination against the king, who, when
seeking for a divorce, should come into court with clean hands. He
commented on the several clauses of the Bill as he went along. He said
the person who framed it had worked himself up into an ebullition
of moral zeal, and used expressions for the full support of which
the bribes and schemes of the prosecutors would produce witnesses.
Referring to a former investigation, he called the attention of
the House to the letter of Mrs. Lisle, in 1806, when flirting and
familiarity were the worst things alleged against her Royal Highness.
On the subject of familiarity he referred to a note addressed by a
waiter to the Prince of Wales--"Sam, of the Cocoanut Coffeehouse,
presents his compliments to his Royal Highness, and begs" so and so.
That illustrious person remarked, "This is very well to us, but it
won't do for him to speak so to Norfolk and Arundel." He concluded by
apologising to the queen for putting even the hypothesis of her guilt,
which he never could believe would be established; and whatever might
be enacted by means of suborned perjury or foul conspiracy, he never
would pay to any one who might usurp her situation the respect to which
the laws of God and man entitled her alone.

On the third day Lord King moved that the Bill was not one of State
necessity or expediency. This gave occasion to Lord Liverpool, then at
the head of the Government, to express his sentiments upon the measure.
He declared upon his honour and in his conscience that, if the Bill
passed, he believed the king would not marry again. But if the charges
against the queen were proved, it was absolutely impossible not to
conclude with an enactment for a divorce. Earl Grey replied to Lord
Liverpool, and called upon their lordships, from respect for their own
character, not to persevere with the measure before them.

The Attorney-General, Sir R. Gifford, was then called in, when he
proceeded to state the case against the queen. He traced her Majesty's
conduct from the time at which she left England, in 1814. Her suite
consisted of Lady Charlotte Lindsay and Lady Elizabeth Forbes, and
the Hon. Keppel Craven; Sir William Gell and a Mr. Fitzgerald as
chamberlains, with Captain Hash as equerry; Dr. Holland as physician;
and other persons, in various capacities. She went first to Brunswick,
her native place, and thence to Milan, where she remained three weeks.
There Bartolomeo Bergami was received into her service as a courier,
having been a servant in a similar capacity to a General Picco. The
princess went next to Rome, and thence to Naples, where she arrived
on the 8th of November, 1814. Her adopted child, William Austin, then
only six or seven years of age, to whom she was particularly attached,
had been in the habit of sleeping in a bed in the same room with her,
while, according to the domestic arrangements that had been adopted,
Bergami slept, among other menial servants, at a distance. On the
9th of November, three weeks after his appointment, an apartment was
assigned to Bergami near her own bedroom, and communicating with it by
means of a corridor. The surprise occasioned by this alteration was
increased when the princess directed that the child Austin should no
longer sleep in her room. There was an air of hurry, agitation, and
embarrassment about her manner which awakened suspicion, which was
increased in the morning, according to the story of the witnesses,
when they found that her own bed had not been occupied, and instead
of summoning her female attendants at the usual time, she remained
in the apartment of Bergami until a late hour. Her recent arrival at
Naples naturally induced persons of consequence to pay their respects
to her, but she was not accessible. The Attorney-General thought
their lordships could have no doubt that "this was the commencement
of that most scandalous, degrading, and licentious intercourse which
continued and increased." The natural effect of this was that Bergami
assumed airs of importance, and became haughty and arrogant with the
other servants. A few days afterwards the princess gave a masked
ball to the person then filling the Neapolitan throne. She first
appeared as a Neapolitan peasant, but soon retired to assume another
character, taking the courier with her, for the purpose of changing
her costume. She then came forth as the genius of history, in a dress,
or rather want of dress, of a most indecent and disgusting kind. The
Attorney-General referred to a number of facts of a similar kind to
those already detailed; also to instances of indelicacy and indecency,
in which the queen was said to have indulged in the presence of her
attendants and of strangers. On the fourth day, after the conclusion
of his address, he proceeded to call his witnesses, and for more than
a month the House was occupied in hearing their evidence.

The case against the queen closed on the 7th of September. An
adjournment took place to allow time for the preparation of her
defence, which was opened on the 3rd of October by Mr. Brougham, in a
magnificent oration, justly celebrated as one of the finest specimens
of British forensic eloquence. It concluded as follows:--

"It was always," said Mr. Brougham, "the queen's sad fate to lose her
best stay, her strongest and surest protection, when danger threatened
her; and by a coincidence most miraculous in her eventful history, not
one of her intrepid defenders was ever withdrawn from her without that
loss being the immediate signal for the renewal of momentous attacks
upon her honour and her life. Mr. Pitt, who had been her constant
friend and protector, died in 1806. A few weeks after that event took
place, the first attack was levelled at her. Mr. Pitt left her as a
legacy to Mr. Perceval, who became her best, her most undaunted, her
firmest protector. But no sooner had the hand of an assassin laid
prostrate that Minister, than her Royal Highness felt the force of
the blow by the commencement of a renewed attack, though she had
but just been borne through the last by Mr. Perceval's skilful and
powerful defence of her character. Mr. Whitbread then undertook her
protection; but soon that melancholy catastrophe happened which all
good men of every political party in the State, he believed, sincerely
and universally lamented. Then came with Mr. Whitbread's dreadful loss
the murmuring of that storm which was so soon to burst with all its
tempestuous fury upon her hapless and devoted head. Her child still
lived, and was her friend; her enemies were afraid to strike, for
they, in the wisdom of the world, worshipped the rising sun. But when
she lost that amiable and beloved daughter, she had no protector; her
enemies had nothing to dread; innocent or guilty, there was no hope,
and she yielded to the entreaty of those who advised her residence out
of this country. Who, indeed, could love persecution so steadfastly as
to stay and brave its renewal and continuance, and harass the feelings
of the only one she loved so dearly by combating such repeated attacks,
which were still reiterated after the echo of the fullest acquittal?
It was, however, reserved for the Milan Commission to concentrate and
condense all the threatening clouds which were prepared to burst over
her ill-fated head; and as if it were utterly impossible that the queen
could lose a single protector without the loss being instantaneously
followed by the commencement of some important step against her, the
same day which saw the remains of her venerable Sovereign entombed--of
that beloved Sovereign who was, from the outset, her constant father
and friend--that same sun which shone upon the monarch's tomb
ushered into the palace of his illustrious son and successor one of
the perjured witnesses who were brought over to depose against her
Majesty's life.

"Such, my lords," continued Mr. Brougham, "is the case now before you;
and such is the evidence by which it is attempted to be upheld. It is
evidence inadequate to prove any proposition, impotent to deprive the
subject of any civil right, ridiculous to establish the least offence,
scandalous to support a charge of the highest nature, monstrous to ruin
the honour of the Queen of England. What shall I say of it, then, as
evidence to support a judicial act of legislature--an _ex post facto_
law? My lords, I call upon you to pause. You stand on the brink of a
precipice: if your judgment shall go out against the queen, it will be
the only act that ever went out without effecting its purpose; it will
return to you upon your heads. Save the country! save yourselves!

"Oh! rescue the country--save the people of whom you are the ornaments,
but severed from whom you can no more live than the blossom that is
severed from the root and tree on which it grows. Save the country,
therefore, that you may continue to adorn it; save the Crown, which
is threatened with irreparable injury; save the aristocracy, which is
surrounded with danger; save the altar, which is no longer safe when
its kindred throne is shaken. You see that when the Church and the
Throne would allow of no church solemnity in behalf of the queen, the
heartfelt prayers of the people rose to Heaven for her protection. I
pray Heaven for her; and here I pour forth my fervent supplications
at the Throne of Mercy, that mercies may descend on the people of the
country, higher than their rulers have deserved, and that your hearts
may be turned to justice."

The examination of the witnesses for the defence continued till the
24th of October, and then powerful speeches were delivered by the
Attorney-General, Sir Robert Gifford, and by the Solicitor-General,
Mr. Copley. The speech of the former was considered so effective, that
William Cobbett threw off one hundred thousand copies of an answer to
it. Sir Archibald Alison, the Tory historian, admits that it was not
the evidence for the prosecution that told against the queen, "for it
was of so suspicious a kind that little reliance could be placed on it,
but what was elicited on cross-examination from the English officers
on board the vessel which conveyed her Majesty to the Levant--men of
integrity and honour, of whose testimony there was not a shadow of
suspicion. Without asserting that any of them proved actual guilt
against her Majesty, it cannot be disputed that they established
against her an amount of levity of manner and laxity of habits, which
rendered her unfit to be at the head of English society, and amply
justified the measures taken to exclude her from it."

On the 6th of November the second reading of the Bill was carried
by a majority of twenty-eight, the numbers being one hundred and
twenty-three to ninety-five, which the Government considered equivalent
to a finding of guilty. It appears from these numbers that a large
proportion of their lordships abstained from voting. The Bishops had
an insuperable objection to the divorce clause; but in committee
it was sustained by a majority of one hundred and twenty-nine to
sixty-two, the Opposition having nearly all voted for the clause,
with a view of defeating the Bill in its last stage. Consequently,
for the third reading, on the 10th of November, the majority was only
nine, the numbers being one hundred and eight to ninety-nine. Upon
this announcement Lord Liverpool rose and said, that upon so slender a
majority he could not think of pressing the measure further, and so he
begged leave to withdraw the Bill. The truth is, he had no option. It
had not the slightest chance of passing through the Lower House, where
ignominious defeat awaited the Government.

The intelligence of this result was received by the public with
transports of joy. London was illuminated for three successive nights;
Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool, and all the great towns
followed the example. "For several days," says Alison, "the populace in
all the cities of the empire seemed to be delirious with joy. Nothing
had been seen like it before since the battle of Waterloo; nothing
approaching to it after since the Reform Bill was passed." Meetings
were immediately called in every direction to present addresses both to
the king and queen: to the former, to congratulate him on the escape of
his illustrious consort, and to call upon him to dismiss his present
Ministers; and to the latter, to congratulate her on the restoration
of those dignities from which she had been so long excluded. Not only
public meetings of citizens and civic bodies, but trades of all kinds
assembled and adopted addresses expressing their exultation at her
triumph, and tendering their homage.

The members of the Government were scarcely less rejoiced at getting
rid of the matter than the nation was at their defeat. The most
thinking men of their party became greatly alarmed at the state of
public feeling, and were in constant dread of a revolution. The most
violent language was used by the democratic leaders, and the press
abounded with libels against the Government, whose chief members were
hooted and pelted as they passed through the streets. This alarming
state of things had arrived at its height towards the end of September.
The Duke of York, who was then at Brighton, was violent against the
queen. He felt confident that the troops must be called out, and
he thought he could trust them. On them alone he depended for the
preservation of the Throne. The king, at this time, rarely showed
himself to any of his subjects. His conduct was an excitement to
popular hatred. Mr. W. H. Freemantle, who was well informed as to all
that was going forward in the highest quarters, describes the condition
of things in letters to the Duke of Buckingham. "You have no idea,"
he says, "of the state of the town. The funds fell to-day. As to the
king forming a Government, after the resignation of all his present
servants, with the avowed object of persecuting the queen, it would
be impossible; it would be making her the popular object and throwing
the country in a flame. Be assured that the king on this subject is
no less than _mad_!" "In the months of October and November," observes
the Duke of Buckingham, "it became evident that the frenzy outside the
Houses of Parliament was exerting its influence within its walls. The
aspect of affairs looked blacker every hour." "Matters here are in a
critical state," writes Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Bathurst on the 27th of
October. "Fear and faction are actively and not unsuccessfully at work;
and it is possible that we may be in a minority, and that the fate of
the Government may be decided." Plumer Ward, in his diary, has this
entry under date of November 2nd:--"Called upon (Wellesley) Pole. He
was at breakfast, and we had a long chat. He thought everything very
bad--Ministers, Opposition, king, queen, country--and, what was more,
no prospect of getting right. All ties were loosened. Insolence and
insubordination out of doors; weakness and wickedness within. 'The
Whigs,' he said, 'were already half Radicals, and would be entirely so
if we did not give way.' I said his brother, the Duke of Wellington,
felt this too, but would not give way nevertheless. Meantime, the king
was as merry as a grig. At first he had been annoyed, but was now
enjoying himself at Brighton."


The Duke of Buckingham justly remarks that the task of the Government
was from the first an up-hill one, "which nothing but their devotion
to their master's service made them continue; but when a thousand
unmistakable signs foretold a rebellion if they persevered, they had
no alternative but to put an end to the thing with all convenient
despatch." The truth is, in this case, victory would have been ruin to
the victors. By beating a timely retreat they saved the monarchy. The
Tory leaders, however, consoled themselves that they had so damaged
the queen's character that even the chiefs of the great Whig families
would not wish to have her at the head of the female aristocracy, or
to have their wives and daughters at her court. They said: "The stout
lady in the magnificent hat and feathers was very well as a source
of Ministerial embarrassment; but, much as some of them pretended to
decry the evidence against her that was elicited during her trial, they
took especial care not to allow her anything resembling an intimacy
with their wives or daughters." She was, however, visited after the
trial by her son-in-law, Prince Leopold, and by the Duke of Sussex;
and for some time the carriages of the highest ladies in the land
were at her door. Grateful to Providence for the deliverance she had
experienced from the hands of her persecutors, she went in state to
St. Paul's to return public thanks to God. But even in this she was
subjected to humiliation. An application had been made to have a sermon
preached on the occasion, and Archdeacon Bathurst solicited the honour
of delivering an appropriate discourse, but the authorities of the
Cathedral refused his request, and the ceremony consisted merely of the
reading of the morning service. The Bishop of Llandaff stigmatised the
service as "a mockery of a religious solemnity, at which every serious
Christian must shudder."

It was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the
summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an
annuity of £50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned
with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her
claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not
been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on
like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate
the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her
Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of
his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council,
and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records
were brought from the Tower: the "_Liber Regalis_" and other ancient
volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed
to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official
decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:--"The
lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of
reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General
in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the
observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General
thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty
their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of
this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her
Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the
time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken
the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with
the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's
subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were
equally unsuccessful.

The Government determined to make the most formidable preparations for
the preservation of the peace, and for putting down a riot, should it
occur. Troops were seen directing their march from all quarters to
the metropolis, and there was not a village in the vicinity which did
not display the plumed helmet. George IV., always excessively fond
of show and pomp, was resolved that the ceremonial of his coronation
should outshine anything in history. The nation entered into the spirit
of the occasion, and the metropolis was full of excitement. As early
as one o'clock on the morning of the 19th of July, Westminster, the
scene of this magnificent pageant, presented a dazzling spectacle.
Even at that early hour, those who were fortunate enough to obtain
places were proceeding to occupy them. From Charing Cross two streams
of carriages extended, one to the Abbey and the other to Westminster
Hall. The streets were crowded with foot passengers eager to secure
seats on the platforms erected along the way, or some standing-place.
All distinctions of rank were lost in the throng of eager expectants;
judges, bishops, peers, commanders, wealthy citizens, richly dressed
ladies, all mingled in the moving masses that converged towards the
great centre of attraction.

At an early hour a crowd was assembled at the queen's residence in
South Audley Street. Lady Anne Hamilton, "faithful found among the
faithless, faithful only she," arrived a few minutes before five
o'clock. Soon afterwards the gate was thrown open, and a shout was
raised, "The queen! the queen!" She appeared in her state coach,
drawn by six bays, attended by Lady Hood and Lady Anne Hamilton, Lord
Hood following in his own carriage. Having arrived at Dean's Yard
Gate, it was found that the entrance for persons of rank was Poet's
Corner; thither the coachman went, but there he found there was no
thoroughfare. After several stoppages she was conducted to the Poet's
Corner, and arriving at the place where the tickets were received,
Lord Hood demanded admission for the queen. The doorkeeper said that
his instructions were to admit no person without a peer's ticket. Lord
Hood asked, "Did you ever hear of a queen being asked for a ticket
before? This is your queen. I present to you your queen. Do you refuse
her admission?" She also said that she was his queen, and desired
permission to pass. The doorkeeper answered that his orders were
peremptory. Lord Hood then tendered one ticket which he had, and asked
the queen whether she would enter alone. After a short consultation
she declined, and it was resolved that, having been refused admission
to the cathedral church of Westminster, she should return to her
carriage. As she quitted the spot, some persons in the doorway laughed
derisively, and were rebuked by Lord Hood for their unmannerly and
unmanly conduct.

[Illustration: _Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ltd., Bushey, Herts._



It was a melancholy thing to see the Queen of England bandied about
from door to door, in the throng of curious and anxious spectators;
cheered by some, laughed at by others, and an object of pity to her
friends, making vain efforts to obtain admission to witness the glory
of her worthless husband, repulsed at every point by the lowest
officials, and compelled to return home discomfited and humiliated. By
indiscreet and foolish acts like this she injured her position, and
degraded herself to an extent that her husband, powerful and malignant
as he was, never could have done. She and her friends counted upon
the devotion of the people to her cause, which they hoped would have
borne down all impediments and broken through all barriers. But it was
felt that in attempting to intrude herself in that way at the risk of
marring a great national festival, and causing tumult and possibly
bloodshed, she had forgotten her own dignity; her conduct shocked the
public sense of propriety, and went far to forfeit popular sympathy.
She became deeply sensible of this fact while waiting for admission,
and with all her attempts at hilarity, her laughter and gaiety of
manner ill concealed the deep, self-inflicted wounds of her spirit,
which were never healed. Now completely disenchanted, robbed of the
fond illusion which had hitherto affected her perception of things,
and viewing her situation in the cold morning light of stern reality,
a chill of despondency came over her, and thenceforth settled heavily
upon her spirit.

The coronation was a magnificent ceremonial, and during the proceedings
in the Abbey, Westminster Hall was being prepared for the banquet.
There were three tables on each side, each table having covers for
fifty-six persons, and each person having before him a silver plate.
The other plate was entirely of gold. The dishes served up were
all cold, consisting of fowls, tongues, pies, and a profusion of
sweetmeats, with conserves and fruit of every kind. At twenty minutes
to four o'clock the gates were thrown open to admit the procession
on its return. Seen from the opposite end of the hall, the effect
was magnificent as the procession passed under the triumphal arch.
On the entrance of the king he was received with loud and continued
acclamations. His Majesty being seated at the banquet, the first course
came with a grand procession, which the king seemed to regard with
great satisfaction. The Duke of Wellington, as Lord High Constable, the
Marquis of Anglesey, as Lord High Steward, and the Deputy Earl Marshal,
Lord Howard of Effingham, mounted on horses, and attended by their
pages and grooms, advanced to the foot of the platform; the horsemen
stopped while the clerks of the kitchen advanced to the royal table,
and took the dishes from the gentlemen pensioners. Then the whole
procession moved back, the horsemen backing their chargers with the
greatest precision, amidst loud applause. The first course having been
removed, a flourish of trumpets was heard at the bottom of the hall,
the great gates were instantly thrown wide open, and the champion, Mr.
Dymoke, made his appearance under the Gothic archway, mounted on his
piebald charger, accompanied on the right by the Duke of Wellington,
and on the left by Lord Howard of Effingham, and attended by trumpeters
and an esquire. The usual challenges were given. Some other ceremonies
having been gone through, the king's health was proposed by one of the
peers, and drunk with acclamation. The National Anthem was then sung,
after which the king rose and said, "The king thanks his peers for
drinking his health and does them the honour of drinking their health
and that of his good people." Shortly afterwards his Majesty quitted
the hall and returned to his palace in his private carriage, attended
by his usual body-guard.

From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. A scene followed the
king's departure which seems almost incredible. After the service of
the second course, the numerous attendants, singers, and even ladies
and gentlemen began to press round the royal table, as if prepared for
a scramble to possess its contents. The crowd of spectators pressed
nearer and nearer. For a moment only covetous eyes were cast on the
spoils, as if each were afraid to begin the plunder; but, at last, a
rude hand having been thrust through the first ranks, and a golden
fork having been seized, this operated as a signal to all, and was
followed by a "general snatch." In a short time all the small portable
articles were transferred to the pockets of the multitude. The Lord
High Chamberlain, hearing of the attack, hastened to the rescue,
and with the greatest difficulty saved the more important articles
of plate, and had them conveyed to Carlton Garden. Then followed a
scene unparalleled in the annals of coronations. The crowds in the
galleries had beheld with envy the operations at the banquet. They were
very hungry, and very thirsty, and seeing now that Westminster Hall
was "liberty hall," they rushed down different stairs and passages,
and attacked the viands and the wine. A raging thirst was the first
thing to be satisfied, and in a few minutes every bottle on the table
was emptied. A fresh supply was soon obtained from the cellarettes.
When the ravening selfishness of the hungry crowd was satisfied, the
gentlemen recovered their politeness, and began to think of the ladies.
Groups of beautiful women then found their way to the tables, and
every effort was made to afford them the refreshment of which they
stood so much in need. In the meantime, the plunderers took advantage
of the confusion to enrich themselves with trophies, breaking and
destroying the table ornaments to obtain fragments of things too
cumbrous to carry away. Thus, baskets, flowerpots, vases, and figures
were everywhere disappearing, and these were followed by glasses,
knives, forks, salt-spoons, and, finally, the plates and dishes. The
last were engraved with the royal arms and the letters "Geo. IV.," and
were therefore specially coveted as memorials. The dirty state of the
articles, however, was rather out of keeping with the costly dresses;
but the ladies and gentlemen got over the difficulty by wrapping up the
articles in their pocket-handkerchiefs. Having thus secured all the
spoils they could, they made all possible haste to their carriages. At
a subsequent period, it was with the greatest difficulty that the royal
plate could be kept from being carried away by the multitude outside
when the barriers were removed.

After the coronation, the queen resided at Brandenburgh House,
determined to lead a life of dignified retirement. But the violent
agitation and excitement, and the terribly painful mortification to
which she was subjected in her ill-advised attempt to form part of
the coronation pageant, were too much for her constitution. As soon
as it was evident that her end was approaching, much public sympathy
was excited, and the vicinity of her residence was incessantly
thronged with persons of all classes making anxious inquiries about
her health, and solicitous for her restoration. On the 4th of August,
when her professional advisers were receiving instructions about the
disposition of her property, one of them suggested the propriety of
sending a messenger to Italy to seal up her papers, in order to prevent
them from falling into the hands of her enemies. "And what if they
do?" she exclaimed; "I have no papers that they may not see. They can
find nothing, because there is nothing, nor ever has been, to impeach
my character." One of them said that he was aware of that, but her
enemies might put there what they did not find. She replied, "I have
always defied their malice, and I defy it still." Nevertheless, it
was her conscious failure in her efforts to make the public believe
this, coupled with the public humiliation to which she had been
subjected, that bowed down her spirit at last, and gave the victory
to her enemies. She had painted their characters in vivid colours in
her private diary, and might have transmitted their punishment to
posterity had she ordered it to be preserved and published; but she
gave directions to have it destroyed, and it was burnt in her presence
by one of her foreign maids. After suffering intensely for four or five
days, she sank into a stupor, from which she never woke, and on the
7th of August, after an entire absence of sense and faculty for more
than two hours, expired Caroline of Brunswick, Queen Consort of George
IV., in the fifty-fourth year of her age. She had by her bedside in her
last hours her faithful friends and constant attendants, Lord and Lady
Hood, and Lady Anne Hamilton; Alderman Wood, who had been devoted to
her interests from the first, was also present, as well as her legal
and medical advisers.

The king, who had set out on his long-premeditated visit to Ireland,
leaving his wife on her death-bed, was already at Holyhead when he
received the tidings of her decease. From that port Lord Londonderry
wrote a note to the Lord Chancellor, in which he said, "I add this
private note to the letter which the king has directed me to write,
to say that his Majesty is quite well, and has evinced, since the
intelligence of the queen's death was received, every disposition to
conform to such arrangements and observances as might be deemed most
becoming upon an occasion which cannot be regarded in any other light
than as the greatest of all possible deliverances, both to his Majesty
and to the country. The king feels assured that the events to which
my letters refer, once in your hands, will be sifted to the bottom
and wisely decided; and to the advice he may receive there will be
every disposition on his Majesty's part to conform; but where papers
connected with his daughter, as well as other branches of his family,
are in question, your lordship will estimate the deep interest the king
takes in your giving the whole your best consideration."

[Illustration: GEORGE IV.]

The king rejoiced too soon. The announcement to the public of the
queen's death was the knell of the popularity which he had recently
acquired. There was an immediate and powerful reaction in the public
mind against the king, which was strengthened by the ungracious
measures adopted in connection with her funeral. There was a clause
in her will to this effect:--"I desire and direct that my body be
not opened, and that three days after my death it be carried to
Brunswick for interment; and that the inscription on my coffin be,
'Here lies Caroline of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England.'"
The Government were very anxious to have the corpse sent out of the
kingdom immediately, in order that its presence might not interfere
with the festivities in Ireland; they therefore wished to have the
remains dispatched at once to Harwich for embarkation. Lady Hood
appealed in vain to Lord Liverpool for some delay on the ground that
the queen's ladies were not prepared to depart so soon, at the same
time protesting against any military escort. The military guard was
an ostensible honour; but its real object was to prevent popular
manifestations detrimental to the Government in connection with the
funeral. The friends of the queen could not even learn by what route
the body would be conveyed. It should have gone through the City, where
the Lord Mayor and Corporation announced their intention of following
the hearse; but to prevent that honour, it was ordered that the corpse
should be sent round by the New Road to Romford. The funeral passed
from Hammersmith to Kensington Church without obstruction; there the
conductors were turning off from the way to the City, in order to get
into the Bayswater Road, when they were met by a loud cry of wrath and
execration from the multitude. In a few minutes the road was dug up,
barricaded, and rendered impassable. The Life Guards and the chief
magistrate of Bow Street appeared, and seeing the impossibility of
forcing a passage, they ordered the _cortège_ to proceed on the direct
route through the City, amidst thundering shouts of victory that might
have appalled the king had he heard them. In the meantime the multitude
had been rushing through the parks in mighty surging masses, now in
one direction and now in another, according to the varying reports
as to the course the procession was to take. Orders had been issued
from the Government that it should go through the Kensington gate of
Hyde Park, but the people closed the gates, and assumed such a fierce
and determined attitude of resistance that the authorities were again
compelled to give way, and again the popular shouts of victory sounded
far and wide. Peremptory orders were given by the Government to pass
up the Park into the Edgware Road, either by the east side or through
Park Lane. In the effort to do this the line of procession was broken,
the hearse was got into the Park, and hurried onwards to Cumberland
Gate; but the people had outrun the military, and again blocked up
the way in a dense mass. Here a collision ensued: the populace had
used missiles; the military were irritated, and having had peremptory
orders, they fired on the people, wounding many and killing two. But
the people, baffled for the moment, made another attempt. At Tottenham
Court Road the Guards found every way closely blocked up, except the
way to the City. In this way, therefore, they were compelled to move,
amidst the exulting shouts of the multitude. Seeking an outlet to the
suburbs at every turn in vain, the procession was forced down Drury
Lane into the Strand. The passage under Temple Bar was accompanied
by the wildest possible excitement and shouts of exultation. The
Corporation functionaries assembled in haste and accompanied the
funeral to Whitechapel. On the whole way to Romford, we read, that
not only the direct, but the cross roads, were lined with anxious
spectators. The shops were closed, the bells were tolling, mourning
dresses were generally worn, and in every direction symptoms abounded
of the deep feeling excited by the death of the queen. The funeral
_cortège_ rested for the night at Colchester, the remains being placed
in St. Peter's Church. There the plate with the inscription "injured
Queen" was taken off, and another substituted. At Harwich the coffin
was unceremoniously conveyed to the _Glasgow_ frigate. At length the
remains arrived at their last resting-place in a vault beneath the
cathedral at Brunswick.

Sir Francis Burdett once wrote a letter of a single sentence to his
friend Lord Cloncurry, as follows:--"Dear Lord Cloncurry, I should like
to know what you think would allay Irish agitation? Yours truly, F.
B." It would have taken a volume to answer this question, and perhaps,
after all, Sir Francis Burdett would not have been satisfied. George
IV. thought that his visit would have had that effect, and appearances
for a time seemed to justify his sanguine anticipations. The visit had
been long meditated. He set out on a yachting excursion soon after
the coronation, and arrived at Plymouth on the 1st of August amidst
the huzzas of an immense concourse of people. On the following day
the royal squadron departed for Ireland, and anchored in the bay at
Holyhead on the 7th. The news of his approach threw the people of
Dublin into a paroxysm of joy, to which the newspapers of the day gave
expression in the most extravagant terms. The blessing that awaited
them seemed too great to be realised. Never had they comforted their
hours of despondency or flattered themselves in seasons of imagined
felicity, with anything approaching to the reality which fortune was
about to shower upon them. The king's name, they declared, was more to
them than a tower of strength; it had effected what neither patriots,
philosophers, nor moralists could ever accomplish.

As the king was to land privately and to proceed to the Viceregal Lodge
in Phœnix Park without entering the city, it was uncertain whether
he would come by Dunleary or Howth. There was an idea that he would
land at the former place on Sunday, the 12th of August, and immense
crowds lined the coast during the day, watching for the approach of the
steamer. They were disappointed, for his Majesty arrived at Howth about
five o'clock. He was accompanied by the Marquis of Londonderry, the
Marquis of Thomond, Lord Mount Charles, Lord Francis Conyngham, and Mr.
Freeling, Secretary to the Post Office, England. A small ship-ladder,
covered with carpeting, was fixed to facilitate his landing. This he
ascended without assistance, and with great agility. As the narrow pier
was crowded to excess, he found himself jammed in by a mass of people,
who could not be displaced without throwing numbers of them into the
water. Though he had reason to be displeased with the want of proper
arrangements, he bore the inconvenience with good humour; indeed, his
Majesty was very jolly, owing to copious draughts of Irish whisky
punch with which he had drowned sorrow, during the voyage, for the
loss of the queen. On seeing Lord Kingston in the crowd, he exclaimed,
"Kingston, Kingston, you black-whiskered, good-natured fellow, I am
happy to see you in this friendly country." Having recognised Mr.
Dennis Bowles Daly, he cordially shook hands with that gentleman, who
at the moment was deprived of a gold watch, worth sixty guineas, and a
pocket-book, by one of the light-fingered gentry. The king also shook
hands with numbers of the persons present who were wholly strangers to
him. At length his Majesty managed to get into his carriage, and as
he did so, the cheers of the multitude rent the air. He turned to the
people, and, extending both his hands, said, with great emotion, "God
bless you all. I thank you from my heart." Seemingly exhausted, he
threw himself back in the carriage; but on the cheering being renewed,
he bent forward again, and taking off his cap, bowed most graciously
to the ladies and those around him. One of the horses became restive
on the pier, but a gentleman, regardless of personal danger, led him
till he became manageable. The cavalcade drove rapidly to town, and
proceeded by the Circular Road to the Park. On the way there was a
constant accession of horsemen, who all rode uncovered. When they came
to the entrance of the Park, the gentlemen halted outside the gate,
not wishing to intrude, when the king put out his head and said, "Come
on, my friends." On alighting from his carriage he turned round at the
door, and addressed those present in nearly the following words:--"My
lords and gentlemen, and my good yeomanry,--I cannot express to you
the gratification I feel at the warm and kind reception I have met
with on this day of my landing among my Irish subjects. I am obliged
to you all. I am particularly obliged by your escorting me to my very
door. I may not be able to express my feelings as I wish. I have
travelled far, I have made a long sea voyage; besides which, particular
circumstances have occurred, known to you all, of which it is better at
present not to speak; upon those subjects I leave it to delicate and
generous hearts to appreciate my feelings. This is one of the happiest
days of my life. I have long wished to visit you; my heart has been
always with the Irish; from the day it first beat I have loved Ireland.
This day has shown me that I am beloved by my Irish subjects. Rank,
station, honours, are nothing; but to feel that I live in the hearts
of my Irish subjects is to me exalted happiness. I must now once more
thank you for your kindness, and bid you farewell. Go and do by me as I
shall do by you--drink my health in a bumper; I shall drink all yours
in a bumper of good Irish whisky." Mr. W. H. Freemantle, writing to
the Duke of Buckingham, says, "I don't know whether you have heard any
of the details from Ireland, but the conduct of the Irish is beyond
all conception of loyalty and adulation, and I fear will serve to
strengthen those feelings of self-will and personal authority which
are at all times uppermost in '_the mind_.' The passage to Dublin was
occupied in eating goose-pie and drinking whisky, of which his Majesty
partook most abundantly, singing many joyous songs, and being in a
state on his arrival to double in sight even the number of his gracious
subjects assembled on the pier to receive him. The fact was that he
was in the last stage of intoxication: however, they got him to the
Park." But whatever happened on board ship, and whether or not the
king was "half-seas over," he acquitted himself so as to excite the
boundless admiration of his Irish subjects, and the visit, which lasted
twenty-two days, was an unqualified success from the spectacular point
of view.

If the scandalous gossip of the Court may be trusted, the king did not
allow affairs of State, or public displays, or the death of the queen
to wean him even for a week from his attachment to Lady Conyngham. Mr.
Freemantle, a rather cynical commentator on public affairs, wrote as
follows:--"Lady C. has been almost constantly at the Phœnix Park, but
has not appeared much in public." Again, the same writer remarks, "I
never in my life heard of anything equal to the king's infatuation and
conduct towards Lady Conyngham. She lived exclusively with him during
the whole time he was in Ireland at the Phœnix Park. When he went to
Slane, she received him dressed out as for a drawing-room; he saluted
her, and they then retired alone to her apartments. A yacht is left to
bring her over, and she and the whole family go to Hanover. I hear the
Irish are outrageously jealous of her, and though courting her to the
greatest degree, are loud in their indignation at Lord C. This is just
like them. I agree in all you say about Ireland. As there is no chance
of the boon being granted, no lord-lieutenant could have a chance of
ingratiating himself, or of fair justice done him, with the king's
promises and flattery."

[Illustration: LANDING OF GEORGE IV. AT HOWTH. (_See p._ 218.)]

The king had a stormy and rather perilous passage across the Channel.
Mr. Freemantle sarcastically alludes to the feelings of the royal
passenger in connection with this voyage:--"The king in his journey
home overtook Lord and Lady Harcourt, now the bosom friends of Lady
Conyngham, stopped them, got out of his carriage, and sat with them for
a quarter of an hour on the public road, recounting all his perilous
adventures at sea, and flattering reception in Ireland. Lady Harcourt
told me his _pious acknowledgment_ for his great escape of being
shipwrecked was quite edifying, and the very great change in his moral
habits and religious feelings was quite astonishing, and all owing to
Lady Conyngham." On his return to London, after a visit to Hanover, the
king devoted himself to a life of seclusion for a considerable time,
during which it appears that the Marchioness of Conyngham maintained
an ascendency over him most damaging to his character and Government.
She had not only made the royal favour tributary to the advancement of
her own family, but she meddled in political affairs with mischievous
effect. "Had it been confined to mere family connections," writes
Robert Huish, "no voice, perhaps, would have been raised against it;
but when the highest offices in the Church were bestowed on persons
scarcely previously heard of--when political parties rose and fell,
and Ministers were created and deposed to gratify the ambition of a
female--then the palace of the king appeared as if surrounded by some
pestilential air. The old hereditary counsellors of the king avoided
the Court, as alike fatal to private probity and public honour. The
entrance to Windsor Castle was, as it were, hermetically sealed by the
enchantress within to all but the favoured few. The privilege of the
_entrée_ was curtailed to the very old friends of the king, and even
the commonest domestics in the castle were constrained to submit to the
control of the marchioness. The Court of George IV. certainly differed
widely from that of Charles II., although the number and reputation of
their several mistresses were nearly the same in favour and character;
but George IV. had no confiscations to confer on the instruments of his

[Illustration: LOWER CASTLE-YARD, DUBLIN. (_From a Photograph by W.

Thus passed the winter of 1821-22. Parliament met on the 5th of
February, 1822, for the transaction of business, and was opened by
the king. In his Speech from the Throne he expressed regret for the
agricultural distress that prevailed in England; and he had the
unpleasant task imposed upon him of referring to a state of things
in Ireland the reverse of what might have been expected from his
conciliation policy--"a spirit of outrage" that had led to daring
and systematic violations of the law which he submitted to the
consideration of Parliament. In the House of Lords the Address was
adopted without opposition. In the Commons amendments were proposed
by Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Hume, which were rejected by large
majorities. The state of Ireland was the first subject that occupied
the attention of the legislature. A salutary change had been effected
in the executive of that country. Lord Talbot, the late Viceroy,
was a man of narrow and exclusive spirit, wedded to the _régime_ of
Protestant ascendency. But according to a system of counterpoise which
had been adopted in the Irish Government, his influence was checked
by his Chief Secretary, Mr. Charles Grant, a man of large mind,
enlightened principles, and high character. This system tended to keep
the rival parties in a state of conflict, and naturally weakened the
authority of the Government. A modification in the English Cabinet
led to corresponding changes in Ireland. The spirit of discontent
among the commercial classes in England induced Lord Liverpool to
enter into a compromise with the Grenville-Wynn party, and the Marquis
of Buckingham, its chief, was created a duke; Lord Sidmouth retired
from the Home Office, and was succeeded by Mr. Peel; the Marquis
Wellesley became Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; while Mr. Plunket, a man
of Liberal politics and transcendent abilities, was appointed Irish
Attorney-General in the room of Mr. Saurin, the champion of unmitigated
Protestant ascendency. The Liberal tendencies of these statesmen were
to some extent counteracted by the appointment of Mr. Goulburn, the
determined opponent of the Catholic claims, as Chief Secretary. Lord
Liverpool, however, defended the appointment on the ground that a man's
opinions on the Catholic question should not disqualify him for office
in Ireland, "it being understood that the existing laws, whatever they
may be, are to be equally administered with respect to all classes of
his Majesty's subjects, and that the Roman Catholics are in any case to
enjoy their fair share of the privileges and advantages to which they
are by law entitled."

This coalition was considered a matter of great importance, not as
giving strength to the Administration of Lord Liverpool, to which it
brought only a few votes in the House of Commons, but as indicating a
radical change of policy towards Ireland. Lord Eldon was by no means
satisfied with the changes. "This coalition," he writes, "I think, will
have consequences very different from those expected by the members of
administration who have brought it about. I hate coalitions." No doubt
they ill suited his uncompromising spirit; and any connection with
Liberal opinions must have been in the highest degree repugnant to the
feelings of one who believed that the granting of Catholic Emancipation
would involve the ruin of the Constitution.

Very strong hopes were entertained by the Liberal party from the
Administration of Lord Wellesley, but it was his misfortune to be
obliged to commence it with coercive measures, always the ready
resource of the Irish Government. The new Viceroy would have removed,
if possible, the causes of public disturbance; but, in the meantime,
the peace must be preserved and sanguinary outrages must be repressed,
and he did not shrink from the discharge of his duty in this respect
on account of the popular odium which it was sure to bring upon his
Government. Mr. Plunket, as Attorney-General, was as firm in the
administration of justice as Mr. Saurin, his high Tory predecessor,
could be. The measures of repression adopted by the legislature were
certainly not wanting in severity. The disorders were agrarian,
arising out of insecurity of land tenure, rack rents, and tithes
levied by proctors upon tillage, and falling chiefly upon the Roman
Catholic population, who disowned the ministrations of the Established
Church. The remedies which the Government provided for disturbances
thus originating were the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act and the
renewal of the Insurrection Act. By the provisions of the latter the
Lord-Lieutenant was empowered, on the representation of justices in
session that a district was disturbed, to proclaim it in a state of
insurrection, to interdict the inhabitants from leaving their homes
between sunset and sunrise, and to subject them to visits by night,
to ascertain their presence in their own dwellings. If absent, they
were considered idle and disorderly, and liable to transportation
for seven years! These measures encountered considerable opposition,
but they were rapidly passed through both Houses, and received the
Royal Assent a week after Parliament met. Under these Acts a number
of Whiteboys and other offenders were tried and convicted, several
hanged, and many transported. Lord Wellesley must have felt his
position very disagreeable between the two excited parties. To be
impartial and just was to incur the hostility of both. Possibly he
became disgusted with the factions that surrounded him. Whether from
this cause, or from an indolent temper, or from the feeling that he
was hampered and restrained, and could not do for the country what he
felt that its well-being required, or from ill health, it is certain
that he became very inactive. A member of the Cabinet writes about
him thus:--"I find the Orange party are loud in their abuse of Lord
Wellesley, for shutting himself up at the Phœnix Park, lying in bed
all day, seeing nobody, and only communicating with Secretary Gregory
by letter. Indeed, I believe that the latter is more than he often
favours Secretaries Peel and Goulburn with." In another letter,
the same Minister, Mr. Wynn, complains of his total neglect of his
correspondence with England. This, he said, was inexcusable, because
those on whom the chief responsibility rested had a right to know
his views upon the state of Ireland, in order to be able to meet
the Opposition during the sitting of Parliament. This was written
towards the end of April, and at that time the Government had not
for a month heard a syllable from him on the agitated questions of
tithes, magistracy, and police. The state of Ireland, indeed, became
every day more perplexing and alarming. A revolutionary spirit was
abroad, and all other social evils were aggravated by famine, which
prevailed in extensive districts in the south and west. The potato
crop, always precarious, was then almost a total failure in many
counties, and left the dense population, whose existence depended upon
it, totally destitute. The cry of distress reached England, and was
responded to in the most generous spirit. Half a million sterling was
voted by Parliament, and placed at the disposal of Lord Wellesley, to
be dispensed in charitable relief and expended on public works for
the employment of the poor. In addition to this, the English people
contributed from their private resources the sum of three hundred
thousand pounds for the relief of Irish distress. On the 30th of May
there was a ball given for the same object, in the King's Theatre,
London, which produced three thousand five hundred pounds.

The disabilities under which the Roman Catholics laboured were a
constant source of irritation in Ireland; the agitation upon the
subject was becoming every day more formidable. Mr. Plunket was anxious
to bring forward the question in the House of Commons, but he was
urged by his colleagues to postpone it, from an apprehension that the
time was not yet come to give it a fair consideration: the Cabinet was
divided, the Chancellor was obstinate, and the king vacillating, if not
double-minded. "As to the conduct of the king," writes Mr. Freemantle,
a member of the Government, "it is inexplicable. He is praising Lord
Liverpool on all occasions, and sending invitations to nobody but the
Opposition. With regard to Ireland, I am quite satisfied the great man
is holding the most conciliatory language to both parties--holding out
success to the Catholics, and a determination to resist them to the

Mr. Canning had been offered the Governor-Generalship of India.
Before his departure, he was resolved, if possible, to make a breach
in the system of Parliamentary exclusiveness. On the 29th of March
he gave notice of a motion to bring in a Bill for the admission of
Roman Catholic peers to seats in Parliament, and on the following day
supported it by a speech of great power of argument and brilliant
eloquence, illustrating his position very happily from the case of the
Duke of Norfolk, and his official connection with the ceremonial of
the coronation. He asked, "Did it ever occur to the representatives of
Europe, when contemplating this animating spectacle--did it occur to
the ambassadors of Catholic Austria, of Catholic France, or of states
more bigoted in matters of religion--that the moment this ceremony was
over the Duke of Norfolk would become disseized of the exercise of
his privileges amongst his fellow peers?--that his robes of ceremony
were to be laid aside and hung up until the distant (be it a very
distant!) day when the coronation of a successor to his present most
gracious Sovereign might again call him forth to assist at a similar
solemnisation?--that, after being thus exhibited to the eyes of the
peers and people of England, and to the representatives of the princes
and nations of the world, the Duke of Norfolk--highest in rank amongst
the peers--the Lord Clifford, and others like him, representing a long
line of illustrious ancestry, as if called forth and furnished for the
occasion, like the lustres and banners that flamed and glittered in
the scene, were to be, like them, thrown by as useless and trumpery
formalities?--that they might bend the knee and kiss the hand, that
they might bear the train or rear the canopy, might discharge the
offices assigned by Roman pride to their barbarian ancestors--

    'Purpurea tollant aulæa Britanni;'

but that with the pageantry of the hour their importance faded
away?--that as their distinction vanished their humiliation
returned?--and that he who headed the procession of peers to-day could
not sit among them as their equal on the morrow?"

The debates were very animated, and excited the liveliest interest.
The Bill was read the first time by a majority of five. On the 10th of
May the House divided on the second reading, which was carried by a
majority of twelve, the numbers being, for the Bill, two hundred and
thirty-five; noes, two hundred and twenty-three. The exertions made to
defeat this Bill were extraordinary. There were twenty-seven pairs of
members who appeared in the House. The Duke of York canvassed against
it in all directions with the utmost zeal and activity. It was felt
that if it passed into law, the admission of Roman Catholics into the
Lower House must follow as a matter of course. The Bill, however, was
thrown out by the Lords.

This Session is memorable for the introduction of the subject of
Parliamentary Reform by Lord John Russell. His plan was to add one
hundred members to the House--sixty for counties and forty for large
towns. He argued that this enlargement of the representation was
rendered just and politic by increasing intelligence among the people,
especially the middle classes, of whom large numbers were unrepresented
in Parliament. His motion was negatived, on the 29th of April, by two
hundred and sixty-nine to one hundred and sixty-four, Mr. Canning
having led the opposition of the Conservatives, and defended the
Constitution as it stood. The motion, in fact, was premature, though
in the previous Session he had procured the disfranchisement of the
corrupt borough of Grampound--a victory which the Lords sought to
neutralise by transferring the seat to the county of York, instead of
to one of the great unrepresented cities.

The complaints of agricultural distress prevalent in England, with
the sudden reaction from war prices at the establishment of peace,
had become so loud and general this year that Parliament undertook
to find a remedy. An agricultural committee had been appointed to
inquire into the subject, and had produced a report which was far from
satisfactory. On the 29th of April the House of Commons resolved itself
into a committee to consider the report. Three different schemes were
proposed for the relief of the farmers and landlords--the first by
the Marquis of Londonderry, the second by Mr. Ricardo, and the third
by Mr. Huskisson. There was no scarcity of produce in England; on the
contrary, it was very abundant, and the evil that oppressed the farmers
was excessive cheapness, by which they were disabled from paying the
high rents and heavy taxation entailed by the war. Some of the remedies
proposed were sufficiently radical in their character. The most natural
was the reduction of taxation by means of retrenchment in the public
expenditure. Some proposed that the tithes should be alienated from
the Church, and used for the purpose of reducing the national burdens.
The largest party insisted upon the reduction of the interest of the
National Debt, which was defended as an equitable measure on the ground
of the increased value of the currency since the passing of Peel's Bill
for the resumption of cash payments. The plan of relief proposed by
Lord Londonderry consisted of the repeal of the annual malt tax, and
the loan of a million by Exchequer Bills to the landed interest upon
the security of warehoused corn.

Mr. Vansittart introduced some financial measures which effected a
material saving. He proposed a plan for reducing the interest of the
Navy Five per Cents. to four per cent. Holders not signifying their
dissent were to have one hundred and five pounds in a New Four per
Cent. stock, and persons dissenting were to be paid off in numerical
order. By this scheme an annual saving to the public of one million
one hundred and forty thousand pounds would be effected; besides a
further saving of upwards of ninety thousand pounds of annual charge,
which would be gained by similar reduction of the Irish Five per Cents.
The high prices of the public funds obviated all difficulty in the
execution of this financial operation, and the holders of the Five per
Cent. stock found it expedient to acquiesce in the Minister's terms.
The dissentients were in number only one thousand seven hundred and
seventy-eight, and the stock held by them amounted to two million six
hundred and fifteen thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight pounds,
not a fifteenth part of the Five per Cent. capital. Another operation
related to what was called "The Dead Weight Annuity." The amount of
military and naval pensions and civil supernumeraries was about five
millions annually. Accordingly Mr. Vansittart brought forward an
amended scheme for relieving the immediate pressure of this dead weight
by extending it over a longer term of years than the natural lives
of the annuitants. For this purpose an annuity of two million eight
hundred thousand pounds was appropriated out of the existing revenue
for forty-five years, invested in trustees for the discharge of the
then payments, which for that year were estimated at four million nine
hundred thousand pounds, subject to a yearly diminution by deaths. It
was computed that, according to the ordinary duration of human life,
the annuities for the lives of the then holders would be equal to the
annuity of two million eight hundred thousand pounds for forty-five
years. The trustees were therefore empowered to sell from time to time
such portions of this annuity as would provide the funds required
for the payment of the dead weight, according to a computation made
of the amount which would probably be due in each year. The Bank of
England became the contractor for a portion of the annuity. There was
no novelty of principle in the project; it was only the old one of
anticipating distant resources by throwing the burden of the existing
generation on the next. It had the further disadvantage of incurring a
useless expense for management; whereas the Sinking Fund, amounting at
the time to about five millions, might have been applied to existing
exigencies, and a real saving effected.

A question was opened in the House of Commons, on a motion of Mr.
Western, which often subsequently occupied its attention. It referred
to the effect on prices of Mr. Peel's Act of 1819 for the resumption of
cash payments. According to the views of Mr. Western and Mr. Attwood,
the value of money had been enormously increased by the resumption
of payments in specie by the Bank, and its necessary preliminary,
a diminution of the circulation. Prices had in consequence fallen;
rents, taxes, annuities, and all fixed payments become more onerous.
These views were opposed by Huskisson, Peel, and Ricardo, and, on the
motion of the first-named, a resolution was carried, by one hundred and
ninety-four to thirty, "That this House will not alter the standard of
gold or silver in fineness, weight, or denomination."

[Illustration: SIR WALTER SCOTT. (_After the Portrait by Sir Henry

Marriage is one of the fundamental principles of the social system. The
law of marriage, therefore, ought to be plain and simple, intelligible
to all, and guarded in every possible way against fraud and abuse.
Yet the marriage laws of the United Kingdom were long in the most
confused, unintelligible, and unsettled state, leading often to
ruinous and almost endless litigation. A new Marriage Act was passed
in the Session now under review, which, like many Acts of the kind,
originated in personal interests affecting the aristocracy. It was said
to have mainly arisen out of the marriage of the Marquis of Donegal
with Miss May, who was the daughter of a gentleman celebrated for
assisting persons of fashion with loans of money. The brother of the
marquis sought to set this marriage aside, and to render the children
illegitimate, in order that he might himself, should the marquis die
without lawful issue, be heir to his title and estates. In law the
marriage was invalid; but it was now protected by a retrospective
clause in the new Act. By the Marriage Act of 1754 all marriages of
minors certified without the assent of certain specified persons
were declared null. A Bill was passed by the Commons giving validity
to marriages which, according to the existing law, were null, and
providing that the marriages of minors, celebrated without due notice,
should not be void, but merely voidable, and liable to be annulled only
during the minority of the parties, and at the suit of the parents or

On the 20th of June, when the Bill was in committee of the Peers, the
Lord Chancellor urged his objection to the retrospective clause, as
unsettling the rights of property. The report being brought up on the
25th, he repeated his objections, and moved that the retrospective
clause should be omitted. The motion was negatived. On the 2nd of July,
the day fixed for the third reading, his brother, Lord Stowell, made
a similar motion, which was also defeated. The Lord Chancellor moved
the insertion of a clause for giving validity to deeds, assignments
and settlements made by persons having claims on any property affected
by the Bill. The Marquis of Lansdowne opposed this clause, which, he
said, would give the Bill the effect of declaring children legitimate
and yet disinheriting them--"of peopling the House of Lords with titled
beggars." This clause having been negatived on a division, the Lord
Chancellor proposed another to the same effect, with the addition
of the words, "for good and valuable consideration." This also was
rejected by a majority. This was too much for the temper of Lord
Eldon, so long accustomed to have his way in that House. Irritated at
being repeatedly thwarted in his efforts, on declaring the numbers he
exclaimed with vehemence, "My lords, ten days ago I believed this House
possessed the good opinion of the public, as the mediator between them
and the laws of the country; if this Bill pass to-night, I hope in
God that this House may still have that good opinion ten days hence.
But to say the best of this measure, I consider it neither more nor
less than a legal robbery, so help me God! I have but a short time to
remain with you, but I trust it will be hereafter known that I used
every means in my power to prevent its passing into law." Thenceforth
the Lord Chancellor became sulky with his colleagues, feeling himself
dragged on by their too rapid progress. He was very reluctant to attend
their Cabinet meetings, and absented himself whenever he could make
any excuse. In reply to a summons from Mr. Peel, the Home Secretary,
to attend a meeting on the Alien Act, he answered that he could not
possibly attend, adding, "My absence, however, can be of little, and
possibly of no consequence." The Session ended on the 6th of August;
the Parliament being prorogued by the king in person.

Lord Londonderry, wearied with the labours of the Session, had
retired to his country seat at North Cray Farm, near Bexley, in
Kent, to recruit his strength, and prepare to take his part as the
representative of England at the forthcoming Congress of Verona, which
was to be held in October. There, on the 12th of August, he committed
suicide by cutting the carotid artery with a penknife. Lord Eldon, in a
letter on the subject, says:--"I learn, upon the best authority, that
for two or three days he was perfectly insane; and the medical men
attribute that fact to the operation upon his head of the unceasing
attention to business which the last harassing Session (to him) called
for." The disease would appear to have been coming on some time
before; he had got the idea that he was beset by secret enemies--that
he was the object of conspiracies. He was full of apprehension of
being waylaid in the Park, and he felt that his life was every hour in
danger. His mind gave way under the pressure of these morbid fears,
and he put an end to his existence in the fifty-third year of his age.
Impartial history, we think, will come to the conclusion that, with
intellectual abilities not much above mediocrity, he owed his success
as a statesman, in a great measure, to his fixity of purpose, and to
his audacity, courage, and perseverance in adhering to his line of
action in the midst of the most formidable difficulties; while the
strength of his will was aided by a commanding person, an imperturbable
temper, extreme affability, and winning frankness of manner. Of the
policy of the Government in which he bore so long a leading part, it
must be said that it was narrow, exclusive, jealous of popular rights,
favourable to despotism abroad and at home, devoted to the interests
of the Throne and the aristocracy, at the expense of social order
and national progress. Such, at all events, was the impression of
the majority of the nation, and the detestation in which the London
populace held his character as a statesman was painfully evinced by
the shouts of exultation which followed his coffin into Westminster
Abbey, where it was deposited between the remains of Fox and Pitt.
This conduct greatly shocked Lord Eldon. "This morning," he writes, "I
have been much affected by attending Lord Londonderry to his grave.
The concourse of people between St. James's Square and the Abbey was
very great; the great bulk of them behaving decorously, some behaving
otherwise; but I protest I am almost sorry to have lived till I have
seen in England a collection of persons so brutalised as, upon the
taking the coffin at the Abbey door out of the hearse, to have received
it with cheering for joy that L. was no more. Cobbett and the paper
called the _Statesman_ have, by the diabolical publications he and
that paper have issued, thus demoralised these wretches."

The honour conferred upon Ireland and Hanover by the royal visits
had excited the jealousy of Scotland; and the most ardently loyal of
the nobility and people of that country were extremely desirous that
a similar honour should be conferred upon them. The king complied
with their request, and started on the 10th of August. "There were
great preparations," says Lord Eldon, "to make his embarkation and
voyage down the river one of the finest exhibitions ever seen upon the
surface of old Father Thames." The river and its banks, from London to
Greenwich, appeared in the highest state of animation, swarming with
human life and gay with brilliant decorations. A party of hussars,
guarding a plain carriage, were his Majesty's only equipage. The shouts
of the different groups of spectators attended his progress along the
road to Greenwich, until the royal standard floating over the Hospital
announced his arrival. Thousands of voices hailed him as the yacht
departed with a favourable breeze; and as he passed Woolwich a royal
salute was fired, and the regiment on duty at the Arsenal presented
arms. At Tilbury Fort, Southend, and Sheerness he met with lively
demonstrations of loyalty. At the last named place the Lord Mayor,
and other authorities who had escorted him down the river, parted
from the royal squadron and returned in their barge to town. The tide
now checked the king's progress, and the ships lay-to in the channel
till morning. At Harwich, Scarborough, and other places, crowds of
people put off in boats as the squadron neared the shore. It was twice
becalmed; and it was not till the 14th that the _Royal George_ cast
anchor off Leith.

Sir Walter Scott was the master of the ceremonies on this memorable
occasion. He was now in the height of his popularity as the "Great
Unknown." His romances had revived or created the spirit of chivalry,
and ministered to the intense nationality of the Scottish people
in general, and the Highland clans in particular. In arranging
the programme Sir Walter had as many parts to play as ever tasked
the Protean genius of his friend Mathews. The bewildered local
magistrates threw themselves on him for advice and direction. He had
to arrange everything, from the ordering of a procession to the cut
of a button and the embroidering of a cross. Provosts, bailies, and
deacon-conveners of trades were followed, in hurried succession, by
swelling chieftains wrangling about the relative positions their clans
had occupied on the field of Bannockburn, which they considered as
constituting the authentic precedent for determining their respective
places in the procession from the pier of Leith to the Canongate.

The weather was so unpropitious when the royal squadron cast anchor
on the 14th, that it was found necessary to defer the landing until
the 15th. The officers of the Household and of the State, in splendid
uniforms and appropriate insignia, awaited the king's landing. He wore
the full-dress uniform of an admiral, with St. Andrew's cross and a
large thistle in his gold-laced hat. The Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian
and the Lord Chamberlain received his Majesty on shore, while the
senior magistrate congratulated him on his arrival on Scottish ground.
The cavalry, the Highland infantry, and the Gentlemen Archers of the
Royal Guards saluted him. The Usher of the White Rod sent his herald
to give three knocks at the city gate, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh
going through the same mediæval forms as the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The
knocking, after proper delay, was answered, the keys were delivered
and returned, and the king was admitted into his ancient capital
with enthusiastic acclamations. The royal _cortège_ was peculiarly
interesting from the variety of costumes adopted. The king declared
that the beauty of the scenery, the splendour of the display, and the
enthusiasm of his welcome affected him more than anything in the whole
course of his life. The people, in their turn, were delighted beyond
measure with the condescension and affability of their Sovereign. He
took up his residence during his stay at Dalkeith Palace, as the guest
of the Duke of Buccleuch. The following day he held a levee in the
palace of Holyrood, restored for the occasion to its former splendour,
so far as upholstery could accomplish the renovation. The king on this
occasion wore the Highland costume, selecting for his dress the tartan
of the Stewarts. On the next day three thousand persons paid their
respects to his Majesty at a court held in the same place. He received
his visitors in a field-marshal's uniform. He completely won the hearts
of the Scottish ladies, dancing with the young and gaily chatting
with the old. A magnificent _fête_ was given by the Lord Provost in
the Parliament House, Sir Walter Scott officiating as croupier. When
the king's health had been drunk, his Majesty stood up and said, "I
am quite unable to express my sense of the gratitude which I owe to
the people of this country. But I beg to assure them that I shall ever
remember, as one of the proudest moments of my life, the day I came
among them, and the gratifying reception they gave me. I return you,
my Lord Provost, my lords and gentlemen, my warmest thanks for your
attention this day, and I can assure you--with truth, with earnestness
and sincerity--that I shall never forget your dutiful attention to
me upon my visit to Scotland, and particularly the pleasure I have
derived from dining in your hall this day." ("God save the King" and
immense cheering followed.) He continued: "I take this opportunity,
my lords and gentlemen, of proposing the health of the Lord Provost,
_Sir_ William Arbuthnot, Baronet, and the Corporation of Edinburgh."
When the king named the Lord Provost by the title he had conferred upon
him, the magistrate knelt, and kissed his hand, which was held out at
the moment, and the incident was loudly applauded by the company. The
king afterwards gave as a toast, "Health to the chieftains and clans,
and God Almighty bless the 'Land o' Cakes!'" He added, "Drink this with
three times three!" The delight of the company in drinking this toast
may well be imagined.

[Illustration: DALKEITH PALACE.]


The king attended the theatre one evening, and by his desire the drama
of _Rob Roy_ was performed. The theatre was of course crowded to
excess, the boxes presenting a dazzling galaxy of rank and beauty. When
the approach of the king was announced, there was a pause of deathlike
stillness; then an outburst of deep, honest enthusiasm never to be
forgotten. "A prolonged and heartfelt shout, which for more than a
minute rent the house," a waving of handkerchiefs, tartan scarfs, and
plumed bonnets, testified the joy of the assembly and delighted the
ears and eyes of the "chief of chiefs." Sir Walter Scott in a letter to
his son gives a vivid description of this royal visit. For a fortnight
Edinburgh had been a scene of giddy tumult, and considering all that
he had to do, he wondered that he had not caught fever in the midst
of it. All, however, went off most happily. The Edinburgh populace
behaved themselves like so many princes, all in their Sunday clothes;
nothing like a mob--no jostling or crowding. "They shouted with great
emphasis, but without any running or roaring, each standing as
still in his place as if the honour of Scotland had depended on the
propriety of his behaviour. This made the scene quite new to all who
had witnessed the Irish reception." The king's stay in Scotland was
protracted till the 29th of August. On the day before his departure,
Mr. Peel, who accompanied him as Home Secretary, wrote the following
letter to Sir Walter Scott:--"My dear sir,--The king has commanded me
to acquaint you that he cannot bid adieu to Scotland without conveying
to you individually his warm personal acknowledgments for the deep
interest you have taken in every ceremony and arrangement connected
with his Majesty's visit, and for your ample contributions to their
complete success. His Majesty well knows how many difficulties have
been smoothed, and how much has been effected by your unremitting
activity, by your knowledge of your countrymen, and by the just
estimation in which they hold you. The king wishes to make you the
channel of conveying to the Highland chiefs and their followers, who
have given to the varied scenes which we have witnessed so peculiar
and romantic a character, his particular thanks for their attendance,
and his warm approbation of their uniform deportment. He does justice
to the ardent spirit of loyalty by which they are animated, and is
convinced that he could offer no recompense for their services so
gratifying to them as the assurance which I now convey of the esteem
and approbation of their Sovereign."

The king left Scotland on the 29th, taking a route different from
that by which he entered. On his way to the place of embarkation he
visited the Earl of Hopetoun, at whose house he conferred the honour
of knighthood on Mr. Raeburn, the celebrated portrait-painter. At
Queensferry the country people assembled to testify their loyalty
with a last look and a parting cheer. The roar of cannon from all the
surrounding hills, and the shouts of the multitude, greeted him on his
embarkation at Port Edgar. The royal squadron arrived safely on the 1st
of September at Greenwich, where he was cordially welcomed home.

Lord Eldon, who was by no means weary of political life, became
uneasy about his position, and certain arrangements at which the king
had mysteriously hinted. The Lord Chancellor religiously obeyed his
injunction to abstain from speaking on politics to anybody. But he was
revolving in his mind not less anxiously who was to be the new leader
of the House of Commons, and how the Constitution in Church and State
might be best protected against the spirit of innovation. On the king's
return from his northern metropolis the Lord Chancellor was about to
press upon him the promotion to the vacant leadership of the House of
Commons of Mr. Peel, who had won high distinction in the late debate
upon the Catholic peers, when he found, to his unspeakable chagrin,
that Lord Liverpool himself had selected Mr. Canning, and overcome the
royal objections to him on the ground of his having been formerly the
champion of the queen. He had represented to the king that this was
the only arrangement by which the Whigs could be effectually excluded,
and he gave him an assurance that Catholic Emancipation, though left
an open question, should be resolutely opposed. Great as Mr. Canning's
talents for Parliament were, and great as was the want of talent on the
Ministerial side of the House, it was not without the utmost reluctance
that the Cabinet consented to receive him as an associate. They invited
him to fill the place vacated by Lord Londonderry, because he was
forced upon them by circumstances, and they felt that the Government
could not go on without his aid. His only competitor was Mr. Peel, who
had not yet had sufficient opportunity of evincing his great powers for
the conduct and discussion of public affairs to command the station
which many of his colleagues would have gladly seen assigned to him.
Canning was unpopular with the anti-Catholic party in general, and
particularly obnoxious to the Lord Chancellor; and, besides, there
was the great objection of his having been the friend and adherent of
the queen. But Lord Liverpool, the Premier, having been associated
with him from early life, was so thoroughly convinced that he was the
fittest man for the post, and so well acquainted with his transcendent
powers of intellect, that he prevailed upon him to relinquish the
Governor-Generalship of India, to which he had been appointed, and to
accept the vacant Secretaryship for Foreign Affairs, together with the
leadership of the Commons.

This was not the only bitter pill that poor Lord Eldon was compelled
to swallow. Without one word of intimation from the king or the Prime
Minister, he learnt for the first time from the _Courier_ that Mr.
Huskisson had been introduced into the Cabinet. Mr. Huskisson was
made President of the Board of Trade, and in his stead Mr. Arbuthnot
became First Commissioner of the Land Revenues. Mr. Vansittart, who
had proved a very inefficient Chancellor of the Exchequer, was raised
to the peerage by the title of Lord Bexley, and got the quiet office
of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was succeeded in the more
important office by a much abler financier, Mr. Robinson.

It was very generally understood that it had been definitely arranged
that Lord Londonderry should represent England at the Congress of
Verona, and it was universally believed, as we have seen, that this
fact weighed on his mind and led to his suicide; but Mr. Gleig states
that in consequence of the reluctance expressed by Lord Londonderry to
undertake the mission, it had for some time been settled that England
should be represented there by the Duke of Wellington, and that he
had begun to make his preparations, when a severe illness fell upon
him, from which he did not sufficiently recover to set out upon his
journey till after Lord Londonderry's death. The Duke of Wellington
started for his mission when Mr. Canning had been only forty-eight
hours in office. Stress has been laid upon the fact that he received
his instructions from Mr. Canning, and this has been declared to be the
turning-point in our foreign policy, when England began to disengage
herself from the Holy Alliance. She was not formally a party to that
alliance, but the despots composing it had counted on her aid and
influence in keeping down the nations which they oppressed. But Mr.
Gleig states that Lord Londonderry himself had compiled a letter of
instruction for the representative of England at the Congress, and
that this was transferred without a single alteration to the Duke of
Wellington. It is, he says, "a very interesting document. It touches
upon every point which could be expected to come under consideration at
the Congress, and it handles them all so as to guard with scrupulous
care not only the honour of Great Britain, but the rights of foreign
peoples as well as of their Governments. It assumes that the subjects
of general discussion would be three: first, the Turkish question,
external and internal; secondly, the Spanish question, European and
American; and, thirdly, the affairs of Italy. With this last question
the representative of England was directed not to concern himself
at all. As England had been no party to the military occupation of
Naples and Sardinia--as she had merely acquiesced in it with a view
to prevent worse things--so she felt herself precluded from advising
upon the arrangement now that it was complete, lest by so doing she
should appear to admit the justice of a proceeding against which from
the outset she had protested. The representative of Great Britain was
therefore instructed to hold aloof from all meetings at which Italian
affairs were to be discussed, and, if possible, to avoid connecting
himself with the Congress till these should have been settled."

With regard to the Turkish question, all possible measures were in the
first instance to be tried, with a view to reconcile the differences
between Russia and Turkey. These referred to the Russian protection
of the Christian subjects of the Sultan, and the navigation of the
Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. When these matters were disposed of,
then, and not till then, was the condition of Greece to be considered,
and in dealing with this question the British plenipotentiary was
to use great caution, to avoid committing England either to the
recognition or subjugation of that country.

The case of Spain was the most perplexing of all. The British Cabinet
expressed the opinion that no foreign Power had any right whatever
to interfere with any form of government which she had established
for herself, and that her king and people were to be left to settle
their own differences as best they could. The representative of Great
Britain was directed to urge this point with all his influence upon
the Allies, and especially upon France. But the case of her revolted
colonies was different. It was evident, from the course of events, that
their recognition as independent States was become a mere question of
time. Over by far the greater portion of them Spain had lost all hold,
and it had been found necessary, in order to admit their merchant
vessels into British ports, to alter the navigation laws both of
Britain and Spain. The letter of instructions accordingly directed
the British plenipotentiary to advocate a removal of the difficulty
on this principle: that every province which had actually established
its independence should be recognised; that with provinces in which
the war still went on no relation should be established; there was
to be no concert with France, or Russia, or any extraneous power, in
establishing relations with the new States. "The policy projected was
exclusively English and Spanish, and between England and Spain alone
its course was to be settled. Other nations might or might not come
into the views which England entertained; but upon their approval
or disapproval of her views England was not in any way to shape her

There were other matters which the British representative was to bring
forward, and foremost among them all was the suppression of the
slave trade, either by a general declaration from the Allies that it
should be treated as piracy, or by obtaining from them an engagement
that they would not admit into their markets any article of colonial
produce which was the result of slave labour. "It will be seen," says
Mr. Gleig, "that the recognition of the actual independence of many
of the Spanish colonies had already been determined upon by Great
Britain, and that the establishment of diplomatic relations with them
all had come to be considered as a mere question of time. This is a
point worthy of notice, because of the misunderstanding in regard to
it which originated in a speech subsequently delivered by Mr. Canning
in the House of Commons, and which still, to a considerable extent,
prevails. It will be further noticed that the principle observed by
Lord Londonderry as the true principle was that of non-interference by
Great Britain in the internal affairs of foreign nations. That the Duke
of Wellington entirely coincided with Lord Londonderry in this respect,
his conduct both now and in the future stages of his career clearly
demonstrates. The leading object of his political life was to preserve
the peace at home and abroad which it had been the great aim of his
military life to conquer."

The Sovereigns of the Holy Alliance, however, acted on principles
and with designs very different. Their general principle was not to
tolerate any change in the European Governments that did not emanate
from themselves. The Greek Revolution they denounced as a rebellion
against the legitimate authority of the Sultan. The actual Government
of Spain they regarded as incompatible with the safety of monarchical
power, and France called upon the Sovereigns to re-establish the
despotism of Ferdinand. Russia, Austria, and Prussia took the same view
of the Spanish Revolution, but were unwilling to interfere by force of
arms. France was not so scrupulous upon that point. Chateaubriand and
other votaries of absolutism in Church and State were busy fomenting
conspiracies in Spain, and secretly supplying arms and ammunition
to the priest-ridden enemies of constitutional government in that
country. An army which during the previous year had been assembled on
the frontier, under the ridiculous pretence of preventing the fever at
Barcelona from spreading into France, changed its name from that of
a sanitary cordon to an army of observation. M. de Villele, the new
French Prime Minister, threw off the mask, and in a circular note
stated that unless Spain altered her political constitution, France
would use force to convert her from her revolutionary theories.

Such was the state of things with which the Duke of Wellington had to
deal as British plenipotentiary when he left London on his mission
early in September, taking Paris on his way. There he had some
interesting conferences with the king and his Minister. The latter
could hold out no hope that France would fulfil her engagements as to
the slave trade. He spoke, indeed, of their African settlements as
useless to the French people, and proposed to make them over to Britain
in exchange for the Isle of France; but farther than this he declined
to go, because there were too many interests, both public and private,
engaged to thwart his efforts, should he be so unwise as to make any.
His language with regard to South America was not less vague and
unsatisfactory. He stated that France had not entered into relations
with those provinces in any form, and did not intend to do so till they
should have settled their differences with Spain one way or another. M.
de Villele did not add, as he might have done, that France was feeling
her way towards the severance of Spain from her colonies, and towards
the establishment in the New World of one or two monarchies, with
younger branches of the House of Bourbon at their head.

[Illustration: VERONA.]

The third topic discussed at these conferences was the nature of the
relations then subsisting between France and Spain, and the projects of
the former power in reference to the latter. These were explained by
the Minister without any reserve, and with no symptoms of apprehension
that they would be disagreeable to Britain, or of anxiety as to the
result, whether they were so or not. He frankly avowed that, under
cover of the sanitary cordon, 100,000 French troops were assembled;
that it was proposed to throw them in two columns into Spain; that one
column, of 40,000 men, was to pass into Catalonia, while the other,
of 60,000, was to march by the great road through Irun upon Madrid.
He stated that the sole object of this invasion was to insure the
personal safety of the king, to afford him the opportunity to collect a
native force strong enough to enable him to protect himself against the
schemes of the Revolutionists--that is, to put down the Constitution.
Of course, France said she entertained no views of conquest or
aggrandisement, or even of prolonged occupation. She would withdraw
her troops whenever the King of Spain said he could do without them,
and yield up every inch of territory. In reference to this matter the
Duke of Wellington wrote home for instructions, and in reply Canning
said:--"If there be a determined project to interfere by force or by
menace in the present struggle in Spain, so convinced are his Majesty's
Government of the uselessness and danger of any such interference--so
objectionable does it appear to them in principle, as well as utterly
impracticable in execution--that when the necessity arises--or, I would
rather say, when the opportunity offers--I am to instruct your grace at
once frankly and peremptorily to declare that to any such interference,
come what may, his Majesty will not be a party." To say that England
peremptorily declined "to be a party" to the invasion of an independent
state, in order to force upon the people a government contrary to
their will, was not saying very much, nor putting the objection very
strongly. We are assured, however, that the Duke steadily set his face
against the project, pointing out that the step would be not only
unjust, but impolitic; that it would precipitate the catastrophe which
the French Government feared; that the Revolutionists would probably
remove Ferdinand from Madrid as soon as they heard of the passing of
the frontier by the French troops, and that, even if these troops
should reach the capital, the Spaniards would not therefore submit, nor
would the king be set at liberty. He argued that a war between France
and Spain for such a purpose would be pronounced a war to put down free
institutions, and that if France sought the support of her allies, the
only one amongst them that had free institutions would feel it her duty
to meet such a request with a refusal. Europe would be ranged into two
hostile camps, that of absolutism on the one side and of revolution
on the other; amid which not thrones only, but settled governments in
every form, might be overthrown. In reply to these arguments, both
the king and his Minister stated that whatever France might do in the
matter she would do single-handed, and that she would not only not
apply for assistance from without, but that, if such assistance were
offered, she would refuse it. The Duke could not, however, prevail upon
the French Government to refrain from bringing the question between
France and Spain before the Congress. The king and his Minister both
contended that vast moral good would accrue from a joint remonstrance
on the part of the Allies against the treatment to which the King of
Spain was subjected, and a joint threat that if any violence were
offered to his person or family all would unite to avenge the outrage.

Having reported to Mr. Canning the result of his diplomatic efforts at
Paris, the Duke set out on his journey to Vienna, where he arrived on
the 29th of September, and where he expected the Congress to be held.
But there again England's plenipotentiary, the great conqueror of
Napoleon, who had restored the legitimate despots to their thrones, was
treated with as little consideration as at Paris. Not till his arrival
did he learn that the Congress which he was invited to attend was not
to be held at Vienna at all, but at Verona. Meanwhile, in the interval
between the adjournment from one city to another, the Allied Sovereigns
were paying a visit of friendship to the King of Bavaria, whose system
of government no doubt met with their unqualified approval. As the
Duke's instructions forbade him to meddle with Italian affairs, he
tarried at Vienna till he should receive further instructions from
his own Government. While awaiting an answer he had opportunities of
conferring personally with the Czar, who had obtained an ascendency in
the councils of the Holy Alliance which rendered him the virtual master
of every situation. With regard to the affairs of Turkey, the Duke
succeeded in obtaining from his Imperial Majesty an assurance that,
unless driven to it by some unforeseen and irresistible necessity,
he would not come to an open rupture with the Sultan. He was not so
successful in his exertions with regard to the Spanish question, on
which the Czar was in an irritable mood. He said that Spain was the
very centre and focus of revolutionary principles, and he felt it to be
the duty not less than the policy of the Allied Sovereigns to trample
them out at their source, and for this purpose he had proposed to
contribute 150,000 men, whom he intended to march into Spain through
French territory. In reply to the Duke's earnest remonstrances against
this course, the Czar put a question which betrays the aggressive
policy of military despots. He asked what he was to do with his army.
It insisted upon being led against Turkey, and was only restrained
because he had expressed his determination of employing it in putting
down what he called Jacobinism in the west.

The British Cabinet having come to the conclusion that the Duke of
Wellington ought not to abstain from attending the Congress because of
its meeting in an Italian city, and thinking so himself, he set out for
Verona, after a fortnight's sojourn in Vienna.

Wellington acquitted himself as well as could be expected in the
circumstances. Austria was induced to acknowledge an old debt to
Britain, and to pay an instalment. The utmost which she could obtain
from the Allies on the slave trade was a reissue of the joint
condemnation of the traffic which had been pronounced in 1815 at
Vienna, and a special assurance from France that as soon as public
feeling would admit, steps would be taken to carry out the treaty with
Great Britain. In the discussion of the affairs of Italy the Duke took
no part; but the peace which he had urged upon Russia and Turkey was
happily concluded, on terms honourable to both. With regard to the
struggles for freedom in Spain and other countries, the Duke found the
Allied Sovereigns in the worst possible temper. They had no patience
with Britain on account of her dissent, however mild, from their
policy. "Hence, though England never expressed her approval of the
military revolts in Spain and Italy, or even in South America, still,
because she declined to be a party to the suppression of the free
institutions in which they issued, Austria, Prussia, and Russia spoke
of her as the champion of revolutionary principles all over the world."

Accordingly, the Duke found himself alone in his opposition to the plan
of an armed intervention in Spain. It was at first proposed that all
the Allies should unite in this; but it was ultimately agreed that a
_procès verbal_ should be jointly adopted, in which the King of Spain
and his family should be declared to be under the protection of Europe,
and Spain threatened with a terrible vengeance if any injury were done
to them. This _procès verbal_ was addressed to the head of the Spanish
Government, with an explanation of the reasons for its adoption. The
Duke was disappointed and mortified at the obstinate self-will of the
crowned despots. He had gone to Verona in the hope that they would at
all events be open to arguments in favour of peace; he found them bent
on such a course as would render its preservation impossible. When the
Ministers reduced their ideas to a definite shape, the incidents which
they agreed to accept as leading necessarily to war appeared to him
fallacious in the extreme. They were these:--First, an armed attack by
Spain upon France. Second, any personal outrage offered to Ferdinand
VII., or to any member of the Spanish royal family. Third, an act of
the Spanish legislature dethroning the king, or interfering in any way
with the right of succession. Austria, Prussia, and Russia accepted the
conditions readily, adhering, at the same time, to the substance of the
notes which they had previously put in.

The Duke produced a paper of his own, in which the three hypothetical
causes of war were considered separately. He showed, "First, that an
attack by Spain upon France was an occurrence beyond the range of human
probability; next, that though, according to the usages of civilised
nations, the persons of monarchs were held to be sacred, to extend a
character of sanctity to those of other members of the Royal Family was
a thing never before heard of in the history of the world; and lastly,
that, till the Allies should be informed on sufficient authority
that a plan for dethroning Ferdinand or changing the succession in
Spain was actually in progress, to assume that such crimes might be
perpetrated was to insult the whole Spanish nation. For his own part,
he must decline to have any share in the transaction, or to deliver an
opinion upon purely hypothetical cases further than this--that if the
independence of Spain were assailed without just cause, Great Britain
would be no party to the proceeding."

So prejudiced were the Allied Sovereigns against England, that they
were ready to believe any tale to her disadvantage. One story which
was circulated amongst them at the time was that Great Britain had
bound herself to support Spain against France in return for certain
stipulated commercial advantages. Another was that she had entered
into a secret treaty to defend Portugal against France, even though
Portugal should join Spain in the war. After all the Duke's arguments,
explanations, and remonstrances, the French plenipotentiary was about
to set off for Paris, representing all the Powers as being perfectly
unanimous on the policy adopted towards Spain, and the Duke was obliged
to threaten him with a public contradiction if he did not alter that
statement and except Great Britain.

The Duke withdrew much dissatisfied with the turn affairs had taken,
and distrustful of the issue. In a parting interview with the Emperor
of Russia, the latter spoke at length in strong disapprobation of the
refusal of England to co-operate in putting down revolution, and said,
in conclusion, that Russia was prepared for every eventuality. "She was
able, with the support of Austria and Prussia, to crush revolution
both in France and Spain; and, if the necessity should arise, she was
determined to do so." The Duke heard his Imperial Majesty to an end,
and then ventured to assure him that the only thing for which Great
Britain pleaded was the right of nations to set up whatever form of
government they thought best, and to manage their own affairs, so long
as they allowed other nations to manage theirs. Neither he nor the
Government which he represented was blind to the many defects which
disfigured the Spanish Constitution; but they were satisfied that they
would be remedied in time. The Emperor could not gainsay the justice
of these remarks, but neither was he willing to be persuaded by them;
so, after expressing himself well pleased with the settlement of the
Turkish question which had been effected, he embraced the Duke, and
they parted.

The Duke arrived at Paris on the 9th of December, having spent more
than two months at diplomacy with very unsatisfactory results. He
found the king and his Minister, M. de Villele, much cooled in their
feelings towards the Spanish Government, in consequence of the tone of
moderation it had assumed after its defeat of the Royalist insurgents.
The king was now disposed to recall his army of observation, if he
could do so with honour, and all he pressed for now was that Spain
should so modify her system as to make the Constitution emanate from
the king, by resting it upon a royal charter and not upon the will of
the people. If this were done, and done in time for him to explain
the case to the Parliament, when they met on the 28th of January,
everything else, every matter of arrangement and detail, would be
left to the undisturbed management of the Spanish Cabinet and Cortes.
This was truly very accommodating. If Spain would only recant her
constitutionalism, and adopt the absolutist creed of Divine Right, the
Allies would not send their armies into the country for the protection
of the king against his people. The Duke having reported the altered
state of feeling in the French Government, and all that had passed,
to Mr. Canning, the Foreign Secretary instructed him to deliver an
official note to M. de Villele, containing a direct offer from England
to mediate. This offer was declined. On the 20th of December the Duke
quitted Paris, and arrived in London early in January. Subsequently the
diplomatic war was carried on between M. Chateaubriand and Mr. Canning,
both men of genius, and masters of a brilliant style of rhetoric, to
which the Duke of Wellington had no pretensions. Mr. Canning, alluding
to the proposed armed intervention in Spain, with a view to stamp out
the revolution, said, "The spirit of revolution--which, shut up within
the Pyrenees, might exhaust itself with struggles, trying indeed to
Spain, but harmless to her neighbours, when restricted--if called forth
from within these precincts by the provocation of foreign attack, might
find, perhaps, in other countries fresh aliment for its fury, and might
renew throughout Europe the misery of the five-and-twenty years which
preceded the peace of 1815."

On the 29th of January, 1823, the King of France opened the Chambers
with a speech of decidedly warlike tone. It spoke of 100,000 French
soldiers prepared to march under a prince of the blood for the
deliverance of Ferdinand VII. and his loyal people from the tyranny of
a portion. A few weeks afterwards the march commenced, and from the
Bidassoa to Madrid it was a continued triumph. The king was set at
liberty, and the gates of Cadiz were opened. The Spaniards were not
true to themselves, the mass of the people being unable to appreciate
liberal institutions. There was also a counter-revolution in Portugal,
aided by foreign bayonets, restoring the despotic system. These events
produced great dissatisfaction in England, and the Duke was strongly
censured for the timidity of his tone in the Congress. Replying to
attacks made in the Upper House by Lords Ellenborough, Holland, and
Grey, he asked whether it would be becoming in one who appeared in the
character of a mediator to employ threats, especially if he had no
power to carry them into effect:--"Were they for a policy of peace or a
policy of war? If for the former, could he go farther than to declare
that to any violent attack on the independence of Spain the king his
master would be no party? If for the latter, all he had to say was that
he entirely differed from them, and he believed that his views would be
supported by all the intelligent portion of the community."

The conduct of the Government in reference to the Congress was the
subject of an animated debate in the House of Commons, which began
on April 28th and lasted three days. It was on a motion for a Vote
of Censure for the feebleness of tone assumed by the Government in
the negotiations with the Allies, an amendment having been proposed
expressive of gratitude and approbation. In Mr. Canning's speech on the
third day there was one remarkable passage, which clearly defined his
foreign policy, and showed that it had a distinct purpose, and aimed
at an object of the highest importance. He said:--"I contend, sir, that
whatever might grow out of a separate conflict between Spain and France
(though matter for grave consideration) was less to be dreaded than
that all the Great Powers of the Continent should have been arrayed
together against Spain; and that although the first object, in point of
importance, indeed, was to keep the peace altogether, to prevent any
war against Spain, the first in point of time was to prevent a general
war; to change the question from one affecting the Allies on the one
side and Spain on the other, to a question between nation and nation.
This, whatever the result might be, would reduce the quarrel to the
size of ordinary events, and bring it within the scope of ordinary
diplomacy. The immediate object of England, therefore, was to hinder
the impress of a joint-character from being affixed to the war, if
war there must be, with Spain; to take care that the war should not
grow out of an assumed jurisdiction of the Congress; to keep within
reasonable bounds that predominating _areopagitical_ spirit which the
memorandum of the British Cabinet of May, 1820, describes as beyond
the sphere of the original conception and understood principles of the
alliance--an alliance never intended as a union for the government of
the world, or for the superintendence of the internal affairs of other
states; and this, I say, was accomplished."

The sense of the House was so completely with the Government, that
Mr. Brougham, who led the Opposition, declined to go to a division. A
division having been called for, however, on the part of Ministers,
the whole assembly poured into the lobby, till it could hold no more;
and then the remaining members who were shut in were compelled to pass
for an opposition, though there were Ministerialists among them. They
amounted to twenty, in a House of three hundred and seventy-two.

The aggressive policy of the Holy Alliance, and the French invasion of
Spain, despite England's remonstrances, provoked Mr. Canning to hasten
the recognition of the revolted colonies in South America. It was in
defending this policy that he uttered the memorable sentence so often
quoted as a specimen of the sublime:--"Contemplating Spain such as our
ancestors had known her, I resolved that if France had Spain, it should
not be Spain with the Indies. I called the New World into existence to
redress the balance of the Old."


REIGN OF GEORGE IV. (_continued_).

    Prosperity of the Manufacturers--Depression of
    Agriculture--Resumption of Cash Payments--A restricted
    Currency--The Budget of 1823--Mr. Huskisson--Change of the
    Navigation Acts--Budget of 1824--Removal of the Duties on Wool
    and Silk--Repeal of the Spitalfields Act and the Combination
    Laws--Speculative Mania--The Crash--Remedial Measures of the
    Government--Riots and Machine-breaking--Temporary Change in
    the Corn Laws--Emigration--State of Ireland--Efforts of Lord
    Wellesley--Condition of the Peasantry--Unlawful Societies--The
    Bottle Riot--Failure to obtain the Conviction of the Rioters--The
    Tithe Commutation Act--Revival of the Catholic Question--Peel's
    Views--The Catholic Association and its Objects--Bill for its
    Suppression--Plunket's Speech--A new Association formed--Rejection
    of Burdett's Resolution--Fears of the Moderates--General
    Election--Its Features--Inquiry into the Bubble Companies--Death of
    the Duke of York--Canning's vigorous Policy in Portugal--Weakness
    of the Ministry and Illness of Liverpool--Who was to be
    his Successor?--Canning's Difficulties--Peel and the Old
    Tories resign--State of Canning's Health--His arrangements
    completed--Opposition to Him--His Illness and Death--Collapse of
    the Goderich Ministry--Wellington forms an Administration--Eldon is
    omitted--The Battle of Navarino--"The Untoward Event"--Resignation
    of the Canningites--Grievances of the Dissenters--Lord John
    Russell's Motion for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation
    Acts--Peel's Reply--Progress of the Measure--Lord Eldon's
    opposition--Public Rejoicings.

The year 1823 opened auspiciously, and continued to exhibit unequivocal
marks of progressive prosperity. Every branch of manufacturing industry
was in a flourishing state. The cotton trade was unusually brisk. There
was a considerable increase in the quantity of silks and woollens
manufactured; and in consequence of augmenting exportation, the demand
for hardware and cutlery was quickened from the state of stagnation in
which it had remained since the conclusion of the war. The shipping
interest, which had been greatly depressed, fully shared in the general
improvement. The agriculturists, however, were still embarrassed and
discontented. In January no less than sixteen English counties had
sent requisitions to their sheriffs to call meetings to consider the
causes of their distresses. The principal remedies proposed were
reduction of taxation; reform of the House of Commons; depreciation
of the currency; commutation of tithes; and appropriation of the
redundant wealth of the Church to public exigencies. At the Norwich
meeting a series of resolutions was proposed and seconded by the gentry
of the county, but they were rejected and put aside on the motion of
Mr. Cobbett, who read a petition which was adopted with acclamation.
It recommended an appropriation of part of the Church property to
the payment of the public debt; a reduction of the standing army; an
abolition of sinecures and undeserved pensions; the sale of the Crown
lands; an equitable adjustment of contracts; the suspension of all
legal processes for one year for the recovery of rents and tithes; and
the repeal of the taxes on malt, soap, leather, hops, and candles.

The distress which had pressed so severely on the people, and which
had set them thinking about the most perilous political changes, was
intimately connected with the state of the country. Throughout the
troubled period of almost incessant war and lavish expenditure between
1797 and 1815, the business of the nation was carried on with an
inconvertible paper currency, the precious metals having nearly all
departed from the country. Bank notes were issued in such quantities,
to meet the exigencies of the Government, that the prices of all
commodities were nearly doubled. The Bill which was passed in 1819
providing for the resumption of cash payments had reduced the currency
from £48,278,070, which was its amount in 1819, to £26,588,000, in
1822. The consequence was the reduction of prices in the meantime,
at the rate of fifty per cent., in all the articles of production
and commerce. With this tremendous fall of prices, the amount of
liabilities remained unchanged; rents, taxes, and encumbrances were to
be paid according to the letter of the contract, while the produce and
commodities--the sale of which was relied upon to pay them--did not
produce more than half the amount that they would have brought at the
time of the contracts. The evil of this sudden change was aggravated
by the South American Revolution, in consequence of which the annual
supply of the precious metals was reduced to a third of its former
amount. It was peculiarly unfortunate that this stoppage in the supply
of gold and silver occurred at the very time that the Legislature
had adopted the principle that paper currency should be regarded as
strictly representing gold, and should be at any moment convertible
into sovereigns. A paper currency should never be allowed to exceed
the available property which it represents, but it is not necessary
that its equivalent in gold should be lying idle in the coffers of the
Bank, ready to be paid out at any moment the public should be seized
with a foolish panic. It is enough that the credit of the State should
be pledged for the value of the notes, and that credit should not
be strained beyond the resources at its command. The close of 1822
formed the turning-point in the industrial condition of the country.
The extreme cheapness of provisions, after three years of comparative
privation, enabled those engaged in manufacturing pursuits to purchase
many commodities which they had hitherto not been able to afford. This
caused a gradual revival of trade, which was greatly stimulated by the
opening of new markets for our goods, especially in South America,
to which our exports were nearly trebled in value between 1818 and
1823, when the independence of the South American Republics had been
established. The confidence of the commercial world was reassured by
the conviction that South America would prove an unfailing Dorado for
the supply of the precious metals. The bankers, therefore, became more
accommodating; the spirit of enterprise again took possession of the
national mind, and there was a general expansion of industry by means
of a freer use of capital, which gave employment and contentment to
the people. This effect was materially promoted by the Small Note Bill
which was passed in July, 1822, extending for ten years longer the
period during which small notes were to be issued; its termination
having been fixed by Peel's Bill for 1823. The average of bank-notes in
circulation in 1822 was £17,862,890. In November of the following year
it had increased by nearly two millions. The effect of this extension
of the small note circulation upon prices was remarkable. Wheat rose
from 38s. to 52s., and in 1824 it mounted up to 64s. In the meantime
the bullion in the Bank of England increased so much that whereas
in 1819 it had been only £3,595,360, in January, 1824, it amounted
to £14,200,000. The effect of all these causes combined was the
commencement of a reign of national prosperity, which burst upon the
country like a brilliant morning sun, chasing away the chilling fogs of
despondency, and dissipating the gloom in the popular mind.

On the 12th of February, 1823, the President of the Board of Trade
said, in his place in Parliament:--"The general exports of the country
in the four years from 1815 to 1819 had decreased £14,000,000 in
official value; and he took the official value in preference to the
declared, because it was from the quantity of goods produced that the
best measure was derived of the employment afforded to the different
classes of the community. In the year from the 5th of January, 1819,
to the 5th of January, 1820, the exports of the country fell off no
less than £11,000,000; and in looking at that part of it which more
completely embraced British or Irish manufacture, he found that the
difference in four years was £8,414,711; and that in the year from the
5th of January, 1820, to the 5th of January, 1821, there was a decrease
of £8,929,629. Nobody, therefore, could be surprised that, at that
period, the industry of the country appeared to be in a state of the
utmost depression; that our manufacturers were most of them unemployed;
that our agriculturists were many of them embarrassed; and that the
country, to use the phrase of a friend of his in presenting a petition
from the merchants of London, 'exhibited all the appearances of a dying
nation.' Though the condition of the agricultural interest was not as
favourable as he could wish, still it was most satisfactory for him to
state that not only did the exports of last year [1822] exceed those of
all the years to which he had been alluding, but also those of the most
flourishing year which had occurred during the continuance of the war.
In all material articles there had been a considerable increase. The
export of cotton had increased ten per cent., and hardware seventeen
per cent.; of linens twelve per cent., and of woollens thirteen per
cent.; and the aggregate exports of 1822 exceeded those of 1820 by
twenty per cent., and of 1821 by seven per cent., notwithstanding a
deduction was to be made from the exports of one great article, sugar,
owing to a prohibitory decree of Russia, amounting to thirty-five per
cent." The result of this prosperous state of things was that, in
1823, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer was enabled to present the
best and most popular Budget that had been laid before Parliament for
many years, remitting a large amount of taxes that had pressed most
heavily on the springs of industry, and inflicted the greatest amount
of inconvenience and privation upon the people. The revenue of the
nation in that year was £57,000,000, and the expenditure was estimated
at £49,672,999, leaving a surplus of upwards of £7,000,000. Of this
surplus, £5,000,000 was set aside for the reduction of the National
Debt, and the remainder for the remission of taxes. As the assessed
taxes were most oppressive, they were reduced fifty per cent., a
reduction which was estimated on the window tax alone at £1,205,000. On
the whole, the assessed taxes were reduced by £2,200,000. This included
£100,000, the total amount of assessed taxes in Ireland. In England the
whole of the window tax was removed from the ground floors of shops and

In 1823 we behold the starting-point of the liberal system of
commercial policy, for which not only England, but all the world,
is so much indebted--the rivulet which gradually expanded into a
mighty river bearing incalculable blessings upon its bosom to every
nation under heaven. The appointment of Mr. Huskisson as a member of
the Government was an immense advantage to the nation. He was a man
of great abilities, which he had perseveringly devoted to the study
of political economy. He was a complete master of all subjects in
which statistics were involved, and was universally looked up to as
the highest authority on all financial and commercial questions. As
President of the Board of Trade he had ample opportunities of turning
his knowledge to account, and to him is mainly due the initiation
and direction of the course of commercial policy which a quarter of
a century later issued in the complete triumph of Free Trade. Mr.
Huskisson was not only intimately acquainted with the whole range of
economic, financial, and mercantile subjects, in their details as
well as in their principles, he was also a powerful debater, a sound
reasoner, and was animated in all he did by a spirit of generous
philanthropy. At the same time it is only just to point out that he
did but carry out the policy of Mr. Wallace, the Vice-President of the
Board of Trade, a statesman whose name is almost forgotten.

A law in force since the time of Cromwell had provided that no
merchandise from Asia, Africa, or America should be imported into
Great Britain in any foreign ships; and not only the commander, but
three-fourths of the crew, were required to be English. In addition
to this restriction of our foreign commerce to English-built and
English-manned ships, discriminating duties were imposed upon foreign
ships from Europe, which had to pay more heavily than if the goods
were imported under the British flag. The object of this system,
which prevailed for one hundred and fifty years, was to maintain the
ascendency of Britain as a Maritime Power. Adam Smith remarks that the
Navigation Act may have proceeded from national rivalry and animosity
towards Holland; but he held that its provisions were as beneficial as
if they had been dictated by the most consummate wisdom. He admits,
however, that they were not favourable to foreign commerce, or to the
growth of that opulence that can arise from it, remarking, "As defence
is of more value than opulence, the Act of Navigation is perhaps the
wisest of all the commercial regulations of England." But had Adam
Smith lived later on, he would have seen that the utmost freedom o