LOUIS XVI. AND MARIE ANTOINETTE IN THE PRISON OF THE TEMPLE.General Cartaux arrived and took up his position in the villages around Toulon. He was reinforced by General Doppet, from the Rhone, and General Dugommier, from the Var; and the latter had in his corps-d'armée a young lieutenant of artillery, who contained in his yet unknown person the very genius of war—namely, Napoleon Buonaparte. Cartaux was a man who had risen from the ranks; Doppet had been a physician in Savoy; and Dugommier was acting on a plan sent from the Convention. Buonaparte suggested what he thought a much superior plan. "All you need," he said, "is to send away the English; and to do that, you have only to sweep the harbour and the roadstead with your batteries. Drive away the ships, and the troops will not remain. Take the promontory of La Grasse, which commands both the inner and outer harbour, and Toulon will be yours in a couple of days." On this promontory stood two forts, Equilette and Balaquier, which had been much strengthened by the English. It was resolved to assault these forts, and batteries opposite to them were erected by the French under Buonaparte's direction. After much desperate fighting, vast numbers of troops being pressed against the forts, that of Balaquier was taken. This gave the French such command of the inner harbour, that Lord Hood called a council of war, and showed the necessity of retiring with the fleet, and thus enabling the Royalists to escape, who would otherwise be exterminated by their merciless countrymen. This was agreed to, and it was resolved to maintain the different forts till the ships had cleared out. The Neapolitans behaved very ill, showing no regard for anything but their own safety. They held two forts—one at Cape Lebrun, and the other at Cape Lesset; these, they said, they would surrender as soon as the enemy approached. They made haste to get their ships and men out of harbour, leaving all else to take care of themselves. The Spaniards and Piedmontese behaved in a much nobler manner. They assisted willingly all day in getting on board the Royalists—men, women, and children. All night the troops began to defile through a narrow sallyport to the boats under the guns of the fort La Malaga. This was happily effected; and then Sir Sidney Smith, who had recently arrived at Toulon, and had volunteered the perilous office of blowing up the powder-magazines, stores, arsenals, and the ships that could not be removed, began his operations. He succeeded in setting fire to the stores and about forty ships of war that were in the harbour.
Amongst the prose writers of this period a lady stands prominent, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (b. 1690; d. 1762), the daughter of the Duke of Kingston, and mother of Lady Bute, the wife of the Earl of Bute, the celebrated Minister of George III. Lady Mary derives her chief fame from her Letters, which were not published till after her death. They are as remarkable for their wit, brilliancy, and clear, thorough sense, as any of the writings of the age. In these we have a most graphic picture of life in the East, as she had lived some years at Constantinople with her husband. She thence conferred one of the greatest boons on her country, by the introduction of inoculation for the smallpox. Lady Mary translated the "Enchiridion of Epictetus," and wrote many verses, including satirical ones, called "Town Eclogues;" but her fame must always rest upon her clear and sparkling letters. She was celebrated for her wit and beauty, and was a leading figure in the fashionable as well as the literary world. Pope and she were long great friends, but quarrelled irreconcilably.On the following morning, being Monday, the Ministers came to the resolution of entering the baronet's house by force; and, as he sat at breakfast with a considerable company of friends, an attempt was made by a man to enter by the window, which he broke in trying to raise the sash. This man was secured; but a more successful party of officers below dashed in a window on the ground floor, and soon appeared in the drawing-room. Sir Francis was seized and, still struggling and protesting, was conveyed to a carriage. Then, escorted by the military, he was taken to the Tower, amid tremendous crowds, crying "Burdett for ever!" A strong force had occupied the passage through the City, and had drawn up before the Tower before the arrival of the party with the prisoner, whom they had taken round by Pentonville and Islington. The scene during the conveyance of Sir Francis into the old fortress was indescribable for tumult and yelling. As the soldiers were returning they were hooted and pelted with stones, and at last they lost patience and fired, killing two persons and wounding several others."I have for several years endeavoured to obtain a compromise on this subject. The result of resistance to qualified concession must be the same in the present instance as in those I have mentioned. It is no longer worth while to contend for a fixed duty. In 1841 the Free Trade party would have agreed to a duty of 8s. a quarter on wheat, and after a lapse of years this duty might have been further reduced, and ultimately abolished. But the imposition of any duty, at present, without a provision for its extinction within a short period, would but prolong a contest already sufficiently fruitful of animosity and discontent. The struggle to make bread scarce and dear, when it is clear that part, at least, of the additional price goes to increase rent, is a struggle deeply injurious to an aristocracy which (this quarrel once removed) is strong in property, strong in the construction of our Legislature, strong in opinion, strong in ancient associations and the memory of immortal services."
As Ministers did not resign on being placed in a minority the third time, rumours were industriously circulated by their opponents that they meant to rule the country despotically; that they were about to dissolve Parliament the second time, and had resolved to maintain the army on their own responsibility, without the Mutiny Act. On the 2nd of March Lord John Russell, referring to these rumours, gave notice that he intended to bring forward the Irish Appropriation question, and the question of Municipal Reform. It was for a test of this kind that Sir Robert Peel waited. In the meantime he denied that he had any such intentions as those ascribed to him, and compelled Mr. Hume to withdraw his proposal to limit the supplies to three months. He promised that Government would bring in a Bill on the Irish Church; but it would adhere strictly to the principle that ecclesiastical property should be reserved for ecclesiastical purposes. He declared they would be prepared to remedy all real abuses when the report of the Commissioners appointed for their investigation was received.
INTERIOR OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1742.
Amongst those who hailed enthusiastically the French Revolution, and gave credit to its promises of benefit to humanity, were a considerable number of the Dissenting body, and especially of the Unitarian class. Amongst these, Drs. Price, Priestley, Kippis, and Towers were most prominent. Dr. Price—who furnished Pitt with the theory of the Sinking Fund, and with other propositions of reform,—on the breaking out of the French Revolution was one of the first to respond to it with acclamation. He was a member of the Revolution Society, and in 1789 he preached before it a sermon on "The Love of our Country," and in this drew so beautiful a picture of the coming happiness of man from the French Revolution, that he declared that he was ready to exclaim with Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." At the dinner on the same occasion he moved that a congratulatory address be sent to the National Assembly on that glorious event, which was seconded by Lord Stanhope the chairman, and which was sent, and received with great acclamation by the National Assembly. Burke, in his "Reflections on the French Revolution," was very severe on Price, as well as on his coadjutors; and as Price died this year it was said that the "Reflections" had killed him, which, were it true, could not be said to have done it very prematurely, for the doctor was in his seventieth year.
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO: FRENCH CUIRASSIERS CHARGING A BRITISH SQUARE.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."AFTER CULLODEN: REBEL HUNTING.
This proposal, which, at an earlier stage of the dispute, might have been listened to, was one at this stage which was sure to be rejected, and was only one of those miserable half measures which commonplace minds so frequently put forth only to demonstrate their inability to grasp the amplitude of the occasion. It was supposed that the measure had been intended to be larger, but that the Bedford party had fallen on it in Council, and reduced it to these pitiable dimensions. Yet when it was introduced into the Commons by Lord North, the Bedford party looked at each other in consternation, and soon the tempest broke loose on the Treasury benches.
The Home Secretary once more submitted his views to the Duke, in a memorandum dated January 12th, that was written with a view to being submitted to the king, in which he put the inevitable alternative of a Cabinet united in the determination to carry Catholic Emancipation, or a Cabinet constructed on exclusively Protestant principles; and he came to the conclusion that no Cabinet so constructed could possibly carry on the general administration of the country. The state of the House of Commons appeared to him to be an insuperable obstacle to the successful issue of that experiment. Since the year 1807 there had been five Parliaments, and in the course of each of these, with one exception, the House of Commons had come to a decision in favour of the consideration of the Catholic question. The present Parliament had decided in the same manner. A dissolution, were it practicable, would not result in an election more favourable to the Protestant interest, if an exclusively Protestant Government were formed. Even should there be an increase of anti-Catholic members in England, it would not compensate for the increased excitement in Ireland, and the violent and vexatious opposition that would be given by fifty or sixty Irish members, returned by the Catholic Association and the priests. Then there would be the difficulty about preserving the peace in Ireland. During the last autumn, out of the regular infantry force in the United Kingdom, amounting to about 30,000 men, 25,000 men were stationed either in Ireland or on the west coast of England, with a view to the maintenance of tranquillity in Ireland, Great Britain being then at peace with all the world. What would be the consequence should England be involved in a war with some foreign Power? Various other considerations were urged, upon which Mr. Peel founded his advice to the king, which was—that he should not grant the Catholic claims, or any part of them, precipitately and unadvisedly, but that he should, in the first instance, remove the barrier which prevented the consideration of the Catholic question by the Cabinet, and permit his confidential servants to consider it in all its relations, on the same principles on which they considered any other question of public policy, in the hope that some plan of adjustment could be proposed, on the authority and responsibility of a Government likely to command the assent of Parliament and to unite in its support a powerful weight of Protestant opinion, from a conviction that it was a settlement equitable towards Roman Catholics and safe as it concerned the Protestant Establishment.
The meeting of the Westminster electors the next day, held in Palace Yard, under the very walls of Parliament, was attended by vast crowds, and the tone of the speakers was most indignant. They justified the letter of their representative to themselves; denounced the conduct of the Commons as oppressive, arbitrary, and illegal, tending to destroy the popular liberties; and they approved highly of the baronet's spirited resistance to the forcing of his house. They called for his liberation, and for that of the unjustly incarcerated Mr. Gale Jones. They drew up a letter to Sir Francis to this effect, to be presented to him in the Tower by the high bailiff of Westminster; and they prepared a petition and remonstrance to the House of Commons in equally spirited terms, which was presented the same evening by Lord Cochrane. The Honourable J. W. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, opposed the reception of the petition as highly indecorous, and as violating the dignity of the House; but Whitbread defended it, and even Canning and Perceval excused, in some degree, the tone of the petition in the circumstances. It was ordered, therefore, to be laid on the table.At length Mar, who was kept back by the absence of the Pretender, determined to outwit Argyll by sending a detachment under Brigadier Mackintosh across the Firth of Forth below Stirling, whilst another body, under General Gordon, was despatched to seize on Inverary, and keep the clan Campbell in check. Mackintosh had about two thousand men under his command, chiefly from his own clans, but supported by the regiments of the Lords Nairn, Strathmore, and Charles Murray. To prevent these forces from crossing, three English ships of war ascended the Forth to near Burntisland; but whilst a detachment of five hundred men held the attention of the ships at that point, the main body were embarking on the right in small boats lower down, and the greater part of them got across the Firth, and landed at Aberlady and North Berwick. The city of Edinburgh was in consternation at this daring man?uvre, and at the proximity of such a force; and Mackintosh, hearing of this panic, and of the miserable state of defence there, determined to attempt to surprise it. He stayed one night at Haddington to rest his men, and on the 14th appeared at Jock's Lodge, within a mile of Edinburgh. But on the very first appearance of Mackintosh's troops, Sir George Warrender, the Provost of Edinburgh, had despatched a messenger to summon the Duke of Argyll from Stirling to the aid of the capital. The duke was already approaching Edinburgh, and therefore Mackintosh, perceiving that he had no chance of surprising the town, turned aside to Leith.
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