[See larger version]Bolingbroke, now restored to his estates, though the attainder still deprived him of his seat in the House of Lords, endeavoured to create a new species of opposition in Parliament. He retained his influence with the Duchess of Kendal, and cultivated that of the ultra-Tories. Still more, he soon discovered that William Pulteney, the most eloquent man in the House, had grown disgusted with Walpole, who could never bear any man of pre-eminent ability near the throne except himself. Pulteney had been one of the steadiest friends of the late queen's Government, and of the Protestant succession. Under George he had been made Secretary at War. He had adhered to Walpole when he was sent to the Tower for corruption, and in the great schism of 1717. Yet Walpole had carefully excluded him from any high post in the Cabinet, and had endeavoured to veil his jealousy of him by offering to procure him a peerage, by which he would have removed him from the active sphere of the House of Commons. Pulteney saw the object, and rejected the specious favour. Instead of conferring on Pulteney some office worthy of his talents, Walpole then put him into that of Cofferer of the Household. In the state of indignation which this paltry appointment raised in him Bolingbroke soon induced Pulteney to put himself at the head of a large body of Oppositionists, under the title of "Patriots." In this character he made some smart attacks on Walpole and his heavy drafts on the Civil List for his friends, for which he was dismissed, and joined Bolingbroke in a bold attempt to write down the Minister. Between them the celebrated paper The Craftsman was planned and established, and they became the bitterest and most persevering assailants of Walpole.
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But Buonaparte did not content himself with stabs at the reputation of his enemies—he resorted to his old practices of assassination. The booksellers of Germany, ignoring the dominance of Buonaparte in their country, though he had completely silenced the press in France, dared to publish pamphlets and articles against the French invasion and French rule in Germany. Buonaparte ordered Berthier to seize a number of these publishers, and try them by court-martial, on the plea that they excited the inhabitants to rise and massacre his soldiers. Amongst the booksellers thus arrested was John Philip Palm, of Nuremberg. The charge against him was that he had published a pamphlet entitled, "L'Allemagne dans son profond abaissement." This production was attributed to M. Gentz, a writer who was most damaging to the influence of Buonaparte, and Palm was offered his pardon if he would give up the author. He refused. Nuremberg, though occupied by French soldiers, was under the protection of Prussia, which was, just now, no protection at all. Palm was carried off to Braunau, in Austria. This place was still occupied by Buonaparte, in direct violation of the Treaty of Pressburg; so that Buonaparte, in the seizure and trial of Palm, was guilty of the breach of almost every international and civil law; for, had Palm been the citizen of a French city, his offence being a mere libel did not make him responsible to a military tribunal. The French colonels condemned him to be shot, and the sentence was immediately executed on the 26th of August. The indignation and odium which this atrocious act excited, not only throughout Germany, but throughout the civilised world, caused Buonaparte, with his usual disregard of truth, to say that the officers had done all this without any orders from him, but out of their own too officious zeal.The campaign in Flanders commenced with the highest expectation on the part of England. Cumberland had now obtained the great object of his ambition—the command of the Allied army; and the conqueror of Culloden was confidently expected to show himself the conqueror of Marshal Saxe and of France. But Cumberland, who was no match for Marshal Saxe, found the Dutch and Austrians, as usual, vastly deficient in their stipulated quotas. The French, hoping to intimidate the sluggish and wavering Dutch, threatened to send twenty thousand men into Dutch Flanders, if the States did not choose to negotiate for a separate peace. The menace, however, had the effect of rousing Holland to some degree of action. When the vanguard of Saxe's army, under Count L?wendahl, burst into Dutch Flanders, and reduced the frontier forts of Sluys, Sas-van-Ghent, and Hulst, the Dutch rose against their dastardly governors, and once more placed a prince of the House of Nassau in the Stadtholdership. William of Nassau, who had married Anne, daughter of George II. of England, was, unfortunately, not only nominated Stadtholder, but Captain-General and Lord High Admiral; and, being equally desirous of martial glory with his brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, he headed the Dutch army, and immediately began to contend with Cumberland for dictation as to the movements of the army. In these disastrous circumstances, the Allies came to blows with the French at the village of Laufeldt, before Maestricht. The Dutch in the centre gave way and fled; the Austrians on the right, under Marshal Batthyani, would not advance out of their fortified position; the brunt of the whole onset, therefore, fell upon the English. Cumberland found himself engaged with the whole French army, directed by the masterly mind of Saxe, and animated by the presence of Louis himself. The dispositions of Cumberland were bad, but the bravery of the British troops was never more remarkable. Though it was impossible for them to prevail against such overwhelming numbers, they did not retreat before they had, according to Saxe's own acknowledgment, killed or wounded nine thousand of the French.On the 24th of June Lord John Russell proposed his second edition of the Reform Bill, which did not substantially differ from the first. His speech on this occasion was a perfect contrast to the one with which he had introduced the measure at first. There was no longer any hesitation or timidity. He was no longer feeling his way doubtfully on an untried path, or navigating without compass along a dangerous coast. He boldly launched out to sea, with his eye steadily fixed on the north star, certain of his course and confident of the issue. The discussions of the previous Session had thrown a flood of light upon the whole question. Sustained by the enthusiasm of the people, and animated by the sympathy of the majority around him on the Ministerial benches, he spoke as if a greater and more vigorous mind had taken possession of his frame. He was strong in argument, cutting in sarcasm, defiant in tone, powerful in declamation. Borne by the power of public opinion to a higher and more commanding position, and proudly conscious of the elevation, he seemed ashamed of the petty proposals of former years, and felt his heart as well as his intellect expanding to the greatness of the new position. The Bill was read a first time without opposition, the discussion being expressly reserved by Sir Robert Peel for the second reading, which was fixed for the 4th of July. In the meantime the Irish Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley on the 30th of June, Messrs. O'Connell and Sheil complaining bitterly of the difference existing, to the disadvantage of Ireland, between the proposed plans of Reform for the two countries. On the following day the Lord Advocate brought in the Bill relating to Scotland. On the 4th of July Lord John Russell moved the second reading of the English Reform Bill. A debate of three nights followed, containing little or no novelty in the argument, nothing but a wearisome repetition of points that had been discussed all over the country, hundreds of times, during the last few months. The most interesting feature was the attitude of Sir Robert Peel, who unfortunately placed himself in the front of the battle against Reform, in which he proved himself so able a general that all enlightened friends of the country lamented his false position. It was remarked, however, that he confined himself to a criticism of details.
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.
"'Partes ubi se via findit in ambas.'"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.
THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON IN NOTRE DAME. (See p. 499.)
On the Rhine there was a good deal of sharp fighting between the French and Austrians. General Bender had been compelled to surrender Luxembourg, on the 7th of July, and allowed to retire with his army of ten thousand men into Germany, on condition of not serving again till exchanged. There then remained little on either bank of the Rhine to restrain the advance of the French, except Mayence on the left bank, and Manheim and Düsseldorf on the right. Pichegru, in August, made himself master of both Düsseldorf and Manheim, and was advancing to the reduction of Heidelberg when he was met by old General Wurmser, and driven back to Manheim. He was, in fact, meditating treachery. Jourdain, who was advancing in another direction to co-operate with Pichegru in the reduction of Mayence, was encountered by Clairfait, and driven back to Düsseldorf. Clairfait then attacked the French forces already investing Mayence, and the garrison making a sally at the same time, the French were completely dispersed, and part retreated north and part south. Wurmser then invested Manheim, and compelled its surrender on the 22nd of November. Pichegru signed an armistice with the Austrians before joining them. Jourdain also retreated.
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.These resolutions being carried, it then became a question whether the prince would accept this restricted regency. Burke had warned the House that perhaps, after all, the prince would not accept such a shadow of his own natural powers, and he warned them likewise that the British Parliament might find itself electing the prince as regent, whilst the Irish Parliament was nominating him as by right. But it would appear that the Whigs were so anxious to seize on office, even under such cramping restrictions, and to see Pitt dethroned, that they advised the prince to accept. A joint committee of Lords and Commons waited on him on the 30th of January, the anniversary of the execution of Charles I., and another joint-committee the same day waited on the queen, and the next day their answers, accepting their respective offices, were communicated to Parliament. The prince, indeed, qualified his acceptance by declaring that he did it only as a temporary arrangement, and in the hope, notwithstanding the peculiar and unprecedented circumstances, of preserving the interests of the king, the crown, and the people.
The time for the last grand conflict for the recovery of their forfeited throne in Great Britain by the Stuarts was come. The Pretender had grown old and cautious, but the young prince, Charles Edward, who had been permitted by his father, and encouraged by France, to attempt this great object in 1744, had not at all abated his enthusiasm for it, though Providence had appeared to fight against him, and France, after the failure of Dunkirk, had seemed to abandon the design altogether. When he received the news of the battle of Fontenoy he was at the Chateau de Navarre, near Evreux, the seat of his attached friend, the young Duke de Bouillon. He wrote to Murray of Broughton to announce his determination to attempt the enterprise at all hazards. He had been assured by Murray himself that his friends in Scotland discountenanced any rising unless six thousand men and ten thousand stand of arms could be brought over; and that, without these, they would not even engage to join him. The announcement, therefore, that he was coming threw the friends of the old dynasty in Scotland into the greatest alarm. All but the Duke of Perth condemned the enterprise in the strongest terms, and wrote letters to induce him to postpone his voyage. But these remonstrances arrived too late; if, indeed, they would have had any effect had they reached him earlier. Charles Edward had lost no time in making his preparations.If Pitt had possessed the far-seeing genius of his father Chatham, it was at this moment in his power, as the ally of Turkey, to have stepped in and given a blow to the ambitious designs of Russia which would have saved a far more arduous and costly effort for that very purpose afterwards. Russia had spared no pains to insult Britain, especially since the unfortunate contest on account of America. It was certain that if she once obtained Turkey she would become a most troublesome power in the Mediterranean; and it now required only the dispatch of a tolerable fleet to the Baltic, and of another to the Black Sea, to annihilate in a few days every vestige of her maritime force. Such a check would have caused her to recoil from her Eastern aggressions for the purpose of defending her very existence at home. Holland was bound to us by the re-establishment of the Prince of Orange, our fast friend, whom Pitt, with the assistance of Prussia, had restored to the throne, whence he had been driven by his democratic subjects, in spite of the assistance given to the rebels by France; we were at peace with Prussia; France was engrossed inextricably with her own affairs; Denmark was in terror of us; and Sweden longed for nothing so much as to take vengeance for Russian insults and invasions. Catherine's fleets destroyed, Sweden would have full opportunity to ravage her coasts, and to seek the recovery of her Finnish dominions. But Pitt contented himself with diplomacy. Instead of destroying the Russian fleet in the Baltic, or of attacking it in the Mediterranean the moment it commenced its operations on the Turkish dependencies, and then clearing the Black Sea of their ships, he contented himself with issuing a proclamation in the London Gazette, forbidding English seamen to enter any foreign service, and commanding the owners of the vessels engaged by Russia to renounce their contracts. Thus the fleet before Oczakoff was left to operate against the Turks, and the fleet in the Baltic was detained there.
Pitt had returned to office in anything but promising circumstances. Britain was at war with a great nation, and as yet the coalition which he was laboriously building up was far from being complete. Pitt's health was failing: his energies were prematurely worn out by the gigantic task that was forced upon him; his end was fast approaching, and his majority was shrunk and attenuated to an alarming degree. The Fox and Grenville opposition held together firmly, and Addington had carried a strong party along with him on retiring. Pitt felt his situation keenly and the king was sensibly alarmed at it. He attempted to conciliate Grenville, but, as Fox could not be accepted too, that failed. He then turned to Addington, and as the king was favourably disposed to his old minister, he warmly recommended this coalition. It was effected, and Addington was made a peer—Viscount Sidmouth, of Sidmouth. This was one of those rapid political promotions of George III.'s reign in which politics were made to ennoble men of no particular mark or abilities; and certainly the son of Pitt's father's doctor had never shown those splendid talents or rendered those brilliant services which justified such an elevation. But, as Pitt would take the lead in the Commons, it was, no doubt, felt more convenient that one who had lately been Prime Minister should not serve under the present Prime Minister, but should represent the Cabinet in the Upper House. There were some other changes at the same time. The Duke of Portland, who was growing old and infirm, retired from the post of President of the Council, which Sidmouth took up. Lord Harrowby, a warm friend of Pitt, retired, in consequence of continued illness, from the Foreign Department, and Lord Mulgrave took it, the Earl of Buckinghamshire succeeding to Lord Mulgrave's post as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.Why did his master break?详情
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