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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[70] 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 English lay all night on their arms, and, as day dawned, began to entrench their position. If ever a general needed to push on his advantage it was now. Every day was consuming Burgoyne's stores; every day was augmenting the forces of the enemy. The country was closed to Burgoyne; it was open with all its resources to the Americans. Yet he lay there, as if paralysed, from the 20th of September to the 7th of October. The reason of this fatal delay is said to have been that Burgoyne had received a letter from General Sir Henry Clinton at New York, informing him that he must expect no co-operation from General Howe, but that he himself would take the responsibility of making a diversion in his favour by attacking the Forts Montgomery and Clinton, on the lower part of the Hudson. Burgoyne, on receiving this intelligence, sent Clinton word that he would remain where he was till the 12th of October—a fatal resolve, as a calculation of his stores should have shown him, which the acts of the Americans were certain to render calamitous. Elated at being able to stand their ground in some degree, this novel and almost sole success in the war had raised the spirits of the Colonials as by a miracle. They poured in on all sides, and Arnold, ever ready in resource, suggested to Gates an enterprise to be effected while Burgoyne was lying still and consuming his own victuals.

As he left the hall he turned and said, "Farewell, my lords; we shall never meet again in the same place." And with this tragi-comedy closed the strange, romantic, and melancholy rebellion of 1745 and 1746, for in a few weeks an act of indemnity was passed, disfigured, however, with eighty omissions. It was followed by other measures for subduing the spirit of the vanquished Highlanders—the disarming act, the abolition of heritable jurisdiction, and the prohibition of the Highland costume.The Parliamentary Session for 1845 was opened by the Queen in person on the 4th of February. At a meeting a few days earlier, Mr. Cobden had warned his hearers that no change in the Corn Laws could be expected from Sir Robert Peel so long as the Ministry could avail themselves of the old excuse, the revived prosperity of manufactures and commerce. "Ours," he had said, "is a very simple proposition. We say to the right honourable baronet, 'Abolish the monopolies which go to enrich that majority which placed you in power and keeps you there.' We know he will not attempt it; but we are quite certain he will make great professions of being a Free Trader, notwithstanding."On the death of Stanhope, Sir Robert Walpole was left without a rival, and he received his commission of First Lord of the Treasury on the 2nd of April, and from this period down to 1742 he continued to direct the government of Great Britain. His chief anxiety now was to restore the public credit. He drew up, as Chairman of the Committee of the Commons, a report of all that had been lost in the late excitements, and of the measures that had been adopted to remedy the costs incurred. Amongst these were the resolutions of the House respecting the seven and a half millions the directors of the South Sea Company had agreed to pay to Government; more than five had been remitted, and we may add that on the clamorous complaints of the Company the remainder was afterwards remitted too. The forfeited estates had been made to clear off a large amount of encumbrance, the credit of the Company's bonds had been maintained, and thirty-three per cent. of the capital paid to the proprietors. Such were the[49] measures adopted by the Commons, and these being stated in the report to the king, a Bill was brought in embodying them all. Many of the proprietors, however, were not satisfied. They were very willing to forget their own folly and greediness, and charge the blame on the Government. On the second reading of Walpole's Bill they thronged the lobby of the House of Commons. The next day the Bill was carried, and gradually produced quiet; but Walpole himself did not escape without severe animadversions. He was accused of having framed his measures in collusion with the Bank, and with a clear eye to his own interest; but he had been strenuously vindicated from the charge, and on the whole the vigour and boldness with which he encountered the storm and quelled it deserve the highest praise, and may well cover a certain amount of self-interest, from which few Ministers are free.

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.

The names and prices of all the purchased members of the Irish Parliament were preserved in the Irish Black and Red lists. A selection of a few of them will interest the reader:—"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."It was not to be wondered at that when, on the 24th of January, the preliminaries of peace were laid on the tables of the two Houses, there should be a violent denunciation of the large concessions made by Ministers. Spain had been granted better terms than in any treaty since that of St. Quentin. She had obtained the most desirable island of Minorca, with the finest port on the Mediterranean. She had got the Floridas, and had given up scarcely anything, whilst, had the British, now freed from the dead weight of America, pursued the war against her, she must soon have lost most of her valuable insular colonies. France had given up more, but she recovered very important territories which she had lost, and especially her settlements of Pondicherry and Chandernagore, in the East Indies; but America had conceded nothing, and yet had been allowed to determine her own frontier, and to share the benefits of the fishing all round our own Transatlantic coasts.

The death of no English statesman had ever produced a deeper feeling of grief throughout the nation, or more general expressions of lamentation at the irreparable loss which the country had sustained. Mr. Hume had a motion on the paper for the day following his death; but instead of proceeding with it, he moved the adjournment of the House, which was agreed to unanimously. Mr. Gladstone paid an eloquent and touching tribute to his memory, concluding with the lines—Paine, in his "Rights of Man," was far from restricting himself to the courtesies of life in attacking Burke. He had been most hospitably received by Burke on many occasions at his house, and had corresponded with him, and must therefore have seen sufficient of him to know that, though he might become extremely enthusiastic in his championship of certain views, he could never become mean or dishonest. Yet Paine did not hesitate to attribute to him the basest and most sordid motives. He branded him as the vilest and most venal of apostates. Paine had, in fact, become a monomaniac in Republicanism. He had been engaged to the last in the American Revolution, and was now living in Paris, and constantly attending the Jacobin club. He was hand-in-hand with the most rabid of the Republicans, and was fast imbibing their anti-Christian tenets. Paine fully believed that the French were inaugurating something much finer than any millennium; that they were going to establish the most delightful liberty, equality, and fraternity, not simply throughout France but throughout the world. Before the doctrines of the French clubbists and journalists, all superstition, all despotism, all unkindness were to vanish from amongst mankind, and a paradisiacal age of love and felicity was to commence. To those who pointed to the blood and fury already too prominently conspicuous in this business, he replied that these were but the dregs of corrupt humanity, which were working off in the great fermentation, and all would become clear and harmonious.

Whilst matters were in this discouraging condition, Lord Lexington was sent to Spain to receive the solemn renunciation of the Crown of France for Philip and his successors, in the presence of the Cortes, which accordingly took place on the 5th of November. Portugal, also, on the 7th of November, signed, at Utrecht, the suspension of arms, at the same time admitting to the Allies that she did it only as a matter of absolute necessity. The Portuguese had held out firmly till the English refused to give them any assistance, when the Marquis de Bay invaded the kingdom at the head of twenty thousand men, and laid siege to Campo-Major. The English troops in Spain were ordered to separate from those of the Allies under Count Stahremberg, and were marched into Catalonia to embark at Barcelona. The people of that province beheld the English depart with sentiments of indignant contempt. England had first incited them to take up arms and declare for King Charles under the most solemn engagements never to make peace without them. But now they had broken their faith in the most shameless manner, and left them to the vengeance of the French triumphant in Spain. Such on all sides were the facts which forced on the world the conviction of the perfidy of England, which had hitherto borne so fair a reputation.

Washington saw almost with despair the condition of the American army; any other man would have despaired of it altogether. He wrote to Congress that nothing could make soldiers trustworthy but longer terms of service; that, in fact, they ought to be engaged for the whole war, and subjected to a rigid and constant discipline. He complained that the soldiers were much bolder in plundering than fighting; and one of his officers observed that the Pennsylvanian and New England troops would as soon fight each other as the enemy. His Adjutant-General, Reed, declared that discipline was almost impossible amid such a levelling spirit as prevailed. These startling facts made Congress begin in earnest to look out for foreign aid. In the meantime, it voted that the army should be reorganised with eighty-eight[231] battalions, to be enlisted as soon as possible, and to serve during the war; each State to furnish its respective quota, and to name the officers as high as colonels. But Washington had soon to complain that they only voted, and did not carry the plan strenuously into action; that there was a mighty difference between voting battalions and raising men.

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[See larger version]In the House of Lords several discussions took place on the dismissal of the Repeal magistrates. Lord Clanricarde, on the 14th of July, moved resolutions declaring that act of the Lord Chancellor "unconstitutional, unjust, and inexpedient." The Duke of Wellington met the motion by a direct negative. "These meetings," he said, "consisting of 10,000, 20,000, or 100,000 men—no matter the number of thousands—having been continued, I wish to know with what object they were continued? With a view to address Parliament to repeal the union? No, my lords; they were continued in order to obtain the desired repeal of the union by the terror of the people, and, if not by terror, by force and violence; and the persons calling these meetings were magistrates, the very men who must have been employed by the Government to resist such terror and violence, and to arrest those who were guilty of such breaches of the peace. That is the ground on which the Lord Chancellor of Ireland said to the magistrates, 'You must be dismissed if you attend, or invite attendance at such meetings.'" The Duke "regretted to learn there was poverty in Ireland; but," he asked, "was that poverty relieved by a march of twenty-five and thirty miles a day in spring and summer to hear seditious speeches? Was poverty relieved by subscribing to the Repeal rent?" The resolutions were negatived by a majority of 91 to 29. In a subsequent debate, arising out of a petition presented by Lord Roden from 5,000 Ulster Protestants, complaining that they had been prevented from celebrating the Orange anniversary, while the most flagrant breaches of the law were passed over in the case of those who wanted to overthrow the Constitution, which the Orangemen were sworn to defend, the Duke of Wellington, on that occasion, said that "nothing had been neglected by the Government that was necessary to preserve the peace of the country, and to meet all misfortunes and consequences which might result from the violence of the passions of those men who unfortunately guided the multitude in Ireland. He did not dispute the extent of the conspiracy or the dangers resulting from it; he did not deny the assistance received from foreigners of nearly all nations—disturbed and disturbing spirits, who were anxious to have an opportunity of injuring and deteriorating the great prosperity of this country—but he felt confident that the measures adopted by the Government would enable it to resist all, and preserve the peace."Robespierre believed that there was a majority of the Republicans who thought they had gone too far in abolishing the Deity and setting up the Goddess of Reason. He declared that the people needed festivals, and immediately it was decreed that every decade should be celebrated as a festival. A festival in honour of the Supreme Being inaugurated this series of special holidays, and it was to be followed by festivals to the Human Race, the French People, the Love of Country, Agriculture, Necessity, Misfortune, Posterity, and various other qualities and sentiments, each having one decade in the year. The first festival to the Supreme Being was fixed for the 20th of Prairial, or 8th of June. The painter David was commissioned to prepare the scenes and ceremonies of the festival, which was enacted in the gardens of the Tuileries. Robespierre, in his sky-blue coat and most showy waistcoat, and carrying in his hand a grand bouquet of flowers mixed with ears of wheat, led the procession and officiated as high priest. But though Robespierre had proclaimed the reign of the Supreme Being, he had not the least intention that it should on that account be any the more a reign of mercy. In his speech at the festival of the Supreme Being, he declared that the Republic must be still further purged—that they must remain inexorable. On this point he and all his colleagues were agreed, but they were agreed in nothing else. They immediately broke into fresh schisms, as would necessarily be the case with such men, who must go on exterminating one another to the last. Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon still hung together; but Barrère, Collot d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and most of the other members of the Committees of Public Welfare and Public Safety, were in the very act of rushing into opposition, and beginning a struggle with the triumvirate—Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just—to the death. St. Just advised Robespierre to anticipate them, but he, relying on his authority with the Convention, remained inactive. It was a fatal mistake. Barrère and his faction determined to strike a decisive blow at Robespierre; and Tallien volunteered to commence the attack on Robespierre in the Convention. To Robespierre's utter astonishment, his friends were outnumbered, and decrees were immediately passed for the arrest of Couthon, Lebas, St. Just, Robespierre and his brother. He escaped and fled to the Commune. For a moment it seemed as if a revolution would have restored him to power. But the Parisians were weary of their tyrant, and on the following day Robespierre with twenty members of the Commune perished on the scaffold (July 28th, 1794).

On the 20th of October, 1848, Chuttur Singh and his son, Shere Singh, raised the standard of revolt in the Punjab, and soon appeared at the head of 30,000 men. In November Lord Gough encountered them with 20,000. At Ramnuggur, in attacking the position of the enemy, his men were led into an ambuscade, and were repulsed with tremendous loss. The contest was again renewed on the 13th of January, 1849, when the Sikhs were also very strongly posted in a jungle with 40,000 men and sixty-two guns. Near the village of Chillianwallah a desperate battle was fought, and had lasted for some time when the 14th Light Dragoons, on being ordered to charge, turned and fled through our Horse Artillery, upsetting several guns, and causing such confusion that the Sikh cavalry, promptly availing themselves of the advantage, made a charge, and cut down seventy of our gunners, capturing six guns and five colours. The result was a drawn battle, but the loss on our side was fearful—twenty-seven officers and 731 men killed, and sixty-six officers and 1,446 men wounded. This terrible reverse produced a profound sensation at home. It was ascribed to bad generalship, and there were loud cries for the recall of Lord Gough. The Duke of[601] Wellington felt that the case was so desperate that he called upon Sir Charles Napier to go out and take the command, though suffering under a mortal disease, using the memorable expression, "If you don't go, I must." Sir Charles went immediately. But before he arrived, Lord Gough, on the 21st of February, had retrieved his reputation, and covered the British arms with fresh glory by winning, in magnificent style, the great battle of Goojerat, with the loss of only ninety-two killed and 682 wounded. Mooltan had been besieged again in December. During the bombardment the principal magazine was blown up. It contained 16,000 lbs. of powder: 800 persons were killed or wounded by the explosion, and many buildings destroyed. But Moolraj, though he saw ruined in a moment a work which it cost him five years to construct, still held out. On the 2nd of January the city was stormed, but the citadel remained. Though of immense strength, it yielded to artillery, and Moolraj, with his garrison of nearly 4,000 men, surrendered at discretion.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[139] 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.

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