The condition of Washington was inconceivably depressing. The time for the serving of the greater part of the troops was fast expiring; and numbers of them, despite the circumstances of the country, went off. Whilst Washington was, therefore, exerting himself to prevail on them to continue, he was compelled to weaken his persuasions by enforcing the strictest restraint on both soldiers and officers, who would plunder the inhabitants around them on the plea that they were Tories. Sickness was in his camp; and his suffering men, for want of hospitals, were obliged to lie about in barns, stables, sheds, and even under the fences and bushes. He wrote again to Congress in a condition of despair. He called on them to place their army on a permanent footing; to give the officers such pay as should enable them to live as gentlemen, and not as mean plunderers. He recommended that not only a good bounty should be given to every non-commissioned officer and soldier, but also the reward of a hundred or a hundred and fifty acres of land, a suit of clothes, and a blanket. Though Congress was loth to comply with these terms, it soon found that it must do so, or soldiers would go over to the royal army.
Mr. Villiers's motion was again brought forward on the 9th of May. The debate lasted for five nights, and ended in a division which, though it showed a majority of 256 against inquiry, was encouraging as evidencing an increase in the number of the Free Traders. The minority numbered 125. The debate was chiefly remarkable for the violence of the monopolist party. Sir Robert Peel said that the subject was exhausted, and nothing new could be adduced. "The motion of Mr. Villiers was fairly stated and proposed—there was no subterfuge involved in it. But he thought that the principle must be applied generally and universally to every article on which a duty was levied. They could not stand on the single article of corn. By the adoption of the motion they would sound the knell of Protection, and they must immediately proceed to apply the principle to practice. This would at once upset the commercial arrangements of the last year. The whole of our colonial system must be swept away without favour and without consideration." A contemporary writer describes the uproar which took place on this occasion as exceeding anything that had been witnessed since the night of the memorable division on the Corn Bill. The minority, it is said, were aware that the remaining speeches, even if delivered, could not be reported, and for that and other reasons were in their resolves so resolute, that although outvoted in some divisions, the question was just as often removed and seconded. At length Mr. Ross told Lord Dungannon, that if he were contented to sit till eight o'clock, he himself, and those who acted with him, would willingly sit till nine; and it was at this stage that Sir Charles Napier slyly suggested that they should divide themselves into three watches, after the fashion of a ship's crew. This arrangement would afford ease to all, excepting the Speaker, to whom he was sorry he could not afford the slightest relief. Worn out at length by the violence of their exertions, and despairing of victory, the majority yielded.Meanwhile, Buonaparte, summoned by the Directory to take the command of the army of England, had arrived in Paris on the 5th of December, 1797, and had taken up his abode in his former residence, in the Rue Chantereine, which the Commune immediately changed, in honour of the conquest of Italy, into the Rue de la Victoire. But it was necessary that Buonaparte should prepare for the invasion of England, for which purpose he had been called home. All France was in transports of joy at the thought of seeing England at last overrun. The Directory had raised their cry of "Delenda est Carthago!" "It is at London," they said, "that all the misfortunes of Europe are manufactured; it is in London that they must be terminated." On the 8th of February, 1798, Napoleon left Paris to obtain information as to the coasts of the English Channel, preparatory to the sailing of the armament. He visited étaples, Ambleteuse, Boulogne, Calais, Dunkirk, Furnes, Nieuwport, Ostend, and Walcheren, making at these different ports the necessary surveys, and holding long and earnest conversations with sailors, pilots, smugglers, and fishermen. He returned to Paris on the 22nd, having, in a fortnight, quite satisfied himself that the attempt had better be relinquished so long as England commanded the sea.
The Session of 1850 was creditably distinguished by the establishment of a policy of self-government for our colonies. They had become so numerous and so large as to be utterly unmanageable by the centralised system of the Colonial Office; while the liberal spirit that pervaded the Home Government, leading to the abolition of great monopolies, naturally reacted upon our fellow-subjects settled abroad, and made them discontented without constitutional rights. It was now felt that the time was come for a comprehensive measure of constitutional government for our American and Australian Colonies; and on the 8th of February, Lord John Russell, then Prime Minister, brought the subject before the House of Commons. It was very fully discussed, Sir William Molesworth, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Labouchere, and others who had taken an active part in colonial affairs, being the principal speakers. With regard to Canada, great progress had already been made in constitutional government. The same might be said of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in which the practice of administration approximated to that observed in Great Britain. It was determined to introduce representative institutions of a similar kind in Cape Colony. In Australia it was proposed that there should be but one Council, two-thirds elected by the people and one-third nominated by the Governor. Mr. Roebuck objected strongly to the Government measure, because it left the colonists free, to a great extent, to gratify the strong desire almost universally felt among them to have power to choose a Constitution for themselves, instead of having a Constitution sent out to them, cut and dry. He wanted the House to plant at once liberal institutions there, which would spare the colonists the agony of working out a scheme of government for themselves. He declared that "of all the abortions of an incompetent Administration, this was the greatest." A ready-made Constitution had been sent out by the Government to South Africa; why, then, could not Parliament send out a ready-made Constitution to Australia? Lord John Russell replied to Mr. Roebuck's arguments, and after a lengthened debate the Bill was read a second time. There was a strong division of opinion in committee as to whether there should be two Chambers or one. Sir William Molesworth moved an amendment to the effect that there should be two, which was rejected by a majority of 218 against 150. The Bill passed the House of Commons on the 18th of May, and on the 31st was brought into the Lords, where also it was subjected to lengthened discussions and various amendments, which caused it to be sent back to the Commons for consideration on the 1st of August. On the motion of Lord John Russell the amendments were agreed to, and the Bill was passed. This was the principal legislative work of the Session and possessed undoubted merits.The supplies and the Mutiny Bill were now passed without much difficulty, but Ministers did not venture to introduce an Appropriation Bill. On the 23rd, Lord North, stating that the dissolution of Parliament was confidently asserted out of doors, declared that such a dissolution, without passing an Appropriation Bill, would be an unparalleled insult to the House. He expressed his astonishment that the Minister did not condescend to utter a syllable on the subject of the proposed change. Pitt, now confident of his position, replied that gentlemen might ask as many questions as they pleased; that he had adopted a course which was advantageous to the country, and did not feel bound to enter then into any explanations. All mystery, however, was cleared up the next day, for the king went down to the House of Lords and prorogued Parliament, announcing that he felt it his duty to the Constitution and the country to convoke a new Parliament. Accordingly, on the following day, the 25th of March, he dissolved Parliament by proclamation.
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.
From the Picture by T. R. HARDY.
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 chateau, with its walled orchard, and a wood beyond it, called Hougomont—a contraction of Chateau-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 chateau 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.
LORD BYRON.[See larger version]
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.Some faint endeavours were made to shake off the yoke. Encouraged by France, they summoned the Turks to their aid and cut to pieces several detachments of the Russians. They proclaimed Poniatowski deposed, and called on the people to aid them to drive out the invaders. But the people, long used to oppression from their own lords, did not answer to the call. In France, Choiseul had been hurled from power, and France left the Poles to their fate. It was now that Frederick of Prussia proposed to Austria to combine with Russia and share Poland between them. At this robber proposition, so in character with Frederick, who had all his life been creating a kingdom by plundering his neighbours, Maria Theresa at first exclaimed in horror. But she was now old and failing, and she gave way, declaring that, long after she was dead and gone, people would see what would happen from their having broken through everything which had, till then, been deemed just and holy. Frederick of Prussia took the surest way to compel the Austrians to come in for a share of the spoils of Poland. He marched a body of soldiers out of Silesia—the territory which he had rent from Austria—into Posen, and Austria, not to be behind, had marched another army into the Carpathian Mountains.详情
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