Whilst this glorious news came from the West, from the East arrived tidings equally stirring. In India Colonel Coote, afterwards famous as Sir Eyre Coote, defeated the French under Lally, and made himself master of all Arcot. General Ford defeated the Marquis de Conflans, and took Masulipatam, and afterwards defeated a detachment of Dutch, which had landed from Java to aid our enemies in Bengal. Ford completely routed them, and took the seven ships which had brought them over, and which lay in the Hooghly.CHAPTER XI. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).
DUBLIN CASTLE. (From a Photograph by W. Lawrence, Dublin.)Commodore Hotham, with only five ships of the line, a bomb-vessel, and some frigates, conveyed Major-General Grant and this force to the West Indies, being nearly the whole way within a short sail of D'Estaing and his much superior fleet, without knowing it. Grant's destination was to protect Dominica; but, before his arrival, Marshal de Bouillé, Governor-General of Martinique, had landed with two thousand men, and had compelled Lieutenant-Governor Stewart, who had only about one hundred regular troops and some indifferent militia for its defence, to surrender. Grant being too late to save Dominica, turned his attention to St. Lucia, being conveyed thither by the joint fleet of Hotham and Barrington. They had scarcely made a good footing on the island when D'Estaing's fleet hove in sight. He had twelve sail-of-the-line, numerous frigates and transports, and ten thousand men on board, and the English would have had little chance could he have landed. But the British fleet resolutely attacked him, and, after several days' struggle, prevented his landing more than half his troops. These were so gallantly repulsed by Brigadier Medows, who was at the head of only one thousand five hundred men, that, on the 28th December, D'Estaing again embarked his troops, and quitted the island. The original French force under Chevalier de Michaud then surrendered, and St. Lucia was won, though Dominica was lost.
Howe, who, with seven thousand soldiers and more than one thousand sailors, did not feel himself safe at New York till the new reinforcements should arrive, sailed away to Halifax—a circumstance which gave the appearance of a retreat to his change of locality, and had thus a bad effect in more ways than one. Washington, who was informed of his final destination, immediately marched with the greater part of his army to New York, and thence went himself to Philadelphia to concert future measures with the Congress. This body, in commemoration of the surrender of Boston, ordered a medal to be struck in honour of it, and that it should bear the effigy of Washington, with the title of the Asserter of the Liberties of his Country. The medal was cast in France.In return for this favour, Clive obtained one of infinitely more importance. It was the transfer of the sole right of dominion throughout the provinces of Bengal, Orissa, and Bahar. All that vast territory was thus made the legal and valid property of the East India Company. The conveyance was ratified by public deed, which was delivered by the Great Mogul to Clive in presence of his court, the throne on which he was elevated during this most important ceremony being an English dining-table, covered with a showy cloth. And of this prince—who was entirely their own puppet—the British still continued to style themselves the vassals, to strike his coins at their mint, and to bear his titles on their public seal! Clive saw the immense importance of maintaining the aspect of subjects to the highest native authority, and of avoiding alarming the minds of the native forces by an open assumption of proprietorship. By this single treaty, at the same time that he had freed the Company from all dependence on the heirs of Meer Jaffier, he derived the Company's title to those states from the supreme native power in India; and he could boast of having secured to his countrymen an annual revenue of two millions of money. Thus began a system which has played a leading part in our Indian history.[See larger version]
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.Hastings then mustered fresh regiments of sepoys; demanded and received three battalions from Cheyte Sing, the Rajah of Benares; armed cruisers; laid up stores of ammunition and provisions for three months in Fort William; enrolled a thousand European militia at Calcutta, and stood ready for any French invasion from sea. He then despatched Colonel Leslie with a strong force into the very heart of the Mahratta country. Leslie appeared to have lost his energy, made four months' delay in the plains of Bundelcund, and the next news was that he was dead. Colonel Goddard was sent to take his command, and advanced into Berar; but there hearing that successive revolutions were taking place at Poonah, he waited the result of them. Meanwhile, the presidency of Bombay, desirous of anticipating the expeditions from Calcutta, now undertook to reinstate Ragunath Rao, a deposed peishwa, whom they had lately left to his fate, and taking him along with him, the British commander, Colonel Egerton, marched into the Mahratta country with four thousand men. The army, when it had reached within sixteen miles of Poonah, was surrounded by hosts of Mahratta cavalry, and was compelled to surrender. The Mahrattas, as conditions—which the British were in no position to decline—insisted on the restoration of all the territory won from them by the British since 1756, and the surrender to them of Ragunath Rao. But Hastings refused to recognise this treaty. He ordered Colonel Goddard to advance. The title of general was conferred on him, and he well justified the promotion. In that and the succeeding campaign he won victory on victory; stormed Ahmedabad; took the city of Bassein; gained a splendid victory over forty thousand of the combined forces of Holkar and Scindia, and, in a great measure, retrieved all the losses, and restored the fame of the British arms. In another quarter the success against the Mahrattas was equally decisive. Captain Popham with a small body of troops stormed and took the city of Lahore, and the huge fortress of Gwalior, which the Mahrattas deemed impregnable.
During this time foreign painters of various degrees of merit flourished in England. Amongst these were John Baptist Vanloo, brother of the celebrated Carl Vanloo, a careful artist; Joseph Vanaken, a native of Antwerp, who did for Hudson what his countrymen did for Kneller—furnished draperies and attitudes. He worked for many others, so that Hogarth painted his funeral as followed by all the painters of the day in despair. The celebrated battle-painter, Peter Vander Meulen, Hemskerk, Godfrey Schalcken, famous for his candle-light effects, John Van Wyck, a famous painter of horses, James Bogdani, a Hungarian flower, bird, and fruit painter, Balthazar Denner, famous for his wonderfully finished heads, especially of old people, and Theodore Netscher, the son of Gaspar Netscher, all painted in England in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. Boit—a painter of French parentage—Liotard, and Zincke, were noted enamel painters. Peter Tillemans, who painted English landscapes, seats, busts, roses, etc., died in 1734; and the celebrated Canaletti came to England in 1746, and stayed about two years, but was not very successful, the English style of architecture, and, still more, the want of the transparent atmosphere of Italy, being unfavourable to his peculiar talent.The butcheries were not terminated till late at night; but the shouts of victory had, so early as eleven o'clock in the morning, informed the Assembly that the people were masters of the Tuileries. Numbers of the insurrectionists had appeared at the Assembly from time to time, crying, "Vive la Nation!" and the members replied with the same cry. A deputation appeared from the H?tel de Ville, demanding that a decree of dethronement should be immediately passed, and the Assembly so far complied as to pass a decree, drawn up by that very Vergniaud who had assured the king that the Assembly was prepared to stand to the death for the defence of the constituted authorities. This decree suspended the royal authority, appointed a governor for the Dauphin, stopped the payment of the Civil List, but agreed to a certain allowance to the royal family during the suspension, and set apart the Luxembourg for their residence. The Luxembourg Palace being reported full of cellars and subterranean vaults and difficult of defence, the Temple, a miserable dilapidated old abbey, was substituted, and the royal family were conveyed thither.
Napoleon marched triumphantly forwards towards Berlin. In Leipzic he confiscated British merchandise to the value of about three millions sterling. He entered Berlin on the 27th of October. As he traversed the field of Rossbach, where Frederick the Great had annihilated a French army, he ordered his soldiers to destroy the small column that commemorated that event. He took up his residence in the palace of the King of Prussia at Berlin. The wounded and blind Duke of Brunswick entreated of the conqueror that his hereditary State of Brunswick might be left him, but Buonaparte refused in harsh and insulting terms. Moreover, he ordered his troops to march on that territory and town, and the dying duke was compelled to be carried away on a litter by men hired for the purpose, for all his officers and domestics had deserted him. Buonaparte had a particular pleasure in persecuting this unhappy man, because he was brother-in-law to George III. and father-in-law to the heir to the British Crown; but he also wanted his dukedom to add to the kingdom of Westphalia, which he was planning for his brother Jerome. The duke's son requested of Buonaparte leave to lay his body in the tomb of his ancestors, but the ruthless tyrant refused this petition with the same savage bluntness, and the young duke vowed eternal vengeance, and, if he did not quite live to discharge his oath, his black Brunswickers did it at Waterloo.The Archduke John, whilst advancing victoriously into Italy, driving the viceroy, Eugene Beauharnais, before him, when he had reached almost to Venice was recalled by the news of the unfortunate battle of Eckmühl, and the orders of the Aulic Council. The Italians had received him with unconcealed joy; for, harsh as the rule of Austria in Italy had been, it was found to be easy in comparison with the yoke of Buonaparte. In common with other peoples, the Italians found that Buonaparte's domination, introduced with lofty pretences of restoring liberty and crushing all old tyrannies, was infinitely more intolerable than the worst of these old tyrannies. It was one enormous drain of military demand. The lifeblood of the nation was drawn as by some infernal and insatiable vampire, to be poured out in all the other lands of Europe for their oppression and curse. Trade vanished, agriculture declined under the baleful incubus; public robbery was added to private wrong; the works of art—the national pride—were stripped from their ancient places, without any regard to public or individual right, and there remained only an incessant pressure of taxation, enforced with insult, and often with violence.
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The town, the castle, the arms, horses, and military stores being surrendered to the prince, and the militia and invalids having marched out, a council of war was called to determine future proceedings. Some proposed to march against Wade and bring him to action, others to return to Scotland, but Charles still insisted on marching forward. Lord George Murray was the only one who at all seconded him, and he did not recommend marching far into England without more encouragement than there yet appeared; but as the prince was anxious to ascertain that point, he said he was sure his army, small as it was, would follow him. Charles expressed his conviction that his friends in Lancashire waited only for their arrival; and the Marquis D'Eguilles declaring his expectation of a speedy landing of a French army, under this assurance the council consented to the advance.(From a Drawing by Gravelot engraved by W. J. White.)
Such were the difficulties which Ministers had to contend with for commencing the war at sea. In one particular, however, there was more liberality; money was ungrudgingly voted; the land-tax was raised from two to four shillings in the pound, and the Sinking Fund was so freely resorted to, that the supplies altogether amounted to upwards of four millions. During these discussions, news came on the 13th of March, that on the 21st of November, 1739, Admiral Vernon had taken Porto Bello from the Spaniards. This was good news for the Opposition, for Vernon was one of their party, and a personal enemy of Walpole. There were great rejoicings and the Lords sent down an address of congratulation to the king, for the concurrence of the Commons. Yet in this they could not avoid making a party matter of it, the address stating that this glorious action had been performed with only six ships, and thus to mark the contrast with the doings of Admiral Hosier in those seas, and so to blacken his memory. The address was carried in a thin House, but only by thirty-six against thirty-one, so that along with the news went the comment to Vernon, that the Ministry begrudged him his glory. Parliament was prorogued on the 29th of April, 1740, and the king set off on his summer visit to Hanover.详情
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