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On the 26th of September the hostile host was seen in full march—cavalry, infantry, and artillery, attended by a vast assemblage of waggons and burden-bearing mules. The spectacle, as described by eye-witnesses, was most imposing in its multitudes and its beautiful order. At night, the whole country along the foot of the hills was lit up by the enemy's camp fires, and towards morning the din of preparation for the contest was plainly audible. Nothing but the overweening confidence of Massena in his invincibility, and the urgent commands of Napoleon, could have induced him to attack the Allied army in such a position; but both he and Buonaparte held the Portuguese as nothing, regarding them no more than as so many Spaniards, unaware of the wonderful change made in them by British discipline. A letter of Buonaparte to Massena had been intercepted, in which he said that "it would be ridiculous to suppose that twenty-five thousand English could withstand sixty thousand French, if the latter did not trifle, but fell on boldly, after having well observed where the blow might be struck." Ney, it is said, was of opinion that this was not such a situation; that it was at too great odds to attack the Allies in the face of such an approach. But Massena did not hesitate; early on the morning of the 27th he sent forward several columns both to the right and left of Wellington's position, to carry the heights. These were met, on Wellington's right, by Picton's division, the 88th regiment being commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, and the 45th by Lieutenant-Colonel Meade. They were supported by the 8th Portuguese regiment. The French rushed up boldly to the very heights; but were hurled back at the point of the bayonet, the Portuguese making the charge with as much courage and vigour as the British. Another attempt, still farther to Wellington's right, was made, the French supposing that they were then beyond the British lines, and should turn their flank; but they were there met by General Leith's division, the Royals, the 9th and the 38th regiments, and were forced down the steeps with equal destruction. Both these sanguinary repulses were given to the division of General Regnier. On the left of Wellington the attack was made by Ney's division, which came in contact with that of General Craufurd, especially with the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th regiments of British, and the 3rd Portuguese Ca?adores, and with the same decisive and destructive result. There, too, the Portuguese fought gallantly, and, where they had not room to kill with their bayonets, they imitated the British soldiers, and knocked down the French with the butt-ends of their guns. Everywhere the repulse was complete, and Massena left two thousand slain on the field, and had between three and four thousand wounded. One general was killed, three wounded, one taken prisoner, besides many other officers. The Allies lost about one thousand three hundred, of whom five hundred and seventy-eight were Portuguese. Wellington was delighted with the proof that General Beresford's drilling had answered the very highest expectations, and that henceforth he could count confidently on his Portuguese troops, and he wrote in the most cheering terms of this fact in his dispatches home.

On the 1st of February, 1831, the Birmingham Political union held its anniversary. It had been established some years, first to denounce the circulation of a metallic currency, and then for the purpose of agitating for Reform, organised somewhat on the principle of the Irish Catholic Association, and exerting a mighty influence on public opinion in the northern counties. Mr. Attwood stated that at this time it had on its books 9,000 members, paying from 4s. to £2 2s. a year each. Other unions of a similar kind were established in many cities and towns throughout the kingdom.

Whilst the American colonies were thus stimulated, by unwise taxation, into a temper which never again could be entirely allayed, the king was suddenly attacked with an illness, that startled himself and the kingdom from that security which his apparently robust constitution had inspired. He was said to labour under cough and fever; but it became pretty well understood, after a time, that it was something more[186] alarming—that it was, in fact, an attack of that insanity which recurred again and again, and held him for years, during the latter part of his reign, in its fearful power. This time it was of short occurrence; and the moment it was past, George held a levee at St. James's, and appeared at it with a cheerful air, as if to dissipate all alarm. But the king himself immediately proposed a measure, which showed that it had excited grave thoughts in him. He submitted to Ministers the propriety of a provision for a regency, in case of any recurring malady which should incapacitate him for business. The matter was discussed in the Cabinet, and it was agreed that such a bill should be prepared, empowering the king to name, if deemed necessary, "either the queen, or any other person of the royal family usually residing in Great Britain."But Tolly did not mean to remain longer than was necessary for the inhabitants to have made a safe distance; he was afraid of Napoleon making a flank movement and cutting off his way to Moscow. In the night fires broke out all over Smolensk: they could not be the effect only of the French shells; and Buonaparte sat watching them till morning. Soon bridges, houses, church spires, all of wood, were enveloped in roaring flames. The next day, the 18th of August, the French entered the place whilst it was still burning around them. The dead, half consumed, lay around the smoking ruins; and the French army marched through this ghostly scene with military music playing, but with hearts struck with consternation and despair at this proof of the inveterate determination of the Russians to destroy their whole country rather than suffer it to be conquered. Here they were left without shelter, without provisions, without hospitals for the sick, or dressings for the wounded, without a single bed where a man might lie down to die; and all before them was the same. The Cossacks beset the flanks of march, and burnt down all villages, and laid waste all fields ere the French could reach them. Again the officers entreated that they might form an encampment and remain; but Buonaparte replied still, "They must make all haste to Moscow."

[See larger version]On the 15th the British squadron brought in the Emigrant troops from the Elbe, under the young and gallant Count de Sombreuil; but they amounted only to eleven thousand men. Puisaye now ordered the Count de Vauban to advance against Hoche with twelve thousand Chouans, and, whilst they attacked on the right, he himself attacked his lines in front. After some desperate fighting they were driven back, and lost most of their cannon in the deep sand of the isthmus. Their misfortunes were completed, on the 20th, by the garrison of the fort of Penthièvre going over to the enemy, surrendering the fort to them, and helping to massacre such of their officers and comrades as refused to follow their example. The English admiral exerted himself to receive the remainder of the troops who remained true on board his ships; but the storminess of the weather and the impatience of the fugitives rendered this a most difficult task. About fourteen thousand regulars and two thousand four hundred Chouans were got on board; but Sombreuil, exposed to the murderous fire from the enemy whilst waiting on the beach, surrendered on promise of life. No sooner, however, were they in the hands of the Republicans than all the officers and gentlemen were led out and shot; and the common men enrolled in Hoche's regiments.

The Parliamentary proceedings of 1839 were closed by an elaborate review of the Session by Lord Lyndhurst, which he continued annually for some time while the Liberals were in power. This display took place on the 24th of August, when the noble and learned lord moved for a return of all Bills that had arrived from the House of Commons since the commencement of the Session, with the dates at which they were brought up. He could point to the fact that Ministers had with difficulty carried a colourless Jamaica Bill, and had once more failed to pass the Irish Corporation Bill.A still more important proposition was laid before Parliament by royal message, on the 22nd of January—the union of Ireland with Great Britain. It was argued that the late attempts to bring in a French army, and to alienate Ireland from Great Britain altogether, showed the necessity of drawing closer the bonds between the two countries. On the 31st of January a series of resolutions was agreed to as the basis of this union, but for the present year the matter ended in a joint address on the subject from both Houses being presented to the king.

When the news of this distractedly hopeless condition of the Council in Calcutta reached London, Lord North called upon the Court of Directors to send up to the Crown an address for the recall of Hastings, without which, according to the new Indian Act, he could not be removed till the end of his five years. The Directors put the matter to the vote, and the address was negatived by a single vote. The minority then appealed to the Court of Proprietors, at the general election in the spring of 1776, but there it was negatived by ballot by a majority of one hundred, notwithstanding that all the Court party and Parliamentary Ministerialists who had votes attended to overthrow him. This defeat so enraged Lord North that he resolved to pass a special Bill for the removal of the Governor-General. This alarmed Colonel Maclean, a friend of Hastings, to whom he had written, on the 27th of March.[328] 1775, desiring him, in his disgust with the conduct of Francis, Clavering, and Monson, and the support of them by the Directors, to tender his resignation. Thinking better of it, however, he had, on the 18th of the following May, written to him, recalling the proposal of resignation. But Maclean, to save his friend from a Parliamentary dismissal, which he apprehended, now handed the letter containing the resignation to the Directors. Delighted to be thus liberated from their embarrassment, the Directors accepted the resignation at once, and elected Mr. Edward Wheler to the vacant place in the Council.This put matters beyond all chance of mistake. The menace had such an effect on the aged Electress that she was taken ill and died suddenly in the arms of the Electoral Princess, afterwards Queen Caroline (May 28, 1714). Sophia was a very accomplished as well as amiable woman. She was perfect mistress of the German, Dutch, French, English, and Italian languages; and, notwithstanding the endeavours of the Jacobite party in England to render her ridiculous, had always maintained an elevated and honourable character. She was more of an Englishwoman than a German, and, had she lived a few weeks longer, would have had—according to her often avowed wish—"Here lies Sophia, Queen of England," engraven on her coffin. The journey of the prince was wholly abandoned; not that the inclination of the prince for the journey was abated, nor that the Whigs ceased to urge it. Townshend, Sunderland, Halifax, and others pressed it as of the utmost importance; and both the Elector and his son wrote to the queen, assuring her that, had the prince been allowed to come, he would soon have convinced her Majesty of his desire to increase the peace and strength of her reign rather than to diminish them.Meanwhile, Florida Blanca had planned the capture of Minorca. He prevailed on France, though with difficulty, to assist. The Duke de Crillon, a Frenchman, was made commander of the expedition, and on the 22nd of July the united fleets of France and Spain sailed out of Cadiz Bay, and stretched out into the ocean, as if intending to make a descent on England. The main part of the fleet did, in fact, sail into the English Channel. But they did not venture to attack Admiral Darby, and contented themselves with picking up a number of merchant vessels; and again dissensions and disease breaking out, this great fleet separated, and each nation returned to its respective ports, without effecting anything worthy of such an armament. But a lesser portion of this fleet, on coming out of harbour, carrying eight thousand troops, stores, and ordnance, had passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, and[285] appeared suddenly before Port Mahon. On the 19th of August the troops were landed near Port Mahon, and, being favoured by the inhabitants, once under the sway of Spain, and good Catholics, they soon invested the fort, and compelled General Murray, who formerly so bravely defended Quebec, to retire to Fort St. Philip, leaving the town of Port Mahon in their possession. Despite the resolute defence of his men, Murray was forced to surrender the island.

The Directory began its campaigns of 1796 with much spirit and ability. The plans which had been repeatedly pointed out by Dumouriez, Pichegru, Moreau, and more recently by Buonaparte, of attacking the Austrians in Germany and Italy simultaneously, and then, on the conquest of Italy, combining their armies and marching them direct on the Austrian capital, were now adopted. Pichegru, who had lost the favour of the Directory, was superseded by Moreau, and that general and Jourdain were sent to the Rhine. Jourdain took the command of sixty-three thousand foot and eleven thousand horse, at Coblenz, and immediately invested the famous fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, on the opposite bank of the river. Moreau was sent to lead the army at Strasburg, consisting of seventy-two thousand foot and nearly seven thousand horse. Jourdain found himself soon menaced by the Archduke Charles, the Emperor's brother, the ablest and most alert general that the Austrians possessed at that period. He advanced rapidly on Jourdain's position with seventy thousand foot and twenty thousand horse, defeated a division of Jourdain's army under General Lefebvre, and compelled Jourdain himself to raise the siege. But the archduke, out of too much anxiety for Wurmser, who was opposed to[452] Moreau with much inferior forces, ascended the Rhine to support him, and Jourdain immediately availed himself of his absence to advance and seize Frankfort on the Main, Würzburg, and other towns. Moreau advanced to drive back Wurmser and the archduke, till a union with Jourdain would enable them to fall conjointly on the Austrians. But the archduke perceived that, in consequence of the orders of the Directory, Moreau was spreading his army too wide, and he retreated so as to enable Wurmser to join him. This retrograde movement was mistaken, both by friends and enemies, for a sign of weakness; and whilst Moreau advanced with increased confidence, many of the raw contingents of the archduke's army deserted, and several of the petty States of Germany sued to the Directory for peace. But the moment for the action of the archduke had now arrived. Whilst Moreau was extending his lines into Bavaria, and had seized Ulm and Donauw?rth, and was preparing to occupy the defiles of the Tyrol, the Archduke Charles made a rapid detour, and, on the 24th of August, fell on Jourdain, and completely defeated him. He then followed him to Würzburg, and on the 3rd of September routed him again. With a velocity extraordinary in an Austrian, the archduke pushed on after Jourdain's flying battalions, and on the 16th of September gave him a third beating at Aschaffenburg, and drove his army over the Rhine. Moreau—left in a critical position, so far from the frontiers of France, and hopeless of any aid from Jourdain, who had lost twenty thousand men and nearly all his artillery and baggage—made haste to retrace his steps. Thus both of the French armies were beaten back to the left bank of the Rhine, and Germany was saved.The king, undeterred, descended into the court, and passing along the ranks, addressed them from time to time, telling them he relied on their attachment, and that in defending him they defended their wives and children. He then proceeded through the vestibule, intending to go to the garden, when he was assailed by fierce cries from some of the soldiers: "Down with the veto!" "Down with the traitor!" "Vive la nation!" Madame Campan, who was at a window looking into the garden, saw some of the gunners go up to the king, and thrust their fists in his face, insulting him in the most brutal language. He was obliged to pass along the terrace of the Feuillants, which was crowded with people, separated from the furious multitude merely by a tricolour line, but he went on in spite of all sorts of menaces and abuse. He saw the battalions file off before his face, and traverse the garden with the intention of joining the assailants in the Place du Carrousel, whilst the gensdarmes at the colonnade of the Louvre and other places did the same. This completely extinguished all hope in the unhappy king. The Viscomte Du Bouchage, seeing the situation of Louis from the palace, descended in haste with[403] another nobleman, to bring him in before some fatality happened to him. He complied, and returned with them. When the gunners thrust their fists in his face, Madame Campan says Louis turned as pale as death; yet he had shown no want of courage, had it been of the right sort. He had, indeed, refused to wear a kind of defensive corset which the queen had had made for him, saying, on the day of battle it was his duty to be uncovered, like the meanest of his servants. When the royal family came in again, Madame Campan says, "The queen told me all was lost; that the king had shown no energy, and that this sort of review had done more harm than good." The royal family, amidst insults and reproaches, walked on fast to the Assembly, and placed themselves under its protection. Vergniaud, the president, assured them of safety.These arrangements being complete, Charles lay at Pinkie House on the 31st of October, and the next day, the 1st of November, he commenced his march. Each of the two columns was preceded by a number of horsemen to act as scouts. In the day of battle each company of a regiment furnished two of its best men to form the bodyguard of the chief, who usually took his post in the centre, and was surrounded by his brothers and cousins, with whom it was a point of honour to defend the chief to the death. So set forward the Highland army for England, and it is now necessary to see what preparations England had made for the invasion.

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[345]The Swedes cursed the less than half assistance of their British allies, and Gustavus endeavoured to fight his way without them. He continued to win victory after victory on land; but Catherine soon brought down on his squadron of galleys, which attended his march along the coast to keep up his supplies, an overwhelming fleet of galleys[354] of her own. A desperate battle ensued, but the Swedish galley-fleet was at length overcome. Gustavus was thus greatly embarrassed, and compelled to stand merely on the defensive, till it was time to go into winter quarters. He continued for twelve months to do battle with Russia, and, though with insufficient forces, threatened the very capital of that country. A little support from Britain, Prussia, and Holland, would have enabled Sweden to regain its territories on the eastern shores of the Baltic, to curb the power of Russia, and to assume that station in the North which is essential to the peace of Europe. These countries, however, had not the statesmanship to appreciate this point, or the friendly feeling to effect it, and Gustavus was left to struggle on alone.On the morning of the 19th the battle recommenced with fury. The French were now fighting close under the walls of the town, and Napoleon, posted on an eminence called Thonsberg, watched the conflict. Till two o'clock the fight raged all along the line, round the city; and neither party seemed to make any advance. At length the Allies forced their way into the village of Probstheide, and threw the French on that side into great confusion. Ney, on the north side, was also fearfully pressed by Blucher and the Crown Prince of Sweden, and was compelled to retreat under the walls. On a sudden, as the Russians advanced also against Ney, the Saxons—ten thousand in number—went over to them with a shout. They were sent to the rear, but their cannon was at once turned against the enemy. By evening it was clear that the French could not hold their position another day. Schwarzenberg announced to the Allied sovereigns that victory was certain, and they knelt on the field and returned thanks to God. The French knew this better than their opponents, for in the two days they had fired two hundred and fifty thousand cannon-balls, and had only about sixteen thousand cartridges left, which would not serve for more than two hours, much of their artillery having been sent to Torgau. The retreat, therefore, commenced in the night. There was only one bridge prepared, of timber, in addition to the regular stone bridge, over which one hundred thousand men must pass, with the enemy at their heels. To add to the misery, the temporary bridge soon broke down. Napoleon took a hasty leave of the King and Queen of Saxony, ordered Poniatowski to defend the rear, and himself made for the bridge. It was not without much difficulty, and considerable alarm lest he should be surrounded and taken, that he and his suite got across. Then there was a terrible scene of crushing and scrambling; and the enemy, now aware of the flight, were galloping and running from all sides towards the bridge, to cut off the fugitives. Soon after Buonaparte had got over, the bridge was blown up by the French officer in charge of the mine already made, and twenty-five thousand men were left to surrender as prisoners in the town. Amongst these were Marshals Macdonald and Poniatowski; but, disdaining to surrender, they sprang, with their horses, into the Pleisse—to swim. Macdonald escaped, but Poniatowski, though he crossed the Pleisse, was again nearly cut off, and plunging into the deep and muddy Elster, was drowned. No braver man perished in these tragic campaigns; both Allies and French in Leipsic followed his remains to the tomb, in sincere honour of his gallantry. The triumph of the Allied monarchs was complete. They met in the great square of the city, and felicitated each other. The King of Saxony was sent, without any interview, under a guard of Cossacks to Berlin, and at the General Congress he was made to pay dearly in territory for his besotted adhesion to the invader of Germany. In this awful battle the French lost three hundred guns. The slain on both sides amounted to eighty thousand, and thousands of the wounded lay for days around the city, exposed to the severe October nights, before they could be collected into lazarettos; and the view of the whole environs of Leipsic, covered with dead, was fearful.

Perhaps a still more remarkable man of the same denomination was William Huntington, originally a coalheaver, struggling with severe poverty; yet, believing himself called to the ministry, he boldly followed his conceived duty, through much discouragement and persecution. He has left an autobiography, in which his perfect faith in and reliance on God are justified by the most remarkable supply of all his wants, and support in a widely extended and useful ministry. After the death of his first wife he married the wealthy widow of Sir James Sanderson, a London alderman, and passed his latter years in affluence.The next person to attempt the impossible in the vain endeavour to keep the vessel of the old French monarchy afloat with all its leaks and rottenness, was the Archbishop of Toulouse, Loménie de Brienne. He had vigorously opposed Calonne; but there was no way of raising the necessary revenue but to adopt some of the very proposals of Calonne, and tax the privileged classes, or to attempt to draw something still from the exhausted people. As the less difficult experiment of the two, he was compelled to cast his eyes towards the property of the nobles and the Church; but he found the nobles and the clergy as ready to sacrifice him as they had been to sacrifice Calonne. When one or two of the more pliant or more enlightened members of those classes ventured to remark on the vast amount of untaxed property, and particularly of tithes, there was an actual tempest of fury raised. Tithes were declared to be the voluntary offerings of the piety of the faithful, and therefore not to be touched. As further loans were out of the question, some one ventured to assert that the only means of solving the difficulty was to assemble the States General. "You would convoke the States General?" said the Minister in consternation. "Yes," replied Lafayette, who was bent on revolutionising France, as he had helped to revolutionise America—"yes, and something more than that!" These words were taken down as most exceptionable and dangerous. All that the Assembly of Notables could be brought to do was to confirm the abolition of the corvée, and to pass a stamp act. They would not move a step further, and they were dismissed by the king on the 25th of May, 1787. The Parliament, or Chief Court of Justice, adopted a similar course, and it also was dismissed. The king then promulgated a new constitution, but it fell hopelessly to the ground.




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