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Great Britain, which had made some show of restoring the legitimate prince, soon became satisfied that Bernadotte would lean to its alliance. Meanwhile Alexander of Russia displayed more and more decided symptoms of an intention to break with France. He hastened to make peace with the Turks, and to pour his sentimental assurances into the ear of Count Stadingk, the Swedish ambassador. As he called God to witness, in 1807, that he had no wish to touch a single Swedish village, so now he professed to be greatly troubled that he had been obliged to seize all Finland. "Let us forget the past," said the Czar. "I find myself in terrible circumstances, and I swear, upon my honour, that I never wished evil to Sweden. But now that unhappy affair of Finland is over, and I wish to show my respect to your king, and my regard for the Crown Prince. Great misfortunes are frequently succeeded by great prosperities. A Gustavus Adolphus issued from Sweden for the salvation of Germany, and who knows what may happen again?" And he began to unveil his disgust at the encroachments of Buonaparte. "What does he mean," he said, "by his attempt to add the north of Germany to his empire, and all its mercantile towns? He might grasp a dozen cities of Germany, but Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen'our Holy Trinity,' as Romanoff saysI am weary of his perpetual vexations!" The result was the offer of Norway to Sweden as the price of Bernadotte's adhesion to the proposed alliance. Great Britain also offered to Sweden as a colony, Surinam, Demerara, or Porto Rico.

[See larger version] THE ROYAL PALACE, MADRID. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.) At the sight of Byng sailing away, the French fired a feu de joie from all their lines, and Blakeney knew that he was left to his fate. He determined still to defend the place, but Richelieu sent in haste to Toulon for fresh reinforcements. The fort was soon surrounded by twenty thousand men, with eighty-five pieces of artillery. In about a week Richelieu carried one of the breaches by storm, though with great loss, and Blakeney capitulated on condition that the English should march out with all the honours of war, and should be conveyed in the French ships to Gibraltar. Thus was Minorca lost to England through the shameful neglect of a miserably incompetent Ministry and a faint-hearted admiral.

In the latest period scarcely any acting dramas were produced. Amongst the unacted tragedies, or such as were acted with no great successbeing better fitted for private studywere Coleridge's "Remorse" and "Zapolya;" Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound" and "The Cenci;" Byron's "Cain," "Manfred," "Sardanapalus," etc.; Maturin's "Bertram," "Manuel," and "Fredolpho;" Joanna Baillie's "Plays on the Passions," "The Family Legend"the last acted with some success at Edinburgh, through the influence of Sir Walter Scott, in 1810Charles Lamb's "John Woodvill," Milman's "Fazio," and Walter Savage Landor's "Count Julian," "Andrea of Hungary," "Giovanni of Naples," "Fra Rupert," "The Siege of Ancona," etc., all masterly dramas, constituting a blaze of dramatic genius which, had it been adapted to the stage, would have given it a new grandeur at the close of this reign.

The Spanish Revolution had a marked effect on French politics. M. Thiers and his colleagues had been pressing for an effective intervention against Don Carlos; but they were unable to overcome the reluctance of the king to send a French army into Spain, even to sustain the rgime which the king had recognised and approved. This was completely superseded by the changes that had just taken place. He should now interpose, not to protect the reigning dynasty against pretenders, but to take part in a war between Constitutionalists and Liberals of different shades. When, therefore, Louis Philippe was asked to send aid to the French legion of volunteers serving as auxiliaries in Spain, and to adopt other measures against the Carlists, as the only means of preventing the queen's Government from being carried away by the torrent of revolution, he positively refused. Lord Palmerston, influenced by the continued ill-success of the Spanish Legion, made overtures to[413] the same effect, but without result. Louis Philippe was, in fact, listening to the overtures of Metternich, and inclined to desert the British alliance.

"More than 100 workhouse officers fell victims to the famine fever during this fatal year, which also decimated the ranks of the Catholic clergy of the country. Mr. Trevelyan gives names of thirty English and Scottish priests who sacrificed their lives to their zealous attendance on the immigrant Irish, who carried the pestilence with them in their flight to other portions of the United Kingdom. Pestilence likewise slew its victims in the[542] fetid hold of the emigrant ship, and, following them across the ocean, immolated them in thousands in the lazar houses that fringed the shores of Canada and the United States. The principal business of the time was in meal, and coffins, and passenger ships. A fact may be mentioned which renders further description of the state of the country needless. The Cork Patent Saw Mills had been at full work from December, 1846, to May, 1847, with twenty pairs of saws, constantly going from morning till night, cutting planks for coffins, and planks and scantlings for fever sheds, and for the framework of berths for emigrant ships."

Sir Robert Peel began by saying, "Sir, the honourable gentleman has stated here very emphatically, what he has more than once stated at the conferences of the Anti-Corn-Law League, that he holds me individually responsible for the distress and suffering of the country; that he holds me personally responsible." This was pronounced with great solemnity of manner, and at the word "individually" the Premier was interrupted by a loud cheer from the Ministerial benches of a very peculiar and emphatic kind. Sir Robert then continued, "Be the consequences of those insinuations what they may, never will I be influenced by menaces to adopt a course which I consider" But the rest of the sentence was lost in renewed shouts from the Ministerial benches. Mr. Cobden immediately rose and said, "I did not say that I held the right honourable gentleman personally responsible;" but he was interrupted by shouts from the Ministerial benches of, "You did, you did!" mingled with cries of "Order!" and "Chair!" The further remark from Mr. Cobden, "I have said that I hold the right honourable gentleman responsible by virtue of his office, as the whole context of what I said was sufficient to explain," brought renewed shouts from the same quarter of "No, no," accompanied by great confusion. When Sir Robert, says a newspaper of the day, gave the signal for this new light, then, and not till then, the sense so obtained burst forth with a frantic yell, which would better have befitted a company of savages who first saw and scented their victim, than a grave and dignified assembly insulted by conduct deemed deserving of condemnation. Sir Robert afterwards so far recovered from his excitement as to say, "I will not overstate anything. Therefore I will not say I am certain the honourable gentleman used the word 'personally';" but the debate created a painful impression, which was increased by an article in the Times of the following day, deliberately attempting to connect Mr. Cobden with the doctrine of assassination. The friends of the Anti-Corn-Law movement, however, immediately held meetings throughout the country, at which they expressed their indignation at the attempt to fix a calumny upon the man whose arguments in favour of Free Trade in food were unanswered and unanswerable.

HERRENHAUSEN CASTLE, HANOVER.

At four o'clock in the morning (the 11th of May) the cannonade began. Prince Waldeck undertook to carry Fontenoy and Antoine with the Dutch, and the Duke of Cumberland, at the head of the English and Hanoverians, to bear down on the enemy's left. At the same time, the Duke sent General Ingoldsby with a division to clear the wood of Barr, and storm the redoubt beyond. When Ingoldsby reached the wood, he found it occupied by a body of sharpshooters, and instead of attacking them vigorously he paused and returned to the duke for fresh ordersa great neglect of duty by which much time was lost, and the enemy enabled to direct their undivided attention on that side to the main body of English and Hanoverians advancing under the duke. On the other hand, the Dutch, finding Fontenoy surrounded by a fosse, and the French mounted with their batteries on the rubbish of houses, which they had demolished for the purpose, were panic-struck, and instead of making a resolute rush to storm the place, having suffered considerably from the French batteries, fell back, and stood aloof, thus leaving the English and Hanoverians exposed to the whole fire of the hostile army.