The Peace of Amiens, instead of turning the attention of Buonaparte to internal improvements, seemed to give it opportunity to range, in imagination, over the whole world with schemes of conquest and of the suppression of British dominion. There was no spot, however remote, that he did not examine on the map with reference to plans of conquest. Louisiana and Guiana, obtained from Spain and Portugal, were viewed as ports whence conquest should advance to Nova Scotia, Canada, the Brazils, Mexico, and Peru. Every station in the West India Isles was calculated as a point for this purpose, and for seizing some day all the British islands there. The Cape of Good Hope, Madagascar, the isles of France and Bourbon, the Dutch spice isles, and their settlements in Java, Sumatra, etc., were regarded as a chain of ports which would enable Buonaparte to become master of India. He sent out expeditions, under different officers, to examine every island and region where the British had a settlement, or where he might plant one, to oppose them. One of these expeditions sailed in a couple of corvettes, commanded by Captain Baudin, who was accompanied by a staff of thirty-three naturalists, geologists, savants, etc., the ostensible object being science and discoverythe real one the ascertaining of the exact possessions of Britain, and of the best means of becoming master of them. The head of the scientific staff was M. Pron. On their return their report was published, and it is singular that in this report St. Helena, destined to be the prison of Napoleon, is described in rapturous terms as an earthly paradise.


Rancour of the Americans towards EnglandTheir Admiration of NapoleonThe Right of Search and consequent DisputesMadison's warlike DeclarationOpposition in CongressCondition of CanadaCapture of MichilimachimacAn ArmisticeRepulse of the Invasion of CanadaNaval EngagementsNapoleon and the Czar determine on WarAttempts to dissuade NapoleonUnpreparedness of RussiaBernadotte's Advice to AlexanderRashness of NapoleonPolicy of Prussia, Austria and TurkeyOvertures to England and RussiaNapoleon goes to the FrontHis extravagant LanguageThe War beginsDisillusion of the PolesDifficulties of the AdvanceBagration and Barclay de TollyNapoleon pushes onCapture of SmolenskBattle of BorodinoThe Russians evacuate MoscowBuonaparte occupies the CityConflagrations burst outDesperate Position of AffairsMurat and KutusoffDefeat of MuratThe Retreat beginsIts HorrorsCaution of KutusoffPassage of the BeresinaNapoleon leaves the ArmyHis Arrival in ParisResults of the CampaignEngland's Support of RussiaClose of 1812Wellington's improved ProspectsHe advances against Joseph BuonaparteBattle of VittoriaRetreat of the FrenchSoult is sent against WellingtonThe Battle of the PyreneesThe Storming of San SebastianWellington forbids PlunderingHe goes into Winter-quartersCampaign in the south-east of SpainNapoleon's Efforts to renew the CampaignDesertion of Murat and BernadotteAlliance between Prussia and RussiaAustrian Mediation failsEarly Successes of the AlliesBattle of LützenNapoleon's false Account of the BattleOccupation of Hamburg by DavoustBattle of BautzenArmistice of PleisswitzFailure of the NegotiationsThe Fortification of DresdenSuccessive Defeats of the French by the AlliesThe Aid of EnglandBattle of LeipsicRetreat of the French across the RhineThe French Yoke is thrown offCastlereagh summons England to fresh ExertionsLiberation of the PopeFailure of Buonaparte's Attempt to restore FerdinandWellington's Remonstrance with the British MinistryBattles of Orthez and ToulouseTermination of the CampaignExhaustion of FranceThe Allies on the FrontierNapoleon's final EffortsThe Congress of ChtillonThe Allies advance on ParisSurrender of the CapitalA Provisional Government appointedNapoleon abdicates in favour of his SonHis unconditional AbdicationReturn of the BourbonsInsecurity of their PowerTreaty of ParisBad Terms to EnglandVisit of the Monarchs to London.

The debates and voting on these three questions occupied the Convention till late in the evening of the 17th. On the first question thirty-seven pronounced Louis guilty, but proposed only that he should be taken care of for the general safety; six hundred and eighty-three declared him guilty simply; and, as the Assembly consisted of seven hundred and forty-nine members altogether, there was a majority affirming his guilt of the whole, except twenty-nine members. He was therefore declared, by the President, guilty of conspiracy against the liberty and safety of of State. On the second question thirty-one members were absent: four refused to vote; eleven voted conditionally; two hundred and eightyand these almost exclusively were members of the Girondist sectionfor the appeal to the people; and four hundred and twenty-three rejected it. The President, therefore, proclaimed that the appeal to the people was declined. The last fatal question of death to the monarch was put on the 16th. By this time the excitement was as intense all over Paris as within the walls of the Convention itself. It was found, that of the seven hundred and forty-nine members, three hundred and eighty-seven voted in favour of death unconditionally, while three hundred and thirty-four voted in favour of Louis' detention, or imprisonment, or death under defined conditions and in certain circumstances. Twenty-eight votes were not accounted for. Either they were lost amidst the excitement of the hour, or members to that number took no part in the decision. The king's death, therefore, was carried by a majority of only fifty-three votes. Then came the question of a reprieve. The Great Seal had remained in commission ever since the resignation of Sir Robert Peel, and it was supposed to be reserved for Lord Brougham when the king's objections to his reappointment should be overcome. Such, however was not the case, as Lord Melbourne was determined to have nothing more to do with him. On the 1st of January, 1836, Sir Charles Pepys, Master of the Rolls, was appointed to the office of Lord Chancellor, and created a peer by the title of Lord Cottenham. At the same time Mr. Henry Bickersteth, appointed Master of the Rolls, was called to the Upper House by the title of Baron Langdale. Lord Brougham, thus passed over, was too ill to make any protest, but before long he assumed an attitude of active opposition to the Ministry. Parliament was opened by the king in person on the 4th of February, 1836, in a Speech remarkable for the number and variety of its topics. It gave the usual assurances of the maintenance of friendly relations with all Foreign Powersexpressed regret at the continuance of the civil contest in the northern provinces of Spain, and hope of a successful result to our mediation between France and the United States. Referring to domestic affairs, the state of commerce and manufactures was declared to be highly satisfactory; but difficulties continued to press on agriculture. Measures were to be submitted for increasing the efficiency of the Church, for the commutation of tithes, for alleviating the grievances of Dissenters; and improvements in the administration of justice were recommended, especially in the Court of Chancery. The special attention of Parliament was directed to the condition of the poor of Ireland, and it was suggested that as experience had proved the salutary effect of the Poor Law Amendment Act in England, a similar measure might be found useful in alleviating the social condition of Ireland. Allusion was also made to the reform of Irish corporations, and the adjustment of the Irish Tithe question, which we have already disposed of in preceding pages. Chiefly with reference to these questions, amendments to the Address were moved in both Houses; in the Upper by the Duke of Wellington, whose amendment was carried without a division; in the Commons Ministers won by 284 against 243.

The queen closed the session on the 9th of July, assuring the Parliament that her chief concern was for the preservation of our holy religion and the liberty of the subjectthis liberty having been most grievously invaded by her through the Schism Bill. But the dissolution of her Ministry was also fast approaching. The hostility of Oxford and Bolingbroke was becoming intolerable, and paralysed all the proceedings of Government. As for Oxford, he felt himself going, and had not the boldness and[20] resolution to do what would ruin his rival. He coquetted with the WhigsCowper, Halifax, and others; he wrote to Marlborough, and did all but throw himself into the arms of the Opposition. Had he had the spirit to do that he might have been saved; but it was not in his nature. He might then have uncovered to the day the whole monstrous treason of Bolingbroke; but he had himself so far and so often, though never heartily or boldly, tampered with treason, that he dreaded Bolingbroke's retaliation. Bothmar, the Hanoverian envoy, saw clearly that Oxford was lost. He wrote home that there were numbers who would have assisted him to bring down his rival, but that he could not be assisted, because, according to the English maxim, he did not choose to assist himself. Swift endeavoured, but in vain, to reconcile his two jarring friends; and Oxford finally utterly lost himself by offending the great favourite, Lady Masham. He had been imprudent enough to oppose her wishes, and refuse her some matter of interest. He now was treated by her with such marked indignity, that Dr. Arbuthnot declared that he would no more have suffered what he had done than he would have sold himself to the galleys. Still, with his singular insensibility to insult, he used to dine at the same table with her frequently, and also in company with Bolingbroke, too. Instead of waiting to watch Washington, or leaving any force for that purpose, Howe now suddenly altered his plans, marched back in reality to Staten Island, and left the enemy in full command of the Jerseys. Embarking his army on the 5th of July, he left General Clinton at New York with seventeen battalions, a body of loyal American militia, and a regiment of light horse. He set sail on the 23rd of July, and stood out to sea. Washington, now supposing that he meant to make an attempt on Boston, moved slowly towards the Hudson; but he had soon information that caused him to retreat again towards the Delaware; and, news coming that Howe had been seen off Cape May, he advanced to Germantown. Instead of entering the Delaware, however, the British fleet was presently seen steering eastward, and all calculations were baffled. Washington, now believing that he was intending to return to New York, proceeded to Philadelphia, and had an interview with Congress.

A very instructive point of comparison is the relative increase of different classes of occupations in the decennial period from 1831 to 1841. A comparative return of the Commissioners includes males only, ages twenty years and upwards, and exhibits the following results. The number of occupiers and labourers in agriculture had decreased in that period from 1,251,751 to 1,215,264; but the Commissioners explained this result by supposing that numerous farm servants had been returned in 1841 as domestic servants instead of as agricultural labourers. Persons engaged in commerce, trade, and manufactures had increased from 1,572,292 to 2,039,409 (or 29?7 per cent.); capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, from 216,263 to 286,175 (or 32?3 per cent.); labourers employed in labour not agricultural had decreased from 611,744 to 610,157; other males, twenty years of age, except servants, had increased from 237,337 to 392,211; male servants, twenty years of age and upwards, had increased from 79,737 to 164,384; including, however, as already noticed, many farm servants. For the purpose of instituting a just comparison of the relative increase of particular employments, it must be understood that the total number of male persons, twenty years of age and upwards (exclusive of army, navy, and merchant seamen), had increased in this period of ten years from 3,969,124 to 4,707,600 (or 18?6 per cent.). These[417] people were better fed than their ancestors, and had more work to do. There are three kinds of raw material the consumption of which is particularly indicative of social advancement, as giving employment to the people, adding to their comforts, and increasing the national wealth. These are timber, cotton, and wool. Taking all the different kinds of imported timber, there was an increase during the ten years of 37 per cent.; in cotton there was an increase of 61 per cent.; and of sheep and lamb's wool, in addition to the home production, there was an increased importation of more than 78 per cent.

Yet, during this winter, while Massena's army was in a constant state of semi-starvation, badly clothed and badly lodged, and thus wasting away by sickness and desertion, that of Wellington increased in numbers, in physical condition, and in discipline. Whilst Massena's army, originally seventy-one thousand men, was ere long reduced by the battle of Busaco and the miserable quarters in the wet country near Torres Vedras to fifty-five thousand, the forces of Wellington had been augmented, by reinforcements from England, and by the addition of Portuguese and Spanish troops, to fifty-eight thousand. When Massena retreated to Santarem, Wellington followed him to Cartaxo,[607] and there fixed his headquarters, and ordered General Hill to post his division opposite to Santarem, so as to check the enemy's foraging parties in that direction. At the same time, Colonel Trant, who had surprised the French rear as Massena's army was leaving Coimbra on his march after Wellington to Torres Vedras, and had secured the sick and wounded in the hospitals there to the amount of five thousand men, and who retained possession of Coimbra, now joined Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Millar, who commanded the Portuguese militia, and their united force appeared in Massena's rear, cutting off his communication with the north and also with the Spanish frontier.

While affairs were in this state, the Prince of Wales died (March 20, 1751). He had been in indifferent health for some time, and had injured his constitution by dissipated habits. He was forty-four years of age, of a weak character, which had led him into excesses, and the consequences of these were made worse by great neglect of his health. The same weakness of character had made him very much the tool of political faction, and placed him in an unnatural opposition to his father. An attempt was made by Lord Egmont to keep together the prince's party. He assembled a meeting of the Opposition at his house on the morning of the prince's death, and hinted at taking the princess and her family under their protection; and he recommended harmony among themselves; but some one said, "Very likely, indeed, that there should be harmony, when the prince could never bring it about;" and so every one hastened away to look after themselves. It was no sooner seen that there was an understanding between the Princess of Wales and the king than numbers of the late prince's friends offered their adhesion to the Pelhams, equally out of dread of the Duke of Cumberland and dislike of the Duke of Bedford, who was opposed to the Pelhams, and, it was feared, likely to support Cumberland, and thus place him at the head of affairs.

Contemporary with Cowper was Mrs. Tighe, the author of "Psyche," an allegorical poem, in which the beauty of the sentiment made acceptable that almost exploded form of composition. But there was at this period a number of writers who had much more false than true sentiment. The euphuism of the reign of Queen Elizabeth broke forth in another fashion. A kind of poetical club was formed at Batheaston, the residence of Lady Miller, near Bath. She and her guests, amongst whom was Miss Seward, wrote verses, which they published under the title of "Poetical Amusements." A still more flaunting school set themselves up amongst the English at Florence, one of whom, a Mr. Robert Merry, dubbed himself "Della Crusca," whence the clique became known as the "Della Cruscan School." Amongst the members of it figured Mrs. Piozzi, the widow of Thrale the brewer, Boswell, Johnson's biographer, Mary Robinson, the younger Colman, and Holcroft, the dramatist, with others of less name. They addressed verses to each other in the most florid and extravagant style under the names of "Rosa Matilda," "Laura Maria," "Orlando," and the like. The fashion was infectious; and not only were the periodicals flooded by such silly mutual flatteries, but volumes were published full of them. Gifford, the editor of the Quarterly Review, and translator of Juvenal, attacked this frenzy in a satire called the "Baviad," and continued the attack in the "M?viad," which, however, was more particularly a censure on the degraded condition of the drama. This put an end to the nuisance, and Gifford won great fame by it; though, on referring to his two celebrated satires, we are surprised at their dulness, and are led to imagine that it was their heaviness which crushed these moths of literature. Gifford had himself a great fame in his day, which was chiefly based on his formidable position as editor of the Quarterly Review.

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Lord Lovat was the last who was brought to the block for this rebellion, and we will conclude our account of it with his trial and execution, though they did not take place till March, 1747. Lovat had not appeared in arms, nor committed any overt act, and therefore it was difficult to[110] convict him. The cunning old sycophant hoped to elude the law, as he had done so often before, but Murray of Broughton, the brother of Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield, to save his own life, turned king's evidence, and won eternal infamy by sacrificing his own friends. He not only produced letters and other documents which amply proved the guilt of Lovat, but threw broad daylight on the whole plan and progress of the insurrection from 1740 onwards. The conduct of Lovat on his trial was as extraordinary as his life had been. He alternately endeavoured to excite compassion, especially that of Cumberlandwho attended this, though he avoided the trials of the other insurgentsby representing how he had carried his Royal Highness in his arms about Kensington and Hampton Court Parks as a child, and then by the most amusing jests, laughter, execrations, and tricks, to puzzle or confuse the witnesses.