This alarming event produced an instant and zealous union of the Court and the nobles. The heads of the aristocracy and of the dignified clergy threw themselves at the feet of the king, declaring the monarchy lost if he did not at once dismiss the States. The utmost confusion reigned in the palace. The unhappy Louis, never able to form a resolution of his own, was made to sway to and fro like a pendulum between opposite recommendations. The Assembly had adjourned on the 19th to the next day, and Bailly, on reaching the door of the hall, attended by many other deputies found it not only closed, but surrounded by soldiers of the French Guard, who had orders to refuse admittance to every one. Some of the fiercer young spirits amongst the deputies proposed to force their way in; but the officer in command ordered his men to stand to their arms, and showed that he would make use of them. Bailly induced the young men to be patient, and obtained leave from the officer to enter a court and write a protest. A brisk conference was then held, while standing in the Avenue de Paris, in the midst of pouring rain, as to whither they should betake themselves. The deputy Guillotin recommended that they should go to Old Versailles, to the Jeu de Paume, or Tennis Court, and this plan was adopted.
AMERICAN PROVINCES in 1763 AFTER THE CONTEMPORARY MAP by Peter Bell
[See larger version]ARREST OF O'CONNELL. (See p. 327.)Such was Massena's situation, so early as the commencement of November—having to maintain his army in a country reduced to a foodless desert by the art of his masterly antagonist, and, instead of being able to drive the British before him, finding them menacing him on all sides, so that he dispatched General Foy to make his way with a strong escort to Ciudad Rodrigo, and thence to proceed with all speed to Paris, to explain to the Emperor the real state of affairs. The state was that the whole of Portugal, except the very ground on which Massena was encamped, was in possession of the British and the Portuguese. There was no possibility of approaching Lisbon without forcing these lines at Torres Vedras, and that, if done at all, must be at the cost of as large an army as he possessed altogether. All the rest of Portugal—Oporto, Coimbra, Abrantes—and all the forts except Almeida were in the hands of the enemy. As to the destitution of Massena's army, we have the description from his own statements in letters to Napoleon, which were intercepted. From this information, Lord Wellington wrote in his dispatches: "It is impossible to describe the pecuniary and other distresses of the French army in the Peninsula. All the troops are months in arrears of pay; they are, in general, very badly clothed; they want horses, carriages, and equipments of every description; their troops subsist solely upon plunder; they receive no money, or scarcely any, from France, and they realise but little from their pecuniary contributions from Spain. Indeed, I have lately discovered that the expense of the pay and the hospitals alone of the French army in the Peninsula amounts to more than the sum stated in the financial exposé as the whole expense of the entire French army."
Washington found no rest at Princeton. Cornwallis no sooner heard the cannonading near Princeton than he immediately comprehended Washington's ruse, and, alarmed for his magazines at New Brunswick, he hastened in that direction. Washington, aware of his approach, found it necessary to give up the attempt on New Brunswick. He therefore hastened across Millstone river, broke down the bridge behind him to stop pursuit, and posted himself on the high ground at Morristown, where there were very strong positions. Here he received additional troops, and entrenched himself. Cornwallis, not aware of the real weakness of Washington's army despite all its additions, again sat down quietly for the winter at New Brunswick. For six months the British army now lay still. Washington, however, lost no time in scouring all quarters of the Jerseys. He made himself master of the coast opposite Staten Island, and seized on Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Woodbridge. The inhabitants had been plundered by the Hessians and English, and now they were plundered again by their own countrymen for having received the English well. Washington exerted himself to suppress this rancorous conduct of the New England and Virginian troops, and issued a proclamation absolving the people of their oaths to the English, and promising them protection on their taking a new oath to Congress. The people of the Jerseys gladly accepted this offer.
The number of places in which the inquiries under the commission were carried on was 237, having a population of 2,028,513. In twenty-five places the number of corporators was not ascertained; in the others (212) they amounted to 88,509. The governing body was self-elected in 186 boroughs. This body elected the mayor in 131 boroughs, appointed the recorder in 136, and the town-clerk in 135. The number of corporators exercising magisterial functions was 1,086, in 188 boroughs. In 112 boroughs the corporations had exclusive criminal jurisdiction, extending to the trial of various descriptions of offences, and in forty-two their jurisdiction was not exclusive. Seventeen boroughs did not enjoy any income whatever; in eight the precise amount could not be obtained. The total income of 212 boroughs amounted to ￡366,948; their expenditure to ￡377,027. 103 were involved in debts amounting to ￡1,855,371, and were besides burdened with annuities amounting to ￡4,463. In twenty-eight boroughs only were the accounts published; in fifteen the annual income was under ￡20; in eleven it was between ￡2,000 and ￡3,000; in five, ￡3,000, and under ￡4,000; in one, ￡4,000, and under ￡5,000; in four, ￡5,000, and under ￡7,500; in five, ￡10,000, and under ￡12,500; in one, ￡12,500, and under ￡15,000; in one, ￡15,000, and under ￡20,000; and in one, ￡91,000.
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.
MARSHAL BERESFORD. (From the Portrait by Sir W. Beechey, R.A.)The year 1759 is one of the most glorious in our annals. Pitt, by his own spirit, and by selecting brave and able men, had infused such ardour into our service, that our officers no longer seemed the same men. Still, France, stung by the reverses and insults which we had heaped on her, but especially by our ravages of her coast, contemplated a retaliatory descent on ours. Gunboats were accumulated at Le Havre and other ports, and fleets were kept ready at Toulon and Brest, as well as a squadron at Dunkirk, under Admiral Thurot, a brave seaman. The king sent a message to the Commons, demanding the calling out of the militia; and the twenty-four thousand French prisoners who had been left in great destitution by their own Government on our hands, were marched into the interior of the country. In July Admiral Rodney anchored in the roads of Le Havre, bombarded the town, set it on fire in several places, and destroyed many of the gunboats. In August the Toulon fleet, commanded by Admiral De la Clue, on its way to operate against our coast, was pursued by Boscawen, who had recently returned from America, and overtaken off Lagos, in Algarve. De la Clue was mortally wounded, and his ship—reckoned the finest in the French navy—and three others were taken, whilst a fifth was run aground and burnt. At the same time the blockades of Dunkirk and Brest were vigorously kept up.
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