She continued till nearly the last to hide from the surgeons the real cause of her sufferings, and was treated by the medical men for gout in the stomach. When the secret was at length disclosed, it was too late; though one of the surgeons declared that, if they had been informed two days earlier, they could have saved her.
The victory of Napoleon over Austria had wonderfully increased his influence with those German States which formed the Confederation of the Rhine. Bavaria, Würtemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, and other of the small princes, especially those on the right bank of that river, were more than ever bound to him, and were prepared to follow him in any wars that he might make against other countries, or even their own fatherland. Whilst some of them received crowns for their unnatural subserviency, several smaller princes were sunk into the condition of mere nobles. The military contingents which he exacted from them amounted to sixty thousand men, and these he soon had in a state of discipline and efficiency very different to that which they exhibited under the old German federation. Under Napoleon they behaved as well as any of his troops, showing that they needed only leaders of activity and talent to make good soldiers of them. Thus France superseded Austria in its influence over all the south-west of Germany. Nor did he stop here. He had created dukes and princes, and resolved also to create kings. These were to be his brothers, who were to be placed on half the thrones of Europe, and set there as vassal monarchs doing homage and service to him, the great emperor of France. He expected them to be the obedient servants of France, or, rather, of himself, and not of the countries they were ostensibly set to govern. He began by making his brother Joseph King of Naples in March, and in June he made his brother Louis King of Holland. He told them that they must never forget that their first duty was to France and to himself. He intended to make his brother Jerome King of Westphalia; but Jerome had married a Miss Paterson, the daughter of an American merchant, and he must have this marriage broken, and a royal one arranged, before he could admit him to this regal honour: he must also wrest part of this territory from Prussia. His sister Pauline, widow of General Leclerc, who perished in St. Domingo, he had now married to the Roman Prince Borghese, and he gave her the Italian duchy of Guastalla. Murat, who had married another sister, he made Grand Duke of Berg and Cleve, and Marshal Berthier he made Prince of Neuchatel. These territories, taken from Prussia, Bavaria, and Switzerland, he conferred, with all their rights and privileges, on these generals. The duchy of Parma he conferred on Cambacérès, and Piacenza on General Lebrun.The troops of Austria were already in Bavaria on the 21st of August. They amounted to eighty thousand men, under the nominal command of the Archduke Ferdinand—a prince of high courage and great hopes—but really under that of General Mack, whose utter incapacity had not been sufficiently manifested to Austria by his miserable failures in the Neapolitan campaign, and who was still regarded in Germany as a great military genius. His army had been posted behind the Inn, in the country between the Tyrol and the Danube, into which the Inn falls at Passau. This was a strong frontier, and had the Austrians waited there till the arrival of the Russians, they might have made a powerful stand. But Mack had already advanced them to the Lech, where again he had a strong position covering Munich. Meanwhile, the Archduke Charles, Austria's best general, was posted in the north of Italy, with another eighty thousand men, and the Archduke John in the Tyrol with an inferior force. Such were the positions of the Austrian armies when Mack was invading Bavaria, and Buonaparte was preparing to crush him.During the recess considerable changes took place in the Cabinet. Lord Halifax died on the 8th of June; the Earl of Suffolk succeeded him as Secretary of State, and the remainder of the Grenville party thereupon supported the Ministry. Suffolk introduced his friend, Lord Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with an augmented salary. The administration of Lord North was considerably strengthened, too, by the abilities of Thurlow, as Attorney-General, and of Wedderburn, as Solicitor-General. But the addition to the Cabinet of Lord North which occasioned the greatest surprise, was that of the Duke of Grafton. He received the Privy Seal.
From Boulogne, Buonaparte proceeded to Brussels, Ostend, Antwerp, and so through Belgium, where Josephine met him, to the Rhine. Wherever he appeared, the authorities of the towns, both then and on his return through France, presented him with the most adulatory addresses. One would no longer believe it the same people who had, for ten years, committed such unexampled horrors to destroy the royalty they were now again adoring. The Mayor of Arras, Robespierre's own town, put the climax to all this civic incense by declaring, in his address, that "God made Napoleon, and then rested!"
GEORGE III.Walpole did not wait for a like humiliation. The next morning he waited on the king, and tendered his resignation of his places as First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. The king, if he could be judged by his conduct, had formed no resolution of parting with Walpole. He handed again to him the seals, cordially entreating him to take them back, speaking to him in the kindest manner, and appearing as though he would take no refusal. But Walpole remained steady to his purpose, and, accordingly, his friends Methuen, Pulteney, Lord Orford, and the Duke of Devonshire, resigned a few days afterwards. Stanhope was then appointed First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer; Sunderland and Joseph Addison were made Secretaries of State; Craggs, Secretary at War; Lord Berkeley, First Lord of the Admiralty; the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Chamberlain; the Duke of Bolton, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; Lord Cowper and the Duke of Kingston retaining their old places.
ST. JUST. (After the Portrait by David.)MOB BURNING A FARM IN KENT. (See p. 325.)The preparations for invasion turned the attention of the British Government to ports where it was supposed the troops would be embarked. Ostend was regarded with particular suspicion, and Sir Home Popham was sent in May with a small squadron, conveying a thousand men, under Colonel Coote, to destroy the ships and sluices of the Bruges canal there. The troops were landed, and did their work, but found themselves unable to regain the ships from the violence of the wind and the surf, and were surrounded and compelled to surrender. In the autumn of this year Admiral Duckworth sailed for Minorca, and landed eight hundred men, under Sir Charles Stuart, who readily made themselves masters of the island.
In England the Chancellor of the Exchequer had found no difficulty in raising a loan of thirty-six million pounds, and this money was freely devoted to put the armies of the Coalition in motion. Never had such vast armaments been in preparation from the very north of Europe to France. The Congress had removed its locale from Vienna to Frankfort, to be nearer the scene of action. The Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of Prussia, were again at the head of their forces. On the side of Switzerland, one hundred and fifty thousand Austrians, who were liberated from Italy by the defeat of Murat, were ready to march into France; another army of the same number directed its course to the upper Rhine. Schwarzenberg was again Commander-in-Chief of Austria. Two hundred thousand Russians, under Barclay de Tolly, were also marching for Alsace, and Langeron, Sacken, and other generals were at the head of other numerous divisions, all under the nominal leadership of the Archduke Constantine. Blucher was already posted in Belgium with one hundred and fifty thousand Prussians; and the army of Wellington, of eighty thousand men, composed of British, and different nations in British pay, occupied Flanders. The contingents of Holland, Sweden, and the smaller German states raised the total to upwards of a million of men, which, if they were not all at hand, were ready to march up in case of any reverses to those first in the field.At length, on the 22nd of September, Lord John Russell, attended by Lord Althorp, and a great body of the most distinguished Reformers, appeared at the bar of the House of Lords, and handed the English Reform Bill to the Lord Chancellor, praying the concurrence of their Lordships. This scene has been made the subject of a great historical painting. The Bill, without any opposition or remark from any Conservative peer, was read a first time on the motion of Earl Grey, and ordered to be read a second time on Monday week. The debate on the second reading commenced on the 3rd of October, with a speech from Lord Grey—grave, elaborate, earnest, and impressive; simple, yet dignified. He described his own efforts in regard to Parliamentary Reform, spoke of the changes which had of necessity attended his opinions on the subject, and of the circumstances which, at the close of his long career, when the conservative spirit is naturally strongest in every man, had led him to endeavour to put in practice the theories and speculations of his youth and manhood. Lord Eldon described the progress of the debate from day to day in letters to members of his family. Lord Dudley and Lord Haddington quite surprised and delighted the zealous old man—they spoke so admirably against the Bill. Lord Carnarvon delivered a most excellent speech; but Lord Plunket's speaking disappointed him. The fifth night of the debate was occupied by the lawyers. Lord Eldon—following Lord Wynford and Lord Plunket—solemnly delivered his conscience on this momentous occasion. He was ill and weak, and being an octogenarian, he might be said to be speaking on the edge of the grave. He expressed his horror of the new doctrines which had been laid down with respect to the law of the country and its institutions. He could not consent to have all rights arising out of Charters, and all the rights of close boroughs, swept away. Boroughs, he contended, were both property and trust. Close corporations had as good a right to hold their charters under the Great Seal as any of their lordships had to their titles and their peerages. He said that he was a freeman of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; he had received his education in the corporation school of that town on cheap terms, as the son of a freeman; he had a right to it; and he had hoped that, when his ashes were laid in the grave, he might have given some memorandum that the boys there, situated as he was, might rise to be Lord Chancellors of England, if, having the advantage of that education, they were honest, faithful, and industrious. The closing night of the debate brought out the two most illustrious law lords in the House, who had long been rivals and competitors in the arenas of professional and political life—Lord Brougham and Lord Lyndhurst. Each was holding back in order to have the opportunity of replying to the other; but Lord Lyndhurst managed to have the last word, the more excitable Lord Chancellor having lost patience, and flung himself into the debate. He implored the House on his knees to pass the Bill. But the coup de théatre miscarried, owing to the obvious anxiety of his friends lest he should be thought to be suffering from too much mulled port.[See larger version]
The first measure of importance after the appearance of Pitt in the House of Commons as Prime Minister was the annual motion of Wilberforce for leave to bring in a Bill for the abolition of the Slave Trade. Pitt and Fox both supported it, and it was carried by seventy-five against forty-nine. The second reading was carried by a still larger majority—one hundred against forty-two—but on going into committee upon it, it was postponed to the next Session. War and preparations for war were the all-absorbing business of those times.Such were the advantages now possessed by the British over the French commander, that both the Portuguese and people at home were impatient that Wellington should at once attack and annihilate Massena's army. But Wellington knew better. He knew that a great battle, or battles, must vastly reduce his own as well as Massena's army. He knew that France could readily march down eighty or a hundred thousand fresh men into Portugal at extremity, but that Great Britain could not so readily do that; and, should the Whigs come into power, as was probable, he could not calculate on any support at all. The king now hopelessly insane, the Prince of Wales must be soon appointed Regent, and then, perhaps, would come in his friends the Whigs. There were many other considerations which made Wellington refuse to accede to a general attack on the French at present. He had, as it was, trouble enough with the Junta; but, should any reverse occur, his situation then would be intolerable. Just now the Portuguese troops were in good spirits for fighting, but defeat would ruin all the progress yet made with them. He knew that the winter would do for the French army all that he expected without any cost to himself, and he waited for that, ready then to follow up the advantages it would give him. It was his great plan of operations which already reduced them to the dilemma in which they were, and now came winter and did the rest, fully showing his superior sagacity. In November the weather became and continued wretched in the extreme. The country was flooded, cutting off the precarious supplies of the French, but adding strength to the encampment of Torres Vedras. The cross roads were impassable for artillery, and all but impassable for waggons bringing provisions, which had to be hunted for far and wide, with incredible hardships and little success. Leaving the hostile armies in this position till the spring, we must notice other important matters.
On the 12th of February Parliament was opened by a speech, not from the Prince Regent in person, but by commission, the commissioners being the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose, and the Earls Camden and Westmoreland. The speech was of the most belligerent character, recounting the success of our arms in the Indian seas, in repelling the attack of the Neapolitans on Sicily, and, above all, in the Peninsula. Lord Grenville opposed the address, considering the war as hopeless, and as mischievous to our interests. It was carried in both Houses without a division. Perceval, on the 21st, announced that the prince was desirous not to add any fresh burdens to the country in existing circumstances, and therefore declined any addition to his establishment as Regent.The gulf between the Minister and the landowners was widening. The debates on the Budget, and on Mr. Cobden's motion for inquiry into the alleged agricultural distress, had drawn out more bitter speeches from Mr. Disraeli, and served still further to mark the distinction between the Minister and a large section of his old followers. But one of the most significant signs of the time was the increasing tendency to recognise the talents and singleness of purpose of the Anti-Corn-Law Leaguers. It became almost fashionable to compliment the ability of Mr. Cobden. It was almost forgotten that the Minister had once carried with him the whole House in making an excited charge against that gentleman of marking him out for assassination. The bitterness of the ultra-Protectionists was certainly unabated; but neither the Quarterly nor any other review now classed the Manchester men with rick-burners and assassins, or called upon the Government to indict them for sedition.
It was time, if they were to avoid a battle. Cumberland was already on the march from Edinburgh. He quitted Holyrood on the 31st of January, and the insurgents only commenced their retreat the next morning, the 1st of February, after spiking their guns. With this force the prince continued his march towards Inverness, a fleet accompanying him along the coast with supplies and ammunition. On nearing Inverness, he found it rudely fortified by a ditch and palisade, and held by Lord Loudon with two thousand men. Charles took up his residence at Moray Castle, the seat of the chief of the Macintoshes. The chief was in the king's army with Lord Loudon, but Lady Macintosh espoused the cause of the prince zealously, raised the clan, and led them out as their commander, riding at their head with a man's bonnet on her head, and pistols at her saddle-bow. Charles, the next morning, the 17th of February, called together his men, and on the 18th marched on Inverness. Lord Loudon did not wait for his arrival, but got across the Moray Firth with his soldiers, and accompanied by the Lord-President Forbes, into Cromarty. He was hotly pursued by the Earl of Cromarty and several Highland regiments, and was compelled to retreat into Sutherland. Charles entered Inverness, and began to attack the British forts. Fort George surrendered in a few days, and in it they obtained sixteen pieces of cannon and a considerable stock of ammunition and provisions.
The events on land were very different. Abercrombie, like General Braddock, advanced with all the careless presumption of a second-rate general. The grand object was to reduce Fort Ticonderoga, built on a neck of land between Lakes George and Champlain. At the landing, Lord Howe, one of the best officers, was killed, but they drove back the French, and advanced on the fort, which was of great strength, defended by a garrison of four thousand men, commanded by the Marquis de Montcalm, the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadians, himself. Montcalm had raised a breastwork eight feet high, and made in front of it a barricade of felled trees with their branches outwards. Abercrombie, with a foolish confidence, advanced right upon this barricade, without waiting for the coming up of his artillery, which was detained by the badness of the roads. With a reckless disregard of the lives of his men, he commanded them to attempt to storm these defences, and after fighting with the usual courage of Englishmen for several hours, and two thousand of them being slaughtered, it was found that their efforts were useless, and they were ordered to retire. Brigadier Forbes, who had been sent against Fort Dupuesne, an attempt so disastrous to both Washington and Braddock, executed his task with the utmost promptitude and success. Forbes took possession of it on the 25th of November, and, in compliment to the great Minister under whose auspices they fought, named it Fort Pitt, since grown from a solitary fort into Pittsburg.From the Painting by J. S. Copley, R.A., at the National Gallery.详情
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