But the despondency of Wolfe was but for a moment. Suddenly a new idea—an inspiration, it seemed—burst upon him: he would scale the Heights of Abraham—the point where no mortal ascent was dreamed of, and which therefore was less defended, except by nature, than the rest of the vicinity of the city. The ships were immediately ordered to make a feint, under Admiral Saunders, opposite Montcalm's camp at Beauport, and those under Holmes, at a point higher up the river. Attention being thus drawn from himself, on the night of the 12th of September, when it was pitch dark and the tide flowing, he put across the river to a small inlet about two miles above Quebec, which ever since bears the name of Wolfe's Cove.
By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd.The foreign relations of England at this period were, on the whole, satisfactory—as might be expected from the fact that our foreign policy was committed to the able management of Lord Palmerston, who, while sympathising with oppressed nationalities, acted steadily upon the principle of non-intervention. Considering, however, the comparative smallness o￡ our naval and military forces, the formidable military powers of Russia and France created a good deal of uneasiness, which the king expressed in one of his odd impromptu speeches at Windsor. On the 19th of February there was a debate in the House of Commons on Eastern affairs, in which the vast resources and aggressive policy Of Russia were placed in a strong light. On that occasion Lord Dudley Stuart said, "Russia has 50,000,000 subjects in Europe alone, exclusive of Asia; an army of 700,000 men, and a navy of eighty line-of-battle ships and frigates, guided by the energy of a Government of unmitigated despotism, at whose absolute and unlimited disposal stand persons and property of every description. These formidable means are constantly applied to purposes of territorial aggrandisement, and every new acquisition becomes the means of gaining others. Who can tell that the Hellespont may not be subject to Russia at any moment? She has a large fleet in the Black Sea, full command of the mouths of the Danube, and of the commercial marine cities of Odessa and Trebizond. In three days she may be at Constantinople from Sebastopol; and if once there, the Dardanelles will be so fortified by Russian engineers that she can never be expelled except by a general war. She could be in entire possession of these important straits before any expedition could be sent from this country, even if such a thing could be thought of against the enormous military force at the command of Russia. That Russia is determined to have the Dardanelles is evident from the treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi, by which she began by excluding the ships of all other nations. The effect of this treaty was to exclude any ship of war from these straits, except with the permission of Russia. Russia might at any moment insist on the exclusion of our ships of war from the Dardanelles—nay, she has already done so; for when Lord Durham, going on his late embassy to the Court of St. Petersburg, arrived at the Dardanelles in a frigate, he was obliged to go on board the Pluto, an armed vessel without her guns, before he could pass the straits; and when he arrived at Sebastopol no salute was fired, and the excuse given was that they did not know the Pluto from a merchant vessel. But both before and since Lord Durham went, Russian ships of war, with their guns out and their streamers flying, passed through the Black Sea to the Dardanelles, and again through the Dardanelles to the Black Sea. Russia has now fifteen ships of the line and seven frigates in the Black Sea. Sebastopol is only three days' sail from the Hellespont. Turkey has no force capable of resisting such an armament; the forts of the Hellespont are incapable of defence against a land force, for they are open in the rear. Russia might any day have 100,000 men in Constantinople before England or France could even fit out expeditions to defend it."
There is no doubt that his great object was through life to inspire his Roman Catholic countrymen with a consciousness of their physical power, supplanting the slavish spirit that had been inspired by the penal code. He was accustomed to say that for every shilling of "rent" there was a man, and the man could grasp a weapon, and put forth a power that slumbered in his right arm. In fact, this mighty political conjurer produced all his spells by invoking this phantom of physical force; nor did he invoke it in vain, for it was that phantom that ultimately terrified the most determined supporters of the Protestant ascendency into surrender to the principle of civil equality. The Catholic Association, in its origin, was treated with contempt, and even Catholics themselves spoke of it with derision; but as it proceeded in its operations, the speeches that were weekly delivered produced an effect which daily increased. The Catholic aristocrat was made to feel that his ancient blood, which slavery had made stagnant in his veins, was of no avail; the Catholic merchant was taught that his coffers filled with gold could not impart to him any substantial importance, when every needy corporator looked down upon him from the pedestal of his aristocratic religion; the Catholic priest was informed that he had much occasion to put the lessons of humility inculcated by the Gospel into practice, when every coxcomb minister of the Establishment could, with impunity, put some sacerdotal affront upon him. In short, from the proudest nobleman down to the meanest serf, the whole body of Roman Catholics were rendered sensible of their inferior place in the State. The stigma was pointed at—men became exasperated at their grievances when they were roused to their perception; a mirror was held up to Ireland, and when she beheld the brand upon her forehead, she began to burn. Reviled as the Catholic demagogues have been, still did they not accomplish great things when they succeeded in marshalling and bringing the whole population of the country into array? The English people had been previously taught to hold the Irish Catholics in contempt; but when they saw that such an immense population was actuated by one indignant sentiment, and was combined in an impassioned, but not the less effectual, organisation, and, above all, when they perceived ￡1,000 a week pouring into the exchequer, their alarm was excited, and, although their pride was wounded, they ceased to despise where they had begun to fear. The wonders which were achieved in Waterford, in Armagh, in Monaghan, and in Louth, may be referred to the system of energy which had been adopted.
During this momentous struggle, Russia was munificently supported by Great Britain. The peace which Mr. Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, our ambassador at Constantinople, had been the means of effecting between Turkey and Russia, released Admiral Tchitchagoff and his army of thirty thousand men to march against Buonaparte; and had not that stupid personage suffered himself to be so grossly deceived by the French Emperor at the Beresina, neither Buonaparte nor a man of his army had ever got across that river. At the same time peace was made with Russia by Great Britain, and Russia sent her fleet, for security, to an English port during the invasion. Peace also was ratified between Great Britain and Sweden; and Bernadotte was at liberty to pursue his plans for aiding in the general movement of the North for the final extinction of the Buonaparte rule. Great Britain also bountifully supplied the Russians with money and arms, and other necessaries, so that a French officer who accompanied General Lauriston to the headquarters of the Russian army was astonished to find abundance of British money circulating and in the highest esteem, though Buonaparte had represented Great Britain as on the verge of bankruptcy. "When I saw British bank-notes passing," he said, "as if they were gold, I trembled for our daring enterprise."
By this dispersion of the Spaniards the British battalions were wholly exposed, and the whole might of Soult's force was thrown upon them. A tremendous fire from the hills, where the Spaniards ought to have stood, was opened on the British ranks, and several regiments were almost annihilated in a little time. But the 31st regiment, belonging to Colborne's brigade, supported by Horton's brigade, stood their ground under a murderous fire of artillery, and the fiery charge of both horse and foot. They must soon have fallen to a man, but Beresford quickly sent up a Portuguese brigade, under General Harvey, to round the hill on the right, and other troops, under Abercrombie, to compass it on the left; while, at the suggestion of Colonel (afterwards Lord) Hardinge, he pushed forward General Cole with his brigade of fusiliers up the face of the hill. These three divisions appeared on the summit simultaneously. The advance of these troops through the tempest of death has always been described as something actually sublime. Moving onward, unshaken, undisturbed, though opposed by the furious onslaught of Soult's densest centre, they cleared the hill-top with the most deadly and unerring fire; they swept away a troop of Polish lancers that were murderously riding about goring our wounded men, as they lay on the ground, with their long lances.
Under Sir Joshua Reynolds a perfect revolution in the art of painting, as practised in England, was effected. He threw aside past traditional fashions, and returned to nature; and his portraits at once excited the consternation of the painters of the day, and placed him in the very first rank of artists. In 1768 was established the Royal Academy, and amongst its foreign members were Benjamin West and Angelica Kauffmann. West produced all his great works in England, and, however much they may now be criticised, they showed an advance on past art in England, and had the merit of introducing modern costume for modern heroes, as in the "Death of General Wolfe," contrary to the advice of even Reynolds himself. Barry made a spasmodic attempt to lead the public back to what he deemed the classical, but in vain; and the successive appearance of Wilson, Gainsborough, and Opie, in different styles, but all genuinely English, established the public in its attachment to the true English school. Wilson, during his lifetime, indeed, was neglected, and died in poverty; but the next generation made the amende to his fame, though too late for his own enjoyment of it. To Paul Sandby we owe the origin of the water-colour school, which afterwards grew so extensive and so rich in production. Amongst eminent painters of this portion of the reign we must mention Wright of Derby, Mortimer, Stubbs and Sawrey, animal painters, and Copley, who, though an American by birth, produced most of his works in England.
Great attention during this reign was devoted to the manufacturing of clocks and watches. To such eminence had the English manufacture of watches arrived, that in 1799 it was calculated that the value of watches and marine chronometers alone manufactured in and around London amounted to a million of money yearly. In 1762 John Harrison claimed the reward offered by Act of Parliament for a chronometer which would ascertain the longitude within sixty, forty, or thirty miles. For the least accurate of these the reward was ten thousand pounds, for the next more accurate fifteen thousand pounds, and for the best twenty thousand pounds. Harrison produced a chronometer which, after two voyages to the West Indies, entitled him to the highest prize, but a fresh Act of Parliament was passed, refusing him more than two thousand five hundred pounds until he had made known the principle of his invention, and assigned his chronometer for the public use. Even when these new terms were complied with he was only to receive ten thousand pounds, and the remainder on the correctness of the chronometer having been sufficiently tested. Harrison very justly complained of these new stipulations, and of the delays thus interposed; but in 1767, nine years before his decease, he obtained the full amount of the premium. In 1774 a premium of five thousand pounds was offered by Act of Parliament for a chronometer that should ascertain the longitude within one degree of a great circle, or sixty geographical miles; seven thousand five hundred pounds for one that would ascertain the longitude within two-thirds of that distance; and ten thousand pounds for one that would ascertain it within half a degree. This called out the efforts of various competitors—Harrison, Meadge, Kendal, Coombe, and numbers of others. In 1777 Meadge produced two, which were submitted to the test of the Astronomer-Royal, Dr. Maskelyne, and pronounced unfavourably upon; but Meadge petitioned Parliament against this decision, and, on the report of a committee on his chronometers, he was awarded a premium of two thousand five hundred pounds.'Purpurea tollant aul?a Britanni;'详情
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