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On the morning of the 19th the battle recommenced with fury. The French were now fighting close under the walls of the town, and Napoleon, posted on an eminence called Thonsberg, watched the conflict. Till two o'clock the fight raged all along the line, round the city; and neither party seemed to make any advance. At length the Allies forced their way into the village of Probstheide, and threw the French on that side into great confusion. Ney, on the north side, was also fearfully pressed by Blucher and the Crown Prince of Sweden, and was compelled to retreat under the walls. On a sudden, as the Russians advanced also against Ney, the Saxons—ten thousand in number—went over to them with a shout. They were sent to the rear, but their cannon was at once turned against the enemy. By evening it was clear that the French could not hold their position another day. Schwarzenberg announced to the Allied sovereigns that victory was certain, and they knelt on the field and returned thanks to God. The French knew this better than their opponents, for in the two days they had fired two hundred and fifty thousand cannon-balls, and had only about sixteen thousand cartridges left, which would not serve for more than two hours, much of their artillery having been sent to Torgau. The retreat, therefore, commenced in the night. There was only one bridge prepared, of timber, in addition to the regular stone bridge, over which one hundred thousand men must pass, with the enemy at their heels. To add to the misery, the temporary bridge soon broke down. Napoleon took a hasty leave of the King and Queen of Saxony, ordered Poniatowski to defend the rear, and himself made for the bridge. It was not without much difficulty, and considerable alarm lest he should be surrounded and taken, that he and his suite got across. Then there was a terrible scene of crushing and scrambling; and the enemy, now aware of the flight, were galloping and running from all sides towards the bridge, to cut off the fugitives. Soon after Buonaparte had got over, the bridge was blown up by the French officer in charge of the mine already made, and twenty-five thousand men were left to surrender as prisoners in the town. Amongst these were Marshals Macdonald and Poniatowski; but, disdaining to surrender, they sprang, with their horses, into the Pleisse—to swim. Macdonald escaped, but Poniatowski, though he crossed the Pleisse, was again nearly cut off, and plunging into the deep and muddy Elster, was drowned. No braver man perished in these tragic campaigns; both Allies and French in Leipsic followed his remains to the tomb, in sincere honour of his gallantry. The triumph of the Allied monarchs was complete. They met in the great square of the city, and felicitated each other. The King of Saxony was sent, without any interview, under a guard of Cossacks to Berlin, and at the General Congress he was made to pay dearly in territory for his besotted adhesion to the invader of Germany. In this awful battle the French lost three hundred guns. The slain on both sides amounted to eighty thousand, and thousands of the wounded lay for days around the city, exposed to the severe October nights, before they could be collected into lazarettos; and the view of the whole environs of Leipsic, covered with dead, was fearful.

LOUIS PHILIPPE HEARS OF THE REVOLUTION. (See p. 551.)Despite these representations, however, the resolutions were confirmed by the same majority as before. Other debates succeeded on the second reading of the Bill, but the majority on these gradually sank from sixty to sixteen. As the storm grew instead of abated, the queen demanded of Lord Scarborough what he thought of it, and he replied, "The Bill must be relinquished. I will answer for my regiment against the Pretender, but not against the opposers of the Excise." "Then," said the queen, "we must drop it." Sir Robert summoned his majority, and requested their opinion, and they proposed to go on, observing that all taxes were obnoxious, and that it would not do to be daunted by a mob. But Walpole felt that he must yield. He declared that he was not disposed to enforce it at the point of the bayonet, and on the 11th of April, on the order of the day for the second reading, he moved that the measure should be postponed for two months. Thus the whole affair dropped. The usually triumphant Minister found himself defeated by popular opinion. The Opposition were hardly satisfied to allow this obnoxious Bill thus to slip quietly away; but out-of-doors there was rejoicing enough to satisfy them.

The manner in which a great deal of these vast sums, so freely voted, was spent, was, at this very moment, staring the public most fully in the face, through the military inquiry set on foot under the administration of Pitt, and continued under the present Ministry. It appeared that one Davison, being made Treasurer of the Ordnance by Pitt, had been in the habit of drawing large sums from the Treasury long before they were wanted, and had generally from three million to four million pounds of the national funds in his hands to trade with, of which the country lost the interest! Nor was this all: there had been an understanding between himself, Delauny, the Barrackmaster-General, and Greenwood, the army agent. All these gentlemen helped themselves largely to the public money, and their accounts were full of misstatements and overcharges. Those of Delauny were yet only partly gone through, but there was a charge of ninety thousand pounds already against him for fraudulent entries and impositions. As for Davison, there was found to be an arrangement between him and Delauny, by which, as a contractor, he was to receive of Delauny two-and-a-half per cent. on beds, sheets, blankets, towels, candles, beer, forage, etc., which he furnished for barrack use. Besides this, he was to supply the coals as a merchant. Having always several millions of the country's money in hand, he bought up the articles, got his profit, and then his commission, without any outlay of his own. Lord Archibald Hamilton gave notice of a motion for the prosecution of Davison at common law, but Ministers said they had put the matter into the proper hands, and that Davison had been summoned to deliver up all his accounts that they might be examined, and measures taken to recover any amount due by him to the Treasury. But Lord Henry Petty talked as though it was not certain that there were sufficient proofs of his guilt to convict him. The Attorney-General, however, was ordered to prosecute in the Court of King's Bench, but the decision did not take place till April, 1809, more than two years afterwards, and then only the miserable sum of eighteen thousand one hundred and eighty-three pounds had been recovered, and Davison was condemned to twenty-one months' imprisonment in Newgate.

Admirable as was the character of Caroline, she has been accused of retaining her resentment against her son to the last. Pope and Chesterfield affirm that she died refusing to see or forgive her son; but Ford, though he says she would not see him, states that she "heartily forgave him"; and Horace Walpole says she not only forgave him, but would have seen him, but that she feared to irritate her husband. To Sir Robert Walpole she expressed her earnest hope that he would continue to serve the king as faithfully as he had done, and, curiously enough, recommended the king to him, not him to the king. She died on the 20th of November, perhaps more lamented by Walpole than by her own husband (though, as Lord Hervey tells us, George was bitterly affected), for Walpole well knew how much her strong sense and superior feeling had tended to keep the king right, which he could not hope for when she was gone. The king appeared to lament her loss considerably for a time, that is, till consoled by his mistress, the Countess of Walmoden, whom he had kept for a long time at Hanover, and now soon brought over to England. He sent for her picture when she was dead, shut himself up with it some hours, and declared, on reappearing, that he never knew the woman worthy to buckle her shoe.

A law in force since the time of Cromwell had provided that no merchandise from Asia, Africa, or America should be imported into Great Britain in any foreign ships; and not only the commander, but three-fourths of the crew, were required to be English. In addition to this restriction of our foreign commerce to English-built and English-manned ships, discriminating duties were imposed upon foreign ships from Europe, which had to pay more heavily than if the goods were imported under the British flag. The object of this system, which prevailed for one hundred and fifty years, was to maintain the ascendency of Britain as a Maritime Power. Adam Smith remarks that the Navigation Act may have proceeded from national rivalry and animosity towards Holland; but he held that its provisions were as beneficial as if they had been dictated by the most consummate wisdom. He admits, however, that they were not favourable to foreign commerce, or to the growth of that opulence that can arise from it, remarking, "As defence is of more value than opulence, the Act of Navigation is perhaps the wisest of all the commercial regulations of England." But had Adam Smith lived later on, he would have seen that the utmost freedom of commerce with foreign nations, and the most boundless opulence arising from it, are quite compatible with a perfect system of national defence; and whatever were the advantages of the restrictive system, other nations could act upon it as well as England. America did so, and thus commenced a war of tariffs equally injurious to herself and the mother country, causing the people of each to pay much more for most of the commodities they needed than they would have done if the markets of the world were open to them. The consequence was that both parties saw the folly of sending their ships across the Atlantic in ballast, and a commercial treaty was concluded in 1815, which put the shipping of both America and England upon an equal footing, and relieved them from the necessity of paying double freight. The reciprocity system was also partially adopted in our commerce with other countries. In 1822 Mr. Wallace had brought in four Bills, which made other important alterations. The 3 George IV., cap. 41, repealed certain statutes relating to foreign commerce which were passed before the Navigation Act. Another Act (cap. 42) repealed that part of the Navigation Act itself which required that goods of the growth or manufacture of Asia, Africa, and America should only be imported in British ships; and that no goods of foreign growth or manufacture should be brought from Europe, except from the place of their production, and in the ships of the country producing them. The next enactment prescribed certain specified goods to be brought to Great Britain from any port in Europe, in ships belonging to the ports of shipment. Two other Acts further extended freedom of commerce, and removed the vexatious restrictions that had hampered our colonial and coasting trade. In 1823 Prussia retaliated, as the United States had done, which led Mr. Huskisson to propose what are called the Reciprocity Acts, 4 George IV., cap. 77, and 5 George IV., cap. 1, which empowered the king, by Order in Council, to authorise the importation and exportation of goods in foreign ships from the United Kingdom, or from any other of his Majesty's dominions, on the same terms as in[240] British ships, provided it should first be proved to his Majesty and the Privy Council that the foreign country in whose favour the order was made had placed British ships in its ports on the same footing as its own ships. These enactments proved an immense advantage to the people of the nations affected by them, and satisfied all parties but the ship-owners, who cried out loudly that their interest was ruined. But their complaints were altogether unfounded, as will appear from the following figures. Under the restrictive system, from 1804 to 1823, the tonnage of British shipping had increased only ten per cent. Under the Reciprocity Acts and the Free Trade system, from 1823 to 1845, the increase rose to forty-five per cent. This result fully bore out the calculations and anticipations of Mr. Huskisson, in his answer to the arguments of the Protectionists.

This royal denunciation of the Repeal movement greatly exasperated O'Connell. He had recently submitted a plan to the Repeal Association, recommended by a committee of which he was chairman, for the restoration of the Irish Parliament. In the document containing this plan it was declared that the people of Ireland finally insisted upon the restoration of the Irish House of Commons, consisting of 300 representatives, and claimed, in "the presence of the Creator," the right of the Irish people to such restoration, stating that they submitted to the union as being binding in law, but solemnly denied that it was founded on right, or on constitutional principle, or that it was obligatory on conscience. The franchise was to be household suffrage, and the voting by ballot. It was also provided that the monarch or regent de jure in England should be the monarch or regent de facto in Ireland. This revolutionary scheme was to be carried into effect, "according to recognised law and strict constitutional principle." The arbitration courts which O'Connell had threatened to set up, in consequence of the superseding of magistrates connected with the Repeal Association, had actually been established; and the Roman Catholic peasantry, forsaking the regular tribunals, had recourse to them for the settlement of their disputes.The distress was greatly aggravated, and spread over the whole country, by the extraordinary drought which prevailed in the summer of 1826. The richest meadows were burnt up. The stunted grain crops were only a few inches in height. The cattle, and even the deer in noblemen's parks, died from thirst. The people sat up all night to watch the springs, waiting for their turn to be[245] supplied. Water was retailed in small quantities, and sold like beer. Those who occupied the more favoured districts sent jars of fresh water to their friends in other places, as most acceptable presents. In the midst of all this scarcity and suffering the Corn Laws stopped the supplies of provisions from abroad, which were ready to be poured in in any quantities. Bills had been passed with great difficulty through Parliament, to enable Government to relax the restrictions of the Corn Laws, in order to meet the emergency. But so clogged were those enactments with conditions, that in autumn Ministers were obliged to anticipate their operation by opening the ports, trusting to the legislature for an indemnity. It is melancholy to reflect upon the perplexities and miseries in which the country was involved through the mistaken views of the landed interest, then predominant in Parliament.

But the attempts to reduce the other chiefs to subjection were unsuccessful. An unfortunate collision with the tribes of Ghilzais formed a painful episode in the Afghan war. The Cabul Pass is a long defile, through which the road runs from Cabul to Jelalabad, which it was therefore necessary to keep open for the purpose of safe intercourse between Cabul and British India. The Indian Government thought that the most desirable mode of effecting this object was to pay the Ghilzai chiefs a yearly sum from the Cabul treasury, in order that our troops might not be molested. But retrenchment being determined upon, the money was withheld; the chiefs, therefore, felt that the British had been guilty of a deliberate breach of faith. They were exasperated, assumed a hostile attitude, and cut off all communication with British India. It therefore became necessary to force the Pass, for which purpose Major-General Sir Robert Sale was sent by General Elphinstone from Cabul, with a brigade, of light infantry. On the 12th of October they entered the Pass, near the middle of which the enemy were found posted behind precipitous ridges of the mountains on each side, from which they opened a well-directed fire. General Sale was hit with a ball above the ankle, and compelled to retire and give the command to Colonel Dennie. The Pass was gallantly cleared, but with severe fighting and heavy loss. After this was accomplished, the force had still to fight its way through a difficult country, occupied by an active enemy, for eighteen days. All the commanding points of the hills were held by the Ghilzais, where they were protected by breastworks; and though they had been from time to time outflanked and routed, when the march was resumed and the cumbrous train of baggage filed over the mountains the enemy again appeared from beyond the most distant ridges, renewing the contest with increased numbers and the most savage fury. Since leaving Cabul our troops had been kept constantly on the alert by attacks night and day. Their positions had been secured only by unremitting labour, throwing up entrenchments, and very severe outpost duty. The enemy were eminently skilful at the species of warfare to which their attempts had been confined, and were armed with weapons that enabled them to annoy the invaders from a distance at which they could be reached only by our artillery. The brigade reached Jelalabad on the 12th of November.Mr. Fyshe Palmer was not tried till the 12th of September. He was then brought before the Circuit Court of Justiciary at Perth, and charged with writing and publishing an "Address to the People," which had been issued by the Society of the Friends of Liberty, at Dundee. Palmer was an Englishman of good family, in Bedfordshire. He had taken his degree at Cambridge, and obtained a fellowship at Queen's College; but he had afterwards joined the Unitarians, and had resided and preached some time at Montrose and Dundee, and had delivered lectures on Unitarianism in Edinburgh and Forfar. It appeared that Palmer was not the author of the Address, but had only been asked to correct the proof of it, and that he had, whilst so doing, struck out some of the strongest passages. One Mealmaker, a weaver, acknowledged himself the author of the Address; but Palmer was a Unitarian, and this, to the bigoted Presbyterianism of his judges, was rank poison. His advocate pleaded that he was not quite sane, but neither did this avail; the jury brought in an instant and unanimous verdict of guilty, and the judges condemned him to be transported for seven years. This was a still more outrageous sentence than that of Muir, for Palmer had corresponded with no French or Reforming societies whatever; he had simply corrected a proof!



Warren Hastings was summoned to the bar, and there kneeling, the Lord Chancellor, Thurlow, intimated the charge against him, and assured him that, as a British subject, he would receive full justice from the highest British court. Hastings replied, in a clear and firm voice, that he had the highest confidence in the justice and integrity of that august court. The clerks of the court then commenced reading the charges against him, and the answers to them, and this reading occupied the whole of that day and the following one; and on the third, Burke rose to deliver his opening speech. This occupied the whole of four days, beginning on the 15th, and terminating on the 19th of February. The effect of that speech, notwithstanding its enormous length, was such as had scarcely ever been witnessed in a court of justice before. As he detailed the horrors practised by Hastings on the princes and people of India, both the orator and his audience were convulsed with terror and agitation. Ladies fainted away in the galleries; Mrs. Sheridan, amongst others, had to be carried out insensible: the faces of the strongest men, as well as of the more sensitive women, were flushed with emotion, or bathed in tears. In his peroration Burke far exceeded even himself. He appeared raised, enlarged into something ethereal by his subject, and his voice seemed to shake the very walls and roof of that ancient court. Finally, he exclaimed:—"I impeach Warren Hastings, Esquire, of high crimes and misdemeanours. I impeach him in the name of all the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights, and liberties he has subverted, whose properties he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate. I impeach him in the name, and by virtue of those eternal laws of justice which he has violated. I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured, and oppressed, in both sexes, in every age, rank, situation, and condition of life. And I conjure this high and sacred court to let not these proceedings be heard in vain." Such was the effect of this wonderful torrent of eloquence that Hastings himself said, "For half an hour I looked up at the orator in a reverie of wonder; and during that space I actually felt myself the most culpable man on earth; but I recurred to my own bosom, and there found a consciousness that consoled me under all I heard and all I suffered."[See larger version]Such was the formidable opposition with which Parliament came to the consideration of this peace. It met on the 25th of November, and the tone of the public out of doors was then seen. The king, as he went to the House of Lords, was very coolly received by the crowds in the streets, and Bute was saluted with hisses, groans, and the flinging of mud and stones. On the 19th of December he moved in the Lords an address in approbation of the terms of the peace. Lord Hardwicke opposed the motion with great warmth and ability, but there was no division. Very different was the reception of a similar address in the Commons the same day, moved by Fox. There Pitt, who was suffering with the gout, denounced the whole treaty, as shamefully sacrificing the honour and interests of the country. When he rose he was obliged to be supported by two of his friends, and was at length compelled to beg to be allowed to address the House sitting. He yet made a vehement speech of three hours and a half against the conditions accepted. The Ministry, however, had a large majority, three hundred and nineteen voting for them against sixty-five. With this brief triumph of Bute's unpopular party closed the year 1762.



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