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The retreat of George to Hanover was not merely to enjoy his native scenes and old associations; he felt himself insecure even on the throne of England, and the rebellion for the present quelled; he was anxious to form or renew alliances on the Continent to give strength to his position. The part which England had taken at the end of the war seemed to have alienated all her confederates of the Grand Alliance, and transferred their resentment to himself with his accession to the British Crown. Holland was, perhaps, the least sensible of the past discords; she had kept the treaty, and lent her aid on the landing of the Pretender; but she was at daggers drawn with Austria, who was much irritated by the Barrier Treaty, by which the Dutch secured a line of fortresses on the Austrian Netherlands. As for the Emperor, he was more feeble and sluggish than he had shown himself as the aspirant to the throne of Spain. He was a bigoted Catholic, little disposed to trouble himself for securing a Protestant succession, although it had expended much money and blood in defence of his own. On the contrary, he felt a strong jealousy of George, the Elector of Hanover, as King of England, and therefore capable of introducing, through his augmented resources, aggressive disturbances in Germany. The King of Prussia, his son-in-law, was rather a troublesome and wrangling ally than one to be depended upon.

[See larger version][See larger version]On the arrival of this news the French Court complained bitterly of the violation of the peace, to which the Court of St. James's replied that the French had too prominently set the example, and the ambassadors on both sides were recalled—an equivalent to a declaration of war, though none on either side yet followed. We had soon a severe reverse instead of a victory to record. General Braddock had been despatched against Fort Duquesne, and had reached Great Meadows, the scene of Washington's defeat in the preceding summer. Braddock was a general of the Hawley school—brave enough, but, like him, brutal and careless. His soldiers hated him for his severity. The Indians resented so much the haughtiness with which he treated them, that they had most of them deserted him; and, as was the fatal habit of English commanders then and long afterwards, he had the utmost contempt for what were called "Provincials" (that is, Colonists), supposing that all sense and knowledge existed in England, and that the English, just arrived, knew more about America than natives who had spent their lives in it. He therefore marched on into the woods, utterly despising all warnings against the Indians in alliance with the French. At Great Meadows he found it necessary, from the nature of the woods and the want of roads, to leave behind him all his heavy baggage, and part of his troops to guard it, and he proceeded with only one thousand two hundred men and ten pieces of artillery. On the 9th of July, 1755, having arrived within ten miles of Fort Duqnesne, he still neglected to send out scouts, and thus rashly entering the mouth of a deep woody defile, he found himself assaulted by a murderous fire in front and on both flanks. His enemies were Indians assisted by a few French, who, accustomed to that mode of fighting, aimed from the thickets and behind trees, and picked off his officers, whom they recognised by their dress, without themselves being visible. Without attempting to draw out of the ambush, and advance with proper precautions, Braddock rushed deeper into it, and displayed a desperate but useless courage. Now was the time for his Indians to have encountered his enemies in their own mode of battle, had his pride not driven them away. After having three horses killed under him, in the vain endeavour to come at his foes, he was shot, and his troops retreated in all haste, leaving behind them their artillery and seven hundred of their comrades on the ground. Their retreat was protected by the "provincial" George Washington—whose advice had been unheeded—or the slaughter would have been greater.

In the meantime the preparations for civil war went on steadily on both sides in Dublin, neither party venturing to interfere with the other. Lest the Government should not be able to subdue the rebellion with 10,000 troops in the strong points of the city, and artillery commanding the great thoroughfares, with loopholes for sharpshooters in every public building, an association was formed to provide loyal citizens with arms and combine them in self-defence. The committee of this body ordered six hundred stand of arms from the manufacturer, and also some thousands of knots of blue ribbon to be worn by the loyal on the night of the barricades. It was intimated that the Government would pay for those things, but as it did not, an action for the cost of the muskets was brought against a gentleman who went to inspect them. Circulars were sent round to the principal inhabitants, with directions as to the best means of defending their houses when attacked by the insurgents. There were instances in which the lower parts of houses were furnished with ball-proof shutters, and a month's provisions of salted meat and biscuits actually laid in. The Orange-men—regarded with so much coldness by the Government in quiet times—were now courted; their leaders were confidentially consulted by the Lord-Lieutenant; their addresses were gratefully acknowledged; they were supplied with muskets, and the certificate of the master of an Orange lodge was recognised by the police authorities as a passport for the importation of arms.But far more remarkable were the effects of the championship of French principles in the celebrated Dr. Joseph Priestley. Priestley was now nearly sixty years of age—a time of life when men rarely become great enthusiasts in any cause. He was a Unitarian minister, and was now the pastor of a congregation at Birmingham. He was well known for various theological writings, in which he had announced his doubts of the immateriality of the sentient principle in man, especially in his "Disquisition on Matter and Spirit." He had been tutor to Lord Shelburne, first Lord Lansdowne; but had quitted that post, as supposed, in consequence of the objection of Lord Shelburne to these principles, retaining, however, an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds a-year. But Priestley was far more known and esteemed for his researches and discoveries in natural philosophy, especially in electricity, chemistry, and pneumatics. Orthodoxy and Toryism were extremely rampant in Birmingham, and Priestley was regarded as the very patriarch and champion of Socinianism and Republicanism. There wanted only a spark to fire trains of fierce intolerance against Priestley and his party, and, unfortunately, this was furnished by themselves. They resolved to celebrate, by a dinner, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, on the 14th of July. Before the dinner took place, such were the rumours of impending riots that the party proposed to defer the celebration to a future day; but the landlord had prepared the dinner, and declared his opinion that there would be no danger if the party dispersed early, without stopping to drink many toasts. Darbley, the innkeeper, curiously enough, was a Churchman, and in good odour with the Tory party. Satisfied by his representations, about eighty persons determined to hold the dinner on the appointed day, though a considerable number stayed away, and amongst those Priestley himself. The company were hooted as they entered the inn, but chiefly by a crowd of dirty lads, who cried "Church and King!" On the table were ranged three figures: a medallion of the king encircled with a glory, an emblematical figure of British Liberty, and another of French Slavery bursting its chains. In the evening a fierce riot broke out, instigated—according to Priestley's account—by some prominent magistrates, though the statement was never proved. The mob rushed to Darbley's hotel after the dinner was over and most of the people were gone. There they raised the cry of "Church and King!" and began to throw stones. Some one cried out, "Don't break Darbley's windows; he is a Churchman!" But the Church-and-King people and their set, now flushed with wine and loyalty, waved their handkerchiefs from the windows of the opposite inn, and hurrahed the mob on. With this encouragement, which seemed to the crowd to legalise their proceedings, the mob rushed into the house, declaring that they wanted to knock the powder out of Dr. Priestley's wig. They did not find the doctor, so they smashed most of the furniture in the house, and dashed in the windows, notwithstanding the host's orthodoxy. Some one then cried, "You have done mischief enough here; go to the meetings!" and the mob rolled away, first to the new meeting-house, where Priestley preached, which they soon demolished and set fire to. They then proceeded to the old meeting-house, and destroyed that too, being hounded on by people of decent station in the place, and made furious by the beer which was distributed among them.The Frankfort Parliament had spent a year doing nothing but talking. They came, however, to the important resolution of offering the Imperial Crown of Germany to the King of Prussia. As soon as the Prussian Assembly heard this, they adopted an address to the king, earnestly recommending him to accept the proffered dignity. They were deeply interested by seeing the house of Hohenzollern called to the direction of the Fatherland and they hoped he would take into his strong hands the guidance of the destinies of the German nation. On the 3rd of April, 1849, the king received the Frankfort deputation commissioned[578] to present to him the Imperial Crown. He declined the honour unless the several Governments of the German States should approve of the new Imperial Constitution, and concur in the choice of the Assembly. As soon as this reply was made known, the second Prussian Chamber adopted a motion of "urgency," and prepared an address to the king, entreating him to accept the glorious mission of taking into firm hands the guidance of the destiny of regenerated Germany, in order to rescue it from the incalculable dangers that might arise from the conflicting agitations of the time. The address was carried only by a small majority. The king had good reason for refusing the imperial diadem; first, because Austria, Würtemberg, Bavaria, and Hanover decidedly objected; and secondly because the king required changes in the Frankfort Constitution which the Parliament refused to make. These facts enabled his Majesty to discover that the imperial supremacy was "an unreal dignity, and the Constitution only a means gradually, and under legal pretences, to set aside authority, and to introduce the republic." In July the state of siege was terminated in Berlin, and the new elections went in favour of the Government.


Meanwhile the second and rear divisions of the army under Davoust and Ney were labouring hard to reach Smolensk, assailed by all the horrors of the season, and of the myriad Russians collected around them, who killed all who straggled or fell behind from fatigue and starvation. The rearguard of Ney suffered most of all, for it was not only more completely exposed to the raids of the Cossacks and of the enraged peasants, but they found every house on their way burnt, and nothing around them but treeless, naked plains, over which the freezing winds and the hurrahing Cossacks careered in deadly glee. At the passage of the Dnieper, it was only by stupendous exertions that Ney saved any part of his army. He lost many men, and much of his artillery. On the 13th of November, as he approached Smolensk, he was appalled by the apparition of the remains of the army of Italy pursued by a cloud of Cossacks, who were hewing them down by thousands. Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy, had been sent with this division on a northward route to support Oudinot, who was retreating before Wittgenstein; but he had found it impossible to reach Oudinot, and had again made for Smolensk. His passage of the river Vop had been no less destructive than the passage of the Dnieper by Ney. He had lost all his baggage and twenty-three pieces of cannon[51] and was only saved by the fortunate arrival of Ney.[See larger version]

[474]Parliament met on the 10th of January, 1765. The resentment of the Americans had reached the ears of the Ministry and the king, yet both continued determined to proceed. In the interviews which Franklin and the other agents had with the Ministers, Grenville begged them to point to any other tax that would be more agreeable to the colonists than the stamp-duty; but they without any real legal grounds drew the line between levying custom and imposing an inland tax. Grenville paid no attention to these representations. Fifty-five resolutions, prepared by a committee of ways and means, were laid by him on the table of the House of Commons at an early day of the Session, imposing on America nearly the same stamp-duties as were already in practical operation in England. These resolutions being adopted, were embodied in a bill; and when it was introduced to the House, it was received with an apathy which betrayed on all hands the profoundest ignorance of its importance. Burke, who was a spectator of the debates in both Houses, in a speech some years afterwards, stated that he never heard a more languid debate than that in the Commons. Only two or three persons spoke against the measure and that with great composure. There was but one division in the whole progress of the Bill, and the minority did not reach to more than thirty-nine or forty. In the Lords, he said, there was, to the best of his recollection, neither division nor debate!

On the motion for taking this Bill into further consideration, on the 8th of April, Mr. Hussey presented various petitions from merchants regarding the measure, and moved that the Bill required recommittal. He was seconded by Fox, who now, though approving of the main principles of the Bill, took occasion to contend for the development of the advanced doctrines of political liberty inculcated by the French revolutionists, and to urge the insertion of clauses in the Bill, in accordance with them. When the day for the debate on the Bill arrived, Fox called on Burke, though he had not done so for some time, and, in the presence of a common friend, entered into explanations which appeared satisfactory. Fox then proposed that the answer of Burke should not take place on the discussion of the Quebec Bill, though this was the Bill on which this topic had been introduced. Burke refused to comply; but the two old friends walked to the House together, displaying the last show of friendship which was to take place between them. Accordingly, on the 6th of May, when the chairman of the Committee put the question, that the Quebec Bill be read paragraph by paragraph, Burke rose, and determined to have a fair hearing on the question of the French Revolution, and proceeded to inveigh strongly against it. Then there were loud cries of "Order!" and "Question!" and Mr. Baker declared that the argument of Mr. Burke was calculated to involve the House in unnecessary altercation, and perhaps with the Government of another nation. Fox said his right honourable friend could scarcely be said to be out of order, for it seemed to be a day of privilege, when any gentleman might stand up and take any topic, and abuse any Government, whether it had reference to the point in question or not; that not a word had been said of the French Revolution, yet he had risen and abused it. He might just as well have abused that of China or Hindostan. This taunt came with ill grace from Fox, who had himself introduced this extraneous topic into the debates on this very Bill, and seized that occasion to attack Burke's opinions in his absence.The manner in which Hastings had executed the orders of the Directors in this business showed that he was prepared to go all lengths in maintaining their interests in India. He immediately proceeded to give an equally striking proof of this. We have seen that when the Mogul Shah Allum applied to the British to assist him in recovering his territories, they promised to conduct him in triumph to Delhi, and place him firmly on the grand throne of all India; but when, in consequence of this engagement, he had made over to them by a public grant, Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, they found it inconvenient to fulfil their contract, and made over to him Allahabad and Corah instead, with an annual payment of twenty-six lacs of rupees—two hundred and sixty thousand pounds. The payment of this large sum, too, was regarded by the Company, now in the deepest debt, as unnecessary, and Hastings had orders to reduce it. It appears that the money was at no time duly paid, and had now been withheld altogether for more than two years. The Mogul, thus disappointed in the promises of restoration by the English, and now again in the payment of this stipulated tribute, turned to the Mahrattas, and offered to make over the little provinces of Allahabad and Corah, on condition that they restored him to the sovereignty of Delhi. The Mahrattas gladly caught at this offer, and by the end of the year 1771 they had borne the Mogul in triumph into his ancient capital of Delhi. This was precisely such a case as the Directors were on the watch for. In their letter to Bengal of the 11th of November, 1768, they had said: "If the Emperor flings himself into the hands of the Mahrattas, or any other Power, we are disengaged from him, and it may open a fair opportunity of withholding the twenty-six lacs of rupees we now pay him." The opportunity had now come, and was immediately seized on by Hastings to rescind the payment of the money altogether, and he prepared to annex the two provinces of Allahabad and Corah. These were sold to the Nabob of Oude for fifty lacs of rupees. This bargain was settled between the vizier and Hastings at Benares, in September, 1773.


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The two Pugins, father and son, had much to do with the revival of Gothic architecture among us. The father, Augustus, born in France in 1769, came over to London to practise his profession. In 1821-3 he published "Specimens of Gothic Architecture," selected from various ancient edifices in England; and in 1825-28 "Specimens of the Architectural Antiquities of Normandy." The year before his death, in 1832, he assisted his son in producing a work entitled "Gothic Ornaments," selected from various buildings in England and France. Augustus Welby Pugin, who was born in 1811, very soon eclipsed his father's fame. Having resolved to devote his time to the arch?ological study of style and symbolism in architectural ornaments, he settled down at Ramsgate in 1833, and carried his resolution into effect both with pen and pencil. In 1835 he published designs for furniture, in the style of the fifteenth century; and designs for iron and brass work, in the style of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The year following appeared his "Designs for Gold and Silver Ornaments, and Ancient Timber Houses." His exclusive and ardent devotion to these studies, aided, no doubt, by his habits of seclusion, began to produce a morbid effect upon his intellect, which was shown in the overweening arrogance of a tract entitled "Contrasts; or, a Parallel between Ancient and Modern Architecture." This morbid tendency probably was increased by his becoming a member of the Roman Catholic Church, in which a great field was opened for the display of his peculiar tastes by the construction of buildings which he expected would shame the degenerate taste of the age, but which, too often, were found to be gloomy and inconvenient. His principal works were the Cathedral of St. George, Southwark, the Church of St. Barnabas, at Nottingham, the Cistercian Abbey of St. Bernard, in Leicestershire, the cathedral churches of Killarney and Enniscorthy, Alton Castle, and the model structure which he erected at his own place near Ramsgate. The Medi?val Court in the Exhibition of 1851 was associated in all minds with the name of Pugin. In his case genius was too nearly allied to madness. The awful boundary was passed towards the close of his life, when his friends were obliged to confine him in a lunatic asylum, from which he returned only to die in 1852.Attention was now turned to a matter of the highest importance in a commercial, an intellectual, and a moral point of view. The stamp duty on newspapers had been the subject of keen agitation for some months, and newspaper vendors had incurred repeated penalties for the sale of unstamped newspapers; some of them having been not only fined, but imprisoned. A general impression prevailed that such an impost was impolitic, if not unjust, and that the time had come when the diffusion of knowledge must be freed from the trammels by which it had been so long restrained. A deputation, consisting of Dr. Birkbeck, Mr. Hume, Colonel Thompson, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Grote, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Wallace, and Mr. Buckingham, having, on the 11th of February, waited upon Lord Melbourne, to ask for an entire abolition of the stamp on newspapers, he promised to give his most serious attention to the matter; and he kept his word, for on the 15th of the next month the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought the subject before Parliament, and announced the intentions of Government with regard to it. He stated that it was proposed to revise the whole of the existing law respecting stamp duties, first by consolidating into one statute the 150 Acts of Parliament over which the law was at present distributed; secondly,[402] by the apportionment of the various rates on a new principle—namely, by the simple and uniform rule of making the price of the stamp in every case correspond to the pecuniary value involved in the transaction for which it is required. The effect of this change would be to reduce the stamp duty upon indentures of apprenticeship, bills of lading, and many others of the more common instruments, and to increase it upon mortgages and conveyances of large amounts of property. It was intimated that the proposed Consolidation Act would contain no less than 330 sections. With regard to the stamp on newspapers, then fourpence with discount, it was proposed to reduce it to one penny without discount. This would be a remission of a proportion, varying according to the price of the newspaper, of between two-thirds and three-fourths of the tax. To this remission Parliament assented, and the illicit circulation of unstamped papers was in consequence abandoned. Some of the members very reasonably objected to any stamp whatever on newspapers; but the time was not yet come when Government would venture entirely to remove it, although the advantages which must necessarily arise from such a proceeding could not but have been foreseen. It was considered unfair that the public at large should pay for the carriage of newspapers by post; and it does not seem to have been remembered that, as only a portion of them would be transmitted in this way, an injustice would be committed by demanding payment for all. The difficulty of the case was, however, in due time, easily surmounted; and political knowledge was, by the change even then made, in a great degree exempted from taxation—a good preparation for the time, which was not very far off, when a newspaper of a high order might be obtained, even for the reduced price of the stamp.

Soon it became apparent that the Italians were disunited, monarchists against republicans, and Milanese against Piedmontese. Radetzky, meanwhile, had received ample reinforcements, and in June set himself to reduce Venetia. Fortress after fortress fell, and by the end of the month the province, with the exception of the capital, was once more in Austrian hands. Then the sturdy[585] old warrior crushed the Piedmontese at Custozza and drove them pell-mell across the Mincio, after a battle which lasted three days. Charles Albert, unequal to his position, and worn out by the dissensions of his staff, surrendered Milan without a struggle, and by August, 1848, the fate of Lombardy was sealed. In vain the Lombards appealed to France; the cautious Cavaignac had there replaced the sentimental Lamartine. He offered, indeed, to join with England in mediation, and, with his consent, Lord Palmerston proposed the terms which had been previously offered by Baron Hummelauer. The Austrians, however, declined to negotiate on that basis, and at last on the 25th of September declared that they would consent to no cession of territory. However, there was a cessation of hostilities.The Georges conspiracy, as it is commonly[498] called, was followed by a still more startling act of violence. As the Bourbons still continued to watch for the overthrow of his power, Buonaparte determined to take a deep revenge on the persons of any of that family whom he could by any means get into his hands. Could he have inveigled the Count d'Artois and the Duke of Berry, as he attempted, to leave London and land in Brittany, he would have seized them and put them to death without ceremony or mercy. But there was another member of the family, though the farthest off from succession to the throne, who was living on the French frontiers, within a tempting reach of his soldiers in Alsace, and him he determined to kidnap and kill. This proposed victim of a most lawless and wicked vengeance was Antoine-Henri de Bourbon, Duke d'Enghien, the son of the Prince of Condé. The project was so odious, so certain to cover both Napoleon and France with inextinguishable infamy, that it startled the not very sensitive mind of Talleyrand, who, it is said, gave the duke secret warning of his danger, and advised him to remove farther from the Rhine. In consequence, the duke applied to Sir Charles Stuart to get him a passport from the Austrian Minister, to enable him to cross the Austrian territory to rejoin his grandfather, then at Warsaw with Louis XVIII. Sir Charles Stuart applied to M. de Cobenzl for this purpose, and had the Austrian Court been quicker in its movements, the duke would have been safe enough from the myrmidons of Buonaparte; but, whilst lingering at Ettenheim in Baden for the necessary passport, the duke had so little suspicion of the prompt and deadly nature of the usurper's design against him, that he took no means to conceal himself, or he might still have escaped. But in the middle of the night of the 14th of March he was aroused by the sound of horses' hoofs, and, looking out, saw that the chateau was surrounded by a troop of French cavalry. Buonaparte had despatched his aide-de-camp, Caulaincourt, to Strasburg to effect this capture, and he had sent on Colonel Ordenner to bring the duke away from the heart of a neutral territory. The duke was summarily tried by a military tribunal and shot (March 21, 1804) at Vincennes. The news of this most audacious crime soon transpired, and filled Europe with horror and execration against its perpetrators.Levis, who knew that his success depended on forestalling any English arrivals, lost no time in throwing up trenches and preparing batteries. Had the river continued closed, Quebec must soon have reverted to the French; but, on the 11th of May, the English were rejoiced to see a frigate approaching, and this, only four days after, was followed by another frigate and a ship of the line. These, commanded by Lord Colville, immediately attacked and destroyed or drove on shore the French flotilla, and at that sight Levis struck his tents and decamped as rapidly as he came, leaving behind him his baggage and artillery. Nor was the Marquis de Vaudreuil left long undisturbed at Montreal. The three expeditions, which had failed to meet the preceding summer, were now ordered to converge on Montreal—Amherst from Lake Ontario, Haviland from Crown Point, and Murray from Quebec. Amherst had been detained at Oswego by an outbreak of the Cherokees against us. This native tribe had been friendly to us, and we had built a fort in their country, and called it Fort Loudon, after Lord Loudon; but in the autumn of 1759 they had been bought over by the French, and made a terrible raid on our back settlements, murdering and scalping the defenceless inhabitants. Mr. Lyttelton, the Governor of South Carolina, marched against them with a thousand men, and compelled them to submission; but no sooner had he retired than they recommenced their hostilities, and Amherst sent against them Colonel Montgomery, with one thousand two hundred men, who made a merciless retaliation, plundering and burning their villages, so as to impress a sufficient terror upon them.



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