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On the 1st of February the inquiry into the crimes of Warren Hastings was renewed. The third charge of the impeachment, the treatment of the Begums, was undertaken by Sheridan, as the first was by Burke, and the second by Fox. We have stated the facts of that great oppression, and they were brought out in a most powerful and dramatic light by Sheridan in a speech of nearly six hours. Sheridan had little knowledge of India; but he was well supplied with the facts from the records of the India House and the promptings of Francis, who was familiar with the country and the events. The effect of Sheridan's charge far exceeded all that had gone before it. When he sat down almost the whole House burst forth in a storm of clappings and hurrahs. Fox declared it the most astounding speech that he had ever heard, and Burke and Pitt gave similar evidence. The wit and pathos of it were equally amazing; but it was so badly reported as to be practically lost. The following remark, however, seems to be reported fairly accurately:—"He remembered to have heard an honourable and learned gentleman [Dundas] remark that there was something in the first frame and constitution of the Company which extended the sordid principles of their origin over all their successive operations, connecting with their civil policy, and even with their boldest achievements, the meanness of a pedlar and the profligacy of pirates. Alike in the political and the military line could be observed auctioneering ambassadors and trading generals; and thus we saw a revolution brought about by affidavits; an army employed in executing an arrest; a town besieged on a note of hand; a prince dethroned for the balance of an account. Thus it was they exhibited a government which united the mock majesty of a bloody sceptre and the little traffic of a merchant's counting-house—wielding a truncheon with one hand, and picking a pocket with the other." The debate was adjourned to the next day, for the House could not be brought to listen to any other person after this most intoxicating speech. The motion was carried by one hundred and seventy-five votes against sixty-eight.CHAPTER VI. PROGRESS OF THE NATION FROM THE REVOLUTION TO 1760.

In Calabria, the two sons of Ferdinand of Naples, Prince Francis and Prince Leopold, in conjunction with General Damas, held a force of fourteen thousand men, and endeavoured to arouse the mountaineers, and repel the advance of the French; but Regnier was dispatched against them, with a force of ten thousand, and soon defeated and dispersed the Neapolitans, making himself master of all the country, except the towns and fortresses of Maratea, Amantea, and Scylla. After three days of a bloody contest, Regnier took Maratea, and gave it up to the soldiery. These atrocities aroused the mountaineers to such fury, that they beset and harassed the French on their march to Amantea like so many demons. Their progress was arrested: Amantea stoutly resisted; Scylla, though taken, was invested by enraged Neapolitans and peasantry, and Reggio was again wrested from them. At this crisis arrived Sir John Stuart in Sicily, to reinforce and take the command of the British troops, and, at the earnest entreaty of the queen, Sir John crossed into Calabria.TALLEYRAND. (After the Portrait by Gerard.)

[See larger version]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."

In pursuance of this plan of the campaign, Prideaux and Johnson arrived before the fort of Niagara in the middle of July, which they found very strong, and garrisoned by six hundred men. Prideaux was soon killed by the bursting of a shell, but Johnson continued the siege with great ability, having to invest the fort on one hand, whilst he was menaced on the other by a mixed body of French and Indians, one thousand seven hundred in number, who came to relieve the fort. The attack upon him commenced with a terrible war-whoop of the Indians, which, mingling with the roar of the great cataract near, made the most horrible din imaginable. But this did not disconcert the English and their savage allies, who received them with such steady courage, that in less than an hour they were put to the rout in sight of their own garrison, and pursued for five miles with dreadful slaughter. The garrison thereupon capitulated, remaining prisoners of war. There, however, Sir William Johnson's career stopped. From various causes, not foreseen, he was not able to advance beyond the Ontario to unite with Amherst. That general had fully succeeded in taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but he found the French so strongly posted on an island at the upper end of Lake Champlain, that he was compelled to stop and build[134] boats to enable his army to reach and dislodge them; and it was not till October that he was ready to proceed, when he was driven back repeatedly by tempests, and compelled to go into winter quarters.Driven to desperation, Burgoyne now contemplated crossing the river in the very face of the enemy, and fighting his way through, and for this purpose he sent a party up the river to reconnoitre a suitable spot. Once over, he had little doubt of making his way to Fort Edward, and thence to the Canadian lakes. At this moment Gates was informed that Burgoyne had effected his passage, and that he had left only the rear-guard in the camp. He was in full march upon the camp, in the belief that he could seize it with ease, and part of his forces had actually crossed the fords of Fishkill, near which Burgoyne was strongly posted, when a spy or a deserter informed him of his mistake. Had it not been for this circumstance he must have suffered a surprise and a certain defeat, and the fortunes of Burgoyne would probably have been different. He was now on the alert to receive the Americans, and when, to his mortification, he saw them at a signal again retreating, he poured a murderous fire into them, and pursued them in confusion across the creek. This was his last chance. No news reached him from Clinton; but he ascertained that the Americans had already, in strong force, blocked up his way to Fort Edward. This was decisive. On the 13th he called together a council of war, at which every captain was invited to attend, and the unanimous result of the deliberations was that they must capitulate. Accordingly, an officer was sent with a note to the American headquarters that evening, to propose an interview between General Burgoyne and General Gates. The American General agreed to the meeting at ten o'clock the next morning. There Burgoyne stated that he was aware of the superiority of Gates's numbers, and, to spare the useless effusion of blood, he proposed a cessation of arms, to give time for a treaty to that effect.

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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.

Connaught 1,418,859 1,465,643 745,652 526,048"It was on foot," says Mounier, "in the mud, and under a violent storm of rain. The Paris women intermixed with a certain number of men, ragged and ferocious, and uttering frightful howlings. As we approached the palace, we were taken for a desperate mob. Some of the Gardes du Corps pricked their horses amongst us and dispersed us. It was with difficulty that I made myself known, and equally difficult it was to make our way into the palace. Instead of six women, I was compelled to admit twelve. The king received them graciously, but separated from their own raging and rioting class, the women were overcome by the presence of the king, and Louison Chabry, a handsome young girl of seventeen, could say nothing but the word 'Bread!' She would have fallen on the floor, but the king caught her in his arms, embraced and encouraged her; and this settled completely the rest of the women, who knelt and kissed his hand. Louis assured them that he was very sorry for them, and would do all in his power to have Paris well supplied with bread. They then went out blessing him and all his family, and declared to those outside that never was there so good a king. At this the furious mob exclaimed that they had been tampered with by the aristocrats, and were for tearing them to pieces; and, seizing Louison, they were proceeding to hang her on a lamp-post, when some of the Gardes du Corps, commanded by the Count de Guiche, "interfered and rescued her." One Brunout, an artisan of Paris, and a hero of the Bastille, having advanced so as to be separated from the women, some of the Guard struck him with the flat of their swords. There was an instant cry that the Guard were massacring the people; and the National Guard of Versailles being called on to protect them, one of them discharged a musket, and broke the arm of M. de Savonières, one of the Life Guard. The firing on the Life Guard by the National Guard then continued, and the Life Guard filed off, firing as they went. The mob, now triumphant, attempted to fire two pieces of cannon, which they turned upon the palace; but the powder was wet and would not explode. The king, having meanwhile heard the firing, sent the Duke of Luxembourg to order that the Guard should not fire, but retire to the back of the palace. The mob then retired into Versailles in search of bread, which Lecointre, a draper of the town, and commander of its National Guard, promised to procure them from the municipality. But the municipality had no bread to give, or took no pains to furnish it, and the crowds, drenched with rain, sought shelter wherever they could for the night. The women rushed again into the Hall of the Assembly, and took possession of it without any ceremony. Soon after midnight the roll of drums announced the arrival of Lafayette and his army. An aide-de-camp soon after formally communicated his arrival to the Assembly; that they had been delayed by the state of the roads; and that Lafayette had also stopped them to administer to them an oath of fidelity to the nation, the law, and the king; that all was orderly, and that they had nothing to fear. Lafayette soon after confirmed this by leading a column of the National Guard to the doors of the Assembly, and sending in this message. The Assembly being satisfied, adjourned till eleven o'clock the next day. Lafayette then proceeded to the palace, where he assured the king and the royal family of the loyalty of the Guard, and that every precaution should be taken for tranquillity during the night. On this the king appeared to be at ease and retired to rest. The mob attacked the palace in the night, but Lafayette prevented an assault on the royal family, though two of the[369] Guard were butchered. The king during the night repeatedly sent to inform the deputies of his intention to go to Paris.


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