The Irish peasantry very soon learnt that whatever Emancipation had done or might do for barristers and other persons qualified to hold situations under Government, from which Roman Catholics had previously been almost entirely excluded, it had done nothing to remove or even to mitigate their practical grievances. They found that the rackrents of their holdings were not reduced; that the tax-collector went round as usual, and did not abate his demands; that the tithe-proctor did not fail in his visits, and that, in default of payment, he seized upon the cow or the pig, the pot or the blanket. Through the machinery of the Catholic Association, and the other associations which O'Connell had established, they became readers of newspapers. They had read that a single tithe-proctor had on one occasion processed 1,100 persons for tithes, nearly all of the lower order of farmers or peasants, the expense of each process being about eight shillings. It would be scarcely possible to devise any mode of levying an impost more exasperating, which came home to the bosoms of men with more irritating, humiliating, and maddening power, and which violated more recklessly men's natural sense of justice. If a plan were invented for the purpose of driving men into insurrection, nothing could be more effectual than the tithe-proctor system. Besides, it tended directly to the impoverishment of the country, retarding agricultural improvement and limiting production. If a man kept all his land in pasture, he escaped the impost; but the moment he tilled it, he was subjected to a tax of ten per cent, on the gross produce. The valuation being made by the tithe-proctor—a man whose interest it was to defraud both the tenant and the parson,—the consequence was that the gentry and the large farmers, to a great extent, evaded the tax, and left the small occupiers to bear nearly the whole burden; they even avoided mowing their meadows in some cases, because then they should pay tithe for the hay.So prejudiced were the Allied Sovereigns against England, that they were ready to believe any tale to her disadvantage. One story which was circulated amongst them at the time was that Great Britain had bound herself to support Spain against France in return for certain stipulated commercial advantages. Another was that she had entered into a secret treaty to defend Portugal against France, even though Portugal should join Spain in the war. After all the Duke's arguments, explanations, and remonstrances, the French plenipotentiary was about to set off for Paris, representing all the Powers as being perfectly unanimous on the policy adopted towards Spain, and the Duke was obliged to threaten him with a public contradiction if he did not alter that statement and except Great Britain.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.
CHAPTER XII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).
Whilst these affairs had been taking place in England, the Emperor had been finding himself less and less able to contend against France and Spain. He had in vain exerted himself to engage the Dutch and English in his quarrel. He called upon them as bound by the faith of treaties; he represented the balance of power for which both Holland and England had made such sacrifices, as more in danger than ever; but none of these pleas moving Walpole or the Dutch, he threatened to withdraw his troops from the Netherlands, and make over that country to France. The threat of the Emperor did not move Walpole; he knew too well that it was but a threat. The Emperor, therefore, was now compelled to come to terms. A treaty was to be entered into under the mediation of the maritime Powers. As Fleury and Walpole, too, were bent on peace, they submitted to all the delays and punctilios of the diplomatists, and finally were rewarded by a peace being concluded between the different parties on these terms:—Don Carlos was to retain Naples and Sicily, but he was to resign the possession of Parma and the reversion of Tuscany; of the claimants to the Polish Crown, Augustus was to remain King of Poland, and Stanislaus was to receive, as an equivalent, the Duchy of Lorraine, which, after his decease, was to devolve to the Crown of France. This was an aim which France had had in view for ages, but which neither the genius of Richelieu nor of Mazarin could accomplish. It was rendered comparatively easy now, as the young Duke of Lorraine was about to marry the Empress's only child, the Princess Maria Theresa, and thus to succeed through her to the Empire. Yet the Duke ceded his patrimonial territory with extreme regret, and not till he had received in return the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and a pension from France. The regnant Grand Duke of Tuscany, the last of the Medicis, was on the verge of death, and his decease took place in less than two years, when the Duke of Lorraine was put in possession. France and Sardinia gave their guarantee to the Pragmatic Sanction, and Sardinia obtained, in consequence, Novara, Tortona, and some adjoining districts. England appears to have looked on with strange apathy at this aggrandisement of France by the acquisition of Lorraine, but it was impossible to prevent it, except by a great war, and Walpole was not disposed for even a little one. This treaty is known as the Definitive Peace of Vienna (Nov. 8, 1738).
The spirits of the Americans had been raised by the success of attempts against the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. Early in the spring, some of the leading men of Connecticut, and chief amongst them Wooster and Silas Deane, projected this expedition, as securing the passes into Canada. The volunteers who offered for this enterprise were to march across the frontiers of New York, and come suddenly on these forts. The wretched condition of carelessness existing in these important outposts, notwithstanding the alarming state of the colonies, may be known by the result. Phelps, disguised as a countryman, entered the fort on pretence of seeking a barber; and, whilst roaming about in feigned search of him, noted well the ruinous condition of the fort, and the utter negligence of the guard. The next day, Ethan Allen went alone to the fortress, ostensibly on a visit to his friend the commander, leaving his troops concealed in the wood. He represented that he wanted to conduct some goods across the lake, and borrowed twenty of his soldiers to help him. These men he made dead-drunk; and then, rushing suddenly to the fort, where there were only twenty-two soldiers more, he compelled them in their surprise to lay down their arms, set a guard over them, and entered his friend's bed-room and pronounced him a prisoner. He then advanced against the fort of Crown Point, where he found only a garrison of twelve men, and immediately afterwards secured Skenesborough, the fortified house of Major Skene, and took his son and his negroes.The duties on bricks and tiles were opposed, as affecting brick-makers rather than the public, because stones and slates were not included. These duties were, however, carried, and the Bill passed; but great discontent arising regarding the duties on coals and on licences to deal in excisable commodities, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was obliged to produce a supplementary Budget, and, after withdrawing these, to lay others on the sale of ale, gold and silver plate, the exportation of lead, and postage of letters, at the same time limiting the privilege of franking. It was high time that the latter practice were put under regulation, for the privilege was enormously abused. Till this time, a simple signature of a member of Parliament, without name of the post town whence it was sent, or date, freed a letter all over the kingdom. Many persons had whole quires of these signatures, and letters were also addressed to numbers of places where they did not reside, so that, by an arrangement easily understood, the persons they were really meant for received them post-free. The loss to Government by this dishonest system was calculated at one hundred and seventy thousand pounds a year. By the present plan, no member was to permit any letter to be addressed to him except at the place where he actually was; and he was required, in writing a frank, to give the name of the post town where he wrote it, with the dates of day and year, and to himself write the whole address.
"Child, is thy father dead?"
On the 12th of October General Howe, who would have been better employed in driving the enemy before him than in waiting for his brother's useless negotiations, sent a considerable part of his forces, with flat-bottomed boats, through Hell Gate into the Sound, and landed them at Frog's Neck, about nine miles in the rear of Washington's position, thus cutting off all his supplies from the country. The ships ascended higher up the North River, cutting off the retreat into the Jerseys. Had Howe, instead of landing at Frog's Neck, done so at Pell's Point, he would have rendered Washington's retreat nearly impossible. But this was neglected till the 18th of October, by which time Washington, finding that he was getting gradually hemmed in, and Lee, who had now joined him from Sullivan's Island and the Carolinas, insisting that nothing but instant retreat could save them, they therefore made a rapid retreat into the open country called the White Plains. They had much difficulty in carrying away their artillery; and the whole of it must have been taken, had Howe shown any ordinary activity. Between this date and the 21st there was considerable skirmishing, which compelled Washington to retire farther into the White Plains, and from thence towards the Delaware.
The condition of the Prussian camp was daily growing worse; the troops were compelled to kill their horses for food; they were drenched with heavy rains and decimated by dysentery. The King of Prussia and the Duke of Brunswick were full of resentment at the false representations of the Emigrants, who had assured them that they would have little to do but to march to Paris, loaded with the welcomes and supplies of the people. Europe was surprised at the easy repulse of the Prussians; with their reputation, it was expected that they would march rapidly on Paris, and disperse the Republican troops with scarcely an effort. But they were no longer commanded by old Frederick; and even he would have found it difficult to make his way through a country which refused the barest food for an army, and which almost to a man was in arms to resist the foe. On the 24th of September overtures were made by the Prussians for an exchange of prisoners, to which Dumouriez agreed, refusing, however, to give up a single Emigrant captive. This led to discussions on the general question, and having bargained for a safe retreat, the Allies hurried homeward with all speed. Oppressed by famine and disease, and disgusted with the Emigrants, who had led them to suffering and disgrace, they made the best of their way to the Rhine, and, at the end of October, reached Coblenz, a sorry spectacle, reduced from eighty thousand, who had entered France three months before confident of victory and fame, to fifty thousand humbled and emaciated men. If Dumouriez had had unity and subordination amongst his generals he would have been able by a forced march to outstrip the Allies, cut them off from the Rhine, and scarcely a thousand of them would have escaped. The blame thrown upon him for not thus inflicting a terrible chastisement appears unmerited.[See larger version]
On the 9th of April, 1809, the Archduke Charles crossed the Inn, and invaded Bavaria, the ally of France. He issued a manifesto declaring that the cause of Austria was that of the general independence of Germany, and called on those States which had been compelled to bear the yoke of France to throw it off, and stand boldly for the common liberty. The serious discontent of the people of Germany encouraged him to hope that his call would be responded to; but Germany was not yet ripe for an effective reaction. Simultaneously, the Archduke John had descended from the Alps into Italy, and driven the troops of the viceroy, Eugene Beauharnais, before him. He had advanced as far as the Tagliamento, and laid siege to the fortresses of Orobo and Palma Nuova. The Archduke Ferdinand had also marched into Poland, defeated Poniatowski, Buonaparte's general, and taken possession of Warsaw. All so far looked cheering; for the great actor was not yet on the scene. But he quitted Paris on the 11th of April, two days only after the Archduke Charles entered Bavaria, and in a few days was with his army at Donauw?rth. He expressed the utmost contempt for the Austrian troops, saying, in a letter to Massena, that six thousand French ought to beat twelve thousand or fifteen thousand of "those canaille." He greatly disapproved of the manner in which Berthier had disposed of his forces, for he had extended them in a long line from Augsburg to Ratisbon, with a very weak centre. He ordered Davoust and Massena, who commanded the opposite wings, to draw nearer together. That being done, on the 20th of April he made a sudden attack on the Austrians at Abensberg, and defeated them. The next day he renewed the attack at Landshut, and took from them thirty pieces of cannon, nine thousand prisoners, and a great quantity of ammunition and baggage. The following day he advanced against the main position of the Archduke Charles, at Eckmühl, where, by the most skilful man?uvres, he turned all the enemy's positions, and defeated one division after another with all the art and regularity of a game of chess. Charles was thoroughly defeated, and had twenty thousand men taken prisoners, with a loss of fifteen stand of colours, and the greater part of his artillery. The next day the Austrians made a stand to defend the town of Ratisbon. They fought bravely; but, a breach being made in the wall, Marshal Lannes seized a scaling-ladder, and, whilst hundreds of French were falling under the fire of the Austrians, he planted it against the breach, saying, "I will show you that your general is still a grenadier!" The wall was scaled, and a desperate battle ensued in the streets of the town. At one moment, a number of tumbrils loaded with powder were in danger of exploding, and destroying the combatants on both sides; but the Austrians warned the French of the danger, and they mutually combined to remove them. That over, they recommenced the struggle, and the Austrians were driven out of the town, leaving again cannon, much ammunition, and many prisoners in the hands of the French. Whilst watching the mêlée, Buonaparte was struck on the toe by a spent musket-ball; but he had the wound dressed, and again remounted his horse, and watched with unfailing vigilance the progress of the battle.Defeated in this object, the Patriots united all their force to embroil us with Spain. There were many causes in our commercial relations with Spain which led to violent discontent amongst our merchants. They found the trade with the Spanish settlements in America exceedingly profitable, but they had no right, beyond a very limited extent, to trade there. The Spaniards, though they winked at many encroachments, repressed others which exceeded these with considerable vigour. Their Coastguard insisted on boarding and searching our vessels which intruded into their waters, to discover whether they were bringing merchandise or were prepared to carry away colonial produce. By the treaty of 1670 Spain had recognised the British colonies in North America, and England had agreed that her ships should not enter the ports of the Spanish colonies except from stress of weather, or with an especial licence from the Spanish Government to trade. By the treaty of 1729 we had agreed to the old regulations regarding trading to the Spanish Main, namely, that we should have the Assiento, or right of supplying these colonies with slaves, and that, besides this, we should only send one ship annually to the Spanish West Indies and South America. As fast as that authorised ship discharged its cargo in a Spanish port, she received fresh supplies of goods over her larboard side from other vessels which had followed in her wake, and thus poured unlimited quantities of English goods into the place. Other English traders did not approach too near the Spanish coasts, but were met in certain latitudes by South American smugglers, who there received their goods and carried them into port. In short, such a system of contraband trade was carried on in these waters by our merchants, that English goods in abundance found their way all over the Spanish American regions, and the great annual fair for goods imported from or by Spain dwindled into insignificance.
MAP OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME WHEN THEY GAINED THEIR INDEPENDENCE.
Braves, with broad sail, the immeasurable sea;详情
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