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[366]BY THOMAS DAVIDSON.The Austrians being again expelled from Italy, Buonaparte, in his all-absorbing cupidity, determined to turn adrift the Pope, and add his little vineyard to his now cumbrously overgrown Ahab's domains. He had begun this spoliation in 1808, seizing on the greater part of the Pontiff's territories; sending away his cardinals, and reducing him to little better than a solitary prisoner in his own palace. This was an ungrateful return to the poor old Pope for making the long journey into France to crown him, and thus to give a sacred sanction to his usurpation of the imperial crowna sanction of immense effect throughout the Catholic world. Pius VII. had given Buonaparte great offence by refusing to declare war on Great Britain, and thus keeping up a breach in his system of exclusion of British commerce. He had, therefore, already taken military possession of Civita Vecchia and Ancona, but he now resolved to take the whole temporal dominion from the Pope, and abrogate, by virtue of his assumed heirship of Charlemagne's realm, the gift of Charlemagne to the Church. On the 2nd of February, 1809, General Miollis, by order of Buonaparte, took possession of Rome, disarmed and disbanded the Pope's guard, and marched his other soldiers to the north, telling them they should no longer remain under the effeminate rule of a priest. Miollis then gave the Pontiff the alternative to join the French league, offensive and defensive, or to be deposed. The Pope firmly refused to concede his rights to anything but absolute force. On the 17th of May, therefore, Napoleon's decree for the deposition of the Pope from his temporal power was proclaimed. It assumed the heirship of Charlemagne to be in Buonaparte; declared the union of the spiritual and temporal powers to be the source of all scandals and discords in the Catholic Church; that they were, therefore, at an endthe Roman State for ever united to the French Empire. On the 10th of June Pius issued a bull excommunicating Buonaparte and all who aided him in his sacrilegious usurpation of the patrimony of St. Peter; and this was followed, on the 6th of July, by General Radet forcing the gates of the Vatican, taking possession of it with his troops, entering the presence of the Pope, who was amid his priests, and clad in his pontificals, and demanding that he should instantly sign a renunciation of all the temporal estates attached to the see of Rome. Pius declared that he neither could nor would perform any such sacrilegious act. He was then informed that he must quit Rome. Pius was detained at Savona three years, and was then removed to Fontainebleau.

BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. (See p. 570.)

[See larger version]The English army was now in full march against them. About eight o'clock in the morning of April 16 a man who had been left asleep in the wood of Kilravock hastened to Culloden House, where Charles and his chief officers were resting, to announce that Cumberland's troops were coming. There was then a hurried running and riding to get the army drawn up to receive them. Cumberland came on with his army, divided into three columns of five battalions each. The artillery and baggage followed the second column along the sea-coast on the right; the cavalry covered the left wing, which stretched towards the hills. The men were all in the highest spirits, and even the regiments of horse, which had hitherto behaved so ill, seemed as though they meant to retrieve their characters to-day. The Highlanders were drawn up about half a mile from the part of the moor where they stood the day before, forming a sad contrast to Cumberland's troops, looking thin, and dreadfully fatigued. In placing them, also, a fatal mistake was made. They were drawn up in two lines, with a body of reserve; but the Clan Macdonald, which had always been accustomed to take their stand on the right since Robert Bruce placed them there in the battle of Bannockburn, were disgusted to find themselves now occupying the left. Instead of the Macdonalds now stood the Athol Brigade. As the battle began, a snow-storm began to blow in the faces of the Highlanders, which greatly confounded them.

During the summer a French squadron stretched away across the Atlantic with six sail of the line, and finding our Newfoundland coasts almost wholly unprotected, destroyed and plundered the fishermen's huts and fishing stages, as well as their vessels, and then, returning, picked up a considerable number of our merchantmen at sea, and was lucky enough to make a retreat, by favour of a fog, through our watching squadrons, into Brest. After this clever exploit, they joined the great Brest fleet, which sailed for Ireland on the 15th of December. This consisted of no fewer than forty-three sail, seventeen of them of the line, four frigates, six corvettes and brigs, with six transports. On board the transports were twenty-five thousand men, who had been well tried in the war of La Vende, and abundance of arms and ammunition, as well as extra arms to put into the hands of the disaffected Irish, for to Ireland the armament was bound. General Hoche, who had terminated the Vendan war, was appointed to terminate all the woes of Ireland, and convert that sacred island into another French paradise. Besides Hoche, Generals Grouchy, Hombert, and Bruix were attached to the expedition. The fleet sailed out and anchored in Camaret Bay, but no British fleet was visible to intercept them. But no sooner did the armament put out to sea again the next day, than it was assailed by a tempest and the ships were driven different ways. One of them was forced immediately on the Grand Stenet rock, and wreckedout of one thousand four hundred souls on board only sixty were rescued. Seven ships of the line, and ten of the vessels commanded by Rear-Admiral Bouvet, managed to reach Bantry Bay on the 24th of December, but there the storms continued to batter them. There being no sign of an insurrection, and no other part of the fleet appearing, they sailed back and reached Brest on the 1st of January, 1797. When they were gone, another portion of the fleet arrived in Bantry Bay, but only to be tossed and driven about without rest, to lose several of the ships, and to put back again. As for Hoche, he never saw Ireland; the greater part of the fleet being driven about and swamped in the Channel. Of the forty-three sail, only thirty-one returned, and thousands of the soldiers were drowned in the foundering transports. Sir Edward Pellew, in the Indefatigable, of forty-four guns, and Captain Reynolds, in the Amazon, of thirty-six guns, fell in with the Droits de l'Homme, of seventy-four guns, and after a severe fight close in Audierne Bay, south of Ushant, left her a wreck aground, where, of the one thousand eight hundred men aboard, scarcely more than three hundred were saved, notwithstanding the greatest exertions of the British seamen to rescue them.Pitt, on the day mentioned, announced these facts, and declared that his Majesty had demanded satisfaction from the Court of Spain for the insult to our flag and for the usurpation of our settlement; but that considerable armaments were making in the ports of Spain. He called upon the House to address his Majesty, imploring him to take all necessary measures for the vindication of our honour and our rights. Fox naturally expressed his surprise at this announcement, after the high assurances of such profound prospects of peace little more than a fortnight before. He moreover asserted that not only were the Ministers fully aware of all these circumstances at the very moment when the Premier made these statements, but that he had himself been aware of them a considerable time before that. Pitt endeavoured to explain that all the circumstances were not known when he professed such confidence in peace; but these assertions were clearly as little true as the former, for the British Government had received information from the Spanish Government itself, as early as the 10th of the previous February. Notwithstanding, the House supported the Government warmly in its determination to resist the enormous claims of Spain and to compel her to make satisfaction. Lord Howe was desired to have a fleet in readiness, and the Spanish Court having taken a high tone to Mr. Merry, our Minister at Madrid, Mr. Fitzherbert was dispatched thither as our plenipotentiary. He arrived at Madrid in the beginning of June. At first the Spanish Court were very high, and applied to France for co-operation, according to treaty; but France, in the throes of the Revolution, had no money to spend in such armaments and, on second thoughts, Spain dreaded introducing French revolutionary sailors amongst their own. They soon, therefore, lowered their tone, agreed to surrender Nootka Sound, make full compensation for all damages, and consented that British subjects should continue their fisheries in the South Seas, and make settlements on any coasts not already occupied. Captain Vancouver, who had been with Cook as a midshipman in his last two voyages, being present at his tragical death, was sent out in the following year to see that the settlement of Nootka Sound was duly surrendered to England. He saw this done, the Spanish commander, Quadra, behaving in a very friendly manner; and he proceeded then, during the years 1792 and 1793, to make many accurate surveys of the western coasts of North and South America, in which the Spaniards gave him every assistance. The British took formal possession not only of Nootka Sound, but of the fine island called after Vancouver. Pitt was highly complimented for his firmness and ability in the management of this business.

[270]

In the autumn of this year the British Admiralty tested a plan to blow up and destroy the French invasion flotilla in the harbour of Boulogne. It consisted of a chest, pitched outside and made waterproof, containing forty barrels of gunpowder, which was to be ignited by a certain contrivance when it struck smartly against a solid body. This machine was called a catamaran. The experiment was tried by Lord Keith on the 2nd of October. There were one hundred and fifty French gunboats, praams, and floating batteries anchored outside the pier of Boulogne. Lord Keith anchored opposite to them with three line-of-battle ships and several frigates, covering a number of bomb-ships and fire-ships and the catamarans. Four fire-ships were towed into the neighbourhood of the French flotilla and exploded with a terrific noise, but did no injury whatever to the flotilla or the French, beyond wounding some half-dozen men. The catamarans exploded, for the most part, with the same failure of effect.Bolingbroke had assured Iberville, the French agent, that, had the queen only lived six weeks longer, his measures were so well taken that he should have brought in the Pretender in spite of everything. On the very day of the queen's death Marlborough landed at Dover, so exactly had he timed his return. He found George I. proclaimed in London, in York, and in other large towns, not only without disorder, but with an acclamation of joy from the populace which plainly showed where the heart lay.

Nothing could exceed the consternation and indignation of the Spanish people when they found their great strongholds guarding the entrances from France into the country thus in the hands of the French. Had there been a king of any ability in Spain, an appeal to the nation would, on this outrage, have roused it to a man, and the plans of Buonaparte might have been defeated. But Godoy, knowing himself to be the object of national detestation, and dreading nothing so much as a rising of the people, by whom he would most certainly be sacrificed, advised the royal family to follow the example of the Court of Portugal, and escape to their trans-Atlantic dominions; which advice could only have been given by a miscreant, and adopted by an idiot. To surrender a kingdom and a people like those of Spain, without a blow, was the extreme of cowardice. But, as if to urge the feeble king to this issue, at this moment came a letter from Buonaparte, upbraiding him with having received his acceptance of the match between their houses coldly. Charles, terrified in the extreme, wrote to declare that nothing lay so near his heart, and at the same time made preparations to be gone. The intention was kept as secret as possible, but the public soon became aware of the Court's proposed removal from Madrid to Cadiz, in order then to be able to embark for America. The Prince of Asturias and his brother protested against the project; the Council of Castile remonstrated; the populace were in a most tumultuous state, regarding the plan as originating with Godoy, and surrounded the palace with cries and gestures of dissatisfaction. The king was in a continual state of terror and irresolution, but Godoy pressed on matters for the flight.

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The discontents occasioned by the South Sea scheme and its issue had caused the Jacobites to conceive fresh hopes of success, and their spirits were still more elevated by the birth of a son to the Pretender. The business of this faction was conducted in England by a junto or council, amongst the chief members of which were the Earls of Arran and Orrery, Lords North and Gower, and the Bishop of Rochester. Lord Oxford had been invited to put himself at the head of this council of five, but everything of a decided nature was out of his character. He continued to correspond with the leaders of the faction, but he declined putting himself too forward. In fact, his habitual irresolution was now doubled by advancing[50] infirmities, and he died three years afterwards. Though several of the junto were men of parliamentary, and North of military experience, Atterbury was the undoubted head of it. The period of confusion created by the South Sea agitation was first pitched on for a new attempt, then that of the general election, which had taken place in March, and, finally, it was deferred till the king should have gone to Hanover, according to his custom, in the summer.

The war in Germany grew more and more bloody. Russia and Austria came down upon Frederick this year with great forces. Daun entered Saxony; Laudohn and Soltikow, Silesia. Laudohn defeated Fouqu at Landshut, and took the fortress of Glatz, and compelled Frederick, though hard pressed by Daun, to march for Silesia. The month was July, the weather so hot that upwards of a hundred of his soldiers fell dead on the march. Daun followed him, watching his opportunity to fall upon him when engaged with other troops, but on the way Frederick heard of the defeat of Fouqu and the fall of Glatz, and suddenly turned back to reach Dresden before Daun, and take the city by storm; but as Daun was too expeditious for him, and Maguire, the governor, an Irishman, paid no heed to his demands for surrender, Frederick, who had lately been so beautifully philosophising on the inhumanities of men, commenced a most ferocious bombardment, not of the fortress but of the town. He burnt and laid waste the suburbs, fired red-hot balls into the city to burn it all down, demolished the finest churches and houses, and crushed the innocent inhabitants in their flaming and falling dwellings, till crowds rushed from the place in desperation, rather facing his ruthless soldiers than the horrors of his bombardment.CHAPTER IV. Reign of George II. (continued).

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