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It was towards the end of May before Marshal M?llendorf, the Prussian general, began the campaign. He then attacked the French, and drove them out of their entrenchments at Kaiserslautern with great slaughter. There, however, his activity seemed to cease; and on the 12th of July the French again fell upon him. He fought bravely for four whole days, supported by the Austrians; but both these Powers were compelled to retreat down the Rhine, the Prussians retiring on Mayence and the Austrians crossing the river for more safety. The French marched briskly after the Prussians, took Trves, and then sent strong detachments to help their countrymen to make a complete clearance of Belgium and to invade Holland. Clairfait, who was still hovering in Dutch Flanders, was attacked by overwhelming numbers, beaten repeatedly, and compelled to evacuate Juliers, Aix-la-Chapelle, and finally Cologne. The French were so close at his heels at Cologne that they shouted after him that "that was not the way to Paris." Coblenz, where the Royalist Emigrants had so long made their headquarters, though strongly fortified, soon after surrendered. The stout fortress of Venloo, on the Meuse, and Bois-le-Duc, as promptly surrendered, and the French marched on Nimeguen, near which the Duke of York lay, hoping in vain to cover the frontiers of Holland. The people of Holland, like those of Belgium, were extensively Jacobinised, the army was deeply infected by French principles, and to attempt to defend such a country with a mere handful of British was literally to throw away the lives of our men. Yet the duke stood stoutly in this hopeless defence, where half Holland ought to have been collected to defend itself.NAPOLEON AND HIS SUITE AT BOULOGNE. (See p. 490.)

Of the coinage of this reign little is to be said. It was of the most contemptible character till Boulton and Watt, as already mentioned, struck the copper pence in 1797 in a superior style. In 1818 was issued a gold and silver coinage, which was entrusted to a foreign artist, Pistrucci, and which was turned out of very unequal merit. Flaxman would have produced admirable designs, and there was a medallist of high talent, Thomas Wyon, who would have executed these designs most ably. In fact, the best part of the silver coinage was produced by Wyon, from the designs of Pistrucci.

Prussia, which had remained inactive whilst Buonaparte was winning over Bavaria and Würtemberg to his interests, and while he was crushing Austria, now that she stood alone took the alarm, and complained that the French troops on the Rhine and in the Hanse Towns, which, by the Treaty of Pressburg, ought to have been withdrawn from Germany, remained. The Queen of Prussia and Prince Louis, the king's cousin, were extremely anti-Gallic. They had long tried to arouse the king to resist the French influence in Germany, to coalesce with Austria while it was time, and to remove Haugwitz from the Ministry, who was greatly inclined towards France. The Emperor Alexander professed himself ready to unite in this resistance to France, and Frederick William began now to listen to these counsels. He withdrew his minister, Lucchesini, from Paris, and sent General Knobelsdorff in his place. On the 1st of October Knobelsdorff presented to Talleyrand a long memorial, demanding that the French troops should re-cross the Rhine immediately, in compliance with the Treaty of Pressburg; that France should desist from throwing obstacles in the way of the promotion of a league in North Germany, comprehending all the States not included in the Confederation of the Rhine; and that the fortress of Wesel and those abbeys which Murat, since becoming Grand Duke of Berg and Cleve, had seized and attached to his territory, should be restored.REVOLUTION IN PARIS: CAPTURE OF THE H?TEL DE VILLE. (See p. 316.)

The success of the revolt against the French in Spain was certain to become contagious in Portugal. Junot was holding the country with an army of thirty thousand men, amongst whom there was a considerable number of Spanish troops, who were sure to desert on the first opportunity after the news from Spain. What Buonaparte intended really to do with Portugal did not yet appear. The conditions of the Treaty of Fontainebleau remained a dead letter. He had established neither the Queen of Etruria nor the Prince of the Peace in their kingdoms there. The likelihood was that, as soon as Spain was secure, he would incorporate Portugal with it. This seemed very probably his intention, from words that he let fall at an Assembly of Portuguese Notables, whom he had summoned to meet him at Bayonne. The Count de Lima, the president of the Assembly, opened it with an address to Napoleon, who listened with great nonchalance, and then said, "I hardly know what to make of you, gentlemen; it must depend on the events in Spain. And, then, are you of consequence sufficient to constitute a separate people? Have you enough of size to do so? What is the population of Portugal? Two millions, is it?" "More than three, sire," replied the Count. "Ah, I did not know that. And Lisbonare there a hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants?" "More than double that number, sire." "Ah, I was not aware of that. Now, what do you wish to be, you Portuguese? Do you desire to become Spaniards?" "No!" said the Count de Lima, bluntly, and drawing himself up to his full height. Then Buonaparte broke up the conference.

Affairs had now assumed such an aspect that the different sections of the Opposition saw the necessity of coalescing more, and attending zealously; but still they were divided as to the means to be pursued. A great meeting was held on the 27th of November at the Marquis of Rockingham's, to decide on a plan of action. It was concluded to move for a committee on the state of the nation, and Chatham being applied to, advised that the very next day notice should be given that such a motion should be made on Tuesday next, the 2nd of December. The motion was made, the committee granted, and in it the Duke of Richmond moved for the production of the returns of the army and navy in America and Ireland. Whilst Lord Northwho, if he had been his own master, would have resignedwas refusing to produce the necessary papers, the Lords consented to this measure; and at this very moment came news of the surrender at Saratoga, which was speedily confirmed.

KENNINGTON COMMON, LONDON, ABOUT 1840.There was, however, no violation of the peace, which Lord Anglesey had taken effective measures to preserve. He had placed at the disposal of Major Warburton 47 artillery, with two 6-pounders; 120 cavalry, and 415 infantry. These were at Clare Castle, close at hand; within a few miles there were 183 cavalry, and 1,313 infantry; within thirty-six miles, 28 cavalry, 1,367 infantry, and two 6-pounders; and at a farther distance there was a regiment of cavalry and above 800 infantry. There were besides, on duty at Ennis, 300 of the constabulary.John Wilson, though born so far back as 1785, was one of the writers of this period distinguished for originality, freshness, power, and rich fancy, combined with learning and eloquence. As "Christopher North" he was long the delight of the readers of Blackwood's Magazine. His criticisms on poetry were distinguished by a profusion of thought and imagery, which flowed forth so rapidly, and sometimes so little under the control of judgment, that there seemed no reason why the[439] stream of illustration should not flow on for ever. He was a poet as well as a critic; but it is a singular fact that his imagination, like that of Milton, was more active in prose than in verse. In the latter, his genius was like a spirited horse in harness; in the former, like the same horse unbridled, and bounding wildly over the prairies. His principal poetical work was "The Isle of Palms," published in 1812, which was followed by one more elaborate, "The City of the Plague." Among the most popular of his prose fictions are, "The Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life," "The Trials of Margaret Lyndsay," and "The Foresters." But it was in periodical literature that he shone most brightly. Soon after the establishment of Blackwood's Magazine, in 1817, he became its chief editor, and thenceforward he poured forth through this organ all the treasures of his intellect. In 1820 he succeeded Dr. Thomas Brown as Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, which he held till 1851, when he resigned, in consequence of ill-health, receiving about the same time a pension of 300 a year from the Crown. As a professor he was greatly beloved by his students, on account of his genial nature and the warm interest he took in their welfare; and he was always surrounded by troops of friends, who respected his character almost as much as they admired his genius. He died in 1854.

The king had a stormy and rather perilous passage across the Channel. Mr. Freemantle sarcastically alludes to the feelings of the royal passenger in connection with this voyage:"The king in his journey home overtook Lord and Lady Harcourt, now the bosom friends of Lady Conyngham, stopped them, got out of his carriage, and sat with them for a quarter of an hour on the public road, recounting all his perilous adventures at sea, and flattering reception in Ireland. Lady Harcourt told me his pious acknowledgment for his great escape of being shipwrecked was quite edifying, and the very great change in his moral habits and religious feelings was quite astonishing, and all owing to Lady Conyngham." On his return to London, after a visit to Hanover, the king devoted himself to a life of seclusion for a considerable time, during which it appears that the Marchioness of Conyngham maintained an ascendency over him most damaging to his character and Government. She had not only made the royal favour tributary to the advancement of her own family, but she meddled in political affairs with mischievous effect. "Had it been confined to mere family connections," writes Robert Huish, "no voice, perhaps, would have been raised against it; but when the highest offices in the Church were bestowed on persons scarcely previously heard ofwhen political parties rose and fell, and Ministers were created and deposed to gratify the ambition of a femalethen the palace of the king appeared as if surrounded by some pestilential air. The old hereditary counsellors of the king avoided the Court, as alike fatal to private probity and public honour. The entrance to Windsor Castle was, as it were, hermetically sealed by the enchantress within to all but the favoured few. The privilege of the entre was curtailed to the very old friends of the king, and even the commonest domestics in the castle were constrained to submit to the control of the marchioness. The Court of George IV. certainly differed widely from that of Charles II., although the number and[221] reputation of their several mistresses were nearly the same in favour and character; but George IV. had no confiscations to confer on the instruments of his pleasures."



In the midst of these deeply-planned man?uvres Buonaparte proceeded to make his last move in his great game. He had intimidated the Royalists by the seizure and fusilading of the Duke d'Enghien; he had deprived the Republicans of their leader in Moreau, who was exiled; the nation was passive; all its branching lines of authority were in his hands; and there remained only to erect a throne and seat himself upon it. It must not be a regal throne, because that would too much remind the world of the claims of the Bourbons: it should, therefore, be an imperial one, and mark a totally new era in France. It was one which was especially calculated to flatter the French vanity. Accordingly, on the 30th of April, Curea man of no particular note, and perhaps selected on that account for the occasion, as his proposal might be the more easily disavowed, if it were resistedrose in the tribunate, and proposed that Napoleon Buonaparte should be invested with the title of Emperor.The employment of pit-coal had not reached perfection, and in 1785 the Society of Arts offered a premium for the making of fine bar iron with pit-coal. This object was accomplished by Mr. Cort, an iron-founder of Gloucestershire, by exposing the pig iron on the hearth of a reverberatory furnace to the flame of pit-coal. This process was improved into what was called puddling, in puddling or reverberatory furnaces. Cort also introduced the drawing out of iron between cylindrical rollers; but he became ruined in his experiments, and other iron-masters of more capital came in to reap the profit. Many years passed before a pension was conferred on some of his children for his services. In 1755 the whole population of Carron was only one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four; in 1795 the workmen alone employed in the works were one thousand, the population four thousand, when the foundry had five blast furnaces, sixteen air furnaces, three cupola furnaces, and consumed one hundred and thirty-six tons of coals daily. It supplied to the Government eleven thousand tons annually of cannon, mortars, shot, shells, etc.; to the East India Company six thousand tons; and to all customers together twenty-six thousand tons. The growth of the iron trade in Great Britain, through these improvements, may be seen from the fact that in 1802 there were one hundred and sixty-eight blast furnaces, producing two hundred and twenty thousand tons of iron; in 1820 the annual production of iron was four hundred thousand tons; in 1845 the production was calculated at twice that amountthat is, in twenty-five years the production had doubled itself. In 1771 the use of wire ropes, instead of hempen ones, was suggested by M. Bougainville, and this was made a fact by Captain Brown, in 1811. Before this, in 1800, Mr. Mushet, of Glasgow, discovered the art of converting malleable iron, or iron ore, into cast steel; and in 1804 Samuel Lucas, of Sheffield, further extended the benefit by the discovery of a mode[198] of converting any castings from pig iron at once into malleable iron, or cast steel, so that knives, forks, snuffers, scythes, and all kinds of articles, were converted into steel, "without any alterative process whatever between the blast furnace and the melting-pot." In 1815 it was calculated that two hundred thousand persons were employed in manufacturing articles of iron, the annual value of which was ten million pounds.

Another cause of the general uneasiness and[344] depression of the public mind was the appearance, in the autumn of this year, of the mysterious visitant, cholera morbus. This disease had been long known in India, but it was only of late years that it began to extend its ravages over the rest of the world. Within two years it had carried off nearly a million of people in Asia. It made its first appearance in England at Sunderland, on the 26th of October, 1831. Its name had come before, spreading terror in every direction. It appeared in Edinburgh on February 6th, 1832, at Rotherhithe and Limehouse on February 13th, and in Dublin on March 3rd, 1832. In all these places, and in many others, the mortality was very great. But it was still more severe on the Continent. We know now that cholera could have been in a great measure averted, and that its mystery lay in our ignorance. We know that it always fell most heavily on the inhabitants of towns, hamlets, or houses where deficient drainage and ventilation, accumulations of putrescent matters, intemperance, and want of personal cleanliness most prevailed. It selected for the scenes of its habitation and its triumphs the usual haunts of typhus fever; and it effected its greatest ravages in the neighbourhoods of rivers and marshes. In London it was most virulent on the level of the Thames, and lost its power in exact arithmetical ratio to the height of the districts above that level. If it attacked a town or an army, and the inhabitants or the soldiers decamped, and scattered themselves over the country, in the clear air and pure sunshine, they escaped. It was possible, therefore, to guard against its power by a proper system of drainage and sewage; by proper ventilation; by personal cleanliness, temperance, and regularity; by the abolition of nuisances, stagnant pools, and open ditches; and by wholesome regimen and regular exercise in the open air. As it was, a general fast was appointed and the Privy Council issued stringent regulations which were not of much effect.He waited on Sir Spencer Compton with the royal command. This gentleman was confounded at the proposal to draw up the declaration to the Privy Council, and begged Walpole to do it for him. Walpole instantly recovered his spirits. He saw that such a man could never be his rival, and he advised his colleagues, if they went out of office, not to engage in any violent opposition, as they would soon be wanted again. He knew, too, that he had the queen in his favour, who was too clear-headed not to see that Walpole was alone the man for the time. To complete his favour with her he offered to procure her a jointure from Parliament of one hundred thousand pounds a year, whilst the impolitic Compton had proposed only sixty thousand pounds. The queen did not oppose the king's attempt to change the Ministry, but she impressed him with the danger of disturbing an already powerful and prosperous Cabinet, and she made him aware of the fact that Compton had been compelled to get Walpole to draw up the Declaration. Besides the liberal jointure which he promised she added that he intended to add one hundred thousand pounds to the Civil List. Horace Walpole, arriving from Paris, threw his whole weight into the scale, representing difficulties which must beset foreign negotiations in new hands. These combined circumstances told strongly on George; but the finish was put to Compton's government by his feeling overwhelmed by his own incompetence, and resigning the charge. The king had, therefore, nothing for it but to reappoint the old Ministry again. Some slight modifications took place. Lord Berkeley, who had joined the opposition of Carteret and Roxburgh, was replaced by Lord Torrington, and Compton received the title of Lord Wilmington, the Order of the Garter, and the Presidency of the Council. The coronation took place on the 11th of October, 1727.



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