On the 7th of July the British and Prussian forces entered Paris. The former encamped themselves in the Bois de Boulogne, and the Prussians bivouacked along the Seine. There they came into full view of the Bridge of Jena, so named to commemorate the victory of Buonaparte on that field, so fatal to the Prussians, and of the column in the Place Vend?me, erected with cannon taken from the Austrians, and bearing insulting mementoes of the defeats of Prussia. The Prussians had already lowered the statue of Napoleon from the top of the column, and were beginning to demolish the bridge, when the Duke of Wellington interfered. He represented that, although these objects were justly offensive to Prussia, they ought to be left to the decision of the King of France, in whose capital they were, and that the name of the bridge might be changed. Blucher was unwilling to give way, and also insisted on the levy of a military contribution on the city of Paris of one hundred million francs, as some reparation for the spoliations of the French in Berlin. Wellington suggested that these matters should be left for the determination of the Allied sovereigns, and at length prevailed.Another French fleet, under Admiral Willaumez, left Brest at the same time with that of Lessigues, bound for the Cape of Good Hope, to assist the Dutch troops in defending it. The British, however, having taken it before his arrival, he went cruising about and picking up such stray British merchantmen as he could meet with between the continents of Africa and South America. He then stood away for the West Indies, hoping to be able to destroy the British shipping in the ports of Barbadoes. Failing in that, he made for Martinique, which was still in the possession of the French. Willaumez had but six sail of the line, and the English admirals, Sir John Borlase Warren, who had the same number and a frigate, and Sir Richard Strachan, who had seven sail of the line and two frigates, were in eager quest of him. Meanwhile, Willaumez was attacked by a terrible tempest, and then chased by Strachan in the Chesapeake. Of his six ships of the line he took home only two, and was obliged to burn the British merchantmen that he had taken.
The "History of Scotland, during the Reigns of Queen Mary and James VI.," by Dr. Robertson, was published in 1759, the year of the appearance of Hume's "History of the House of Tudor." It was at once popular; and Hume, writing to him, attributed this to the deference which he had paid to established opinions, the true source of the popularity of many works. This was followed, in 1769, by his "History of Charles V.," and, in 1777, by his "History of America." Robertson's chief characteristic is a sonorous and rather florid style, which extremely pleased his age, but wearies this. His histories drew great attention to the subjects of them at that period; but time has shown that they are extremely superficial, and they have not held their place.Parliament met on the 15th of November, when Mr. Abercromby was unanimously re-elected Speaker. On the 20th the Queen opened the new Parliament in person. In the Royal Speech the serious attention of the Legislature was requested to the consideration of the state of the province of Lower Canada, which had now become a question that could not be any longer deferred. The demands of the inhabitants of that province were so extravagant that they were regarded by Sir Robert Peel as revolutionary. They demanded, not only that the Executive Council should be responsible to the House of Representatives, but also that the Senate, or Upper House, then nominated by the Crown, should be elected by the people. The Home Government, sustained by an overwhelming majority of the House of Commons, rejected the demand; and when the news reached Canada, the Lower Province was quickly in a flame of rebellion. Violent harangues were delivered to excited assemblies of armed men, who were called upon to imitate the glorious example of the United States, and break the yoke of British oppression. Fortunately, disaffection in the Upper Provinces was confined to a minority. The Loyalists held counter-demonstrations at Montreal; regiments of volunteers to support the Government and maintain the British connection were rapidly formed, and filled up by brave men determined to lay down their lives for the fair young Queen who now demanded their allegiance. Sir Francis Head had so much confidence in the inhabitants of the Upper Provinces that he sent all the regular troops into Lower Canada for the purpose of suppressing the insurrection. A small force, under the command of Colonel Gore, encountered 1,500 of the rebels so strongly posted in stone houses in the villages of St. Denis and St. Charles that they were obliged to retreat before the well directed fire from the windows, with the loss of six killed and ten wounded, leaving their only field-piece behind. Among the wounded was Lieutenant Weir, who was barbarously murdered by the insurgents. At St. Charles, Colonel Wetherall, at the head of another detachment, stormed the stronghold of the rebels, and completely routed them, after an obstinate resistance, with a loss of only three killed and eighteen wounded. The strength of the insurgents, however, lay in the country of the Two Mountains, where they were pursued by Sir John Colborne in person, with a force of 13,000 men, including volunteers. Many of them took to flight at his approach, including their commander Girod, who, on being pursued and captured, shot himself. But 400 rebels, commanded by Dr. Chenier, took up a position in a church and some other buildings, around which they erected barricades, and there made a desperate resistance for two hours. Next day the British troops proceeded to another stronghold of the rebels, St. Benoit, which they found abandoned, and to which the exasperated loyalists set fire. Papineau, the leader of the insurrection, had escaped to New York.
This was a blow which for a time completely prostrated the Prussian monarch. Nothing but the most indomitable spirit and the highest military talent could have saved any man under such circumstances. But Frederick had disciplined both his generals and soldiers to despise reverses, and he relied on their keeping at bay the host of enemies with which he was surrounded till he had tried a last blow. On the field of Rosbach, near the plain of Lützen, where Gustavus Adolphus fell, after having relieved Marshal Keith at Leipsic, Frederick gave battle to the united French and Austrians. The French numbered forty thousand men, the Austrians twenty thousand; yet, with his twenty thousand against sixty thousand, Frederick, on the 5th of November, took the field. His inferior numbers favoured the stratagem which he had planned. After fighting fiercely for awhile, his troops gave way, and appeared to commence a hasty retreat. This, however, was continued only till the French and Austrians were thrown off their guard, when the Prussians suddenly turned, and received the headlong squadrons with a murderous coolness and composure. The Austrians, confounded, fled at once; and Soubise, a general of the princely House of Rohan, who owed his appointment to Madame Pompadour, was totally incapable of coping with the Prussian veterans. He saw his troops flying in wild rout, and galloped off with them, leaving a vast number of slain, seven thousand prisoners, and the greater part of his baggage, artillery, and standards in the hands of the enemy.
Mr. William Johnson, ditto 3,300ADMIRAL RODNEY BOMBARDING LE H?VRE. (See p. 132.)
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.
CHAPTER XX. REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued)."His Excellency the Marquis of
This Session is memorable for the introduction of the subject of Parliamentary Reform by Lord John Russell. His plan was to add one hundred members to the House—sixty for counties and forty for large towns. He argued that this enlargement of the representation was rendered just and politic by increasing intelligence among the people, especially the middle classes, of whom large numbers were unrepresented in Parliament. His motion was negatived, on the 29th of April, by two hundred and sixty-nine to one hundred and sixty-four, Mr. Canning having led the opposition of the Conservatives, and defended the Constitution as it stood. The motion, in fact, was premature, though in the previous Session he had procured the disfranchisement of the corrupt borough of Grampound—a victory which the Lords sought to neutralise by transferring the seat to the county of York, instead of to one of the great unrepresented cities.On the third day Lord King moved that the Bill was not one of State necessity or expediency. This gave occasion to Lord Liverpool, then at the head of the Government, to express his sentiments upon the measure. He declared upon his honour and in his conscience that, if the Bill passed, he believed the king would not marry again. But if the charges against the queen were proved, it was absolutely impossible not to conclude with an enactment for a divorce. Earl Grey replied to Lord Liverpool, and called upon their lordships, from respect for their own character, not to persevere with the measure before them.
Quippe ferant rapidi secum verrantque per auras.'
On the 6th of October Sir John Moore received instructions from Lord Castlereagh that his army was to advance into Spain, and co-operate with the Spanish armies for the expulsion of the French. He was informed that his twenty-five thousand men would receive a reinforcement of ten thousand men under Sir David Baird, who was on his voyage to Corunna. When Sir John prepared to march, the most serious difficulties presented themselves. Even at Lisbon it was found impossible to procure conveyance for the necessary baggage, and therefore the supplies of provisions and stores were cut down extremely—a great mistake. There was one species of baggage—women and children—who, according to the wretched practice of the time, were allowed to accompany the troops, and would not be left behind, though the army was going into immediate active service against the enemy. Sir John directed the commanding officers to order that as many as possible of these should stay behind, especially such women as had very young children, or infants at the breast, as there would not be found sufficient carts for them; and in the mountainous tracks at that season, and the horrible roads, they must suffer the most exhausting fatigues and hardships. But Sir John had not the commanding firmness of Wellesley, and his orders in this respect were, for the most part, neglected. Very proper orders were also issued by Sir John regarding the behaviour of the soldiers towards the natives. They were informed that the Spaniards were a grave and very proud people, readily offended by any disrespect towards their religion or customs; and the soldiers were desired to behave courteously, and to wear the cockade of King Ferdinand VII. as well as their own.
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