Besides the flattering assurances of the steady improvement in commerce and manufactures, and, consequently, in the revenues, the Regent's Speech, read, as usual, by the Lord Chancellor, justly congratulated the country on the successful termination of the Pindarree war by the Marquis of Hastings. It informed the two Houses that a new treaty had been entered into with the United States for adjusting the different points at issue between the two nations, not settled by the treaty of peace, and also for regulating the commerce between them. It announced the results of the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, and stated that some new measures were needed for the care of his Majesty's person in consequence of the death of the queen. The Address, in both Houses, was carried almost pro forma. Mr. Manners Sutton was elected Speaker of the Commons by acclamation.
Serious differences between Great Britain and the United States of America occupied the attention of both Governments during the years 1841 and 1842, and were brought to a satisfactory termination by the Ashburton Treaty, referred to in the Royal Speech at the opening of Parliament in 1843. The questions at issue, which were keenly debated on both sides, related to the right of search, the Canadian boundary, and the McLeod affair. The Government of Great Britain regarding the slave-trade as an enormous evil and a scandal to the civilised world, entered into arrangements with other nations for its suppression. For that purpose treaties were concluded, securing to each of the contracting parties the mutual right of search under certain limitations. The United States Government declined to be a party to these treaties, and refused to have their vessels searched or interfered with in time of peace upon the high seas under any pretence whatever. Notwithstanding these treaties, however, and the costly measures which Great Britain had recourse to for suppressing the nefarious traffic in human beings, the slave trade was carried on even by some of the nations that had agreed to the treaties; and in order to do this more effectually, they adopted the flag of the United States. For the purpose of preventing this abuse, Great Britain claimed the right of search or of visitation to ascertain the national character of the vessels navigating the African seas, and detaining their papers to see if they were legally provided with documents entitling them to the protection of any country, and especially of the country whose flag they might have hoisted at the time. Lord Palmerston, as Foreign Secretary, argued that while his Government did not claim the right to search American merchantmen in times of peace, a merchantman could not exempt itself from search by merely hoisting a piece of bunting with the United States emblems and colours upon it. It should be shown by the papers that the vessel was entitled to bear the flag—that she was United States property, and navigated according to law. Mr. Stevenson, the American Minister, protested strongly against this doctrine, denying that there was any ground of public right or justice in the claim put forth, since the right of search was, according to the law of nations, a strictly belligerent right. If other nations sought to cover their infamous traffic by the fraudulent use of the American flag, the Government of the United States was not responsible; and in any case it was for that Government to take such steps as might be required to protect its flag from abuse.Such language was certain to irritate, in no ordinary degree, the full-blown pride of Buonaparte. It is probable that he was only too desirous of finding a cause of quarrel with Prussia. He longed to avenge himself on her for keeping him in a state of tantalising uncertainty during his Austrian campaign; and he wished to bring the whole of Germany under his dominion. He replied, through Talleyrand, that Prussia had no right to demand from him that he should withdraw his troops from friendly States, and that they should remain there as long as he pleased. In fact, he was already watching the movements of Prussia. He was well aware of the negotiations with Russia, he had full information of the man?uvring of troops, and that the Queen of Prussia, in the uniform of the regiment called by her name, had been at reviews of the army, encouraging the soldiers by her words. He had, weeks before, assembled his principal marshals—Soult, Murat, Augereau, and Bernadotte—in Paris, and, with them, sketched the plan of the campaign against Prussia. Four days before Knobelsdorff presented the King of Prussia's letter to Talleyrand Napoleon had quitted Paris, and was on the Rhine, directing the march of his forces there, and calling for the contingents from the princes of the Rhenish Confederation; nay, so forward were his measures, that his army in Germany, under Berthier, stretched from Baden to Düsseldorf, and from Frankfort-on-the-Main to Nuremberg. At the same time he commenced a series of the bitterest attacks on Prussia in the Moniteur and other papers under his control, and of the vilest and most unmanly attacks on the character of the Queen of Prussia, a most interesting and amiable woman, whose only crime was her patriotism.
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton (afterwards Lord Lytton) is chiefly known as a most successful novelist, but he won fame also as a dramatic author, his chief productions in this line being The Lady of Lyons and Richelieu. He was born in 1805, and was the youngest son of General Bulwer, of Haydon Hall. He commenced the career of authorship very early, having written "Weeds and Wild Flowers," "O'Neil, the Rebel," and "Falkland," before the appearance of "Pelham" in 1828. Then in rapid succession appeared "The Disowned," "Devereux," "Paul Clifford," "Eugene Aram," "The Last Days of Pompeii," "Rienzi," "Ernest Maltravers," "Alice, or the Mysteries," "The Last of the Barons," "Harold, or the Last of the Saxon Kings," and several others. In 1831 he entered the House of Commons, and represented Lincoln till 1841. His political career, however, belongs to the reign of Queen Victoria."May 10th, 1839.
Frederick of Prussia, meanwhile, had been beset by Austrians, Russians, and French, and had never been able to retire to winter quarters. He had continued to blockade Schweidnitz amid frost and snow, and having reduced it, at the very first symptoms of spring he suddenly burst into Moravia, and invested Olmütz, its capital. There he had to contend with the able and cautious Marshal Daun and General Laudohn, nearly as efficient. Laudohn managed to seize three thousand waggons, bringing from Silesia supplies for Frederick; and whilst the king was in this state of destitution for food even for his army, a hundred thousand Russians, under General Fermor, were marching steadily on Berlin. They had taken K?nigsberg, laid waste the whole country beyond the Vistula, and then pushed on for the Oder. They had arrived before Küstrin, only a few marches from Berlin, when Frederick, leaving his brother, Prince Henry, to keep Daun and Laudohn in check before Olmütz, marched against them. A terrible battle took place on the plain of Z?rndorf, near Custrin, in which neither Prussians nor Russians gave quarter, and which lasted from nine in the morning till seven at night. Twenty thousand Russians were left killed or wounded on the field, and eleven thousand Prussians. The Russians retired with reluctance, and did not wholly evacuate the Prussian territory till the end of October. But Frederick himself, long before that time, had been compelled to hurry back to the support of his brother Henry, whom Daun had driven back into Saxony. He fixed his camp at Hochkirch, near Bautzen, and close to the Bohemian lines. But a few mornings after, before daybreak, Daun and Laudohn burst into his camp by a combined movement, and threw the whole into confusion before the troops could muster. When Frederick awoke at the uproar and rushed from his tent, all around was one fearful scene of slaughter and flight. The news of this defeat of the generally victorious Prussians threw the court of Vienna into ecstacies, for they thought that Frederick was ruined; and so he might have been had Daun been as alert to follow him up as he had been successful in surprising him. But Daun was naturally slow; a very few days sufficed for Frederick to collect fresh forces around him, and he suddenly darted away into Silesia. There he raised the siege of Neisse, which was invested by another division of the Austrian army; then, falling back on Dresden, threatened by Daun, he drove him back, and, marching to Breslau, fixed there his winter quarters.Paine, in his "Rights of Man," was far from restricting himself to the courtesies of life in attacking Burke. He had been most hospitably received by Burke on many occasions at his house, and had corresponded with him, and must therefore have seen sufficient of him to know that, though he might become extremely enthusiastic in his championship of certain views, he could never become mean or dishonest. Yet Paine did not hesitate to attribute to him the basest and most sordid motives. He branded him as the vilest and most venal of apostates. Paine had, in fact, become a monomaniac in Republicanism. He had been engaged to the last in the American Revolution, and was now living in Paris, and constantly attending the Jacobin club. He was hand-in-hand with the most rabid of the Republicans, and was fast imbibing their anti-Christian tenets. Paine fully believed that the French were inaugurating something much finer than any millennium; that they were going to establish the most delightful liberty, equality, and fraternity, not simply throughout France but throughout the world. Before the doctrines of the French clubbists and journalists, all superstition, all despotism, all unkindness were to vanish from amongst mankind, and a paradisiacal age of love and felicity was to commence. To those who pointed to the blood and fury already too prominently conspicuous in this business, he replied that these were but the dregs of corrupt humanity, which were working off in the great fermentation, and all would become clear and harmonious.On the evening of the 16th of July Casta?os appeared on the Argonilla, directly opposite to Andujar; the river was fordable in many places from the drought, and the different divisions of the Spaniards crossed in the night. Vedel, seeing the critical situation of the French army, made a rapid movement to regain and keep open the mountainous defile by which he had arrived, but Dupont remained at Andujar till the night of the 18th. Vedel remaining at the pass for Dupont, the latter found himself intercepted at Baylen by the Swiss General, Reding, and whilst engaging him his own Swiss troops went over to Reding. He sent expresses to Vedel to return to his aid, but before this could be accomplished he was defeated, and compelled to surrender. He was enormously encumbered by baggage; for the French, as usual, utterly regardless of the necessity of keeping on good terms with a people over whom they wished to rule, had been pillaging churches and houses of all plate and valuables that they could find. In endeavouring to defend the baggage, Dupont had weakened his front, and occasioned his repulse. Casta?os had not perceived the march of the French; but, by the time his van came up with Reding, he found the French army prisoners. The terms proposed by the French were that they should be allowed to retire upon Madrid with all their arms and baggage. But Casta?os was too well acquainted with the necessities of the French through the intercepted letter to Savary. He insisted that they should pile their arms, give up the greater part of their spoil, and be sent down to San Lucar and Rota, where they should be embarked for France. Whilst Dupont was hesitating on these conditions, he received a note from Vedel, proposing that they should make a simultaneous attack on the Spaniards, and thus have a fresh chance of turning the scale in their own favour. But Dupont saw that this was hopeless; and, moreover, it is said that Casta?os insisted that if Vedel himself did not immediately lay down his arms, he would shoot Dupont. Vedel, who now saw little hope of cutting his way through the mountains, was compelled to obey. The French piled their arms on the 22nd of July, the prisoners amounting to between eighteen and nineteen thousand. They gave up also thirty pieces of cannon.
In 1827 began the plan of publishing monthly volumes of valuable scientific works, previously so expensive as to be beyond the reach of the multitude. To Mr. Constable, of Edinburgh, belongs the credit of this plan; but he failed before it could be carried out. His name, however, was given to the series, and "Constable's Miscellany" was started in 1827. The works were issued in monthly numbers, at a shilling each, and in volumes at 3s. 6d. each. Mr. Murray, the eminent London publisher, took up the idea, and published monthly volumes of "The Family Library," at five shillings each. A series of "Sacred Classics" was also published. The "Edinburgh Cabinet Library" commenced in 1830, and contained the works of some of the first writers of the day. There was also a series called a "Library of Entertaining Knowledge," in four-shilling volumes, started by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, which was established in 1825. The first of its sixpenny treatises on science was issued in 1827. It was "A Discourse on the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science," by Henry Brougham. The society thus began to work upon a vast field, a mere skirt of which it was able to cultivate.Pitt, in a series of motions and violent debates on them—which did not terminate till the 23rd of January, 1789—not only carried his point, that Parliament should assert the whole right of appointing a regent, but he contrived to tie down the prince completely. On the 16th of December Pitt moved three resolutions—the third and most material of which was, that it was necessary that both Houses should, for the maintenance of the constitutional authority of the king, determine the means by which the royal assent might be given to an Act of Parliament for delegating the royal authority during the king's indisposition. After most determined opposition by the Whigs, he carried the whole of these resolutions, and it was then moved that the proper mode of doing this was to employ the Great Seal just as if the king were in the full exercise of his faculties. To prepare the way for this doctrine, the lawyers in Pitt's party had declared that there was a broad distinction between the political and the natural capacity of the king; that, as the king could do no wrong, so he could not go politically, though he might go naturally, mad; that therefore the king, in his political capacity, was now as fully in power and entity as ever, and therefore the Great Seal could be used for him as validly as at any other time. In vain did Burke exclaim that it was "a phantom," "a fiction of law," "a mere mummery, a piece of masquerade buffoonery, formed to burlesque every species of government." In the midst of the debate Mr. Rushworth, the young member for Newport, in Hampshire, standing on the floor of the House, exclaimed, in a loud and startling tone, "I desire that gentlemen of more age and experience than myself will refer to the glorious reign of George II. Let them recall to their memory the year 1745. Suppose that great and good king had lain under a similar affliction of madness at that period, where are the men, much less a Minister, that would have dared to come down to that House, and boldly, in the face of the world, say that the Prince of Wales had no more right to the regency than any other subject? The man or Minister who could have dared to utter such language must henceforward shelter in some other place than in the House of Commons, and in some other country than England!" The Prince of Wales, by letter, complained of the want of respect shown to him, but Pitt carried the resolution regarding the Great Seal, that it should be appended to a commission for opening Parliament, it now occupying the position of a convention, and that the commission should then affix the royal assent to the Bill for the regency. This done, he consented to the demand for the appearance of the physicians again before proceeding with the Bill, and the physicians having expressed hopes of the king's speedy recovery, on the 16th of January Pitt moved the following resolutions:—That the Prince of Wales should be invested with the royal authority, subject, however, to these restrictions, namely, that he should create no peers; that he should grant no place or pension for life, or in reversion, except such place as in its nature must be held for life, or during good behaviour; that the prince should have no power over the personal property of the king, nor over the king's person or household; that these two latter powers should be entrusted to the queen, a council being appointed to assist her in these duties by their advice, but subject to her dismissal, and without any power of alienation of any part of the property. The bad character of the prince, combined with the rumours of his indecent jests at the expense of his unhappy parents, rendered the restrictions universally popular.On the subject of the Free Trade measures generally, the Speech continued:—
We have stated that the spirit rising again in Germany called Buonaparte suddenly from Spain, even before Soult had pursued Sir John Moore to Corunna. At Valladolid he met the Abbé de Pradt, who had risen high in Buonaparte's favour. To De Pradt, he said he began to suspect that he had made his brother Joseph a grander present in Spain than he was aware of. "I did not know," he said, "what Spain was; it is a finer country than I imagined. But you will see that, by-and-by, the Spaniards will commit some folly which will place their country once more at my disposal. I will then take care to keep it to myself, and divide it into five great viceroyships." Such were the soaring notions of Napoleon at the very moment that the man was ready who was to drive the French from Spain for ever. In England, at last, almost every one had now awoke to the consciousness that Sir Arthur Wellesley was the only man to cope with the French in the Peninsula. There were a few individuals, like Lord Folkestone, who were blinded enough by party to oppose this general conviction; but before the close of March Sir Arthur was selected by the Government for this command. On the 15th of April he sailed from Portsmouth, and on the 22nd he arrived safely at Lisbon. Some regiments of both horse and foot soon followed him, and he assumed the command of the British army in Portugal, which had been some time in the hands of General Sir J. Cradock. The command of the Portuguese troops had been placed in the hands of General Beresford, who had been actively drilling them; and thus General Sir Arthur Wellesley found himself at the head of an effective army of British and Portuguese numbering twenty-five thousand men.The year 1732 was distinguished by little of importance. The Opposition, led on by Pulteney, attacked the Treaty of Vienna, concluded on March 16th, 1731, by which the Pragmatic Sanction had been approved of, and which, they contended, might lead us into a Continental war some day, or into a breach of the public faith, of which, they asserted, this Ministry had perpetrated too many already. They assailed the standing army, but were answered that there was yet a Pretender, and many men capable of plotting and caballing against the Crown. The King was so incensed at Pulteney for his strictures on the army, that he struck his name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and ordered that all commissions of the peace which he held in different counties should be revoked. Amongst the staunchest supporters of the Government was Lord Hervey, a young man of ability who is now best remembered because, having offended Pope, he was, according to custom, pilloried by the contentious poet, as Sporus in the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Pope nicknamed him Lord Fanny, in derision of his dainty and effeminate manners. Hervey contended that the writers who attacked Government ought to be put down by force, and in his own person he attempted to put this in practice; for Pulteney being suspected by him of having written a scarifying article on him in The Craftsman, he challenged him, and both combatants were wounded. Plumer very justly contended that scribblers ought to be left to other scribblers.THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA REVIEWING THE ARMY. (See p. 524.)
Washington found no rest at Princeton. Cornwallis no sooner heard the cannonading near Princeton than he immediately comprehended Washington's ruse, and, alarmed for his magazines at New Brunswick, he hastened in that direction. Washington, aware of his approach, found it necessary to give up the attempt on New Brunswick. He therefore hastened across Millstone river, broke down the bridge behind him to stop pursuit, and posted himself on the high ground at Morristown, where there were very strong positions. Here he received additional troops, and entrenched himself. Cornwallis, not aware of the real weakness of Washington's army despite all its additions, again sat down quietly for the winter at New Brunswick. For six months the British army now lay still. Washington, however, lost no time in scouring all quarters of the Jerseys. He made himself master of the coast opposite Staten Island, and seized on Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Woodbridge. The inhabitants had been plundered by the Hessians and English, and now they were plundered again by their own countrymen for having received the English well. Washington exerted himself to suppress this rancorous conduct of the New England and Virginian troops, and issued a proclamation absolving the people of their oaths to the English, and promising them protection on their taking a new oath to Congress. The people of the Jerseys gladly accepted this offer.
The events on land were very different. Abercrombie, like General Braddock, advanced with all the careless presumption of a second-rate general. The grand object was to reduce Fort Ticonderoga, built on a neck of land between Lakes George and Champlain. At the landing, Lord Howe, one of the best officers, was killed, but they drove back the French, and advanced on the fort, which was of great strength, defended by a garrison of four thousand men, commanded by the Marquis de Montcalm, the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadians, himself. Montcalm had raised a breastwork eight feet high, and made in front of it a barricade of felled trees with their branches outwards. Abercrombie, with a foolish confidence, advanced right upon this barricade, without waiting for the coming up of his artillery, which was detained by the badness of the roads. With a reckless disregard of the lives of his men, he commanded them to attempt to storm these defences, and after fighting with the usual courage of Englishmen for several hours, and two thousand of them being slaughtered, it was found that their efforts were useless, and they were ordered to retire. Brigadier Forbes, who had been sent against Fort Dupuesne, an attempt so disastrous to both Washington and Braddock, executed his task with the utmost promptitude and success. Forbes took possession of it on the 25th of November, and, in compliment to the great Minister under whose auspices they fought, named it Fort Pitt, since grown from a solitary fort into Pittsburg.Of course, the commercial changes introduced by Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Robinson excited loud murmurs of dissatisfaction from the interests affected, especially the shipping interest. But the best answer to objectors was the continuously flourishing state of the country. At the opening of the Session in 1825, Lord Dudley and Ward, in moving the Address in answer to the King's Speech in the Upper House, observed:—"Our present prosperity is a prosperity extending to all orders, all professions, and all districts, enhanced and invigorated by the flourishing state of all those arts which minister to human comfort, and those inventions by which man obtains a mastery over nature by the application of her own powers, and which, if one had ventured to foretell a few years ago, it would have appeared almost incredible." This happy state of things was the result of a legitimate expansion of trade. Manufacturers and merchants were at first guided by a spirit of sober calculation. The steady advance in the public securities, and in the value of property of all sorts, showed that the national wealth rested upon a solid basis. The extension of the currency kept pace with the development of trade and commerce, and the circulation of bankers' paper was enormously increased. But out of the national prosperity there arose a spirit of rash speculation and adventure, resulting in a monetary crisis. The issue of notes by country banks was under no restriction; no measures were taken to secure that their paper represented property, and could be redeemed if necessary. There were hundreds of bankers in the provinces who could issue any quantity of notes they pleased, and these passed as cash from hand to hand. The spirit of speculation and enterprise was stimulated to a feverish degree of excitement by the recognition of the states of Colombia, Mexico, and Buenos Ayres, formally announced in the King's Speech on the 3rd of February, which said that treaties of commerce had been made with those new states. The rich districts of South America being thus thrown open, there was a rush of capitalists and adventurers to work its inexhaustible mines. A number of companies was formed for the purpose, and the gains of some of them in a few months amounted to fifteen hundred per cent. The result was a mania of speculation, which seized upon all classes, pervaded all ranks, and threw the most sober and quiet members of society into a state of tumultuous excitement. Joint-stock companies almost innumerable were established, to accomplish all sorts of undertakings. There were thirty-three companies for making canals and docks, forty-eight for making railroads, forty-two for gas, twenty insurance companies, twenty-three banking companies, twelve navigation packet companies, five indigo and sugar companies, thirty-four metal companies, and many others. The amount of capital subscribed in these various companies, which numbered two hundred and seventy-six, was upwards of ￡174,000,000. In connection with South America there was the Anglo-Mexican Company, the Brazilian, the Colombian, Real de Monte, and the United Mexican. On the South American shares only ten pounds each had been paid, except the Real de Monte, on which ￡70 had been paid. We may judge of the extent to which gambling speculation was carried from the following statement of the market prices of the shares, in five of the principal mining companies, at two periods, December 10th, 1824, and January 11th, 1825:—The Court and the nobles were greatly alarmed, and secretly preparing for war. The nobles had joined the Assembly with the utmost repugnance, and many only on the assurance that the union would not continue. The members of that Order continued to protest against the proceedings of the Assembly, rather than join in its deliberations. The king himself had consented to the union, in the hope that the nobles would be able to put a check on the Tiers état. King and nobles saw now that all such hopes were vain. And whilst Necker was retained to satisfy the people for the present, and whilst Mounier, Lally Tollendal, and Clermont Tonnerre were consulting with him on establishing a Constitution resembling that of Britain, the Court was preparing to put down the insurrection and the Assembly by force. Marshal Broglie was placed at the head of the troops which surrounded both Paris and Versailles. He judged of both soldiers and citizens by the recollections of the Seven Years' War, and assured the king that a little grape-shot would soon disperse the rioters. Fifteen regiments, chiefly foreign, had been gradually drawn round the capital. The headquarters of Broglie were at Versailles, where he had a brilliant staff and a formidable train of artillery, some of which commanded the very hall in which the Assembly sat. There was a battery at the bridge of Sèvres, commanding the road to Paris, and in Paris itself there were strong batteries on Montmartre, which overlooked the city, and which, moreover, were carefully entrenched. Besides these preparations, there were French regiments quartered at St. Germain, Charenton, St. Cloud, and other places. Altogether, fifty thousand troops were calculated to be collected. The old noblesse were impatient for the king to give the order to disperse the people both in Paris and Versailles; to surround the Assembly, seize the chief members, put them in prison, and send the rest adrift; to treat the ringleaders of the electors in the same manner; to dissolve formally the States General, and restore the old order of things. Had the reins of government been in the hands of a Bonaparte, the whole plan would have been executed, and would for the time, without doubt, have succeeded. But Louis XVI. was not the man for a coup-d'état of that rigorous nature. He shuddered at the idea of shedding his subjects' blood; and instead of doing that for which the troops had been assembled, he now listened to Necker, who reminded him that when the people were put down or shot down, and the States General dispersed, the old debts and difficulties would remain, and without States General or Parliament there would be no authority to impose or collect taxes. To Necker's arguments, the more timid and liberal nobles added that the excitement would soon wear itself out; that nothing serious could be done in the presence of such forces, and that the Constitution, once completed, all would right itself, and that he would have to congratulate himself on his bloodless patience in a new and happier reign. This was humane but fatal advice in the circumstances. The soldiers, allowed to remain inactive in the very midst of the hotbed of sedition, were sure to become infected with the spirit of revolution. The debates in the National Assembly were actively distributed in print, and the soldiers read them eagerly.
The opening of the campaign on the Rhine in 1797 restored the positions of the French. On the lower part of the river, Hoche, who now commanded them, defeated General Kray; on the upper Rhine Moreau retook the fortress of Kehl, opposite to Strasburg; and such was the alarm of Austria that she began to make overtures of peace. The fortunes of her army in Italy made these overtures more zealous; Alvinzi was defeated at Rivoli on the 14th of January, and Provera soon after surrendered with four thousand men, and Wurmser capitulated at Mantua. The Archduke Charles was now sent into Italy with another army, but it was an army composed of the ruins of those of Beaulieu, Alvinzi, Wurmser, and Davidowich, whilst it was opposed by the victorious troops of Buonaparte, now supported by a reinforcement of twenty thousand men under Bernadotte. The archduke, hampered by the orders of the Aulic Council in Vienna, suffered some severe defeats on the Tagliamento in March, and retreated into Styria, whither he was followed by Buonaparte. But the danger of a rising in his rear, where the Austrian General Laudon was again collecting numerous forces, induced Buonaparte to listen to the Austrian terms for peace. The preliminaries were signed on the 18th of April at Leoben, and Buonaparte, to bind the Emperor to the French cause, and completely to break his alliance with Britain, proposed to hand over to the Austrians the territory of Venice. This being effected, Buonaparte hurried back to seize and bind the promised victim. He took a severe vengeance on the people of Verona, who had risen against the French in his absence, and then marched to Genoa, where, under pretence of supporting the people in their demands for a Republic, he put down the Doge and Senate, set up a democratical provisional government, seized on all the ships, docks, arsenal, and stores—in fact, took full possession. All further pretence of regard for the neutrality of Genoa was abandoned.
Byng went in pursuit of the Spanish fleet, which was assisting in the conquest of Sicily, and came in sight of twenty-seven sail of the line, with fire-ships, ketches, bombs, and seven galleys, drawn up in line of battle between him and Cape Passaro. So soon as they were clear of the straits, a council was held to determine whether they should fight or retreat. They came to no resolution, but continued to linger about in indecision till Byng was down upon them. Whereupon he utterly destroyed them (August 11, 1718).详情
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