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During this time foreign painters of various degrees of merit flourished in England. Amongst these were John Baptist Vanloo, brother of the celebrated Carl Vanloo, a careful artist; Joseph Vanaken, a native of Antwerp, who did for Hudson what his countrymen did for Kneller—furnished draperies and attitudes. He worked for many others, so that Hogarth painted his funeral as followed by all the painters of the day in despair. The celebrated battle-painter, Peter Vander Meulen, Hemskerk, Godfrey Schalcken, famous for his candle-light effects, John Van Wyck, a famous painter of horses, James Bogdani, a Hungarian flower, bird, and fruit painter, Balthazar Denner, famous for his wonderfully finished heads, especially of old people, and Theodore Netscher, the son of Gaspar Netscher, all painted in England in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. Boit—a painter of French parentage—Liotard, and Zincke, were noted enamel painters. Peter Tillemans, who painted English landscapes, seats, busts, roses, etc., died in 1734; and the celebrated Canaletti came to England in 1746, and stayed about two years, but was not very successful, the English style of architecture, and, still more, the want of the transparent atmosphere of Italy, being unfavourable to his peculiar talent.Anne demanded Oxford's resignation. The "dragon," as Arbuthnot styled him, held the White Staff with a deadly grip; but, on the 27th of July, he was compelled to relinquish it, and that afternoon her Majesty stated to the Council her reasons for dismissing him. His confidant and creature, Erasmus Lewis, himself thus records them:—"The queen has told all the Lords the reasons of her parting with him, namely, that he neglected all business; that he was seldom to be understood; that when he did explain himself she could not depend upon the truth of what he said; that he never came to her at the time she appointed; that he often came drunk; lastly, to crown all, that he behaved himself towards her with bad manners, indecency, and disrespect."On the 18th of November Lord Cornwallis crossed the North River with six thousand men, and, landing on the Jersey side, began to attack Fort Lee, standing nearly opposite Fort Washington. The garrison fled, leaving behind all its tents standing, all its provisions and artillery. Washington was compelled by this to fall back from his position on the Croton, thence to Brunswick, Princeton, Trenton, and finally to the Pennsylvanian side of the Delaware. Lord Cornwallis followed at his heels. Cornwallis penetrated to the remotest parts of east and west Jersey, and everywhere the inhabitants received him as a friend and deliverer. On the 24th of November Lord Cornwallis was approaching Brunswick, when he received orders to halt. By this means, Washington was allowed to escape across the Delaware. It was not till the evening of the 16th of December that Cornwallis received orders to proceed, and, though he made all haste, he was too late. The rear of the American army quitted Princeton as the van of the English army entered it. Washington, in headlong haste, fled to Trenton, and began ferrying his troops over the Delaware. When Cornwallis reached Trenton, at nine o'clock the next morning, he beheld the last boats of Washington crossing the river. Once over the water, the remains of the American troops lost all appearance of an army. They were a mere dirty, worn-out, ragged, and dispirited mob. Washington had taken the advantage of the halt of Cornwallis to collect all the boats from Delaware for the distance of seventy miles, so that the English could not cross after them. Cornwallis, being thus brought to a stand, put his army into winter quarters between the Delaware and the Hackensack.
"It was always," said Mr. Brougham, "the queen's sad fate to lose her best stay, her strongest and surest protection, when danger threatened her; and by a coincidence most miraculous in her eventful history, not one of her intrepid defenders was ever withdrawn from her without that loss being the immediate signal for the renewal of momentous attacks upon her honour and her life. Mr. Pitt, who had been her constant friend and protector, died in 1806. A few weeks after that event took place, the first attack was levelled at her. Mr. Pitt left her as a legacy to Mr. Perceval, who became her best, her most undaunted, her firmest protector. But no sooner had the hand of an assassin laid prostrate that Minister, than her Royal Highness felt the force of the blow by the commencement of a renewed attack, though she had but just been borne through the last by Mr. Perceval's skilful and powerful defence of her character. Mr. Whitbread then undertook her protection; but soon that melancholy catastrophe happened which all good men of every political party in the State, he believed, sincerely and universally lamented. Then came with Mr. Whitbread's dreadful loss the murmuring of that storm which was so soon to burst with all its tempestuous fury upon her hapless and devoted head. Her child still lived, and was her friend; her enemies were afraid to strike, for they, in the wisdom of the world, worshipped the rising sun. But when she lost that amiable and beloved daughter, she had no protector; her enemies had nothing to dread; innocent or guilty, there was no hope, and she yielded to the entreaty of those who advised her residence out of this country. Who, indeed, could love persecution so steadfastly as to stay and brave its renewal and continuance, and harass the feelings of the only one she loved so dearly by combating such repeated attacks, which were still reiterated after the echo of the fullest acquittal? It was, however, reserved for the Milan Commission to concentrate and condense all the threatening clouds which were prepared to burst over her ill-fated head; and as if it were utterly impossible that the queen could lose a single protector without the loss being instantaneously followed by the commencement of some important step against her, the same day which saw the remains of her venerable Sovereign entombed—of that beloved Sovereign who was, from the outset, her constant father and friend—that same sun which shone upon the monarch's tomb ushered into the palace of his illustrious son and successor one of the perjured witnesses who were brought over to depose against her Majesty's life.The news of the invasion brought George from Hanover. He arrived in London on the last day of August, by which time the Young Pretender had already been entertained by Lord Tullibardine at Blair Castle; but he seemed to feel no great alarm. He thought the forces of Cope were sufficient to compete with the insurgents, and Lord Granville and his party did their best to confirm him in this opinion. On the 20th of September three battalions of the expected Dutch forces landed, and received orders to march north. But what contributed more than anything to the security of the kingdom was the activity of the fleet. The seamen all round the coasts showed as much spirit and life as the soldiers had shown cowardice. Privateers as well as men-of-war vied with one another in performing feats of bravery. A small ship off Bristol took a large Spanish ship, bound for Scotland, with arms and money. Another small ship took the Soleil, from Dunkirk, carrying twenty French officers and sixty men, to Montrose; and a small squadron of privateers, which volunteered to serve under a brave naval captain, took a vast number of French vessels, and drove still more upon their own shores. Charles's younger brother, Henry, was waiting to bring over the Irish regiments to his aid, but Louis would not hazard their appearance at sea in the face of such a dangerous fleet. Charles made an attempt to corrupt Captain Beavor, of the Fox man-of-war, by offering him splendid rewards in case of his success, but the gallant officer sent him word that he only treated with principals, and that, if he would come on board, he would talk with him.
On the 1st of March Sir Francis Burdett presented a Catholic petition, and in a speech of great eloquence and force moved for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the grievances of which it complained. The question thus brought before the House of Commons was one on which the Cabinet was divided. Canning had come down to the House from a sick bed, and on a crutch, to give his support to the motion. Plunket delivered one of his most powerful speeches on the same side. Peel took upon himself the heavy task of replying to both. He was supported by Mr. Leslie Foster. Brougham closed the debate; and the motion was carried by a majority of thirteen, amid loud cheers. Resolutions were adopted, and a Bill founded upon them passed the Commons, but it was lost in the Upper House, where it was thrown out, on the 19th of May, by a majority of sixty-five. It was on that occasion that the Duke of York, then heir presumptive to the Throne, made the celebrated declaration against all concession to the Catholics, which excited against him intense animosity in Ireland. At the conclusion of a vehement speech he said:—"If I have expressed myself warmly, especially in the latter part of what I have said, I must appeal to your lordships' generosity. I feel the subject most forcibly; but it affects me the more deeply when I recollect that to its agitation must be ascribed that severe illness and ten years of misery which had clouded the existence of my beloved father. I shall therefore conclude with assuring your lordships that I have uttered my honest and conscientious sentiments, founded upon principles I have imbibed from my earliest youth, to the justice of which I have subscribed after careful consideration in maturer years; and these are the principles to which I will adhere, and which I will maintain, and that up to the latest moment of my existence, whatever may be my situation of life, so help me God!"CHAPTER VIII. REIGN OF WILLIAM IV.
The meeting of the Westminster electors the next day, held in Palace Yard, under the very walls of Parliament, was attended by vast crowds, and the tone of the speakers was most indignant. They justified the letter of their representative to themselves; denounced the conduct of the Commons as oppressive, arbitrary, and illegal, tending to destroy the popular liberties; and they approved highly of the baronet's spirited resistance to the forcing of his house. They called for his liberation, and for that of the unjustly incarcerated Mr. Gale Jones. They drew up a letter to Sir Francis to this effect, to be presented to him in the Tower by the high bailiff of Westminster; and they prepared a petition and remonstrance to the House of Commons in equally spirited terms, which was presented the same evening by Lord Cochrane. The Honourable J. W. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, opposed the reception of the petition as highly indecorous, and as violating the dignity of the House; but Whitbread defended it, and even Canning and Perceval excused, in some degree, the tone of the petition in the circumstances. It was ordered, therefore, to be laid on the table.[See larger version]AMERICAN BILL OF CREDIT (1775).
On the 11th of February Lord Althorp brought forward the Budget. Basing his calculations on the revenue of the previous year, he estimated the national income at ￡50,000,000, and the expenditure at ￡46,850,000, leaving an anticipated surplus of more than ￡3,000,000; and it was proposed to take off taxes to the whole of that amount, and to replace it to some extent by other taxes, less burdensome to the people. The principal taxes to be taken off were those on tobacco, sea-borne coal, tallow candles, glass, printed calicoes, and newspapers. The new taxes consisted in an increase of the duties on wine, colonial timber, and raw cotton, a tax on steamboat passengers, and on the transfers of funded property. The proposed new taxes excited violent opposition, which obliged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to modify some of them, and abandon the last two; in fact, the financial scheme was a failure. Equally unsuccessful were his attempts to introduce retrenchments into the Civil and Pension Lists. But the Government was borne up by its great measure, the Reform Bill.On the 21st of October the British fleet sailed from Copenhagen Roads; at Helsingfors the fleet was saluted by the King of Sweden, who invited the admirals to breakfast; and, by the end of the month, was anchored in Yarmouth Roads safely, with all its captives. Fresh offers of alliance with Denmark were made before leaving, accompanied with promises of restoration, but were indignantly refused by the Crown Prince; and no sooner were the British gone, than the Danes converted their trading-vessels into armed ones, and commenced a raid amongst the British merchants, now in the Baltic, for the protection of which some men-of-war ought to have been left. The Crown Prince, now thrown completely into the arms of the French, made a declaration of war against Britain, and the British Government issued an order for reprisals on the ships, colonies, and property of the Danes. They also seized on the island of Heligoland, a mere desolate rock, but, lying at the mouth of the Elbe, and only twenty-five miles from the mouths of the Weser and the Eider, it was of the greatest importance, during the war, as a safe rendezvous for our men-of-war, and as a dep?t for our merchandise, ready to slip into any of the neighbouring rivers, and thus, by smugglers, to be circulated all over the Continent, in spite of Buonaparte's embargo. It served also to remind the people of those regions, that, though Buonaparte ruled paramount on land, there was a power on the sea that yet set him and all his endeavours at defiance.
O'CONNELL'S HOUSE IN MERRION SQUARE, DUBLIN.
Under Sir Joshua Reynolds a perfect revolution in the art of painting, as practised in England, was effected. He threw aside past traditional fashions, and returned to nature; and his portraits at once excited the consternation of the painters of the day, and placed him in the very first rank of artists. In 1768 was established the Royal Academy, and amongst its foreign members were Benjamin West and Angelica Kauffmann. West produced all his great works in England, and, however much they may now be criticised, they showed an advance on past art in England, and had the merit of introducing modern costume for modern heroes, as in the "Death of General Wolfe," contrary to the advice of even Reynolds himself. Barry made a spasmodic attempt to lead the public back to what he deemed the classical, but in vain; and the successive appearance of Wilson, Gainsborough, and Opie, in different styles, but all genuinely English, established the public in its attachment to the true English school. Wilson, during his lifetime, indeed, was neglected, and died in poverty; but the next generation made the amende to his fame, though too late for his own enjoyment of it. To Paul Sandby we owe the origin of the water-colour school, which afterwards grew so extensive and so rich in production. Amongst eminent painters of this portion of the reign we must mention Wright of Derby, Mortimer, Stubbs and Sawrey, animal painters, and Copley, who, though an American by birth, produced most of his works in England.[See larger version]When Buonaparte reached Lyons, the soldiers, in spite of the Duke of Orleans, of Monsieur, and of Marshal Macdonald, went over to him to a man. He was now at the head of seven thousand men, and Macon, Chalons, Dijon, and nearly all Burgundy declared for him. Marseilles and Provence stood out, the authorities of Marseilles setting a price upon his head. But being now in Lyons, Buonaparte issued, with amazing rapidity, no fewer than eight decrees, abolishing every change made by the Bourbons during his absence, confiscating the property of every Emigrant who had not lost it before, restoring the tricolour flag and cockade, and the legion of honour; abolishing the two chambers, and calling a Champ-de-Mai, to be held in the month of May to determine on a new constitution, and to assist at the coronation of the Empress and the King of Rome. He boldly announced that the Empress was coming; that Austria, Russia, and Great Britain were all his friends, and that without this he could not have escaped. These decrees, disseminated on all sides, had a wonderful effect on the people, and he advanced rapidly, reaching Auxerre on the 17th of March. He rode on several hours in advance of his army, without Guards, talking familiarly with the people, sympathising in their distresses, and promising all sorts of redresses. The lancers of Auxerre and Montereau trampled the white cockade under foot and joined him. He appointed Cambacérès minister of justice; Fouché, of police; and Davoust Minister of War. But Fouché, doubting the sincerity of Buonaparte, at once offered his services to Louis, and promised, on being admitted to a private interview, to point out to the king a certain means of extinguishing the usurper. This was presumed to mean assassination by some of his secret agents, and was honourably rejected by Louis, and an officer was sent to arrest Fouché; but that adroit sycophant retired by a back door, locking it after him, got over a wall, and was the next moment in the house of the Duchess of St. Leu, and in the midst of the assembled Buonapartists, who received him with exultation.
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