A new and surprising phenomenon was discovered in the attacks upon Ministers for these concessions: Fox and North were in coalition! Fox, who so lately had declared North and his colleagues men "void of every principle of honour and honesty," and who would consent, should he ever make terms with them, to be called "the most infamous of mankind," now as warmly declared that he had ever found Lord North—this man void of honour and honesty—a man always "open and sincere as a friend, honourable and manly as an enemy, above practising subterfuges, tricks, and stratagems." Lord North, on his side, repaid the compliments of Fox, growing enthusiastic on the genius, eloquence, and generous nature of that statesman. "While I admire the vast extent of his understanding," exclaimed North, "I can rely on the goodness of his heart." The coalition was looked upon with disfavour, but it was justified to a considerable extent during the debate on the peace. Lord John Cavendish truly represented that France and Spain were on the verge of ruin; that Holland was in an exhausted and helpless condition; and that as for America, it was in the very gulf of destitution, the people refusing to pay the taxes ordered by Congress for the continuance of the war. And it was to such defeated and demolished enemies that Ministers had conceded almost everything they had asked. Lord North turned more particularly to the concession made to the French in the East Indies. It was in that quarter, he said, that he looked for a consolidated and expanding empire, calculated to recompense us, and more than recompense us, for the loss of America. From that splendid continent we had completely driven the French, and the soundest policy dictated their continued firm exclusion from it. Yet here had Ministers most fatally readmitted them, to renew their old plots and alliances against us, by which they would to a certainty continue to harass, thwart, and weaken us, till we once more went through the ruinous and sanguinary process of expulsion. He was equally severe on the surrender of Minorca and the Floridas to Spain, and the admission of the unconceding, unconciliating Americans to our own proper fishing grounds. Fox called on Ministers to produce the treaty which he had sketched a few months before, and to see what very different terms he had demanded, and would have exacted. That the sense of the House went with these sentiments was shown by both the amendments of the Coalition being carried by a majority of sixteen. Lord John Cavendish moved another resolution strongly condemning the terms of the treaty, but consented that the peace now made should remain inviolate. This was also carried, by a majority of seventeen, being two hundred and seven votes against one hundred and ninety.[See larger version]
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 Lisbon—are 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.
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Colonel Gardiner endeavoured to charge the advancing enemy with his dragoons; but it was in vain that he attempted to animate their craven souls by word and example—at the first volley of the Highlanders they wheeled and fled. The same disgraceful scene took place on the left, at nearly the same moment. Hamilton's regiment of horse dispersed at the first charge of the Macdonalds, leaving the centre exposed on both its flanks. The infantry made a better stand than the cavalry; it discharged a steady and well-directed volley on the advancing Highlanders, and killed some of their best men, amongst others, a son of the famous Rob Roy. But the Highlanders did not give them time for a second volley; they were up with them, dashed aside their bayonets with their targets, burst through their ranks in numerous places, so that the whole, not being able to give way on account of the park wall of Preston, were thrown into confusion, and at the mercy of the foe. Never was a battle so instantly decided—it is said not to have lasted more than five or six minutes; never was a defeat more absolute. Sir John Cope, or Johnnie Cope, as he will be styled in Scotland to the end of time, by the assistance of the Earls of Loudon and Home, collected about four hundred and fifty of the recreant dragoons, and fled to Coldstream that night. There not feeling secure, they continued their flight till they reached Berwick, where Sir Mark Kerr received Cope with the sarcastic but cruelly true remark that he believed that he was the first general on record who had carried the news of his own defeat.
It was not till between eleven and twelve o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 18th of June, that this terrible conflict commenced; for the troops of Napoleon had not yet all reached the ground, having suffered from the tempests of wind and rain equally with the Allies. The rain had now ceased, but the morning was gloomy and lowering. The action opened by a brisk cannonade on the house and wood of Hougomont, which were held by the troops of Nassau. These were driven out; but their place was immediately taken by the British Guards under General Byng and Colonels Home and Macdonald. A tremendous cannonade was kept up on Hougomont by Jerome's batteries from the slopes above; and under cover of this fire the French advanced through the wood in front of Hougomont, but were met by a terrible fire from the British, who had the orchard wall as a breastwork from which to assail the enemy. The contest here was continued through the day with dreadful fury, but the British held their ground with bull-dog tenacity. The buildings of the farmyard and an old chapel were set fire to by the French shells; but the British maintained their post amid the flames, and filled the wood in front and a lane running under the orchard wall with mountains of dead.A commission was then moved for, under the Great Seal, by Lord Camden, and in this commission were included the names of the Prince of Wales, the Dukes of York, Gloucester, and Cumberland. These royal personages, however, declined to be named in it. With these remarkable omissions, Camden's motion was passed, and the result was communicated to the Commons, on which Pitt, on the 2nd of February, moved for the concurrence of that House. This again brought up the question of the prince's right. Lord North, who, though now blind, had mixed in these debates with his usual moderation, and with a great display of good sense, based on official experience, expressed his pleasure that the prince had condescended to accept the regency, notwithstanding its limitations. This prudence, he observed, had given the country an agreeable surprise, considering the temptations to stand upon his right, which must have produced inconceivable embarrassments. Pitt could not resist the impulse to arise and again deny the right, and observe that he believed those who had advocated that right were now really ashamed of it. This immediately called up Burke, for Fox was ill, and away at Bath, and he exclaimed, "I assert that the Prince of Wales's right is clear as the sun, and that it is the duty of the House to appoint him regent, with the full powers of sovereignty." He asserted with equal warmth, that Ministers were about to purloin the Great Seal, and commit an act of forgery. A stormy debate followed, in which Burke's violence was met with moderation and dignity.
Music advanced at an equal rate with its sister arts, and during this period added to its conquests the compositions of Purcell and Handel. William was too much engaged in war to become a patron of music, or of any of the fine arts, and his queen, Mary, does not appear to have possessed much taste for it. She is related by Sir John Hawkins to have sent for Purcell and Mrs. Arabella Hunt, a famous singer, to entertain her. Mrs. Hunt sang some of Purcell's splendid compositions, and Purcell accompanied them on the harpsichord; but Mary soon grew weary of these, and called on Mrs. Hunt to sing the Scottish ballad, "Cold and Raw!"
The result of these victories was that the Punjab was annexed to our Indian Empire, the reasons for this step being explained by the Governor-General in a proclamation, which announced favourable terms for the conquered people. Henry Lawrence, as is well known, was against the annexation, but his arguments were overridden by the strenuous Governor-General, and he became chief of the Commission, with his brother John as a member, for the administration of the Punjab. Moolraj was subsequently tried for the murder of Mr. Agnew and Mr. Anderson, and being found guilty, he was sentenced to death. The sentence was afterwards commuted to imprisonment for life.
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The question of the regency was again brought forward, on the 6th of July, by Mr. Robert Grant, in pursuance of a notice he had previously given. The unbounded personal popularity of the king—who, unlike his predecessor shut up in seclusion and resembling Tiberius, went about sailor-like through the streets, frank, talkative, familiar, good-humoured, delighting the Londoners with all the force of pleasant contrast—rendered it increasingly difficult and delicate on the part of the Opposition to propose any measure disagreeable to a Sovereign who was the idol of the multitude, from whom no evil could be apprehended, and whose death, even in the ordinary course of Providence, it seemed something like treason to anticipate as likely to occur within a few months. They were, therefore, profuse in their declarations of respect, of admiration—nay, almost of veneration—for a monarch whom a beneficent Providence had so happily placed upon the Throne of Great Britain. The division on Mr. Grant's motion was still more decidedly favourable to the Government, the numbers being—Ayes, 93; noes, 247—majority, 154.The condition of the Prussian camp was daily growing worse; the troops were compelled to kill their horses for food; they were drenched with heavy rains and decimated by dysentery. The King of Prussia and the Duke of Brunswick were full of resentment at the false representations of the Emigrants, who had assured them that they would have little to do but to march to Paris, loaded with the welcomes and supplies of the people. Europe was surprised at the easy repulse of the Prussians; with their reputation, it was expected that they would march rapidly on Paris, and disperse the Republican troops with scarcely an effort. But they were no longer commanded by old Frederick; and even he would have found it difficult to make his way through a country which refused the barest food for an army, and which almost to a man was in arms to resist the foe. On the 24th of September overtures were made by the Prussians for an exchange of prisoners, to which Dumouriez agreed, refusing, however, to give up a single Emigrant captive. This led to discussions on the general question, and having bargained for a safe retreat, the Allies hurried homeward with all speed. Oppressed by famine and disease, and disgusted with the Emigrants, who had led them to suffering and disgrace, they made the best of their way to the Rhine, and, at the end of October, reached Coblenz, a sorry spectacle, reduced from eighty thousand, who had entered France three months before confident of victory and fame, to fifty thousand humbled and emaciated men. If Dumouriez had had unity and subordination amongst his generals he would have been able by a forced march to outstrip the Allies, cut them off from the Rhine, and scarcely a thousand of them would have escaped. The blame thrown upon him for not thus inflicting a terrible chastisement appears unmerited.详情
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