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The King of Spain hoped, by the dismissal of Alberoni, to obtain more advantageous terms of peace from France and England; but they still stood firmly to the conditions of the Quadruple Alliance. On the 19th of January, 1720, the plenipotentiaries of England, France, and Holland signed an engagement at Paris not to admit of any conditions of peace from Spain contrary to those of the alliance. Stanhope despatched his secretary, Schaub, to Madrid, to endeavour to bring over the queen to this agreement, and Dubois sent instructions to the Marquis Scotti, Father d'Aubenton, and others in the French interest to press the same point. She stood out firmly for some time, but eventually gave way, and the mind of the king was soon influenced by her. Some difficulties which could not be overcome were referred to a congress to be held at Cambray. On the 26th of January Philip announced his accession to the Quadruple Alliance, declaring that he gave up his rights and possessions to secure the peace of Europe. He renewed his renunciation of the French Crown, and promised to evacuate Sicily and Sardinia within six months, which he faithfully performed.TEMPLE BAR IN 1800.


On the 6th of May, 1836, the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought forward the Budget, which placed in a strong light the long standing anomaly of distress among the agricultural classes, contrasting with general prosperity in the commercial classes. He was enabled to exhibit a more favourable state of the finances than he had anticipated in his estimate the previous year. The total income of the nation was £46,980,000, its total expenditure £45,205,807, which would give a surplus of £1,774,193. Of this surplus all but £662,000 would be absorbed by the interest on the West Indian Loan, which had now become a permanent charge. There was an addition of 5,000 seamen to the navy, for which the sum of £434,000 was required. This addition seemed to be quite necessary from the feeble condition of the navy as compared with the navies of other nations. On the 4th of March Mr. Charles Wood had stated that the French would have twelve sail of the line at sea during summer; that in 1834 the Russians had five sail of the line cruising in the Black Sea, and eighteen besides frigates in the Baltic. During this period there never were in the English Channel ports more than two frigates and a sloop, with crews perhaps amounting to 1,000 men, disposable for sea at any one time, and that only for a day or two. Moreover all the line-of-battle ships Great Britain had afloat in every part of the world did not exceed ten. The land forces voted for the year were 81,319 men, not counting the Indian army. Of these one-half were required in the colonies. France had 360,000 regular soldiers, and three times that number of National Guards. With the surplus at his disposal the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to reduce the duty on first-class paper from fivepence to threepence-halfpenny—a suitable accompaniment to the reduction of the stamp on newspapers, already noticed—and to abolish the duty on stained paper; to remit the South Sea duties, amounting to £10,000; to reduce the duties on insurances of farming-stock, on taxed carts, and on newspapers. He estimated the total amount of repeals for the present year at £351,000, which would be increased to £520,000 when they all came into operation. This was the best of Mr. Spring-Rice's indifferent Budgets.At Wilmington Lord Cornwallis remained about three weeks, uncertain as to his plan of operations. His forces amounted to only about one thousand five hundred men; he therefore determined, at length, to march into Virginia, and join the expedition there. He made his march without encountering any opposition, reaching Presburg on the 20th of May. Thereupon Lord Cornwallis found himself at the head of a united force of seven thousand men. Sir Henry Clinton's effective troops at New York amounted only to ten thousand nine hundred and thirty-one men, and the little detachment under Lord Rawdon only to nine hundred.

The rapid growth of the commerce of the American colonies excited an intense jealousy[166] in our West Indian Islands, which claimed a monopoly of supply of sugar, rum, molasses, and other articles to all the British possessions. The Americans trading with the French, Dutch, Spaniards, etc., took these articles in return; but the West Indian proprietors prevailed upon the British Government, in 1733, to impose a duty on the import of any produce of foreign plantations into the American colonies, besides granting a drawback on the re-exportation of West Indian sugar from Great Britain. This was one of the first pieces of legislation of which the American colonies had a just right to complain. At this period our West Indies produced about 85,000 hogsheads of sugar, or 1,200,000 cwts. About three hundred sail were employed in the trade with these islands, and some 4,500 sailors; the value of British manufactures exported thither being nearly £240,000 annually, but our imports from Jamaica alone averaged at that time £539,492. Besides rum, sugar, and molasses, we received from the West Indies cotton, indigo, ginger, pimento, cocoa, coffee, etc.

The Emperor Francis did not attempt to defend[506] his capital—that capital which had twice repelled all the efforts of the Turks—but fled into Moravia, to join his Russian ally, the Czar Alexander, who was there at the head of his army. On the 7th of November Francis took his departure, and on the 13th of November Napoleon entered Vienna without any opposition. Whilst Napoleon remained there he continued to receive the most cheering accounts of the success of his arms in Italy against the Austrians. There, Massena, on hearing of the capitulation of Ulm, made a general attack on the army of the Archduke Charles, near Caldiero. The French were victorious, and were soon joined by General St. Cyr, from Naples, with twenty-five thousand men. At the moment of this defeat, the Archduke received the news of the fall of Ulm, and the march of the French on Vienna. He determined, therefore, to leave Italy to its fate. He commenced his retreat in the night of November 1st, and resolved to make for Hungary.

On the 15th of September this year the Manchester and Liverpool Railway was opened. It was the first line opened for passenger traffic in the British empire. There was much difference of opinion as to the success of the experiment, and vast crowds attended to see the first trains running. The Duke of Wellington, Mr. Huskisson, and many persons of the highest distinction, started in the trains, which travelled on two lines in the same direction, sometimes nearly abreast. At Parkside the trains stopped to take in water, and Mr. Huskisson and several of his friends got out. He was brought round to the carriage where the Duke of Wellington was seated, who, as soon as he saw him, shook hands cordially with his old colleague. At this moment the other train started, when there was a general cry of "Get in, get in!" There was not time to do this, but Mr. Holmes, who was with Mr. Huskisson, had sufficient presence of mind to draw himself up close to the Duke's carriage, by which means he escaped uninjured. Mr. Huskisson, unfortunately, caught one of the doors, which, struck by the train in motion, was swung round, and caused him to fall on the other railway, so that his right leg was passed over and crushed by the engine. The Duke of Wellington and others ran to his assistance. The only words he uttered were, "I have met my death. God forgive me!" He was carried to Eccles, where the best medical advice was obtained, but he survived only a few hours, bearing his intense pain with great fortitude.The progress that the electors had made in liberality of sentiment was evinced especially by two of the elections. Mr. Hume, the Radical reformer, the cold, calculating economist, the honest, plain-speaking man of the people, was returned for the county of Middlesex without opposition; and Mr. Brougham, a barrister, who owed nothing to family connections—who, by the steadiness of his industry, the force of his character, the extent of his learning, and the splendour of his eloquence, devoted perseveringly for years to the popular cause, had won for himself, at the same time, the highest place in his profession, and the foremost position in the senate—was returned for Yorkshire. These counties had hitherto been the preserves of the great[319] landed proprietors. Lord Fitzwilliam, though the personal friend of Mr. Brougham, did not like this intrusion of a foreigner into that great county. Indeed, it had been sufficiently guarded against all but very wealthy men by the enormous expense of a contest. In 1826, when a contest was only threatened, and the election ended with a nomination, Mr. John Marshall's expenses amounted to £17,000; and, on a previous occasion, it was rumoured that Lord Milton had spent £70,000 in a contest. No wonder Brougham was a friend of Parliamentary Reform.

On the 15th of April Buonaparte quitted Paris, for the last time as a permanent abode; on the 16th he was at Mainz, and on the 25th at Erfurt. Before quitting Paris he had appointed Maria Louisa regent in his absence. This he deemed a stroke of policy likely to conciliate the Emperor of Austria. But the Empress's power was merely nominal. She could appear at the Council board, but it was only as the instrument of the Emperor; he carried all active power along with him, and ruled France from his camp. He had still upwards of fifty thousand troops in the garrisons of Prussia, commanded by Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy; and he advanced at the head of three hundred thousand men. Eugene Beauharnais had been compelled necessarily to evacuate Dantzic, Berlin, and Dresden as the Russians and Prussians advanced, and to retreat upon the Elbe. In the month of May Bernadotte, according to concert, crossed over to Stralsund with thirty-five thousand men, and awaited the reinforcements of Russians and Germans which were to raise his division to eighty thousand men, with which he was to co-operate with the Allies, and protect Hamburg. The Allies, under Tetterborn, Czernicheff, and Winzengerode, spread along both sides of the Elbe, the Germans rising enthusiastically wherever they came. Hamburg, Lübeck, and other towns threw open their gates to them. The French general, Morand, endeavouring to quell the rising of the people of Lüneburg, was surprised by the Russians, and his detachment of four thousand men was cut to pieces, or taken prisoners. Eugene marched from Magdeburg to surprise Berlin, but was met at M?ckern, defeated, and driven back to Magdeburg. Such was the success of the Allies, and the exulting support of the people, that even Denmark and Saxony began to contemplate going over to the Allies. Blucher entered Dresden on the 27th of March, driving Davoust before him, who blew up an arch of the fine bridge to cover his retreat. The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia entered the city soon afterwards, and were received by the inhabitants with acclamations. On the 28th of April died the old Russian general, Kutusoff, at Bautzen, and was succeeded by General Wittgenstein.In the Commons, on the same day, Grenville delivered a message from the Crown, announcing to the House the imprisonment of one of their members during the recess. Wilkes immediately rose in his place, and complained of the breach of that House's privilege in his person; of the entry of his house, the breaking open of his desk, and the imprisonment of his person—imprisonment pronounced by the highest legal authority to be illegal, and therefore tyrannical. He moved that the House should take the question of privilege into immediate consideration. On the other hand, Lord North, who was a member of the Treasury board, and Sir Fletcher Norton, Attorney-General, put in the depositions of the printer and publisher, proving the authorship of No. 45 of the North Briton on Wilkes, and pressing for rigorous measures against him. A warm debate ensued, in which Pitt opposed the proceedings to a certain extent, declaring that he could never understand exactly what a libel was.[181] Notwithstanding, the Commons voted, by a large majority, that No. 45 of the North Briton was "a false, scandalous, and malicious libel," tending to traitorous insurrection, and that it should be burnt by the common hangman.

The Russians were seen to be falling back as they advanced, and Buonaparte—impatient to overtake and rout them—pushed forward his troops rapidly. On reaching the river Wilna it was found to be swollen by the rain, and the bridges over it were demolished; but Buonaparte ordered a body of Polish lancers to cross it by swimming. They dashed into the torrent, and were swept away by it almost to a man, and drowned before the eyes of the whole army. On the 28th of June, however, Napoleon managed to reach Wilna, which Barclay de Tolly had evacuated at his approach, and there he remained till the 16th of July, for he had outmarched his supplies, few of his waggons having even reached the Niemen, owing to the state of the country through which they had to be dragged, and the Russians had taken care to carry off or destroy all provisions for man and horse as they retreated. His vast host began, therefore, at once to feel all the horrors of famine, and of those other scourges that were soon to destroy them by hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, the mission of the Abbé de Pradt to Poland had failed. The abbé, believing in the reality of the promises of Buonaparte, had faithfully executed his mission. The Poles met in diet at Warsaw, and expressed their gratitude to the Emperor for his grand design of restoring their nation. The country was all enthusiasm, and a host of soldiers would soon have appeared to join his standard, when Napoleon returned them an evasive answer, saying that he could not do all that he wished, as he was under engagement to Austria not to deprive her of Galicia. As to the provinces held by Russia, he assured them that—provided they showed themselves brave in his cause—"Providence would crown their good cause with success." This positive information regarding Austria—this vague statement regarding Russia, at once showed the hollow hypocrisy of the man, and from that moment all faith was lost in him in Poland. To have restored Poland was in the power of Buonaparte, and would have been the act of a great man; but Buonaparte was not a great man, morally: he could not form a noble design—he could form only a selfish one. But he immediately felt the consequences of his base deceit. The Poles remained quiet; nor did the people of Lithuania respond to his calls on them to rise in insurrection against Russia. They saw that he had intended to deceive the Poles, and they felt that, should he make peace with Russia, he would at once sacrifice them. They were about to form a guard of honour for him, but they instantly abandoned the design; and thus his miserable policy destroyed all the effect which he contemplated from the action of the nations on the Russian frontiers.Nothing could exceed the consternation and indignation of the Spanish people when they found their great strongholds guarding the entrances from France into the country thus in the hands of the French. Had there been a king of any ability in Spain, an appeal to the nation would, on this outrage, have roused it to a man, and the plans of Buonaparte might have been defeated. But Godoy, knowing himself to be the object of national detestation, and dreading nothing so much as a rising of the people, by whom he would most certainly be sacrificed, advised the royal family to follow the example of the Court of Portugal, and escape to their trans-Atlantic dominions; which advice could only have been given by a miscreant, and adopted by an idiot. To surrender a kingdom and a people like those of Spain, without a blow, was the extreme of cowardice. But, as if to urge the feeble king to this issue, at this moment came a letter from Buonaparte, upbraiding him with having received his acceptance of the match between their houses coldly. Charles, terrified in the extreme, wrote to declare that nothing lay so near his heart, and at the same time made preparations to be gone. The intention was kept as secret as possible, but the public soon became aware of the Court's proposed removal from Madrid to Cadiz, in order then to be able to embark for America. The Prince of Asturias and his brother protested against the project; the Council of Castile remonstrated; the populace were in a most tumultuous state, regarding the plan as originating with Godoy, and surrounded the palace with cries and gestures of dissatisfaction. The king was in a continual state of terror and irresolution, but Godoy pressed on matters for the flight.


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Accordingly, the Duke found himself alone in his opposition to the plan of an armed intervention in Spain. It was at first proposed that all the Allies should unite in this; but it was ultimately agreed that a procès verbal should be jointly adopted, in which the King of Spain and his family should be declared to be under the protection of Europe, and Spain threatened with a terrible vengeance if any injury were done to them. This procès verbal was addressed to the head of the Spanish Government, with an explanation of the reasons for its adoption. The Duke was disappointed and mortified at the obstinate self-will of the crowned despots. He had gone to Verona in the hope that they would at all events be open to arguments in favour of peace; he found them bent on such a course as would render its preservation impossible. When the Ministers reduced their ideas to a definite shape, the incidents which they agreed to accept as leading necessarily to war appeared to him fallacious in the extreme. They were these:—First, an armed attack by Spain upon France[235]. Second, any personal outrage offered to Ferdinand VII., or to any member of the Spanish royal family. Third, an act of the Spanish legislature dethroning the king, or interfering in any way with the right of succession. Austria, Prussia, and Russia accepted the conditions readily, adhering, at the same time, to the substance of the notes which they had previously put in.NAPOLEON'S COUP DE MAIN: SCENE IN THE HALL OF THE ANCIENTS. (See p. 472.)When Buonaparte, early in the morning of the 18th, mounted his horse to reconnoitre Wellington's position, he was rejoiced to observe so few troops; for many were hidden behind the height on which Wellington took his stand. One of his staff suggested that Wellington would be joined by Blucher; but so wholly ignorant was Napoleon of the settled plan of the two generals that he scouted the idea. "Blucher," he said, "is defeated. He cannot rally for three days. I have seventy-five thousand men: the English only fifty thousand. The town of Brussels awaits me with open arms. The English opposition waits but for my success to raise their heads. Then adieu subsidies and farewell coalition!" And, looking again at the small body of troops visible, he exclaimed, in exultation, "I have them there at last, these English!" General Foy, who had had ample experience of "these English" in Spain, said, "Wellington never shows his troops; but, if he be yonder, I must warn your majesty that the English infantry, in close fighting, is the very devil!" And Soult, who had felt the strength of that infantry too often, confirmed Foy's assertion.



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