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The scene grew every day more busy as the queen became more obviously failing. Harley, at Hanover, was plying the Elector and his family with reasons why the prince ought not to go to England. The Elector himself appeared quite of the same opinion; but not so the Electress or her son. The Electress, who was now nearly eighty-four, and who was undoubtedly a woman of a very superior character, still had that trace of earthly ambition in her, that she used frequently to say she should die contented if she could only once for a little while feel the crown of England on her head. She was the youngest daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, who had ruined her husband by a similar longing after a far less resplendent diadem. When pressed by Harley, the Electress and her son presented him with a memorial, which he was desired to forward to the queen. Anne, in indignation, addressed a letter to the Electress, but without effect; and on the 30th of May she indited a more determined epistle to the Elector himself:—"As the rumour increases that my cousin, the Electoral Prince, has resolved to come over to settle in my lifetime in my dominions, I do not choose to delay a moment to write to you about this, and to communicate to you my sentiments upon a subject of this importance. I then freely own to you that I cannot imagine that a prince who possesses the knowledge and penetration of your Electoral Highness can ever contribute to such an attempt, and that I believe you are too just to allow that any infringement shall be made on my sovereignty which you would not choose should be made on your own. I am firmly persuaded that you would not suffer the smallest diminution of your authority. I am no less delicate in that respect; and I am determined to oppose a project so contrary to my royal authority, however fatal the consequences may be."But here their career was doomed to end. Preston had witnessed the rout of the Royalists by Cromwell, and it was now to witness the rout of the rebels by the Royalists. Carpenter, on finding that the insurgents had taken the way through Cumberland, also hastened back to Newcastle and Durham, where he was joined by General Wills. Wills was in advance with six regiments of cavalry, mostly newly-raised troops, but full of spirit, and well-officered. He came near Preston on the 12th of November, whilst Carpenter was approaching in another direction, so as to take the enemy in the flank. Forster quickly showed that he was an incompetent commander. He was at first greatly elated by the junction of the Lancashire men, but, on hearing that the royal troops were upon them, he was instantly panic-stricken, and, instead of issuing orders, or summoning a council, he betook himself to bed. Lord Kenmure roused him from his ignominious repose, but it was too late; no means were taken to secure the natural advantages of the place. The bridge over the Ribble, which might have kept the enemy at bay, was left undefended; so that when Wills rode up to it on the morning of the 13th, he imagined that the rebels had evacuated the place. Besides the bridge over the river, there was a deep and hollow way of half a mile from the bridge to the town, with high and steep banks, from which an army might have been annihilated; but all was left undefended. It was only when Wills advanced into the town that he became aware that the rebels were still there, and found his path obstructed by barricades raised in the streets. His soldiers gallantly attacked these barricades, but were met by a murderous fire both from behind them and from the houses on each side. But luckily for the royal forces the least ability was wanting in the rebel commander. With all the advantages on his side, Forster secretly sent Colonel Oxburgh to propose a capitulation. Wills at first refused to listen to it, declaring that he could not treat with rebels who had murdered many of the king's subjects; but at length he said, if they would lay down their arms, he would defend them from being cut to pieces by the soldiers till he received further orders from Government. One thousand five hundred men surrendered, including eight noblemen, but a good many escaped.

Trautmansdorff declared that, if necessary, forty thousand troops should be marched into the country; but this was an empty boast, for Joseph had so completely engaged his army against Turkey, that he could only send a thousand men into the Netherlands. On the contrary, the French Revolutionists offered the oppressed Netherlands speedy aid, and the Duke d'Aremberg, the Archbishop of Malines, and other nobles and dignitaries of the Church, met at Breda on the 14th of September, and proclaimed themselves the legitimate Assembly of the States of Brabant. They sent the plainest remonstrances to the Emperor, declaring that unless he immediately repealed his arbitrary edicts, and restored their Great Charter, they would assert their rights by the sword. In proof that these were no empty vaunts, the militia and volunteers again flew to arms. Scarcely a month had passed after the repeal of the Joyeuse Entrée before a number of collisions had taken place between these citizen soldiers and the Imperial troops. In Tirlemont, Louvain, Antwerp, and Mons blood was shed. At Diest, the patriots, led on by the monks, drove out the troops and the magistrates. Dalton and Trautmansdorff, instead of fulfilling their menace, appeared paralysed.The Queen's Accession—Separation of Hanover from England—The Civil List—The General Election—Rebellion in Lower Canada—Its prompt Suppression—Sir Francis Head in Upper Canada—The Affair of the Caroline—Lord Durham's Mission—His Ordinance—It is disallowed—Lord Durham resigns—Renewal and Suppression of the Rebellion—union of the Canadas—The Irish Poor Law Bill—Work of the Commissioners—Attack on Lord Glenelg—Compromise on Irish Questions—Acland's Resolution—The Tithe Bill becomes Law—The Municipal Bill abandoned—The Coronation—Scene in the Abbey—The Fair in Hyde Park—Rejoicings in the Provinces—Dissolution of the Spanish Legion—Debate on the Intervention in Spain—Lord Ashley's Factory Bills—Prorogation of Parliament—The Glasgow Strike—Reference to Combinations in the Queen's Speech—Remarks of Sir Robert Peel—Rise of Chartism—The Six Points—Mr. Attwood's Petition—Lord John Russell's Proclamation—The Birmingham Riots—Dissolution of the National Convention—The Newport Riots—Murder of Lord Norbury—Meeting of the Magistrates—The Precursor Association—Debates in Parliament—Lord Normanby's Defence of his Administration—The Lords censure the Government—The Vote reversed in the Commons—The Jamaica Bill—Virtual Defeat of the Ministry—They resign.

Whilst these elements of a new convulsion were in active operation, the Allies had settled to some extent the affairs of Europe, and had returned home. On the 30th of May a treaty had been signed at Paris, between Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with France. The boundaries of France were settled as they existed in 1792; it was decreed that Holland and Belgium should be united to form a strong barrier against France; the independence of Switzerland was restored; the north of Italy was again made over to Austria, including[86] Venice, but not including Sardinia, which was enlarged by the addition of Genoa, out of which Lord William Bentinck, with a British army, had driven the French. Murat had assisted the Austrians to conquer Eugene Beauharnais, and hoped to be allowed to retain Naples, yet having many fears of his new allies, the Austrians, and of the Allies generally. The Pope was again in peaceful possession of his States; the arms and the money of Great Britain had triumphed over Buonaparte, and had restored the monarchs of Europe to their thrones; but it was not to be denied that in restoring them they had restored so many detestable despotisms.

MRS. ARABELLA HUNT SINGING TO QUEEN MARY. (See p. 155.)The first indictment was preferred against James Tytler, a chemist, of Edinburgh, for having published an address to the people, complaining of the mass of the people being wholly unrepresented, and, in consequence, being robbed and enslaved; demanding universal suffrage, and advising folk to refuse to pay taxes till this reform was granted. However strange such a charge would appear now, when the truth of it has long been admitted, it was then held by Government and the magistracy as next to high treason. Tytler did not venture to appear, and his bail, two booksellers, were compelled to pay the amount of his bond and penalty, six hundred merks Scots. He himself was outlawed, and his goods were sold. Three days afterwards, namely, on the 8th of January, 1793, John Morton, a printer's apprentice, and John Anderson and Malcolm Craig, journeymen printers, were put upon their trial for more questionable conduct. They were charged with endeavouring to seduce the soldiers in the castle of Edinburgh from their duty, urging them to drink, as a toast, "George the Third and Last, and Damnation to all Crowned Heads;" and with attempting to persuade them to join the "Society of the Friends of the People," or a "Club of Equality and Freedom." They were condemned to nine months' imprisonment, and to give security in one thousand merks Scots for their good behaviour for three years. Next came the trials of William Stewart, merchant, and John Elder, bookseller, of Edinburgh, for writing and publishing a pamphlet on the "Rights of Man and the Origin of Government." Stewart absconded, and the proceedings were dropped against the bookseller. To these succeeded a number of similar trials, amongst them those of James Smith, John Mennings, James Callender, Walter Berry, and James Robinson, of Edinburgh, tradesmen of various descriptions, on the charges of corresponding with Reform societies, or advocating the representation of the people, full and equal rights, and declaring the then Constitution a conspiracy of the rich against the poor. One or two absented themselves, and were outlawed; the rest were imprisoned in different towns. These violent proceedings against poor men, merely for demanding reforms only too[427] much needed, excited but little attention; but now a more conspicuous class was aimed at, and the outrageously arbitrary proceedings at once excited public attention, and, on the part of reformers, intense indignation.

The Bills were highly necessary, and, on the whole, well calculated to nip in the bud those ever-growing abuses of India and its hundred millions of people which, some seventy years later, compelled Government to take the control out of the hands of a mere trading company, whose only object was to coin as much money as possible out of the country and the folk. But it needed no sagacity to see that the means of defeat lay on the very surface of these Bills. Those whose sordid interests were attacked had only to point to the fact that Parliament, and not the Crown, was to be the governing party under these Bills, in order to secure their rejection. This was quickly done through a most ready agent. Thurlow had been removed by the Ministry from the Woolsack, where he had remained as a steady opponent of all the measures of his colleagues; and it required but a hint from the India House, and he was at the ear of the king. Nothing was easier than for Thurlow to inspire George III. with a deep jealousy of the measure, as aiming at putting the whole government of India into the hands of Parliament and of Ministers, and the effect was soon seen.Marshal Villars, like the French plenipotentiaries, had made a great display of forces, pretty certain, from private information, that there was little fear of being attacked. The Allies had a fine army of one hundred and twenty thousand men opposed to him; but so far as the English were concerned, their commander had his hands tied. The Duke of Ormonde was sent to take the place of the Duke of Marlborough—a certain indication that he was meant only for a mere show general. He was a staunch Jacobite, but no general of talents or experience fit to succeed a man like Marlborough. On arriving at the Hague he assured the States General that his instructions were to act zealously with the Allies, and especially the Dutch, and from his letters it would appear that such were his orders. But before his arrival, Mr. Thomas Harley, a relative of Oxford's, and the Abbé Gualtier, had reached the Hague, and had assured the plenipotentiaries that the Government had determined on peace, and would not allow the army to fight. They also brought over with them the scheme of the Treaty, which was not yet to be made known to the Dutch. But the States General were too well aware of the hollow proceedings of the English Court, and, disgusted at the withdrawal of Marlborough and the substitution of Ormonde, they would not entrust their troops to him, but appointed Eugene as their own general. Thus, instead of one generalissimo of consummate genius, the army was divided under two chiefs, the abler chief, the Prince Eugene, having the utmost contempt for the martial talents of his colleague. All on the part of England, both in the conference and in the army, was hollow, treacherous, and disgraceful. Yet, though there was to be no fighting, the pretence of it was kept up. The Earl of Albemarle marched with a detachment of the army to Arras, where he burnt and destroyed some magazines of the French. Ormonde, too, joined Prince Eugene on the 26th of May, and the united army passed the Scheldt, and encamped between Haspres and Solennes. Eugene proposed to attack Villars in his lines, and Ormonde consented to it, but he immediately received a peremptory order from Mr. Secretary St. John against engaging in any siege or battle, and he was directed to keep this order profoundly secret from the Allies. Ormonde was also instructed that if Villars should intimate that he was aware of these secret proceedings, he was to take no notice of them; nor was Villars long in letting him know that they might now consider each other as friends. The situation of Ormonde thus became one of extreme embarrassment. On the one hand, Eugene urged him to prepare for an engagement; on the other, the Dutch were impatient to see some stroke which should humble the French and make negotiation more easy; but Ormonde was as unable to move, notwithstanding previous assurances, as if he had been a mere image of wood. He wrote to St. John, expressing in strong terms the embarrassing nature of his situation, assuring him that the Dutch were exclaiming that they were betrayed; but St. John encouraged him to hold out as well as he could, and Ormonde condescended to play this false and degrading part, equally disgraceful to him as a general and a man of any pretences to honour. The prince urged forward the necessity of laying siege to Quesnoy, and Ormonde was allowed, for the sake of keeping up appearances, to furnish a considerable detachment for the purpose. But there was so evident a backwardness in the duke's movements, that the Dutch deputies complained vehemently to the English plenipotentiaries at Utrecht of his refusal to act in earnest against the enemy. Thereupon Robinson, the bishop, took high ground, and retorted that the States General had met the queen's proposals for peace so strangely, that her Majesty now felt herself released from any further obligation to maintain the treaties and engagements between herself and them. This roused the States to great and indignant activity. They entered into communication with the Electors of Hanover, of Hesse-Cassel, and other princes of the Empire, regarding the effective service of their troops in the pay of Great Britain. They sent off warm remonstrances to the Queen of England, and Anne was obliged to summon a council, in which it was agreed that Ormonde should appear as much as possible to concur with Eugene in the siege.

The motion of Fox was negatived by a large majority, and on the 21st of June the king prorogued Parliament.To reach the enemy the British had to cross the river, and that by a single bridge. This was commanded by the American artillery, and it might have been expected that it would not be easily carried; but, on the contrary, a light brigade swept over it, in face of the cannon, followed by the rest of the army; and the troops deploying right and left the moment they were over, this single division—about one thousand six hundred strong—routed the whole American force before the remainder of the British could come into action. Few of the Americans waited to be killed or wounded. Madison had the mortification to see his army all flying in precipitation, and the city open to the British.

CHARTISTS AT CHURCH. (See p. 456.)At the Church of St. Anne, Shandon, under a kind of shed attached to a guard-house, lay huddled up in their filthy fetid rags about forty human creatures—men, women, children, and infants of the tenderest age—starving and fever-stricken, most of them in a dying state, some dead, and all gaunt, yellow, hideous from the combined effects of famine and disease. Under this open shed they had remained during the night, and until that hour—about ten in the morning—when the funeral procession was passing by, and their indescribable misery was beheld by the leading citizens of Cork, including the mayor, and several members of the board of guardians. The odour which proceeded from that huddled-up heap of human beings was of itself enough to generate a plague."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.

All attempts at negotiation having failed, sealed green bags were laid upon the table of the House of Lords and of the House of Commons, with a message from the king to the effect that in consequence of the arrival of the queen he had communicated certain papers respecting her conduct, which he recommended to their immediate and serious attention. The bags contained documents and evidence connected with a commission sent in 1818 to Milan and other places to investigate charges—or rather to collect evidence to sustain charges which had been made against the Princess of Wales. The principal of these charges was that she had been guilty of adultery with a person named Bergami, whom she had employed as a courier, and afterwards raised to the position of her chamberlain and companion. The commission was under the direction of Sir John Leach, afterwards Vice-Chancellor.



FROM THE PAINTING BY ROBERT HILLINGFORD.On the 18th of April Lord John Russell moved that the House should go into committee on the Bill, stating that he proposed to make certain alterations in the details of the measure, but none affecting its principles. General Gascoigne then moved that it should be an instruction to the committee that the number of members composing the House of Commons ought not to be reduced. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sadler, and resisted by Lord Althorp, who declared that the object of the motion was to destroy the Bill. It was nevertheless carried, after an animated debate, by a majority of eight against the Government. Ministers had been placed in a position of peculiar difficulty—they had to humour the king's vanity and love of popular applause, in order to prevent his becoming sulky, and refusing to consent to a dissolution, which they felt to be inevitable. They had also to proceed with great caution in dealing with the Opposition, lest, irritated by the threat of dissolution, they should resolve to stop the supplies, it being impossible to dissolve Parliament in the present state of the estimates. They had been fortunate enough, however, to guard against this danger. On the 23rd of March supply had been moved, and a large portion of the army estimates voted. On the 25th Sir James Graham moved portions of the navy estimates, and on the same night the Civil List was provided for. Further supplies of various kinds having luckily been granted, on the 30th the House was adjourned for the Easter holidays, till the 12th of April.

"I have adopted all such precautions as it was in my power to adopt for the purpose of alleviating the sufferings which may be caused by this calamity; and I shall confidently rely on your co-operation in devising such other means for effecting the same benevolent purpose as may require the sanction of the Legislature."



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