Whilst the French armies had been carrying bloodshed and misery into the countries around them, their brethren at home had been equally busy in pushing forward those mutual hatreds which appeared likely to end in the extermination of the whole race of revolutionists. The Girondists being destroyed, new divisions showed themselves in those who had hitherto been allies—Robespierre and his coadjutors. Hébert, Chaumette, Clootz, Ronsin, and others, began to raise their heels against their chief, and their chief doomed every one of them to the guillotine. His most important victim was Danton, a man by no means contemptible (guillotined April 5th, 1794).
In the Christmas recess Chatham hastened to Bath, to improve his health for the campaign of the ensuing Session; but when Parliament met again, in the middle of January, 1767, Ministers were in consternation at his not reappearing. The Duke of Grafton and Beckford, who were his most devoted adherents, were thunderstruck. They found it impossible to keep in order the heterogeneous elements of the Cabinet. All the hostile qualities, which would have lain still under the hand of the great magician, bristled up, and came boldly out. The spirit of Bedford, of Newcastle, and of Rockingham, was active in their partisans, and gathered courage to do mischief. Lord Shelburne and the Duke of Grafton became estranged; Charles Townshend, who had as much ambition and eccentricity as talent, began to show airs, and aim at supremacy. Grafton implored Chatham to come to town if possible, and when that was declared impracticable, to allow him to go down, and consult with him in his sick chamber. But he was informed that the Minister was equally unable to move or to consult.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!"(After the Portrait by A. E. Challon, R.A.)
Austria professed great friendliness to Napoleon, and he thought that she would not like to break with him on account of the Empress. But Austria, on the 27th of June, signed an engagement with Russia and Prussia, at Reichenbach, in Silesia, binding herself to break with him if he did not concede the terms which they demanded. These were to restore Illyria and the whole of Austrian Italy; to reinstate the Pope; to leave Poland to the three Powers who had formerly possessed themselves of it, and to renounce Spain, Holland, Switzerland, and the Confederation of the Rhine. Buonaparte treated these demands as sheer madness; but he was nearly mad himself when Talleyrand and Fouché, and still more, his best military counsellors, advised him at least to fall back to the left bank of the Rhine, and make that the boundary of France. He offered to annihilate the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, giving up the whole of Poland to Russia—such was his gratitude to the Poles!—to restore Illyria to Austria, but to cut down Prussia still more by pushing the Rhenish Confederation to the Oder.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."
BRITISH LINE-OF-BATTLE SHIPS (1836).
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.These were measures which must have greatly irritated the American colonists. They exhibited a disposition to curb and repress their growing energies between the interests of British merchants and British West Indian planters. The prospect was far from encouraging; whilst, at the same time, the English Ministers, crushing these energies with one hand, were contemplating drawing a revenue by taxation from them on the other. Britain argued that she sacrificed large amounts in building up colonies, and therefore had a right to expect a return for this expenditure. Such a return, had they had the sagacity to let them alone, was inevitable from the trade of the colonies in an ever-increasing ratio.
In general art the names of Fuseli, Northcote, and Stothard stand eminent, and were the foremost contributors to Alderman Boydell's celebrated Shakespeare Gallery. There were also Hoppner, Beechey, Morland; in Scotland, Sir William Allan and Sir Henry Raeburn. In caricature Gillray was a worthy successor to Hogarth.
In the same field was to be found the poet Ebenezer Elliott, the "Corn Law Rhymer." By his addresses to his fellow-townsmen of Sheffield, his remonstrances with the infatuated followers of O'Connor, who fancied that their own cause was opposed to that of the Manchester League, and by his powerful "Corn Law Rhymes," Elliott rendered services to the movement of the highest value. A good specimen of Elliott's powers of versification is afforded by the following song:—Pitt hastened up to town, and was graciously received by the king, who told him that he left the choice of his colleagues entirely to himself. Pitt, as twice before, immediately proposed that his brother-in-law, Lord Temple, should be placed at the head of the Treasury. Temple was summoned from Stowe, but was as haughty and unmanageable as ever. He demanded that all the old Ministers should be dismissed, that Lord Lyttelton should have the Privy Seal, Lord Gower be Secretary of State, etc. Pitt could not accede to these terms. This time he did not throw up the offer of the Premiership to oblige his wrong-headed brother-in-law, who had the overweening idea that he was as great a man as Pitt himself. He stood firm, and, after a long interview at North End, Hampstead, where Pitt had taken a house for the time, Temple set off to Stowe again in high dudgeon, declaring that Pitt had thrown off the mask, and never meant to accept his co-operation at all. Lord Camden advised Pitt to stand fast, throw off the Grenvilles, and save the nation without them. He acted on the advice.
An armistice was arranged with Piedmont, which lasted throughout the autumn and winter. The events at Rome and the flight of the Pope had meanwhile greatly altered the position of the Italian question; and the revolutionary spirit was so strong that Charles Albert found it impossible to resist the demand of his people for a renewal of hostilities. "I must restore war," he said, "or abdicate the crown and see a republic established." He opened his Parliament in person on the 1st of January, 1849, when he delivered a lengthy speech, in which he fully expounded his policy. He invited the nation to co-operate in the great struggle which was impending. In January, the Sardinian Prime Minister, M. Gioberti, addressed a protest to the foreign Powers, in which he stated that though the suspension of hostilities agreed to on the 5th of August, 1848, was productive of fatal political consequences, Sardinia had faithfully observed the agreement, while Austria had disregarded her promises, and exhibited nothing but bad faith. She had pursued an iniquitous system of spoliation. Under the name of extraordinary war contributions her fleet seized Italian vessels navigating the Adriatic. She had put to death persons whose safety was guaranteed by the law of nations. She had violated the most sacred compacts in a manner unparalleled in the annals of civilised nations. Gioberti, however, who was obnoxious to the republican party, was compelled to resign. On the 24th of February the new Ministry issued a programme of its policy, and on the 14th of March M. Ratazzi, Minister of the Interior, announced to the Chamber of Deputies the expiration of the armistice, declaring that no honourable peace with Austria could be expected unless won by arms. War would, of course, have its perils; but between those perils and the shame of an ignominious peace, which would not insure Italian independence, the king's Government could not hesitate. Consequently, he stated that, two days before, a special messenger had been sent to Radetzky, announcing the termination of the armistice. He was perhaps justified by the declaration of the Austrian envoy to London, Count Colloredo, that Austria would not enter into any sort of conference unless she was assured that no cession of territory would be required. The king, meanwhile, had joined the army as a general officer, commanding the brigade in Savoy. The nominal strength of his army at that time was 135,000 men; but the muster-roll on the 20th of March showed only about 84,000 effective troops, including 5,000 cavalry, with 150 guns. Radetzky had under his command an army equal in number, but far superior in equipment and discipline. He at once broke Charles Albert's lines; drove him to retreat upon Novara, where he utterly defeated him. Abdication only remained for the king, and his son, Victor Emmanuel, concluded peace on terms dictated by Austria. The King of Sardinia was to disband ten military corps composed of Hungarians, Poles, and Lombards. Twenty thousand Austrian troops were to occupy the territory between the Po, the Ticino, and the Sesia, and to form one half of the garrison of Alessandria, consisting of 6,000 men, a mixed military committee to provide for the maintenance of the Austrian troops. The Sardinians were to evacuate the duchies of Modena, Piacenza, and Tuscany. The Piedmontese in Venice were to return home, and the Sardinian fleet, with all the steamers, was to quit the Adriatic. In addition to these stipulations, Sardinia was to indemnify Austria for the whole cost of the war. These terms were accepted with great reluctance by the Piedmontese Government, and with even more reluctance by the Genoese, who revolted, and had to be suppressed by the royal troops.To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of the lower orders—the only class which had raised a cheer for him on his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever the tree of liberty was planted—for it was now the trick of Buonaparte to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing on which he had so uniformly trampled—it was cut down and burnt. It was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications; strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier. Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Langres, and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works, and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with Wellington!"详情
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