The next novelist who appeared was of a very different school. Richardson was an elaborate anatomist of character; Fielding and Smollett were master painters of life and manners, and threw in strong dashes of wit and humour; but they had little sentiment. In Laurence Sterne (b. 1713; d. 1768) came forth a sentimentalist, who, whilst he melted his readers by touches of pathos, could scarcely conceal from them that he was laughing at them in his sleeve. The mixture of feeling, wit, double entendre, and humour of the most subtle and refined kind, and that in a clergyman, produced the oddest, and yet the most vivid, impressions on the reader. The effect was surprise, pleasure, wonder, and no little misgiving; but the novelty and charm of this original style were so great that they carried all before them, but not without the most violent censures from the press on his indecencies, especially considering his position as a clergyman. Sterne was the grandson of that Richard Sterne, a native of Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, who was chaplain to Archbishop Laud, and attended him on the scaffold. Laurence Sterne was the son of a lieutenant in the army, and was born at Clonmel, in Ireland, his grandfather having then become Archbishop of York. Sterne, therefore, on taking orders, was on the way of preferment, and received the rectory of Stillington and the perpetual curacy of Coxwold, both in Yorkshire. There he wrote not only sermons, but satire, particularly his "History of a Watchcoat." But it was his novel of "Tristram Shandy" which brought him into sudden popularity. After this, his "Sentimental Journey" completed his reputation; and his Maria and her lamb, his uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Yorick, Doctor Slop, the widow Wadman, and his lesser characters, usurped for a long period the tears and laughter of the nation.
When the two parties separated in 1846, the Young Irelanders established the Irish Confederation, which held its meetings in the Music Hall, Abbey Street, and whose platform was occupied by a number of young men, who subsequently figured in the State trials—Mr. Dillon, a barrister, who had been a moderator in Trinity College, Mr. Doheny, solicitor, Mr. O'Gorman, and Mr. Martin, a Protestant gentleman of property in the county Down. The object of the confederacy was to prepare the country for national independence, "by the force of opinion, by the combination of all classes of Irishmen, and the exercise of all the political, social, and moral influence within their reach." They disclaimed any intention of involving the country in civil war, or invading the just rights of any of its people; and they were specially anxious that Protestants and Roman Catholics should be united in the movement. Resolutions to this effect were adopted at a great meeting in the Rotunda, a revolutionary amendment by Mr. Mitchel having been rejected, after a stormy debate, which lasted three days, and did not terminate on the last day until one o'clock at night. This led to Mitchel's secession from the Nation, and the establishment of the United Irishman, in which he openly and violently advocated rebellion and revolution. He continually insisted on the adoption of the most diabolical and repulsive measures, with the utmost sang froid. Every Saturday his journal contained a letter "To the Earl of Clarendon, Her Majesty's Executioner-General and Butcher-General of Ireland." Plans of insurrection were freely propounded; the nature and efficiency of street fighting were copiously discussed; ladies were invited to throw vitriol from their windows on the Queen's troops, and to fling empty bottles before the cavalry that they might stumble and fall. Precise instructions were given, week after week, for the erection of barricades, the perforation of walls, and other means of attack and defence in the war against the Queen.
On arriving in Paris, the Emperor Alexander took up his quarters at the house of Talleyrand, and there the King of Prussia, Prince Schwarzenberg and others came to consult. Talleyrand now spoke out, and declared that it would be madness to treat with Buonaparte; the only course was to restore the Bourbons, under certain limits. As early as the 12th of March the Duke of Angoulême had entered Bourdeaux, and had there proclaimed, amid acclamations, Louis XVIII. The Comte d'Artois came along in the rear of the Allied army, and had everywhere issued printed circulars, calling on the people to unite under their ancient family, and have no more tyranny, no more war, no more conscriptions. This paper had also been extensively circulated in Paris. On the 1st of April the walls of Paris were everywhere placarded by two proclamations, side by side, one from the Emperor Alexander, declaring that the Allied sovereigns would no longer negotiate with Napoleon nor any of his family, and the other from the municipality of Paris, declaring that, in consequence of the tyranny of Napoleon, they had renounced the allegiance of the usurper, and returned to that of their legitimate sovereign. On the same day the Senate, under the guidance of Talleyrand, decreed that he had violated and suppressed the constitution which he had sworn to maintain; had chained up the press, and employed it to disseminate his own false statements; drained the nation, and exhausted its people and resources in wars of mere personal ambition; and, finally, had refused to treat on honourable conditions: for these and other plentifully-supplied causes, he had ceased to reign, and the nation was therefore absolved from all oaths sworn to him. This decree, on the 2nd and 3rd of April, was subscribed by the public bodies in and around Paris. A Provisional Government was appointed.
But the year 1809 opened with one auspicious circumstance. There was no relief from the necessity of continuing the flight; but the proud Corsican, who hoped to annihilate the "English leopards," was suddenly arrested in his pursuit, and called away to contend with other foes. On the 1st of January he was in Astorga, and from the heights above it could see the straggling rear of the British army. Nothing but the most imperative urgency prevented him from following, and seeking a triumph over the hated British—but that urgency was upon him. Pressing dispatches from France informed him that the North was in ferment, and that Austria was taking the field. The intelligence was too serious to admit of a moment's delay; but he made sure that Soult could now conquer the British, and on the 2nd he turned his face northward, and travelled to Paris with a speed equal to that with which he had reached Spain.The discontents occasioned by the South Sea scheme and its issue had caused the Jacobites to conceive fresh hopes of success, and their spirits were still more elevated by the birth of a son to the Pretender. The business of this faction was conducted in England by a junto or council, amongst the chief members of which were the Earls of Arran and Orrery, Lords North and Gower, and the Bishop of Rochester. Lord Oxford had been invited to put himself at the head of this council of five, but everything of a decided nature was out of his character. He continued to correspond with the leaders of the faction, but he declined putting himself too forward. In fact, his habitual irresolution was now doubled by advancing infirmities, and he died three years afterwards. Though several of the junto were men of parliamentary, and North of military experience, Atterbury was the undoubted head of it. The period of confusion created by the South Sea agitation was first pitched on for a new attempt, then that of the general election, which had taken place in March, and, finally, it was deferred till the king should have gone to Hanover, according to his custom, in the summer.
Napoleon Buonaparte, who had appeared so anxious for peace with Britain, was, in truth, greatly rejoiced at the rejection of his proposals, for it furnished him with the pleas which he desired, for the still more extended schemes of military ambition that he entertained. He issued a proclamation complaining of the obstinate hostility of Britain, and called on the people to furnish men and arms to conquer peace by force. Having placed Moreau at the head of the army on the Rhine, Buonaparte prepared for his favourite project of reconquering Italy. He had judged right in sending Moreau to Germany, who took care to prevent the Austrians from sending reinforcements to Italy to increase Buonaparte's difficulties; and another circumstance, most auspicious to the Chief Consul, was the fact that Paul of Russia, offended at the Austrians for not better supporting his generals, Korsakoff and Suvaroff, had withdrawn his army from the campaign. The Austrians, under Mélas, in the north of Italy, amounted to one hundred and forty thousand men. They had spent the winter on the plains of Piedmont, and contemplated, in the spring, reducing Genoa, by assistance from the British fleet, and then, penetrating into Provence, to join the Royalists there, ready to take arms under Generals Willot and Pichegru. Massena, freed by the retreat of the Russians from his confinement at Zurich, lay, with an army of forty thousand, between Genoa and the Var; but his troops had suffered great distress from want of provisions, and whole regiments had abandoned their posts, and, with drums beating and colours flying, had marched back into France. Buonaparte first arrested their desertion by several stirring appeals to the soldiers, and then prepared to march with a strong army of reserve through the Alps, and to take Mélas unexpectedly in the rear. To effect this it was necessary to deceive the Austrians as to his intentions; and for this purpose he assembled a pretended army of reserve at Dijon, as if meaning to obstruct the march of the Austrians southward. To favour the delusion, Buonaparte went to Dijon, and reviewed the pretended army of reserve with much display, he then got quietly away to Lausanne, and pushed across the Great St. Bernard, amidst incredible difficulties.In the midst of these secret correspondences the queen was seized at Windsor with a serious illness, and, considering the general state of her health, it was most threatening. The hopes of the Jacobites rose wonderfully; the Funds went rapidly down; there was a great run upon the Bank, and the Directors were filled with consternation by a report of an armament being ready in the ports of France to bring over the Pretender at the first news of Anne's decease. They sent to the Lord Treasurer to inform him of the danger which menaced the public credit. The whole of London was in excitement, from a report that the queen was actually dead. The Whigs did not conceal their joy, but were hurrying to and fro, and meeting in large numbers at the Earl of Wharton's. The Lord Treasurer, to keep down the public alarm, remained in town, and contented himself with sending expresses to obtain constant news of the queen's state, for his hurrying to Windsor would have had an inconceivable effect. He, therefore, let himself be seen publicly where he could be questioned regarding the condition of the queen, and gave assurances that she was better. To allay the panic, Anne was induced to sign a letter prepared for her, announcing to Sir Samuel Stancer, the Lord Mayor, that she was now recovering, and would be in town and open Parliament on the 16th of February. This news being confirmed, those who had been too hasty in pulling off their masks found some awkwardness in fitting them on again. The Press was active. Steele published a pamphlet called "The Crisis," in advocacy of the Revolution, and on the danger of a Popish succession; whilst on the other hand came out a reply, supposed to be written by Swift, not without a few touches from Bolingbroke; it was styled "The Public Spirit of the Whigs," and was distinguished by all the sarcasm of the authors. The queen's recovery, and the fact that the French armament was a fiction, quieted the storm and again restored the Funds.
Disappointed in their hopes from England, educated Roman Catholic opinion in Ireland began to drift towards the United Irishmen, in spite of the peasants' war that was rife in various parts of the country between the members of the two religions. Suddenly their expectations received an unlooked-for impulse. During the spring of 1794 Pitt determined to send over Lord Fitzwilliam, who was heir to the Marquis of Rockingham and a prominent member of the Portland Whigs, as Lord-Lieutenant. It was clearly understood that Fitzwilliam should be allowed to inaugurate a policy of reform, but Pitt wished that reform to be gradual and cautious. It is plain that he gave Grattan intimation to that effect, and that Grattan thought the stipulation a reasonable one, but it is equally clear that he somehow or other failed to make much impression upon Fitzwilliam. No sooner had the new Lord-Lieutenant arrived in Ireland than he proceeded to dismiss Castle officials before he could possibly have had time to inquire into the rights and wrongs of their cases, and with equal abruptness turned out the Attorney, and Solicitor-General, and Mr. Beresford, the Commissioner of Revenue, the head of the most powerful of the Protestant families. The result was a violent outcry, which was increased when he proceeded, in conjunction with Grattan, to draw up a Bill for the immediate granting of the Catholic claims. The Ascendency party clamoured for his recall, and the Lord Chancellor Fitzgibbon represented to the king that to admit Roman Catholics to Parliament would be to violate his Coronation Oath. Pitt was obliged to give way, and on March 25th, 1794, Fitzwilliam left Ireland, amidst every sign of national mourning. The incident is a melancholy one, but a calm review of the circumstances produces the conclusion that the indiscretion of Lord Fitzwilliam was very much the cause of it.
Towards the end of William IV.'s reign the style of ladies' dress suddenly changed. The unshapely short-waisted robe was succeeded by one of ampler dimensions, longer and fuller, with a moderate amount of crinoline—enough to give dignity and grace to the figure, but not expanding to the same absurd extent as afterwards—and long pointed stomachers. The bonnets were considerably reduced in size. The ball dresses at the beginning of the Victorian reign became more like those of a later day, except that they were then made of heavy, rich materials—silk, satin, brocade, etc. The style of the sleeve varied, but one of the fashions at this time was a puffing at the shoulder, and sloping gradually down, commonly called the "leg-of-mutton sleeve." The cloaks were large and full, enveloping the whole figure, and reaching almost to the ground.Sir J. G. Blackwood, created Lord Dufferin.
The campaign in Flanders commenced with the highest expectation on the part of England. Cumberland had now obtained the great object of his ambition—the command of the Allied army; and the conqueror of Culloden was confidently expected to show himself the conqueror of Marshal Saxe and of France. But Cumberland, who was no match for Marshal Saxe, found the Dutch and Austrians, as usual, vastly deficient in their stipulated quotas. The French, hoping to intimidate the sluggish and wavering Dutch, threatened to send twenty thousand men into Dutch Flanders, if the States did not choose to negotiate for a separate peace. The menace, however, had the effect of rousing Holland to some degree of action. When the vanguard of Saxe's army, under Count L?wendahl, burst into Dutch Flanders, and reduced the frontier forts of Sluys, Sas-van-Ghent, and Hulst, the Dutch rose against their dastardly governors, and once more placed a prince of the House of Nassau in the Stadtholdership. William of Nassau, who had married Anne, daughter of George II. of England, was, unfortunately, not only nominated Stadtholder, but Captain-General and Lord High Admiral; and, being equally desirous of martial glory with his brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, he headed the Dutch army, and immediately began to contend with Cumberland for dictation as to the movements of the army. In these disastrous circumstances, the Allies came to blows with the French at the village of Laufeldt, before Maestricht. The Dutch in the centre gave way and fled; the Austrians on the right, under Marshal Batthyani, would not advance out of their fortified position; the brunt of the whole onset, therefore, fell upon the English. Cumberland found himself engaged with the whole French army, directed by the masterly mind of Saxe, and animated by the presence of Louis himself. The dispositions of Cumberland were bad, but the bravery of the British troops was never more remarkable. Though it was impossible for them to prevail against such overwhelming numbers, they did not retreat before they had, according to Saxe's own acknowledgment, killed or wounded nine thousand of the French.They succeeded in landing unobserved by any of the sentinels posted along the shore, where they had to wait for the boats fetching over the second detachment, there not being boats enough. Before this arrived, they began to climb the rocks by a narrow track, so steep and rugged that they could only ascend by clinging to the bushes and projecting crags. Directly above their heads was a watch-post of a captain and a hundred and fifty men. There, as they drew near the summit, Colonel Howe—a brother of Lord Howe, who fell at Ticonderoga—leading the van, the watch became aware of a noise, and fired down the rocks, directed by the sound. The English soldiers imprudently returned the volley upwards, instead of reserving it until they had gained the ascent. They continued their scramble up, however, with redoubled ardour, and the French, on their sudden appearance, panic-struck, fled. The second detachment soon followed them, and the whole little army stood on the heights above the town before the break of day.WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE. (See p. 235.)详情
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