Such was Massena's situation, so early as the commencement of November—having to maintain his army in a country reduced to a foodless desert by the art of his masterly antagonist, and, instead of being able to drive the British before him, finding them menacing him on all sides, so that he dispatched General Foy to make his way with a strong escort to Ciudad Rodrigo, and thence to proceed with all speed to Paris, to explain to the Emperor the real state of affairs. The state was that the whole of Portugal, except the very ground on which Massena was encamped, was in possession of the British and the Portuguese. There was no possibility of approaching Lisbon without forcing these lines at Torres Vedras, and that, if done at all, must be at the cost of as large an army as he possessed altogether. All the rest of Portugal—Oporto, Coimbra, Abrantes—and all the forts except Almeida were in the hands of the enemy. As to the destitution of Massena's army, we have the description from his own statements in letters to Napoleon, which were intercepted. From this information, Lord Wellington wrote in his dispatches: "It is impossible to describe the pecuniary and other distresses of the French army in the Peninsula. All the troops are months in arrears of pay; they are, in general, very badly clothed; they want horses, carriages, and equipments of every description; their troops subsist solely upon plunder; they receive no money, or scarcely any, from France, and they realise but little from their pecuniary contributions from Spain. Indeed, I have lately discovered that the expense of the pay and the hospitals alone of the French army in the Peninsula amounts to more than the sum stated in the financial exposé as the whole expense of the entire French army."
But the event which, far more than the battle of Baylen, showed Buonaparte and the world the sort of war he had provoked, was the siege of Saragossa. This ancient city, the capital of Aragon, stands on the right bank of the Ebro, with a suburb on the left bank connected with it by a bridge. Another river, a small one, called the Cozo, flowed into the Ebro, close under the city walls. The immediate neighbourhood of Saragossa is flat, and, on one side of the river, marshy; its walls were of brick, about ten feet high, old and ruinous, but in places they were only of mud. It might seem that no strong defence of such a place could be made against an army of thirteen thousand men—veterans who had served in Germany and Poland, and who were furnished with battering trains and every means of assault. But the streets of the city were narrow and crooked, the houses strong and lofty, the rooms being almost all vaulted, and therefore almost impervious to shell. The inhabitants were sixty thousand. Saragossa raised the flag of resistance the moment that Murat issued his proclamation on the 20th of May, informing the Spanish people of the abdication of Charles and Ferdinand, and calling on the Spaniards to submit to the new government. On the 16th of June General Lefebvre commenced the attack by driving in the outposts of Palafox, the Spanish General, and establishing strong guards before the gates, but the Spaniards fought him street by street. As fast as they knocked down the walls and scattered the sandbags, they were repaired again by the Spaniards. At this stage of the siege, Augustina, "the Maid of Saragossa," a handsome woman of the lower class, of about twenty-two years of age, arrived on one of the batteries with refreshments, and found every man who had defended it lying slain. The fire was so tremendous that the citizens hesitated to re-man the guns. Augustina sprang forward over the bodies of the dead and dying, snatched a match from the hand of a dead artilleryman, and fired off a six-and-twenty-pounder. She then jumped upon the gun, and vowed never to quit it alive during the siege. Such an example added new courage to the defenders; and the siege proceeded with incessant fury. At this juncture Buonaparte withdrew a part of the troops, ordering Lefebvre to join Bessières with them, and Verdier was left to continue the siege with about ten thousand men. The Saragossans, encouraged by this, and assisted by some regular troops, not only defended the town more vigorously than ever, but sent out detachments to cut off Verdier's supplies. After several determined assaults he raised the siege on the 13th of August.
VIEW OF CATO STREET, LONDON, SHOWING THE STABLE AT WHICH THE CONSPIRATORS WERE CAPTURED. A, LOFT; B, STABLE-DOOR. (From a print published in 1820.)
In the House of Lords several discussions took place on the dismissal of the Repeal magistrates. Lord Clanricarde, on the 14th of July, moved resolutions declaring that act of the Lord Chancellor "unconstitutional, unjust, and inexpedient." The Duke of Wellington met the motion by a direct negative. "These meetings," he said, "consisting of 10,000, 20,000, or 100,000 men—no matter the number of thousands—having been continued, I wish to know with what object they were continued? With a view to address Parliament to repeal the union? No, my lords; they were continued in order to obtain the desired repeal of the union by the terror of the people, and, if not by terror, by force and violence; and the persons calling these meetings were magistrates, the very men who must have been employed by the Government to resist such terror and violence, and to arrest those who were guilty of such breaches of the peace. That is the ground on which the Lord Chancellor of Ireland said to the magistrates, 'You must be dismissed if you attend, or invite attendance at such meetings.'" The Duke "regretted to learn there was poverty in Ireland; but," he asked, "was that poverty relieved by a march of twenty-five and thirty miles a day in spring and summer to hear seditious speeches? Was poverty relieved by subscribing to the Repeal rent?" The resolutions were negatived by a majority of 91 to 29. In a subsequent debate, arising out of a petition presented by Lord Roden from 5,000 Ulster Protestants, complaining that they had been prevented from celebrating the Orange anniversary, while the most flagrant breaches of the law were passed over in the case of those who wanted to overthrow the Constitution, which the Orangemen were sworn to defend, the Duke of Wellington, on that occasion, said that "nothing had been neglected by the Government that was necessary to preserve the peace of the country, and to meet all misfortunes and consequences which might result from the violence of the passions of those men who unfortunately guided the multitude in Ireland. He did not dispute the extent of the conspiracy or the dangers resulting from it; he did not deny the assistance received from foreigners of nearly all nations—disturbed and disturbing spirits, who were anxious to have an opportunity of injuring and deteriorating the great prosperity of this country—but he felt confident that the measures adopted by the Government would enable it to resist all, and preserve the peace."Accordingly, petitions were sent in from several of the principal men-of-war lying at Portsmouth, to Lord Howe, the commander of the Channel fleet, praying him to intercede with the Admiralty for the same liberality towards the seamen of the royal navy and their families as had been shown to the army and militia, in increase of pay and better provisions. Lord Howe, instead of complying with this reasonable desire, sent the petitions to the port-admiral, Sir Peter Parker, and to Lord Bridport, who commanded the Channel fleet under Howe. They treated the petitions as the work of some ill-disposed person, and therefore of no consequence; but Parker was very soon compelled to inform Lord Spencer, the head of the Admiralty, that he had discovered that there was a general conspiracy to take the command of the ships from the officers on the 16th of April. To test this, orders were immediately issued to put out to sea; and the moment that Lord Bridport signalled this order to the fleet, the effect was seen. The sailors all ran up into the rigging and gave several tremendous cheers. They instantly followed up this by taking the command from the officers, and sending two delegates from each ship to meet on board the Queen Charlotte, Lord Howe's flag ship. They thence issued orders for all the seamen to swear fidelity to the cause, and the next day they all swore. They kept part of the officers on board as hostages, and put others, whom they accused of oppression, on shore. They next passed resolutions to maintain order, and treat the confined officers with all due respect. They then drew up a petition to the Admiralty stating their grievances, and respectfully praying for redress. This brought down to Portsmouth Lord Spencer, and other lords of the Admiralty, where they met in council with Bridport and other admirals. Had these admirals shown a proper attention to the health and claims of these men, their grievances must long ago have ceased; but though they were perfectly well aware of them, they now proposed, along with the Admiralty, to recommend the granting of part of their demands. The deputies replied that they sought nothing but what was reasonable, and would never lift an anchor till those terms were granted. This Admiralty committee then offered some of the terms, but left out the proposal that the pensions of the Greenwich veterans should be raised from seven pounds to ten pounds, and the crews of men-of-war should have vegetables when in port. The sailors, indignant at this miserable parsimony, returned on board and hoisted the red flag at every mast-head. This was a sign that no concession would be made. Yet, on the 22nd, the delegates addressed letters to the Admiralty, and to Lord Bridport, firm, but respectful. Government then tried its usual resource, the proclamation of a pardon, but without taking notice of the necessary concessions. With this proclamation, Lord Bridport went the next day on board the Royal George, and assured the seamen that he had brought a royal pardon, and also the redress of all their grievances. On this assurance, the crew hauled down the red flag, and all the other ships did the same.
The expedition against England was at this moment actually in motion. The squadrons of Brest and Rochefort were already united under the command of Admiral Roquefeuille, and sailing up the Channel to clear the way for the transports containing the soldiers. Sir John Norris had been appointed Admiral of our Channel fleet, consisting of twenty-one ships of the line. He had lain at Spithead, but had quitted that station and sailed into the Downs, where he was joined by other ships from Chatham; and thus was not only superior in number to the French, but had the advantage of being well acquainted with the coasts, he having long been Captain of Deal Castle. Roquefeuille sailed right up to the Isle of Wight, and, observing no vessels off Spithead, he, in his French egotism, concluded that the fleet had sought shelter in Portsmouth harbour. He therefore lost no time in despatching a small vessel to Dunkirk to hasten on his armament. Seven thousand men were instantly sent on board transports, and the prince and Marshal Saxe, who was to take command of the land force, accompanied them. Roquefeuille, meanwhile, proceeding on his voyage, came to anchor off Dungeness, which he had no sooner done than he beheld the British fleet bearing down upon him in much greater force than his own, for he had only fifteen ships of the line and five frigates. The destruction of the French fleet appeared inevitable, but Sir John Norris this time justly incurred the censure of lingering. He thought, from the state of the tide and the approach of night, it was better to defer the attack till morning; and, when morning came, no Frenchmen were to be seen. The French admiral, much more active than poor old Sir John, had slipped his cables and made the best of his way homewards.Charles landed in Lochnanuagh on the 25th of July, and was conducted to a farm-house belonging to Clanranald. He then despatched letters to the Highland chiefs who were in his interest. Principal amongst these were Cameron of Lochiel, Sir Alexander Macdonald, and Macleod. Lochiel was as much confounded at the proposal to commence a rebellion without foreign support as the Macdonalds. For a long time Lochiel stood out, and gave the strongest reasons for his decision; but Charles exclaimed, "I am resolved to put all to the hazard. I will erect the Royal Standard, and tell the people of Britain that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, or to perish in the attempt. Lochiel, who, my father has always told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home, and learn from the newspapers the fate of his prince." "Not so!" instantly replied the impulsive Highlander. "I will share the fate of my prince, whatever it may be, and so shall every man over whom nature or fortune has given me any power." The decision of Lochiel determined the whole Highlands. The Macdonalds of Skye held back when sent for, but numbers of others were immediately influenced by the example of Lochiel. Macdonald of Keppoch, Macdonald of Glengarry, and numbers of others, sent in their adhesion. Charles then removed to Kinloch Moidart, the residence of the chief of that name, where he was joined by Murray of Broughton, who brought with him from the south the manifestoes of Charles ready printed. Charles appointed him his secretary, which post he continued to hold during the expedition.
Meanwhile Lord Ashley, a staunch upholder of the Corn Laws, in a letter to his constituents of Dorsetshire declared his opinion "that the destiny of the Corn Laws was fixed," and that it would be wise to consider "how best to break the force of an inevitable blow." Mr. Bickham and Captain Estcott, also strong defenders of the landlords' monopoly, published their conviction that the Corn Laws were no longer tenable; and on the 22nd of November Lord John Russell, who was at Edinburgh, addressed a letter to the electors of the City of London, which was duly circulated throughout the kingdom, and which contained the following remarkable passages:—The workhouse test, then, operated powerfully in keeping down pauperism; but another cause came into operation still more influential, namely, the Law of Settlement. By the Act 13 and 14 Charles II. a legal settlement in a parish was declared to be gained by birth, or by inhabitancy, apprenticeship, or service for forty days; but within that period any two justices were authorised, upon complaint being made to them by the churchwardens or overseers, if they thought a new entrant likely to become chargeable, to remove him, unless he either occupied a tenement of the annual value of ten pounds, or gave sufficient security that he would indemnify the parish for whatever loss it might incur on his account. And by a subsequent Act, 3 William III., every newcomer was obliged to give notice to the churchwarden of his arrival. This notice should be read in church after divine service, and then commenced the forty days during which objection might be made to his settlement. In case of objection, if he remained it was by sufferance, and he could be removed the moment he married, or was likely to become chargeable. A settlement might also be obtained by being hired for a year when unmarried or childless, and remaining the whole of that time in the service of one master; or being bound an apprentice to a person who had obtained a settlement. The effect of this system was actually to depopulate many parishes. The author of a valuable pamphlet on the subject, Mr. Alcock, stated that gentlemen were led by this system to adopt all sorts of expedients to hinder the poor from marrying, to discharge servants in their last quarter, to evict small tenants, and pull down cottages; so that several parishes were in a manner depopulated, while England complained of want of useful hands for agriculture, for manufactures, and for the land and sea services.
Whilst Dumouriez had thus overrun the Netherlands, other French generals had been equally pushing on aggressions. Custine, with about twenty thousand men, had marched upon the German towns on the Rhine; had taken Spires, Worms, and Mayence by the 21st of October. These towns abounded with Democrats, who had imbibed the grand doctrine of the Rights of Man, and laboured, to their cost, under the same delusion as the Belgians—that the French were coming solely for their liberation and advantage. Custine advanced to Frankfort-on-the-Main, which he plundered without mercy. Custine called loudly for co-operation from Kellermann; but Kellermann not complying, he was superseded by Beurnonville, who was ordered to take Trèves. He attempted it, but too late in the season, and failed. Custine, who had advanced too far from the main army to support his position, still, however, garrisoned Frankfort with two thousand men, and took up his own quarters at Ober-Ursel and Homburg, a little below Frankfort, in the commencement of December.The Parliament of England met on the 13th of October. Pitt, not without cause, assumed much merit from the successes of the year; and, in truth, so far as military matters went, rarely had this country reaped such fame. We had triumphed in every quarter of the world. In January came the news of the capture of Goree; in June, of Guadeloupe; in August, that of the victory of Minden; in September, of the victory off Lagos; in October, of the conquest of Quebec; in November, of Hawke's victory off Quiberon. Horace Walpole said, "victories came so thick, that every morning we were obliged to ask what victory there was, for fear of missing one." At the same time, the condition of our trade warranted the inscription afterwards placed on Chatham's monument in the Guildhall, that he caused commerce to flourish with war.
Exasperated at the failure of this measure, a furious mob broke into the Irish House of Commons on the 15th of April, but they were soon quelled, and two of the ringleaders seized. The magistrates of Dublin were censured for observing the gathering of the mob and taking no measures to prevent its outbreak. The printer and supposed publisher of the Volunteers' Journal were called before the House and reprimanded, and a Bill was brought in and passed, to render publishers more amenable to the law. The spirit of violence still raged through the country. Tumultuous associations were formed under the name of Aggregate Bodies.On the 1st of February the inquiry into the crimes of Warren Hastings was renewed. The third charge of the impeachment, the treatment of the Begums, was undertaken by Sheridan, as the first was by Burke, and the second by Fox. We have stated the facts of that great oppression, and they were brought out in a most powerful and dramatic light by Sheridan in a speech of nearly six hours. Sheridan had little knowledge of India; but he was well supplied with the facts from the records of the India House and the promptings of Francis, who was familiar with the country and the events. The effect of Sheridan's charge far exceeded all that had gone before it. When he sat down almost the whole House burst forth in a storm of clappings and hurrahs. Fox declared it the most astounding speech that he had ever heard, and Burke and Pitt gave similar evidence. The wit and pathos of it were equally amazing; but it was so badly reported as to be practically lost. The following remark, however, seems to be reported fairly accurately:—"He remembered to have heard an honourable and learned gentleman [Dundas] remark that there was something in the first frame and constitution of the Company which extended the sordid principles of their origin over all their successive operations, connecting with their civil policy, and even with their boldest achievements, the meanness of a pedlar and the profligacy of pirates. Alike in the political and the military line could be observed auctioneering ambassadors and trading generals; and thus we saw a revolution brought about by affidavits; an army employed in executing an arrest; a town besieged on a note of hand; a prince dethroned for the balance of an account. Thus it was they exhibited a government which united the mock majesty of a bloody sceptre and the little traffic of a merchant's counting-house—wielding a truncheon with one hand, and picking a pocket with the other." The debate was adjourned to the next day, for the House could not be brought to listen to any other person after this most intoxicating speech. The motion was carried by one hundred and seventy-five votes against sixty-eight.CHAPTER XXI. REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued).
The earliest idea of a steam-engine was that given by the Marquis of Worcester, in his "Century of Inventions," in 1663, which idea he obtained from De Caus, and reduced to action in London. The next step was to Papin's Digester, and then to Savery's so-called "Atmospheric Engine." This, improved by Newcomen in 1711, was introduced to drain mines in all parts of the kingdom, but especially in the coal-mines of the north and midland counties, and the copper mines of Cornwall. By its means many mines long disused through the accumulation of water were drained and made workable, and others were sunk much deeper. Smeaton, in 1769, greatly improved this engine, which, from its rapid working of a horizontal beam, was called by the miners a "Whimsey," as having a whimsical look. Watt, then a student in the University of Glasgow, commenced a series of experiments upon it, which, between 1759 and 1782, raised the engine to a pitch of perfection which made it applicable not only to draining water out of mines, but, by the discovery of the rotatory motion, enabled it to propel any kind of machinery, spin cotton, grind in mills of all kinds, and propel ships and carriages. Watt was greatly aided in his efforts by Mr. Matthew Boulton, and their engines were manufactured at Soho Works, near Birmingham. They did not, however, enjoy the fruits of their patents for protecting their inventions without many most unprincipled attempts to invade their rights by masters of mines and others, by which they were involved in very harassing law-suits. The first application of the steam-engine to the machinery of a cotton-mill was at Papplewick, in Nottinghamshire, in 1785, and the first mill built for the employment of machinery driven by an engine was in Manchester, in 1789. The first application of the engine to propel a vessel was at Dalswinton, on the Clyde, in 1788, the boat being constructed by Patrick Miller, James Taylor, and William Symington. In the following year these inventors made a second experiment on the Forth and Clyde Canal at the Carron Works, with perfect success, the vessel going at the rate of nearly seven miles an hour. Symington was probably the real machinist in this firm, and in 1802 he made a tug-boat on the Forth and Clyde Canal, under the patronage of Lord Dundas, which was worked extremely well by its engine. In 1807 Fulton followed up these experiments by launching a steam-boat on the Hudson, in America, after having in vain solicited the patronage of the British and French Governments for his enterprise. The proposal of Fulton, submitted to the Academy of Paris, was received with a burst of laughter, and Napoleon abandoned the project in deep disgust at having been, as he supposed, made a dupe of by Fulton. We have pointed out on the preceding page the period of the first application of the steam-engine to railways.He waited on Sir Spencer Compton with the royal command. This gentleman was confounded at the proposal to draw up the declaration to the Privy Council, and begged Walpole to do it for him. Walpole instantly recovered his spirits. He saw that such a man could never be his rival, and he advised his colleagues, if they went out of office, not to engage in any violent opposition, as they would soon be wanted again. He knew, too, that he had the queen in his favour, who was too clear-headed not to see that Walpole was alone the man for the time. To complete his favour with her he offered to procure her a jointure from Parliament of one hundred thousand pounds a year, whilst the impolitic Compton had proposed only sixty thousand pounds. The queen did not oppose the king's attempt to change the Ministry, but she impressed him with the danger of disturbing an already powerful and prosperous Cabinet, and she made him aware of the fact that Compton had been compelled to get Walpole to draw up the Declaration. Besides the liberal jointure which he promised she added that he intended to add one hundred thousand pounds to the Civil List. Horace Walpole, arriving from Paris, threw his whole weight into the scale, representing difficulties which must beset foreign negotiations in new hands. These combined circumstances told strongly on George; but the finish was put to Compton's government by his feeling overwhelmed by his own incompetence, and resigning the charge. The king had, therefore, nothing for it but to reappoint the old Ministry again. Some slight modifications took place. Lord Berkeley, who had joined the opposition of Carteret and Roxburgh, was replaced by Lord Torrington, and Compton received the title of Lord Wilmington, the Order of the Garter, and the Presidency of the Council. The coronation took place on the 11th of October, 1727.
Numbers of persons fled from the different towns to the frontiers of Holland, trade became stagnant, manufactories stood empty; the whole country began to assume a melancholy and ruinous aspect. Many of the refugees, formed into revolutionary clubs by French emissaries, were prepared not merely to oppose Joseph's despotism, but all monarchical government whatever. A powerful body of these placed themselves under the leadership of Van der Noot, a lawyer, who assumed the title of plenipotentiary agent of the people of Brabant; and of Van der Mersch, an officer who had served in the Seven Years' War, who was made their commander-in-chief. These two men were in league with the new Assembly of Breda, and issued their proclamations. These Trautmansdorff caused to be burnt by the executioner. The patriots in Brussels who sympathised with those in arms were, many of them, arrested; the citizens were disarmed, the fortifications strengthened by palisades, and every means of defence was resorted to.Here all further progress became impossible. The Spaniards having reduced their debt to less than one half the original sum, were fighting stoutly to reduce it to nothing. There appeared no chance but for arms to decide it. Cardinal Fleury, with his usual pacific disposition, made an effort to avert the war by guaranteeing to undertake the payment of the ninety-five thousand pounds by Spain, provided that the British fleet was withdrawn from the Mediterranean. But English spirit, even in Walpole, had now reached its limit of patience. The king and the nation were equally in a mood for war. Walpole, therefore, ceased to listen any longer to the Spanish objections, but took his stand on the true British ground of resistance to the right of search, and on that of an acknowledgment of all British rights and claims in North America. Instead of withdrawing the Mediterranean fleet, he ordered its reinforcement, sent Sir Chaloner Ogle with fresh ships to the West Indies, and Sir John Norris was ordered to put to sea with a third squadron. The above demands being peremptorily made from the Court of Madrid, and being rejected, war was proclaimed in London on the 19th of October. Walpole, who had reluctantly resorted to this master evil, as he heard the rejoicings, exclaimed, "They may ring the bells now, but they will soon be wringing their hands!" The first symptoms of the consequences which the war was likely to produce were seen in the new hopes which it awoke in the ranks of the Jacobites. Large numbers of them met at Edinburgh, and drew up a bond of association, pledging one another to take arms and venture life and fortune for the restoration of the Stuart. On the other hand, those nations on which England calculated for aid hung back and remained neutral. The Dutch were bound to furnish certain troops in case of war, and, before the declaration of it, Horace Walpole was despatched by his brother to demand their production; but they pleaded the menaces of France, which threatened them with invasion by fifty thousand men if they assisted the English, and which held out to them the prospect of their obtaining that trade to the Spanish colonies which England had enjoyed. As for France herself, she assumed an air rather ominous of war than of peace, and thus Britain was left alone in the contest.详情
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