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He next marched to St. Jean d'Acre, and summoned it to surrender. The pacha, named, from his fierce cruelties, Djezzaar, or the Butcher, instead of returning an answer, cut off the head of the messenger. Buonaparte vowed an awful revenge. But the pacha had warned Sir Sidney Smith, who was off the coast ready to convey the Turkish army to Egypt, of the appearance of the French before Acre; and Sir Sidney, so famous already for his exploits at Toulon, where he and Buonaparte had met, sailed into the port with two ships of the line, the Tigre and the Theseus. Scarcely had Sir Sidney arrived, when he heard of the approach of a French frigate flotilla bringing to Buonaparte artillery, ammunition, and machines for the siege. He captured seven vessels out of the nine, and turned the artillery on the walls against the French themselves. A French royalist officer, General Phillippeaux, took charge of these cannon. The siege began on the 17th of March, and ended on the 21st of May—a period of sixty-five days, during which eight desperate assaults had been made, and eleven as desperate sallies. At one time Buonaparte had to march to Mount Tabor to disperse an army of Moslems; at another, he succeeded in making himself master of a tower which commanded the rest of the fortifications; but Sir Sidney Smith, himself leading on a body of his seamen armed with pikes, drove the French, in a hand-to-hand fight, from the tower. Buonaparte, one day walking on the hill still called C?ur de Lion's Mount, pointing to Acre, said to Murat, "The fate of the East depends upon yonder petty tower." Buonaparte had now, however, lost several of his best generals, and retreat was inevitable; but he endeavoured to cover the disgrace of it by asserting that it was the plague raging at Acre that drove him from it. On the march he proposed to Desgenettes, the surgeon, to end the lives of some of the wounded who encumbered him, by poisoning them with opium. Desgenettes replied indignantly that his art was employed to save, and not to kill. But the proposal soon grew into a rumour that it had been carried into execution, and that not on a few dozens, but on several hundreds—a rumour which continued to be believed for many years, not only by the other European nations, but by Buonaparte's own army. He continued his march back to Cairo, burning the crops and villages by the way, in revenge for the hostility of the natives. He reached Cairo on the 14th of June, his reputation much diminished by his repulse.The naval transactions of 1810 were almost wholly confined to watching the French, Spanish, and Italian coasts, to thwart the French, who, on their part, were continually on the watch for any of our blockading ships being driven by the weather, or called to some other station, in order to run out and convey men and stores into Spain. The last action of Lord Collingwood took place in this service. Though his health was fast failing, and he had repeatedly entreated the Admiralty to allow him to give up the command and go home to his family—the only chance of his long survival—they always refused. His complaint was declared by the faculty to be owing to his long confinement on board ships, and he had now scarcely set foot on shore for three years. But notwithstanding all this, with a singular selfishness the Admiralty kept him on board, and he was too high-minded to resign his commission whilst he could be of service to his country. In this state of health he was lying off Toulon, blockading that port, when he was driven to Minorca by a gale of wind. He had regained the coast of Catalonia, when he heard that the French fleet had issued from Toulon, and were making for Barcelona. The whole British fleet were in exultation; but on sighting this supposed fleet it was found to consist only of three sail of the line, two frigates, and about twenty other vessels, carrying provisions to the French army at Barcelona. They no sooner caught view of the British fleet than they made off in all haste, and the British gave chase. Admiral Martin was the first to come up with them in the Gulf of Lyons, where two of the ships of the line ran ashore, and were set fire to by the French admiral, Baudin. Two others ran into the harbour of Cette; and eleven of the store-ships ran into the Bay of Rooas, and took refuge under the powerful batteries; but Lord Collingwood, in spite of the batteries, sent in the ships' boats, and in the face of the batteries, and of boarding nets, set fire to and destroyed them. Five other store-ships were captured. This was the last exploit of the brave and worthy Collingwood. His health gave way so fast, that, having in vain endeavoured again to induce the Admiralty to relieve him of his command, expressly assuring them that he was quite worn out, on the 3rd of March he surrendered his post to Rear-Admiral Martin, and set sail in the Ville de Paris for England. But it was too late; he died at sea on the 7th of March, 1810. Very few admirals have done more signal service, or have displayed a more sterling English character than Lord Collingwood; and perhaps none were ever more grudgingly rewarded or so unfeelingly treated by the Admiralty, who, in fact, killed him by a selfish retention of his services, when they could be continued only at the cost of his life.[481]

The style of St. Paul's, and, indeed, of all Wren's churches, is neither Grecian nor Gothic, but Italian, influenced by the fashion which Bernini, the Italian architect of Louis XIV., had introduced into France. It is a class of architecture of which the Grecian is the basis, but which is so freely innovated upon as to leave little general resemblance. In its different parts we have columns and pilasters of every Grecian and, indeed, Roman order, pediments, peristyles, architraves, and friezes, mingled up with windows of all sorts, and all kinds of recesses and projections, the fa?ades and intercolumniations ornamented with festoons, and wreaths, and human masks, and the whole surmounted by a great Eastern dome, and by campaniles partaking of[159] all the compilations of the main buildings. St. Paul's itself is a noble building, notwithstanding the manifest gleanings from the antique and the medi?val, and their combination into a whole which has nothing original but their combination into one superb design. Besides St. Paul's, the rest of Wren's churches are disappointing, and we cannot avoid lamenting that he had lost the sense of the beauty of Gothic architecture, especially when we call to mind the exquisite churches of that style which adorn so many of the Continental cities. Whilst the exteriors of Wren's churches show heavily in their huddled-up situations in London streets, their interiors, in which much more of the Grecian and Roman styles is introduced, are equally heavy, and wanting in that pliant grace which distinguishes the interiors of Gothic cathedrals. Perhaps the noblest work of Wren next to St. Paul's is Greenwich Hospital, which is more purely Grecian, and therefore displays a more graceful and majestic aspect. The Palace of Hampton Court, attached to the fine old Tudor pile of Cardinal Wolsey, is a great square mass, in which the Dutch taste of William is said to have set aside Wren's original design. But surely William did not compel him to erect that (in such circumstances) ponderous barbarism of a Grecian colonnade in the second quadrangle of Hampton Court, attaching it to a Gothic building. In fact, neither Wren nor Inigo Jones appears to have had the slightest sense of the incongruity of such conjunctions. Jones actually erected a Grecian screen to the beautiful Gothic choir of Winchester Cathedral, and placed a Grecian bishop's throne in it, amid the glorious canopy-work of that choir. The return to a better taste swept these monstrosities away.

Notwithstanding the hopes which might have been fairly entertained that the measure of Reform would have been rendered complete throughout the kingdom, a considerable time elapsed before its benefits were extended to the sister country; and a large amount of persevering exertion was required before a measure for the purpose was carried through Parliament, although its necessity was unquestionable. This arose from certain difficulties which it was not found easy to overcome, so as to meet the views, or, at least, to secure the acquiescence, of the various parties in the House. And hence it happened that it was not until 1840 that an Act was passed for the regulation of municipal corporations in Ireland, after repeated struggles which had to be renewed from year to year, and the question was at length only settled by a sort of compromise. On the 7th of February, 1837, Lord John Russell moved for leave to bring in the Irish Municipal Bill, which was passed by a majority of 55; but the consideration of it was adjourned in the Peers till it was seen what course Ministers were to adopt with regard to the Irish Tithe Bill. Early in 1838 the Bill was again introduced, when Sir Robert Peel, admitting the principle by not opposing the second reading, moved that the qualification should be £10. The motion was lost, but a similar one was made in the Upper House, and carried by a majority of 60. Other alterations were made, which induced Lord John Russell to relinquish his efforts for another year. In 1839 he resumed his task, and the second reading was carried by a majority of 26. Once more Sir Robert Peel proposed the £10 qualification for the franchise, which was rejected in the Commons, but adopted in the Lords by nearly the same majorities as before. Thus baffled again, the noble lord gave up the measure for the Session. In February, 1840, the Bill was introduced by Lord Morpeth with a qualification of £8. Sir Robert Peel now admitted that a settlement of the question was indispensable. With his support the Bill passed the Commons by a majority of 148. It also passed the Lords, and on the 18th of August received the Royal Assent.

THE FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.

The new Administration arranged itself as follows:—The Duke of Portland, First Lord of the Treasury; Lord North, Home Secretary; Fox, Secretary for Foreign Affairs; the Earl of Carlisle, Privy Seal; Lord John Cavendish, again Chancellor of the Exchequer; Admiral Lord Keppel, the head of the Admiralty again; Lord Stormont, President of the Council; the great stumbling block, Thurlow, removed from the Woolsack, and the Great Seal put into commission; Burke again Paymaster of the Forces, and his brother Richard as Secretary to the Treasury in conjunction with Sheridan. Such was this strange and medley association, well deserving Burke's own description of a former Administration, as of a strange assemblage of creatures, "all pigging together in one truckle-bed." Those who formed exclusively the Cabinet were Portland, North, Fox, Cavendish, Carlisle, Keppel, and Stormont, so that the great Whigs had taken care again to shut out Burke, who was only a man of genius. Such an incongruous company could not long hold together. The king did not conceal his indignation at seeing Fox in office; the whole Court openly expressed its loathing of the anomalous union; the country had no confidence in it; Fox felt that he had wounded his popularity by his sudden and violent change.

During the months of April and May Florence and all the other towns of Tuscany recovered from the revolutionary fever, and returned to their allegiance. At Bologna the Austrians met with a determined resistance. The garrison consisted of 3,000 men, including some hundreds of the Swiss Guards, who had abandoned the service of the Pope. They defied the Austrians, stating that the Madonna was all for resistance, and was actively engaged in turning aside the rockets of the enemy. But the heavy artillery did its deadly work notwithstanding; and after a short bombardment the white flag was hung out, the city capitulated, and the garrison laid down their arms, but were permitted to march out unmolested. Ancona also capitulated on the 10th, and Ferrara was occupied without resistance by Count Thurn. In fact, the counter-revolution was successful all over Central Italy, except in the Papal States, which now became the centre of universal interest. The leaders of the revolutionary party, chased from the other cities of Italy, were warmly welcomed at Rome, and gladly entered the ranks of its defenders.The town, the castle, the arms, horses, and military stores being surrendered to the prince, and the militia and invalids having marched out, a council of war was called to determine future proceedings. Some proposed to march against Wade and bring him to action, others to return to Scotland, but Charles still insisted on marching forward. Lord George Murray was the only one who at all seconded him, and he did not recommend marching far into England without more encouragement than there yet appeared; but as the prince was anxious to ascertain that point, he said he was sure his army, small as it was, would follow him. Charles expressed his conviction that his friends in Lancashire waited only for their arrival; and the Marquis D'Eguilles declaring his expectation of a speedy landing of a French army, under this assurance the council consented to the advance.

In America, during this time, various encounters had taken place between the English and American forces. Washington, in spite of the severity of the winter weather, was pressing the blockade of Boston. But the difficulties with[223] which he had to contend were so enormous, that, had General Howe had any real notion of them, as he ought to have had, he might have beaten off the American troops over and over again. His troops, it is true, only amounted to about seven thousand, and Washington's to about fifteen thousand; but besides the deficiency of powder in Washington's camp, the terms on which his troops served were such as kept him in constant uncertainty. This was the condition of things when, early in March, Washington commenced acting on the offensive. He threw up entrenchments on Dorchester Heights, overlooking and commanding both Boston town and harbour. Taking advantage of a dark night, on the 4th of March he sent a strong detachment to the Heights, who, before mining, threw up a redoubt, which made it necessary for General Howe to dislodge them, or evacuate the place. It seems amazing, after the affair of Bunker's Hill, that Howe had not seen the necessity of occupying the post himself. He now, however, prepared to attack the redoubt, and the soldiers were eager for the enterprise. The vanguard fell down to Castle William, at which place the ascent was to be made; and on the morrow, the 5th of March, the anniversary of what was termed the Massacre of Boston, the fight was to take place. A violent storm, however, arose, rendering the crossing of the water impracticable. By the time that it ceased, the Americans had so strengthened their works, that it was deemed a useless waste of life to attempt to carry them. The only alternative was the evacuation of Boston. Howe had long been persuaded that it would be much better to make the British headquarters at New York, where there were few American troops, and where the king's friends were numerous; and this certainly was true, unless he had mustered resolution and sought to disperse his enemies when they were in a state of disorder and deficiency of ammunition that insured his certain success. As it was, he was now most ignominiously cooped up, and in hourly jeopardy of being shelled out of the place. He had obtained the permission of his Government for this movement, and he now set about it in earnest. When, however, he came to embark, another example was given of that shameful neglect which pervaded the whole of the British civil department of the military service. When the transports were examined, they were found totally destitute of provisions and forage. No direct compact was made between Howe and Washington regarding the evacuation; but an indirect communication and understanding on the subject was entered into—through the "select Men" of Boston—that no injury should be done to the town during it, provided the troops were unmolested in embarking. Before departing, however, the English totally dismantled and partly demolished Castle William. On the 17th, the last of the British troops were on board; and that afternoon Boston was entered in triumph by General Putnam, at the head of the vanguard.

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The Government of England saw the necessity of coming to some conclusion on the subject of Irish commerce, which should remove the distress, and, as a consequence, the disorder. The Irish Government, at the instigation of the English Administration, sent over Commissioners to consult with the Board of Trade in London, and certain terms being agreed upon, these were introduced by Mr. Orde, the Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, to the Irish House of Commons, on the 7th of February. These were, that all articles not of the growth of Great Britain or Ireland should be imported into each country from the other, under the same regulations and duties as were imposed on direct importation, and with the same drawbacks; that all prohibitions in either country against the importation of articles grown, produced, or manufactured in the other should be rescinded, and the duties equalised. There were some other resolutions relating to internal taxation, to facilitate the corn trade, and some details in foreign and international commerce. These, after some debate, were passed on the 11th, and, being agreed to by the Lords, were transmitted to England.

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