“疫”后花开 迈向诗和远方龙门·花开之约

Meeting of ParliamentEugene's Visit to EnglandMinisterial Attacks on the DutchMeeting of the Negotiators at UtrechtThe Question of the Spanish ThroneSham Fighting against the FrenchDebates on the Peace in ParliamentWithdrawal of the English TroopsConsequent Triumph of the FrenchBolingbroke's Visit to ParisBreak-up of the Grand AllianceMore Negotiations with the PretenderDeath of GodolphinMarlborough retires to the ContinentSignature of the PeaceThe Treaty of CommerceIts Rejection by the CommonsThe Whereabouts of the PretenderDissolution of ParliamentThe General ElectionIntrigues with St. GermainsBolingbroke's ActivityHis Friends in OfficeThe Empire and Spain make PeaceThe Pretender declines Overtures to Change his ReligionIllness of the QueenTax on NewspapersAttack upon the "Public Spirit of the Whigs"Steele expelled the HouseProposals against the Pretender and for bringing over the Electoral PrinceCounter-scheme for bringing over the PretenderObstacles to the SchemeThe Queen's Letter to the ElectorDeath of the Electress SophiaThe Schism BillIts Progress through the HousesReward for the Apprehension of the PretenderFall of OxfordBolingbroke's Jacobite CabinetIllness of the QueenThe Whig Coup d'tatRuin and Desperation of the JacobitesDeath of AnneProclamation of George I.

In the morning of that daya fine and sunny dayHill leading on our right drove the French from the heights of La Puebla. This was not done without a severe struggle. The Spanish general, Morillo, led on his brigade bravely, and was wounded. Colonel the Hon. G. Cadogan, in the action on the heights, was also mortally wounded, but refused to quit the field, and was carried to an elevation where he could watch the progress of the battle while he lived. General Hill then pushed the French across the river Zadora and the defiles and heights beyond to the village of Subijana de Alava, which he took possession of, and the French left fell back on Vittoria. The other divisions, under Lord Dalhousie, Sir Thomas Picton, and General Cole, also crossed the river at different bridges or fords, and everywhere drove the French before them. The scene from the heights, which were crowded with people, was one of the most animating ever beheld; the British everywhere advancing amid the roar of cannon and musketry, the French retiring everywhere on Vittoria. In the meantime, our left, under Sir Thomas Graham, having a considerable number of Spanish and Portuguese troops in it, advanced to the heights beyond the Zadora, along the Bilbao road, and carried the village of Gamara Mayor, while the Spanish division of Longa carried that of Gamara Monor. Both the Spanish and Portuguese troops behaved admirably. While Major-General Robertson's brigade carried Gamara Mayor, Colonel Halkett's, supported by that of General Bradford, carried the village of Abechuco. Here a determined effort was made by the French to recover this post, but they were driven back by Major-General Oswald, with the fifth division.

On the morning of the 14th the transports, to their great relief, hove in sight, and Sir John hastened to get on board the sick, the horses, and the dismounted cavalry, and to prepare for a fight, for Soult was now close upon the town; the hills were crowded with his troops, and they were already skirmishing with his outposts. In these skirmishes Colonel Mackenzie was killed in endeavouring to seize some of the French cannon, planted on the same spot where the powder had just been blown up. The morning of the 16th passed without any attack from Soult, and Sir John proceeded with his arrangements for embarkation; but about noon the battle began. Soult had erected a powerful battery on some rocks at the extremity of his left, and commanding the village of Elvina, occupied by our troops. Sir David Baird was posted on the British right, opposite to the battery, and at no great distance from the village. The French made a dash at the village, under cover of the battery, and drove our men from it. The fight then became general. Soult had twenty thousand men, Sir John about fourteen thousand five hundred; but Soult had far more and heavier cannon, for Sir John had shipped all his artillery except twelve light guns. It was soon seen that the French cannon did vastly more execution than ours; and as the whole line was engaged, Sir John sent Sir E. Paget, with the whole of his reserve, to turn the left of a column that was outflanking Baird on the right, and to silence the battery, if possible. Another division, under General Frazer, was sent to support Paget, and the battle now raged furiously on the right, and about the village of Elvina, which was lost and taken once or twice. In this conflict Sir David Baird had his arm shattered by a cannon-ball, and was taken off the field. Major Stanhope was killed, and Major, afterwards General Sir Charles, Napier was wounded. But Paget drew back on the British right, and Sir John, seeing the 42nd Highlanders engaged, rode up to them and shouted, "Highlanders! remember Egypt!" and they rushed forward, driving all before them, till they were stopped by a stone wall. The battle, however, still raging, and the French bringing up reserves, the furious contest was renewed around the village of Elvina. Sir John then dispatched Captain, afterwards Lord, Hardinge, to bring up the Guards to support the 42nd Highlanders. Whilst awaiting their arrival, a cannon-ball, which had struck the ground, glanced forward again, and wounded Sir John on the right shoulder and breast. He was dashed from his horse, and was supposed to be killed; but the force of the ball having been partly spent, before Captain Hardinge could reach him he had raised himself, and was gazing earnestly after the 42nd and the other troops engaged. When he had seen his soldiers driving the French before them, he consented to be borne to the rear. He was carried away by a Highland sergeant and three soldiers, in a blanket, his wound bleeding very much, and himself satisfied that his hurt was mortal. As he went, however, he repeatedly made the soldiers halt, that he might have another view of the battle. By night the French were beaten back in every direction; but the British general was dead, having lived only to receive the tidings of victory. During the night the troops were, most of them, got on board, and at midnight Sir John's remains were committed to the groundas he had always wished them to be, should he be killed in battleon the ramparts in the old citadel of Corunna. No coffin was to be procured, for coffins were not a Spanish fashion; but he was buried dressed as he was, and wrapt in his military cloak, literally as described in Wolfe's popular poem on his death. The chaplain read the burial service, and there his officers "left him alone with his glory," to make their own embarkation.

In preparation for this movement James the Pretender was to sail secretly to Spain, in readiness to cross to England; and he had already quitted his house in Rome and removed to a villa, the more unobserved to steal away at the appointed moment. Ormonde also had left Madrid and gone to a country seat half way to Bilbao, when the secret of the impending expedition was suddenly revealed by the French Government to that of England. The conspirators had been mad enough to apply to the Regent for five thousand troops, trusting that, notwithstanding his peaceful relations with Britain, he would secretly enjoy creating it some embarrassment. But in this, as in all other views, they proved more sanguine than profound. Sir Luke Schaub, the British Ambassador, was immediately informed of it on condition, it was said, that no one should die for it.

But if Great Britain was prosperous, the affairs of Canada got into a very disturbed state, and became a source of trouble for some time to the Government in the mother country. To the conflicting elements of race and religion were added the discontents arising from misgovernment by a distant Power not always sufficiently mindful of the interests of the colony. For many years after Lower Canada, a French province, had come into the possession of Britain, a large portion of the country westwardlying along the great lakesnow known as Upper Canada, nearly double the extent of England, was one vast forest, constituting the Indian hunting-ground. In 1791, when by an Act of the Imperial Parliament the colony received a constitution, and was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, with separate legislatures, the amount of the white population in Upper Canada was estimated at 50,000. Twenty years later it had increased to 77,000, and in 1825 emigration had swelled its numbers to 158,000, which in 1830 was increased to 210,000, and in 1834 the population exceeded 320,000, the emigration for the last five years having proceeded at the rate of 12,000 a year. The disturbances which arose in 1834 caused a check to emigration; but when tranquillity was restored it went on rapidly increasing, till, in 1852, it was nearly a million. The increase[397] of wealth was not less remarkable. The total amount of assessable property, in 1830, was 1,854,965; 1835, 3,407,618; 1840, 4,608,843; 1845, 6,393,630. On the 12th of February Parliament was opened by a speech, not from the Prince Regent in person, but by commission, the commissioners being the[11] Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose, and the Earls Camden and Westmoreland. The speech was of the most belligerent character, recounting the success of our arms in the Indian seas, in repelling the attack of the Neapolitans on Sicily, and, above all, in the Peninsula. Lord Grenville opposed the address, considering the war as hopeless, and as mischievous to our interests. It was carried in both Houses without a division. Perceval, on the 21st, announced that the prince was desirous not to add any fresh burdens to the country in existing circumstances, and therefore declined any addition to his establishment as Regent.

SPADE GUINEA OF GEORGE III.

Meanwhile by the advice of Bute the king sent for Pitt. On the 27th of August he had an audience of the king at Buckingham House. Pitt, however, insisted on having in with him all, or nearly all, his old colleagues, and this was too much for the king; whilst not to have had them would have been too little for Pitt, who was too wise to take office without efficient and congenial colleagues. The king, nevertheless, did not openly object, but allowed Pitt to go away with the impression that he would assent to his demands. This was Saturday, and Pitt announced this belief to the Dukes of Devonshire and Newcastle, and the Marquis of Rockingham. But on Sunday Grenville had had an interview with the king, and finding that he considered Pitt's terms too hard, had laboured successfully to confirm him in that opinion. Accordingly, on Monday, at a second meeting, the king named the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Halifax, and George Grenville, for leading posts in the Cabinet, saying, "Poor George Grenville, he is your near relation, and you once loved him." Pitt said that it would not do, bowed and retired; the king saying, "My honour is concerned, and I must support it."

Rodney, who was still commanding in the West Indies, had been on the look-out for De Grasse, but, missing him, he had dispatched Sir Samuel Hood after him, supposing that he had made for New York. Hood had with him fourteen ships of the line, and, arriving at Sandy Hook on the 28th of August, he found that De Grasse had then sailed for the Chesapeake. Admiral Arbuthnot had been replaced by Admiral Graves, but Graves had only seven ships of the line, and of these only five fit for action. Taking the chief command, with these twenty-one ships Graves set sail for the Chesapeake, with Hood as second in command. There, on the 5th of September, he discerned the fleet of De Grasse at anchor, just within the Capes of Virginia, and blocking up York River with his frigates. Graves had his nineteen ships, De Grasse twenty-eight, and Nelson could have desired nothing better than such a sight in the narrow waters of the Chesapeake: not a ship would have escaped him; but Graves was no Nelson, and allowed De Grasse to cut his cables and run out to sea. There, indeed, Graves attacked him, but under infinitely greater disadvantages, at four o'clock in the afternoon. The night parted them, and De Grasse returned to his old anchorage in the Chesapeake, and Graves sailed away again for New York.

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 Belgiansthat 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 Trves. 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.

As at Eylau, so at Friedland, Napoleon made no attempt to follow the Russians. But the battle, nevertheless, produced important consequences. The King of Prussia did not think himself safe at K?nigsberg, and he evacuated it; and the unhappy queen prepared, with her children, to fly to Riga. The Russians retreated to Tilsit, and there Alexander made up his mind to negotiate with Napoleon. He was far from being in a condition to despair; Gustavus, the King of Sweden, was at the head of a considerable army at Stralsund; a British expedition was daily expected in the Baltic; the spirit of resistance was reawakening in Prussia; Schill, the gallant partisan leader, was again on horseback, with a numerous body of men, gathered in various quarters; and Hesse, Hanover, Brunswick, and other German provinces were prompt for revolt on the least occasion of encouragement. Buonaparte felt the peril of crossing the Niemen, and advancing into the vast deserts of Russia, with these dangerous elements in his rear. Besides, his presence was necessary in France. He had been absent from it nearly a year; he had drawn heavily on its resources, and a too long-continued strain without his personal influence might produce fatal consequences. To leave his army in the North was to leave it to certain defeat, and with the danger of having all Germany again in arms. These circumstances, well weighed by a man of genius and determination, would have induced him to make a resolute stand, and to draw his enemy into those wilds where he afterwards ruined himself, or to wear him out by delay. Alexander, however, had not the necessary qualities for such a policy of procrastination. He was now depressed by the sufferings of his army, and indignant against Britain.