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This Act, however, merely gave Bolingbroke the right to come back and live in security in England. His ambition could only be satisfied by the restoration of his estates and honours. Unfortunately for him, when he arrived in England, the king had sailed for Hanover, attended by Townshend and Carteret, and his great patroness, the Duchess of Kendal. He waited, therefore, on Walpole, who promptly rejected his offers. Mortified at this repulse, Bolingbroke returned to Paris, where a field of action had opened in which he was well calculated to figure.Being conveyed to St. John's, Burgoyne there disembarked, and on the 16th of June he commenced his march for Crown Point, the shipping following him by the lake. On the 1st of July he appeared before Ticonderoga. The place required ten thousand troops effectually to defend it; but St. Clair who commanded them had only three thousand, very indifferently armed and equipped. St. Clair saw at once that he must retire, as the Americans had already done, at Crown Point; but he sought to do it unobserved. Accordingly, in the night of the 5th of July the flight took place; but St. Clair's orders were immediately disobeyed; the soldiers fired the house which had been occupied by General de Fermoy, and the British were at once apprised of the retreat. The sailors soon broke up the obstructions at the mouth of the river, and a fleet of gunboats was in instant pursuit. They overtook the Americans near the falls of Skenesborough, and quickly mastered the protecting galleys, and destroyed the vessels. General Burgoyne followed with other gunboats containing troops, and at the same time dispatched Generals Fraser and Reisedel by land after St. Clair.

The same fate befell the troops of Ney, who had been sent to dislodge Bernadotte and Bülow before Berlin. He was beaten at Dennewitz on the 6th of September, with a loss of eighteen thousand men and eighty guns. Macdonald had lost on the Katzbach many thousands slain or dispersed, eighteen thousand prisoners, and a hundred and three guns. His army was nearly annihilated. Between this period and the end of September the French generals were defeated in every quarter: Davoust by Walmoden; another body of French by Platoff, on the 29th; Jerome by Czernicheff, on the 30th; and Lefebvre by Thielemann and Platoff, at Altenburg.On the 19th of June Paris was excited by the announcements of Buonaparte's bulletin that terrible defeats had been inflicted on the Prussians at Ligny, and on the British at Quatre Bras. A hundred cannon and thousands of prisoners were declared to be taken. The Imperialists were in ecstasies; the Royalists, in spite of the notorious falsehood of Buonaparte on such occasions, were dejected. On the 21st whispers were busily circulating that not only had a most dreadful pitched battle been fought, but that the fine French army which had so lately left France was utterly annihilated or dispersed. It was soon added that, instead of being at the head of victorious forces, as he had represented, Buonaparte had again fled from his army, and was in the Palace of the Elysée-Bourbon. And this last news was true. Napoleon had never stopped in his own flight till he reached Philippevillè. There he proposed to proceed to Grouchy, and put himself at the head of his division; but he heard that that too was defeated, and he hurried on to Paris, fearful of the steps that the two legislative Chambers might take.

Louis was succeeded for the time by the Duke of Orleans as Regent, who had other views, and was surrounded by other influences than the old king. He had secured the Regency in opposition to Madame Maintenon and the royal bastards. He changed all the ministers, and was not inclined to risk his government by making enemies of the English abroad, having sufficient of these at home. He had been for some time cultivating the good offices of the present English Government, which had offered to assist him with troops and money, if necessary, to secure the Regency. He had seen a good deal of the new Secretary of State, Stanhope, in Spain, and still maintained a correspondence with him. Lord Stair, the British Ambassador, therefore, was placed in a more influential position with the Regent, and the Pretender and his ministers were but coldly looked on.[See larger version]

With Lord Eldon, however, he held different language, complaining bitterly of the difficulties in which the Ministers had involved him. He is represented as struggling desperately in meshes from which he found it impossible to extricate himself; and, as usual with weak minds, he threw all the blame of his misery on others. In reference to an interview, Lord Eldon remarks: "I was not sent for afterwards, but went on Thursday, the 9th of April, with more addresses. In the second interview, which began a little before two o'clock, the king repeatedly—and with some minutes intervening between his repeated declarations, musing in silence in the interim—expressed his anguish, pain, and misery that the measure had ever been thought of, and as often declared that he had been most harshly and cruelly treated—that he had been treated as a man whose consent had been asked with a pistol pointed to his breast, or as obliged, if he did not give it, to leap down from a five-pair-of-stairs window. What could he do? What had he to fall back upon?" After relating much more in the same strain, Lord Eldon adds: "Little more passed, except occasional bursts of expression, 'What can I do? What can I now fall back upon? What can I fall back upon? I am miserable, wretched. My situation is dreadful; nobody about me to advise with. If I do give my consent, I will go to the baths after all, and from thence to Hanover. I'll return no more to England. I'll make no Roman Catholic peers; I will not do what this Bill will enable me to do. I'll return no more. Let them get a Catholic king in Clarence! [I think he also mentioned Sussex.] The people will see that I did not wish this.' There were the strongest appearances, certainly, of misery. He more than once stopped my leaving him. When the time came that I was to go, he threw his arms around my neck, and expressed great misery. I left him at about twenty minutes or a quarter before five. I certainly thought when I left him that he would express great difficulty, when the Bill was prepared for the Royal Assent, about giving it." The writer adds, sarcastically:—"I fear that it seemed to be given as a matter of course." Next day, Lord Eldon wrote to his daughter: "The fatal Bill received the Royal Assent yesterday afternoon. After all I had heard in my visits, not a day's delay. God bless us and His Church." At Windsor, on the 13th of April, the king pronounced over the Bill that he so hated the words—"Le Roy le veult."

Parliament having been prorogued, the members retired to their respective counties and boroughs, many of them out of humour with themselves and with the Government which they had heretofore[307] supported, and meditating revenge. An endeavour was made in the course of the summer to renew the political connection between the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Huskisson. The friends of the existing Administration felt the weakness of their position, deprived of their natural support, and liable to be outvoted at any time. The Tories had become perfectly rabid in their indignation, vehemently charging the Duke with violation of public faith, with want of statesmanship, with indifference to the wishes and necessities of the people, and with a determination to govern the country as if he were commanding an army. Their feelings were so excited that they joined in the Whig cry of Parliamentary Reform, and spoke of turning the bishops out of the House of Lords. It was to enable the Premier to brave this storm that he was induced by his friends to receive Mr. Huskisson at his country house. The Duke was personally civil, and even kind, to his visitor; but his recollections of the past were too strong to permit of his going farther. In the following Session negotiations were made with the other Canningites, but without success, as they had thrown in their lot with the Whigs.

Sir Walter Scott has, perhaps, left the most permanent traces behind him. We have on many occasions mentioned this illustrious writer; perhaps this is a fitting time to speak more in detail of his career. He was born, in 1771, of a very respectable family, at Edinburgh. He began his career as an author while very young; his earlier publications, though not successful in a pecuniary way, were greatly admired by good judges; and his undoubted talents, as well as his family connections, introduced him to men high in rank, whose influence became valuable to him, and also to the most distinguished literary characters of the time. His appointment as sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire, by securing him a competent income, while its duties demanded but little of his time, enabled him to devote himself to his favourite pursuits; and his resources were further augmented by a small patrimony which he obtained at the death of his father, and by property he received with the lady whom he married. At this period he produced several poems, some of which were of considerable length, and he acquired a large amount of celebrity. "Marmion" appeared in 1808, and "The Lady of the Lake" in 1810. His income from various sources became, after some time, very considerable; and happy would it have been for him had he been content with it. But ambition, of which he had long shown symptoms, became a master passion, and he yielded fatally to its influence. To hasten the acquisition of wealth, as a means of adding to the consequence and importance of his family, which was the dream of his life, he became a partner in a large publishing firm, which afterwards involved him in its ruin, and whose liabilities swallowed up the profits of a most successful career. The demands which it continually made on his resources compelled him to undertake literary drudgery, in addition to his ordinary labours; and the magnitude of the enterprises filled him with continual anxiety. His time was unremittingly occupied: from 1815 to 1825 he vanished, indeed, from public view; yet he was never more thoroughly employed. "Waverley" made its appearance in 1814; but the name of the writer was, for some time, involved in impenetrable mystery. Its success was unexampled, and it was followed by many similar productions. When the hour of Sir Walter Scott's seemingly greatest prosperity had arrived, and his most sanguine expectations[437] appeared to be nearly realised, the crash came. The firm of which he had so long been a secret partner stopped payment; this event, besides entailing upon him immense pecuniary loss, inflicted a deep wound on his feelings by proclaiming to the world his connection with mercantile speculations. His conduct upon this trying occasion was, however, in accordance with his whole life; he refused to avail himself of any legal technicalities for the purpose of diminishing his responsibilities; and he not only gave up to the creditors of the concern with which he was so unfortunately connected all he then possessed, but devoted the energies of the remainder of his life to make up the large deficit that still remained. He afterwards realised the enormous sum of £40,000 by his writings, and shortly after his death his debts were paid in full by his executors. But his exertions had been too much for him; he became ultimately a wreck both in body and mind; every effort to recover health was in vain; the last few months of his life passed with very rare intervals of consciousness; and he expired, it may be said, prematurely, in the sixty-first year of his age. He ranks high as a poet, but far higher as the discoverer of a new world of fiction; in describing which, however numerous those who attempt to follow the course which he pursued, he is little likely ever to have a successful rival. He died in 1832, and so belongs more properly to the reign of George III.[52]

The Committee of Inquiry, stimulated by the disappointment of the public, began preparations for a fresh report; but their labours were cut short by the termination of the Session. In order to conciliate in some degree public opinion, Ministers hastened to allow the passing of a Bill to exclude certain officers from the House of Commons; they passed another to encourage the linen manufacture; a third, to regulate the trade of the Colonies; and a fourth, to prevent the marriage of lunatics. They voted forty thousand seamen and sixty-two thousand landsmen for the service of the current year. The whole expenditure of the year amounted to nearly six million pounds, which was raised by a land-tax of four shillings in the pound; by a malt-tax; by a million from the sinking fund; and by other resources. They provided for the subsidies to Denmark and Hesse-Cassel, and voted another five hundred thousand pounds to the Queen of Hungary. On the 15th of July the king prorogued Parliament; at the same time assuring the two Houses that a peace was concluded between the Queen of Hungary and the King of Prussia, through his mediation; and that the late successes of the Austrian arms were in a great measure owing to the generous assistance of the British nation.


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The Church after the Revolution—The Non-Jurors—The Act of Toleration—Comprehension Bill—Laxity of Religion—The Wesleys and Whitefield—Foundation of Methodism—Extension of the Movement—Literature—Survivors of the Stuart Period—Prose Writers: Bishop Burnet—Philosophers: Locke—Bishop Berkeley, etc.—Novelists: Fielding, Richardson, Smollett, and Sterne—Dr. Davenant—Bentley—Swift—Addison—Addison and Steele—Bolingbroke—Daniel Defoe—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu—Poets: Pope—His Prose Writings—Gay, Prior, Young, etc.—James Thomson, Allan Ramsay, Gray, and Minor Lights—Dramatists—Physical Science: Astronomers—Mathematicians—Electricians—Chemists—Medical Discoverers—Music: Purcell—Italian Music—Handel—Church Music—The Academy of Ancient Music and other Societies—Architecture—Wren and his Buildings—St. Paul's—His Churches and Palaces—Vanbrugh—Gibbs—Hawksmoor—Minor Architects—Painting and Sculpture: Lely and Kneller—Other Foreign Painters and Decorators—Thornhill—Other English Artists—Hogarth and his Works—Exhibition of British Artists—Sculptors—Shipping, Colonies, Commerce, and Manufactures—Increase of Canals—Woollen and Silk Trades—Irish Linens—Lace—Iron, Copper, and other Industries—Increase of the large Towns.Anglesey, K.G."The first steamboat that was worked for hire in Britain was the Comet, a small vessel with an engine of three horse-power. Two years later the Elizabeth, of eight horse-power, and the Clyde, of fourteen horse-power, were placed upon the river Clyde. Thus Scotland has had the honour of leading the way in this great line of improvement. In 1820 there were but three steam-vessels built and registered in England, four in Scotland, and one in Ireland. In 1826 there were fifty in England, and twenty-two in Scotland, with 9,000 tons burden. The building of steamers proceeded regularly, with an increasing amount of tonnage, till the number rose in 1849 to 1,296 steam-vessels, the aggregate burden of which was 177,310 tons. They were distributed as follows:—In the ports of England, 865 vessels, 103,154 tons; Scotland, 166 vessels, 29,206 tons; Ireland, 111 vessels, 26,369 tons; the Channel Islands, 7 vessels, 955 tons; the colonies, 147 vessels, 17,626 tons. A Committee of the House of Commons was appointed in June, 1837, to inquire into the best means of establishing communication by steam with India by way of the Red Sea. During the year arrangements were made for the establishment of a regular monthly steam communication between Great Britain and India by way of the Red Sea upon the following basis:—"The Government undertakes the transmission of the monthly mails between Great Britain and Alexandria at the sole charge of the public; and the East India Company undertakes the transmission of these[422] mails between Alexandria and Bombay, upon condition that one-half of the expense incurred in the purchase and navigation of steam-vessels, and of any other expense incurred in the service, is defrayed by the Government, which is to receive the whole money connected with postage of letters between London and Bombay." This arrangement was carried out, and a further economy of time was obtained by the overland route to Marseilles, instead of transmitting the mails by steam-packets from Falmouth through the Strait of Gibraltar. In this way the journey was shortened to the extent of more than 1,000 miles, the direct distance by Marseilles and Malta being 5,238 miles, and by way of Falmouth, 6,310 miles. This system of conveyance was maintained till 1841, when the Government entered into a contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which undertook to employ powerful steam-vessels for the carrying of letters and passengers between England and Egypt, and between Suez, Ceylon, Madras, and Calcutta, towards the expenses of which the East India Company undertook to contribute £20,000 per annum for five years. After some time there was a further extension of the plan, by which the Government engaged to contribute £50,000 per annum towards the expense of the line of steam-packets between Bombay and Suez, £115,000 per annum for the service between Calcutta and Suez, and £45,000 for the service between Ceylon and Hong Kong, making a total of £210,000 per annum, of which one-third was to be repaid by the East India Company. By these arrangements was obtained a regular and safe steam communication twice a month to India, and once a month to China. We may judge of the extent of the intercourse thus carried on by the fact that in 1836 Great Britain received from Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, and Ceylon about 180,000 letters, and sent to those places in the same year nearly 112,000 letters.



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