The Fête de la Concorde took place on Sunday, the 21st of May, and passed off without any attempt at disturbance. On the contrary, the people were in excellent humour, and everything upon the surface of society seemed in keeping with the object of the festivity. On the 26th the Assembly decreed the perpetual banishment of Louis Philippe and his family, by a majority of 695 to 63. But the ex-king was not the only pretender who occupied the attention of the new Government; a far more dangerous one was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the Emperor and then an exile in London. He had gone over to Paris when the Republic was proclaimed, but acting on the advice of the Government, he quietly retired from the country. So potent, however, was still the charm that attached to the name of Napoleon, that his heir was elected a member of the National Assembly by no less than four constituencies. It was moreover discovered that money had been distributed in Paris by his partisans; that placards in his favour were posted upon the walls, and cries of "Vive Napoleon!" resounded through the city. Within four days, three journals had been established in Paris preparing the way for the candidature of Louis Napoleon as President. After a violent debate, it was resolved by a large majority that he should be permitted to take his seat as a representative. On the Monday following Paris was excited by a rumour that Louis Napoleon had arrived, and while Lamartine was speaking in the Assembly several shots were fired, one at the Commandant of the National Guard, another at an officer of the army, and this was done to the cry of "Vive l'Empereur Napoleon!" "This," said Lamartine, "is the first drop of blood that has stained our revolution; and if blood has now been shed, it has not been for liberty, but by military fanaticism, and in the name of an ambition sadly, if not voluntarily, mixed up with guilty man?uvres. When conspiracy is taken in flagrante delicto, with its hand dyed in French blood, the law should be voted by acclamation." He then proposed a decree, causing the law of banishment of 1832 against Louis Napoleon to be executed. It was voted by acclamation, the Assembly rising in a body, and shouting, "Vive la République!"
CHAPTER XIII. THE REIGN OF VICTORIA.CHAPTER X. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).
ELECTION MEETING IN IRELAND. (See p. 254.)Rt. Hon. Lodge Morris, made a peer.
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 ground—as he had always wished them to be, should he be killed in battle—on 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.
Lord Wellington came up with him on the 9th of April, in the meantime having had to get across the rapid Garonne, with all his artillery and stores, in the face of the French batteries. The next morning, the 10th, being Easter Sunday, Wellington attacked Soult in all his positions. These were remarkably strong, most of his troops being posted on well-fortified heights, bristling with cannon, various strongly-built houses being crammed with riflemen; while a network of vineyards and orchards, surrounded by stone walls, and intersected by streams, protected his men, and rendered the coming at them most difficult. The forces on both sides were nearly equal. Soult had about forty-two thousand men, and Wellington, besides his army composed of British, Germans, and Portuguese, had a division of fifteen thousand Spaniards. The difficulties of the situation far out-balanced the excess of about three thousand men on the British side; but every quarter was gallantly attacked and, after a severe conflict, carried. Soult retired into Toulouse, and during the ensuing night he evacuated it, and retreated to Carcassonne. The loss of the Allies in killed was six hundred, and about four thousand wounded. Soult confessed to three thousand two hundred killed and wounded, but we may calculate his total loss at little less than that of the Allies, although his troops had been protected by their stone walls and houses.
Well had it been for Murat could he have made up his mind to seek the same asylum; for it appears clear that it would have been granted him, for he was no longer dangerous. But he clung convulsively to the fortunes of Napoleon, and making his way in a small coasting vessel, he followed him to France, and reached the port of Fréjus on the 28th or 29th of May, where Buonaparte had landed on his return from Elba. From this place Murat wrote to Buonaparte through Fouché, offering his services to him; but Buonaparte, who would have been duly sensible of the services of Murat had he succeeded in holding Italy against the Austrians, and thus acting as an important divider of the efforts of the Austrians, was equally sensible of the little value of Murat as a mere individual, defeated, and having lost Italy. He refused to give him a word of reply. Murat accordingly lay in concealment with his followers, vainly hoping for a word of encouragement, till the news of the utter defeat of Buonaparte at Waterloo came upon him like the shock of an earthquake. The south of France was no longer a place for any who had been prominent amongst the retainers of Buonaparte; some of Murat's followers made haste to escape from the search and the vengeance of the Royalists. As for Murat himself, he wrote again to Fouché, imploring his good offices with the Allies to obtain him a passport for England. Receiving no response to this, Murat condescended to write a most imploring letter to Louis XVIII., but he had no time to wait for the slow progress of diplomatic life—he fled and, after many adventures, reached Corsica. There he was allowed to remain, and a few weeks would have brought him the assurance of entire freedom from enmity on the part of the Allies. But, unfortunately, by this time the shock of the utter overthrow and captivity of Buonaparte following on his own misfortunes, had overturned his intellect. He conceived the insane idea of recovering Naples by the same means that Buonaparte had for a while recovered Paris. A large number of Neapolitan and Corsican refugees encouraged him in the mad project.The first transactions of the campaign of 1795 which demand our attention, are those of Holland. To the British army these were most disastrous, and came to an end before the winter closed. The Duke of York had returned to England early in December, 1794, leaving the chief command to General Walmoden, a Hanoverian, second to whom was General Dundas. Walmoden had gone quietly into winter quarters in the isle of Bommel, forgetting that the firmness of the ice would soon leave him exposed with his small force to the overwhelming swarms of the French, under Pichegru, who, in the middle of December, crossed the Waal with two hundred thousand men, and drove in his lines. General Dundas advanced against him with eight thousand men, and, for the time, drove the French back, on the 30th of December, across the Waal. But this could not last with such disproportionate forces, especially as our troops were left with the most wretched commissariat, and an equally wretched medical staff; in fact, there were neither surgeons to attend the greater part of the wounded, nor medicines for the sick. On the 4th of January, 1795, the French came back with their overpowering numbers, and on the 6th the British were compelled to retire across the Leck, and continue their retreat, suffering indescribable miseries from the want of food, tents, and proper clothes, in the horrors of a Dutch winter. Notwithstanding this, the British repeatedly turned and drove back the enemy with heavy slaughter. But on the 11th of January Pichegru attacked them in a defile between Arnhem and Nimeguen, with a condensed force of seventy thousand men, and took every measure to destroy, or compel the surrender of, the whole British army. They, however, fought their way through and continued their march for the Elbe, the only quarter open to them. During this retreat they were less harassed by the French, who fell off to occupy Utrecht and Rotterdam, than by the fury of the winter and the hostility of the Jacobinised Dutch, who cursed them as the cause of all the sufferings of their country. Such was the end of Britain's campaign for the defence of her Dutch allies. Holland was proclaimed a free Republic under the protection of France, and Britain immediately commenced operations for indemnifying herself, by seizing the ships and colonies of her late ally in every quarter of the globe. They intercepted the homebound Dutch Indiamen, and when the Council of Government sent deputies to London to reclaim them, Lord Grenville, the Foreign Minister, asked them in what character they came. They replied, that they came as representatives of the sovereign people of Batavia. The Foreign Minister said he knew of no such Power, and declined to receive them. No time was lost in seizing the Dutch colonies and factories. On the 14th of July Admiral Sir G. Keith Elphinstone appeared in Table Bay, and landed a considerable force under command of Major-General Craig. They possessed themselves of Simon's Town and the strong fort of Muyzenberg, and in the beginning of September, being reinforced by another body of troops, under Major-General Alured Clarke, on the 23rd of that month they were masters of Cape Town. A similar activity was displayed in the East Indies; and in the course of the year, or early in 1796, all the Dutch possessions in Ceylon, Malacca, Cochin, Amboyna, and other places were surrendered to the British. The same seizures were in course of execution on the settlements of the Dutch in the West Indies, and on the coast of South America.
Lord Wellington, notwithstanding that the destruction of these armies, on which the defence of Andalusia and the provinces of the south depended, completely proved the justice of his statements to the Junta, was deeply chagrined by the circumstance. "I lament," he said, in his despatches, "that a cause which promised so well a few weeks ago, should have been so completely lost by the ignorance, presumption, and mismanagement of those to whose direction it was entrusted. I declare that, if they had preserved their two armies, or even one of them, the cause was safe. The French could have sent no reinforcements which could have been of any use; time would have been gained; the state of affairs would have daily improved; all the chances were in our favour; and, in the first moment of weakness, occasioned by any diversion on the Continent, or by the growing discontent of the French themselves with the war, the French armies must have been driven out of Spain." Lord Wellington's position was, by the destruction of these armies, left totally open, and he had for some time resolved to retire wholly into Portugal, and had been planning that system of defence which afterwards proved so astonishing to the French. Though he was left with about twenty thousand men to maintain himself against the whole French host in Spain, he never for a moment contemplated quitting the Peninsula, nor despaired of the final result. The experienced eye of Lord Wellington, after the battle of Vimiera, had, at a glance, seen the admirable capability of the mountain ranges of Torres Vedras for the construction of impregnable lines of defence for Lisbon. So far from holding any notion of being driven to his ships, like Sir John Moore, he was satisfied that, by fortifying the defiles through these hills, and keeping our ships on the Tagus and on the coast, he could defy all the armies of France. He proceeded now to Lisbon, where he arrived on the 10th of October, reconnoitred the hills, and, having done so, left with Colonel Fletcher, of the Engineers, a clearly written statement of all that he desired to be done, so as to make the double line of defences complete: to erect batteries on each side of the defiles through which the necessary roads ran, to erect breastworks and entrenchments where required, and to break down the bridges in front of them. He ascertained the precise time it would require to accomplish all this, and, ordering all to be carried on with the utmost quickness, he returned to Badajos, and next proceeded to Seville, to join his brother in urging on the Spanish Government the necessary measures for the defence of the country. After visiting Cadiz with his brother, he returned to his headquarters, where he had scarcely arrived on the 17th of November, when he received the news of the total overthrow of the Spaniards at Oca?a. He then made a deliberate and orderly retreat from Spain, crossing the Tagus at Abrantes, where he left General Hill with his division, supported by General Fane's brigade of heavy horse, and marched to Almeida, and quartered his army there in a more healthy situation. His troops were now also well supplied with provisions. During the long interval of repose—that is, till the following May—Wellington actively employed himself in putting life and order into the commissariat, baggage, and conveyance departments; and General Beresford, to whom the important function of disciplining the Portuguese troops was assigned, laboured in that with such effect, that he produced at the next campaign troops which, led by British officers, and mixed with British regiments, fought admirably. The Portuguese were wise enough to allow the British commander full control, and by this means they avoided those defeats and calamities which fell long and heavily on the Spaniards.
The main subject for consideration at that moment was the policy of continuing the Act for the suppression of the Catholic Association, which was to expire at the end of the Session of 1828. In connection with this subject a letter from Lord Anglesey came under the Ministry's consideration. "Do keep matters quiet in Parliament," he said, "if possible. The less that is said of Catholic and Protestant the better. It would be presumptuous to form an opinion, or even a sanguine hope, in so short a time, yet I cannot but think there is much reciprocal inclination to get rid of the bugbear, and soften down asperities. I am by no means sure that even the most violent would not be glad of an excuse for being less violent. Even at the Association they are at a loss to keep up the extreme irritation they had accomplished; and if they find they are not violently opposed, and that there is no disposition on the part of Government to coercion, I do believe they will dwindle into moderation. If, however, we have a mind to have a good blaze again, we may at once command it by re-enacting the expiring Bill, and when we have improved it and rendered it perfect, we shall find that it will not be acted upon. In short, I shall back Messrs. O'Connell's and Sheil's, and others' evasions against the Crown lawyers' laws."When Parliament opened on the 20th of January, 1778, the Opposition fell, as it were, in a mass upon the Ministry on this question. There was much dissatisfaction expressed at the Government allowing Liverpool, Manchester, and other places, to raise troops without consulting Parliament. It was declared to be a practice contrary to the Constitution and to the Coronation Oath. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke, on the 22nd of January, moved for an account of the numbers of troops so raised, with the names of the commanding officers. Lord North, whilst observing that this mode of raising troops showed the popularity of the war, and that the country was by no means in that helpless condition which a jealous and impatient faction represented it to be, readily granted the return. In the House of Lords the Earl of Abingdon moved to consult the judges on the legality of raising troops without authority of Parliament; but this motion was not pressed to a division. But, on the 4th of February, Sir Philip Jennings Clerke returned to his charge in the Commons. Lord North replied that this now hotly-decried practice was one which had been not only adopted, but highly approved of, in 1745, and again in 1759, when Lord Chatham was Minister, and that he had then thanked publicly those who had raised the troops for the honour and glory of their country. A motion was negatived by the Lords on the same day, to declare this practice unconstitutional, and a similar one later in the Session, introduced by Wilkes and supported by Burke.详情
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