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The conduct of the Government in reference to the Congress was the subject of an animated debate in the House of Commons, which began on April 28th and lasted three days. It was on a motion for a Vote of Censure for the feebleness of tone assumed by the Government in the negotiations with the Allies, an amendment having been proposed expressive of gratitude and approbation. In Mr. Canning's speech on the third day there was one remarkable passage, which clearly defined his foreign policy, and showed that it had a distinct purpose, and aimed at an object of the highest importance. He said:"I contend, sir, that whatever might grow out of a separate conflict between Spain and France (though matter for grave consideration) was less to be dreaded than that all the Great Powers of the Continent should have been arrayed together against Spain; and that although the first object, in point of importance, indeed, was to keep the peace altogether, to prevent any war against Spain, the first in point of time was to prevent a general war; to change the question from one affecting the Allies on the one side and Spain on the other, to a question between nation and nation. This, whatever the result might be, would reduce the quarrel to the size of ordinary events, and bring it within the scope of ordinary diplomacy. The immediate object of England, therefore, was to hinder the impress of a joint-character from being affixed to the war, if war there must be, with Spain; to take care that the war should not grow out of an assumed jurisdiction of the Congress; to keep within reasonable bounds that predominating areopagitical spirit which the memorandum of the British Cabinet of May, 1820, describes as beyond the sphere of the original conception and understood principles of the alliancean alliance never intended as a union for the government of the world, or for the superintendence of the internal affairs of other states; and this, I say, was accomplished." ST. JUST. (After the Portrait by David.)

In March of this year Lord Cornwallis had brought a war in India with the implacable enemy of the British to a very successful close. Early in the preceding year, 1791, he had reinstated our ally, the Rajah of Travancore, in his dominions, and had further seized nearly all Tippoo's territories on the Malabar coast. He then determined to strike a decisive blow, by marching upon Tippoo's capital, Seringapatam. In February he took the city of Bangalore, and early in May he was on his route for Seringapatam. Tippoo was in the deepest consternation. Lord Cornwallis arrived in the neighbourhood of Seringapatam on the 13th of May, and immediately attacked Tippoo, who was drawn up with a large force. The Mysoreans broke and fled[395] before the British bayonets. The British army was in full view of the capital, and expected a rich booty, when Cornwallis was compelled to order a retreat. The forces of General Abercromby, who had to make his way from another quarter through the mountains, had not come up; neither had the Mahrattas, who were to join with twenty thousand men. The rains had set in, and the army was without provisions, for Tippoo had laid all the country waste. In these circumstances, Lord Cornwallis somewhat precipitately destroyed his battering guns, and retired from before Seringapatam. He sent word to Abercromby, who was now approaching, to retire also. On the 26th of May, the very first day of his retreat, the Mahrattas arrived; but as the rains continued and his soldiers were suffering from illness, he determined to retreat to Bangalore, where he procured four battering trains; and having laid in plentiful stores and obtained strong reinforcements, as soon as the season was favourable he again set out for Seringapatam. After taking different forts on his way, he appeared before that wealthy city on the 5th of February, 1792, in company with General Abercromby and a native force belonging to our ally, the Nizam. Tippoo was drawn up before the city, having between it and himself the rapid river Cauvery, and the place extremely well fortified and defended by batteries. He had forty thousand infantry and five thousand horse; but he was speedily defeated, and driven across the river into the city. There the British followed him, and, under the guidance of the brave generals, Medows and Abercromby, they soon penetrated so deeply into the place that Tippoo was compelled to capitulate. In these actions the British were said to have lost about six hundred men, Tippoo four thousand. [See larger version]

On the 18th of January, 1815, commenced the final retreat of the British to their ships. They were allowed to march away without molestation, taking all their guns and stores with them, except ten old ship guns of no value, which they rendered useless before they abandoned them. Andrew Jackson, afterwards President of the United States, commanded in this defence of New Orleans, and loud were the boastings of his prowess all over the States, when, in fact, he had not risked a man. His merit was to have shown what excellent shots his countrymen were, and how careful they were to keep out of the reach of shot themselves. So far as the British were concerned, they had shown not only their unparalleled bravery, but also, as on many such occasions, their great want of prudence. This sacrifice of life would have been spared by a single and much more effectual blockade, and the most lamentable part of the business was, that all the time peace had been made, though the news of it had not reached them. On the 1st of December the army resumed its march. They immediately found the effect of Cumberland's presence at Lichfield: they had to ford the Mersey near Stockport, and to carry the baggage and artillery over a rude wooden bridge, consisting of the trunks of trees thrown across, at Chorlton. That evening they reached Macclesfield. Lord George pushed on with his division to Congleton, whence he sent on Colonel[101] Kerr, who routed a small body of the Duke of Kingston's horse, and drove them towards Newcastle-under-Lyme. Kerr seized Captain Weir, well known as one of Cumberland's principal spies, and, by threatening him with the gallows, drew from him the particulars of the duke's numbers and position. It appeared that the duke was under the impression that the prince was directing his march towards Wales to join his partisans there, and having encouraged this notion by this advance, and led the duke to proceed as far as Stone, Lord George suddenly altered his route, and got to Ashbourne, and thence to Derby, thus throwing the road to London quite open, and being two or three days' march in advance of the duke. Charles entered Derby the same day, the 4th of December, and took up his quarters at a house belonging to the Earl of Exeter, at the bottom of Full Street.

During his absence from the extreme south, General Graham, with about four thousand British and Portuguese, had quitted Cadiz by sea, and proceeded to Alge?iras, where he landed, intending to take Victor, who was blockading Cadiz, in the rear. His artillery, meanwhile, was landed at Tarifa; and on marching thither by land, over dreadful mountain roads, he was joined, on the 27th of February, by the Spanish General Lape?a, with seven thousand men. Graham consented to the Spaniard taking the chief commandan ominous concession; and the united forcesoon after joined by a fresh body of about one thousand men, making the whole force about twelve thousandthen marched forward towards Medina Sidonia, through the most execrable roads. Victor was fully informed of the movements of this army, and advanced to support General Cassagne, who held Medina Sidonia. No sooner did he quit his lines before Cadiz than the Spanish General De Zogas crossed from the Isle de Leon, and menaced the left of the French army. On this Victor halted at Chiclana, and ordered Cassagne to join him there. He expected nothing less than that Lape?a would manage to join De Zogas, and that fresh forces, marching out of Cadiz and the Isle of Leon, would co-operate with them, and compel him to raise the siege altogether. But nothing so vigorous was to be expected from a Spanish general. Lape?a was so slow and cautious in his movements that[15] Graham could not get him to make any determined advance; and on arriving at the heights of Barrosa, which a Spanish force had been sent forward to occupy, this body of men had quitted their post, and Victor was in possession of these important positions, which completely stopped the way to Cadiz and at the same time rendered retreat almost equally impossible. Lape?a was skirmishing, at about three miles' distance, with an inconsiderable force, and the cavalry was also occupied in another direction. Seeing, therefore, no prospect of receiving aid from the Spaniards, General Graham determined to attack Marshal Victor, and drive him from the heights, though the latter's force was twice as strong as the former's. This Graham did after a most desperate struggle. Had Lape?a shown any vigour or activity, Victor's retreating army might have been prevented from regaining its old lines; but it was in vain that Graham urged him to the pursuit. Lord Wellington eulogised the brilliant action of the heights of Barrosa, in a letter to Graham, in the warmest terms, declaring that, had the Spanish general done his duty, there would have been an end of the blockade of Cadiz. As it was, Victor returned to his lines and steadily resumed the siege. In the meantime, Admiral Keats, with a body of British sailors and marines, had attacked and destroyed all the French batteries and redoubts on the bay of Cadiz, except that of Catina, which was too strong for his few hundred men to take. "The present order of things must not, cannot[280] last. There are three modes of proceeding: first, that of trying to go on as we have done; secondly, to adjust the question by concession, and such guards as may be deemed indispensable; thirdly, to put down the Association, and to crush the power of the priests. The first I hold to be impossible. The second is practicable and advisable. The third is only possible by supposing that you can reconstruct the House of Commons, and to suppose that is to suppose that you can totally alter the feelings of those who send them there. I believe nothing short of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act and martial law will effect the third proposition. This would effect it during their operation, and, perhaps, for a short time after they had ceased, and then every evil would return with accumulated weight. But no House of Commons would consent to these measures until there is open rebellion, and therefore till that occurs it is useless to think of them. The second mode of proceeding is, then, I conceive, the only practicable one; but the present is not propitious to effect even this. I abhor the idea of truckling to the overbearing Catholic demagogues. To make any movement towards conciliation under the present excitement and system of terror would revolt me; but I do most conscientiously, and after the most earnest consideration of the subject, give it as my conviction that the first moment of tranquillity should be seized to signify the intention of adjusting the question, lest another period of calm should not present itself." The English army was now in full march against them. About eight o'clock in the morning of April 16 a man who had been left asleep in the wood of Kilravock hastened to Culloden House, where Charles and his chief officers were resting, to announce that Cumberland's troops were coming. There was then a hurried running and riding to get the army drawn up to receive them. Cumberland came on with his army, divided into three columns of five battalions each. The artillery and baggage followed the second column along the sea-coast on the right; the cavalry covered the left wing, which stretched towards the hills. The men were all in the highest spirits, and even the regiments of horse, which had hitherto behaved so ill, seemed as though they meant to retrieve their characters to-day. The Highlanders were drawn up about half a mile from the part of the moor where they stood the day before, forming a sad contrast to Cumberland's troops, looking thin, and dreadfully fatigued. In placing them, also, a fatal mistake was made. They were drawn up in two lines, with a body of reserve; but the Clan Macdonald, which had always been accustomed to take their stand on the right since Robert Bruce placed them there in the battle of Bannockburn, were disgusted to find themselves now occupying the left. Instead of the Macdonalds now stood the Athol Brigade. As the battle began, a snow-storm began to blow in the faces of the Highlanders, which greatly confounded them.

Then came the Lake school, so called because the poets lived more or less amongst the lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland; but which would have been more correctly called the natural school, in contradistinction to the artificial school which they superseded. The chief of these were Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey. Wordsworth and Coleridge had travelled in Germany, when few Englishmen travelled there, and all of them had more or less imbibed that spirit of intense love of natural beauty and of mental philosophy which prevails in Germany. In Southey this evaporated in ballads of the wild and wonderful, with a strong tinge of Teutonic diablerie. In Wordsworth and Coleridge these elements sank deeper, and brought forth more lasting fruits. But there was another cause which went greatly to the formation of Wordsworth's poetic system. He was thoroughly indoctrinated by his early friends, Charles Lloyd and Thomas Wilkinson, members of the Society of Friends, with their theory of worship and psychology. They taught him that the spirit of God breathes through all nature, and that we have only to listen and receive. This system was enunciated in some of his lyrical poems, but it is the entire foundation of his great work, the "Excursion." In his earliest poems William Wordsworth (b. 1770; d. 1850) wrote according to the manner of the time, and there is nothing remarkable in them; but in his "Lyrical Ballads," the first of which appeared in 1798, there was an entire change. They were of the utmost simplicity of language, and some of them on subjects so homely that they excited the most unmeasured ridicule of the critics. In particular, the Edinburgh Review distinguished itself by its excessive contempt of them. The same fate awaited his successive publications, including his great work, the "Excursion;" and the tide of scorn was only turned by a series of laudatory criticisms by Professor Wilson, in Blackwood's Magazine, after which the same critics became very eulogistic.

Whilst these combined efforts were being made to unseat him, Walpole saw his Cabinet every day becoming more untrustworthy, more divided against him. The Duke of Newcastle was eagerly pressing forward to supplant him. He had entered into secret engagements with the Duke of Argyll, and Lord Chancellor Hardwicke threw himself into that clique. To these were added the Earl of Wilmington, formerly Sir Spencer Compton, who, forgetting his alarm at the idea of succeeding Walpole as Prime Minister, now was anxious for that honour. To add to these depressing circumstances, the king arrived from Hanover in a humour ready to lay his disgrace and failure at anybody's door. On the 4th of December he opened the new Parliament, and, conscious of his own contemptible figure after the submission to French dictation in Hanover, he took care to remind it that he had commenced the war only at the urgent desire and advice of both Houses, and that he had been particularly counselled to direct our naval efforts towards Spanish America.

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[249] 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.

The year 1756 opened with menaces to England of the most serious nature. The imbecility of the Ministry was beginning to tell in the neglect of its colonies and its defences. France threatened to invade us, and a navy of fifty thousand men was suddenly voted, and an army of thirty-four thousand two hundred and sixty-three of native troops; but as these were not ready, it was agreed to bring over eight thousand Hessians and Hanoverians. To pay for all this it was necessary to grant excessive supplies, and lay on new duties and taxes. In presenting the money bills in the month of May, Speaker Onslow could not avoid remarking that there were two circumstances which tended to create alarmforeign subsidies and foreign troops introduced, and nothing but their confidence in his Majesty could allay their fears, or give them confidence that their burdens would be soon reduced. There was, in fact, no chance for any such reduction, for wars, troubles, and disgraces were gathering around from various quarters. The first reverse came from the Mediterranean.

FLIGHT OF KING JOSEPH BUONAPARTE FROM VITTORIA. (See p. 58.)

ARRIVAL OF THE MAIL COACH. (See p. 420.)