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Most unexpectedly, however, the French were as desirous of peace as the Allies ought to have been. At sea and in Italy they had not been so successful as in Flanders. Admiral Anson had defeated them off Cape Finisterre, and taken six ships of the line, several frigates, and a great part of a numerous convoy; Admiral Hawke, off Belleisle, had taken six other ships of the line; and Commodore Fox took forty French merchantmen, richly laden, on their way from the West Indies. In fact, in all quarters of the world our fleet had the advantage, and had made such havoc with the French commerce as reduced the mercantile community to great distress. Prussia, which had remained inactive whilst Buonaparte was winning over Bavaria and Würtemberg to his interests, and while he was crushing Austria, now that she stood alone took the alarm, and complained that the French troops on the Rhine and in the Hanse Towns, which, by the Treaty of Pressburg, ought to have been withdrawn from Germany, remained. The Queen of Prussia and Prince Louis, the king's cousin, were extremely anti-Gallic. They had long tried to arouse the king to resist the French influence in Germany, to coalesce with Austria while it was time, and to remove Haugwitz from the Ministry, who was greatly inclined towards France. The Emperor Alexander professed himself ready to unite in this resistance to France, and Frederick William began now to listen to these counsels. He withdrew his minister, Lucchesini, from Paris, and sent General Knobelsdorff in his place. On the 1st of October Knobelsdorff presented to Talleyrand a long memorial, demanding that the French troops should re-cross the Rhine immediately, in compliance with the Treaty of Pressburg; that France should desist from throwing obstacles in the way of the promotion of a league in North Germany, comprehending all the States not included in the Confederation of the Rhine; and that the fortress of Wesel and those abbeys which Murat, since becoming Grand Duke of Berg and Cleve, had seized and attached to his territory, should be restored.

The disabilities under which the Roman Catholics laboured were a constant source of irritation in Ireland; the agitation upon the subject was becoming every day more formidable. Mr. Plunket was anxious to bring forward the question in the House of Commons, but he was urged by his colleagues to postpone it, from an apprehension that the time was not yet come to give it a fair consideration: the Cabinet was divided, the Chancellor was obstinate, and the king vacillating, if not double-minded. "As to the conduct of the king," writes Mr. Freemantle, a member of the Government, "it is inexplicable. He is praising Lord Liverpool on all occasions, and sending invitations to nobody but the Opposition. With regard to Ireland, I am quite satisfied the great man is holding the most conciliatory language to both partiesholding out success to the Catholics, and a determination to resist them to the Protestants."

Hail, adamantine steel! magnetic lord!

AMERICAN PROVINCES in 1763 AFTER THE CONTEMPORARY MAP by Peter Bell

[See larger version] In the House of Lords the comments on the Ministerial measures were characterised by much bitterness, both against the Government and the League; and the Duke of Richmond asked why Mr. Cobden was not created a peer, and placed on the Treasury Bench in the House of Lords? In the Commons the excitement among the Protectionist party was no less manifest; but the crowded House waited impatiently for the Minister's explanations. Lord Francis Egerton moved the Address, giving the key-note of the Ministerial plans by declaring that his own opinions on the Corn Laws had undergone a complete alteration, and imploring the House to come to "a full, satisfactory, and final settlement of the question." Mr. Beckett Denison, who seconded the motion, declared that experience had "driven" him to the same conclusion.

Soult sent on Marshal Victor, without delay, to surprise and seize Cadiz. But the Duke of Albuquerque, with eight or ten thousand men, had been called at the first alarm, and, making a rapid march of two hundred and sixty English miles, reached the city just before him. The garrison now consisted of twenty thousand menBritish, Spanish, and Portuguesecommanded chiefly by General Graham, an officer who had distinguished himself at Toulon, at the same time that Buonaparte first made his merit conspicuous. The British troops had been offered by Lord Wellington, and, though insolently refused by the Junta before, were now thankfully accepted.[602] Some were hastened from Torres Vedras, under command of the Hon. Major-General Stewart, and some from Gibraltar. The British, independent of the Portuguese under their command, amounted to six thousand. The Spanish authorities, having their eyes opened at length to the value of the British alliance, now gave the command of their little fleet to Admiral Purvis, who put the ships, twenty in number, into tolerable order, and joined them to his own squadron. With these moored across the harbour, he kept the sea open for all necessary supplies; and though Soult, accompanied by King Joseph, arrived on the 25th of February, and sat down before the place, occupying the country round from Rota to Chiclano, with twenty-five thousand men, he could make no impression against Cadiz, and the siege was continued till the 12th of August, 1812, when the successes of Wellington warned them to be moving. It was an essential advantage to Wellington's campaign that twenty-eight thousand French should thus be kept lying before this place.