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FATHER MATHEW AND THE FAMINE-STRICKEN POOR. (See p. 537.)But Hastings had scarcely terminated these proceedings, when the new members of Council, appointed under the Regulating Act, arrived. On the 19th of October, 1774, landed the three Councillors, Clavering, Monson, and Francis; Barwell had been some time in India. The presence of the three just arrived was eminently unwelcome to Hastings. He knew that they came with no friendly disposition towards him, and that Philip Francis, in particular, was most hostile. The letter of the Court of Directors recommended unanimity of counsels, but nothing was further from the views of the new members from Europe. As they were three, and Hastings and Barwell only two, they constituted a majority, and from the first moment commenced to undo almost everything that he had done, and carried their object. They denounced, and certainly with justice, the Rohilla war; they demanded that the whole correspondence of Middleton, the agent sent to the court of Oude by Hastings, should be laid before them. Hastings refused to produce much of it, as entirely of a private and personal nature; and they asserted that this was because these letters would not bear the light, and that the whole of Hastings' connection with Sujah Dowlah was the result of mercenary motives. In this they did the Governor-General injustice, for, though he drew money sternly and by every means from the India chiefs and people, it was rather for the Company than for himself. They ordered the recall of Middleton from Oude, deaf to the protests of Hastings that this was stamping his conduct with public odium, and weakening the hands of government in the eyes of the natives. Still, Middleton was recalled, and Mr. Bristow sent in his place. Hastings wrote home in the utmost alarm both to the Directors and to Lord North, prognosticating the greatest confusion and calamity from this state of anarchy; and Sujah Dowlah, regarding the proceedings of the new members of Council as directed against himself, and seeing in astonishment the authority of Hastings apparently at an end, was so greatly terrified that he sickened and died.

Lord Shannon, for his patronage in the Commons 45,000

[See larger version]But, in spite of the importance of these measures, there was one question which engrossed the attention of both parliament and the public far more than any other. This was the demand by Burke for the impeachment of Warren Hastings, late Governor-General of Bengal, for high crimes and misdemeanours there alleged to have been by him committed. It therefore becomes necessary at this point to resume our narrative of Indian affairs from the year 1760, which our connected view of the events of the American war necessarily suspended.Meanwhile Buonaparte had taken the route for Troyes and Dijon, ignorant of the rapid advance of the Allies on Paris. Never in any of his campaigns does he seem to have been so ill-informed of the movements of the enemy as at this most momentous juncture. On the 26th of March he was attacked by the flying squadrons of Winzengerode. At Doulaincourt he was startled by learning that Paris was on the point of being assaulted by the Allies. From this place he dispatched one courier after another to command the forces in Paris to hold out, and, ordering the army to march with all speed, he himself entered his carriage and was driven in all haste to Fontainebleau. Thence he was driving to Paris, when, at an inn, called La Cour de France, he met General Belliard with his cavalry, who gave him the confounding information that the Empress, King Joseph, and the Court had fled; that the Allies were in Paris, and a convention was signed. At this news he began to rave like an insane man, blamed Marmont and Mortieras, during his defeats, he had often bitterly upbraided his generals,blamed Joseph, and everybody but himself, and insisted on going to Paris, and seeing the Allies himself, but was at length persuaded to return to Fontainebleau, and ordered his army to assemble, as it came up on the heights of Longjumeau, behind the little river Essonnes.

Sir George Prevost now put himself at the head of the brave troops that had so lately advanced from conquest to conquest under Wellington. He had eleven thousand of these brave fellows, including a fine regiment of cavalry, and a numerous train of artillery. With such an army, an able general would not only have cleared the whole frontier of Canada, but would have inflicted a severe chastisement on the Americans in their own territory. The great object to be accomplished was the destruction of Sacketts Harbour, with which must fall at once the whole naval power of America on Lake Ontario. Every military man expected that this would be done; but Sir George, after waiting in a camp at Chamblay, advanced to Plattsburg Harbour, on Lake Champlain. But there he would do nothing till the American flotilla, which lay in the harbour, was also attacked. For this purpose Captain Downie was sent by Sir James Yeo from the Ontario squadron suddenly to take command of a squadron of a few ships and a miscellaneous naval force, as hastily mustered and knowing little of each otherDownie knowing only one of his officers. The ship which he commanded was just launched, was unfinished, and everything was in confusion: yet in this condition, Sir George Prevost insisted on their going into action against a superior and well-prepared American squadron, promising to make a simultaneous attack on the harbour and defences on land. Downie commenced the attack on the water, but found no co-operation from Sir George on shore, who stood still till he had seen Downie killed, and the unequal British vessels, three in number, fairly battered to pieces, and compelled to strike. And, after all, Sir George never did commence the attack on the fort with that fine army, which would have carried it in ten minutes, but marched back again, amid the inconceivable indignation of officers and men, who could not comprehend why they should be condemned to obey the orders of so disgraceful a poltroon. On their march, or rather retreat, they were insulted by the wondering Americans, and abandoned vast quantities of stores, ammunition, and provisions. The loss of men during this scandalous expedition was not more than two hundred; but eight hundred veteranswho had been accustomed to very different scenes, under a very different commanderin their resentment at his indignity went over to the enemy. In fact, had this unhappy general continued longer in command, the whole British force would have become thoroughly demoralised.This great debate was interrupted by a motion[523] brought on by Mr. O'Connell, on the impending famine in Ireland, which is chiefly memorable for a speech of Mr. Bright, in which, alluding to Sir Robert Peel's last address to the House, he said, "I watched the right honourable baronet go home last night, and I confess I envied him the ennobling feelings which must have filled his breast after delivering that speecha speech, I venture to say, more powerful and more to be admired than any speech ever heard in this House within the memory of any man in it." A further eloquent allusion to the Minister's newly acquired freedom from the enthralment of the bigoted among his party had a powerful effect upon the House, and it was observed by those who sat near Sir Robert Peel that the tears started to his eyes at this unexpected generosity from his old opponent.On the Continent the struggle against the French was renewed. The King of Naples and the Emperor of Austria, in alliance with Russia, determined to free Italy of them in the absence of Buonaparte; but without waiting for the arrival of the Austrians and Russians, Ferdinand mustered nearly forty thousand men, badly disciplined, and worse officered, and set out to drive the French from Rome. General Mack, still in high repute, was sent from Vienna to command this army, and Ferdinand, a most self-indulgent and unwarlike monarch, was advised to march with them in person. Nelson was employed, with an addition of some Portuguese ships, to land a division of five thousand men of this army at Leghorn. Mack, in true Austrian style, then divided the remaining thirty-two thousand men into five columns, and marched them by different routes towards Rome. Nelson had narrowly watched the man?uvres of Mack, and pronounced him incompetent, and that the whole would prove a failure. This was speedily realised. Ferdinand, with a portion of his forces, entered Rome in triumph on the 29th of November; but Championnet, the French general, who evacuated Rome to concentrate his forces at Terni, soon defeated the other divisions of the Neapolitan army in detail, and Ferdinand fled from Rome back to Naples. But there was now no security for him there. Championnet was marching on that capital with twenty thousand veteran soldiers, and Ferdinand availed himself of Nelson's fleet to get over to Palermo. The lazzaroni defended the deserted city for three days with incredible bravery against the French, but they were betrayed by a republican party in the city, which hoisted the tricolour flag, surrendered the forts to the enemy, and fired on the defenders from the Castle of St. Elmo, which commands the town. Championnet took possession of Naples on the 23rd of January, 1799, and proclaimed a republic under the title of "Respublica Parthenopea."

THE STANDARD OF PRINCE CHARLIE'S BODYGUARD, TAKEN AT CULLODEN. (In the possession of Sir Archibald Lamb at Beauport, Sussex.)But at length the Legislature adopted a measure which attempted to go to the root of one of the greatest evils that afflicted Ireland. This was a Bill for facilitating the transfer of encumbered estates, which was passed into law, and is generally known as the Encumbered Estates Act. It was introduced by the Solicitor-General, Sir Samuel Romilly, on the 26th of April. Nothing could be more unsatisfactory than the state of landed property in that country. Many of the estates had been in Chancery for a long series of years, under the management of receivers, and periodically let at rack-rents. Many others which were not in Chancery were so heavily mortgaged that the owners were merely nominal. Others again were so tied up by family settlements, or held by such defective titles, that they could not be transferred. Consequently, a great portion of the landed property of the country was in such a condition that capital could not be invested in it, or expended on it. The course of proceeding in Chancery was so slow, so expensive, so ruinous, and the court was so apparently incapable of reform, that nothing could be expected from that quarter. The Government, therefore, proposed to establish a commission, invested with all the powers of that court, and capable of exercising those powers in a summary manner, without delay and without expense, so that an encumbered estate could be at once sold, either wholly or in part, and a parliamentary title given, which should be good against all the world. This important measure met with general approval in both Houses. Indeed it was hailed with satisfaction by all classes of the community, with the exception of a portion of the Irish landed gentry. There were three commissioners appointed, lawyers of eminence and experience in connection with land. By a subsequent enactment in 1849, it was regulated as a permanent institution, under the title of the Landed Estates Court; the three commissioners were styled judges, ranking with the judges of the Law Courts. The number of petitions or applications for sale made to this court from the 17th of October, 1849, to the 1st of August, 1850, was 1,085, and of this number those by owners amounted to 177nearly one-sixth of the whole. The rental of the estates thus sought to be sold by the nominal proprietors, anxious to be relieved of their burdens, was 195,000 per annum, and the encumbrances affecting them amounted to no less than 3,260,000. The rental of the estates included in 1,085 applications, made by others not owners, amounted to 655,470 per annum, and the debt upon these amounted to the enormous sum of 12,400,348. One of the estates brought before the court had been in Chancery for seventy years, the original bill having been filed by Lord Mansfield in 1781. The estates were broken up into parcels for the convenience of purchasers, many of whom were the occupying tenants, and the great majority were Irishmen. Generally the properties brought their full value, estimated by the poor-law valuation, not by the rack rents which were set down in the agents' books, but never recovered. The amount of capital that lay dormant in Ireland, waiting for investment in land, may be inferred from the fact that in nine yearsfrom 1849 to 1858the sum of twenty-two millions sterling was paid for 2,380 estates. But in the pacification of Ireland the Act accomplished far less than was hoped by Sir Robert Peel, who practically forced the measure upon the Ministry. Men of capital looked for a fair percentage for their investments: many of them were merchants and solicitors, without any of the attachments that subsisted between the old race of landlords and their tenants, and they naturally dealt with land as they did with other mattersin a commercial spiritand evicted wholesale tenants who were unable to pay.

[See larger version]Lord Fitzgerald, a pension and peerage.

There arose a second school of mezzotint engravers, the chief of whom were Earlom, Reynolds, Daniell, Sutherland, and Westall. The strange but intellectual Blake was both painter and his own engraver, in a style of his own. Towards the end of the reign flourished, chiefly in architectural illustrations, Le Keux, John and Henry, pupils of Bazire, Roffe, Ransom, and Scott; in landscape, William and George Cooke, William and Edward Finden, Byrne, and Pye; in portrait, Charles and James Heath, John Taylor, Skelton, Burnet, Bromley, Robinson, Warren, and Lewis.The kindred science of medicine was also in marked advance. Dr. Thomas Sydenham, who died in 1689, at the very commencement of this period, had prepared the way for a more profound knowledge of the science by his careful and persevering observation of facts and symptoms; and the improvements he introduced guided medical men in the treatment of disease till the end of this period. Anatomical science was greatly advanced at this era by Malpighi, Steno, Ruysch, Duverney, Morgagni, Albinus, Haller, and other Continental physicians. In England Humphrey Ridley published a work on the brain in 1695, and William Cowper, in 1698, his anatomical tables, said to be borrowed from the Dutch anatomist, Bidloo. In 1726 Alexander Munro published his "Osteology;" he was also founder of the Medical School of Edinburgh. In 1733 William Cheselden, the most expert operator of his day, published his "Osteography." In 1727 Stephen Hales published his "Vegetable Statics," and in 1733 his "H?mastatics," which carried both vegetable and animal physiology beyond all preceding knowledge either here or abroad. Zoology and comparative anatomy also received some progress from the labours of Nehemiah Grew, Tyson, Collins, and other members of the Royal Society.

The destruction of the French magazines delayed their operations till midsummer, when Broglie advanced from Cassel, and the Prince Soubise from the Rhine, to give Ferdinand battle. On the march they fell in with Sporken, and this time defeated one of his posts, and took nineteen pieces of cannon and eight hundred prisoners. The Allies awaited them in front of the river Lippe, and between that river and the Aest, near the village of Kirch-Denkern. The French were routed at all points, having lost, according to the Allies, five thousand men, whilst they themselves had only lost one thousand five hundred. The effect of the victory, however, was small.


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SCENE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: BREACH BETWEEN BURKE AND FOX. (See p. 379.)In this awkward dilemma the king resolved to cut his way through the French, superior as they were, and regain communication with their magazines and their auxiliaries at Hanau. But Noailles was closely watching their movements; and, being aware of what was intended, took instant measures to prevent the retreat. He immediately advanced from their front to their rear, threw two bridges over the Main at Selingenstadt, and[84] despatched his nephew, the Duke de Gramont, to secure the defile of Dettingen, through which the English must pass in their retreat. He also raised strong batteries on the opposite bank of the Main, so as to play on the English as they marched along the river. These preparations being unknown to the English, and still supposing Noailles' principal force lay between them and Aschaffenberg, instead of between them and Dettingen, on the 27th of June, at daybreak, the king struck his tents, and the march on Dettingen began. George showed a stout heart in the midst of these startling circumstances, and the soldiers, having the presence of their king, were full of spirits. George took up his position in the rear of his army, expecting the grand attack to come from that quarter; but presently he beheld his advanced posts repulsed from Dettingen, and the French troops pouring over the bridge of the Main. He then perceived that Noailles had anticipated their movements, and, galloping to the head of his column, he reversed the order of his march, placing the infantry in front and the cavalry in the rear. His right extended to the bosky hills of the Spessart, and his left to the river. He saw at once the difficulty of their situation. Gramont occupied a strong position in the village of Dettingen, which was covered by a swamp and a ravine. There was no escape but by cutting right through De Gramont's forceno easy matter; and whilst they were preparing for the charge, the batteries of the French on the opposite bank of the Main, of which they were previously unaware, began to play murderously on their flank. With this unpleasant discovery came at the same instant the intelligence that Noailles had secured Aschaffenberg in their rear with twelve thousand men, and was sending fresh reinforcements to De Gramont in front. Thus they were completely hemmed in by the enemy, who were confidently calculating on the complete surrender of the British army and the capture of the king.

The next day, the 8th of July, Louis a second time entered his capital, escorted by the National Guard. Fouch announced to the two Chambers that their functions were at an end; but they still declared themselves sitting in permanence. But General Desolles, commander of the National Guard, proceeded to close the Chambers. He found both of them deserted, and locked the doors, and put his seal upon them, setting also a guard. Soon afterwards the members of the Chamber of Representatives, who had only adjourned, began to arrive, but were received with jeers by the Guards, which were eagerly joined in by the populace, and they retreated in confusion. Fouch, in reward for his politic private correspondence with the Allies, was reinstated in his old office of Minister of Police, and the government of Louis recommenced in great quietaffording the French much more real liberty than they had enjoyed either under Buonaparte or the factions of the Revolution. And thus ended the celebrated Hundred Days from the landing of Napoleon to his second exclusion.[See larger version]


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