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This base and disproportionate sentence startled the people of England. In Scotland then party spirit ran furiously high. As there were clubs for advocating thorough reform, so there were others for discouraging and crushing it. The Tory arbitrary principle was rampant, and Muir was the victim of it.Had Sir Home Popham been satisfied with this well-executed piece of service, he would have merited honour; but, this being done, he suggested to Sir David Baird that an expedition might be made with advantage against the Spanish colonies in South America. It was reportednot truly, as it turned outthat these colonies were as poorly defended as they were wealthy. Sir David was weak enough to fall into the scheme, and, without any authority from home, as it would appear, for so important a proceeding, he permitted General Beresford to sail in Sir Home's squadron with a part of his forces. The fleet touched at St. Helena, and took in a few more soldiers, but the whole body did not then amount to more than sixteen hundred. With this contemptible handful of men, the British squadron entered the river La Plata, and landed the troops, on the 24th of June, at a short distance from Buenos Ayres. The few Spanish troops in the city were easily routed, and the place capitulated on the 27th, and Beresford entered and took up his quarters there. But he was not long left at peace. The Spaniards discovering, as a matter of course, the insignificance of the force which had thus rashly surprised the city, collected in sufficient numbers to make prisoners of them all. A French officer in the Spanish service, M. Liniers, landed with a thousand men from Monte Video and Sacramento, and, being joined by the troops of the neighbourhood which had been repulsed by Beresford, appeared before the city on the 10th of July, and summoned the British to surrender. This was the signal for the inhabitants to rise en masse and fall on them. They were prevented from escaping to their ships by the badness of the weather, and were assailed from the windows and doors, and exposed to a general attack in the great square, and were compelled to yield, on condition of being allowed to re-embark; but no sooner had they laid down their arms, than Liniers, who probably looked on them as no better than filibusters, treated them as such, and marched them up the country, where they were rigorously treated. Four hundred of them had perished in this mad attempt. Meanwhile, Sir Home Popham had sent home upwards of a million of dollars, reserving two hundred and five thousand for the pay of the army. There were great rejoicings in London at the news, and at the receipt of the specie. Popham, in his despatches, represented himself as having conquered a great colony, and opened up a wonderful mart for our manufactures; and the Ministry, delighted at the receipt of the dollars, though they had, on first hearing of the scheme, sent out orders to stop the squadron, now, on the 20th of September, issued an Order in Council declaring Buenos Ayres and its dependencies open to our trade. Long before this order could have reached America the whole scene was reversed. Sir Home Popham had, indeed, blockaded the river La Plata, and had attempted to bombard Monte Video, but his ships could not get near enough. In October reinforcements arrived from the Cape and from England, but not in sufficient strength to enable him to do anything decisive. He therefore contented himself with landing troops at Maldonado, and drove the Spaniards from the isle of Gorriti, where he lay to, and waited for greater reinforcements.Now, though in some obscure and ignorant parts of the country there were clubs which contemplated the foolish idea of seizing on neighbouring properties, the committees must have been very ill-informed to have drawn any such conclusion as to the Hampden Clubs, which were organised for Parliamentary reform under the auspices of Sir Francis Burdett, Major Cartwright, Lord Cochrane, Cobbett, and others. Most of these persons had large properties to be sacrificed by the propagation of any such principles, and the great topics of Cobbett's Register, the organ through which he communicated with the people, were the necessity of refraining from all violence, and of rising into influence by purely political co-operation. But these reports answered the purposes of the Government, and they proceeded to introduce, and succeeded in passing, four Acts for the suppression of popular opinion. The first was to provide severe punishment for all attempts to seduce the soldiers or sailors from their allegiance; the second to give safeguards to the person of the Sovereign, but which did not include the most effectual of allthat of making him beloved; the third was to prevent seditious meetings, and gave great power to the magistrates and police to interfere with any meeting for the mildest Reforms; the fourth was the old measure of suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, which armed the magistrates with the fearful authority to arrest and imprison at pleasure, without being compelled to bring the accused to trial. The last of these Acts was not passed till the 29th of March, and it was to continue in force only till the 1st of July. But in the meantime events took place which occasioned its renewal.

THE BAYONET CHARGE AT TALAVERA. (See p. 577.)

[See larger version]Napoleon's Designs on SpainThe Continental SystemTreaty of FontainebleauJunot marches on PortugalFlight of the Royal FamilyThe Milan DecreeThe Pope imprisoned in the QuirinalImbecility of the Spanish GovernmentQuarrels of the Spanish Royal FamilyOccupation of the Spanish FortressesThe King's Preparations for FlightRests at MadridAbdication of Charles IV.Murat occupies MadridThe Meeting at BayonneJoseph becomes King of SpainInsurrection in SpainThe Junta communicates with EnglandFerocity of the WarOperations of Bessires, Duchesne, and MonceyDupont surrenders to Casta?osJoseph evacuates MadridSiege of SaragossaNapoleon's Designs on PortugalInsurrection throughout the CountrySir A. Wellesley touches at CorunnaHe lands at FiguerasBattle of Roli?aWellesley is superseded by BurrardBattle of VimieraArrival of DalrympleConvention of CintraInquiry into the ConventionOccupation of LisbonNapoleon's Preparations against SpainWellesley is passed over in favour of MooreMoore's AdvanceDifficulties of the MarchIncompetency of Hookham FrereNapoleon's Position in EuropeThe Meeting at ErfurthNapoleon at VittoriaDestruction of the Spanish ArmiesNapoleon enters MadridMoore is at last undeceivedThe RetreatNapoleon leaves SpainMoore retires before SoultArrival at CorunnaThe BattleDeath of Sir John MooreThe Ministry determine to continue the WarScandal of the Duke of YorkHis ResignationCharges against Lord CastlereaghWellesley arrives in PortugalHe drives Soult from Portugal into SpainHis Junction with CuestaPosition of the French ArmiesFolly of CuestaBattle of TalaveraState of the CommissariatWellesley's RetreatFrench VictoriesThe Lines of Torres VedrasThe Walcheren ExpeditionFlushing takenThe Troops die from MalariaDisastrous Termination of the ExpeditionSir John Stuart in Italy and the Ionian IslandsWar between Russia and TurkeyCollingwood's last ExploitsAttempt of Gambier and Cochrane on La Rochelle.

The question of the Prince's income was not so easily disposed of. On the 24th of January, Lord John Russell, having moved that the paragraph relating to the subject should be read, quoted, as precedents for the grant he was about to propose, the instances of Prince George of Denmark, Prince Leopold, and Queen Adelaide. As far as he could judge by precedent in these matters, 50,000 a year was the sum generally allotted to princes in the situation of the Prince Consort to the Queen of England. He therefore moved"That her Majesty be enabled to grant an annual sum not exceeding 50,000 out of the Consolidated Fund, as a provision to Prince Albert, to commence on the day of his marriage with her Majesty, and to continue during his life." The debate having been adjourned for a few days, Mr. Hume moved, as an amendment, that only 21,000 should be granted. Colonel Sibthorpe moved that 30,000 be the sum allowed. Mr. Goulburn was in favour of that sum. The amendment proposed by Mr. Hume was lost by a majority of 305 against 38. When Colonel Sibthorpe's amendment became the subject of debate, Lord John Russell, alluding to professions of respect made by Lord Elliot for her Majesty, and of care for her comfort, said: "I cannot forget that no Sovereign of this country has been insulted in such a manner as her present Majesty has been." Lord Elliot and Sir James Graham rose immediately to protest against this insinuation, as in all respects most uncalled-for and unjustifiable. The House then divided on the amendment, which was carried by a very large majority, the numbers beingayes, 262; noes, 158: majority for the sum of 30,000, 104. Such a signal defeat of the Government, on a question in which the Sovereign naturally felt a deep interest, was calculated to produce a profound impression upon the country, and in ordinary circumstances would have led to a change of Ministry; but it was regarded as the result of an accidental combination between heterogeneous materials, and therefore Lord Melbourne did not feel called upon to resign. However, the decisions caused, says Sir Theodore Martin, considerable pain and vexation to the Queen.

On the Rhine, the war was carried on quite into the winter. The King of Prussia did not stay longer than to witness the surrender of Mayence; he then hurried away to look after his new Polish territory, and left the army under the command of the Duke of Brunswick. Brunswick, in concert with Wurmser and his Austrians, attacked and drove the French from their lines at Weissenburg, took from them Lauter, and laid siege to Landau. Wurmser then advanced into Alsace, which the Germans claimed as their old rightful territory, and invested Strasburg. But the Convention Commissioners, St. Just and Lebas, defended the place vigorously. They called forces from all quarters; they terrified the people into obedience by the guillotine, Lebas saying that with a little guillotine and plenty of terror he could do anything. But he did not neglect to send for the gallant young Hoche, and put him at the head of the army. Wurmser was compelled to fall back; Hoche marched through the defiles of the Vosges, and, taking Wurmser by surprise, defeated him, made many prisoners, and captured a great part of Wurmser's cannon. In conjunction with Pichegru, Dessaix, and Michaud, he made a desperate attack, on the 26th of December, on the Austrians in the fortified lines of Weissenburg, whence they had so lately driven the French; but the Duke of Brunswick came to their aid, and enabled the Austrians to retire in order. Hoche again took possession of Weissenburg; the Austrians retreated across the Rhine, and the Duke of Brunswick and his Prussians fell back on Mayence. Once there, dissatisfied with the Prussian officers, he resigned his command, he and Wurmser parting with much mutual recrimination. Wurmser was not able long to retain Mayence; and the French not only regained all their old positions, before they retired to winter quarters, but Hoche crossed the lines and wintered in the Palatinate, the scene of so many French devastations in past wars. The French also repulsed the enemy on the Spanish and Sardinian frontiers.

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[See larger version]Before leaving, the courteous officer permitted Bailly and about half-a-dozen deputies to enter and bring out their papers. The carpenters were already at work making preparations for the royal sance, which was intended for a counter-manifestation, and as the body of the deputies, now nearly completing their six hundred, marched through the streets, they heard the heralds[361] proclaiming it for Monday, the 22nd. Bailly felt that there was more indignity intended than even that of turning them so unceremoniously out of their house, for a message had been sent to him from the king, announcing the sance, but it had not been delivered to him, as etiquette required, at the hall, but at his private house, and not by a written dispatch, but verbally by De Brz, the master of ceremonies. When the deputies, with their president at their head, reached the Tennis Court, they found it a very spacious apartment, but naked, unfurnished, and desolate. There were no seats for the deputies, and a chair being offered to Bailly he declined it, saying he would not sit whilst the other members were standing. A wooden bench was brought, and served for a desk, two deputies were stationed as doorkeepers, and the keeper of the Court appeared and offered them his services. Great numbers of the populace crowded in, and the deliberations commenced. There were loud complaints of the interruption of their sitting, and many proposals to prevent such accidents in future. It was proposed to adjourn to Paris, where they would have the support of the people, and this project was received with enthusiasm; but Bailly feared that they might be attacked on the way, and, moreover, that such a measure would give an advantage to their enemies, looking like a desertion of their ground. Mounier then proposed that the deputies should bind themselves by an oath never to separate till they had completed the Constitution. This was hailed with enthusiasm. The oath was drawn up, and Bailly, standing on the bench, read it aloud:"You solemnly swear never to separate, and to re-assemble whenever circumstances shall require it, until the Constitution of the kingdom is founded and established on a solid basis." As he read this all the deputies held up their right hands, and repeated after him the words, "We swear!" The formula was read so loud that not only the spectators within but numbers without heard it, and all joined in the cry, "We swear!" Then followed loud acclaims of "Vive l'Assemble!" "Vive le Roi!"

Sir David Wilkie (b. 1785), one of the greatest of Scottish painters, claims a few words here, especially regarding the latter part of his brilliant career. In 1820-1 he accomplished his masterpiece, "The Chelsea Pensioners listening to the[433] News of Waterloo," for which he received 1,200 guineas from the Duke of Wellington. His later works did not increase his reputation, chiefly because he abandoned the style in which he excelled and adopted the pseudo-Spanish. In 1830 he was made painter in ordinary to his Majesty on the death of Lawrence, and became a candidate for the Presidentship of the Royal Academy, but had only one vote recorded in his favour. Between 1830 and 1840 he painted a considerable number of works, among which were "John Knox preaching before Mary," and "The Discovery of the Body of Tippoo Sahib," painted for the widow of Sir David Baird, for 1,500. In 1836 he was knighted, and in 1840 he set out on a tour to the East, and went as far as Jerusalem, which he viewed with rapture. At Constantinople he had the honour of painting the Sultan for the Queen. He returned by Egypt, but never saw his native land again. He died off Gibraltar, and, the burial service having been read by torchlight, his body was committed to the deep, on the 1st of June, 1841.[584][257]

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