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MONTGOMERY'S ASSAULT ON THE LOWER TOWN, QUEBEC. (See p. 222.)In the midst of these secret correspondences the queen was seized at Windsor with a serious illness, and, considering the general state of her health, it was most threatening. The hopes of the Jacobites rose wonderfully; the Funds went rapidly down; there was a great run upon the Bank, and the Directors were filled with consternation by a report of an armament being ready in the ports of France to bring over the Pretender at the first news of Anne's decease.[15] They sent to the Lord Treasurer to inform him of the danger which menaced the public credit. The whole of London was in excitement, from a report that the queen was actually dead. The Whigs did not conceal their joy, but were hurrying to and fro, and meeting in large numbers at the Earl of Wharton's. The Lord Treasurer, to keep down the public alarm, remained in town, and contented himself with sending expresses to obtain constant news of the queen's state, for his hurrying to Windsor would have had an inconceivable effect. He, therefore, let himself be seen publicly where he could be questioned regarding the condition of the queen, and gave assurances that she was better. To allay the panic, Anne was induced to sign a letter prepared for her, announcing to Sir Samuel Stancer, the Lord Mayor, that she was now recovering, and would be in town and open Parliament on the 16th of February. This news being confirmed, those who had been too hasty in pulling off their masks found some awkwardness in fitting them on again. The Press was active. Steele published a pamphlet called "The Crisis," in advocacy of the Revolution, and on the danger of a Popish succession; whilst on the other hand came out a reply, supposed to be written by Swift, not without a few touches from Bolingbroke; it was styled "The Public Spirit of the Whigs," and was distinguished by all the sarcasm of the authors. The queen's recovery, and the fact that the French armament was a fiction, quieted the storm and again restored the Funds.

The inhabitants, men, women, and children, fled in terror from their splendid villas, around the city, into the fort of St. George. A fast-sailing vessel was dispatched to Calcutta, to implore the Governor-General to send them speedy aid of men and money. The forces were called together from different quarters, and Sir Hector Munro at the head of one body, and Colonel Baillie at the head of another, were ordered to combine, and intercept Hyder. First one place of rendezvous and then another was named, but, before the junction could take place, Baillie had managed to allow himself to be surrounded by the whole host of Hyder, and after a brave defence was compelled to surrender, one half of his troops being cut to pieces. The insults and cruelties of the troops of Hyder to their captives were something demoniac. Munro had sent to demand troops from the Nabob of Arcot, for whom the British were always fighting, and received a message of compliments, but no soldiers. On the defeat of Baillie he made a hasty retreat to Mount St. Thomas. Meanwhile, the call for aid had reached Calcutta, and Hastings instantly responded to it with all his indomitable energy. He called together the Council, and demanded that peace should be made at once with the Mahrattas; that every soldier should be shipped off at once to Madras; that fifteen lacs of rupees should be sent without a moment's delay to the Council there; that the incompetent governor, Whitehill, should be removed; and Sir Eyre Coote sent to perform this necessary office, and take the command of the troops. Francis, who was just departing for England, raised as usual his voice in opposition. But Hastings' proposals were all carried. The troops, under Sir Eyre Coote, were hurried off, and messengers dispatched in flying haste to raise money at Moorshedabad, Patna, Benares, Lucknow—in short, wherever the authority of Hastings could extort it. At the same time, other officers were sent to negotiate with the Mahrattas for peace.[See larger version]

On the morning of the 26th the conflict was confined chiefly to the Faubourg St. Antoine and the greatest stronghold of the insurgents, the Clos St. Lazare. The barriers were built of paving stones of large size, and blocks of building-stone. All the houses commanding them were occupied by the insurgents. The city wall was perforated for a mile in length with loopholes, and from behind it a deadly fire upon the troops was kept up for two days by invisible enemies, who ran from loophole to loophole with the agility of monkeys. General Lamoricière commanded here, and having ordered cannon and mortars, he made breaches in the barricades, and reduced many of the fortified houses to heaps of ruins. The Faubourg St. Antoine was surrounded by troops on all sides. The insurgents were summoned to surrender, and after some parleying, a flag of truce was sent forward, and they finally submitted, permitting the troops to take quiet possession of the district. General Cavaignac at once announced the result to the President of the Assembly, stating that the revolt was suppressed, that the struggle had completely ceased, and that he was ready to resign his dictatorship the moment the powers confided to him were found to be no longer necessary for the salvation of the public. He resigned accordingly, but he was placed at the head of the Ministry, as President of the Council. During this tremendous conflict between the Red Republicans and the guardians of society more than 300 barricades had been erected, 16,000 persons were killed and wounded, 8,000 prisoners were taken, and the loss to the nation by the insurrection was estimated at 30,000,000 francs.On the 1st of December Bonney, Joyce, Kyd, and Holcroft were brought up, but the evidence was precisely the same against them as against Tooke; they were discharged without trial. Holcroft would have made a speech condemnatory of these prosecutions, but was not allowed. As these gentlemen were removed from the bar, John Thelwall, the well-known elocutionist and political lecturer, was brought up. As the Government thought there were some other charges against him, the trial went on, and lasted four days, but with the same result; and as it was found that it was hopeless to expect verdicts of guilty from English juries for mere demands of Reform, the rest of the accused were discharged. To the honour of the nation, people of all parties appeared to rejoice at the independent conduct of the juries.[402]

From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. A scene followed the king's departure which seems almost incredible. After the service of the second course, the numerous attendants, singers, and even ladies and gentlemen began to press round the royal table, as if prepared for a scramble to possess its contents. The crowd of spectators pressed nearer and nearer. For a moment only covetous eyes were cast on the spoils, as if each were afraid to begin the plunder; but, at last, a rude hand having been thrust through the first ranks, and a golden fork having been seized, this operated as a signal to all, and was followed by a "general snatch." In a short time all the small portable articles were transferred to the pockets of the multitude. The Lord High Chamberlain, hearing of the attack, hastened to the rescue, and[216] with the greatest difficulty saved the more important articles of plate, and had them conveyed to Carlton Garden. Then followed a scene unparalleled in the annals of coronations. The crowds in the galleries had beheld with envy the operations at the banquet. They were very hungry, and very thirsty, and seeing now that Westminster Hall was "liberty hall," they rushed down different stairs and passages, and attacked the viands and the wine. A raging thirst was the first thing to be satisfied, and in a few minutes every bottle on the table was emptied. A fresh supply was soon obtained from the cellarettes. When the ravening selfishness of the hungry crowd was satisfied, the gentlemen recovered their politeness, and began to think of the ladies. Groups of beautiful women then found their way to the tables, and every effort was made to afford them the refreshment of which they stood so much in need. In the meantime, the plunderers took advantage of the confusion to enrich themselves with trophies, breaking and destroying the table ornaments to obtain fragments of things too cumbrous to carry away. Thus, baskets, flowerpots, vases, and figures were everywhere disappearing, and these were followed by glasses, knives, forks, salt-spoons, and, finally, the plates and dishes. The last were engraved with the royal arms and the letters "Geo. IV.," and were therefore specially coveted as memorials. The dirty state of the articles, however, was rather out of keeping with the costly dresses; but the ladies and gentlemen got over the difficulty by wrapping up the articles in their pocket-handkerchiefs. Having thus secured all the spoils they could, they made all possible haste to their carriages. At a subsequent period, it was with the greatest difficulty that the royal plate could be kept from being carried away by the multitude outside when the barriers were removed.The Parliament was punctually opened on the 16th of February, 1714, by the queen, as she had promised at Windsor, though she was obliged to be carried there; for during last autumn she had been obliged, by her gout and obesity, to be raised into her chamber by pulleys, and so let down again, like Henry VIII. After congratulating the two Houses on the peace with Spain, she turned to the subject of the Press, and the rumours spread by it regarding the danger of the Protestant succession. Bolingbroke had been active enough in prosecuting the Press because it was dangerous to the designs which he was cherishing, notwithstanding the affected warmth which he and Oxford had put into the queen's mouth. They had taxed the penny sheets and pamphlets which agitated these questions; but this, according to Swift, had only done their own side mischief. Bolingbroke had, further, arrested eleven printers and publishers in one day. But now the war was opened in Parliament, Lord Wharton, in the House of Peers, called for the prosecution of "The Public Spirit of the Whigs," and the printer and publisher were brought to the bar. These were John Morphew, the publisher, and one John Bache, the printer. But Lord Wharton, who was aiming at higher quarry, said, "We have nothing to do with the printer and publisher, but it highly concerns the honour of this august assembly to find out the villain who is the author of that false and scandalous libel." Oxford denied all knowledge of the author, yet, on retiring from the debate, he sent one hundred pounds to Swift, and promised to do more. Lord Wharton then turned upon the printer, whom he had first affected to disregard, and demanded that he should be closely examined; but the next day the Earl of Mar, one of the secretaries of State, declared that her Majesty had ordered his prosecution. This was to shield him from the Parliamentary inquiry. Here the matter dropped, for Swift was too well screened by his patrons, who had lately rewarded him by Church preferment, and shortly afterwards made him Dean of St. Patrick's, in Dublin.

The Attorney-General defied the enemies of the administration to point out a single instance in which the Viceroy had deviated from the line of strict impartiality, yet he was the object of most virulent attacks by the fanatical members of the Orange societies in Dublin, and by the Orange press. Their animosity was excited to the utmost by a proceeding which he adopted with reference to the statue of King William III. in College Green. For some years a set of low persons, connected with the Orange lodges, had been in the habit of bedaubing the statue with ridiculous painting and tawdry orange colours, with a fantastic drapery of orange scarves. The Catholics believed that this was done with the avowed purpose of insulting them, and they thought that they had as much right to undress as others had to dress a public statue. On one occasion, therefore, they painted King William with lampblack. Consequently, on the 12th of July, 1822, a serious riot occurred, in the course of which lives were endangered, the tranquillity of the metropolis was disturbed, and evil passions of the most furious kind were engendered in the minds of the parties. As the peace must be preserved, the only course was to put an end to those senseless brawls by ordering that no unauthorised parties should presume to put their hands on a public monument, either for the purpose of decorating or defiling it. But this judicious order the Orangemen felt to be a wrong, which should be resented and avenged by driving Lord Wellesley out of the country. Accordingly, certain members of the Orange Society, amounting to nearly one hundred, entered into a conspiracy to mob him in the theatre. They were supplied with pit-tickets, and assembling early at the door, they rushed in, and took possession of the seat immediately under the Viceregal box. Other parties of them went to the galleries. They agreed upon the watchword, "Look out." They had previously printed handbills, which were freely distributed in and about the theatre, containing insulting expressions, such as "Down with the Popish Government!" Before the Viceroy arrived, they had been crying for groans for the "Popish Lord-Lieutenant," for the house of Wellesley, for the Duke of Wellington. When the marquis arrived he was received with general cheering, that overbore the Orange hisses; but during the playing of the National Anthem the offensive noise became so alarming that some of the audience[248] left the theatre. At this moment a bottle was flung from one of the galleries, which was supposed to be aimed at the head of the Lord-Lieutenant, and which fell near his box.[See larger version]Despite these representations, however, the resolutions were confirmed by the same majority as before. Other debates succeeded on the second reading of the Bill, but the majority on these gradually sank from sixty to sixteen. As the storm grew instead of abated, the queen demanded of Lord Scarborough what he thought of it, and he replied, "The Bill must be relinquished. I will answer for my regiment against the Pretender, but not against the opposers of the Excise." "Then," said the queen, "we must drop it." Sir Robert summoned his majority, and requested their opinion, and they proposed to go on, observing that all taxes were obnoxious, and that it would not do to be daunted by a mob. But Walpole felt that he must yield. He declared that he was not disposed to enforce it at the point of the bayonet, and on the 11th of April, on the order of the day for the second reading, he moved that the measure should be postponed for two months. Thus the whole affair dropped. The usually triumphant Minister found himself defeated by popular opinion. The Opposition were hardly satisfied to allow this obnoxious Bill thus to slip quietly away; but out-of-doors there was rejoicing enough to satisfy them.

"It was on foot," says Mounier, "in the mud, and under a violent storm of rain. The Paris women intermixed with a certain number of men, ragged and ferocious, and uttering frightful howlings. As we approached the palace, we were taken for a desperate mob. Some of the Gardes du Corps pricked their horses amongst us and dispersed us. It was with difficulty that I made myself known, and equally difficult it was to make our way into the palace. Instead of six women, I was compelled to admit twelve. The king received them graciously, but separated from their own raging and rioting class, the women were overcome by the presence of the king, and Louison Chabry, a handsome young girl of seventeen, could say nothing but the word 'Bread!' She would have fallen on the floor, but the king caught her in his arms, embraced and encouraged her; and this settled completely the rest of the women, who knelt and kissed his hand. Louis assured them that he was very sorry for them, and would do all in his power to have Paris well supplied with bread. They then went out blessing him and all his family, and declared to those outside that never was there so good a king. At this the furious mob exclaimed that they had been tampered with by the aristocrats, and were for tearing them to pieces; and, seizing Louison, they were proceeding to hang her on a lamp-post, when some of the Gardes du Corps, commanded by the Count de Guiche, "interfered and rescued her." One Brunout, an artisan of Paris, and a hero of the Bastille, having advanced so as to be separated from the women, some of the Guard struck him with the flat of their swords. There was an instant cry that the Guard were massacring the people; and the National Guard of Versailles being called on to protect them, one of them discharged a musket, and broke the arm of M. de Savonières, one of the Life Guard. The firing on the Life Guard by the National Guard then continued, and the Life Guard filed off, firing as they went. The mob, now triumphant, attempted to fire two pieces of cannon, which they turned upon the palace; but the powder was wet and would not explode. The king, having meanwhile heard the firing, sent the Duke of Luxembourg to order that the Guard should not fire, but retire to the back of the palace. The mob then retired into Versailles in search of bread, which Lecointre, a draper of the town, and commander of its National Guard, promised to procure them from the municipality. But the municipality had no bread to give, or took no pains to furnish it, and the crowds, drenched with rain, sought shelter wherever they could for the night. The women rushed again into the Hall of the Assembly, and took possession of it without any ceremony. Soon after midnight the roll of drums announced the arrival of Lafayette and his army. An aide-de-camp soon after formally communicated his arrival to the Assembly; that they had been delayed by the state of the roads; and that Lafayette had also stopped them to administer to them an oath of fidelity to the nation, the law, and the king; that all was orderly, and that they had nothing to fear. Lafayette soon after confirmed this by leading a column of the National Guard to the doors of the Assembly, and sending in this message. The Assembly being satisfied, adjourned till eleven o'clock the next day. Lafayette then proceeded to the palace, where he assured the king and the royal family of the loyalty of the Guard, and that every precaution should be taken for tranquillity during the night. On this the king appeared to be at ease and retired to rest. The mob attacked the palace in the night, but Lafayette prevented an assault on the royal family, though two of the[369] Guard were butchered. The king during the night repeatedly sent to inform the deputies of his intention to go to Paris.Whilst Cornwallis was pursuing Washington through the Jerseys, Clinton swept Rhode Island of the American troops, and drove Commodore Hopkins with some ships up Providence River, where he remained. Rhode Island, however, required a strong body of English soldiers constantly to defend it. Meanwhile Sir Guy Carleton, having destroyed the American flotilla on Lake Champlain, was daily expected to march from Crown Point and invest Ticonderoga, which was only fifteen miles distant, and where Schuyler lay prepared to abandon it on the approach of the English. But Carleton, who had displayed so much activity and energy, now, like the rest of our generals, seemed at once to abandon them at the decisive point. He descended the Champlain to Isle-aux-Noix, put his forces into winter quarters there, and proceeded himself to Quebec, to prepare for the next campaign. Thus ended the campaign of 1776.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."

The last act of this year, 1794, was the opening of Parliament on the 30th of December. The king, in his speech, was compelled to confess the deplorable defeat of our Allies, and of our own army under the Duke of York. He had to admit that, Robespierre having fallen, there might possibly be a more pacific spirit in France; that Holland, the only ally for whom we were verbally bound to take up arms, was negotiating a peace with the French; that the United States of America had refused to coalesce with the French against us, and had, on the contrary, made a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation with us. Here, then, was an end of all real causes for anything more than a mere defensive war on our part. Yet the speech breathed a most warlike spirit, and made a great deal of the secession of the island of Corsica from France and its adhesion to England. In the same spirit were the Addresses from both Houses carried by overwhelming Ministerial majorities.These occurrences in Ireland led to hostile demonstrations against the Government in Parliament. On the 7th of March Mr. Shaw, the Recorder of Dublin, as the representative of the Irish Protestants, commenced the campaign by moving for returns of the number of committals, convictions, inquests, rewards, and advertisements for the discovery of offenders in Ireland from 1835 to 1839, in order to enable the House to form a judgment with regard to the actual amount and increase of crime in that country. The debate was adjourned till the following Monday, when it was resumed by Mr. Lefroy, after which the House was counted out, and the question dropped; but it was taken up in the Lords on the 21st of March, when Lord Roden moved for a select Committee of inquiry on the state of Ireland since 1835, with respect to the commission of crime. His speech was a repetition of the usual charges, and the debate is chiefly worthy of notice on account of the elaborate defence by Lord Normanby of his Irish administration. "I am fully aware," said the noble marquis, "of the awful responsibility that would lie upon my head if these charges rested upon evidence at all commensurate with the vehemence of language and earnestness of manner with which they have been brought forward; but they rest upon no such foundation. I am ready, with natural indignation, to prove now, on the floor of this House, that I have grappled with crime wherever I have found it, firmly and unremittingly, and have yielded to none of my predecessors in the successful vindication of the laws." Among the mass of proofs adduced by Lord Normanby, he quoted a vast number of judges' charges, delivered from time to time between 1816 and 1835, which presented only one continuously gloomy picture of the prevailing practice of violence and atrocious outrage. Passing from this melancholy record, he proceeded to refer to numerous addresses of judges delivered on similar occasions since 1835. All of these contained one common topic of congratulation—the comparative lightness of the calendar—a circumstance, the noble marquis argued, which went far to establish his position, however it might fail to prove the extinction of exceptional cases of heinous crime. With regard to the wholesale liberation of prisoners, Lord Normanby distinctly denied that he had set free any persons detained for serious offences without due inquiry; or that any persons were liberated, merely because he happened to pass through the town, who would not have met with the same indulgence upon facts stated in memorials. "No; this measure," he insisted, "had been adopted upon the conviction that, in the peculiar case of Ireland, after severity had been so often tried, mercy was well worth the experiment. It was one which was not lightly to be repeated; but while he had received satisfactory evidence of the success of the measure, it was in his power to produce the testimony of judges with whom he had no political relations, to the pains taken in the examination of each case, and the deference shown to their reports."

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In the month of April arrived the permission for Sir William Howe to retire, and, although he was one of the five Commissioners named for carrying into effect the proposals in Lord North's Bill, he determined to leave at the earliest day for England. Lord Howe, the Admiral, was equally impatient to return, but Lord Sandwich had informed him that it would be considered a great misfortune for him to quit his command in the present circumstances. This was, in fact, an order for his remaining, which the breaking out of the war with France, and the expected arrival of a French fleet, rendered doubly imperative.[256] Sir Henry Clinton was appointed to succeed Sir William Howe, and, the former having arrived in Philadelphia, Howe departed. Scarcely had Clinton assumed the command, when an order arrived from the Government at home to abandon Philadelphia, and concentrate his forces at New York. The French fleet under D'Estaing was on its way, and it was considered that we had not a fleet of sufficient strength to beat them back from the mouth of the Delaware.Napoleon, seeing that Bernadotte was become King of Sweden contrary to his secret will and to his expectations, determined, however, that he should still serve him. He gave him no respite. He demanded incessantly, and with his usual impetuosity, that Bernadotte should declare war against Great Britain and shut out of the Baltic both British and American merchandise. Alexander regarded him first with suspicion but his spies soon dissipated his fears. They soon perceived that Bernadotte was not disposed to be at once master of a powerful kingdom and the vassal of France. Alexander made offers of friendship; they were accepted by Bernadotte with real or affected pleasure, and his course became clearer. For the next two years there was a great strife to secure the alliance of the Crown Prince; and the proud, disdainful, imperious temper of Napoleon, who could not brook that one who had been created by him out of nothing but a sergeant of marines should presume to exercise an independent will, threw the prize into the hands of the more astute Russian, and decided the fate of Europe and of himself.

Still, during all this time, though the Tory Ministers in the Council appeared paralysed, the Jacobite lords assembled in secret junto in the very palace where the Council was sitting and the queen dying. Lady Masham's apartments were the scene of the last convulsive agitation of Jacobitism. From her the distracted leaders of that faction received the accounts of the progress of the queen's illness. Amongst these were Buckingham, Ormonde, Atterbury, and, when he was not at Anne's bedside, Robinson, Bishop of London. This prelate, when he attended to administer the Sacrament to the dying woman, received a message from her, which he was bound by the Duchess of Ormonde to promise to deliver, though it cost him his head. Probably it was some last remembrance to her brother, the Pretender; though it was supposed by some to be an order to the Duke of Ormonde, the Commander-in-Chief, to hold the army for the Stuart. Nothing, however, of the nature of this message ever transpired; but the Duke of Buckingham, on the separation of the Council, which had just obtained the affixing of the Great Seal to a patent providing for the government of the country by four-and-twenty regents till the arrival of the successor, clapped his hand on Ormonde's shoulder, saying, "My lord, you have four-and-twenty hours to do our business in, and make yourself master of the country." It was a forlorn hope. That evening Lady Masham entered her apartments in great agitation, saying, "Oh, my lords, we are all undone—entirely ruined! The queen is a dead woman; all the world cannot save her!" Upon which one of the lords asked if the queen had her senses, and if Lady Masham thought she could speak to them. She replied, "Impossible; her pain deprives her of all sense, and in the interval she dozes and speaks to nobody." "That is hard indeed," said one of the lords. "If she could but speak to us, and give us orders, and sign them, we might do the business for all that." "Alas!" replied another lord, "who would act on such orders? We are all undone!" "Then we cannot be worse," said a third. "I assure you," remarked another of these conspirators, probably Ormonde, "that if her Majesty would give orders to proclaim her successor in her lifetime, I would do it at the head of the army. I'll answer for the soldiers." "Do it, then!" swore the Bishop Atterbury, for he did not stick at an oath. "Let us go out and proclaim the Chevalier at Charing Cross. Do you not see that we have no time to lose?" Lady Masham told them they might waive debate; there was nothing to be done; her Majesty was no longer capable of directing anything. On which the Duke of Ormonde exclaimed, "Lord, what an unhappy thing this is! What a cause is here lost at one blow!"

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