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[See larger version]In prosecution, however, of his unrighteous engagement to Catherine, he mustered the large army he had engaged to bring against Turkey, and in February, 1788, he made a formal proclamation of war, having no cause of hostility to assign of his own, but merely that his alliance with Russia demanded that he should support that power in its equally lawless invasion of Turkey. The Prince of Saxe-Coburg, who commanded one division of Joseph's army, entered Moldavia, and spent the whole campaign nearly in the siege and reduction of the fortress of Choczim. The Emperor himself accompanied another division, the destination of which was the renewal of the siege of Belgrade. He had been led by Catherine to hope, as his reward for the co-operation, the recovery of Bosnia and Servia, the acquisition of Moldavia and Wallachia, and the extension of his boundaries to the Dnieper. But, having waited some time for the junction of the Russians, Joseph's army assembled on the banks of the Danube in February, and occupied itself in securing the banks of that river and of the Save. Joseph himself joined it in April, accompanied by his favourite marshal and counsellor, Lacy, and having also with him, but paying little attention to him or his advice, the brave and able Laudohn, who had so successfully coped with Frederick of Prussia in Silesia. On the 24th he took the little fortress of Szabatch, whilst another part of his army suffered a defeat from the Turks at Dobitza. He then sat down before Belgrade, but carried on the siege with such slackness as to disgust his own troops and astonish all Europe. He was at length roused by the advance of the vizier, Yussuff, who was coming rapidly down upon him. At his approach, Joseph precipitately retreated behind the Save, while Yussuff threw bridges over the Danube at Cladova, broke the Austrian cordon by the defeat of a portion of the forces of General Wartesleben on the heights of Meadiha, and swept through the banat of Temeswar, Joseph's own territory, which he held, and threatened to invade Hungary. Joseph hastened with forty thousand men to support Wartesleben, leaving General Laudohn to conduct the war in Croatia. The army was delighted to have Laudohn at their head instead of the Emperor. He led it on the very day of his arrival against the fortress of Dobitza, which he took; he then passed the Save, drove the Turks before him, defeated seven thousand of the enemy before Novi, and took that place, where his operations were suspended by the winter. Joseph gained little credit by his junction with Wartesleben. The Turks attacked him, and, though they were for the moment repulsed, the Emperor retreated in a dark night, and Turks and Austrians resumed their former positions. After taking Verplanka, the campaign ended with a three months' truce. But the Austrians had suffered more severely from the miasma of the marshes of the Danube and Save than from the Turks.

The progress of our manufactures was equally satisfactory. At the commencement of this period that great innovator and benefactor, the steam-engine, was produced. The idea thrown out by the Marquis of Worcester, in his "Century of Inventions," in 1663, had been neglected as mere wild theory till Savery, in 1698, constructed a steam-engine for draining mines. This received successive improvements from Newcomen and Crawley, and further ones from Brindley in 1756, and Watt extended these at the end of this period, though this mighty agent has received many improvements since. Navigable canals, also, date their introduction by the Duke of Bridgewater, under the management of Brindley, from the latter end of this period, 1758. Other great men, Arkwright, Compton, Hargreaves, etc., were now busily at work in developing machinery, and applying steam to it, which has revolutionised the system of manufacture throughout the world. In 1754 the Society of Arts and Manufactures was established.[See larger version]

Why did they tax his bread?Buonaparte's army now occupied the city and the right bank of the Danube. The archduke arrived, and posted himself on the left bank. The river was swollen with the spring rains and the melting of the snow in the mountains. All the bridges had been broken down by which Buonaparte might cross to attack the Austrians before they were joined by their other armies. Buonaparte endeavoured to throw one over at Nussdorf, about a league above Vienna, but the Austrians drove away his men. He therefore made a fresh attempt at Ebersdorf, opposite to which the Danube was divided into five channels, flowing amongst islands, the largest of which was one called Lobau. Here he succeeded, the Archduke Charles seeming unaware of what he was doing, or taking no care to prevent it. On the 20th of May the French began to cross, and deployed on a plain between the villages of Aspern and Esslingen. Thirty thousand infantry had crossed before the next morning, and six thousand horse, and they were attacked by the Austrians, near the village of Aspern, about four in the afternoon. The battle was desperately contested on both sides. The villages of Aspern and Esslingen were taken and retaken several times. The struggle went on with great fury, amid farm-yards, gardens, and enclosures, and waggons, carts, harrows, and ploughs were collected and used as barricades. Night closed upon the scene, leaving the combatants on both sides in possession of some part or other of these villages. On the following morning, the 22nd, the fight was renewed, and, after a terrible carnage, the French were driven back on the river. At this moment news came that the bridge connecting the right bank with the islands was broken down, and the communication of the French army was in danger of being altogether cut off. Buonaparte, to prevent this, retreated into the island of Lobau with the whole of the combating force, and broke down the bridge which connected the islands with the left bank behind them. The Austrians followed keenly upon them in their retreat, and inflicted a dreadful slaughter upon them. Marshal Lannes had both his legs shattered by a cannon-ball, and was carried into the island in the midst of the mêlée; General St. Hilaire also was killed. The loss in killed and wounded on both sides amounted to upwards of forty thousand. For two days Napoleon remained on the island, with his defeated troops, without provisions, and expecting hourly to be cut to pieces. General Hiller earnestly pressed the Archduke Charles to allow him to pass the Danube, by open force, opposite to the isle of Enzersdorf, where it might be done under cover of cannon, pledging himself to compel the surrender of Buonaparte and his army. But the archduke appeared under a spell from the moment that the fighting was over. Having his enemy thus cooped up, it was in his power to cut off all his supplies. By crossing the river higher or lower, he could have kept possession of both banks, and at once have cut off Buonaparte's magazines at Ebersdorf, under Davoust, from which he was separated by the inundation. By any other general, the other armies under his brother would have been ordered up by express; every soldier and every cannon that Austria could muster within any tolerable distance would have been summoned to surround and secure the enemy, taken at such disadvantage. In no other country but Austria could Napoleon have ever left that island but as a prisoner with a surrendered army.It was natural that this mighty turn in affairs[74] on the Continent should be watched in Great Britain with an interest beyond the power of words. Though this happy country had never felt the foot of the haughty invader, no nation in Europe had put forth such energies for the overthrow of the usurper; none had poured forth such a continual flood of wealth to arm, to clothe, to feed the struggling nations, and hold them up against the universal aggressor. Parliament met on the 4th of November, and, in the speech of the Prince Regent and in the speeches in both Houses, one strain of exultation and congratulation on the certain prospect of a close to this unexampled war prevailed. At that very moment the "Corsican upstart" was on his way to Paris, his lost army nearly destroyed, the remains of it chased across the Rhine, and himself advancing to meet a people at length weary of his sanguinary ambition, and sternly demanding peace.

Napier, in his "History of the Peninsular War," describes the scene with the enthusiasm of a soldier:—"Such a gallant line issuing from the smoke, and rapidly separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the enemy's heavy masses, which were increasing and pressing onwards as to an assured victory. They wavered, hesitated, and then, vomiting forth a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through the British ranks. Sir William Myers was killed; Cole, and three colonels—Ellis, Blakeney, and Hawkshawe—fell wounded; and the Fusilier battalions, struck by the iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships. Suddenly and sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights. In vain did Soult, by voice and gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans, extricating themselves from the crowded columns, sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open out on such a fair field; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and, fiercely arising, fire indiscriminately on friends and foes, while the horsemen, hovering on the flank, threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm, weakened the stability of their order. Their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their front; their measured step shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away the head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd, as foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the French reserves, joining with the struggling multitudes, endeavour to sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable confusion, and the mighty mass, giving way like a loosened cliff, went headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured with blood, and one thousand five hundred unwounded men—the remnant of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers—stood triumphant on the fatal hill." The loss on both sides was fearful, for no battle had ever been more furiously contested. The French are said to have lost nine thousand men; the allies, in killed and wounded, seven thousand, of whom two-thirds were British. The French had two generals killed and three wounded. Some persons were inclined to blame Marshal Beresford for risking a battle in the circumstances; but Wellington gave him the highest praise, and declared that the frightful loss was owing to the utter failure of the Spaniards; that their discipline was so bad that it was found impossible to move them without throwing them into inextricable confusion; that at both Talavera and Albuera the enemy would have been destroyed if the Spaniards could have been moved; and that the same course had prevented Lape?a from supporting Graham at Barrosa. Beresford maintained his position for two days in expectation of a fresh attack by Soult; but, no doubt, that general had heard that Lord Wellington was rapidly advancing to support Beresford; and on the morning of the 18th Soult commenced his retreat to Seville. With his small handful of cavalry Beresford pursued him, and cut off a considerable number of his rear, and, amongst them, some of the cavalry itself at Usagnè, taking about a hundred and fifty of them prisoners. Had we had a proper body of horse, the slaughter of the flying army would have been awful. Soult did but quit the ground in time; for, the very day after, Wellington arrived at Albuera with two fresh divisions.

At the end of the reign of Anne the shipping employed in commerce amounted to 448,000 tons, of which only 26,573 tons were foreign; so that the English mercantile shipping had increased, in little more than twelve years, 127,800 tons. At the end of the reign of George I. our mercantile shipping was only 456,000 tons, the foreign being 23,651 tons; so that the increase for the time was but slight. The royal navy had greatly decreased under George I. At the end of the reign of George II., the total amount of our commercial shipping was 573,978 tons, including 112,737 foreign. Thus, whilst the total shipping at the commencement of this period (in 1688) was only 244,788 tons, at the end of it (in 1760) the total was 573,978 tons, or a nett increase, in seventy-two years, of 329,190 tons: the increase being much larger than the total amount of tonnage possessed at the commencement of the period, the amount of foreign shipping remaining very nearly the same—in fact, only 12,000 tons more. The royal navy, which, at the commencement of the period, was reckoned at 101,892 tons, at the end of it was 321,104 tons, showing an increase of 219,212 tons; and, at the rate of men employed at the commencement, the number now employed in both our commercial and our national navy could not be fewer than 160,000 men.Besides succeeding to the government of a country whose chief province was thus exhausted, the finances of the Company were equally drained, both in Calcutta and at home, and the Directors were continually crying to Hastings for money, money, money! As one means of raising this money, they sent him a secret order to break one of their most solemn engagements with the native princes. When they bribed Meer Jaffier to depose his master, by offering to set him in his seat, and received in return the enormous sums mentioned for this elevation, they settled on Meer Jaffier and his descendants an annual income of thirty-two lacs of rupees, or three hundred and sixty thousand pounds. But Meer Jaffier was now dead, and his eldest son died during the[324] famine. The second son was made Nabob, a weak youth in a weak government, and as the Company saw that he could not help himself, they ordered Hastings to reduce the income to one-half. This was easily done; but this was not enough, disgraceful as it was. Mohammed Reza Khan, who had been appointed by the Company the Nabob's Minister, on the ground that he was not only a very able but a very honest man, they ordered to be arrested on pretended pleas of maladministration. He and all his family and partisans must be secured, but not in an open and abrupt way, which might alarm the province; they were to be inveigled down from Moorshedabad to Calcutta, on pretence of affairs of government, and there detained. Nuncomar, the Hindoo, who had been displaced, in order to set up Mohammed, who was a Mussulman, and who had been removed on the ground of being one of the most consummate rogues in India, was to be employed as evidence against Mohammed. Hastings fully carried out the orders of the secret committee of the India House. He had Mohammed seized in his bed, at midnight, by a battalion of sepoys; Shitab Roy, the Minister of Bahar, who acted under Mohammed at Patna, was also secured; and these two great officers and their chief agents were sent down to Calcutta under guard, and there put into what Hastings called "an easy confinement." In this confinement they lay many months, all which time Nuncomar was in full activity preparing the charges against them. Shitab Roy, like Mohammed, stood high in the estimation of his countrymen of both faiths; he had fought on the British side with signal bravery, and appears to have been a man of high honour and feeling. But these things weighed for nothing with Hastings or his masters in Leadenhall Street. He hoped to draw large sums of money from these men; but he was disappointed. Though he himself arranged the court that tried them, and brought up upwards of a hundred witnesses against them, no malpractice whatever could be proved against them, and they were acquitted. They were therefore honourably restored, the reader will think. By no means. Such were not the intentions of the Company or of Hastings. Whilst Mohammed and Shitab Roy had been in prison, Hastings had been up at Moorshedabad, had abolished the office of Minister in both Patna and Moorshedabad, removed all the government business to Calcutta, cut down the income of the young Nabob, Muharek-al-Dowla, to one half, according to his instructions, and reduced the Nabob himself to a mere puppet. He had transferred the whole government to Calcutta, with all the courts of justice, so that, writes Hastings, "the authority of the Company is fixed in this country without any possibility of competition, and beyond the power of any but themselves to shake it."The effects of the monstrous drain of the war on the revenues of the country were now beginning to show themselves in the manufacturing districts, and the workpeople had broken out in serious riots in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. Instead of attributing their distresses to the vast system of taxation, they attributed them to the increase of machinery, and broke into the mills in many places and destroyed it. This was only adding to the misery by destroying capital, and stopping the very machinery which gave them bread. A committee of inquiry was instituted, and the result showed that the members of Parliament were not a whit more enlightened than the artisans themselves. Instead of attempting to find some means of ameliorating the condition of the starving population—which, indeed, they could not do, for nothing but peace and reduction of taxation, and the restoration of the natural conditions of commerce could do it,—they recommended coercion, and Lord Castlereagh brought in a severe Bill for the purpose,—the first of many such Bills of his, which nearly drove the people eventually to revolution, and, by a more fortunate turn, precipitated reform of Parliament. This Bill, the operation of which was limited to the following March, was carried by large majorities, and Parliament, thinking it had done enough to quiet hungry stomachs in the north, was prorogued on the 30th of July, and on the 20th of September dissolved.

Parliament met on the 10th of January, 1765. The resentment of the Americans had reached the ears of the Ministry and the king, yet both continued determined to proceed. In the interviews which Franklin and the other agents had with the Ministers, Grenville begged them to point to any other tax that would be more agreeable to the colonists than the stamp-duty; but they without any real legal grounds drew the line between levying custom and imposing an inland tax. Grenville paid no attention to these representations. Fifty-five resolutions, prepared by a committee of ways and means, were laid by him on the table of the House of Commons at an early day of the Session, imposing on America nearly the same stamp-duties as were already in practical operation in England. These resolutions being adopted, were embodied in a bill; and when it was introduced to the House, it was received with an apathy which betrayed on all hands the profoundest ignorance of its importance. Burke, who was a spectator of the debates in both Houses, in a speech some years afterwards, stated that he never heard a more languid debate than that in the Commons. Only two or three persons spoke against the measure and that with great composure. There was but one division in the whole progress of the Bill, and the minority did not reach to more than thirty-nine or forty. In the Lords, he said, there was, to the best of his recollection, neither division nor debate!It was not Protestants only that were alarmed at the democratic movement which was guided by O'Connell. The Roman Catholic peers, both in England and Ireland, shared their apprehensions. Lord Redesdale, writing to Lord Eldon, said:—"I learn that Lord Fingall and others, Catholics of English blood, are alarmed at the present state of things, and they may well be alarmed. If a revolution were to happen in Ireland, it would be in the end an Irish revolution, and no Catholic of English blood would fare better than a Protestant of English blood. So said Lord Castlehaven, an Irish Catholic of English blood, one hundred and seventy years ago, and so said a Roman Catholic, confidentially to me, above twenty years ago. The question is not simply Protestant and Catholic, but English and Irish; and the great motive of action will be hatred of the Sassenach, inflamed by the priests."Such was the busy scene which these colonies were now presenting. Dutch, German, and Swedish emigrants were carrying their industry and handicrafts thither. But, instead of our merchants seeing what a mighty market was growing up for them there, their commercial jealousy was aroused at the sight of the illicit trade which the colonists carried on with the Spanish, French, and other colonies, and even with Europe. The planters of the British West Indies complained of the American colonists taking their rum, sugar, coffee, etc., from the Dutch, French, and Spanish islands, in return for their raw produce, asserting that they had a monopoly for all their productions throughout the whole of the British dominions. Loud clamours were raised by these planters in the British Parliament, demanding the prohibition of this trade; and, after repeated endeavours in 1733 an Act was passed to crush it, by granting[184] a drawback on the re-exportation of West Indian sugar from England, and imposing duties on the importation of the West Indian produce of our European rivals direct into the American colonies.

[See larger version]THE TOLBOOTH, EDINBURGH.

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Great exertions had been made to draw Prussia into the confederation that was forming, and on the 25th of May, 1804, a defensive alliance had been concluded between Prussia and Russia. But the King of Prussia was, at the same time, listening to the offers of Buonaparte, who was encouraging him to expect the annexation of Hanover, and also further territory at the cost of Austria. In these circumstances, Prussia kept a dubious position, but continued to strengthen her armies for an emergency, holding herself ready to close with the best offer. Austria herself was afraid of another war with Buonaparte, and strongly urged that negotiations should be opened with him before proceeding to extremities. However, she too concluded a treaty with Russia in November. It was Pitt's object to draw these threads together. Fortunately the Czar sent his Minister, Nowosiltzoff, to England in 1805, and he readily fell in with Pitt's ideas. Accordingly, on the 11th of April the Treaty of St. Petersburg was signed on the basis of the maintenance of the Treaties of Lunéville and Amiens. The great coalition was thus practically complete, when news arrived that Buonaparte had annexed Genoa to France. This was a most gross violation of the Treaty of Lunéville. But the annexation of Genoa was but a small part of the aggressions of Buonaparte on Italy. On the very same journey he made himself King of Italy. On Sunday, the 26th of May, he was crowned in the cathedral of Milan. The Archbishop of Milan performed the ceremony, blessing the old iron crown of the ancient kings of Lombardy, and Buonaparte putting it himself on his head, as he had done that of France. Nor did Napoleon stop here. He wanted a little snug principality for his sister Eliza and her husband, the Corsican Bacciochi, and he turned the Republic of Lucca into such an one, and conferred it upon them.

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