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Amongst the novelists of the later period of the reign we may name Horace Smith, author of "Brambletye House," etc.; Leigh Hunt, the poet, author of "Sir Ralph Esher;" Peacock, author of "Headlong Hall;" Beckford, author of the wild Eastern tale of "Vathek;" Hamilton, author of "Cyril Thornton," etc.; Maturin, author of "Melmoth the Wanderer," etc.; Mrs. Brunton, author of "Discipline," "Self-Control," etc.; and Miss Ferrier, author of "Marriage" and other novels of a high order. Jane Austen (b. 1775; d. 1817), author of "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," "Sense and Sensibility," etc., all distinguished by the nicest sense of character, was far above any of these, and ranks with the foremost of our writers of fiction.

The French having now formally declared war with England, entered on the campaign with Flanders in the middle of May with eighty thousand men, the king taking the nominal command, in imitation of Louis XIV. Marshal Saxe was the real commander, and with this able general Louis went on for some time reaping fictitious laurels. The King of England expected to see the Allies muster seventy-five thousand mena force nearly equal to that of the French; but the Dutch and Austrians had grievously failed in their stipulated quotas, and the whole army did not exceed fifty thousand. General Wade, the English commander, was a general of considerable experience, but no Marlborough, either in military genius or that self-command which enabled him to bear up against tardy movements and antagonistic tempers of the foreign officers. Consequently, whilst he had to contend with a very superior force, he was hampered by his coadjutors, lost his temper, and, what was worse, lost battles too. The French went on taking town after town and fortress after fortress. But this career of victory was destined to receive a check. Prince Charles of Lorraine, at the head of sixty thousand men, burst into Alsace, and marched without any serious obstacle to the very walls of Strasburg; while the French king was stricken with fever at Metz.

At Calcutta, Francis, Clavering, and Monson were deeply engaged in what appeared to them a certain plan for the ruin of Hastings. The Maharajah Nuncomar, who styled himself the head of the Brahmins, came forward and laid before them papers containing the most awful charges against Hastings. These were that Hastings had encouraged him, at the command of the Secret Committee, to produce charges against Mohammed Rheza Khan and Shitab Roy, when they were in prison, in order to extort money from them; and that Hastings had accepted a heavy bribe to allow Mohammed to escape without punishment. Hastings broke up the Council, declaring that he would not sit to be judged by his own Council. If they had charges to prefer against him, they might form themselves into a committee, and transmit such evidence as they received to the Supreme Court of Justice at Calcutta, or to the Directors at home. But the three declared themselves a majority, voted their own competence to sit and try their own chief, and preferred another huge charge introduced by Nuncomarnamely, that Hastings had appropriated to[327] himself two-thirds of the salary of the Governor of Hooghly, a post formerly held by Nuncomar himself. They determined to introduce Nuncomar to confront Hastings at his own Council board. Hastings declared the Council not sitting; the three declared it sitting and valid, and called in Nuncomar, who proceeded to detail his charges, and ended by producing a letter from the Munny Begum, now Governor of Oude, expressing the gratitude which she felt to the Governor-General for her appointment as guardian of the Nabob, and that in token of this gratitude she had presented him with two lacs of rupees. Immediately on hearing that, Hastings declared the letter a forgery, and that he would prove it so; and he was not long in procuring an absolute denial of the letter from the Begum. Things being driven to this pass, Hastings commenced an action against Nuncomar, Mr. Fowke, one of the most active agents of the trio, and others, as guilty of a conspiracy against him. This was supported by native witnesses, and the Supreme Court of Justice, after a long and careful examination of the case, held Nuncomar and Fowke to bail, and bound the Governor-General to prosecute. As to the silk and wool trades, in the ten years preceding 1824 the quantity of raw and thrown silk used by our manufacturers was on an average of 1,882,311 lbs. per annum. In the ten succeeding years the average was nearly double, viz. 95 per cent. higher; and in the sixteen years which ended in 1849 there was an increase of 120 per cent. over the quantity used under the restrictive system. According to the report of the inspectors of factories, there were, in 1835, 231 silk factories in England, six in Scotland, and one in Ireland. The total number of females thus employed was over 20,000, and the total number of both sexes was about 31,000. The total number of woollen and worsted factories at work in 1835 was returned by the inspectors of factories as being 1,313, showing an increase of ten per cent. in four years. The total number of persons employed in them in 1835 was 71,274, on which there was an increase of twenty per cent. up to 1839. There was a general depression in the price of British wool, in consequence of which a Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to inquire into the causes. From the evidence which they received, it appeared that the actual number of sheep in England and Wales had increased one-fifth since the year 1800, when it was 19,000,000, yielding about 95,000,000 lbs. of wool, or about five pounds[419] for each fleet. It was estimated that the quantity used for manufacturing purposes increased during the first half of the nineteenth century by 115 per cent. Yorkshire is the chief seat of the woollen manufacture, and the best proof of its progress, perhaps, is presented in the state of the population, which in the whole of the West Riding increased during the first forty years of the century at the rate of 104 per cent. At the census of 1801 it was 563,953, while the census of 1841 showed it to be 1,154,101. The occasion for the Portuguese expedition arose in this way: bands of Portuguese rebels, armed, equipped, and trained in Spain, at the instigation of France, passed the Spanish frontier, carrying terror and devastation into their own country, crossing the boundary at different points, and proclaiming different pretenders to the throne of Portugal. Had Spain employed mercenaries to effect the invasion, there could not be a doubt of its hostile character. Portugal then enjoyed a constitutional government, under the regency of the infant daughter of the King of Brazil. The Absolutist party had proclaimed Don Miguel, the King of Brazil's younger brother. During the civil war the rebels had been driven into Spain, where they were welcomed with ardour, equipped afresh, and sent back to maintain the cause of Absolutism in the Portuguese dominions. England was bound by treaty to assist Portugal in any such emergency. Her aid was demanded accordingly, and, averse as Mr. Canning was from war, and from intervention in the affairs of foreign states, he rendered the assistance required with the utmost promptitude. On Friday, December 3rd, the Portuguese ambassador made a formal demand of assistance against a hostile aggression from Spain. Canning answered that, though he had heard rumours to that effect, he had not yet received such precise information as justified him in applying to Parliament. It was only on Friday that that information arrived. On Saturday the Cabinet came to a decision; on Sunday the decision received the sanction of the king; on Monday it was communicated to both Houses of Parliament, and on Tuesday the troops were on their march for embarkation. The expedition arrived at Lisbon in good time, and had the desired effect of restoring tranquillity and preventing warthat "war of opinions" which Canning so much dreaded. It was on this occasion that Canning delivered the magnificent oration which electrified the House and the country. No speech in Parliament had ever before produced such an effect. Only a man of splendid genius and intense sympathy, placed in a position to wield the force of a great nation, could have delivered such a speech or produced such an effect. "The situation of England," he said, "amidst the struggle of political opinions which agitates more or less sensibly different countries of the world, may be compared to that of the ruler of the winds

It was thought time to put a stop to such[559] proceedings, and several of the leaders were arrested, namely, Messrs. Ernest Jones, John Fussell, J. Williams, A. Sharpe, and Y. Vernon. They were committed for sedition, but bail was accepted. At Ashton-under-Lyne, Birmingham, Liverpool, and other places, Chartist and confederate disturbances took place. The police hunted up their leaders, and in some towns seized the papers of the clubs as well as the pikes and fire-arms which they had concealed. There had, in fact, been an extensively ramified conspiracy, the headquarters of which were in the metropolis. On the 11th of August the police, acting upon information they had received, assembled at the station in Tower Street, 700 strong, and suddenly marched to the Angel Tavern in Webber Street, Blackfriars. Surrounding the house, Inspector Butt entered, and found fourteen Chartist leaders in deliberation. In a few minutes they were all quietly secured, and marched to Tower Street. On searching the place the police found pistols loaded to the muzzle, swords, pikes, daggers, and spear-heads, also large quantities of ammunition. Upon one man were found seventy-five rounds of ball cartridge. Some of the prisoners wore iron breastplates. Similar visits were paid to houses in Great Ormond Street, Holborn, and York Street, Westminster, with like results. In the last place the party got notice and dispersed before the police arrived. One man, leaping out of a window, broke his leg. Tow-balls were found amongst them; and from this and other circumstances it was believed they intended to fire the public buildings and to attack the police in every part of London. The whole of the military quartered in London were under arms on the night of the threatened attack, and an unbroken line of communication was kept up between the military and the different bodies of police. Twenty-five of the leaders were committed for felony, bail being refused; their principal leader being a man named Cuffey.

In England Parliament met on the 31st of October, and Lord North now moved, in a Committee of Supply, for forty-five thousand seamen for the service of the following year; and in a warm debate, in which Mr. Luttrell made a severe charge of maladministration at the Admiralty, and of the most shameful corruptions and peculations in that department and in the Commissariat, he called for the production of the necessary papers to enable him to substantiate these charges. Such was the condition into which an army and navy, once illustrious through the victories of Marlborough and Blake, were reduced by the aristocratic imbecility of the Newcastles, Bedfords, and Cumberlands. This last princely general had, in fact, put the climax to his career. He had placed himself at the head of fifty thousand confederate troops, in which there were no English, except the officers of his own staff, to defend his father's Electorate of Hanover. But this ruthless general, who never won a battle except the solitary one of Culloden, against a handful of famished men, was found totally incompetent to cope with the French general, d'Estres. He allowed the French to cross the deep and rapid Weser, and continued to fall back before them as they entered the Electorate, until he was driven to the village of Hastenbeck, near Hameln, where the enemy overtook and defeated him. He then continued his retreat across the desolate Lüneburg Heath, to cover Stade, near the mouth of the Elbe, where the archives and other valuable effects of Hanover had been deposited for safety. At this time Richelieu succeeded to the command of d'Estres in this quarter, and he continued to drive Cumberland before him, taking Hameln, G?ttingen, and Hanover itself, and soon after Bremen and Verden. Thus were Hanover and Verden, which had cost England such millions to defend, seized by France; nor did the disgrace end here. Cumberland was cooped up in Stade, and compelled, on the 8th of December, to sign a convention at Closter-Seven, by which he engaged to send home the Hesse and Brunswick troops, and to disperse the Hanoverians into different quarters, not to serve again during the war.

In the galaxy of illustrious names that shed light upon this age, not the least conspicuous is that of Mary Somerville, who is known in British[431] science not only as the able commentator of Laplace's "Mcanique Cleste," but as the author of some ingenious experiments on the magnetising power of the violet ray, and on the permeability of different bodies to the chemical rays, similar to those of Melloni on the heating rays; and she found great and seemingly capricious variations in this respect. The beautiful invention of the stereoscope, one of the most interesting contributions made to the theory of vision, was the work of Mr. Wheatstone, who published an account of it in the "Philosophical Transactions" of 1838. In connection with experiments of this class should be mentioned the invention of the daguerreotype, or the production of permanent pictures on plated copper, in 1825, which was brought to perfection in 1839 by Daguerre, whose name it bears. About the same time Henry Fox Talbot applied himself to similar experiments, and invented the calotype, or the production of permanent pictures on paper; and by a subsequent invention he obtained what he justly called "an instantaneous process." The science of photography was, however, in its infancy.

It was high time that some measures were taken for preventing clandestine marriages. Nothing could be so loose as the marriage laws, or so scandalous as the practice regarding marriages at this date. No previous public notice or publication of banns was hitherto required, nor was any license requisite. Any clergyman, though of the most infamous character, could perform the ceremony at any time or place, without consent of parents or guardians. The consequence was, that the strangest and most scandalous unions took place, for which there was no remedy, and the results of which were lives of misery and disgrace. The merest children were inveigled into such connections, and the heirs of noble estates were thus entrapped into the most repulsive alliances, and made the victims of the most rapacious and unprincipled of mankind. The Fleet Prison, where were many ruined parsonsruined by their crimes and low habitswas a grand mart for such marriages. A fellow of the name of Keith had[116] acquired great pre-eminence in this line. He used to marry, on an average, six thousand couples every year; and on the news of this Bill, which would stop his trade, he vowed vengeance on the bishops, declaring that he would buy a piece of ground and out-bury them all!



Though Buonaparte had been absent, his family had taken care to keep public opinion alive to his importance. His wife, Josephine, lived at great expense, and collected around her all that was distinguished in society. His brother Lucien had become President of the Council of Five Hundred; and Joseph, a man much respected, kept a hospitable house, and did much to maintain the Buonaparte prestige. Talleyrand and Fouch were already in Napoleon's interest, and Bernadotte, now Minister of War, Jourdain, and Augereau, as generals, were prepared to act with him. The Abb Siys, with his perpetual constitution-making, had also been working in a way to facilitate his schemes. He had planned a new and most complicated constitution, known as that of the year Eight, by which the executive power was vested in three Consuls. Of the five Directors Buonaparte left in office, the most active had been removed; Abb Siys had succeeded Rewbell, and two men of no ability, Gohier and Moulins, had succeeded others. Roger Ducos, also in the interest of Buonaparte, made the fifth. All measures being prepared, on the 18th Brumaire, that is, the 10th of November, Buonaparte proceeded to enact the part of Cromwell, and usurp the chief authority of the State, converting the Republic into a military dictatorship. The army had shown, on his return, that they were devoted to his service. Jourdain, Bernadotte, Moreau, and Augereau were willing to co-operate in a coup-de-main which should make the army supreme. He therefore assembled three regiments of dragoons on pretence of reviewing them, and, everything being ready, he proceeded to the Council of Ancients, in which the moderate, or reactionary, party predominated, on the evening of the 10th of November. They placidly gave way in the midst of a most excited debate on the menaced danger, and every member, including Lucien Buonaparte, who was the President, had just been compelled to take an oath to maintain inviolable the Constitution of the year Three, when Napoleon entered, attended by four grenadiers of the Constitutional Guard of the Councils. The soldiers remained near the door, Napoleon advanced up the hall uncovered. There were loud murmurs. "What!" exclaimed the members, "soldiersdrawn swords in the sanctuary of the laws!" They rushed upon him, and seized him by the collar, shouting, "Outlawry! outlawry! proclaim him a traitor!" For a moment he shrank before them, but soon at the instigation of Siys returned, and quietly expelled them. Thus Buonaparte, with an army at his back, was openly dictator. He removed to the Palace of the Luxembourg, and assumed a state little inferior to royalty. He revised the Constitution of the Abb Siys, concentrating all the power of the State in the First Consul, instead of making him, as he expressed it, a personage whose only duties were to fatten, like a pig, upon so many millions a-year.