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The Emperor of Germany was delighted at the Spanish offer. He had always felt himself aggrieved by the conditions of the Quadruple Alliance. He was afraid of France, and hated George of England for his German policy. He had, moreover, embroiled himself with both England and Holland, by establishing at Ostend an East India Company, which was declared to be in violation of the Treaty of Westphalia, and was, at all events, regarded with particular jealousy by both England and Holland. This being the case, Ripperda, the envoy of Spain, a Dutch adventurer, who had been the tool of Alberoni, completed with ease a treaty with the Emperor at Vienna, which was signed on the 30th of April, 1725.

The British Parliament met on the 21st of January, 1794. The Opposition, on the question of the Address, made a strong remonstrance against the prosecution of the war. They urged the miserable conduct of it, and the failures of the Allies, as arguments for peace. They did not discourage the maintenance of a proper system of self-defence, and therefore acceded to the demands of Ministers for raising the navy to eighty-five thousand men. The production of the Budget by Pitt, on the 2nd of February, gave additional force to their appeals for peace. He stated that the military force of England, including fencibles and volunteers, amounted to a hundred and forty thousand men, and he called for nineteen million nine hundred and thirty-nine thousand pounds for the maintenance of this force, and for the payment of sixty thousand German troops. Besides this, he asked for a loan of eleven million pounds, as well as for the imposition of new taxes. This was an advance in annual expenditure of fifteen million pounds more than only two years ago; and when the manner in which the money was spent was inquired into, the objections became far more serious. It thus appeared that we were not only fighting for Holland and Belgium, but that we were subsidising German princes to fight their own battles. There had been a large subsidy to the King of Prussia, to assist him, in reality, to destroy Poland. We were, in fact, on the threshold of that system of Pitt's, by which Britain engaged to do battle all over Europe with money as well as with men. But remonstrance was in vain. Fox, Grey, and Sheridan, and their party in the Commons, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Bedford, and the Whigs in the Peers, made amendment after amendment on these points, but were overwhelmed by Pitt's majorities. Burke, in the Commons, was frantic in advocacy of war, because France was revolutionary and impious.

In the department of novel writing, no age had yet produced such a constellation as Fielding, Richardson, Sterne, and Smollett. Their works[147] are still read with admiration by all who have a relish for vivid and masterly delineations of life; their only drawback being, that they are all more or less stained with the grossness and licentiousness of the age. From these faults Samuel Richardson (b. 1689; d. 1761) is most free, and in his "Sir Charles Grandison" he hasshown himself ahead of his age in the wisdom and liberality of his ideas. He discountenanced duelling, and taught the soundest principles of honour and morality. The photographic minuteness of his style prevents the general reading of his works in the present day of abundant new literature. The principal novels of Henry Fielding (b. 1707; d. 1754), "Joseph Andrews," "Tom Jones," and "Amelia," abound in wit, vigour, and knowledge of human nature. He wrote also some plays, and edited several periodicals. His sister, Sarah, also wrote "David Simple," a novel, and translated Xenophon's "Memoirs of Socrates." Tobias Smollett (b. 1721; d. 1771) paints life in strong, bold, but somewhat coarse lines, full of vigour, but with even more grossness than Fielding uses. "Peregrine Pickle," "Count Fathom," "Roderick Random," "Humphrey Clinker," and "Sir Launcelot Greaves," if not now generally read, have been carefully studied and made use of by some of our modern novelists. Smollett, besides, wrote plays, satires, poems, and edited "The Briton," a weekly newspaper. Laurence Sterne (b. 1713; d. 1768) struck out a style of writing peculiar to himself, and which still defies all successful imitation. Notwithstanding attempts to represent his pathos as grimace, and his humour as tinsel, the felicity of touch in "Tristram Shandy," and the flashes of wit and feeling in his "Sentimental Journey," will, in spite of detractors, and of the occasional indecency of the author, always send readers to Sterne.

Accordingly, on the 5th of June, the queen proceeded to the House of Lords, and stated in a long speech the terms on which it was proposed to make the peace with Francenamely, that Louis XIV. should acknowledge the Protestant succession and remove the Pretender out of France; that Philip should renounce the Crown of Spain[5], should that of France devolve on him; and that the kings of both France and Spain should make solemn engagements for themselves and their heirs that the two kingdoms should never be united under one crown; that Newfoundland, with Placentia, Hudson's Bay, Nova Scotia, or Acadia, as it was then termed by the French, as well as Gibraltar, Port Mahon, and the whole island of Minorca, should be ceded to England; that the Spanish Netherlands, Naples, Sardinia, the Duchy of Milan, and the places on the Tuscan coast, formerly belonging to Spain, should be yielded to Austria, the appropriation of Sicily being not so far determined; that France would make the Rhine the barrier of the Empire, yielding up all places beyond it, and razing the fortresses on the German side as well as in the river; that the barriers of Savoy, the Netherlands, and Prussia, should be made satisfactory to the Allies. The Electoral dignity was to be acknowledged in the House of Hanover. In the morning of that daya fine and sunny dayHill leading on our right drove the French from the heights of La Puebla. This was not done without a severe struggle. The Spanish general, Morillo, led on his brigade bravely, and was wounded. Colonel the Hon. G. Cadogan, in the action on the heights, was also mortally wounded, but refused to quit the field, and was carried to an elevation where he could watch the progress of the battle while he lived. General Hill then pushed the French across the river Zadora and the defiles and heights beyond to the village of Subijana de Alava, which he took possession of, and the French left fell back on Vittoria. The other divisions, under Lord Dalhousie, Sir Thomas Picton, and General Cole, also crossed the river at different bridges or fords, and everywhere drove the French before them. The scene from the heights, which were crowded with people, was one of the most animating ever beheld; the British everywhere advancing amid the roar of cannon and musketry, the French retiring everywhere on Vittoria. In the meantime, our left, under Sir Thomas Graham, having a considerable number of Spanish and Portuguese troops in it, advanced to the heights beyond the Zadora, along the Bilbao road, and carried the village of Gamara Mayor, while the Spanish division of Longa carried that of Gamara Monor. Both the Spanish and Portuguese troops behaved admirably. While Major-General Robertson's brigade carried Gamara Mayor, Colonel Halkett's, supported by that of General Bradford, carried the village of Abechuco. Here a determined effort was made by the French to recover this post, but they were driven back by Major-General Oswald, with the fifth division.

At length Argyll, whose movements had been hastened by the arrival of General Cadogan, prepared to march northwards through deep snow and villages burnt by the Pretender's order. On the 30th of January the rebel army retreated from Perth, the Highland soldiers, some in sullen silence, others in loud curses, expressing their anger and mortification at this proceeding. The inhabitants looked on in terror, and bade adieu to the troops in tears, expecting only a heavy visitation for having so long harboured them. Early the next morning they crossed the deep and rapid Tay, now, however, a sheet of solid ice, and directed their march along the Carse of Gowrie towards Dundee.

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.

In January, 1812, Government made another attempt to punish the Catholic delegates, and they obtained a verdict against one of them, Thomas Kirwan; but such was the public feeling, that they did no more than fine him one mark, and discharge him. They also abandoned other contemplated prosecutions. The Catholic committee met, according to appointment, on the 28th of February, addressed the Prince Regent, and then separated. The usual motions for Catholic Emancipation were introduced into both Houses of Parliament, and by both were rejected. It was the settled policy of this Ministry not to listen to the subject, though the Marquis Wellesley, Canning, and others now admitted that the matter must be conceded. The assassination of Mr. Perceval, on the 11th of May, it was hoped, would break up that Ministry, but it was continued, with Lord Liverpool at its head. Though Lord Wellesley this year brought forward the motion in the Lords, and Canning in the Commons, both Houses rejected it, but the Lords by a majority of only one. The question continued to be annually agitated in Parliament during this reign, from the year 1814, with less apparent success than before, Ireland was in a very dislocated state with the Orangemen and Ribbonmen, and other illegal associations and contentions between Catholics and Protestants, and this acted very detrimentally on the question in England. Only one little victory was obtained in favour of the Catholics. This was, in 1813, the granting to Catholics in England of the benefit of the Act passed in Ireland, the 33 George III., repealing the 21 Charles II. And thus the Catholics were left, after all their exertions, at the death of the old king.

It was a melancholy thing to see the Queen of England bandied about from door to door, in the throng of curious and anxious spectators; cheered by some, laughed at by others, and an object of pity to her friends, making vain efforts to obtain admission to witness the glory of her worthless husband, repulsed at every point by the lowest officials, and compelled to return home discomfited and humiliated. By indiscreet and foolish acts like this she injured her position, and degraded herself to an extent that her husband, powerful and malignant as he was, never could have done. She and her friends counted upon the devotion of the people to her cause, which they hoped would have borne down all impediments and broken through all barriers. But it was felt that in attempting to intrude herself in that way at the risk of marring a great national festival, and causing tumult and possibly bloodshed, she had forgotten her own dignity; her conduct shocked the public sense of propriety, and went far to forfeit popular sympathy. She became deeply sensible of this fact while waiting for admission, and with all her attempts at hilarity, her laughter and gaiety of manner ill concealed the deep, self-inflicted wounds of her spirit, which were never healed. Now completely disenchanted, robbed of the fond illusion which had hitherto affected her perception of things, and viewing her situation in the cold morning light of stern reality, a chill of despondency came over her, and thenceforth settled heavily upon her spirit.