His terms were rejected with disdain. Yet he had a last interview with Metternich, in which he hoped to terrify him by a dread of the future preponderance of Russia; but, seeing that it made no impression, he became incensed, and adopted a very insolent tone towards the Austrian Minister. "Well, Metternich," he demanded, "how much has England given you to induce you to play this part towards me?" Metternich received the insult in haughty silence. Buonaparte, to try how far the diplomatist still would preserve his deference towards him, let his hat fall: Metternich let it lie. This was a sign that the Austrian had taken his part; it was, in fact, the signal of war. Yet, at the last moment, Napoleon suddenly assumed a tone of conciliation, and offered very large concessions. He had heard the news of the defeat of Vittoria. But it was too late. The Congress terminated on the 10th of August, and the Allies refused to re-open it. On the 12th of August, two days after the termination of the armistice, Austria declared herself on the side of the Allies, and brought two hundred thousand men to swell their ranks. This redoubtable force was commanded by her general, Prince von Schwarzenberg.

[See larger version] The English Dissenters were led, notwithstanding the difference in creed, to sympathise to a considerable extent with Irish Catholics in their agitation against the Church establishment. Dissenters felt particularly aggrieved by the tests which debarred them from obtaining University degrees, which, they justly contended, should be attainable as a matter of right on equal grounds by citizens of all denominations. A petition was presented by Lord Grey on the 21st of March in the Upper House, and by Mr. Spring-Rice on the 24th in the Commons; but no step was taken in consequence till after the Easter recess, when Colonel Williams moved an Address to the Crown, praying that the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge should no longer act under the letters of James I. Mr. Wood moved an amendment to the effect that it was more advisable to proceed by Bill, which was carried by a large majority; but before anything could be done the exclusive spirit of both Universities was roused to a pitch of violent excitement, and in the midst of the controversial storm the quiet voice of reason could not be heard. Mr. Stanley could not see why a man should sign the Thirty-Nine Articles in order to obtain a literary degree, and he deprecated the idea that such a subscription should be regarded as a mere matter of form. Sir Robert Peel was not yet prepared to carry out fully the principle of religious equality. The Bill, he argued, would give to Jews, infidels, and atheists a statutable right of demanding admission into our Universities. Dissenters had been freed from all civil disabilities by the repeal of the Test Acts, and the Roman Catholics by the Emancipation Act; a vast change had been effected in the constitution of Parliament by the Reform Act: and after all those concessions, were they now to be deprived of an Established Church? What was the essence of an Established Church? What but the legislative recognition of it on the part of the State? Parliament was therefore entitled to say to the Dissenters, "With that legislative recognition you shall not interfere." In a brief speech, full of sound sense, Lord Althorp showed the absurdity of those arguments and apprehensions. The second reading of the Bill was carried by a majority of 321 to 194. It was opposed by the Speaker in committee, but having there received some amendments, it was read a third time and passed on the 28th of July by a majority of 164 against 75. In the Lords it was denounced by the Duke of Gloucester, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, who moved that it be read a second time that day six months. He was followed by the Duke of Wellington, Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Lord Brougham ably defended the measure, but in vain. The Bill was rejected by a majority of 187 against 85. An attempt made by Lord Althorp to abolish church-rates, and to grant in lieu thereof the sum of 250,000 from the land-tax, to effect a[376] commutation of tithes, and to allow Dissenters to get married in their own chapels, was equally unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Buonaparte was preparing to descend like an avalanche on this absurdly inflated nation. To set himself at ease with the North, whilst thus engaged in the Peninsula, he deemed it first necessary, however, to have an interview with the Emperor of Russia in Germany. The spirit of the Germans was again rising; and notwithstanding the spies and troops of Buonaparte, his paid literatilike Johannes Müller,and his paid princeslike those of the Rhenish Confederation, Bavaria, Baden, and Würtemberg,the Germans were beginning to blush at their humiliation, and to lament the causes of it, their effeminacy, and their division into so many States, with all the consequent prejudices and intestine feuds. Prussia, which had suffered so severely for its selfish policy, and had been so cut down in territory and insulted in its honour by Napoleon, began to cherish the hope of yet redeeming itself, by a more manly spirit and a more cordial co-operation with the rest of Germany. In this work of regenerationwhich is sure to take place sooner or later, when nations have been well beaten and humiliated, and which then, in their renewed manhood, require no foreign aid for the accomplishment of their freedomall classes laboured. The king, under the inspiration of his patriotic Minister, Von Stein, began most essential reforms. He abolished the feudal servitude and forced labour under which the peasantry groaned; he made a thorough moral re-organisation of the army, admitting of promotion from the ranks; he allowed any man that had the money to purchase baronial estates; and he deprived the higher nobility of the exclusive right of possessing landed property, and of appointment to the higher civil and military posts. Von Stein, too, commenced the work of inspiring the mass of the people with a new soul of patriotism. He established a secret society, called the Tugend Bund, or union of Virtue, which was to unite nobles, statesmen, officers, and literati in one common confederation for the rescue of the country. Amongst those who entered the most enthusiastically were Colonel Schill, who had headed with great effect his troop of volunteer cavalry, Jahn, a professor at Berlin, and Moritz Arndt, a professor of Bonn, the author of the famous national song, "Was ist der Deutschen Vaterland?" in which he maintained that it was not Prussia, nor Austria, nor any other particular State, but all Germany, so far as the language extended. Scharnhorst, the commander of the Prussian army, though restricted to the prescribed number of troops, created a new army by continually exchanging trained soldiers for raw recruits, and secretly purchased an immense quantity of arms, so that, on emergency, a large body of men could be speedily assembled. He had also all the brass battery guns converted into field-pieces, and replaced by iron guns. But Napoleon's spies were everywhere. They discovered the existence of the Tugend Bund, and of the secret societies of the students, which they carried on under the old name of the Burschenschaft, or association of the students. Though Napoleon pretended to ridicule these movements, calling it mere ideology, he took every means to suppress them. The Minister, Von Stein, in consequence[566] of the contents of an intercepted letter, was outlawed; Scharnhorst, and Grüner, the head of the police, were dismissed from their offices; but it was all in vainthe tide of public feeling had now set in the right way. The same spirit was alive in Austria. Abuses were reformed; a more perfect discipline was introduced. John Philip von Stadion, the head of the Ministry, encouraged these measures; the views of the Archduke Charles were carried out on a far wider basis. A completely new institution, that of the Landwehr, or armed citizens, was set on foot. The Austrian armies were increased greatly. In 1807 the Hungarian Diet voted twelve thousand recruits; in 1808, eighty thousand; while eighty thousand organised soldiers, of whom thirty thousand were cavalry, constituted the armed reserve of this warlike nation. Napoleon remonstrated, and received very pacific answers, but the movement went on. Von Stein, now a refugee in Austria, fanned the flame there, and he and Count Münster, first Hanoverian Ambassador, and afterwards British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, were in constant correspondence with each other and with the Government of Great Britain.


On receiving the Emperor Alexander's decisive reply that no terms could be entered into with Napoleon till he had evacuated both Pomerania and Prussia, Buonapartewho professed to be greatly insulted by the demandimmediately set out from Paris for the northern army, on the 9th of May, and left his passports for the Russian Ambassador, which were delivered two days afterwards. Buonaparte, accompanied by Maria Louisa, proceeded immediately to Dresden, to which place he had invited, or rather summoned, all his allied and vassal monarchs to meet him. There, accordingly, were assembled the Emperor and Empress of Austriathe Empress being the sister of the expelled Duke of Modena, and mother-in-law of the Empress of the French,the solitary King of Prussia (whose queen had perished under the calumnies and insults of Napoleon), and a crowd of lesser German monarchs. Whilst Napoleon was playing the host to these crowned heads, and treating them to banquets, plays, and operas, he was closeted with his cabinet, still planning fresh humiliations for them when he had utterly extinguished Russia. He declared to them that he should take Galicia from Austria, and Silesia from Prussia. He summoned the Abb de Pradt, now Archbishop of Malines, and bade him go and promise the Poles the restoration of their kingdom, so as to induce them to follow him in a mass to Russia. "I will," he said, "put all Poland on horseback! I am on my way to Moscow. Two battles there will do the business! I will burn Thoula! The Emperor Alexander will come on his knees; and then Russia is disarmed. All is ready, and only waits my presence. Moscow is the heart of their empire. Besides, I make war at the expense of the blood of the Poles! I will leave fifty thousand of my Frenchmen in Poland. I will convert Dantzic into another Gibraltar."

Grenville, being on the look-out for new taxes, had paid particular attention to the rapid growth of the American colonies, and was inspired with the design of drawing a revenue from them. The scheme had been suggested to Sir Robert Walpole, when his Excise Bill failed, by Sir William Keith, who had been governor of Pennsylvania; but Sir Robert had a far deeper insight into human nature than the shallow and obstinate Grenville. He replied, "I have already Old England set against me, and do you think I will have New England set against me too?"

Thus occupying the right bank of the Aller, and the French the left, or western side, the Russians advanced to Friedland, not many miles from Eylau. At Friedland was a long wooden bridge crossing the Aller, and there, on the 13th of June, Buonaparte, by a stratagem, succeeded in drawing part of the Russians over the bridge by showing only Oudinot's division, which had been severely handled at the battle of Heilsberg. The[544] temptation was too great. Benningsen forgot his usual caution, and allowed a division of his army to cross and attack Oudinot. Oudinot retired fighting, and thus induced more of the Russians to follow, till, finding his troops hotly pressed, Benningsen marched his whole force over, and then Napoleon showed his entire army. Benningsen saw that he was entrapped, and must fight, under great disadvantages, with an enfeebled army, and in an open space, where they were surrounded by a dense host of French, who could cover themselves amid woods and hills, and pour in a tempest of cannon-balls on the exposed Russians. It was the anniversary of the battle of Marengo, and Buonaparte believed the day one of his fortunate ones. Benningsen was obliged to reduce his number by sending six thousand men to defend and keep open the bridge of Allerburg, some miles lower down the Aller, and which kept open his chance of union with L'Estocq and his Prussians. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, Benningsen fought desperately. The battle continued from ten o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon, when Buonaparte brought up his full force in person for one of those terrible and overwhelming shocks by which he generally terminated a doubtful contest. There was such a simultaneous roar of musketry and cavalry as seemed enough to sweep away the Russians like chaff. The batteries poured down upon them a rain of no less than three thousand ball and five hundred grape-shot charges; yet the Russians did not flinch till they had at least twelve thousand killed and wounded. It was then determined to retreat across the river, and, two fords having been found, the Czar's Imperial Guard charged the troops of Ney with the bayonet, and kept them at bay till the army was over. The transit was marvellous in its success. All their cannon, except seventeen, were saved, and all their baggage.

Braves, with broad sail, the immeasurable sea;

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This was the case with Sir James Thornhill, of Thornhill, near Weymouth. His father, however, had spent his fortune and sold the estate, and Sir James, being fond of art, determined to make it his profession to regain his property. His uncle, the celebrated Dr. Sydenham, assisted him in the scheme. He studied in London, and then travelled through Flanders, Holland, and France. On his return he was appointed by Queen Anne to paint the history of St. Paul in the dome of the new cathedral of St. Paul, in eight pictures in chiaroscuro, with the lights hatched in gold. So much was the work approved, that he was made historical painter to the queen. The chief works of the kind by Sir James were the Princess's apartment at Hampton Court, the gallery and several ceilings in Kensington Palace, a hall at Blenheim, a chapel at Lord Oxford's, at Wimpole, a saloon of Mr. Styles's, at Moorpark, and the ceilings of the great hall at Greenwich Hospital. On the ceiling of the lower hall appear, amid much allegorical scenery, the portraits of William and Mary, of Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Newton, and others; on that of the upper hall appear the portraits of Queen Anne and her husband, the Prince of Denmark; and paintings of the landing of William at Torbay, and the arrival of George I. There are, in addition, portraits of George I., and two generations of his family. Sir James also painted the altar-piece of All Souls', Oxford, and one presented to his native town, Weymouth.

New York, Jersey, and the New England States traded in the same commodities: they also built a considerable number of ships, and manufactured, especially in Massachusetts, coarse linens and woollens, iron, hats, rum, besides drying great quantities of fish for Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean markets. Massachusetts already employed 40,000 tons of shipping. New England furnished the finest masts in the world for the navy; Virginia and Maryland furnished 50,000 hogsheads of tobacco, annually valued at 370,000; employing 24,000 tons of shipping. From these colonies we received also large quantities of skins, wool, furs, flax, etc. Carolina had become a great rice-growing country. By the year 1733 it had nearly superseded the supply of that article from Italy in Spain and Portugal; in 1740 it exported nearly 100,000 barrels of rice; and seven years afterwards, besides its rice, it sent to England 200,000 pounds of indigo, rendering us independent of France for that article; and at the end of the present period its export of indigo had doubled that quantity, besides a very considerable exportation of pitch, sassafras, Brazil wood, skins, Indian corn, and other articles.