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      Before the conclusion of the reign of George II. a new school of fiction had appeared. De Foe had, besides his "Robinson Crusoe," opened up the inexhaustible field of incident and character existing in actual life in his "Colonel Jack," "Moll Flanders," "Roxana," and other novels, and Fielding and Richardson extended it. Fielding, too, died six years before the beginning of this reign, and Richardson in the first year of it. But their works were in full circulation, and extended their influence far into this period. They have, therefore, been left to be noticed here in connection with the class of writers to whom they gave origin, and to whom they properly belong. Richardson (b. 1689; d. 1761) seems to have originated the true novel of real life in his "Pamela," which was the history of a servant, written with that verisimilitude that belongs to biography. This was commenced in 1740, and brought to a conclusion in 1741. The extra-ordinary sensation which it created was sufficient proof that the author had struck into the very heart of nature, and not only knew where the seat of human passion lay, but had the highest command over it. It was not, in fact, from books and education, but from native insight and acute observation, that he drew his power. He was born in Derbyshire, and received his education at a common day-school. He was then apprenticed as a printer in London, and established himself as a master in that business, which he continued to pursue with great success. His "Pamela" ran through five editions in the first year. In 1748[172] appeared his "Clarissa Harlowe," and wonderfully extended his reputation, which reached its full blaze in his "Sir Charles Grandison," in 1754. In all these works he showed himself a perfect analyst of the human heart, and detector of the greatest niceties of character. Though he could have known little or nothing of aristocratic life, yet, trusting to the sure guidance of nature, he drew ladies and gentlemen, and made them act and converse as the first ladies and gentlemen of the age would have been proud to act and speak. A more finished gentleman than Sir Charles Grandison, or correcter lady than Miss Byron, was never delineated. The only thing was, that, not being deeply versed in the debaucheries and vulgarisms of the so-called high life of the time, he drew it as much purer and better than it was. It is in the pages of Fielding and Smollett that we must seek for the darker and more real character of the age. The fault of Richardson was his prolixity. He develops his plot, and draws all his characters, and works out his narrative with the minutest strokes. It is this which prevents him from being read now. Who could wade through a novel of nine volumes? Yet these were devoured by the readers of that time with an avidity that not even the novels of Sir Walter Scott were waited for in the height of his popularity.Before Lord Howe advanced farther, he received a deputation from Congress. He had sent the captured American General, Sullivan, on his parole to Philadelphia to endeavour to induce Congress to come to terms, and save the further effusion of blood. He assured them that he was not at liberty to treat with them as a Congress, but he would willingly meet some of them as private gentlemen, having full powers, with his brother, General Howe, to settle the dispute between them and Great Britain, on advantageous terms; that, on finding them disposed to agree to honourable conditions, he would seek for the acknowledgment of their authority to treat with him, so as to make the compact valid. The delegates appointed were sufficiently indicative of the little good that was to be hoped from the interview. They were Dr. Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge. Franklin had returned a most insulting answer to a private letter sent to him by Lord Howe. It was in vain that Lord Howe assured the deputies that England was disposed to forget all, to pardon all, and to repeal all the obnoxious taxes, and that inexpressible calamities would be avoided by the Colonies simply returning to their allegiance. The deputies replied, that the only terms on which America could make peace was as independent states. This put the matter beyond accommodation.


      To reach the enemy the British had to cross the river, and that by a single bridge. This was commanded by the American artillery, and it might have been expected that it would not be easily carried; but, on the contrary, a light brigade swept over it, in face of the cannon, followed by the rest of the army; and the troops deploying right and left the moment they were over, this single divisionabout one thousand six hundred strongrouted the whole American force before the remainder of the British could come into action. Few of the Americans waited to be killed or wounded. Madison had the mortification to see his army all flying in precipitation, and the city open to the British.


      In July of the present year the union of Ireland with Great Britain was carried. Pitt and Lord Cornwallis had come to the conclusion that a double Government was no longer possible, and that unless the Irish were to be allowed to exterminate one another, as they had attempted to do during the late rebellion, the intervention of the British Parliament was absolutely necessary. A resolution had passed the British Parliament in 1799, recommending this union, and the news of this created a tempest of indignation in Protestant Ireland. In January, 1799, the speech on the Address to the throne in the Irish Parliament was, on this account, vehemently opposed, and an amendment was carried against the Government by a majority of one; yet in January, 1800, a motion was carried, at the instigation of Lord Castlereagh, the Secretary, in favour of the union, by a majority of forty-two. Whence this magical change in twelve months? On the 5th of February the whole plan of the union was detailed by Lord Castlereagh, the principal Secretary of State for Ireland, in the Irish Commons. He stated that it was intended to give to Ireland in the Parliament of the United Kingdom four lords spiritual sitting in rotation of sessions, and twenty-eight lords temporal elected for life by peers of Ireland, and that the Irish representatives in the united House of Commons should be a hundred. The motion for this plan was carried in the Irish Commons by a majority of forty-two in spite of a magnificent speech from Grattan, and by a great majority in the House of Lords; but this was in the face of the most unmitigated amazement on the part of the opposition, and of the people, who were not in the secret. Their rage was beyond description. On the 13th of March Sir John Parnell declared that this measure had been effected by the most unexampled corruption, and moved for an Address to his Majesty, imploring him to dissolve this Parliament, and present the question to be decided by a new one. But the Solicitor-General declared that this motion was "unfurling the bloody flag of rebellion;" and Mr. Egan replied that the Solicitor-General and other members of the[475] administration had already "unfurled the flag of prostitution and corruption." But the measure was now passed, and that by the same Parliament which, only a year before, had rejected the proposition in toto. But what were the means employed by the British Government to produce this change? The answer is simple; a million and a quarter was devoted to the compensation of borough owners, lawyers who hoped to improve their prospects by entering the House, and the Dublin tradesmen.The first indictment was preferred against James Tytler, a chemist, of Edinburgh, for having published an address to the people, complaining of the mass of the people being wholly unrepresented, and, in consequence, being robbed and enslaved; demanding universal suffrage, and advising folk to refuse to pay taxes till this reform was granted. However strange such a charge would appear now, when the truth of it has long been admitted, it was then held by Government and the magistracy as next to high treason. Tytler did not venture to appear, and his bail, two booksellers, were compelled to pay the amount of his bond and penalty, six hundred merks Scots. He himself was outlawed, and his goods were sold. Three days afterwards, namely, on the 8th of January, 1793, John Morton, a printer's apprentice, and John Anderson and Malcolm Craig, journeymen printers, were put upon their trial for more questionable conduct. They were charged with endeavouring to seduce the soldiers in the castle of Edinburgh from their duty, urging them to drink, as a toast, "George the Third and Last, and Damnation to all Crowned Heads;" and with attempting to persuade them to join the "Society of the Friends of the People," or a "Club of Equality and Freedom." They were condemned to nine months' imprisonment, and to give security in one thousand merks Scots for their good behaviour for three years. Next came the trials of William Stewart, merchant, and John Elder, bookseller, of Edinburgh, for writing and publishing a pamphlet on the "Rights of Man and the Origin of Government." Stewart absconded, and the proceedings were dropped against the bookseller. To these succeeded a number of similar trials, amongst them those of James Smith, John Mennings, James Callender, Walter Berry, and James Robinson, of Edinburgh, tradesmen of various descriptions, on the charges of corresponding with Reform societies, or advocating the representation of the people, full and equal rights, and declaring the then Constitution a conspiracy of the rich against the poor. One or two absented themselves, and were outlawed; the rest were imprisoned in different towns. These violent proceedings against poor men, merely for demanding reforms only too[427] much needed, excited but little attention; but now a more conspicuous class was aimed at, and the outrageously arbitrary proceedings at once excited public attention, and, on the part of reformers, intense indignation.

      The Archduke John, whilst advancing victoriously into Italy, driving the viceroy, Eugene Beauharnais, before him, when he had reached almost to Venice was recalled by the news of the unfortunate battle of Eckmühl, and the orders of the Aulic Council. The Italians had received him with unconcealed joy; for, harsh as the rule of Austria in Italy had been, it was found to be easy in comparison with the yoke of Buonaparte. In common with other peoples, the Italians found that Buonaparte's domination, introduced with lofty pretences of restoring liberty and crushing all old tyrannies, was infinitely more intolerable than the worst of these old tyrannies. It was one enormous drain of military demand. The lifeblood of the nation was drawn as by some infernal and insatiable vampire, to be poured out in all the other lands of Europe for their oppression and curse. Trade vanished, agriculture declined under the baleful incubus; public robbery was added to private wrong; the works of artthe national pridewere stripped from their ancient places, without any regard to public or individual right, and there remained only an incessant pressure of taxation, enforced with insult, and often with violence.The woman called early in the blazing afternoon, appearing clad in silks, waving a gorgeous fan of[Pg 63] plumes, and sinking languidly into a chair. Felipa sat bolt upright on a camp-stool, and before the close of an hour they were at daggers' points. The commandant's wife used cheap French phrases in every other breath, and Felipa retaliated in the end by a long, glib sentence, which was not understood. She seemed absolutely dense and unsmiling about it, but Landor was used to the mask of stolidity. He got up and went to the window to arrange the gray blanket, and hide a smile that came, even though he was perfectly aware of the unwisdom of making an enemy of the C. O.'s wife.


      During this year Buonaparte made another attempt to recover the mastery of St. Domingo. Dessalines was now emperor, having a court full of black nobles and marshals, an exact parody of Napoleon's. A French squadron, under Admiral Lessigues, consisting of five ships of the line, two frigates, and a corvette, managed to escape the British fleets, and, on the 20th of January, to anchor in the road of St. Domingo. They had just landed a body of troops, when Sir John Duckworth made his appearance with seven sail-of-the-line and four frigates. Lessigues slipped his cables, and endeavoured to get out to sea, but the wind did not favour him; Sir John Duckworth came up with him, and, on the 6th of February, attacked and defeated him. Though Sir John had the superiority in number of vessels, the French vessels were, some of them, much larger ones; and one, the Imperial, was reckoned the largest and finest ship of their navya huge three-decker, of three thousand three hundred tons, and a hundred and thirty guns. Yet, in three hours, Sir John had captured three of the French line of battle ships; the other two ran on the rocks, and were wrecked. One of these was the gigantic Imperial. Nearly the whole of her crew perished, five hundred being killed and wounded before she struck. One of these frigates which escaped was afterwards captured by a British sloop of war in a very battered condition from a storm, in addition to the fight.When Washington arrived at Boston, on the 15th of June, he found the English army augmented to ten thousand by fresh forces, under Generals Burgoyne, William Howe, the brother of Lord Howe, and Henry Clinton. The American troops consisted of twenty thousand militia and volunteers, still in a most confused condition, extended over a line of twenty miles in length, that only required an attack of five thousand men, led by a general of courage and ability, to be thoroughly beaten. They were, moreover, greatly deficient in powder and other necessaries. But the English generals lay as if there were no urgent need of action. Had a sudden movement on the Neck been made from Boston, five hundred men could have broken and dispersed the Americans nearest to that position before the other ill-trained troops, some of them at great distances, could have come up; and they might have been easily defeated in detail by the simultaneous efforts of four spirited generals and ten thousand efficient soldiers. But lethargy seemed to have seized on Gage, and to have also infected his coadjutors.

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      CHAPTER IV. PROGRESS OF THE NATION DURING THE REIGN OF GEORGE III.

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      He told her that she didn't know it, because he was not; and then he explained to her. "What I want of you now is for you to come over with Taylor and me to see Stone."

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