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The Emigrants had continued to flock to Coblenz, and their number, with their families, now amounted to nearly one hundred thousand of the most wealthy and influential class in France. They continued to make preparations for war, and it is no wonder that the people of France beheld their menacing attitude with uneasiness. Though the king publicly wrote letters to the Emigrants, desiring them to return to their country, and employ themselves as good citizens under the Constitution, there was a strong suspicion that he privately gave them different advice. That the king did maintain a secret correspondence with some of the insurgents is certain; but it is neither proved, nor does it appear probable, that he sanctioned their intention of making war on the country. But their obstinate absence drove the Assembly now to such severe measures against them as compelled Louis to exercise his veto in their favour, and he thus destroyed his popularity with the public, and caused himself to be considered as really in league with the Emigrants. Nevertheless, it was the advice of all the king's Ministers, as well as it appears to have been his own feeling, that they should return, for they[388] might have added immensely to the influence in favour of the throne. Louis, therefore, again exhorted the Emigrants to return; but they continued inflexible. He next wrote to the officers of the army and navy, deploring the information that he had received that they were quitting the service, and that he could not consider those his friends who did not, like himself, remain at their posts; but this was equally ineffectual, and the Minister of War reported to the Assembly that one thousand nine hundred officers had deserted. The Assembly was greatly incensed; the Girondists deemed it a good opportunity to force the king to deal a blow at the nobility and at his own brothers. On the 20th of October Brissot ascended the tribune, and demanded measures of severity against the Emigrants. At the close of the debate a decree was passed requiring the king's brothers to return to France within three months, on pain of forfeiting all their rights as citizens, and their claims as princes on the succession to the Crown. On the 9th of November a second decree was passed, declaring that all Frenchmen assembled on the frontiers were suspected of conspiracy against the country; that all such as should continue there till the 1st of January should be treated as traitors; that princes and public functionaries should become amenable to the same punishments; that the incomes of all such Emigrants, from lands, moneys, or offices, should from the present moment be sequestrated; that a court should be appointed in January to try them; and that any Frenchman, after this, crossing the frontiers, or found guilty of endeavouring to seduce the people from their allegiance, should be put to death.

He despatched a squadron of ten ships of the line to the Mediterranean, under Admiral Haddock; another strong squadron sailed for the West Indies; letters of marque and reprisal were issued to the merchants; and troops and stores were forwarded to Georgia, which the Spaniards had threatened to invade. He gave directions to all merchants in Spanish ports to register their goods with a public notary in case of a rupture. These measures produced a rapid change of tone at the Spanish Court. On comparing the demands on both sides for damages sustained in commerce, there appeared a balance in favour of England of two hundred thousand pounds. Against this, the Spaniards demanded sixty thousand pounds in compensation for the ships taken by Admiral Byng in 1718a claim which Stanhope would never allow, but which had been recognised in the Treaty of Seville, and was now, therefore, acknowledged. This reduced the sum to a hundred and forty thousand pounds, which the Spanish Court proposed should be paid by assignments on the American revenues. This, the Ministers were well aware, might involve the most endless delays and uncertainties, and they certainly showed a most conceding spirit by allowing a deduction of forty-five thousand pounds for prompt payment at Madrid. The sum was now reduced to ninety-five thousand pounds; and this being agreed to, a convention was signed on the 14th of January, 1739.

Tobias Smollett (b. 1721; d. 1771), before he appeared as a novelist, following in the track of Fielding rather than in that of Richardson, had figured as poet, dramatist, and satirist. Originally a surgeon from Dumbartonshire, and afterwards surgeon's mate on board of a man-of-war, he had then lived as an author in London. Thus he had seen great variety of life and character, and, having a model given him, he threw his productions forth in rapid succession. His first novel was "Roderick Random," which appeared in 1748, the same year as Richardson's "Clarissa," and a year preceding perhaps the greatest of Fielding's works, "Tom Jones." Then came, in rapid sequence, "Peregrine Pickle," "Count Fathom," "Sir Launcelot Greaves," and "Humphrey Clinker." Whilst writing these he was busy translating "Don Quixote"a work after his own hearttravelling and writing travels, editing The Briton, and continuing Hume's "History of England." In his novels Smollett displayed a deep knowledge of character, and a humour still broader and coarser than that of Fielding. In Smollett the infusion of indecency may be said to have reached its height. In fact, there is no more striking evidence of the vast progress made in England since the commencement of the reign of George III., in refinement of manners and delicacy of sentiment, than the contrast between the coarseness and obscenity of those early writers and the novelists of the present day. The picture which they offer of the rude vice, the low tastes, the debauched habits, the general drunkenness, and the ribaldry and profanity of language in those holding the position of gentlemen and even of ladies, strikes us now with amazement and almost with loathing.

But the triumph of the insurgents was brief. From Radetzky, triumphant in Italy, from Windischgr?tz at Prague, and from Jellacic in Hungary, came assurances that they were making haste to rally round the emperor's flag, and to cause it to wave in triumph over the vanquished revolution. The last with his Croats moved up by forced marches, availing himself of the Southern Railway, and on the 9th of October he was within two hours' march of Vienna. On the news of the approach of this formidable enemy, consternation seized the Viennese. The reinforcements brought by Windischgr?tz swelled the Imperial forces at Vienna to 70,000 men. In the presence of this host, hanging like an immense thunder-cloud charged with death and ruin over the capital, the citizens relied chiefly upon the Hungarian army. But this was held in check by the Croatian army; and Kossuth, deeming it prudent not to enter into the contest, withdrew his troops within the bounds of Hungarian territory. On the 28th, Prince Windischgr?tz began to bombard the city, and the troops advanced to the assault. The Hungarians at last advanced in aid of the insurgents, but were beaten off, and on the night of the 31st of October the city surrendered, and was in possession of the Imperial troops.

During the year 1750 the French evinced a hostile disposition. They laid claim to part of Nova Scotia, and refused to surrender the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent, as they were bound to do by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. They continued to stir up bad feeling towards us both in Spain and Germany. The Empress listened with eagerness to the suggestions of France, and co-operated with that country in endeavouring to influence Spain against us. Fortunately, the good disposition of the Queen of Spain, and the able management of Mr. Keene, our Ambassador, foiled all these efforts, and completed a commercial treaty with that country. This treaty was signed on the 5th of October, 1750, and placed us at once on the same footing in commercial relations with Spain as the most favoured nations. We abandoned the remaining term of the Assiento, and obtained one hundred thousand pounds as compensation for the claims of the South Sea Company. The right of search, however, was passed over in silence, and we continued to cut logwood[115] in Campeachy Bay and to smuggle on the Spanish Main, winked at by the Spanish authorities, but liable to interruption whenever jealousy or ill-will might be in the ascendant. In various directions our commerce flourished at this time, and many injurious restrictions were removed, such as those that hampered the whale fishery of Spitzbergen, the white herring and coast fisheries, the trade to the coast of Guinea, the import of iron from the American plantations and of raw silk from China. Our manufactures also grew apace, in spite of the internal jarrings of the Ministry and the deadness of Parliament.

The House, meanwhile, seemed to have been getting still more involved in the meshes of these difficulties. Stockdale commenced a fourth and fifth action against Hansard; an order was issued for the arrest of his attorney for contempt, and he was ultimately lodged in Newgate. But he afterwards brought actions against all the officers of the House that had been concerned in his arrest and had searched his premises. On the 17th of February Lord John Russell informed the House that he had a petition to present from Messrs. Hansard to the effect that a fifth action had been commenced against them by Stockdale for the same course as before. It was then moved that Stockdale, and the son of Howard, his attorney, a lad of nineteen, and his clerk, by commencing this action had been guilty of a contempt of the House. This was carried by a majority of 71, and they, too, were imprisoned.

Dr. Erasmus Darwin assumed the hopeless task of chaining poetry to the car of science. He was a physician of Derby, and, like Sir Richard Blackmore, "rhymed to the rumbling of his own coach wheels;" for we are told that he wrote his verses as he drove about to his patients. His great poem is the "Botanic Garden," in which he celebrates the loves of the plants, and his "Economy of Vegetation," in which he introduces all sorts of mechanical inventions. Amongst the rest he announces the triumphs of steam in sonorous rhymes