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The King of Prussia was anxious to unite with Russia, and to furnish forty thousand men for the common defence. But all his strongest garrisons were in the hands of France, and Alexander did not advise him to subject his territories to the certain misery of being overrun by the French till the contest in Russia was decided; for Alexander meant to fall back during the early part of the campaign, and could, therefore, lend no aid to Prussia. It was agreed, therefore, that Prussia should afford the demanded twenty thousand men and sixty pieces of artillery to the army of Napoleon, and act according to circumstances. Prussia was also to furnish the French army with all that it required during its march across it, the charge to be deducted from the debt of Prussia to France.

[See larger version] Accession of George IV.Meeting of ParliamentGeneral ElectionOpening of the New SessionDulness of AffairsBrougham on EducationQueen CarolineOmission of her Name from the LiturgyShe rejects the King's Proposals, and arrives in EnglandAttempts at a CompromiseThe King orders an InquiryThe Secret CommitteeThe Bill of Pains and PenaltiesArrival of the Queen in the House of LordsDiscussions on the Form of ProcedureSpeeches of Denman and the Attorney-GeneralEvidence for the ProsecutionBrougham's SpeechAbandonment of the BillGeneral RejoicingsViolence of Party FeelingPopularity of the QueenHer Claim to be crowned refusedThe Queen's Attempt to enter the AbbeyIndiscretion of the ActThe Coronation and the BanquetThe subsequent ScrambleDeath of the QueenDeparture of her BodyThe King's Visit to IrelandA Royal Oration and its enthusiastic ReceptionThe King and Lady ConynghamChanges in the GovernmentDiscontent of EldonWellesley in IrelandAlarming State of the CountryCanning's Speech on Catholic EmancipationParliamentary ReformAgricultural Distress and FinanceEldon's Outbreak on the Marriage BillSuicide of Lord LondonderryScene at his FuneralVisit of George IV. to ScotlandLoyalty of Sir Walter ScottAccount of the FestivitiesPeel's Letter to ScottReturn of the KingCanning takes the Foreign Office and Leadership of the House of CommonsHuskisson joins the CabinetThe Duke of Wellington sent to VeronaHis InstructionsPrinciples of the Holy AllianceThe Spanish ColoniesFrench Intervention in SpainThe Duke's Remonstrances with the French KingHis Interview with the CzarThe Congress of VeronaFailure of Wellington to prevent Intervention in SpainVindication of Canning's Policy in the CommonsHe calls the New World into Existence.

Such was the state of public feeling that preceded the dissolution of Parliament. This event was the signal for the wildest exultation and triumph among the people. There was a general illumination in London, sanctioned by the Lord Mayor. In Edinburgh and other cities where the civic authorities did not order it, the Reform Clubs took upon themselves to guide the people in their public rejoicings. In many places the populace broke the windows of those who refused to illuminate; and in some cases those who did comply had their windows smashed, if suspected of Tory principles. In Scotland the mobs are said to have been peculiarly violent. Sir Archibald Alison states that the windows of his brother, Professor Alison, whose life had been devoted to the relief of the poor, though illuminated, "were utterly smashed in five minutes, as were those of above a thousand others of the most respectable citizens." The Lord Provost of Edinburgh was seized by the mob on the day of the election, who tried to throw him over the North Bridge, a height of ninety feeta crime for which the ringleaders were afterwards convicted and punished by the judiciary court. The military were called out, but withdrawn at the request of Lord Advocate Jeffrey. At Ayr, he says, "the Conservative voters had to take refuge in the Town Hall, from which they were escorted by a body of brave Whigs, who, much to their honour, had them conveyed to a steamboat." "No person anywhere in Scotland could give his vote for the Conservative candidate." At Lanark a dreadful riot occurred, and the Conservative candidate was seriously wounded in the church where the election was going forward. At Dumbarton the Tory candidate, Lord William Graham, only escaped death by being concealed in a garret, where he lay hidden the whole day. At Jedburgh a band of ruffians hooted the dying Sir Walter Scott. "I care for you no more," said he, "than for the hissing of geese." Sir Walter, in his diary, says:"The mob were exceedingly vociferous and brutal, as they usually are now-a-days. The population gathered in formidable numbersa thousand from Hawicksad blackguards. I left the burgh in the midst of abuse and gentle hints[335] of 'burke Sir Walter!'" In London the windows in the houses of the leading Anti-Reformers were all broken. The Duke of Wellington was not spared in this raid against the opponents of popular rights. The windows of Apsley House were smashed with volleys of stones. It happened, unfortunately, that the duchess lay dead within at the time. She had expired just as the booming of the guns in St. James's Park announced the approach of the king to dissolve Parliament. The crowd knew nothing of this. The Duke, however, was determined that he would not suffer an outrage like this another time. He had iron shutters put up, so as to guard every window which was liable to be assailed, either from Piccadilly or Hyde Park; and to the day of his death they remained.

Whilst these affairs had been taking place in England, the Emperor had been finding himself less and less able to contend against France and Spain. He had in vain exerted himself to engage the Dutch and English in his quarrel. He called upon them as bound by the faith of treaties; he represented the balance of power for which both Holland and England had made such sacrifices, as more in danger than ever; but none of these pleas moving Walpole or the Dutch, he threatened to withdraw his troops from the Netherlands, and make over that country to France. The threat of the Emperor did not move Walpole; he knew too well that it was but a threat. The Emperor, therefore, was now compelled to come to terms. A treaty was to be entered into under the mediation of the maritime Powers. As Fleury and Walpole, too, were bent on peace, they submitted to all the delays and punctilios of the diplomatists, and finally were rewarded by a peace being concluded between the different parties on these terms:Don Carlos was to retain Naples and Sicily, but he was to resign the possession of Parma and the reversion of Tuscany; of the claimants to the Polish Crown, Augustus was to remain King of Poland, and Stanislaus was to receive, as an equivalent, the Duchy of Lorraine, which, after his decease, was to devolve to the Crown of France. This was an aim which France had had in view for ages, but which neither the genius of Richelieu nor of Mazarin could[66] accomplish. It was rendered comparatively easy now, as the young Duke of Lorraine was about to marry the Empress's only child, the Princess Maria Theresa, and thus to succeed through her to the Empire. Yet the Duke ceded his patrimonial territory with extreme regret, and not till he had received in return the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and a pension from France. The regnant Grand Duke of Tuscany, the last of the Medicis, was on the verge of death, and his decease took place in less than two years, when the Duke of Lorraine was put in possession. France and Sardinia gave their guarantee to the Pragmatic Sanction, and Sardinia obtained, in consequence, Novara, Tortona, and some adjoining districts. England appears to have looked on with strange apathy at this aggrandisement of France by the acquisition of Lorraine, but it was impossible to prevent it, except by a great war, and Walpole was not disposed for even a little one. This treaty is known as the Definitive Peace of Vienna (Nov. 8, 1738).

The prizes of Rodney, including the great Ville de Paris, on their way home were assailed with a violent tempest, and went down, so that the English people had not the gratification of seeing the largest ship in the world, which had been captured by Rodney. The Dutch were encouraged to attempt coming out of the Texel, and waylaying our Baltic merchant fleet, but Lord Howe, with twelve sail-of-the-line, was sent after them, and they quickly ran. His lordship remained there blockading them till the 28th of June, when he was compelled to leave his post and sail westward, with twenty-one ships-of-the-line and some frigates, to watch the great combined fleet of France and Spain, which had issued from Cadiz. The united fleetthirty-six sail-of-the-line, besides frigateskept aloof, however, and allowed him safely to convoy home the Jamaica merchant fleet, guarded by Sir Peter Parker.

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Bolingbroke, now restored to his estates, though the attainder still deprived him of his seat in the House of Lords, endeavoured to create a new species of opposition in Parliament. He retained his influence with the Duchess of Kendal, and cultivated that of the ultra-Tories. Still more, he soon discovered that William Pulteney, the most eloquent man in the House, had grown disgusted with Walpole, who could never bear any man of pre-eminent ability near the throne except himself. Pulteney had been one of the steadiest friends of the late queen's Government, and of the Protestant succession. Under George he had been made Secretary at War. He had adhered to Walpole when he was sent to the Tower for corruption, and in the great schism of 1717. Yet Walpole had carefully excluded him from any high post in the Cabinet, and had endeavoured to veil his jealousy of him by offering to procure him a peerage, by which he would have removed him from the active sphere of the House of Commons. Pulteney saw the object, and rejected the specious favour. Instead of conferring on Pulteney some[53] office worthy of his talents, Walpole then put him into that of Cofferer of the Household. In the state of indignation which this paltry appointment raised in him Bolingbroke soon induced Pulteney to put himself at the head of a large body of Oppositionists, under the title of "Patriots." In this character he made some smart attacks on Walpole and his heavy drafts on the Civil List for his friends, for which he was dismissed, and joined Bolingbroke in a bold attempt to write down the Minister. Between them the celebrated paper The Craftsman was planned and established, and they became the bitterest and most persevering assailants of Walpole.

In concluding the remarkable events of this year, we must turn to India, and witness the termination of the career of Tippoo Sahib. This prince, for ever restless under the losses which he had suffered from the British, though nominally at peace with them, was seeking alliances to help him once more to contend with them. He sought to engage the Afghans in his favour, and to bring over the British ally, the Nizam of the Deccan. Failing in this, he made overtures to the French Republic through the Governor of the Isle of France. Buonaparte, as we have said, had Tippoo in his mind when he proposed to march to India and conquer it, but only a few hundreds of French of the lowest caste reached Seringapatam from the Isle of France. Lord Mornington, afterwards the Marquis of Wellesley, determined to anticipate the plans of Tippoo, and dispatched General Harris with twenty-four thousand men into Mysore, at the same time ordering another force of seven thousand, under General Stuart, from Bombay, to co-operate with him. To these also was added a strong reinforcement of British troops in the pay of the Nizam, and some regiments of sepoys, commanded by English officers. The united forces of Harris and the Nizam came into conflict with Tippoo's army on the 22nd of March, 1799, when within two days' march of Seringapatam. In this action, Colonel Wellesley, afterwards the Duke of Wellington, greatly distinguished himself, and the success of the action was ascribed to his regiment, the 34th. On the 5th of April General Harris invested Seringapatam, and on the 14th General Stuart arrived with the Bombay army. Tippoo soon made very humble overtures for peace, but the British, having no faith in him, continued the siege, and the city was carried by storm on the 4th of May, and Tippoo himself was found amongst the slain. Two of his sons fell into the hands of the victors; his territories were divided between the British and the Nizam. The former retained Seringapatam and the island on which it is situated, and the whole of his territory on the Malabar coast, with Coimbra, and all the rest of his possessions stretching to the Company's territories west and east, thus completing their dominion from sea to sea. The Nizam received equally valuable regions in the interior, and a province was bestowed on the descendant of the Hindoo rajah who had been dispossessed of it by Hyder Ali, Tippoo's father. Thus was the British empire of India freed from its most formidable enemy, and thus was it enabled, soon afterwards, to send an armament up the Red Sea to assist in driving the French from Egypt.