1.  had not meant the peace to last. He only
wanted a short breathing-time while he built up his great
fabric of despotism. But he soon fancied him self so strong that he did not care much what
England did. He had now made his peace with
the Pope by the Concordat, and had restored the Roman
Catholic Church in France. He seized Piedmont and Parma,
and sent his soldiers to occupy Switzerland. He was safe
from the German side, as Prussia andAustria were angrily dis puting about their share in the plunder of the ecclesiastical
states and free towns of Germany, which had been abolished
to compensate the princes for what they had lost at Luneville,
and were soon actually to call on and
of Russia to mediate between them. So he took a high
line with England, and while sending spies and stirring up
rebellion in Ireland, angrily complained that Malta was not
given up as the treaty required, and demanded the expul sion of the royalist emigres who were libelling him in
their London newspaper L'Ambigu. England refused to
give up Malta, called out the militia, and on 18th May
declared war. answered by putting an embargo
on English shipping and shutting up in prison the thousands
of English tourists who had swarmed into France as soon
as peace was made.|
2.  War now lasted without a break until . It was a
very different war to that waged between .
That had been the war of the old order against
the ideas of the Revolution. This was fought
for the balance of power and the liberties of Europe,
threatened by the greedy despot who had already put down
the freedom of his adopted country. Master of enlarged
France, of Italy, the Low Countries, and Spain, the mediator
of Germany, and the ally of Russia, now picked
a quarrel with the one nation outside his influence. England
readily entered into a struggle of unexampled severity and
length. On the Continent still overthrew the
old-fashioned armies of the despots of Europe, and was still
welcomed, though with less zeal, as the apostle of Revolutionary France. But the English first taught the conqueror
of so many governments how hard it is to overcome a
nation. Bit by bit, as his designs became clearer, England
succeeded in rousing up the nations of the Continent to
defeat his designs of universal monarchy. Hence the extraordinary hatred which always felt for England.
3.  England had no ally, and threatened
invasion. The attack began in Ireland. In July
Robert Emmet, brother of Thomas, the rebel
in '98, was incited by to attempt a
revolution in Dublin, but he only managed to stir up a riot,
during which the mob barbarously murdered Lord Chief
Justice Kilwarden. The soldiers soon put down the disturbance, and even the Irish peasantry would not hide
Emmet in his character of a French officer. He was taken
and hanged, and the stern coercive laws that were now
passed were the first Irish measures of a Union Parliament.
4.  England was fighting single-handed, and
was not strong enough for such a crisis. A
powerful opposition had been formed by the
union of 's cousin and old colleague Lord
with and the Whigs. still professed to
support him, but his great disciple, the brilliant George
, was already openly laughing at
('s father was a physician), and
"the doctor and
's chief supporters in the House were his own
"'Twere best, no doubt, the truth to tell;
But still, good soul, he means so well."
Not even 's friendship could keep him in office, and
in May he had to give way to , who thought that
in the face of the enemy his duty was to save the state
rather than bewilder the half-mad king with advice on the
Catholic question. He still wisely asked for a broad national
ministry. But would not hear of making a
Secretary of State, though he offered place to Lord Gren ville. But refused to take office without ,
though good-naturedly pressed him to do so.
made no heroic attempt to struggle against the king, backed
by the party-feelings of the Tories. He gave up as he
had given up the Catholics, and did the next best thing he
could, built up a ministry out of his own followers. Some
of 's ministers remained, and chose out some
brilliant young men, such as , William
, and Spencer Perceval, for the lesser posts. A
few months later himself joined the Government,
and was made Lord .
"When his speeches hobble vilely,
What 'Hear hims' burst from brother Hiley;
When his faltering periods lag,
Hark to the cheers of brother Bragge.
5.  restored confidence by his zeal in meeting the
threatened invasion. , who in May declared
himself Emperor of the French, had gathered
together a great army round Boulogne, and
had built a vast fleet of flat-bottomed boats to
over the Channel. In excited the Maratha war against England. He
also strengthened his naval force by compelling his depen dant, the contemptible Charles IV. of Spain, to fit out a great
fleet. Like his father in , desired to get before hand with Spain; and, as was now on the minister's
side, war was declared in December. But still
ruled the Channel, and Dundas (now Lord Melville)
administered the navy with much energy. Yet 's
fireships and the Catamaran Expedition failed to destroy
the flotilla at Boulogne. On land built martello towers,
set up beacons, dug the Military Canal, and encouraged the
volunteer movement, which soon filled England with zealous
"Army of England"
if badly trained fighters. He also strengthened the army,
though his Additional Forces Bill (which required each
parish to find a certain number of men or pay a fine, and so
slightly extended the principle of forcing people to act as
soldiers already recognised in the militia) was fiercely attacked by the Whigs, who foolishly laughed at his plans.|
Nelson's chase of Villeneuve, 1805.
Months rolled on and the
"Army of England "
did nothing. At
saw that it could only succeed if helped by his fleet ; so
he ordered all the French and Spanish men-of-war to
meet in the Channel to overbear
But his orders were hard to carry out, and he kept
changing his plans. He finally sent Admiral Villeneuve with the
Toulon fleet to the West Indies to meet the Rochefort and Brest fleets,
which had been already ordered there. Villeneuve picked up the Spanish
fleet of Admiral Gravina at Cadiz, and arrived at Martinique in May
. He then found that the Rochefort fleet had sailed home again,
thinking that he was never coming; while the Brest fleet under
Gantheaume was shut in so closely by Admiral
never got out at all. So Villeneuve sailed back to Europe, and was
then told to liberate Gantheaume at Brest. Meanwhile
hurried to the West Indies and back on a wild-goose chase after
Villeneuve. He then sailed to the Mediterranean and missed him
again, and at last returned to England. But Admiral Calder with
fifteen ships of the line had fought a gallant though indecisive battle
with Villeneuve's twenty off Cape Finisterre, and had been unable to
prevent the enemy getting back to Ferrol to refit. In August Villeneuve
again went to sea, but believing that the English fleets had united to
blockade Brest, was afraid to sail north, and went to Cadiz. To
's intense disgust, the great schemes of combination had failed.
7.  's diplomacy now triumphed over the jealousies of
the powers, and a Third Coalition of England, Russia,
Austria, Naples, and Sweden was formed.
therefore changed his plans, and
in August hurried the eastwards to
attack Austria before she was ready. On 19th October
he forced General Mack to surrender with 30,000 Austrians
Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.
On 15th September
sailed from Portsmouth on his last
chase after Villeneuve. Two days after Ulm (21st Oct.) the fleets met
off Cape Trafalgar.
had twenty-seven ships of
the line to meet the thirty-three of the French and
Spaniards. Villeneuve arranged his fleet in a close line,
which gradually drifted into the form of a crescent.
was to divide his fleet into two squadrons, and break the enemy's line
in two places at once. The superior tactics of the English made it
easy to carry this out, though Villeneuve's skilful change of front prevented
from cutting off his retreat to Cadiz. The lee line, led
's second, Collingwood, in the Royal Sovereign, began the
attack. But the weather line, headed by
in the Victory, soon
came into action. Both lines got to close quarters, and a deadly
struggle between ships almost interlocking each other broke out. This
had wished for.
"I have no fear of the result,"
he had written
"should the enemy close. No captain can do wrong
if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy."
The Victory, as the
BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR
leading ship, suffered terribly, and a musket ball from the tops of the
down. But he lived long enough to know
that the enemy's fleet had been broken up. Twenty of their ships had
lowered their flags, and Villeneuve was a prisoner. A storm broke out,
and Collingwood's neglect to cast anchor probably caused the loss of
some of the prizes and the escape of others to Cadiz. But the victory
was decisive, fears of invasion were over, and the narrowest strip of
water became an effectual barrier against the lord of half Europe. The
command of the seas was henceforth with the English.
9.  Nothing at sea could make up really for 's
triumph in Germany, where the South German princes now
joined him in his invasion of Austria. On 2d December
he won a decisive victory on the snow-covered plain of
Austerlitz, and forced Austria to the humiliating
Peace of Pressburg, which swelled out the
territories of his own kingdom of Italy, and the puppet
monarchies of Bavaria and Wurtemberg. now set
up a ring of dependent kingdoms round his mighty empire.
He drove the Bourbons from Naples, and put his brother
Joseph as king in their stead. Another brother, Louis,
became King of Holland, while out of Hanover and other
North German States he soon built up the kingdom of
Westphalia for his brother Jerome. He also formed the
smaller German States, with their cowardly and greedy
rulers, now less than thirty in number, into the Confederation of the Rhine, under his Protectorship. Francis II. now
gave up the vain title of Roman Emperor (which
himself coveted), and called himself Hereditary Emperor
of Austria instead.
10.  The collapse of the Coalition was a fatal blow to
. He had never been strong, and had suffered terribly
in April when Speaker Abbott's casting
vote decided that there should be an inquiry
into the irregularities at the Admiralty when his friend
Melville had acted as Treasurer of the Navy. Tears
trickled down his cheeks as his friends hurried him
half-unconscious, out of the House, amidst the uproarious
triumph of the elated Opposition. It would be satisfied
with noithing less than Melville's impeachment, and , Melville's enemy, resigned in disgust. 's health
now completely decayed. Trafalgar was very little consolation for Austerlitz and Pressburg. He died on 23d January
, at his pleasant villa at Putney. He was only
forty-six years old.
11.  It was impossible to keep the ministry together
without , and very unwillingly sent for ,
who would not take office without .
was forced to give way, and 's ideal
was at last attained of a broad and united
ministry that would sink petty party jealousies to defend
the empire against .
In this Ministry of all the Talents
was First Lord of
the Treasury, and
's ministers were represented by Windham and Lord Spencer;
took with him his
friend Chief-Justice Ellenborough; Fitzwilliam, Lord Howick (afterwards Earl Grey, the leader of the Reform agitation), and Lord Henry
Petty (afterwards Marquis of Lansdowne), represented the Whigs;
Erskine, the great Whig advocate, was Chancellor, and the personal
friends of the Prince of Wales even had a spokesman in Lord Moira.
's former views compelled him to negotiate with
for peace, but though it suited the emperor to
lead him by the nose a little longer, was at last undeceived, and compelled to carry on the war. But on 13th
September died, worn out, like , and humiliated
by failure. His last measure was the congenial task of
pledging the House to the abolition of the brutal and
degrading slave-trade. In February the bill was
passed, with little opposition in the Commons, though in
the Lords the old Tories, under and six royal dukes,
voted against it.
In March the ministry resigned on the Catholic
Question. The Union had joined the English and Irish
armies, and in the latter Catholics could hold rank up to
that of colonel. The ministry proposed that English
Catholic officers should have the same rights as the Irish
remarked the Whig wit
"I have often heard,"
Of course 's prejudices were
aroused. easily persuaded him that the ministers wanted to get rid of the Catholic disabilities by a side
wind, and his anger frightened them into dropping their
proposal, but they drew up a minute saving their right of
giving him advice on the Catholic claims.
"of people knocking out their brains against a
wall, but never knew any one before build a wall expressly
for the purpose."
cried , and he demanded the withdrawal of the
minute. On their refusal he turned them out of office.
It was the last and greatest of 's triumphs.
"I must be
the Protestant king of a Protestant country or no king,"
12.  The Tories now came back to power. Portland
became nominal Prime Minister, though the real chief was
Perceval, Chancellor of the Exchequer. ,
the Foreign Secretary, and ,
the Secretary for War, kept up 's policy and still
favoured the Catholics. But the brilliant and sensitive
quarrelled with the harder and narrower Castle reagh. In they fought a duel and gave up their offices.
Portland died, and Perceval now headed a reactionary
Government, from which the Pittites were quite shut out.|
13.  In November the failure of his armies and the
death of his favourite daughter Amelia threw the old king
into the madness against which he had so long
wrestled. , Prince of Wales, now became Prince Regent, hedged in at first by limitations like
those had proposed in . The Regent's admirers
describe him as
"a merry, good-humoured man, tall, somewhat portly, with laughing eyes, pouting lips, and a nose
slightly turned up."
says the acute Clerk of the
Council, Charles Greville,
He had always been
a Whig, and if he had chosen he could have brought his
friends back to power; but he threw them over and kept
the Tories in office.
"a sort of capricious good-nature,
arising from no good principle, which cancelled at small
cost a long score of misconduct; but a more cowardly,
selfish, unfeeling dog does not exist."
 In May Perceval was murdered by a lunatic.
joined Perceval at Portland's death, he would now
have been the acknowledged head,"
So the Earl of Liverpool
(formerly Lord Hawkesbury) now became Prime Minister.
He was a man with
"but his ambitious policy threw
him out, and he sunk infinitely, and has since
with difficulty kept himself afloat."
, now Foreign Secretary, and leader of the Commons,
was the strongest man in the Cabinet, and most mixed up in
the popular mind with its repressive policy. Liverpool remained in office till . The Tories kept in power as long
as ruled, whether as regent or king. As put it
"lank limbs and figure, destitute of
elegance and grace, with reflection and caution stamped on
every feature, with eyes generally looking downwards, of
impervious and inscrutable demeanour, and with manners
polite, calm, and unassuming, grave, if not cold."
"Nought's permanent among the human race,
Except the Whigs not getting into place."
14.  The great merit of the Tory Government was that it
kept fighting away against in a sort of bull-dog
fashion, and triumphed in the end by sheer
doggedness and perseverance. But it never
grasped that it was a waste of energy to send
small expeditions all over the world, which annoyed the
enemy, but did not influence the larger struggle. It knew
nothing of continental feeling, was jealous of its best
generals, and hampered by all sorts of jobbery and weakness. In the easy and foolish Duke of York had to
resign the office of Commander-in-Chief because his
favourite, Mrs. Clarke, had sold commissions in the army.|
War policy of the Grenville Ministry, 1806-7.
's negotiations had failed, England plunged into the
war with renewed vigour, but the
ministry frittered away
its resources in petty expeditions. The most successful
of these forays was Stuart's brilliant dash into Calabria
(the toe of the Italian boot), where he stirred up the
, and with only 4700
men defeated 7000 French soldiers in a pitched battle at Maida (
But he was too weak to hold his own, and had soon to recross
the Straits of Messina. In
General Whitelocke failed completely in his attack on Buenos Ayres; Admiral Duckworth was
compelled to give up his attempt on Constantinople, and had
some trouble in escaping through the Dardanelles; General Fraser
could not capture Rosetta, and had to abandon Egypt.
was carrying all before him on the Continent. On
Prussia was forced to fight the French, but the spirit
the Great had fled; and on 14th October her
army was crushed at Jena, and
in triumph. Russia now united her vast and stubborn hosts to the remnants of the Prussian forces. A fierce and bloody campaign was
fought in the extreme east of Prussia during the winter. But after the
hardly contested Battle of Eylau had revived the hopes of the Coalition,
the genius and good fortune of
triumphed at Friedland.
now threw over his allies, and in July
Treaty of Tilsit with
, by which they divided Europe
between them. Prussia was stripped of lands west of the Elbe, which
went to Jerome's kingdom of Westphalia, and her vast Polish provinces fell to the treacherous new-made King of Saxony, with the
title of Grand Duke of Warsaw. Sweden and Turkey were left to
's mercy. Finland was filched from the chivalrous Gustavus
IV., whom the Swedes compelled to abdicate, as he would not break
from the Coalition. His uncle, Charles XIII., made peace, and
adopted Bernadotte, one of
's marshals, as his heir.
17.  From to France and Russia remained
friends, and , who now hated England more than
ever, strove in vain to get a new navy. His
last hopes failed when, in September , England
again bombarded Copenhagen, and seized the Danish
fleet. He had now formed a plan to ruin English trade.
By the Berlin Decree of 21st November , he declared all
the British islands in a state of blockade, forbade any of his
dependants or allies to trade with them, confiscated all
English goods, and seized upon every English subject he
could catch. His first object was now to force this Conti nental System upon all Europe. England answered with
effect by the Orders in Council, which forbade all trade with
France and her dependencies, and still further cut down the
rights of neutrals. But England answered even better by
clearing off the sea the chief commercial navies of Europe,
and occupying the colonies of the French and their Dutch
vassals. Before the war was over England had secured
for herself the carrying trade of the world, and had built up
by her conquests a new colonial empire to make up for lost
America. So strong was she at sea, that she could do
much more harm to the Continent than it could to her. All
colonial produce, most manufactured goods, rose to famine
prices on the Continent. A vast system of smuggling grew
up which brought great gains to English traders, and
centred round the little Danish island of Heligoland, which
England had now seized, and has kept until .
almost confessed himself beaten when he was forced
to clothe his soldiers in English cloth, and nothing made
him more hated throughout Europe than the dear sugar,
coffee, and cloth which resulted from his malicious and impracticable policy. The greatest trouble which his system
brought on England was a new quarrel with America, whose
ships, the only neutral traders of importance left, were constantly searched or stopped by English cruisers.|
18.  Portugal, the old and faithful ally of England, still
rejected the Continental System. , in alliance with
Charles of Spain, drove the Prince Regent to
the Brazils, and sent the bold and ambitious
Junot to occupy Lisbon. But the intrigues of the
Infant (Charles's eldest son) had produced riots
in Spain, which frightened Charles into abdication, and gave
the French a pretext to occupy Madrid (23d March ).
now enticed Charles and to Bayonne,
where both were persuaded to surrender their rights to the
throne, which was given to , whom Murat
now succeeded as King of Naples. Never was a more
wanton insult inflicted on a proud and high-spirited nation.
Never did make a worse mistake than in getting
rid of a submissive tool whom Spaniards would obey for his
brother whom they scorned. Hitherto Spain had quietly
followed his lead. But a popular rising soon set the whole
Peninsula on fire. For the first time on the Continent
had roused a whole nation against him. The
regular Spanish Government was replaced by turbulent
revolutionary Juntas. The Spanish armies were weak,
ill-provided, and miserably led, yet the French could only
hold the ground on which they were encamped. Every
peasant took up arms. Every straggler was mercilessly
cut off. The low brick wall of Zaragoza resisted the French
assault; 18,000 French soldiers laid down their arms to the
raw army that had defeated them at Baylen (20th July 1808).
Joseph fled from Madrid. The spirit of resistance spread
to Portugal. The slowly ate into the
vitals of 's empire, and all his genius could not
cut it away.|
Beginnings of the Peninsular War, 1808.
Englishmen hailed with delight the patriotism of the peoples
of the Peninsula. But the Government was slow to see the chance which
it now had. A mere expedition foolishly destined by
for South America was now diverted to Portugal
under Sir Arthur
, the hero of the Mysore and
Mahratta wars, but latterly Irish Secretary under Perceval.
On 5th August
landed his army at the little fort
of Figueras on the Mondego River. His wise plan was to keep
his troops together, and strike a decisive blow as soon as he could.
But Sir Harry
, an incompetent senior officer, now arrived to
take the command, and ordered him to make no attack.
on 21st August Junot attacked
at Vimiero, when well
posted in a strong position. The French failed, withdrew
with heavy losses, and might have been forced to surrender but for
's stopping the pursuit next day.
superseded by Sir Hew Dahymple, and it was resolved to wait still
longer. But Junot showed little vigour, and began to negotiate. On
30th August lie agreed by the Convention of Cintra to give up Portugal
if his whole army and its arms were shipped over to France. It was
a great triumph, but people at home thought that Junot was let off too
easily, and were very angry.
" Certain it is,"
wrote an English agent,
" that if your army were at Madrid, the French would evacuate Spain
before you got within a week's march of them."
commanded in Sweden, was sent with 25,000 men to march
all the way from Portugal to the Ebro, and unite with the Spanish
armies from which so much was expected. Even the Duke of York
protested against the folly of sending so small a force so great a distance.
"Without a moment of repose,"
to his army,
" I bid
you traverse France. The hideous presence of the leopard contaminates the Peninsula; in terror he must fly before you. Let us bear our
triumphal eagles to the pillars of Hercules. A real Frenchman ought
not to rest until the seas are open to all."
Three hundred and thirty
thousand French troops were now in the Peninsula, where on 8th
November they were joined by the Emperor. Within a month the
Spanish armies were crushed and scattered. On 4th December
entered Madrid in triumph.
had already reached Salamanca, misled by the English
agents, and profoundly disgusted with the vanity and the sluggishness
of the Spaniards. On learning the defeat of his allies,
he could only beat a quick retreat.
after him, but
moved still faster, over bad mountain roads
amidst the snows and storms of winter, with his dispirited, mutinous,
and disorderly troops. Other business now took away the Emperor,
but Soult followed
closely to Coruna, where the English
arrived on 10th January
, only to find that the expected fleet was
not there. At last driven to bay, they fought and defeated Soult on
16th January. But the ships had now arrived, and the victory only
secured a safe embarkation.
was slain in the battle. He had
carried through a hopeless task with the greatest gallantry and spirit.
" He was,"
says the soldier historian, Sir William Napier,
of uncommon capacity and of the purest virtue. His tall graceful
person, his dark searching eyes, strongly defined forehead, and
singularly expressive mouth, indicated a noble disposition and a refined understanding. While he lived he scorned and spurned the
base, and they spurned at him when he was dead."
20.  had hurried away from Spain because
Austria had again taken up arms. His tyranny had already
begun to do its work in Germany, and Schill,
abrave officer, and the exiled Duke of Brunswick, raised the North against King Jerome, while the
heroic innkeeper, Hofer, had stirred up Tyrol against
's tool, the King of Bavaria. The popular minister
Stadion, and the gallant Archduke Charles, had inspired
Austria with a new spirit. It was hoped that Germany
would rise as Spain had arisen. The French were held in
check at the great battle of Aspern.
The English ministry equipped nearly 90,000 soldiers, but did not
know what to do with them. If it had sent them to the Peninsula
was at last in command, and where Beresford was
drilling the raw Portuguese troops into good soldiers, they might have
driven the French over the Pyrenees. If they had gone to the Elbe they
might have stretched a helping hand to Schill and Brunswick, and have
stirred up Germany to imitate the Spanish insurrection. But ministers
wasted their strongest army in a hopeless campaign amidst
the unhealthy swamps of Walcheren, in Zeeland, where
the peasantry was hostile, and the impregnable stronghold
of Antwerp barred the way. They gave the command to the second
Lord Chatham, who, though in appearance the image of his father,
with his eagle nose and haughty manners, had nothing of his great
spirit, and was thoroughly incompetent. Nothing was done inGermany,
and small help sent to the Peninsula, so that
was followed by
less than 20,000 English troops in the daring and desperate march
towards Madrid which he now ventured to undertake.
Soult now formed a brilliant plan of occupying the ground in
rear, while Marshal Victor and King Joseph lured the English
now found that the Spaniards were of little use,
and could hardly even get provisions from them. They kept him in such
ignorance of the French movements that he nearly fell into the trap.
But vain King Joseph preferred to risk a battle rather than lose Madrid
for a second time. On 28th July he attacked the English and Spaniards
at Talavera. The Spaniards either fled or remained inactive in their
positions ; but for three hours 16,000 raw British troops withstood the
assault of 30,000 French, and drove them back after a hard honest fight.
did not venture to pursue, and only escaped
from Soult, who now blocked up the direct road back,
by a roundabout march over the Sierras with his sick and starving
troops. He reached Portugal at last, thoroughly disgusted, and resolved that he would never again work along with the Spaniards. Yet
the brilliancy of the victory broke the prestige of the French troops,
of Talavera) too
strong for the Government to turn out.
Failure met the allies at every point. On 6th July Austria was again
crushed at the Battle of Wagram, and was forced to
make peace,and surrender the Archduchess Maria Louisa
to be the wife of
. The popular risings in Germany failed,
was stronger than ever.
21. Vast French armies were now poured into the Peninsula, and the incapable ministry left to shift for
himself, while the factious opposition denounced him as
headstrong and incompetent. He was
showed as much self-restraint and caution as he had before
shown courage and daring.
" a man a little above
the middle height, well-limbed, muscular, thin, with a firm
tread, an erect carriage, a countenance strongly patrician,
and an appearance remarkable and distinguished, with
something penetrating in his clear light eye."
Unable to keep the field,
calmly waited attack within the
lines of TorresVedras, an impregnable series of forts and earthworks between the sea and the Lower Tagus, to defend Lisbon and its peninsula.
With unwonted sluggishness the French delayed until
the late summer of
. At the last moment
thought it best to keep up the courage of the Portuguese by
another battle, and drove back the hosts of Massena, the new French
general, from their attack on the ridge of Busaco (September 27). He
then retired within the lines, until winter and hard fare drove Massena
out of Portugal.
ventured on a more forward policy. On 5th
May he defeated Massena at Fuentes de 0noro, which led to the
capture of the great fortress of Almeida and the siege of
Badajos. On 16th May Beresford and his Portuguese, with
less than 7000 English troops, fought the bloody battle of Albuera, to
prevent Soult raising this siege. Beresford was out-generalled by Soult,
and his little English forces on an isolated hill had to bear the full
brunt of the attack. The dense columns of the French pushed vigorously to the assault, but the cramped space and their close formation
prevented their superiority in number being felt. After a terrific
struggle the French were slowly pushed back over the cliff;
" the rain
flowed in streams discoloured by blood, and 1800 wounded men, the
remnant of 6000 unconquerable British soldiers, stood triumphant on the
had to give up the siege of Badajos.
the long alliance of France and Russia was broken up, and
put raw conscripts in the place of Soult and Massena's veterans, whom he summoned to Russia. In the spring
the way for the invasion of Spain by storming with terrible loss the great
frontier fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos.
Marmont pressed him hard, and but for rashly forcing
a battle at Salamanca (22d July), would probably have
driven him back to Portugal. As it was,
on 12th August, amidst the rejoicings of the people. But he was now
far from his basis, and superior French forces were rapidly gathering
on either side. Again he was compelled to retreat amidst scenes of
mutiny and disorder that not even his iron discipline could check. But
next year the renewal of the general war in Europe gave him for the
first time an advantage in numbers, for the need of keeping Spain
down compelled the wide scattering of the French armies.
again advanced, this time to the north, where the Spanish
revolt was in full strength.
On 21st June
the decisive victory of Vittoria, and a series of bloody fights opened
up the passes of the Pyrenees. Soult manfully withstood his progress,
and checked his advance in the hard-fought Battle of Toulouse (14th
Fall of Napoleon, 1814.
The grasping masterfulness of
had wounded the
of Russia, and the Continental System was a burden too heavy to be borne. In
the compact of Tilsit
was broken and the rulers of the West and East were
again at war.
led a Grand Army of half a
million men to the invasion of Russia, defeated the Czar's
army at Borodino, and wintered in Moscow, the old capital and national
centre. But he had again set a whole people against him, and
incessant attacks and the rigours of a northern winter drove him back
over the Niemen in a headlong retreat. Prussia, which had been filled
with a new spirit by the wise reforms of Stein, Hardenberg, and
Scharnhorst, now ventured to join the victorious Russians. In
all Germany rose in revolt. In vain
hurried up a new army
and fought a brilliant and successful campaign in Saxony. Austria
now joined the allies. The great Battle of the Nations at Leipzig (l9th
October) drove him over the Rhine. His German vassals fell from their
thrones, and the famous Stein sought to build up a German nation from
the fervent and patriotic volunteers. In the spring of
was slowly pushed back to Paris. On 4th April, ten days before
the battle of Toulouse,
abdicated his throne, and was
sent to play at king in the little island of Elba, while the swords of
the allies made
, brother of
king of France. The first Peace of Paris was made, and a Congress
met at Vienna to arrange the final settlement of Europe.
The American War, 1812-14.
Another war now called off the attention of England. The
Orders in Council had provoked great discontent in America, which
had retaliated by breaking off all trade with England.
America declared war against England to
satisfy the southern planters. Now it was too late the
obnoxious Orders in Council were abolished. The Americans invaded
Canada and failed, but won many small victories at sea, especially
with their large and heavily armed frigates, which easily captured the
English frigates, and made havoc with our trading ships. After the
end of the Peninsular War
's veterans were shipped off to
America, where they pillaged and destroyed Washington, but failed
on Lake Champlain, at Baltimore, and at New Orleans. At last,
on 24th December
, the mediation of the Czar led to the Treaty of
Ghent, which compromised the disputes and put off the difficult
boundaries question. It was a wasteful and unnecessary war, which
might have been avoided by tact and good sense.
24.  could not rest at Elba, and on 1st March
landed in the south of France. He was welcomed
with enthusiasm by the army; his march to
Paris was a triumph, and helpless
fled before him. His one chance now lay in promptitude, and he resolved to make a hasty dash against the
army gathering in Belgium, hoping to drive it into the
sea before the great Austrian and Russian armies had
assembled in the East. , now a Duke, and with
a reputation only second to 's, was made commander of the English and Netherlands troops, while the
daring old cavalry officer Blucher, and the famous strategist
Gneisenau, led the Prussians.
The allies were stretched along a long line south of Brussels to
save that city from capture. On 16th June
drove back the
Prussians, who held the left wing, at Ligny, but his
attack on the English outposts at Quatre Bras failed.
But the retreat of the Prussians forced
to retire also, and
Blucher, who was not at all badly beaten, deceived the 30,000 French
under Grouchy, who were seeking him in the East, by retreating northwards to Wavre. On 18th June
took up his station on a
low ridge running east and west, about two miles south of the little
town of Waterloo, and immediately before the village of Mont St. Jean.
The country house of Hougomont protected his right, a farm called
La Haye Sainte was at his centre, and others called Papelotte and La
Haye, covered his left. The French drew up opposite, with their centre
at the small village of Planchenoit. The numbers were about equal,
perhaps 70,000 men a-side; but
's army consisted of
raw English recruits and of Netherlandish conscripts that would have
gladly been fighting for
. The French, to whom time was
everything, began the battle by a desperate assault on Hougomont,
which was gallantly and successfully resisted by the garrison of English
Guards and Germans. Though meant as a mere feint, this attack made
Hougomont a chief centre of the fighting. But the main struggle was
at the allies' centre.
" Never did I see,"
"such a pounding match. Both were what the boxers call
'gluttons.' Napoleon did not manoeuvre at all. He just moved
forward in the old style in columns, and was driven off in the old style.
The only difference was that he mixed cavalry with his infantry, and
supported both by an enormous quantity of artillery. I had the infantry
for some time in squares, and we had the French cavalry walking
about as if they had been our own. I never saw the British infantry
behave so well."
Both sides lost terribly, especially the close columns
of the attacking French. The battle raged all the afternoon, and the
English line stood firm, though La Haye Sainte was abandoned, and
the weakened left was in a critical position. But the Prussians, after a
heavy march over muddy roads, were now arriving from Wavre. The
last desperate charge of the reserves of the Imperial Guard failed, and
the whole line of the French was broken, and at once plunged into a
panic-stricken retreat. Gneisenau followed up the pursuit, and effectually scattered the remains of
's last army. The game was
now up. On 7th July Paris was again occupied, and the defeated
Emperor took refuge in an English man-of-war. He spent the rest of
his life on the barren rock of St. Helena, dictating lies and slanders to
his attendants to justify his career.
The Congress of Vienna, 1815.
First Peace of Paris
) had restored the Bourbon king,
and limited France to its boundaries before
, but had given it
back all the English colonial conquests, except Tobago, St. Lucia,
and the Mauritius. Malta remained with England, and Ceylon,
the Cape of Good Hope, and part of Guiana were not given back
to the Dutch. The
Second Peace of Paris
) now brought back
a second time, and punished France by a slight
loss of territory and by a war indemnity of
twenty-eight million pounds, and imposed on it a foreign
garrison for five years to prop up the throne of the
Congress of Vienna
now completed its
settlement of Europe. It restored most of the old princes of Italy,
the King of Naples, the Duke of Tuscany, the Pope, and the King of
, but it gave Milan and Venice to Austria, whose arms alone
held up the petty despots.
's German settlement was practically continued, and the double treachery of the Kings of Bavaria and
Wurtemberg, the Grand Duke of Baden, and the rest, kept them on
their thrones, though with diminished territories.
Hanover with the title of king. Even the King of Saxony was kept,
because the jealousies of Austria and Prussia made it hard to deal with
his territory. The Grand Duchy of Warsaw was formed into a constitutional kingdom of Poland, of which the Czar, however, was king.
Prussia received her compensation for losses in Poland in the reconquered Rhineland. A feeble German Confederation with a Diet at
Frankfurt included both the lesser powers, and Austria and Prussia.
Protestant Holland and Catholic Belgium were united in the new kingdom of the Netherlands, with the Prince of Orange for its king. (At
the same time Norway revolted from its taskmaster Denmark, and
became an independent state with the king of Sweden as its ruler.)
In all its arrangements the Congress disregarded the national feeling
which had overthrown
, and made its arrangements entirely
in the interests of the princes. The chief powers also entered into a
Holy Alliance to
"govern Europe on Christian principles."
really a treaty by which they agreed to help each other to put down
, the English representatives
at Vienna, refused to join it.
26.  England was terribly worn out by the long war.
The hoped-for revival in trade did not follow upon peace,
and a series of wretched harvests, along with
the New Corn Law of (which prevented
the bringing in of foreign wheat till English
wheat was 80s. a quarter) made bread so dear
that many honest workmen could hardly get enough to eat.
Riots broke out. The wretched peasants burnt the farmers' ricks, and the factory hands destroyed their masters'
labour-saving machines. In some silly enthusiasts
called Spencean Philanthropists formed a plot to capture
the Tower of London, and establish a Committee of Public
Safety; but their great meeting in Spa Fields proved a
failure. The blanketeers (so called from the blankets they
strapped to their backs) met at and set out
to march to London, while a really formidable riot broke
out at Derby in June . But the most famous riot was
on 16th August , when a great meeting of Radical
Reformers in St. Peter's Field (a small plot of waste
ground in surrounded with houses) assembled
with some sort of military discipline, and was dispersed
by cavalry with considerable loss. This was called the
Manchester Massacre, or Peterloo.
The Tory government was still afraid of the ghost of
the French Revolution. , the Home Secretary,
had no remedy but repression. All constitutional agitation
for reform was put down, and the people in their distress
were driven into the arms of silly agitators, like the vain
or professed revolutionists
like the desperate . But there were sturdy
Radicals like Samuel Bamford, the weaver, who
abhorred all notions of bloodshed, and blunt, honest, wrong-
headed William , who wielded an enormous influence
through the nervous, vigorous prose of his .|
In the was suspended, though
the Government could not get the Radical bookseller Hone
convicted for his profane parodies. After the Manchester
Massacre the hands of the Executive were further strengthened by the repressive , but the unpopularity they
brought on the Government did it more harm than the new
weapons against sedition did good.
27.  The Regent lost his last scrap of popularity when
in his only daughter, the Princess Charlotte, died
soon after her marriage with the astute and
politic Leopold of Sachsen-Coburg.
had long lived apart from his foolish and ill-
chosen wife, of Brunswick, and there was no hope
of a direct heir. Frederick Duke of York, the only other
married son of , had no children. So the elderly
sons of at once hurried into wedlock. The
sailor, , now married Adelaide of
Meiningen, but his only daughter died quite young. Edward
Duke of Kent married Victoria of Coburg, sister of Prince
Leopold, and the birth of their daughter, the present Queen
(), was much welcomed, because it saved the
throne from going to the next brother, the odious Ernest
Duke of Cumberland, and his descendants. Adolphus Duke
of Cambridge also married and left a son, the present
Queen Charlotte died in . survived
until 29th January , but he had become blind and deaf,
as well as mad. He had outlived his triumph, but was unconscious how his wretched son had, happily perhaps for
the nation, let his great power slip unnoticed away.
 Renewal of the French War, 1803.
 Character of the struggle, 1803-14.
 Emmet's Rebellion, 1803.
 Pitt's second Ministry, 1804-6.
 Preparations against invasion, 1803-4.
 The Third Coalition, 1805.
 Failure of the Coalition, 1805-6.
 Death of Pitt, 1806.
 Ministry of all the Talents, 1806-7.
 The long Tory rule, 1807-30.
 The Regency, 1810-20.
 The Liverpool Ministry, 1812-27.
 The Conduct of the War 1806-14.
 The Continental System, 1806.
 The Spanish Insurrection, 1808.
 The Austrian War of 1809.
 The Hundred Days, 1815.
 Distress, Disturbances, and Repression, 1815-20.
 Death and Family of George III.