"It was on foot," says Mounier, "in the mud, and under a violent storm of rain. The Paris women intermixed with a certain number of men, ragged and ferocious, and uttering frightful howlings. As we approached the palace, we were taken for a desperate mob. Some of the Gardes du Corps pricked their horses amongst us and dispersed us. It was with difficulty that I made myself known, and equally difficult it was to make our way into the palace. Instead of six women, I was compelled to admit twelve. The king received them graciously, but separated from their own raging and rioting class, the women were overcome by the presence of the king, and Louison Chabry, a handsome young girl of seventeen, could say nothing but the word 'Bread!' She would have fallen on the floor, but the king caught her in his arms, embraced and encouraged her; and this settled completely the rest of the women, who knelt and kissed his hand. Louis assured them that he was very sorry for them, and would do all in his power to have Paris well supplied with bread. They then went out blessing him and all his family, and declared to those outside that never was there so good a king. At this the furious mob exclaimed that they had been tampered with by the aristocrats, and were for tearing them to pieces; and, seizing Louison, they were proceeding to hang her on a lamp-post, when some of the Gardes du Corps, commanded by the Count de Guiche, "interfered and rescued her." One Brunout, an artisan of Paris, and a hero of the Bastille, having advanced so as to be separated from the women, some of the Guard struck him with the flat of their swords. There was an instant cry that the Guard were massacring the people; and the National Guard of Versailles being called on to protect them, one of them discharged a musket, and broke the arm of M. de Savonires, one of the Life Guard. The firing on the Life Guard by the National Guard then continued, and the Life Guard filed off, firing as they went. The mob, now triumphant, attempted to fire two pieces of cannon, which they turned upon the palace; but the powder was wet and would not explode. The king, having meanwhile heard the firing, sent the Duke of Luxembourg to order that the Guard should not fire, but retire to the back of the palace. The mob then retired into Versailles in search of bread, which Lecointre, a draper of the town, and commander of its National Guard, promised to procure them from the municipality. But the municipality had no bread to give, or took no pains to furnish it, and the crowds, drenched with rain, sought shelter wherever they could for the night. The women rushed again into the Hall of the Assembly, and took possession of it without any ceremony. Soon after midnight the roll of drums announced the arrival of Lafayette and his army. An aide-de-camp soon after formally communicated his arrival to the Assembly; that they had been delayed by the state of the roads; and that Lafayette had also stopped them to administer to them an oath of fidelity to the nation, the law, and the king; that all was orderly, and that they had nothing to fear. Lafayette soon after confirmed this by leading a column of the National Guard to the doors of the Assembly, and sending in this message. The Assembly being satisfied, adjourned till eleven o'clock the next day. Lafayette then proceeded to the palace, where he assured the king and the royal family of the loyalty of the Guard, and that every precaution should be taken for tranquillity during the night. On this the king appeared to be at ease and retired to rest. The mob attacked the palace in the night, but Lafayette prevented an assault on the royal family, though two of the[369] Guard were butchered. The king during the night repeatedly sent to inform the deputies of his intention to go to Paris.

On the 6th of January there landed at Greenwich an illustrious visitor to the Court on an unwelcome errandnamely, Prince Eugene. The Allies, justly alarmed at the Ministerial revolution which had taken place in England, and at the obvious design of the Tories to render abortive all the efforts of the Whigs and the Allies through the war, from mere party envy and malice, sent over Eugene to convince the queen and the Government of the fatal consequences of such policy. Harley paid obsequious court to the prince as long as he hoped to win him over. He gave a magnificent dinner in his honour, and declared that he looked on that day as the happiest of his life, since he had the honour to see in his house the greatest captain of the age. The prince, who felt that this was a mean blow at Marlborough, replied with a polite but cutting sarcasm, which must have sunk deep in the bosom of the Lord Treasurer, "My lord, if I am the greatest captain of the age, I owe it to your lordship." That was to say, because he had deprived the really greatest captain of his command. The queen, though she was compelled to treat Eugene graciously, and to order the preparation of costly gifts to him as the representative of the Allies, regarded him as a most unwelcome guest, and in her private circle took no pains to conceal it. The whole Tory party soon found that he was not a man to be seduced from his integrity, or brought to acquiesce in a course of policy which he felt and knew to be most disgraceful and disastrous to the peace of Europe; and being fully convinced of this, they let loose on the illustrious stranger all the virulence of the press. Eugene returned to the Continent, his mission being unaccomplished, on the 13th of March.

From the Picture in the National Gallery of British Art.

In America, the belligerents were early afoot this year; but the attention and the forces of the English were drawn from the States to the West Indies by the determined attempts of the French to make themselves masters of our islands there. D'Estaing, who was joined by another French squadron under the Marquis de Vaudreuil, was early opposed by Admiral Byron, who arrived at St. Lucia from the American coast on the 6th of January. This Admiral Vaudreuil, on his way, had visited our settlements on the coast of Africa, and taken from us Senegal; but Sir Edward Hughes soon arrived there, and took their settlement of Goree, so that it was a mere exchange of territory. In June Admiral Byron was obliged to escort our merchant fleet to a certain distance, and D'Estaing seized that opportunity to make himself master of St. Vincent and Grenada, where the garrisons were weak. On the return of Byron, on the 5th of July, he came to an engagement with D'Estaing off Grenada; but the French admiral, after an indecisive action, took advantage of the night to sail away, boasting of a great victory. He now made for Georgia and Carolina, to assist the Americans in endeavouring to wrest from us our recent conquest of Savannah, in Georgia. In the following Session Fox introduced a Bill to grant some further privileges to the Catholics, but it was rejected; but in 1793 the Catholics of Scotland were admitted, by an Act introduced by Mr. Robert Dundas, the Lord Advocate, to the same privileges as the Irish and English Catholics. The question appeared to rest till 1799, when there seems to have been a proposition on the part of the English Government to make an independent provision for the Catholic clergy of Ireland, on condition that they, on their part, should enter into certain engagements. There was a meeting of Roman Catholic prelates in Dublin at the commencement of that year on the subject, at which they agreed to accept the proposal. Pitt was favourable to the Catholic claims, though the Irish Parliament previous to the union would not hear of them. He had caused promises of Catholic Emancipation to be circulated in Ireland in order to induce the Irish to accept the union; and when he found that the king's immovable resistance to this measure would not allow him to make good his word, he resigned office. Nothing was done in it during the time that he continued out, chiefly, it is said, through his influence; and when he returned to office in May, 1804, he did so without any mention of the Catholics. In truth, he appears to have given them up for the sake of enjoying power again; for, when, on the 9th of March, 1805, the question was raised by Lord Grenville in the House of Peers, and, on the 13th, by Fox in the Commons, Pitt opposed the motion on the ground that the reasons which had occasioned him to quit office still operated against this measure, and that it was impossible for him to support it. It was negatived by three hundred and thirty-six against one hundred and twenty-four.

At sea, Sir Edward Hawke attacked the French fleet under Admiral Conflans at the mouth of the Vilaine in Quibron Bay. The situation, amid rocks and shoals, and with a sea running high, so late in the year as the 20th of November, was most perilous, but Hawke scorned all danger, attacked the French fleet close under their own shores, took two men-of-war, sank four more, including the admiral's ship, the Soleil Royal, and caused the rest, more or less damaged, to take refuge up the river. Two of our own vessels were stranded in the night, but their crews and stores were saved. For this brilliant action, which crippled the French navy for the remainder of the war, Hawke was thanked by Parliament, received from the king a pension of one thousand five hundred pounds a-year for his own and his son's life, and, in the next reign, was raised to the peerage. Thurot, meanwhile, had escaped out of Dunkirk, but with only five ships, which kept out of the way by seeking shelter in the ports of Sweden and Norway.


Burke proceeded amidst constant interruption to review the many scenes and debates in which Fox and himself had acted, as well as those on which they had differed, especially their difference of opinion on the Royal Marriage Act; but no difference of opinion had ever before affected their friendship. He alluded to his own long services and his grey hairs, and said that it was certainly an indiscretion, at his time of life, to provoke enemies, or induce his friends to desert him; but that, if his firm and steady adherence to the British Constitution placed him in that dilemma, he would risk all, and, as public duty required, with his last breath exclaim, "Fly from the French Constitution!" Here Fox whispered that there was no loss of friends; that there could be no loss of friendship between them; but Burke said"Yes, there was a loss of friends: he knew the penalty of his conduct; he had done his duty at the price of his friendsthere was an end of their friendship." It was some time before Fox could answer; he was completely overcome by his emotion; and it was only after a free flow of tears that he could proceed. He then said: "Painful as it was to listen to such sentiments as those just delivered by one to whom he owed so many obligations, he could never forget that, when little more than a boy, he had been in the habit of receiving instructions and favours from his right honourable friend. Their friendship had grown with their life; it had continued for upwards of five-and-twenty years; and he hoped, notwithstanding what had happened that day, that his right honourable friend would think on past times, and would give him credit for not intending anything unkind. It was quite true that they had before now differed on many subjects, without lessening their friendship, and why should they not now differ on the French Revolution without a severance of friendship? He could not help feeling that the conduct of his right honourable friend tended to fix upon him the charge of Republican principles, whereas he was far from entertaining such principles. His friend had heaped very ignominious terms upon him that day." Here Burke said aloud, he did not recollect having used such terms; and Fox promptly observed that "if his friend did not recollect those epithetsif they are out of his mind, then they were for ever out of his mind, too; they were obliterated and forgotten." He then denied that there was any marshalling of a party on this subject; that not one gentleman who had risen to call his right honourable friend to order had done it by his desire; on the contrary, he had entreated his friends not to interrupt him. After again dwelling for some time on the merits of the French Revolution, he once more lamented the breach in the unanimity of his friend and[380] himself, and said he would keep out of the way of his right honourable friend till he had time to reflect and think differently, and that their common friends might bring them together again; that he would endeavour to discuss the question on some future day, with all calmness, if his friend wished, but for the present he had said all that he desired to say.

The year 1823 opened auspiciously, and continued to exhibit unequivocal marks of progressive prosperity. Every branch of manufacturing industry was in a flourishing state. The cotton trade was unusually brisk. There was a considerable increase in the quantity of silks and woollens manufactured; and in consequence of augmenting exportation, the demand for hardware and cutlery was quickened from the state of stagnation in which it had remained since the conclusion of the war. The shipping interest, which had been greatly depressed, fully shared in the general improvement. The agriculturists, however, were still embarrassed and discontented. In January no less than sixteen English counties had sent requisitions to their sheriffs to call meetings to consider the causes of their distresses. The principal remedies proposed were reduction of taxation; reform of the House of Commons; depreciation of the currency; commutation of tithes; and appropriation of the redundant wealth of the Church to public exigencies. At the Norwich meeting a series of resolutions was proposed and seconded by the gentry of the county, but they were rejected and put aside on the motion of Mr. Cobbett, who read a petition which was adopted with acclamation. It recommended an appropriation of part of the Church property to the payment of the public debt; a reduction of the standing army; an abolition of sinecures and undeserved pensions; the sale of the Crown lands; an equitable adjustment of contracts; the suspension of all legal processes for one year for the recovery of rents and tithes; and the repeal of the taxes on malt, soap, leather, hops, and candles.

The death of the Princess Charlotte left the prospect of the succession to the Crown equally serious. Of the numerous sons and daughters of George III. not one had legitimate issue. It might be necessary soon to look abroad in Germany or in Denmark for an heir to the Crown. This consideration led to a number of royal marriages during the earlier part of this year. The first of these marriages was not of this description. It was that of the Princess Elizabeth, his Majesty's third daughter, to the Landgrave and Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Homburg, on the 7th of April. As the princess was already nearly eight-and-forty, no expectation of issue in that quarter was entertained. On the 13th of April Lord Liverpool brought down a message from the Regent to the Peers, and Lord Castlereagh to the Commons, announcing treaties of marriage in progress between the Duke of Clarence and the Princess Adelaide Louisa, of Saxe-Meiningen; and also between the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Augusta Wilhelmina, of Hesse, youngest daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse. The House of Commons was also asked to add an additional ten thousand pounds a year to the allowance of the Duke of Clarence, and six thousand pounds a year each to those of the Dukes of Cumberland and Cambridge, and to that of the Duke of Kent,[136] if he, too, should marry. Ministers intimated that it had been the intention to ask much larger sums, but they found that it was necessary to reduce the sum asked for the Duke of Clarence. It was a matter of notoriety that the duke had already a large family by the actress, Mrs. Jordan, and probably the feeling of the House was influenced by his desertion of that lady; but there was a stout opposition and the sum was reduced to six thousand pounds. Loud acclamations followed the carrying of this amendment, and Lord Castlereagh rose and said, after the refusal of the sum asked, he believed he might say that the negotiation for the marriage might be considered at an end. The next day the duke sent a message declining the sum granted; yet, after all, his marriage took place. The Duke of Cumberland was already married to the Princess Frederica Sophia, the daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had been divorced from Frederick Louis, Prince of Prussia. The Duke of Cumberland was one of the most unpopular men in the whole kingdom, for there were rumours of very dark passages in his life, and Parliament had rejected an application for an additional allowance on his marriage; and it now rejected this application amid much applause. The sum asked for the Duke of Cambridge was carried, but not without considerable opposition. The spirit of reform was in the air.

On the 23rd the aspect of the insurgent multitude became more fierce, daring, and determined. Guizot had announced the resignation of his Cabinet; the king had sent for Count Mol, then for M. Thiers, who was asked to form a new Ministry. He declined unless Odillon Barrot became one of his colleagues. The king gave a reluctant consent, but Barrot was not prepared to sanction measures of military repression. Marshal Bugeaud, the hero of Algiers, whose exploits there made his name terrible, had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the first military division, and of the National Guard of Paris, but the National Guard were not prepared to fight against the people. The people, knowing this, shouted, "Vive la Garde Nationale!" and the National Guard shouted, "Vive la Rforme!" In the evening, about seven o'clock, an immense body of the working classes formed in procession, headed by men carrying blazing torches, and marching along the Boulevards, chanted two lines of the Girondists' song

No sooner had the tribunate sent up its decision to the Senate, signed by all except Carnot, than the Senate hastened at once to adopt it, and to sign the answer to the message of the First Consul, which had been drawn up by Fouch for the Committee of Ten appointed by the Senate. In July Napoleon went to Boulogne to review the grand army of England, on the heights above the town, overlooking the English Channel, and from which the white cliffs of England were conspicuous. Everything had been elaborately got up for this occasion, on which the enthusiasm of the soldiers was to be raised to the highest pitch. The common people believed that he was going to lead the army at once across the Channel, and return loaded with the enormous wealth of London, and with the king, queen, royal family, William Pitt, and the leading members of the aristocracy as prisoners in his train. Buonaparte had no such wild idea; but since the Duke d'Enghien's murder the Powers of almost all Europe had manifested unequivocally their abhorrence of the act, and of the man who perpetrated it, and he now designed, by the display of enthusiasm in his army, at once to awe his own people and the sovereigns of other nations.

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