The Fte de la Concorde took place on Sunday, the 21st of May, and passed off without any attempt at disturbance. On the contrary, the people were in excellent humour, and everything upon the surface of society seemed in keeping with the object of the festivity. On the 26th the Assembly decreed the perpetual banishment of Louis Philippe and his family, by a majority of 695 to 63. But the ex-king was not the only pretender who occupied the attention of the new Government; a far more dangerous one was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the Emperor and then an exile in London. He had gone over to Paris when the Republic was proclaimed, but acting on the advice of the Government, he quietly retired from the country. So potent, however, was still the charm that attached to the name of Napoleon, that his heir was elected a member of the National Assembly by no less than four constituencies. It was moreover discovered that money had been distributed in Paris by his partisans; that placards in his favour were posted upon the walls, and cries of "Vive Napoleon!" resounded through the city. Within four days, three journals had been established in Paris preparing the way for the candidature of Louis[553] Napoleon as President. After a violent debate, it was resolved by a large majority that he should be permitted to take his seat as a representative. On the Monday following Paris was excited by a rumour that Louis Napoleon had arrived, and while Lamartine was speaking in the Assembly several shots were fired, one at the Commandant of the National Guard, another at an officer of the army, and this was done to the cry of "Vive l'Empereur Napoleon!" "This," said Lamartine, "is the first drop of blood that has stained our revolution; and if blood has now been shed, it has not been for liberty, but by military fanaticism, and in the name of an ambition sadly, if not voluntarily, mixed up with guilty man?uvres. When conspiracy is taken in flagrante delicto, with its hand dyed in French blood, the law should be voted by acclamation." He then proposed a decree, causing the law of banishment of 1832 against Louis Napoleon to be executed. It was voted by acclamation, the Assembly rising in a body, and shouting, "Vive la Rpublique!" DOCTOR JOHNSON IN THE ANTE-ROOM OF LORD CHESTERFIELD, WAITING FOR AN AUDIENCE, 1748.

The question of the regency was again brought forward, on the 6th of July, by Mr. Robert Grant, in pursuance of a notice he had previously given. The unbounded personal popularity of the kingwho, unlike his predecessor shut up in seclusion and resembling Tiberius, went about sailor-like through the streets, frank, talkative, familiar, good-humoured, delighting the Londoners with all the force of pleasant contrastrendered it increasingly difficult and delicate on the part of the Opposition to propose any measure disagreeable to a Sovereign who was the idol of the multitude, from whom no evil could be apprehended, and whose death, even in the ordinary course of Providence, it seemed something like treason to anticipate as likely to occur within a few months. They were, therefore, profuse in their declarations of respect, of admirationnay, almost of venerationfor a monarch whom a beneficent Providence had so happily placed upon the Throne of Great Britain. The division on Mr. Grant's motion was still more decidedly favourable to the Government, the numbers beingAyes, 93; noes, 247majority, 154.

The Spaniards had at length made Lord Wellington Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies,[56] but this appointment was little more than nominal, for the Spanish generals continued as froward and insubordinate as ever; and the Spanish Government was poorer than ever, its remittances from the South American colonies, which were asserting their independence, being stopped. Wellington's dependence, therefore, continued to rest on his army of British and Portuguesesixty-three thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry.

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Gloomy as was the Pretender's fortune, it was, nevertheless, infinitely better than that of thousands who had ventured their lives and fortunes in his cause. There were not many prisoners in Scotland, but the clans which had sided with the English Government were hounded on to hunt down those who had been out with the Pretender amongst their hills, and they were hunted about by the English troops under the guidance of these hostile clans; and where they themselves were not to be found, their estates suffered by troops being quartered in their houses and on their lands. In England the prisons of Chester, Liverpool, and other northern towns were crowded by the inferior class of prisoners from the surrender of Preston. Some half-pay officers were singled out as deserters, and shot by order of a court-martial; but the common soldiers were eventually acquitted or let off with light sentences. [46]

"I have adopted all such precautions as it was in my power to adopt for the purpose of alleviating the sufferings which may be caused by this calamity; and I shall confidently rely on your co-operation in devising such other means for effecting the same benevolent purpose as may require the sanction of the Legislature."

Sir George Prevost now put himself at the head of the brave troops that had so lately advanced from conquest to conquest under Wellington. He had eleven thousand of these brave fellows, including a fine regiment of cavalry, and a numerous train of artillery. With such an army, an able general would not only have cleared the whole frontier of Canada, but would have inflicted a severe chastisement on the Americans in their own territory. The great object to be accomplished was the destruction of Sacketts Harbour, with which must fall at once the whole naval power of America on Lake Ontario. Every military man expected that this would be done; but Sir George, after waiting in a camp at Chamblay, advanced to Plattsburg Harbour, on Lake Champlain. But there he would do nothing till the American flotilla, which lay in the harbour, was also attacked. For this purpose Captain Downie was sent by Sir James Yeo from the Ontario squadron suddenly to take command of a squadron of a few ships and a miscellaneous naval force, as hastily mustered and knowing little of each otherDownie knowing only one of his officers. The ship which he commanded was just launched, was unfinished, and everything was in confusion: yet in this condition, Sir George Prevost insisted on their going into action against a superior and well-prepared American squadron, promising to make a simultaneous attack on the harbour and defences on land. Downie commenced the attack on the water, but found no co-operation from Sir George on shore, who stood still till he had seen Downie killed, and the unequal British vessels, three in number, fairly battered to pieces, and compelled to strike. And, after all, Sir George never did commence the attack on the fort with that fine army, which would have carried it in ten minutes, but marched back again, amid the inconceivable indignation of officers and men, who could not comprehend why they should be condemned to obey the orders of so disgraceful a poltroon. On their march, or rather retreat, they were insulted by the wondering Americans, and abandoned vast quantities of stores, ammunition, and provisions. The loss of men during this scandalous expedition was not more than two hundred; but eight hundred veteranswho had been accustomed to very different scenes, under a very different commanderin their resentment at his indignity went over to the enemy. In fact, had this unhappy general continued longer in command, the whole British force would have become thoroughly demoralised.


Gradually, however, a more refined tone was diffusing itself. The example of the head of the nation had not been without its effect. The higher classes abandoned Ranelagh and Vauxhall to the middle and lower classes, if they did not abandon their theatre, opera, and rout. But the theatres, too, became more decorous, and the spread of what had been called Methodism began to reach the higher classes through such men as Wilberforce, and such women as the Countess of Huntingdon and Hannah More. The most palpable drawback to this better state of sentiment and manners was the profligacy of the Prince of Wales and his associates. But towards the end of the reign a decided improvement in both manners and morals had taken place. The momentous events passing over the world, and in which Great Britain had the principal agency, seemed to have rooted out much frivolity, and given a soberer and higher tone to the public mind. The spread of a purer and more humane literature baptised the community with a new and better spirit; art added its refinements, and religion its restraints. The efforts to introduce education amongst the people had begun, and the lowest amusements of dog-fighting, cock-fighting, and bull-baiting were discouraged and put down. The new birth of science, art, literature, and manufactures was accompanied by a new birth of morals, taste, and sentiment, and this, happily, was a true birth; and the growth of what was then born has been proceeding ever since.