Nothing could exceed the consternation and indignation of the Spanish people when they found their great strongholds guarding the entrances from France into the country thus in the hands of the French. Had there been a king of any ability in Spain, an appeal to the nation would, on this outrage, have roused it to a man, and the plans of Buonaparte might have been defeated. But Godoy, knowing himself to be the object of national detestation, and dreading nothing so much as a rising of the people, by whom he would most certainly be sacrificed, advised the royal family to follow the example of the Court of Portugal, and escape to their trans-Atlantic dominions; which advice could only have been given by a miscreant, and adopted by an idiot. To surrender a kingdom and a people like those of Spain, without a blow, was the extreme of cowardice. But, as if to urge the feeble king to this issue, at this moment came a letter from Buonaparte, upbraiding him with having received his acceptance of the match between their houses coldly. Charles, terrified in the extreme, wrote to declare that nothing lay so near his heart, and at the same time made preparations to be gone. The intention was kept as secret as possible, but the public soon became aware of the Court's proposed removal from Madrid to Cadiz, in order then to be able to embark for America. The Prince of Asturias and his brother protested against the project; the Council of Castile remonstrated; the populace were in a most tumultuous state, regarding the plan as originating with Godoy, and surrounded the palace with cries and gestures of dissatisfaction. The king was in a continual state of terror and irresolution, but Godoy pressed on matters for the flight.

William IV. was welcomed to the Throne with great acclamation. Called "The Sailor King," he was endowed with many of the personal qualities which make the sailor's character popular with Englishmen. He had been Lord High Admiral, and in that capacity he had lately been moving about the coasts, making displays and enjoying ftes, although this was thought by some to be unseemly in the Heir Presumptive to the Throne, at a time when its occupant was known to be in a very infirm state of health. Heavy bills connected with these vainglorious displays were sent to the Treasury, which the Duke of Wellington endorsed with a statement that such expenses were not allowed. Although opinions differed about William very much, not only between the friends of Reform and the Conservatives, but between the leaders of the Liberal party themselves, he was esteemed the most popular king since the days of Alfred. William was certainly a more exemplary character than his brother. He had indeed formed an attachment to a celebrated actress, Mrs. Jordan, by whom he had a numerous family, one of whom was subsequently admitted to the ranks of the nobility with the title of Earl of Munster, and the others were raised to the dignity of younger sons of a marquis. He had, however, been married for several years to the Princess Adelaide, of Saxe-Meiningen, who became Queen of England, and adorned her exalted station by her virtues and her beneficence. They had two children, both of whom died in infancy; and as the king was in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the queen was not young, there was no longer any hope of a direct succession to the Throne. Altogether, Charles Greville's verdict on the king"something of a buffoon and more of a blackguard"is excessively severe. If eccentric and hot-tempered, William IV. was straightforward and upright. He had some knowledge of foreign affairs, and thoroughly understood his position as a constitutional king.

THE DUKE OF BRUNSWICK AND HIS HUSSARS (THE BLACK BRUNSWICKERS). (See p. 590.) Their cannon was both inferior and worse served than that of the English; and when, at one o'clock, the duke began to play on their ranks with his artillery, he made dreadful havoc amongst them. Several times the Highlanders endeavoured to make one of their impetuous rushes, running forward with loud cries, brandishing their swords and firing their pistols; but the steady fire of the English cannon mowed them down and beat them off. Seeing, however, a more determined appearance of a rush, Colonel Belford began to charge with grape shot. This repelled them for a time; but at length, after an hour's cannonade, the Macintoshes succeeded in reaching the first line of the English. Firing their muskets, and then flinging them down, they burst, sword in hand, on Burrel's regiment, and cut their way through it. The second line, however, consisting of Sempill's regiment, received them with a murderous fire. Cumberland had ordered the first rank to kneel down, the second to lean forward, and the third to fire over their heads. By this means, such a terrible triple volley was given them as destroyed them almost en masse. Those left alive, however, with all their ancient fury, continued to hew at[107] Sempill's regiment; but Cumberland had ordered his men not to charge with their bayonets straight before them, but each to thrust at the man fronting his right-hand man. By this means his adversary's target covered him where he was open to the left, and his adversary's right was open to him. This new man?uvre greatly surprised the Highlanders, and made fearful havoc of them. From four to five hundred of them fell between the two lines of the English army. Whilst the Macintoshes were thus immolating themselves on the English bayonets, the Macdonalds on their left stood in sullen inaction, thus abandoning their duty and their unfortunate countrymen from resentment at their post of honour on the right having been denied them. At length, ashamed of their own conduct, they discharged their muskets, and drew their broadswords for a rush; but the Macintoshes were now flying, and the grape-shot and musket-shot came so thickly in their faces, that they, too, turned and gave way. Whilst Charles stood, watching the rout of his army to the right, he called frantically to those who fled wildly by to stand and renew the fight. At this moment Lord Elcho spurred up to him, and urged him to put himself at the head of the yet unbroken left, and make a desperate charge to retrieve the fortune of the day; but the officers around him declared that such a charge was hopeless, and could only lead the men to certain slaughter, and prevent the chance of collecting the scattered troops for a future effort. Though he did not attempt to resist the victorious enemy, which was now hopeless, he seems to have lingered, as if confounded, on the spot, till O'Sullivan and Sheridan, each seizing a rein of his bridle, forced him from the field. [83]

On the 28th of February Lord John Russell proposed and carried a resolution that the House of Commons should go into committee to inquire into the operation of the Test and Corporation Acts, with a view to their repeal. From the very foundation of the Established Church at the Reformation the most stringent measures were adopted to put down Nonconformity, to render the Church and State identical in their constituent elements, and to preserve the uniformity and secure the perpetuity of the faith which had been established. The Dissenters, however, maintained that the Act of Uniformity had utterly failed to accomplish its object. They observed that at first the Reformed Church was Calvinistic in its articles, its clergy, and its preaching; that it then became Arminian and overcharged with ceremony under Laud; that it was latitudinarian in the days of William and Anne; that in more modern times it had been divided into "High Church," and "Low Church," and "Broad Church;" that subscription did not prevent the greatest variety and even the most positive contrariety of doctrine and religious opinion, referring, for illustration, to the rise and progress of the "Evangelical" and the "Anglican" parties. They further contended that the Act had failed in one of its main objectsnamely, in keeping all Protestants within the pale of the Church, as, so far as actual membership or communicants were concerned, the adherents to the Establishment were now in a minority. In vain, then, were 2,000 clergymen ejected from their parishes, followed by 60,000 earnest Protestants, who, by fines, imprisonment, or voluntary exile, suffered on account of their Nonconformity. This persecution had an effect the opposite of what had been anticipated. If, as Hume remarked, every martyrdom in the Marian persecution was worth to Protestantism and liberty a hundred sermons against Popery, so every act of persecution against the Nonconformists was of value to the religious life of the nation. In consequence of the development of that life, the Toleration Act became a necessity; and from the accession of George II. an annual Indemnity Act was passed. BENARES. (From a Photograph by Frith and Co.)