From Boulogne, Buonaparte proceeded to Brussels, Ostend, Antwerp, and so through Belgium, where Josephine met him, to the Rhine. Wherever he appeared, the authorities of the towns, both then and on his return through France, presented him with the most adulatory addresses. One would no longer believe it the same people who had, for[499] ten years, committed such unexampled horrors to destroy the royalty they were now again adoring. The Mayor of Arras, Robespierre's own town, put the climax to all this civic incense by declaring, in his address, that "God made Napoleon, and then rested!"

Buonaparte landed at Cannes on the 1st of March. His advanced guard presented themselves before Antibes, and were made prisoners by the garrison. This did not discourage Buonaparte; he advanced by forced marches with his now less than one thousand men, and leaving behind him his train of artillery. Till he reached Dauphin, however, he received very little encouragement from any party. All the authorities, proprietors, and clergy, stood aloof; only a few peasantry occasionally cried "Vive l'Empereur!" but did not join him. He began to be very uneasy. But on the 7th of March, as he approached Grenoble, Colonel Labdoyre, who had been gained over before, came out with an eagle in his hand, and at the gates distributed tricolour cockades, which had been concealed in a drum. Buonaparte advanced alone towards the troops, and called on any one who wished to kill his Emperor to do his pleasure. All cried "Vive l'Empereur!" and crowded round him. General Marchand endeavoured to recall the soldiers to their duty, but in vain.

Whilst this powerful confederacy was putting forth all its strength to drive from the seat of supremacy the man who had so long guided the fortunes of England, another confederacy was knitting together its selfish members to rend in pieces and share amongst them the empire of the young Queen of Austria. Frederick was willing enough to make a league with France, but he was cautious enough not to make it too soon. He wanted to know whether he could keep England out of the campaign, in which case he could deal easily with Austria himself. Walpole's attempts to prevent the war from becoming European, however, failed, and the treaty being signed with the Prussian king, Marshal Maillebois marched an army across the Rhine, and Belleisle and Broglie went with another. Maillebois pursued his course direct for Hanover, where George was drilling and preparing a number of troops, but in no degree capable of making head against the French. Panic-stricken at their approach, he made haste to come to terms, and agreed to a year's neutrality for Hanover, leaving Maria Theresa to her fate, and, moreover, engaging not to vote for the election of her husband, the Duke of Lorraine, to be Emperor. The news of this conduct of the King of England in the person of the Elector of Hanover, was received in Great Britain with the utmost indignation. Belleisle and De Broglie had, during this time, joined their forces to those of the old Elector of Bavaria, the constant enemy of Austria and the friend of France, and had marched into Austria. He took Linz, on the Danube, and commenced his march on Vienna. As this allied army approached Vienna, Maria Theresa fled with her infant son, afterwards Joseph II., into Hungary, her husband and his brother, Prince Charles of Lorraine, remaining to defend the city.[75] The Hungarians received their menaced queen with enthusiasm. She had done much since the recent commencement of her reign to win their affections. She had been crowned in the preceding month of June in their ancient capital, and had sworn to maintain their ancient constitution in all its force, and the people were fervent in their loyalty. When, therefore, she appeared before the Hungarian Parliament in Presburg with her son in her arms, and called upon that high-spirited nation to defend her against her perfidious and selfish enemies, the sensation was indescribable. All rose to their feet, and, drawing their swords half-way from the scabbard, they exclaimed, "Our lives and our blood for your majesty! We will die for our king, Maria Theresa!" 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.

When the visitors entered a village, their first question was, "How many deaths?" "The hunger is upon us," was everywhere the cry; and involuntarily they found themselves regarding this hunger as they would an epidemic, looking upon starvation as a disease. In fact, as they passed along, their wonder was, not that the people died, but that they lived; and Mr. W. E. Forster, in his report, said, "I have no doubt whatever that in any other country the mortality would have been far greater; and that many lives have been[539] prolonged, perhaps saved, by the long apprenticeship to want in which the Irish peasant has been trained, and by that lovely, touching charity which prompts him to share his scanty meal with his starving neighbour. But the springs of this charity must be rapidly dried up. Like a scourge of locusts, the hunger daily sweeps over fresh districts, eating up all before it. One class after another is falling into the same abyss of ruin." While these matters were going on in Ireland, Mr. Peel was applying his mind, in the most earnest manner, to the removal of the difficulties that stood in the way of Emancipation. Another measure in this Session marks an epoch in the history of literature and science in Great Britain. Parliament empowered the Crown to raise money by lottery for the purchase of the fine library, consisting of fifty thousand volumes, and the collection of articles of vertu and antiquity, amounting to sixty-nine thousand three hundred and fifty-two in number, bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane to the nation on the condition that twenty thousand pounds should be paid to his daughters for what had cost himself fifty thousand pounds. The same Bill also empowered Government to purchase of the Duchess of Portland, for ten thousand pounds, the collection of MSS. and books, etc., made by her grandfather, Harley, the Lord Treasurer Oxford, and also for the purchase of Montagu House, which was offered for sale in consequence of the death of the Duke of Montagu without heirs, in which to deposit these valuable collections. The antiquarian and literary collections of Sir Robert Cotton, purchased in the reign of Queen Anne, were also removed to Montagu House; and thus was founded the now magnificent institution, the British Museum. It is remarkable that whilst Horace Walpole, professing himself a patron of letters, has recorded all the gossip of his times, he has not deemed this great literary, scientific, and artistic event worthy of the slightest mention.

Amongst those who hailed enthusiastically the French Revolution, and gave credit to its promises of benefit to humanity, were a considerable number of the Dissenting body, and especially of the Unitarian class. Amongst these, Drs. Price, Priestley, Kippis, and Towers were most prominent. Dr. Pricewho furnished Pitt with the theory of the Sinking Fund, and with other propositions of reform,on the breaking out of the French Revolution was one of the first to respond to it with acclamation. He was a member of the Revolution Society, and in 1789 he preached before it a sermon on "The Love of our Country," and in this drew so beautiful a picture of the coming happiness of man from the French Revolution, that he declared that he was ready to exclaim with Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." At the dinner on the same occasion he moved that a congratulatory address be sent to the National Assembly on that glorious event, which was seconded by Lord Stanhope the chairman, and which was sent, and received with great acclamation by the National Assembly. Burke, in his "Reflections on the French Revolution," was very severe on Price, as well as on his coadjutors; and as Price died this year it was said that the "Reflections" had killed him, which, were it true, could not be said[384] to have done it very prematurely, for the doctor was in his seventieth year.

The two rival Ministers of England became every day more embittered against each other; and Bolingbroke grew more daring in his advances towards the Pretender, and towards measures only befitting a Stuart's reign. In order to please the High Church, whilst he was taking the surest measures to ruin it by introducing a popish prince, he consulted with Atterbury, and they agreed to bring in a Bill which should prevent Dissenters from educating their own children. This measure was sure to please the Hanoverian Tories, who were as averse from the Dissenters as the Whigs. Thus it would conciliate them and obtain their support at the[19] very moment that the chief authors of it were planning the ruin of their party. This Bill was called the Schism Bill, and enjoined that no person in Great Britain should keep any school, or act as tutor, who had not first subscribed the declaration to conform to the Church of England, and obtained a licence of the diocesan. Upon failure of so doing, the party might be committed to prison without bail; and no such licence was to be granted before the party produced a certificate of his having received the Sacrament according to the communion of the English Church within the last year, and of his having also subscribed the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy.


A fresh war had broken out with us in India. Tippoo Sahib had resumed hostilities. He conceived the idea of obtaining the aid of an army from France, and of thus driving us, according to his vow, entirely out of India. He opened communications with M. du Fresne, the Governor of Pondicherry, which Britain had very imprudently restored to France at the peace after the American war. M. Leger, civil administrator in England, brought Tippoo's proposals to Paris. Louis replied to the proposal that the matter too keenly reminded him of the endeavour to destroy the power of Britain in America, in which advantage had been taken of his youth, and which he should never cease to regret. He had learned too deeply the severe retribution which the propagation of Republicanism had brought upon him. But, without waiting the arrival of the hoped-for French troops, Tippoo had broken into the territories of the British ally, the Rajah of Travancore, and by the end of 1789 had nearly overrun them. Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd, suddenly attacked by Tippoo with an overwhelming force, had been compelled to retire before him, with severe losses amongst his sepoys. But General Medows advanced from Trichinopoly with fifteen thousand men, and following nearly the route so splendidly opened up by Colonel Fullarton, took several fortresses. Tippoo retreated to his capital, Seringapatam; but there he again threatened Madras; and General Medows was compelled to make a hasty countermarch to prevent that catastrophe. In the meantime, General Abercrombie landed at Tellicherry with seven thousand five hundred men from the presidency of Bombay; took from the Mysoreans all the places which they had gained on the Malabar coast; restored the Hindoo Rajahs, who, in turn, helped him to expel the forces of Tippoo from the territories of the Rajah of Travancore, who was completely re-established. This was the result of the war up to the end of the year 1790; but Tippoo still menaced fresh aggressions.

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And, for some time, events seemed to justify these apprehensions by the old governing class. Not a plan of Pitt's but failed. His first enterprise was one of that species that has almost universally faileda descent on the coast of France. Early in September a fleet of sixteen ships of the line, attended by transports and frigates, was despatched to Rochefort, carrying ten regiments of foot, under the command of Sir John Mordaunt. Sir Edward Hawke commanded the fleet, and the troops were landed[127] on a small fortified island named Aix, at the mouth of the Charente. There, in spite of strict orders, the English soldiers and sailors became awfully drunk, and committed shocking excesses and cruelties on the inhabitants. The rumour of this made the forces in Rochefort furious for vengeance; and when the army was to be landed within a few miles of the place in order to its attack, as usual in such cases, the admiral and general came to an open quarrel. Mordaunt betrayed great timidity, and demanded of Hawke how the troops, in case of failure, were to be brought off again. Hawke replied, that must depend on wind and tidean answer which by no means reassured Mordaunt. General Conway, next in command to Mordaunt, was eager for advancing to the attack; and Colonel Wolfeafterwards the conqueror of Quebecoffered to make himself master of Rochefort with three ships of war and five hundred men at his disposal. The brave offer was rejected, but the report of it at once pointed out Wolfe to Pitt as one of the men whom he was on the look-out to work with. Howe, the next in command to Hawke, proposed to batter down the fort of Fouras before advancing on Rochefort; but Mordaunt adopted the resort of all timid commandersa council of warwhich wasted the time in which the assault should have been made, and then it was declared useless to attempt it; the fortifications of Aix were destroyed, and the fleet put back. Mordaunt, like Byng, was brought before a court-martial, but with very different results. He was honourably acquittedperhaps, under the atrocious 12th Article of War, the Court feared even to censure; and it was said by the people that Byng was shot for not doing enough, and Mordaunt acquitted for doing nothing at all.