The French hastened to comply with this condition, on the understanding that Ormonde would immediately draw off his troops from Quesnoy; and the duke was obliged to announce to Prince Eugene that he was under this necessity, in consequence of the terms agreed upon between France and England; in fact, that he must cease all opposition to the French. Ormonde, therefore, not only gave the command for the retirement of the English troops, but also of all those belonging to the German princes which were in British pay. Eugene and the Dutch field deputies protested most indignantly against this proceeding, and the mercenary troops themselves refused to follow Ormonde. In vain did he endeavour to move the officers of those troops; they despised the conduct of England in abandoning the advantageous position at which they had arrived for terminating the war gloriously, and releasing the common enemy of Europe from his just punishment to gratify party spirit in England. The Home Secretary once more submitted his views to the Duke, in a memorandum dated January 12th, that was written with a view to being submitted to the king, in which he put the inevitable alternative of a Cabinet united in the determination to carry Catholic Emancipation, or a Cabinet constructed on exclusively Protestant principles; and he came to the conclusion that no Cabinet so constructed could possibly carry on the general administration of the country. The state of the House of Commons appeared to him to be an insuperable obstacle to the successful issue of that experiment. Since the year 1807 there had been five Parliaments, and in the course of each of these, with one exception, the House of Commons had come to a decision in favour of the consideration of the Catholic question. The present Parliament had decided in the same manner. A dissolution, were it practicable, would not result in an election more favourable to the Protestant interest, if an exclusively Protestant Government were formed. Even should there be an increase of anti-Catholic members in England, it would not compensate for the increased excitement in Ireland, and the violent and vexatious opposition that would be given by fifty or sixty Irish members, returned by the Catholic Association and the priests. Then there would be the difficulty about preserving the peace in Ireland. During the last autumn, out of the regular infantry force in the United Kingdom, amounting to about 30,000 men, 25,000 men were stationed either in Ireland or on the west coast of England, with a view to the maintenance of tranquillity in Ireland, Great Britain being then at peace with all the world. What would be the consequence should England be involved in a war with some foreign Power? Various other considerations were urged, upon which Mr. Peel founded his advice to the king, which wasthat he should not grant the Catholic claims, or any part of them, precipitately and unadvisedly, but that he should, in the first instance, remove the barrier which prevented the consideration of the Catholic question by the Cabinet, and permit his confidential servants to consider it in all its relations, on the same principles on which they considered any other question of public policy, in the hope that some plan of adjustment could be proposed, on the authority and responsibility of a Government likely to command the assent of Parliament and to unite in its support a powerful weight of Protestant opinion, from a conviction that it was a settlement equitable towards Roman Catholics and safe as it concerned the Protestant Establishment.

But the Convention sent to Hoche two extraordinary Commissioners to stimulate him to the utmost activity. Hoche immediately wrote to the Committee of Public Welfare to assure them that nothing was wanting to his success but for Government to support him with "provisions, of which[447] we are in want, and the twelve thousand men whom you promised me so long ago." He posted his generals on every frontier, and in every strong place. Thus he had enveloped Brittany on all sides; instead of the Bretons rising en masse, as was expected, they kept quiet, and only the Chouans appeared in arms. Even they demanded that the Count d'Artois should come and put himself at their head; and the Emigrants asked to be re-embarked, and taken to La Vende to support Charette. On their part, the able arrangements of Hoche and Canclaux prevented the Vendans from operating in favour of the Bretons, and Puisaye saw himself paralysed by the vigour of his opponents and the dissensions of his followers. The different bodies of Chouans were repulsed by the Republicans as they advanced towards Quiberon Bay, and they complained that d'Hervilly had withdrawn the four hundred men of the line who had been ordered to support them. D'Hervilly replied that he had recalled them to assist at the taking of Penthivre. Thus favoured by the wranglings of the Royalists, Hoche, on the 5th of July, found himself established on the heights of St. Barbe, commanding the Isthmus of Falaise. On the 7th d'Hervilly, supported by his regulars and by two hundred British marines, endeavoured to drive him thence, but was repulsed with great slaughter. Hoche then bore down from the heights, and drove all the miscellaneous forces of Emigrants and Chouans, mingled with women and children, to the promontory, and under the guns of Fort Penthivre. But for the well-directed fire from Warren's boats the mass, nearly twenty thousand fugitives, must have surrendered at once, having no outlet of escape. There, however, for some days they stoutly defended themselves.

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The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.

The disabilities under which the Roman Catholics laboured were a constant source of irritation in Ireland; the agitation upon the subject was becoming every day more formidable. Mr. Plunket was anxious to bring forward the question in the House of Commons, but he was urged by his colleagues to postpone it, from an apprehension that the time was not yet come to give it a fair consideration: the Cabinet was divided, the Chancellor was obstinate, and the king vacillating, if not double-minded. "As to the conduct of the king," writes Mr. Freemantle, a member of the Government, "it is inexplicable. He is praising Lord Liverpool on all occasions, and sending invitations to nobody but the Opposition. With regard to Ireland, I am quite satisfied the great man is holding the most conciliatory language to both partiesholding out success to the Catholics, and a determination to resist them to the Protestants."

The Peace of Amiens, instead of turning the attention of Buonaparte to internal improvements, seemed to give it opportunity to range, in imagination, over the whole world with schemes of conquest and of the suppression of British dominion. There was no spot, however remote, that he did not examine on the map with reference to plans of conquest. Louisiana and Guiana, obtained from Spain and Portugal, were viewed as ports whence conquest should advance to Nova Scotia, Canada, the Brazils, Mexico, and Peru. Every station in the West India Isles was calculated as a point for this purpose, and for seizing some day all the British islands there. The Cape of Good Hope, Madagascar, the isles of France and Bourbon, the Dutch spice isles, and their settlements in Java, Sumatra, etc., were regarded as a chain of ports which would enable Buonaparte to become master of India. He sent out expeditions, under different officers, to examine every island and region where the British had a settlement, or where he might plant one, to oppose them. One of these expeditions sailed in a couple of corvettes, commanded by Captain Baudin, who was accompanied by a staff of thirty-three naturalists, geologists, savants, etc., the ostensible object being science and discoverythe real one the ascertaining of the exact possessions of Britain, and of the best means of becoming master of them. The head of the scientific staff was M. Pron. On their return their report was published, and it is singular that in this report St. Helena, destined to be the prison of Napoleon, is described in rapturous terms as an earthly paradise.

The trial of Sir Charles Wolseley and Dr. Harrison for their speeches at the meeting for Reform at Stockport in June, 1819, terminated also in their conviction and imprisonment for eighteen months, as well as the giving of security for their future good behaviour on liberation.

Amongst the novelists of the later period of the reign we may name Horace Smith, author of "Brambletye House," etc.; Leigh Hunt, the poet, author of "Sir Ralph Esher;" Peacock, author of "Headlong Hall;" Beckford, author of the wild Eastern tale of "Vathek;" Hamilton, author of "Cyril Thornton," etc.; Maturin, author of "Melmoth the Wanderer," etc.; Mrs. Brunton, author of "Discipline," "Self-Control," etc.; and Miss Ferrier, author of "Marriage" and other novels of a high order. Jane Austen (b. 1775; d. 1817), author of "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," "Sense and Sensibility," etc., all distinguished by the nicest sense of character, was far above any of these, and ranks with the foremost of our writers of fiction.