Thus ended the rebellion of 1848, which had so long kept the country in a state of alarm. It is true that some of the leaders headed small bodies of insurgents in the county of Waterford, and attacked several police barracks, but in none of the affrays were the insurgents successful. The police, who were not more than one to fifty of the rebels, routed them in every instance without any loss of life on their part. The constabulary were then 10,000 strong in Ireland, and Smith O'Brien confidently counted upon their desertion to his ranks; but though the majority of the force were Roman Catholics, they were loyal to a man. Dillon and O'Gorman had escaped to France, but Terence McManus, a fine young man, who had given up a prosperous business as a broker in Liverpool, to become an officer in the "Army of Liberation," was arrested in an American vessel proceeding from Cork to the United States. A special commission for the trial of the prisoners was opened on the 21st of September, at Clonmel, high treason having been committed in the county Tipperary. THE CONQUERORS OF THE BASTILLE. (After the Picture by Fran?ois Flameng.)

In the House of Lords on the 24th of January, 1721, five directors who had been called before them were arrested and their papers seized. By what had been drawn from them, it appeared that large sums had been given to people in high places to procure the passing of the South Sea Bill. Lord Stanhope rose and expressed his indignation at such practices, and moved that any transfer of stock for the use of any person in the Administration without a proper consideration was a notorious and dangerous corruption. The motion was seconded by Lord Townshend, and carried unanimously. The examination being continued on the 4th of February, Sir John Blunt refused to answer their lordships, on the plea that he had already given his evidence before the Secret Committee. A vehement debate arose out of this difficulty, during which the Duke of Wharton, a most profligate young nobleman, and president of the Hell-fire Club, made a fierce attack on Stanhope, accused him of fomenting the dissensions between the king and his son, and compared him to Sejanus, who had sown animosities in the family of Tiberius, and rendered his reign hateful to the Romans. Stanhope, in replying to this philippic, was so transported by his rage, that the blood gushed from his nostrils. He was carried from the House, and soon afterwards expired. In the Macpherson and Lockhart Papers we have now the fullest evidence of what was going on to this end. The agents of both Hanover and St. Germains were active; but those of Hanover were depressed, those of St. Germains never in such hope. The Jesuit Plunkett wrote: "The changes go on by degrees to the king's advantage; none but his friends advanced or employed in order to serve the great project. Bolingbroke and Oxford do not set their horses together, because Oxford is so dilatory, and dozes over things, which is the occasion there are so many Whigs chosen this Parliament. Though there are four Tories to one, they think it little. The ministry must now swim or sink with France." In fact, Oxford's over-caution, and his laziness, at the same time that he was impatient to allow any power out of his own hands, and yet did not exert it when he had it, had disgusted the Tories, and favoured the ambitious views which Bolingbroke was cherishing. The latter had now managed to win the confidence of Lady Masham from the Lord Treasurer to himself; and, aware that he had made a mortal enemy of the Elector of Hanover by his conduct in compelling a peace and deserting the Allies, he determined to make a bold effort to bring in the Pretender on the queen's decease, which every one, from the nature of her complaint, felt could not be far off. To such a pitch of openness did the queen carry her dislike, that she seemed to take a pleasure in speaking in the most derogatory terms of both the old Electress Sophia and her son. Oxford's close and mysterious conduct disgusted the agents of Hanover, without assuring those of the Pretender, and threw the advantage with the latter party more and more into the hands of Bolingbroke. Baron Schutz, the Hanoverian agent, wrote home that he could make nothing of Oxford, but that there was a design against his master; and when Lord Newcastle observed to the agent of the Pretender that, the queen's life being so precarious, it would be good policy in Harley to strike up with the king and make a fair bargain, the agent replied, "If the king were master of his three kingdoms to-morrow, he would not be able to do for Mr. Harley what the Elector of Hanover had done for him already." Thus Oxford's closeness made him suspected of being secured by the Elector at the very moment that the Elector deemed that he was leaning towards the Pretender.

So close were they upon King Joseph, that a party of the British, under Captain Wyndham, came upon him in his carriage, and fired through the window. Joseph had the good fortune to escape to horse, and gallop off, but his carriage fell into the hands of the British, and it was found crammed with the most precious spoil of the churches and palaces of Spain. Amongst his baggage, which also was taken, were found some of the finest paintings of the Spanish masters, rich plate, including a splendid dinner-service, a gorgeous wardrobe, and a number of his women, for he was a perfect Sybarite in luxury and voluptuousness. No such scene was witnessed, except on the defeat of some Eastern army. The officers had gorged themselves with the spoils of Spain, and here they were left, amid crowds of wives and mistresses, monkeys, poodles, parrots, silks, satins, and jewellery. The officers and soldiers had run for it, with nothing but their arms and their clothes on their backs, and all along the roads leading from the city was one vast crowding, jostling mass of waggons, loaded with all sorts of rich spoils, splendid dresses, and wines, and money, and fine ladies in the most terrible hurry and fright. Sheep, cattle, lambs, like a great fair, were left behind, and became the booty of the pursuers. There was a vigorous bursting open of packages, and rich wardrobes of both officers and ladies were soon fluttering in the windsgorgeous uniforms on the backs of common soldiers and Portuguese camp-followersfine silks and satins, and laces and gold chains, on the persons and necks of common women. The military chest was seized, and the soldiers freely helped themselves to its contents. Lord Wellington says that the troops got about a million of money. Planks were placed from waggon to waggon, and a great auction was going on everywhere, the lucky captors converting everything possibleeven the heavy Spanish dollarsinto gold, as more convenient for carriage. The inhabitants of the city made rich bargains, besides managing to help themselves plentifully in the scramble. The strong towns and fortresses of Prussia were all surrendered with as much rapidity as the army had been dispersed. They were, for the most part, commanded by imbecile or cowardly old villains; nay, there is every reason to believe that, in many instances, they sold the places to the French, and were paid their traitor fees out of the military chests of the respective fortresses. Whilst these events were so rapidly progressing, Louis Buonaparte, the new King of Holland, with an army of French and Dutch, had overrun, with scarcely any opposition, Westphalia, Hanover, Emden, and East Friesland. The unfortunate King of Prussia, who had seen his kingdom vanish like a dream, had fled to K?nigsberg, where he was defended by the gallant Lestog, and awaited the hoped-for junction of the Russians marching to his aid. Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, forgetting the slighted advice which he had offered to Prussia to unite with Austria, opened Stralsund and Riga to the fugitive Prussians. The second reading was moved on the 14th by Lord Althorp, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Porchester moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. His motion was supported by Sir Edward Sugden. Sir Robert Peel had taunted the Government with inconsistency in adopting alterations, every one of which they had resisted when proposed by the Opposition. Mr. Macaulay retaliated with powerful effect, with respect to the conduct of the Tories on the question of Catholic Emancipation. On a division the numbers were, for the second reading, 324; against it, 162majority, 162. The House of Commons having thus carried the Reform[347] measure a third time by an increased majority, which was now two to one, the House was adjourned to the 17th of January, when it resumed its sittings. On the 19th of that month the Irish Reform Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley, and the Scottish Bill by the Lord Advocate. On the 20th the House resolved itself into a committee on the English Bill, and continued to discuss it daily, clause by clause, and word by word, pertinaciously and bitterly wrangling over each, till the 10th of March, when the committee reported. The third reading was moved on the 19th, when the last, and not the least violent, of the debates took place. The Bill was passed on the 23rd by a majority of 116, the numbers being 355 and 239.


Whilst these elements of a new convulsion were in active operation, the Allies had settled to some extent the affairs of Europe, and had returned home. On the 30th of May a treaty had been signed at Paris, between Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with France. The boundaries of France were settled as they existed in 1792; it was decreed that Holland and Belgium should be united to form a strong barrier against France; the independence of Switzerland was restored; the north of Italy was again made over to Austria, including[86] Venice, but not including Sardinia, which was enlarged by the addition of Genoa, out of which Lord William Bentinck, with a British army, had driven the French. Murat had assisted the Austrians to conquer Eugene Beauharnais, and hoped to be allowed to retain Naples, yet having many fears of his new allies, the Austrians, and of the Allies generally. The Pope was again in peaceful possession of his States; the arms and the money of Great Britain had triumphed over Buonaparte, and had restored the monarchs of Europe to their thrones; but it was not to be denied that in restoring them they had restored so many detestable despotisms.

The campaign in Flanders commenced with the highest expectation on the part of England. Cumberland had now obtained the great object of his ambitionthe command of the Allied army; and the conqueror of Culloden was confidently expected to show himself the conqueror of Marshal Saxe and of France. But Cumberland, who was no match for Marshal Saxe, found the Dutch and Austrians, as usual, vastly deficient in their stipulated quotas. The French, hoping to intimidate the sluggish and wavering Dutch, threatened to send twenty thousand men into Dutch Flanders, if the States did not choose to negotiate for a separate peace. The menace, however, had the effect of rousing Holland to some degree of action. When the vanguard of Saxe's army, under Count L?wendahl, burst into Dutch Flanders, and reduced the frontier forts of Sluys, Sas-van-Ghent, and Hulst, the Dutch rose against their dastardly governors, and once more placed a prince of the House of Nassau in the Stadtholdership. William of Nassau, who had married Anne, daughter of George II. of England, was, unfortunately, not only nominated Stadtholder, but Captain-General and Lord High Admiral; and, being equally desirous of martial glory with his brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland, he headed the Dutch army, and immediately began to contend with Cumberland for dictation as to the movements of the army. In these disastrous circumstances, the Allies came to blows with the French at the village of Laufeldt, before Maestricht. The Dutch in the centre gave way and fled; the Austrians on the right, under Marshal Batthyani, would not advance out of their fortified position; the brunt of the whole onset, therefore, fell upon the English. Cumberland found himself engaged with the whole French army, directed by the masterly mind of Saxe, and animated by the presence of Louis himself. The dispositions of Cumberland were bad, but the bravery of the British troops was never more remarkable. Though it was impossible for them to prevail against such overwhelming numbers, they did not retreat before they had, according to Saxe's own acknowledgment, killed or wounded nine thousand of the French.