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A succession of battles now took place with varying success, but still leaving the Allies nearer to Paris than before. If Buonaparte turned against Blucher, Schwarzenberg made an advance towards the capital; if against Schwarzenberg, Blucher progressed a stage. To check Schwarzenberg whilst he attacked Blucher, Napoleon sent Oudinot, Macdonald, and Gerard against Schwarzenberg; but they were defeated, and Napoleon himself was repulsed with severe loss from Craonne and the heights of Laon. But Buonaparte getting between the two Allied armies, and occupying Rheims, the Austrians were so discouraged that Schwarzenberg gave orders to retreat. The Emperor Alexander strenuously opposed retreat; but the effectual argument was advanced by Lord Castlereagh, who declared that the moment the retreat commenced the British subsidies should cease. A sharp battle was fought on the 20th of March, between Schwarzenberg and Napoleon, at Arcis-sur-Aube, and Napoleon was compelled to retreat. Blucher, who had received the order to retreat from Schwarzenberg, had treated it with contempt, and replied to it by his favourite word, "Forwards!" Napoleon had now to weigh the anxious question, whether it was better to push on, and stand a battle under the walls of Paris, with his small, much-reduced force, against the Allies, and with the capital in a state of uncertainty towards himor to follow and harass the rear of the enemy. He seems to have shrunk from the chance of a defeat under the eyes of his metropolis, and he therefore, finding a Prussian force in Vitry, crossed the Marne on the 22nd of March, and held away towards his eastern frontiers, as if with some faint, fond hope that the peasantry of Franche Comt and Alsace might rise and fly to his support. But no such movement was likely; all parts of France were mortally sick of his interminable wars, and glad to see an end put to them. The Allies had now taken the bold resolve to march on Paris and summon it to surrender.

But the new Government met its Nemesis in Ireland. O'Connell and the priests were resolved that, so far as in them lay, Protestant ascendency should not be re-established in that country. The Anti-Tory Association was but one of many names and forms which the Protean agitation had assumed, and all were brought to bear with concentrated power upon every point to secure the defeat of the Ministerial candidates. Minor differences were sunk for the occasion, and all forces were combined against the Government. The consequence was that amongst the large constituencies the cause of Reform was almost everywhere successful. In Kerry, in Meath, in Youghal, and Tralee, the candidates returned were the sons and nephew of O'Connell. He himself stood a severe contest for Dublin, and was returned with Mr. Ruthven, but was unseated on petition. It was during this contest that he recommended that a "death's head and cross-bones" should be painted on the door of every elector who would support the "nefarious and blood-stained" tithe system. On the 9th of April, 1809, the Archduke Charles crossed the Inn, and invaded Bavaria, the ally of France. He issued a manifesto declaring that the cause of Austria was that of the general independence of Germany, and called on those States which had been compelled to bear the yoke of France to throw it off, and stand boldly for the common liberty. The serious discontent of the people of Germany encouraged him to hope that his call would be responded to; but Germany was not yet ripe for an effective reaction. Simultaneously, the Archduke John had descended from the Alps into Italy, and driven the troops of the viceroy, Eugene Beauharnais, before him. He had advanced as far as the Tagliamento, and laid siege to the fortresses of Orobo and Palma Nuova. The Archduke Ferdinand had also marched into Poland, defeated Poniatowski, Buonaparte's general, and taken possession of Warsaw. All so far looked cheering; for the great actor was not yet on the scene. But he quitted Paris on the 11th of April, two days only after the Archduke Charles entered Bavaria, and in a few days was with his army at Donauw?rth. He expressed the utmost contempt for the Austrian troops, saying, in a letter to Massena, that six thousand French ought to beat twelve thousand or fifteen thousand of "those canaille." He greatly disapproved of the manner in which Berthier had disposed of his forces, for he had extended them in a long line from Augsburg to Ratisbon, with a very weak centre. He ordered Davoust and Massena, who commanded the opposite wings, to draw nearer together. That being done, on the 20th of April he made a sudden attack on the Austrians at Abensberg, and defeated them. The next day he renewed the attack at Landshut, and took from them thirty pieces of cannon, nine thousand prisoners, and a great quantity of ammunition and baggage. The following day he advanced against the main position of the Archduke Charles, at Eckmühl, where, by the most skilful man?uvres, he turned all the enemy's positions, and defeated one division after another with all the art and regularity of a game of chess. Charles was thoroughly defeated, and had twenty thousand men taken prisoners, with a loss of fifteen stand of colours, and the greater part of his artillery. The next day the Austrians made a stand to defend the town of Ratisbon. They fought bravely; but, a breach being made in the wall, Marshal Lannes seized a scaling-ladder, and, whilst hundreds of French were falling under the fire of the Austrians, he planted it against the breach, saying, "I will show you that your general is still a grenadier!" The wall was scaled, and a desperate battle ensued in the streets of the town. At one moment, a number of tumbrils loaded with powder were in danger of exploding, and destroying the combatants on both sides; but the Austrians warned the French of the danger, and they mutually combined to remove them. That over, they recommenced the struggle, and the Austrians were driven out of the town, leaving again cannon, much ammunition, and many prisoners in the hands of the French. Whilst watching the mle, Buonaparte was struck on the toe by a spent musket-ball; but he had the wound dressed, and again remounted his[588] horse, and watched with unfailing vigilance the progress of the battle. It was during Lord Cornwallis's campaign in Mysore that Lord Macartney made his celebrated embassy to China, to endeavour to induce the Chinese to open their ports to trade with Britain; but his lordship succeeded in very little beyond making the Chinese and their country better known in the work written by his secretary, afterwards Sir John Barrow.

Newcastle, who wanted to retain his place in the new Cabinet, was more successful on his own behalf. Pulteney said he had no objection to himself or the Lord Chancellor, but that many changes must be made in order to satisfy the late Opposition, and to give the Cabinet a necessary majority. Pulteney then declared that, for himself, he desired a peerage and a place in the Cabinet, and thus the new Ministry was organised:Wilmington, First Lord of the Treasury; Carteret, Secretary of State; the Marquis of Tweeddale, Secretary for Scotland; Sandys, the motion-maker, Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Prince of Wales was to receive the additional fifty thousand pounds a year; and his two friends, Lord Baltimore and Lord Archibald Hamilton, to have seats at the new Board of Admiralty.

The Bill having passed, amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the Reformers, Lord John Russell and Lord Althorp were ordered to carry it in to the Lords, and "to request the concurrence of their Lordships in the same." They did so on Monday, the 26th, followed by a large number of members. It was read by the Lords the first time, and the debate on the second reading commenced on the 9th of April. On that day the Duke of Buckingham gave notice thatin the event of the Bill being rejected, a result which he fully anticipatedhe would bring in a Reform Bill, of which the principal provisions would be to give members to large and important towns, to unite and consolidate certain boroughs, and to extend the elective franchise. Lord Grey then rose to move the second reading of the Reform Bill. The principle of the Bill, he remarked, was now universally conceded. It was admitted in the Duke of Buckingham's motion. Even the Duke of Wellington did not declare against all reform. They differed with the Opposition then only as to the extent to which reform should be carried. He adverted to the modifications that had been made in the Bill, and to the unmistakable determination of the people. At this moment the public mind was tranquil, clamour had ceasedall was anxious suspense and silent expectation. Lord Grey disclaimed any wish to intimidate their lordships, but he cautioned them not to misapprehend the awful silence of the people. "Though the people are silent," he said, "they are looking at our proceedings this night no less intently than they have looked ever since the question was first agitated. I know it is pretended by many that the nation has no confidence in the Peers, because there is an opinion out of doors that the interests of the aristocracy are separated from those of the people. On the part of this House, however, I disclaim all such separation of interests; and therefore I am willing to believe that the silence of which I have spoken is the fruit of a latent hope still existing in their bosoms." The Duke was severe upon the "waverers," Lords Wharncliffe and Harrowby, who defended themselves on the ground that the Bill must be carried, if not by the consent of the Opposition, against their will, by a creation of peers that would swamp them. The Earl of Winchilsea, on the third day, expressed unbounded indignation at the proposed peer-making. If such a measure were adopted he would no longer sit in the House thus insulted and outraged; but would bide his time till the return of those good days which would enable him to vindicate the insulted laws of his country by bringing an unconstitutional Minister before the bar of his peers. The Duke of Buckingham would prefer cholera to the pestilence with which this Bill would contaminate the Constitution. This day the Bill found two defenders on the episcopal bench, the Bishops of London and Llandaff. The Bishop of Exeter, in the course of the debate, made remarks which called forth a powerful and scathing oration from Lord Durham. The Bill was defended by Lord Goderich, and Lord Grey rose to reply at five o'clock on Friday morning. Referring to the attack of the Bishop of Exeter, he said, "The right reverend prelate threw out insinuations about my ambition: let me tell him calmly that the pulses of ambition may beat as strongly under sleeves of lawn as under an ordinary habit." He concluded by referring to the proposed creation of peers, which he contended was justified by the best constitutional writers, in extraordinary circumstances, and was in accordance with the acknowledged principles of the Constitution. The House at length divided at seven o'clock on the morning of the 13th, when the second reading was carried by a majority of nine; the numbers beingcontents present, 128; proxies, 56-184; non-contents present, 126; proxies, 49-175. The Duke of Wellington entered an elaborate protest on the journals of the House against the Bill, to which protest 73 peers attached their signatures. On the 23rd, only four days after the abdication of the king, Murat entered Madrid with a numerous body of infantry and cuirassiers, attended by a splendid train of artillery. Ferdinand entered the city the same day. He had formed an administration wholly opposed to Godoy and his policy. The Ambassadors of the other Powers presented themselves to offer their congratulations; but Beauharnais, the French Ambassador, preserved a profound silence. Murat, also, though he professed himself friendly to Ferdinand, said not a word implying recognition of his title. Still more ominous, the news arrived that Buonaparte himself was on the way with another powerful army. Murat took up his residence in the Palace of the Prince of the Peace, and greatly alarmed Ferdinand and his courtiers by addressing him, not as "your Majesty," but merely as "your Royal Highness." He counselled him to wait, and do nothing till he could advise with Napoleon, and, in the meantime, to send his brother, Don Carlos, to greet the Emperor on his entrance into Spain. To this Ferdinand consented; but when Murat recommended him also to go, and show this mark of respect to his ally, Ferdinand demurred, and by the advice of Cevallos, one of his wisest counsellors, he declined the suggestion. To complicate matters, Murat opened communication with the king and queen, and, not content with that, with Godoy also, assuring him that his only hope of safety lay in the friendship of the Emperor. By this means Murat learned all the accusations that each party could make against the other, so that these things might serve Buonaparte to base his measures, or, at least, his pretences upon. Encouraged by this, Charles[552] wrote to Napoleon to declare his abdication entirely forced, and to leave everything to the decision of his good friend, the Emperor.

But whilst Gifford was thus demolishing an outbreak of bad taste, a much more remarkable evidence that those who lay claim to good taste frequently have it not was given by the appearance of several new plays and other documents attributed to Shakespeare. The chief of these was "Kynge Varrtygerne," a tragedy, edited by Samuel Ireland. Numbers of persons of high name and pretension, as Dr. Parr, Boswell, Pye, the laureate, Chalmers, the editor of an issue of "British Poets," Pinkerton, a writer of all sorts of things, etc., became enthusiastic believers and admirers of these pretended discoveries. They turned out to be impudent forgeries by the son of the editor, named William Henry Ireland, and are in reality such trash that they are a melancholy proof of how little value, from some learned persons, is the adoration of Shakespeare. Malone, in an "Inquiry" into the authenticity of these writings, in 1796, completely exposed their spuriousness. Pinkerton, one of their most zealous advocates, himself perpetrated a similar forgery of a volume of Scottish poems, issued as ancient ones. He enjoyed the particular patronage of Horace Walpole.

By E. M. WARD, R.A.

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.