But here their career was doomed to end. Preston had witnessed the rout of the Royalists by Cromwell, and it was now to witness the rout of the rebels by the Royalists. Carpenter, on finding that the insurgents had taken the way through Cumberland, also hastened back to Newcastle and Durham, where he was joined by General Wills. Wills was in advance with six regiments of cavalry, mostly newly-raised troops, but full of spirit, and well-officered. He came near Preston on the 12th of November, whilst Carpenter was approaching in another direction, so as to take the enemy in the flank. Forster quickly showed that he was an incompetent commander. He was at first greatly elated by the junction of the Lancashire men, but, on hearing that the royal troops were upon them, he was instantly panic-stricken, and, instead of issuing orders, or summoning a council, he betook himself to bed. Lord Kenmure roused him from his ignominious repose, but it was too late; no means were taken to secure the natural advantages of the place. The bridge over the Ribble, which might have kept the enemy at bay, was left undefended; so that when Wills rode up to it on the morning of the 13th, he imagined that the rebels had evacuated the place. Besides the bridge over the river, there was a deep and hollow way of half a mile from the bridge to the town, with high and steep banks, from which an army might have been annihilated; but all was left undefended. It was only when Wills advanced into the town that he became aware that the rebels were still there, and found his path obstructed by barricades raised in the streets. His soldiers gallantly attacked these barricades, but were met by a murderous fire both from behind them and from the houses on each side. But luckily for the royal forces the least ability was wanting in the rebel commander. With all the advantages on his side, Forster secretly sent Colonel Oxburgh to propose a capitulation. Wills at first refused to listen to it, declaring that he could not treat with rebels who had murdered many of the king's subjects; but at length he said, if they would lay down their arms, he would defend them from being cut to pieces by the soldiers till he received further orders from Government. One thousand five hundred men surrendered, including eight noblemen, but a good many escaped. These certainly were large concessions, but it was to be remembered that we had not received them for nothing; they had cost vast sums, and the national debt had been doubled by this war, and now amounted to one hundred and twenty-two million six hundred thousand pounds. These territories had, in fact, cost us upwards of sixty million pounds; and it is certain that Pitt would have exacted a more complete renunciation from France of the conquered countries. There was a clause inserted which Pitt would never have permittednamely, that any conquests that should be made after the signing of these articles, should be restored by all parties. Now, Bute and the Ministry knew that we had expeditions out against Cuba and the Philippines, and that the only conquests likely to be made were in those quarters. To throw away without equivalent the blood and money expended in these important enterprises was a most unpatriotic act. Still, there was opportunity for more rational terms, for Grimaldi, the Spanish ambassador at Paris, held back from signing, in hope that we should be defeated at Havana, and that then he could raise his terms. When the news of the loss of both Havana and Manila arrived, Grimaldi was in great haste to sign, and Mr. Grenville and Lord Egremont very properly insisted that we should demand an equivalent for the conquest in Cuba. Pitt would have stood firm for the retention of that conquest as by far the most important, and as justly secured to us by the refusal of the Spanish ambassador to sign at the proper time. But Bute would have signed without any equivalent at all. Fortunately, there was too strong an opposition to this in the Cabinet, and the Duke of Bedford was instructed to demand Florida or Porto Rico in lieu of Havana. Florida was yieldeda fatal, though at the moment it appeared a valuable concession, for it only added to the compactness of the American colonies, hastening the day of independence, whilst Cuba would have remained under the protection of the fleet, one of the most valuable possessions of the British empire.

The opposition, however, was powerful. When Mr. Goulburn brought forward his resolution by which sugar certified to be the growth of China, Manila, Java, or other countries where no slave labour was employed, should be admitted at a duty of 34s., the colonial duty being 24s., the danger of the position of the Ministers was soon perceived. Lord John Russell proposed an amendment in favour of admitting all foreign sugars at 34s., a proposal which, though calculated to maintain the price of sugar at a higher point than the Government proposition, was less distasteful to the Free Traders, as abolishing the differential principle. This amendment was rejected by a majority of only 69. On the 14th of June the Government Bill came on for a third reading, and[513] the contest then began in earnest. Mr. Miles, the representative of the West India party, moved an amendment proposing a reduction of the duty on colonial sugar to 20s., instead of 24s., and the raising of the duties on foreign to 30s. and 34s. The Free Trade party were not entrapped by this offer of a reduction of 4s. on colonial sugar. They saw that Mr. Miles's amendment would only establish a differential duty of 14s. instead of 10s., the difference going to the West India planters. They now, moreover, at least hoped more from Sir Robert Peel than from any Minister likely to succeed him. Mr. Cobden and the League party therefore supported the Government; but so powerful was the combination against them that the division, which took place on the 14th of June, left Ministers in a minority of 20. Joseph Mallord William Turner (born in 1775) has been pronounced as "essentially the great founder of English landscape painting, the greatest poet-artist our nation has yet produced. He excelled in everythingfrom the mere diagram and topographic map to the most consummate truth and the most refined idealism. In every touch of his there was profound thought and meaning." He was unrivalled in storms; as Napoleon said of Kleber, "He wakes on the day of battle." The remark of Admiral Bowles, when looking at Turner's "Wreck of the Minotaur," conveyed the highest compliment to his art"No ship could live in such a sea." His "Man Overboard" is a still higher effort of genius, in conveying an expression of horror and utter despair. He was the best illustrator of our national poets. He made known to Englishmen[432] the beauties of their native land, and made them acquainted with the picturesque on the Continent. He gave our young artists love for colour, and made us the Venetians of the modern school. From "The fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Moorings," to "Wilkie's Burial," and the "Burning of the Houses of Parliament," he let no event of his age pass without record or comment. He died in 1851.

About four months passed happily away, when another event occurred which was very near furnishing a startling illustration of the truth that there is no certain tenure of human happiness. On the night of Wednesday, the 10th of June, London was agitated by a report of an attempt upon the life of the Queen. Next day an investigation took place at the Home Office, from which the public and the reporters of the daily press were excluded. The following are the facts:At a quarter past six on Wednesday evening, the Queen, accompanied by Prince Albert, left Buckingham Palace, in a very low, open phaeton, to take her customary drive in Hyde Park before dinner. The carriage had proceeded a short distance up the road when a young man, who had been standing with his back to the Green Park fence, advanced to within a few yards of the carriage, and deliberately fired at the Queen. The postilions paused for an instant. The Prince ordered them, in a loud voice, to drive on. "I have got another!" exclaimed the assassin, who discharged a second pistol, aimed at the carriage, which also proved harmless. The Queen and the Prince went as far as Hyde Park Corner, and then turned to the Duchess of Kent's mansion, in Belgrave Square. Meanwhile, the assassin remained near the spot, leaning against the park fence, with the weapons in his hand. Several persons laid hold of him, and he was conveyed by two policemen to the Gardener's Lane station-house. After staying a short time with the Duchess of Kent, in Belgrave Square, the Queen and her husband proceeded to Hyde Park, where an immense concourse of persons, of all ranks and both sexes, had congregated. The reception of the royal pair was so enthusiastic as almost to overpower the self-possession of the Queen. They soon returned to Buckingham Palace, attended by a vast number of the nobility and gentry, in carriages and on horseback. A multitude of persons collected at the entrance to the palace, and vehemently cheered the Queen, who, though pale and agitated, repeatedly bowed and smiled in return. On the 24th of April, accordingly, the king proposed, in a speech from the throne, the measure to the Houses in these words. Both Houses sent addresses of affection, and the bill was introduced into the House of Lords; and it was there contended that it was too vague, no person being directly named, except the queen. To remedy this the king sent a new message, naming the five princes of the royal house, with the power of nominating others in the case of the deaths of any of them. Still, on the second reading, Lord Lyttelton declared that this left it perfectly uncertain who would become regent; and he moved an address to the king to name which one of the persons specified he would nominate as regent. But here the Duke of Richmond asked, whether the queen were naturalised; and if not, whether she were capable of acting as regent. He asked, also, who were, strictly speaking, the royal family? The Earl of Denbigh replied, "All who were prayed for;" but the Duke of Bedford contended that those only in the order of succession constituted the royal family. This went at once to exclude the Princess Dowager of Wales, the king's mother; and Halifax, Bedford's colleague, agreed with him. Amidst all this confusion, Lord Halifax hastened away to the king, and advised him to have the name of his mother omitted, lest the Lords should strike it out, and thus make it appear a public insult. The poor bewildered king, taken by surprise, said, "I will consent, if it will satisfy my people." given out. Total

Such was the state of things with which the Duke of Wellington had to deal as British plenipotentiary when he left London on his mission early in September, taking Paris on his way. There he had some interesting conferences with the king and his Minister. The latter could hold out no hope that France would fulfil her engagements as to the slave trade. He spoke, indeed, of their African settlements as useless to the French people, and proposed to make them over to Britain in exchange for the Isle of France; but farther than this he declined to go, because there were too many interests, both public and private, engaged to thwart his efforts, should he be so unwise as to make any. His language with regard to South America was not less vague and unsatisfactory. He stated that France had not entered into relations with those provinces in any form, and did not intend to do so till they should have settled their differences with Spain one way or another. M. de Villele did not add, as he might have done, that France was feeling her way towards the severance of Spain from her colonies, and towards the establishment in the New World of one or two monarchies, with younger branches of the House of Bourbon at their head.

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In the south, affairs had been as ill conducted by the English commanders as in the north they had been carried on well. Governor Martin had made an effort to recover North Carolina. He had collected a number of Highlanders, recently emigrated to America, and a number of back-woodsmen, called Regulators, and sent them, under the command of Colonels Macdonald and Macleod, to compel the inhabitants to submission. They were to be supported by regular troops to be landed at Wilmington, and General Clinton was daily expected with the reinforcements from England. But Clinton did not appear, and the impatient Highlanders and Regulators, in marching from Cross Creek to Wilmington, were decoyed into a swamp, and there attacked and beaten. Macleod and most of the Highlanders were taken prisoners, and the Regulators, such as escaped, made again for the woods.

That night Charles and his chief officers lay at Culloden House, the seat of the able and patriotic Lord-President, Duncan Forbes; but the troops were obliged to lie on the moor amid the heather, which served them both for beds and fuel, the cold being very severe. They were up early in the morning, and formed in order of battle on[106] Drummossie Muir, the part of the heath of Culloden near to Culloden House. No enemy, however, appeared, and there the poor hungry men lay for most of the day with no other food than a biscuit per man. A council of war being called, Lochiel stated this fact as a plea for delay; Lord John Drummond, the Duke of Perth, and others, were of the same opinion; but Lord George Murray declared for making a night march, and surprising the duke's army whilst it would lie, as they supposed, asleep in a drunken debauch. Charles, who had the same idea, but had not yet broached it, embraced Lord George with ardour, declaring it of all things his own wish. The idea was adopted, yet the slightest military wisdom would have shown them the futility of the scheme. The men were in a general state, not only of famine, but of discontent, from the non-payment of their arrears. The night was dark, and the men soon began to stumble through bog and mire, making their march heavy, and causing them to curse and swear. It was soon found that they were so feeble and incapable of walking, even, to say nothing of fighting after a fourteen or fifteen miles' march, on empty stomachs, that it was impossible to make the rear keep up with the van. They had calculated on being at Nairn at two o'clock, but it was that hour before they had all passed Kilravock House, only four miles from the English camp. It was clear that it would be daylight long before they reached Nairn, and they could only get there to be slaughtered in helplessness, for they would be too tired either to fight or run away. It was therefore agreed to return.