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imitated. A copy of it was sent to the minister, and isPARIS UNDER THE REIGN OF TERROR: A VAIN APPEAL. (After the Picture by Paul Svedomsky)
The reply to the memorial denies to the bishop the power of excommunication in civil matters, assigns to him the second place in meetings and ceremonies of a civil character, and is very reticent as to the rest. *But whilst Tchitchagoff attacked the French on the right bank, Wittgenstein attacked them on the left. The Russians then threw a bridge of pontoons over the river at Borissov, and, being in communication, attacked the French vehemently on both sides of the river at once. Buonaparte and the troops who were over the river forced their way across some marshes over wooden bridges, which the Russians had neglected to destroy, and reached Brelowa, a little above Borissov on the other side. But terrible now was the condition of the forces and the camp-followers who had not crossed. Wittgenstein, Victor, and Oudinot were engaged in mortal combat on the left bank at the approach of the bridge, the French generals endeavouring to beat off the Russians as the troops and people pressed in a confused crowd over the bridges. Every moment the Russians drove the French nearer to the bridges, and the scene of horror became indescribable. The throngs rushed to make their way over the bridge; the soldiers, forgetting their discipline, added to the confusion. The weak and helpless were trampled down; thousands were forced over the sides of the bridge, and perished in the freezing waters. In the midst of the struggle a fierce tempest arose, and deluges of rain fell; and to carry the horror to the highest pitch, the bridge over which the baggage was passing broke down, plunging numbers of sick, and women and children, into the flood, amid the most fearful cries and screams. But all night the distracted multitude continued to press over the sole remaining bridge under the fire of the Russian artillery, and amongst them passed the troops of Victor, who gave up the contest on the left bank, and left those who had not crossed to their fate. Thousands of poor wretches were seen, as morning dawned, huddled on the bank of the river, amid baggage-waggons and artillery, surrounded by the infuriated Russians, and in dumb despair awaiting their fate. To prevent the crossing of the Russians, the French set fire to the bridge, and left those behind to the mercy of the enemy.
At Quebec, where the matrimonial market was on a larger scale, a more ample bazaar was needed. That the girls were assorted into three classes, each penned up for selection in a separate hall, is a statement probable enough in itself, but resting on no better authority than that of La Hontan. Be this as it may, they were submitted together to the inspection of the suitor; and the awkward young peasant or the rugged soldier of Carignan was required to choose a bride without delay from among the anxious candidates. They, on their part, were permitted to reject any applicant who displeased them, and the first question, we are told, which most of them asked was whether the suitor had a house and a farm. Duchesneau au Ministre, 10 Nov., 1679.
The effect of the American war, so extremely unsatisfactory to the nation, had now perceptibly reduced the influence of Lord North and his Ministry. Their majorities, which had formerly been four to one, had now fallen to less than two to one; and this process was going rapidly on. The changes in the Cabinet had been considerable, but they had not contributed to reinvigorate it. The removal of Thurlow to the House of Lords had left nobody equal to him in the Commons to contend with such men as Fox, Burke, Barr, and the several others. Wedderburn had taken Thurlow's place as Attorney-General, and Wallace had stepped into Wedderburn's as Solicitor-General. Lord Weymouth, who had held the posts of Secretary of State for the North and South Departments since the death of the Earl of Suffolk, now resigned, and Lord Hillsborough was appointed to the Southern Department, and Lord Stormont to the Northern Department. Neither of these changes was popular. The Duke of Bedford's party had become more and more cool towards Lord North, and in every respect there was a declining power in the Cabinet. It was at variance with itself, and was fast losing the confidence of the public. Lord George Germaine was still retained by the king as Secretary of the Colonies, notwithstanding the disgust he had excited by the unfortunate planning of the expedition of Burgoyne.As at Eylau, so at Friedland, Napoleon made no attempt to follow the Russians. But the battle, nevertheless, produced important consequences. The King of Prussia did not think himself safe at K?nigsberg, and he evacuated it; and the unhappy queen prepared, with her children, to fly to Riga. The Russians retreated to Tilsit, and there Alexander made up his mind to negotiate with Napoleon. He was far from being in a condition to despair; Gustavus, the King of Sweden, was at the head of a considerable army at Stralsund; a British expedition was daily expected in the Baltic; the spirit of resistance was reawakening in Prussia; Schill, the gallant partisan leader, was again on horseback, with a numerous body of men, gathered in various quarters; and Hesse, Hanover, Brunswick, and other German provinces were prompt for revolt on the least occasion of encouragement. Buonaparte felt the peril of crossing the Niemen, and advancing into the vast deserts of Russia, with these dangerous elements in his rear. Besides, his presence was necessary in France. He had been absent from it nearly a year; he had drawn heavily on its resources, and a too long-continued strain without his personal influence might produce fatal consequences. To leave his army in the North was to leave it to certain defeat, and with the danger of having all Germany again in arms. These circumstances, well weighed by a man of genius and determination, would have induced him to make a resolute stand, and to draw his enemy into those wilds where he afterwards ruined himself, or to wear him out by delay. Alexander, however, had not the necessary qualities for such a policy of procrastination. He was now depressed by the sufferings of his army, and indignant against Britain.
This was a thunderstroke to Hastings and his friends. Fifty of Pitt's followers immediately wheeled round with him; Dundas voted with Pitt, and the motion was carried by an exact inversion of the numbers which had negatived the former article on the Rohilla war, one hundred and nineteen against sixty-seven. The Session closed on the 11th of July with the rest of the charges hanging over the ex-Governor's head in ominous gloom.The rest of the Speech consisted of endeavours to represent the country as in a prosperous condition; to have escaped from insurrection by the vigilance of Ministers, and to have recovered the elasticity of commerce. No amendment was moved to the Address in either House, but not the less did the conduct of Ministers escape some animadversion. In the Peers, Lord Lansdowne ridiculed the alarms which had been raised regarding the movements in Derbyshire, which, he said, had not been at all participated in by the working population at large, and had been put down by eighteen dragoons. He contended that there was no evidence of any correspondence with these conspirators in other quarters; but this was notoriously incorrect, for there had been a correspondence in Lancashire and Yorkshire, a correspondence especially disgraceful to Ministers, for it was on the part of their own incendiary agents. He observed truly, however, that the insurrection, as it was called, had by no means justified the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, for it could have been most readily put down without it by the regular course of law. In the Commons, Sir Samuel Romilly thought that the Derbyshire insurrectionists had been very properly brought to trial; for Brandreth had committed a murder, and, therefore, those who acted with him were, in the eye of the law, equally guilty. But if they were properly brought to trial, there were others who ought still more properly to have been brought to trial toothe very men whom Government had sent out, and who had aroused these poor people into insurrection by false and treacherous statements. There was no justice in trying and punishing the victims, and screening their own agents; and this was what Government had done, and were still doing. It is in vain, therefore, that their defenders contend that they gave no authority to Oliver and the other spies to excite the people to outbreak: these spies having notoriously done it, they still protected and rewarded them, and thus made themselves responsible for their whole guilt. If they had not authorised the worst part of the conduct of the spies, they now acted as though they had, and thus morally assumed the onus of these detestable proceedings. One thing immediately resulted from the p?ans of Ministers on the flourishing state of the countrythe repeal of the Suspension Act. The Opposition at once declared that if the condition of the country was as Ministers described it, there could be no occasion for the continuance of this suppression of the Constitution; and accordingly a Bill for the repeal of the Suspension Act was at once brought in and passed by the Lords on the 28th, and by the Commons on the 29th of January.