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Poland, abandoned to her own resources, made a brave but ineffectual defence. The Russians received several severe checks in their advance. At Zadorsk, at Palorma, and finally at Dulienska, the Poles fought them gallantly. At the last-named battle, on the 17th of July, the heroic Kosciusko made terrible havoc of the Russian lines, and was only prevented from utterly routing them by his flank being turned by another arrival of Russians, whom the Emperor Francis, of Austria, had allowed to march through Galicia. The Russians advanced to Warsaw, took regular possession of it, and of all the towns and military[399] forts throughout the country. They dismissed the patriot officers of the army, and dispersed the army itself in small divisions into widely-separated places. They abolished the new Constitution, thrust the burgher class again out of their newly-acquired privileges, and put the press under more ignominious restrictions than before. They confiscated the estates of nobles who had advocated the new reforms. Both Catherine and her Ministers treated the idea of any partition of Poland as the most groundless and ridiculous of notions. They pointed to the invasion of Germany already by Custine, the French Revolutionary general, and justified the temporary occupation of Poland as necessary to the security of both Poland and the neighbouring states. We must leave the three robber Powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, therefore, gloating over their prey, and ready to rend it asunder, in order to continue the narrative of the wild explosion of France.

[See larger version] This spirited and brilliant action had a wonderful effect on the American mind. It revived the courage of the troops, which had sunk very low after so many defeats. It inspired them and the public at large with confidence in the talents and daring of their Commander-in-Chief, who was now eulogised as another Fabius. Such was the confidence inspired, even in himself, by this success, that, being immediately joined by three thousand six hundred Pennsylvanian militia, he determined to cross the Delaware, as it was now strongly frozen over. But General Grant had already joined General Leslie at Princeton, with a strong body of British and Hessian troops; and General Howe, on hearing of the fresh spirit of the American army, had detained Lord Cornwallis, who was about to leave for England. He hastened to Princeton, and took the command of the whole force, concentrating all the troops on the Delaware shore. On the 2nd of January, 1777, he marched from Princeton for Trenton, drove in the enemy's outposts, and reached Trenton by five o'clock the same afternoon. Washington retired as he approached. The British, on arriving at the fort and bridge of the Assumpinck, found both guarded by artillery, and Washington posted on[236] some high ground beyond. Cornwallis cannonaded the bridge and forts, and his fire was briskly returned. He then encamped for the night there, intending to force the creek the next morning; but Washington did not wait for him. With his raw militia only a few days in camp, he had no chance of resisting Cornwallis's army, and yeta thaw having taken placeit was impossible to cross the Delaware. He called a council of war, and it was concluded that, from the great force of Cornwallis in front, the rear could not be very strong. It was therefore determined to make an attempt to gain the rear, beat up the enemy's quarters at Princeton, now, as they supposed, nearly deserted, and, if they could succeed, fall on the British stores and baggage at New Brunswick. Their own baggage was, accordingly, sent quickly down the river to Burlington, the camp-fires were replenished, and small parties being left to deceive the enemy by throwing up entrenchments, Washington, about midnight, silently decamped by a circuitous route towards Princeton. At dawn they encountered two out of three English regiments, which had been at Princeton, on the march. These were the 17th and 55th, hastening to join Cornwallis at Trenton. They imagined the Americans, owing to a thick fog, to be a body of Hessians; but, on discovering the mistake, a sharp fight took place, and for some time the two British regiments withstood Washington's whole force. Colonel Mawhood, the English commander, posted his force advantageously on a rising ground between the Americans and Princeton, sent back his baggage waggons, and dispatched messengers to bring up the 40th regiment, still in Princeton, with all speed. The 40th not arriving, Washington managed to force his way between the two British regiments. The 17th continued its march for Trenton; the 55th fell back upon Princeton, where the 40th, which had defended itself in the college, after losing a considerable number of prisoners, joined the 55th, and retreated upon New Brunswick.

THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON. (After the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.)

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On the morning of the next day, Sunday, the 12th of July, the news was all over Paris that Necker was dismissed. The alarm was intense. Paris was in an uproar. The Palais Royal was choked with people in a frenzy of excitement. All at once a young man leaped upon a table and shouted, "To arms! to arms! Whilst we are talking, foreign troops are gathering round us to massacre us!" This orator, whose loud voice and dramatic action stopped in a moment the buzz of tongues and the voices of lesser orators, mounted on chairs and tables, was Benoit Camille Desmoulins, already a favourite orator of the people on this spot. This fanatic revolutionist now held up a brace of pistols; and, snatching a green twig from a tree, stuck it into his hat as a cockade. There was an instantaneous imitation of the act by the whole mass of people. The trees were all stripped, and a woman brought out a great roll of green ribbon, and cut off cockades for the patriots as far as it would go. The mob, armed with pistols, clubs, swords, and axes, continued their procession along the Rue Richelieu; then turning on the Boulevard, along the Rues St. Martin, St. Denis, St. Honor, to the Place Vend?me. There a German squadron was drawn up before the hotel of the farmers of the taxes, and attacked the crowd, destroyed the busts, and killed a soldier of the French Guard who stood his ground. The commandant, Besenval, remained inactive in the cole Militaire; he was without orders from Broglie; and, besides, dared not trust the French Guard, but kept them close in their barracks. But he had three foreign regiments at his disposal, one of Swiss and two of German cavalry. Towards afternoon, seeing the disorder increase, he sent the Swiss into the Champs Elyses with four pieces of cannon, and the German cavalry into the Place Louis Quinze, adjoining. As Prince Lambesc, with the Germans, was marching along the Chausse d'Antin, he was met by a body of the French Guard, who had escaped from their barracks to avenge their slain comrade. They fired on him and killed three of the German cavalry, and wounded numbers more. They then advanced with fixed bayonets to the Place Louis Quinze, where the Swiss Guard were posted. There they and the Swiss remained facing each other under arms all night, the people feasting and encouraging the French Guard; who, however, did not come to blows with the Swiss. Lambesc had continued his route to St. Cloud, leaving the city all night in the hands of the mob, who burnt the barriers at the different entrances, so as to allow free access to the people from the country; and broke open the gunsmiths' shops, and carried off the arms. During the whole of the next day the city was in the hands of the mob.

Sheridan introduced the subject on the 18th of April, and Fox ably supported him; but the motion was negatived. But this defeat only appeared to stimulate the reformers to higher exertions. On the 28th of April a new Reform society, entitled the Society of the Friends of the People, was formally inaugurated by the issue of an address, which was signed by no less than twenty-eight members of the House of Commons, and a considerable number of Lords, amongst them the Lords Lauderdale, John Russell, Stanhope, and Fitzgerald. Their title was unfortunate, for, though they were united only for Parliamentary reform, this cognomen was so much in the French style as to create suspicion and alarm. Many of the members were known to be admirers of the French Revolution, and about the same time another and decidedly French-admiring society was started, calling itself the Corresponding Society, and prosecuting a zealous intercourse with the Girondists and Jacobins. The admiration of French political principles rendered the conservative portion of the population quite determined to resist all innovations; and as this Society of the Friends of the People was regarded as a direct imitation of the Jacobin Club, it was violently opposed and stigmatised. On the 30th of April Mr. Grey, as representative of this Society, rose to announce that in the next Session he meant to introduce a regular measure for the reform of Parliament; that it was necessary, he said, had long been asserted by the two leading men of the HousePitt and Fox. Pitt rose on this, and declared himself still the friend of Reform; but he contended that this was not the time to attempt it. He had only, he said, to point to[392] the state of things in France, and to the effervescence which those principles of anarchy had produced in Britain, to show the necessity of remaining quiet for the present; neither did he believe that the mass of the English people would support any change in our Constitution. Fox upbraided Pitt with the abandonment of his former sentiments, and contended that we had only to look at the money spent lately in the armament against Russia, money thus spent without any consent of the people, to perceive the necessity of reform in our representation. He referred to Pitt's remarks on revolutionary books and pamphlets recently published, and declared that he had read very few of them. He had only read one of the two books of Thomas Paine, the "Rights of Man," and did not like it. Burke replied to him, and drew a most dismal picture of the condition of France under her Revolutionists. He said that the French Assembly was composed of seven hundred persons, of whom four hundred were lawyers, and three hundred of no description; that he could not name a dozen out of the whole, he believed, with one hundred pounds a-year; and he asked whether we should like a Parliament in Great Britain resembling it. In this debate, the further dissolution of the Whig party became obvious when Windham and others took the side of Burke.

The English Government, instead of treating Wilkes with a dignified indifference, was weak enough to show how deeply it was touched by him, dismissed him from his commission of Colonel of the Buckinghamshire Militia, and treated Lord Temple as an abettor of his, by depriving him of the Lord-Lieutenancy of the same county, and striking his name from the list of Privy Councillors, giving the Lord-Lieutenancy to Dashwood, now Lord Le Despencer.

William Johnson, according to his own statement, "returned to Parliament by Lord Castlereagh, to put an end to it;" a judgeship.

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