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      December 10th. January 11th.


      [See larger version]The proposal of a public election, contrary as it was to the spirit of the government, opposed to the edict establishing the council, and utterly odious to the young autocrat who ruled over France, gave

      avoir par le commandement de son mari fris et habillNothing could be more interesting than Lord Kames account of the growth of criminal law, from the rude revenges of savages to the legal punishments of civilised States; but it was probably intended by its author less as an historical treatise than as a veiled attack upon the penal system of his country. It is, therefore, a good illustration of the timidity of the Theoretical school against the overwhelming forces of the Practical school of law, which, of course, included[51] the great body of the legal profession; and it is the first sign of an attempt to apply the experience of other countries and times to the improvement of our own jurisprudence.

      Lake Champlain lay glaring in the winter sun, a sheet of spotless snow; and the wavy ridges of the Adirondack? bordered the dazzling landscape with the cold gray of their denuded forests. The long procession of weary men crept slowly on under the lee of the shore; and when night came they bivouacked by squads among the trees, dug away the snow with their snow-shoes, piled it in a bank around them, built their fire in the middle, and crouched about it on beds of spruce or hemlock; * while, as they lay close packed for mutual warmth, the winter sky arched them like a vault of burnished steel, sparkling with the cold diamond lustre of its myriads of stars. This arctic serenity of the elements was varied at times by heavy snow-storms; and, before they reached their journeys end, the earth and the ice were buried to the unusual depth of four feet. From Lake Champlain they passed to Lake George, ** and the frigid glories of its snow-wrapped mountains; thence crossed to the Hudson, and groped their way through the woods in search of the Mohawk towns. They soon went astray; for thirty Algonquins, whom they had taken as guides, had found


      It was a curious scene when a party of coureurs de bois returned from their rovings. Montreal was their harboring place, and they conducted themselves much like the crew of a man-of-war paid off after a long voyage. As long as their beaver-skins lasted, they set no bounds to their riot. Every house in the place, we are told, was turned into a drinking shop. The new-comers were bedizened with a strange mixture of French and Indian finery; while some of them, with instincts more thoroughly savage, stalked about the streets as naked as a Pottawattamie or a Sioux. The clamor of tongues was prodigious, and gambling and drinking filled the day and the night. When at last they were sober again, they sought absolution for their sins; nor could the priests venture to bear too hard on their unruly penitents,

      Lord Auckland was then Governor-General of India, but the period of his tenure of office was drawing to a close. He hoped it would end brightly, that the war for the restoration of an imbecile and puppet king would have ended triumphantly, and that he would return to his native land bearing something of the reflected glory of the conquerors of Afghanistan. He had been cheered by the despatches of the too sanguine envoy in the month of October, who spoke only of the continued tranquillity of Cabul. November passed, however, without any intelligence, and all was anxiety and painful suspense. Intelligence at last came confirming the worst anticipations. Calcutta was astounded at the news that Afghanistan, believed to be prosperous and grateful for British intervention, was in arms against its deliverers. Suddenly the tranquillity of that doomed country was found to be a delusion. "Across the whole length and breadth of the land the history of that gigantic lie was written in characters of blood." Confounded and paralysed by the tidings of so great a failure, which he had not energy to retrieve, he thought only of abandoning the vicious policy of aggression that had ended so miserably, and given such a terrible blow to the prestige of British power in India, on which our dominion in the East so much depended. He had owed his appointment to the Whigs; and the Conservatives, who were now in office, had opposed the policy of the Government regarding the Afghan war. But no one seemed more sick of the policy of aggression than the Governor-General himself. He became thoroughly convinced of the folly of placing a detached force in a distant city which could be reached only through dangerous defiles occupied by an ever-watchful enemy, depending for supplies upon uncertain allies, and without any basis of operations. The expedition had proved enormously expensive, and had drained the Indian treasury of funds that should have been employed in developing the resources of our Indian possessions. When all this had ended in disastrous failure and national disgracewhen he recollected that the directors of the Company, as well as the Government, had expressed intense dissatisfaction at his policy, feeling conscious that their complaints were just, and that their worst forebodings had been realised, his spirit seems to have been completely broken; instead of any attempt at retrieving the[497] misfortunes of his Government, he thought only of saving, if possible, what remained of the forces that he had sent across the Indus. Writing to the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Jaspar Nicolls, who was then on a tour through the Upper Provinces of India, with reference to the sending forward of reinforcements, he said he did not see how the sending forward of a brigade could by any possibility have any influence on the events which it was supposed were then passing at Cabul, which they could not reach before April. In his opinion they were not to think of marching fresh armies to the reconquest of that which they were likely to lose. He feared that safety to the force at Cabul could only come from itself. The Commander-in-Chief himself had been always of opinion that the renewed efforts of the Government to support Shah Sujah on his throne, and to establish a permanent influence in Afghanistan, was a great mistake. However, owing to the energy of Mr. George Clarke, the Governor-General's agent on the north-west frontier, and his assistant, Captain, afterwards Sir, Henry Lawrence, forces were dispatched from that quarter, under the command of General Pollock, who had commanded the garrison of Agra, having been in the Indian service since 1803, and having distinguished himself under General Lake. This appointment gave the greatest satisfaction, as it was believed that he was selected solely for his merit, and not through aristocratic influence. While he was preparing to advance, Lord Auckland was recalled, and Lord Ellenborough, the new Governor-General, arrived at Calcutta.In preparing to meet the invasion of the Allies Napoleon had to encounter the most formidable difficulties. In Russia and in this German campaign he had seen the bulk of his veteran army dissipatednay, destroyed. After all his years of incessant drafts on the life-blood of France, six hundred thousand men could not be readily replaced. To replace a fourth of that number with well-disciplined troops was impossible. He could draw none from Germany, for his boasted Confederation of the Rhine had disappeared as a summer cloud, and the very princes on whom he had relied were marching against him in the vast army of the Allies. He could draw none from Italy; for there Eugene Beauharnais was contending, with only about forty-five thousand men, against the much more numerous Austrians; whilst his brother-in-law, Murat, his dashing cavalry general, was gone over to the enemy. Poland would send him no more gallant regiments, for he had grievously deceived the Poles; and his trusted ally of Denmark lay trodden under foot by his former companion-in-arms, Bernadotte. When he turned his eyes over France, which had so long sent forth her hordes to desolate Europe at his bidding, he beheld a prospect not much more cheering. The male population, almost to a man, was drained off, and their bones lay bleaching in the torrid sands of Egypt and Syria, the rugged sierras of Spain and Portugal, in the fens of Holland and the sandy flats of Belgium, on many a heath and plain in Germany, and far away amid the mocking snows of frozen Muscovy. The fields of "la belle France" were being cultivated by old men, by women, and mere boys. Those who had been so long buoyed up under the loss of husbands, fathers, and children, by the delusive mirage of the glory of the "grand nation," now cursed the tyrant whose insane ambition had led such millions of the sons of France to the great slaughter-house of war. The conscriptions, therefore, were very little attended to. Besides this, Buonaparte was well aware that there remained a strong leaven of Jacobinism in Paris and the large towns, and he was afraid of calling out city guards to set at liberty other soldiers, lest, in the hour of his absence and weakness, they should rise and renounce his authority.

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      Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?"ambassadors of peace. The destruction of the Mohawk towns had produced a deep effect, not on that nation alone, but also on the other four members of the league. They were disposed to confirm the promises of peace which they had already made; and Tracy had spurred their good intentions by sending them a message that, unless they quickly presented themselves at Quebec, he would hang all the chiefs whom he had kept prisoners after discovering their treachery in the preceding summer. The threat had its effect: deputies of the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas presently arrived in a temper of befitting humility. The Mohawks were at first afraid to come: but in April they sent the Flemish Bastard with overtures of peace; and in July, a large deputation of their chiefs appeared at Quebec. They and the rest left some of their families as hostages, and promised that, if any of their people should kill a Frenchman, they would give them up to be hanged. *

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      This was the fatal year in which Buonaparte, led on by the unsleeping ambition of being the master of all Europe, and so of all the world, made his last great attemptthat of subduing Russia to his yokeand thus wrecked himself for ever. From the very day of the Treaty of Tilsit, neither he nor Alexander of Russia had put faith in each other. Buonaparte felt that the Czar was uneasy under the real dictatorship of France which existed under the name of alliance. He knew that he was most restless under the mischief accruing from the stipulated embargo on British commerce, and which, from the ruin which it must bring on the Russian merchants, and the consequent distress of the whole population, might, in fact, cause him to disappear from the throne and from life as so many of his ancestors had done. Timber, pitch, potash, hemp, tallow, and other articles were the very staple of Russia's trade, and the British were the greatest of all customers for these. The landed proprietors derived a large income from these commodities, and they asked why they were to perish that Buonaparte might destroy Great Britain, whence they drew their principal wealth. He knew that Alexander looked with deep suspicion on his giving the Duchy of Warsaw to the King of Saxony, a descendant of the royal family of Poland. To this act was added the stipulations for a free military road and passage for troops from Saxony to Warsaw; and also that France should retain Dantzic till after a maritime peace. These things seemed to point to the re-establishment of the kingdom of Poland, and the demand, at some future day, for the surrender of the rest of the Polish territory by Russia. So the Poles seemed to interpret these matters, for they had, since these arrangements, flocked to his standard, and were fighting Buonaparte's battles in Spain. To these causes of offence and alarm, which Alexander did not hesitate to express, and which Napoleon refused to dissipate, were added the seizure of the Duchy of Oldenburg, guaranteed to Alexander's near relative, and the marriage alliance with Austria. Alexander, on this last occasion, said"Then my turn comes next;" and in anticipation of it he had been strengthening himself by a secret league with Sweden.

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      It was apprehended that the enemy would return next day in greater force to renew the contest; but as they did not, the Commander-in-Chief seized the opportunity to summon the troops to join him in public thanksgiving to God for the victory. The year 1846 dawned upon the still undecided contest. The British gained most by the delay. The Governor-General had ordered up fresh troops from Meerut, Cawnpore, Delhi, and Agra. By the end of January Sir Hugh Gough had under his command 30,000 men of all arms. On every road leading to the scene of action, from Britain's Indian possessions, convoys were seen bearing provisions and stores of all sorts to the army; while reinforcements were pressing onward rapidly that they might share the glory by confronting the greatest danger. That danger was still grave. The Sikhs also were bringing up reinforcements, and strengthening their entrenched camp at the British side of the Sutlej, having constructed a bridge of boats for the conveyance of their troops and stores across the river. The enemy had established a considerable magazine at a fortified village some miles from the camp, and Sir Harry Smith proceeded at the head of a[599] detachment to attack it. But Sirdar Runjeet Singh intercepted him, cut off and captured all his baggage; but being reinforced, he met the enemy again at a place on the Sutlej, called Aliwal. The Sikh army, which seemed in the best possible order and discipline, were drawn up in imposing array, 20,000 strong with 70 guns, while the British were 9,000 with 32. After a series of splendid charges the enemy were driven successively from every position, and fled in confusion across the river. Several of the British horsemen followed the guns into the river, and spiked them there. The loss of the Sikhs is said to have been 3,000, while that of the British was only 673 killed and wounded. The moral effect of this victory over such unequal forces was of the utmost advantage to the rest of the army (January 28th, 1846).The great maritime struggle of the year was at Toulon. The south of France was then in active combination against the Convention and the Jacobin faction. There was a determination in Toulon, Marseilles, and other places on the coast to support the Royalist party in Aix, Lyons, and other cities. For this purpose they invited the British to co-operate with them. Lord Hood, having obtained from the people of Toulon an engagement to surrender the fleet and town to him, to be held for Louis XVII., arrived before that port in July, with, however, only seven ships of the line, four frigates, and some smaller vessels. Nearly all the old Royalist naval officers were collected in Toulon, and were so eager for revenge on the Jacobin officers and sailorswho had not only superseded them, but had persecuted them with all the savage cruelty of their factionthat they were all for surrendering their fleet to Lord Hood, and putting him in possession of the forts and batteries. There was a firm opposition to this on the part of the Republicans, both in the fleet and the town, but it was carried against them. Besides the Royalist townsmen, there were ten thousand Proven?als in arms in the town and vicinity. As General Cartaux had defeated the Royalists at Marseilles, taken possession of the town, and, after executing severe measures on the Royalists there, was now in full march for Toulon, there was no time to be lost. Lord Hood landed a body of men under Captain Elphinstone, to whom the forts commanding the port were quietly surrendered. Lord Hood was thus at once put into possession of the best French port in the Mediterranean, and a great fleet, with all the stores and ammunition. But he knew very well that the place itself could not long be maintained against the whole force of Republican France. He resolved, however, to defend the inhabitants, who had placed themselves in so terrible a position with their merciless countrymen, to the utmost of his power. He therefore urged the Spaniards to come to his assistance, and they sent several vessels, and three thousand men. He received reinforcements of ships and men from Naplesthe queen of which was sister to Marie Antoinetteand from Sardinia. Fresh vessels and men also arrived from England. Lord Mulgrave arrived from Italy, and at Lord Hood's request assumed command, for the time, of the land forces.


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