The same evening the new prison of Clerkenwell was broken open, and all the prisoners were let loose. These joined the drinking, rabid mass, and, in their turn, attacked and gutted the houses of two of the most active magistratesSir John Fielding and Mr. Cox. As they went along, they compelled the inhabitants to illuminate their houses, under menace of burning them down. Everywhere they seized on gin, brandy, and beer, and thus, in the highest paroxysm of drunken fury, at midnight they appeared before Lord Mansfield's house, in Bloomsbury Square. He was quickly obliged to escape with Lady Mansfield by the back door, and to take refuge in the house of a friend in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The mob broke in, and, having demolished the doors and windows, proceeded to destroy and fling out into the square the furniture, pictures, and books, of which their fellows outside made several bonfires. Then perished one of the finest libraries in England, not only of works of law but of literature, which his lordship, through a long course of years, had been collecting.

On the 17th of March, a few nights after Mr. Cobden's motion, Mr. Miles brought forward a motion for relief to the agricultural interest in the reduction or remission of taxation. He complained that there had been an importation of wheat during the last thirty-two months seven or eight times greater in amount than in the thirty-six months immediately subsequent to the introduction of the Corn Law of 1828. The abundance of meat in Leadenhall, Smithfield, and Newgate Markets, through the importation of foreign cattle, was also made a subject of reproach against the Ministry, and he told the House, as the spokesman of the agricultural party, "that they had no confidence in the measures which the Government proposed." They thought that anything would be better than their present position. They saw that the tariff which was passed three years ago was now going to be revised again, and that the shield of protection which was thrown over some of the productions of their industry was about to be removed still farther from them. In such circumstances they could not refrain from asking themselves what there was to prevent the Corn Laws from going next? Mr. Disraeli then, in a strain of sarcasm which is stated to have elicited cheers and laughter from the House, assailed the consistency of the Premier, and the tone in which he rebuked the mutinous and rebellious members of his party. He believed, he said, Protection to be in the same condition now as Protestantism had been in 1828, and he, who honoured genius, would rather see the abolition of all Protection proposed by Mr. Cobden than by any right honourable gentleman or by any noble lord on either side of the House. It might be necessary, before such an abolition was accomplished, for the Premier to dissolve the Parliament for the benefit of the party which he had betrayed, and to appeal to the country, which universally mistrusted him. His solemn and deliberate conviction was that a Conservative Government was an organised hypocrisy.

'Tis a sign that he had rather

No small curiosity was experienced to see the man that had maintained a defence, obstinate and protracted beyond any related in the annals of modern war. Gorgeously attired in silks and splendid arms, he rode a magnificent Arab steed, with a rich saddle-cloth of scarlet. He but little exceeded the middle size, was powerfully but elegantly formed; his keen, dark, piercing, restless eyes surveyed at a glance everything around. He neither wore the face of defiance nor dejection; but moved along under the general gaze as one conscious of having bravely done his duty. Howe, who, with seven thousand soldiers and more than one thousand sailors, did not feel himself safe at New York till the new reinforcements should arrive, sailed away to Halifaxa circumstance which gave the appearance of a retreat to his change of locality, and had thus a bad effect in more ways than one. Washington, who was informed of his final destination, immediately marched with the greater part of his army to New York, and thence went himself to Philadelphia to concert future measures with the Congress. This body, in commemoration of the surrender of Boston, ordered a medal to be struck in honour of it, and that it should bear the effigy of Washington, with the title of the Asserter of the Liberties of his Country. The medal was cast in France. On the 23rd the aspect of the insurgent multitude became more fierce, daring, and determined. Guizot had announced the resignation of his Cabinet; the king had sent for Count Mol, then for M. Thiers, who was asked to form a new Ministry. He declined unless Odillon Barrot became one of his colleagues. The king gave a reluctant consent, but Barrot was not prepared to sanction measures of military repression. Marshal Bugeaud, the hero of Algiers, whose exploits there made his name terrible, had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the first military division, and of the National Guard of Paris, but the National Guard were not prepared to fight against the people. The people, knowing this, shouted, "Vive la Garde Nationale!" and the National Guard shouted, "Vive la Rforme!" In the evening, about seven o'clock, an immense body of the working classes formed in procession, headed by men carrying blazing torches, and marching along the Boulevards, chanted two lines of the Girondists' song

At the time of this armistice, Napoleon, by the great battles of Lützen and Bautzen, had recovered his prestige sufficiently to induce the German Confederates of the Rhine to stand by him; but he was by no means what he had been. The[67] opinion of his invincibility had been irreparably damaged by the Russian campaign, and the success in these battles was not of a character to give confidence to his own army. They saw that the Allies had lost all superstitious fear of him. To assist in the negotiations of this armistice, Buonaparte sent for his two ablest heads, Fouch and Talleyrand, whom he had so long thrown from him for their sound advice. If Buonaparte could have heard, too, what was really going on in France, what were the growing feelings there, he would have been startled by a most ominous condition of things. But he had thoroughly shut out from himself the voice of public opinion, by his treatment of the press and of liberty, and he now was to suffer for it. Great Britain, on the 14th of June, had concluded an alliance with Russia and Prussia, and promised to send ample materials of assistance, even an army to the north of Prussia; and many British officers of the highest rank repaired to the headquarters of the Allies. When Great Britain was asked to take part in this negotiation she refused, declaring it useless, as Napoleon would not grant the only demands which the Allies ought to make.

On the 1st of December the army resumed its march. They immediately found the effect of Cumberland's presence at Lichfield: they had to ford the Mersey near Stockport, and to carry the baggage and artillery over a rude wooden bridge, consisting of the trunks of trees thrown across, at Chorlton. That evening they reached Macclesfield. Lord George pushed on with his division to Congleton, whence he sent on Colonel[101] Kerr, who routed a small body of the Duke of Kingston's horse, and drove them towards Newcastle-under-Lyme. Kerr seized Captain Weir, well known as one of Cumberland's principal spies, and, by threatening him with the gallows, drew from him the particulars of the duke's numbers and position. It appeared that the duke was under the impression that the prince was directing his march towards Wales to join his partisans there, and having encouraged this notion by this advance, and led the duke to proceed as far as Stone, Lord George suddenly altered his route, and got to Ashbourne, and thence to Derby, thus throwing the road to London quite open, and being two or three days' march in advance of the duke. Charles entered Derby the same day, the 4th of December, and took up his quarters at a house belonging to the Earl of Exeter, at the bottom of Full Street.

Leave was given to bring in the Bill by a majority of 188; the numbers being 348 for the motion, and 160 against it. This astounding result was the signal for pouring into the House a flood of Protestant petitions, which, in the interval between the first and second reading, amounted to nearly 1,000; but an organisation like the Brunswick Clubs could easily get up any number of petitions. Considering the number of parishes in England, it is surprising, not that the number was so great, but that it was not greater. On the 18th the second reading was carried by a majority of 353 to 180; and on the 30th the third reading by a majority of 320 to 142, giving a majority of 178.