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On the 23rd of June the king sent down a message to the Commons, recommending them to[301] take into consideration a separate establishment for the Prince of Wales, who had arrived at the age of twenty-one. This young man, whose whole career proved to be one of reckless extravagance and dissipation, was already notorious for his debauched habits, and for his fast accumulating debts. He was a great companion of Fox, and the gambling rous amongst whom that grand orator but spendthrift man was accustomed to spend his time and money, and therefore, as a pet of this Coalition Ministry, the Duke of Portland proposed to grant him one hundred thousand pounds a year. The king, alarmed at the torrent of extravagance and vice which such an income was certain to produce in the prince's career, declared that he could not consent to burden his people, and encourage the prince's habits of expense, by such an allowance. He therefore requested that the grant should amount only to fifty thousand pounds a year, paid out of the Civil List, and fifty thousand pounds as an outfit from Parliamentary funds. The Ministers were compelled to limit themselves to this, though the saving was merely nominal, for the debts on the Civil List were again fast accumulating, and the prince was not at all likely to hesitate to apply to Parliament to wipe off his debts, as well as his father's when they became troublesome to him. Resenting, however, the restraint attempted to be put upon him by his father, the prince the more closely connected himself with Fox and his party, and the country was again scandalised by the repetition of the scenes enacted when Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III., was the opponent of his own father, George II., and the associate of his opponents. Such, indeed, had been the family divisions in every reign since the Hanoverian succession. On the 16th of July Parliament was prorogued. Sir Cecil Wray. Sam House (Publican on the side of Fox). Charles James Fox.

The plan of a very liberal constitution was discussed for several days, and ultimately adopted. It is unnecessary here to describe in detail the principles of a constitution so short-lived. One of those principles led to its speedy destruction. It was, that the President of the Republic should be chosen, not by the Assembly, but by the nation at large. This was a very extraordinary course for the Assembly to take, because they must have known that Louis Napoleon would be elected by universal suffrage; whereas their own choice would have fallen upon Cavaignac. The following was the result of the voting:Louis Napoleon, 5,434,226; Cavaignac, 1,448,107; Ledru Rollin, 370,119; Raspail, 36,900; Lamartine, 17,910; Changarnier, 4,790; votes lost, 12,600. On the 20th of December Prince Napoleon was proclaimed President of the French Republic, in the National Assembly, by the President, M. Marrast, and took the oath required by the Constitution.

Driven to desperation, Burgoyne now contemplated crossing the river in the very face of the enemy, and fighting his way through, and for this purpose he sent a party up the river to reconnoitre a suitable spot. Once over, he had little doubt of making his way to Fort Edward, and thence to the Canadian lakes. At this moment Gates was informed that Burgoyne had effected his passage, and that he had left only the rear-guard in the camp. He was in full march upon the camp, in the belief that he could seize it with ease, and part of his forces had actually crossed the fords of Fishkill, near which Burgoyne was strongly posted, when a spy or a deserter informed him of his mistake. Had it not been for this circumstance he must have suffered a surprise and a certain defeat, and the fortunes of Burgoyne would probably have been different. He was now on the alert to receive the Americans, and when, to his mortification, he saw them at a signal again retreating, he poured a murderous fire into them, and pursued them in confusion across the creek. This was his last chance. No news reached him from Clinton; but he ascertained that the Americans had already, in strong force, blocked up his way to Fort Edward. This was decisive. On the 13th he called together a council of war, at which every captain was invited to attend, and the unanimous result of the deliberations was that they must capitulate. Accordingly, an officer was sent with a note to the American headquarters that evening, to propose an interview between General Burgoyne and General Gates. The American General agreed to the meeting at ten o'clock the next morning. There Burgoyne stated that he was aware of the superiority of Gates's numbers, and, to spare the useless effusion of blood, he proposed a cessation of arms, to give time for a treaty to that effect.

The system of Buonaparte, by which he endeavoured to prevent the knowledge of these events in Spain and Portugal from spreading through France, was one of unscrupulous lying. He took all sorts of false means to depress the spirits of the insurgents by mere inventions, which he had inserted in the Spanish and Portuguese Gazettes under his influence. At one time it was that George III. was dead, and that George IV. was intending to make peace with Napoleon. But whatever effect he might produce by such stories for a time in the Peninsula, the truth continued to grow and spread over France. It became known that Junot and his army were driven from Lisbon; that Dupont was defeated and had surrendered in the south of Spain; then that King Joseph had fled from Madrid; and that all the coasts of the Peninsula were in possession of the British, who were received by the Spaniards and Portuguese as friends and allies. Compelled to speak out at length, on the 4th of September a statement appeared in the Moniteur mentioning some of these events, but mentioning only to distort them. It could not be concealed that Britain was active in these countries, but it was declared that the Emperor would take ample vengeance on them. In order to silence the murmurs at the folly as well as the injustice of seizing on Spain, which was already producing its retributive fruits, he procured from his slavish Senate a declaration that the war with Spain was politic, just, and necessary. Buonaparte then determined to put forth all his strength and drive the British from the Peninsula; but there were causes of anxiety pressing on him in the North. Austria and Russia wore an ominous aspect, and a spirit of resistance showed itself more and more in the press of Germany, and these things painfully divided his attention. His burden was fast becoming more than he could bear.

Spain and Portugalstill nominally existing under their native princes, but very much under the influence of Buonaparteadmitted British goods to a great extent. Buonaparte himself had winked at the introduction of them into Portugal, because that country had paid him large sums to permit it. But now he determined to enforce a rigid exclusion, and to make the breach of his dictated orders a plea for seizure of the country. In fact, he had long resolved to seize both Spain and Portugal, but to employ Spain first in reducing her neighbour, and by that very act to introduce his troops into Spain herself. He complained, therefore, that Portugal had refused to enforce the Berlin decree; and he entered into a treaty with Spain at Fontainebleau, which was signed on the 29th of October. By this infamous treaty, Spain agreed to assist France in seizing Portugal, which should be divided into three parts. The province of Entre Minho y Douro, with the town of Oporto, was to be given to the King of Etruria, the grandson of the King of Spain, instead of Etruria itself, which Buonaparte wanted to annex to France, and this was to be called the kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The next part, to consist of Alemtejo and Algarve, was to be given to Godoy, who was to take the title of Prince of Algarve. The third was to remain in the hands of the French till the end of the war, who would thus be at hand to protect the whole. In fact, it never was the intention of Buonaparte that either Godoy or the King of Etruria should ever be more than a temporary puppet; but that the whole of Spain and Portugal should become provinces of France under a nominal French king.

The American disasters had now to be criticised in Parliament. On the 20th of November the two Houses met, and Lord Chatham rose instantly to reply, and to move an amendment on the Address. He attacked the Ministry with a still more personal and sweeping censure than he had done once before. "Can Ministers," he asked, "presume to expect a continuance of support in their career of ruinous infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and its duty as to be deluded into the loss of the one and the violation of the other? Will they continue to give an unlimited credit and support to Government in measures which are reducing this flourishing empire to ruin and contempt? But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world; now, none so poor to do her reverence! I use the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it is no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not only the power and strength of this country are wasting away and expiring, but her well-earned glories, her true honour and substantial dignity, are sacrificed. France, my lords, has insulted you; she has encouraged and sustained America; and, whether America be wrong or right, the dignity of this country ought to spurn at the officious insult of French interference!" It is certain that Chatham would not have tolerated the presence of Franklin and Deane in Paris for a single day; they must have quitted France, or France would have been instantly compelled to throw off the mask. At this time, when the news neither of Howe's success in the south nor of Burgoyne's fall in the north had arrived, Chatham seemed to see in prophetic vision the disasters of the latter general. "The desperate state of our army," he said, "is, in part, known. No man thinks more highly of our troops than I do. I love and honour the English troops. I know that they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannotI venture to say ityou cannot conquer America! You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance that you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little, pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are for ever vain and impotentdoubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my armsnevernevernever!" On the subject of employing Indians in the war against the Americans, willing to forget that he had done the same thing in Canada, he burst forth most indignantly: "But, my lords, who is the man that, in addition to these disgraces[247] and mischiefs of our army, has dared to authorise and associate to our arms the scalping-knife and tomahawk of the savage? to call into civilised alliance the wild and inhuman savage of the woods? to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of this barbarous war against our brethren? My lord, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. Unless done away, it will be a stain on the national characterit is a violation of the Constitution; I believe it is against the law. It is not the least of our national misfortunes, that the strength and character of our army are thus impaired; infected with the mercenary spirit of robbery and rapinefamiliarised to the horrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer boast of the noble and generous principles which dignify a soldier!" He then proceeded to give the Americans credit still for a natural leaning towards England; believed that they might be drawn from their alliance with France; and recommended, by his amendment, an immediate cessation of arms, and a treaty between the countries, by which he hoped that America would yet be retained in affectionate dependence.