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    Pitt was not for a moment deceived, and in August the Family Compact was signed. He broke off the negotiation, recalled Stanley from Paris, dismissed Bussy from London, and advised an immediate declaration of war against Spain, whilst it was yet in our power to seize the treasure ships. But there was but one Pittone great mind capable of grasping the affairs of a nation, and of seizing on the deciding circumstances with the promptness essential to effect. The usually timid Newcastle became suddenly courageous with alarm. Bute pronounced Pitt's proposal as "rash and unadvisable;" the king, obstinate as was his tendency, declared that, if his Ministers had yielded to such a policy, he would not; and Pitt, having laboured in vain to move this stolid mass of ministerial imbecility through three Cabinet Councils, at last, in the beginning of October, declared that, as he was called to the Ministry by the people, and held himself responsible to them, he would no longer occupy a position the duties of which he was not able to discharge. On the 5th he resigned, and his great Ministry came to an end.Carthagena was strongly fortified, and the garrison was reinforced by the crews of a squadron lying there under Don Blas de Leon. If the place was to be assaulted, it should have been done at once; but Vernon lay perfectly inactive for five days, as if to allow the enemy to make all his preparations for defence. Notwithstanding this, the brave English erected a battery on shore, and played so effectually on the principal fort, that they soon made a breach in it, whilst the fleet fired into the harbour, thus dividing the attention of the enemy. In spite of their advantages, the Spaniards abandoned their forts and batteries, the English entered the breach, the vessels in the harbour were destroyed, and the passage cleared so that the fleet could sail in and support the army. There appeared nothing capable of preventing the conquest of the town but the cabals of the two commanders. Lord Cathcart had caught the endemic fever and died, and was succeeded by General Wentworth in command of the land forces. Wentworth had a great contempt of Vernon, and Vernon was by no means well disposed towards Wentworth. The fleet having entered the harbour, the land forces were all disembarked, and posted within a mile of Carthagena; but there the success stopped. Vernon had written home his dispatches to the Duke of Newcastle saying, "The wonderful success of this evening and night is so astounding, that we cannot but cry out, 'It is the Lord's doing, and it seems marvellous in our eyes!'"
    The business of the session now hastened to its close. Votes were given for forty thousand seamen and eleven thousand marines; for sixteen thousand British troops in Flanders, and twenty-three thousand for guards and garrisons at home. For the year's supplies six millions of pounds were voted, and then Parliament was prorogued on the 21st of April. In doing this, George told the Houses that he had ordered his army to pass the Rhine to support the Queen of Hungary. No sooner had Parliament closed, than George, accompanied by his son, the Duke of Cumberland, and Lord Carteret, hastened off to Germany. The British army, which the king had ordered to march from Flanders to aid the Austrians, had set out at the end of February. They were commanded by Lord Stair, and on their route were joined by several Austrian regiments under the Duke of Aremberg, and the sixteen thousand Hanoverians in British pay, who had wintered at Lige. They marched so slowly that they only crossed the Rhine in the middle of May. They halted at H?chst, between Mayence and Frankfort, awaiting the six thousand Hanoverians in Electoral pay, and an equal number of Hessians, who had been garrisoning the fortresses of Flanders, but who were now relieved by Dutch troops. Stair had now forty thousand men, and might easily have seized the Emperor at Frankfort. All parties had respected, however, the neutrality of Frankfort, and Stair did the same, probably because the Emperor, having no subjects to ransom him, might have proved rather a burden on his hands. De Noailles, on his part, had sixty thousand men, independently of the twelve thousand furnished to Broglie. He kept an active eye on the motions of the allied army, and as Stair encamped on the northern bank of the Main, he also passed the Rhine and encamped on the southern bank of the Main. The two camps lay only four leagues from each other, presenting a most anomalous aspect.

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    Accordingly, petitions were sent in from several of the principal men-of-war lying at Portsmouth, to Lord Howe, the commander of the Channel fleet, praying him to intercede with the Admiralty for the same liberality towards the seamen of the royal navy and their families as had been shown to the army and militia, in increase of pay and better provisions. Lord Howe, instead of complying with this reasonable desire, sent the petitions to the port-admiral, Sir Peter Parker, and to Lord Bridport, who commanded the Channel fleet under Howe. They treated the petitions as the work of some ill-disposed person, and therefore of no consequence; but Parker was very soon compelled to inform Lord Spencer, the head of the Admiralty, that he had discovered that there was a general conspiracy to take the command of the ships from the officers on the 16th of April. To test this, orders were immediately issued to put out to sea; and the moment that Lord Bridport signalled this order to the fleet, the effect was seen. The sailors all ran up into the rigging and gave several tremendous cheers. They instantly followed up this by taking the command from the officers, and sending two delegates from each ship to meet on board the Queen Charlotte, Lord Howe's flag ship. They thence issued orders for all the seamen to swear fidelity to the cause, and the next day they all swore. They kept part of the officers on board as hostages, and put others, whom they accused of oppression, on shore. They next passed resolutions to maintain order, and treat the confined officers with all due respect. They then drew up a petition to the Admiralty stating their grievances, and respectfully praying for redress. This brought down to Portsmouth Lord Spencer, and other lords of the Admiralty, where they met in council with Bridport and other admirals. Had these admirals shown a proper attention to the health and claims of these men, their grievances must long ago have ceased; but though they were perfectly well aware of them, they now proposed, along with the Admiralty, to recommend the granting of part of their demands. The deputies replied that they sought nothing but what was reasonable, and would never[456] lift an anchor till those terms were granted. This Admiralty committee then offered some of the terms, but left out the proposal that the pensions of the Greenwich veterans should be raised from seven pounds to ten pounds, and the crews of men-of-war should have vegetables when in port. The sailors, indignant at this miserable parsimony, returned on board and hoisted the red flag at every mast-head. This was a sign that no concession would be made. Yet, on the 22nd, the delegates addressed letters to the Admiralty, and to Lord Bridport, firm, but respectful. Government then tried its usual resource, the proclamation of a pardon, but without taking notice of the necessary concessions. With this proclamation, Lord Bridport went the next day on board the Royal George, and assured the seamen that he had brought a royal pardon, and also the redress of all their grievances. On this assurance, the crew hauled down the red flag, and all the other ships did the same.

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    Napoleon, who had every need of success to regain his former position in the opinion of France, sent off in all haste to Paris the most exaggerated account of the battle of Lützen, as one of the most[66] decisive victories that he had ever won, and that it had totally scattered the Allies, and neutralised all the hopes and schemes of Great Britain. The Empress went in procession to Notre Dame, where Te Deum was celebrated by Cardinal Maury, who drew the most extravagant picture of Napoleon's invincible genius. The same false statements were sent also to every friendly Court in Europe, even to Constantinople. The stratagem had its effect. The wavering German princes, who were ready to go over to their own countrymen, still ranged their banners with the French. The King of Saxony had gone to Prague as a place whence he might negotiate his return to the ranks of his own fatherland; but he now hastened back again, and was in Dresden on the 12th of May with Napoleon, who conducted him in a kind of triumph through his capital, parading his adhesion before his subjects who had hailed the Allies just before with acclamations. The Saxon king, in fresh token of amity to Napoleon, ceded to him the fortress of Torgau, much to the disgust of his subjects.

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    To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of the lower ordersthe only class which had raised a cheer for him on his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever the tree of liberty was plantedfor it was now the trick of Buonaparte to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing on which he had so uniformly trampledit was cut down and burnt. It was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications; strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier. Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Langres, and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works, and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with Wellington!"
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