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The victory of Napoleon over Austria had wonderfully increased his influence with those German States which formed the Confederation of the Rhine. Bavaria, Würtemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, and other of the small princes, especially those on the right bank of that river, were more than ever bound to him, and were prepared to follow him in any wars that he might make against other countries, or even their own fatherland. Whilst some of them received crowns for their unnatural subserviency, several smaller princes were sunk into the condition of mere nobles. The military contingents which he exacted from them amounted to sixty thousand men, and these he soon had in a state of discipline and efficiency very different to that which they exhibited under the old German federation. Under Napoleon they behaved as well as any of his troops, showing that they needed only leaders of activity and talent to make good soldiers of them. Thus France superseded Austria in its influence over all the south-west of Germany. Nor did he stop here. He had created dukes and princes, and resolved also to create kings. These were to be his brothers, who were to be placed on half the thrones of Europe, and set there as vassal monarchs doing homage and service to him, the[524] great emperor of France. He expected them to be the obedient servants of France, or, rather, of himself, and not of the countries they were ostensibly set to govern. He began by making his brother Joseph King of Naples in March, and in June he made his brother Louis King of Holland. He told them that they must never forget that their first duty was to France and to himself. He intended to make his brother Jerome King of Westphalia; but Jerome had married a Miss Paterson, the daughter of an American merchant, and he must have this marriage broken, and a royal one arranged, before he could admit him to this regal honour: he must also wrest part of this territory from Prussia. His sister Pauline, widow of General Leclerc, who perished in St. Domingo, he had now married to the Roman Prince Borghese, and he gave her the Italian duchy of Guastalla. Murat, who had married another sister, he made Grand Duke of Berg and Cleve, and Marshal Berthier he made Prince of Neuchatel. These territories, taken from Prussia, Bavaria, and Switzerland, he conferred, with all their rights and privileges, on these generals. The duchy of Parma he conferred on Cambacrs, and Piacenza on General Lebrun.

We left Wellington occupying his impregnable lines at Torres Vedras during the winter, and Massena occupying Santarem. Buonaparte thought he could suggest a mode of putting down the provoking English general which Massena did not seem able to conceive. After studying the relative situations of the belligerents, he sent word to Soult to make a junction with Massena by crossing the Tagus, and then, as he would be much superior in strength, to continually attack Wellington, and cause him, from time to time, to lose some of his men. He observed that the British army was small, and that the people at home were anxious about their army in Portugal, and were not likely to increase it much. Having thus weakened Wellington, as soon as the weather became favourable they were to make an attack from the south bank of the Tagus. But there were two difficulties to overcome of no trivial character in this plan. Wellington was not the man to be drawn into the repeated loss of his men, and the Tagus was too well guarded by our fleet and by batteries for any chance of taking him in the rear. However, Napoleon sent Massena a reinforcement, under General Drouet, who carried along with him a great supply of provisions: he assembled an army in the north of Spain, under Bessires, of seventy thousand men, and Soult moved from Cadiz, leaving Sebastiani to continue the blockade, and advanced to make the ordered junction with Massena. But he deemed it necessary, before crossing into southern Portugal, to take possession of Badajoz. In his advance, at the head of twenty thousand men, he defeated several Spanish corps, and sat down before Badajoz towards the end of February. Could Massena have maintained himself at Santarem, this junction might have been made; but, notwithstanding the provisions brought by Drouet, he found that he had no more than would serve him on a retreat into Spain. He had ten thousand of his army sick, and therefore, not waiting for Soult, he evacuated Santarem on the 5th of March, and commenced his march Spain-ward. Wellington was immediately after him, and the flight and pursuit continued for a fortnight. To prevent Massena from finding a temporary refuge in Coimbra, Wellington ordered Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Trant to destroy an arch of the bridge over the Mondego, and thus detain him on the left bank of that river[14] till he came up. But Massena did not wait; he proceeded along a very bad road on the left bank of the river to Miranda, on the river Coira. Along this track Massena's army was sharply and repeatedly attacked by the British van under Picton, and suffered severely. Ney commanded the rear-division of the enemy, and, to check the advance of the British, he set fire to the towns and villages as he proceeded, and, escaping over the bridge on the Coira, he blew it up. But before this could be effected, Picton was upon him, accompanied by Pack's brigade and a strong body of horse, and drove numbers of the French into the river, and took much baggage. Five hundred French were left on the ground, and to facilitate their flight from Miranda, which they also burnt, they destroyed a great deal more of their baggage and ammunition. Lord Wellington was detained at the Coira, both from want of means of crossing and from want of supplies; for the French had left the country a black and burning desert. The atrocities committed by the army of Massena on this retreat were never exceeded by any host of men or devils. The soldiers seemed inspired with an infernal spirit of vengeance towards the Portuguese, and committed every horror and outrage for which language has a name. The Portuguese, on the other hand, driven to madness, pursued them like so many demons, cutting off and destroying all stragglers, and shooting down the flying files as they hurried through the woods and hills. The whole way was scattered with the carcases of the fugitives.

Refused in this quarter, the people proceeded to hold a meeting without such sanction, and invited Mr. "Orator" Hunt to go down and take the chair. Perhaps they could not have selected a more unsafe guide on the occasion, for personal vanity was Hunt's besetting sin. Hunt, instead of encouraging the very constitutional object of the meetingto petition Parliament for the repeal of the obnoxious lawtreated the petitioning that House as ridiculous, and persuaded the excited people to put their sentiments into the form of a remonstrance to the Prince Regent. The meeting then dispersed quietly; but Hunt found occasion to keep himself in the public eye there a little longer. Some officers of the 7th Hussars, who were posted at Manchester, treated him rudely as he appeared at the theatre, asserting that when "God Save the King" was called for, he hissed. Whether he did so or not, the conduct of the officers answered his purpose of making political capital; he wrote to the Commander-in-Chief, the Duke of York, and then sent his letter to the newspapers. Still more, he wrote to Samuel Bamford to support him in a scheme which was particularly calculated to produce riot and bloodshed, and in this case Bamford did not exercise his usual good sense. At Hunt's suggestionto select a dozen stout fellows, and appear on the evening of the following Monday in the pit of the theatre, armed with stout cudgels, to inflict a summary chastisement on the officers in case of a second demonstration of their feelingsBamford appeared at the time appointed with ten stout, picked fellows, with knotty cudgels, marching along the streets to the theatre. The object was immediately perceived by the people, who crowded to the door of the theatre, completely filling the space in front. But the manager was too prudent to open his theatre in such circumstances. He announced[148] that there would be no performance that evening. Hunt was, therefore, disappointed of a catastrophe in the theatre; but he drove up in a carriage, mounted the box, and addressed the crowd in very exciting tones, declaring that the magistrates desired nothing so much as an opportunity of letting loose the bloody butchers of Waterloo upon themmeaning the 7th Hussars. It was not his fault that all went off quietly.

The king rejoiced too soon. The announcement to the public of the queen's death was the knell of the popularity which he had recently acquired. There was an immediate and powerful reaction in the public mind against the king, which was strengthened by the ungracious measures adopted in connection with her funeral. There was a clause in her will to this effect:"I desire and direct that my body be not opened, and that three days after my death it be carried to Brunswick for interment; and that the inscription on my coffin be, 'Here lies Caroline of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England.'" The Government were very anxious to have the corpse sent out of the kingdom immediately, in order that its presence might not interfere with the festivities in Ireland; they therefore wished to have the remains dispatched at once to Harwich for embarkation. Lady Hood appealed in vain to Lord Liverpool for some delay on the ground that the queen's ladies were not prepared to depart so soon, at the same time protesting against any military escort. The military guard was an ostensible honour; but its real object was to prevent popular manifestations detrimental to the Government in connection with the funeral. The friends of the queen could not even learn by what route the body would be conveyed. It should have gone through the City, where the Lord Mayor and Corporation announced their intention of following the hearse; but to prevent that honour, it was ordered that the corpse should be sent round by the New Road[218] to Romford. The funeral passed from Hammersmith to Kensington Church without obstruction; there the conductors were turning off from the way to the City, in order to get into the Bayswater Road, when they were met by a loud cry of wrath and execration from the multitude. In a few minutes the road was dug up, barricaded, and rendered impassable. The Life Guards and the chief magistrate of Bow Street appeared, and seeing the impossibility of forcing a passage, they ordered the cortge to proceed on the direct route through the City, amidst thundering shouts of victory that might have appalled the king had he heard them. In the meantime the multitude had been rushing through the parks in mighty surging masses, now in one direction and now in another, according to the varying reports as to the course the procession was to take. Orders had been issued from the Government that it should go through the Kensington gate of Hyde Park, but the people closed the gates, and assumed such a fierce and determined attitude of resistance that the authorities were again compelled to give way, and again the popular shouts of victory sounded far and wide. Peremptory orders were given by the Government to pass up the Park into the Edgware Road, either by the east side or through Park Lane. In the effort to do this the line of procession was broken, the hearse was got into the Park, and hurried onwards to Cumberland Gate; but the people had outrun the military, and again blocked up the way in a dense mass. Here a collision ensued: the populace had used missiles; the military were irritated, and having had peremptory orders, they fired on the people, wounding many and killing two. But the people, baffled for the moment, made another attempt. At Tottenham Court Road the Guards found every way closely blocked up, except the way to the City. In this way, therefore, they were compelled to move, amidst the exulting shouts of the multitude. Seeking an outlet to the suburbs at every turn in vain, the procession was forced down Drury Lane into the Strand. The passage under Temple Bar was accompanied by the wildest possible excitement and shouts of exultation. The Corporation functionaries assembled in haste and accompanied the funeral to Whitechapel. On the whole way to Romford, we read, that not only the direct, but the cross roads, were lined with anxious spectators. The shops were closed, the bells were tolling, mourning dresses were generally worn, and in every direction symptoms abounded of the deep feeling excited by the death of the queen. The funeral cortge rested for the night at Colchester, the remains being placed in St. Peter's Church. There the plate with the inscription "injured Queen" was taken off, and another substituted. At Harwich the coffin was unceremoniously conveyed to the Glasgow frigate. At length the remains arrived at their last resting-place in a vault beneath the cathedral at Brunswick.