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In America, during this time, various encounters had taken place between the English and American forces. Washington, in spite of the severity of the winter weather, was pressing the blockade of Boston. But the difficulties with[223] which he had to contend were so enormous, that, had General Howe had any real notion of them, as he ought to have had, he might have beaten off the American troops over and over again. His troops, it is true, only amounted to about seven thousand, and Washington's to about fifteen thousand; but besides the deficiency of powder in Washington's camp, the terms on which his troops served were such as kept him in constant uncertainty. This was the condition of things when, early in March, Washington commenced acting on the offensive. He threw up entrenchments on Dorchester Heights, overlooking and commanding both Boston town and harbour. Taking advantage of a dark night, on the 4th of March he sent a strong detachment to the Heights, who, before mining, threw up a redoubt, which made it necessary for General Howe to dislodge them, or evacuate the place. It seems amazing, after the affair of Bunker's Hill, that Howe had not seen the necessity of occupying the post himself. He now, however, prepared to attack the redoubt, and the soldiers were eager for the enterprise. The vanguard fell down to Castle William, at which place the ascent was to be made; and on the morrow, the 5th of March, the anniversary of what was termed the Massacre of Boston, the fight was to take place. A violent storm, however, arose, rendering the crossing of the water impracticable. By the time that it ceased, the Americans had so strengthened their works, that it was deemed a useless waste of life to attempt to carry them. The only alternative was the evacuation of Boston. Howe had long been persuaded that it would be much better to make the British headquarters at New York, where there were few American troops, and where the king's friends were numerous; and this certainly was true, unless he had mustered resolution and sought to disperse his enemies when they were in a state of disorder and deficiency of ammunition that insured his certain success. As it was, he was now most ignominiously cooped up, and in hourly jeopardy of being shelled out of the place. He had obtained the permission of his Government for this movement, and he now set about it in earnest. When, however, he came to embark, another example was given of that shameful neglect which pervaded the whole of the British civil department of the military service. When the transports were examined, they were found totally destitute of provisions and forage. No direct compact was made between Howe and Washington regarding the evacuation; but an indirect communication and understanding on the subject was entered intothrough the "select Men" of Bostonthat no injury should be done to the town during it, provided the troops were unmolested in embarking. Before departing, however, the English totally dismantled and partly demolished Castle William. On the 17th, the last of the British troops were on board; and that afternoon Boston was entered in triumph by General Putnam, at the head of the vanguard. KENNINGTON COMMON, LONDON, ABOUT 1840.

After this complete surrender the House resumed its labours in committee on the Bill on the 1st of June. Few alterations were made, and the thinned ranks of the Opposition ceased to throw obstacles in the way. The third reading was carried by a majority of 84, the numbers being 106 and 22. The Lords' amendments having been acquiesced in by the Commons, the Bill was referred to the Upper House, and on the 7th of June it received the Royal Assent by commission, the Commissioners being Lords Grey, Brougham, Lansdowne, Wellesley, Holland, and Durham. The king was so hurt by the coercion to which he had been subjected, and by the insults heaped upon himself, the queen, and all belonging to him, that nothing could persuade him to go to the House and give his assent in person. "The question," he said, "was one of feeling, not of duty; and as a Sovereign and a gentleman he was bound to refuse."

James Cuffe; his father made Lord Tyrawley. Napoleon also exerted himself to excite a rebellion in Ireland. He was the more bent on this, because he saw that it was hopeless to make a direct descent on England itself. He had collected a great fleet in the harbours of Boulogne, Dieppe, Havre, Dunkirk, Ostend, and other smaller ports, many of them capable only of receiving the gunboats in which he proposed to transport his soldiers. He had assembled a very fine army on the heights above Boulogne, called the Army of England, and there continually exercised it, under the inspection of Soult, Ney, Davoust, and Victormen, the pride of his army; but he saw such powerful fleets crowding the Channel, blockading his very ports, cutting out, every now and then, some of his gunboats under the very batteries, and the war-ships of Britain even standing in and firing at him and his suite as they made observations from the cliffs, that, combined with the information that England was almost all one camp, he abandoned the project, for the present, in despair. But Ireland he deemed vulnerable, from the treason of her own children. He assembled all the Irish refugees in Paris, formed the Irish Brigade into the Irish Legion, and sent over active agents to arouse their countrymen in Ireland. Amongst these were Quigley and Robert Emmett, who had been engaged in the Rebellion of 1798. Quigley had been outlawed, and Emmett had been so deeply implicated in that Rebellion with his brother Thomas, who was banished, that he had found it necessary to quit the country. These emissaries soon collected around them, in Dublin, disaffected associates, amongst them being Dowdall, Redmond, and Russell. They formed a central committee, and corresponded with others in different towns, and especially with one Dwyer, who had also been in the former Rebellion, and had ever since maintained himself and a knot of desperate followers in the mountains of Wicklow. The Government received, from time to time, information of the proceedings of these foolish menEmmett being a rash youth of only twenty-two or twenty-three years of agebut they took no precautions; and when, on the 23rd of July, the eve of the Festival of St. James, these desperadoes rushed, at evening, into the streets of Dublin, armed with pikes, old guns, and blunderbusses, the authorities were taken entirely by surprise. There were from two thousand to three thousand soldiers in the Castle, but neither police, soldier, nor officer appeared till the mob had murdered Colonel Brown, who was hastening to the Castle to arouse the troops, and Lord Kilwarden, the Chief Justice, whom they dragged from his carriage as it passed, and killed, along with his nephew, but, at the same time, they allowed the Chief Justice's daughter, who was with them, to depart. Soon after thisbut not before the insurgents had severely wounded a Mr. Clarke, a manufacturer, who was riding to alarm the Castlethe soldiers appeared, and the mob fled at their very sight. The same day Russell had turned out at Belfast, and Quigley at Kildare, but with as little success. Emmett had escaped to the Wicklow mountains to join Dwyer; but having assumed the fatal disguise of French officers, the country people, who hated the French since their appearance under General Humbert, when they had ridiculed the Catholic religion, drove him and twelve of his companions back. In a short time, Emmett, Russell, Redmond, and others were all secured and executed. Dowdall escaped, with Allen and others, out of Ireland; Quigley and Stafford, one of his companions, were admitted as king's evidence, and thus escaped. The project of Napoleon had thus entirely failed, with the sacrifice of some of his leading agents.

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION: COSTUME " LA ROBESPIERRE." [565]

During the winter the Americans had been preparing for war, fabricating and repairing arms, drilling militia, and calling on one another, by proclamations, to be ready. On the 26th of February, 1775, Gage sent a detachment to take possession of some brass cannon and field-pieces collected at Salem. A hundred and fifty regulars landed at Salem for this purpose, but, finding no cannon there, they proceeded to the adjoining town of Danvers. They were stopped at a bridge by a party of militia, under Colonel Pickering, who claimed the bridge as private property, and refused a passage. There was likely to be bloodshed on the bridge, but it was Sunday, and some ministers of Salem pleaded the sacredness of the day, and prevailed on Colonel Pickering to let the soldiers pass. They found nothing, and soon returned.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (b. 1772; d. 1834) published his earliest poems in association with his friends, Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd, and Charles Lamb. But his contributions, especially of the "Ancient Mariner," soon pointed them out as belonging to a genius very different. In his compositions there is a wide variety, some of them being striking from their wild and mysterious nature, some for their elevation of both spirit and language, and others for their deep tone of feeling. His "Genevive," his "Christabel," his "Ancient Mariner," and his "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni," are themselves the sufficient testimonies of a great master. In some of his blank verse compositions the tone is as independently bold as the sentiments are philosophical and humane. Besides his own poetry, Coleridge translated part of Schiller's "Wallenstein," and[187] was the author of several prose works of a high philosophical character. Southey was as different from Coleridge in the nature of his poetical productions as Coleridge was from Wordsworth. In his earliest poems he displayed a strong resentment against the abuses of society; he condemned war in his poem on "Blenheim," and expressed himself unsparingly on the treatment of the poor. His "Botany Bay Eclogues" are particularly in this vein. But he changed all that, and became one of the most zealous defenders of things as they are. His smaller poems are, after all, the best things which he wrote; his great epics of "Madoc," "Roderick, the Last of the Goths," "The Curse of Kehama," and "Thalaba," now finding few readers. Yet there are parts of them that must always charm.

On the other hand, Barclay de Tolly, anxious to unite with Bagration and reach Smolensk, abandoned the strong encampment at Drissa, leaving Wittgenstein near there to watch the enemy and cover the road to St. Petersburg. The French pursued him with great rapidity, which, though it endangered his immediate union with Bagration at Vitebsk, yet served the Russian policy of drawing the enemy into the interior. Murat continually rushed forward with his cavalry to attack the rear-guard of De Tolly; but the Russian infantry maintained steady order, and continually withdrew before him. Every evening he was close upon them; every morning he found himself again distanced. The Russians appeared in full vigour, and well supplied with everything; the French were sinking with famine and fatigue. At Polotsk the Emperor Alexander left De Tolly, and hastened on to Moscow to prepare the inhabitants for that grand catastrophe which he already foresaw, and had resolved upon.

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ABBOTSFORD AND THE EILDON HILLS. (From a Photograph by Valentine & Sons, Dundee.)