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The French allowed the retreating Allies no rest. There was no want of men. The Convention, by the menace of the guillotine at home, and the promises of plunder and licence abroad, could raise any number of thousands of men, could find millions of money, and they had not a single feeling of humanity, as the streaming axes of the executioners all over the country showed. They could also fight and daunt their enemies by the same unhesitating ferocity. They had long published to all their armies that no quarter was to be given to British or Hanoveriansthey were to be massacred to a man; and they now sent word to the fortresses of Valenciennes, Cond, Quesnoy, and Landrecies, that unless the garrisons surrendered every soul on their being taken should be butchered. The fortresses were immediately surrendered, for the menace was backed by one hundred and fifty thousand menthe combined troops of Pichegru and Jourdain. Besides, the fortresses in the hands of the Allies were so badly supplied both with ammunition and stores, that they were but dens of famine and impotence. On the 5th of July Ghent opened its gates to the French; on the 9th the French entered Brussels, having driven the Duke of Coburg out of his entrenchments in the wood of Soignies, near which the battle of Waterloo was afterwards fought. They next attacked the Duke of York and Lord Moira at Mechlin, and after a sharp conflict drove them thence. The very next day Clairfait was defeated and obliged to abandon both Louvain and Lige. General Beaulieu was driven out of Namur, solely because he had no provisions there for his army, though otherwise the place could have made a long defence. The Duke of York was compelled to abandon the strong and important citadel of Antwerp from the same cause, and to cross the Scheldt into Dutch territory, leaving the French to make their triumphant entry into Antwerp on the 23rd of July. Such was the brilliant campaign of the French in the Netherlands in the summer of 1794such the ignominious defeat of the Allies, with an army of two hundred thousand men. Pitt, however, bravely struggled to keep up the Coalition. A loan of four million pounds was granted to Austria. At the same time, in addition to the Hessian soldiers engaged, the Duke of Brunswick, the king's relative, was to furnish two thousand two hundred and eighty-nine men on the same liberal terms, and was himself to have an annual allowance of sixteen thousand pounds sterling.
The king, who had set out on his long-premeditated visit to Ireland, leaving his wife on her death-bed, was already at Holyhead when he received the tidings of her decease. From that port Lord Londonderry wrote a note to the Lord Chancellor, in which he said, "I add this private note to the letter which the king has directed me to write, to say that his Majesty is quite well, and has evinced, since the intelligence of the queen's death was received, every disposition to conform to such arrangements and observances as might be deemed most becoming upon an occasion which cannot be regarded in any other light than as the greatest of all possible deliverances, both to his Majesty and to the country. The king feels assured that the events to which my letters refer, once in your hands, will be sifted to the bottom and wisely decided; and to the advice he may receive there will be every disposition on his Majesty's part to conform; but where papers connected with his daughter, as well as other branches of his family, are in question, your lordship will estimate the deep interest the king takes in your giving the whole your best consideration."
Brewster avoided it, and became absorbed in making the tips of his fingers meet as he pressed his hands together.
The taste for Italian music was now every day increasing; singers of that nation appeared with great applause at most concerts. In 1703 Italian music was introduced into the theatres as intermezzi, or interludes, consisting of singing and dancing; then whole operas appeared, the music Italian, the words English; and, in 1707, Urbani, a male soprano, and two Italian women, sang their parts all in Italian, the other performers using English. Finally, in 1710, a complete Italian opera was performed at the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, and from that time the Italian opera was regularly established in London. This led to the arrival of the greatest composer whom the world had yet seen. George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, in Germany, in 1685. He had displayed wonderful genius for music as a mere child, and having, at the age of seven years, astonished the Duke of Saxe Weissenfelsat whose court his brother-in-law was a valetwho found him playing the organ in the chapel, he was, by the Duke's recommendation, regularly educated for the profession of music. At the age of ten, Handel composed the church service for voices and instruments; and after acquiring a great reputation in Hamburgwhere, in 1705, he brought out his "Almira"he proceeded to Florence, where he produced the opera of "Rodrigo," and thence to Venice, Rome, and Naples. After remaining in Italy four years, he was induced to come to England in 1710, at the pressing entreaties of many of the English nobility, to superintend the opera. But, though he was enthusiastically received, the party spirit which raged at that period soon made it impossible to conduct the opera with any degree of self-respect and independence. He therefore abandoned the attempt, having sunk nearly all his fortune in it, and commenced the composition of his noble oratorios. Racine's "Esther," abridged and altered by Humphreys, was set by him, in 1720, for the chapel of the Duke of Chandos at Cannons. It was, however, only by slow degrees that the wonderful genius of Handel was appreciated, yet it won its way against all prejudices and difficulties. In 1731 his "Esther" was performed by the children of the chapel-royal at the house of Bernard Gates, their master, and the following year, at the king's command, at the royal theatre in the Haymarket. It was fortunate for Handel that the monarch was German too, or he might have quitted the country in disgust before his fame had triumphed over faction and ignorance. So far did these operate, that in 1742, when he produced his glorious "Messiah," it was so coldly received that it was treated as a failure. Handel, in deep discouragement, however, gave it another trial in Dublin, where the warm imaginations of the Irish caught all its sublimity, and gave it an enthusiastic reception. On its next presentation in London his audience reversed the former judgment, and the delighted composer then presented the manuscript to the Foundling Hospital, where it was performed annually for the benefit of that excellent institution, and added to its funds ten thousand three hundred pounds. It became the custom, from 1737, to perform oratorios on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Handel, whose genius has never been surpassed for vigour, spirit, invention, and sublimity, became blind in his latter years. He continued to perform in public, and to compose, till within a week of his death, which took place on April 13, 1759.
Monsieur and the Duke of Orleans hastened to Lyons, and the Duke of Angoulme to Nìmes. Corps of volunteers were called out, and an address to the people was composed by Benjamin Constant, calling on them to defend their liberties against Buonaparte; and a woman on the staircase of the Tuileries exclaimed, "If Louis has not men enough to fight, let him call out the widows and childless mothers who have been rendered such by Napoleon!" Meanwhile the conspiracy of General l'Allemand and his brother at Lille, to carry over the garrison of eight thousand men to Napoleon, was discovered by General Mortier, and defeated. Had this plot succeeded, Louis and his family must have been made prisoners. But that was the extent of the adhesion to the Bourbon cause.In the middle of the line there was a one-room mud hut. This, with the tents back of it, was her home. Landor had fitted up the hut with Navajo blankets, Indian baskets, dolls, saddle bags, war bonnets, and quivers; with stuffed birds and framed chromos, camp-chairs and some rough quartermaster's furniture. A gray blanket, with a yellow Q. M. D. in the centre, kept the glare out at the window, and the room was cool enough. One advantage of adobeand it has othersis that it retains all summer the winter cold, and all winter the summer heat.
The history of Hume was much over-estimated in his own time, in spite of the despotic notions which abound in it. It was held up as a marvel of eloquence and acuteness. But after times always correct the enthusiasm of contemporaries, and Hume's history has been found not in every case trustworthy. When we now, indeed, take up Hume, we are surprised to find it a very plain, clear narrative of events, with many oversights and perversions, and nothing more. We wonder where are the transcendent beauties which threw our readers of the eighteenth century into raptures for which language scarcely gave expression. Whoever will read the correspondence of contemporaries with Hume, will find him eulogised rather as a demi-god than a man, and his works described in extravagant strains of praise.