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Title: The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII.
       Modern History

Author: Arthur Mee

Release Date: July 7, 2004 [EBook #12845]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by John Hagerson, Kevin Handy and PG Distributed Proofreaders






Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge


Editor of Harmsworth a Universal Encyclopaedia



Table of Contents


        History of the United Stales

        History of the Conquest of Mexico
        History of the Conquest of Peru

        History of the Rebellion

        History of England

        History of Civilization in England

        English Constitution

        Age of Louis XIV

        Old Régime

        History of the French Revolution

        History of the French Revolution

        History of the Girondists

    TAINE, H.A.
        Modern Régime

        Frederick the Great

        History of Greece

    MOTLEY, J.L.
        Rise of the Dutch Republic
        History of the United Netherlands

        History of India

        Russia under Peter the Great

        Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella

        History of Charles XII

        History of Latin Christianity

        History of the Popes

A Complete Index of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS will be found at the end of Volume XX.


Acknowledgment and thanks for permitting the use of the selection by H.A. Taine on "Modern Régime," appearing in this volume, are hereby tendered to Madame Taine-Paul-Dubois, of Menthon St. Bernard, France, and Henry Holt & Co., of New York.


History of the United States

Samuel Eliot, a historian and educator, was born in Boston in 1821, graduated at Harvard in 1839, was engaged in business for two years, and then travelled and studied abroad for four years more. On his return, he took up tutoring and gave gratuitous instruction to classes of young workingmen. He became professor of history and political science in Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1856, and retained that chair until 1864. During the last four years of that time, he was president of the institution. From 1864 to 1874 he lectured on constitutional law and political science. He lectured at Harvard from 1870 to 1873. He was President of the Social Science Association when it organised the movement for Civil Service reform in 1869. His history of the United States appeared in 1856 under the title of "Manual of United States History between the Years 1792 and 1850." It was revised and brought down to date in 1873, under the title of "History of the United States." A third edition appeared in 1881. This work gained distinction as the first adequate textbook of United States history and still holds the place it deserves in popular favor. The epitome is supplemented by a chronicle compiled from several sources.

The first man to discover the shores of the United States, according to Icelandic records, was an Icelander, Leif Erickson, who sailed in the year 1000, and spent the winter somewhere on the New England coast. Christopher Columbus, a Genoese in the Spanish service, discovered San Salvador, one of the Bahama Islands, on October 12, 1492. He thought that he had found the western route to the Indies, and, therefore, called his discovery the West Indies. In 1507, the new continent received its name from that of Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine who had crossed the ocean under the Spanish and Portuguese flags. The middle ages were Closing; the great nations of Europe were putting forth their energies, material and immaterial; and the discovery of America came just in season to help and be helped by the men of these stirring years.

Ponce de Leon, a companion of Columbus, was the first to reach the territory of the present United States. On Easter Sunday, 1512, he discovered the land to which he gave the name of Florida or Flower Land. Numberless discoverers succeeded him. De Soto led a great expedition northward and westward, in 1539-43, with no greater reward than the discovery of the Mississippi. Among the French explorers to claim Canada under the name of New France, were Verrazzano, 1524, and Cartier, 1534-42. Champlain began Quebec in 1608. The oldest town in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida, was founded September 8, 1565, by Menendez de Aviles, who brought a train of soldiers, priests and negro slaves. The second oldest town, Santa Fe, was founded by the Spaniards in 1581.

John Cabot, a Venetian residing in Bristol, was the first person sailing under the English flag, to come to these shores. He sailed in 1497, with his three sons, but no settlement was effected. Sir Humphrey Gilbert was lost at sea in 1583, and Walter Raleigh, his cousin, took up claims that had been made to him by Queen Elizabeth, and crossed to the shores of the present North Carolina. Sir Richard Grenville left one hundred and eighty persons at Roanoke Island, in 1585. They were glad to escape at the earliest opportunity. Fifteen persons left there later were murdered by the Indians. Still a third settlement, consisting of one hundred and eighteen persons, disappeared, leaving no trace. Raleigh was discouraged and made over his patent to others, who were still less successful.

The Plymouth Colony and London Colony were formed under King James I. as business enterprises. The parties to the patents were capitalists, who had the right to settle colonists and servants, impose duties and coin money, and who were to pay a share of the profits in the enterprise to the Crown.

The London company, under the name of Jamestown, established the beginning of the first English town in America, May 13, 1607, with one hundred colonists. Captain John Smith was the genius of the colony, and it enjoyed a certain prosperity while he remained with it. A curious incident of its history was the importation of a large number of young women of good character, who were sold for one hundred and twenty, or even one hundred and fifteen, pounds of tobacco (at thirteen shillings a pound) to the lonely settlers. The Company failed, with all its expenditures, some half-million dollars, in 1624, and at that time, numbered only two thousand souls--the relics of nine thousand, who had been sent out from England.

Though the Plymouth Company had obtained exclusive grants and privileges, they never achieved any actual colony. A band of independents, numbering one hundred and two, whose extreme principles led to their exile, first from England and then from Holland, landed at a place called New Plymouth, in 1620. Half died within a year. Nevertheless, the Pilgrims, as they were called, extended their settlement. The distinction of the Pilgrims at Plymouth is that they relied upon themselves, and developed their own resources. Salem was begun in 1625, and for three years was called Naumkeag. In 1628, John Endicott came from England with one hundred settlers, as Governor for the Massachusetts Colony, extending from the Charles to the Merrimac river. A royal charter was procured for the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and one thousand colonists, led by John Winthrop, settled Boston, 1630. These colonists were Puritans, who wished to escape political and religious persecution. They brought over their own charter and developed a form of popular government. The freemen of the town elected the governor and board of assistants, but suffrage was restricted to members of the church. Representative government was granted in other colonies, but in the royal colonies of Virginia and New York, the executive officers and members of the upper branch of the legislature were appointed by the Crown. In Maryland, appointments were made in the same way by the Proprietor. Maryland was founded 1632, by royal grant to Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore.

The English colonies were divided in the middle by the Dutch at New Amsterdam and the Swedes on the Delaware. The claim of the prior discovery of Manhattan was raised by the English, who took New Amsterdam, in 1664. Charles II. presented a charter to his brother, James, Duke of York. East and west Jersey were formed out of part of the grant.

The patent for the great territory included in the present state of Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn in 1681. Penn laid the foundations for a liberal constitution. Patents for the territory of Carolina were given in 1663. Carolina reached the Spanish possessions in the South.

The New England settlers spread westward and northward. Connecticut adopted a written constitution in 1639. The charter of Rhode Island, 1663, confirmed the aim of its founder, Roger Williams, in the separation of civil and religious affairs.

The English predominated in the colonies, though other nationalities were represented on the Atlantic seaboard. The laws were based on English custom, and loyalty to England prevailed. The colonists united for mutual support during the early Indian wars. The United Colonies of New England, comprised Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven. This union was formed in 1643, and lasted nearly forty years. The "Lord of Trade" caused the colonies to unite later, at the time of the French and Indian War, 1754.

The colonies, nevertheless, were too far apart to feel a common interest. Communication between them was slow, and commerce was almost entirely carried on with the English. The boundaries were frequently a cause of conflict between them. The plan of a constitution was devised by Franklin, but even the menace of war could not make the colonies adopt it.

While the English were establishing themselves firmly on the coast, the French were all the time quietly working in the interior. Their explorers and merchants established posts to the Great Lakes, the northwest and the valley of the Mississippi. The clash with the English came in 1690. King William's War, Queen Anne's War and the French and Indian War, were all waged before the difficulties were settled in the rout of the French from the continent. The so-called French and Indian War (1701-13) was the American counterpart of the Seven Years' War of Europe. The chief events of this war were: the surrender of Washington at Fort Necessity, 1754; removal of the Arcadian settlers, 1755; Braddock's defeat, July 9, 1755; capture of Oswego by Montcalm, 1756; the capture of Louisburg and Fort Duquesne, 1758; the capture of Ticonderoga and Niagara in 1759; battle of Quebec, September 13, 1759; surrender of Montreal, 1760.

At the Peace of Paris, 1763, the French claims to American territory were formally relinquished. Spain, however, got control of the territory west of the Mississippi, in 1762. This was known as Louisiana, and extended from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains.

At this period the relations of the colonies with the home government became seriously strained. The demands that goods should be transported in English ships, that trade should be carried on only with England, that the colonies should not manufacture anything in competition with home products, were the chief causes of friction. The navigation laws were evaded without public resistance, and smuggling became a common practice.

The Stamp Act, in 1765, required stamps to be affixed to all public documents, newspapers, almanacs and other printed matter. All of the colonies were taxed at the same time by this scheme, which was contrary to their belief that they should be taxed only by their legislatures; although the proceeds of the taxes were to have been devoted to the defence of the colonies. Delegates, protesting against the Act, were sent to England by nine colonies. The Stamp Act Congress, October 7, 1765, passed measures of protest. The people never used the stamps, and the Act was repealed the next year. As a substitute, the English government established, in 1767, duties on paper, paint, glass and tea. The colonies replied by renewing the agreement which they made in 1765, not to import any English goods. The sending of troops to Boston aggravated the trouble. All the duties but that on tea were then withdrawn. Cargoes of tea were destroyed at Boston and Charleston, and a bond of common sympathy was slowly forged between the colonies.

In 1774, the harbour of Boston was closed, and the Massachusetts charter was revoked. Arbitrary power was placed in the hands of the governor. The colonies mourned in sympathy. The assembly of Virginia was dismissed by its governor, but merely reunited, and proceeded to call a continental congress.

The first continental congress was held at Capitol Hall, Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. All the colonies but Georgia were represented. The congress appealed to George III. for redress. They drafted the Declaration of Rights, and pledged the colonies not to use British importations and to export no American goods to Great Britain or to its colonies.

The battles of Lexington and Concord were precipitated by the attempt of the British to seize the colonists' munitions of war. The immediate result was the assembling of a second continental congress at Philadelphia, May 10, 1775. The second congress was in a short time organising armies and assuming all the powers of government.

On November 1, 1775, it was learned that King George would not receive the petition asking for redress, and the idea of the Declaration of Independence was conceived. On May 15, 1776, the congress voted that all British authority ought to be suppressed. Thomas Jefferson, in December, drafted the Constitution, and it was adopted on July 4, 1776.

The leading events of the Revolution were the battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775; capture of Ticonderoga, May 10; Bunker Hill, June 17; unsuccessful attack on Canada, 1775-1776; surrender of Boston, March 17, 1776; battle of Long Island, August 27; White Plains, October 28; retreat through New Jersey, at the end of 1776; battle of Trenton, December 26; battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777; Bennington, August 16; Brandywine, September 11; Germantown, October 4; Saratoga, October 7; Burgoyne's surrender, October 17; battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778; storming of Stony Point, July 15, 1779; battle of Camden, August 16, 1780; battle of Cowpens, January 17, 1781; surrender of Cornwallis, October 19, 1781.

The surrender of Cornwallis terminated the struggle. The peace treaty was signed in 1783. The financial situation was very deplorable. One of the greatest difficulties that confronted the colonists, was the limited power of Congress. The states could regulate commerce and exercise nearly all authority. But disputes regarding their boundaries prevented their development as a united nation.

Congress issued an ordinance in 1784 under which territories might organise governments, send delegates to Congress, and obtain admission as states. This was made use of in 1787 by the Northwest Territory, the region lying between the Ohio and the Mississippi and the Great Lakes. The states made a compact in which it was agreed that there should be no slavery in this territory.

The critical period lasted until 1789. In the absence of strong authority, economic and political troubles arose. Finally, a commission appointed by Maryland and Virginia to settle questions relating to navigation on the Potomac resulted in a convention to adjust the navigation and commerce of the whole of the United States, called the Annapolis Convention from the place where it met, May 1, 1787. Rhode Island was the only state that failed to send delegates. Instead of taking up the interstate commerce questions the convention formulated the present Constitution. A President, with power to carry out the will of the people, was provided, and also, a Supreme Court.

Washington was elected first President, his term beginning March 4, 1789. A census was taken in 1790. The largest city was Philadelphia, with a population of 42,000--the others were New York, 33,000, and Boston, 18,000. The total population of the United States was 4,000,000. The slaves numbered 700,000; free negroes, 60,000, and the Indians, 80,000.

The Federalists, who believed in centralised government, were the most influential men in Congress. Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State, Knox Secretary of War, Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury, Osgood Postmaster General, and Jay Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The first tariff act was passed with a view of providing revenue and protection, in 1789. The national debt amounted to $52,000,000.00--a quarter of which was due abroad. The states had incurred an expense of $25,000,000.00 more, in supporting the Revolution. The country suffered from inflated currency. The genius of Hamilton saved the situation. He persuaded Congress to assume the whole obligation of the national government and of the states. Washington selected the site of the capitol on the banks of the Potomac. But the government convened at Philadelphia for ten years. Vermont and Kentucky were admitted as states by the first Congress.

In Washington's administration, a number of American ships were captured by British war vessels. England was at war with France and claimed the right of stopping American vessels to look for possible deserters. War was avoided by the Jay Treaty, November 19, 1794.

Washington retired, in 1796, at the end of two terms. John Adams, who had been Ambassador to France, Holland and England, became second President. The Democratic-Republican party, originated at this time, stood for a strict construction of the constitution and favoured France rather than England. Its leader was Thomas Jefferson. Adams proved but a poor party leader, and the power of the Federalists failed after eight years. He had gained some popularity in the early part of his first term when France began to retaliate for the Jay Treaty by seizing American ships, and would not receive the American minister. He appointed Charles Coatesworth Pinckney, with John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry, as a commission to treat with the French. The French commissioners who met them demanded $24,000,000.00 as a bribe to draw up a treaty. The names of the French commissioners were referred to in American newspapers as X, Y and Z. Taking advantage of the popular favour gained in the conduct of this affair, the Federalists succeeded in passing the Alien and Sedition Laws.

Napoleon seized the power in France and made peace with the United States. In the face of impending war between France and England, Napoleon gave up his plans of an empire in America and sold Louisiana to the United States for $15,000,000.00. The territory included 1,500,000 square miles. The Lewis and Clarke Expedition, sent out by Jefferson, started from St. Louis May 14, 1804, crossed the Rocky Mountains and discovered the Oregon country.

Aaron Burr was defeated for Governor of New York, and in his Presidential ambitions, and in revenge killed Hamilton in a duel. He fled the Ohio River country and made active preparations to carry out some kind of a scheme. He probably intended to proceed against the Spanish possessions in the Southwest and Mexico, and set himself up as a ruler. He was betrayed by his confidante, Wilkinson, and was tried for treason and acquitted in Richmond, Va., in 1807.

The momentous question of slavery in the territories came up in Jefferson's administration. The institution was permitted in Mississippi, but the ordinance of 1787 was maintained in Indiana. The importation of slaves was prohibited after January 1, 1808.

James Madison, a Republican, became President, in 1809. The Indians, under Tecumseh, attacked the Western settlers, but were defeated at Tippecanoe by William Henry Harrison in 1811. In the same year, Congress determined to break with England. Clay and Calhoun led the agitation. Madison acceded, and war was declared June 18, 1812. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814. British commerce had been devastated. A voyage even from England to Ireland was made unsafe.

The leading events of the War of 1812 were the unsuccessful invasion of Canada and surrender at Detroit, August 12, 1812; sea fight in which the "Constitution" took the "Guerriere," August 19th; sea fight in which the "United States" took the "Macedonian," October 25, 1813; defeat at Frenchtown, January 22nd; victory on Lake Erie, September 10th; loss of the "Chesapeake" to the "Shannon," June 1st; victory at Chippewa, July 5, 1814; victory at Lundy's Lane, July 15th; Lake Champlain, September 11th; British burned public buildings in Washington, August 25th; American defeated British at Baltimore, September 13th; American under Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans, December 23rd and 28th.

Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, were admitted as states, in 1792, 1796, and 1803, respectively. In 1806, the federal government began a wagon road, from the Potomac River to the West through the Cumberland Gap. New York State finished the Erie Canal, in 1825. The population increased so rapidly, that six new states, west and south of the Allegheny Mountains, were admitted between 1812 and 1821. A serious conflict arose in 1820 over the admission of Missouri. The Missouri Compromise resulted in the prohibition of slavery in the Louisiana Purchase, north of 36° and 30' north latitude. Missouri was admitted in 1831, and Maine, as a free state, in 1820.

With the passing of protective tariff measures in 1816 a readjustment of party lines took place. Protection brought over New England from Federalism to Republicanism. Henry Clay of Kentucky was the leading advocate of protection. Everybody was agreed upon this point in believing that tariff was to benefit all classes. This time was known as "The Era of Good Feeling."

Spain ceded Florida to the United States for $5,000,000.00, throwing in claims in the Northwest, and the United States gave up her claim to Texas. The treaty was signed in 1819.

The Monroe Doctrine was contained in the message that President Monroe sent to Congress December 2, 1823. The colonies of South America had revolted from Spain and had set up republics. The United States recognised them in 1821. Spain called on Europe for assistance. In his message to Congress, Monroe declared, "We could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly feeling toward the United States....The American Continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonisation by any European power." Great Britain had previously suggested to Monroe that she would not support the designs of Spain.

Protective measures were passed in 1824 and 1828. Around Adams and Clay were formed the National-Republican Party, which was joined by the Anti-Masons and other elements to form the Whig Party. Andrew Jackson was the centre of the other faction, which came to be known as the Democratic Party and has had a continuous existence ever since. South Carolina checked the rising tariff for a while by declaring the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 null and void.

The region which now forms the state of Texas had been gradually filling up with settlers. Many had brought slaves with them, although Mexico abolished slavery in 1829. The United States tried to purchase the country. Mexican forces under Santa Anna tried to enforce their jurisdiction in 1836. Texas declared her independence and drew up a constitution, establishing slavery. Opposition in the United States to the increase of slave territory defeated a plan for the annexation of this territory.

The New England Anti-Slavery Society was formed 1832, and the American Anti-Slavery Society was founded in Philadelphia in 1833. William Lloyd Garrison was the leader of abolition as a great moral agitation.

John C. Calhoun, Tyler's Secretary of State, proposed the annexation of Texas in 1844, but the scheme was rejected by the Senate. The election of Polk changed the complexion of affairs and Congress admitted Texas, which became a state in December, 1845.

The boundaries had never been settled and war with Mexico followed. Taylor defeated the Mexican forces at Palo Alto, May 8, 1846, at Resaca de la Palma, May 9th, and later at Monterey and Buena Vista. Scott was sent to Vera Cruz with an expedition, which fought its way to the City of Mexico by September 14, 1846. The United States troops also seized New Mexico. California revolted and joined the United States. The Gadsden Purchase of 1853 secured a further small strip of territory from Mexico.

The Boundary Treaty with Great Britain, in June, 1846, established the northern limits of Oregon at 49th parallel north latitude.

The plans for converting California into a slave state were frustrated by the discovery of gold. Fifty thousand emigrants poured in. The men worked with their own hands, and would not permit slaves to be brought in by their owners. Five bills, known as the Compromise of 1850, provided that New Mexico should be organised as a territory out of Texas; admitted California as a free state; established Utah as a territory; provided a more rigid fugitive slave law; and abolished slavery in the District of Columbia.

Cuba was regarded as a promising field for the extension of the slave territory when the Democratic Party returned to power in 1853 with the administration of Franklin Pierce. The ministers to Spain, France and Great Britain met in Belgium, at the President's direction, and issued the Ostend Manifesto, which declared that the United States would be justified in annexing Cuba, if Spain refused to sell the island. This Manifesto followed the popular agitation over the Virginius affair. The Spaniards had seized a ship of that name, which was smuggling arms to the Cubans, and put to death some Americans. War was averted, and Cuba remained in the control of the Spaniards.

The Supreme Court in 1857, in the Dred Scott decision, held that a slave was not a citizen and had no standing in the law, that Congress had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories, and that the constitution guaranteed slave property.

The Presidential campaign in 1858, which was signalised by the debates between Douglass and Lincoln, resulted in raising the Republican power in the House of Representatives, to equal that of the Democrats.

A fanatic Abolitionist, John Brown, with a few followers, seized the Federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in 1859, defended it heroically against overpowering numbers, but was finally taken, tried and condemned for treason. This incident served as an argument in the South for the necessity of secession to protect the institution of slavery.

In the Presidential election of 1860, the Republican convention nominated Lincoln. Douglass and John C. Breckenridge split the Democratic vote, and Lincoln was elected President. This was the immediate cause of the Civil War. The first state to secede was South Carolina. A state convention, called by the Legislature, met on December 20, 1860, and declared that the union of that state and the other states was dissolved. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, followed in the first month of 1861, and Texas seceded February 1st. They formed a Confederacy with a constitution and government at a convention at Montgomery, Alabama, February, 1861. Jefferson Davis was chosen President, and Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President.

Sumter fell on April 14th, and the following day Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers. The demand was more than filled. The Confederacy, also, issued a call for volunteers which was enthusiastically received. Four border states went over to the Confederacy, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. Three went over, in May, and the last, June 18.

The leading events of the Civil War were, the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861; Wilson's Creek, August 2; Trent Affair, November 8, 1862; Battle of Mill Spring, January 19; Ft. Henry, February 6; Ft. Donelson, February 13-16: fight between the "Monitor" and "Merrimac," March 9; Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7; capture of New Orleans, April 25; battle of Williamsburgh, May 5; Fair Oaks, May 31-June 1; "Seven Days' Battle"--Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, Frazier's Farm, Malvern Hill, June 25-July 1; Cedar Mountain, August 9; second battle of Bull Run, August 30; Chantilly, September 1; South Mountain, September 14; Antietam, September 17; Iuka, September 19; Corinth, October 4; Fredericksburg, December 13; Murfreesboro, December 31-January 2, 1863. Emancipation Proclamation, January 1; battle of Chancellorsville, May 1-4; Gettysburg, July 1-3; fall of Vicksburg, July 4; battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20; Chattanooga, November 23-25; 1864--battles of Wilderness and Spottsylvania, May 5-7; Sherman's advance through northern Georgia, in May and June; battle of Cold Harbor, June 1-3; the "Kearsarge" sank the "Alabama," June 19; battles of Atlanta, July 20-28; naval battle of Mobile, August 5; battle of Winchester, September 19; Cedar Creek, October 19; Sherman's march through Georgia to the sea, November and December; battle of Nashville, December 15-16; 1865--surrender of Fort Fisher, January 15; battle of Five Forks, April 1; surrender of Richmond, April 3; surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox, April 9; surrender of Johnston's army, April 26; surrender of Kirby Smith, May 26.

Lincoln, who had been elected for a second term, was assassinated on April 14, 1865, in Ford's Theatre, Washington.

The United States expended $800,000,000 in revenue, and incurred a debt of three times that amount during the war.

The Reconstruction Period lasted from 1865 to 1870. The South was left industrially prostrate, and it required a long period to adjust the change from the ownership to the employment of the negro.

Alaska was purchased from Russia, in 1867, for $7,200,000.00.

An arbitration commission was called for by Congress to settle the damage claims of the United States against Great Britain, on account of Great Britain's failure to observe duties of a neutral during the war. The conference was held at Geneva, at the end of 1871, and announced its award six months later. This was $15,000,000.00 damages, to be paid to the United States for depredations committed by vessels fitted out by the Confederates in British ports. The chief of these privateers was the "Alabama."

One of the first acts of President Hayes, in 1877, was the withdrawal of the Federal troops of the South. The new era of prosperity dates from the resumption of home rule.

The Bland Bill of 1878 stipulated that at least $2,000,000, and not more than $4,000,000, should be coined in silver dollars each month, at the fixed ratio of 16-1.

Garfield, the twentieth President of the United States, was elected 1880, and was assassinated on July 2, 1881, in Washington, by an insane office-seeker, and died September 19th.

The Civil Service Act of 1833 provided examinations for classified service, and prohibited removal for political reasons. It also forbade political assessments by a government official, or in the government buildings.

The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in 1877 with very limited powers, based on the clause in the constitution, drawn up in 1787, giving Congress the power to regulate domestic commerce.

Harrison was elected 1888. Both Houses were Republican, and the tariff was increased. In 1890, the McKinley Bill raised the duties to an average of 50 per cent, but reciprocity was provided for.

The Sherman Bill superseded the Bland Bill, and provided that 4,500,000 ounces of silver bullion must be bought and stored in the Treasury each month. This measure failed to sustain the price of silver, and there was a great demand, in the South and West, for the free coinage of that metal.

The tariff was made the issue of the next Presidential election, in 1892, when Cleveland defeated Harrison by a large majority of electoral votes. Each received a popular vote of 5,000,400. The Populist Party, which espoused the silver cause, polled 1,000,000 votes.

Congress was called in special session, and repealed the Silver Purchase Bill, and devised means of protection for the gold reserve which was approaching the vanishing point.

Cleveland forced Great Britain to arbitrate the boundary dispute with Venezuela in 1895, by a defiant enunciation of the Monroe doctrine. Congress supported him and voted unanimously for a commission to settle the dispute.

Free coinage of silver was the chief issue of the Presidential election, in 1896. McKinley defeated Bryan by a great majority. The Dingley Tariff Bill maintained the protective theory.

The blowing up of the "Maine," in the Havana Harbor, in 1898, hastened the forcible intervention of the United States, in Cuba, where Spain had been carrying on a war for three years.

On May 1st, Dewey entered Manila Bay and destroyed a Spanish fleet. The more powerful and stronger Spanish fleet was destroyed while trying to escape from the Harbour of Santiago de Cuba, on July 3.

By the Treaty of Paris, December 10, Porto Rico was ceded, and the Philippine Islands were made over on a payment of $20,000,000, and a republic was established in Cuba, under the United States protectory.

Hawaii had been annexed, and was made a territory, in 1900.

A revolt against the United States in the Philippine Islands was put down, in 1901, after two years.

McKinley was elected to a second term, with a still more overwhelming majority over Bryan.

McKinley was assassinated on September 6, 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, by an Anarchist. Theodore Roosevelt, the Vice-President, succeeded him, and was re-elected, in 1904, defeating Alton B. Parker.

Roosevelt intervened in the Anthracite Coal Strike, in 1902, recognised the revolutionary Republic of Panama, and in his administration, the United States acquired the Panama Canal Zone, and began work on the inter-oceanic canal. Great efforts were made, during his administration, to repress the big corporations by prosecutions, under the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. The conservation of natural resources was also taken up as a fixed policy.


History of the Conquest of Mexico

The "Conquest of Mexico" is a spirited and graphic narrative of a stirring episode in history. To use his own words, the author (see p. 271) has "endeavoured to surround the reader with the spirit of the times, and, in a word, to make him a contemporary of the 16th century."

I. The Mexican Empire

Of all that extensive empire which once acknowledged the authority of Spain in the New World, no portion, for interest and importance, can be compared with Mexico--and this equally, whether we consider the variety of its soil and climate; the inexhaustible stores of its mineral wealth; its scenery, grand and picturesque beyond example; the character of its ancient inhabitants, not only far surpassing in intelligence that of the other North American races, but reminding us, by their monuments, of the primitive civilisation of Egypt and Hindostan; and lastly, the peculiar circumstances of its conquest, adventurous and romantic as any legend devised by any Norman or Italian bard of chivalry. It is the purpose of the present narrative to exhibit the history of this conquest, and that of the remarkable man by whom it was achieved.

The country of the ancient Mexicans, or Aztecs as they were called, formed but a very small part of the extensive territories comprehended in the modern Republic of Mexico. The Aztecs first entered it from the north towards the beginning of the thirteenth century, but it was not until the year 1325 that, led by an auspicious omen, they laid the foundations of their future city by sinking piles into the shallows of the principal lake in the Mexican valley. Thus grew the capital known afterwards to Europeans as Mexico. The omen which led to the choice of this site--an eagle perched upon a cactus--is commemorated in the arms of the modern Mexican Republic.

In the fifteenth century there was formed a remarkable league, unparallelled in history, according to which it was agreed between the states of Mexico, Tezcuco, and the neighbouring little kingdom of Tlacopan, that they should mutually support each other in their wars, and divide the spoil on a fixed scale. During a century of warfare this alliance was faithfully adhered to and the confederates met with great success. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, just before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Aztec dominion reached across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There was thus included in it territory thickly peopled by various races, themselves warlike, and little inferior to the Aztecs in social organisation. What this organisation was may be briefly indicated.

The government of the Aztecs, or Mexicans, was an elective monarchy, the sovereign being, however, always chosen from the same family. His power was almost absolute, the legislative power residing wholly with him, though justice was administered through an administrative system which differentiated the government from the despotisms of the East. Human life was protected, except in the sense that human sacrifices were common, the victims being often prisoners of war. Slavery was practised, but strictly regulated. The Aztec code was, on the whole, stamped with the severity of a rude people, relying on physical instead of moral means for the correction of evil. Still, it evinces a profound respect for the great principles of morality, and as clear a perception of those principles as is to be found in the most cultivated nations. One instance of their advanced position is striking; hospitals were established in the principal cities, for the cure of the sick, and the permanent refuge of the disabled soldier; and surgeons were placed over them, "who were so far better than those in Europe," says an old chronicler, "that they did not protract the cure, in order to increase the pay."

In their religion, the Aztecs recognised a Supreme Creator and Lord of the universe, "without whom man is as nothing," "invisible, incorporeal, one God, of perfect perfection and purity," "under whose wings we find repose and a sure defence." But beside Him they recognised numerous gods, who presided over the changes of the seasons, and the various occupations of man, and in whose honour they practised bloody rites. Such were the people dwelling in the lovely Mexican valley, and wielding a power that stretched far beyond it, when the Spanish expedition led by Hernando Cortes landed on the coast. The expedition was the fruit of an age and a people eager for adventure, for gain, for glory, and for the conversion of barbaric peoples to the Christian faith. The Spaniards were established in the West Indian Islands, and sought further extension of their dominions in the West, whence rumours of great treasure had reached them. Thus it happened that Velasquez, the Spanish Governor of Cuba, designed to send a fleet to explore the mainland, to gain what treasure he could by peaceful barter with the natives, and by any means he could to secure their conversion. It was commanded by Cortes, a man of extraordinary courage and ability, and extraordinary gifts for leadership, to whose power both of control and inspiration must be ascribed, in a very great degree, the success of his amazing enterprise.

II.--The Invasion of the Empire

It was on the eighteenth of February, 1519, that the little squadron finally set sail from Cuba for the coast of Yucatan. Before starting, Cortes addressed his soldiers in a manner both very characteristic of the man, and typical of the tone which he took towards them on several occasions of great difficulty and danger, when but for his courageous spirit and great power of personal influence, the expedition could only have found a disastrous end. Part of his speech was to this effect: "I hold out to you a glorious prize, but it is to be won by incessant toil. Great things are achieved only by great exertions, and glory was never the reward of sloth. If I have laboured hard and staked my all on this undertaking, it is for the love of that renown, which is the noblest recompense of man. But, if any among you covet riches more, be but true to me, as I will be true to you and to the occasion, and I will make you masters of such as our countrymen have never dreamed of! You are few in number, but strong in resolution; and, if this does not falter, doubt not but that the Almighty, who has never deserted the Spaniard in his contest with the infidel, will shield you, though encompassed by a cloud of enemies; for your cause is a just cause, and you are to fight under the banner of the Cross. Go forward then, with alacrity and confidence, and carry to a glorious issue the work so auspiciously begun."

The first landing was made on the island of Cozumel, where the natives were forcibly converted to Christianity. Then, reaching the mainland, they were attacked by the natives of Tabasco, whom they soon reduced to submission. These made presents to the Spanish commander, including some female slaves. One of these, named by the Spaniards Marina, became of great use to the conquerors in the capacity of interpreter, and by her loyalty, her intelligence, and, not least, by her distinguished courage became a powerful influence in the fortunes of the Spaniards.

The next event of consequence in the career of the Conquerors was the foundation of the first colony in New Spain, the town of Villa Rica de Vera Cruz, on the sea-shore. Following this, came the reduction of the warlike Republic of Tlascala, and the conclusion of an alliance with its inhabitants which proved of priceless value to the Spaniards in their long warfare with the. Mexicans.

More than one embassy had reached the Spanish camp from Montezuma, the Emperor of Mexico, bearing presents and conciliatory messages, but declining to receive the strangers in his capital. The basis of his conduct and of that of the bulk of his subjects towards the Spaniards was an ancient tradition concerning a beneficent deity named Quetzalcoatl who had sailed away to the East, promising to return and reign once more over his people. He had a white skin, and long, dark hair; and the likeness of the Spaniards to him in this respect gave rise to the idea that they were his representatives, and won them honour accordingly; while even to those tribes who were entirely hostile a supernatural terror clung around their name. Montezuma, therefore, desired to conciliate them while seeking to prevent their approach to his capital. But this was the goal of their expedition, and Cortes, with his little army, never exceeding a few hundred in all, reinforced by some Tlascalan auxiliaries, marched towards the capital. Montezuma, on hearing of their approach, was plunged into despondency. "Of what avail is resistance," he is said to have exclaimed, "when the gods have declared themselves against us! Yet I mourn most for the old and infirm, the women and children, too feeble to fight or to fly. For myself and the brave men round me, we must bare our breasts to the storm, and meet it as we may!"

Meanwhile the Spaniards marched on, enchanted as they came by the beauty and the wealth of the city and its neighbourhood. It was built on piles in a great lake, and as they descended into the valley it seemed to them to be a reality embodying in the fairest dreams of all those who had spoken of the New World and its dazzling glories. They passed along one of the causeways which constituted the only method of approach to the city, and as they entered, they were met by Montezuma himself, in all his royal state. Bowing to what seemed the inevitable, he admitted them to the capital, gave them a royal palace for their quarters, and entertained them well. After a week, however, the Spaniards began to be doubtful of the security of their position, and to strengthen it Cortes conceived and carried out the daring plan of gaining possession of Montezuma's person. With his usual audacity he went to the palace, accompanied by some of his cavaliers, and compelled Montezuma to consent to transfer himself and his household to the Spanish quarters. After this, Cortes demanded that he should recognise formally the supremacy of the Spanish emperor. Montezuma agreed, and a large treasure, amounting in value to about one and a half million pounds sterling, was despatched to Spain in token of his fealty. The ship conveying it to Spain touched at the coast of Cuba, and the news of Cortes's success inflamed afresh the jealousy of Velasquez, its governor, who had long repented of his choice of a commander. Therefore, in March, 1520, he sent Narvaez at the head of a rival expedition, to overcome Cortes and appropriate the spoils. But he had reckoned without the character of Cortes. Leaving a garrison in Mexico, the latter advanced by forced marches to meet Narvaez, and took him unawares, entirely defeating his much superior force. More than this, he induced most of these troops to join him, and thus, reinforced also from Tlascala, marched back to Mexico. There his presence was greatly needed, for news had reached him that the Mexicans had risen, and that the garrison was already in straits.

III.--The Retreat from Mexico

It was indeed in a serious position that Cortes found his troops, threatened by famine, and surrounded by a hostile population. But he was so confident of his ability to overawe the insurgents that he wrote to that effect to the garrison of Vera Cruz, by the same dispatches in which he informed them of his safe arrival in the capital. But scarcely had his messenger been gone half an hour, when he returned breathless with terror, and covered with wounds. "The city," he said, "was all in arms! The drawbridges were raised, and the enemy would soon be upon them!" He spoke truth. It was not long before a hoarse, sullen sound became audible, like that of the roaring of distant waters. It grew louder and louder; till, from the parapet surrounding the enclosure, the great avenues which led to it might be seen dark with the masses of warriors, who came rolling on in a confused tide towards the fortress. At the same time, the terraces and flat roofs in the neighbourhood were thronged with combatants brandishing their missiles, who seemed to have risen up as if by magic. It was a spectacle to appall the stoutest.

But this was only the prelude to the disasters that were to befall the Spaniards. The Mexicans made desperate assaults upon the Spanish quarters, in which both sides suffered severely. At last Montezuma, at the request of Cortes, tried to interpose. But his subjects, in fury at what they considered his desertion of them, gave him a wound of which he died. The position became untenable, and Cortes decided on retreat. This was carried out at night, and owing to the failure of a plan for laying a portable bridge across those gaps in the causeway left by the drawbridges, the Spaniards were exposed to a fierce attack from the natives which proved most disastrous. Caught on the narrow space of the causeway, and forced to make their way as best they could across the gaps, they were almost overwhelmed by the throngs of their enemies. Cortes who, with some of the vanguard, had reached comparative safety, dashed back into the thickest of the fight where some of his comrades were making a last stand, and brought them out with him, so that at last all the survivors, a sadly stricken company, reached the mainland.

The story of the reconstruction by Cortes of his shattered and discouraged army is one of the most astonishing chapters in the whole history of the Conquest. Wounded, impoverished, greatly reduced in numbers and broken in spirit by the terrible experience through which they had passed, they demanded that the expedition should be abandoned and themselves conveyed back to Cuba. Before long, the practical wisdom and personal influence of Cortes had recovered them, reanimated their spirits, and inspired them with fresh zeal for conquest, and now for revenge. He added to their numbers the very men sent against him by Velasquez at this juncture, whom he persuaded to join him; and had the same success with the members of another rival expedition from Jamaica. Eventually he set out once more for Mexico, with a force of nearly six hundred Spaniards, and a number of allies from Tlascala.

IV.--The Siege and Capture of Mexico

The siege of Mexico is one of the most memorable and most disastrous sieges of history. Cortes disposed his troops so as to occupy the three great causeways leading from the shore of the lake to the city, and thus cut off the enemy from their sources of supply. He was strong in the possession of twelve brigantines, built by his orders, which swept the lake with their guns and frequently defeated the manoeuvres of the enemy, to whom a sailing ship was as new and as terrible a phenomenon as were firearms and cavalry. But the Aztecs were strong in numbers, and in their deadly hatred of the invader, the young emperor, Guatemozin, opposed to the Spaniards a spirit as dauntless as that of Cortes himself. Again and again, by fierce attack, by stratagem, and by their indefatigable labours, the Aztecs inflicted checks, and sometimes even disaster, upon the Spaniards. Many of these, and of their Indian allies, fell, or were carried off to suffer the worse fate of the sacrificial victim. The priests promised the vengeance of the gods upon the strangers, and at one point Cortes saw his allies melting away from him, under the power of this superstitious fear. But the threats were unfulfilled, the allies returned, and doom settled down upon the city. Famine and pestilence raged with it, and all the worst horrors of a siege were suffered by the inhabitants.

But still they remained implacable, fighting to their last breath, and refusing to listen to the repeated and urgent offers of Cortes to spare them and their property if they would capitulate. It was not until the 15th of August, 1521, that the siege, which began in the latter part of May, was brought to an end. After a final offer of terms, which Guatemozin still refused, Cortes made the final assault, and carried the city in face of a resistance now sorely enfeebled but still heroic. Guatemozin, attempting to escape with his wife and some followers to the shore of the lake, was intercepted by one of the brigantines and carried to Cortes. He bore himself with all the dignity that belonged to his courage, and was met by Cortes in a manner worthy of it. He and his train was courteously treated and well entertained.

Meanwhile, at Guatemozin's request, the population of Mexico were allowed to leave the city for the surrounding country; and after this the Spaniards set themselves to the much-needed work of cleansing the city. They were greatly disappointed in their hope of treasure, which the Aztecs had so effectively hidden that only a small part of the expected riches was ever discovered. It is a blot upon the history of the war that Cortes, yielding to the importunity of his soldiers, permitted Guatemozin to be tortured, in order to gain information regarding the treasure. But no information of value could be wrung from him, and the treasure remained hidden.

At the very time of his distinguished successes in Mexico, the fortunes of Cortes hung in the balance in Spain. His enemy Velasquez, governor of Cuba, and the latter's friends at home, made such complaint of his conduct that a commissioner was sent to Vera Cruz to apprehend Cortes and bring him to trial. But, as usual, the hostile effort failed, and the commissioner sailed for Cuba, having accomplished nothing. The friends of Cortes, on the other hand, made counter-charges, in which they showed that his enemies had done all in their power to hinder him in what was a magnificent effort on behalf of the Spanish dominion, and asked if the council were prepared to dishonour the man who, in the face of such obstacles, and with scarcely other resources than what he found in himself, had won an empire for Castile, such as was possessed by no European potentate. This appeal was irresistible. However irregular had been the manner of proceeding, no one could deny the grandeur of the results. The acts of Cortes were confirmed in their full extent. He was constituted Governor, Captain General, and Chief Justice of New Spain, as the province was called, and his army was complimented by the emperor, fully acknowledging its services.

The news of this was received in New Spain with general acclamation. The mind of Cortes was set at ease as to the past, and he saw opening before him a noble theatre for future enterprise. His career, ever one of adventure and of arms, was still brilliant and still chequered. He fell once more under suspicion in Spain, and at last determined to present himself in person before his sovereign, to assert his innocence and claim redress. Favourably received by Charles V., he subsequently returned to Mexico, pursued difficult and dangerous voyages of discovery, and ultimately returned to Spain, where he died in 1547.

The history of the Conquest of Mexico is the history of Cortes, who was its very soul. He was a typical knight-errant; more than this, he was a great commander. There is probably no instance in history where so vast an enterprise has been achieved by means apparently so inadequate. He may be truly said to have effected the conquest by his own resources. It was the force of his genius that obtained command of the co-operation of the Indian tribes. He arrested the arm that was lifted to smite him, he did not desert himself. He brought together the most miscellaneous collection of mercenaries who ever fought under one standard,--men with hardly a common tie, and burning with the spirit of jealousy and faction; wild tribes of the natives also, who had been sworn enemies from their cradles. Yet this motley congregation was assembled in one camp, to breathe one spirit, and to move on a common principle of action.

As regards the whole character of his enterprise, which seems to modern eyes a bloody and at first quite unmerited war waged against the Indian nations, it must be remembered that Cortes and his soldiers fought in the belief that their victories were the victories of the Cross, and that any war resulting in the conversion of the enemy to Christianity, even as by force, was a righteous and meritorious war. This consideration dwelt in their minds, mingling indeed with the desire for glory and for gain, but without doubt influencing them powerfully. This is at any rate one of the clues to this extraordinary chapter of history, so full of suffering and bloodshed, and at the same time of unsurpassed courage and heroism on every side.

History of the Conquest of Peru

The "History of the Conquest of Peru," which appeared in 1847, followed Prescott's "History of the Conquest of Mexico." It is a vivid and picturesque narrative of one of the most romantic, if also in some ways one of the darkest, episodes in history. It is impossible in a small compass to convey a tithe of the astonishing series of hairbreadth escapes, of conquest over tremendous odds, and of rapid eventualities which make up this kaleidoscopic story.

I.--The Realm of the Incas

Among the rumours which circulated among the ambitious adventurers of the New World, one of the most dazzling was that of a rich empire far to the south, a very El Dorado, where gold was as abundant as were the common metals in the Old World, and where precious stones were to be had, almost for the picking up. These rumours fired the hopes of three men in the Spanish colony at Panama, namely, Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, both soldiers of fortune, and Hernando de Luque, a Spanish priest. As it was primarily from the efforts of these three that that astonishing episode, the Spanish conquest of Peru, came to pass.

The character of that empire which the Spaniards discovered and undertook to conquer may be briefly sketched.

According to the traditions of Peru, there had come to that country, then lying in barbarism and darkness, two "Children of the Sun." These had taught them wise customs and the arts of civilisation, and from them had sprung by direct descent the Incas, who thus ruled over them by a divine right. Besides the ruling Inca, whose person and decrees received an honour that was almost worship, there were numerous nobles, also of the royal blood, who formed a ruling caste. These were held in great honour, and were evidently of a race superior to the common people, a fact to which the very shape of their skulls testifies.

The government was developed to an extraordinary pitch of control over even the private lives of the people. The whole land and produce of the country were divided into three parts, one for the Sun, the supreme national deity; one for the Inca, and the third for the people. This last was divided among them according to their needs, especially according to the size of their families, and the distribution of land was made afresh each year. On this principle, no one could suffer from poverty, and no one could rise by his efforts to a higher position than that which birth and circumstances allotted to him. The government prescribed to every man his local habitation, his sphere of action, nay, the very nature and quality of that action. He ceased to be a free agent; it might almost be said, that it relieved him of personal responsibility. Even his marriage was determined for him; from time to time all the men and women who had attained marriageable age were summoned to the great squares of their respective towns, and the hands of the couples joined by the presiding magistrate. The consent of parents was required, and the preference of the parties was supposed to be consulted, but owing to the barriers imposed by the prescribed age of the parties, this must have been within rather narrow limits. A dwelling was prepared for each couple at the charge of the district, and the prescribed portion of land assigned for their maintenance.

The country as a whole was divided into four great provinces, each ruled by a viceroy. Below him, there was a minute subdivision of supervision and authority, down to the division into decades, by which every tenth man was responsible for his nine countrymen.

The tribunals of justice were simple and swift in their procedure, and all responsible to the Crown, to whom regular reports were forwarded, and who was thus in a position to review and rectify any abuses in the administration of the law.

The organisation of the country was altogether on a much higher level than that encountered by the Spaniards in any other part of the American continent. There was, for example, a complete census of the people periodically taken. There was a system of posts, carried by runners, more efficient and complete than any such system in Europe. There was, lastly, a method of embodying in the empire any conquered country which can only be compared to the Roman method. Local customs were interfered with as little as possible, local gods were carried to Cuzco and honoured in the pantheon there, and the chiefs of the country were also brought to the capital, where they were honoured and by every possible means attached to the new régime. The language of the capital was diffused everywhere, and every inducement to learn it offered, so that the difficulty presented by the variety of dialects was overcome. Thus the Empire of the Incas achieved a solidarity very different from the loose and often unwilling cohesion of the various parts of the Mexican empire, which was ready to fall to pieces as soon as opportunity offered. The Peruvian empire arose as one great fabric, composed of numerous and even hostile tribes, yet, under the influence of a common religion, common language, and common government, knit together as one nation, animated by a spirit of love for its institutions and devoted loyalty to its sovereign. They all learned thus to bow in unquestioning obedience to the decrees of the divine Inca. For the government of the Incas, while it was the mildest, was the most searching of despotisms.

II.--First Steps Towards Conquest

It was early in the sixteenth century that tidings of the golden empire in the south reached the Spaniards, and more than one effort was made to discover it. But these proved abortive, and it was not until after the brilliant conquest of Mexico by Cortes that the enterprise destined for success was set on foot. Then, in 1524, Francisco Pizarro, Almagro, and Father Luque united their efforts to pursue the design of discovering and conquering this rich realm of the south. The first expedition, sailing under Pizarro in 1524, was unable to proceed more than a certain distance owing to their inadequate numbers and scanty outfit, and returned to Panama to seek reinforcements. Then, in 1526, the three coadjutors signed a contract which has become famous. The two captains solemnly engaged to devote themselves to the undertaking until it should be accomplished, and to share equally with Father Luque all gains, both of land and treasure, which should accrue from the expedition. This last provision was in recognition of the fact that the priest had supplied by far the greater part of the funds required, or apparently did so, for from another document it appears that he was only the representative of the Licentiate Gaspar de Espinosa, then at Panama, who really furnished the money.

The next expedition met with great vicissitudes, and it was only the invincible spirit of Pizarro which carried them as far as the Gulf of Guayaquil and the rich city of Tumbez. Hence they returned once more to Panama, carrying this time better tidings, and again seeking reinforcements. But the governor of the colony gave them no encouragement, and at last it was decided that Pizarro should go to Spain and apply for help from the Crown. He did so, and in 1529 was executed the memorable "Capitulation" which defined the powers and privileges of Pizarro. It granted to Pizarro the right of discovery and conquest in the province of Peru, (or New Castile as it was then called,) the title of Governor, and a salary, with inferior honours for his associates; all these to be enjoyed on the conquest of the country, and the salaries to be derived from its revenues. Pizarro was to provide for the good government and protection of the natives, and to carry with him a specified number of ecclesiastics to care for their spiritual welfare.

On Pizarro's return to America, he had to contend with the discontent of Almagro at the unequal distribution of authority and honours, but after he had been somewhat appeased by the efforts of Pizarro the third expedition set sail in January, 1531. It comprised three ships, carrying 180 men and 27 horses--a slender enough force for the conquest of an empire.

After various adventures, the Spaniards landed at Tumbez, and in May, 1532, set out from there to march along the coast. After founding a town some thirty leagues south of Tumbez, which he named San Miguel, he marched into the interior with the bold design of meeting the Inca himself. He came at a moment when Peru was but just emerging from a civil conflict, in which Atahuallpa had routed the rival and more legitimate claimant to the throne of the Incas, Huascar. On his march, Pizarro was met by an envoy from the Inca, inviting him to visit him in his camp, with, as Pizarro guessed, no friendly intent. This coincided, however, with the purpose of Pizarro, and he pressed forward. When his soldiers showed signs of discouragement in face of the great dangers before them, Pizarro addressed them thus:

"Let every one of you take heart and go forward like a good soldier, nothing daunted by the smallness of your numbers. For in the greatest extremity God ever fights for His own; and doubt not He will humble the pride of the heathen, and bring him to the knowledge of the true faith, the great end and object of the Conquest." The enthusiasm of the troops was at once rekindled. "Lead on!" they shouted as he finished his address. "Lead on wherever you think best! We will follow with goodwill; and you shall see that we can do our duty in the cause of God and the king!"

They had need of all their daring. For when they had penetrated to Caxamalca they found the Inca encamped there at the head of a great host of his subjects, and knew that if his uncertain friendliness towards them should evaporate, they would be in a desperate case. Pizarro then determined to follow the example of Cortes, and gain possession of the sovereign's person. He achieved this by what can only be called an act of treachery; he invited the Inca to visit his quarters, and then, taking them unawares, killed a large number of his followers and took him prisoner. The effect was precisely what Pizarro had hoped for. The "Child of the Sun" once captured, the Indians, who had no law but his command, no confidence but in his leadership, fled in all directions, and the Spaniards remained masters of the situation.

They treated the Inca at first with respect, and while keeping him a prisoner, allowed him a measure of freedom, and free intercourse with his subjects. He soon saw a door of hope in the Spaniards' eagerness for gold, and offered an enormous ransom. The offer was accepted, and messengers were sent throughout the empire to collect it. At last it reached an amount, in gold, of the value of nearly three and a half million pounds sterling, besides a quantity of silver. But even this ransom did not suffice to free the Inca. Owing partly to the malevolence of an Indian interpreter, who bore the Inca ill-will, and partly to rumours of a general rising of the natives instigated by the Inca, the army began to demand his life as necessary to their safety. Pizarro appeared to be opposed to this demand, but to yield to his soldiers, and after a form of trial the Inca was executed. But Pizarro cannot be acquitted of responsibility for a deed which formed the climax of one of the darkest chapters in Spanish colonial history, and it is probable that the design coincided only too well with his aims.

III.--Triumph of Pisarro; his Assassination

There was nothing now to hinder the victorious march of the Spaniards to Cuzco, the Peruvian capital. They now numbered nearly five hundred, having been reinforced by the arrival of Almagro from Panama.

In Cuzco they found great quantities of treasure, with the natural result that the prices of ordinary commodities rose enormously as the value of gold and silver declined, so that it was only those few who returned with their present gains to their native country who could be called wealthy.

All power was now in the hands of the Spaniards. Pizarro indeed placed upon the throne of the Incas the legitimate heir, Manco, but it was only in order that he might be the puppet of his own purposes. His next step was to found a new capital, which should be near enough to the sea-coast to meet the need of a commercial people. He determined upon the site of Lima on the festival of Epiphany, 1535, and named it "Ciudad de los Reyes," or City of the Kings, in honour of the day. But this name was before long superseded by that of Lima, which arose from the corruption of a Peruvian name.

Meanwhile Hernando Pizarro, the brother of Francisco, had sailed to Spain to report their success. He returned with royal letters confirming the previous grants to Francisco and his associates, and bestowing upon Almagro a jurisdiction over a given tract of country, beginning from the southern limit of Pizarro's government. This grant became a fruitful source of dissension between Almagro and the Pizarros, each claiming as within his jurisdiction the rich city of Cuzco, a question which the uncertain knowledge of distances in the newly-explored country made it difficult to decide.

But the Spaniards had now for a time other occupation than the pursuit of their own quarrels. The Inca Manco, escaping from the captivity in which he had lain for a time, put himself at the head of a host of Indians, said to number two hundred thousand, and laid siege to Cuzco early in February, 1536. The siege was memorable as calling out the most heroic displays of Indian and European valour, and bringing the two races into deadlier conflict with each other than had yet occurred in the conquest of Peru. The Spaniards were hard pressed, for by means of burning arrows the Indians set the city on fire, and only their encampment in the midst of an open space enabled the Spaniards to endure the conflagration around. They suffered severely, too, from famine. The relief from Lima for which they looked did not come, as Pizarro was in no position to send help, and from this they feared the worst as to the fate of their companions. Only the firm resolution of the Pizarro, brothers and the other leaders within the city kept the army from attempting to force a way out, which would have meant the abandoning of the city. At last they were rewarded by the sight of the great host around them melting away. Seedtime had come, and the Inca knew it would be fatal for his people to neglect their fields, and thus prepare starvation for themselves in the following year. Thus, though bodies of the enemy remained to watch the city, the siege was virtually raised, and the most pressing danger past.

While these events were passing, Almagro was engaged upon a memorable expedition to Chili. His troops suffered great privations, and hearing no good tidings of the country further south, he was prevailed upon to return to Cuzco. Here, claiming the governorship, he captured Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro, though refusing the counsel of his lieutenant that they should be put to death. Then, proceeding to the coast, he met Francisco Pizarro, and a treaty was concluded between them by which Almagro, pending instructions from Spain, was to retain Cuzco, and Hernando Pizarro was to be set free, on condition of sailing for Spain. But Francisco broke the treaty as soon as made, and sent Hernando with an army against Almagro, warning the latter that unless he gave up Cuzco the responsibility of the consequences would be on his own head. The two armies met at Las Salinas, and Almagro was defeated and imprisoned in Cuzco. Before long Hernando brought him to trial and to death, thus ill requiting Almagro's treatment of him personally. Hernando, on his return to Spain, suffered twenty years' imprisonment for this deed, which outraged both public sentiment and sense of justice.

Francisco Pizarro, though affecting to be shocked at the death of Almagro, cannot be acquitted of all share in it. So, indeed, the followers of Almagro thought, and they were goaded to still further hatred of the Pizarros by the poverty and contempt in which they now lived, as the survivors of a discredited party. The house of Almagro's son in Lima formed a centre of disaffection, to whose menace Pizarro showed remarkable blindness. He paid dearly for this excessive confidence, for on Sunday, the 26th of June, 1541, he was attacked while sitting in his own house among his friends, and killed.

IV.--Later Fortunes of the Conquerors

The death of Pizarro did not prove in any sense a guarantee of peace among the Spaniards in Peru. At the time of his death, indeed, an envoy from the Spanish court was on his way to Peru, who from his integrity and wisdom might indeed have given rise to a hope that a happier day was about to dawn. He was endowed with powers to assume the governorship in the event of Pizarro's death, as well as instructions to bring about a more peaceful settlement of affairs. He arrived to find himself indeed the lawful governor, but had before him the task of enforcing his authority. This brought him into collision with the son of Almagro, at the head of a strong party of his father's followers. A bloody battle took place on the plains of Chupas, in which Vaca de Castro was victorious. Almagro was arrested at Cuzco and executed.

The history of the Spanish dominion now resolves itself into the history of warring factions, the chief hero of which was Gonzalo Pizzaro, one of the brothers of the great Pizarro. The Spaniards in Peru felt themselves deeply injured by the publication of regulations from Spain, by which a sudden check was put upon their spoliation and oppression of the natives, which had reached an extreme pitch of cruelty and destructiveness. They called upon Gonzalo to lead them in vindication of what they regarded as their privileges by right of conquest and of their service to the Spanish crown. His hands were strengthened by the rash and high-handed behaviour of, Blasco Nuñez Vela, yet another official sent out from Spain to deal with this turbulent province. Pizarro himself was an able and daring leader, and, at least in his earlier years, of a chivalrous spirit which made him beloved of his soldiers. He had great personal courage, and, as says one who had often seen him, "when mounted on his favourite charger, made no more account of a squadron of Indians than of a swarm of flies." He was soon acclaimed as governor by the Spaniards, and was actually supreme in Peru. But in the following year, 1545, the Spanish government selected an envoy who was to bring the now ascendant star of Pizarro to eclipse. This was an ecclesiastic named Pedro de la Gasea, a man of great resolution, penetration, and knowledge of affairs. After varying fortunes, in which Pizarro for some time held his own, he was routed by the troops of Gasea, largely through the defection of a number of his own soldiers, who marched over to the enemy. Pizarro surrendered to an officer, and was carried before Gasea. Addressing him with severity, Gasea abruptly inquired, "Why had he thrown the country into such confusion; raising the banner of revolt; usurping the government; and obstinately refusing the offer of grace that had been repeatedly made to him?" Gonzalo defended himself as having been elected by the people. "It was my family," he said, "who conquered the country, and as their representative here, I felt I had a right to the government." To this Gasea replied, in a still severer tone, "Your brother did, indeed, conquer the land; and for this the emperor was pleased to raise both him and you from the dust. He lived and died a true and loyal subject; and it only makes your ingratitude to your sovereign the more heinous." A sentence of death followed, and thus passed the last of Pizarro's name to rule in Peru.

Under the wise reforms instituted by Gasea, Peru was somewhat relieved of the disastrous effects of the Spanish occupation, and under the mild yet determined policy inaugurated by him, the ancient distractions of the country were permanently healed. With peace, prosperity returned within the borders of Peru, and this much-tried land settled down at last to a considerable measure of tranquillity and content.


The History of the Rebellion

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was born February 18, 1608; at Dinton, Wilts, and who died at Rouen, 1674, was son of a private gentleman and was educated at Oxford, afterwards studying law under Chief Justice Nicholas Hyde, his uncle. Early in his career he became distinguished in political life in a stormy period, for, as a prominent member of the Long Parliament, he espoused the popular cause. The outbreak of the Civil War, however, threw his sympathies over to the other side, and in 1642 King Charles knighted him and appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer. When Charles, Prince of Wales, afterwards King Charles II., fled to Jersey after the great defeat of his father at Naseby, he was accompanied by Hyde, who, in the island, commenced his great work, "The History of the Rebellion," and also issued a series of eloquently worded papers which appeared in the king's name as replies to the manifestoes of Parliament. After the Restoration he was appointed High Chancellor of England and ennobled with the title of Earl of Clarendon. But the ill success of the war with Holland brought the earl into popular disfavour, and his unpopularity was increased by the sale of Dunkirk to the French. Court intrigues led to the loss of his offices and he retreated to Calais. An apology which he sent to the Lords was ordered to be burnt by the common hangman. For six years, till his death in Rouen, he lived in exile, but he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. His private character in a dissolute age was unimpeachable. Anne Hyde, daughter of the earl, became Queen of England, as wife of James II., and was mother of two queens, Anne and Mary. The "History of the Rebellion" is a noble and monumental work, invaluable as written by a contemporary.

King James, in the end of March, 1625, died, leaving his majesty that now is, engaged in a war with Spain, but unprovided with money to manage it, though it was undertaken by the consent and advice of Parliament; the people being naturally enough inclined to the war (having surfeited with the uninterrupted pleasures and plenty of 22 years of peace) and sufficiently inflamed against the Spaniard, but quickly weary of the charge of it. Therefore, after an unprosperous attempt by sea on Cadiz, and a still more unsuccessful one on France, at the Isle of Rhé (for some difference had also begotten a war with that country), a general peace was shortly concluded with both kingdoms.

The exchequer was exhausted by the debts of King James and the war, so that the known revenue was anticipated and the king was driven into straits for his own support. Many ways were resorted to for supply, such as selling the crown lands, creating peers for money, and other particulars which no access of power or plenty could since repair.

Parliaments were summoned, and again dissolved: and that in the fourth year after the dissolution of the two former was determined with a declaration that no more assemblies of that nature should be expected, and all men should be inhibited on the penalty of censure so much as to speak of a parliament. And here I cannot but let myself loose to say, that no man can show me a source from whence these waters of bitterness we now taste have probably flowed, than from these unseasonable, unskilful, and precipitate dissolutions of parliaments. And whoever considers the acts of power and injustice in the intervals between parliaments will not be much scandalised at the warmth and vivacity displayed in their meetings.

In the second parliament it was proposed to grant five subsidies, a proportion (how contemptible soever in respect of the pressures now every day imposed) never before heard of in Parliament. And that meeting being, upon very unpopular and implausible reasons immediately dissolved, those five subsidies were exacted throughout the whole kingdom with the same rigour as if in truth an act had passed to that purpose. And very many gentlemen of prime quality, in all the counties, were for refusing to pay the same committed to prison.

The abrupt and ungracious breaking of the first two parliaments was wholly imputed to the Duke of Buckingham; and of the third, principally to the Lord Weston, then high treasurer of England. And therefore the envy and hatred that attended them thereupon was insupportable, and was visibly the cause of the murder of the first (stabbed to the heart by the hand of an obscure villain).

The duke was a very extraordinary person. Never any man in any age, nor, I believe, in any nation, rose in so short a time to such greatness of honour, fame, and fortune, upon no other advantage or recommendation, than that of the beauty and gracefulness of his person. He was the younger son of George Villiers, of Brookesby, Leicestershire. After the death of his father he was sent by his mother to France, where he spent three years in attaining the language and in learning the exercises of riding and dancing; in the last of which he excelled most men, and returned to England at the age of twenty-one.

King James reigned at that time. He began to be weary of his favourite, the Earl of Somerset, who, by the instigation and wickedness of his wife, became at least privy to the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. For this crime both he and his wife, after trial by their peers, were condemned to die, and many persons of quality were executed for the same.

While this was in agitation, Mr. Villiers appeared in court and drew the king's eyes upon him. In a few days he was made cupbearer to the king and so pleased him by his conversation that he mounted higher and was successively and speedily knighted, made a baron, a viscount, an earl, a marquis, lord high admiral, lord warden of the cinque ports, master of the horse, and entirely disposed of all the graces of the king, in conferring all the honours and all the offices of the kingdom, without a rival. He was created Duke of Buckingham during his absence in Spain as extraordinary ambassador.

On the death of King James, Charles, Prince of Wales, succeeded to the crown, with the universal joy of the people. The duke continued in the same degree of favour with the son which he had enjoyed with the father. But a parliament was necessary to be called, as at the entrance of all kings to the crown, for the continuance of supplies, and when it met votes and remonstrances passed against the duke as an enemy to the public, greatly to his indignation.

New projects were every day set on foot for money, which served only to offend and incense the people, and brought little supply to the king's occasions. Many persons of the best quality were committed to prison for refusing to pay. In this fatal conjuncture the duke went on an embassy to France and brought triumphantly home with him the queen, to the joy of the nation, but his course was soon finished by the wicked means mentioned before. In the fourth year of the king, and the thirty-sixth of his own age, he was assassinated at Portsmouth by Felton, who had been a lieutenant in the army, to whom he had refused promotion.

Shortly after Buckingham's death the king promoted Dr. Laud, Bishop of Bath and Wells, to the archibishopric of Canterbury. Unjust modes of raising money were instituted, which caused increasing discontent, especially the tax denominated ship-money. A writ was directed to the sheriff of every county to provide a ship for the king's service, but with the writ were sent instructions that, instead of a ship, he should levy upon his county a sum of money and send it to the treasurer of the navy for his majesty's use.

After the continued receipt of the ship-money for four years, upon the refusal of Mr. Hampden, a private gentleman, to pay thirty shillings as his share, the case was solemnly argued before all the judges of England in the exchequer-chamber and the tax was adjudged lawful; which judgment proved of more advantage and credit to the gentleman condemned than to the king's service.

For the better support of these extraordinary ways the council-table and star-chamber enlarged their jurisdictions to a vast extent, inflicting fines and imprisonment, whereby the crown and state sustained deserved reproach and infamy, and suffered damage and mischief that cannot be expressed.

The king now resolved to make a progress into the north, and to be solemnly crowned in his kingdom of Scotland, which he had never seen from the time he first left it at the age of two years. The journey was a progress of great splendour, with an excess of feasting never known before. But the king had deeply imbibed his father's notions that an Episcopal church was the most consistent with royal authority, and he committed to a select number of the bishops in Scotland the framing of a suitable liturgy for use there. But these prelates had little influence with the people, and had not even power to reform their own cathedrals.

In 1638 Scotland assumed an attitude of determined resistance to the imposition of the liturgy and of Episcopal church government. All the kingdom flocked to Edinburgh, as in a general cause that concerned their salvation. A general assembly was called and a National Covenant was subscribed. Men were listed towards the raising of an army, Colonel Leslie being chosen general. The king thought it time to chastise the seditious by force, and in the end of the year 1638 declared his resolution to raise an army to suppress their rebellion.

This was the first alarm England received towards any trouble, after it had enjoyed for so many years the most uninterrupted prosperity, in a full and plentiful peace, that any nation could be blessed with. The army was soon mustered and the king went to the borders. But negotiations for peace took place, and civil war was averted by concessions on the part of the king, so that a treaty of pacification was entered upon. This event happened in the year 1639.

After for eleven years governing without a parliament, with Archbishop Laud and the Earl of Strafford as his advisers, King Charles was constrained, in 1640, to summon an English parliament, which, however, instead of at once complying with his demands, commenced by drawing up a list of grievances. Mr. Pym, a man of good reputation, but better known afterwards, led the remonstrances, observing that by the long intermission of parliaments many unwarrantable things had been practiced, notwithstanding the great virtue of his majesty. Disputes took place between the Lords and Commons, the latter claiming that the right of supply belonged solely to them.

The king speedily dissolved Parliament, and, the Scots having again invaded England, proceeded to raise an army to resist them. The Scots entered Newcastle, and the Earl of Strafford, weak after a sickness, was defeated and retreated to Durham. The king, with his army weakened and the treasury depleted, was in great straits. He was again constrained to call a parliament, which met on November 3, 1640. It had a sad and melancholic aspect. The king himself did not ride with his accustomed equipage to Westminster, but went privately in his barge to the parliament stairs. The king being informed that Sir Thomas Gardiner, not having been returned a member, could not be chosen to be Speaker, his majesty appointed Mr. Lenthall, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn. In this parliament also Mr. Pym began the recital of grievances, and other members followed with invectives against the Earl of Strafford, accusing him of high and imperious and tyrannical actions, and of abusing his power and credit with the king.

After many hours of bitter inveighing it was moved that the earl might be forthwith impeached of high treason; which was no sooner mentioned than it found a universal approbation and consent from the whole House. With very little debate the peers in their turn, when the impeachment was sent up to them, resolved that he should be committed to the custody of the gentleman usher of the black-rod, and next by an accusation of high treason against him also the Archbishop of Canterbury was removed from the king's council.

The trial of the earl in Westminster Hall began on March 22, 1641, and lasted eighteen days. Both Houses passed a bill of attainder. The king resolved never to give his consent to this measure, but a rabble of many thousands of people besieged Whitehall, crying out, "Justice, justice; we will have justice!" The privy council being called together pressed the king to pass the bill of attainder, saying there was no other way to preserve himself and his posterity than by so doing; and therefore he ought to be more tender of the safety of the kingdom than of any one person how innocent soever. No one counsellor interposed his opinion, to support his master's magnanimity and innocence.

The Archbishop of York, acting his part with prodigious boldness and impiety, told the king that there was a private and a public conscience; that his public conscience as a king might not only dispense with, but oblige him to do that which was against his private conscience as a man; and that the question was not whether he should save the earl, but whether he should perish with him. Thus in the end was extorted from the king a commission from some lords to sign the bill. This was as valid as if he had signed it himself, though they comforted him even with that circumstance, "that his own hand was not in it."

The earl was beheaded on May 12, on Tower Hill. Together with that of the attainder of this nobleman, another bill was passed by the king, of almost as fatal consequences to him and the kingdom as that was to the earl, "the act for perpetual parliament," as it is since called. Thus Parliament could not be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved, without its consent.

Great offence was given to the Commons by the action of the king in appointing new bishops to certain vacant sees at the very time when they were debating an act for taking away bishops' votes. And here I cannot but with grief and wonder remember the virulence and animosity expressed on all occasions from many of good knowledge in the excellent and wise profession of the common law, towards the church and churchmen. All opportunities were taken uncharitably to improve mistakes into crimes.

Unfortunately the king sent to the House of Lords a remonstrance from the bishops against their constrained absence from the legislature. This led to violent scenes in the House of Commons, which might have been beneficial to him, had he not been misadvised by Lord Digby. At this time many of his own Council were adverse to him. Injudiciously, the king caused Lord Kimbolton and five members of the Commons to be accused of high treason, advised thereto by Lord Digby. The king's attorney, Herbert, delivered to Parliament a paper, whereby, besides Lord Kimbolton, Denzil Hollis, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Strode, stood accused of conspiring against the king and Parliament.

The sergeant at arms demanded the persons of the accused members to be delivered to him in his majesty's name, but the Commons refused to comply, sending a message to the king that the members should be forthcoming as soon as a legal charge should be preferred against them. The next day the king, attended by his own guard and a few gentlemen, went into the House to the great amazement of all; and the Speaker leaving the chair, the king went into it. Asking the Speaker whether the accused members were in the House, and he making no answer, the king said he perceived that the birds had flown, but expected that they should be sent to him as soon as they returned; and assured them in the word of a king that no force was intended, but that he would proceed against them in a fair and legal way; and so he returned to Whitehall.

The next day the king went to the City, where the accused had taken refuge. He dined with the sheriffs, but many of the rude people during his passage through the City flocked together, pressed very near his coach, and cried out, "Privilege of Parliament; privilege of Parliament; to your tents, O Israel!" The king returned to Whitehall and next day published a proclamation for the apprehension of the members, forbidding any person to harbour them.

Both Houses of Parliament speedily manifested sympathy with the accused persons, and a committee of citizens was formed in the City for their defence. The proceedings of the king and his advisers were declared to be a high breach of the privileges of Parliament. Such was the temper of the populace that the king thought it convenient to remove from London and went with the queen and royal children to Hampton Court. The next day the members were brought in triumph to Parliament by the trained bands of London. The sheriffs were called into the House of Commons and thanked for their extraordinary care and love shown to the Parliament.

Though the king had removed himself out of the noise of Westminster, yet the effects of it followed him very close, for printed petitions were pressed on him every day. In a few days he removed from Hampton Court to Windsor, where he could be more secure from any sudden popular attempt, of which he had reason to be very apprehensive.

After many disagreements with Parliament the king in 1642 published a declaration, that had been long ready, in which he recapitulated all the insolent and rebellious actions which Parliament had committed against him: and declared them "to be guilty; and forbade all his subjects to yield any obedience to them": and at the same time published his proclamation; by which he "required all men who could bear arms to repair to him at Nottingham by August 25, on which day he would set up his royal standard there, which all good subjects were obliged to attend."

According to the proclamation, on August 25 the standard was erected, about six in the evening of a very stormy day. But there was not yet a single regiment levied and brought there, so that the trained bands drawn thither by the sheriff was all the strength the king had for his person, and the guard of the standard. There appeared no conflux of men in obedience to the proclamation. The arms and ammunition had not yet come from York, and a general sadness covered the whole town, and the king himself appeared more melancholy than he used to be. The standard was blown down the same night it had been set up.

Intelligence was received the next day that the rebel army, for such the king had declared it, was horse, foot, and cannon at Northampton, whereas his few cannon and ammunition were still at York. It was evident that all the strength he had to depend upon was his horse, which were under the command of Prince Rupert at Leicester, not more than 800 in number, whilst the enemy had, within less than twenty miles of that place, double the number of horse excellently well armed and appointed, and a body of 5,000 foot well trained and disciplined.

Very speedily intelligence came that Portsmouth was besieged by land and sea by the Parliamentary forces, and soon came word that it was lost to the king through the neglect of Colonel Goring. The king removed to Derby and then to Shrewsbury. Prince Rupert was successful in a skirmish at Worcester. The two universities presented their money and plate to King Charles, but one cause of his misfortunes was the backwardness of some of his friends in lending him money.

Banbury Castle surrendered to Charles, and, marching to Oxford, he there experienced a favourable reception and recruited his army. At the battle of Edghill neither side gained the advantage, though altogether about 5,000 men fell on the field. Negotiations were entered into between the king and the Parliament, and these were renewed again and again, but never with felicitous issues.

On June 13, 1645, the king heard that General Fairfax was advanced to Northampton with a strong army, much superior to the numbers he had formerly been advised of. The battle began at ten the next morning on a high ground about Naseby. The first charge was given by Prince Rupert, with his usual vigour, so that he bore down all before him, and was soon master of six pieces of cannon. But though the king's troops prevailed in the charge they never rallied again in order, nor could they be brought to make a second charge. But the enemy, disciplined under such generals as Fairfax and Cromwell, though routed at first, always formed again. This was why the king's forces failed to win a decisive victory at Edghill, and now at Naseby, after Prince Rupert's charge, Cromwell brought up his troops with such effect that in the end the king was compelled to quit the field, leaving Fairfax, who was commander-in-chief of the Parliamentary army, master of his foot, cannon, and baggage.

It will not be seasonable in this place to mention the names of those noble persons who were lost in this battle, when the king and the kingdom were lost in it; though there were above one hundred and fifty officers, and gentlemen of prime quality, whose memories ought to be preserved, who were dead on the spot. The enemy left no manner of barbarous cruelty unexercised that day; and in the pursuit thereof killed above one hundred women, whereof some were officers' wives of quality. The king and Prince Rupert with the broken troops marched by stages to Hereford, where Prince Rupert left the king to hasten to Bristol, that he might put that place in a state of defence.

Nothing can here be more wondered at than that the king should amuse himself about forming a new army in counties that had been vexed and worn out with the oppressions of his own troops, and not have immediately repaired into the west, where he had an army already formed. Cromwell having taken Winchester and Basing, the king sent some messages to Parliament for peace, which were not regarded. A treaty between the king and the Scots was set on foot by the interposition of the French, but the parties disagreed about church government. To his son Charles, Prince of Wales, who had retired to Scilly, the king wrote enjoining him never to surrender on dishonourable terms.

Having now no other resource, the king placed himself under the protection of the Scots army at Newark. But at the desire of the Scots he ordered the surrender of Oxford and all his other garrisons. Also the Parliament, at the Scots' request, sent propositions of peace to him, and these proposals were promptly enforced by the Scots. The Chancellor of Scotland told him that the Parliament, after the battles that had been fought, had got the strongholds and forts of the kingdom into their hands, that they had gained a victory over all, and had a strong army to maintain it, so that they might do what they would with church and state, that they desired neither him nor any of his race to reign any longer over them, and that if he declined to yield to the propositions made to him, all England would join against him to depose him.

With great magnanimity and resolution the king replied that they must proceed their own way; and that though they had all forsaken him, God had not. The Scots began to talk sturdily in answer to a demand that they should deliver up the king's person to Parliament. They denied that the Parliament had power absolutely to dispose of the king's person without their approbation; and the Parliament as loudly replied that they had nothing to do in England but to observe orders. But these discourses were only kept up till they could adjust accounts between them, and agree what price should be paid for the delivery of his person, whom one side was resolved to have, and the other as resolved not to keep. So they quickly agreed that, upon payment of £200,000 in hand, and security for as much more upon days agreed upon, they would deliver up the king into such hands as Parliament should appoint to receive him.

And upon this infamous contract that excellent prince was in the end of January, 1647, wickedly given up by his Scottish subjects to those of the English who were trusted by the Parliament to receive him. He was brought to his own house at Holmby, in Northants, a place he had taken much delight in. Removed before long to Hampton Court, he escaped to the Isle of Wight, where he confided himself to Colonel Hammond and was lodged in Carisbrooke Castle. To prevent his further escape his old servants were removed from him.

In a speech in Parliament Cromwell declared that the king was a man of great parts and a great understanding (faculties they had hitherto endeavoured to have thought him to be without), but that he was so great a dissembler and so false a man, that he was not to be trusted. He concluded therefore that no more messages should be sent to the king, but that they might enter on those counsels which were necessary without having further recourse to him, especially as at that very moment he was secretly treating with the Scottish commissioners, how he might embroil the nation in a new war, and destroy the Parliament. The king was removed to Hurst Castle after a vain attempt by Captain Burley to rescue him.

A committee being appointed to prepare a charge of high treason against the king, of which Bradshaw was made President, his majesty was brought from Hurst Castle to St. James's, and it was concluded to have him publicly tried. From the time of the king's arrival at St. James's, when he was delivered into the custody of Colonel Tomlinson, he was treated with much more rudeness and barbarity than ever before. No man was suffered to see or speak to him but the soldiers who were his guard.

When he was first brought to Westminster Hall, on January 20, 1649, before their high court of justice, he looked upon them and sat down without any manifestation of trouble, never stirring his hat; all the impudent judges sitting covered and fixing their eyes on him, without the least show of respect. To the charges read out against him the king replied that for his actions he was accountable to none but God, though they had always been such as he need not be ashamed of before all the world.

Several unheard-of insolences which this excellent prince was forced to submit to before that odious judicatory, his majestic behaviour, the pronouncing that horrible sentence upon the most innocent person in the world, the execution of that sentence by the most execrable murder ever committed since that of our blessed Saviour, and the circumstances thereof, are all so well-known that the farther mentioning it would but afflict and grieve the reader, and make the relation itself odious; and therefore no more shall be said here of that lamentable tragedy, so much to the dishonour of the nation and the religion professed by it.


History of England

Thomas Babington Macaulay was born October 25, 1800, and died December 28, 1859. He was the son of Zachary Macaulay, a West Indian merchant and noted philanthropist. He brilliantly distinguished himself as a prizeman at Cambridge, and on leaving the University devoted himself enthusiastically to literary pursuits. Fame was speedily won by his contributions to the "Edinburgh Review," especially by his article on Milton. Though called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, in 1826, Macaulay never practised, but through his strong Whig sympathies he was drawn into politics, and in 1830 entered Parliament for the pocket-borough of Calne. He afterwards was elected M.P. for Edinburgh. Appointed Secretary of the Board of Control for India, he resided for six years in that country, returning home in 1838. In 1840 he was made War Secretary. It was during his official career that he wrote his magnificent "Lays of Ancient Rome." An immense sensation was produced by his remarkable "Essays," issued in three volumes; but even greater was the popularity achieved by his "History of England." Macaulay was one of the most versatile men of his time. His easy and graceful style was the vehicle of extraordinary acquisitions, his learning being prodigious and his memory phenomenal.

England in Earlier Times

I purpose to write the History of England from the accession of King James II. down to a time within the memory of men still living. I shall recount the errors which, in a few months, alienated a loyal gentry and priesthood from the House of Stuart. I shall trace the course of that revolution which terminated the long struggle between our sovereigns and their parliaments, and bound up together the rights of the people and the title of the reigning dynasty.

Unless I greatly deceive myself, the general effect of this chequered narrative, faithfully recording disasters mingled with triumphs, will be to excite thankfulness in all religious minds, and hope in the breasts of all patriots. For the history of our country during the period concerned is eminently the history of physical, of moral, and of intellectual improvement.

Nothing in the early existence of Britain indicated the greatness she was destined to attain. Of the western provinces which obeyed the Caesars, she was the last conquered, and the first flung away. Though she had been subjugated by the Roman arms, she received only a faint tincture of Roman arts and letters. No magnificent remains of Roman porches and aqueducts are to be found in Britain, and the scanty and superficial civilisation which the islanders acquired from their southern masters was effaced by the calamities of the 5th century.

From the darkness that followed the ruin of the Western Empire Britain emerges as England. The conversion of the Saxon colonists to Christianity was the first of a long series of salutary revolutions. The Church has many times been compared to the ark of which we read in the Book of Genesis; but never was the resemblance more perfect than during that evil time when she rode alone, amidst darkness and tempest, on the deluge beneath which all the great works of ancient power and wisdom lay entombed, bearing within her that feeble germ from which a second and more glorious civilisation was to spring.

Even the spiritual supremacy of the Pope was, in the dark ages, productive of far more good than evil. Its effect was to unite the nations of Western Europe in one great commonwealth. Into this federation our Saxon ancestors were now admitted. Learning followed in the train of Christianity. The poetry and eloquence of the Augustan age was assiduously studied in the Mercian and Northumbrian monasteries. The names of Bede and Alcuin were justly celebrated throughout Europe. Such was the state of our country when, in the 9th century, began the last great migration of the northern barbarians.

Large colonies of Danish adventurers established themselves in our island, and for many years the struggle continued between the two fierce Teutonic breeds, each being alternately paramount. At length the North ceased to send forth fresh streams of piratical emigrants, and from that time the mutual aversion of Danes and Saxons began to subside. Intermarriage became frequent. The Danes learned the religion of the Saxons, and the two dialects of one widespread language were blended. But the distinction between the two nations was by no means effaced, when an event took place which prostrated both at the feet of a third people.

The Normans were then the foremost race of Christendom. Originally rovers from Scandinavia, conspicuous for their valour and ferocity, they had, after long being the terror of the Channel, founded a mighty state which gradually extended its influence from its own Norman territory over the neighbouring districts of Brittany and Maine. They embraced Christianity and adopted the French tongue. They renounced the brutal intemperance of northern races and became refined, polite and chivalrous, their nobles being distinguished by their graceful bearing and insinuating address.

The battle of Hastings, and the events which followed it, not only placed a Duke of Normandy on the English throne, but gave up the whole population of England to the tyranny of the Norman race. The subjugation of a nation has seldom, even in Asia, been more complete. During the century and a half which followed the Conquest, there is, to speak strictly, no English history. Had the Plantagenets, as at one time seemed likely, succeeded in uniting all France under their government, it is probable that England would never have had an independent existence. England owes her escape from dependence on French thought and customs to separation from Normandy, an event which her historians have generally represented as disastrous. The talents and even the virtues of her first six French kings were a curse to her. The follies and vices of the seventh, King John, were her salvation. He was driven from Normandy, and in England the two races were drawn together, both being alike aggrieved by the tyranny of a bad king. From that moment the prospects brightened, and here commences the history of the English nation.

In no country has the enmity of race been carried further than in England. In no country has that enmity been more completely effaced. Early in the fourteenth century the amalgamation of the races was all but complete: and it was soon made manifest that a people inferior to none existing in the world has been formed by the mixture of three branches of the great Teutonic family with each other, and with the aboriginal Britons. A period of more than a hundred years followed, during which the chief object of the English was, by force of arms, to establish a great empire on the Continent. The effect of the successes of Edward III. and Henry V. was to make France for a time a province of England. A French king was brought prisoner to London; an English king was crowned at Paris.

The arts of peace were not neglected by our fathers during that period. English thinkers aspired to know, or dared to doubt, where bigots had been content to wonder and to believe. The same age which produced the Black Prince and Derby, Chandos and Hawkwood, produced also Geoffrey Chaucer and John Wycliffe. In so splendid and imperial a manner did the English people, properly so called, first take place among the nations of the world. But the spirit of the French people was at last aroused, and after many desperate struggles and with many bitter regrets, our ancestors gave up the contest.

The First Civil War

Cooped up once more within the limits of the island, the warlike people employed in civil strife those arms which had been the terror of Europe. Two aristocratic factions, headed by two branches of the royal family, engaged in the long and fierce struggle known as the Wars of the White and Red Roses. It was at length universally acknowledged that the claims of all the contending Plantagenets were united in the House of Tudor.

It is now very long since the English people have by force subverted a government. During the 160 years which preceded the union of the Roses, nine kings reigned in England. Six of those kings were deposed. Five lost their lives as well as their crowns. Yet it is certain that all through that period the English people were far better governed than were the Belgians under Philip the Good, or the French under that Louis who was styled the Father of his people. The people, skilled in the use of arms, had in reserve that check of physical force which brought the proudest king to reason.

One wise policy was during the Middle Ages pursued by England alone. Though to the monarch belonged the power of the sword, the nation retained the power of the purse. The Continental nations ought to have acted likewise; as they failed to conserve this safeguard of representation with taxation, the consequence was that everywhere excepting in England parliamentary institutions ceased to exist. England owed this singular felicity to her insular situation.

The great events of the reigns of the Tudors and the Stuarts were followed by a crisis when the crown passed from Charles II. to his brother, James II. The new king commenced his administration with a large measure of public good will. He was a prince who had been driven into exile by a faction which had tried to rob him of his birthright, on the ground that he was a deadly enemy to the religion and laws of England. He had triumphed, he was on the throne, and his first act was to declare that he would defend the Church and respect the rights of the people.

But James had not been many hours king when violent disputes arose. The first was between the two heads of the law, concerning customs and the levying of taxes. Moreover, the time drew near for summoning Parliament, and the king's mind was haunted by an apprehension, not to be mentioned, even at this distance of time, without shame and indignation. He was afraid that by summoning his Parliament he might incur the displeasure of the King of France. Rochester, Godolphin, and Sunderland, who formed the interior Cabinet, were perfectly aware that their late master, Charles II., had been in the habit of receiving money from the court of Versailles. They understood the expediency of keeping Louis in good humour, but knew that the summoning of the legislature was not a matter of choice.

As soon as the French king heard of the death of Charles and of the accession of James, he hastened to send to the latter a munificent donation of £35,000. James was not ashamed to shed tears of delight and gratitude. Young Lord Churchill was sent as extraordinary ambassador to Versailles to assure Louis of the gratitude and affection of the King of England. This brilliant young soldier had in his 23rd year distinguished himself amongst thousands of brave men by his serene intrepidity when engaged with his regiment in operations, together with French forces against Holland. Unhappily, the splendid qualities of John Churchill were mingled with alloy of the most sordid kind.

Subservience to France

The accession of James in 1685 had excited hopes and fears in every Continental court. One government alone, that of Spain, wished that the trouble that had distracted England for three generations, might be eternal. All other governments, whether republican or monarchical, Protestant or Romanist, wished to see those troubles happily terminated. Under the kings of the House of Stuart, she had been a blank in the map of Europe. That species of force which, in the 14th century, had enabled her to humble France and Spain, had ceased to exist. The Government was no longer a limited monarchy after the fashion of the Middle Ages; it had not yet become one after the modern fashion. The chief business of the sovereign was to infringe the privileges of the legislature; that of the legislature was to encroach on the prerogatives of the sovereign.

The king readily received foreign aid, which relieved him from the misery of being dependent on a mutinous Parliament. The Parliament refused to the king the means of supporting the national honour abroad, from an apprehension, too well founded, that those means might be employed in order to establish despotism at home. The effect of these jealousies was that our country, with all her vast resources, was of as little weight in Christendom as the duchy of Savoy or the duchy of Lorraine, and certainly of far less weight than the small province of Holland. France was deeply interested in prolonging this state of things. All other powers were deeply interested in bringing it to a close. The general wish of Europe was that James should govern in conformity with law and with public opinion. From the Escurial itself came letters expressing an earnest hope that the new King of England would be on good terms with his Parliament and his people. From the Vatican itself came cautions against immoderate zeal for the Catholic faith.

The king early put the loyalty of his Protestant friends to the proof. While he was a subject he had been in the habit of hearing mass with closed doors in a small oratory which had been fitted up for his wife. He now ordered the doors to be thrown open, in order that all who came to pay him their duty might see the ceremony. Soon a new pulpit was erected in the palace, and during Lent sermons were preached there by Popish divines, to the great displeasure of zealous churchmen.

A more serious innovation followed. Passion week came, and the king determined to hear mass with the same pomp with which his predecessors had been surrounded. The rites of the Church of Rome were once more, after an interval of 127 years, performed at Westminster on Easter Sunday with regal splendour.

Monmouth and his Fate

The English exiles in Holland induced the Duke of Monmouth, a natural son of Charles II., to attempt an invasion of England, and on June 11, 1685, he landed with about 80 men at Lyme, where he knelt on the shore, thanked God for having preserved the friends of liberty and pure religion from the perils of the sea, and implored the divine blessing on what was yet to be done by land. The little town was soon in an uproar with men running to and fro, and shouting "A Monmouth! a Monmouth! the Protestant religion!" An insurrection was inaugurated and recruits came in rapidly. But Parliament was loyal, and the Commons ordered a bill of attainder against Monmouth for high treason. The rebel army was defeated in a fight at Sedgmore, and Monmouth in his misery complained bitterly of the evil counsellors who had induced him to quit his happy retreat in Brabant. Fleeing from the field of battle the unfortunate duke was found hidden in a ditch, was taken to London, lodged in the Tower, and beheaded, with the declaration on his lips, "I die a Protestant of the Church of England."

After the execution of Monmouth the counties that had risen against the Government endured all the cruelties that a ferocious soldiery let loose on them could inflict. The number of victims butchered cannot now be ascertained, the vengeance being left to the dissolute Colonel Percy Kirke. But, a still more cruel massacre was schemed. Early in September Judge Jeffreys set out on that circuit of which the memory will last as long as our race or language. Opening his commission at Winchester, he ordered Alice Lisle to be burnt alive simply because she had given a meal and a hiding place to wretched fugitives entreating her protection. The clergy of Winchester remonstrated with the brutal judge, but the utmost that could be obtained was that the sentence should be commuted from burning to beheading.

The Brutal Judge

Then began the judicial massacre known as the Bloody Assizes. Within a few weeks Jeffreys boasted that he had hanged more traitors than all his predecessors together since the Conquest. Nearly a thousand prisoners were also transported into slavery in the West Indian islands. No English sovereign has ever given stronger proofs of a cruel nature than James II. At his court Jeffreys, when he had done his work, leaving carnage, mourning, and terror behind him, was cordially welcomed, for he was a judge after his master's own heart. James had watched the circuit with interest and delight. At a later period, when all men of all parties spoke with horror of the Bloody Assizes, the wicked judge and the wicked king attempted to vindicate themselves by throwing the blame on each other.

The king soon went further. He made no secret of his intention to exert vigorously and systematically for the destruction of the Established Church all the powers he possessed as her head. He plainly declared that by a wise dispensation of Providence, the Act of Supremacy would be the means of healing the fatal breach which it had caused. Henry and Elizabeth had usurped a dominion which rightfully belonged to the Holy See. That dominion had, in the course of succession, descended to an orthodox prince, and would by him be held in trust for the Holy See. He was authorised by law to suppress spiritual abuses; and the first spiritual abuse which he would suppress would be the liberty which the Anglican clergy assumed of defending their own religion, and of attacking the doctrines of Rome.

No course was too bold for James. To confer a high office in the Established Church on an avowed enemy of that Church was indeed a bold violation of the laws and of the royal word. The Deanery of Christchurch became vacant. It was the head of a Cathedral. John Massey, notoriously a member of the Church of Rome, and destitute of any other recommendation, was appointed. Soon an altar was decked at which mass was daily celebrated. To the Pope's Nuncio the king said that what had thus been done at Oxford should very soon be done at Cambridge.

The temper of the nation was such as might well make James hesitate. During some months discontent steadily and rapidly rose. The celebration of Roman Catholic worship had long been prohibited by Act of Parliament. During several generations no Roman Catholic clergyman had dared to exhibit himself in any public place with the badges of his office. Every Jesuit who set foot in this country was liable to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.

But all disguise was now thrown off. Roman Catholic chapels arose all over the land. A society of Benedictine monks was lodged in St. James's Palace. Quarrels broke out between Protestant and Romanist soldiers. Samuel Johnson, a clergyman of the Church of England, who had issued a tract entitled "A humble and hearty Appeal to all English Protestants in the Army," was flung into gaol. He was then flogged and degraded from the priesthood. But the zeal of the Anglican clergy displayed. They were Jed by a united Phalanx, in the van of which appeared a rank of steady and skillful veterans, Tillotson, Stillingfleet, Prideaux, Patrick, Tenison, Wake. Great numbers of controversial tracts against Popery were issued by these divines.

Scotland also rose in anger against the designs of the king, and if he had not been proof against all warning the excitement in that country would have sufficed to admonish him. On March 18, 1687, he took a momentous step. He informed the Privy Council that he had determined to prorogue Parliament till the end of November, and to grant, by his own authority, entire liberty of conscience to all his subjects. On April 4th appeared the memorable Declaration of Indulgence. In this document the king avowed that it was his earnest wish to see his people members of that Church to which he himself belonged. But since that could not be, he announced his intention to protect them in the free exercise of their religion. He authorised both Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters to perform their worship publicly.

That the Declaration was unconstitutional is universally agreed, for a monarch competent to issue such a document is nothing less than an absolute ruler. This was, in point of fact, the most audacious of all attacks of the Stuarts on public freedom. The Anglican party was in amazement and terror, for it would now be exposed to the free attacks of its enemies on every side. And though Dissenters appeared to be allowed relief, what guarantee was there for the sincerity of the Court? It was notorious that James had been completely subjugated by the Jesuits, for only a few days before the publication of the Indulgence, that Order had been honoured with a new mark of his confidence, by appointing as his confessor an Englishman named Warner, a Jesuit renegade from the Anglican Church.

Petition of the Seven Bishops and their Trial

A meeting of bishops and other eminent divines was held at Lambeth Palace. The general feeling was that the king's Declaration ought not to be read in the churches. After long deliberation, preceded by solemn prayer, a petition embodying the general sense, was written by the Archbishop with his own hand. The king was assured that the Church still was, as she had ever been, faithful to the throne. But the Declaration was illegal, for Parliament had pronounced that the sovereign was not constitutionally competent to dispense with statutes in matters ecclesiastical. The Archbishop and six of his suffragans signed the petition. The six bishops crossed the river to Whitehall, but the Archbishop, who had long been forbidden the Court, did not accompany them. James directed that the bishops should be admitted to the royal presence, and they found him in very good humour, for he had heard from his tool Cartwright that they were disposed to obey the mandate, but wished to secure some little modifications in form.

After reading the petition the king's countenance grew dark and he exclaimed, "This is the standard of rebellion." In vain did the prelates emphasise their protests of loyalty. The king persisted in characterising their action as being rebellious. The bishops respectfully retired, and that evening the petition appeared in print, was laid out in the coffeehouses and was cried about the streets. Everywhere people rose from their beds, and came out to stop the hawkers, and the sale was so enormous that it was said the printer cleared a thousand pounds in a few hours by this penny broadside.

The London clergy disobeyed the royal order, for the Declaration was read in only four churches in the city, where there were about a hundred. For a short time the king stood aghast at the violence of the tempest he had raised, but Jeffreys maintained that the government would be disgraced if such transgressors as the seven bishops were suffered to escape with a mere reprimand. They were notified that they must appear before the king in Council. On June 8 they were examined by the Privy Council, the result being their committal to the Tower. From all parts of the country came the report that other prelates had signed similar petitions and that very few of the clergy throughout the land had obeyed the king. The public excitement in London was intense. While the bishops were before the Council a great multitude filled the region all round Whitehall, and when the Seven came forth under a guard, thousands fell on their knees and prayed aloud for the men who had confronted a tyrant inflamed with the bigotry of Mary.

The king learned with indignation that the soldiers were drinking the health of the prelates, and his officers told him that this could not be prevented. Before the day of trial the agitation spread to the furthest corners of the island. Scotland sent letters assuring the bishops of the sympathy of the Presbyterians, hostile though they were to prelacy. The people of Cornwall were greatly moved by the danger of Bishop Trelawney, and the peasants chanted a ballad of which the burden is still remembered:

"And shall Trelawney die, and shall Trelawney die?
Then thirty thousand Cornish boys will know the reason why."

The miners from their caverns re-echoed the song with a variation:

"Then twenty thousand underground will know the reason why."

The bishops were charged with having published a false, malicious, and seditious libel. But the case for the prosecution speedily broke down in the hands of the crown lawyers. They were vehemently hissed by the audience. The jury gave the verdict of "Not Guilty." As the news spread all London broke out into acclamation. The bishops were greeted with cries of "God bless you; you have saved us all to-day." The king was greatly disturbed at the news of the acquittal, and exclaimed in French, "So much the worse for them." He was at that moment in the camp at Hounslow, where he had been reviewing the troops. Hearing a great shout behind him, he asked what the uproar meant. "Nothing," was the answer; "the soldiers are glad that the bishops are acquitted." "Do you call that nothing?" exclaimed the king. And then he repeated, "So much the worse for them." He might well be out of temper. His defeat had been complete and most humiliating.

The Prince of Orange

In May, 1688, while it was still uncertain whether the Declaration would or would not be read in the churches, Edward Russell had repaired to the Hague, where he strongly represented to the Prince of Orange, husband of Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I., the state of the public mind, and had advised His Highness to appear in England with a strong body of troops, and to call the people to arms. William had seen at a glance the whole importance of the crisis. "Now or never," he exclaimed in Latin. He quickly received numerous assurances of support from England. Preparations were rapidly made, and on November I, 1688, he set sail with his fleet, and landed at Torbay on November 4. Resistance was impossible. The troops of James's army quietly deserted wholesale, many joining the Dutch camp at Honiton. First the West of England, and then the North, revolted against James. Evil news poured in upon him. When he heard that Churchill and Grafton had forsaken him, he exclaimed, "Est-il possible?" On December 8 the king fled from London secretly. His home in exile was at Saint Germains.

William and Mary were proclaimed King and Queen of the United Kingdom, and thus was consummated the English Revolution. It was of all revolutions the least violent and yet the most beneficent.

After the Great Revolution

The Revolution had been accomplished. The rejoicings throughout the land were enthusiastic. Still more cordial was the rejoicing among the Dutch when they learned that the first minister of their Commonwealth had been raised to a throne. James had, during the last year of his reign, been even more hated in England by the Tories than by the Whigs; and not without cause; for to the Whigs he was only an enemy; and to the Tories he had been a faithless and thankless friend.

One misfortune of the new king, which some reactionaries imputed to him as a crime, was his bad English. He spoke our language, but not well. Our literature he was incapable of enjoying or understanding. He never once appeared in the theatre. The poets who wrote Pindaric verse in his praise complained that their flights of sublimity were beyond his comprehension. But his wife did her best to supply what was wanting. She was excellently qualified to be the head of the Court. She was English by birth and also in her tastes and feelings. The stainless purity of her private life and the attention she paid to her religious duties discourages scandal as well as vice.

The year 1689 is not less important in the ecclesiastical than in the civil history of England, for in that year was granted the first legal indulgence to Dissenters. And then also the two chief sections within the Anglican communion began to be called the High Church and Low Church parties. The Low Churchmen stood between the nonconformists and the rigid conformists. The famous Toleration Bill passed both Houses with little debate. It approaches very near the ideal of a great English law, the sound principle of which undoubtedly is that mere theological error ought not to be punished by the civil magistrate.

The War in Ireland

The discontent of the Roman Catholic Irishry with the Revolution was intense. It grew so manifestly, that James, assured that his cause was prospering in Ireland, landed on March 12, 1689, at Kinsale. On March 24 he entered Dublin. This event created sorrow and alarm in England. An Irish army, raised by the Catholics, entered Ulster and laid siege to Londonderry, into which city two English regiments had been thrown by sea. The heroic defence of Londonderry is one of the most thrilling episodes in the history of Ireland. The siege was turned into a blockade by the construction of a boom across the harbour by the besiegers. The citizens endured frightful hunger, for famine was extreme within the walls, but they never quailed. The garrison was reduced from 7,000 to 3,000. The siege, which lasted 105 days, and was the most memorable in the annals of the British Isles, was ended by the breaking of the boom by a squadron of three ships from England which brought reinforcements and provisions.

The Irish army retreated and the next event, a very decisive one, was the defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, where William and James commanded their respective forces. The war ended with the capitulation of Limerick, and the French soldiers, who had formed a great part of James's army, left for France.

The Battle of La Hogue

The year 1692 was marked by momentous events issuing from a scheme, in some respects well concerted, for the invasion of England by a French force, with the object of the restoration of James. A noble fleet of about 80 ships of the line was to convey this force to the shores of England, and in the French dockyards immense preparations were made. James had persuaded himself that, even if the English fleet should fall in with him, it would not oppose him. Indeed, he was too ready to believe anything written to him by his English correspondents.

No mightier armament had ever appeared in the English Channel than the fleet of allied British and Dutch ships, under the command of Admiral Russell. On May 19 it encountered the French fleet under the Count of Tourville, and a running fight took place which lasted during five fearful days, ending in the complete destruction of the French force off La Hogue. The news of this great victory was received in England with boundless joy. One of its happiest effects was the effectual calming of the public mind.

Creation of the Bank of England

In this reign, in 1694, was established the Bank of England. It was the result of a great change that had developed in a few years, for old men in William's reign could remember the days when there was not a single banking house in London. Goldsmiths had strong vaults in which masses of bullion could lie secure from fire and robbers, and at their shops in Lombard Street all payments in coin were made. William Paterson, an ingenious speculator, submitted to the government a plan for a national bank, which after long debate passed both Houses of Parliament.

In 1694 the king and the nation mourned the death from small-pox, a disease always working havoc, of Queen Mary. During her illness William remained day and night at her bedside. The Dutch Envoy wrote that the sight of his misery was enough to melt the hardest heart. When all hope was over, he said to Bishop Burnet, "There is no hope. I was the happiest man on earth; and I am the most miserable. She had no faults; none; you knew her well; but you could not know, none but myself could know, her goodness." The funeral was remembered as the saddest and most august that Westminister had ever seen. While the queen's remains lay in state at Whitehall, the neighbouring streets were filled every day, from sunrise to sunset, by crowds that made all traffic impossible. The two Houses with their maces followed the hearse, the Lords robed in scarlet and ermine, the Commons in long black mantles. No preceding sovereign had ever been attended to the grave by a Parliament: for till then the Parliament had always expired with the sovereign. The gentle queen sleeps among her illustrious kindred in the southern aisle of the Chapel of Henry the Seventh.

The affection of her husband was soon attested by a monument the most superb that was ever erected to any sovereign. No scheme had been so much her own, and none so dear to her heart, as that of converting the palace at Greenwich into a retreat for seamen. As soon as he had lost her, her husband began to reproach himself for neglecting her wishes. No time was lost. A plan was furnished by Wren; and soon an edifice, surpassing that asylum which the magnificent Louis had provided for his soldiers, rose on the margin of the Thames. The inscription on the frieze ascribes praise to Mary alone. Few who now gaze on the noble double edifice, crowned by twin domes, are aware that it is a memorial of the virtues of the good Queen Mary, of the love and sorrow of William, and of the greater victory of La Hogue.

On the Continent the death of Mary excited various emotions. The Huguenots, in every part of Europe to which they had wandered, bewailed the Elect Lady, who had retrenched her own royal state in order to furnish bread and shelter to the persecuted people of God. But the hopes of James and his companions in exile were now higher than they had been since the day of La Hogue. Indeed, the general opinion of politicians, both here and on the Continent, was that William would find it impossible to sustain himself much longer on the throne. He would not, it was said, have sustained himself so long but for the help of his wife, whose affability had conciliated many that were disgusted by his Dutch accent and habits. But all the statesmen of Europe were deceived: and, strange to say, his reign was decidedly more prosperous after the decease of Mary than during her life.

During the month which followed her death the king was incapable of exertion. His first letter was that of a brokenhearted man. Even his martial ardour had been tamed by misery. "I tell you in confidence," he wrote to Heincius, "that I feel myself to be no longer fit for military command. Yet I will try to do my duty: and I hope that God will strengthen me." So despondingly did he look forward to the most brilliant and successful of his many campaigns.

All Europe was looking anxiously towards the Low Countries. A great French army, commanded by Villeroy, was collected in Flanders. William crossed to the Continent to take command of the Dutch and British troops, who mustered at Ghent. The Elector of Bavaria, at the head of a great force, lay near Brussels. William had set his heart on capturing Namur. After a siege hard pressed, that fortress, esteemed the strongest in Europe, splendidly fortified by Vauban, surrendered to the allies on August 26, 1695.

The Treaty of Ryswick

The war was ended by the signing of the treaty of Ryswick by the ambassadors of France, England, Spain, and the United Provinces on September 10, 1697. King William was received in London with great popular rejoicing. The second of December was appointed a day of thanksgiving for peace, and the Chapter of St. Paul's resolved that on that day their new Cathedral, which had long been slowly rising on the ruins of a succession of pagan and Christian temples, should be opened for public worship. There was indeed reason for joy and thankfulness. England had passed through severe trials, and had come forth renewed in health and vigour.

Ten years before it had seemed that both her liberty and her independence were no more. Her liberty she had vindicated by a just and necessary revolution. Her independence she had reconquered by a not less just and necessary war. All dangers were over. There was peace abroad and at home. The kingdom, after many years of ignominious vassalage, had resumed its ancient place in the first rank of European powers. Many signs justified the hope that the Revolution of 1688 would be our last Revolution. Public credit had been re-established; trade had revived; the Exchequer was overflowing; and there was a sense of relief everywhere, from the Royal Exchange to the most secluded hamlets among the mountains of Wales and the fens of Lincolnshire.

Early in 1702 alarming reports were rife concerning William's state of health. Headaches and shivering fits returned on him almost daily, and it soon became evident that the great king's days were numbered. On February 20 William was ambling on a favourite horse, named Sorrel, through the park of Hampton Court. The horse stumbling on a mole-hill went down on his knees. The king fell off and broke his collar-bone. The bone was set, and to a young and vigorous man such an accident would have been a trifle. But the frame of William was not in a condition to bear even the slightest shock. He felt that his time was short, and grieved, with such a grief as only noble spirits feel, to think that he must leave his work but half finished. On March 4 he was attacked by fever, and he was soon sinking fast. He was under no delusion as to his danger. "I am fast drawing to my end," said he. His end was worthy of his life. His intellect was not for a moment clouded. His fortitude was the more admirable because he was not willing to die. From the words which escaped him he seemed to be frequently engaged in mental prayer. The end came between seven and eight in the morning. When his remains were laid out, it was found that he wore next to his skin a small piece of black silk riband. The lords in waiting ordered it to be taken off. It contained a gold ring and a lock of the hair of Mary.


History of Civilisation in England

Henry Thomas Buckle was born at Lee, in Kent, England, Nov. 24, 1821. Delicate health prevented him from following the ordinary school course. His father's death in 1840 left him independent, and the boy who was brought up in Toryism and Calvinism, became a philosophic radical and free-thinker. He travelled, he read, he acquired facility in nineteen languages and fluency in seven. Gradually he conceived the idea of a great work which should place history on an entirely new footing; it should concern itself not with the unimportant and the personal, but with the advance of civilisation, the intellectual progress of man. As the idea developed, he perceived that the task was greater than could be accomplished in the lifetime of one man. What he actually accomplished--the volumes which bear the title "The History of Civilisation in England"--was intended to be no more than an introduction to the subject; and even that introduction, which was meant to cover, on a corresponding scale, the civilisation of several other countries, was never finished. The first volume was published in 1857, the second in 1861; only the studies of England, France, Spain, and Scotland were completed. Buckle died at Damascus, on May 29, 1862.

I.---General Principles

The believer in the possibility of a science of history is not called upon to hold either the doctrine of predestination or that of freedom of the will. The only positions which at the outset need to be conceded are that when we perform an action we perform it in consequence of some motive or motives; that those motives are the result of some antecedents; and that, therefore, if we were acquainted with the whole of the precedents and with all the laws of their movements we could with unerring certainty predict the whole of their immediate results.

History is the modification of man by nature and of nature by man. We shall find a regularity in the variations of virtuous and vicious actions that proves them to be the result of large and general causes which, working upon the aggregate of society, must produce certain consequences without regard to the decision of particular individuals.

Man is affected by purely physical agents--climate, food, soil, geographical conditions, and active physical phenomena. In the earliest civilisations nature is more prominent than man, and the imagination is more stimulated than the understanding. In the European civilisations man is the more prominent, and the understanding is more stimulated than the imagination. Hence the advance of European civilisation is characterised by a diminishing influence of physical laws and an increasing influence of mental laws. Clearly, then, of the two classes of laws which regulate the progress of mankind the mental class is more important than the physical. The laws of the human mind will prove to be the ultimate basis of the history of Europe. These are not to be ascertained by the metaphysical method of studying the inquirer's own mind alone, but by the historical method of studying many minds. And this whether the metaphysician belongs to the school which starts by examining the sensations, or to that which starts with the examination of ideas.

Dismissing the metaphysical method, therefore, we must turn to the historical, and study mental phenomena as they appear in the actions of mankind at large. Mental progress is twofold, moral and intellectual, the first having relation to our duties, the second to our knowledge. It is a progress not of capacity, but in the circumstances under which capacity comes into play; not of internal power, but of external advantage. Now, whereas moral truths do not change, intellectual truths are constantly changing, from which we may infer that the progress of society is due, not to the moral knowledge, which is stationary, but to the intellectual knowledge, which is constantly advancing.

The history of any people will become more valuable for ascertaining the laws by which past events were governed in proportion as their movements have been least disturbed by external agencies. During the last three centuries these conditions have applied to England more than to any other country; since the action of the people has there been the least restricted by government, and has been allowed the greatest freedom of play. Government intervention is habitually restrictive, and the best legislation has been that which abrogated former restrictive legislation.

Government, religion, and literature are not the causes of civilisation, but its effects. The higher religion enters only where the mind is intellectually prepared for its acceptance; elsewhere the forms may be adopted, but not the essence, as mediæval Christianity was merely an adapted paganism. Similarly, a religion imposed by authority is accepted in its form, but not necessarily in its essence.

In the same way literature is valuable to a country in proportion as the population is capable of criticising and discriminating; that is, as it is intellectually prepared to select and sift the good from the bad.

II.---Civilisation in England

It was the revival of the critical or sceptical spirit which remedied the three fundamental errors of the olden time. Where the spirit of doubt was quenched civilisation continued to be stationary. Where it was allowed comparatively free play, as in England and France, there has arisen that constantly progressive knowledge to which these two great nations owe their prosperity.

In England its primary and most important consequence is the growth of religious toleration. From the time of Elizabeth it became impossible to profess religion as the avowed warrant for persecution. Hooker, at the end of her reign, rests the argument of his "Ecclesiastical Polit" on reason; and this is still more decisively the case with Chillingworth's "Religion of Protestants" not fifty years later. The double movement of scepticism had overthrown its controlling authority.

In precisely the same way Boyle--perhaps the greatest of our men of science between Bacon and Newton--perpetually insists on the importance of individual experiments and the comparative unimportance of what we have received from antiquity.

The clergy had lost ground; their temporary alliance with James II. was ended by the Declaration of Indulgence. But they were half-hearted in their support of the Revolution, and scepticism received a fresh encouragement from the hostility between them and the new government; and the brief rally under Queen Anne was overwhelmed by the rise of Wesleyanism. Theology was finally severed from the department both of ethics and of government.

The eighteenth century is characterised by a craving after knowledge on the part of those classes from whom knowledge had hitherto been shut out. With the demand for knowledge came an increased simplicity in the literary form under which it was diffused. With the spirit of inquiry the desire for reform constantly increased, but the movement was checked by a series of political combinations which demand some attention.

The accession of George III. changed the conditions which had persisted since the accession of George I. The new king was able to head reaction. The only minister of ability he admitted to his counsels was Pitt, and Pitt retained power only by abandoning his principles. Nevertheless, a counter-reaction was created, to which England owes her great reforms of the nineteenth century.

III.--Development of France

In France at the time of the Reformation the clergy were far more powerful than in England, and the theological contest was much more severe. Toleration began with Henry IV. at the moment when Montaigne appeared as the prophet of scepticism. The death of King Henry was not followed by the reaction which might have been expected, and the rule of Richelieu was emphatically political in its motives and secular in its effects. It is curious to see that the Protestants were the illiberal party, while the cardinal remained resolutely liberal.

The difference between the development in France and England is due primarily to the recognition in England of the fact that no country can long remain prosperous or safe in which the people are not gradually extending their power, enlarging their privileges, and, so to say, incorporating themselves with the functions of the state. France, on the other hand, suffered far more from the spirit of protection, which is so dangerous, and yet so plausible, that it forms the most serious obstacle with which advancing civilisation has to contend.

The great rebellion in England was a war of classes as well as of factions; on the one side the yeomanry and traders, on the other the nobles and the clergy. The corresponding war of the Fronde in France was not a class war at all; it was purely political, and in no way social. At bottom the English rebellion was democratic; the leaders of the Fronde were aristocrats, without any democratic leanings.

Thus in France the protective spirit maintained its ascendancy intensified. Literature and science, allied to and patronised by government, suffered demoralisation, and the age of Louis XIV. was one of intellectual decay. After the death of Louis XIV. the French discovered England and English literature. Our island, regarded hitherto as barbarous, was visited by nearly every Frenchman of note for the two succeeding generations. Voltaire, in particular, assimilated and disseminated English doctrines.

The consequent development of the liberal spirit brought literature into collision with the government. Inquiry was opposed to the interests of both nobles and clergy. Nearly every great man of letters in France was a victim of persecution. It might be said that the government deliberately made a personal enemy of every man of intellect in the country. We can only wonder, not that the revolution came, but that it was still so long delayed; but ingrained prejudices prevented the crown from being the first object of attack. The hostility of the men of letters was directed first against the Church and Christianity. Religious scepticism and political emancipation did not advance hand in hand; much that was worst in the actual revolution was due to the fact that the latter lagged behind.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries some progress had been made in the principles of writing history. Like everything else, history suffered from the rule of Louis XIV. Again the advance was inaugurated by Voltaire. His principle is to concentrate on important movements, not on idle details. This was not characteristic of the individual author only, but of the spirit of the age. It is equally present in the works of Montesquieu and Turgot. The defects of Montesquieu are chiefly due to the fact that his materials were intractable, because science had not yet reduced them to order by generalising the laws of their phenomena. In the second half of the eighteenth century the intellectual movement began to be turned directly against the state. Economical and financial inquiries began to absorb popular attention. Rousseau headed the political movement, whereas the government in its financial straits turned against the clergy, whose position was already undermined, and against whom Voltaire continued to direct his batteries.

The suppression of the Jesuits meant a revival of Jansenism. Jansenism is Calvinistic, and Calvinism is democratic; but the real concentration of French minds was on material questions. The foundations of religious beliefs had been undermined, and hence arose the painful prevalence of atheism. The period was one of progress in the study of material laws in every field. The national intellect had taken a new bent, and it was one which tended to violent social revolt. The hall of science is the temple of democracy. It was in these conditions that the eyes of Frenchmen were turned to the glorious revolt in the cause of liberty of the American people. The spark was set to an inflammatory mass, and ignited a flame which never ceased its ravages until it had destroyed all that Frenchmen once held dear.

IV.---Reaction in Spain

I have laid down four propositions which I have endeavoured to establish--that progress depends on a successful investigation of the laws of phenomena; that a spirit of scepticism is a condition of such investigation; that the influence of intellectual truths increases thereby relatively to that of moral truths; and that the great enemy of his progress is the protective spirit. We shall find these propositions verified in the history of Spain.

Physically, Spain most closely resembles those non-European countries where the influence of nature is more prominent than that of man, and whose civilisations are consequently influenced more by the imagination than by the understanding. In Spain, superstition is encouraged by the violent energies of nature. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Spain was first engaged in a long struggle on behalf of the Arianism of the Goths against the orthodoxy of the Franks. This was followed by centuries of struggle between the Christian Spaniard and the Mohammedan Moors. After the conquest of Granada, the King of Spain and Emperor, Charles V., posed primarily as the champion of religion and the enemy of heresy. His son Philip summarised his policy in the phrase that "it is better not to reign at all than to reign over heretics."

Loyalty was supported by superstition; each strengthened the other. Great foreign conquests were made, and a great military reputation was developed. But the people counted for nothing. The crown, the aristocracy, and the clergy were supreme--the last more so than ever in the seventeenth century. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Bourbon replaced the Hapsburg dynasty. The Bourbons sought to improve the country by weakening the Church, but failed to raise the people, who had become intellectually paralysed. The greatest efforts at improvement were made by Charles III.; but Charles IV., unlike his predecessors, who had been practically foreigners, was a true Spaniard. The inevitable reaction set in.

In the nineteenth century individuals have striven for political reform, but they have been unable to make head against those general causes which have predetermined the country to superstition. Great as are the virtues for which the Spaniards have long been celebrated, those noble qualities are useless while ignorance is so gross and so general.

V.--The Paradox of Scottish History

In most respects Scotland affords a complete contrast to Spain, but in regard to superstition, there is a striking similarity. Both nations have allowed their clergy to exercise immense sway; in both intolerance has been, and still is, a crying evil; and a bigotry is habitually displayed which is still more discreditable to Scotland than to Spain. It is the paradox of Scotch history that the people are liberal in politics and illiberal in religion.

The early history of Scotland is one of perpetual invasions down to the end of the fourteenth century. This had the double effect of strengthening the nobles while it weakened the citizens, and increasing the influence of the clergy while weakening that of the intellectual classes. The crown, completely overshadowed by the nobility, was forced to alliance with the Church. The fifteenth century is a record of the struggles of the crown supported by the clergy against the nobility, whose power, however, they failed to break. At last, in the reign of James V., the crown and Church gained the ascendancy. The antagonism of the nobles to the Church was intensified, and consequently the nobles identified themselves with the Reformation.

The struggle continued during the regency which followed the death of James; but within twenty years the nobles had triumphed and the Church was destroyed. There was an immediate rupture between the nobility and the new clergy, who united themselves with the people and became the advocates of democracy. The crown and the nobles were now united in maintaining episcopacy, which became the special object of attack from the new clergy, who, despite the extravagance of their behaviour, became the great instruments in keeping alive and fostering the spirit of liberty.

When James VI. became also James I. of England, he used his new power to enforce episcopacy. Charles I. continued his policy; but the reaction was gathering strength, and became open revolt in 1637. The democratic movement became directly political. When the great civil war followed, the Scots sold the king, who had surrendered to them, to the English, who executed him. They acknowledged his son, Charles II., but not till he had accepted the Covenant on ignominious terms.

At the restoration Charles II. was able to renew the oppressive policy of his father and grandfather. The restored bishops supported the crown; the people and the popular clergy were mercilessly persecuted. Matters became even worse under James II., but the revolution of 1688 ended the oppression. The exiled house found support in the Highlands not out of loyalty, but from the Highland preference for anarchy; and after 1745 the Highlanders themselves were powerless. The trading spirit rose and flourished, and the barbaric hereditary jurisdictions were abolished. This last measure marked but did not cause the decadence of the power of the nobility. This had been brought about primarily by the union with England in 1707. In the legislature of Great Britain the Scotch peers were a negligible and despised factor. The coup de grace was given by the rebellion of 1745. The law referred to expressed an already accomplished fact.

The union also encouraged the development of the mercantile and manufacturing classes, which, in turn, strengthened the democratic movement. Meanwhile, a great literature was also arising, bold and inquiring. Nevertheless, it failed to diminish the national superstition.

This illiberality in religion was caused in the first place by the power of the clergy. Religion was the essential feature of the Scotch war against Charles I. Theological interests dominated the secular because the clergy were the champions of the political movement. Hence, in the seventeenth century, the clergy were enabled to extend and consolidate their own authority, partly by means of that great engine of tyranny, the kirk sessions, partly through the credulity which accepted their claims to miraculous interpositions in their favour. To increase their own ascendancy, the clergy advanced monstrous doctrines concerning evil spirits and punishments in the next life; painted the Deity as cruel and jealous; discovered sinfulness hateful to God in the most harmless acts; punished the same with arbitrary and savage penalties; and so crushed out of Scotland all mirth and nearly all physical enjoyment.

Scottish literature of the eighteenth century failed to destroy this illiberality owing to the method of the Scotch philosophers. The school which arose was in reaction against the dominant theological spirit; but its method was deductive not inductive. Now, the inductive method, which ascends from experience to theory is anti-theological. The deductive reasons down from theories whose validity is assumed; it is the method of theology itself. In Scotland the theological spirit had taken such firm hold that the inductive method could not have obtained a hearing; whereas in England and France the inductive method has been generally followed.

The great secular philosophy of Scotland was initiated by Hutchinson. His system of morals was based not on revealed principles, but on laws ascertainable by human intelligence; his positions were in fiat contradiction to those of the clergy. But his method assumes intuitive faculties and intuitive knowledge.

The next and the greatest name is that of Adam Smith, whose works, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "Wealth of Nations," must be taken in conjunction. In the first he works on the assumption that sympathy is the mainspring of human conduct. In the "Wealth of Nations" the mainspring is selfishness. The two are not contradictory, but complementary. Of the second book it may be said that it is probably the most important which has ever been written, whether we consider the amount of original thought which it contains or its practical influence.

Beside Adam Smith stands David Hume. An accomplished reasoner and a profound thinker, he lacked the invaluable quality of imagination. This is the underlying defect of his history. Important and novel as are Hume's doctrines, his method was also deductive, and, like Adam Smith, he rests little on experience. After these two, Reid was the most eminent among the purely speculative thinkers of Scotland, but he stands far below them both. To Hume the spirit of inquiry and scepticism is essential; to Reid it is a danger.

The deductive method was no less prevalent in physical philosophy. Now, induction is more accessible to the average understanding than deduction. The deductive character of this Scottish literature prevented it from having popular effect, and therefore from weakening the national superstition, from which Scotland, even to-day, has been unable to shake herself free.


The English Constitution

Walter Bagehot was born at Langport in Somerset, England, Feb. 3, 1826, and died on March 24, 1877. He was educated at Bristol and at University College, London. Subsequently he joined his father's banking and ship-owning business. From 1860 till his death, he was editor of the "Economist." He was a keen student not only of economic and political science subjects, which he handled with a rare lightness of touch, but also of letters and of life at large. It is difficult to say in which field his penetration, his humour, and his charm of style are most conspicuously displayed. The papers collected in the volume called "The English Constitution" appeared originally in the "Fortnightly Review" during 1865 and 1866. The Reform Bill, which transferred the political centre of gravity from the middle class to the artisan class had not yet arrived; and the propositions laid down by Bagehot have necessarily been in some degree modified in the works of more recent authorities, such as Professor Dicey and Mr. Sidney Low. But as a human interpretation of that exceedingly human monument, the British Constitution, Bagehot's work is likely to remain unchallenged for all time.

I.---The Cabinet

No one can approach to an understanding of English institutions unless he divides them into two classes. In such constitutions there are two parts. First, those which excite and preserve the reverence of the population, the dignified parts, if I may so call them; and, next, the efficient parts, those by which it, in fact, works and rules. Every constitution must first win the loyalty and confidence of mankind, and then employ that homage in the work of government.

The dignified parts of government are those which bring it force, which attracts its motive power. The efficient parts only employ that power. If all subjects of the same government only thought of what was useful to them, the efficient members of the constitution would suffice, and no impressive adjuncts would be needed. But it is not true that even the lower classes will be absorbed in the useful. The ruder sort of men will sacrifice all they hope for, all they have, themselves, for what is called an idea. The elements which excite the most easy reverence will be not the most useful, but the theatrical. It is the characteristic merit of the English constitution that its dignified parts are imposing and venerable, while its efficient part is simple and rather modern.

The efficient secret of the English constitution is the nearly complete fusion of the executive and legislative powers. The connecting link is the cabinet. This is a committee of the legislative body, in choosing which indirectly but not directly the legislature is nearly omnipotent. The prime minister is chosen by the House of Commons, and is the head of the efficient part of the constitution. The queen is only at the head of its dignified part. The Prime Minister himself has to choose his associates, but can only do so out of a charmed circle.

The cabinet is an absolutely secret committee, which can dissolve the assembly which appointed it. It is an executive which is at once the nominee of the legislature, and can annihilate the legislature. The system stands in precise contrast to the presidential system, in which the legislative and executive powers are entirely independent.

A good parliament is a capital choosing body; it is an electoral college of the picked men of the nation. But in the American system the president is chosen by a complicated machinery of caucuses; he is not the choice of the nation, but of the wirepullers. The members of congress are excluded from executive office, and the separation makes neither the executive half nor the legislative half of political life worth having. Hence it is only men of an inferior type who are attracted to political life at all.

Again our system enables us to change our ruler suddenly on an emergency. Thus we could abolish the Aberdeen Cabinet, which was in itself eminently adapted for every sort of difficulty save the one it had to meet, but wanted the daemonic element, and substitute a statesman who had the precise sort of merit wanted at the moment. But under a presidential government you can do nothing of the kind. There is no elastic element; everything is rigid, specified, dated. You have bespoken your government for the time, and you must keep it. Moreover, under the English system all the leading statesmen are known quantities. But in America a new president before his election is usually an unknown quantity.

Cabinet government demands the mutual confidence of the electors, a calm national mind, and what I may call rationality--a power involving intelligence, yet distinct from it. It demands also a competent legislature, which is a rarity. In the early stages of human society the grand object is not to make new laws, but to prevent innovation. Custom is the first check on tyranny, but at the present day the desire is to adapt the law to changed conditions. In the past, however, continuous legislatures were rare because they were not wanted. Now you have to get a good legislature and to keep it good. To keep it good it must have a sufficient supply of business. To get it good is a precedent difficulty. A nation in which the mass of the people are intelligent, educated, and comfortable can elect a good parliament. Or what I will call a deferential nation may do so--I mean one in which the numerical majority wishes to be ruled by the wiser minority.

Of deferential countries England is the type. But it is not to their actual heavy, sensible middle-class rulers that the mass of the English people yield deference, but to the theatrical show of society. The few rule by their hold, not over the reason of the multitude, but over their imaginations and their habits.

II.--The Monarchy

The use of the queen in a dignified capacity is incalculable. The best reason why monarchy is a strong government is that it is an intelligible government; whereas a constitution is complex. Men are governed by the weakness of their imagination. To state the matter shortly, royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions. A republic is a government in which that attention is divided between many who are all doing uninteresting actions. Secondly, if you ask the immense majority of the queen's subjects by what right she rules, they will say she rules by God's grace. They believe they have a mystic obligation to obey her. The crown is a visible symbol of unity with an atmosphere of dignity.

Thirdly, the queen is the head of society. If she were not so, the prime minister would be the first person in the country. As it is the House of Commons attracts people who go there merely for social purposes; if the highest social rank was to be scrambled for in the House of Commons, the number of social adventurers there would be even more numerous. It has been objected of late that English royalty is not splendid enough. It is compared with the French court, which is quite the most splendid thing in France; but the French emperor is magnified to emphasise the equality of everyone else. Great splendour in our court would incite competition. Fourthly, we have come to regard the crown as the head of our morality. Lastly, constitutional royalty acts as a disguise; it enables our real rulers to change without heedless people knowing it. Hence, perhaps, the value of constitutional royalty in times of transition.

Popular theory regards the sovereign as a co-ordinate authority with the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Also it holds that the queen is the executive. Neither is true. There is no authentic explicit information as to what the queen can do. The secrecy of the prerogative is an anomaly, but none the less essential to the utility of English royalty. Let us see how we should get on without a queen. We may suppose the House of Commons appointing the premier just as shareholders choose a director. If the predominant party were agreed as to its leader there would not be much difference at the beginning of an administration. But if the party were not agreed on its leader the necessity of the case would ensure that the chief forced on the minority by the majority would be an exceedingly capable man; where the judgment of the sovereign intervenes there is no such security. If, however, there are three parties, the primary condition of a cabinet polity is not satisfied. Under such circumstances the only way is for the moderate people of every party to combine in support of the government which, on the whole, suits every party best. In the choice of a fit minister, if the royal selection were always discreetly exercised, it would be an incalculable benefit, but in most cases the wisest course for the monarch would be inaction.

Now the sovereign has three rights, the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn. In the course of a long reign a king would acquire the same advantage which a permanent under-secretary has over his superior, the parliamentary secretary. But whenever there is discussion between a king and the minister, the king's opinion would have its full weight, and the minister's would not. The whole position is evidently attractive to an intelligent, sagacious and original sovereign. But we cannot expect a lineal series of such kings. Neither theory nor experience warrant any such expectations. The only fit material for a constitutional king is a prince who begins early to reign, who in his youth is superior to pleasure, is willing to labour, and has by nature a genius for discretion.

III.--The House of Lords and the House of Commons

The use of the order of the lords in its dignified capacity is very great. The mass of men require symbols, and nobility is the symbol of mind. The order also prevents the rule of wealth. The Anglo-Saxon has a natural instinctive admiration of wealth for its own sake; but from the worst form of this our aristocracy preserves us, and the reverence for rank is not so base as the reverence for money, or the still worse idolatry of office. But as the picturesqueness of society diminishes, aristocracy loses the single instrument of its peculiar power.

The House of Lords as an assembly has always been not the first, but the second. The peers, who are of the most importance, are not the most important in the House of Peers. In theory, the House of Lords is of equal rank with the House of Commons; in practice it is not. The evil of two co-equal houses is obvious. If they disagree, all business is suspended. There ought to be an available decisive authority somewhere. The sovereign power must be comeatable. The English have made it so by the authority of the crown to create new peers. Before the Reform Act the members of the peerage swayed the House of Commons, and the two houses hardly collided except on questions of privilege. After the Reform Bill the house ceased to be one of the latent directors and palpable alterers.

It was the Duke of Wellington who presided over the change, and from the duke himself we may learn that the use of the House of Lords is not to be a bulwark against revolution. It cannot resist the people if the people are determined. It has not the control of necessary physical force. With a perfect lower house, the second chamber would be of scarcely any value; but beside the actual house, a revising and leisured legislature is extremely useful. The cabinet is so powerful in the commons that it may inflict minor measures on the nation which the nation does not like. The executive is less powerful in the second chamber, which may consequently operate to impede minor instances of parliamentary tyranny.

The House of Lords has the advantage: first, of being possible; secondly, of being independent. It is accessible to no social bribe, and it has leisure. On the other hand, it has defects. In appearance, which is the important thing, it is apathetic. Next, it belongs exclusively to one class, that of landowners. This would not so greatly matter if the House of Lords could be of more than common ability, but being an hereditary chamber, it cannot be so. There is only one kind of business in which our aristocracy retain a certain advantage. This is diplomacy. And aristocracy is, in its nature, better suited to such work. It is trained to the theatrical part of life; it is fit for that if it is fit for anything. Otherwise an aristocracy is inferior in business. These various defects would have been lessened if the House of Lords had not resisted the creation of life peers.

The dignified aspect of the House of Commons is altogether secondary to its efficient use. Its main function is to choose our president. It elects the people whom it likes, and it dismisses whom it dislikes, too. The premier is to the house what the house is to the nation. He must lead, but he can only lead whither they will follow. Its second function is expressive, to express the mind of the English people. Thirdly, it ought to teach the nation. Fourthly, to give information, especially of grievances--not, as in the old days, to the crown, but to the nation. And, lastly, there is the function of legislation. I do not separate the financial function from the rest of the legislative. In financial affairs it lies under an exceptional disability; it is only the minister who can propose to tax the people, whereas on common subjects any member can propose anything. The reason is that the house is never economical; but the cabinet is forced to be economical, because it has to impose the taxation to meet, the expenditure.

Of all odd forms of government, the oddest really is this government by public meeting. How does it come to be able to govern at all? The principle of parliament is obedience to leaders. Change your leader if you will, but while you have him obey him, otherwise you will not be able to do anything at all. Leaders to-day do not keep their party together by bribes, but they can dissolve. Party organisation is efficient because it is not composed of warm partisans. The way to lead is to affect a studied and illogical moderation.

Nor are the leaders themselves eager to carry party conclusions too far. When an opposition comes into power, ministers have a difficulty in making good their promises. They are in contact with the facts which immediately acquire an inconvenient reality. But constituencies are immoderate and partisan. The schemes both of extreme democrats and of philosophers for changing the system of representation would prevent parliamentary government from working at all. Under a system of equal electoral districts and one-man vote, a parliament could not consist of moderate men. Mr. Hare's scheme would make party bands and fetters tighter than ever.

A free government is that which the people subject to it voluntarily choose. If it goes by public opinion, the best opinion which the nation will accept, it is a good government of its kind. Tried by this rule, the House of Commons does its appointing business well. Of the substantial part of its legislative task, the same may be said. Subject to certain exceptions, the mind and policy of parliament possess the common sort of moderation essential to parliamentary government. The exceptions are two. First, it leans too much to the opinions of the landed interest. Also, it gives too little weight to the growing districts of the country, and too much to the stationary. But parliament is not equally successful in elevating public opinion, or in giving expression to grievances.

IV.--Changes of Ministry

There is an event which frequently puzzles some people; this is, a change of ministry. All our administrators go out together. Is it wise so to change all our rulers? The practice produces three great evils. It brings in suddenly new and untried persons. Secondly, the man knows that he may have to leave his work in the middle, and very likely never come back to it. Thirdly, a sudden change of ministers may easily cause a mischievous change of policy. A quick succession of chiefs do not learn from each other's experience.

Now, those who wish to remove the choice of ministers from parliament have not adequately considered what a parliament is. When you establish a predominant parliament you give over the rule of the country to a despot who has unlimited time and unlimited vanity. Every public department is liable to attack. It is helpless in parliament if it has no authorised defender. The heads of departments cannot satisfactorily be put up for the defence; but a parliamentary head connected by close ties with the ministry is a protecting machine. Party organisation ensures the provision of such parliamentary heads. The alternative provided in America involves changing not only the head but the whole bureaucracy with each change of government.

This, it may be said, does not prove that this change is a good thing. It may, however, be proved that some change at any rate is necessary to a permanently perfect administration. If we look at the Prussian bureaucracy, whatever success it may recently have achieved, it certainly does not please the most intelligent persons at home. Obstinate officials set at defiance the liberal initiations of the government. In conflicts with simple citizens guilty officials are like men armed cap-a-pie fighting with the defenceless. The bureaucrat inevitably cares more for routine than for results. The machinery is regarded as an achieved result instead of as a working instrument. It tends to be the most unimproving and shallow of governments in quality, and to over-government in point of quantity.

In fact, experience has proved in the case of joint-stock banks and of railways that they are best conducted by an admixture of experts with men of what may be, called business culture. So in a government office the intrusion of an exterior head of the office is really essential to its perfection. As Sir George Lewis said: "It is not the business of a cabinet minister to work his department; his business is to see that it is properly worked."

In short, a presidential government, or a hereditary government are inferior to parliamentary government as administrative selectors. The revolutionary despot may indeed prove better, since his existence depends on his skill in doing so. If the English government is not celebrated for efficiency, that is largely because it attempts to do so much; but it is defective also from our ignorance. Another reason is that in the English constitution the dignified parts, which have an importance of their own, at the same time tend to diminish simple efficiency.

V.--Checks, Balances, and History

In every state there must be somewhere a supreme authority on every point. In some states, however, that ultimate power is different upon different points. The Americans, under the mistaken impression that they were imitating the English, made their constitution upon this principle. The sovereignty rested with the separate states, which have delegated certain powers to the central government. But the division of the sovereignty does not end here. Congress rules the law, but the president rules the administration. Even his legislative veto can be overruled when two-thirds of both houses are unanimous. The administrative power is divided, since on international policy the supreme authority is the senate. Finally, the constitution itself can only be altered by authorities which are outside the constitution. The result is that now, after the civil war, there is no sovereign authority to settle immediate problems.

In England, on the other hand, we have the typical constitution, in which the ultimate power upon all questions is in the hands of the same person. The ultimate authority in the English constitution is a newly-elected House of Commons. Whatever the question on which it decides, a new House of Commons can despotically and finally resolve. No one can doubt the importance of singleness and unity. The excellence in the British constitution is that it has achieved this unity. This is primarily due to the provision which places the choice of the executive in "the people's house." But it could not have been effected without what I may call the "safety valve" and "the regulator." The "safety valve" is the power of creating peers, the "regulator" is the cabinet's power of dissolving. The defects of a popular legislature are: caprice in selection, the sectarianism born of party organisation, which is the necessary check on caprice, and the peculiar prejudices and interests of the particular parliament. Now the caprice of parliament in the choice of a premier is best checked by the premier himself having the power of dissolution. But as a check on sectarianism such an extrinsic power as that of a capable constitutional king is more efficient. For checking the peculiar interests our colonial governors seem almost perfectly qualified. But the intervention of a constitutional monarch is only beneficial if he happens to be an exceptionally wise man. The peculiar interests of a specific parliament are seldom in danger of overriding national interests; hence, on the whole, the advantage of the premier being the real dissolving authority.

The power of creating peers, vested in the premier, serves constantly to modify the character of the second chamber. What we may call the catastrophe creation of peers is different. That the power should reside in the king would again be beneficial only in the case of the exceptional monarch. Taken altogether, we find that hereditary royalty is not essential to parliamentary government. Our conclusion is that though a king with high courage and fine discretion, a king with a genius for the place, is always useful, and at rare moments priceless, yet a common king is of no use at a crisis, while, in the common course of things, he will do nothing, and he need do nothing.

All the rude nations that have attained civilisation seem to begin in a consultative and tentative absolutism. The king has a council of elders whom he consults while he tests popular support in the assembly of freemen. In England a very strong executive was an imperative necessity. The assemblies summoned by the English sovereign told him, in effect, how far he might go. Legislation as a positive power was very secondary in those old parliaments; but their negative action was essential. The king could not venture to alter the law until the people had expressed their consent. The Wars of the Roses killed out the old councils. The second period of the constitution continues to the revolution of 1688. The rule of parliament was then established by the concurrence of the usual supporters of royalty with the usual opponents of it. Yet the mode of exercising that rule has since changed. Even as late as 1810 it was supposed that when the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent he would be able to turn out the ministry.

It is one of our peculiarities that the English people is always antagonistic to the executive. It is their natural impulse to resist authority as something imposed from outside. Hence our tolerance of local authorities as instruments of resistance to tyranny of the central authority.

Our constitution is full of anomalies. Some of them are, no doubt, impeding and mischievous. Half the world believes that the Englishman is born illogical. As a matter of fact, I am inclined to believe that the English care more even than the French for simplicity; but the constitution is not logical. The complexity we tolerate is that which has grown up. Any new complexity, as such, is detestable to the English mind. Let anyone try to advocate a plan of suffrage reform at all out of the way, and see how many adherents he can collect.

This great political question of the day, the suffrage question, is made exceedingly difficult by this history of ours. We shall find on investigation that so far from an ultra-democratic suffrage giving us a more homogeneous and decided House of Commons it would give us a less homogeneous and more timid house. With us democracy would mean the rule of money and mainly and increasingly of new money working for its own ends.


The Age of Louis XIV

Voltaire's "History of the Age of Louis XIV.," was published when its author (see p. 259), long famous, was the companion of Frederick the Great in Prussia--from 1750 to 1753. Voltaire was in his twentieth year when the Grand Monarque died. Louis XIV. had succeeded his father at the age of five years, in 1643; his nominal reign covered seventy-one years, and throughout the fifty-three years which followed Mazarin's death his declaration "L'État c'est moi" had been politically and socially a truth. He controlled France with an absolute sway; under him she achieved a European ascendency without parallel save in the days of Napoleon. He sought to make her the dictator of Europe. But for William of Orange, Marlborough, and Eugene, he would have succeeded. Politically he did not achieve his aim; but under him France became the unchallenged leader of literary and artistic culture and taste, the universal criterion.

I.--France Under Mazarin

We do not propose to write merely a life of Louis XIV.; our aim is a far wider one. It is to give posterity a picture, not of the actions of a single man, but of the spirit of the men of an age the most enlightened on record. Every period has produced its heroes and its politicians, every people has experienced revolutions; the histories of all are of nearly equal value to those who desire merely to store their memory with facts. But the thinker, and that still rarer person the man of taste, recognises only four epochs in the history of the world--those four fortunate ages in which the arts have been perfected: the great age of the Greeks, the age of Cæsar and of Augustus, the age which followed the fall of Constantinople, and the age of Louis XIV.; which last approached perfection more nearly than any of the others.

On the death of Louis XIII., his queen, Anne of Austria, owed her acquisition of the regency to the Parlement of Paris. Anne was obliged to continue the war with Spain, in which the brilliant victories of the young Duc d'Enghein, known to fame as the Great Condé, brought him sudden glory and unprecedented prestige to the arms of France.

But internally the national finances were in a terribly unsatisfactory state. The measures for raising funds adopted by the minister Mazarin were the more unpopular because he was himself an Italian. The Paris Parlement set itself in opposition to the minister; the populace supported it; the resistance was organised by Paul de Gondi, afterwards known as the Cardinal de Retz. The court had to flee from Paris to St. Germain. Condé was won over by the queen regent; but the nobles, hoping to recover the power which Richelieu had wrenched from them, took the popular side. And their wives and daughters surpassed them in energy. A very striking contrast to the irresponsible frivolity with which the whole affair was conducted is presented by the grim orderliness with which England had at that very moment carried through the last act in the tragedy of Charles I. In France the factions of the Fronde were controlled by love intrigues.

Condé was victorious. But he was at feud with Mazarin, made himself personally unpopular, and found himself arrested when he might have made himself master of the government. A year later the tables were turned; Mazarin had to fly, and the Fronde released Condé. The civil war was renewed; a war in which no principles were at stake, in which the popular party of yesterday was the unpopular party of to-day; in which there were remarkable military achievements, much bloodshed, and much suffering, and which finally wore itself out in 1653, when Mazarin returned to undisputed power. Louis XIV. was then a boy of fifteen.

Mazarin had achieved a great diplomatic triumph by the peace of Westphalia in 1648; but Spain had remained outside that group of treaties; and, owing to the civil war of the Fronde, Condé's successes against her had been to a great extent made nugatory--and now Condé was a rebel and in command of Spanish troops. But Condé, with a Spanish army, met his match in Turenne with a French army.

At this moment, Christina of Sweden was the only European sovereign who had any personal prestige. But Cromwell's achievements in England now made each of the European statesmen anxious for the English alliance; and Cromwell chose France. The combined arms of France and England were triumphant in Flanders, when Cromwell died; and his death changed the position of England. France was financially exhausted, and Mazarin now desired a satisfactory peace with Spain. The result, was the Treaty of the Pyrenees, by which the young King Louis took a Spanish princess in marriage, an alliance which ultimately led to the succession of a grandson of Louis to the Spanish throne. Immediately afterwards, Louis' cousin, Charles II., was recalled to the throne of England. This closing achievement of Mazarin had a triumphant aspect; his position in France remained undisputed till his death in the next year (1661). He was a successful minister; whether he was a great statesman is another question. His one real legacy to France was the acquisition of Alsace.

II.---The French Supremacy in Europe

On Mazarin's death Louis at once assumed personal rule. Since the death of Henry the Great, France had been governed by ministers; now she was to be governed by the king--the power exercised by ministers was precisely circumscribed. Order and vigour were introduced on all sides; the finances were regulated by Colbert, discipline was restored in the army, the creation of a fleet, was begun. In all foreign courts Louis asserted the dignity of France; it was very soon evident that there was no foreign power of whom he need stand in fear. New connections were established with Holland and Portugal. England under Charles II. was of little account.

To the king on the watch for an opportunity, an opportunity soon presents itself. Louis found his when Philip IV. of Spain was succeeded by the feeble Charles II. He at once announced that Flanders reverted to his own wife, the new king's elder sister. He had already made his bargain with the Emperor Leopold, who had married the other infanta.

Louis' armies were overrunning Flanders in 1667, and Franche-Comté next year. Holland, a republic with John de Witt at its head, took alarm; and Sir William Temple succeeded in effecting the Triple Alliance between Holland, England, and Sweden. Louis found it advisable to make peace, even at the price of surrendering Franche-Comté for the present.

Determined now, however, on the conquest of Holland, Louis had no difficulty in secretly detaching the voluptuary Charles II. from the Dutch alliance. Holland itself was torn between the faction of the De Witts and the partisans of the young William of Orange. Overwhelming preparations were made for the utterly unwarrantable enterprise.

As the French armies poured into Holland, practically no resistance was offered. The government began to sue for peace. But the populace rose and massacred the De Witts; young William was made stadtholder. Ruyter defeated the combined French and English fleets at Sole Bay. William opened the dykes and laid the country under water, and negotiated secretly with the emperor and with Spain. Half Europe was being drawn into a league against Louis, who made the fatal mistake of following the advice of his war minister Louvois, instead of Condé and Turenne.

In every court in Europe Louis had his pensioners intriguing on his behalf. His newly created fleet was rapidly learning its work. On land he was served by the great engineer Vauban, by Turenne, Condé, and Condé's pupil, Luxembourg. He decided to direct his own next campaign against Franche-Comté. But during the year Turenne, who was conducting a separate campaign in Germany with extraordinary brilliancy, was killed; and after this year Condé took no further part in the war. Moreover, the Austrians were now in the field, under the able leader Montecuculi.

In 1676-8 town after town fell before Vauban, a master of siege work as of fortification; Louis, in many cases, being present in person. In other quarters, also, the French arms were successful. Especially noticeable were the maritime successes of Duquesne, who was proving himself a match for the Dutch commanders. Louis was practically fighting and beating half Europe single-handed, as he was now getting no effective help from England or his nominal ally, Sweden. Finally, in 1678, he was able practically to dictate his own terms to the allies. The peace had already been signed when William of Orange attacked Luxembourg before Mons; a victory, on the whole, for him, but entirely barren of results. With this peace of Nimeguen, Louis was at the height of his power.

By assuming the right of interpreting for himself the terms of the treaty, he employed the years of peace in extending his possessions. No other power could now compare with France, but in 1688 Louis stood alone, without any supporter, save James II. of England. And he intensified the general dread by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the expulsion of the French Huguenots.

The determination of James to make himself absolute, and to restore Romanism in England, caused leading Englishmen to enter on a conspiracy--kept secret with extraordinary success--with William of Orange. The luckless monarch was abandoned on every hand, and fled from his kingdom to France, an object of universal mockery. Yet Louis resolved to aid him. A French force accompanied him to Ireland, and Tourville defeated the united fleets of England and Holland. At last France was mistress of the seas; but James met with a complete overthrow at the Boyne. The defeated James, in his flight, hanged men who had taken part against him. The victorious William proclaimed a general pardon. Of two such men, it is easy to see which was certain to win.

Louis had already engaged himself in a fresh European war before William's landing in England. He still maintained his support of James. But his newly acquired sea power was severely shaken at La Hogue. On land, however, Louis' arms prospered. The Palatinate was laid waste in a fashion which roused the horror of Europe. Luxembourg in Flanders, and Catinat in Italy, won the foremost military reputations in Europe. On the other hand, William proved himself one of those generals who can extract more advantage from a defeat than his enemies from a victory, as Steinkirk and Neerwinden both exemplified. France, however, succeeded in maintaining a superiority over all her foes, but the strain before long made a peace necessary. She could not dictate terms as at Nimeguen. Nevertheless, the treaty of Ryswick, concluded in 1697, secured her substantial benefits.

III.---The Spanish Succession

The general pacification was brief. North Europe was soon aflame with the wars of those remarkable monarchs, Charles XII. and Peter the Great; and the rest of Europe over the Spanish succession. The mother and wife of Louis were each eldest daughters of a Spanish king; the mother and wife of the Emperor Leopold were their younger sisters. Austrian and French successions were both barred by renunciations; and the absorption of Spain by either power would upset utterly the balance of power in Europe. There was no one else with a plausible claim to succeed the childless and dying Charles II. European diplomacy effected treaties for partitioning the Spanish dominions; but ultimately Charles declared the grandson of Louis his heir. Louis, in defiance of treaties, accepted the legacy.

The whole weight of England was then thrown on to the side of the Austrian candidate by Louis' recognition of James Edward Stuart as rightful King of England. William, before he died, had successfully brought about a grand alliance of European powers against Louis; his death gave the conduct of the war to Marlborough. Anne was obliged to carry on her brother-in-law's policy. Elsewhere, kings make their subjects enter blindly on their own projects; in London the king must enter upon those of his subjects.

When Louis entered on the war of the Spanish Succession he had already, though unconsciously, lost that grasp of affairs which had distinguished him; while he still dictated the conduct of his ministers and his generals. The first commander who took the field against him was Prince Eugene of Savoy, a man born with those qualities which make a hero in war and a great man in peace. The able Catinat was superseded in Italy by Villeroi, whose failures, however, led to the substitution of Vendôme.

But the man who did more to injure the greatness of France than any other for centuries past was Marlborough--the general with the coolest head of his time; as a politician the equal, and as a soldier immeasurably the superior, of William III. Between Marlborough and his great colleague Eugene there was always complete harmony and complete understanding, whether they were campaigning or negotiating.

In the Low Countries, Marlborough gained ground steadily, without any great engagement. In Germany the French arms were successful, and at the end of 1703 a campaign was planned with Vienna for its objective. The advance was intercepted in 1704 by the junction of Eugene and the forces from Italy with Marlborough and an English force. The result was the tremendous overthrow of Hochstedt, or Blenheim. The French were driven over the Rhine.

Almost at the same moment English sailors surprised and captured the Rock of Gibraltar, which England still holds. In six weeks, too, the English mastered Valencia and Catalonia for the archduke, under the redoubtable Peterborough. Affairs went better in Italy (1705); but in Flanders, Villeroi was rash enough to challenge Marlborough at Ramillies in 1706. In half an hour the French army was completely routed, and lost 20,000 men; city after city opened its gates to the conqueror; Flanders was lost as far as Lille. Vendôme was summoned from Italy to replace Villeroi, whereupon Eugene attacked the French in their lines before Turin, and dispersed their army, which was forced to withdraw from Italy, leaving the Austrians masters there.

Louis seemed on the verge of ruin; but Spain was loyal to the Bourbon. In 1707 Berwick won for the French the signal victory of Almanza. In Germany, Villars made progress. Louis actually designed an invasion of Great Britain in the name of the Pretender, but the scheme collapsed. He succeeded in placing a great army in the field in Flanders; it was defeated by Marlborough and Eugene at Oudenarde. Eugene sat down before Lille, and took it. The lamentable plight of France was made worse by a cruel winter.

Louis found himself forced to sue for peace, but the terms of the allies were too intolerably humiliating. They demanded that Louis should assist in expelling his own grandson from Spain. "If I must make war, I would rather make it on my enemies than on my children," said Louis. Once more an army took the field with indomitable courage. A desperate battle was fought by Villars against Marlborough and Eugene at Malplaquet. Villars was defeated, but with as much honour to the French as to the allies.

Louis again sued for peace, but the allies would not relax their monstrous demands. Marlborough, Eugene, and the Dutch Heinsius all found their own interest in prolonging the war. But with the Bourbon cause apparently at its last gasp in Spain, the appearance there of Vendôme revived the spirit of resistance.

Then the death of the emperor, and the succession to his position of his brother, the Spanish claimant, the Archduke Charles, meant that the allies were fighting to make one dominion of the Spanish and German Empires. The steady advance of Marlborough in the Low Countries could not prevent a revulsion of popular sentiment, which brought about his recall and the practical withdrawal from the contest of England, where Bolingbroke and Oxford were now at the head of affairs. Under Villars, success returned to the French standards in Flanders.

Hence came in 1713 the peace of Utrecht, for the terms of which England was mainly responsible. It was fair and just, but the English ministry received scant justice for making it. The emperor refused at first to accept it; but, when isolated, he agreed to its corollary, the peace of Rastadt. Philip was secured on the throne of Spain.

Never was there a war or a peace in which so many natural expectations were so completely reversed in the outcome. What Louis may have proposed to himself after it was over, no one can say for he died the year after the treaty of Utrecht.

IV.--The Court of the Grand Monarque

The brilliancy and magnificence of the court, as well as the reign of Louis XIV., were such that the least details of his life seem interesting to posterity, just as they excited the curiosity of every court in Europe and of all his contemporaries. Such is the effect of a great reputation. We care more to know what passed in the cabinet and the court of an Augustus than for details of Attila's and Tamerlane's conquests.

One of the most curious affairs in this connection is the mystery of the Man with the Iron Mask, who was placed in the Ile Sainte-Marguerite just after Mazarin's death, was removed to the Bastille in 1690, and died in 1703. His identity has never been revealed. That he was a person of very great consideration is clear from the way in which he was treated; yet no such person disappeared from public life. Those who knew the secret carried it with them to their graves.

Once the man scratched a message on a silver plate, and flung it into the river. A fisherman who picked it up brought it to the governor. Asked if he had read the writing, he said, "No; he could not read himself, and no one else had seen it." "It is lucky for you that you cannot read," said the governor. And the man was detained till the truth of his statement had been confirmed.

The king surpassed the whole court in the majestic beauty of his countenance; the sound of his voice won the hearts which were awed by his presence; his gait, appropriate to his person and his rank, would have been absurd in anyone else. In those who spoke with him he inspired an embarrassment which secretly flattered an agreeable consciousness of his own superiority. That old officer who began to ask some favour of him, lost his nerve, stammered, broke down, and finally said: "Sire, I do not tremble thus in the presence of your enemies," had little difficulty in obtaining his request.

Nothing won for him the applause of Europe so much as his unexampled munificence. A number of foreign savants and scholars were the recipients of his distinguished bounty, in the form of presents or pensions; among Frenchmen who were similarly benefited were Racine, Quinault, Fléchier, Chapelain, Cotin, Lulli.

A series of ladies, from Mazarin's niece, Marie Mancini, to Mme. la Vallière and Mme. de Montespan, held sway over Louis' affections; but after the retirement of the last, Mme. de Maintenon, who had been her rival, became and remained supreme. The queen was dead; and Louis was privately married to her in January, 1686, she being then past fifty. Françoise d'Aubigné was born in 1635, of good family, but born and brought up in hard surroundings. She was married to Scarron in 1651; nine years later he died. Later, she was placed, in charge of the king's illegitimate children. She supplanted Mme. de Montespan, to whom she owed her promotion, in the king's favour. The correspondence in the years preceding the marriage is an invaluable record of that mixture of religion and gallantry, of dignity and weakness, to which the human heart is so often prone, in Louis; and in the lady, of a piety and an ambition which never came into conflict. She never used her power to advance her own belongings.

In August, 1715, Louis was attacked by a mortal malady. His heir was his great-grandson; the regency devolved on Orleans, the next prince of the blood. His powers were to be limited by Louis' will but the will could not override the rights which the Paris Parliament declared were attached to the regency. The king's courage did not fail him as death drew near.

"I thought," he said to Mme. de Maintenon, "that it was a harder thing to die." And to his servants: "Why do you weep? Did you think I was immortal?" The words he spoke while he embraced the child who was his heir are significant. "You are soon to be king of a great kingdom. Above all things, I would have you never forget your obligations to God. Remember that you owe to Him all that you are. Try to keep at peace with your neighbours. I have loved war too much. Do not imitate me in that, or in my excessive expenditure. Consider well in everything; try to be sure of what is best, and to follow that."

V.--How France Flourished Under Louis XIV.

At the beginning of the reign the genius of Colbert, the restorer of the national finances, was largely employed on the extension of commerce, then almost entirely in the hands of the Dutch and English. Not only a navy, but a mercantile marine was created; the West India and East India companies were both established in 1664. Almost every year of Colbert's ministry was marked by the establishment of a new industry.

Paris was lighted and paved and policed, almost rebuilt. Louis had a marked taste for architecture, for gardens, and for sculpture. The law owed many reforms to this monarch. The army was reorganised; merit, not rank, became the ground of promotion: the bayonet replaced the pike, and the artillery was greatly developed. When Louis began to rule there was no navy. Arsenals were created, sailors were trained, and a fleet came into being which matched those of Holland and England.

Even a brief summary shows the vast changes in the state accomplished by Louis. His ministers seconded his efforts admirably. Theirs is the credit for the details, for the execution; but the scheme, the general principles, were due to him. The magistrates would not have reformed the laws, order would not have been restored in the finances, discipline in the army, police throughout the kingdom; there would have been no fleets, no encouragement of the arts; none of all those improvements carried out systematically, simultaneously, resolutely, under various ministers, had there not been a master, greater than them all, imbued with the general conceptions and determined on their fulfilment.

The spirit of commonsense, the spirit of criticism, gradually progressing, insensibly destroyed much superstition; insomuch that simple charges of sorcery were excluded from the courts in 1672. Such a measure would have been impossible under Henry IV. or Louis XIII. Nevertheless, such superstitions were deeply rooted. Everyone believed in astrology; the comet of 1680 was regarded as a portent.

In science France was, indeed, outstripped by England and Florence. But in eloquence, poetry, literature, and philosophy the French were the legislators of Europe. One of the works which most contributed to. forming the national taste was the "Maxims" of La Rochefoucauld. But the work of genius which in itself summed up the perfections of prose and set the mould of language was Pascal's "Lettres Provinciales." The age was characterised by the eloquence of Bossuet. The "Télémaque" of Fénelon, the "Caractères" of La Bruyère, were works of an order entirely original and without precedent.

Racine, less original than Corneille, owes a still increasing reputation to his unfailing elegance, correctness, and truth; he carried the tender harmonies of poetry and the graces of language to their highest possible perfection. These men taught the nation to think, to feel, and to express itself. It was a curious stroke of destiny that made Molière the contemporary of Corneille and Racine. Of him I will venture to say that he was the legislator of life's amenities; of his other merits it is needless to speak.

The other arts--of music, painting, sculpture and architecture--had made little progress in France before this period. Lulli introduced an order of music hitherto unknown. Poussin was our first great painter in the reign of Louis XIII.; he has had no lack of successors. French sculpture has excelled in particular. And we must remark on the extraordinary advance of England during this period. We can exhaust ourselves in criticising Milton, but not in praising him. Dryden was equalled by no contemporary, surpassed by no predecessor. Addison's "Cato" is the one English tragedy of sustained beauty. Swift is a perfected Rabelais. In science, Newton and Halley stand to-day supreme; and Locke is infinitely the superior of Plato.

VI.--Religion Under Louis XIV.

To preserve at once union with the see of Rome and maintain the liberties of the Gallican Church--her ancient rights; to make the bishops obedient as subjects without infringing on their rights as bishops; to make them contribute to the needs of the state, without trespassing on their privileges, required a mixture of dexterity which Louis almost always showed. The one serious and protracted quarrel with Rome arose over the royal claim to appoint bishops, and the papal refusal to recognise the appointments. The French Assembly of the Clergy supported the king; but the famous Four Resolutions of that body were ultimately repudiated by the bishops personally, with the king's consent.

Dogmatism is responsible for introducing among men the horror of wars of religion. Following the Reformation, Calvinism was largely identified with republican principles. In France, the fierce struggles of Catholics and Huguenots were stayed by the accession of Henry IV.; the Edict of Nantes secured to the former the privileges which their swords had practically won. But after his time they formed an organisation which led to further contests, ended by Richelieu.

Favoured by Colbert, to Louis the Huguenots were suspect as rebels who had with difficulty been forced to submission. By him they were subjected to constantly increasing disabilities. At last the Huguenots disobeyed the edicts against them. Still harsher measures were adopted; and the climax came in 1685 with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, following on the "dragonnades" in Alsace. Protestantism was proscribed. The effect was not the forcible conversion of the Calvinists. but their wholesale emigration; the transfer to foreign states of an admirable industrial and military population. Later, the people of the Cévennes rose, and were put down with great difficulty, though Jean Cavalier was their sole leader worthy the name. In fact, the struggle was really ended by a treaty, and Cavalier died a general of France.

Calvinism is the parent of civil wars. It shakes the foundations of states. Jansenism can excite only theological quarrels and wars of the pen. The Reformation attacked the power of the Church; Jansenism was concerned exclusively with abstract questions. The Jansenist disputes sprang from problems of grace and predestination, fate and free-will--that labyrinth in which man holds no clue.

A hundred years later Cornells Jansen, Bishop of Ypres, revived these questions. Arnauld supported him. The views had authority from Augustine and Chrysostom, but Arnauld was condemned. The two establishments of Port Royal refused to sign the formularies condemning Jansen's book, and they had on their side the brilliant pen of Pascal. On the other were the Jesuits. Pascal, in the "Lettres Provinciales," made the Jesuits ridiculous with his incomparable wit. The Jansenists were persecuted, but the persecution strengthened them. But full of absurdities as the whole controversy was to an intelligent observer, the crown, the bishops, and the Jesuits were too strong for the Jansenists, especially when Le Tellier became the king's confessor. But the affair was not finally brought to a conclusion, and the opposing parties reconciled, till after the death of Louis. Ultimately, Jansenism became merely ridiculous. The fall of the Jesuits was to follow in due time.


The Old Régime

Born at Paris on July 29, 1805, Alexis Henri Charles Clérel de Tocqueville came of an old Norman family which had distinguished itself both in law and in arms. Educated for the Bar, he proceeded to America in 1831 to study the penitentiary system. Four years later he published "De la Démocratie en Amérique" (see Miscellaneous Literature), a work which created an enormous sensation throughout Europe. De Tocqueville came to England, where he married a Miss Mottley. He became a member of the French Academy; was appointed to the Chamber of Deputies, took an important part in public life, and in 1849 became vice-president of the Assembly, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His next work, "L'Ancien Régime" ("The Old Régime"), translated under the title "On the State of Society in France before the Revolution of 1789; and on the Causes which Led to that Event," appeared in 1856. It is of the highest importance, because it was the starting point of the true conception of the Revolution. In it was first shown that the centralisation of modern France was not the product of the Revolution, but of the old monarchy, that the irritation against the nobility was due, not to their power, but to their lack of power, and that the movement was effected by masses already in possession of property. De Tocqueville died at Cannes on April 16, 1859.

I.---The Last Days of Feudal Institutions

The French people made, in 1789, the greatest effort which was ever attempted by any nation to cut, so to speak, their destiny in halves, and to separate by an abyss that which they had heretofore been from that which they sought to become hereafter.

The municipal institutions, which in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries had raised the chief towns of Germany into rich and enlightened small republics, still existed in the eighteenth; but they were a mere semblance of the past.

All the powers of the Middle Ages which were still in existence seemed to be affected by the same disease; all showed symptoms of the same languor and decay.

Wherever the provincial assemblies had maintained their ancient constitution unchanged, they checked instead of furthering the progress of civilisation.

Royalty no longer had anything in common with the royalty of the Middle Ages; it enjoyed other prerogatives, occupied a different place, was imbued with a different spirit, and inspired different sentiments; the administration of the state spread in all directions upon the ruin of local authorities; the organised array of public officers superseded more and more the government of the nobles.

This view of the state of things, which prevailed throughout Europe as well as within the boundaries of France, is essential to the comprehension of what is about to follow, for no one who has seen and studied France only can ever, I affirm, understand anything of the French Revolution.

What was the real object of the revolution? What was its peculiar character? For what precise reason was it made, and what did it effect? The revolution was not made, as some have supposed, in order to destroy the authority of religious belief. In spite of appearances, it was essentially a social and political revolution; and within the circle of social and political institutions it did not tend to perpetuate and give stability to disorder, or--as one of its chief adversaries has said--to methodise anarchy.

However radical the revolution may have been, its innovations were, in fact, much less than have been commonly supposed, as I shall show hereafter. What may truly be said is that it entirely destroyed, or is still destroying--for it is not at an end--every part of the ancient state of society that owed its origin to aristocratic and feudal institutions.

But why, we may ask, did this revolution, which was imminent throughout Europe, break out in France rather than elsewhere? And why did it display certain characteristics which have appeared nowhere else, or, at least, have appeared only in part?

One circumstance excites at first sight surprise. The revolution, whose peculiar object it was, as we have seen, everywhere to abolish the remnant of the institutions of the Middle Ages, did not break out in the countries in which these institutions, still in better preservation, caused the people most to feel their constraint and their rigour, but, on the contrary, in the countries where their effects were least felt; so that the burden seemed most intolerable where it was in reality least heavy.

In no part of Germany, for instance, at the close of the eighteenth century, was serfdom as yet completely abolished. Nothing of the kind had existed in France for a long period of time. The peasant came, and went, and bought and sold, and dealt and laboured as he pleased. The last traces of serfdom could only be detected in one or two of the eastern provinces annexed to France by conquest; everywhere else the institution had disappeared. The French peasant had not only ceased to be a serf; he had become an owner of land.

It has long been believed that the subdivision of landed property in France dates from the revolution of 1789, and was only the result of that revolution. The contrary is demonstrable by all the evidence.

The number of landed proprietors at that time amounted to one-half, frequently to two-thirds, of their present number. Now, all these small landowners were, in reality, ill at ease in the cultivation of their property, and had to bear many charges, or easements, on the land which they could not shake off.

Although what is termed in France the old régime is still very near to us, few persons can now give an accurate answer to the question--How were the rural districts of France administered before 1789?

In the eighteenth century all the affairs of the parish were managed by a certain number of parochial officers, who were no longer the agents of the manor or domain, and whom the lord no longer selected. Some of these persons were nominated by the intendant of the province, others were elected by the peasants themselves. The duty of these authorities was to assess the taxes, to repair the church, to build schools, to convoke and preside over the vestry or parochial meeting. They attended to the property of the parish, and determined the application of it; they sued, and were sued, in its name. Not only the lord of the domain no longer conducted the administration of the small local affairs, but he did not even superintend it. All the parish officers were under the government or control of the central power, as we shall show in a subsequent chapter. Nay, more; the seigneur had almost ceased to act as the representative of the crown in the parish, or as the channel of communication between the king and his subjects.

If we quit the parish, and examine the constitution of the larger rural districts, we shall find the same state of things. Nowhere did the nobles conduct public business either in their collective or their individual capacity. This was peculiar to France.

Of all the peculiar rights of the French nobility, the political element had disappeared; the pecuniary element alone remained, in some instances largely increased.

II.---A Shadow of Democracy

Picture to yourself a French peasant of the eighteenth century. Take him as he is described in the documents--so passionately enamoured of the soil that he will spend all his savings to purchase it, and to purchase it at any price. To complete his purchase he must first pay a tax, not to the government, but to other landowners of the neighbourhood, as unconnected as himself with the administration of public affairs, and hardly more influential than he is. He possesses it at last; his heart is buried in it with the seeds he sows. This little nook of ground, which is his own in this vast universe, fills him with pride and independence. But again these neighbours call him from his furrow, and compel him to come to work for them without wages. He tries to defend his young crops from their game; again they prevent him. As he crosses the river they wait for his passage to levy a toll. He finds them at the market, where they sell him the right of selling his own produce; and when, on his return home, he wants to use the remainder of his wheat for his own sustenance--of that wheat which was planted by his own hands, and has grown under his eyes--he cannot touch it till he has ground it at the mill and baked it at the bakehouse of these same men. A portion of his little property is paid away in quit-rents to them also, and these dues can neither be extinguished nor redeemed.

The lord, when deprived of his former power, considered himself liberated from his former obligations; and no local authority, no council, no provincial or parochial association had taken his place. No single being was any longer compelled by law to take care of the poor in the rural districts, and the central government had boldly undertaken to provide for their wants by its own resources.

Every year the king's council assigned to each province certain funds derived from the general produce of the taxes, which the intendant distributed.

Sometimes the king's council insisted upon compelling individuals to prosper, whether they would or no. The ordinances constraining artisans to use certain methods and manufacture certain articles are innumerable; and, as the intendants had not time to superintend the application of all these regulations, there were inspectors general of manufactures, who visited in the provinces to insist on their fulfilment.

So completely had the government already changed its duty as a sovereign into that of a guardian.

In France municipal freedom outlived the feudal system. Long after the landlords were no longer the rulers of the country districts, the towns still retained the right of self-government.

In most instances the government of the towns was vested in two assemblies. All the great towns were thus governed, and some of the small ones. The first of these assemblies was composed of municipal officers, more of less numerous according to the place. These municipal officers never received any stipend, but they were remunerated by exemptions from taxation and by privileges.

The second assembly, which was termed the general assembly, elected the corporation, wherever it was still subject to election, and always continued to take a part in the principal concerns of the town.

If we turn from the towns to the villages, we meet with different powers and different forms of government.

In the eighteenth century the number and the name of the parochial officers varied in the different provinces of France. In most of the parishes they were, in the eighteenth century, reduced to two persons--the one named the "collector," the other most commonly named the "syndic." Generally, these parochial officers were either elected, or supposed to be so; but they had everywhere become the instruments of the state rather than the representatives of the community. The collector levied the taille, or common tax, under the direct orders of the intendant. The syndic, placed under the daily direction of the sub-delegate of the intendant, represented that personage in all matters relating to public order or affecting the government. He became the principal agent of the government in relation to military service, to the public works of the state, and to the execution of the general laws of the kingdom.

Down to the revolution the rural parishes of France had preserved in their government something of that democratic aspect which they had acquired in the Middle Ages. The democratic assembly of the parish could express its desires, but it had no more power to execute its will than the corporate bodies in the towns. It could not speak until its mouth had been opened, for the meeting could not be held without the express permission of the intendant, and, to use the expression of those times, which adapted language to the fact, "under his good pleasure."

III.--The Ruin of the Nobility

If we carefully examine the state of society in France before the revolution, we may see that in each province men of various classes, those, at least, who were placed above the common people grew to resemble each other more and more, in spite of differences of rank.

Time, which had perpetuated, and, in many respects, aggravated the privileges interposed between two classes of men, had powerfully contributed to render them alike in all other respects.

For several centuries the French nobility had grown gradually poorer and poorer. "Spite of its privileges, the nobility is ruined and wasted day by day, and the middle classes get possession of the large fortunes," wrote a nobleman in a melancholy strain in 1755-Yet the laws by which the estates of the nobility were protected still remained the same, nothing appeared to be changed in their economical condition. Nevertheless, the more they lost their power the poorer they everywhere became in exactly the same proportion.

The non-noble classes alone seemed to inherit all the wealth which the nobility had lost; they fattened, as is were, upon its substance. Yet there were no laws to prevent the middle class from ruining themselves, or to assist them in acquiring riches; nevertheless, they incessantly increased their wealth--in many instances they had become as rich, and often richer, than the nobles. Nay, more, their wealth was of the same kind, for, though dwelling in the towns, they were often country landowners, and sometimes they even bought seignorial estates.

Let us now look at the other side of the picture, and we shall see that these same Frenchmen, who had so many points of resemblance among themselves, were, nevertheless, more completely isolated from each other than perhaps the inhabitants of any other country, or than had ever been the case before in France.

The fact is, that as by degrees the general liberties of the country were finally destroyed, involving the local liberties in their ruin, the burgess and the noble ceased to come into contact with public life.

The system of creating new nobles, far from lessening the hatred of the roturier to the nobleman, increased it beyond measure; it was envenomed by all the envy with which the new noble was looked upon by his former equals. For this reason the tiers état, in all their complaints, always displayed more irritation against the newly ennobled than against the old nobility.

In the eighteenth century the French peasantry could no longer be preyed upon by petty feudal despots. They were seldom the object of violence on the part of the government; they enjoyed civil liberty, and were owners of a portion of the soil. But all the other classes of society stood aloof from this class, and perhaps in no other part of the world had the peasantry ever lived so entirely alone. The effects of this novel and singular kind of oppression deserve a very attentive consideration.

This state of things did not exist in an equal degree among any other of the civilised nations of Europe, and even in France it was comparatively recent. The peasantry of the fourteenth century were at once oppressed and more relieved. The aristocracy sometimes tyrannised over them, but never forsook them.

In the eighteenth century a French village was a community of persons, all of whom were poor, ignorant, and coarse; its magistrates were as rude and as contemned as the people; its syndic could not read; its collector could not record in his own handwriting the accounts on which the income of his neighbour and himself depended.

Not only had the former lord of the manor lost the right of governing this community, but he had brought himself to consider it a sort of degradation to take any part in the government of it. The central power of the state alone took any care of the matter, and as that power was very remote, and had as yet nothing to fear from the inhabitants of the villages, the only care it took of them was to extract revenue.

A further burden was added. The roads began to be repaired by forced labour only--that is to say, exclusively at the expense of the peasantry. This expedient for making roads without paying for them was thought so ingenious that in 1737 a circular of the Comptroller-General Orry established it throughout France.

Nothing can better demonstrate the melancholy fate of the rural population; the progress of society, which enriches all the other classes, drives them to despair, and civilisation itself turns against that class alone.

The system of forced labour, by becoming a royal right, was gradually extended to almost all public works. In 1719 I find it was employed to build barracks. "Parishes are to send their best workmen," said the ordinance, "and all other works are to give way to this." The same forced service was used to escort convicts to the galleys and beggars to the workhouse; it had to cart the baggage of troops as often as they changed their quarters--a burthen which was very onerous at a time when each regiment carried heavy baggage after it. Many carts and oxen had to be collected for the purpose.

IV.--Reform and Destruction Inevitable

One further factor, and that the most important, remains to be noted: the universal discredit into which every form of religious belief had fallen, at the end of the eighteenth century, and which exercised without any doubt the greatest influence upon the whole of the French Revolution; it stamped its character.

Irreligion had produced an enormous public evil. The religious laws having been abolished at the same time that the civil laws were overthrown, the minds of men were entirely upset; they no longer knew either to what to cling or where to stop. And thus arose a hitherto unknown species of revolutionists, who carried their boldness to a pitch of madness, who were surprised by no novelty and arrested by no scruple, and who never hesitated to put any design whatever into execution. Nor must it be supposed that these new beings have been the isolated and ephemeral creation of a moment, and destined to pass away as that moment passed. They have since formed a race of beings which has perpetuated itself, and spread into all the civilised parts of the world, everywhere preserving the same physiognomy, the same character.

From the moment when the forces I have described, and the added loss of religion, matured, I believe that this radical revolution, which was to confound in common ruin all that was worst and all that was best in the institutions and condition of France, became inevitable. A people so ill-prepared to act for themselves could not undertake a universal and simultaneous reform without a universal destruction.

One last element must be remembered before we conclude. As the common people of France had not appeared for one single moment on the theatre of public affairs for upwards of 140 years, no one any longer imagined that they could ever again resume their position. They appeared unconscious, and were therefore believed to be deaf. Accordingly, those who began to take an interest in their condition talked about them in their presence just as if they had not been there. It seemed as if these remarks could only be heard by those who were placed above the common people, and that the only danger to be apprehended was that they might not be fully understood by the upper classes.

The very men who had most to fear from the fury of the people declaimed loudly in their presence on the cruel injustice under which the people had always suffered. They pointed out to each other the monstrous vices of those institutions which had weighed most heavily upon the lower orders; they employed all their powers of rhetoric in depicting the miseries of the people and their ill-paid labour; and thus they infuriated while they endeavoured to relieve them.

Such was the attitude of the French nation on the eve of the revolution, but when I consider this nation in itself it strikes me as more extraordinary than any event in its own annals. Was there ever any nation on the face of the earth so full of contrasts and so extreme in all its actions; more swayed by sensations, less by principles; led therefore always to do either worse or better than was expected of it, sometimes below the common level of humanity, sometimes greatly above it--a people so unalterable in its leading instincts that its likeness may still be recognised in descriptions written two or three thousand years ago, but at the same time so mutable in its daily thoughts and in its tastes as to become a spectacle and an amazement to itself, and to be as much surprised as the rest of the world at the sight of what it has done--a people beyond all others the child of home and the slave of habit, when left to itself; but when once torn against its will from the native hearth and from its daily pursuits, ready to go to the end of the world and to dare all things.

Such a nation could alone give birth to a revolution so sudden, so radical, so impetuous in its course, and yet so full of reactions, of contradictory incidents and of contrary examples. Without the reasons I have related the French would never have made the revolution; but it must be confessed that all these reasons united would not have sufficed to account for such a revolution anywhere else but in France.


History of the French Revolution

François Auguste Alexis Mignet was born at Aix, in Provence, on May 8, 1796, and began life at the Bar. It soon became apparent that his true vocation was history, and in 1818 he left his native town for Paris, where he became attached to the "Courier Français," in the meantime delivering with considerable success a series of lectures on modern history at the Athénée. Mignet may be said to be the first great specialist to devote himself to the study of particular periods of French history. His "History of the French Revolution, from 1789 to 1814," published in 1824, is a strikingly sane and lucid arrangement of facts that came into his hands in chaotic masses. Eminently concise, exact, and clear, it is the first complete account by one other than an actor in the great drama. Mignet was elected to the French Academy in 1836, and afterwards published a series of masterly studies dealing with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, among which are "Antonio Perez and Philip II.," and "The History of Mary, Queen of Scots," and also biographies of Franklin and Charles V. He died on March 24, 1884.

I.--The Last Resort of the Throne

I am about to take a rapid review of the history of the French Revolution, which began the era of new societies in Europe, as the English revolution had begun the era of new governments.

Louis XVI. ascended the throne on May 11, 1774. Finances, whose deficiencies neither the restorative ministry of Cardinal de Fleury, nor the bankrupt ministry of the Abbé Terray had been able to make good, authority disregarded, an imperious public opinion; such were the difficulties which the new reign inherited from its predecessors. And in choosing, on his accession to the throne, Maurepas as prime minister, Louis XVI. eminently contributed to the irresolute character of his reign. On the death of Maurepas the queen took his place with Louis XVI., and inherited all his influence over him. Maurepas, mistrusting court ministers, had always chosen popular ministers; it is true he did not support them; but if good was not brought about, at least evil did not increase. After his death, court ministers succeeded the popular ministers, and by their faults rendered the crisis inevitable which others had endeavoured to prevent by their reforms. This difference of choice is very remarkable; this it was which, by the change of men, brought on the change of the system of administration. The revolution dates front this epoch; the abandonment of reforms and the return of disorders hastened its approach and augmented its fury.

After the failure of the queen's minister the States-General had become the only means of government, and the last resources of the throne. The king, on August 8, 1788, fixed the opening for May 1, 1789. Necker, the popular minister of finance, was recalled, and prepared everything for the election of deputies and the holding of the States.

A religious ceremony preceded their installation. The king, his family, his ministers, the deputies of the three orders, went in procession from the Church of Nôtre Dame to that of St. Louis, to hear the opening mass.

The royal sitting took place the following day in the Salle des Menus. Galleries, arranged in the form of an amphitheatre, were filled with spectators. The deputies were summoned, and introduced according to the order established in 1614. The clergy were conducted to the right, the nobility to the left, and the commons in front of the throne at the end of the hall. The deputations from Dauphiné, from Crépy-en-Valois, to which the Duke of Orleans belonged, and from Provence, were received with loud applause. Necker was also received on his entrance with general enthusiasm.

Barentin, keeper of the seals, spoke next after the king. His speech displayed little knowledge of the wishes of the nation, or it sought openly to combat them. The dissatisfied assembly looked to M. Necker, from whom it expected different language.

The court, so far from wishing to organise the States-General, sought to annul them. No efforts were spared to keep the nobility and clergy separate from and in opposition to the commons; but on May 6, the day after the opening of the States, the nobility and clergy repaired to their respective chambers, and constituted themselves. The Third Estate being, on account of its double representation, the most numerous order, had the Hall of the States allotted to it, and there awaited the two other orders; it considered its situation as provisional, its members as presumptive deputies, and adopted a system of inactivity till the other orders should unite with it. Then a memorable struggle began, the issue of which was to decide whether the revolution should be effected or stopped.

The commons, having finished the verification of their own powers of membership on June 17, on the motion of Sieyès, constituted themselves the National Assembly, and refused to recognise the other two orders till they submitted, and changed the assembly of the States into an assembly of the people.

It was decided that the king should go in state to the Assembly, annul its decrees, command the separation of the orders as constitutive of the monarchy, and himself fix the reforms to be effected by the States-General. It was feared that the majority of the clergy would recognise the Assembly by uniting with it; and to prevent so decided a step, instead of hastening the royal sittings, they and the government closed the Hall of the States, in order to suspend the Assembly till the day of that royal session.

At an appointed hour on June 20 the president of the commons repaired to the Hall of the States, and finding an armed force in possession, he protested against this act of despotism. In the meantime the deputies arrived, and dissatisfaction increased. The most indignant proposed going to Marly and holding the Assembly under the windows of the king; one named the Tennis Court; this proposition was well received, and the deputies repaired thither in procession.

Bailly was at their head; the people followed them with enthusiasm, even soldiers volunteered to escort them, and there, in a bare hall, the deputies of the commons, standing with upraised hands, and hearts full of their sacred mission, swore, with only one exception, not to separate till they had given France a constitution.

By these two failures the court prefaced the famous sitting of June 23.

At length it took place. A numerous guard surrounded the hall of the States-General, the door of which was opened to the deputies, but closed to the public. After a scene of authority, ill-suited to the occasion, and at variance with his heart, Louis XVI. withdrew, having commanded the deputies to disperse. The clergy and nobility obeyed. The deputies of the people, motionless, silent, and indignant, remained seated.

The grand-master of the ceremonies, finding the Assembly did not break up, came and reminded them of the king's order.

"Go and tell your master," cried Mirabeau, "that we, are here at the command of the people, and nothing but the bayonet shall drive us hence."

"You are to-day," added Sieyès calmly, "what you were yesterday. Let us deliberate."

The Assembly, full of resolution and dignity, began the debate accordingly.

On that day the royal authority was lost. The initiative in law and moral power passed from the monarch to the Assembly. Those who, by their counsels, had provoked this resistance did not dare to punish it Necker, whose dismissal had been decided on that morning, was, in the evening, entreated by the queen and Louis XVI. to remain in office.

II.---"À la Bastille!"

The court might still have repaired its errors, and caused its attacks to be forgotten. But the advisers of Louis XVI., when they recovered from the first surprise of defeat, resolved to have recourse to the use of the bayonet after they had failed in that of authority.

The troops arrived in great numbers; Versailles assumed the aspect of a camp; the Hall of the States was surrounded by guards, and the citizens refused admission. Paris was also encompassed by various bodies of the army ready to besiege or blockade it, as the occasion might require; when the court, having established troops at Versailles, Sèvres, the Champ de Mars, and St. Denis, thought it able to execute its project. It began on July 11, by the banishment of Necker, who received while at dinner a note from the king enjoining him to leave the country immediately.

On the following day, Sunday, July 12, about four in the afternoon, Necker's disgrace and departure became known in Paris. More than ten thousand persons flocked to the Palais Royal. They took busts of Necker and the Duke of Orleans, a report also having gone abroad that the latter would be exiled, and covering them with crape, carried them in triumph. A detachment of the Royal Allemand came up and attempted to disperse the mob; but the multitude, continuing its course, reached the Place Louis XV. Here they were assailed by the dragoons of the Prince de Lambese. After resisting a few moments they were thrown into confusion; the bearer of one of the busts and a soldier of one of the French guards were killed.

During the evening the people had repaired to the Hôtel de Ville, and requested that the tocsin might be sounded. Some electors assembled at the Hôtel de Ville, and took the authority into their own hands. The nights of July 12 and 13 were spent in tumult and alarm.

On July 13 the insurrection took in Paris a more regular character. The provost of the merchants announced the immediate arrival of twelve thousand guns from the manufactory of Charleville, which would soon be followed by thirty thousand more.

The next day, July 14, the people that had been unable to obtain arms on the preceding day came early in the morning to solicit some from the committee, hurried in a mass to the Hôtel des Invalides, which contained a considerable depot of arms, found 28,000 guns concealed in the cellars, seized them, took all the sabres, swords, and cannon, and carried them off in triumph; while the cannon were placed at the entrance of the Faubourgs, at the palace of the Tuileries, on the quays and on the bridges, for the defence of the capital against the invasion of troops, which was expected every moment.

From nine in the morning till two the only rallying word throughout Paris was "À la Bastille! A la Bastille!" The citizens hastened thither in bands from all quarters, armed with guns, pikes, and sabres. The crowd which already surrounded it was considerable; the sentinels of the fortress were at their posts, and the drawbridges raised as in war. The populace advanced to cut the chains of the bridge. The garrison dispersed them with a charge of musketry. They returned, however, to the attack, and for several hours their efforts were confined to the bridge, the approach to which was defended by a ceaseless fire from the fortress.

The siege had lasted more than four hours when the French guards arrived with cannon. Their arrival changed the appearance of the combat. The garrison itself begged the governor to yield.

The gates were opened, the bridge lowered, and the crowd rushed into the Bastille.

III.--"Bread! Bread!"

The multitude which was enrolled on July 14 was not yet, in the following autumn, disbanded. And the people, who were in want of bread, wished for the king to reside at Paris, in the hope that his presence would diminish or put a stop to the dearth of provisions. On the pretext of protecting itself against the movements in Paris, the court summoned troops to Versailles, doubled the household guards, and sent in September (1789) for the dragoons and the Flanders regiment.

The officers of the Flanders regiment, received with anxiety in the town of Versailles, were fêted at the château, and even admitted to the queen's card tables. Endeavours were made to secure their devotion, and on October 1, a banquet was given to them by the king's guards. The king was announced. He entered attired in a hunting dress, the queen leaning on his arm and carrying the dauphin. Shouts of affection and devotion arose on every side. The health of the royal family was drunk with swords drawn, and when Louis XVI. withdrew the music played "O Richard! O mon roi! L'univers t'abandonne." The scene now assumed a very significant character; the march of the Hullans and the profusion of wine deprived the guests of all reserve. The charge was sounded; tottering guests climbed the boxes as if mounting to an assault; white cockades were distributed; the tri-colour cockade, it is said, was trampled on.

The news of this banquet produced the greatest sensation in Paris. On the 4th suppressed rumours announced an insurrection; the multitude already looked towards Versailles. On the 5th the insurrection broke out in a violent and invincible manner; the entire want of flour was the signal. A young girl, entering a guardhouse, seized a drum and rushed through the streets beating it and crying, "Bread! Bread!" She was soon surrounded by a crowd of women. This mob advanced towards the Hôtel de Ville, increasing as it went. It forced the guard that stood at the door, and penetrated into the interior, clamouring for bread and arms; it broke open doors, seized weapons, and marched towards Versailles. The people soon rose en masse, uttering the same demand, till the cry "To Versailles!" rose on every side. The women started first, headed by Maillard, one of the volunteers of the Bastille. The populace, the National Guard, and the French guards requested to follow them.

During this tumult the court was in consternation; the flight of the king was suggested, and carriages prepared. But, in the meantime, the rain, fatigue, and the inaction of the household troops lessened the fury of the multitude, and Lafayette arrived at the head of the Parisian army.

His presence restored security to the court, and the replies of the king to the deputation from Paris satisfied the multitude and the army.

About six next morning, however, some men of the lower class, more enthusiastic than the rest, and awake sooner than they, prowled round the château. Finding a gate open, they informed their companions, and entered.

Lafayette, apprised of the invasion of the royal residence, mounted his horse and rode hastily to the scene of danger. On the square he met some of the household troops surrounded by an infuriated mob, who were on the point of killing them. He threw himself among them, called some French guards who were near, and having rescued the household troops and dispersed their assailant, he hurried to the château. But the scene was not over. The crowd assembled again in the marble court under the king's balcony, loudly called for him, and he appeared. They required his departure for Paris. He promised to repair thither with his family, and this promise was received with general applause. The queen was resolved to accompany him, but the prejudice against her was so strong that the journey was not without danger. It was necessary to reconcile her with the multitude. Lafayette proposed to her to accompany him to the balcony. After some hesitation, she consented. They appeared on it together, and to communicate by a sign with the tumultuous crowd, to conquer its animosity and to awaken its enthusiasm, Lafayette respectfully kissed the queen's hand. The crowd responded with acclamations.

Thus terminated the scene; the royal family set out for Paris, escorted by the army, and its guards mixed with it.

The autumn of 1789 and the whole of the year 1790 were passed in the debate and promulgation of rapid and drastic reforms, by which the Parliament within eighteen months reduced the monarchy to little more than a form. Mirabeau, the most popular member, and in a sense the leader of the Parliament, secretly agreed with the court to save the monarchy from destruction; but on his sudden death, on April 2, 1791, the king and queen, in terror at their situation, determined to fly from Paris. The plan, which was matured during May and June, was to reach the frontier fortress of Montmédy by way of Chalons, and to take refuge with the army on the frontier.

The royal family made every preparation for departure; very few persons were informed of it, and no measures betrayed it. Louis XVI. and the queen, on the contrary, pursued a line of conduct calculated to silence suspicion, and on the night of June 20 they issued at the appointed hour from the château, one by one, in disguise, and took the road to Chalons and Montmédy.

The success of the first day's journey, the increasing distance from Paris, rendered the king less reserved and more confident. He had the imprudence to show himself, was recognised, and arrested at Varennes on the 21st.

The king was provisionally suspended--a guard set over him, as over the queen--and commissioners were appointed to question him.

IV.--Europe Declares War on the Revolution

While this was passing in the Assembly and in Paris, the emigrants, whom the flight of Louis XVI. had elated with hope, were thrown into consternation at his arrest. Monsieur, who had fled at the same time as his brother, and with better fortune, arrived alone at Brussels with the powers and title of regent. The emigrants thenceforth relied only on the assistance of Europe; the officers quitted their colours; 290 members of the Assembly protested against its decrees; in order to legitimatise invasion, Bouillé wrote a threatening letter, in the inconceivable hope of intimidating the Assembly, and at the same time to take up himself the sole responsibility of the flight of Louis XVI.; finally the emperor, the King of Prussia, and the Count d'Artois met at Pilnitz, where they made the famous declaration of August 27, 1791, preparatory to the invasion of France.

On April 20, 1792, Louis XVI. went to the Assembly, attended by all his ministers. In that sitting war was almost unanimously decided upon. Thus was undertaken against the chief of confederate powers that war which was protracted throughout a quarter of a century, which victoriously established the revolution, and which changed the whole face of Europe.

On July 28, when the allied army of the invaders began to move from Coblentz, the Duke of Brunswick, its commander-in-chief, published a manifesto in the name of the emperor and the King of Prussia. He declared that the allied sovereigns were advancing to put an end to anarchy in France, to arrest the attacks made on the altar and the throne. He said that the inhabitants of towns who dared to stand on the defensive should instantly be punished as rebels, with the rigour of war, and their houses demolished or burned; and that if the Tuileries were attacked or insulted, the princes would deliver Paris over to military execution and total subversion.

This fiery and impolitic manifesto more than anything else hastened the fall of the throne, and prevented the success of the coalition.

The insurgents fixed the attack on the Tuileries for the morning of August 10. The vanguard of the Faubourgs, composed of Marseillese and Breton Federates, had already arrived by the Rue Saint Honoré, stationed themselves in battle array on the Carrousel, and turned their cannon against the Tuileries, when Louis XVI. left his chamber with his family, ministers, and the members of the department, and announced to the persons assembled for the defence of the palace that he was going to the National Assembly. All motives for resistance ceased with the king's departure. The means of defence had also been diminished by the departure of the National Guards who escorted the king. The Swiss discharged a murderous fire on the assailants, who were dispersed. The Place du Carrousel was cleared. But the Marseillese and Bretons soon returned with renewed force; the Swiss were fired on by the cannon, and surrounded; and the crowd perpetrated in the palace all the excesses of victory.

Royalty had already fallen, and thus on August 10 began the dictatorial and arbitrary epoch of the revolution.

During three days, from September 2, the prisoners confined in the Carmes, the Abbaye, the Conciergerie, the Force, etc., were slaughtered by a band of about three hundred assassins. On the 20th, the in itself almost insignificant success of Valmy, by checking the invasion, produced on our troops and upon opinion in France the effect of the most complete victory.

On the same day the new Parliament, the Convention, began its deliberations. In its first sitting it abolished royalty, and proclaimed the republic. And already Robespierre, who played so terrible a part in our revolution, was beginning to take a prominent position in the debates.

The discussion on the trial of Louis XVI. began on November 13. The Assembly unanimously decided, on January 20, 1793, that Louis was guilty; when the appeal was put to the question, 284 voices voted for, 424 against it; 10 declined voting. Then came the terrible question as to the nature of the punishment. Paris was in a state of the greatest excitement; deputies were threatened at the very door of the Assembly. There were 721 voters. The actual majority was 361. The death of the king was decided by a majority of 26 votes.

He was executed at half-past ten in the morning of January 21, and his death was the signal for an almost universal war.

This time all the frontiers of France were to be attacked by the European powers.

The cabinet of St. James, on learning the death of Louis XVI., dismissed the Ambassador Chauvelin, whom it had refused to acknowledge since August 10 and the dethronement of the king. The Convention, finding England already leagued with the coalition, and consequently all its promises of neutrality vain and illusive, on February 1, 1793, declared war against the King of Great Britain and the stadtholder of Holland, who had been entirely guided by the cabinet of St. James since 1788.

Spain came to a rupture with the republic, after having interceded in vain for Louis XVI., and made its neutrality the price of the life of the king. The German Empire entirely adopted the war; Bavaria, Suabia, and the Elector Palatine joined the hostile circles of the empire. Naples followed the example of the Holy See, and the only neutral powers were Venice, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Turkey.

In order to confront so many enemies, the Convention decreed a levy of 300,000 men.

The Austrians assumed the offensive, and at Liège put our army wholly to the rout.

Meanwhile, partial disturbances had taken place several times in La Vendée. The Vendéans beat the gendarmerie at Saint Florens. The troops of the line and the battalions of the National Guard who advanced against the insurgents were defeated.

At the same time tidings of new military disasters arrived, one after the other. Dumouriez ventured a general action at Neerwinden, and lost it. Belgium was evacuated, Dumouriez had recourse to the guilty project of defection. He had conference with Colonel Mack, and agreed with the Austrians to march upon Paris for the purpose of re-establishing the monarchy, leaving them on the frontiers, and having first given up to them several fortresses as a guarantee. He proceeded to the execution of his impractical design. He was really in a very difficult position; the soldiers were very much attached to him, but they were also devoted to their country. He had the commissioners of the Convention arrested by German hussars, and delivered them as hostages to the Austrians. After this act of revolt he could no longer hesitate. He tried to induce the army to join him, but was forsaken by it, and then went over to the Austrian camp with the Duc de Chartres, Colonel Thouvenot, and two squadrons of Berchiny. The rest of his army went to the camp at Famars, and joined the troops commanded by Dampierre.

The Convention on learning the arrest of the commissions, established itself as a permanent assembly, declared Dumouriez a traitor, authorised any citizen to attack him, set a price on his head, and decreed the famous Committee of Public Safety.

V.---The Committee of Public Safety

Thus was created that terrible power which first destroyed the enemies of the Mountain, then the Mountain and the commune, and, lastly, itself. The committee did everything in the name of the Convention, which it used as an instrument. It nominated and dismissed generals, ministers, representatives, commissioners, judges, and juries. It assailed factions; it took the initiative in all measures. Through its commissioners, armies and generals were dependent upon it, and it ruled the departments with sovereign sway.

By means of the law touching suspected persons, it disposed of men's liberties; by the revolutionary tribunal, of men's lives; by levies and the maximum, of property; by decrees of accusation in the terrified Convention, of its own members. Lastly, its dictatorship was supported by the multitude who debated in the clubs, ruled in the revolutionary committees; whose services it paid by a daily stipend, and whom it fed with the maximum. The multitude adhered to a system which inflamed its passions, exaggerated its importance, assigned it the first place, and appeared to do everything for it.

Two enemies, however, threatened the power of this dictatorial government. Danton and his faction, whose established popularity gave him great weight, and who, as victory over the allies seemed more certain, demanded a cessation of the "Terror," or martial law of the committee; and the commune, or extreme republican municipal government of Paris.

The Committee of Public Safety was too strong not to triumph over the commune, but, at the same time, it had to resist the moderate party, which demanded the cessation of the revolutionary government and the dictatorship of the committees. The revolutionary government had only been created to restrain, the dictatorship to conquer; and as Danton and his party no longer considered restraint within and further victory abroad essential, they sought to establish legal order. Early in 1794 it was time for Danton to defend himself; the proscription, after striking the commune, threatened him. He was advised to be on his guard and to take immediate steps. His friends implored him to defend himself.

"I would rather," said he, "be guillotined than be a guillotiner; besides, my life is not worth the trouble, and I am sick of the world!"

"Well, then, thou shouldst depart."

"Depart!" he repeated, curling his lip disdainfully, "Depart! Can we carry your country away on the sole of our shoe?"

On Germinal 10, as the revolutionary calendar went (March 31, 1796), he was informed that his arrest was being discussed in the Committee of Public Safety. His arrest gave rise to general excitement, to a sombre anxiety. Danton and the rest of the accused were brought before the revolutionary tribunal. They displayed an audacity of speech and a contempt of their judges wholly unusual. They were taken to the Conciergerie, and thence to the scaffold.

They went to death with the intrepidity usual at that epoch. There were many troops under arms, and their escort was numerous. The crowd, generally loud in its applause, was silent. Danton stood erect, and looked proudly and calmly around. At the foot of the scaffold he betrayed a momentary emotion. "Oh, my best beloved--my wife!" he cried. "I shall not see thee again!" Then suddenly interrupting himself: "No weakness, Danton!"

Thus perished the last defender of humanity and moderation; the last who sought to promote peace among the conquerors of the revolution and pity for the conquered. For a long time no voice was raised against the dictatorship of terror. During the four months following the fall of the Danton party, the committee exercised their authority without opposition or restraint. Death became the only means of governing, and the republic was given up to daily and systematic executions.

Robespierre, who was considered the founder of a moral democracy, now attained the highest degree of elevation and of power. He became the object of the general flattery of his party; he was the great man of the republic. At the Jacobins and in the Convention his preservation was attributed to "the good genius of the republic" and to the Supreme Being, Whose existence he had decreed on Floréal 18, the celebration of the new religion being fixed for Prairial 20.

But the end of this system drew near. The committees opposed Robespierre in their own way. They secretly strove to bring about his fall by accusing him of tyranny.

Naturally sad, suspicious, and timid, he became more melancholy and mistrustful than ever. He even rose against the committee itself. On Thermidor 8 (July 25, 1794), he entered the Convention at an early hour. He ascended the tribunal, and denounced the committee in a most skilful speech. Not a murmur, not a mark of applause welcomed this declaration of war.

The members of the two committees thus attacked, who had hitherto remained silent, seeing the Mountain thwarted and the majority undecided, thought it time to speak. Vadier first opposed Robespierre's speech and then Robespierre himself. Cambon went further. The committees had also spent the night in deliberation. In this state of affairs the sitting of Thermidor 9 (July 27) began.

Robespierre, after attempting to speak several times, while his voice was drowned by cries of "Down with the tyrant!" and the bell which the president, Thuriot, continued ringing, now made a last effort to be heard. "President of assassins," he cried, "for the last time, will you let me speak?"

Said one of the Mountain: "The blood of Danton chokes you!" His arrest was demanded, and supported on all sides. It was now half-past five, and the sitting was suspended till seven. Robespierre was transferred to the Luxembourg. The commune, after having ordered the gaolers not to receive him, sent municipal officers with detachments to bring him away. Robespierre was liberated, and conducted in triumph to the Hôtel de Ville. On arriving, he was received with the greatest enthusiasm. "Long live Robespierre! Down with the traitors!" resounded on all sides. But the Convention marched upon the Hôtel de Ville.

The conspirators, finding they were lost, sought to escape the violence of their enemies by committing violence on themselves. Robespierre shattered his jaw with a pistol shot. He was deposited for some time at the Committee of Public Safety before he was transferred to the Conciergerie; and here, stretched on a table, his face disfigured and bloody, exposed to the looks, the invectives, the curses of all, he beheld the various parties exulting in his fall, and charging upon him all the crimes that had been committed.

On Thermidor 10, about five in the evening, he ascended the death-cart, placed between Henriot and Couthon, mutilated like himself. His head was enveloped in linen, saturated with blood; his face was livid, his eyes were almost visionless. An immense crowd thronged round the cart, manifesting the most boisterous and exulting joy. He ascended the scaffold last. When his head fell, shouts of applause arose in the air, and lasted for some minutes.

Thermidor 9 was the first day of the revolution it which those fell who attacked. This indication alone manifested that the ascendant revolutionary movement had reached its term. From that day the contrary movement necessarily began.

From Thermidor 9, 1794, to the summer of 1795, the radical Mountain, in its turn, underwent the destiny it had imposed on others--for in times when the passions are called into play parties know not how to come to terms, and seek only to conquer. From that period the middle class resumed the management of the revolution, and the experiment of pure democracy had failed.


History of the French Revolution

Carlyle's "History of the French Revolution" appeared in 1837, some three years after the author had established himself in London. Never has the individuality of a historian so completely permeated his work; it is inconceivable that any other man should have written a single paragraph, almost a single sentence, of the history. To Carlyle, the story presents itself as an upheaval of elemental forces, vast elemental personalities storming titanically in their midst, vividly picturesque as a primeval mountain landscape illumined by the blaze of lightning, in a night of storms, with momentary glimpses of moon and stars. Although it was impossible for Carlyle to assimilate all the wealth of material even then extant, the "History," considered as a prose epic, has a permanent and unique value. His convictions, whatever their worth, came, as he himself put it, "flamingly from the heart." (Carlyle, biography: see vol. ix.)

I.---The End of an Era

On May 10, 1774, "with a sound absolutely like thunder," has the horologe of time struck, and an old era passed away. Is it the healthy peace or the ominous unhealthy, that rests on France for the next ten years? Dubarrydom and its D'Aiguillons are gone for ever. There is a young, still docile, well-intentioned king; a young, beautiful and bountiful, well-intentioned queen; and with them all France, as it were, become young. For controller-general, a virtuous, philosophic Turgot. Philosophism sits joyful in her glittering salons; "the age of revolutions approaches" (as Jean Jacques wrote), but then of happy, blessed ones.

But with the working people it is not so well, whom we lump together into a kind of dim, compendious unity, monstrous but dim, far off, as the canaille. Singular how long the rotten will hold together, provided you do not handle it roughly. Visible in France is no such thing as a government. But beyond the Atlantic democracy is born; a sympathetic France rejoices over the rights of man. Rochambeaus, Lameths, Lafayettes have drawn their swords in this sacred quarrel; return, to be the missionaries of freedom. But, what to do with the finances, having no Fortunatus purse?

For there is the palpablest discrepancy between revenue and expenditure. Are we breaking down, then, into the horrors of national bankruptcy? Turgot, Necker, and others have failed. What apparition, then, could be welcomer than that of M. de Calonne? A man of indisputable genius, even fiscal genius, more or less; of intrinsically rich qualities! For all straits he has present remedy. Calonne also shall have trial! With a genius for persuading--before all things for borrowing; after three years of which, expedient heaped on expedient, the pile topples perilous.

Whereupon a new expedient once more astonishes the world, unheard of these hundred and sixty years--Convocation of the Notables. A round gross of notables, meeting in February, 1787; all privileged persons. A deficit so enormous! Mismanagement, profusion, is too clear; peculation itself is hinted at. Calonne flies, storm-driven, over the horizon. To whom succeeds Loménie-Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse--adopting Calonne's plans, as Calonne had proposed to adopt Turgot's; and the notables are, as it were, organed out in kind of choral anthem of thanks, praises, promises.

Loménie issues conciliatory edicts, fiscal edicts. But if the Parlement of Paris refuse to register them? As it does, entering complaints instead. Loménie launches his thunderbolt, six score lettres de cachet; the Parlement is trundled off to Troyes, in Champagne, for a month. Yet two months later, when a royal session is held, to have edicts registered, there is no registering. Orleans, "Equality" that is to be, has made the protest, and cut its moorings.

The provincial parlements, moreover, back up the Paris Parlement with its demand for a States-General. Loménie hatches a cockatrice egg; but it is broken in premature manner; the plot discovered and denounced. Nevertheless, the Parlement is dispersed by D'Agoust with Gardes Françaises and Gardes Suisses. Still, however, will none of the provincial parlements register.

Deputations coming from Brittany meet to take counsel, being refused audience; become the Breton Club, first germ of the Jacobins' Society. Loménie at last announces that the States-General shall meet in the May of next year (1789). For the holding of which, since there is no known plan, "thinkers are invited" to furnish one.

II.---The States-General

Wherewith Loménie departs; flimsier mortal was seldom fated to do as weighty a mischief. The archbishop is thrown out, and M. Necker is recalled. States-General will meet, if not in January, at least in May. But how to form it? On the model of the last States-General in 1614, says the Parlement, which means that the Tiers Etat will be of no account, if the noblesse and the clergy agree. Wherewith terminates the popularity of the Parlement. As for the "thinkers," it is a sheer snowing of pamphlets. And Abbé Sieyès has come to Paris to ask three questions, and answer them: What is the Third Estate? All. What has it hitherto been in our form of government? Nothing. What does it want? To become something.

The grand questions are: Shall the States-General sit and vote in three separate bodies, or in one body, wherein the Tiers Etat shall have double representation? The notables are again summoned to decide, but vanish without decision. With those questions still unsettled, the election begins. And presently the national deputies are in Paris. Also there is a sputter; drudgery and rascality rising in Saint-Antoine, finally repressed by Gardes Suisses and grapeshot.

On Monday, May 4, is the baptism day of democracy, the extreme unction day of feudalism. Behold the procession of processions advancing towards Notre--our commons, noblesse, clergy, the king himself. Which of these six hundred individuals in plain white cravat might one guess would become their king? He with the thick black locks, shaggy beetle-brows and rough-hewn face? Gabriel Honoré Riqueti de Mirabeau, the world-compeller, the type Frenchman of this epoch, as Voltaire of the last. And if Mirabeau is the greatest, who of these six hundred may be the meanest? Shall we say that anxious, slight, ineffectual-looking man, under thirty, in spectacles; complexion of an atrabiliar shade of pale sea-green, whose name is Maximilien Robespierre?

Coming into their hall on the morrow, the commons deputies perceive that they have it to themselves. The noblesse and the clergy are sitting separately, which the noblesse maintain to be right; no agreement is possible. After six weeks of inertia the commons deputies, on their own strength, are getting under way; declare themselves not Third Estate, but National Assembly. On June 20, shut out of their hall "for repairs," the deputies find refuge in the tennis court! take solemn oath that they will continue to meet till they have made the constitution. And to these are joined 149 of the clergy. A royal session is held; the king propounds thirty-five articles, which if the estates do not confirm he will himself enforce. The commons remain immovable, joined now by the rest of the clergy and forty-eight noblesse. So triumphs the Third Estate.

War-god Broglie is at work, but grapeshot is good on one condition! The Gardes Françaises, it seems, will not fire; nor they only. Other troops, then? Rumour declares, and is verified, that Necker, people's minister, is dismissed. "To arms!" cries Camille Desmoulins, and innumerable voices yell responsive. Chaos comes. The Electoral Club, however, declares itself a provisional municipality, sends out parties to keep order in the streets that night, enroll a militia, with arms collected where one may. Better to name it National Guard! And while the crisis is going on, Mirabeau is away, sad at heart for the dying, crabbed old father whom he loved.

Muskets are to be got from the Invalides; 28,000 National Guards are provided with matchlocks. And now to the Bastile! But to describe this siege perhaps transcends the talent of mortals. After four hours of world-bedlam, it surrenders. The Bastile is down. "Why," said poor Louis, "that is a revolt." "Sire," answered Liancourt, "it is not a revolt; it is a revolution."

On the morrow, Louis paternally announces to the National Assembly reconciliation. Amid enthusiasm, President Bailly is proclaimed Maire of Paris, Lafayette general of the National Guard. And the first emigration of aristocrat irreconcilables takes place. The revolution is sanctioned.

Nevertheless, see Saint-Antoine, not to be curbed, dragging old Foulon and Berthier to the lantern, after which the cloud disappears, as thunder-clouds do.

III.---Menads and Feast of Pikes

French Revolution means here the open, violent rebellion and victory of disemprisoned anarchy against corrupt, worn-out authority; till the frenzy working itself out, the uncontrollable be got harnessed. A transcendental phenomenon, overstepping all rules and experience, the crowning phenomenon of our modern time.

The National Assembly takes the name Constituent; with endless debating, gets the rights of man written down and promulgated. A memorable night is August 4, when they abolish privilege, immunity, feudalism, root and branch, perfecting their theory of irregular verbs. Meanwhile, seventy-two châteaus have flamed aloft in the Maçonnais and Beaujolais alone. Ill stands it now with some of the seigneurs. And, glorious as the meridian, M. Necker is returning from Bâle.

Pamphleteering, moreover, opens its abysmal throat wider and wider, never to close more. A Fourth Estate of able editors springs up, increases and multiplies, irrepressible, incalculable.

No, this revolution is not of the consolidating kind. Lafayette maintains order by his patrols; we hear of white cockades, and, worse still, black cockades; and grain grows still more scarce. One Monday morning, maternity awakes to hear children weeping for bread, must forth into the streets. Allons! Let us assemble! To the Hôtel de Ville, to Versailles, to the lantern! All women gather and go; crowds storm all stairs, force out all women; there is a universal "press of women." Who will storm the Hôtel de Ville, but for shifty usher Maillard, who snatches a drum, beats his Rogues' March to Versailles! And after them the National Guard, resolute in spite of Mon Général, who, indeed, must go with them--Saint-Antoine having already gone. Maillard and his menads demand at Versailles bread; speech with the king for a deputation. The king speaks words of comfort. Words? But they want "bread, not so much discoursing!"

Towards midnight comes Lafayette; seems to have saved the situation; gets to bed about five in the morning. But rascaldom, gathering about the château, breaks in. One of the royal bodyguard fires, whereupon the deluge pours in, would deal utter destruction but for the coming of the National Guard. The bodyguard mount the tri-colour. There is no choice now. The king must from Versailles to Paris, in strange procession; finally reaches the long-deserted Palace of the Tuileries. It is Tuesday, October 6, 1789.

And so again, on clear arena under new conditions, with something even of a new stateliness, we begin a new course of action. Peace of a father restored to his children? Not only shall Paris be fed, but the king's hand be seen in that work--King Louis, restorer of French liberty!

Alone of men, Mirabeau may begin to discern clearly whither all this is tending. Patriotism, accordingly, regrets that his zeal seems to be getting cool. A man stout of heart, enigmatic, difficult to unmask! Meanwhile, finances give trouble enough. To appease the deficit we venture on a hazardous step, sale of the clergy's lands; a paper-money of assignats, bonds secured on that property is decreed; and young Sansculottism thrives bravely, growing by hunger. Great and greater waxes President Danton in his Cordeliers section. This man also, like Mirabeau, has a natural eye.

And with the whole world forming itself into clubs, there is one club growing ever stronger, till it becomes immeasurably strong; which, having leased for itself the hall of the Jacobins' Convent, shall, under the title of the Jacobins' Club, become memorable to all times and lands; has become the mother society, with 300 shrill-tongued daughters in direct correspondence with her, has also already thrown off the mother club of the Cordeliers and the monarchist Feuillans.

In the midst of which a hopeful France on a sudden renews with enthusiasm the national oath; of loyalty to the king, the law, the constitution which the National Assembly shall make; in Paris, repeated in every town and district of France! Freedom by social contract; such was verily the gospel of that era.

From which springs a new idea: "Why all France has not one federation and universal oath of brotherhood once for all?" other places than Paris having first set example or federation. The place for it, Paris; the scene to be worthy of it. Fifteen thousand men are at work on the Champs de Mars, hollowing it out into a national amphitheatre. One may hope it will be annual and perennial; a feast of pikes, notable among the high tides of the year!

Workmen being lazy, all Paris turns out to complete the preparations, her daughters with the rest. From all points of the compass federates are arriving. On July 13, 1790, 200,000 patriotic men and 100,000 patriotic women sit waiting in the Champs de Mars. The generalissimo swears in the name of armed France; the National Assembly swears; the king swears; be the welkin split with vivats! And the feast of pikes dances itself off and becomes defunct.

IV.--The End of Mirabeau

Of journals there are now some 133; among which, Marat, the People's Friend, unseen, croaks harsh thunder. Clubbism thrives and spreads, the Mother of Patriotism, sitting in the Jacobins, shining supreme over all. The pure patriots now, sitting on the extreme tip of the left, count only some thirty, Mirabeau not among the chosen; a virtuous Pétion; an incorruptible Robespierre; conspicuous, if seldom audible, Philippe d'Orleans; and Barnave triumvirate.

The plan of royalty, if it have any, is that of flying over the frontiers; does not abandon the plan, yet never executes it. Nevertheless, Mirabeau and the Queen of France have met, have parted with mutual trust. It is strange, secret as the mysterious, but indisputable. "Madame," he has said, "the monarchy is saved." Possible--if Fate intervene not. Patriotism suspects the design of flight; barking this time not at nothing. Suspects also the repairing of the castle of Vincennes; General Lafayette has to wrestle persuasively with Saint-Antoine.

On one royal person only can Mirabeau place dependence--the queen. Had Mirabeau lived one other year! But man's years are numbered, and the tale of Mirabeau's is complete. The giant oaken strength of him is wasted; excess of effort, of excitement of all kinds; labour incessant, almost beyond credibility. "When I am gone," he has said, "the miseries I have held back will burst from all sides upon France." On April 2 he feels that the last of the days has risen for him. His death is Titanic, as his life has been. On the third evening is solemn public funeral. The chosen man of France is gone.

The French monarchy now is, in all human probability, lost. Many things invite to flight; but if the king fly, will there not be aristocrat Austrian invasion, butchery, replacement of feudalism, wars more than civil? The king desires to go to St. Cloud, but shall not; patriots will not let the horses go. But Count Fersen, an alert young Swedish soldier, has business on hand; has a new coach built, of the kind called Berline; has made other purchases. On the night of Monday, June 20, certain royal individuals are in a glass coach; Fersen is the coachman; out by the Barrier de Clichy, till we find the waiting Berline; then to Bondy, where is a chaise ready; and deft Fersen bids adieu.

With morning, and discovery, National Assembly adopts an attitude of sublime calm; Paris also; yet messages are flying. Moreover, at Sainte Menehould, on the route of the Berline, suspicious patriots are wondering what certain lounging dragoons mean; while the Berline arrives not. At last it comes; but Drouet, village postmaster, seeks a likeness; takes horse in swift pursuit. So rolls on the Berline, and the chase after it; till it comes to a dead stop in Varennes, where Drouet finds it--in time to stop departure. Louis, the poor, phlegmatic man, steps out; all step out. The flight is ended, though not the spurring and riding of that night of spurs.

V.---Constitution Will Not March

In the last nights of September, Paris is dancing and flinging fireworks; the edifice of the constitution is completed, solemnly proffered to his majesty, solemnly accepted by him, to the sound of cannon salvoes. There is to be a new Legislative Assembly, biennial; no members of the Constituent Assembly to sit therein, or for four years to be a minister, or hold a court appointment. So they vanish.

Among this new legislative see Condorcet, Brissot; most notable, Carnot. An effervescent, well intentioned set of senators; too combustible where continual sparks are flying, ordered to make the constitution march for which marching three things bode ill--the French people, the French king, the French noblesse and the European world.

For there are troubles in cities of the south. Avignon, where Jourdan coupe-tête makes lurid appearance; Perpignan, northern Caen also. With factions, suspicions, want of bread and sugar, it is verily what they call déchiré, torn asunder, this poor country. And away over seas the Plain of Cap Français one huge whirl of smoke and flame; one cause of the dearth of sugar. What King Louis is and cannot help being, we already know.

And, thirdly, there is the European world. All kings and kinglets are astir, their brows clouded with menace. Swedish Gustav will lead coalised armies, Austria and Prussia speak at Pilnitz, lean Pitt looks out suspicious. Europe is in travail, the birth will be WAR. Worst feature of all, the emigrants at Coblentz, an extra-national Versailles. We shall have war, then!

Our revenue is assignats, our army wrecked disobedient, disorganised; what, then, shall we do? Dumouriez is summoned to Paris, quick, shifty, insuppressible; while royalist seigneurs cajole, and, as you turn your legislative thumbscrew, king's veto steps in with magical paralysis. Yet let not patriotism despair. Have we not a virtuous Pétion, Mayor of Paris, a wholly patriotic municipality? Patriotism, moreover, has her constitution that can march, the mother-society of the Jacobins; where may be heard Brissot, Danton, Robespierre, the long-winded, incorruptible man.

Hope bursts forth with appointment of a patriot ministry, this also his majesty will try. Roland, perchance Wife Roland, Dumouriez, and others. Liberty is never named with another word, Equality. In April poor Louis, "with tears in his eyes," proposes that the assembly do now decree war. Let our three generals on the frontier look to it therefore, since Duke Brunswick has his drill-sergeants busy. We decree a camp of twenty thousand National Volunteers; the hereditary representative answers veto! Strict Roland, the whole Patriot ministry, finds itself turned out.

Barbaroux writes to Marseilles for six hundred men who know how to die. On June 20 a tree of Liberty appears in Saint-Antoine--a procession with for standard a pair of black breeches---pours down surging upon the Tuileries, breaks in. The king, the little prince royal, have to don the cap of liberty. Thus has the age of Chivalry gone, and that of Hunger come. On the surface only is some slight reaction of sympathy, mistrust is too strong.

Now from Marseilles are marching the six hundred men who know how to die, marching to the hymn of the Marseillaise. The country is in danger! Volunteer fighters gather. Duke Brunswick shakes himself, and issues his manifesto; and in Paris preternatural suspicion and disquietude. Demand is for forfeiture, abdication in favour of prince royal, which Legislature cannot pronounce. Therefore on the night of August 9 the tocsin sounds; of Insurrection.

On August 18 the grim host is marching, immeasurable, born of the night. Of the squadrons of order, not one stirs. At the Tuileries the red Swiss look to their priming. Amid a double rank of National Guards the royal family "marches" to the assembly. The Swiss stand to their post, peaceable yet immovable. Three Marseillaise cannon are fired; then the Swiss also fire. One strangest patriot onlooker thinks that the Swiss, had they a commander, would beat; the name of him, Napoleon Bonaparte. Having none----Honour to you, brave men, not martyrs, and yet almost more. Your work was to die, and ye did it.

Our old patriot ministry is recalled; Roland; Danton Minister of Justice! Also, in the new municipality, Robespierre is sitting. Louis and his household are lodged in the Temple. The constitution is over! Lafayette, whom his soldiers will not follow, rides over the border to an Austrian prison. Dumouriez is commander-in-chief.


In this month of September 1792 whatsoever is cruel in the panic frenzy of twenty-five million men, whatsoever is great in the simultaneous death-defiance of twenty-five million men, stand here in abrupt contrast; all of black on one side, all of bright on the other. France crowding to the frontiers to defend itself from foreign despots, to town halls to defend itself from aristocrats, an insurrectionary improvised Commune of Paris actual sovereign of France.

There is a new Tribunal of Justice dealing with aristocrats; but the Prussians have taken Longwi, and La Vendée is in revolt against the Revolution. Danton gets a decree to search for arms and to imprison suspects, some four hundred being seized. Prussians have Verdun also, but Dumouriez, the many-counseled, has found a possible Thermopylæ--if we can secure Argonne; for which one had need to be a lion-fox and have luck on one's side.

But Paris knows not Argonne, and terror is in her streets, with defiance and frenzy. From a Sunday night to Thursday are a hundred hours, to be reckoned with the Bartholomew butchery; prisoners dragged out by sudden courts of wild justice to be massacred. These are the September massacres, the victims one thousand and eighty-nine; in the historical fantasy "between two and three thousand"--nay, six, even twelve. They have been put to death because "we go to fight the enemy; but we will not leave robbers behind us to butcher our wives and children." Horrible! But Brunswick is within a day's journey of us. "We must put our enemies in fear." Which has plainly been brought about.

Our new National Convention is getting chosen; already we date First Year of the Republic. And Dumouriez has snatched the Argonne passes; Brunswick must laboriously skirt around; Dumouriez with recruits who, once drilled and inured, will one day become a phalanxed mass of fighters, wheels, always fronting him. On September 20, Brunswick attacks Valmy, all day cannonading Alsatian Kellerman with French Sansculottes, who do not fly like poultry; finally retires; a day precious to France!

On the morrow of our new National Convention first sits; old legislative ending. Dumouriez, after brief appearance in Paris, returns to attack Netherlands, winter though it be.

France, then, has hurled back the invaders, and shattered her own constitution; a tremendous change. The nation has stripped itself of the old vestures; patriots of the type soon to be called Girondins have the problem of governing this naked nation. Constitution-making sets to work again; more practical matters offer many difficulties; for one thing, lack of grain; for another, what to do with a discrowned Louis Capet--all things, but most of all fear, pointing one way. Is there not on record a trial of Charles I.?

Twice our Girondin friends have attacked September massacres, Robespierre dictatorship; not with success. The question of Louis receives further stimulus from the discovery of hidden papers. On December 11, the king's trial has emerged, before the Convention; fifty-seven questions are put to him. Thereafter he withdraws, having answered--for the most part on the simple basis of No. On December 26, his advocate, Deséze, speaks for him. But there is to be debate. Dumouriez is back in Paris, consorting with Girondins; suspicious to patriots. The outcome, on January 15--Guilty. The sentence, by majority of fifty-three, among them Egalité, once Orleans--Death. Lastly, no delay.

On the morrow, in the Place de la Revolution, he is brought to the guillotine; beside him, brave Abbé Edgeworth says, "Son of St. Louis, ascend to Heaven"; the axe clanks down; a king's life is shorn away. At home, this killing of a king has divided all friends; abroad it has united all enemies. England declares war; Spain declares war; they all declare war. "The coalised kings threaten us; we hurl at their feet, as gage of battle, the head of a king."

VII.--Reign of Terror

Five weeks later, indignant French patriots rush to the grocers' shops; distribute sugar, weighing it out at a just rate of eleven-pence; other things also; the grocer silently wringing his hands. What does this mean? Pitt has a hand in it, the gold of Pitt, all men think; whether it is Marat he has bought, as the Girondins say; or the Girondins, as the Jacobins say. This battle of Girondins and Mountain let no man ask history to explicate.

Moreover, Dumouriez is checked; Custine also in the Rhine country is checked; England and Spain are also taking the field; La Vendée has flamed out again with its war cry of God and the King. Fatherland is in danger! From our own traitors? "Set up a tribunal for traitors and a Maximum for grain," says patriot Volunteers. Arrest twenty-two Girondins!--though not yet. In every township of France sit revolutionary committees for arrestment of suspects; notable also is the Tribunal Révolutionnaire, and our Supreme Committee of Public Safety, of nine members. Finally, recalcitrant Dumouriez finds safety in flight to the Austrian quarters, and thence to England.

Before which flight, the Girondins have broken with Danton, ranged him against them, and are now at open war with the Mountain. Marat is attacked, acquitted with triumph. On Friday, May 31, we find a new insurrectionary general of the National Guard enveloping the Convention, which in three days, being thus surrounded by friends, ejects under arrestment thirty-two Girondins. Surely the true reign of Fraternity is now not far?

The Girondins are struck down, but in the country follows a ferment of Girondist risings. And on July 9, a fair Charlotte Corday is starting for Paris from Caen, with letters of introduction from Barbaroux to Dupernet, whom she sees, concerning family papers. On July 13, she drives to the residence of Marat, who is sick--a citoyenne who would do France a service; is admitted, plunges a knife into Marat's heart. So ends Peoples'-Friend Marat. She submits, stately, to inevitable doom. In this manner have the beautifulest and the squalidest come into collision, and extinguished one another.

At Paris is to be a new feast of pikes, over yet a new constitution; statue of Nature, statue of Liberty, unveiled! Republic one and indivisible--Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death! A new calendar also, with months new-named. But Toulon has thrown itself into the hands of the English, who will make a new Gibraltar of it! We beleaguer Toulon; having in our army there remarkable Artillery-Major Napoleon Bonaparte. Lyons also we beleaguer.

Committee of Public Safety promulgates levy en masse; heroically daring against foreign foes. Against domestic foes it issues the law of the suspects--none frightfuller ever ruled in a nation of men. The guillotine gets always quicker motion. Bailly, Brissot, are in prison. Trial of the "Widow Capet"; whence Marie Antoinette withdraws to die--not wanting to herself, the imperial woman! After her, the scaffold claims the twenty-two Girondins.

Terror is become the order of the day. Arrestment on arrestment follows quick, continual; "The guillotine goes not ill."

VIII.--Climax and Reaction

The suspect may well tremble; how much more the open rebels--the Girondin cities of the south! The guillotine goes always, yet not fast enough; you must try fusillading, and perhaps methods still frightfuller. Marseilles is taken, and under martial law. At Toulon, veteran Dugommier suffers a young artillery officer whom we know to try his plan--and Toulon is once more the Republic's. Cannonading gives place to guillotining and fusillading. At Nantes, the unspeakable horror of the noyades.

Beside which, behold destruction of the Catholic religion; indeed, for the time being, of religion itself; a new religion promulgated of the Goddess of Reason, with the first of the Feasts of Reason, ushered in with carmagnole dance.

Committee of Public Salvation ride this whirlwind; stranger set of cloud-compellors Earth never saw. Convention commissioners fly to all points of the territory, powerfuller than king or kaiser; frenzy of patriotism drives our armies victorious, one nation against the whole world; crowned by the Vengeur, triumphant in death; plunging down carrying vive la République along with her into eternity, in Howe's victory of the First of June. Alas, alas! a myth, founded, like the world itself, on Nothing!

Of massacring, altar-robbing, Hébertism, is there beginning to be a sickening? Danton, Camille Desmoulins are weary of it; the Hébertists themselves are smitten; nineteen of them travel their last road in the tumbrils. "We should not strike save where it is useful to the Republic," says Danton; quarrels with Robespierre; Danton, Camille, others of the friends of mercy are arrested. At the trial, he shivers the witnesses to ruin thunderously; nevertheless, sentence is passed. On the scaffold he says, "Danton, no weakness! Thou wilt show my head to the people--it is worth showing." So passes this Danton; a very man; fiery-real, from the great fire-bosom of nature herself.

Foul Hébert and the Hébertists, great Danton and the Dantonists, are gone, swift, ever swifter, goes the axe of Samson; Death pauses not. But on Prairial 20, the world is in holiday clothes in the Jardin National. Incorruptible Robespierre, President of the Convention, has decreed the existence of the Supreme Being; will himself be priest and prophet; in sky-blue coat and black breeches! Nowise, however, checking the guillotine, going ever faster.

On July 26, when the Incorruptible addresses the Convention, there is dissonance. Such mutiny is like fire sputtering in the ship's powder-room. The Convention then must be purged, with aid of Henriot. But next day, amid cries of Tyranny! Dictatorship! the Convention decrees that Robespierre "is accused"; with Couthon and St. Just; decreed "out of law"; Paris, after brief tumult, sides with the Convention. So on July 28, 1794, the tumbrils go with this motley batch of outlaws. This is the end of the Reign of Terror. The nation resolves itself into a committee of mercy.

Thenceforth, writ of accusation and legal proof being decreed necessary, Fouquier's trade is gone; the prisons deliver up suspects. For here was the end of the revolution system. The keystone being struck out, the whole arch-work of Sansculottism began to crack, till the abyss had swallowed it all.

And still there is no bread, and no constitution; Paris rises once again, flowing towards the Tuileries; checked in one day with two blank cannon-shots, by Pichegru, conqueror of Holland. Abbé Sieyès provides yet another constitution; unpleasing to sundry who will not be dispersed. To suppress whom, a young artillery officer is named commandant; who with whiff of grapeshot does very promptly suppress them; and the thing we specifically call French Revolution is blown into space.


History of the Girondists

Alphonse Marie Louis de Lamartine, poet, historian, statesman, was born at Macon, in Burgundy, on October 21, 1790. Early in the nineteenth century he held a diplomatic appointment at Naples, and in 1820 succeeded after many difficulties, in finding a publisher for his first volume of poems, "Nouvelles Méditations." The merits of the work were at once recognised, and the young author soon found himself one of the most popular of the younger generation of French poets. He next adopted politics, and, with the Revolution of February, became for a brief time the soul of political life in France. But the triumph of imperialism and of Napoleon III. drove him into the background, whereupon he retired from public life, and devoted his remaining years to literature. He died on March I, 1869. The publication, in 1847, of his "History of the Girondists, or Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution, from Unpublished Sources," was in the nature of a political event in France. Brilliant in its romantic portraiture, the work, like many other French histories, served the purposes of a pamphlet as well as those of a chronicle.

I.--The War-Seekers of the South

The French Revolution had pursued its rapid progress for two full years. Mirabeau, the first democratic leader, was dead. The royal family had attempted flight and failed. War with Europe threatened and, in the autumn of 1791, a new parliament was elected and summoned.

At this juncture the germ of a new opinion began to, display itself in the south, and Bordeaux felt its full influence. The department of the Gironde had given birth to a new political party in the twelve citizens who formed its deputies. This department, far removed from the centre, was at no distant period to seize on the empire alike of opinion and of eloquence. The names (obscure and unknown up to this period) of Ducos, Gaudet, Lafondladebat, Grangeneuve, Gensonné, Vergniaud, were about to rise into notice and renown with the storms and the disasters of their country; they were the men who were destined to give that impulse to the revolution that had hitherto remained in doubt and indecision, which was to precipitate it into a republic.

In the new parliament Brissot, the inspirer of the Gironde, the dogmatic statesman of a party which needed ideas and a leader, ascended the tribune in the midst of anticipated plaudits which betokened his importance in the new Assembly. His voice was for war, as the most efficacious of laws.

It was evident that a party, already formed, took possession of the tribune, and was about to arrogate to itself the dominion of the assembly. Brissot was its conspirator, Condorcet its philosopher, Vergniaud its orator. Vergniaud mounted the tribune, with all the prestige of his marvellous eloquence. The eager looks of the Assembly, the silence that prevailed, announced in him one of the great actors of the revolutionary drama, who only appear on the stage to win themselves popularity, to intoxicate themselves with applause, and--to die.

Vergniaud, born at Limoges, and an advocate of the Bar of Bordeaux, was now in his thirty-third year, for the revolutionary movement had seized on and borne him along with its currents when very young. His dignified, calm, and unaffected features announced the conviction of his power. Facility, that agreeable concomitant of genius, had rendered alike pliable his talents, his character, and even the position he assumed.

At the foot of the tribune he was loved with familiarity; as he ascended it each man was surprised to find that he inspired him with admiration and respect; but at the first words that fell from the speaker's lips they felt the immense distance between the man and the orator. He was an instrument of enthusiasm, whose value and whose place was in his inspiration.

Pétion was the son of a procureur at Chartres, and a townsman of Brissot; was brought up in the same way as he, in the same studies, same philosophy, same hatreds. They were two men of the same mind. The revolution, which had been the ideal of their youth, had called them on the scene on the same day, but to play very different parts. Brissot, the scribe, political adventurer, journalist, was the man of theory; Pétion, the practical man. He had in his countenance, in his character, and his talents, that solemn mediocrity which is of the multitude, and charms it; at least he was a sincere man, a virtue which the people appreciate beyond all others in those who are concerned in public affairs.

The nomination of Pétion to the office of maire of Paris gave the Girondists a constant point d'appui in the capital. Paris, as well as the Assembly, escaped from the king's hands.

A report praised by Brissot in his journal, and by the Girondists in the Assembly, afforded no longer any pretext for delaying the war. France felt that her strength was equal to her indignation, and she could be restrained no longer. The increasing unpopularity of the king augmented the popular excitement. Twice had he already arrested, by his royal veto, the energetic measures of the Assembly--the decree against the emigres and the decree against the priests who had not taken the oath. These two vetoes, the one dictated by his honour, the other by his conscience, were two terrible weapons placed in his hand by the constitution, yet which he could not wield without wounding himself. The Girondists revenged themselves for this resistance by compelling him to make war on the princes, who were his brothers, and the emperor, whom they believed to be his accomplice.

The war thus demanded by the ascendant Girondist party broke out in April, 1792. Their enemies, the extreme radical party called "Jacobins," had opposed the war, and when the campaign opened in disaster the beginning of their ascendancy and the Girondin decline had appeared.

These disasters were followed by a proclamation from the enemy that the work of the revolution would be undone, and the town of Paris threatened with military execution unless the king's power were fully restored. By way of answer the populace of Paris stormed the royal palace, deposed the king, and established a Radical government. Under this, a third parliament, the most revolutionary of all, called the "Convention," was summoned to carry on the war, the king was imprisoned, and on September 21, 1792, the day on which the invading armies were checked at Valmy, a republic was declared.

II.---the Fall of La Gironde

The proclamation of the republic was hailed with the utmost joy in the capital, the departments, and the army; to philosophers it was the type of government found under the ruins of fourteen ages of prejudice and tyranny; to patriots it was the declaration of war of a whole nation, proclaimed on the day of the victory of Valmy, against the thrones united to crush liberty; while to the people it was an intoxicating novelty.

Those who most exulted were the Girondists. They met at Madame Roland's that evening, and celebrated almost religiously the entrance of their creation into the world; and voluntarily casting the veil of illusion over the embarrassments of the morrow and the obscurities of the future, gave themselves up to the greatest enjoyment God has permitted man on earth--the birth of his idea, the contemplation of his work, and the embodied possession of his desires.

The republic had at first great military successes, but they were not long lived. After the execution of the king in January 1793, all Europe banded together against France, the French armies were crushingly defeated, their general, Dumouriez, fled to the enemy, and the Girondins, who had been in power all this while, were fatally weakened. Moreover, their attempt to save the king had added to their growing unpopularity when, after Dumouriez's treason in March 1793 Danton attacked them in the Convention.

The Jacobins comprehended that Danton, at last forced from his long hesitation, decided for them, and was about to crush their enemies. Every eye followed him to the tribune.

His loud voice resounded like a tocsin above the murmurs of the Girondists. "It is they," he said, "who had the baseness to wish to save the tyrant by an appeal to the people, who have been justly suspected of desiring a king. It is they only who have manifestly desired to punish Paris for its heroism by raising the departments against her; it is they only who have supped clandestinely with Dumouriez when he was at Paris; yes, it is they only who are the accomplices of this conspiracy."

The Convention oscillated during the struggle between the Girondins and their Radical opponents with every speech.

Isnard, a Girondin, was named president by a strong majority. His nomination redoubled the confidence of La Gironde in its force. A man extravagant in everything, he had in his character the fire of his language. He was the exaggeration of La Gironde--one of those men whose ideas rush to their head when the intoxication of success or fear urges them to rashness, and when they renounce prudence, that safeguard of party.

The strain between the Girondists, with their parliamentary majority, and the populace of Paris, who were behind the Radicals, or Jacobins, increased, until, towards the end of May, the mob rose to march on the parliament. The alarm-bells rang, and the drums beat to arms in all the quarters of Paris.

The Girondists, at the sound of the tocsin and the drums, met for the last time, not to deliberate, but to prepare and fortify themselves against their death. They supped in an isolated mansion in the Rue de Clichy, amidst the tolling of bells, the sound of the drums, and the rattling of the guns and tumbrils. All could have escaped; none would fly. Pétion, so feeble in the face of popularity, was intrepid when he faced death; Gensonné, accustomed to the sight of war; Buzot, whose heart beat with the heroic impressions of his unfortunate friend, Madame Roland, wished them to await their death in their places in the Convention, and there invoke the vengeance of the departments.

Some hours later the armed mob, Henriot, their general, at their head, appeared before the parliament. The gates were opened at the sight of the president, Hérault de Séchelles, wearing the tricoloured scarf. The sentinels presented arms, the crowd gave free passage to the representatives. They advanced towards the Carrousel. The multitude which were on this space saluted the deputies. Cries of "Vive la Convention! Deliver up the twenty-two! Down with the Girondists!" mingled sedition with respect.

The Convention, unmoved by these shouts, marched in procession towards the cannon by which Henriot, the commandant-general, in the midst of his staff, seemed to await them. Hérault de Séchelles ordered Henriot to withdraw this formidable array, and to grant a free passage to the national representations. Henriot, who felt in himself the omnipotence of armed insurrection, caused his horse to prance, while receding some paces, and then said in an imperative tone to the Convention, "You will not leave this spot until you have delivered up the twenty-two!"

"Seize this rebel!" said Hérault de Séchelles, pointing with his finger to Henriot. The soldiers remained immovable.

"Gunners, to your pieces! Soldiers, to arms!" cried Henriot to the troops. At these words, repeated by the officers along the line, a motion of concentration around the guns took place. The Convention retrograded.

Barbaroux, Lanjuinais, Vergniaud, Mollevault, and Gardien remained, vainly expecting the armed men who were to secure their persons, but not seeing them arrive, they retired to their own homes.

There followed the rising of certain parts of the country in favour of the Girondins and against Paris. It failed. The Girondins were prisoners, and after this failure of the insurrection the revolutionary government proceeded to their trial. When their trial was decided on, this captivity became more strict. They were imprisoned for a few days in the Carmelite convent in the Rue de Vaugeraud, a monastery converted into a prison, and rendered sinister by the bloody traces of the massacres of September.

III.--The Judges at the Bar

On October 22, their acte d'accusation was read to them, and their trial began on the 26th. Never since the Knights Templars had a party appeared more numerous, more illustrious, or more eloquent. The renown of the accused, their long possession of power, their present danger, and that love of vengeance which arises in men's hearts at mighty reverses of fortune, had collected a crowd in the precincts of the revolutionary tribunal.

At ten o'clock the accused were brought in. They were twenty-two; and this fatal number, inscribed in the earliest lists of the proscription, on May 31, at eleven o'clock, entered the salle d'audience, between two files of gens d'armes, and took their places in silence on the prisoners' bench.

Ducos was the first to take his seat: scarcely twenty-eight years of age, his black and piercing eyes, the flexibility of his features, and the elegance of his figure revealed one of those ardent temperaments in whom everything is light, even heroism.

Mainveille followed him, the youthful deputy of Marseilles, of the same age as Ducos, and of an equally striking but more masculine beauty than Barbaroux. Duprat, his countryman and friend, accompanied him to the tribunal. He was followed by Duchâtel, deputy of Deux Sévres, aged twenty-seven years, who had been carried to the tribunal almost in a dying state wrapped in blankets, to vote against the death of the "Tyrant," and who was termed, from this act and this costume, the "Spectre of Tyranny."

Carra, deputy of Sâone and Loire at the Convention, sat next to Duchâtel. His vulgar physiognomy, the stoop of his shoulders, his large head and disordered attire contrasted with the beauty and stature of Duchâtel Learned, confused, fanatic, declamatory, impetuous alike in attack or resistance, he had sided with the Gironde to combat the excesses of the people.

A man of rustic appearance and garb, Duperret, the involuntary victim of Charlotte Corday, sat next to Carra. He was of noble birth, but cultivated with his own hands the small estate of his forefathers.

Gensonné followed them: he was a man of five-and-thirty, but the ripeness of his intellect, and the resolution that dictated his opinions gave his features that look of energy and decision that belongs to maturer age.

Next came Lasource, a man of high-flown language and tragical imagination. His unpowdered and closely-cut hair, his black coat, his austere demeanour, and grave and ascetic features, recalled the minister of the Holy Gospel and those Puritans of the time of Cromwell who sought for God in liberty, and in their trial, martyrdom.

Valazé seemed like a soldier under fire; his conscience told him it was his duty to die, and he died.

The Abbé Fauchet came immediately after Valazé. He was in his fiftieth year, but the beauty of his features, the elevation of his stature, and the freshness of his colour, made him appear much younger. His dress, from its colour and make, befitted his sacred profession, and his hair was so cut as to show the tonsure of the priest, so long covered by the red bonnet of the revolutionist.

Brissot was the last but one.

Last came Vergniaud, the greatest and most illustrious of them all. All Paris knew, and had beheld him in the tribune, and was now curious to gaze not only on the orator on a level with his enemies, but the man reduced to take his place on the bench of the accused. His prestige still followed him, and he was one of those men from whom everything, even impossibilities, are expected.

IV.--The Banquet of Death

The jury closed the debate on October 30, at eight o'clock in the evening. All the accused were declared guilty of having conspired against the unity and indivisibility of the republic, and condemned to death. One of them, who had made a motion with his hand as though to tear his garments, slipped from his seat on to the floor. It was Valazé.

"What, Valazé, are you losing your courage?" said Brissot, striving to support him.

"No, I am dying," returned Valazé. And he expired, his hand on the poignard with which he had pierced his heart.

At this spectacle silence instantly prevailed, and the example of Valazé made the young Girondists blush for their momentary weakness.

It was eleven o'clock at night. After a moment's pause, occasioned by the unexpectedness of the sentence and the emotion of the prisoners, the sitting was closed amidst cries of "Vive la République!"

The Girondists, as they quitted their places, cried simultaneously. "We die innocent! Vive la République!"

They were all confined for this their last night on earth in the large dungeon, the waiting room of death.

The deputy Bailleul, their colleague at the Assembly, proscribed like them, but who had escaped the proscription, and was concealed in Paris, had promised to send them from without on the day of their trial a last repast, triumphant or funeral, according to the sentence. Bailleul, though invisible, kept his promise through the agency of a friend. The funeral supper was set out in the large dungeon; the daintiest meats, the choicest wines, the rarest flowers, and numerous flambeaux decked the oaken table--prodigality of dying men who have no need to save aught for the following day.

The repast was prolonged until dawn. Vergniaud, seated at the centre of the table, presided, with the same calm dignity he had presided at the Convention on the night of August 10. The others formed groups, with the exception of Brissot, who sat at the end of the table, eating but little, and not uttering a word. For a long time nothing in their features or conversation indicated that this repast was the prelude to death. They ate and drank with appetite, but sobriety; but when the table was cleared, and nothing left except the fruit, wine, and flowers, the conversation became alternately animated, noisy and grave, as the conversation of careless men, whose thoughts and tongues are freed by wine.

Towards the morning the conversation became more solemn. Brissot spoke prophetically of the misfortunes of the republic, deprived of her most virtuous and eloquent citizens. "How much blood will it require to wash out our own?" cried he. They were silent, and appeared terrified at the phantom of the future evoked by Brissot.

"My friends," replied Vergniaud, "we have killed the tree by pruning it. It was too aged. Robespierre cuts it. Will he be more fortunate than ourselves? No, the soul is too weak to nourish the roots of civic liberty; this people is too childish to wield its laws without hurting itself. We were deceived as to the age in which we were born, and in which we die for the freedom of the world."

A long silence followed this speech of Vergniaud's, and the conversation turned from earth to heaven.

"What shall we be doing to-morrow at this time?" said Ducos, who always mingled mirth with the most serious subjects. Each replied according to his nature.

Vergniaud reconciled in a few words all the different opinions. "Let us believe what we will," said he, "but let us die certain of our life and the price of our death. Let us each sacrifice what we possess, the one his doubt, the other his faith, all of us our blood, for liberty. When man offers himself a victim to Heaven, what more can he give?"

When all was ready, and the last lock of hair had fallen on the stones of the dungeon, the executioners and gens d'armes made the condemned march in a column to the court of the palace, where five carts, surrounded by an immense crowd, awaited them. The moment they emerged from the Conciergerie, the Girondists burst into the "Marseillaise," laying stress on these verses, which contained a double meaning:

Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé.

From this moment they ceased to think of themselves, in order to think of the example of the death of republicans they wished to leave the people. Their voices sank at the end of each verse, only to rise more sonorous at the first line of the next verse. On their arrival at the scaffold they all embraced, in token of community in liberty, life, and death, and then resumed their funeral chant.

All died without weakness. The hymn became feebler at each fall of the axe; one voice still continued it, that of Vergniaud. Like his companions, he did not die, but passed in enthusiasm, and his life, begun by immortal orations, ended in a hymn to the eternity of the revolution.


The Modern Régime

The early life of Hippolyte Adolphe Taine is notable for its successes and its disappointments. Born at Vouziers, in Ardennes, on April 21, 1838, he passed with great distinction through the Collège de Bourbon and the École Normale. Until he was twenty-five he filled minor positions at Toulon, Nevers, and Poitiers; and then, hopeless of further promotion, he abandoned educational work, returned to Paris, and devoted himself to letters. During 1863-64 he produced his "History of English Literature," a work which, on account of Taine's uncompromising determinist views, raised a clerical storm in France. About 1871 Taine conceived the idea of his great life work, "Les Origines de la France Contemporaine," in which he proposed to trace the causes and effects of the revolution of 1789. The first of the series, "The Ancient Régime," appeared in 1875; the second, "The Revolution," in 1878-81-85; and the third, "The Modern Régime," in 1890-94. As a study of events arising out of the greatest drama of modern times the supremacy of the last-named is unquestioned. It stands apart as a trenchant analysis of modern France, Taine's conclusions being that the Revolution, instead of establishing liberty, destroyed it. Taine died on March 5, 1893.

I.--The Architect of Modern France

In trying to explain to ourselves the meaning of an edifice, we must take into account whatever has opposed or favoured its construction, the kind and quality of its available materials, the time, the opportunity, and the demand for it; but, still more important, we must consider the genius and taste of the architect, especially whether he is the proprietor, whether he built it to live in himself, and, once installed in it, whether he took pains to adapt it to his own way of living, to his own necessities, to his own use.

Such is the social edifice erected by Napoleon Bonaparte, its architect, proprietor, and principal occupant from 1799 to 1814. It is he who has made modern France. Never was an individual character so profoundly stamped on any collective work, so that, to comprehend the work, we must first study the character of the man.

Contemplate in Guérin's picture the spare body, those narrow shoulders under the uniform wrinkled by sudden movements, that neck swathed in its high, twisted cravat, those temples covered by long, smooth, straight hair, exposing only the mask, the hard features intensified through strong contrasts of light and shade, the cheeks hollow up to the inner angle of the eye, the projecting cheek-bones, the massive, protuberant jaw, the sinuous, mobile lips, pressed together as if attentive; the large, clear eyes, deeply sunk under the broad arched eyebrows, the fixed oblique look, as penetrating as a rapier, and the two creases which extend from the base of the nose to the brow as if in a frown of suppressed anger and determined will. Add to this the accounts of his contemporaries who saw or heard the curt accent, or the sharp, abrupt gesture, the interrogating, imperious, absolute tone of voice, and we comprehend how, the moment they accosted him, they felt the dominating hand which seizes them, presses them down, holds them firmly, and never relaxes its grasp.

Now, in every human society a government is necessary, or, in other words, an organisation of the power of the community. No other machine is so useful. But a machine is useful only as it is adapted to its purpose; otherwise it does not work well, or it works adversely to that purpose. Hence, in its construction, the prime necessity of calculating what work it has to do, also the quantity of the materials one has at one's disposal.

During the French Revolution, legislators had never taken this into consideration; they had constituted things as theorists, and likewise as optimists, without closely studying them, or else regarding them as they wished to have them. In the national assemblies, as well as with the public, the task was deemed easy and ordinary, whereas it was extraordinary and immense, for the matter in hand consisted in effecting a social revolution and in carrying on a European war.

What is the service which the public power renders to the public? The principal one is the protection of the community against the foreigner, and of private individuals against each other. Evidently, to do this, it must in all cases be provided with indispensable means, namely, diplomats, an army, a fleet, arsenals, civil and criminal courts, prisons, a police, taxation and tax-collectors, a hierarchy of agents and local supervisors, who, each in his place and attending to his special duty, will co-operate in securing the desired effect. Evidently, again, to apply all these instruments, the public power must have, according to the case, this or that form of constitution, this or that degree of impulse and energy; according to the nature and gravity of external or internal danger, it is proper that it should be concentrated or divided, emancipated from control or under control, authoritative or liberal. No indignation need be cherished beforehand against its mechanism, whatever this may be. Properly speaking, it is a vast engine in the human community, like any given industrial machine in a factory, or any set of organs belonging to the living body.

Unfortunately, in France, at the end of the eighteenth century, a bent was taken in the organisation of this machine, and a wrong bent. For three centuries and more the public power had unceasingly violated and discredited spontaneous bodies. At one time it had mutilated them and decapitated them. For example, it had suppressed provincial governments (états) over three-quarters of the territory in all the electoral districts; nothing remained of the old province but its name and an administrative circumscription. At another time, without mutilating the corporate body, it had enervated and deformed it, or dislocated and disjointed it.

Corporations and local bodies, thus deprived of, or diverted from, their purpose, had become unrecognisable under the crust of the abuses which disfigured them; nobody, except a Montesquieu, could comprehend why they should exist. On the approach of the revolution they seemed, not organs, but excrescences, deformities, and, so to say, superannuated monstrosities. Their historical and natural roots, their living germs far below the surface, their social necessity, their fundamental utility, their possible usefulness, were no longer visible.

II.--The Body-Social of a Despot

Corporations, and local bodies being thus emasculated, by the end of the eighteenth century the principal features of modern France are traced; a creature of a new and strange type arises, defines itself, and issues forth its structure determining its destiny. It consists of a social body organised by a despot and for a despot, calculated for the use of one man, excellent for action under the impulsion of a unique will, with a superior intelligence, admirable so long as this intelligence remains lucid and this will remain healthy; adapted to a military life and not to civil life and therefore badly balanced, hampered in its development, exposed to periodical crises, condemned to precocious debility, but able to live for a long time, and for the present, robust, alone able to bear the weight of the new dominion and to furnish for fifteen successive years the crushing labour, the conquering obedience, the superhuman, murderous, insensate effort which its master, Napoleon, exacts.

However clear and energetic the ideas of Napoleon are when he sets to work to make the New Régime, his mind is absorbed by the preoccupations of the sovereign. It is not enough for him that his edifice should be monumental, symmetrical, and beautiful. First of all, as he lives in it and derives the greatest benefit from it, he wants it habitable, and habitable for Frenchmen of the year 1800. Consequently, he takes into account the habits and dispositions of his tenants, the pressing and permanent wants for which the new structure is to provide. These wants, however, must not be theoretic and vague, but verified and defined; for he is a calculator as close as he is profound, and deals only with positive facts.

To restore tranquillity, many novel measures are essential. And first, the political and administrative concentration just decreed, a centralisation of all powers in one hand, local powers conferred by the central power, and this supreme power in the hands of a resolute chief equal in intelligence to his high position; next, a regularly paid army, carefully equipped, properly clothed, and fed, strictly disciplined, and therefore obedient and able to do its duty without wavering or faltering, like any other instrument of precision; an active police force and gendarmerie held in check; administrators independent of those under their jurisdiction--all appointed, maintained, watched and restrained from above, as impartial as possible, sufficiently competent, and, in their official spheres, capable functionaries; finally, freedom of worship, and, accordingly, a treaty with Rome and the restoration of the Catholic Church--that is to say, a legal recognition of the orthodox hierarchy, and of the only clergy which the faithful may accept as legitimate--in other words, the institution of bishops by the Pope, and of priests by the bishops. This done, the rest is easily accomplished.

The main thing now is to dress the severe wounds the revolution has made--which are still bleeding--with as little torture as possible, for it has cut down to the quick; and its amputations, whether foolish or outrageous, have left sharp pains or mute suffering in the social organism.

Above all, religion must be restored. Before 1789, the ignorant or indifferent Catholic, the peasant at his plough, the mechanic at his work-bench, the good wife attending to her household, were unconscious of the innermost part of religion; thanks to the revolution, they have acquired the sentiment of it, and even the physical sensation. It is the prohibition of the mass which has led them to comprehend its importance; it is the revolutionary government which has transformed them into theologians.

From the year IV. (1795) the orthodox priests have again recovered their place and ascendancy in the peasant's soul which the creed assigns to them; they have again become the citizen's serviceable guides, his accepted directors, the only warranted interpreters of Christian truth, the only authorised dispensers and ministers of divine grace. He attends their mass immediately on their return, and will put up with no other.

Napoleon, therefore, as First Consul, concludes the Concordat with the Pope and restores religion. By this Concordat the Pope "declares that neither himself nor his successors shall in any manner disturb the purchasers of alienated ecclesiastical property, and that the ownership of the said property, the rights and revenues derived therefrom, shall consequently remain incommutable in their hands or in those of their assigns."

There remain the institutions for instruction. With respect to these, the restoration seems more difficult, for their ancient endowment is almost entirely wasted; the government has nothing to give back but dilapidated buildings, a few scattered investments formerly intended for the maintenance of a college scholarship, or for a village schoolhouse. And to whom should these be returned, since the college and the schoolhouse no longer exist? Fortunately, instruction is an article of such necessity that a father almost always tries to procure it for his children; even if poor, he is willing to pay for it, if not too dear; only, he wants that which pleases him in kind and in quality, and, therefore, from a particular source, bearing this or that factory stamp or label.

The state invites everybody, the communes as well as private persons, to the undertaking. It is on their liberality that it relies for replacing the ancient foundations; it solicits gifts and legacies in favour of new establishments, and it promises "to surround these donations with the most invariable respect." Meanwhile, and as a precautionary measure, it assigns to each its eventual duty; if the commune establishes a primary school for itself, it must provide the tutor with a lodging, and the parents must compensate him; if the commune founds a college or accepts a lycée, it must pay for the annual support of the building, while the pupils, either day-scholars or boarders, pay accordingly.

In this way the heavy expenses are already met, and the state, the manager-general of the service, furnishes simply a very small quota; and this quota, mediocre as a rule, is found almost null in fact, for its main largess consists in 6,400 scholarships which it establishes and engages to support; but it confers only about 3,000 of them, and it distributes nearly all of these among the children of its military or civil employees, so that the son's scholarship becomes additional pay for the father; thus, the two millions which the state seems, under this head, to assign to the lycées, are actually gratifications which it distributes among its functionaries and officials. It takes back with one hand what it bestows with the other.

This being granted, it organises the university and maintains it, not at its own expense, however, but at the expense of others, at the expense of private persons and parents, of the communes, and, above all, at the expense of rival schools and private boarding-schools, of the free institutions, and all this in favour of the university monopoly which subjects these to special taxation as ingenious as it is multifarious. Whoever is privileged to carry on a private school, must pay from two to three hundred francs to the university; likewise, every person obtaining permission to lecture on literature or on science.

III.--The New Taxation, Fiscal and Bodily

Now, as to taxes. The collection of a direct tax is a surgical operation performed on the taxpayer, one which removes a piece of his substance; he suffers on account of this, and submits to it only because he is obliged to. If the operation is performed on him by other hands, he submits to it voluntarily or not; but if he has to do it himself, spontaneously and with his own hands, it is not to be thought of. On the other hand, the collection of a direct tax according to the prescriptions of distributive justice is a subjection of each taxpayer to an amputation proportionate to his bulk, or at least to his surface; this requires delicate calculation and is not to be entrusted to the patients themselves; for not only are they surgical novices and poor calculators, but, again, they are interested in calculating falsely.

To this end, Napoleon establishes two divisions of direct taxation: one, the real-estate tax, which has no bearing on the taxpayer without any property; and the other the personal tax, which does affect him, but lightly. Such a system favours the poor; in other words, it is an infraction of the principle of distributive justice; through the almost complete exemption of those who have no property, the burden of direct taxation falls almost entirely on those who own property. If they are manufacturers, or in commerce, they support still another burden, that of the license tax, which is a supplementary impost proportioned to their probable gains. Finally, to all these annual and extra taxes, levied on the probable or certain income derived from invested or floating capital, the exchequer adds an eventual tax on capital itself, consisting of the mutation tax, assessed on property every time it changes hands through gift, inheritance, or by contract, obtaining its title under free donation or by sale, and which tax, aggravated by the timbre, is enormous, since, in most cases, it takes five, seven, nine, and up to ten and one-half per cent, on the capital transmitted.

One tax remains, and the last, that by which the state takes, no longer money, but the person himself, the entire man, soul and body, and for the best years of his life, namely, military service. It is the revolution which has rendered this so burdensome; formerly it was light, for, in principle, it was voluntary. The militia, alone, was raised by force, and, in general, among the country people; the peasants furnished men for it by casting lots. But it was simply a supplement to the active army, a territorial and provincial reserve, a distinct, sedentary body of reinforcements, and of inferior rank which, except in case of war, never marched; it turned out but nine days of the year, and, after 1778, never turned out again. In 1789 it comprised in all 75,260 men, and for eleven years their names, inscribed on the registers, alone constituted their presence in the ranks.

Napoleon put this military system in order. Henceforth every male able-bodied adult must pay the debt of blood; no more exemptions in the way of military service; all young men who had reached the required age drew lots in the conscription and set out in turn according to the order fixed by their drafted number.

But Napoleon is an intelligent creditor; he knows that this debt is "most frightful and most detestable for families," that his debtors are real, living men, and therefore different in kind, that the head of the state should keep these differences in mind, that is to say, their condition, their education, their sensibility and their vocation; that, not only in their private interest, but again in the interest of the public, not merely through prudence, but also through equity, all should not be indistinguishably restricted to the same mechanical pursuit, to the same manual labour, to the same indefinite servitude of soul and body.

Napoleon also exempts the conscript who has a brother in the active army, the only son of a widow, the eldest of three orphans, the son of a father seventy-one years old dependent on his labour, all of whom are family supports. He joins with these all young men who enlist in one of his civil militias, in his ecclesiastical militia, or in his university militia, pupils of the École Normale, seminarians for the priesthood, on condition that they shall engage to do service in their vocation, and do it effectively, some for ten years, others for life, subject to a discipline more rigid, or nearly as rigid, as military discipline.

IV.--The Prefect Absolute

Yet another institution which Napoleon gave to the Modern Régime in France is the Prefect of a Department. Before 1870, when this prefect appointed the mayors, and when the council general held its session only fifteen days in the year, this Prefect was almost omnipotent; still, at the present day, his powers are immense, and his power remains preponderant. He has the right to suspend the municipal council and the mayor, and to propose their dismissal to the head of the state. Without resorting to this extremity, he holds them with a strong hand, and always uplifted over the commune, for he can veto the acts of the municipal police and of the road committee, annul the regulations of the mayor, and, through a skilful use of his prerogative, impose his own. He holds in hand, removes, appoints or helps appoint, not alone the clerks in his office, but likewise every kind and degree of clerk who, outside his office, serves the commune or department, from the archivist down to and comprising the lowest employees, such as forest-guards of the department, policemen posted at the corner of a street, and stone-breakers on the public highway.

Such, in brief, is the system of local and general society in France from the Napoleonic time down to the date 1889, when these lines are written. After the philosophic demolitions of the revolution, and the practical constructions of the consulate, national or general government is a vast despotic centralised machine, and local government could no longer be a small patrimony.

The departments and communes have become more or less vast lodging-houses, all built on the same plan and managed according to the same regulations, one as passable as the other, with apartments in them which, more or less good, are more or less dear, but at rates which, higher or lower, are fixed at a uniform tariff over the entire territory, so that the 36,000 communal buildings and the eighty-six department hotels are about equal, it making but little difference whether one lodges in the latter rather than in the former. The permanent taxpayers of both sexes who have made these premises their home have not obtained recognition for what they are, invincibly and by nature, a syndicate of neighbours, an involuntary, obligatory association, in which physical solidarity engenders moral solidarity, a natural, limited society whose members own the building in common, and each possesses a property-right more or less great according to the contribution he makes to the expenses of the establishment.

Up to this time no room has yet been found, either in the law or in minds, for this very plain truth; its place is taken and occupied in advance by the two errors which in turn, or both at once, have led the legislator and opinion astray.


Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great, born on January 24, 1712, at Berlin, succeeded to the throne of Prussia in 1740, and died on August 17, 1786, at Potsdam, being the third king of Prussia, the regal title having been acquired by his grandfather, whose predecessors had borne the title of Elector of Brandenburg. Building on the foundations laid by his great-grandfather and his father, he raised his comparatively small and poor kingdom to the position of a first-class military power, and won for himself rank with the greatest of all generals, often matching his troops victoriously against forces of twice and even thrice their number. In Thomas Carlyle he found an enthusiastic biographer, somewhat prone, however, to find for actions of questionable public morality a justification in "immutable laws" and "veracities," which to other eyes is a little akin to Wordsworth's apology for Rob Roy. But whether we accept Carlyle's estimate of him or no, the amazing skill, tenacity, and success with which he stood at bay virtually against all Europe, while Great Britain was fighting as his ally her own duel in France in the Seven Years' War, constitutes an unparallelled achievement. "Frederick the Great" was begun about 1848, the concluding volumes appearing in 1865. (Carlyle, see LIVES AND LETTERS.)

I.--Forebears and Childhood

About the year 1780 there used to be seen sauntering on the terrace of Sans-Souci a highly interesting, lean, little old man of alert though slightly stooping figure, whose name among strangers was King Friedrich II., or Frederick the Great of Prussia, and at home among the common people was Vater Fritz--Father Fred. A king every inch of him, though without the trappings of a king; in a Spartan simplicity of vesture. In 1786 his speakings and his workings came to finis in this world of time. Editors vaguely account this man the creator of the Prussian monarchy, which has since grown so large in the world.

He was born in the palace of Berlin, about noon, on January 24, 1712; a small infant, but of great promise and possibility. Friedrich Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Prussia, father of this little infant, did himself make some noise in the world as second king of Prussia.

The founder of the line was Conrad of Hohenzollern, who came to seek his fortune under Barbarossa, greatest of all the kaisers. Friedrich I. of that line was created Elector of Brandenburg in 1415; the eleventh in succession was Friedrich Wilhelm, the "Great Elector," who in 1640 found Brandenburg annihilated, and left it in 1688 sound and flourishing, a great country, or already on the way towards greatness; a most rapid, clear-eyed, active man. His son got himself made King of Prussia, and was Friedrich I., who was still reigning when his grandson, Frederick the Great, was born. Not two years later Friedrich Wilhelm is king.

Of that strange king and his strange court there is no light to be had except from the book written by Frederick's little sister, Wilhelmina, when she grew to size and knowledge of good and evil--a flickery wax taper held over Frederick's childhood. In the breeding of him there are two elements noticeable, widely diverse--the French and the German. Of his infantine history the course was in general smooth. The boy, it was said, was of extraordinary vivacity; only he takes less to soldiering than the paternal heart could wish. The French element is in his governesses--good Edict-of-Nantes ladies.

For the boy's teachers, Friedrich Wilhelm has rules for guidance strict enough. He is to be taught useful knowledge--history of the last hundred and fifty years, arithmetic, fortification; but nothing useless of Latin and the like. Spartan training, too, which shall make a soldier of him. Whereas young Fritz has vivacities, a taste for music, finery, and excursions into forbidden realms distasteful and incomprehensible to Friedrich Wilhelm. We perceive the first small cracks of incurable division in the royal household, traceable from Fritz's sixth or seventh year; a divulsion splitting ever wider, new offences super-adding themselves. This Fritz ought to fashion himself according to his father's pattern, and he does not. These things make life all bitter for son and for father, necessitating the proud son to hypocrisies very foreign to him had there been other resource.

The boy in due time we find (at fifteen) attached to the amazing regiment of giants, drilling at Potsdam; on very ill terms with his father, however, who sees in him mainly wilful disobedience and frivolity. Once, when Prussia and Hanover seem on the verge of war over an utterly trivial matter, our crown prince acquires momentary favour. The Potsdam Guards are ordered to the front, and the prince handles them with great credit. But the favour is transitory, seeing that he is caught reading French books, and arrayed in a fashion not at all pleasing to the Spartan parent.

II.--The Crown Prince Leaves Kingship

The life is indeed so intolerable that Fritz is with difficulty dissuaded from running away. The time comes when he will not be dissuaded, resolves that he will endure no longer. There were only three definite accomplices in the wild scheme, which had a very tragical ending. Of the three, Lieutenant Keith, scenting discovery, slipped over the border and so to England; his brother, Page Keith, feeling discovery certain, made confession, after vigilance had actually stopped the prince when he was dressed for the flight. There was terrible wrath of the father over the would-be "deserter and traitor," and not less over the other accomplice, Lieutenant Katte, who had dallied too long. The crown prince himself was imprisoned; court-martial held on the offenders; a too-lenient sentence was overruled by the king, and Katte was executed. The king was near frenzied, but beyond doubt thought honestly that he was doing no more than justice demanded.

As for the crown prince himself, deserting colonel of a regiment, the court-martial, with two dissentients, condemned him to death; sentence which the Junius Brutus of a king would have duly carried out. But remonstrance is universal, and an autograph letter from the kaiser seemingly decisive. Frederick was, as it were, retired to a house of his own and a court of his own--court very strictly regulated--at Cüstrin; not yet a soldier of the Prussian army, but hoping only to become so again; while he studied the domain sciences, more particularly the rigidly economical principles of state finance as practised by his father. The tragedy has taught him a lesson, and he has more to learn. That period is finally ended when he is restored to the army in 1732.

Reconciliation, complete submission, and obedience, a prince with due appreciation of facts has now made up his mind to; very soon shaped into acceptance of paternal demand that he shall wed Elizabeth of Brunswick-Bevern, insipid niece of the kaiser. In private correspondence he expresses himself none too submissively, but offers no open opposition to the king's wishes.

The charmer of Brunswick turned out not so bad as might have been expected; not ill-looking; of an honest, guileless heart, if little articulate intellect; considerable inarticulate sense; after marriage, which took place in June 1733, shaped herself successfully to the prince's taste, and grew yearly gracefuller and better-looking. But the affair, before it came off, gave rise to a certain visit of Friedrich Wilhelm to the kaiser, of which in the long run the outcome was that complete distrust of the kaiser displaced the king's heretofore determined loyalty to him.

Meanwhile an event has fallen out at Warsaw. Augustus, the physically strong, is no more; transcendent king of edacious flunkies, father of 354 children, but not without fine qualities; and Poland has to find a new king. His death kindled foolish Europe generally into fighting, and gave our crown prince his first actual sight and experience of the facts of war. Stanislaus is overwhelmingly the favourite candidate, supported, too, by France. The other candidate, August of Saxony, secures the kaiser's favour by promise of support to his Pragmatic Sanction; and the appearance of Russian troops secures "freedom of election" and choice of August by the electors who are not absent. August is crowned, and Poland in a flame. Friedrich Wilhelm cares not for Polish elections, but, as by treaty bound, provides 10,000 men to support the kaiser on the Rhine, while he gives asylum to the fugitive Stanislaus. Crown prince, now twenty-two, is with the force; sees something of warfare, but nothing big.

War being finished, Frederick occupied a mansion at Reinsberg with his princess, and things went well, if economically, with much correspondence with the other original mind of those days, Voltaire. But big events are coming now. Mr. Jenkins's ear re-emerges from cotton-wool after seven years, and Walpole has to declare war with Spain in 1739. Moreover, Friedrich Wilhelm is exceedingly ill. In May 1740 comes a message--Frederick must come to Potsdam quickly if he is to see his father again. The son comes. "Am not I happy to have such a son to leave behind me?" says the dying king. On May 31 he dies. No baresark of them, nor Odin's self, was a bit of truer stuff.

III.--The Silesian Wars

Shall we, then, have the philosopher-king, as Europe dimly seems to half expect? He begins, indeed, with opening corn magazines, abolishing legal torture; will have freedom of conscience and the Press; encourage philosophers and men of letters. In those days he had his first meeting with Voltaire, recorded for us by the Frenchman twenty years later; for his own reasons, vitriolically and with inaccuracies, the record amounting to not much. Frederick was suffering from a quartan fever. Of which ague he was cured by the news that Kaiser Carl died on October 20, and Maria Theresa was proclaimed sovereign of the Hapsburg inheritance, according to the Pragmatic Sanction.

Whereupon, without delay, Frederick forms a resolution, which had sprung and got to sudden fixity in the head of the young king himself, and met with little save opposition from all others--to make good his rights in Silesia. A most momentous resolution; not the peaceable magnanimities, but the warlike, are the thing appointed for Frederick henceforth.

In mid-December the troops entered Silesia; except in the hills, where Catholics predominate, with marked approbation of the population, we find. Of warlike preparation to meet the Prussians is practically none, and in seven weeks Silesia is held, save three fortresses easy to manage in spring. Will the hold be maintained?

Meanwhile, France will have something to say, moved by a figure not much remembered, yet notable, Marshal Belleisle; perhaps, after Frederick and Voltaire, the most notable of that time. A man of large schemes, altogether accordant with French interests, but not, unfortunately, with facts and law of gravitation. For whom the first thing needful is that Grand Duke Franz, husband of Maria Theresa, shall not be elected kaiser; who shall be is another matter--why not Karl Albert of Bavaria as well as another?

After brief absence, Frederick is soon back in Silesia, to pay attention to blockaded Glogau and Brieg and Neisse; harassed, however, by Austrian Pandours out of Glatz, a troublesome kind of cavalry. The siege of Neisse is to open on April 4, when we find Austrian Neipperg with his army approaching; by good fortune a dilatory Neipperg; of which comes the battle of Mollwitz.

In which fight victory finally rested with Prussians and Schwerin, who held the field, Austrians retiring, but not much pursued; demonstration that a new military power is on the scene (April 10). A victory, though, of old Friedrich Wilhelm, and his training and discipline, having in it as yet nothing of young Frederick's own.

A battle, however, which in effect set going the conflagration unintelligible to Englishmen, known as War of the Austrian Accession. In which we observe a clear ground for Anglo-Spanish War, and Austro-Prussian War; but what were the rest doing? France is the author of it, as an Anti-Pragmatic war; George II. and Hanover are dragged into it as a Pragmatic war; but the intervention of France at all was barefacedly unjust and gratuitous. To begin with, however, Belleisle's scheming brings about election to kaisership of Karl Albert of Bavaria, principal Anti-Pragmatic claimant to the Austrian heritage.

Brieg was taken not long after Mollwitz, and now many diplomatists come to Frederick's camp at Strehlen. In effect, will he choose English or French alliance? Will England get him what will satisfy him from Austria? If not, French alliance and war with Austria--which problem issues in treaty with France--mostly contingent. Diplomatising continues, no one intending to be inconveniently loyal to engagements; so that four months after French treaty comes another engagement or arrangement of Klein Schnelendorf--Frederick to keep most of Silesia, but a plausible show of hostilities--nothing more--to be maintained for the present. In consequence of which Frederick solemnly captures Neisse.

The arrangement, however, comes to grief, enough of it being divulged from Vienna to explode it. Out of which comes the Moravian expedition; by inertness of allies turned into a mere Moravian foray, "the French acting like fools, and the Saxons like traitors," growls Frederick.

Raid being over, Prince Karl, brother of Grand Duke Franz, comes down with his army, and follows the battle of Chotusitz, also called of Czaslau. A hard-fought battle, ending in defeat of the Austrians; not in itself decisive, but the eyes of Europe very confirmatory of the view that the Austrians cannot beat the Prussians. From a wounded general, too, Frederick learns that the French have been making overtures for peace on their own account, Prussia to be left to Austria if she likes, of which is documentary proof.

No need, then, for Frederick to be scrupulous about making his own terms. His Britannic Majesty is urgent that Maria Theresa should agree with Frederick. Out of which comes Treaty of Breslau, ceding Silesia to Prussia; and exceeding disgust of Belleisle, ending the first Silesian War.

With which Frederick would have liked to see the European war ended altogether; but it went on, Austria, too, prospering. He tries vainly to effect combinations to enforce peace. George of England, having at last fairly got himself into the war, and through the battle of Dettingen, valorously enough; operations emerging in a Treaty of Worms (September 1743), mainly between England and Austria, which does not guarantee the Breslau Treaty. An expressive silence! "What was good to give is good to take." Is Frederick, then, not secure of Silesia? If he must guard his own, he can no longer stand aside. So the Worms Treaty begets an opposition treaty, chief parties Prussia, France, and Kaiser Karl Albert of Bavaria, signed at Frankfurt-on-Maine, May 1744.

Before which France has actually declared war on England, with whose troops her own have been fighting for a not inconsiderable time without declaration of war; and all the time fortifications in Silesia have been becoming realities. Frederick will strike when his moment comes.

The imperative moment does come when Prince Karl, or, more properly, Traun, under cloak of Prince Karl, seems on the point of altogether crushing the French. Frederick intervenes, in defence of the kaiser; swoops on Bohemia, captures Prag; in short, brings Prince Karl and Traun back at high speed, unhindered by French. Thenceforward, not a successfully managed campaign on Frederick's part, admirably conducted on the other side by Traun. This campaign the king's school in the art of war, and M. de Traun his teacher--so Frederick himself admits.

Austria is now sure to invade Silesia; will Frederick not block the passes against Prince Karl, now having no Traun under his cloak? Frederick will not--one leaves the mouse-trap door open, pleasantly baited, moreover, into which mouse Karl will walk. And so, three weeks after that remarkable battle of Fontenoy, in another quarter, very hard-won victory of Maréchal Saxe over Britannic Majesty's Martial Boy, comes battle of Hohenfriedberg. A most decisive battle, "most decisive since Blenheim," wrote Frederick, whose one desire now is peace.

Britannic Majesty makes peace for himself with Frederick, being like to have his hands full with a rising in the Scotch Highlands; Austria will not, being still resolute to recover Silesia--rejects bait of Prussian support in imperial election for Wainz, Kaiser Karl being now dead. What is kaisership without Silesia? Prussia has no insulted kaiser to defend, desires no more than peace on the old Breslau terms properly ratified; but finances are low. Grand Duke Franz is duly elected; but the empress queen will have Silesia. Battle of Sohr does not convince her. There must be another surprising last attempt by Saxony and Austria; settled by battles of Hennensdorf and Kesselsdorf.

So at last Frederick got the Peace of Dresden--security, it is to be hoped, in Silesia, the thing for which he had really gone to war; leaving the rest of the European imbroglio to get itself settled in its own fashion after another two years of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Frederick now has ten years of peace before him, during which his actions and salutary conquests over difficulties were many, profitable to Prussia and himself. Frederick has now, by his second Silesian war, achieved greatness; "Frederick the Great," expressly so denominated by his people and others. However, there are still new difficulties, new perils and adventures ahead.

For the present, then, Frederick declines the career of conquering hero; goes into law reform; gets ready a country cottage for himself, since become celebrated under the name of Sans-Souci. General war being at last ended, he receives a visit from Maréchal Saxe, brilliant French field-marshal, most dissipated man of his time, one of the 354 children of Augustus the Physically Strong.

But the ten years are passing--there is like to be another war. Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, made in a hurry, had left some questions open in America, answered in one way by the French, quite otherwise by English colonists. Canada and Louisiana mean all America west of the Alleghanies? Why then? Whomsoever America does belong to, it surely is not France. Braddock disasters, Frenchmen who understand war--these things are ominous; but there happens to be in England a Mr. Pitt. Here in Europe, too, King Frederick had come in a profoundly private manner upon certain extensive anti-Prussian symptoms--Austrian, Russian, Saxon--of a most dangerous sort; in effect, an underground treaty for partitioning Prussia; knowledge thereof extracted from Dresden archives.

IV.--The Seven Years' War Opens

Very curious diplomatisings, treaties, and counter-treaties are going on. What counts is Frederick's refusal to help France against England, and agreement with George of England--and of Hanover--to keep foreign troops off German soil? Also Kaunitz has twirled Austrian policy on its axis; we are to be friends with France. In this coming war, England and Austria, hitherto allies, to be foes; France and Austria, hitherto foes, to be allies.

War starts with the French capture of Minorca and the Byng affair, well known. What do the movements of Russian and Austrian troops mean? Frederick asks at Vienna; answer is no answer. We are ready then; Saxony is the key to Bohemia. Frederick marches into Saxony, demands inspection of Dresden Archives, with originals of documents known to him; blockades the Saxons in Pirna, somewhat forcibly requiring not Saxon neutrality, but Saxon alliance. And meanwhile neither France nor Austria is deaf to the cries of Saxon-Polish majesty. Austrian Field-Marshal Browne is coming to relieve the Saxons; is foiled, but not routed, at Lobositz; tries another move, executing admirably his own part, but the Saxons fail in theirs; the upshot, capitulation, the Saxon troops forced to volunteer as Prussians.

For the coming year, 1757, there are arrayed against Frederick four armies--French, Austrian, Russian, Swedish; help only from a Duke of Cumberland on the Weser; the last two enemies not presently formidable. He is not to stand on the defensive, but to go on it; startles the world by suddenly marching on Prag, in three columns. Before Prag a mighty battle desperately fought; old Schwerin killed, Austrian Browne wounded mortally--fatal to Austria; Austrians driven into Prag, with loss of 13,000 men. Not annihilative, since Prag can hold out, though with prospect of famishing.

But Daun is coming, in no haste--Fabius Cunctator about to be named--with 60,000 men; does come to Kolin. Frederick attacks; but a blunder of too-impetuous Mannstein fatally overturns the plan of battle; to which the resulting disaster is imputed: disaster seemingly overwhelming and irretrievable, but Daun does not follow up. The siege of Prag is raised and the Prussian army--much smaller--retreats to Saxony. And on the west Cumberland is in retreat seawards, after Hastenbeck, and French armies are advancing; Cumberland very soon mercifully to disappear, Convention of Kloster-Seven unratified. But Pitt at last has hold of the reins in England, and Ferdinand of Brunswick gets nominated to succeed Cumberland--Pitt's selection?

In these months nothing comes but ill-fortune; clouds gathering; but all leading up to a sudden and startling turning of tables. In October, Soubise is advancing; and then--Rossbach. Soubise thinks he has Frederick outflanked, finds himself unexpectedly taken on flank instead; rolled up and shattered by a force hardly one-third of his own; loses 8,000 men, the Prussians not 600; a tremendous rout, after which Frederick had no more fighting with the French.

Having settled Soubise and recovered repute, Frederick must make haste to Silesia, where Prince Karl, along with Fabius Daun, is already proclaiming Imperial Majesty again, not much hindered by Bevern. Schweidnitz falls; Bevern, beaten at Breslau, gets taken prisoner; Prussian army marches away; Breslau follows Schweidnitz. This is what Frederick finds, three weeks after Rossbach. Well, we are one to three we will have at Prince Karl--soldiers as ready and confident as the king, their hero. Challenge accepted by Prince Karl; consummate manoeuvring, borrowed from Epaminondas, and perfect discipline wreck the Austrian army at Leuthen; conquest of Silesia brought to a sudden end. The most complete of all Frederick's victories.

Next year (1758) the first effective subsidy treaty with England takes shape, renewed annually; England to provide Frederick with two-thirds of a million sterling. Ferdinand has got the French clear over Rhine already. Frederick's next adventure, a swoop on Olmütz, is not successful; the siege not very well managed; Loudon, best of partisan commanders, is dispatched by Daun to intercept a very necessary convoy; which means end of siege. Cautious Daun does not strike on the Prussian retreat, not liking pitched battles.

However, it is now time to face an enemy with whom we have not yet fought; of whose fighting capacity we incline to think little, in spite of warnings of Marshal Keith, who knows them. The Russians have occupied East Prussia and are advancing. On August 25, Frederick comes to hand-grips with Russia--Theseus and the Minotaur at Zorndorf; with much ultimate slaughter of Russians, Seidlitz, with his calvary, twice saving the day; the bloodiest battle of the Seven Years' War, giving Frederick new views of Russian obstinacy in the field. The Russians finally retire; time for Frederick to be back in Saxony.

For Daun has used his opportunity to invade Saxony; very cleverly checked by Prince Henri, while Frederick is on his way back. To Daun's surprise, the king moves off on Silesia. Daun moved on Dresden. Frederick, having cleared Silesia, sped back, and Daun retired. The end of the campaign leaves the two sides much as it found them; Frederick at least not at all annihilated. Ferdinand also has done excellently well.

V.--Frederick at Bay

Not annihilated, but reduced to the defensive; best of his veterans killed off by now, exchequer very deficient in spite of English subsidy. The allies form a huge cordon all round; broken into at points during the spring, but Daun finds at last that Frederick does not mean any invasion; that he, Daun, must be the invader. But now and hereafter Fabius Cunctator waits for Russia.

In summer Russia is moving; Soltikoff, with 75,000 men, advancing, driving back Dohna. Frederick's best captains are all gone now; he tries a new one, Wedell, who gets beaten at Züllichau. Moreover, Haddick and Loudon are on the way to join Soltikoff. Frederick plans and carries out his movements to intercept the Austrians with extraordinary swiftness; Haddick and Austrian infantry give up the attempted junction, but not so swift-moving Loudon with his 20,000 horse; interception a partial failure, and now Frederick must make straight for the Russians.

Just about this time--August 1--Ferdinand has won the really splendid victory of Minden, on the Weser, a beautiful feat of war; for Pitt and the English in their French duel a mighty triumph; this is Pitt's year, but the worst of all in Frederick's own campaigns. His attack now on the Russians was his worst defeat--at Kunersdorf. Beginning victoriously, he tried to drive victory home with exhausted troops, who were ultimately driven in rout by Loudon with fresh regiments (August 9).

For the moment Frederick actually despaired; intended to resign command, and "not to revive the ruin of his country." But Daun was not capable of dealing the finishing stroke; managed, however, to take Dresden, on terms. Frederick, however, is not many weeks in recovering his resolution; and a certain astonishing march of his brother, Prince Henri--fifty miles in fifty-six hours through country occupied by the enemy--is a turning-point. Soltikoff, sick of Daun's inaction, made ready to go home and England rejoiced over Wolfe's capture of Quebec. Frederick, recovering, goes too far, tries a blow at Daun, resulting in disaster of Maxen, loss of a force of 12,000 men. On the other hand, Hawke finished the French fleet at Quiberon Bay. A very bad year for Frederick, but a very good one for his ally. Next year Loudon is to invade Silesia.

It did seem to beholders in this year 1660 that Frederick was doomed, could not survive; but since he did survive it, he was able to battle out yet two more campaigns, enemies also getting worn out; a race between spent horses. Of the marches by which Frederick carried himself through this fifth campaign it is not possible to give an idea. Failure to bring Daun to battle, sudden siege of Dresden--not successful, perhaps not possible at all that it should have succeeded. In August a dash on Silesia with three armies to face--Daun, Lacy, Loudon, and possible Russians, edged off by Prince Henri. At Liegnitz the best of management, helped by good luck and happy accident, gives him a decisive victory over London's division, despite Loudon's admirable conduct; a miraculous victory; Daun's plans quite scattered, and Frederick's movements freed. Three months later the battle of Torgau, fought dubiously all day, becomes a distinct victory in the night. Neither Silesia nor Saxony are to fall to the Austrians.

Liegnitz and Torgau are a better outcome of operations than Kunersdorf and Maxen; the king is, in a sense, stronger, but his resources are more exhausted, and George III. is now become king in England; Pitt's power very much in danger there. In the next year most noteworthy is Loudon's brilliant stroke in capturing Schweidnitz, a blow for Frederick quite unlooked for.

In January, however, comes bright news from Petersburg: implacable Tsarina Elizabeth is dead, Peter III. is Tsar, sworn friend and admirer of Frederick; Russia, in short, becomes suddenly not an enemy but a friend. Bute, in England, is proposing to throw over his ally, unforgivably; to get peace at price of Silesia, to Frederick's wrath, who, having moved Daun off, attacks Schweidnitz, and gets it, not without trouble. And so, practically, ends the seventh campaign.

French and English had signed their own peace preliminaries, to disgust of Excellency Mitchell, the first-rate ambassador to Frederick during these years. Austria makes proffers, and so at last this war ends with Treaties of Paris and Hubertsburg; issue, as concerns Austria and Prussia, "as you were before the war."

VI.--Afternoon and Evening of Frederick's Life

Frederick's Prussia is safe; America and India are to be English, not French; France is on the way towards spontaneous combustion in 1789;--these are the fruits of the long war. During the rest of Frederick's reign--twenty-three years--is nothing of world history to dwell on. Of the coming combustion Frederick has no perception; for what remains of him, he is King of Prussia, interesting to Prussia chiefly: whereof no continuous narrative is henceforth possible to us, only a loose appendix of papers, as of the extraordinary speed with which Prussia recovered--brave Prussia, which has defended itself against overwhelming odds. The repairing of a ruined Prussia cost Frederick much very successful labour.

Treaty with Russia is made in 1764, Frederick now, having broken with England, being extremely anxious to keep well with such a country under such a Tsarina, about whom there are to be no rash sarcasms. In 1769 a young Kaiser Joseph has a friendliness to Frederick very unlike his mother's animosity. Out of which things comes first partition of Poland (1772); an event inevitable in itself, with the causing of which Frederick had nothing whatever to do, though he had his slice. There was no alternative but a general European war; and the slice, Polish Prussia, was very desirable; also its acquisition was extremely beneficial to itself.

In 1778 Frederick found needful to interpose his veto on Austrian designs in respect of Bavarian succession; got involved subsequently in Bavarian war of a kind, ended by intervention of Tsarina Catherine. In 1780 Maria Theresa died; Joseph and Kaunitz launched on ambitious adventures for imperial domination of the German Empire, making overtures to the Tsarina for dual empire of east and west, alarming to Frederick. His answer was the "Fürstenbund," confederation of German princes, Prussia atop, to forbid peremptorily that the laws of the Reich be infringed; last public feat of Frederick; events taking an unexpected turn, which left it without actual effect in European history.

A few weeks after this Fürstenbund, which did very effectively stop Joseph's schemes, Frederick got a chill, which was the beginning of his breaking up. In January 1786, he developed symptoms concluded by the physician called in to be desperate, but not immediately mortal. Four months later he talked with Mirabeau in Berlin, on what precise errand is nowise clear; interview reported as very lively, but "the king in much suffering."

Nevertheless, after this he did again appear from Sans-Souci on horseback several times, for the last time on July 4. To the last he continued to transact state business. "The time which I have still I must employ; it belongs not to me but to the state"--till August 15.

On August 17 he died. In those last days it is evident that chaos is again big. Better for a royal hero, fallen old and feeble, to be hidden from such things; hero whom we may account as hitherto the last of the kings.


History of Greece

George Finlay, the historian of Greece, was born on December 21, 1799, at Faversham, Kent, England, where his father, Capt. J. Finlay, R.E., was inspector of the Government powder mills. His early instruction was undertaken by his mother, to whose training he attributed his love of history. He studied law at Glasgow and Göttingen universities, at the latter of which he became acquainted with a Greek fellow-student, and resolved to take part in the struggle for Greek independence. He proceeded to Greece, where he met Byron and the leaders of the Greek patriotic forces, took part in many engagements with the Turks, and conducted missions on behalf of the Greek provisional government until the independence of Greece was established. Finlay bought an estate in Attica, on which he resided for many years. The publication of his great series of histories of Greece began in 1844, and was completed in 1875 with the second edition, which brought the history of modern Greece down to 1864. It has been said that Finlay, like Machiavelli, qualified himself to write history by wide experience as student, soldier, statesman, and economist. He died on January 26, 1875.

I.--Greece Under the Romans

The conquests of Alexander the Great effected a permanent change in the political conditions of the Greek nation, and this change powerfully influenced its moral and social state during the whole period of its subjection to the Roman Empire.

Alexander introduced Greek civilisation as an important element in his civil government, and established Greek colonies with political rights throughout his conquests. During 250 years the Greeks were the dominant class in Asia, and the corrupting influence of this predominance was extended to the whole frame of society in their European as well as their Asiatic possessions. The great difference which existed in the social condition of the Greeks and Romans throughout their national existence was that the Romans formed a nation with the organisation of a single city. The Greeks were a people composed of a number of rival states, and the majority looked with indifference on the loss of their independence. The Romans were compelled to retain much of the civil government, and many of the financial arrangements which they found existing. This was a necessity, because the conquered were much further advanced in social civilisation than the conquerors. The financial policy of Rome was to transfer as much of the money circulating in the provinces, and the precious metals in the hands of private individuals, as it was possible into the coffers of the state.

Hence, the whole empire was impoverished, and Greece suffered severely under a government equally tyrannical in its conduct and unjust in its legislation. The financial administration of the Romans inflicted, if possible, a severer blow on the moral constitution of society than on the material prosperity of the country. It divided the population of Greece into two classes. The rich formed an aristocratic class, the poor sank to the condition of serfs. It appears to be a law of human society that all classes of mankind who are separated by superior wealth and privileges from the body of the people are, by their oligarchical constitution, liable to rapid decline.

The Greeks and the Romans never showed any disposition to unite and form one people, their habits and tastes being so different. Although the schools of Athens were still famous, learning and philosophy were but little cultivated in European Greece because of the poverty of the people and the secluded position of the country.

In the changes of government which preceded the establishment of Byzantium as the capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine, the Greeks contributed to effect a mighty revolution of the whole frame of social life by the organisation which they gave to the Church from the moment they began to embrace the Christian religion. It awakened many of the national characteristics which had slept for ages, and gave new vigour to the communal and municipal institutions, and even extended to political society. Christian communities of Greeks were gradually melted into one nation, having a common legislation and a common civil administration as well as a common religion, and it was this which determined Constantine to unite Church and State in strict alliance.

From the time of Constantine the two great principles of law and religion began to exert a favourable influence on Greek society, and even limited the wild despotism of the emperors. The power of the clergy, however, originally resting on a more popular and more pure basis than that of the law, became at last so great that it suffered the inevitable corruption of all irresponsible authority entrusted to humanity.

Then came the immigration and ravages of the Goths to the south of the Danube, and that unfortunate period marked the commencement of the rapid decrease of the Greek race, and the decline of Greek civilisation throughout the empire. Under Justinian (527-565), the Hellenic race and institutions in Greece itself received the severest blow. Although he gave to the world his great system of civil law, his internal administration was remarkable for religious intolerance and financial rapacity. He restricted the powers and diminished the revenues of the Greek municipalities, closed the schools of rhetoric and philosophy at Athens, and seized the endowments of the Academy of Plato, which had maintained an uninterrupted succession of teachers for 900 years. But it was not till the reign of Heraclius that the ancient existence of the Hellenic race terminated.

II.--The Byzantine and Greek Empires

The history of the Byzantine Empire divides itself into three periods strongly marked by distinct characteristics. The first commences with the reign of Leo III., the Isaurian, in 716, and terminates with that of Michael III., in 867. It comprises the whole history of the predominance of iconoclasm in the established church, of the reaction which reinstated the Orthodox in power, and restored the worship of pictures and images.

It opens with the effort by which Leo and the people of the empire saved the Roman law and the Christian religion from the conquering Saracen. It embraces the long and violent struggle between the government and the people, the emperors seeking to increase the central power by annihilating every local franchise, and to constitute themselves the fountains of ecclesiastical as completely as of civil legislation.

The second period begins with the reign of Bazil I., in 867, and during two centuries the imperial sceptre was retained by members of his family. At this time the Byzantine Empire attained its highest pitch of external power and internal prosperity. The Saracens were pursued into the plains of Syria, the Bulgarian monarchy was conquered, the Slavonians in Greece were almost exterminated, Byzantine commerce filled the whole of the Mediterranean. But the real glory of the period consisted in the respect for the administration of justice which purified society more generally than it had ever done at any preceding era of the history of the world.

The third period extends from the accession of Isaac I., in 1057, to the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusaders, in 1204. This is the true period of the decline and fall of the Eastern Empire. The separation of the Greek and Latin churches was accomplished. The wealth of the empire was dissipated, the administration of justice corrupted, and the central authority lost all control over the population.

But every calamity of this unfortunate period sinks into insignificance compared with the destruction of the greater part of the Greek race by the savage incursions of the Seljouk Turks in Asia Minor. Then followed the Crusades, the first three inflicting permanent evils on the Greek race; while the fourth, which was organised in Venice, captured and plundered Constantinople. A treaty entered into by the conquerors put an end to the Eastern Roman Empire, and Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was elected emperor of the East. The conquest of Constantinople restored the Greeks to a dominant position in the East; but the national character of the people, the political constitution of the imperial government, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Orthodox Church were all destitute of every theory and energetic practice necessary for advancing in a career of improvement.

Towards the end of the thirteenth century a small Turkish tribe made its first appearance in the Seljouk Empire. Othman, who gave his name to this new band of immigrants, and his son, Orkhan, laid the foundation of the institutions and power of the Othoman Empire. No nation ever increased so rapidly from such small beginnings, and no government ever constituted itself with greater sagacity than the Othoman; but no force or prudence could have enabled this small tribe of nomads to rise with such rapidity to power if it had not been that the Greek nation and its emperors were paralysed by political and moral corruption. Justice was dormant in the state, Christianity was torpid in the Church, orthodoxy performed the duties of civil liberty, and the priest became the focus of political opposition. By the middle of the fourteenth century the Othoman Turks had raided Thrace, Macedonia, the islands of the Aegean, plundered the large town of Greece, and advanced to the shores of the Bosphorus.

At the end of the fourteenth century John VI. asked for efficient military aid from Western Europe to avert the overthrow of the Greek Empire by the Othoman power, but the Pope refused, unless John consented to the union of the Greek and Latin Churches and the recognition of the papal supremacy. In 1438 the Council of Ferrara was held, and was transferred in the following year to Florence, when the Greek emperor and all the bishops of the Eastern Church, except the bishop of Ephesus, adopted the doctrines of the Roman Church, accepted the papal supremacy, and the union of the two Churches was solemnly ratified in the cathedral of Florence on July 6, 1439. But little came of the union. The Pope forgot to sent a fleet to defend Constantinople; the Christian princes would not fight the battles of the Greeks.

Then followed the conquest, in May 1453, of Constantinople, despite a desperate resistance, by Mohammed II., who entered his new capital, riding triumphantly past the body of the Emperor Constantine. Mohammed proceeded at once to the church of St. Sophia, where, to convince the Greeks that their Orthodox empire was extinct, the sultan ordered a moolah to ascend the Bema and address a sermon to the Mussulmans announcing that St. Sophia was now a mosque set apart for the prayers of true believers. The fall of Constantinople is a dark chapter in the annals of Christianity. The death of the unfortunate Constantine, neglected by the Catholics and deserted by the Orthodox, alone gave dignity to the final catastrophe.

III.--Othoman and Venetian

The conquest of Greece by Mohammed II. was felt to be a boon by the greater part of the population. The sultan's government put an end to the injustices of the Greek emperors and the Frank princes, dukes, and signors who for two centuries had rendered Greece the scene of incessant civil wars and odious oppression, and whose rapacity impoverished and depopulated the country. The Othoman system of administration was immediately organised. Along with it the sultan imposed a tribute of a fifth of the male children of his Christian subjects as a part of that tribute which the Koran declared was the lawful price of toleration to those who refused to embrace Islam. Under these measures the last traces of the former political institutions and legal administration of Greece were swept away.

The mass of the Christian population engaged in agricultural operations were, however, allowed to enjoy a far larger portion of the fruits of their labour under the sultan's government than under that of many Christian monarchs. The weak spots in the Othoman government were the administration of justice and of finance. The naval conquests of the Othomans in the islands and maritime districts of Greece, and the ravages of Corsairs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, reduced and degraded the population, exterminated the best families, enslaved the remnant, and destroyed the prosperity of Greek trade and commerce.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century ecclesiastical corruption in the Orthodox Church increased. Bishoprics, and even the patriarchate were sold to the highest bidder. The Turks displayed their contempt for them by ordering the cross which until that time had crowned the dome of the belfry of the patriarchate to be taken down. There can be no doubt, however, that in the rural district the secular clergy supplied some of the moral strength which eventually enabled the Greeks successfully to resist the Othoman power. Happily, the exaction of the tribute of children fell into disuse; and, that burden removed, the nation soon began to fed the possibility of improving its condition.

The contempt with which the ambassadors of the Christian powers were treated at the Sublime Porte increased after the conquest of Candia and the surrender of Crete in 1669, and the grand vizier, Kara Mustapha, declared war against Austria and laid siege to Vienna in 1683. This was the opportune moment taken by the Venetian Republic to declare war against the Othoman Empire, and Greece was made the chief field of military operations.

Morosini, the commander of the Venetian mercenary army, successfully conducted a series of campaigns between 1684 and 1687, but with terrible barbarity on both sides. The Venetian fleet entered the Piraeus on September 21, 1687. The city of Athens was immediately occupied by their army, and siege laid to the Acropolis. On September 25 a Venetian bomb blew up a powder magazine in the Propylæa, and the following evening another fell in the Parthenon. The classic temple was partially ruined; much of the sculpture which had retained its inimitable excellence from the days of Phidæas was defaced, and a part utterly destroyed. The Turks persisted in defending the place until September 28, when, they capitulated. The Venetians continued the campaign until the greater part of Northern Greece submitted to their authority, and peace was declared in 1696. During the Venetian occupation of Greece through the ravages of war, oppressive taxation, and pestilence, the Greek inhabitants decreased from 300,000 to about 100,000.

Sultan Achmet III., having checkmated Peter the Great in his attempt to march to the conquest of Constantinople, assembled a large army at Adrianople under the command of Ali Cumurgi, which expelled the Venetians from Greece before the end of 1715. Peace was concluded, by the Treaty of Passarovitz, in July 1718. Thereafter, the material and political position of the Greek nation began to exhibit many signs of improvement, and the agricultural population before the end of the eighteenth century became, in the greatest part of the country, the legal as well as the real proprietors of the soil, which made them feel the moral sentiment of freemen.

The increased importance of the diplomatic relations of the Porte with the Christian powers opened a new political career to the Greeks at Constantinople, and gave rise to the formation of a class of officials in the Othoman service called "phanariots," whose venality and illegal exactions made the name a by-word for the basest servility, corruption, and rapacity.

This system was extended to Wallachia and Moldavia, and no other Christian race in the Othoman dominions was exposed to so long a period of unmitigated extortion and cruelty as the Roman population of these principalities. The Treaty of Kainardji which concluded the war with Russia between 1768 and 1774, humbled the pride of the sultan, broke the strength of the Othoman Empire, and established the moral influence of Russia over the whole of the Christian populations in Turkey. But Russia never insisted on the execution of the articles of the treaty, and the Greeks were everywhere subjected to increased oppression and cruelty. During the war from 1783 to 1792, caused by Catherine II. of Russia assuming sovereignty over the Crimea, Russia attempted to excite the Christians in Greece to take up arms against the Turks, but they were again abandoned to their fate on the conclusion of the Treaty of Yassi in 1792, which decided the partition of Poland.

Meanwhile, the diverse ambitions of the higher clergy and the phanariots at Constantinople taught the people of Greece that their interests as a nation were not always identical with the policy of the leaders of the Orthodox Church. A modern Greek literature sprang up and, under the influence of the French Revolution, infused love of freedom into the popular mind, while the sultan's administration every day grew weaker under the operation of general corruption. Throughout the East it was felt that the hour of a great struggle for independence on the part of the Greeks had arrived.

IV.--The Greek Revolution

The Greek revolution began in 1821. Two societies are supposed to have contributed to accelerating it, but they did not do much to ensure its success. These were the Philomuse Society, founded at Athens in 1812, and the Philiké Hetaireia, established in Odessa in 1814. The former was a literary club, the latter a political society whose schemes were wild and visionary. The object of the inhabitants of Greece was definite and patriotic.

The attempt of Alexander Hypsilantes, the son of the Greek Hospodar of Wallachia, under the pretence that he was supported by Russia, to upset the Turkish government in Moldavia and Wallachia was a miserable fiasco distinguished for massacres, treachery, and cowardice, and it was repudiated by the Tsar of Russia. Very different was the intensity of the passion with which the inhabitants of modern Greece arose to destroy the power of their Othoman masters. In the month of April 1821, a Mussulman population, amounting to upwards of 20,000 souls, was living dispersed in Greece employed in agriculture. Before two months had elapsed the greater part--men, women, and children--were murdered without mercy or remorse. The first insurrectional movement took place in the Peloponnesus at the end of March. Kalamata was besieged by a force of 2,000 Greeks, and taken on April 4. Next day a solemn service of the Greek Church was performed on the banks of the torrent that flows by Kalamata, as a thanksgiving for the success of the Greek arms. Patriotic tears poured down the cheeks of rude warriors, and ruthless brigands sobbed like children. All present felt that the event formed an era in Greek history. The rising spread to every part of Greece, and to some of the islands.

Sultan Mahmud II. believed that he could paralyse the movements of the Greeks by terrific cruelty. On Easter Sunday, April 22, the Patriarch Gregorios and three other bishops were executed in Constantinople--a deed which caused a thrill of horror from the Moslem capital to the mountains of Greece, and the palaces of St. Petersburg. The sultan next strengthened his authority in Thrace and in Macedonia, and extinguished the flames of rebellion from Mount Athos to Olympus.

In Greece itself the patriots were triumphant. Local senates were formed for the different districts, and a National Assembly met at Piada, three miles to the west of the site of the ancient Epidaurus, which formulated a constitution and proclaimed it on January 13, 1822. This constitution established a central government consisting of a legislative assembly and an executive body of five members, with Prince Alexander Mavrocordato as President of Greece.

It is impossible here to go into the details of the war of independence which was carried on from 1822 to 1827. The outstanding incidents were the triple siege and capitulation of the Acropolis at Athens; the campaigns of Ibrahim Pasha and his Egyptian army in the Morea; the defence of Mesolonghi by the Greeks with a courage and endurance, an energy and constancy which will awaken the sympathy of free men in every country as long as Grecian history endures; the two civil wars, for one of which the Primates were especially blamable; the dishonesty of the government, the rapacity of the military, the indiscipline of the navy; and the assistance given to the revolutionaries by Lord Byron and other English sympathisers. Lord Byron arrived at Mesolonghi on January 5, 1824. His short career in Greece was unconnected with any important military event, for he died on April 19; but the enthusiasm he awakened perhaps served Greece more than his personal exertions would have done had his life been prolonged, because it resulted in the provision of a fleet for the Greek nation by the English and American Philhellenes, commanded by Lord Cochrane.

By the beginning of 1827 the whole of Greece was laid waste, and the sufferings of the agricultural population were terrible. At the same time, the greater part of the Greeks who bore arms against the Turks were fed by Greek committees in Switzerland, France, and Germany; while those in the United States directed their attention to the relief of the peaceful population. It was felt that the intervention of the European powers could alone prevent the extermination of the population or their submission to the sultan. On July 6, 1827, a treaty Between Great Britain, France, and Russia was signed at London to take common measures for the pacification of Greece, to enforce an armistice between the Greeks and the Turks, and, by an armed intervention, to secure to the Greeks virtual independence under the suzerainty of the sultan. The Greeks accepted the armistice, but the Turks refused; and then followed the destruction of the Othoman fleet by the allied squadrons under Admiral Sir Edward Coddrington at Navarino, on October 21, 1827.

In the following April, Russia declared war against Turkey, and the French government, by a protocol, were authorised to dispatch a French army of 14,000 men under the command of General Maison. This force landed at Petalidi, in the Gulf of Coron. Ibrahim Pasha withdrew his army to Egypt, and the French troops occupied the strong places of Greece almost without resistance from the Turkish garrisons.

France thus gained the honour of delivering Greece from the last of her conquerors, and she increased the debt of gratitude due by the Greeks by the admirable conduct of her soldiers, who converted mediæval strongholds into habitable towns, repaired the fortresses, and constructed roads. Count John Capodistrias, a Corfiot noble, who had been elected President of Greece in April 1827 for a period of seven years by the National Assembly of Troezen, arrived in Greece in January 1828. He found the country in a state of anarchy, and at once put a stop to some of the grossest abuses in the army, navy, and financial administration.

V.--The Greek Monarchy

The war terminated in 1829, and the Turks finally evacuated continental Greece in September of the same year. The allied powers declared Greece an independent state with a restricted territory, and nominated Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (afterwards King of the Belgians) to be its sovereign. Prince Leopold accepted the throne on February 11, but resigned it on May 17. Thereafter Capodistrias exercised his functions as president in the most tyrannical fashion, and was assassinated on October 9, 1831; from which date till February 1833 anarchy prevailed in the country.

Agostino Capodistrias, brother of the assassinated president, who had been chosen president by the National Assembly on December 20, 1831, was ejected out of the presidency by the same assembly in April 1832, and Prince Otho of Bavaria was elected King of Greece. Otho, accompanied by a small Bavarian army, landed from an English frigate in Greece at Nauplia on February 6, 1833. He was then only seventeen years of age, and a regency of three Bavarians was appointed to administer the government during his minority, his majority being fixed at June 1, 1835.

The regency issued a decree in August 1833, proclaiming the national Church of Greece independent of the patriarchate and synod of Constantinople and establishing an ecclesiastical synod for the kingdom on the model of that of Russia, but with more freedom of action. In judicial procedure, however, the regency placed themselves above the tribunals. King Otho, who had come of age in 1835, and married a daughter of the Duke of Oldenburg in 1837, became his own prime minister in 1839, and claimed to rule with absolute power. He did not possess ability, experience, energy, or generosity; consequently, he was not respected, obeyed, feared, or loved. The administrative incapacity of King Otho's counsellors disgusted the three protecting powers as much as their arbitrary conduct irritated the Greeks.

A revolution naturally followed. Otho was compelled to abandon absolute power in order to preserve his crown, and in March 1844 he swore obedience to a constitution prepared by the National Assembly, which put an end to the government of alien rulers under which the Greeks had lived for two thousand years. The destinies of the race were now in the hands of the citizens of liberated Greece. But the attempt was unsuccessful. The corruption of the government and the contracted views of King Otho rendered the period from the adoption of the constitution to his expulsion in 1862 a period of national stagnation. In October 1862 revolt broke out, and on the 23rd a provisional government at Athens issued a proclamation declaring, in his absence, that the reign of King Otho was at an end.

When Otho and his queen returned in a frigate to the Piraeus they were not allowed to land. Otho appealed to the representatives of the powers, who refused to support him against the nation, and he and his queen took refuge on board H.M.S. Scylla, and left Greece for ever.

The National Assembly held in Athens drew up a new constitution, laying the foundations of free municipal institutions, and leaving the nation to elect their sovereign. Then followed the abortive, though almost unanimous, election as king of Prince Alfred of England. Afterwards the British Government offered the crown to the second son of Prince Christian of Holstein-Glücksburg. On March 30, 1863, he was unanimously elected King of Greece, and the British forces left Corfu on June 2, 1864.


The Rise of the Dutch Republic

John Lothrop Motley, historian and diplomatist, was born at Dorchester, Massachusetts, now part of Boston, on April 15, 1814. After graduating at Harvard University, he proceeded to Europe, where he studied at the universities of Berlin and Göttingen. At the latter he became intimate with Bismarck, and their friendly relations continued throughout life. In 1846 Motley began to collect materials for a history of Holland, and in 1851 he went to Europe to pursue his investigations. The result of his labours was "The Rise of the Dutch Republic--a History," published in 1856. The work was received with enthusiasm in Europe and America. Its distinguishing character is its graphic narrative and warm sympathy; and Froude said of it that it is "as complete as industry and genius can make it, and a book which will take its place among the finest stories in this or any language." In 1861 Motley was appointed American Minister to Austria, where he remained until 1867; and in 1869 General Grant sent him to represent the United States in England. Motley died on May 29, 1877, at the Dorsetshire house of his daughter, near Dorchester.

I.--Woe to the Heretic

The north-western corner of the vast plain which extends from the German Ocean to the Ural Mountains is occupied by the countries called the Netherlands. The history of the development of the Netherland nation from the time of the Romans during sixteen centuries is ever marked by one prevailing characteristic, one master passion--the love of liberty, the instinct of self-government. Largely compounded of the bravest Teutonic elements--Batavian and Frisian--the race has ever battled to the death with tyranny, and throughout the dark ages struggled resolutely towards the light, wresting from a series of petty sovereigns a gradual and practical recognition of the claims of humanity. With the advent of the Burgundian family, the power of the commons reached so high a point that it was able to measure itself, undaunted, with the spirit of arbitrary power. Peaceful in their pursuits, phlegmatic by temperament, the Netherlanders were yet the most belligerent and excitable population in Europe.

For more than a century the struggle for freedom, for civic life, went on, Philip the Good, Charles the Bold, Mary's husband Maximilian, Charles V., in turn assailing or undermining the bulwarks raised age after age against the despotic principle. Liberty, often crushed, rose again and again from her native earth with redoubled energy. At last, in the sixteenth century, a new and more powerful spirit, the genius of religious freedom, came to participate in the great conflict. Arbitrary power, incarnated in the second Charlemagne, assailed the new combination with unscrupulous, unforgiving fierceness. In the little Netherland territory, humanity, bleeding but not killed, still stood at bay, and defied the hunters. The two great powers had been gathering strength for centuries. They were soon to be matched in a longer and more determined combat than the world had ever seen.

On October 25, 1555, the Estates of the Netherlands were assembled in the great hall of the palace at Brussels to witness amidst pomp and splendour the dramatic abdication of Charles V. as sovereign of the Netherlands in favour of his son Philip. The drama was well played. The happiness of the Netherlands was apparently the only object contemplated in the great transaction, and the stage was drowned in tears. And yet, what was the Emperor Charles to the inhabitants of the Netherlands that they should weep for him? Their interests had never been even a secondary consideration with their master. He had fulfilled no duty towards them; he had committed the gravest crimes against them; he was in constant conflict with their ancient and dearly-bought political liberties.

Philip II., whom the Netherlands received as their new master, was a man of foreign birth and breeding, not speaking a word of their language. In 1548 he had made his first appearance in the Netherlands to receive homage in the various provinces as their future sovereign, and to exchange oaths of mutual fidelity with them all.

One of the earliest measures of Philip's reign was to re-enact the dread edict of 1550. This he did by the express advice of the Bishop of Arras. The edict set forth that no one should print, write, copy, keep, conceal, sell, buy, or give in churches, streets, or other places any book or writing by Luther, Calvin, and other heretics reprobated by the Holy Church; nor break, or injure the images of the Holy Virgin or canonised saints; nor in his house hold conventicles, or be present at any such, in which heretics or their adherents taught, baptised, or formed conspiracies, against the Holy Church and the general welfare. Further, all lay persons were forbidden to converse or dispute concerning the Holy Scriptures openly or secretly, or to read, teach, or expound them; or to preach, or to entertain any of the opinions of the heretics.

Disobedience to this edict was to be punished as follows. Men to be executed with the sword, and women to be buried alive if they do not persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be executed with fire, and all their property in both cases is to be confiscated to the crown. Those who failed to betray the suspected were to be liable to the same punishment, as also those who lodged, furnished with food, or favoured anyone suspected of being a heretic. Informers and traitors against suspected persons were to be entitled on conviction to one-half of the property of the accused.

At first, however, the edict was not vigorously carried into effect anywhere. It was openly resisted in Holland; its proclamation was flatly refused in Antwerp, and repudiated throughout Brabant. This disobedience was in the meantime tolerated because Philip wanted money to carry on the war between Spain and France which shortly afterwards broke out. At the close of the war, a treaty was entered into between France and Spain by which Philip and Henry II. bound themselves to maintain the Catholic worship inviolate by all means in their power, and to extinguish the increasing heresy in both kingdoms. There was a secret agreement to arrange for the Huguenot chiefs throughout the realms of both, a "Sicilian Vespers" upon the first favourable occasion.

Henry died of a wound received from Montgomery in a tournay held to celebrate the conclusion of the treaty, and Catherine de Medici became Queen-Regent of France, and deferred carrying out the secret plot till St. Bartholomew's Day fourteen years after.

II.--The Netherlands Are, and Will Be, Free

Philip now set about the organisation of the Netherlands provinces. Margaret, Duchess of Parma, was appointed regent, with three boards, a state council, a privy council, and a council of finance, to assist in the government. It soon became evident that the real power of the government was exclusively in the hands of the Consulta--a committee of three members of the state council, by whose deliberation the regent was secretly to be guided on all important occasions; but in reality the conclave consisted of Anthony Perrenot, Bishop of Arras, afterwards Cardinal Granvelle. Stadtholders were appointed to the different provinces, of whom only Count Egmont for Flanders and William of Orange for Holland need be mentioned.

An assembly of the Estates met at Ghent on August 7, 1589, to receive the parting instructions of Philip previous to his departure for Spain. The king, in a speech made through the Bishop of Arras, owing to his inability to speak French or Flemish, submitted a "request" for three million gold florins "to be spent for the good of the country." He made a violent attack on "the new, reprobate and damnable sects that now infested the country," and commanded the Regent Margaret "accurately and exactly to cause to be enforced the edicts and decrees made for the extirpation of all sects and heresies." The Estates of all the provinces agreed, at a subsequent meeting with the king, to grant their quota of the "request," but made it a condition precedent that the foreign troops, whose outrages and exactions had long been an intolerable burden, should be withdrawn. This enraged the king, but when a presentation was made of a separate remonstrance in the name of the States-General, signed by the Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, and other leading patricians, against the pillaging, insults, and disorders of the foreign soldiers, the king was furious. He, however, dissembled at a later meeting, and took leave of the Estates with apparent cordiality.

Inspired by the Bishop of Arras, under secret instructions from Philip, the Regent Margaret resumed the execution of the edicts against heresies and heretics which had been permitted to slacken during the French war. As an additional security for the supremacy of the ancient religion, Philip induced the Pope, Paul IV., to issue, in May, 1559, a Bull whereby three new archbishoprics were appointed, with fifteen subsidiary bishops and nine prebendaries, who were to act as inquisitors. To sustain these two measures, through which Philip hoped once and for ever to extinguish the Netherland heresy, the Spanish troops were to be kept in the provinces indefinitely.

Violent agitation took place throughout the whole of the Netherlands during the years 1560 and 1561 against the arbitrary policy embodied in the edicts, and the ruthless manner in which they were enforced in the new bishoprics, and against the continued presence of the foreign soldiery. The people and their leaders appealed to their ancient charters and constitutions. Foremost in resistance was the Prince of Orange, and he, with Egmont, the soldier hero of St. Quentin, and Admiral Horn, united in a remarkable letter to the king, in which they said that the royal affairs would never be successfully conducted so long as they were entrusted to Cardinal Granvelle. Finally, Granvelle was recalled by Philip. But the Netherlands had now reached a condition of anarchy, confusion, and corruption.

The four Estates of Flanders, in a solemn address to the king, described in vigorous language the enormities committed by the inquisitors, and called upon Philip to suppress these horrible practices so manifestly in violation of the ancient charters which he had sworn to support. Philip, so far from having the least disposition to yield in this matter, dispatched orders in August, 1564, to the regent, ordering that the decrees of the Council of Trent should be published and enforced without delay throughout the Netherlands. By these decrees the heretic was excluded, so far as ecclesiastical dogma could exclude him, from the pale of humanity, from consecrated earth, and from eternal salvation. The decrees conflicted with the privileges of the provinces, and at a meeting of the council William of Orange made a long and vehement discourse, in which he said that the king must be unequivocally informed that this whole machinery of placards and scaffolds, of new bishops and old hangmen, of decrees, inquisitors and informers, must once and for ever be abolished. Their day was over; the Netherlands were free provinces, and were determined to vindicate their ancient privileges.

The unique effect of these representations was stringent instructions from Philip to Margaret to keep the whole machinery of persecution constantly at work. Fifty thousand persons were put to death in obedience to the edicts, 30,000 of the best of the citizens migrated to England. Famine reigned in the land. Then followed the revolt of the confederate nobles and the episode of the "wild beggars." Meantime, during the summer of 1556, many thousands of burghers, merchants, peasants, and gentlemen were seen mustering and marching through the fields of every province, armed, but only to hear sermons and sing hymns in the open air, as it was unlawful to profane the churches with such rites. The duchess sent forth proclamations by hundreds, ordering the instant suppression of these assemblies and the arrest of the preachers. This brought the popular revolt to a head.

III.--The Image-Breaking Campaign

There were many hundreds of churches in the Netherlands profusely adorned with chapels. Many of them were filled with paintings, all were peopled with statues. Commencing on August 18, 1556, for the space of only six or seven summer days and nights, there raged a storm by which nearly every one of these temples was entirely rifled of its contents; not for plunder, but for destruction.

It began at Antwerp, on the occasion of a great procession, the object of which was to conduct around the city a colossal image of the Virgin. The rabble sacked thirty churches within the city walls, entered the monasteries burned their invaluable libraries, and invaded the nunneries. The streets were filled with monks and nuns, running this way and that, shrieking and fluttering, to escape the claws of fiendish Calvinists. The terror was imaginary, for not the least remarkable feature in these transactions was that neither insult nor injury was offered to man or woman, and that not a farthing's value of the immense amount of property was appropriated. Similar scenes were enacted in all the other provinces, with the exception of Limburg, Luxemburg, and Namur.

The ministers of the reformed religion, and the chiefs of the liberal party, all denounced the image-breaking. The Prince of Orange deplored the riots. The leading confederate nobles characterised the insurrection as insensate, and many took severe measures against the ministers and reformers. The regent was beside herself with indignation and terror. Philip, when he heard the news, fell into a paroxysm of frenzy. "It shall cost them dear!" he cried. "I swear it by the soul of my father!"

The religious war, before imminent, became inevitable. The duchess, inspired by terror, proposed to fly to Mons, but was restrained by the counsels of Orange, Horn, and Egmont. On August 25 came the crowning act of what the reformers considered their most complete triumph, and the regent her deepest degradation. It was found necessary, under the alarming aspect of affairs, that liberty of worship, in places where it had been already established, should be accorded to the new religion. Articles of agreement to this effect were drawn up and exchanged between the government and Louis of Nassau and fifteen others of the confederacy.

A corresponding pledge was signed by them, that as long as the regent was true to her engagement they would consider their previously existing league annulled, and would cordially assist in maintaining tranquillity, and supporting the authority of his majesty. The important "Accord" was then duly signed by the duchess. It declared that the Inquisition was abolished, that his majesty would soon issue a new general edict, expressly and unequivocally protecting the nobles against all evil consequences from past transactions, and that public preaching according to the forms of the new religion was to be practised in places where it had already taken place.

Thus, for a fleeting moment, there was a thrill of joy throughout the Netherlands. But it was all a delusion. While the leaders of the people were exerting themselves to suppress the insurrection, and to avert ruin, the secret course pursued by the government, both at Brussels and at Madrid, may be condensed into the formula--dissimulation, procrastination, and, again, dissimulation.

The "Accord" was revoked by the duchess, and peremptory prohibition of all preaching within or without city walls was proclaimed. Further, a new oath of allegiance was demanded from all functionaries. The Prince of Orange spurned the proposition and renounced all his offices, desiring no longer to serve a government whose policy he did not approve, and a king by whom he was suspected. Terrible massacres of Protestant heretics took place in many cities.

IV.--Alva the Terrible

It was determined at last that the Netherland heresy should be conquered by force of arms, and an army of 10,000 picked and veteran troops was dispatched from Spain under the Duke of Alva. The Duchess Margaret made no secret of her indignation at being superseded when Alva produced his commission appointing him captain-general, and begging the duchess to co-operate with him in ordering all the cities of the Netherlands to receive the garrisons which he would send them. In September, 1567, the Duke of Alva established a new court for the trial of crimes committed "during the recent period of troubles." It was called the "Council of Troubles," but will be for ever known in history as the "Blood Council." It superseded all other courts and institutions. So well did this new and terrible engine perform its work that in less than three months 1,800 of the highest, the noblest, and the most virtuous men in the land, including Count Egmont and Admiral Horn, suffered death. Further than that, the whole country became a charnal-house; columns and stakes in every street, the doorposts of private houses, the fences in the fields were laden with human carcases, strangled, burned, beheaded. Within a few months after the arrival of Alva the spirit of the nation seemed hopelessly broken.

The Duchess of Parma, who had demanded her release from the odious position of a cipher in a land where she had so lately been sovereign, at last obtained it, and took her departure in December for Parma, thus finally closing her eventful career in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alva took up his position as governor-general, and amongst his first works was the erection of the celebrated citadel of Antwerp, not to protect, but to control the commercial capital of the provinces.

Events marched swiftly. On February 16, 1568, a sentence of the Inquisition condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics. From this universal doom only a few persons, especially named, were excepted; and a proclamation of the king, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and ordered it to be carried into instant execution, without regard to age, sex, or condition. This is probably the most concise death-warrant ever framed. Three millions of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in three lines.

The Prince of Orange at last threw down the gauntlet, and published a reply to the active condemnation which had been pronounced against him in default of appearance before the Blood Council. It would, he said, be both death and degradation to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the infamous "Council of Blood," and he scorned to plead before he knew not what base knaves, not fit to be the valets of his companions and himself.

Preparations were at once made to levy troops and wage war against Philip's forces in the Netherlands. Then followed the long, ghastly struggle between the armies raised by the Prince of Orange and his brother, Count Louis of Nassau, who lost his life mysteriously at the battle of Mons, and those of Alva and the other governors-general who succeeded him--Don Louis de Requesens, the "Grand Commander," Don John of Austria, the hero of Lepanto, and Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma. The records of butcheries and martyrdoms, including those during the sack and burning of Antwerp by the mutinous Spanish soldiery, are only relieved by the heroic exploits of the patriotic armies and burghers in the memorable defences of Haarlem, Leyden, Alkmaar, and Mons. At one time it seemed that the Prince of Orange and his forces were about to secure a complete triumph; but the news of the massacre of St. Bartholomew in Paris brought depression to the patriotic army and corresponding spirit to the Spanish armies, and the gleam faded. The most extraordinary feature of Alva's civil administration were his fiscal decrees, which imposed taxes that utterly destroyed the trade and manufactures of the country.

There were endless negotiations inspired by the States-General, the German Emperor, and the governments of France and England to secure peace and a settlement of the Netherlands affairs, but these, owing mostly to insincere diplomacy, were ineffective.

V.--The Union of the Provinces

In the meantime, the union of Holland and Zealand had been accomplished, with the Prince of Orange as sovereign. The representatives of various provinces thereafter met with deputies from Holland and Zealand in Utrecht in January, 1579, and agreed to a treaty of union which was ever after regarded as the foundation of the Netherlands Republic. The contracting provinces agreed to remain eternally united, while each was to retain its particular privileges, liberties, customs, and laws. All the provinces were to unite to defend each other with life, goods, and blood against all forces brought against them in the king's name, and against all foreign potentates. The treaty also provided for religious peace and toleration. The Union of Utrecht was the foundation of the Netherlands Republic, which lasted two centuries.

For two years there were a series of desultory military operations and abortive negotiations for peace, including an attempt--which failed--to purchase the Prince of Orange. The assembly of the united provinces met at The Hague on July 26, 1581, and solemnly declared their independence of Philip and renounced their allegiance for ever. This act, however, left the country divided into three portions--the Walloon or reconciled provinces; the united provinces under Anjou; and the northern provinces under Orange.

Early in February, 1582, the Duke of Anjou arrived in the Netherlands from England with a considerable train. The articles of the treaty under which he was elected sovereign as Duke of Brabant made as stringent and as sensible a constitutional compact as could be desired by any Netherland patriot. Taken in connection with the ancient charters, which they expressly upheld, they left to the new sovereign no vestige of arbitrary power. He was the hereditary president of a representative republic.

The Duke of Anjou, however, became discontented with his position. Many nobles of high rank came from France to pay their homage to him, and in the beginning of January, 1583, he entered into a conspiracy with them to take possession, with his own troops, of the principal cities in Flanders. He reserved to himself the capture of Antwerp, and concentrated several thousands of French troops at Borgehout, a village close to the walls of Antwerp. A night attack was treacherously made on the city, but the burghers rapidly flew to arms, and in an hour the whole of the force which Anjou had sent to accomplish his base design was either dead or captured. The enterprise, which came to be known as the "French Fury," was an absolute and disgraceful failure, and the duke fled to Berghem, where he established a camp. Negotiations for reconciliation were entered into with the Duke of Anjou, who, however, left for Paris in June, never again to return to the Netherlands.

VI.--The Assassination of William of Orange

The Princess Charlotte having died on May 5, 1582, the Prince of Orange was married for the fourth time on April 21, 1583, on this occasion to Louisa, daughter of the illustrious Coligny. In the summer of 1584 the prince and princess took up their residence at Delft, where Frederick Henry, afterwards the celebrated stadtholder, was born to them. During the previous two years no fewer than five distinct attempts to assassinate the prince had been made, and all of them with the privity of the Spanish government or at the direct instigation of King Philip or the Duke of Parma.

A sixth and successful attempt was now to be made. On Sunday morning, July 8, the Prince of Orange received news of the death of Anjou. The courier who brought the despatches was admitted to the prince's bedroom. He called himself Francis Guion, the son of a martyred Calvinist, but he was in reality Balthazar Gérard, a fanatical Catholic who had for years formed the design of murdering the Prince of Orange. The interview was so entirely unexpected that Gérard had come unarmed, and had formed no plans for escape. He pleaded to the officer on duty in the prince's house that he wanted to attend divine service in the church opposite, but that his attire was too shabby and travel-stained, and that, without new shoes and stockings, he was unfit to join the congregation. Having heard this, the prince ordered instantly a sum of money to be given to him. With this fund Gérard the following day bought a pair of pistols and ammunition. On Tuesday, July 10, the prince, his wife, family, and the burgomaster of Leewarden dined as usual, at mid-day. At two o'clock the company rose from table, the prince leading the way, intending to pass to his private apartments upstairs. He had reached the second stair when Gérard, who had obtained admission to the house on the plea that he wanted a passport, emerged from a sunken arch and, standing within a foot or two of the prince, discharged a pistol at his heart. He was carried to a couch in the dining-room, where in a few minutes he died in the arms of his wife and sister.

The murderer succeeded in making his escape through a side door, and sped swiftly towards the ramparts, where a horse was waiting for him at the moat, but was followed and captured by several pages and halberdiers. He made no effort to deny his identity, but boldly avowed himself and his deed. Afterwards he was subjected to excruciating tortures, and executed on July 14 with execrable barbarity. The reward promised by Philip to the man who should murder Orange was paid to the father and mother of Gérard. The excellent parents were ennobled and enriched by the crime of their son, but, instead of receiving the 25,000 crowns promised in the ban issued by Philip in 1580 at the instigation of Cardinal Granvelle, they were granted three seignories in the Franche Comté, and took their place at once among the landed aristocracy.

The prince was entombed on August 3 at Delft amid the tears of a whole nation. Never was a more extensive, unaffected and legitimate sorrow felt at the death of any human being. William the Silent had gone through life bearing the load of a people's sorrows upon his shoulders with a smiling face. The people were grateful and affectionate, for they trusted the character of their "Father William," and not all the clouds which calumny could collect ever dimmed to their eyes the radiance of that lofty mind to which they were accustomed in their darkest calamities to look for light.

The life and labours of Orange had established the emancipated commonwealth upon a secure foundation, but his death rendered hopeless the union of all the Netherlands at that time into one republic.

History of the United Netherlands

"The History of the United Netherlands, 1584-1609," published between 1860 and 1867, is the continuation of the "Rise of the Dutch republic"; the narrative of the stubborn struggle carried on after the assassination of William the Silent until the twelve years' truce of 1609 recognised in effect, though not in form, that a new independent nation was established on the northern shore of Western Europe--a nation which for a century to come was to hold rank as first or second of the sea powers. While the great Alexander of Parma lived to lead the Spanish armies, even Philip II. could not quite destroy the possibility of his ultimate victory. When Parma was gone, we can see now that the issue of the struggle was no longer in doubt, although in its closing years Maurice of Nassau found a worthy antagonist in the Italian Spinola.

I.--After the Death of William

William the Silent, Prince of Orange, had been murdered on July 10, 1584. It was natural that for an instant there should be a feeling as of absolute and helpless paralysis. The Estates had now to choose between absolute submission to Spain, the chance of French or English support, and fighting it out alone. They resolved at once to fight it out, but to seek French support, in spite of the fact that Francis of Anjou, now dead, had betrayed them. For the German Protestants were of no use, and they did not expect vigorous aid from Elizabeth. But France herself was on the verge of a division into three, between the incompetent Henry III. on the throne, Henry of Guise of the Catholic League, and Henry of Navarre, heir apparent and head of the Huguenots.

The Estates offered the sovereignty of the Netherlands to Henry; he dallied with them, but finally rejected the offer. Meanwhile, there was an increased tendency to a rapprochement with England; but Elizabeth had excellent reasons for being quite resolved not to accept the sovereignty of the Netherlands. In France, matters came to a head in March 1585, when the offer of the Estates was rejected. Henry III. found himself forced into the hands of the League, and Navarre was declared to be barred from the succession as a heretic, in July.

While diplomacy was at work, and the Estates were gradually turning from France to England, Alexander of Parma, the first general, and one of the ablest statesmen of the age, was pushing on the Spanish cause in the Netherlands. Flagrantly as he was stinted in men and money, a consummate genius guided his operations. The capture of Antwerp was the crucial point; and the condition of capturing Antwerp was to hold the Scheldt below that city, and also to secure the dams, since, if the country were flooded, the Dutch ships could not be controlled in the open waters.

The burghers scoffed at the idea that Parma could bridge the Scheldt, or that his bridge, if built, could resist the ice-blocks that would come down in the winter. But he built his bridge, and it resisted the ice-blocks. An ingenious Italian in Antwerp devised the destruction of the bridge, and the passage of relief-ships, by blowing up the bridge with a sort of floating mines. The explosion was successfully carried out with terrific effect; a thousand Spaniards were blown to pieces; but by sheer blundering the opening was not at once utilised, and Parma was able to rebuild the bridge.

Then, by a fine feat of arms, the patriots captured the Kowenstyn dyke, and cut it; but the loss was brilliantly retrieved, the Kowenstyn was recaptured, and the dyke repaired. After that, Antwerp's chance of escape sank almost to nothing, and its final capitulation was a great triumph for Parma.

The Estates had despaired of French help, and had opened negotiations with England some time before the fall of Antwerp had practically secured the southern half of the Netherlands to Spain. It was unfortunate that the negotiations took the form of hard bargaining on both sides. The Estates wished to give Elizabeth sovereignty, which she did not want; they did not wish to give her hard cash for her assistance, which she did want, as well as to have towns pawned to her as security. Walsingham was anxious for England to give the Estates open support; the queen, as usual, blew hot and cold.

Walsingham and Leicester, however, carried the day. Leicester was appointed to be general, and Philip Sidney was sent to be governor of Flushing, at about the time when Drake was preparing for what is known as the Carthagena Expedition. The direct intervention of the English government in the Netherlands, where hitherto there had been no state action, though many Englishmen were fighting as volunteers, was tantamount to a declaration of war with Spain. But the haggling over terms had made it too late to save Antwerp.

Leicester had definite orders to do nothing contradictory to the queen's explicit refusal of both sovereignty and protectorate. But he was satisfied that a position of supreme authority was necessary; and he had hardly reached his destination when he was formally offered, and accepted, the title of Governor-General (January 1586). The proposal had the full support of young Maurice of Nassau, second son of William the Silent, and destined to succeed his father in the character of Liberator.

Angry as Elizabeth was, she did not withdraw Leicester. In fact, Parma was privately negotiating with her; negotiations in which Burghley and Hatton took part, but which did not wholly escape Walsingham. Parma had no intention of being bound by these negotiations; they were pure dissimulation on his part; and, possibly, but not probably, on Elizabeth's. Parma, in fact, was nervous as to possible French action. But their practical effect was to paralyse Leicester, and their object to facilitate the invasion of England.

II.--Leicester and the Armada

In the spring, Parma was actively prosecuting the war. He attacked Grave, which was valorously relieved by Martin Schenk and Sir John Norris; but soon after he took it, to Leicester's surprise and disgust. The capture of Axed by Maurice of Nassau and Sidney served as some balance. Presently Leicester laid siege to Zutphen; but the place was relieved, in spite of the memorable fight of Warnsfeld, where less than six hundred English attacked and drove off a force of six times their number, for reinforcements compelled their retreat. This was the famous battle of Zutphen, where Philip Sidney fell.

But Elizabeth persisted in keeping Leicester in a false position which laid him open to suspicion; while his own conduct kept him on ill terms with the Estates, and the queen's parsimony crippled his activities. In effect, there was soon a strong opposition to Leicester. He was at odds also with stout Sir John Norris, from which evil was to come.

Now, the discovery of Babington's plot made Leicester eager to go back to England, since he was set upon ending the life of Mary Stuart. At the close of November he took ship from Flushing. But while Norris was left in nominal command, his commission was not properly made out; and the important town of Deventer was left under the papist Sir William Stanley, with the adventurer Rowland York at Zutphen, because they were at feud with Norris. Then came disaster; for Stanley and York deliberately introduced Spanish troops by night, and handed over Deventer and Zutphen to the Spaniards, which was all the worse, as Leicester had ample warning that mischief was brewing. Every suspicion ever felt against Leicester, or as to the honesty of English policy, seemed to be confirmed, and there was a wave of angry feeling against all Englishmen. The treachery of Anjou seemed about to be repeated.

The Queen of Scots was on the very verge of her doom, and Elizabeth was entering on that most lamentable episode of her career, in which she displayed all her worst characteristics, when a deputation arrived from the Estates to plead for more effective help. The news of Deventer had not yet arrived, and the queen subjected them to a furious and contumelious harangue, and advised them to make peace with Philip. But on the top of this came a letter from the Estates, with some very plain speaking about Deventer.

Buckhurst, about the best possible ambassador, was despatched to the Estates. He very soon found the evidence of the underhand dealings of certain of Leicester's agents to be irresistible. He appealed vehemently, as did Walsingham at home, for immediate aid, dwelling on the immense importance to England of saving the Netherlands. But Leicester had the queen's ear. Charges of every kind were flying on every hand. Buckhurst's efforts met with the usual reward. The Estates would have nothing to do with counsels of peace. At the moment they were appointing Maurice of Nassau captain-general came the news that Leicester was returning with intolerable claims.

While this was going on, Parma had turned upon Sluys, which, like the rest of the coast harbours, was in the hands of the States. This was the news which had necessitated the appointment of Maurice of Nassau. The Dutch and English in Sluys fought magnificently. But the dissensions of the opposing parties outside prevented any effective relief. Leicester's arrival did not, mend matters. The operations intended to effect a relief were muddled. At last the garrison found themselves with no alternative but capitulation on the most honourable terms. In the meanwhile, however, Drake had effected his brilliant destruction of the fleet and stores preparing in Cadiz harbour; though his proceedings were duly disowned by Elizabeth, now zealously negotiating with Parma.

This game of duplicity went on merrily; Elizabeth was intriguing behind the backs of her own ministers; Parma was deliberately deceiving and hoodwinking her, with no thought of anything but her destruction. In France, civil war practically, between Henry of Navarre and Henry of Guise was raging. In the Netherlands, the hostility between the Estates, led by Barneveld and Leicester continued. When the earl was finally recalled to England, and Willoughby was left in command, it was not due to him that no overwhelming disaster had occurred, and that the splendid qualities shown by other Englishmen had counter-balanced politically his own extreme unpopularity.

The great crisis, however, was now at hand. The Armada was coming to destroy England, and when England was destroyed the fate of the Netherlands would soon be sealed. But in both England and the Netherlands the national spirit ran high. The great fleet came; the Flemish ports were held blockaded by the Dutch. The Spaniards had the worse of the fighting in the Channel; they were scattered out of Calais roads by the fireships, driven to flight in the engagement of Gravelines, and the Armada was finally shattered by storms. Philip received the news cheerfully; but his great project was hopelessly ruined.

Of the events immediately following, the most notable were in France--the murder of Guise, followed by that of Henry III., and the claim of Henry IV. to be king. The actual operations in the Netherlands brought little advantage to either side, and the Anglo-Dutch expedition to Lisbon was a failure. But the grand fact which was to be of vital consequence was this: that Maurice of Nassau was about to assume a new character. The boy was now a man; the sapling had developed into the oak-tree.

III.--Maurice of Nassau

The crushing blow, then, had failed completely. But Philip, instead of concentrating on another great effort in the Netherlands, or retrieval of the Armada disaster, had fixed his attention on France. The Catholic League had proclaimed Henry IV.'s uncle, the Cardinal of Bourbon, king as Charles X. Philip, to Parma's despair, meant to claim the succession for his own daughter; and Parma's orders were to devote himself to crushing the Béarnais.

And this was at the moment when Barneveld, the statesman, with young Maurice, the soldier, were becoming decisively recognised as the chiefs of the Dutch. Maurice had realised that the secret of success lay in engineering operations, of which he had made himself a devoted student, and in a reorganisation of the States army and of tactics, in which he was ably seconded by his cousin Lewis William.

While Parma was forced to turn against Henry, who was pressing Paris hard, Breda was captured (March 1590) by a very daring stratagem carried out with extraordinary resolution--an event of slight intrinsic importance, but exceedingly characteristic. During the summer several other places were reduced, but Maurice was planning a great and comprehensive campaign.

The year gave triumphant proof of the genius of Parma as a general, and of the soundness of his views as to Philip's policy. Henry was throttling Paris; by masterly movements Parma evaded the pitched battle, for which Béarnais thirsted, yet compelled his adversary to relinquish the siege. Nevertheless, Henry's activity was hardly checked; and when Parma, in December, returned to the Netherlands, he found the Spanish provinces in a deplorable state, and the Dutch states prospering and progressing; while in France itself Henry's victory had certainly been staved off, but had by no means been made impossible.

Throughout 1591, Maurice's operations were recovering strong places for the States, one after another, from Zutphen and Deventer to Nymegen. Parma was too much hampered by the bonds Philip had imposed on him to meet Maurice effectively. And Henry was prospering in Normandy and Brittany, and was laying siege to Rouen before the year ended.

In the spring Parma succeeded in relieving Rouen. Then Henry manoeuvred him into what seemed a trap; but his genius was equal to the occasion, and he escaped. But while the great general was engaged in France, Maurice went on mining and sapping his way into Netherland fortresses. In the meantime, Philip's grand object was to secure the French crown for his own daughter, whose mother had been a sister of the last three kings of France; the present plan being to marry her to the young Duke of Guise--a scheme not to the liking of Guise's uncle Mayenne, who wanted the crown himself. But Philip's chief danger lay in the prospect of Henry turning Catholic.

Parma's death, in December 1592, deprived Philip of the genius which had for years past been the mainstay of his power. Henry's public announcement of his return to the Holy Catholic Church, in the summer of 1593, deprived the Spanish king of nearly all the support he had hitherto received in France. Before this Maurice had opened his attack on the two great cities which the Spaniards still held in the United Provinces, Gertruydenberg and Groningen. His scientific methods secured the former in June. In similar scientific style he raised the siege of Corwarden. A year after Gertruydenberg, Groningen surrendered.

In 1595, France and Spain were at open war again, and in spite of Henry's apostasy he had drawn into close alliance with the United Provinces. The inefficient Archduke Ernest, who had succeeded Parma, died at the beginning of the year. Fuentes, nephew of Alva, was the new governor, ad interim. His operations in Picardy were successfully conducted. The summer gave an extraordinary example of human vigour triumphing, both physically and mentally, over the infirmities of old age. Christopher Mondragon, at the age of ninety-two, marched against Maurice, won a skirmish on the Lippe, and spoilt Maurice's campaign. In January 1596 the governorship was taken over by the Archduke Albert. A disaster both to France and England was the Spaniards' capture of Calais, which Elizabeth might have relieved, but offered to do so only on condition of it being restored to England--an offer flatly declined.

At the same time Henry and Elizabeth negotiated a league, but its ostensible arrangements, intended to bring in the United Provinces and Protestant German States, were very different from the real stipulations, the queen promising very much less than was supposed. At the end of October the Estates signed the articles.

Before winter was over, Maurice, with 800 horse, cut up an army of 5,000 men on the heath of Tiel, killing 2,000 and taking 500 prisoners, with a loss of nine or ten men only. The enemy had comprised the pick of the Spaniards' forces, and their prestige was absolutely wiped out. This was just after Philip had wrecked European finance at large by publicly repudiating the whole of his debts. The year 1697 was further remarkable for the surprise and capture of Amiens by the Spaniards, and its siege and recovery by Henry--a siege conducted on the engineering methods introduced by Maurice. But the relations of the provinces with France were now much strained; uncertainty prevailed as to whether either Henry or Elizabeth, or both, might not make peace with Spain separately.

The Treaty of Vervins did, in fact, end the war between France and Spain. It was followed almost at once by the death of Philip, who, however, had just married the infanta to the archduke, and ceded the sovereignty of the Netherlands to them.

IV.--Winning Through

In 1600 the States-General planned the invasion of the Spanish Netherlands, but the scheme proved impracticable, and was abandoned.

Ostend was the one position in Flanders held by the United Provinces, with a very mixed garrison. The archduke besieged Ostend (1601). Maurice did not attack him, but captured the keys of the debatable land of Cleves and Juliers. The siege of Ostend developed into a tremendous affair, and a school in the art of war. Maurice, instead of aiming at a direct relief, continued his operations so as to prevent the archduke from a thorough concentration. In the summer of 1602 he was besieging Grave, and Ostend was kept amply supplied from the sea, where the Dutch had inflicted a tremendous defeat on the enemy. But early in 1603 the Spaniards succeeded in carrying some outworks.

The death of Elizabeth, and the accession of James I. to the throne of England affected the European situation; but Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury, was the new king's minister. Nevertheless, no long time had elapsed before James was entering upon alliance with the Spaniard.

A new commander-in-chief was now before Ostend in the person of Ambrose Spinola, an unknown young Italian, who was soon to prove himself a worthy antagonist for Maurice. Spinola continued the siege of Ostend, where the garrison were being driven inch by inch within an ever-narrowing circle. This year, Maurice's counter-stroke was the investment of Sluys, which was reduced in three months, in spite of a skilful but unsuccessful attempt at its relief by Spinola. At length, however, the long resistance of Ostend was finished when there was practically nothing of the place left. The garrison marched out with the honours of war, after a siege of over three years.

The next year was a bad one for Maurice. Spinola was beginning to show his quality. Maurice's troops met with one reverse, when what should have been a victory was turned into a rout by an unaccountable panic. Spinola had learnt his business from Maurice, and was a worthy pupil.

All through 1606 the game of intrigue was going on without any great advance or advantage to anyone. But while the Dutch had been campaigning in the Netherlands, they had also been establishing themselves in the Spice Islands, and in 1607 the rise of the United Provinces as a sea-power received emphatic demonstration in a great fight off Gibraltar. The disparity in size between the Spanish and Dutch vessels was enormous, but the victory was overwhelming. Not a Dutch ship was lost, and the Spanish fleet, which had viewed their approach with laughter, was annihilated. The name of Heemskerk, the Dutch admiral who inspired the battle, and lost his life at its beginning, is enrolled among those of the nation's heroes.

This event had greatly stimulated the desire of the archduke for an armistice, which had been in process of negotiation. With the old king negotiation had been futile, since there was no prospect of his ever conceding the minimum requirements of the provinces. Now, Spain had reached a different position, and Spinola himself required a far heavier expenditure than she was prepared for as the alternative to a peace on the uti possidetis basis. In the provinces, however, Barneveld and Maurice were in antagonism; but an armistice was established and extended, while solemn negotiations went on at The Hague in the beginning of 1608. The proposals accepted next year implied virtually the recognition of the Dutch republic as an independent nation, though nominally there was only a truce for twelve years. The practical effect was to secure not only independence but religious liberty, and the form implied the independence and security of the Indian trade and even of the West Indian trade. So, in 1609 the Dutch republic took its place among the European powers.


The History of India

Mountstuart Elphinstone was born in October 1779, and joined the Bengal service in 1795, some three years before the arrival in India of Lord Mornington, afterwards Marquess Wellesley. He continued in the Indian service till 1829, and was offered but refused the Governor Generalship. The last thirty years of his life he passed in comparative retirement in England, and died in November, 1859, at Hook Wood. He was one of the particularly brilliant group of British administrators in India in the first quarter of the last century. Like his colleagues, Munro and Malcolm, he was a keen student of Indian History. And although some of his views require to be modified in the light of more recent enquiry, his "History of India" published in 1841 is still the standard authority from the earliest times to the establishment of the British as a territorial power.

I.--The Hindus

India is crossed from East to West by a chain of mountains called the Vindhyas. The country to the North of this chain is now called Hindustan and that to the South of it the Deckan. Hindustan is in four natural divisions; the valley of the Indus including the Panjab, the basin of the Ganges, Rajputana and Central India. Neither Bengal nor Guzerat is included in Hindustan power. The rainy season lasts from June to October while the South West wind called the Monsoon is blowing.

Every Hindu history must begin with the code of Menu which was probably drawn up in the 9th century B.C. In the society described, the first feature that strikes us is the division into four castes--the sacerdotal, the military, the industrial, and the servile. The Bramin is above all others even kings. In theory he is excluded from the world during three parts of his life. In practice he is the instructor of kings, the interpreter of the military class; the king, his ministers, and the soldiers. Third are the Veisyas who conduct all agricultural and industrial operations; and fourth the Sudras who are outside the pale.

The king stands at the head of the Government with a Bramin for chief Counsellor. Elaborate rules and regulations are laid down in the code as to administration, taxation, foreign policy, and war. Land perhaps but not certainly was generally held in common by village communities.

The king himself administers justice or deputes that work to Bramins. The criminal code is extremely rude; no proportion is observed between the crime and the penalty, and offences against Bramins or religion are excessively penalised. In the civil law the rules of evidence are vitiated by the admission of sundry excuses for perjury. Marriage is indissoluble. The regulations on this subject and on inheritance are elaborate and complicated.

The religion is drawn from the sacred books called the Vedas, compiled in a very early form of Sanskrit. There is one God, the supreme spirit, who created the universe including the inferior deities. The whole creation is re-absorbed and re-born periodically. The heroes of the later Hindu Pantheon do not appear. The religious observances enjoined are infinite; but the eating of flesh is not prohibited. At this date, however, moral duties are still held of higher account than ceremonial.

Immense respect is enjoined for immemorial customs as being the root of all piety. The distinction between the three superior or "Twice Born" classes points to the conclusion that they were a conquering people and that the servile classes were the subdued Aborigines. It remains to be proved, however, that the conquerors were not indigenous. The system might have come into being as a natural growth, without the hypothesis of an external invasion.

The Bramins claim that they alone now have preserved their lineage in its purity. The Rajputs, however, claim to be pure Cshatriyas. In the main the Bramin rules of life have been greatly relaxed. The castes below the Cshatriyas have now become extremely mixed and extremely numerous; a servile caste no longer exists. A man who loses caste is excluded both from all the privileges of citizenship and all the amenities of private life. As a rule, however, the recovery of caste by expiation is an easy matter. The institution of Monastic Orders scarcely seems to be a thousand years old.

Menu's administrative regulations have similarly lost their uniformity. The township or village community, however, has survived. It is a self-governing unit with its own officials, for the most part hereditary. In large parts of India the land within the community is regarded as the property of a group of village landowners, who constitute the township, the rest of the inhabitants being their tenants. The tenants whether they hold from the landowners or from the Government are commonly called Ryots. An immense proportion of the produce, or its equivalent, has to be paid to the State. The Zenindars who bear a superficial likeness to English landlords were primarily the Government officials to whom these rents were farmed. Tenure by military service bearing some resemblance to the European feudal system is found in the Rajput States. The code of Menu is still the basis of the Hindu jurisprudence.

Religion has been greatly modified. Monotheism has been supplanted by a gross Polytheism, by the corruption of symbolism. At the head are the Triad Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the preserver, Siva the destroyer. Fourteen more principal deities may be enumerated. To them must be added their female Consorts. Many of the Gods are held to be incarnations of Vishnu or Siva. Further, there is a vast host of spirits and demons, good or evil. By far the most numerous sect is that of the followers of Devi the spouse of Siva. The religions of the Buddhists and the Jains though differing greatly from the Hindu seemed to have the same origin.

The five languages of Hindustan are of Sanscrit origin, belonging to the Indo-European family. Of the Deckan languages, two are mixed, while the other three have no connection with Sanscrit.

From Menu's code it is clear that there was an open trade between the different parts of India. References to the sea seemed to prove that a coasting trade existed. Maritime trade was probably in the hands of the Arabs. The people of the East Coast were more venturesome sailors than those of the West. The Hindus certainly made settlements in Java. There are ten nations in India which differ from each other as much as do the nations of Europe, and also resemble each other in much the same degree. The physical contrast between the Hindustanis and the Bengalis is complete; their languages are as near akin and as mutually unintelligible as English and German, yet in religion, in their notions on Government, in very much of their way of life, they are indistinguishable to the European.

Indian widows sometimes sacrifice themselves on the husband's funeral pile. Such a victim is called Sati. It is uncertain when the custom was first introduced, but, evidently it existed before the Christian era.

A curious feature is that as there are castes for all trades, so there are hereditary thief castes. Hired watchmen generally belong to these castes on a principle which is obvious. The mountaineers of Central India are a different race from the dwellers in the plain. They appear to have been aboriginal inhabitants before the Hindu invasion. The mountaineers of the Himalayas are in race more akin to the Chinese.

Established Hindu chronology is found in the line of Magadha. We can fix the King Ajata Satru, who ruled, in the time of Gotama, in the middle of the sixth century B.C. Some generations later comes Chandragupta--undoubtedly the Sandracottus of Diodorus. The early legend apparently begins to give place to real history with Rama, who certainly invaded the Deckan. He would seem to have been a king in Oudh. The next important event is the war of the Maha Bharata, probably in the fourteenth century B.C. Soon after the main seat of Government seems to have transferred to Delhi. The kingdom of Magadha next assumes a commanding position though its rulers long before Chandragupta were of low caste. Of these kings the greatest is Asoka, three generations after Chandragupta. There was certainly no lord paramount of India at the time of Alexander's invasion. Nothing points to any effective universal Hindu Empire, though such an empire is claimed for various kings at intervals until the beginning of the Mahometan invasions.

II.--The Mahometan Conquest

The wave of Mahometan conquest was, in course of time, to sweep into India. By the end of the seventh century the Arabs were forcing their way to Cabul 664 A.D. At the beginning of the next century Sindh was overrun and Multan was captured; nevertheless, no extended conquest was as yet attempted. After the reign of the Calif Harun al Raschid at Bagdad the Eastern rulers fell upon evil days. Towards the end of the tenth century a satrapy was established at Ghazni and in the year 1001 Mahmud of Ghazni, having declared his independence, began his series of invasions. On his fourth expedition Mahmud met with a determined resistance from a confederacy of Hindu princes. A desperate battle was fought and won by him near Peshawer. Mahmud made twelve expeditions into India altogether, on one of which he carried off the famous gates of Somnat; but he was content to leave subordinate governors in the Punjab and at Guzerat and never sought to organise an empire. During his life Mahmud was incomparably the greatest ruler in Asia.

After his death the rulers of Ghazni were unable to maintain a consistent supremacy. It was finally overthrown by Ala ud din of Ghor. His nephew, Shahab ud din, was the real founder of the Mahometan Empire in India. The princes of the house of Ghazni who had taken refuge in the Punjab and Guzarat were overthrown and thus the only Mahometan rivals were removed. On his first advance against the Rajput kingdom of Delhi, he was routed; but a second invasion was successful, and a third carried his arms to Behar and even Bengal.

On the death of Shahab ud din, his new and vast Indian dominion became independent under his general Kutb ud din, who had begun life as a slave. The dynasty was carried on by another slave Altamish. Very soon after this the Mongol Chief Chengiz Khan devastated half the world, but left India comparatively untouched. Altamish established the Mahometan rule of Delhi over all Hindustan. This series of rulers, known as the slave kings, was brought to an end after eighty-two years by the establishment of the Khilji dynasty in 1288 by the already aged Jelal ud din. His nephew and chief Captain Ala ud din opened a career of conquest, invading the Deckan even before he secured the throne for himself by assassinating his uncle. In fact, he extended his dominion over almost the whole of India in spite of frequent rebellions and sundry Mongol incursions all successfully repressed or dispersed. In 1321 the Khilji dynasty was overthrown by the House of Tughlak.

The second prince of this house, Mahomet Tughlak, was a very remarkable character. Possessed of extraordinary accomplishments, learned, temperate, and brave, he plunged upon wholly irrational and inpracticable schemes of conquest which were disastrous in themselves and also from the methods to which the monarch was driven to procure the means for his wild attempts. One portion after another of the vast empire broke into revolt and at the end of the century the dynasty was overturned and the empire shattered by the terrific invasion of Tamerlane the Tartar. It was not till the middle of the seventeenth century that the Lodi dynasty established itself at Delhi and ruled not without credit for nearly seventy years. The last ruler of this house was Ibrahim, a man who lacked the worthy qualities of his predecessors. And in 1526 Ibrahim fell before the conquering arms of the mighty Baber, the founder of the Mogul dynasty.

III.--Baber and Aber

Baber was a descendant of Tamerlane. He himself was a Turk, but his mother was a Mongol; hence the familiar title of the dynasty known as the Moguls. Succeeding to the throne of Ferghana at the age of twelve the great conqueror's youth was full of romantic vicissitudes, of sharp reverses and brilliant achievements. He was only four and twenty when he succeeded in making himself master of Cabul. He was forty-four, when with a force of twelve thousand men he shattered the huge armies of Ibrahim at Panipat and made himself master of Delhi. His conquests were conducted on what might almost be called principles of knight errantry. His greatest victories were won against overwhelming odds, at the head of followers who were resolved to conquer or die. And in three years he had conquered all Hindustan. His figure stands out with an extraordinary fascination, as an Oriental counterpart of the Western ideal of chivalry; and his autobiography is an absolutely unique record presenting the almost sole specimen of real history in Asia.

But Baber died before he could organise his empire and his son Humayun was unable to hold what had been won. An exceedingly able Mahometan Chief, Shir Khan, raised the standard of revolt, made himself master of Behar and Bengal, drove Humayun out of Hindustan, and established himself under the title of Shir Shah. His reign was one of conspicuous ability. It was not till he had been dead for many years that Humayun was able to recover his father's dominion. Indeed, he himself fell before victory was achieved. The restoration was effected in the name of his young son Akber, a boy of thirteen, by the able general and minister, Bairam Khan, at the victory of Panipat in 1556. The long reign of Akber initiates a new era.

Two hundred years before this time the Deckan had broken free from the Delhi dominion. But no unity and no supremacy was permanently established in the southern half of India where, on the whole, Mahometan dynasties now held the ascendancy. Rajputana on the other hand, which the Delhi monarchs had never succeeded in bringing into complete subjection, remained purely Hindu under the dominion of a variety of rajahs.

The victory of Panipat was decisive. Naturally enough, Bairam assumed complete control of the State. His rule was able, but harsh and arrogant. After three years the boy king of a sudden coup d'état assumed the reins of Government. Perhaps it was fortunate for both that the fallen minister was assassinated by a personal enemy.

Of all the dynasties that had ruled in India that of Baber was the most insecure in its foundations. It was without any means of support throughout the great dominion which stretched from Cabul to Bengal. The boy of eighteen had a tremendous task before him. Perhaps it was this very weakness which suggested to Akber the idea of giving his power a new foundation by setting himself at the head of an Indian nation, and forming the inhabitants of his vast dominion, without distinction of race or religion, into a single community. Swift and sudden in action, the young monarch broke down one after another the attempts of subordinates to free themselves from his authority. By the time that he was twenty-five he had already crushed his adversaries by his vigour or attached them by his clemency. The next steps were the reduction of Rajputana, Ghuzerat and Bengal; and when this was accomplished Akber's sway extended over the whole of India north of the Deckan, to which was added Kashmir and what we now call Afghanistan. Akber had been on the throne for fifty years before he was able to intervene actively in the Deckan and to bring a great part of it under his sway.

But the great glory of Akber lies not in the conquests which made the Mogul Empire the greatest hitherto known in India, but in that empire's organisation and administration. Akber Mahometanism was of the most latitudinarian type. His toleration was complete. He had practically no regard for dogma, while deeply imbued with the spirit of religion. In accordance with his liberal principles Hinduism was no bar to the highest offices. In theory his philosophy was not new, though it was so in practical application.

None of his reforms are more notable than the revenue system carried out by his Hindu minister, Todar Mal, itself a development of a system initiated by Shir Shah. His empire was divided into fifteen provinces, each under a viceroy under the control of the king himself. Great as a warrior and great as an administrator Akber always enjoyed abundant leisure for study and amusement. He excelled in all exercises of strength and skill; his history is filled with instances of romantic courage, and he had a positive enjoyment of danger. Yet he had no fondness for war, which he neither sought nor continued without good reason.

IV.--The Mogul Empire

Akber died in 1605 and was succeeded by his son Selim, who took the title of Jehan Gir. The Deckan, hardly subdued, achieved something like independence under a great soldier and administrator of Abyssinian origin, named Malik Amber. In the sixth year of his reign Jehan Gir married the beautiful Nur Jehan, by whose influence the emperor's natural brutality was greatly modified in practice. His son, Prince Khurram, later known as Shah Jehan, distinguished himself in war with the Rajputs, displaying a character not unworthy of his grandfather. In 1616 the embassy of Sir Thomas Roe from James I visited the Court of the Great Mogul. Sir Thomas was received with great honour, and is full of admiration of Jehan Gir's splendour. It is clear, however, that the high standards set up by Akber were fast losing their efficacy.

Jehan Gir died in 1627 and was succeeded by Shah Jehan. Much of his reign was largely occupied with wars in the Deckan and beyond the northwest frontier on which the emperor's son Aurangzib was employed. Most of the Deckan was brought into subjection, but Candahar was finally lost. Shah Jehan was the most magnificent of all the Moguls. In spite of his wars, Hindustan itself enjoyed uninterrupted tranquillity, and on the whole, a good Government. It was he who constructed the fabulously magnificent peacock throne, built Delhi anew, and raised the most exquisite of all Indian buildings, the Taj Mahal or Pearl Mosque, at Agre. After a reign of thirty years he was deposed by his son Aurangzib, known also as Alam Gir.

Aurangzib had considerable difficulty in securing his position by the suppression of rivals; but our interest now centres in the Deckan, where the Maratta people were organised into a new power by the redoubtable Sivaji. Though some of the Marattas claim Rajput descent, they are of low caste. They have none of the pride or dignity of the Rajput, and they care nothing for the point of honour; but they are active, hardy, persevering, and cunning. Sivaji was the son of a distinguished soldier named Shahji, in the service of the King of Bijapur. By various artifices young Sivaji brought a large area under his control. Then he revolted against Bijapur, posing as a Hindu leader. He wrung for himself a sort of independence from Bijapur. His proceedings attracted the attention of Aurangzib, who, however, did not immediately realise how dangerous the Maratta was to become. Himself occupied in other parts of the empire, Aurangzib left lieutenants to deal with Sivaji; and since he never trusted a lieutenant, the forces at their disposal were insufficient or were divided under commanders who were engaged as much in thwarting each other as in endeavouring to crush the common foe. Hence the vigorous Sivaji was enabled persistently to consolidate his organisation.

At the same time Aurangzib was departing from the traditions of his house and acting as a bigoted champion of Islam; differentiating between his Mussulman subjects and the Hindus so as completely to destroy that national unity which it had been the aim of his predecessors to establish. The result was a Rajput revolt and the permanent alienation of the Rajputs from the Mogul Government.

In spite of these difficulties Aurangzib renewed operations against Sivaji, to which the Maratta retorted by raiding expeditions in Hindustan; whereby he hoped to impress on the Mogul the advisability of leaving him alone; his object being to organise a great dominion in the Deckan--a dominion largely based on his championship of Hinduism as against Mahometanism. When Sivaji died, in 1680, his son Sambaji proved a much less competent successor; but the Maratta power was already established. Aurangzib directed his arms not so much against the Marattas as to the overthrow of the great kingdoms of the Deckan. When he turned against the Marattas, they met his operations by the adoption of guerrilla tactics, to which the Maratta country was eminently adapted. Most of Aurangzib's last years were occupied in these campaigns. The now aged emperor's industry and determination were indefatigable, but he was hopelessly hampered by his constitutional inability to trust in the most loyal of his servants. He had deposed his own father and lived in dread that his son Moazzim would treat him in the same fashion. He died in 1707 in the eighty-ninth year of his life and the fiftieth of his reign. In the eyes of Mahometans this fanatical Mahometan was the greatest of his house. But his rule, in fact, initiated the disintegration of the Mogul Empire. He had failed to consolidate the Mogul supremacy in the Deckan, and he had revived the old religious antagonism between Mahometans and Hindus.

Prince Moazzim succeeded under the title of Bahadur Shah. Dissensions among the Marattas enabled him to leave the Deckan in comparative peace to the charge of Daud Khan. He hastened also to make peace with the Rajputs; but he was obliged to move against a new power which had arisen in the northwest, that of the Sikhs. Primarily a sort of reformed sect of the Hindus the Sikhs were converted by persecution into a sort of religious and military brotherhood under their Guru or prophet, Govind. They were too few to make head against the power of the empire, but they could only be scattered, not destroyed; and in later days were to assume a great prominence in Indian affairs. A detailed account of the incompetent successors of Bahadur Shah would be superfluous. The outstanding features of the period was the disintegration of the central Government and the development in the south of two powers; that of the Marattas and that of Asaf Jah, the successor of Daud Khan, and the first of the Nizams of the Deckan. The supremacy among the Marattas passed to the Peshwas, the Bramin Ministers of the successors of Sivaji, who established a dynasty very much like that of the Mayors of the Palace in the Frankish Kingdom of the Merovingians. But the final blow to the power of the Moguls was struck by the tremendous invasion of Nadir Shah the Persian, in 1739, when Delhi was sacked and its richest treasures carried away; though the Persian departed still leaving the emperor nominal Suzerian of India. Before twenty years were past the greatest of all revolutions in India affairs had taken place; and Robert Clive had made himself master of Bengal in the name of the British East India Company.


Russia Under Peter the Great

François Marie Arouet, known to the world by the assumed name of Voltaire (supposed to be an anagram of Arou[v]et l[e] j[eun]), was born in Paris on November 21, 1694. Before he was twenty-two, his caustic pen had got him into trouble. At thirty-one, when he was already famous for his drama, "OEdipe," as well as for audacious lampoons, he was obliged to retreat to England, where he remained some three years. Various publications during the years following his return placed him among the foremost French writers of the day. From 1750 to 1753 he was with Frederick the Great in Prussia. When the two quarrelled, Voltaire settled in Switzerland and in 1758 established himself at Ferney, about the time when he published "Candide." His "Siècle de Louis Quatorze" (see ante) had appeared some years earlier. In 1762 he began a series of attacks on the Church and Christianity; and he continued to reign, a sort of king of literature, till his death, in Paris on May 30, 1778. An admirable criticism of him is to be found in Morley's "Voltaire"; but the great biography is that of Desnoiresterres. His "Russia under Peter the Great" was written after Voltaire took up his residence at Ferney in 1758. This epitome is prepared from the French text.

I.--All the Russias

When, about the beginning of the present century, the Tsar Peter laid the foundations of Petersburg, or, rather, of his empire, no one foresaw his success. Anyone who then imagined that a Russian sovereign would be able to send victorious fleets to the Dardanelles, to subjugate the Crimea, to clear the Turks out of four great provinces, to dominate the Black Sea, to set up the most brilliant court in Europe, and to make all the arts flourish in the midst of war--anyone expressing such an idea would have passed for a mere dreamer. Peter the Great built the Russian Empire on a foundation firm and lasting.

That empire is the most extensive in our hemisphere. Poland, the Arctic Ocean, Sweden, and China lie on its boundaries. It is so vast that when it is mid-day at its western extremity it is nearly midnight at the eastern. It is larger than all the rest of Europe, than the Roman Empire, than the empire of Darius which Alexander conquered. But it will take centuries, and many more such Tsars as Peter, to render that territory populous, productive, and covered with cities, like the northern lands of Europe.

The province nearest to our own realms is Livonia, long a heathen region. Tsar Peter conquered it from the Swedes.

To the north is the province of Revel and Esthonia, also conquered from the Swedes by Peter. The Gulf of Finland borders Esthonia; and here at this junction of the Neva and Lake Ladoga is the city of Petersburg, the youngest and the fairest of the cities of the empire, built by Peter in spite of a mass of obstacles. Northward, again, is Archangel, which the English discovered in 1533, with the result that the commerce fell entirely into their hands and those of the Dutch. On the west of Archangel is Russian Lapland. Then, ascending the Dwina from the coast, we arrive at the territories of Moscow, long the centre of the empire. A century ago Moscow was without the ordinary amenities of civilisation, though it could display an Oriental profusion on state occasions.

West of Moscow is Smolensk, recovered from the Poles by Peter's father Alexis. Between Petersburg and Smolensk is Novgorod; south of Smolensk is Kiev or Little Russia; and Red Russia, or the Ukraine, watered by the Dnieper, the Borysthenes of the Greeks--the country of the Cossacks. Between the Dnieper and the Don northwards is Belgorod; then Nischgorod, then Astrakan, the march of Asia and Europe with Kazan, recovered from the Tartar empire of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane by Ivan Vasilovitch. Siberia is peopled by Samoeides and Ostiaks, and its southern regions by hordes of Tartars--like the Turks and Mongols, descendants of the ancient Scythians. At the limit of Siberia is Kamschatka.

Throughout this vast but thinly populated empire the manners and customs are Asiatic rather than European. As the Janissaries control the Turkish government, so the Strelitz Guards used to dispose of the throne. Christianity was not established till late in the tenth century, in the Greek form, and liberated from the control of the Greek Patriarch, a subject of the Grand Turk, in 1588.

Before Peter's day, Russia had neither the power, the cultivated territories, the subjects, nor the revenues which she now enjoys. She had no foothold in Livonia or Finland, little or no control over the Cossacks or in Astrakan. The White, Black, Baltic, and Caspian seas were of no use to a nation which had not even a name for a fleet. She had to place herself on a level with the cultivated nations, though she was without knowledge of the science of war by land or sea, and almost of the rudiments of manufacture and agriculture, to say nothing of the fine arts. Her sons were even forbidden to learn by travel; she seemed to have condemned herself to eternal ignorance. Then Peter was born, and Russia was created.

II.--At the School of Europe

It was owing to a series of dynastic revolutions and usurpations that young Michael Romanoff, Peter's grandfather, was chosen Tsar at the age of fifteen, in 1613. He was succeeded in 1645 by his son, Alexis Michaelovitch. Alexis, in his wars with Poland, recovered from her Smolensk, Kiev, and the Ukraine. He waged war with the Turk in aid of Poland, introduced manufactures, and codified the laws, proving himself a worthy sire for Peter the Great; but he died in 1677 too soon--he was but forty-six--to complete the work he had begun. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Feodor. There was a second, Ivan; and Peter, not five years old, the child of his second marriage. Dying five years later, Feodor named Peter his successor. An elder sister, Sophia, intrigued to place the incapable Ivan on the throne instead, as her own puppet, by the aid of the turbulent Strelitz Guard. After a series of murders, the Strelitz proclaimed Ivan and Peter joint sovereigns, associating Sophia with them as co-regent.

Sophia ruled with the aid of an able minister, Gallitzin. But she formed a conspiracy against Peter, who, however, made his escape, rallied his supporters, crushed the conspiracy, and secured his position as Autocrat of the Russias, being then in his seventeenth year (1689).

Peter not only set himself to repair his neglected education by the study of German and Dutch, and an instinctive horror of water by resolutely plunging himself into it; he developed an immediate interest in boats and shipping, and promptly set about organising a disciplined force, destined for use against the Strelitz. The nucleus was his personal regiment, called the Preobazinsky. He had already a corps of foreigners, under the command of a Scot named Gordon. Another foreigner, Le Fort, on whom he relied, raised and disciplined another corps, and was made admiral of the infant fleet which he began to construct on the Don for use against the Crim Tartars.

His first political measure was to effect a treaty with China, his next an expedition for the subjugation of the Tartars of Azov. Gordon and Le Fort, with their two corps and other forces, marched on Azov in 1695. Peter accompanied, but did not command, the army. Unsuccessful at first, his purpose was effected in 1696; Azov was conquered, and a fleet placed on its sea. He celebrated a triumph in Roman fashion at Moscow; and then, not content with despatching a number of young men to Italy and elsewhere to collect knowledge, he started on his travels himself.

As one of the suite of an embassy he passed through Livonia and Germany till he arrived at Amsterdam, where he worked as a hand at shipbuilding. He also studied surgery at this time, and incidentally paid a visit to William of Orange at The Hague. Early next year he visited England, formally, lodging at Deptford, and continuing his training in naval construction. Thence, and from Holland, he collected mathematicians, engineers, and skilled workmen. Finally, he returned to Russia by way of Vienna, to establish satisfactory relations with the emperor, his natural and necessary ally against the Turk.

Peter had made his arrangements for Russia during his absence. Gordon with his corps was at Moscow; the Strelitz were distributed in Astrakan and Azov, where some successful operations were carried out. Nevertheless, sedition raised its head. Insurrection was checked by Gordon, but disaffection remained. Reappearing unexpectedly, he punished the mutinous Strelitz mercilessly, and that body was entirely done away with. New regiments were created on the German model; and he then set about reorganising the finances, reforming the political position of the Church, destroying the power of the higher clergy, and generally introducing more enlightened customs from western Europe.

III.--War with Sweden

In 1699, the sultan was obliged to conclude a peace at Carlovitz, to the advantage of all the powers with whom he had been at war. This set Peter free on the side of Sweden. The youth of Charles XII. tempted Peter to the recovery of the Baltic provinces. He set about the siege of Riga and Narva. But Charles, in a series of marvellous operations, raised the siege of Riga, and dispersed or captured the very much greater force before Narva in November 1700.

The continued successes of Charles did not check Peter's determination to maintain Augustus of Saxony and Poland against him. It was during the subsequent operations against Charles's lieutenants in Livonia that Catherine--afterwards to become Peter's empress--was taken prisoner.

The Tsar continued to press forward his social reforms at Moscow, and his naval and military programmes. His fleet was growing on Lake Ladoga. In its neighbourhood was the important Swedish fortress of Niantz, which he captured in May 1703; after which he resolved to establish the town which became Petersburg, where the Neva flows into the Gulf of Finland; and designed the fortifications of Cronstadt, which were to render it impregnable. The next step was to take Narva, where he had before been foiled. The town fell on August 20, 1704; when Peter, by his personal exertions, checked the violence of his soldiery.

Menzikoff, a man of humble origin, was now made governor of Ingria. In June 1705, a formidable attempt of the Swedes to destroy the rapidly rising Petersburg and Cronstadt was completely repulsed. A Swedish victory, under Lewenhaupt, at Gemavers, in Courland, was neutralised by the capture of Mittau. But Poland was now torn from Augustus, and Charles's nominee, Stanislaus, was king. Denmark had been forced into neutrality; exaggerated reports of the defeat at Gemavers had once more stirred up the remnants of the old Strelitz. Nevertheless, Peter, before the end of the year, was as secure as ever.

In 1706, Augustus was reduced to a formal abdication and recognition of Stanislaus as King of Poland; and Patkul, a Livonian, Peter's ambassador at Dresden, was subsequently delivered to Charles and put to death, to the just wrath of Peter. In October, the Russians, under Menzikoff, won their first pitched battle against the Swedes, a success which did not save Patkul.

In February 1708, Charles himself was once more in Lithuania, at the head of an army. But his advance towards Moscow was disputed at well-selected points, and even his victory at Hollosin was a proof that the Russians had now learned how to fight.

When Charles reached the Dnieper, he unexpectedly marched to unite with Mazeppa in the Ukraine, instead of continuing his advance on Moscow. Menzikoff intercepted Lewenhaupt on the march with a great convoy to join Charles, and that general was only able to cut his way through with 5,000 of his force. Mazeppa's own movement was crushed, and he only joined Charles as a fugitive, not an ally. Charles's desperate operations need not be followed. It suffices to say that in May 1709, he had opened the siege of Pultawa, by the capture of which he counted that the road to Moscow would lie open to him.

Here the decisive battle was fought on July 12. The dogged patience with which Peter had turned every defeat into a lesson in the art of war met with its reward. The Swedish army was shattered; Charles, prostrated by a wound, was himself carried into safety across the Turkish frontier. Peter's victory was absolutely decisive and overwhelming; and what it meant was the civilising of a territory till then barbarian. Its effects in other European countries, including the recovery of the Polish crown by Augustus, are pointed out in the history of Charles XII. The year 1710 witnessed the capture of a series of Swedish provinces in the Baltic provinces; and the Swedish forces in Pomerania were neutralised.

IV.--The Expansion of Russia

Now the Sultan Ahmed III. declared war on Peter; not for the sake of his guest, Charles XII., but because of Peter's successes in Azov, his new port of Taganrog, and his ships on the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. He outraged international law by throwing the Russian envoy and his suite into prison. Peter at once left his Swedish campaign to advance his armies against Turkey.

Before leaving Moscow he announced his marriage with the Livonian captive, Catherine, whom he had secretly made his wife in 1707. Apraksin was sent to take the supreme command by land and sea. Cantemir, the hospodar of Moldavia, promised support, for his own ends.

The Turkish vizier, Baltagi Mehemet, had already crossed the Danube, and was marching up the Pruth with 100,000 men. Peter's general Sheremetof was in danger of being completely hemmed in when Peter crossed the Dnieper, Catherine stoutly refusing to leave the army. No help came from Cantemir, and supplies were running short. The Tsar was too late to prevent the passage of the Pruth by the Turks, who were now on his lines of communication; and he found himself in a trap, without supplies, and under the Turkish guns. When he attempted to withdraw, the Turkish force attacked, but were brilliantly held at bay by the Russian rear-guard.

Nevertheless, the situation was desperate. It was Catherine who saved it. At her instigation, terms--accompanied by the usual gifts--were proposed to the vizier; and, for whatever reason, the vizier was satisfied to conclude a peace then and there. He was probably unconscious of the extremities to which Peter was reduced. Azov was to be retroceded, Taganrog, and other forts, dismantled; the Tsar was not to interfere in Poland, and Charles was to be allowed a free return to his own dominions. The hopes of Charles were destroyed, and he was reduced to intriguing at the Ottoman court.

Peter carried out some of the conditions of the Pruth treaty. The more important of them he successfully evaded for some time. The treaty, however, was confirmed six months later. But the Pruth affair was a more serious check to the Tsar than even Narva had been, for it forced him to renounce the dominion of the Black Sea. He turned his attention to Pomerania, though the injuries his health had suffered drove him to take the waters at Carlsbad.

His object was to drive the Swedes out of their German territories, and confine them to Scandinavia; and to this end he sought alliance with Hanover, Brandenburg, and Denmark. About this time he married his son Alexis (born to him by his first wife) to the sister of the German Emperor; and proceeded to ratify by formal solemnities his own espousal to Catherine.

Charles might have saved himself by coming out of Turkey, buying the support of Brandenburg by recognising her claim on Stettin, and accepting the sacrifice of his own claim to Poland, which Stanislaus was ready to make for his sake. He would not. Russians, Saxons, and Danes were now acting in concert against the Swedes in Pomerania. A Swedish victory over the Danes and Gadebesck and the burning of Altona were of no real avail. The victorious general not long after was forced to surrender with his whole army. Stettin capitulated on condition of being transferred to Prussia. Stralsund was being besieged by Russians and Saxons; Hanover was in possession of Bremen and Verden; and Peter was conquering Finland, when, at last, Charles suddenly reappeared at Stralsund, in November 1715. But the brilliant naval operation by which Peter captured the Isle of Aland had already secured Finland.

During the last three years a new figure had risen to prominence, the ingenious, ambitious and intriguing Baron Gortz, who was now to become the chief minister and guide of the Swedes. Under his influence, Charles's hostility was now turned in other directions than against Russia, and Peter was favourably inclined towards the opening of a new chapter in his relations with Sweden, since he had made himself master of Ingria, Finland, Livonia, Esthonia, and Carelia. The practical suspension of hostilities enabled Peter to start on a second European tour, while Charles, driven at last from Weimar and Stralsund--all that was left him south of the Baltic--was planning the invasion of Norway.

During this tour the Tsar passed three months in Holland, his old school in the art of naval construction; and while he was there intrigues were on foot which threatened to revolutionise Europe. Gortz had conceived the design of allying Russia and Sweden, restoring Stanislaus in Poland, recovering Bremen and Verden from Hanover, and finally of rejecting the Hanoverian Elector from his newly acquired sovereignty in Great Britain by restoring the Stuarts. Spain, now controlled by Alberoni, was to be the third power concerned in effecting this bouleversement, which involved the overthrow of the regency of Orleans in France.

The discovery of this plot, through the interception of some letters from Gortz, led to the arrest of Gortz in Holland, and of the Swedish ambassador, Gyllemborg, in London. Peter declined to commit himself. His reception when he went to Paris was eminently flattering; but an attempt to utilise it for a reunion of the Greek and Latin Churches was a complete failure. The Gortz plot had entirely collapsed before Peter returned to Russia.

V.--Peter the Great

Peter had been married in his youth to Eudoxia Feodorovna Lapoukin. With every national prejudice, she had stood persistently in the way of his reforms. In 1696 he had found it necessary to divorce her, and seclude her in a convent. Alexis, the son born of this marriage in 1690, inherited his mother's character, and fell under the influence of the most reactionary ecclesiastics. Politically and morally the young man was a reactionary. He was embittered, too, by his father's second marriage; and his own marriage, in 1711, was a hideous failure. His wife, ill-treated, deserted, and despised, died of wretchedness in 1715. She left a son.

Peter wrote to Alexis warning him to reform, since he would sooner transfer the succession to one worthy of it than to his own son if unworthy. Alexis replied by renouncing all claim to the succession. Renunciation, Peter answered, was useless. Alexis must either reform, or give the renunciation reality by becoming a monk. Alexis promised; but when Peter left Russia, he betook himself to his brother-in-law's court at Vienna, and then to Naples, which at the time belonged to Austria. Peter ordered him to return; if he did, he should not be punished; if not, the Tsar would assuredly find means.

Alexis obeyed, returned, threw himself at his father's feet. A reconciliation was reported. But next day Peter arraigned his son before a council, and struck him out of the succession in favour of Catherine's infant son Peter. Alexis was then subjected to a series of incredible interrogations as to what he would or would not have done under circumstances which had never arisen.

At the strange trial, prolonged over many months, the 144 judges unanimously pronounced sentence of death. Catherine herself is said by Peter to have pleaded for the stepson, whose accession would certainly have meant her own destruction. Nevertheless, the unhappy prince was executed. That Peter slew him with his own hand, and that Catherine poisoned him, are both fables. The real source of the tragedy is to be found in the monks who perverted the mind of the prince.

This same year, 1718, witnessed the greatest benefits to Peter's subjects--in general improvements, in the establishment and perfecting of manufactures, in the construction of canals, and in the development of commerce. An extensive commerce was established with China through Siberia, and with Persia through Astrakan. The new city of Petersburg replaced Archangel as the seat of maritime intercourse with Europe.

Peter was now the arbiter of Northern Europe. In May 1724, he had Catherine crowned and anointed as empress. But he was suffering from a mental disease, and of this he died, in Catherine's arms, in the following January, without having definitely nominated a successor. Whether or not it was his intention, it was upon his wife Catherine that the throne devolved.


The Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella

William Hickling Prescott was born at Salem, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1796. His first great historical work, "The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella," published in 1838, was compiled under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty. During most of the time of its composition the author was deprived of sight, and was dependent on having all documents read to him. Before it was completed he recovered the use of his eyes, and was able to correct and verify. Nevertheless, the changes required were few. The "Conquest of Mexico" and "Conquest of Peru" (see ante) followed at intervals of five and four years, and ten years later the uncompleted "Philip II." He died in New York on January 28, 1859. The subjects of this work, Ferdinand and Isabella, were the monarchs who united the Spanish kingdoms into one nation, ended the Moorish dominion in Europe, and annexed the New World to Spain, which during the ensuing century threatened to dominate the states of Christendom.

I.--Castile and Aragon

After the great Saracen invasion, at the beginning of the eighth century, Spain was broken up into a number of small but independent states. At the close of the fifteenth century, these were blended into one great nation. Before this, the numbers had been reduced to four--Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and the Moorish kingdom of Granada.

The civil feuds of Castile in the fourteenth century were as fatal to the nobility as were the English Wars of the Roses. At the close, the power of the commons was at its zenith. In the long reign of John II., the king abandoned the government to the control of favourites. The constable, Alvaro de Luna, sought to appropriate taxing and legislative powers to the crown. Representation in the cortes was withdrawn from all but eighteen privileged cities. Politically disastrous, the reign was conspicuous for John's encouragement of literature, the general intellectual movement, and the birth of Isabella, three years before John's death.

The immediate heir to the throne was Isabella's elder half-brother Henry. Her mother was the Princess of Portugal, so that on both sides she was descended from John of Gaunt, the father of our Lancastrian line. Both her childhood and that of Ferdinand of Aragon, a year her junior, were passed amidst tumultuous scenes of civil war. Henry, good-natured, incompetent, and debauched, yielded himself to favourites, hence he was more than once almost rejected from his throne. Old King John II. of Aragon was similarly engaged in a long civil war, mainly owing to his tyrannous treatment of his eldest son, Carlos.

But by 1468 Isabella and Ferdinand were respectively recognised as the heirs of Castile and Aragon. In spite of her brother, Isabella made contract of marriage with the heir of Aragon, the instrument securing her own sovereign rights in Castile, though Henry thereupon nominated another successor in her place. The marriage was effected under romantic conditions in October 1469, one circumstance being that the bull of dispensation permitting the union of cousins within the forbidden degrees was a forgery, though the fact was unknown at the time to Isabella. The reason of the forgery was the hostility of the then pope; a dispensation was afterwards obtained from Sixtus IV. The death of Henry, in December 1474, placed Isabella and Ferdinand on the throne of Castile.

II.--Overthrow of the Moorish Dominion

Isabella's claim to Castile rested on her recognition by the Cortes; the rival claimant was a daughter of the deceased king, or at any rate, of his wife, a Portuguese princess. Alfonso of Portugal supported his niece Joanna's claim. In March 1476 Ferdinand won the decisive victory of Toro; but the war of the succession was not definitely terminated by treaty till 1479, some months after Ferdinand had succeeded John on the throne of Aragon.

Isabella was already engaged in reorganising the administration of Castile; first, in respect of justice, and codification of the law; secondly, by depressing the nobles. A sort of military police, known as the hermandad, was established. These reforms were carried out with excellent effect; instead of birth, merit became the primary qualification for honourable offices. Papal usurpations on ecclesiastical rights were resisted, trade was regulated, and the standard of coinage restored. The whole result was to strengthen the crown in a consolidated constitution.

Restrained by her natural benevolence and magnanimity, urged forward by her strong piety and the influence of the Dominican Torquemada, Isabella assented to the introduction of the Inquisition--aimed primarily at the Jews--with its corollary of the Auto da fé, of which the actual meaning is "Act of Faith." Probably 10,220 persons were burnt at the stake during the eighteen years of Torquemada's ministry.

Now, however, we come to the great war for the ejection of the Moorish rule in southern Spain. The Saracen power of Granada was magnificent; the population was industrious, sober, and had far exceeded the Christian powers in culture, in research, and in scientific and philosophical inquiry.

So soon as Ferdinand and Isabella had established their government in their joint dominion, they turned to the project of destroying the Saracen power and conquering its territory. But the attack came from Muley Abul Hacen, the ruler of Granada, in 1481. Zahara, on the frontier, was captured and its population carried into slavery. A Spanish force replied by surprising Alhama. The Moors besieged it in force; it was relieved, but the siege was renewed. In an unsuccessful attack on Loja, Ferdinand displayed extreme coolness and courage. A palace intrigue led to the expulsion from Granada of Abdul Hacen, in favour of his son, Abu Abdallah, or Boabdil. The war continued with numerous picturesque episodes. A rout of the Spaniards in the Axarquia was followed by the capture of Boabdil in a rout of the Moors; he was ransomed, accepting an ignominious treaty, while the war was maintained against Abdul Hacen.

In the summer of 1487, Malaja fell, after a siege in which signal heroism was displayed by the Moorish defenders. Since they had refused the first offers, they now had to surrender at discretion. The entire population, male and female, were made slaves. The capture of Baza, in December, after a long and stubborn resistance, was followed by the surrender of Almeria and the whole province appertaining to it.

It was not till 1491 that Granada itself was besieged; at the close of the year it surrendered, on liberal terms. The treaty promised the Moors liberty to exercise their own religion, customs, and laws, as subjects of the Spanish monarchy. The Mohammedan power in Western Europe was extinguished.

Already Christopher Columbus had been unsuccessfully seeking support for his great enterprise. At last, in 1492, Isabella was won over. In August, the expedition sailed--a few months after the cruel edict for the expulsion of the Jews. In the spring of 1493 came news of his discovery. In May the bull of Alexander VI. divided the New World and all new lands between Spain and Portugal.

III.--The Italian Wars

In the foreign policy, the relations with Europe, which now becomes prominent, Ferdinand is the moving figure, as Isabella had been within Spain. In Spain, Portugal, France, and England, the monarchy had now dominated the old feudalism. Consolidated states had emerged. Italy was a congeries of principalities and republics. In 1494 Charles VIII. of France crossed the Alps to assert his title to Naples, where a branch of the royal family of Aragon ruled. His successor raised up against him the League of Venice, of which Ferdinand was a member. Charles withdrew, leaving a viceroy, in 1495. Ferdinand forthwith invaded Calabria.

The Spanish commander was Gonsalvo de Cordova; who, after a reverse in his first conflict, for which he was not responsible, never lost a battle. He had learnt his art in the Moorish war, and the French were demoralised by his novel tactics. In a year he had earned the title of "The Great Captain." Calabria submitted in the summer of 1496. The French being expelled from Naples, a truce was signed early in 1498, which ripened into a definitive treaty.

On the death of Cardinal Mendoza, for twenty years the monarchs' chief minister, his place was taken by Ximenes, whose character presented a rare combination of talent and virtue; who proceeded to energetic and much-needed reforms in church discipline.

Not with the same approbation can we view the zeal with which he devoted himself to the extermination of heresy. The conversion of the Moors to Christianity under the régime of the virtuous Archbishop of Granada was not rapid enough. Ximenes, in 1500, began with great success a propaganda fortified by liberal presents. Next he made a holocaust of Arabian MSS. The alarm and excitement caused by measures in clear violation of treaty produced insurrection; which was calmed down, but was followed by the virtually compulsory conversion of some fifty thousand Moors.

This stirred to revolt the Moors of the Alpuxarras hill-country; crushed with no little difficulty, but great severity, the insurrection broke out anew on the west of Granada. This time the struggle was savage. When it was ended the rebels were allowed the alternative of baptism or exile.

Columbus had returned to the New World in 1493 with great powers; but administrative skill was not his strong point, and the first batch of colonists were without discipline. He returned and went out again, this time with a number of convicts. Matters became worse. A very incompetent special commissioner, Bobadilla, was sent with extraordinary powers to set matters right, and he sent Columbus home in chains, to the indignation of the king and queen. The management of affairs was then entrusted to Ovando, Columbus following later. It must be observed that the economic results of the great discovery were not immediately remarkable; but the moral effect on Europe at large was incalculable.

On succeeding to the French throne, Louis XII. was prompt to revive the French claims in Italy (1498); but he agreed with Ferdinand on a partition of the kingdom of Naples, a remarkable project of robbery. The Great Captain was despatched to Sicily, and was soon engaged in conquering Calabria. It was not long, however, before France and Aragon were quarrelling over the division of the spoil. In July 1502 war was declared between them in Italy. The war was varied by set combats in the lists between champions of the opposed nations.

In 1503 a treaty was negotiated by Ferdinand's son-in-law, the Archduke Philip. Gonsalvo, however, not recognising instructions received from Philip, gave battle to the French at Cerignola, and won a brilliant victory. A few days earlier another victory had been won by a second column; and Gonsalvo marched on Naples, which welcomed him. The two French fortresses commanding it were reduced. Since Ferdinand refused to ratify Philip's treaty, a French force entered Roussillon; but retired on Ferdinand's approach. The practical effect of the invasion was a demonstration of the new unity of the Spanish kingdom.

In Italy, Louis threw fresh energy into the war; and Gonsalvo found his own forces greatly out-numbered. In the late autumn there was a sharp but indecisive contest at the Garigliano Bridge. Gonsalvo held to his position, despite the destitution of his troops, until he received reinforcements. Then, on December 28, he suddenly and unexpectedly crossed the river; the French retired rapidly, gallantly covered by the rear-guard, hotly attacked by the Spanish advance guard. The retreat being checked at a bridge, the Spanish rear was enabled to come up, and the French were driven in route. Gaeta surrendered on January 4; no further resistance was offered. South Italy was in the hands of Gonsalvo.

IV.--After Isabella

Throughout 1503 and 1504 Queen Isabella's strength was failing. In November 1504 she died, leaving the succession to the Castilian crown to her daughter Joanna, and naming Ferdinand regent. Magnanimity, unselfishness, openness, piety had been her most marked moral traits; justice, loyalty, practical good sense her political characteristics--a most rare and virtuous lady.

Her death gives a new complexion to our history. Joanna was proclaimed Queen of Castile; Ferdinand was governor of that kingdom in her name, but his regency was not accepted without demur. To secure his brief authority he made alliance with Louis, including a marriage contract with Louis' niece, Germaine de Ford. Six weeks after the wedding, the Archduke Philip landed in Spain. Ferdinand's action had ruined his popularity, and he saw security only in a compact assuring Philip the complete sovereignty--Joanna being insane.

Philip's rule was very unpopular and very brief. A sudden illness, in which for once poison was not suspected of playing a part, carried him off. Ferdinand, absent at the time in Italy, was restored to the regency of Castile, which he held undisputed--except for futile claims of the Emperor Maximilian--for the rest of his life.

The years of Ferdinand's sole rule displayed his worst characteristics, which had been restrained during his noble consort's life. He was involved in the utterly unscrupulous and immoral wars issuing out of the League of Cambray for the partition of Venice. The suspicion and ingratitude with which he treated Gonsalvo de Cordova drove the Great Captain into a privacy not less honourable than his glorious public career. Within a twelvemonth of Gonsalvo's death, Ferdinand followed him to the grave in January 1516--lamented in Aragon, but not in Castile.

During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the overgrown powers and factious spirit of the nobility had been restrained. That genuine piety of the queen which had won for the monarchs the title of "The Catholic" had not prevented them from firmly resisting the encroachments of ecclesiastical authority. The condition of the commons had been greatly advanced, but political power had been concentrated in the crown, and the crowns of Castile and Aragon were permanently united on the accession of Charles--afterwards Charles V.--to both the thrones.

Under these great rulers we have beheld Spain emerging from chaos into a new existence; unfolding, under the influence of institutions adapted to her genius, energies of which she was before unconscious; enlarging her resources from all the springs of domestic industry and commercial enterprise; and insensibly losing the ferocious habits of the feudal age in the requirements of an intellectual and moral culture. We have seen her descend into the arena with the other nations of Europe, and in a very few years achieve the most important acquisitions of territory both in that quarter and in Africa; and finally crowning the whole by the discovery and occupation of a boundless empire beyond the waters.


History of Charles XII

Voltaire's "History of Charles XII." was his earliest notable essay in history, written during his sojourn in England in 1726-9, when he was acquiring the materials for his "Letters on the English," eleven years after the death of the Swedish monarch. The prince who "left a name at which the world grew pale, to point a moral and adorn a tale," was killed by a cannon-ball when thirty-six years old, after a career extraordinarily brilliant, extraordinarily disastrous, and in result extraordinarily ineffective. A tremendous contrast to the career, equally unique, of his great antagonist, Peter the Great of Russia, whose history Voltaire wrote thirty years later (see ante). Naturally the two works in a marked degree illustrate each other. In both cases Voltaire claims to have had first-hand information from the principal actors in the drama.

I.--The Meteor Blazes

The house of Vasa was established on the throne of Sweden in the first half of the sixteenth century. In the seventeenth century, Christina, daughter of the great Gustavus Adolphus, abdicated in favour of her cousin, who ascended the throne as Charles X. He and his vigorous son, Charles XI., established a powerful absolute monarchy. To the latter was born, on June 27, 1682, the infant who became Charles XII.--perhaps the most extraordinary man who ever lived, who in his own person united all the great qualities of his ancestors, whose one defect and one misfortune was that he possessed all those qualities in excess.

In childhood he developed exceptional physical powers, and remarkable linguistic facility. He succeeded to the throne at the age of fifteen, in 1697. Within the year he declared himself of age, and asserted his position as king; and the neighbouring powers at once resolved to take advantage of the Swedish monarch's youth--the kings Christian of Denmark, Augustus of Saxony and Poland, and the very remarkable Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. Among them, the three proposed to appropriate all the then Swedish territories on the Russian and Polish side of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic.

Danes and Saxons, joined by the forces of other German principalities, were already attacking Holstein, whose duke was Charles's cousin; the Saxons, too, were pouring into Livonia. On May 8, 1700, Charles sailed from Stockholm with 8,000 men to the succour of Holstein, which he effected with complete and immediate success by swooping on Copenhagen. On August 6, Denmark concluded a treaty, withdrawing her claims in Holstein and paying the duke an indemnity. Three months later, the Tsar, who was besieging Narva, in Ingria, with 80,000 Muscovites, learnt that Charles had landed, and was advancing with 20,000 Swedes. Another 30,000 were being hurried up by the Tsar when Charles, with only 8,000 men, came in contact with 25,000 Russians at Revel. In two days he had swept them before him, and with his 8,000 men fell upon the Russian force of ten times that number in its entrenchments at Narva. Prodigies of valour were performed, the Muscovites were totally routed. Peter, with 40,000 reinforcements, had no inclination to renew battle, but he very promptly made up his mind that his armies must be taught how to fight. They should learn from the victorious Swedes how to conquer the Swedes.

With the spring, Charles fell upon the Saxon forces in Livonia, before a fresh league between Augustus and Peter had had time to develop advantageously. After one decisive victory, the Duchy of Courland made submission, and he marched into Lithuania. In Poland, neither the war nor the rule of Augustus was popular, and in the divided state of the country Charles advanced triumphantly. A Polish diet was summoned, and Charles awaited events; he was at war, he said, not with Poland, but with Augustus. He had, in fact, resolved to dethrone the King of Poland by the instrumentality of the Poles themselves--a process made the easier by the normal antagonism between the diet and the king, an elective, not a hereditary ruler.

Augustus endeavoured, quite fruitlessly, to negotiate with Charles on his own account, while the diet was much more zealous to curtail his powers than to resist the Swedish monarch, and was determined that, at any price, the Saxon troops should leave Poland. Intrigues were going on on all sides. Presently Charles set his forces in motion. When Augustus learned that there was to be no peace till Poland had a new king, he resolved to fight. Charles's star did not desert him. He won a complete victory. Pressing in pursuit of Augustus, he captured Cracow, but his advance was delayed for some weeks by a broken leg; and in the interval there was a considerable rally to the support of Augustus. But the moment Charles could again move, he routed the enemy at Pultusk. The terror of his invincibility was universal. Success followed upon success. The anti-Saxon party in the diet succeeded in declaring the throne vacant. Charles might certainly have claimed the crown for himself, but chose instead to maintain the title of the Sobieski princes. The kidnapping of James Sobieski, however, caused Charles to insist on the election of Stanislaus Lekzinsky.

II.--From Triumph to Disaster

Charles left Warsaw to complete the subjugation of Poland, leaving the new king in the capital. Stanislaus and his court were put to sudden flight by the appearance of Augustus with 20,000 men. Warsaw fell at once; but when Charles turned on the Saxon army, only the wonderful skill of Schulembourg saved it from destruction. Augustus withdrew to Saxony, and began repairing the fortifications of Dresden.

By this time, wherever the Swedes appeared, they were confident of victory if they were but twenty to a hundred. Charles had made nothing for himself out of his victories, but all his enemies were scattered--except Peter, who had been sedulously training his people in the military arts. On August 21, 1704, Peter captured Narva. Now he made a new alliance with Augustus. Seventy thousand Russians were soon ravaging Polish territory. Within two months, Charles and Stanislaus had cut them up in detail, or driven them over the border. Schulembourg crossed the Oder, but his battalions were shattered at Frawenstad by Reuschild. On September 1, 1706, Charles himself was invading Saxony.

The invading troops were held under an iron discipline; no violence was permitted. In effect, Augustus had lost both his kingdom and his electorate. His prayers for peace were met by the demand for formal and permanent resignation of the Polish crown, repudiation of the treaties with Russia, restoration of the Sobieskies, and the surrender of Patkul, a Livonian "rebel" who was now Tsar Peter's plenipotentiary at Dresden. Augustus accepted, at Altranstad, the terms offered by Charles. Patkul was broken on the wheel; Peter determined on vengeance; again the Russians overran Lithuania, but retired before Stanislaus.

In September 1707, Charles left Saxony at the head of 43,000 men, enriched with the spoils of Poland and Saxony. Another 20,000 met him in Poland; 15,000 more were ready in Finland. He had no doubts of his power to dethrone the Tsar. In January 1708 he was on the march for Grodow. Peter retreated before him, and in June was entrenched beyond the Beresina. Driven thence by a flank movement, the Russians engaged Charles at Hollosin, where he gained one of his most brilliant victories. Retreat and pursuit continued towards Moscow.

Charles now pushed on towards the Ukraine, where he was secretly in treaty with the governor, Mazeppa. But when he reached the Ukraine, Mazeppa joined him not as an ally, but as a fugitive. Meanwhile, Lewenhaupt, marching to effect a junction with him, was intercepted by Peter with thrice his force, and finally cut his way through to Charles with only 5,000 men.

So severe was the winter that both Peter and Charles, contrary to their custom, agreed to a suspension of arms. Isolated as he was, towards the end of May, Charles laid siege to Pultawa, the capture of which would have opened the way to Moscow. Thither Peter marched against him, while Charles himself was unable to move owing to a serious wound in the foot, endured with heroic fortitude. On July 8, the decisive battle was fought. The victory lay with the Russians, and Charles was forced to fly for his life. His best officers were prisoners. A column under Lewenhaupt succeeded in joining the king, now prostrated by his wound and by fever. At the Dnieper, Charles was carried over in a boat; the force, overtaken by the Russians, was compelled to capitulate. Peter treated the captured Swedish generals with distinction. Charles himself escaped to Bender, in Turkey.

Virtually a captive in the Turkish dominions, Charles conceived the project of persuading the sultan to attack Russia. At the outset, the grand vizier, Chourlouly Ali, favoured his ideas; but Peter, by lavish and judicious bribery, soon won him over. The grand vizier, however, was overthrown by a palace intrigue, and was replaced by an incorruptible successor, Numa Chourgourly, who was equally determined to treat the fugitive king in becoming fashion and to decline to make war on the Tsar.

Meanwhile, Charles's enemies were taking advantage of his enforced absence. Peter again overran Livonia. Augustus repudiated the treaty of Altranstad, and recovered the Polish crown. The King of Denmark repudiated the treaty of Travendal, and invaded Sweden, but his troops were totally routed by the raw levies of the Swedish militia at Helsimburg.

The Vizier Chourgourly, being too honourable for his post, was displaced by Baltaji Mehemet, who took up the schemes of Charles. War was declared against Russia. The Prince of Moldavia, Cantemir, supported Peter. The Turks seemed doomed to destruction; but first the advancing Tsar found himself deserted by the Moldavians, and allowed himself to be hemmed in by greatly superior forces on the Pruth. With Peter himself and his army entirely at his mercy, Baltaji Mehemet--to the furious indignation of Charles--was content to extort a treaty advantageous to Turkey but useless to the Swede; and Peter was allowed to retire with the honours of war.

III.--The Meteor Quenched

The great desire of the Porte was, in fact, to get rid of its inconvenient guest; to dispatch him to his own dominions in safety with an escort to defend him, but no army for aggression. Charles conceived that the sultan was pledged to give him an army. The downfall of the vizier--owing to the sultan's wrath on learning that Peter was not carrying out the pledges of the Pruth treaty--did not help matters; for the favourite, Ali Cournourgi, now intended Russia to aid his own ambitions, and the favourite controlled the new vizier. Within six months of Pruth, war had been declared and a fresh peace again patched up, Peter promising to withdraw all his forces from Poland, and the Turks to eject Charles.

But Charles was determined not to budge. He demanded as a preliminary half a million to pay his debts. A larger sum was provided; still he would not move. The sultan felt that he had now discharged all that the laws of hospitality could possibly demand. Threats only made the king more obstinate. His supplies were cut off and his guards withdrawn, except his own 300 Swedes; whereupon Charles fortified the house he had built himself. All efforts to bring him to reason were of no avail. A force of Janissaries was despatched to cut the Swedes to pieces; but the men listened to Baron Grothusen's appeal for a delay of three days, and flatly refused to attack. But when they sent Charles a deputation of veterans, he refused to see them, and sent them an insulting message. They returned to their quarters, now resolved to obey the pasha.

The 300 Swedes could do nothing but surrender; yet Charles, with twenty companions, held his house, defended it with a valour and temporary success which were almost miraculous, and were only overwhelmed by numbers when they sallied forth and charged the Turkish army with swords and pistols. Once captured, the king displayed a calm as imperturbable as his rage before had been tempestuous.

Charles was now conveyed to the neighbourhood of Adrianople, where he was joined by another royal prisoner--Stanislaus, who had attempted to enter Turkey in disguise in order to see him, but had been discovered and arrested. Charles was allowed to remain at Demotica. Here he abode for ten months, feigning illness; both he and his little court being obliged to live frugally and practically without attendants, the chancellor, Mullern, being the cook of the establishment.

The hopes which Charles obstinately clung to, of Turkish support, were finally destroyed when Cournourgi at last became grand vizier. His sister Ulrica warned him that the council of regency at Stockholm would make peace with Russia and Denmark. At length he demanded to be allowed to depart. In October 1714 he set out in disguise for the frontier, and having reached Stralsund on November 21, not having rested in a bed for sixteen days, on the same day he was already issuing from Stralsund instructions for the vigorous prosecution of the war in every direction. But meanwhile the northern powers, without exception, had been making partition of all the cis-Baltic territories of the Swedish crown. Tsar Peter, master of the Baltic, held that ascendancy which had once belonged to Charles. But the hopes of Sweden revived with the knowledge that the king had reappeared at Stralsund.

Even Charles could not make head against the hosts of his foes. Misfortune pursued him now, as successes had once crowded upon him. Before long he was himself practically cooped up in Stralsund, while the enemies' ships controlled the Baltic. In October, Stralsund was resolutely besieged. His attempt to hold the commanding island of Rugen failed after a desperate battle. The besiegers forced their way into Stralsund itself. Exactly two months after the trenches had been opened against Stralsund, Charles slipped out to sea--the ice in the harbour had first to be broken up--ran the gauntlet of the enemy's forts and fleets, and reached the Swedish coast at Carlscrona.

Charles now subjected his people to a merciless taxation in order to raise troops and a navy. Suddenly, at the moment when all the powers at once seemed on the point of descending on Sweden, Charles flung himself upon Norway, at that time subject to Denmark. This was in accordance with a vast design proposed by his minister, Gortz, in which Charles was to be leagued with his old enemy Peter, and with Spain, primarily against England, Hanover, and Augustus of Poland and Saxony. Gortz's designs became known to the regent Orleans; he was arrested in Holland, but promptly released.

Gortz, released, continued to work out his intriguing policy with increased determination. Affairs seemed to be progressing favourably. Charles, who had been obliged to fall back from Norway, again invaded that country, and laid siege to Fredericshall. Here he was inspecting a part of the siege works, when his career was brought to a sudden close by a cannon shot. So finished, at thirty-six, the one king who never displayed a single weakness, but in whom the heroic virtues were so exaggerated as to be no less dangerous than the vices with which they are contrasted.


History of Latin Christianity

The "History of Latin Christianity, to the Pontificate of Nicholas V.," which is here presented, was published in 1854-56. It covers the religious or ecclesiastical history of Western Europe from the fall of paganism to the pontificate of Nicholas V., a period of eleven centuries, corresponding practically with what are commonly called the Middle Ages, and is written from the point of view of a large-minded Anglican who is not seeking to maintain any thesis, but simply to set forth a veracious account of an important phase of history. (Milman, see vol. xi, p. 68.)

I.--Development of the Church of Rome

For ten centuries after the extinction of paganism, Latin Christianity was the religion of Western Europe. It became gradually a monarchy, with all the power of a concentrated dominion. The clergy formed a second universal magistracy, exercising always equal, asserting, and for a long time possessing, superior power to the civil government. Western monasticism rent from the world the most powerful minds, and having trained them by its stern discipline, sent them back to rule the world. Its characteristic was adherence to legal form; strong assertion of, and severe subordination to, authority. It maintained its dominion unshaken till, at the Reformation, Teutonic Christianity asserted its independence.

The Church of Rome was at first, so to speak, a Greek religious colony; its language, organisation, scriptures, liturgy, were Greek. It was from Africa, Tertullian, and Cyprian that Latin Christianity arose. As the Church of the capital--before Constantinople--the Roman Church necessarily acquired predominance; but no pope appears among the distinguished "Fathers" of the Church until Leo.

The division between Greek and Latin Christianity developed with the division between the Eastern and the Western Empire; Rome gained an increased authority by her resolute support of Athanasius in the Arian controversy.

The first period closes with Pope Damasus and his two successors. The Christian bishop has become important enough for his election to count in profane history. Paganism is writhing in death pangs; Christianity is growing haughty and wanton in its triumph.

Innocent I., at the opening of the fifth century, seems the first pope who grasped the conception of Rome's universal ecclesiastical dominion. The capture of Rome by Alaric ended the city's claims to temporal supremacy; it confirmed the spiritual ascendancy of her bishop throughout the West.

To this period, the time of Augustine and the Pelagian controversy, belongs the establishment in Western Christendom of the doctrine of predestination, and that of the inherent evil of matter which is at the root of asceticism and monasticism. It was a few years later that the Nestorian controversy had the effect of giving fixity to that conception of the "Mother of God" which is held by Roman Catholics.

The pontificate of Leo is an epoch in the history of Christianity. He had utter faith in himself and in his office, and asserted his authority uncompromisingly. The Metropolitan of Constantinople was becoming a helpless instrument in the hands of the Byzantine emperor; the Bishop of Rome was becoming an independent potentate. He took an authoritative and decisive part in the controversy formally ended at the Council of Chalcedon; it was he who stayed the advance of Attila. Leo and his predecessor, Innocent, laid the foundations of the spiritual monarchy of the West.

In the latter half of the fifth century, the disintegration of the Western Empire by the hosts of Teutonic invaders was being completed. These races assimilated certain aspects of Christian morals and assumed Christianity without assimilating the intellectual subtleties of the Eastern Church, and for the most part in consequence adopted the Arian form. But when the Frankish horde descended, Clovis accepted the orthodox theology, thereby in effect giving it permanence and obliterating Arianism in the West. Theodoric, the Gothic king of Italy, in nominal subjection to the emperor, was the last effective upholder of toleration for his own Arian creed. Almost simultaneous with his death was the accession of Justinian to the empire. The re-establishment of effective imperial sway in Italy reduced the papacy to a subordinate position. The recovery was the work of Gregory I., the Great; but papal opposition to Gothic or Lombard dominion in Italy destroyed the prospect of political unification for the peninsula.

Western monasticism had been greatly extended and organised by Benedict of Nursia and his rule--comprised in silence, humility, and obedience. Monasticism became possessed of the papal chair in the person of Gregory the Great. Of noble descent and of great wealth, which he devoted to religious uses as soon as he became master of it, he had also the characteristics which were held to denote the highest holiness. In austerity, devotion, and imaginative superstition, he, whose known virtue and capacity caused him to be forced into the papal chair, remained a monk to the end of his days.

But he became at once an exceedingly vigorous man of affairs. He reorganised the Roman liturgy; he converted the Lombards and Saxons. And he proved himself virtual sovereign of Rome. His administration was admirable. He exercised his disciplinary authority without fear or favour. And his rule marks the epoch at which all that we regard as specially characteristic of mediæval Christianity--its ethics, its asceticism, its sacerdotalism, and its superstitions--had reached its lasting shape.

Gregory the Great had not long passed away when there arose in the East that new religion which was to shake the world, and to bring East and West once more into a prolonged conflict. Mohammedanism, born in Arabia, hurled itself first against Asia, then swept North Africa. By the end of the seventh century it was threatening the Byzantine Empire on one side of Europe, and the Gothic dominion in Spain on the other. On the other hand, in the same period, Latin Christianity had decisively taken possession of England, driving back that Celtic or Irish Christianity which had been beforehand with it in making entry to the North. Similarly, it was the Irish missionaries who began the conversion of the outer Teutonic barbarians; but the work was carried out by the Saxon Winfrid (Boniface) of the Latin Church.

The popes, however, during this century between Gregory I. and Gregory II. again sank into a position of subordination to the imperial power. Under the second Gregory, the papacy reasserted itself in resistance to the Emperor Leo the Isaurian, the "Iconoclast," the "Image-breaker," who strove to impose on Christendom his own zeal against images. To Leo, images meant image-worship. To his opponents, images were useful symbols. Rome defied the emperor's attempt to claim spiritual dictatorship. East and West were rent in twain at the moment when Islam was assaulting both West and East. Leo rolled back the advancing torrent before Constantinople, as Charles Martel rolled it back almost simultaneously in the great battle of Tours; but the Empire and the West, Byzantium and Rome, never presented a united front to the Moslem.

The Iconoclastic controversy threw Italy against its will into the hands of the image-worshipping Lombards; and hate of Lombard ascendancy turned the eyes of Gregory's successors to the Franks, to Charles Martel; to Pepin, who obtained from Pope Stephen sanction for his seizure of the Frankish crown, and in return repressed the Lombards; and finally to Charles the Great, otherwise Charlemagne, who on the last Christmas Day of the eighth century was crowned (Western) emperor and successor of the Caesars.

II.--The Western Empire and Theocracy

Charlemagne, the first emperor of the restored or Holy Roman Empire, by his conquests brought into a single dominion practically all Western Europe from the Elbe and the Danube to the Ebro. He stood the champion and the head of Western Christendom, palpably the master, and not even in theory the subordinate, of the Pontiff from whom he received the imperial crown. But he established ecclesiastics as a territorial nobility, counteracting the feudal nobility; and when the mighty emperor was gone, and the unity of what was nominally one empire passed away, this ecclesiastical nobility became an instrument for the elevation of the spiritual above the temporal head of Christendom. The change was already taking place under his son Louis the Pious, whose character facilitated it.

The disintegration of the empire was followed by a hideous degradation of the papacy. But the Saxon line of emperors, the Ottos, sprung from Henry the Fowler, once more revived the empire; the third of them established a worthy pope in Silvester II. But both emperor and pope died just after the eleventh century opened. Elections of popes and anti-popes continued to be accompanied by the gravest scandals, until the Emperor Henry III. (Franconian dynasty) set a succession of Germans on the papal throne.

The high character of the pontificate was revived in the persons of Leo IX. and Victor II. (Gebhard of Eichstadt); many abuses were put down or at least checked with a firm hand. But Henry's death weakened the empire, and Stephen IX. added to the rigid enforcement of orthodoxy more peremptory claims for the supremacy of the Holy See. His successor, Nicholas II., strengthened the position as against the empire by securing the support of the fleshly arm--the Normans. His election was an assertion of the right of the cardinals to make their own choice. Alexander II. was chosen in disregard of the Germans and the empire, and the Germans chose an anti-pope. At the back of the Italian papal party was the great Hildebrand. In 1073 Hildebrand himself ascended the papal throne as Gregory VII. With Hildebrand, the great struggle for supremacy between the empire and the papacy was decisively opened.

Gregory's aim was to establish a theocracy through an organised dominant priesthood separated from the world, but no less powerful than the secular forces; with the pope, God's mouthpiece, and vice-regent, at its head. The temporal powers were to be instruments in his hand, subject to his supreme authority. Clerical celibacy acquired a political value; the clergy would concentrate on the glory of the Church those ambitions which made laymen seek to aggrandise their families.

The collision between Rome and the emperor came quickly. The victory at the outset fell to the pope, and Henry IV. was compelled to humble himself and entreat pardon as a penitent at Canossa. Superficially, the tables were turned later; when Gregory died, Henry was ostensibly victor.

But Gregory's successor, Urban, as resolute and more subtle, retrieved what had only been a check. The Crusades, essentially of ecclesiastical inspiration, were given their great impulse by him; they were a movement of Christendom against the Paynim, of the Church against Islam; they centred in the pope, not the emperor, and they made the pope, not the emperor, conspicuously the head of Christendom.

The twelfth century was the age of the Crusades, of Anselm and Abelard, of Bernard of Clairvaux, and Arnold of Brescia. It saw the settlement of the question of investitures, and in England the struggle between Henry II. and Becket, in which the murder of the archbishop gave him the victory. It saw a new enthusiasm of monasticism, not originated by, but centring in, the person of Bernard, a more conspicuous and a more authoritative figure than any pope of the time. To him was due the suppression of the intellectual movement from within against the authority of the Church, connected with Abelard's name.

Arnold of Brescia's movement was orthodox, but, would have transformed the Church from a monarchial into a republican organisation, and demanded that the clergy should devote themselves to apostolical and pastoral functions with corresponding habits of life. He was a forerunner of the school of reformers which culminated in Zwingli.

In the middle of the century the one English pope, Hadrian IV., was a courageous and capable occupant of the papal throne, and upheld its dignity against Frederick Barbarossa; though he could not maintain the claim that the empire was held as a fief of the papacy. But the strife between the spiritual and temporal powers issued on his death in a double election, and an imperial anti-pope divided the allegiance of Christendom with Alexander III. It was not till after Frederick had been well beaten by the Lombard League at Legnano that emperor and pope were reconciled, and the reconciliation was the pope's victory.

III.--Triumph and Decline of the Papacy

Innocent III., mightiest of all popes, was elected in 1198. He made the papacy what it remained for a hundred years, the greatest power in Christendom. The future Emperor Frederick II. was a child entrusted to Innocent's guardianship. The pope began by making himself virtually sovereign of Italy and Sicily, overthrowing the German baronage therein. A contest for the imperial throne enabled the pope to assume the right of arbitration. Germany repudiated his right. Innocent was saved from the menace of defeat by the assassination of the opposition emperor. But the successful Otho proved at once a danger.

Germany called young Frederick to the throne, and now Innocent sided with Germany; but he did not live to see the death of Otho and the establishment of the Hohenstaufen. More decisive was his intervention elsewhere. Both France and England were laid under interdicts on account of the misdoings of Philip Augustus and John; both kings were forced to submission. John received back his kingdom as a papal fief. But Langton, whom Innocent had made archbishop, guided the barons in their continued resistance to the king, whose submission made him Rome's most cherished son. England and the English clergy held to their independence. Pedro of Aragon voluntarily received his crown from the pope. In every one of the lesser kingdoms of Europe, Innocent asserted his authority.

Innocent's efforts for a fresh crusade begot not the overthrow of the Saracen, but the substitution of a Latin kingdom under the Roman obedience for the Greek empire of Byzantium. In effect it gave Venice her Mediterranean supremacy. The great pope was not more zealous against Islam than against the heterogeneous sects which were revolting against sacerdotalism; whereof the horrors of the crusade against the Albigenses are the painful witness.

Not the least momentous event in the rule of this mightiest of the popes was his authorisation of the two orders of mendicant friars, the disciples of St. Dominic, and of St. Francis of Assisi, with their vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and their principle of human brotherhood. And in both cases Innocent's consent was given with reluctance.

It may be said that Frederick II. was at war with the papacy until his death in the reign of Innocent III.'s fourth successor, Innocent IV. With Honorius the emperor's relations were at first friendly; both were honestly anxious to take a crusade in hand. The two were brought no further than the verge of a serious breach about Frederick's exercise of authority over rebellious ecclesiastics. But Gregory IX., though an octogenarian, was recognised as of transcendent ability and indomitable resolution; and his will clashed with that of the young emperor, a brilliant prince, born some centuries too early.

Frederick was pledged to a crusade; Gregory demanded that the expedition should sail. Frederick was quite warranted in saying that it was not ready; and through no fault of his. Gregory excommunicated him, and demanded his submission before the sentence should be removed. Frederick did not submit, but when he sailed it was without the papal support. Frederick endeavoured to proceed by treaty; it was a shock to Moslems and to Christendom alike. The horrified Gregory summoned every disaffected feudatory of the empire in effect to disown the emperor. But Frederick's arms seemed more likely to prosper. Christendom turned against the pope in the quarrel. Christendom would not go crusading against an emperor who had restored the kingdom of Jerusalem. The two came to terms. Gregory turned his attention to becoming the Justinian of the Church.

But a rebellion against Frederick took shape practically as a renewal of the papal-imperial contest. Gregory prepared a league; then once more he launched his ban. Europe was amazed by a sort of war of proclamations. Nothing perhaps served the pope better now than the agency of the mendicant orders. The military triumph of Frederick, however, seemed already assured when Gregory died. Two years later, Innocent IV. was pope. After hollow overtures, Innocent fled to Lyons, and there launched invectives against Frederick and appeals to Christendom.

Frederick, by attaching, not the papacy but the clergy, alienated much support. Misfortunes gathered around him. His death ensured Innocent's supremacy. Soon the only legitimate heir of the Hohenstaufen was an infant, Conradin; and Conradin's future depended on his able but illegitimate uncle, Manfred. But Innocent did not live long to enjoy his victory; his arrogance and rapacity brought no honour to the papacy. English Grostête of Lincoln, on whom fell Stephen Langton's mantle, is the noblest ecclesiastical figure of the time.

For some years the imperial throne remained vacant; the matter of first importance to the pontiffs--Alexander, Urban, Clement--was that Conradin, as he grew to manhood, should not be elected. Manfred became king of South Italy, with Sicily; but with no legal title. Urban, a Frenchman, agreed with Charles of Anjou, brother of St. Louis, that he should have the crown, on terms. Manfred fell in battle against him at Beneventum, and with him all real chance of a Hohenstaufen recovery. Not three years after, young Conradin, in a desperate venture after his legitimate rights, was captured and put to death by Charles of Anjou.

A temporary pacification of Western Christendom was the work of Gregory X.; his aim was a great crusade. At last an emperor was elected, Rudolph of Hapsburg. But Gregory died. Popes followed each other and died in swift succession. Presently, on the abdication of the hermit Celestine, Boniface VIII. was chosen pope. His bull, "Clericis laicos," forbidding taxation of the clergy by the temporal authority, brought him into direct hostility with Philip the Fair of France, and though the quarrel was temporarily adjusted, the strife soon broke out again. The bulls, "Unam Sanctam" and "Ausculta fili," were answered by a formal arraignment of Boniface in the States-General of France, followed by the seizure of the pope's own person by Philip's Italian partisans.

IV.--Captivity, Seclusion, and Revival

The successor of Boniface was Benedict IX. He acted with dignity and restraint, but he lived only two years. After long delays, the cardinals elected the Archbishop of Bordeaux, a subject of the King of England. But before he became Clement V. he had made his pact with the King of France. He was crowned, not in Italy, but at Lyons, and took up his residence at Avignon, a papal fief in Provence, on the French borders. For seventy years the popes at Avignon were practically the servants of the King of France.

At the very outset, Clement was compelled to lend his countenance to the suppression of the Knights Templars by the temporal power. Philip forced the pope and the Consistory to listen to an appalling and incredible arraignment of the dead Boniface; then he was rewarded for abandoning the persecution of his enemy's memory by abject adulation: the pope had been spared from publicly condemning his predecessor.

John XXII. was not, in the same sense, a tool of the last monarchs of the old House of Capet, of which, during his rule, a younger branch succeeded in the person of Philip of Valois. John was at constant feud with the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, and also, within the ecclesiastical pale, with the Franciscan Order. Louis of Bavaria died during the pontificate of Clement VI., and Charles of Bohemia, already emperor in the eyes of the pope, was accepted by Germany. He virtually abdicated the imperial claim to rule in Italy; but by his "Golden Bull" he terminated the old source of quarrel, the question of the authority by which emperors were elected. The "Babylonish captivity" ended when Gregory XI. left Avignon to die in Italy; it was to be replaced by the Great Schism.

For thirty-eight years rival popes, French and Italian, claimed the supremacy of the Church. The schism was ended by the Council of Constance; Latin Christianity may be said to have reached its culminating point under Nicholas V., during whose pontificate the Turks captured Constantinople.


History of the Popes

Leopold von Ranke was born at Wiehe, on December 21, 1795, and died on May 23, 1886. He became Professor of History at Berlin at the age of twenty-nine; and his life was passed in researches, the fruits of which he gave to the world in an invaluable series of historical works. The earlier of these were concerned mainly with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--in English history generally called the Tudor and Stuart periods--based on examinations of the archives of Vienna and Rome, Venice and Florence, as well as of Berlin. In later years, when he had passed seventy, he travelled more freely outside of his special period. The "History of the Popes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries" here presented was published in 1834-7. The English translation by Sarah Austin (1845) was the subject of review in one of Macaulay's famous essays. It is mainly concerned with the period, not of the Reformation itself, but of the century and a quarter following--roughly from 1535 to 1760, the period during which the religious antagonisms born of the Reformation were primary factors in all European complications.

I.--The Papacy at the Reformation

The papacy was intimately allied with the Roman Empire, with the empire of Charlemagne, and with the German or Holy Roman Empire revived by Otto. In this last the ecclesiastical element was of paramount importance, but the emperor was the supreme authority. From that authority Gregory VII. resolved to free the pontificate, through the claim that no appointment by a layman to ecclesiastical office was valid; while the pope stood forth as universal bishop, a crowned high-priest. To this supremacy the French first offered effectual resistance, issuing in the captivity of Avignon. Germany followed suit, and the schism of the church was closed by the secular princes at Constance and Basle. The papacy was restored in form, but not to its old supremacy.

The pontificates of Sixtus IV. and the egregious Alexander VI. were followed by the militant Julius II., who aimed, with some success, at making the pope a secular territorial potentate. But the intellectual movement challenged the papal claim, the direct challenge emanating from Germany and Luther. But this was at the moment when the empire was joined with Spain under Charles V. The Diet of Worms pointed to an accord between emperor and pope, when Leo X. died unexpectedly. His successor, Adrian, a Netherlander and an admirable man, sought vainly to inaugurate reform of the Church from within, but in brief time made way for Clement VII.

Hitherto, the new pope's interests had all been on the Spanish side, at least as against France; everything had been increasing the Spanish power in Italy, but Clement aimed at freedom from foreign domination. The discovery of his designs brought about the Decree of Spires, which gave Protestantism a legal recognition in the empire, and also the capture and sack of Rome by Frundsberg's soldiery. Charles's ascendancy in Italy and over the papacy was secured. Clement, now almost at his beck, would have persuaded him to apply coercion to the German Protestants; but this did not suit the emperor, whose solution for existing difficulties was the summoning of a general council, which Clement was quite determined to evade. Moreover, matters were made worse for the papacy when England broke away from the papal obedience over the affair of Katharine of Aragon.

Paul III., Clement's immediate successor, began with an effort after regeneration by appointing several cardinals of the Contarini type, associates of the Oratory of Divine Love, many of whom stood, in part at least, on common ground with avowed Protestants, notably on the dogma of justification by faith. He appears seriously to have desired a reconciliation with the Protestants; and matters looked promising when a conference was held at Ratisbon, where Contarini himself represented the pope.

Terms of union were even agreed on, but, being referred to Luther on one side and Paul on the other, were rejected by both, after which there was no hope of the cleavage being bridged. The regeneration of the Church would have to be from within.

II.--Sixteenth Century Popes

The interest of this period lies mainly in the antagonism between the imperative demand for internal reform of the Church and the policy which had become ingrained in the heads of the Church. For the popes, these political aspirations stood first and reform second. Alexander Farnese (Paul III.) was pope from 1534 to 1549. He was already sixty-seven when he succeeded Clement. Policy and enlightenment combined at first to make him advance Contarini and his allies, and to hope for reconciliation with the Protestants. Policy turned him against acceptance of the Ratisbon proposals, as making Germany too united. Then he urged the emperor against the Protestants, but when the success of Charles was too complete he was ill-pleased. He withdrew the Council from Trent to Bologna, to remove it from imperial influences which threatened the pope's personal supremacy. So far as he was concerned, reformation had dropped into the background.

Julius III. was of no account; Marcellus, an excellent and earnest man, might have done much had he not died in three weeks. His election, and that of his successor, Caraffa, as Paul IV., both pointed to a real intention of reform. Caraffa had all his life been a passionate advocate of moral reform, but even he was swept away by the political conditions and his hatred of Spain, which was an obsession. Professed detestation of Spain was a sure way to his favour, which, his kinsfolk recognising, they won his confidence only to their own ultimate destruction when he discovered that he had been deceived. Half his reign was worse than wasted in a futile contest with Spain; when it was done, he turned rigorously to energetic disciplinary reforms, but death stayed his hand.

A very different man was Pius IV., the pontiff under whom the Council of Trent was brought to a close. Far from rigid himself, he still could not, if he would, have altogether deserted the paths of reform. But most conspicuously he was inaugurator of a new policy, not asserting claims to supremacy, but seeking to induce the Catholic powers to work hand in hand with the papacy--Spain and the German Empire being now parted under the two branches of the House of Hapsburg. In this policy he was most ably assisted by the diplomatic tact of Cardinal Moroni, who succeeded in bringing France, Spain, and the empire into a general acceptance of the positions finally laid down by the Council of Trent, whereby the pope's ecclesiastical authority was not impaired, but rather strengthened.

On his death, he was succeeded by one of the more rigid school, Pius V. (1563-1572). This pope continued to maintain the monastic austerity of his own life; his personal virtue and piety were admirable; but, being incapable of conceiving that anything could be right except on the exact lines of his own practice, he was both extremely severe and extremely intolerant; especially he was, in harmony with Philip of Spain, a determined persecutor.

But to his idealism was largely due that league which, directed against the Turk, issued in one of the most memorable checks to the Ottoman arms, the battle of Lepanto.

Gregory XIII. succeeded him immediately before the massacre of St. Bartholomew. It was rather the pressure of his surroundings than his personal character that gave his pontificate a spiritual aspect. An honourable care in the appointment of bishops and for ecclesiastical education were its marks on this side. He introduced the Gregorian Calendar. He was a zealous promoter of war, open and covert, with Protestantism, especially with Elizabeth; his financial arrangements were effective and ingenious. But he failed to obtain control over the robber bands which infested the Papal States.

Their suppression was carried out with unexampled severity by Sixtus V. Sixtus was learned and prudent, and of remarkable self-control; he is also charged with being crafty and malignant. Not very accurately, he is commonly regarded as the author of much which was actually due to his predecessors; but his administration is very remarkable. Rigorous to the verge of cruelty in the enforcement of his laws, they were themselves commonly mild and conciliatory. He was energetic in encouraging agriculture and manufactures. Nepotism, the old ingrained vice of the popes, had been practised by none of his three immediate predecessors, though he is often credited with its abolition. His financial methods were successful immediately, but really accumulated burdens which became portentously heavy.

The treatment of public buildings in Rome by Sixtus V., his destruction of antiquities there, and his curious attempts to convert some of the latter into Christian monuments, mark the change from the semi-paganism of the times of Leo X. Similarly, the ecclesiastical spirit of the time opposed free inquiry. Giordano Bruno was burnt. The same movement is visible in the change from Ariosto to Tasso. Religion had resumed her empire. The quite excellent side of these changes is displayed in such beautiful characters as Cardinal Borromeo and Filippo Neri.

III.--The Counter Reformation: First Stage

Ever since the Council of Trent closed in 1563, the Church had been determined on making a re-conquest of the Protestant portion of Christendom. In the Spanish and Italian peninsulas, Protestantism never obtained a footing; everywhere else it had established itself in one of the two forms into which it was divided--the Lutheran and the Calvinistic. In Germany it greatly predominated among the populations, mainly in the Lutheran form. In France, where Catholicism predominated, the Huguenots were Calvinist. Calvinism prevailed throughout Scandinavia, in the Northern Netherlands, in Scotland, and--differently arrayed--in England.

In Germany, the Augsburg declaration, which made the religion of each prince the religion also of his dominions, the arrangement was favourable to a Catholic recovery; since princes were more likely to be drawn back to the fold than populations, as happened notably in the case of Albert of Bavaria, who re-imposed Catholicism on a country whose sympathies were Protestant. In Germany, also, much was done by the wide establishment of Jesuit schools, whither the excellence of the education attracted Protestants as well as Catholics. The great ecclesiastical principalities were also practically secured for Catholicism.

The Netherlands were under the dominion of Philip of Spain, the most rigorous supporter of orthodoxy, who gave the Inquisition free play. His severities induced revolt, which Alva was sent to suppress, acting avowedly by terrorist methods. In France the Huguenots had received legal recognition, and were headed by a powerful section of the nobility; the Catholic section, with which Paris in particular was entirely in sympathy, were dominant, but not at all securely so--a state of rivalry which culminated in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, while Alva was in the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, these events stirred the Protestants both in France and in the Netherlands to a renewed and desperate resistance. On the other hand, some of the German Catholic princes displayed a degree of tolerance which permitted extensions of Protestantism within their realms. In England, the government was uncompromisingly Protestant. Then the pope and Philip tried intervention by fostering rebellion in Catholic Ireland and by the Jesuit mission of Parsons and Campion in England, but the only effect was to make the Protestantism of the government the more implacable.

A change in Philip's methods in the Netherlands separated the northern Protestant provinces from the Catholic Walloons. The assassination of William of Orange decided the rulers of some of the northern German states who had been in two minds. The accession of Rudolf II. of Austria had a decisive effect in South Germany. When the failure of the house of Valois made the Huguenot Henry of Navarre heir to the French throne, the Catholic League, supported by the pope, determined to prevent his succession, while the reigning king, Henry III., Catholic though he was, was bitterly opposed to the Guises.

The immediate effect was the compulsory submission of the king to the Guises and the League, followed by the assassination, first of Guise and then of the king, at the moment when the Catholic aggression had taken shape in the Spanish Armada, and received a check more overwhelming than Philip was ready to recognise.

In certain fundamental points, the papacy was now re-asserting Hildebrandine claims--the right of controlling succession to temporal thrones. It is an error to regard it as essentially a supporter of monarchy; it was the accident of the position which commonly brought it into alliance with monarchies. In the Netherlands, it was by its support of the constitutional demands of the Walloon nobles that the south was saved for Catholicism. It asserted the duty of peoples to refuse allegiance to princes who departed from Catholicism, and it was Protestant monarchism which replied by asserting the divine right of kings; the Jesuits actually derived the power of the princes from the people. Thus a separate Catholic party arose, which, maintaining the divine appointment of princes, restricted the intervention of the church to spiritual affairs, and in France supported Navarre's claim to the throne; while, on the other hand, Philip and the Spaniards, strongly interested in preventing his succession, were ready to maintain, even against a fluctuating pope, that heresy was a permanent bar to succession, not to be removed even by recantation.

Sixtus V. found himself unable to decide. The rapid demise of three popes in succession after him (1590-1591) led to the election of Clement VIII. in January 1592, a man of ability and piety. He mistrusted the genuineness of the offer which Henry had for some time been making of returning to the bosom of the church, and was not inclined to alienate Spain. There was danger that the French Catholics would maintain their point, and even sever themselves from Rome. The acceptance of Henry would once more establish France as a Catholic power, and relieve the papacy of its dependence on Spain. At the end of 1595 Clement resolved to receive Henry into the church, and he reaped the fruits in the support which Henry promptly gave him in his claim to resume Ferrara into the Papal States. In his latter years, he and his right-hand man and kinsman, Cardinal Aldobrandini, found themselves relying on French support to counteract the Spanish influences which were now opposed to Clement's own sway.

On Clement's death another four weeks' papacy intervened before the election of Paul V., a rigorous legalist who cared neither for Spain nor France, but for whatever he regarded as the rights of the Church, as to which he had most exaggerated ideas. These very soon brought him in conflict with Venice, a republic which firmly maintained the supremacy of the authority of the State, rejecting the secular authority of the Church. To the pope's surprise, excommunication was of no effect; the Jesuits found that if they held by the pope there was no room for them in Venice, and they came out in a body. The governments of France and Spain disregarded the popular voice which would have set them at war--France for Venice, Spain for the pope--and virtually imposed peace; on the whole, though not completely, in favour of Venice.

But the conflict had impeded and even threatened to subvert that unity, secular and ecclesiastical, which was the logical aim of the whole of the papal policy.

IV.--The Counter Reformation: Second Stage

Meanwhile, the Protestantism which had threatened to prevail in Poland had been checked under King Stephen, and under Sigismund III. Catholicism had been securely re-established, though Protestantism was not crushed. But this prince, succeeding to the Swedish crown, was completely defeated in his efforts to obtain a footing for Catholicism, to which his success would have given an enormous impulse throughout the north.

In Germany, the ecclesiastical princes, with the skilled aid of the Jesuits, thoroughly re-established Catholicism in their own realms, in accordance with the legally recognised principle cujus regio ejus religïo. The young Austrian archduke, Ferdinand of Carinthia, a pupil of the Jesuits, was equally determined in the suppression of Protestantism within his territories. The "Estates" resisted, refusing supplies; but the imminent danger from the Turks forced them to yield the point; while Ferdinand rested on his belief that the Almighty would not protect people from the heathen while they remained heretical; and so he gave suppression of heresy precedence over war with the Turk.

The Emperor Rudolph, in his latter years, pursued a like policy in Bohemia and Hungary. The aggressiveness of the Catholic movement drove the Protestant princes to form a union for self-defence, and within the hereditary Hapsburg dominions the Protestant landholders asserted their constitutional rights in opposition. Throughout the empire a deadlock was threatening. In Switzerland the balance of parties was recognised; the principal question was, which party would become dominant in the Grisons.

There was far more unity in Catholicism than in Protestantism, with its cleavage of Lutherans and Calvinists, and numerous subdivisions of the latter. The Church at this moment stood with monarchism, and the Catholic princes were able men; half Protestantism was inclined to republicanism, and the princes were not able men. The Catholic powers, except France, which was half Protestant, were ranged against the Protestants; the Protestant powers were not ranged against the Catholics. The contest began when the Calvinist Elector Palatine accepted the crown of Bohemia, against the title of Ferdinand of Carinthia and Austria, who about the same time became emperor.

The early period of the Thirty Years' War thus opened was wholly favourable to the Catholics. The defeat of the Elector Palatine led to the Catholicising of Bohemia and Hungary; and also, partly through papal influence, to the transfer of the Palatinate itself to Bavaria, carrying the definite preponderance of the Catholics in the central imperial council. At the same time Catholicism acquired a marked predominance in France, partly through the defections of Huguenot nobles; was obviously gaining ground in the Netherlands; and was being treated with much more leniency by the government in England. And, besides all this, in every part of the globe the propaganda instituted under Gregory XV. and the Jesuit missions was spreading Catholic doctrine far and wide.

But the two great branches of the house of Hapsburg, the Spanish and the German, were actively arrayed on the same side; and the menace of Hapsburg supremacy was alarming. About the time when Urban VIII. succeeded Gregory (1623), French policy, guided by Richelieu, was becoming definitely anti-Spanish, and organised a huge assault on the Hapsburgs, in conjunction with Protestants, though in France the Huguenots were quite subordinated. This done, Richelieu found it politic to retire from the new combination, whereby a powerful impulse was given to Catholicism.

But Richelieu wished when free to combat the Hapsburgs, and Pope Urban favoured France, magnified himself as a temporal prince, and was anxious to check the Hapsburg or Austro-Spanish ascendancy. The opportunity for alliance with France came, over the incidents connected with the succession of the French Duc de Nevers to Mantua, just when Richelieu had obtained complete predominance over the Huguenots. Papal antagonism to the emperor was becoming obvious, while the emperor regarded himself as the true champion of the Faith, without much respect to the pope.

In this crisis the Catholic anti-imperialists turned to the only Protestant force which was not a beaten one--Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Dissatisfaction primarily with the absolutism at which the emperor and Wallenstein were aiming brought several of the hitherto imperialist allies over, and Ferdinand at the Diet of Ratisbon was forced to a change of attitude. The victories of Gustavus brought new complications; Catholicism altogether was threatened. The long course of the struggle which ensued need not be followed. The peace of Westphalia, which ended it, proved that it was impossible for either combatant to effect a complete conquest; it set a decisive limit to the Catholic expansion, and to direct religious aggression. The great spiritual contest had completed its operation.

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