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Reign of George III. (Continued.) page 28

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This is the mere fragment of a list of a hundred and forty persons thus bought up. Amongst the most prominent pickings were those of -

Lord Shannon, for his patronage in the commons £45,000
The marquis of Ely £45,000
Lord Clanmorris £45,000
Lord Belvidere £45,000
Sir Henry Langrishe £45,000

Then follows a long and frightful list of lawyers, who sold their influence in the Irish parliament - a solemn warning against the admission of too many lawyers to parliament. We may select a few of the most lavishly paid: -

Mr. Charles Osborne, made judge of the King's Bench £3,300
Mr. St. John Daly, ditto £3,300
Mr. Williams, made baron of the exchequer £3,300
Mr. M'Leland, ditto £3,300
Mr. Robert Johnson, made judge of Common Pleas £3,300
Mr. William Johnson, ditto £3,300
Mr. Torrens, ditto £3,300
Mr. Vandeleur, made judge of Queen's Bench £3,300
Mr. Charles Ormsby, counsel to commissioners, value £5,000
Mr. Henry Deane Grady, ditto ditto £5,000
Mr. Jemison, as commissioner for distributing a million and a half of this compensation money! £1,200

Besides this, there remains a number of other lawyers, amounting, in the whole, to thirty-four, bought up at from four and five hundred to six and eight hundred a-year.

Such were the means by which the union of Ireland with Great Britain was accomplished. It was but one revelation of the fearful corruption which rioted in every department of the British government at this period, and which continued down to the Reform Bill in 1832, which, in some degree, checked its excesses. They were the same means by which Pitt's majority was maintained, and the career of war and debt made irresistible. Under the influence of lord Castlereagh, and this application of English money, and bestowal of peerages and offices, the Irish parliament sent a joint address to his majesty, declaring what they had done, and that they believed it would prove a very beneficial measure. It was accepted and passed the English house of lords with only three non-contents - lords Derby, King, and Holland. In the commons it was passed by a majority of two hundred and thirty-six against thirty. Pitt, with the knowledge of the dark means by which this great act had been brought about, talked very virtuously of the reform of parliament, which nothing but the malignant influence of French principles rendered it necessary to defer. Mr. Gray moved an amendment, praying his majesty to suspend the question till the sentiments of the Irish people at large could be ascertained regarding this measure. He said that twenty- seven counties had petitioned against the measure; that seven hundred and seven thousand persons had petitioned against it, and only three thousand for it. But his amendment was swept away by a vast majority; the act was passed, and received the royal assent on the 2nd of July. This and the vote of the necessary moneys being the great business of the session, parliament was prorogued on the 29th of the same month.

Napoleon Buonaparte, who had appeared so anxious for peace with England, was, in truth, greatly rejoiced at the rejection of his proposals, for it furnished him with the pleas which he desired, for the still more extended schemes of military ambition which he entertained. He issued a proclamation complaining of the obstinate hostility of England, and called on the people to furnish men and arms to conquer peace by force. He was especially stung at an allusion to the rights of the Bourbons which the British minister had made in the course of the negotiations, and caused a letter to be inserted in the Moniteur, purporting to be from the last of the Stuart line to George III., congratulating him on his recognition of legitimate claims, and expecting him to prove his sincerity by resigning the throne of Great Britain to its rightful heir. Buonaparte had made able arrangements for the civil government. He had selected able men for each department, looking only at their talent, and caring nothing for their principles or past character. He chose Cambaceres - a lawyer of great power - and Lebrun, as second and third consuls; Talleyrand, an astute diplomatist, but of very facile conscience, he made minister of foreign affairs 5 and Fouché, a man of no principle at all but that of self-interest, as minister of police. He had already occupied this post under the reign of terror, and had marked himself out as a man of infinite cunning, prepared to perpetrate any crime or cruelty that his employers required. Cambaceres, besides his consulship, was appointed minister of justice; Carnot, minister at war; Gaudin, of finance; Forfait, of the admiralty; and Laplace, the celebrated geometrician, of the interior. The last appointment was the only mistake. Laplace, great as a geometrician, proved himself below mediocrity as a minister. On the whole, however, the government was in good hands; and, having placed Moreau at the head of the army on the Rhine, Buonaparte prepared for his favourite project of reconquering Italy. He had judged right in sending Moreau to Germany, who, we shall see, took care to prevent the Austrians sending reinforcements to Italy to increase Buonaparte's difficulties; and another circumstance, most auspicious to the chief consul, was the fact, that Paul of Russia, offended at the Austrians not better supporting her generals, Korsakoff and Suvaroff, had withdrawn his army from the campaign.

The Austrians, under Melas, in the north of Italy, amounted 'to one hundred and forty thousand men. They had spent the winter on the plains of Piedmont, and contemplated, in the spring, reducing Genoa, by assistance from the British fleet, and then, penetrating into Provence, to join the royalist s there, ready to take arms under generals Willot and Pichegru. Massena, freed by the retreat of the Russians from his confinement at Zurich, lay, with an army of forty thousand, "betwixt Genoa and the Var; but his troops had suffered great distress from want of provisions, and whole regiments had abandoned their posts, and, with drums beating and colours flying, had marched back into France. Buonaparte first, arrested their desertion by several stirring appeals to the soldiers, and then prepared to march with a strong army of reserve through the Alps, and to take Melas unexpectly in the rear. To effect this, it was necessary to deceive the Austrians as to his intentions; and, for this purpose, he assembled a pretended army of reserve at Dijon, as if meaning to obstruct the march of the Austrians southward. The Austrian spies truly reported that this boasted army of reserve consisted only of about seven thousand men, and those; raw conscripts, or old, decrepit veterans. Yet the Austrians, instead of having their suspicions awakened, contented themselves with caricaturing Buonaparte's army of reserve as consisting of a boy of twelve years old and an invalid with a wooden leg. To favour the delusion, Buonaparte went to Dijon, and reviewed the pretended army of reserve with much display, he then got quietly away to Lausanne, where he had an interview with Necker, who still showed a disposition to assume the management of affairs in France, to which Napoleon did not respond. He then put himself at the head of one of the divisions of the real army of reserve, which was lying at different points, under the nominal command of general Berthier, and amounting to about sixty thousand men.

Buonaparte commenced his march on the 15th of May, with thirty thousand - that is, with half the army - for Lausanne, and, betwixt the 15th and the 18th, the other divisions were all in motion. Every means had been employed to keep the plan of the march secret, both because the object was to take the Austrians by surprise, and to prevent the Swiss suddenly rising and cutting them off in the defiles of the mountains. General Thurreau, with a division of five thousand, advanced by Mont Cenis on Exilles and Susa, another, under Chabran, took the route of the Little St. Bernard; but Buonaparte himself, supported by general Lannes, proceeded to cross the Great St. Bernard itself - a track over the loftiest regions of the Alps, hitherto deemed arduous for single individuals, but now to be attempted by a great army, with all its baggage and ammunition, and with forty pieces of cannon. At the village of St. Pierre, all regular track ended; they had to mount into the regions of eternal frost, amid precipices, glaciers, ravines, and depths of treacherous snow concealing gaping crevices, and to drag their cannon, and convey their baggage and ammunition over rocks and heights on which only the foot of the chamois-hunter had before trod. To accomplish this, the cannon were dismounted, and placed in trunks, of trees, hollowed for the purpose, and dragged each by a hundred men at a time. The carriages were taken to pieces and carried on the backs of mules, or by the soldiers slung on poles. The powder and shot were packed in strong deal boxes, and borne by the mules; and the soldiers who were not carrying part of the baggage or dragging at the cannon took the muskets, cartouche-boxes, knapsacks, and provisions of their comrades. Each man was calculated to carry from sixty to seventy pounds, and that up steeps where it had always been deemed difficult enough for a man to ascend unburdened. But, besides the soldiers, all the peasantry that could be collected in the surrounding country were summoned to help. The bands played and the drums beat at different points, to inspirit the soldiers to this unexampled service. The cavalry led their horses, and found it hard enough to get over many a steep and slippery place. Buonaparte followed in the rear, silent and gloomy, only exchanging a hasty word now and then with his guides, and frequently finding his progress stopped by some forced halt of the army, when his commands stimulated it to fresh exertions. At the convent of St. Bernard, the monks came out, and, from their ample stores, distributed bread and cheese and a cup of wine to each weary soldier, who, during the march, had hitherto tasted nothing but a piece of biscuit dipped in the snow. Buonaparte left one hundred thousand francs with the monks, as a testimony of his gratitude for this kindness. The descent of Mont St. Bernard was found as arduous for the infantry as the ascent, and much more so to the cavalry. After a march of fourteen French leagues, the next morning, the 16th of May, the French reached Aosta, a village of Piedmont, situated in a Valley of the same name, and watered by the river Dorea, the scenery presenting a charming contrast to the horrors of the giant hills which they had passed. On the 17th Lannes drove in a post of the Austrians, at Chatillon, who were confounded at the apparition of a French army dropping, as it were, out of the clouds.

But Buonaparte now found his way completely obstructed I by the fort of Bard effectually closing a defile leading down |j into the plains of Piedmont. Lannes made a desperate attempt to carry the fort by assault, but was repulsed with heavy loss But Buonaparte climbed a lofty rock called Albaredo, being a precipice-du the side of one of the mountains forming the pass. He saw there that it was possible to carry most of his troops over the hill by a road known only to goatherds, whilst the rest attacked the walled town under the fort, and pushed through it with the cannon. The commander of the fort had sent messages to warn Melas, then opposed to Suchet on the Var, of the approach of the French by this hitherto undreamed-of way; but lie assured him that he would not allow a gun to pass through the town. Buonaparte deceived him by covering the streets of the town with earth and litter, and dragging the cannon through in silence. He left general Chabran with a body of conscripts to invest the fort, and batter it from the top of Albaredo. Escaped from this pass, which, properly- secured by the Austrians, would have effectually stopped his march, Buonaparte advanced, taking town after town, and making for Milan, where he expected to be joined by the other divisions of the army marching by the Little St. Bernard and Mont Cenis, as well as by twenty thousand troops dispatched over St. Gothard from the army of Moreau.

Melas, who had been besieging Genoa, had left part of his army to reduce that city, defended by a strong French division under Massena and Soult, and advanced to Nice, which he had entered, and was contemplating his descent on Provence, when the news of Buonaparte's entrance of Piedmont reached him. He directed his march now to meet him. In the meantime, Massena and Soult, worn out by famine, the fort being blockaded by admiral lord Keith, had surrendered Genoa to general Ott, whom Melas had left there. Melas summoned his scattered forces to make head against Buonaparte, and was himself pursued from the neighbourhood of Nice by Souchet. Buonaparte deceived Melas by false movements, making him imagine that his object was Turin, and bo entered Milan in triumph on the 2nd of June. After various encounters and manœuvres betwixt Buonaparte and Melas, the French consul crossed the Po at Piacenza, drove back the advanced guard of the Austrians, and took up a position on the plains of Marengo, on the right bank of the little stream, the Bormida, and opposite to Alessandria, where Melas was lying. The next day - the 14th of June - Melas drew out his forces, and attacked the French with great spirit. The Austrians amounted to about forty thousand, including a fine body of cavalry, for which the ground was highly favourable; the French were not more than thirty thousand, posted strongly in and around the village of Marengo, in three divisions, each stationed about a quarter of a mile behind each other. After two or three attempts, the Austrians drove the French out of the village of Marengo, threw the second division, commanded by Lannes, into confusion, and put to rout the left wing of Buonaparte's own division, threw his centre into disorder, and compelled him to retreat as far as St. Julian o. The whole tide of battle was running against Buonaparte, and a short time must have completed his rout, when the strength of the old general, Melas - more than eighty years of age - gave way, for he had been many hours on horseback. He retired from the field quite secure of the victory, and left general Zach to finish it. But, at this moment, general Dessaix, who had lately arrived from Egypt, and had been sent by Buonaparte to make a diversion at Rivolta, came back with his detachment of twenty thousand men. Kellermann, also, who was posted in the rear with a body of reserve, marched up at the same time. A new and desperate charge was made on the fatigued Austrians, and they were broken and put to the route. They retreated across the Bormida, towards Alessandria, in a panic, the horse galloping over the infantry. General Zach was taken prisoner, and the loss of the Austrians, as given by themselves, was nine thousand and sixty- nine men, and nearly fifteen hundred horses. But the French, who far understated their own loss at four thousand, estimated that of the Austrians at twelve thousand. On the side of the French, Dessaix was shot through the head- while leading on his charge.

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