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The case of infanticide suggests similar thoughts. When we remember that both Plato and Aristotle commended as a valuable social custom that which we treat as a crime; when we recall the fact that the life of a Spartan infant depended on a committee of elders, who decided whether it should live or perish, we shall better appreciate the distance we have travelled, or, as some would say, the progress we have made, if we take up some English daily paper and read of some high-minded English judge sentencing, at least formally, some wretched woman to death, because, in order to save her child from starvation or herself from shame, she has released it from existence. Yet the feeling, of which such a sentence is the expression, is often extolled as one of the highest triumphs of civilisation; and the laws, as if there were no difference between adult and infant life, glory in protecting the weakness of a child by their merciless disregard for the weakness of its mother.
The new spring in poetry broke forth as brilliantly in this reign as that in prose. In the earlier portion of it, indeed, this was not so visible. The school of Pope seemed still to retain its influence. This school had produced a host of imitators, but little real genius since Pope's time. Almost the only exception to this mediocrity was Collins, whose odes were full of fire and genius. He died just before this period, and Gray, Shenstone, and Goldsmith opened it with many of the exterior characteristics of that school. But, in truth, notwithstanding the mere fashion of their compositions, there were in them unmistakable evidences of new life. Shenstone was the least vigorous and original of the three, but his "Schoolmistress" possessed a natural charm that still gains it admirers. He belongs, however, rather to the past period than this, for he died but three years after the accession of George III., and had ceased to write some time before. Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" showed that he had deep feeling and a nice observation of nature; and his "Long Story" that he possessed real humoura quality abounding in his prose, but, except in this piece, little visible in his poetry. His odes are extremely vigorous, but somewhat formal. His "Bard," his "Ode on Eton College," and his "Fatal Sisters," are all full of beauty, but somewhat stilted. In the "Fatal Sisters" he introduced a subject from the "Scandinavian Edda" to the English reader, but in a most un-Scandinavian dress. the papers.
A succession of battles now took place with varying success, but still leaving the Allies nearer to Paris than before. If Buonaparte turned against Blucher, Schwarzenberg made an advance towards the capital; if against Schwarzenberg, Blucher progressed a stage. To check Schwarzenberg whilst he attacked Blucher, Napoleon sent Oudinot, Macdonald, and Gerard against Schwarzenberg; but they were defeated, and Napoleon himself was repulsed with severe loss from Craonne and the heights of Laon. But Buonaparte getting between the two Allied armies, and occupying Rheims, the Austrians were so discouraged that Schwarzenberg gave orders to retreat. The Emperor Alexander strenuously opposed retreat; but the effectual argument was advanced by Lord Castlereagh, who declared that the moment the retreat commenced the British subsidies should cease. A sharp battle was fought on the 20th of March, between Schwarzenberg and Napoleon, at Arcis-sur-Aube, and Napoleon was compelled to retreat. Blucher, who had received the order to retreat from Schwarzenberg, had treated it with contempt, and replied to it by his favourite word, "Forwards!" Napoleon had now to weigh the anxious question, whether it was better to push on, and stand a battle under the walls of Paris, with his small, much-reduced force, against the Allies, and with the capital in a state of uncertainty towards himor to follow and harass the rear of the enemy. He seems to have shrunk from the chance of a defeat under the eyes of his metropolis, and he therefore, finding a Prussian force in Vitry, crossed the Marne on the 22nd of March, and held away towards his eastern frontiers, as if with some faint, fond hope that the peasantry of Franche Comt and Alsace might rise and fly to his support. But no such movement was likely; all parts of France were mortally sick of his interminable wars, and glad to see an end put to them. The Allies had now taken the bold resolve to march on Paris and summon it to surrender.
* Lettre du Frre Houssart, ancien serviteur de Mg'r de
At the very time he received this appointment he was actually in correspondence with Colonel Robinson, an officer of General Clinton's staff, declaring that he was become convinced of the more righteous cause of the mother country, and that he was prepared to testify this by some signal service to his king. It was at the beginning of August of the present year when Arnold assumed his command at West Point; and Clinton lost no time in opening a direct correspondence with him, through which such singular advantages were offered. Sir Henry Clinton employed as his agent in this correspondence a young officer of high promise in his profession and of considerable literary talents, Major John Andr, Adjutant-General and aide-de-camp to Sir Henry. As Clinton was naturally anxious to bring this hazardous correspondence to a close, he pressed Arnold to come to a speedy decision, offering him rank in the army and a high reward in return for the promised servicesnamely, the surrender of West Point, with all its dependent forts and stores, including, as a matter of course, the command of the Hudson, and the terror and distrust which this act would spread through the American army. The absence of Washington at the meeting with Rochambeau at Hartford was seized on as a proper opportunity for a personal and final conference on the subject. Major Andr was selected by General Clinton to meet Arnold on neutral ground. The place selected was on the western bank of the Hudson, and Clinton strongly enjoined him to enter on no account within the American lines, to assume no disguise, nor to be the bearer of any written documents. Day dawned before the whole preliminaries were settled, though the chief point was determinednamely, that West Point should be surrendered to the English on the following Monday. Andr was prevailed on to remain with Arnold the greater part of the day; and then, on going down to the shore, he found that the boatman who had brought him out refused to carry him back. When Andr returned to Arnold at Smith's house, he gave him a pass, and advised him to travel by land to King's Ferry, and there to cross. He insisted that for this purpose he must assume a disguise, and travel under his assumed name of John Anderson. So little was Andr apprehensive of danger, that he not only disobeyed the injunction of his commander-in-chief in this particular, but in the far more important one of carrying written papers, which he concealed in his boot.The French, exasperated beyond further endurance, on the 22nd of November entered on the question of war in the Assembly in earnest. Koch, of Strasburg, the well-known historian, declared that no time was to be lost; that the German nations were every day violating the frontiers of France, and that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was not to be trusted. Three armies were formed. Rochambeau, who was now ailing, and out of humour, was appointed to that stationed in Flanders, and called the army of the north; Lafayette was put in command of the central division stationed at Metz, and Luckner of the one stationed in Alsace. Narbonne, the new Minister, made a rapid journey, and returning, announced to the Assembly that the different fortresses were fast assuming a creditable condition, and that the army, from Dunkirk to Besan?on, presented a mass of two hundred and forty battalions, one hundred and sixty squadrons, with artillery requisite for two hundred thousand men, and supplies for six months. This report was received with acclamations. So closed the year 1791.
Thus a Jacobin monk, a doctor of divinity, once came to preach at the church of St. Paul at Caen; on which, according to their custom, the brotherhood of the Hermitage sent two persons to make report concerning his orthodoxy. Mzy and another military zealot, who, says the narrator, hardly know how to read, and assuredly do not know their catechism, were deputed to hear his first sermon; wherein this Jacobin, having spoken of the necessity of the grace of Jesus Christ in order to the doing of good deeds, these two wiseacres thought that he was preaching Jansenism; and thereupon, after the sermon, the Sieur de Mzy went to the proctor of the ecclesiastical court and denounced him. *Britain was everywhere successful on the sea, and Lord Nelson, on the 1st of August, made an attempt on the French flotilla lying at Boulogne for the invasion of England. He was furnished with a flotilla of gunboats for the purpose, and he was able to destroy two floating batteries and a few gunboats, but found the fleet too strongly posted under the batteries of the harbour to make further impression. However, Napoleon saw that for the present an invasion was out of the question, and the autumn of this year was employed in endeavours to arrange a peace. Lord Cornwallis proceeded to Paris for this object, and went to Amiens, which was appointed as the place for the conference. The preliminaries were signed on the 1st of October, and General Lauriston, the schoolfellow and first aide-de-camp of Buonaparte, brought them over to London. The negotiations progressed slowly, being arrested now and then by the conduct of the First Consul. Without waiting for the ratification of peace, he sent off, on the 14th of December, 1801, only ten days after the signing of the preliminaries, a strong fleet and army to the West Indies to reduce the independent black Republic in St. Domingo. Britain was obliged to send reinforcements to her own West Indian fleet by Admiral Martinso that it looked much more like war than peace. Again, in January, 1802, came the news of the election of Buonaparte to the Presidency of the Cisalpine Republic, directly contrary to the Treaty of Lunville, and betraying the ambitious aims of Napoleon. Immediately followed the news that Buonaparte had exacted from Spain a treaty by which Parma and the island of Elba were made over to France on the death of the present, already aged, duke; that Spain had been compelled to cede part of the province of Louisiana in North America, by the same treaty; and that Portugal, though the integrity of her dominions had been carefully guaranteed by the preliminaries of peace, had by a secret article given up to France her province of Guiana. A Republican constitution was forced on Holland, and in Switzerland instructions were given to the French Minister to thwart all efforts at the formation of a stable constitution. These revelations startled the British Ministers, but did not deter them from concluding the peace, with the full approbation of Pitt. It was not that the First Consul, who every day betrayed some fresh symptom of an insatiable ambition, was disposed to offer them tempting terms; on the contrary, though we were never more able to dictate measures at sea, and he never less so, he was as haughty and dictatorial in his demands as if Great Britain had been completely under his feet. Yet the treaty went on, and was concluded and signed on the 27th of March, 1802. It settled nothing, as Britain refused to acknowledge the newly organised Republics, and declined to entertain Napoleon's preposterous suggestion that Malta was to be occupied by Neapolitan troops, under a neutrality guaranteed by all the chief European Powers; since it was well known that Napoleon, when it suited him, would cease to respect the conditions, and would readily dispossess the troops of Naples. Though Pitt believed him to have been sincere, Grenville, Windham, and Spencer saw that the ambition of the "Little Corporal" was insatiable, and denounced the treaty.