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On the passage, the squadron of Sir John Warren came in sight of the French fleet of Villaret-Joyeuse, of nine ships of the line, but it bore away, and left them to pursue their course. They entered the Bay of Quiberon on the 25th of June and, after much wrangling as to the best situation for landing, they put the troops ashore at the village of Carnac. There they were immediately joined by Georges Cadoudal, d'Allgre, Dubois-Berthollet, and other Chouan chiefs, with about four thousand or five thousand of their wild and bandit-looking soldiers. Along with the Chouans came troops of peasants, crying "Vive le Roi!" and bringing in abundance of fresh eggs, poultry, and other provisions. Puisaye was delighted, and felt confident that all Brittany was ready to rise. But this delusion was soon dissipated. The Emigrants, accustomed to regular armies, looked with contempt on this wild and ragged band, and they, on their part, were not restrained, on the landing of the arms and uniforms, from seizing and carrying them off, without much exertion on the part of Puisaye. There was danger of bloodshed. At length, in about a couple of days, ten thousand of them were put into red coats, and furnished with muskets. But fatal dissensions prevented all operations. Puisaye proposed to march up the country, seize different towns, such as Vannes and Rennes, and take up their position behind the Mayenne; but d'Hervilly refused to march till the troops were formed into regular regiments, and the Emigrants joined him in despising the Chouans, and in complaining that they had not been taken to La Vende to join Charette. Puisaye and d'Hervilly also disputed the supreme command, and Puisaye had to dispatch letters to London, to Count d'Artois, on the subject. At length, after five days had been wasted in this contention, Puisaye proposed that they should endeavour to carry Fort Penthivre, which stood on a small peninsula on Quiberon Bay, and was united to the main land by a sandy isthmus. To this d'Hervilly consented, and Sir John Warren agreed to support him in the attempt. On the 1st of July Warren began to bombard the fort, and on the 3rd, the place being warmly assailed by both the British and the Chouans, the Republicans surrendered. Meanwhile, Puisaye had sent off emissaries all over Brittany, to rouse Scpeaux, Charette, Stofflet, and the rest of the insurgent chiefs. The news of the landing had flown all over Brittany in a few days, and the Royalists were full of joy.
To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of the lower ordersthe only class which had raised a cheer for him on his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever the tree of liberty was plantedfor it was now the trick of Buonaparte to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing on which he had so uniformly trampledit was cut down and burnt. It was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications; strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier. Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Langres, and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works, and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with Wellington!"
In the department of the Drama the fertility was immense. Tragedy, comedy, and farce maintained a swelling stream during the whole reign. In the earlier portion of it the chief writers of this class were Goldsmith, Garrick, Foote, Macklin, Murphy, Cumberland, Colman the elder, Mrs. Cowley, and Sheridan. Several of these dramatistsas Garrick, Macklin, and Footewere, at the same time, actors. The most eminent of them as writers were Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Colman. Horace Walpole wrote the "Mysterious Mother," a tragedy, which, however, was never acted; Goldsmith his two comedies, "The Good-Natured Man" and "She Stoops to Conquer," which were extremely popular; Garrick, the farces of "The Lying Valet" and "Miss in her Teens." He was said also to have been a partner with Colman in writing "The Clandestine Marriage;" but Colman denied this, saying that Garrick wrote the first two acts, and brought them to him, desiring him to put them together, and that he did put them together, for he put them together into the fire, and re-wrote the whole. Another farce, "High Life below Stairs," attributed to Garrick, was, it seems, written by the Rev. James Townley, assisted by Dr. Hoadly, the author of "The Suspicious Husband." Garrick was the great actor of his time, but, as a dramatic writer, his merit is insignificant. Foote was the chief writer of the comic before Colman. His productions amount to upwards of twenty, the most of them farces; and amongst them are "The Minor," "The Liar," and "The Mayor of Garrat." Foote was the wit and punster of the age. His satiric keenness was the terror of his time, and he dared to think of trying it even on the great essayist, Dr. Johnson, by introducing him upon the stage; but Johnson sent him word that he would be in one of the stage-boxes with a good, knotty cudgel, and Foote thought it best to let him alone.
When, therefore, Lord Wellington pondered over matters in Madrid, he looked in vain for anything like a regular Spanish army, after all the lessons which had been given to them. The army of Galicia, commanded by Santocildes, considered the best Spanish force, had been defeated by Clausel, himself in the act of escaping from Wellington. Ballasteros had a certain force under him, but his pride would not allow him to co-operate with Lord Wellington, and he was soon afterwards dismissed by the Cortes from his command. O'Donnel had had an army in Murcia, but he, imagining that he could cope with the veteran troops of Suchet, had been most utterly routed, his men flinging away ten thousand muskets as they fled. Moreover, Wellington had been greatly disappointed in his hopes of a reinforcement from Sicily. He had urged on Ministers the great aid which an efficient detachment from the army maintained by us in Sicily might render by landing on the eastern coast of Spain, and clearing the French out of Catalonia, Valencia, and Murcia. This could now be readily complied with, because there was no longer any danger of invasion of Sicily from Naples, Murat being called away to assist in Buonaparte's campaign in Russia. But the plan found an unexpected opponent in our Commander-in-Chief in Sicily, Lord William Bentinck. Lord William at first appeared to coincide in the scheme, but soon changed his mind, having conceived an idea of making a descent on the continent of Italy during Murat's absence. Lord Wellington wrote earnestly to him, showing him that Suchet and Soult must be expelled from the south of Spain, which could be easily effected by a strong force under British command landing in the south-east and co-operating with him from the north, or he must himself again retire to Portugal, being exposed to superior forces from both north and south. The expedition was at length sent, under General Maitland, but such a force as was utterly useless. It did not exceed six thousand men; and such men! They were chiefly a rabble of Sicilian and other foreign vagabonds, who had been induced to enlist, and were, for the most part, undisciplined.
The seignior was usually the immediate vassal of the Crown, from which he had received his land gratuitously. In a few cases, he made grants to other seigniors inferior in the feudal scale, and they, his vassals, granted in turn to their vassals, the habitants or cultivators of the soil. ** Sometimes
This, along with the scattered condition of the settlements, causes their children to be as unruly as Indians, being brought up in the same manner. Not that there are not some very good people here, but they are in a minority. * In another despatch he enlarges on their vagabond and lawless ways, their indifference to marriage, and the mischief caused by their example; describes how, on their return from the woods, they swagger like lords, spend all their gains in dress and drunken revelry, and despise the peasants, whose daughters they will not deign to marry, though they are peasants themselves.