But Nelson had now tracked the French to their goal, and was preparing to annihilate their fleet. Admiral Brueys, unable to enter the harbour of Alexandria, had anchored his ships in the Bay of Aboukir, in a semicircular form, so close in shore that he deemed it impossible for ships of war to thrust themselves between him and the land. He had altogether thirteen ships of war, including his own flagship of one hundred and twenty guns, three of eighty, and nine of seventy-four, flanked by four frigates and a number of gunboats, with a battery of guns and mortars on an island in the van. Nelson had also thirteen men-of-war and one five-gun ship, but the French exceeded his by about forty-six guns, three thousand pounds' weight of metal, considerably more tonnage, and nearly five thousand men. No sooner did Nelson observe the position of the French fleet than he determined to push his ships between it and the shore. No sooner was this plan settled than Nelson ordered dinner to be served, and on rising from table said, "Before this time to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage, or Westminster Abbey." It was half-past five o'clock on the afternoon of the 1st of August, 1798, when this celebrated battle was commenced. As the British vessels rounded a shoal, to take up their position, the battery of the island played upon them; but this ceased as they came near the French line of vessels, lest they should damage their own countrymen. Unfortunately, Nelson lost the use of the Culloden, a seventy-four, commanded by Captain Trowbridge, which struck on a ledge of rocks, and could not be got off in time for the engagement. Nelson's own vessel was the first that anchored within half pistol-shot of the Spartiate, the third ship of the French line. The conflict immediately became murderous, and Nelson received a severe wound on the head, which compelled him to go below. The battle continued with a terrible fury till it was so dark that the only light the combatants had to direct their operations was the flashes of their own broadsides. At ten o'clock the Orient, Admiral Brueys' own great ship, was discovered to be on fire. He himself had fallen, killed by a cannon-shot. The stupendous ship continued to burn furiously, lighting up the whole scene of action. At eleven it blew up, with an explosion which shook the contending fleets like the shock of an earthquake, and with a stunning noise that caused the conflict instantly to cease. A profound silence and a pitchy darkness succeeded for about ten minutes. Nelson, wounded as he was, had rushed upon deck before the explosion, to order every possible succour to be given to the shrieking sufferers in the burning ship, and many of the crew had been got into boats and saved. The cannonade was slowly resumed, but when morning dawned two French ships and two frigates only had their colours flying and were able to get away, none[468] of the British vessels except the Zealous being in a condition to give chase. The two ships of the line and one of the frigates were afterwards intercepted by our Mediterranean fleet, so that of all this fine fleet only one frigate escaped. Had Nelson not been wounded, and had Captain Trowbridge been able to bring up his ship, probably not even that frigate would have got away. The British took eight vessels of the line; the rest were destroyed in one way or other. The loss of the British, in killed and wounded, was eight hundred and ninety-five; of the French, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, was nine thousand eight hundred and thirty. Brave Brueys, as has been stated already, was slain. Captain Westcott, of the Majestic, was the only commander of a ship who fell. Such was the victory of Aboukir; but "victory," said Nelson, "is not a name strong enough for such a sceneit is a conquest!" Fortunately for the French, Admiral Brueys had secured the transports and store-ships in shallow water in the port of Alexandria, where Nelson could not come at them for want of small craft. Half-a-dozen bomb ships would have destroyed them all, and have left Buonaparte totally dependent on the Egyptians for supplies. And these he must have collected by force, for now the news of the destruction of his fleet was spread over all Egypt by bonfires, kindled by the Arabs, along the coast and far inland. He was cut off from communication with France. On the 22nd of October the people of Cairo rose on the French, and endeavoured to massacre them; but the French took a bloody vengeance, sweeping them down with grape-shot, pursuing them into their very mosques, and slaughtering in one day five thousand of them.

The Provisional Government of France lost no time in framing a new constitution, in which the limited monarchy and the House of Lords of Great Britain were imitated. They declared Louis XVIII., the brother of the last king, Louis XVI., the rightful occupant of the throne, and his brothers and the other members of the House of Bourbon, after him in due succession. Talleyrand was the first to put his signature to this document; and the Abb Siys, though he did not sign it, declared his adhesion to the abdication of Buonaparte. On the 11th of April, the same day that Napoleon signed his abdication, the brother of Louis, the Count d'Artois, arrived, and the next day was received by the new Government in a grand procession into Paris. There was a show of much enthusiasm on the part of the people, but this was more show than reality; the Bourbonist party was the only one that sincerely rejoiced at the restoration; and when it was seen that a troop of Cossacks closed the prince's procession, the people gave unequivocal signs of disapprobation. The Duke of Angoulme had already entered the city of Bourdeaux amid much acclamation, for the Bourbonist interest was strong in the south, and he now came on to Paris. The new king, who had been living, since the peace of Tilsit, at Hartwell, in Buckinghamshire, a seat of the Marquis of Buckingham assigned by the British Government for his residence, now went over. Louis was a quiet, good-natured man, fond of books, and capable of saying witty things, and was much better fitted for a country gentleman than for a throne. He was conducted into London by the Prince Regent, and by crowds of applauding people. The Prince Regent also accompanied him[84] to Dover, where, on the 24th of April, he embarked on board a vessel commanded by the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV. He was accompanied by the Duchess of Angoulme, the Prince of Cond, and his son, the Duke of Bourbon. On landing at Calais, he embraced the Duchess of Angoulme, saying, "I hold again the crown of my ancestors; if it were of roses, I would place it upon your head; as it is of thorns, it is for me to wear it."

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On the 20th of November this memorable march commenced. For the convenience of quarters, the two divisions of the army were still maintained, the first led by Lord George Murray, the second by the prince himself. They left a garrison of two hundred men at Carlisle, though, on a muster, it was discovered that above a thousand men had deserted since they left Edinburgh, and that they had now only four thousand five hundred to attempt the conquest of England with. At Penrith the whole army halted for a day, hearing that Wade was coming against them; but finding, on the contrary, that he was gone back, they pursued their route by Shap, Kendal, and Lancaster, to Preston, where they arrived on the 27th. On the way, so far from meeting with any signs of adhesion, the farmers from whom they had taken horses congregated and pursued them on other horses, dismounted some of their cavalry, and carried their horses away again. Preston was a place of ill omen to the Highlanders ever since the defeat of the Duke of Hamilton in the Civil War there, and the surrender of Mackintosh in 1715. They had a fixed idea that no Scottish army could ever advance farther. To break this spell, Lord George led his vanguard at once over the bridge, and quartered them beyond it. The army halted there a day, and then proceeded to Wigan, which they entered the next day. Till he reached Preston, however, Charles received no tokens of sympathy. At Preston, for the first time, he received three hearty cheers, and a few men joined his standard. On the road from Wigan to Manchester the expressions of goodwill increased; throngs of people collected to see him pass, but none would consent to join them. At Manchester the approach of the army had been heralded by a Scottish sergeant, a drummer, and a woman, the men in plaids and bonnets exciting great astonishment, and bringing together thousands of spectators. They announced the prince for the morrow, and began recruiting for his service. They offered a bounty of five guineas, to be paid when the prince came. A considerable number enlisted, receiving a shilling in token of engagement.

Italy, of all the countries on the Continent, was most predisposed for revolution in 1848. In fact, the train had long been laid in that countryrather, a number of trainsdesigned to blow up the despotisms under which the people had been so grievously oppressed. Mazzini, the prince of political conspirators, had been diligently at work, and the Carbonari had been actively engaged in organising their associations, and making preparations for action. The hopes of the Italian people had been greatly excited by the unexpected liberalism of the new Pope, Pius IX., who startled the world by the novelty of his reforming policy. Already partial concessions had been made by the Government, but these proved wholly insufficient. Upon the news of the revolution in Vienna, Venice rose, forced the Governor to release her leaders, Tommaseo and Manin, compelled the Austrians to evacuate the city, and established a Provisional Government. Meanwhile in Milan all was quiet until the news arrived of the flight of Metternich. Then the inhabitants became impatient and clamorous, and assembled in large numbers around the Government House. In order to disperse them, the soldiers fired blank cartridge. At this moment a fiery youth shouted "Viva l'Italia!" and then, apparently, gave the preconcerted signal by firing a pistol at the troops. Instantly the guards were overpowered, the Vice-Governor, O'Donell, was made prisoner, and the success of the movement was quickly signalised by the floating of the tricolour over the palace. That night (March 18) and the next day (Saturday) the people were busily occupied in the erection of barricades. The bells of Milan tolled early on Sunday morning, summoning the population, not to worship, but to battle. An immense tricolour flag floated from the tower of the cathedral, and under that emblem of revolution the unarmed people, men and women, fought fiercely against Marshal Radetzky's Imperial troops, and in spite of his raking cannon, for five days. It was the most terrific scene of street fighting by an enraged people who had broken their chains that had ever occurred in the history of the world. Every stronghold was defended by cannon, and yet one by one they all fell into the hands of the people, till at last the troops remained masters of only the gates of the city. But the walls were scaled by emissaries, who announced to the besieged that Pavia and Brescia were in open insurrection, and that the Archduke, son of the Viceroy, had been taken prisoner. The citizens also communicated with the insurgent population outside by means of small balloons, containing proclamations, requesting them to break down the bridges and destroy the roads, to prevent reinforcements coming to the Austrians. In vain the Austrian cannon thundered from the Tosa and Romagna gates. The undaunted peasantry pressed forward in increasing numbers, and carried the positions. Radetzky was at length compelled to order a retreat. He retired to Crema, within the Quadrilateral fortresses beyond the Mincio. In the meantime a Provisional Government was appointed at Milan, which issued an earnest appeal to all Italians to rise in arms. "We have conquered," they said; "we have compelled the enemy to fly." The proclamation also intimated that Charles Albert of Sardinia was hastening to their assistance, "to secure the fruits of the glorious revolution," to fight the last battle of independence and the Italian union. On the 25th of March the Piedmontese army was ordered across the Ticino.

The sum of twenty millions was divided into nineteen shares, one for each of the colonies, proportioned to the number of its registered slaves, taken in connection with the market price of slaves in that colony, on an average of eight years, ending with 1830. But no money was payable in any colony until it should have been declared by an Order in Council that satisfactory provision had been made by law in such colony for giving effect to the Emancipation Act. Two of them were so perverse as to decline for several years to qualify for the reception of the money; but others acted in a different spirit. Believing that the system of apprenticeship was impolitic, they declined to take advantage of it, and manumitted their slaves at once. Antigua was the first to adopt this wise course. Its slaves were all promptly emancipated, and their conduct fully justified the policy; for on Christmas Day, 1834, for the first time during thirty years, martial law was not proclaimed in that island. Thus, the effect of liberty was peace, quietness, and confidence. Bermuda followed this good example, as did also the smaller islands, and afterwards the large island of Barbadoes; and their emancipation was hailed by the negroes with religious services, followed by festive gatherings. Jamaica, and some other islands, endeavoured to thwart the operation of the new law, as far as possible, and took every advantage in making the apprentices miserable, and wreaking upon them their spite and malice. They met with harsher treatment than ever, being in many instances either savagely ill-used or inhumanly neglected. Considering their provocations, it was generally admitted that they behaved on the whole very well, enduring with patience and resignation the afflictions which they knew must come to an end in a few years. The total number of slaves converted into apprentices on the 1st of August, 1834, was 800,000. The apprenticeship did not last beyond the shorter time prescribed, and on the 1st of August, 1838, there was not a slave in existence under the British Crown, save only in the island of Mauritius, which was soon required by instructions from the Home Government to carry the Act into effect.