John Gay, a contemporary of Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot, is now best known by his "Fables" and his "Beggar's Opera." His "Fables" have been extremely popular, and still make him a general name; but, in his own time, his "Beggar's Opera" was his great success. Its wit, its charming music, its popular characters, gave it a universal favour; and it is the only English opera that even to this time has become permanent. Gay's "Trivia; or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London," is still amusing, and some of his ballads have a lightness and buoyancy about them which justify the esteem in which he was held. Such was Massena's situation, so early as the commencement of Novemberhaving to maintain his army in a country reduced to a foodless desert by the art of his masterly antagonist, and, instead of being able to drive the British before him, finding them menacing him on all sides, so that he dispatched General Foy to make his way with a strong escort to Ciudad Rodrigo, and thence to proceed with all speed to Paris, to explain to the Emperor the real state of affairs. The state was that the whole of Portugal, except the very ground on which Massena was encamped, was in possession of the British and the Portuguese. There was no possibility of approaching Lisbon without forcing these lines at Torres Vedras, and that, if done at all, must be at the cost of as large an army as he possessed altogether. All the rest of PortugalOporto, Coimbra, Abrantesand all the forts except Almeida were in the hands of the enemy. As to the destitution of Massena's army, we have the description from his own statements in letters to Napoleon, which were intercepted. From this information, Lord Wellington wrote in his dispatches: "It is impossible to describe the pecuniary and other distresses of the French army in the Peninsula. All the troops are months in arrears of pay; they are, in general, very badly clothed; they want horses, carriages, and equipments of every description; their troops subsist solely upon plunder; they receive no money, or scarcely any, from France, and they realise but little from their pecuniary contributions from Spain. Indeed, I have lately discovered that the expense of the pay and the hospitals alone of the French army in the Peninsula amounts to more than the sum stated in the financial expos as the whole expense of the entire French army."

No sooner had the tribunate sent up its decision to the Senate, signed by all except Carnot, than the Senate hastened at once to adopt it, and to sign the answer to the message of the First Consul, which had been drawn up by Fouch for the Committee of Ten appointed by the Senate. In July Napoleon went to Boulogne to review the grand army of England, on the heights above the town, overlooking the English Channel, and from which the white cliffs of England were conspicuous. Everything had been elaborately got up for this occasion, on which the enthusiasm of the soldiers was to be raised to the highest pitch. The common people believed that he was going to lead the army at once across the Channel, and return loaded with the enormous wealth of London, and with the king, queen, royal family, William Pitt, and the leading members of the aristocracy as prisoners in his train. Buonaparte had no such wild idea; but since the Duke d'Enghien's murder the Powers of almost all Europe had manifested unequivocally their abhorrence of the act, and of the man who perpetrated it, and he now designed, by the display of enthusiasm in his army, at once to awe his own people and the sovereigns of other nations. It was apprehended that the enemy would return next day in greater force to renew the contest; but as they did not, the Commander-in-Chief seized the opportunity to summon the troops to join him in public thanksgiving to God for the victory. The year 1846 dawned upon the still undecided contest. The British gained most by the delay. The Governor-General had ordered up fresh troops from Meerut, Cawnpore, Delhi, and Agra. By the end of January Sir Hugh Gough had under his command 30,000 men of all arms. On every road leading to the scene of action, from Britain's Indian possessions, convoys were seen bearing provisions and stores of all sorts to the army; while reinforcements were pressing onward rapidly that they might share the glory by confronting the greatest danger. That danger was still grave. The Sikhs also were bringing up reinforcements, and strengthening their entrenched camp at the British side of the Sutlej, having constructed a bridge of boats for the conveyance of their troops and stores across the river. The enemy had established a considerable magazine at a fortified village some miles from the camp, and Sir Harry Smith proceeded at the head of a[599] detachment to attack it. But Sirdar Runjeet Singh intercepted him, cut off and captured all his baggage; but being reinforced, he met the enemy again at a place on the Sutlej, called Aliwal. The Sikh army, which seemed in the best possible order and discipline, were drawn up in imposing array, 20,000 strong with 70 guns, while the British were 9,000 with 32. After a series of splendid charges the enemy were driven successively from every position, and fled in confusion across the river. Several of the British horsemen followed the guns into the river, and spiked them there. The loss of the Sikhs is said to have been 3,000, while that of the British was only 673 killed and wounded. The moral effect of this victory over such unequal forces was of the utmost advantage to the rest of the army (January 28th, 1846).

Soon after appeared his twelve plates of "Industry and Idleness," and in 1753 he published a work called "The Analysis of Beauty," in which he attempted to prove that the foundation of beauty and grace consists in a flowing serpentine line. He gave numerous examples of it, and supported his theory with much ingenious argument. The book brought down upon him a perfect tempest of critical abuse from his envious and enraged contemporaries. In 1757 he visited France, and being engaged in sketching in Calais, he was seized and underwent very rough treatment from "the politest nation in the world," under an impression that he was employed by the English government to make drawings of the fortifications. This adventure he has commemorated in his picture of "Calais Gate." In the following year he painted his "Sigismunda."

The question was argued at great length. It was opposed by Lord North and Pitt, and supported by Fox, and was rejected by one hundred and seventy-six against ninety-eight. The question was raised again in 1789 and 1790, and in both cases was defeated. On the latter occasion Fox introduced the motion, and Mr. Beaufoy, who usually took the lead in it, seconded it. Fox alluded to the very Dissenters on whom Bishop Barrington had thrown so much odium. He acknowledged the hostility of such men as Drs. Priestley and Price to the Church, and to what had taken place across the Channel against the national Church there; but he treated these as warnings to the English hierarchy not to keep too tight a grasp on the obstructions which they had thrown in the way of Dissenters, and contended that the Church's safety depended in allowing a just participation in civil rights, and thus disarming popular resentment. The motion was opposed by Pitt, Burke, Wilberforce, Sir William Dolben, and others. Burke also referred to the destruction of the French Church, and contended that it was not a time to give way to demands for surrender of what he called the safeguards of the English Church. Mr. William Smith, of Norwich, who continued for many years the staunch advocate of the Dissenters, strongly supported the motion; but, on the other hand, a considerable number of members who had voted for the repeal of these Acts had since been warned by their Church-going constituents to tack about, and did so. The motion, therefore, was rejected by two hundred and ninety-four against one hundred and five, and the Dissenters were so convinced of the uselessness of attempting to procure the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts under George III., that the question was never again agitated during this reign. They remained in force till 1828. MARSHAL BERESFORD. (From the Portrait by Sir W. Beechey, R.A.)

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