After a visit to Paris, Dumouriez arrived at[407] Valenciennes on the 27th of October, and prepared to follow the Austrian commander, Saxe-Teschen, who had been in vain bombarding Lille. On the 5th of November he overtook Saxe-Teschen at Jemappes. The Austrians were strongly posted, but were only about fifteen thousand men opposed to the sixty thousand French; yet they made a vigorous resistance. The battle raged from early in the morning till two in the afternoon, when the Austrians gave way. They retired, however, in good order; and Dumouriez, who had led his forces into the field singing the Marseillaise hymn, did not make much pursuit. Upwards of two thousand men are said to have fallen on each side. The battle placed all Flanders at the mercy of the French; Tournay opened its gates to Labourdonnais, and Courtrai, Menin, and Bruges sent deputies to welcome Dumouriez. Other towns rapidly followed their example. The country had been already Jacobinised, and now fancied it was going to enjoy liberty and equality in alliance with the French. The people were soon undeceived. The French had no intention of anything but, under those pretences, of subduing and preying on the surrounding nations. Flanders had speedy proofs of what every country where the French came had to expect. Jacobin Commissioners arrived from the Convention to levy contributions for the maintenance of the army, as if they were a conquered people. Dumouriez issued an order on entering Mons for the clergy to advance one year's income for the same purpose. Saxe-Teschen and old Marshal Bender evacuated Brussels, and on the 14th Dumouriez entered and took up his headquarters there. He there made heavy forced loans, and soon after arrived what was styled a Committee of Purchases from Paris, headed by Bidermann, the banker, and partner of Clavire, Minister of Finance. This Committee, on which were several Jews, made all the bargains for the army, and paid for themnot in gold but in the worthless assignats of France. The Belgians remonstrated and resisted, but in vain. Dumouriez advanced to Mechlin, having dispatched Labourdonnais to lay siege to Antwerp and Valence, and to reduce Namur. At Mechlin he found a great store of arms and ammunition, which enabled him to equip whole flocks of volunteers who came after him from France. On the 22nd, at Tirlemont, he again overtook Saxe-Teschen, who made another stout resistance, and then retired to Lige, where the Austrians made another stand on the 27th. They were repulsed, but with heavy loss on both sides; and soon afterwards, Antwerp and Valence having surrendered, all the Austrian Netherlands, except Luxembourg, were in the hands of France within a single month. Dumouriez sent forward Miranda, a Peruvian, who had superseded Labourdonnais at Antwerp, to reduce Roermond, and to enter Holland by the seizure of Maestricht; but the Convention were not yet prepared for this invasion of Holland, and Dumouriez pushed on to Aix-la-Chapelle, where he again defeated the Austrians on the 7th of December, and levying heavy contributions there, took up his winter quarters in the ancient city of Charlemagne, and within little more than a day's march of the Rhine.

On the 6th of April Whitbread brought forward these charges against Melville in the House of Commons, as detailed in the tenth report of the Naval Commissioners. In doing so, he paid a high compliment to the manner in which the naval affairs had been conducted since Lord St. Vincent became head of that Department; but he charged Lord Melville with having applied the public money to other uses than those of the Naval Department, in contempt of the Act of 1785an Act which Melville himself, then Dundas, had supported: that he had connived at a system of peculation in the Treasurer of the Navy, Mr. Trotter, an individual for whom he was responsible. The salary of this Mr. Trotter had been fixed by the Act of 1785 at four thousand pounds a year, but he contended that Dundas had allowed Trotter to draw large sums from the Bank of England out of the navy deposit, pay them into Coutts's Bank, and use them for his own benefit; and that, moreover, he had participated in the profits of this system. This charge called forth a vehement contest of parties. Tierney, who had been Treasurer of the Navy under Addington, declared that he had found no inconvenience in complying with the Act of 1785, whilst holding that office. Fox, Grey, Ponsonby, Windham, Wilberforce, Lord Henry Petty, afterwards Lord Lansdowne, supported Whitbread's charges, and Pitt, Canning, and Lord Castlereagh defended Melville. On putting the resolutions moved by Whitbread, after a debate till quite late in the morning, they were carried by the casting vote of the Speaker. The scene, which is one of the most striking in our Parliamentary annals, has frequently been described, notably by Lord Fitzharris:"I sat edged close to Pitt himself," he wrote, "the night when we were two hundred and sixteen, and the Speaker, Abbot, after looking as white as a sheet, and pausing for ten minutes, gave the casting vote against us. Pitt immediately put on the little cocked hat that he was in the habit of wearing when dressed for the evening, and jammed it down deeply over his forehead, and I distinctly saw the tears trickling down his cheeks. We heard one or two, such as Colonel Wardle, say they would see 'how Billy looked after it'! A few young ardent followers of Pitt, with myself, locked their arms together and formed a circle, in which he moved, I believe unconsciously, out of the House, and neither the colonel nor his friends could approach him." But the Opposition were not content with the vote of censure. Whitbread moved that an Address should be presented to his Majesty, praying him to remove Lord Melville for ever from his councils and presence, but the motion was withdrawn as soon as Melville's resignation was known. On the 6th of May Whitbread was about to move a resolution that his Majesty should be requested to erase the name of Lord Melville from the list of the Privy Council, but Pitt rose and said that the motion was unnecessary, as his Majesty had already done it.

8,175,124 13,187,421 2,556,601 1,676,268

Sanguine though the Dissenters had been respecting the growth of the principles of civil and religious liberty, of which the seeds had been sown in tears by the early Puritan confessors, they did not anticipate that the harvest was at hand. As their claims were not embarrassed by any question of divided allegiance or party politics, many members of Parliament who had not supported the relief of the Roman Catholics found themselves at liberty to advocate the cause of the Protestant Nonconformists; while almost all who had supported the greater measure of Emancipation felt themselves bound by consistency to vote for the abolition of the sacramental test. Yet the victory was not achieved without a struggle. Lord John Russell said:"The Government took a clear, open, and decided part against us. They summoned their followers from every part of the empire. Nay, they issued a sort of 'hatti-sheriff' for the purpose; they called upon every one within their influence who possessed the faith of a true Mussulman to follow them in opposing the measure. But, notwithstanding their opposition in the debate, their arguments were found so weak, and in the division their numbers were found so deficient, that nothing could be more decided than our triumph."

The Tory party sustained serious damage in consequence of an inquiry on the subject of Orange lodges in the army, which was granted in May, on the motion of Mr. Finn, an Irish member. Very startling disclosures were made by this committee during Sir Robert Peel's brief Administration. Various addresses had been presented from Orange societies, which led to pertinacious questioning of the Ministers. It was asked whether the addresses in question purported to come from Orange societies; whether the king ought to receive addresses from illegal associations; and whether it was true, as the newspapers said, that such addresses had been graciously received by his Majesty. There was a peculiar significance given to these inquiries by an impression that began to prevail that there had been on foot for some years a conspiracy to prevent the Princess Victoria from ascending the throne, and to secure the sovereignty for the eldest brother of the king, the Duke of Cumberland, the avowed head of the Tory party, and also the head of the Orange Society, through whose instrumentality the revolution was to be effected, in furtherance of which Orange lodges had been extensively organised in the army. The report of the committee was presented in September, and from this report it appeared that Orange lodges were first[394] held in England under Irish warrants; but that in 1808 a lodge was founded in Manchester, and warrants were issued for the holding of lodges under English authority. On the death of the Grand Master in that town, in 1821, the lodge was removed to London, where the meetings were held in the house of Lord Kenyon, Deputy Grand Master. The Duke of York had been prevented from assuming the office of Grand Master, because the law officers of the Crown were of opinion that the society was illegal. The Act against political associations in Ireland having expired in 1828, the Orange lodges started forth in vigorous and active existence, under the direction of the Duke of Cumberland as Grand Master. The passing of the Emancipation Act seems to have had the effect of driving the leaders of the society into a conspiracy to counteract its operation, or to bring about a counter-revolution by means of this treasonable organisation; though, perhaps, they did not consider it treasonable, as their object was to place upon the throne the brother of the king, whom they thought to be alone capable of preserving the Constitution, and of excluding from it a very young princess, who would be during her minority in the hands of Whigs and Radicals, whom they believed to be leagued together to destroy it. Considering the frenzy of party spirit at this time, and the conditional loyalty openly professed by the men who annually celebrated the battle of the Boyne and the glorious Revolution of 1688, there is nothing very surprising in the course adopted by the Orange societies, though the English public were astounded when they learnt for the first time, in 1835, that there were 140,000 members of this secret society in England, of whom 40,000 were in London; and that the army was to a large extent tainted.

The mechanical invention, however, destined to produce the most extraordinary revolution in social life was that of railways, which during this reign were progressing towards the point where, combined with the steam-engine, they were to burst forth into an activity and strength astonishing to the whole world. Tram-roadsthat is, roads with lines of smooth timber for the wheels of waggons to run uponhad been in use in the Newcastle collieries for a century before. In 1767, at the Coalbrook Dale Iron Works, iron plates were substituted for wood, and by this simple scheme one horse could, with ease, draw as much as ten on an ordinary road. In 1776 iron flanges, or upright edges, were used at the collieries of the Duke of Norfolk, near Sheffield, and after this time they became common at all collieries, both above and below ground. In 1801 an iron railway, by a joint-stock company, was opened from Wandsworth to Croydon. Three years before iron railways had been introduced to convey the slates from Lord Penrhyn's quarries, in Carnarvonshire, to the Menai Strait for shipment, and they were attached to canals for the conveyance of goods to and from them. At the end of this reign there were two hundred and twenty-five miles of iron railroads in the neighbourhood of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and upwards of three hundred miles in the single county of Glamorgan.

Blucher's headquarters were at Namur, his right extending to Charleroi, near the left of Wellington, and his left and reserves covering Gevil and Lige. His force amounted to eighty thousand men, supplied with two hundred cannon. On the 15th Buonaparte addressed his army, telling them that the enemies arrayed against them were the same that they had so often beaten, and whom they must beat again if they were the men they had been. "Madmen!" he exclaimed, "the moment of prosperity has blinded them. The oppression and humiliation of the French people are beyond their power. If they enter France they will there find their tomb!" This address had such an effect that the French advanced with all the spirit of their former days. They swept the western bank of the Sambre of the Prussian outposts; they advanced to Charleroi, drove out the Prussians under Ziethen, and compelled them to fall back on the village of Gosselies, and thence to Ligny and St. Amand. It was now seen that the object of Buonaparte was to cut off the communication between the Prussians and British, and defeat the Prussians first, instead of having to fight the two armies at once. To complete this Ney had been dispatched to attack and drive back the British advance at Quatre Bras and Frasnes; but, hearing firing in the direction of Charleroi, which was the engagement with Ziethen, he sent a division to support the French there, and thus found his main body too weak to move the British at Quatre Bras. For doing this without orders, Buonaparte reprimanded Ney, as he afterwards did Grouchy for too implicitly following his orders in pursuit of Blucher.

The changes in, and uncertainty about, the Ministry gave great uneasiness to Lord Wellington, whose operations in Spain depended so much on earnest support at home. During the latter part of the autumn and the commencement of winter, whilst his army was in cantonments, he was actively preparing to surprise the French, and make himself master of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. With much activity, but without bustle, he made his preparations at Almeida. Pretending to be only repairing the damages to its fortifications, he got together there ample stores and a good battering train. He prepared also a portable bridge on trestles, and regulated the commissariat department of his army; he also had a great number of light, yet strong waggons constructed for the conveyance of his provisions and ammunition, to supersede the clumsy and ponderous carts of the Portuguese.