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    The prospects of the European war at this juncture, as observed from England, were gloomy in the extreme. The dispersion of the armies of Spain, the retreat and death of Sir John Moore, leaving the whole of the Spanish and Portuguese Peninsula under the feet of Buonaparte, disposed many to believe the power of the conqueror unassailable. The Whig Opposition made every use of this feeling to damage and, if possible, drive their rivals from office. That the Whigs, in power, would have refrained from Continental war any more than the Tories is not to be believed. They had always, when in officeexcept, in the case of Fox, for a short intervalbeen as ready to fight; but they had generally conducted their campaigns with much less ability. Now, their great organ, the Edinburgh Review, indulged in the most vehement censures on the Cabinet; charged all the adverse circumstances of the Spanish and Portuguese war to its bad management; and intimated that it was the most wicked and idiotic folly to hope to contend with Buonaparte at all. But if ever there was a time when the continuance of the war was excusable, and perhaps necessary, it was now. Great Britain had gone fully and freely into the conflict to assist the Continental nations. She had pledged herself[571] solemnly to Spain and Portugal, and to have withdrawn at this crisis would have been equally treacherous to our allies and pusillanimous as regarded the enemy. It would have been, in fact, to proclaim to the world that we had been completely beaten out of the field, that we could not do what we had promised to our allies, and that Napoleon must be left the master of Europe, and the dictator to Britain. Such a confession would have destroyed for ever the prestige of Great Britain, and justly. Ministers felt this, and never were more resolved to persevere to the end. To show that they did not for a moment despair, they signed a treaty of peace and amity with Spain only five days after the arrival of the news of the retreat and death of Sir John Moore, binding themselves never to acknowledge the authority of Buonaparte over Spain, or of any family but of Ferdinand VII. and his lineal successors. That they were supported in their views by Parliament was soon made evident by the rejection, by a majority of two hundred and eight against one hundred and fifty-eight, of a motion of Lord Henry Petty censuring the Convention of Cintra, and, by a majority of two hundred and twenty against one hundred and twenty-seven, of a motion of Mr. Ponsonby for inquiry into the conduct of the late campaign in Spain. Ministers had at length satisfied themselves that they had in Sir Arthur Wellesley a man capable of contending against the haughty tyrant of Europe. The most liberal votes were made for the prosecution of the war. The total of supplies for the year amounted to fifty-three million eight hundred and sixty-two thousand pounds, including a loan of eleven million pounds. For the army twenty-seven million pounds was voted, and for the navy nineteen million pounds. Between twenty and thirty thousand men were drafted from the militia into the regulars, and thus the army was augmented to that amount by soldiers already well trained. The loan was freely taken at a lower interest than any hitherto borrowedthe Opposition asserted, because trade was deranged, and capitalists were at a loss how to invest their money; but the Ministers contended, on the other hand, that it was solely because the war was popular with the nation. Before, however, entering into its arduous and bloody details, we must narrate some disgraceful affairs at home.

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    The Ministerial statement was anticipated with great interest. It was delivered by the new Premier, on the evening of the 22nd, Brougham presiding as Lord Chancellor. Foremost and most conspicuous in his programme was the question of Parliamentary Reform; next, economy and peace. Having gone in detail through the principles of[325] his policy, and the reforms he proposed to introduce, the noble lord summed up all in the following words:"The principles on which I now stand, and upon which the Administration is prepared to act, arethe amelioration of existing abuses; the promotion of the most rigid economy in every branch of the public expenditure; and lastly, every endeavour that can be made by Government to preserve peace, consistent with the honour and character of the country. Upon these principles I have undertaken an office to which I have neither the affectation nor presumption to state that I am equal. I have arrived at a period of life when retirement is more to be desired than active employment; and I can assure your lordships that I should not have emerged from it had I not foundmay I be permitted to say thus much without incurring the charge of vanity or arrogance?had I not found myself, owing to accidental circumstances, certainly not to any merit of my own, placed in a situation in which, if I had declined the task, I had every reason to believe that any attempt to form a new Government on principles which I could support would have been unsuccessful. Urged by these considerations, being at the same time aware of my own inability, but acting in accordance with my sense of public duty, I have undertaken the Government of the country at the present momentous crisis."
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    Earliest prehistory

    As adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.

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    Earliest prehistory

    As adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.

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    As adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.

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    Earliest prehistory

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    JANUARY
    Earliest prehistory

    But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system

    14

    FEBRUARY
    Earliest prehistory

    But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system

    This conviction of all Europe that the ambition of Buonaparte would swell till it burst in ruin, quickly received fresh confirmation. The trans-Rhenish provinces of Holland did not form a proper frontier for him. He immediately gave orders to form Oldenburg, Bremen, and all the line of coast between Hamburg and Lübeck, into additional Departments of France, which was completed by a Senatus Consultum of the 13th of December of this year. Thus the French empire now extended from Denmark to Sicily; for Naples, though it was the kingdom of Joachim Murat, was only nominally so; for the fate of the kingdom of Holland had dissipated the last delusion regarding the reality of any separate kingdom of Napoleon's erection. Italy, Jerome's kingdom of Westphalia, the Grand Duchy of Bergnow given to the infant son of Louisall the territories of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Austria itself were really subject to Buonaparte, and any day he could assert that dominion. More than eighty millions of people in Europe owned this quondam lieutenant of artillery as their lord and master, whose will disdained all control. No such empire had existed under one autocrat, or under one single sceptre, since the palmiest days of the Roman supremacy. Denmark retained its nominal independence only by humbly following the intimations of the great man's will. And now Sweden appeared to add another realm to his vast dominions; but, in reality, the surprising change which took place there created a final barrier to[6] his progress in the North, and became an immediate cause of his utter overthrow. The story is one of the most singular and romantic in all the wonderful events of the Napoleonic career.
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