The other side of the city was only defended by the Seine, but the Allies, who had first to cross that river, feared that Buonaparte might come up and attack their rear while they were doing so. They determined, therefore, to attack the line of fortifications. The most lying proclamations were issued by the ex-King Joseph to assure the inhabitants that the bodies of the enemy who came in view were only stragglers who had managed to get past the army of the Emperor, who was dispersing the Allies most triumphantly. The forces in Pariseight thousand troops of the line and thirty thousand of the National Guardwere reviewed in front of the Tuileries on a Sunday, to impress the people with a sense of security; but on the morning of the 29th the Empress and her child quitted the palace, attended by a regiment of seven hundred men, and fled to Blois, carrying with her the crown jewels and much public treasure, and followed by nearly all the members of Government. The populationunlike their fathers, who stopped Marie Antoinette in her attempt to escapesuffered this departure with murmurs, but without any attempt to prevent it. When she was gone they began heartily to curse Buonaparte for the trouble and disgrace he had brought upon them. That very morning Joseph issued a most flaming proclamation, assuring the Parisians that the Emperor was at hand[82], and would annihilate the last traces of the audacious enemy. But already the assault had commenced, and the next day, the 30th of March, it was general all along the line. The Parisians fought bravely, especially the boys from the Polytechnic schools; and as the Allies had to attack stone walls and batteries, their slaughter was great. Joseph rode along the line to encourage them in this useless, because utterly hopeless, waste of life. The Allied monarchs had, before commencing the assault, issued a proclamation, promising that all life and property should be strictly protected if the city quietly opened its gates; and, in the midst of the storming, they sent in again, by a French prisoner, the same offer, adding that, should the city be carried by assault, no power on earth could prevent it from being sacked by the enraged soldiers, and probably destroyed. Yet Joseph did not give the order for capitulation till the whole line was in the hands of the Allies, except Montmartre. The Cossacks were already in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and bombs flying into the Chausse d'Antin. Then King Joseph, whose lying proclamation was still selling on the boulevards at a sou each, ordered Marmont to capitulate; and though he had vowed in his proclamation to stand by the Parisians to the last gasp, he then fled after the Empress to Blois. In this defence four thousand French were killed and wounded, and double that number of the Allies, as they had to face the towers and batteries crowded with soldiers and to fight their way up hill.

This was only interrupted by the cries of " bas Guizot!" " bas les Ministres!" These cries, everywhere received with electrical enthusiasm, were uttered with the greatest bitterness about Guizot's house, where an incident occurred that, whether intended or not, sealed the fate of the Orleans dynasty. The people were pressing on the military, and in the confusion a man named Lagrange stepped forward and shot the commanding officer. The troops then fired point blank into the dense mass, and many were killed. When the firing ceased, a funeral procession was rapidly formed, the bodies were collected and placed upon a large cart, their still bleeding wounds exposed under the glare of torchlight. The effect may be imagined: it thrilled the whole city with feelings of horror and revenge.

Periodical writing grew in this reign into a leading organ of opinion and intelligence. The two chief periodicals, according to our present idea of them, were the Gentleman's Magazine and the Monthly Review. These were both started prior to the accession of George III. The Gentleman's Magazine was started by Cave, the publisher, in 1731; and the Monthly Review commenced in 1749. The former was a depository of a great variety of matters, antiquarian, topographical, critical, and miscellaneous, and has retained that character to the present hour. The Monthly Review was exclusively devoted to criticism. But in the early portion of the reign a periodical literature of a totally different character prevailedthe periodical essayistformed on the model of the Spectator, Guardian, and Tatler of a prior period. Chief amongst these figured Ambrose Philips's Freethinker; the Museum, supported by Walpole, the Wartons, Akenside, etc.; the Rambler, by Dr. Johnson; the Adventurer, by Hawkesworth; the World, in which wrote chiefly aristocrats, as Lords Lyttelton, Chesterfield, Bath, Cork, Horace Walpole, etc.; the Connoisseur, chiefly supplied by George Colman and Bonnel Thornton; the Old Maid, conducted by Mrs. Frances Brooke; the Idler, by Johnson; the Babbler, by Hugh Kelly; the Citizen of the World, by Goldsmith; the Mirror, chiefly written by Mackenzie, the author of the "Man of Feeling;" and the Lounger, also chiefly conducted by Mackenzie. This class of productions, appearing each once or twice a week, afforded the public the amusement and instruction now furnished by the daily newspapers, weekly reviews, and monthly magazines. Towards the end of the reign arose a new species of review, the object of which was, under the guise of literature, to serve opposing parties in politics. The first of these was the Edinburgh Review, the organ of the Whigs, started in 1802, in which Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith were the chief writers. This, professing to be liberal, launched forth the most illiberal criticisms imaginable. There was scarcely a great poet of the timeWordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Byron, James Montgomery, Leigh Hunt, Shelley, Keatswhom it did not, but vainly, endeavour to crush. To combat the influence of this Whig organ, in 1809 came forth the Quarterly Review, the great organ of the Tories, to which Scott, Southey, Wilson Croker, Gifford, etc., were the chief contributors. In 1817 this was followed by another Conservative journal, not quarterly, but monthly in its issue, conducted chiefly by Professor Wilson and Lockhart, namely, Blackwood's Magazine, in which the monthly magazines of to-day find their prototype, but with a more decided political bias than these generally possess. [513] On the 25th of November Parliament was opened, and the king, in his speech, made a strong appeal to the country for support against the unprovoked war on the part of France and Spain. The Marquis of Rockingham, in proposing an amendment on the Address in the Lords, was extremely severe. He concluded by moving that every part of the Address, except the title, should be expunged, and that, instead of what then stood, a prayer should be inserted that his Majesty would reflect on the extent of territory which marked the opening of his reign, the opulence and power, the reputation abroad, the concord at home, to which he had succeeded, and now on the endangered, impoverished, enfeebled, distracted, and even dismembered, state of the whole, after the enormous grants of his successive Parliaments, and calling on him, as the only[262] remedy of impending ruin, to dismiss his present evil councillors, and summon new and more auspicious ones. The language was crushing, but it derived its force from its undeniable truth. Lord John Cavendish moved a similar amendment in the Commons; and the Opposition declared that it was well that his Majesty's speech expressed trust in Divine Providence, for Providence was the only friend that his Government had now left; and that our arms, both on sea and land, were paralysed by the scandalous practice of putting at the head of the army and navy mere Court favourites, and by the want of all vigour and sagacity of planning and following up our campaigns. Fox went further, and asserted that weakness and stupidity could not effect the wholesale shame and ruin that surrounded us; that there must be treachery somewhere; and that, if this were driven a little further, the people would seize on arms, and chase the miserable Cabinet from its abused seat. Lord North made the best reply that the circumstances admitted; but there were no symptoms of the Ministers resigning, or being removed by the infatuated monarch, and the amendments were rejected in both Houses, as a matter of course.

[105] From the Picture by W. L. WYLLIE, R.A.

Now, much of this at the moment was true; the manufacturers were naturally anxious to resume their business, and a fall in the price of corn, after the plentiful harvest of 1817, to seventy-four shillings and sixpence, relieved a little the pressure on the working classes. Could cheap bread have[133] been secured, the condition of the people might soon have become easy; but the fatal Corn Law came immediately into operation. By the end of 1817 corn had risen in price again to eighty-five shillings and fourpence; and then the ports were opened, but the supplies did not bring down the markets. The spring of 1818 proved wet, and then about the middle of May a drought set in, and continued till September, so that the apprehension of a deficient harvest kept up the price of all articles of life, notwithstanding that a million and a half quarters of wheat had been imported during the year. So long as bread was tolerably cheap, and work more abundant, political agitation in the manufacturing districts subsided; but it was soon proved that the apparent increase of activity in manufacturing and commercial exports was but a feverish desire on the part of manufacturers and merchants to force a trade for which the exhausted Continent was not yet prepared. Nothing but a free importation of corn could have carried the country comfortably through the crisis; and this was denied by the measures of Government, except at a rate of price that put the proper consumption of bread beyond the means of the working classes. Whilst these elements of a new convulsion were in active operation, the Allies had settled to some extent the affairs of Europe, and had returned home. On the 30th of May a treaty had been signed at Paris, between Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with France. The boundaries of France were settled as they existed in 1792; it was decreed that Holland and Belgium should be united to form a strong barrier against France; the independence of Switzerland was restored; the north of Italy was again made over to Austria, including[86] Venice, but not including Sardinia, which was enlarged by the addition of Genoa, out of which Lord William Bentinck, with a British army, had driven the French. Murat had assisted the Austrians to conquer Eugene Beauharnais, and hoped to be allowed to retain Naples, yet having many fears of his new allies, the Austrians, and of the Allies generally. The Pope was again in peaceful possession of his States; the arms and the money of Great Britain had triumphed over Buonaparte, and had restored the monarchs of Europe to their thrones; but it was not to be denied that in restoring them they had restored so many detestable despotisms.