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    There were some circumstances, however, which came out that created considerable suspicion and displeasure in Ireland. Wood had given a bribe to the king's mistress, the Duchess of Kendal, to procure him the contract, and the Government had ordered the coinage without paying the Irish Privy Council and Lord-Lieutenant the compliment of consulting them on this occasion. Swift saw these errors, and seized on them for his own purposes. He did not stop to inquire whether, after all, the proposed coinage would not, in any circumstances, be much better than the present distressing scarcity of copper money, and whether the farthings and halfpence might not turn out as good, though they were contracted for. It was enough for him that there was a cause of discontent which he could fan into a flame against the British Government. He threw all his spiteful soul into it, and his "Drapier's Letters" inflamed the public mind to such a degree that Walpole was compelled to cancel the patent.
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    The French having now formally declared war with England, entered on the campaign with Flanders in the middle of May with eighty thousand men, the king taking the nominal command, in imitation of Louis XIV. Marshal Saxe was the real commander, and with this able general Louis went on for some time reaping fictitious laurels. The King of England expected to see the Allies muster seventy-five thousand mena force nearly equal to that of the French; but the Dutch and Austrians had grievously failed in their stipulated quotas, and the whole army did not exceed fifty thousand. General Wade, the English commander, was a general of considerable experience, but no Marlborough, either in military genius or that self-command which enabled him to bear up against tardy movements and antagonistic tempers of the foreign officers. Consequently, whilst he had to contend with a very superior force, he was hampered by his coadjutors, lost his temper, and, what was worse, lost battles too. The French went on taking town after town and fortress after fortress. But this career of victory was destined to receive a check. Prince Charles of Lorraine, at the head of sixty thousand men, burst into Alsace, and marched without any serious obstacle to the very walls of Strasburg; while the French king was stricken with fever at Metz.

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    The Court and the nobles were greatly alarmed, and secretly preparing for war. The nobles had joined the Assembly with the utmost repugnance, and many only on the assurance that the union would not continue. The members of that Order continued to protest against the proceedings of the Assembly, rather than join in its deliberations. The king himself had consented to the union, in the hope that the nobles would be able to put a check on the Tiers tat. King and nobles saw now that all such hopes were vain. And whilst Necker was retained to satisfy the people for the present, and whilst Mounier, Lally Tollendal, and Clermont Tonnerre were consulting with him on establishing a Constitution resembling that of Britain, the Court was preparing to put down the insurrection and the Assembly by force. Marshal Broglie was placed at the head of the troops which surrounded both Paris and Versailles. He judged of both soldiers and citizens by the recollections of the Seven Years' War, and assured the king that a little grape-shot would soon disperse the rioters. Fifteen regiments, chiefly foreign, had been gradually drawn round the capital. The headquarters of Broglie were at Versailles, where he had a brilliant staff and a formidable train of artillery, some of which commanded the very hall in which the Assembly sat. There was a battery at the bridge of Svres, commanding the road to Paris, and in Paris itself there were strong batteries on Montmartre, which overlooked the city, and which, moreover, were carefully entrenched. Besides these preparations, there were French regiments quartered at St. Germain, Charenton, St. Cloud, and other places. Altogether, fifty thousand troops were calculated to be collected. The old noblesse were impatient for the king to give the order to disperse the people both in Paris and Versailles; to surround the Assembly, seize the chief members, put them in prison, and send the rest adrift; to treat the ringleaders of the electors in the same manner; to dissolve formally the States General, and restore the old order of things. Had the reins of government been in the hands of a Bonaparte, the whole plan would have been executed, and would for the time, without doubt, have succeeded. But Louis XVI. was not the man for a coup-d'tat of that rigorous nature. He shuddered at the idea of shedding his subjects' blood; and instead of doing that for which the troops had been assembled, he now listened to Necker, who reminded him that when the people were put down or shot down, and the States General dispersed, the old debts and difficulties would remain, and without States General or Parliament there would be no authority to impose or collect taxes. To Necker's arguments, the more timid and liberal nobles added that the excitement would soon wear itself out; that nothing serious could be done in the presence of such forces, and that the Constitution, once completed, all would right itself, and that he would have to congratulate himself on his bloodless patience in a new and happier reign. This was humane but fatal advice in the circumstances. The soldiers, allowed to remain inactive in the very midst of the hotbed of sedition, were sure to become infected with the spirit of revolution. The debates in the National Assembly were actively distributed in print, and the soldiers read them eagerly.
    The history of the Peninsular War was written very ably and faithfully by a soldier who bore a distinguished part in itGeneral Sir W. F. P. Napier, one of three brothers, all eminently distinguished for their talents and achievements. About the time when this work was concluded appeared further illustrations of the war, in the "Despatches of Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington," which were edited by Colonel Gurwood, and which are very valuable. Of these despatches it was justly remarked in the Edinburgh Review that no man ever before had the gratification of himself witnessing the formation of such a monument to his glory.
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