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leave them on the steps of a foundling asylum in order to insureOn the 23rd the aspect of the insurgent multitude became more fierce, daring, and determined. Guizot had announced the resignation of his Cabinet; the king had sent for Count Mol, then for M. Thiers, who was asked to form a new Ministry. He declined unless Odillon Barrot became one of his colleagues. The king gave a reluctant consent, but Barrot was not prepared to sanction measures of military repression. Marshal Bugeaud, the hero of Algiers, whose exploits there made his name terrible, had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the first military division, and of the National Guard of Paris, but the National Guard were not prepared to fight against the people. The people, knowing this, shouted, "Vive la Garde Nationale!" and the National Guard shouted, "Vive la Rforme!" In the evening, about seven o'clock, an immense body of the working classes formed in procession, headed by men carrying blazing torches, and marching along the Boulevards, chanted two lines of the Girondists' song
Another attempt was to burn a portion of the Brest fleet, which was found lying off La Rochelle, in the Basque Roads. Lord Gambier, on the 11th of March, wrote to the Admiralty proposing to send fire-ships amongst them and destroy them. The Admiralty seized on the idea; but instead of leaving Lord Gambier to work out his own plan, they appointed Lord Cochrane to that service, under Gambier. This was sure to create jealousies, not only in the mind of Gambierto whom the Admiralty had written on the 19th, approving his design, and ordering him to execute it according to his own ideasbut also in the minds of other officers in Gambier's fleet. Lord Cochrane proceeded to the Basque Roads in a frigate, arriving there on the 3rd of April, and presenting Gambier with a letter informing him of the change of plan by the Admiralty. Mr. Congreve, with a supply of his rockets, was to accompany the fire-ships from England; and on the 11th, these having arrived, and being joined by several large transports which Lord Gambier had converted into fire-ships, the attack was made. The French squadron was lying between the isle of Aix and the town of La Rochelle, in a narrow passage, commanded by powerful batteries both on the land and on the island of Aix. Besides this, numbers of gunboats were placed so as to defend the approach to the vessels; but still more, a very strong boom was stretched across the passage, formed of enormous cables, secured by equally enormous anchors, and supported by buoys. None of the officers, not even Gambier or Cochrane, seem to have been aware of this boom till some of the foremost fire-ships ran against it; and several of the ships, whilst thus detained, exploded, being too far off to do any harm. But Captain Woolridge, in the Mediator, burst the boom asunder, and the fire-ships sailed up towards the French ships in the dark, and exploded, one after another, with a terrible uproarone fire-ship alone containing fifteen hundred barrels of gunpowder, besides three or four hundred shells and three or four thousand hand-grenades. But the only mischief done was to cause the French to cut their cables, and run their ships ashore. There, the next morning, they were seen; and Lord Cochrane signalled to Lord Gambier to stand in and destroy them before the rising of the tide should float them, and enable them to run up the river Charente. No ships, however, arriving, Cochrane again more urgently signalled that all the fleet was aground, except two vessels, and might easily be destroyed. Lord Gambier paid no attention to these signals, and, as the tide rose, the vessels floated and escaped up the river, except four, which still stuck fast, and were destroyed by Cochrane. Those which escaped were all greatly damaged. Had Gambier stood in with his vessels promptly, no doubt the whole squadron would have been destroyed.In every house a tiny lamp allowed us to see the women, squatting while they pounded millet, or cooked in copper pots. Then night suddenly fell, and I could no longer find my way about the dark alleys, stumbling as I went over cows lying across the path, till I suddenly found myself opposite a very tall pagoda, three storeys high. On the threshold the bonzes were banging with all their might on gongs and drums, alternately with bells. And on the opposite side of the street, in a sort of shed enclosed on three sides, but wide open to the passers-by, people in gay robes were prostrate before two shapeless idols, Krishna and Vishnu, painted bright red, twinkling with ornaments of tinsel and lead-paper, and crudely lighted up by lamps with reflectors. And then at once I was between low houses again, and going down tortuous streets to the river-bed,[Pg 48] whither I was guided by the sound of castanets and tambourines.
just sent love.I'll tell you, Daddy, if you'll promise not to make a lot of objections.
Parliament having been prorogued, the members retired to their respective counties and boroughs, many of them out of humour with themselves and with the Government which they had heretofore supported, and meditating revenge. An endeavour was made in the course of the summer to renew the political connection between the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Huskisson. The friends of the existing Administration felt the weakness of their position, deprived of their natural support, and liable to be outvoted at any time. The Tories had become perfectly rabid in their indignation, vehemently charging the Duke with violation of public faith, with want of statesmanship, with indifference to the wishes and necessities of the people, and with a determination to govern the country as if he were commanding an army. Their feelings were so excited that they joined in the Whig cry of Parliamentary Reform, and spoke of turning the bishops out of the House of Lords. It was to enable the Premier to brave this storm that he was induced by his friends to receive Mr. Huskisson at his country house. The Duke was personally civil, and even kind, to his visitor; but his recollections of the past were too strong to permit of his going farther. In the following Session negotiations were made with the other Canningites, but without success, as they had thrown in their lot with the Whigs.
Servants carrying large trays offer the company certain strange little green parcels: a betel-leaf screwed into a cone and fastened with a clove, containing a mixture of spices and lime, to be chewed after dinner to digest the mass of food you may see spread out in the tables in the dining-room.