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Cairness did remember, but he did not see fit to say so.Prince Ferdinand this summer had to contend with numerous armies of the French. De Broglie marched from Frankfort into Hesse with a hundred thousand men. On the 10th of July they met the hereditary Prince of Brunswick at Corbach, and defeated him, though he gained a decided advantage over them a few days after at Emsdorf, taking the commander of the division and five battalions prisoners. This was followed by Ferdinand himself, who was at Warburg, where he took ten pieces of artillery, killed one thousand five hundred of the French, and drove them into the Dimel, where many were drowned. The British cavalry had the greatest share in this victory. In fact, the Marquis of Granby led them on all occasions with such spirit and bravery, that Ferdinand placed them continually in the post of danger, where of course they suffered more severely than the other troops.
Very important events had during this time been taking place in Europe. In the north, Russia, checked in its encroachments on Turkey for the present, turned its eyes on the inviting region of Poland. Poland, after neglecting its own internal improvement, and the raising of the condition of its people, so as to give them a real interest in the defence of the country, had suddenly set about establishing a new Constitution, very much on the model of the French Revolutionary one. The Diet declared the throne hereditary, and not elective, as hitherto; and Stanislaus Augustus, the kingthat is, Poniatowski, the former lover and favourite of Catherine of Russiawas wholly agreeable to this. The Diet proposed the Elector of Saxony as Poniatowski's successor, the king having no children. It also admitted the burgher class into its body. As there was a strong party, however, in opposition to the popular party, the patriots met secretly, and not only pledged themselves to the new Constitution, but to pass it en masse and at once, without canvassing the particular articles of it. The king, being privy to this, on the 3rd of May, 1791, entered the hall of the Diet. The new Constitution was read, passed by a majority, and signed by the king. Stanislaus then led the way to the cathedral, where he was followed by all the nuncios except twelve, and there both he and they swore to maintain this new Constitution. An unexpected difficulty was found in persuading the Elector of Saxony to accept the Crown; for, though both Russia and Prussia still professed friendship for Poland, he was too well aware of the designs of Russia on Poland to accept the dangerous post without much hesitation. At length, in the month of April, 1792, the Elector gave his reluctant consent, but not without stipulating that they should give more power to the sovereign, and limit more that of the Diet; that the right of determining peace and war should belong to the king, as well as the authority over the army. He objected to a number of things, evidently borrowed from the revolutionary French, such as the oath taken to the nation, and the education of the heir by the Diet, just as the National Assembly had claimed the right to educate the Dauphin.
CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.
Whilst Parliament was busy with the Septennial Bill, George I. was very impatient to get away to Hanover. Like William III., he was but a foreigner in England; a dull, well-meaning man, whose heart was in his native country, and who had been transplanted too late ever to take to the alien earth. The Act of Settlement provided that, after the Hanoverian accession, no reigning sovereign should quit the kingdom without permission of Parliament. George was not content to ask this permission, but insisted that the restraining clause itself should be repealed, and it was accordingly repealed without any opposition. There was one difficulty connected with George's absence from his kingdom which Council or Parliament could not so easily deal with: this was his excessive jealousy of his son. The king could not take his departure in peace if the Prince of Wales was to be made regent, according to custom, in his absence. He proposed, therefore, through his favourite, Bothmar, that the powers of the prince should be limited by rigorous provisions, and that some other persons should be joined with him in commission. Lord Townshend did not hesitate to express his sense of the impolicy of the king's leaving his dominions at all at such a crisis; but he also added that to put any other persons in commission with the Prince of Wales was contrary to the whole practice and spirit of England. Driven from this, the king insisted that, instead of regent, the prince should be named "Guardian and Lieutenant of the Realm"an office which had never existed since the time of the Black Prince.
In Calabria, the two sons of Ferdinand of Naples, Prince Francis and Prince Leopold, in conjunction with General Damas, held a force of fourteen thousand men, and endeavoured to arouse the mountaineers, and repel the advance of the French; but Regnier was dispatched against them, with a force of ten thousand, and soon defeated and dispersed the Neapolitans, making himself master of all the country, except the towns and fortresses of Maratea, Amantea, and Scylla. After three days of a bloody contest, Regnier took Maratea, and gave it up to the soldiery. These atrocities aroused the mountaineers to such fury, that they beset and harassed the French on their march to Amantea like so many demons. Their progress was arrested: Amantea stoutly resisted; Scylla, though taken, was invested by enraged Neapolitans and peasantry, and Reggio was again wrested from them. At this crisis arrived Sir John Stuart in Sicily, to reinforce and take the command of the British troops, and, at the earnest entreaty of the queen, Sir John crossed into Calabria.