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During this time foreign painters of various degrees of merit flourished in England. Amongst these were John Baptist Vanloo, brother of the celebrated Carl Vanloo, a careful artist; Joseph Vanaken, a native of Antwerp, who did for Hudson what his countrymen did for Knellerfurnished draperies and attitudes. He worked for many others, so that Hogarth painted his funeral as followed by all the painters of the day in despair. The celebrated battle-painter, Peter Vander Meulen, Hemskerk, Godfrey Schalcken, famous for his candle-light effects, John Van Wyck, a famous painter of horses, James Bogdani, a Hungarian flower, bird, and fruit painter, Balthazar Denner, famous for his wonderfully finished heads, especially of old people, and Theodore Netscher, the son of Gaspar Netscher, all painted in England in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. Boita painter of French parentageLiotard, and Zincke, were noted enamel painters. Peter Tillemans, who painted English landscapes, seats, busts, roses, etc., died in 1734; and the celebrated Canaletti came to England in 1746, and stayed about two years, but was not very successful, the English style of architecture, and, still more, the want of the transparent atmosphere of Italy, being unfavourable to his peculiar talent.

The year 1759 is one of the most glorious in our annals. Pitt, by his own spirit, and by selecting brave and able men, had infused such ardour into our service, that our officers no longer seemed the same men. Still, France, stung by the reverses and insults which we had heaped on her, but especially by our ravages of her coast, contemplated a retaliatory descent on ours. Gunboats were accumulated at Le Havre and other ports, and fleets were kept ready at Toulon and Brest, as well as a squadron at Dunkirk, under Admiral Thurot, a brave seaman. The king sent a message to the Commons, demanding the calling out of the militia; and[132] the twenty-four thousand French prisoners who had been left in great destitution by their own Government on our hands, were marched into the interior of the country. In July Admiral Rodney anchored in the roads of Le Havre, bombarded the town, set it on fire in several places, and destroyed many of the gunboats. In August the Toulon fleet, commanded by Admiral De la Clue, on its way to operate against our coast, was pursued by Boscawen, who had recently returned from America, and overtaken off Lagos, in Algarve. De la Clue was mortally wounded, and his shipreckoned the finest in the French navyand three others were taken, whilst a fifth was run aground and burnt. At the same time the blockades of Dunkirk and Brest were vigorously kept up.

No sooner did Howe return to port than he had orders to sail in aid of Gibraltar, which was not only greatly in need of stores and provisions, but was menaced by the combined armies and fleets of France and Spain with one great and overwhelming attack. The evil fortune of England did not yet, however, seem to have disappeared, for the Royal George, the finest vessel in the service, went down in a sudden squall. But this awful catastrophe did not hinder the sailing of Lord Howe. He had by great exertion mustered a fleet of thirty-four sail-of-the-line, and on the 11th of September steered out for Gibraltar. For upwards of three years this famous rock had now been beleaguered. After the relief thrown in by Admiral Darby, the Spaniards, despairing of reducing the garrison by blockade, determined to destroy the town and works by a terrific bombardment. This bombardment was, accordingly, opened with unexampled fury, and continued incessantly for days and weeks. The town was set on fire, and numbers of houses consumed; the damage done to the ramparts and public buildings was appalling. General Elliot displayed the utmost temper and skill during this bombardment, as he did throughout the whole siege. He continued by night, and at other opportunities, to repair actively the damages done; and, reserving his fire for occasions when he saw a chance of doing particular damage, he caused the enemy to wonder at the little impression that they made. The "History of Scotland, during the Reigns of Queen Mary and James VI.," by Dr. Robertson, was published in 1759, the year of the appearance of Hume's "History of the House of Tudor." It was at once popular; and Hume, writing to him, attributed this to the deference which he had paid to established opinions, the true source of the popularity of many works. This was followed, in 1769, by his "History of Charles V.," and, in 1777, by his "History of America." Robertson's chief characteristic is a sonorous and rather florid[177] style, which extremely pleased his age, but wearies this. His histories drew great attention to the subjects of them at that period; but time has shown that they are extremely superficial, and they have not held their place.

The Spaniards had at length made Lord Wellington Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies,[56] but this appointment was little more than nominal, for the Spanish generals continued as froward and insubordinate as ever; and the Spanish Government was poorer than ever, its remittances from the South American colonies, which were asserting their independence, being stopped. Wellington's dependence, therefore, continued to rest on his army of British and Portuguesesixty-three thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry. Peel's Second CabinetProrogation of ParliamentGrowing Demand for Free TradeMr. VilliersHis First Motion for the Repeal of the Corn LawsThe Manchester AssociationBright and CobdenOpposition of the ChartistsGrowth of the AssociationThe Movement spreads to LondonRenewal of Mr. Villiers' MotionFormation of the Anti-Corn Law LeagueIts Pamphlets and LecturesEbenezer ElliottThe Pavilion at ManchesterMr. Villiers' Third MotionWant in IrelandThe Walsall ElectionDepression of TradePeel determines on a Sliding ScaleHis Corn LawIts Cold ReceptionProgress of the MeasureThe BudgetThe Income TaxReduction of Custom DutiesPeel's Speech on the New TariffDiscussions on the BillEmployment of Children in the Coal MinesEvidence of the CommissionLord Ashley's BillFurther Attempts on the Life of the QueenSir Robert Peel's Bill on the subjectDifferences with the United StatesThe Right of SearchThe Canadian BoundaryThe Macleod AffairLord Ashburton's MissionThe First Afghan War: Sketch of its CourseRussian Intrigue in the EastAuckland determines to restore Shah SujahTriumphant Advance of the Army of the IndusSurrender of Dost MohammedSale and the GhilzaisThe Rising in CabulMurder of BurnesTreaty of 11th of DecemberMurder of MacnaghtenTreaty of January 1stAnnihilation of the Retreating ForceIrresolution of AucklandHis RecallDisasters in the Khyber PassPollock at PeshawurPosition of Affairs at JelalabadResistance determined uponApproach of Akbar KhanThe EarthquakePollock in the KhyberSale's VictoryEllenborough's ProclamationVotes of ThanksEllenborough orders RetirementThe PrisonersThey are savedReoccupation of CabulEllenborough's ProclamationThe Gate of Somnauth.

Sir Walter Scott was the master of the ceremonies on this memorable occasion. He was now in the height of his popularity as the "Great Unknown." His romances had revived or created the spirit of chivalry, and ministered to the intense nationality of the Scottish people in general, and the Highland clans in particular. In arranging the programme Sir Walter had as many parts to play as ever tasked the Protean genius of his friend Mathews. The bewildered local magistrates threw themselves on him for advice and direction. He had to arrange everything, from the ordering of a procession to the cut of a button and the embroidering of a cross. Provosts, bailies, and deacon-conveners of trades were followed, in hurried succession, by swelling chieftains wrangling about the relative positions their clans had occupied on the field of Bannockburn, which they considered as constituting the authentic precedent for determining their respective places in the procession from the pier of Leith to the Canongate.

During this long period Sir Christopher had been busily employed in raising many other buildings; amongst these, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; St. Bride's; St. Swithin's; the Gateway Tower, Christ Church, Oxford; St. Antholin's, Watling Street; the palace at Winchester, never completed; Ashmolean Museum, and Queen's College Chapel, Oxford; St. James's, Westminster; St. Clement's, Eastcheap; St. Martin's, Ludgate Hill; St. Andrew's, Holborn; Christ Church, Newgate Street; Hampton Court Palace, an addition; Morden College, Blackheath; Greenwich Hospital; St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, tower and spire; Buckingham House, since pulled down; and Marlborough House.