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Regardless of all advice, Buonaparte hastened to precipitate matters with Russia. He seized and confiscated fifty Swedish merchantmen, and further to express his determination to punish Bernadotte for his refusal to be his slavehe boasted before his courtiers that he would have him seized in Sweden, and brought to the castle of Vincennes, and he is said to have planned doing itin January of this year he ordered Davoust to enter Swedish Pomerania and take possession of it. Buonaparte followed up this act of war by marching vast bodies of troops northwards, overrunning Prussia, Pomerania, and the Duchy of Warsaw with them. They were now on the very frontiers of Russia, and Alexander was in the utmost terror. He saw already four hundred thousand men ready to burst into his dominions, and as many more following. He had only one hundred and forty thousand to oppose them; he had no generals of mark or experience; confusion reigned everywhere. In the utmost consternation he demanded an interview with Bernadotte, now the sole hope of Europe, at Abo; and Bernadotte, who had his objects to gain, took his time. When the Russian Ambassador, in great trepidation, said to him that the Emperor waited for him, he rose, laid his hand on his sword, and said, theatrically, "The Emperor waits! Good! He who knows how to win battles may regard himself as the equal of kings!" The statutory provision for all who cannot support themselves had now existed for upwards of 280 years. There was no considerable increase of population in England from the period when the Poor Laws were established up to the middle of the eighteenth century. Its people have been distinguished for their industry, thrift, and forethought. No other nation has furnished such unquestionable proofs of the prevalence of a provident and independent spirit. From the year 1601, when the Act 43 Elizabeth, the foundation of the old code of Poor Laws, was put in force, to the commencement of the war with Napoleon, there had been scarcely any increase of pauperism. In 1815 there were 925,439 individuals in England and Wales, being about one-eleventh of the then existing population, members of friendly societies, formed for the express purpose of affording protection to the members in sickness and old age, and enabling them to subsist without resorting to the parish fund. It may be asked, How was this state of things compatible with the right to support at the expense of the parish which the law gave to the destitute? The answer is, that the exercise of that right was subjected to the most powerful checks, and restricted in every possible way. In 1723 an Act was passed authorising the church-wardens and overseers, with the consent of the parishioners, to establish a workhouse in each parish; and it was at the same time enacted that the overseers should be entitled to refuse relief to all who did not choose to accept it in the workhouse, and to submit to all its regulations. In consequence of this Act workhouses were erected in many parishes, and they had an immediate and striking effect in reducing the number of paupers. Many who had previously received pensions from the parish preferred depending on their own exertions rather than take up their abode in the workhouse.

"To call Parliament together on the 27th instant, to ask for indemnity and a sanction of the order by law.

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As soon as this news reached France the Pretender hastened to St. Malo in order to embark for Scotland, and Ormonde hastened over from Normandy to Devonshire to join the insurgents, whom he now expected to meet in arms. He took with him only twenty officers and as many troopers from Nugent's regiment. This was the force with which Ormonde landed in England to conquer it for the Pretender. There was, however, no need of even these forty men. The English Government had been beforehand with him; they had arrested all his chief coadjutors, and when he reached the appointed rendezvous there was not a man to meet him. On reaching St. Malo, Ormonde there found the Pretender not yet embarked. After some conference together, Ormonde once more went on board ship to reach the English coast and make one more attempt in the hopeless expedition, but he was soon driven back by a tempest. By this time the port of St. Malo was blockaded by the English, and the Pretender was compelled to travel on land to Dunkirk, where, in the middle of December, he sailed with only a single ship for the conquest of Scotland, and attended only by half a dozen gentlemen, disguised, like himself, as French naval officers.

Soon after the close of the Session in June, the king proceeded to Hanover, accompanied, as usual, by Townshend and the Duchess of Kendal. The state of his foreign relations demanded the utmost attention, and very soon underwent the most extraordinary changes. These were precipitated by the Duke of Bourbon, and were caused by the state of the French succession. The young king might have children, and the only reason why he might not have legitimate issue soon was that he was affianced to the Infanta, Mary Ann, Philip's daughter, then a mere child. Should he not have children, the young Duke of Orleans, the son of the late Regent, would succeed him. To prevent this contingency, the Duke of Bourbon, who had a violent hatred of Orleans, prevailed on Louis to dismiss the Infanta, and choose as queen some princess of mature age. He turned his eye for this purpose on the Princess Anne of England, but George declined the alliance, because the Queen of France was bound to become Catholic. The Princess Mary Leczinska was next fixed upon, daughter of the exiled Stanislaus of Poland, and the Duke of Bourbon then sent the Infanta back to Spain.