Louis was a conscientious man, who was sincerely desirous of studying the comfort and prosperity of the people over whom he was placed. But the system of Buonaparte went to extinguish the welfare of Holland altogether. To insist upon the Dutch shutting out the manufactures of Great Britain, upon which the large trade of Holland subsisted, was to dry up the very means by which Holland had made itself a country from low-lying sea-marshes and sand-banks. Louis knew this, and winked, as much as possible, at the means by which the trade of his subjects was maintained with England. This produced extreme anger on the part of Napoleon, who used terms towards his brother of rudeness and even brutality. Relations between Louis, and his queen, Hortense, the daughter of Josephine, had grown unbearable. In fact, they had made a mutual, though not a legal separation; and in 1809 they each demanded that a legal separation should take place. There was such an intimate connection between Buonaparte and Queen Hortense that Louis deemed it a matter that concerned his honour as well as his quiet. But Napoleon bluntly refused to allow such a legal dissolution of the marriage, and insulted his brother by calling him an ideologista man who had spoiled himself by reading Rousseau. He did not even return a written answer to Louis's demand, but satisfied himself with a verbal one. Champagny, the Duke of Cadore, who had succeeded Talleyrand as Minister, stated in a report that the situation of Louis was become critical from the conflicting sentiments in his heart of duties towards France and duties towards his own subjects; and Buonaparte intimated his intention to recall Louis to France, and to unite Holland, as a province, to the empire. Louis, on his part, intimated that unless the Dutch were allowed to avoid universal ruin by the prosecution of their commerce, he would abdicate. Buonaparte had already annexed Zealand to France, and Louis displayed a remarkable indifference to retaining the remainder. On this, Buonaparte seemed to pause in his menaces; but for all that he did not suspend his resolution to compel an utter exclusion of British goods. The Dutch, who esteemed Louis for his honest regard for their rights, were alarmed at the idea of losing him; for it could only be for Holland to be united to France, and put under the most compulsory system. For some time they and Louis contemplated laying the whole country under water, and openly repudiating the influence of Napoleon. But cool reflection convinced them that such resistance was useless; and in March of this year Louis submitted to a treaty by which the Continental system was to be strictly enforced. Not only Zealand, but Dutch Brabant and the whole course of the Rhine on both its banks were made over to France. Louis signed the treaty on the 1st of July, but significantly added, "as far as possible."

"I have for several years endeavoured to obtain a compromise on this subject. The result of resistance to qualified concession must be the same in the present instance as in those I have mentioned. It is no longer worth while to contend for a fixed duty. In 1841 the Free Trade party would have agreed to a duty of 8s. a quarter on wheat, and after a lapse of years this duty might have been further reduced, and ultimately abolished. But the imposition of any duty, at present, without a provision for its extinction within a short period, would but prolong a contest already sufficiently fruitful of animosity and discontent. The struggle to make bread scarce and dear, when it is clear that part, at least, of the additional price goes to increase rent, is a struggle deeply injurious to an aristocracy which (this quarrel once removed) is strong in property, strong in the construction of our Legislature, strong in opinion, strong in ancient associations and the memory of immortal services."

This definition of the House of Commons at this time, and for long afterwards, was too happy a definition to escape the wrath of that body. Accordingly, on the 27th of March, Mr. Lethbridge, member for Somersetshire, moved that Sir Francis Burdett should be committed to the Tower for his attack on the House. After some discussion, the question was adjourned to the 5th of April, when, by a majority of thirty-eight, Sir Francis was ordered to be committed as guilty of a libel against the House. But Sir Francis, justly regarding the House as altogether illegally constituted, and as a usurpation by the aristocracy of the functions of the people, determined not to submit to its order. The next day he addressed a letter to the Speaker of the House, declaring his contempt for it as then constituted; that he held its order to be, on that ground, illegal; and that he would resist it to the utmost. He ordered the doors and windows of his house in Piccadilly to be closed, and prepared to yield only to force. The Guards at the gates stood with tricolour cockades on their hats, and the great ladies of the Court came driving in, for they were not far off. The Duchess of St. Leu had been permitted to remain in Paris, and her house had been the focus of all the Buonapartist adherents and conspiracies. From that centre had been sent summonses to every branch of the Buonaparte family to be in readiness, and all had responded except Cardinal Fesch, Louis Buonaparte, and Eugene Beauharnais, who had too much sense to quit Munich with his wife, the daughter of the Bavarian king. Even Murat, to his ruin, had been induced to declare for Buonaparte once more.

On the 20th of October, 1848, Chuttur Singh and his son, Shere Singh, raised the standard of revolt in the Punjab, and soon appeared at the head of 30,000 men. In November Lord Gough encountered them with 20,000. At Ramnuggur, in attacking the position of the enemy, his men were led into an ambuscade, and were repulsed with tremendous loss. The contest was again renewed on the 13th of January, 1849, when the Sikhs were also very strongly posted in a jungle with 40,000 men and sixty-two guns. Near the village of Chillianwallah a desperate battle was fought, and had lasted for some time when the 14th Light Dragoons, on being ordered to charge, turned and fled through our Horse Artillery, upsetting several guns, and causing such confusion that the Sikh cavalry, promptly availing themselves of the advantage, made a charge, and cut down seventy of our gunners, capturing six guns and five colours. The result was a drawn battle, but the loss on our side was fearfultwenty-seven officers and 731 men killed, and sixty-six officers and 1,446 men wounded. This terrible reverse produced a profound sensation at home. It was ascribed to bad generalship, and there were loud cries for the recall of Lord Gough. The Duke of[601] Wellington felt that the case was so desperate that he called upon Sir Charles Napier to go out and take the command, though suffering under a mortal disease, using the memorable expression, "If you don't go, I must." Sir Charles went immediately. But before he arrived, Lord Gough, on the 21st of February, had retrieved his reputation, and covered the British arms with fresh glory by winning, in magnificent style, the great battle of Goojerat, with the loss of only ninety-two killed and 682 wounded. Mooltan had been besieged again in December. During the bombardment the principal magazine was blown up. It contained 16,000 lbs. of powder: 800 persons were killed or wounded by the explosion, and many buildings destroyed. But Moolraj, though he saw ruined in a moment a work which it cost him five years to construct, still held out. On the 2nd of January the city was stormed, but the citadel remained. Though of immense strength, it yielded to artillery, and Moolraj, with his garrison of nearly 4,000 men, surrendered at discretion.

On the 21st of June Pitt introduced and carried several resolutions, which formed the basis of his Commutation Act. These went to check smuggling, by reducing the duty on tea from fifty to twelve and a half per cent., and to raise the house and window tax so as to supply the deficiency. A Bill was then passed to make good another deficiency in the Civil List, to the amount of sixty thousand pounds. Early in August Mr. Pitt brought in his India Bill, which differed chiefly from his former one in introducing a Government Board of Commissioners, with power to examine and revise the proceedings of the Court of Directors. This, which afterwards acquired the name of the Board of Control, was opposed by Fox, but passed both Houses with little trouble.