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Return of Napoleon from Elba.-Flight of the

Bourbons to Ghent.-Battle of Waterloo.-
Surrender of Napoleon, in 1815 ; His impri-
sonment at St. Helena; Consequences of these
events; Peace with France of 1815.

221. We are now approaching that celebrated victory of WATERLOO, which has produced to England more real shame; more real and substantial disgrace; more debt ; more distress, amongst the middle class, and more misery amongst the working class; greater inroads upon the ancient institutions, the laws, and liberties of the country; more injuries of all sorts, than the kingdom ever experienced from a hundred defeats, whether by land or by sea.

222. It is, therefore, of great consequence, that we trace this famous affair to its real cause, and that cause to its motive.

We shall see, in good time, the many consequences of it; and amongst others, the nearly, or quite hundred millions of debt that it brought upon the people, in addition to the monstrous load, which they had before to bear : we shall see it blinding and maddening a people heretofore considered the

most rational and steady in the world : we shall see it keeping money and estates in land on the man, who gained the “ victory,and to heap wealth and praise on whom even the toiling and half-starving people, from whom the wealth was drawn, seemed to think hardly a sufficient reward : we shall furnish a pretence for new creations of knighthood numerous as the posts and rails in the country, and furnishing also a pretence for an expense for officers and their families, after the war was over, nearly as great as that which had been furnished by the prodigal war itself: we shall see it keep up, and establish, a permanent standing army, in time of peace, as a thing quite proper : we shall see exposing to obloquy, and, in some cases, to punishment, those persons who had the honesty and the courage to protest against this degrading innovation : in short, we shall see it totally subverting, in effect, that constitution of government, which had so long been the pride and the boast of Englishmen. These we shall see in due time ; but, at present, we have to speak of the causes which produced it, and of the motives which gave birth to those causes. The reader has seen, in the foregoing chapter, that the English government (in which I include the parliament) were extremely uneasy, lest France, left, as she was, by the Treaties of Paris (which the reader will find following paragraph 209), would bound forward in a

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