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    In Germany, Frederick of Prussia was hard put to it. A fresh army of Russians, under General Soltikow, advanced to the Oder, and another army of Austrians, under Laudohn, advanced to form a junction with them. To prevent this, Frederick sent General Wedel to encounter the Russians, but he was defeated by them on the 23rd of July, with heavy loss. Frederick himself then hastened against them, but, before his arrival, the Austrians had joined Soltikow, making a united force of sixty thousand, which Frederick attacked, on the 12th of August, with forty-eight thousand, at the village of Kunersdorf, close to Frankfort-on-the-Oder. At first he was successful; but, attempting to push his advantages, he was completely beaten, the whole of his army being killed or scattered to three thousand men. So completely did his ruin now seem accomplished, that, expecting the Russians, Austrians, Poles, Swedes, and Saxons to come down on him on all sides, he once more contemplated taking the poison that he still carried about him; wrote a letter to that effect to his Prime Minister, and directed the oath of allegiance to be taken to his nephew, and that his brother, Prince Henry, should be regent; but finding that the Russians, who had lost twenty thousand men, were actually drawing off, he again took courage, was soon at the head of thirty thousand men, and with these was hastening to the relief of Dresden, when he was paralysed by the news that General Finck, with twelve thousand men, had suffered himself to be surrounded at Maxen, and compelled to surrender. Despairing of relieving Dresden during this campaign, Frederick eventually took up his winter quarters at Freiberg, in Saxony, and employed himself in raising and drilling fresh soldiers; compelled, however, to pay his way by debasing both the Prussian coin, and the English gold which he received in subsidy, by a very large alloy.
    The news spread on every side; the retreat of the English from Concord, which always was intended, as soon as the object was accomplished, was represented as an ignominious flight before the conquering Americans, and the effect was marvellous. Men flocked from all quarters. There were some twenty thousand men assembled round Boston, forming a line nearly twenty miles in extent, with their left leaning on the river Mystic, and their right on the town of Boston. Putnam and Ward became the souls of the American army. Gage, who was awaiting fresh reinforcements, lay quiet, contented to hold his post, when he might, according to military authorities, have attacked the American lines, at first loose, and without any proper order and consistency, with great advantage. The inhabitants of Boston, not relishing the idea of a blockade, applied to Gage for permission to retire. He replied that they were at liberty to do so with their families and effects, on surrendering their arms. The Bostonians at once interpreted this to mean the whole of their merchandise, and Gage, in consequence, countermanded his permission.

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    Meanwhile the aspect of foreign affairs was hardly reassuring. Britain was at war with China and Afghanistan, and within measurable distance of war with France and the United States. Postponing for the present our review of the first Afghan war and the differences with America, which will be dealt with more properly under the history of Sir Robert Peel's Ministry, we proceed to give a short sketch of the Chinese war and the Syrian crisis. The exclusive right of the East India Company to trade with China ceased on the 22nd of April, 1834, and from this time dates the great dispute about the opium traffic. The first free-trade ship sailed from England on the 25th of the same month. Lord Napier was sent out to China to superintend British commerce, and arrived at Macao on the 15th of July. He died soon after his arrival, and was succeeded by Mr., afterwards Sir, John Davis. But the Chinese were not disposed to recognise the authority with which he was vested. During 1835 and 1836 matters went on peaceably under the superintendence of the second and third Commissioners, Mr. Davis and Sir T. Robinson, the former of whom returned to England, and the latter was superseded by Captain Elliot, R.N., who in vain renewed the attempt to establish an official connection with the Chinese authorities. The opening of the trade in 1834 gave a powerful stimulus to all kinds of smuggling, and especially in opium, the importation of which into China was prohibited by the Imperial Government, in consequence of its deleterious qualities. During the following years, however, the supply of that drug was increased enormously, and the smuggling trade was carried on along the coasts of the northern provinces, in defiance of the laws of the country. The Imperial Government was naturally indignant at these encroachments, and became, moreover, seriously alarmed, perhaps not so much for its demoralising effects, as for the continued drain of specie which it occasioned. In March, 1839, Lin arrived at Canton, as Imperial High Commissioner, to enforce the laws in this matter. He immediately issued an edict requiring that every chest of opium on the river should be delivered up, in order to be destroyed; and that bonds should be given by traders that their ships should never again bring any opium, on pain of forfeiture of the article and death to the importer. Lin having taken strong measures to carry this edict into effect by blockading the British merchants, Captain Elliot proceeded to Canton, and issued a circular letter to his countrymen, requiring them to surrender into his hands all the opium then actually on the coast of China, and holding himself responsible for the consequences. On the 21st of May the whole of the opium, to the amount of 20,283 chests, was given up to the Chinese Government, and immediately destroyed. But even this great sacrifice did not propitiate Commissioner Lin. On the 26th of November he issued another interdict, ordering the cessation of all trade with British ships in a week; and in January, 1840, an Imperial edict appeared directing that all trade with Britain should cease for ever. Further numerous outrages were committed by the Chinese against British sailors. In consequence of these proceedings an armament was sent forth to teach the Chinese the principles of international law. The first part of the armament reached the Canton river in June, 1840, under the command of Captain Elliot. Having established a rigorous blockade in the river, the British, on the 5th of July, took possession of the large island of Chusan, in the Eastern Sea. It proved very unhealthy, and one man out of every four died. Proceeding still farther to the mouth of the Peiho, in the Yellow Sea, Captain Elliot attempted to overawe the Chinese. But the sea was too shallow to enable him to land his troops, and he was forced to put back to Chusan.

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    Parliament was dissolved on the 30th of June, and at the general election the Ministerial party was smitten hip and thigh. The City of London exhibited a most remarkable defection from the Whigs on this occasion. It had returned four Liberals to the late Parliament, one of whom was Lord John Russell himself. On this occasion they returned two Conservatives and two Liberals; Mr. Masterman, a Conservative, being at the head of the poll. Lord John Russell was also returned, having beaten his Conservative opponent by a majority of only 7. Another significant triumph of the Conservatives was won in the West Riding of Yorkshire, one of the most Liberal constituencies in the kingdom. There Lord Morpeth and Lord Miltonthe candidates, of all others, most likely to succeedwere beaten, after a tremendous contest, by the Hon. S. Wortley and Mr. Denison. For Dublin, also, two Conservatives were returnedMessrs. West and Grogan; Mr. O'Connell being defeated. In England and Wales the Conservatives had a majority of 104. In Scotland the Liberals had a majority of 9, and in Ireland of 19. The majority in favour of the Conservatives in the United Kingdom was 76. The cries that had most to do in producing this result were, on the one side, "cheap bread," and on the other, "low wages."

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