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      Cairness asked who Bill Lawton might be, and was told that he had been one of the Kirby men, "Big fellow with a big wife. If you was ever there, you'd ought to remember her. She was a Venus and a Cleopatrer rolled into one, you bet." The cow-boy was not devoid of lore for all his lowly station.GREENWICH HOSPITAL


      Colonel Gardiner endeavoured to charge the advancing enemy with his dragoons; but it was in vain that he attempted to animate their craven souls by word and exampleat the first volley of the Highlanders they wheeled and fled. The same disgraceful scene took place on the left, at nearly the same moment. Hamilton's regiment of horse dispersed at the first charge of the Macdonalds, leaving the centre exposed on both its flanks. The infantry made a better stand than the cavalry; it discharged a steady and well-directed volley on the advancing Highlanders, and killed some of their best men, amongst others, a son of the famous Rob Roy. But the Highlanders did not give them time for a second volley; they were up with them, dashed aside their bayonets with their targets, burst through their ranks in numerous places, so that the whole, not being able to give way on account of the park wall of Preston, were thrown into confusion, and at the mercy of the foe. Never was a battle so instantly decidedit is said not to have lasted more than five or six minutes; never was a defeat more absolute. Sir John Cope, or Johnnie Cope, as he will be styled in Scotland to the end of time, by the assistance of the Earls of Loudon and Home, collected about four hundred and fifty of the recreant dragoons, and fled to Coldstream that night. There not feeling secure, they continued their flight till they reached Berwick, where Sir Mark Kerr received Cope with the[97] sarcastic but cruelly true remark that he believed that he was the first general on record who had carried the news of his own defeat.

      The first day of 1839 was marked in Ireland by an atrocious crime. The Earl of Norbury, an amiable nobleman, regarded as one of the most exemplary of his class, both as a man and a landlord, was shot by an assassin in the open day near his own house at Kilbeggan, and in presence of his steward. The murderer escaped. This event deserves special mention, because it was, during the year, the subject of frequent reference in Parliament. There was a meeting of magistrates at Tullamore, at which Lord Oxmantown presided, at which the Earl of Charleville took occasion to animadvert very strongly upon an expression in a letter, in answer to a memorial lately presented by the magistrates of Tipperary, in which Mr. Drummond, the Under-Secretary, uttered the celebrated maxim, that "property had its duties as well as its rights." This, in the circumstances of the country, he felt to be little less than a deliberate and unfeeling insult. He did not hesitate to say that the employment of those terms had given a fresh impulse to feelings which had found their legitimate issue in the late assassination. In the course of the meeting resolutions were proposed and carried to the following effect:"That the answer to the Tipperary magistrates by Mr. Under-Secretary Drummond has had the effect of increasing the animosities entertained against the[459] owners of the soil, and has emboldened the disturbers of the public peace. That there being little hope for a successful appeal to the Irish executive, they felt it their duty to apply to the people of England, the Legislature, and the Throne for protection."On the instant she put her horse to a run and tore off through the gate toward the open country. It was dark, but by the stars she could see the road and its low bushes and big stones that danced by as her horse, with its belly to the ground, sped on. She strained her ears and caught the sound of hoofs. The men were following her, the gleam of her white dress guiding them. She knew they could not catch her. The horse she rode was a thoroughbred, the fastest on the ranch; not even Cairness's own could match it. It stretched out its long black neck and went evenly ahead, almost without[Pg 327] motion, rising over a dog hole now and then, coming down again, and going on, unslacking. She felt the bit steadily and pressed her knee against the hunting horn for purchase, her toe barely touching the stirrup, that she might be the freer in a fall.

      He was a simple, sullen Apache, and his untutored mind could only grasp effects. Causes were beyond it. He did not, therefore, understand that coal had been discovered on his reservation, also silver, and that the agent and the agent's friends were trying to possess[Pg 175] themselves of the land in order to dispose of it to the Eastern capitalist.


      The French having now formally declared war with England, entered on the campaign with Flanders in the middle of May with eighty thousand men, the king taking the nominal command, in imitation of Louis XIV. Marshal Saxe was the real commander, and with this able general Louis went on for some time reaping fictitious laurels. The King of England expected to see the Allies muster seventy-five thousand mena force nearly equal to that of the French; but the Dutch and Austrians had grievously failed in their stipulated quotas, and the whole army did not exceed fifty thousand. General Wade, the English commander, was a general of considerable experience, but no Marlborough, either in military genius or that self-command which enabled him to bear up against tardy movements and antagonistic tempers of the foreign officers. Consequently, whilst he had to contend with a very superior force, he was hampered by his coadjutors, lost his temper, and, what was worse, lost battles too. The French went on taking town after town and fortress after fortress. But this career of victory was destined to receive a check. Prince Charles of Lorraine, at the head of sixty thousand men, burst into Alsace, and marched without any serious obstacle to the very walls of Strasburg; while the French king was stricken with fever at Metz.

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      The surgeon, whose lore was not profound, and whose pharmacy exhibited more reptiles in alcohol than drugs, set the bones as best he knew how, which was badly; and, taking a fancy to Taylor, offered him and Cairness lodgings for the night,the hospitality of the West being very much, in those times, like that of the days when the preachers of a new Gospel were bidden to enter into a house and there abide until they departed from that place.

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      On the afternoon of this day, Monday, the 11th of May, as the Minister was entering the House, about five o'clock, a man of gentlemanly appearance presented a pistol, and shot him deadat least, he did not survive two minutes. In the confusion and consternation the man might have escaped, but he made no such attempt; he walked up to the fireplace, laid down his pistol on a bench, and said, in answer to those inquiring after the murderer, that he was the person. He gave his name as Bellingham, expressed satisfaction at the deed, but said that he should have been more pleased had it been Lord Leveson Gower. In fact, his prime intention was to shoot Lord Gower, but he had also his resentment against Perceval, and therefore took the opportunity of securing one of his victims. It appeared that he had been a Liverpool merchant, trading to Russia, and that, during the embassy of Lord Leveson Gower at St. Petersburg he had suffered severe and, as he deemed, unjust losses, for assistance in the redress of which with the Russian Government he had in vain sought the good offices of the ambassador. On his return to England he had applied to Perceval; but that Minister did not deem it a case in which Government could interfere, and hence the exasperation of the unhappy man against both diplomatists. The trial of the murderer came on at the Old Bailey, before Chief Justice Mansfield, on the Friday of the same week. A plea of insanity was put in by Bellingham's counsel, and it was demanded that the trial should be postponed till inquiries could be made at Liverpool as to his antecedents. But this plea was overruled. Bellingham himself indignantly rejected the idea of his being insane. He declared that the act was the consequence of a cool determination to punish the Minister for the refusal of justice to him, and he again repeated, in the presence of Lord Leveson Gower, that his chief object had been himself for his cruel disregard of his wrongs. Both Lord Mansfield and the rest of the judges would hear of no delay; a verdict of "Wilful Murder" was brought in by the jury, and they condemned him to be hanged, and he was duly hanged on the following Monday at nine o'clock, exactly the day week of the perpetration of the act.


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