Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/56

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14
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

The French driven out of Egyptcondition of being conveyed to France with all its arms, artillery, and baggage. The capitulation was signed just in time to save French honour; for immediately after the conclusion of the treaty, a second British force, under the command of Sir David Baird, arrived from India by way of the Red Sea. Bonaparte's favourite project of making Egypt an entrepôt for the conquest of Hindostan was thus most effectually checkmated.[1]

On the 1st of October, 1801, preliminaries of peace between France and Great Britain were signed in Downing Street; on the 10th, General Lauriston, aide-de-camp to the First Consul, having arrived with the ratification of these preliminaries, the populace took the horses from his carriage and drew it to Downing Street. That night and the following there was a general illumination in London.

The "preliminaries" referred to were those of the very unsatisfactory "Peace of Amiens," as it was called. Its terms, by no means flattering to this country, were shortly these: France was to retain all her conquests; while, on the other hand, the acquisitions made by England during the war were to be given up. Malta and its dependencies were to be restored (under certain restrictions) nominally to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; the French were to evacuate Naples and the Roman States; and the British Porto Ferrago, and all the ports possessed by them in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.

All this time a violent paper war had been maintained between the English press and the Moniteur, the official organ of the Consular Government. In the month of August, 1802, Bonaparte prohibited the circulation of the English newspapers, and immediately after the issue of the order, the coffee houses and reading rooms were visited by his police, who carried away every English journal upon which they could lay their hands. By way of answer

  1. "If it had not been for you English, I should have been Emperor of the East; but wherever there is water enough to float a ship, we are sure to find you in our way."—Napoleon to Captain Maitland. See Maitland's "Narrative of the Surrender of Bonaparte," p. 99.