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BURNING

OF WASHINGTON.

dissipated. The soldiers pressed into the city, and after burning a frigate and sloop of war, the President's residence, the capitolincluding the Senate House and House of Representatives, dockyard, arsenal, war office, treasury, and the great bridge over the Potomac, re-embarked on the 30th of August.

A part of the operations against Washington consisted in despatching a force against Fort Washington, situate on the Potomac below that city. Captain Gordon, the commander of this expedition, proceeded with the Sea Horse and several other vessels up the river on the 17th of August, but was unable to reach the fort till the 27th. The place being rendered untenable by the explosion of a powder magazine, the garrison spiked their guns and evacuated it next day. The populous and commercial town of Alexandria, situated higher on the river, thus lost its sole protection; and Captain Gordon, having no obstacle to oppose his progress, buoyed the channel, and placed his ships in such a position as to enforce compliance with his terms. The town (with the exception of public works) was not to be destroyed nor the inhabitants molested on compliance with the following articles :- All naval and ordnance stores, public and private, were to be given up, together with all the shipping, the furniture of which was to be sent on board by their owners; the sunk vessels to be delivered in their original condition; the merchandise of every description to be immediately delivered up, including all removed from the town since the 19th; and the British squadron to be supplied with refreshments at the market price. This capitulation was signed on the 29th; the whole of the captured vessels-twenty-one in number—were fitted, loaded, and delivered, by the 31st; and Captain Gordon had got back with all his ships and prizes, and anchored in safety in the Chesapeake by the 9th of September.

These events are referred to in a pictorial satire (published by Fores on the 4th of October, 1814), entitled, The Fall of Washington, or Maddy [i.e., President Madison) in full flight :

“Death of thy soul those linen cheeks of thine

Are counsellors to fear."

BURNING OF WASHINGTON.

FLIGHT or PRESIDENT

MADISON.

James Madison and one of his ministers, habited as Quakers (a then popular mode of ridiculing the Americans), are seen in full flight, carrying under their arms bundles of compromising papers. By the “Bill of fare of the Cabinet Supper at President Madison's, August 24th, 1814," which has fallen at his feet, the flight would really seem to have been of the most hasty character. “I say, Jack," says an English tar, pointing at the same time to the flying President, “what, is that the man of war that was to annihilate us, as Master Boney used to say ?” “Aye, messmate," answers his companion; "he is a famous fighter over a bottle of Shampain ; why, he'd have played — with us if we had let him sit down to supper.” Five Americans (all Quakers) meanwhile make their own observations on the situation : “ Jonathan,” says one, " where thinkest thou our President will run to now?” “Why, verily," answers Jonathan, " to Elba, to his bosom friend.” “ The great Washington,” remarks a third, “ fought for liberty; but we are fighting for shadows, which, if obtained, could do us no earthly good, but this is the blessed effects of it.” “I suppose,” observes a fourth, “this is what Maddis calls benefitting his country.” “Why," answers his friend, “it will throw such a light on affairs, that we shall find it necessary to change both men and measures.” The popular notion of the day that there had been some understanding between “Boney” and the Yankees, was scarcely unnatural under the circumstances we have narrated. The President himself is made to say to his companion, "Who would have thought of this man, to oblige us to run from the best cabinet supper I ever ordered ? I hope you have taken care of Boney's promissory notes; the people won't stand anything after this." “D-n his notes," answers the other; "what are they good for now? We should get nothing but iron; he hasn't any of his stock of brass left, or some of that would have helped us through this business.”

The caricaturist simply reflected the opinion of his countrymen in insinuating that the Yankees had some understanding or sympathy with Bonaparte ; but in this they were mistaken. With Napoleon and his system the Americans had no sympathy or feelings in

THE

CARICATURISTS
TOO JUBILANT.

common. Probably all that the satirist intended to convey was the fact that they had brought the retaliatory measure (severe as it was) upon themselves, and in this undoubtedly he was right. The Americans would never have dreamed of invading Canada had they not supposed that we were so hampered with our struggle with Bonaparte in 1812. It was perhaps well for America that we were not actuated by the same embittered feelings as themselves; that our generals were incompetent, and their plans both badly conceived and most inefficiently carried out.

Notwithstanding these successes, the caricaturists proved a trifle too jubilant. On the uth of September, a British naval forceconsisting of a frigate, a brig, two sloops of war, and some gunboats -attacked the American flotilla before Platsburg, on Lake Champlain, and after a severe conflict were all captured, with the exception of the gun-boats, Captain Downie, the English commander, being killed at the very beginning of the engagement. Sir G. Prevost, in consequence of this disaster, began his retreat, leaving his sick and wounded to the mercy of the enemy. The Americans having now collected from all quarters, the British retired to their lines, and relinquished all idea of penetrating into the State of New York. On the 12th, however, an attempt was made to enter Baltimore, and althougin in the engagement which followed the American troops were broken and dispersed in the course of fifteen minutes, the victory was dearly purchased by the death of General Ross, while the defensive arrangements of the harbour were so perfect and so formidable, that the attempt was obliged to be given up.

Although peace was concluded in the following December, the intelligence unfortunately did not reach the belligerents in time to prevent further mistakes and bloodshed. A series of operations of the British army in the neighbourhood of New Orleans occupied the last week of December and a part of January. An army had been collected for an attack on that town under the command of General Kean, which, with the assistance of Admiral Cochrane, was disembarked without resistance on the 23rd December. On the 25th, General Sir Edward Pakenham arrived and assumed the chief

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command. On the 27th, the enemy's picquets were driven in within six miles of the town, where their main body was found most strongly posted, and supported by a ship of war moored in such a position as to enfilade the assailants. The result was that the assault of the British was delivered under so withering a fire from every part of the enemy's line, that General Pakenham was killed, Generals Keane and Gibbs wounded, while over 2,000 men and officers were killed, wounded, or made prisoners. Colonel Thornton, indeed, had crossed the river during the previous night and captured a flanking battery of the Americans on the other side ; but the report made by him to General Lambert was of so discouraging a character that he decided not to persevere with the attempt, and in the end the whole army re-embarked, leaving a few of the most dangerously wounded behind them, but carrying off all their artillery, ammunition, and stores. The concluding operation of the war was the capture of Fort Mobile, which surrendered to the British on the nth of February.

A remarkable figure puts in an appearance in the caricatures of the early part of the century. This was the renowned “Romeo” Coates, a vain, weak-minded gentleman, who had an absolute passion for figuring on the boards as Romeo, Lothario, Belcour, and other romantic characters, for which his personal appearance and lack of brains altogether unfitted him. His “readings,” like himself, being of the most original character, his vagaries afforded endless amusement to the coarse public of his day. The gods befooled him * to the top of his bent;" his overweening vanity failing to show the poor creature that he was exciting ridicule instead of applause. The fun (?) culminated in the tragic scene, Romeo, to their delight, responding to the encores of his audience, by repeating the dying scene so long as it suited the managers to prolong the sorry exhibition. Macready, whose dramatic genius and refined sensibilities revolted at a spectacle so degrading, describes him as he appeared at Bath, in 1815: “I was at the theatre,” says the tragedian, “on the morning of his rehearsal, and introduced to him. At night the house was too crowded to afford me a place in front, and seeing me

1815 ROMEO Coates. behind the scenes, he asked me, knowing I acted Belcour, to prompt him if he should be 'out,” which he very much feared. The audience were in convulsions at his absurdities, and in the scene with Miss Rusport, being really 'out,' I gave him a line which Belcour has to speak, ‘I never looked so like a fool in all my life,' which, as he delivered it, was greeted with a roar of laughter. He was 'out' again, and I gave him again the same line, which, again being repeated, was acquiesced in with a louder roar. Being 'out' again, I administered him the third time the same truth for him to utter, but he seemed alive to its application, rejoining in some dudgeon, 'I have said that twice already. His exhibition was a complete burlesque of the comedy and a reflection on the character of a management that could profit by such discreditable expedients.” Poor “Romeo” Coates lived to get over his theatrical weakness, and died (in 1848), in his seventy-sixth year, from the results of a street

accident. 1816.

The Princess Charlotte of Wales, having successfully thrown over Marriage of the her royal Dutch suitor, was married at Carlton House to Prince

Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, afterwards King of the Belgians, on the CHARLOTTE.

2nd of May, 1816. Prior to the marriage, Parliament had voted a provision for an establishment for the pair of £60,000, while in the event of the princess's death, £50,000 was settled on the prince during his life. Leap Year, or John Bull's Establishment (S. W. Fores, March, 1816) shows us John Bull with a bit in his mouth, driven by Her Royal Highness, who lashes him unmercifully with a tremendous horse-whip. Miserable John is saddled with a pair of panniers, one of which carries the prince and his money bags, the other being filled with heavy packages labelled with different impositions or items of expenditure of which John is the victim. “Plans for thatched cottages,” “Plan for pulling down and rebuilding," “ Assessed taxes," "Increase of salaries,” “ Army for peace establishment,” and so on. Says Leopold to the princess, “ You drive so fast, I shall be off!!!” “Never fear,” she replies ; “I'll teach you an English waltz.” The gouty Regent hobbles after them on his crutches, the supports of which are formed of dragons from his

PRINCESS

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