The year 1805 was opened by Buonaparte addressing a second letter to George III. Its tenor may be gathered from the concluding paragraph. "Alas! what a melancholy prospect to cause two nations to fight, merely for the sake of fighting. The world is sufficiently large for our two nations to live in it, and reason is sufficiently powerful to discover means of reconciling everything, when the wish for reconciliation exists on both sides. I have, however, fulfilled a sacred duty, and one which is precious to my heart. I trust your Majesty will believe in the sincerity of my sentiments, and my wish to give you every proof of it.Napoleon."

Scilly Islands as one parish) 89 The affairs of England, menaced by invasion, were during this time compelling George to draw part of his forces homeward; it was, consequently, only the approach of winter which saved the towns of Flanders from the French. At the same time, the wily Prussian was in arms again, trusting to seize yet more of the Austrian territories, whilst the powerful ally of Maria Theresa was at once pressed by the fault of the Dutch and Austrians in Flanders, and at home by the Pretender. George, who, in spite of all remonstrances, had persisted, notwithstanding the domestic danger, in paying his annual visit to Hanover, was earnestly engaged, through Lord Harrington, in endeavouring to accomplish a peace between Prussia and Austria. Neither Frederick nor Maria Theresa, however, was in any haste to conclude peace. Frederick hoped to profit by the engagement of England with the French, and Maria Theresa held out, with some vague hopes of regaining Silesia through the money of England. But Frederick, on the 3rd of June, gained a decided victory over Prince Charles of Lorraine, throwing himself between the Austrians and the Saxons, whom the English subsidy had brought to their aid. In this battle of Hohen Friedberg the Austrians lost nine thousand men in killed and wounded, and had as many made prisoners. Prince Charles retreated into Bohemia, and was soon followed by Frederick, who fixed his camp at Chlum. Whilst another battle was impending, Maria Theresa, still undaunted, accompanied her husband to the Diet at Frankfort, where she had the satisfaction of seeing him elected Emperor of Germany on the 13th of September. The same month, however, her troops were again defeated by Frederick at Sohr, near the sources of the Elbe. The King of Prussia now offered to make peace, and Maria[92] Theresa rejected his overtures; but another victory over her combined army of Austrians and Saxons, which put Frederick in possession of Dresden, brought her to reason. A peace was concluded at Dresden on Christmas Day, by which Silesia was confirmed to Prussia, and Frederick, on his part, acknowledged the recent election of the Emperor Francis. King George had also entered into a secret treaty with Prussia; and Frederick, sending his army into winter quarters in Silesia, returned to Berlin, thence to ponder fresh schemes of aggrandisement.

From the Picture by W. L. WYLLIE, R.A. Napoleon's grand army had now dwindled down to twelve thousand men, with about thirty thousand stragglers, who added little to his strength. They were in Poland, and provisions were now more abundant; but they had still to cross the Beresina, and at this moment he heard of the fall of Minsk, and that Victor and Oudinot, instead of attacking Wittgenstein, had quarrelled about the manner of doing it, and so had not done it at all. Wittgenstein and Kutusoff were thus at liberty to attack his flanks, and Tchitchagoff to occupy the Beresina before him. On this, he turned from the route to Minsk and made for Borissov. At Borissov was a bridge of three hundred fathoms in length, and this he had sent Dombrowski to secure and hold; but now he heard of Dombrowski's defeat, that the bridge was in the hands of the Russians, and that they had broken it down. In his agony, he stamped his cane on the ground, and exclaimed, looking upwards"Is it, then, written that we shall commit nothing but errors?"

Wolfe raised batteries at Point Levi and on the island, and bombarded the town, but he could not draw the wary Montcalm from his strong position. In his front lay the river and some unapproachable sandbanks, behind and around him rocks and dense woods inaccessible. Once only he made a rush across the river, and endeavoured, with a detachment of one thousand six hundred men, to gain the batteries on Point Levi; but his troops soon saw the attempt to be hopeless, and retired. No measures were neglected by Wolfe, on his part, to draw Montcalm from his position. He marched along the banks of the Montmorency opposite to him, and made feints as if he would cross it somewhere above him, but to no purposeMontcalm knew his advantage. Wolfe wrote home, that if Montcalm had but shut himself up in Quebec, he could have taken the town very easily, but he could not readily force him from his admirable position. Growing at length impatient, he determined to attack him where he was, and he dispatched Admiral Holmes up the river with a number of transports, as though he contemplated something in that quarter. He then landed, on the 31st of July, a body of troops near the mouth of the Montmorency, which there falls three hundred feet into the St. Lawrence. He had discovered a ford at some distance up the river, and dispatched Brigadier Townshend to cross there and attack Montcalm in flank, whilst he himself, by means of the ships and their boats, gained the beach and attacked in front. The Centurion man-of-war was placed to engage a battery which swept the place of landing, and then the troops were conveyed in boats, which drew little water, towards the shore. Some of these, however, got entangled amongst rocks, and created a delay in getting them off. By this time the French were hurrying down towards the landing-place with their artillery, and began to fire murderously from the banks above upon them. Wolfe, seeing that Townshend would cross the ford before they were ready to co-operate, sent an officer to recall him. At this time, the Grenadiers having reached the beach, rushed forward upon the entrenchments before the rest of the troops could be got out of the boats to support them. They were met by such a destructive fire that they were compelled to fall back with much slaughter. By this time night was setting in, attended by a storm, the roaring of which, mingling with the roar of the mighty St. Lawrence as the tide fell, seemed to warn them to recover their camp. The word was given to re-cross the river, and they made good their retreat without the French attempting to pursue them, though the Indians lurked in the rear to scalp such of the dead and such of the wounded as could not be brought off. [See larger version]