FROM THE PAINTING BY VEREKER M HAMILTON, R.E. But he went on to Smorgony, and there, the remains of the army having come up, he called a council of war on the 5th of December. He told his generals that he had ordered Ney to reorganise the army at Wilna, and had appointed Murat, King of Naples, generalissimo in his absence. He assumed a tone of great confidence, promised his army good winter-quarters beyond the Niemen, and assured them that he was hasting away to present himself directly at the head of one hundred and twenty thousand men to keep the Austrians and Prussians firm to their alliance, and thus to make those he left behind more secure than he could do by staying with them. He then passed through the crowd of his officers, who were drawn up in an avenue as he passed, bidding them adieu with forced and melancholy smiles. He then stepped into a sledge with Caulaincourt and shut themselves in, and Duroc and Lobau followed in another sledge; and thus the man who entered Russia with nearly half a million of men, stole away, leaving the miserable remnant of his vast army to the elements and the Russians!
The condition of the Irish poor, and the expediency of a State provision for their support, had long been a subject of anxious consideration with the Imperial Government and the legislature, and also with public men of every party who took an interest in the state of the country. It was at length resolved that something should be done for their regular relief. At the close of 1835 there had been a Poor Law Commission in existence for more than two years, consisting of men specially selected on account of their fitness for the task, and standing high in public estimation, including the Protestant and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Dublin. They were appointed, in September, 1833, "to inquire into the condition of the poorer classes in Ireland, and into the various institutions at present established by law for their relief, and also whether any and what further remedial measures appear to be requisite to ameliorate the condition of the Irish poor or any portion of them." In July, 1835, they made their first report, in which they refer to the various theories with which they were assailed in the course of their inquiries. "One party attributed all the poverty and wretchedness of the country to an asserted extreme use of ardent spirits, and proposed a system for repressing illicit distillation, for preventing smuggling, and for substituting beer and coffee. Another party found the cause in the combinations among workmen, and proposed rigorous laws against trades unions. Others, again, were equally confident that the reclamation of the bogs and waste lands was the only practical remedy. A fourth party declared the nature of the existing connection between landlord and tenant to be the root of all the evil. Pawn-broking, redundant population, absence of capital, peculiar religious tenets and religious differences, political excitement, want of education, the maladministration of justice, the state of prison discipline, want of manufactures and of inland navigation, with a variety of other circumstances, were each supported by their various advocates with earnestness and ability, as being either alone, or conjointly with some other, the primary cause of all the evils of society; and loan-funds, emigration, the repression of political excitement, the introduction of manufactures, and the extension of inland navigation, were accordingly proposed each as the principal means by which the improvement of the country could be promoted."
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News now arrived of peace concluded between Britain and France. The French, to whom their possessions were restored, at once ceased hostilities and went to occupy their reacquired settlements. But Tippoo continued the war, bent on taking Mangalore. Nothing could now have prevented the English from completely conquering but the stupidity of the Council of Madras. They sent commissioners to treat with Tippoo, who, once getting them into his camp, made them really prisoners, kept all information from them, and induced them to issue orders to the English officers to cease hostilities. By these orders a junction between Stuart and Colonel Fullarton, and the immediate investment and seizure of Seringapatam, Tippoo's capital, were prevented. Fullarton had overrun a great portion of the southern districts of Mysore, and had entered into close alliance with the Zamorin of Calicut, the Rajah of Travancore, and other rajahs, tributary to Tippoo, all the way from Cochin to Goa. With ample supplies of provisions and other aids from these chiefs, Fullarton was in full march to join Stuart, and laid siege to Seringapatam, when he received peremptory orders to give up the enterprise, as the British were about concluding terms with Tippoo. Exceedingly disconcerted by these commands, which thus frustrated the results of this wonderful campaign, Fullarton, however, had no alternative but to obey, and Tippoo thus held on till he had starved out Campbell, and gained the fort of Mangalore. Then he concluded peace on condition of mutual restitution of all conquests since the war. This peace was signed on the 11th of March, 1784.