195 CHAPTER XVIII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued). Before returning to the progress of the French Revolution, we must pass a hasty glance over the affairs of the Netherlands and the north of Europe. On the accession of Leopold, the brother of Joseph, a sweeping change was made in Austrian policy. Leopold had ruled his dominions, as Grand Duke of Tuscany, with remarkable wisdom and benevolence. He had introduced many admirable reforms, and had abolished the punishment of death攁 grand example to the other nations of Europe, and proved to be as sound as it was striking by its results. He now made haste to assure the Netherlanders that all their grievances should be redressed, and their old charters and constitution restored. There had always been a considerable party in favour of the Imperial Government, and this party was now greatly increased by these wise assurances, which were relied on from the known magnanimous character of the Emperor. A Congress met at Reichenbach to endeavour to make a peace between Austria and the Sultan, and this was accomplished by the mediation of Britain, Prussia, and Holland, backed up by the threat of an immediate invasion by Prussia, which was instigated by Pitt. The Ministers of the three Powers that had brought about this peace of Reichenbach, next guaranteed to Leopold all the possessions of Austria in the Netherlands, on condition that he should restore all the ancient privileges and constitution. On the other hand, the democratic party had a congress of the United Belgic States, and this congress, infected by the French Republican principles, declared still for independence, in which they were at first encouraged by the democrats in France. Lafayette reverted to the idea of a republic in the Netherlands, which should form a barrier between Austria and France, in case that Austria should attempt to invade France and crush the Revolution, as appeared probable. Dumouriez was sent to Brussels to inquire into the real state of the Netherlands, as the Belgians had sent deputies to Paris to make certain overtures. The result of Dumouriez's inquiries was so extremely unfavourable that the French Government gave up all idea of meddling in Netherland affairs. To Dumouriez, Van der Noot, the leader of the revolutionary party, appeared a regular adventurer and impostor, the people to be ignorant and bigoted; and the army, though full of courage, yet destitute of good officers, money, clothing, and discipline. Dumouriez, therefore, shrewdly concluded that France had better make no present engagements with the Belgian reformers, but leave the destinies of the country to be decided by the Congress at Reichenbach, where the British, Dutch, and Prussian Ministers had guaranteed the restoration of the government to Leopold, on the renewal of the ancient institutions. Here again Pitt's foreign policy was completely successful. Leopold easily crushed the rebellion, and, having crushed it, proceeded to carry out the conditions of the Convention of Reichenbach. 超碰国产人人做人人爽 These resolutions being carried, it then became a question whether the prince would accept this restricted regency. Burke had warned the House that perhaps, after all, the prince would not accept such a shadow of his own natural powers, and he warned them likewise that the British Parliament might find itself electing the prince as regent, whilst the Irish Parliament was nominating him as by right. But it would appear that the Whigs were so anxious to seize on office, even under such cramping restrictions, and to see Pitt dethroned, that they advised the prince to accept. A joint committee of Lords and Commons waited on him on the 30th of January, the anniversary of the execution of Charles I., and another joint-committee the same day waited on the queen, and the next day their answers, accepting their respective offices, were communicated to Parliament. The prince, indeed, qualified his acceptance by declaring that he did it only as a temporary arrangement, and in the hope, notwithstanding the peculiar and unprecedented circumstances, of preserving the interests of the king, the crown, and the people. This honorable decision being reached, his mind was sufficiently at ease to allow him to notice that his pace had gradually become a very slow one, in half unconscious conformity to the lagging footsteps behind him,攆ootsteps which spoke so unmistakably of a troubled mind or an exhausted frame. It even appeared that Miss Thane stopped altogether, now and then, by reason of absorbing thought, or from the necessity of taking breath. Bergan hesitated for a moment, divided between the fear of being intrusive, and the kindly impulse to afford timely help; but the latter prevailed, and, the path having widened somewhat, he turned and offered her his arm. She shook her head absently, at first; then seemed to become suddenly aware that support was needful, and accepted it. This catholicity is reflected in almost every circumstance of his daily life.