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SURRENDER OF LORD CORNWALLIS, YORK TOWN. (See p. 283.) Under the influence of this persuasion, Buonaparte suddenly made overtures of peace to Great Britain, though, on the conditions which he proposed, they were certain to be rejected. The Duke of Bassano wrote to Lord Castlereagh, offering to secure the independence of Spain under the present reigning dynasty; that Portugal should continue under the rule of the House of Braganza, and Naples under Murat. Lord Castlereagh replied that if by the present reigning dynasty of Spain was meant King Joseph, there could be no treaty, and there the matter ended; for even Fouch says that Napoleon's Ministers were ashamed of so clumsy a proposal of ignorance and bad faith. Failing with Great Britain, Buonaparte turned to Russia herself, intimating a desire for peace, but not finding it in his heart to offer any terms likely to be accepted. In fact, he was now so demented by the ambition which meant soon to destroy him, that he fancied that a mere mention of peace was enough to win over any of his enemies in face of his vast armies. Including the forces of his German and Italian subsidiaries, he had on foot one million one hundred and eighty-seven thousand men. Of these, he led four hundred and seventy thousand men into Russia. Italy, Naples, Austria, Prussia, Würtemberg, Baden, Saxony, Westphalia, and other Confederates of the Rhine furnished each from twenty thousand to sixty thousand men. To swell up his French portion, he had called out two conscriptions, each of a hundred thousand men, in one year, and had organised a new system of conscription under the name of "National Guards," which professedly were only to serve in France as a militia but which were soon drafted off into foreign service. This consisted of three levies, or bans"the ban," "the second ban," and "the arrire ban." They included all who were capable of bearing arms of all classes. The ban was composed of youths from twenty to twenty-six years of age; the second ban of men from twenty-six to forty, and the arrire ban of those from forty to sixty. By such means was the native population of France being rapidly drawn off into destruction by this modern Moloch.

CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.

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