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It will be observed from this stateBent, that the general average of heat for the whole year differs but little from that of the last. It is about one degree colder, though we had in the moutli of July hotter weather than was probably ever known in this country. The tem
Jorature for January, March, April, une, July, August, and October, has been lower this year than the last; in the other months it has been higher.
The year commenced with stormy weather, which did much damage on the coast, and in some of the interior parts of the country. Of some nights towards the latter end of the year a similar re. mark may be made; and in many parts of the kingdom, several days in the month
of July were remarkable for storms of hail, accompanied with thunder and lightning. One, on the 15th of that month, has been described with much interest in the last volume of the Monthly Magazine, (See vol. xxvi. p. 302— 8.) by an eye-witness; to which the reader may be referred, as well for the facts contained in it, as for the many judicious philosophical observations incorporated with it. I have in my meteorological reports, attached to each number, recorded the principal facts relating to this subject, which will render it unnecessary to repeat what will he found in (heir respective places. I shall therefore only give a sort of summary for the whole year.
The average of heat, as "may be seen above, is 50.619, and the average height of the barometer is 29.724, which is something less than what it was the preceding year: and the quantity of rain fallen is 30.55 inches in height fur the whole year. The greatest cold in the year was on January 2'i, und the greatest heat on July 14.
Of the 366 days, 162 may be denominated brilliant, that is, days in which the sun was scarcely covered for any length of time with a cloud—39 were fair—29 cloudy, in which the sun was not seen—on i 19 there was rain—and on 18 there was either snow or hail.
The wind has blown 38 days from the north—19 from the south—52 from the west—54 from the east. In the nortlieast it has been 44 days—south-east 37 —north-west 65—and south-west 57.
It may not be uninteresting to bring into one point of view the average stnte of the atmosphere for the last seven years. The render will recollect that the observations were made at Camden-Town, a village about two miles north-west of .St. Paul's cathedral.
The only remark that I shall make i*, .that the quantity of rain in the whole ysnr is not by any means proportional to the density of the atmosphere.
Highgate, Jan. 9, 1809. Your's, &c. J. J.
on, with the cause which produced lue breach of the truce, between France and England. It was the capture ot* Foo^eres, by the English in 1418, from lue Duke of Brittany, who had been included in the treaty. Francis de Surienoe, an Air;igooese, in the service of Kogljud, had surprised the place, and earned off an enormous booty. The .Duke of Brittany and the King of France complained to Somerset, and demanded redrc*. Somerset gave up Suiicnne; but Blondel affirmr, that lie was expressly Authorised by Somerset, in the name of ibe -King of England. The council of '-■:'. ind made the same reply, but notwithstanding approved what Somerset lad dune, and engaged to support him. lne English historians affirm, on the contrary, that they would have agreed to the restitution of the place, upuu condition that the value of the damages coold have been settled, and the French had not made reprisals.
These reprisals were th^ capture of Pout de I'Arche, in which affair historians have not noted, that the chief part was played by a tradesman of Louviers, named Jean Hovel. Having made his agreement with the porter to let him in before day, under pretence of bringing in some good j, be encumbered the bridge with his cart; afterwards having on purpose let the money isill, winch lie drew p < 10 pay the sum agreed,
S guard, as he stooped down
odk it up, and afterwards a young ini:nii,»lio ran thither in his shirt to Q lue draw-bridge. Then Flogues Mareoi, who were in ambuscade I with tlie troops, threw themselves into jlthe town ami took possession of it. An inhabitant escaped over the wall, and Stan to Rouen to carry the news to Sc
■ a niy passionate charac
When Pout de I'Arche «;n
atr^et was sick,
lltuiing her huf
stthe trench, and knowing of what
he was capable, and not doubting but he would kill the physician, if he saw him, she hid him under the curtains, till Somerset was gone out; slie was however not less sensible than himself of the loss of Pont de I'Arche, for on hearing of it, she jumped out of her bed, running and crying, without perceiving that she was naked. Blondel, comparing the warmth of the husband with the grief of the wife, makes this honorable observation, concerning the English women : that although the men of that nation are of a violent temper, which knows no bounds, the women are full of sweetness and humanity. These traits of ancient national character, softened without doubt iu some respects, may still he discovered.
England demanded the restitution of Pont de I'Arche, France that of Fougeres and reparation of damages. They negociated, but without success. Then the King of France, having held a grand council, resolved to recommence the war. Our author here gives a long speech, made by the chancellor, in which he exposes the various grievances, committed by the English since the truce. Among other things, he says, that they sent out their garrison upon the roads from Paris to Or'eans and Itheims in the masquerade disguise if devils, to rob and murder the passengers.
Blondel here makes a digression upon the establishment of the free archers by Charles VII. and the advantage of that institution. He gives it with reason, the highest eulogiura. Instead of companies more devoted to robbery than war, and who practised the former when the war was ended, even upon those from whom they roceived their pay; troops paid by the people, dreadful to the enemy during war, became quiet citizens during peace, devoted to commercc, arts, and agriculture. . ..
The war then recommenced, and Verneuil, was taken by stratagem in July 1449. This event is recounted by the well known historians, but the recital of Blondel is more detailed, and differs in some circumstances, which he appears to have learned from persons worthy of credit.—Verneuil was.surrounded with a wall, near which were built hulls, turned by a rivulet, which fell into the ditch of the place. An Englishman of the garrison kept a woinan,whoiu he suspected to have a connection with the miller of ooe of the mills. He picked a quarrel against the miller, under pretext of the guard of the town, due from the citizens, and F I treated treated this man exceedingly ill. The miller projected revenge, by delivery of the town to the French. He went to the bailiff of Evereux, Robert de Flogues, and proposed to introduce him into the place. Flogues twice refused, from fear of some treachery; but the milTer pressing the matter, he at last agreed. The miller, as generous as vindictive, asked no other recompence than the honour of having se'ived the king; but, added he, I require one conditicm, it is, that when the town is taken, no Frenchman shall receive any damage.
Flogues arranged matters witii the Count de Dunois, and ordered the seneschal of Poitou, Pierre de Breze, to bring him some troops. To conceal the design, the Count de Dunois and Flogues, pretended to have a hunting party in the forest of Couches, uear Verneuil. Their wives.who were sisters.came there, and there was much hunting with great splendour. They fixed on the night of the 19th or 20th of July for the execution of their project.
The miller in the mean while obtained an associate. As the 20th of July was a Sunday, they had a pretence for letting the water run (on Saturday) because they could not grind the next day. One of them went to fetch the soldiers, concealed in the forest, the other remained watching upon the wall, and advised the English, who were on guard at that place, to go at break of day to hear mass. Brezl then arrived with the soldiers, who threw themselves into the foss. He was on foot at their head: but having hit boots on, which were large and heavy, they were buried in the mud to such a degree, that lie could not remove th.em; he left them behind, and gained and scaled the wall,* followed by his people: nobody was present to repel thcm,f they descended into the high-street, holding their swords drawn in their hands, but concealed under their cloaks, and advising the inhabitants in u low voice, to keep within their houses, and they would do them no harm. One person had the imprudence to attempt resistance and was killed upon the spot.
The French, arrived at the gat*, opened it to the rest of their penile, who were on horseback. There ufre only one
• Hence it appears that the btmbatttc itatemmiof the modern day, are of ancient origin.
+ The passages in italics shew the unwary confession* of the author, and what absurdities be makes of trivial incidents.
hundredand twenty English in the place. Some were killed, or made prisoners in flying to the castle. The French, followed by the citizens, did not wait for scaling ladders, but clambered up the wall, one leaped armed as he was upon the drawbrirlge.though it was raised; and the English were obliged to fly to a tower, which could not be taken, but by famine. It surrendered at discretion, August 22, and the English were reduced to thirty wen. There were among them some banditti, whom the king had commanded them not to let escape; but having corrupted the ccntinels, they descended in the night by cords, and carried away a great deal of money. Florent d'lllien, who had the charge of the siege, was greatly reproached on this account.
[A liner picture, though unintended by the author, of the bravery of a handful of English overpowered by numbers, cannot be given; and the caution and corruption of the French, ill accords with the bombast of extraordinary exploits, in the affair of the boots, draw-bridge, &c]
Talbot, the English general, who was at Beaumont le Roger, heard of the capture of Verneuil, on the morrow; but having been told at Vandreuil, that the French were masters of the place, and that the Count de Dunois was arrived in force, he retreated to Neuborg. Dunois followed him, but could not prevent him from gaining Rouen. This retreat was very fine. Although the printed accounts speak of it, there are in the MSS. some differences and particularities.
The French were less successful at Pont Audemer. This town was only defended by a pallisade and a ditch, in which ran the river Rille. Brez<! attempted to carry it by a coup de main; but when he bad "arrived at the fauibaurg, he found that his men had deserted him to go and pillage. Notwithstanding this desertion, he passed the foss, tore up the palisades, and had entered the place, when the inhabitants rushed to repulse him. He found that he was almost alone, and was obliged to retire. Dunois upui wached to lay a regular siege. It might have lasted a'long tune, for a supply of money and troops had just arrived; but an accident expedited the surrender. The details ■re not given by any other writer. A young man, a relative of the Count of St. Paul, who was at the siege, attempting to imitate the Greek fire, had made a firework, which he discharged upon the town,without informing the generals of it. It fell upon a thatched roof, which immediate!/ date); took fire. The flame communicated to the neighbouring houses, and in an instant the distress was extreme. The besiegers prepared to lake advantage of it, and put an end to the affair. The Inhabitants cried at once—To the fire! To ana.'—some ran ta stop the progress of the flames; others to the pallisadet. The soldiers of Picurdy and the Pirja de Caus jumped into the river; their chiefs followed, they were up to their chin in water, and the current was rapid: but one supported the other, they climbed up the bunk, raised en dos ifuhc (like an ass's back) tore up the palltsadcs, and jumped down into the town, it Lace's length. * The English to the number of five hundred had no resource but to tly to a strong house, at the end of the town, and were very soon compelled to surrender.
Then follows an account nf the surrender of Mauli-s, which the Count de BreQoiguy notires to be a gross falsehood— tbU,lpassover,of course,to proceed to unpublished accountsof particular incidents.
Geffrey de Couvron, who commanded for the King of France at Coutances, and Joachim Konault at Saint Lo, at the head of two hundred horse and some infantry, went out at night and advanced tuthegar.es of Vire, which was then in the hands of the English. They were any Mar taking it; for towards eight in tbe rooming, they fell upon the man •bo was on guard at the gate, and overthrew Urn by the thrust of a lance, and cut off the arm of unothtr, who was attempting to raise the draw-bridge; but the in— hahkantsrunning up at the noise, obliged Iht French to retire! [Thus, more than Is* hadred men boast of having conleered ttco, but JUd before the uudisciafinedtowns-people.l The infantry halted ■ tbe Faubourg, whence they carried •way fan prisoners, by whom they learnas latt a party of three hundred English W left Vire on the preceding night. TatFrcadlrrtolvet] to lie in ambuscade to uirprhtt them on their return; but
SfWjf^g ^eiw long, wlicn the Eng^W^Hud surprised tbe French l^<WaHK> lEbtttult hesitated upon the
measurebe iiaaWlriif'lltl , f* cried
: It it no tinVfotfbJ&|gtite 'let us see
I kmt IhtftireMmStf^*:' nn expres
'ekiva&y coirirotf^ttlirnt age. He
this lance io the re Eoffiao, fcilowe
rfUshed upon Ins people.
Twenty-four English were killed, as many made prisoners, and the rest dispersed. His victory cost him dear. lis had with him the young Roisnivinen his nephew, who was bringing a prisoner. He had taken orV his helmet to breathe a moment; the perlidious prisoner seized the sword of Koisuivinen, whose head he saw disarmed, and killed him. Near thirty prisoners paid upon the spot with their lives, for this treachery.*
Blondel relates, the battle of Formigny in the same manner as the other Frenala historians, and he precisely agrees, with Matth. de Couci, concerning the number of dead on the side of the English, He makes them amount to three thousand, six hundred, and sixty-four men, whilst the French lost only twelve! The English, according to him, had in all seven thousand men, the French but three thousand, five hundred. The English writers pretend that the French were far superior in number, and that the Englisii had only five thousand, of which they lost only five hundred; but our author explains the cause, and the Count thinks he is the only writer, who does so. The wind was so high, that it quite blinded the eyes of the English with dust, and not only hindered them from aiming their blows, but impeded the flight of the arrows.
Passing by a variety of superstitious reasons assigned by the author for tbe ill success of the English, I proceed to the capture of Avranches, This was the first result of the battle of Formigny. The author gives some particulars, not to be found elsewhere. The Englisii governor, without hopes of succour, wishing to save the inhabitants from the dangerof storm, was resolved to surrender; but his wife,young and handsome, whose bravery equalled her charms, would not permit a place, impregnable on one side, protected on the other by high walls and deep ditches, and defended by a garrison of five hundred men, to surrender, without striking a blow! She quitted her female dress, put on a helmet, and cuirass, and with a truncheon in her hand, harangued the soldiers, went from house to house, to the citizens, even to the ee> clesiastics, and animated them with an ardour like her own. They engaged to
• We are not told, whethrr the English were cavalry or infantry. In those times, the former had infinite advantage over the latter j who could do nothing with them till dis*
defend themselves. In vain did tlie Duke of Brittany hatter the walls with a formidable artillery. Bern;; at tlie point of sapping them, and already master of the fort, the inhabitants demanded a capitulation ; then, this same heroine, pulled off her armour, clothed herself in her gayest dress, aided her natural charms by every possible art, and went to see the Duke of Brittany. Tliis prince who was of an ajje which favored the hopes which she had conceived, could not refuse to such a negociatrix, the favour which she asked. After this preamble (says the count shrew edly} one niight have expected better terms than marching out with a white staff in the hand, instead of a lance, and abandoning bag and baggage.
The capitulation of Bnyeux was nearly upon the same conditions. Mure than three hundred women went out, drawing behind them, or carrying their children. The French could not see such a sight without emotion! they gave them horses and carriages.
The English soon after further experienced the generosity of the French to their conquered enemies. Caen was surrendered 1st July, 1150. Somerset, who commanded thereJcft it,«ith his garrison of four thousand men, and went to sleep in a village, which he had before sacked and delivered to the flames. The inhabitants refused provisions and lodging to the English, shewing them the ruins of more than sixty of their burnt houses, and loading them with reproaches. The king was informed of it, and made them bring provisions, and provide them lodgings.
The town of Falaise was surrendered the next day; and "the deliverance of Talbot, prisoner in France, was one of the conditions of capitulation. He was one of the best English generals; and they strongly advised the King of France, to retain him; but such treachery would have been unworthy of him. He loaded Talbot with presents, and gave him his liberty. This general did not take advantage of it to resume his office; but went to Rome to profit by the indulgence of the Jubilee.
There remained but two places to subdue in all Normandy —Doinpont and Cherbourg. Dompont, according to our author, surrendered at the first attack; some writers say, notwithstanding, that it held out a siege of five days. Cherbourg a place so strong, that it was supposed it could not be taken but by famine, defended itself vigorously. But the French
placed a large piece of cannon* uport a spot, which the sea covered twice a day, and battered the walls on tlie weakest side. They took care at the return of every tide, to stop the mouth of the cannon with wax and pitch, and cover it with an entire piece of leather, so that the sea, in covering it, could not wet it. The effect of this battery was such, that at the first discharge a large part of the wall was thrown down, as well as a tower built upon an angle, which was on that side. The inhabitants were tcrnlied, and Thomas Ilowel, trhohadc murlt booty at sea, which lie nus afraid to lo»e, suirendered August 1'ith, 14:')0, upon condition, that they should liberate his sou, who remained as a hostage lor the capitulation of Rouen. Thus, says Blonde! in finishing, were more than thirty places, and all Normandy conquered in a year and six days. [A most unequivocal testimony of brave defence against an enemy at home.]
[Our historians observe, that affair, nexer went well alter the death of Card. Beaufort. The infancy and character of Henry VI. the squabbles of the courtiers during the regency, the intestine factions of York aild Lancaster did not however prevent a long and ledums war, with the Trench, on their own shores, and very superior numbers, ccc. It is sufficient to note, that they even needed the stimulus of fanaticism, ihel'ucclte, to make any exertion? at all. Our English officers uniformly admit the gallantry of the French: but, though they cannot take a ship, or conquer the British troops in equal numbers, St. Croix's continuator, mentions a j airiotic Abbe, who went to all the colVee-hooses in the l'u/ais jXnyal, perpetually declaiming that taehc thousand men, must be landed in England before it cjuld be conquered, whence he got the name of Abbe Douzc-mille homines. If three hundred British marines and afew Turks resisted the whole army of Buonaparte at Acre for tucnly-eight days, it is a matter of just doubt whether an equal regular army would not teach even this mighty general what Sieycs is said to have told him,that the "fitrs iiumlaires" would pluck the laurels from bis browi HoweverBuo *>parte is certainly to be acquitted of being the author of "bombastic statement;" this of the fifltlnth century being precisely so. It is the mat de l'"ys-]
• He m. ins a lomiard, a huge rr.ni m which shot enounout stent), sucb as those at Constantinople.