Parliament was suddenly dissolved by the All the Talents Ministry, in the hope of acquiring a better majority, but this hope was not brilliantly realised. The new Parliament assembled on the 19th of December, and, as all now saw that war must go on, both Houses prepared themselves for large votes of supply. According to Windham's statement, we had 125,631 regulars in the army, of whom 79,158 were employed in defending our West India Islands, 25,000 in India, and upwards of 21,000 foreigners in our pay. Besides this, for home defence we had 94,000 militia and fencibles, and 200,000 volunteers; so that altogether we had 419,000 men under arms. It was, therefore, contended, and with reason, that as we had so deeply engaged ourselves in fighting for our Allies on the Continent, with such a force we might have sent 20,000, with good effect, to unite with Alexander of Russia against Buonaparte, and not have let him be repulsed for want of both men and money. This, indeed, was the disgrace of All the Talents, that they put the country to the expense of an enormous war establishment, and did no real service with it. The supplies, however, were freely voted. There were granted, for the navy, 17,400,337; for the regular army, 11,305,387; for militia, fencibles, volunteers, etc., 4,203,327; ordnance, 3,321,216. The number of sailors, including 32,000 marines, was fixed at 130,000.

The British Parliament met on the 21st of January, 1794. The Opposition, on the question of the Address, made a strong remonstrance against the prosecution of the war. They urged the miserable conduct of it, and the failures of the Allies, as arguments for peace. They did not discourage the maintenance of a proper system of self-defence, and therefore acceded to the demands of Ministers for raising the navy to eighty-five thousand men. The production of the Budget by Pitt, on the 2nd of February, gave additional force to their appeals for peace. He stated that the military force of England, including fencibles and volunteers, amounted to a hundred and forty thousand men, and he called for nineteen million nine hundred and thirty-nine thousand pounds for the maintenance of this force, and for the payment of sixty thousand German troops. Besides this, he asked for a loan of eleven million pounds, as well as for the imposition of new taxes. This was an advance in annual expenditure of fifteen million pounds more than only two years ago; and when the manner in which the money was spent was inquired into, the objections became far more serious. It thus appeared that we were not only fighting for Holland and Belgium, but that we were subsidising German princes to fight their own battles. There had been a large subsidy to the King of Prussia, to assist him, in reality, to destroy Poland. We were, in fact, on the threshold of that system of Pitt's, by which Britain engaged to do battle all over Europe with money as well as with men. But remonstrance was in vain. Fox, Grey, and Sheridan, and their party in the Commons, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Bedford, and the Whigs in the Peers, made amendment after amendment on these points, but were overwhelmed by Pitt's majorities. Burke, in the Commons, was frantic in advocacy of war, because France was revolutionary and impious. In Massachusetts the colonists were more exasperated against Governor Bernard, on account of his letters reflecting on the Bostonians in the matter of the late riots, these letters having been laid before Parliament, and copies of them by some means procured and sent on by their agents. They declared that it was beneath their dignity to deliberate in the midst of an armed force, and requested Bernard to withdraw the troops, but he refused; and they, on their part, declined to vote supplies, on which he adjourned them to Cambridge. There, however, as Cambridge was only separated from Boston by an arm of the sea, they continued to protest against an armed force, as an invasion of the national rights of the colonists, and highly dangerous. Bernard soon announced to them his intention to sail for England, to lay the state of the colony before the king, and the house immediately voted a petition to his Majesty, praying him to keep him from coming back again. Bernard then called upon them to refund the money expended for the quartering of the troops; but that they pronounced quite as unreasonable as the Stamp Act, and finding them utterly intractable, Bernard prorogued the Assembly, and quitted the colony, leaving the administration in the hands of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson.

In Parliament, business was brought almost to a stand by the neutralising influences of the partisans of "All the Talents." Excepting on one or two points, no great majority could be obtained on any question. There was an attempt to censure the introduction of Lord Ellenborough, as Chief Justice of the King's Bench, into the Cabinet. It was contended that it was contrary to the principle, if not the letter, of the Constitution; that, besides a judge having enough to do on the Bench, he would have to sit as a judge on such appeals to the Privy Council which might be made thither against his own decisions; that, moreover, Lord Ellenborough had suddenly changed the whole principles of his life for the sake of advancement, and in the practice of his court had, by the most rude and insolent language, never hesitated to carry causes in favour of the Government and against the popular liberties. On the part of Government it was argued that, both in Queen Anne's reign and in that of George II., the Chief Justices had had a place in the Cabinet; and the subject was evaded by carrying the previous question.

During the months of April and May Florence and all the other towns of Tuscany recovered from the revolutionary fever, and returned to their allegiance. At Bologna the Austrians met with a determined resistance. The garrison consisted of 3,000 men, including some hundreds of the Swiss Guards, who had abandoned the service of the Pope. They defied the Austrians, stating that the Madonna was all for resistance, and was actively engaged in turning aside the rockets of the enemy. But the heavy artillery did its deadly work notwithstanding; and after a short bombardment the white flag was hung out, the city capitulated, and the garrison laid down their arms, but were permitted to march out unmolested. Ancona also capitulated on the 10th, and Ferrara was occupied without resistance by Count Thurn. In fact, the counter-revolution was successful all over Central Italy, except in the Papal States, which now became the centre of universal interest. The leaders of the revolutionary party, chased from the other cities of Italy, were warmly welcomed at Rome, and gladly entered the ranks of its defenders.

But this prosperity lay only on the surface, and scarcely even there or anywhere but in the pride and lying assertions of Buonaparte. If we contemplate merely the map of Europe, the mighty expanse of the French empire seemed to occupy nearly the whole of it, and to offer an awful spectacle of one man's power. This empire, so rapidly erected, had absorbed Holland, Belgium, part of Switzerlandfor the Valais was united to France,a considerable part of Germany, with Austria and Prussia diminished and trembling at the haughty usurper. Italy was also made part of the great French realm, and a fierce struggle was going on for the incorporation of Spain and Portugal. From Travemünde on the Baltic to the foot of the Pyrenees, from the port of Brest to Terracina on the confines of Neapolitan territory, north and south, east and west, extended this gigantic empire. Eight hundred thousand square miles, containing eighty-five millions of people, were either the direct subjects or the vassals of France. The survey was enough to inflate the pride of the conqueror, who had begun his wonderful career as a lieutenant of artillery. But this vast dominion had been compacted by too much violence, and in outrage to too many human interests, to remain united, or to possess real strength, even for the present. The elements of dissolution were already actively at work in it. The enormous drafts of men to supply the wars by which the empire had been created had terribly exhausted France. This drain, still kept up by the obstinate resistance of Spain and Portugal, necessitated conscription on conscription, and this on the most enormous scale. The young men were annually dragged from the towns, villages, and fields, from amid their weeping and despairing relatives, to recruit the profuse destruction in the armies, and there scarcely remained, all over France, any but mere boys to continue the trade and agriculture of the country, assisted by old men, and women. Beyond the boundaries of France, the populations of subdued and insulted nations were watching for the opportunity to rise and resume their rights. In Germany they were encouraging each other to prepare for the day of retribution; and in numerous places along the coasts bands of smugglers kept up a continual warfare with the French officers of the customs, to introduce British manufactures. The contributions which had been levied in Holland and the Hanse Towns before they were incorporated in the Gallic empire were now not readily collected in the shape of taxes. Beyond the Continent ceased the power of Napoleon; over all seas and colonies reigned his invincible enemy, Great Britain. There was scarcely a spot the wide world over where the French flag, or those of the nations whom he had crushed into an odious alliance, waved on which Great Britain had not now planted her colours. She cut off all colonial supplies, except what she secretly sold to his subjects in defiance of his system. She was now victoriously bearing up his enemies in Spain,[21] Portugal, and Sicily against him, and encouraging Russia, Sweden, Prussia, and Austria to expect the day of his final overthrow. There was scarcely a man of any penetration who expected that this vast and unwieldy government could continue to exist a single day after him who had compelled it into union, rather than life; but, perhaps, none suspected how suddenly it would collapse. Yet the very birth of a son was rather calculated to undermine than to perpetuate it. His great generals, who had risen as he had risen, were suspected of looking forward, like those of Alexander of Macedon, to each seizing a kingdom for himself when the chief marauder should fall. It was certain that they had long been at enmity amongst themselvesa cause of weakness to his military operations, which was especially marked in Spain.