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SIR JOHN MOORE.Mr. Peel publishes the letters that passed between him and Mr. Fitzgerald while the election was pending, and from these it would appear that the latter thought the contest would be violent and exasperated. After the fight was over, he said he had polled the gentry to a man, and all the fifty-pound freeholders. The organisation which had been shown was so complete and formidable that no man could contemplate without alarm what was to follow in that wretched country. Mr. Peel observes:"The last letter of Mr. Fitzgerald is especially worthy of remark. Can there be a doubt that the example of the county would have been all-powerful in the case of every future election in Ireland for those counties in which a Roman Catholic constituency preponderated? It is true that Mr. O'Connell was the most formidable competitor whom Mr. Fitzgerald could have encountered; it is possible that that which took place in Clare would not have taken place had[276] any other man than Mr. O'Connell been the candidate; but he must be blind, indeed, to the natural progress of events, and to the influence of example, in times of public excitement, on the feelings and passions of men, who could cherish the delusive hope that the instrument of political power, shivered to atoms in the county of Clare, would still be wielded with effect in Cork or Galway.After the Picture by Clarkson Stanfield, R.A.

Whilst Cornwallis was pursuing Washington through the Jerseys, Clinton swept Rhode Island of the American troops, and drove Commodore Hopkins with some ships up Providence River, where he remained. Rhode Island, however, required a strong body of English soldiers constantly to defend it. Meanwhile Sir Guy Carleton, having destroyed the American flotilla on Lake Champlain, was daily expected to march from Crown Point and invest Ticonderoga, which was only fifteen miles distant, and where Schuyler lay prepared to abandon it on the approach of the English. But Carleton, who had displayed so much activity and energy, now, like the rest of our generals, seemed at once to abandon them at the decisive point. He descended the Champlain to Isle-aux-Noix, put his forces into winter quarters there, and proceeded himself to Quebec, to prepare for the next campaign. Thus ended the campaign of 1776.In 1823 we behold the starting-point of the liberal system of commercial policy, for which not only England, but all the world, is so much indebtedthe rivulet which gradually expanded into a mighty river bearing incalculable blessings upon its bosom to every nation under heaven. The appointment of Mr. Huskisson as a member of the Government was an immense advantage to the nation. He was a man of great abilities, which he had perseveringly devoted to the study of political economy. He was a complete master of all subjects in which statistics were involved, and was universally looked up to as the highest authority on all financial and commercial questions. As President of the Board of Trade he had ample opportunities of turning his knowledge to account, and to him is mainly due the initiation and direction of the course of commercial policy which a quarter of a century later issued in the complete triumph of Free Trade. Mr. Huskisson was not only intimately acquainted with the whole range of economic, financial, and mercantile subjects, in their details as well as in their principles, he was also a powerful debater, a sound reasoner, and was animated in all he did by a spirit of generous philanthropy. At the same time it is only just to point out that he did but carry out the policy of Mr. Wallace, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, a statesman whose name is almost forgotten.On the 27th of January Colonel Wardle, a militia officer, rose in his place in the House of Commons and made some startling charges against the Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief of the army. Wardle had been a zealous Conservative, but had now changed his politics, and was acting with the party of extreme Reformers headed by Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Folkestone, and others. His charge was that the Duke of York was keeping a mistress, named Mary Ann Clarke, a married woman, to the great scandal of the nation, and was allowing her to traffic in commissions and promotions in the army. Nor was this all; he asserted that, not in the army alone, but in the Church, this public adulteress was conferring promotions, through her influence with the Duke, and that she had quite a levee of clergy, who were soliciting and bribing her to procure livings and even bishoprics. These were sufficiently exciting statements, and the Colonel demanded a Committee of Inquiry to enable him to prove his assertions. Sir Francis Burdett seconded the motion; and the proposal was not metas it should have been by Ministers or the Duke's friendsby a denial, but, in general, by a eulogium on the Duke's excellent discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief. The House determined that, wherever the infamy was to fall, it should have the full airing of a committee of the whole House, which was appointed to commence its inquiries on Wednesday, the 1st of February, the Duke intimating, through his friends, that he was, on his part, desirous of the fullest investigation of the matter. From the evidence of Mrs. Clarke it appeared very clear that the Duke had permitted her to traffic in the sale of commissions, and both Mrs. Clarke and Mary Ann Taylor, whose brother was married to Mrs. Clarke's sister, asserted that the Duke had received part of the money for some of these bargains. Sums of one thousand pounds, of five hundred pounds, and two hundred pounds had been paid to her for such services.

Britain was anxiously appealed to for aid; but Pitt, who had raised so powerful an armament to check the attacks of Russia on Turkey, was not disposed to denounce the attempts of Russia on Poland. He might be blamed for refraining from exerting the moral power of Britain in condemnation of the unprincipled aggression of Russia, but he could not be expected to take arms in defence of Poland, so far removed from the influence of a maritime nation. Colonel Gardiner, our Minister at Warsaw, was instructed by our Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lord Grenville, to express a friendly interest towards Poland, but to take care to avoid raising hopes of assistance. The Poles, repelled by Prussia and Austria, and finding no warmth of sympathy in the agent of Britain, dispatched Count Bukaty in June to London to plead for aid. But Pitt was cold and immovable, though he saw with regret that the absorption of this large country, in the centre of Europe, would formidably increase that preponderance of Russia, which he had attempted to prevent when there was a question of the absorption of Turkey. He adopted an attitude of strict neutrality. No motion condemnatory of Russia's grasping schemes was made in Parliament; it seemed to Britain a matter of no moment that one of the chief nations of Europe should be torn in pieces by rapacious Powers, contrary to all moral and international law. The Whigs, those warm advocates of revolution and of popular freedom, were dumb. In fact, what could they say? Fox and his admirers had all along been lauding the Russian Empress as one of the greatest, ablest, and most innocent of monarchs, simply in opposition to Pitt and his endeavours to repress her schemes of aggrandisement. Fox had even sent Mr. Adair as his emissary to St. Petersburg, to congratulate her on her successes, and to assure her of the admiration of Englishmen. Such are the perversities into which men are driven by party spirit! At this very moment Fox and the Whigs were flattering and patting Catherine on the back, when her bandit armies had already their feet on the doomed soil of Poland, and they were still applauding the Revolutionists of France, when they were already beyond the Rhine, on that crusade of conquest which plunged Europe into more than twenty years of the most horrible bloodshed. They saw all this when too late. For the present, what was done for Poland was to call a meeting at the Mansion House and open a subscription for the suffering Poles.

Such was the battle of Dettingen, equally remarkable for the blunders of the generals and the valour of the men; still more so, as the last battle in which a King of England has commanded in[85] person. At Hanau, the army not only refreshed itself, but was joined by reinforcements, which rendered the Allies nearly equal in numbers to the French. Lord Stair, therefore, proposed to pass the Main, and make a second attack on the enemy. The king, however, would not consent. Stair, with all his bravery, had shown that he was very incautious. He was, moreover, of a most haughty temper, and had quarrelled violently with the Hanoverian officers, and displayed much contempt for the petty German princes. They were, therefore, by no means inclined to second his counsels, though they had fought gallantly at Dettingen. Stair complained loudly of the neglect to follow up the French, and resigned.

Groaned to be gone.The queen expired at seven o'clock on Sunday morning, the 1st of August, 1714, not having recovered sufficient consciousness to receive the Sacrament, or to sign her will. During her intervals of sense she is reported to have repeatedly exclaimed, "Oh, my brother, my dear brother, what will become of you!" She was still only in her fiftieth year, and the thirteenth of her reign. Bolingbroke wrote to Swift"The Earl of Oxford was removed on Tuesday, and the queen died on Sunday. What a world is this, and how does fortune banter us!"Mr. Canning had been offered the Governor-Generalship of India. Before his departure, he was resolved, if possible, to make a breach in the system of Parliamentary exclusiveness. On the 29th of March he gave notice of a motion to bring in a Bill for the admission of Roman Catholic peers to seats in Parliament, and on the following day supported it by a speech of great power of argument and brilliant eloquence, illustrating his position very happily from the case of the Duke of Norfolk, and his official connection with the ceremonial of the coronation. He asked, "Did it ever occur to the representatives of Europe, when contemplating this animating spectacledid it occur to the ambassadors of Catholic Austria, of Catholic France, or of states more bigoted in matters of religionthat the moment this ceremony was over the Duke of Norfolk would become disseized of the exercise of his privileges amongst his fellow peers?that his robes of ceremony were to be laid aside and hung up until the distant (be it a very distant!) day when the coronation of a successor to his present most gracious Sovereign might again call him forth to assist at a similar solemnisation?that, after being thus exhibited to the eyes of the peers and people of England, and to the representatives of the princes and nations of the world, the Duke of Norfolkhighest in rank amongst the peersthe Lord Clifford, and others like him, representing a long line of illustrious ancestry, as if called forth and furnished for the occasion, like the lustres and banners that flamed and glittered in the scene, were to be, like them, thrown by as useless and trumpery formalities?that they might bend the knee and kiss the hand, that they might bear the train or rear the canopy, might discharge the offices assigned by Roman pride to their barbarian ancestors

In this Session the first step was taken in one of the greatest achievements of humanity which adorn the name of Britain. It was the grand preliminary towards annihilating the slave trade. The spirit of revolt against this odious trade had been gaining rapidly in the British mind. One of the earliest stabs given to it was by the pathetic story of Inkle and Yarico, in the "History of Barbadoes," by Lygon, which was taken up and amplified in the Spectator, and afterwards elaborated into an effective drama by Colman. Defoe, Dr. Johnson, Warburton in his "Divine Legation of Moses," and in his sermons so early as 1766, Voltaire, and other writers, had diffused a strong and sound feeling on the subject. It had been early attempted to establish the legal maxim, that a slave becomes a freed man in England; but in 1729 this had been positively pronounced against by Talbot and Yorke, then the highest legal authorities. But a more successful essay was made by Granville Sharp in 1772, in the case of James Somerset, and the principle was established, that the moment a slave set his foot on English ground he became free. In 1782 the Friends presented a petition to Parliament for the abolition of the slave trade. In 1785 Thomas Clarkson, then a student at the University of Cambridge, competed for and won the first prize for an essay on "The Slavery and Commerce in the Human Species," and this, which was undertaken as an academical exercise, led him to devote himself to the great work of the utter extinction of this evil. Mr. Ramsay, a clergyman of Kent, who had lived in St. Kitts, published a pamphlet on the same subject. The friends of Ramsay, Lady Middleton and Mrs. Bouverie, became zealous advocates of the cause, and finally Wilberforce resolved to make it the great object of his life. A society was now established in London, consisting only originally of twelve individuals, including the benevolent Mr. Thornton, and having Granville Sharp for its chairman. The members, however, were opulent merchants and bankers, and they set agents to work to collect information on the subject. The feeling rapidly spread; committees were formed in Manchester and other provincial towns for co-operation.

On the 22nd of April Mr. O'Connell brought forward a very comprehensive motion. It was for a select committee to inquire and report on the means by which the destruction of the Irish Parliament had been effected; on the results of the union upon Ireland, and upon the labourers in husbandry and operatives in manufactures in England; and on the probable consequences of[371] continuing the Legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland. This motion originated a debate on the Repeal question which lasted four days. O'Connell himself spoke for six hours. The debate was chiefly memorable for a speech of Mr. Spring-Rice, in defence of the union, which also occupied six hours in the delivery. He concluded by proposing an amendment to the effect that an Address should be presented to the king by both Houses of Parliament, expressing their determination to maintain the Legislative union inviolate. In a very full House the amendment was carried by an overwhelming majority, the numbers being for, 523; against, 38. Mr. Spring-Rice's speech served the Government materially, while by the Conservatives it was regarded as "a damper" to their own hopes.Grenville, chagrined as he was, still clung to the Government, and called in the Duke of Bedford as President of the Council, Lord Sandwich as Secretary of State. Lord Hillsborough succeeded Lord Shelburne at the Board of Trade. Such was the Government which was to supersede the necessity of Pitt; Lord Chesterfield declaring that they could not meet the Parliament, for that they had not a man in the Commons who had either abilities or words enough to call a coach.The Irish Bill was read a second time in the House of Lords on the 23rd of July. It was strongly opposed by the Duke of Wellington, as transferring the electoral power of the country from the Protestants to the Roman Catholics. Lord Plunket, in reply, said, "One fact, I think, ought to satisfy every man, not determined against conviction, of its wisdom and necessity. What will the House think when I inform them that the representatives of seventeen of those boroughs, containing a population of 170,000 souls, are nominated by precisely seventeen persons? Yet, by putting an end to this iniquitous and disgraceful system, we are, forsooth, violating the articles of the union, and overturning the Protestant institutions of the country! This is ratiocination and statesmanlike loftiness of vision with a vengeance! Then it seems that besides violating the union Act we are departing from the principles of the measure of 1829. I deny that. I also deny the assumption of the noble Duke, that the forty-shilling freeholders were disfranchised on that occasion merely for the purpose of maintaining the Protestant interests in Ireland. The forty-shilling freeholders were disfranchised, not because they were what are called 'Popish electors,' but because they were in such indigent circumstances as precluded their exercising their[353] suffrage right independently and as free agentsbecause they were an incapable constituency." The Bill, after being considered in committee, where it encountered violent opposition, was passed by the Lords on the 30th of July, and received the Royal Assent by commission on the 7th of August.

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Both Houses adjourned, by successive motions, to the 10th of March; they then met, and were informed by the Lord Chancellor that, by the blessing of Providence, his Majesty being recovered from his severe indisposition, and able to attend to the public affairs of his kingdom, had issued a commission authorising the holding and continuing of Parliament; and the commission having been read, the Chancellor declared himself commanded to convey to them his Majesty's warmest acknowledgments for the additional proofs they had given of their attachment to his person. Addresses were then moved, as at the commencement of a Session, by both Houses, and also addresses of congratulation to her Majesty the queen; and the same evening the capital was illuminated, and the most sincere joy was evidenced in the happy event of the royal convalescence. On the 8th of April Pitt informed the House that the king had appointed Thursday, the 23rd of that month, as a day of public thanksgiving for his recovery, and that it was his Majesty's intention to go in procession to St. Paul's Cathedral on that day, to return thanks to Almighty God. The House voted thanks for his Majesty's having taken measures for their accommodation on the occasion, and passed a resolution to attend.

We must return from victory abroad to discontent at home. On the 28th of January, 1817, the Prince Regent opened the fifth Session of Parliament. In his speech he expressed indignation at "the attempts which had been made to take advantage of the distresses of the country for the purpose of exciting a spirit of sedition and violence;" and he declared himself determined to put down these attempts by stern measures. The seconder of the Address in the Commons had the good sense to believe that the demagogues and their acts would die of themselves. Certainly, if the demagogues had no cause on which to base their efforts, those efforts must have proved fruitless; and the wisdom of Government consisted in seriously inquiring whether there were such causes. To attempt to insure peace by smothering distress is the old remedy of tyrants, and is like heaping fuel on fire to put it out. Whilst this debate was proceeding, a message arrived from the Lords to announce that the Regent, on his return from the House, had been insulted, and some missile thrown through the windows of his carriage. The House agreed upon an Address to the Regent on this event, and then adjourned.There was no difficulty in these negotiations as to the full and entire recognition of the independence of the States. The difficult points were but twoone regarding the fishery, and the other regarding the interests of the Royalists or Tories. The British Commissioners stood out strongly for the free permission of all who had been engaged in the war on the English side to return to their homes, and for the restitution of all property confiscated in consequence of such partisanship. The American Commissioners endeavoured to meet this demand by saying the recommendations of Congress would have all the effect that the English proposed. This the Commissioners regarded as so many words, and they insisted so determinedly on this head, that it appeared likely the negotiation would be broken off altogether. At last Franklin said they would consent to allow for all losses suffered by the Royalists, on condition that a debtor and a creditor account was opened, and recompense made for the damages done by the Royalists on the other side; commissioners to be appointed for the purpose of settling all those claims. The English envoys saw at once that this was a deception, that there would be no meeting, or no use in meeting, and they therefore abandoned the point; and the question of the fishing being in part conceded, the provisional articles were signed on the 30th of November, by the four American Commissioners on the one side, and by Mr. Oswald on the other. In the preamble it was stated[298] that these articles were to be inserted in, and to constitute, a treaty of peace, but that the treaty was not to be concluded until the terms of peace had also been settled with France and Spain.

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