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Whilst these operations were going on the British blockading squadrons rode in every American port and completely obstructed all commerce. Their vessels ascended many of the rivers, especially the Chesapeake and its tributaries. At the end of June Sir S. Beckwith landed, from the squadron of Admiral Cockburn, at Hampton, in Virginia, where the Americans had a fortified camp, and drove them out of it, and captured all their batteries. In the following month Admiral Cockburn visited the coasts of North Carolina and seized the islands, towns, and ports of Portsmouth and Ocracoke. The complaints of the Americans of the miseries of this state of blockade began very unpleasantly to reach the ears of President Madison.After the reports that had gone abroad, to the effect that the Government were about to settle the question, and that they had even prepared a Bill on the subject, this letter from the Prime Minister to the Roman Catholic Primate was most disappointing. Besides, it was absurd to expect that the subject could be buried in oblivion. The Duke, no doubt, had in his mind the difficulty with the king, and the excitement of Protestant feeling in England, which was exasperated by the violence of the debates in the Catholic Association, and the tone of menace and defiance which that body had assumed. This obstacle was not lessened by the letter in question, the purport of which was communicated to Mr. O'Connell, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant. The latter wrote an admirable letter in reply, which led to serious consequences. On the 22nd of December Dr. Curtis sent him the Duke's letter, and a copy of his own answer to it. He acknowledged that it conveyed information which he had not himself received, though entitled, from his position, to receive it first. He then frankly offered his opinion as to the course which it behoved the Catholics to pursue. He was perfectly convinced that the final and cordial settlement of the question could alone give peace, harmony, and prosperity to all classes of his Majesty's subjects. He advised that the Duke of Wellington should by every means be propitiated; for if any man could carry the measure, it was he. All personal and offensive insinuations should therefore be suppressed, and ample allowance should be made for the difficulties of his situation. "Difficult," said Lord Anglesey, "it certainly is; for he has to overcome the very strong prejudices and the interested motives of many persons of the highest influence, as well as allay the real alarm of many of the more ignorant Protestants." As to burying in oblivion the question for a short time, the Viceroy considered the thing utterly impossible, and, if possible, not at all desirable. He recommended, on the contrary, that all constitutional means should be used to forward the cause, coupled with the utmost forbearance, and the most submissive obedience to the law. Personality offered no advantage. It offended those who could assist, and confirmed predisposed aversion. "Let the Catholic," said his lordship, "trust to the justice of his cause, and to the growing liberality of mankind. Unfortunately, he has lost some friends, and fortified enemies, during the last six months, by unwearied and unnecessary violence. Brute force, he should be assured, can effect nothing. It is the legislature that must decide this great question, and my anxiety is that it should be met by the Parliament under the most favourable circumstances, and that the opposers of Catholic Emancipation shall be disarmed by the patient forbearance as well as by the unwearied perseverance of its advocates."

In Ireland the bulk of the population had been left to the Catholic pastors, who were maintained by their flocks, the property of the Catholic Church having been long transferred by Act of Parliament to the Church of England, or, as it was called, the sister Church of Ireland. The number of parishes in Ireland had been originally only two thousand four hundred and thirty-six, though the population at that time was half that of England; but in 1807 Mr. Wickham stated that, in 1803, these had been consolidated, and reduced to one thousand one hundred and eighty-three. In some of these parishes in the south of Ireland, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the incomes amounted to one thousand pounds, to one thousand five hundred pounds, and even to three thousand pounds a year; yet that in a considerable number of these highly endowed parishes there was no church whatever. In others there were churches but no Protestant pastors, because there were no Protestants. The provision for religious instruction went wholly, in these cases, to support non-resident, and often very irreligious, clergymen. In fact, no truly religious clergyman ever could[171] hold such a living. The livings were, in fact, looked upon as sinecures to be conferred by Ministers on their relatives or Parliamentary supporters. It was stated that out of one thousand one hundred and eighty-three benefices in Ireland, two hundred and thirty-three were wholly without churches; and Mr. Fitzgerald said, "that where parishes had been consolidated, the services rendered to the people by their clergyman had been diminished in proportion as his income had been augmented; for no place of religious worship was provided within the reach of the inhabitants; nor could such parishioners obtain baptism for their children, or the other rites of the Church; and the consequence was that the Protestant inhabitants, in such places, had disappeared."On arriving in Paris, the Emperor Alexander took up his quarters at the house of Talleyrand, and there the King of Prussia, Prince Schwarzenberg and others came to consult. Talleyrand now spoke out, and declared that it would be madness to treat with Buonaparte; the only course was to restore the Bourbons, under certain limits. As early as the 12th of March the Duke of Angoulme had entered Bourdeaux, and had there proclaimed, amid acclamations, Louis XVIII. The Comte d'Artois came along in the rear of the Allied army, and had everywhere issued printed circulars, calling on the people to unite under their ancient family, and have no more tyranny, no more war, no more conscriptions. This paper had also been extensively circulated in Paris. On the 1st of April the walls of Paris were everywhere placarded by two proclamations, side by side, one from the Emperor Alexander, declaring that the Allied sovereigns would no longer negotiate with Napoleon nor any of his family, and the other from the municipality of Paris, declaring that, in consequence of the tyranny of Napoleon, they had renounced the allegiance of the usurper, and returned to that of their legitimate sovereign. On the same day the Senate, under the guidance of Talleyrand, decreed that he had violated and suppressed the constitution which he had sworn to maintain; had chained up the press, and employed it to disseminate his own false statements; drained the nation, and exhausted its people and resources in wars of mere personal ambition; and, finally, had refused to treat on honourable conditions: for these and other plentifully-supplied causes, he had ceased to reign, and the nation was therefore absolved from all oaths sworn to him. This decree, on the 2nd and 3rd of April, was subscribed by the public bodies in and around Paris. A Provisional Government was appointed.After the reports that had gone abroad, to the effect that the Government were about to settle the question, and that they had even prepared a Bill on the subject, this letter from the Prime Minister to the Roman Catholic Primate was most disappointing. Besides, it was absurd to expect that the subject could be buried in oblivion. The Duke, no doubt, had in his mind the difficulty with the king, and the excitement of Protestant feeling in England, which was exasperated by the violence of the debates in the Catholic Association, and the tone of menace and defiance which that body had assumed. This obstacle was not lessened by the letter in question, the purport of which was communicated to Mr. O'Connell, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant. The latter wrote an admirable letter in reply, which led to serious consequences. On the 22nd of December Dr. Curtis sent him the Duke's letter, and a copy of his own answer to it. He acknowledged that it conveyed information which he had not himself received, though entitled, from his position, to receive it first. He then frankly offered his opinion as to the course which it behoved the Catholics to pursue. He was perfectly convinced that the final and cordial settlement of the question could alone give peace, harmony, and prosperity to all classes of his Majesty's subjects. He advised that the Duke of Wellington should by every means be propitiated; for if any man could carry the measure, it was he. All personal and offensive insinuations should therefore be suppressed, and ample allowance should be made for the difficulties of his situation. "Difficult," said Lord Anglesey, "it certainly is; for he has to overcome the very strong prejudices and the interested motives of many persons of the highest influence, as well as allay the real alarm of many of the more ignorant Protestants." As to burying in oblivion the question for a short time, the Viceroy considered the thing utterly impossible, and, if possible, not at all desirable. He recommended, on the contrary, that all constitutional means should be used to forward the cause, coupled with the utmost forbearance, and the most submissive obedience to the law. Personality offered no advantage. It offended those who could assist, and confirmed predisposed aversion. "Let the Catholic," said his lordship, "trust to the justice of his cause, and to the growing liberality of mankind. Unfortunately, he has lost some friends, and fortified enemies, during the last six months, by unwearied and unnecessary violence. Brute force, he should be assured, can effect nothing. It is the legislature that must decide this great question, and my anxiety is that it should be met by the Parliament under the most favourable circumstances, and that the opposers of Catholic Emancipation shall be disarmed by the patient forbearance as well as by the unwearied perseverance of its advocates."

But the Czarina, though mistress of Oczakoff, was far from the end of her designs. She contemplated nothing but the subjugation of the Turkish empire. For this purpose she determined to excite insurrection in all the tributary states of that empire. Her agents had excited the Montenegrins to an outbreak; they had prepared the Greeks for the same experiment, and the Mameluke Beys in Egypt. She determined to send a powerful fleet into the Mediterranean to co-operate with these insurgents, to seize on the island of Crete, to ravage the coasts of Thrace and Asia Minor, and to force the passage of the Dardanelles, or, if that were not practicable, to blockade them. Thus opening the communication between her forces in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea, she considered that Turkey would lie helpless at her feet. To give the necessary ascendency to her fleet, she had long been encouraging English naval officers to take commands in it. At the famous battle of Chesm, it was the British Admirals Elphinstone, Greig, and others who had made Potemkin victorious. Greig was now at the head of the fleet that was being prepared at Cronstadt for this Mediterranean enterprise. She had also managed to engage eighteen British ships to serve as transports of troops, artillery, and stores.

On the 1st of March Mr. Villiers, adhering to his principle, brought forward the last of those annual motions for immediate repeal which had contributed so powerfully to undermine the Corn Laws. After a spirited debate of two evenings, in the course of which Mr. Cobden warned the monopolist party that a protracted resistance would compel the Anti-Corn-Law League to maintain its agitation and concentrate its energies, the House rejected the motion by a majority of 267 to 78."London, December 28, 1828.

Nelson, having blockaded the port of Alexandria, sailed to Naples to repair. There he received the news of the intense rejoicing his victory had spread through England, and that he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile. He found Ferdinand of Naples already collecting an army to drive the French from Rome and Tuscany. Austria, Switzerland, and other countries were again in arms. The Treaty of Campo Formio was at an end by the French violation of it everywhere, and as it was supposed that Buonaparte would never be allowed to get back again, the spirit of Europe had revived. Nelson, allowing himself as little repose as possible, in November had made himself master of the Island of Gozo, separated only by a narrow channel from Malta. He had blockaded Malta itself, and it must soon surrender. Pitt, elated by Nelson's success, and in consequence of the death of the old czarina, Catherine, some two years earlier, now entered into a treaty with her successor, Paul, who was subsidised by a hundred and twelve thousand pounds a month, and great expectations were raised of the effect of his victorious general, Suvaroff, leading an army into Italy. The other members of the second grand coalition were Austria, the Princes of Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. Prussia weakly held aloof. When the British Parliament met on the 20th of November, the late victory and this new alliance with Russia were the themes of congratulation from the throne. Twenty-nine million two hundred and seventy-two thousand pounds were granted with alacrity for the ensuing year, and the nation willingly submitted to the imposition of a new impostthe income tax.

Amongst the fine arts, the first to which we direct attention, that is, music, was warmly patronised by the Royal Family, and therefore maintained the status which it had acquired in the last reign, though it produced no great original genius. Church music continued to be cultivated, and the anthems of Kent, published in 1773, and those of Nares, published in 1778, were of much merit. To these we may add the services and anthems of Doctors Hayes, Dupuis, Arnold, Cooke, Ayrton, and of Mr. Battishill. The "Shunamite Woman," an oratorio by Arnold, appeared at a later date, as well as the anthems and services of Dr. Whitfield.[52]On the 1st of March Sir Francis Burdett presented a Catholic petition, and in a speech of great eloquence and force moved for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the grievances of which it complained. The question thus brought before the House of Commons was one on which the Cabinet was divided. Canning had come down to the House from a sick bed, and on a crutch, to give his support to the motion. Plunket delivered one of his most powerful speeches on the same side. Peel took upon himself the heavy task of replying to both. He was supported by Mr. Leslie Foster. Brougham closed the debate; and the motion was carried by a majority of thirteen, amid loud cheers. Resolutions were adopted, and a Bill founded upon them passed the Commons, but it was lost in the Upper House, where it was thrown out, on the 19th of May, by a majority of sixty-five. It was on that occasion that the Duke of York, then heir presumptive to the Throne, made the celebrated declaration against all concession to the Catholics, which excited against him intense animosity in Ireland. At the conclusion of a vehement speech he said:"If I have expressed myself warmly, especially in the latter part of what I have said, I must appeal to your lordships' generosity. I feel the subject most forcibly; but it affects me the more deeply when I recollect that to its agitation must be ascribed that severe illness and[252] ten years of misery which had clouded the existence of my beloved father. I shall therefore conclude with assuring your lordships that I have uttered my honest and conscientious sentiments, founded upon principles I have imbibed from my earliest youth, to the justice of which I have subscribed after careful consideration in maturer years; and these are the principles to which I will adhere, and which I will maintain, and that up to the latest moment of my existence, whatever may be my situation of life, so help me God!"

[See larger version]After a week's popular tumult in his capital, the King's eyes were opened, and he conceived the idea of putting himself at the head of the popular movement, with a view, no doubt, of directing and controlling it. On the 18th of March he issued an ordinance against convoking a meeting of the Diet which had closed its Session only a fortnight before. In this document he stated that he demanded that Germany should be transformed from a confederation of States to one Federal State, with constitutional representation, a general military system after the Prussian model, a single Federal banner, a common law of settlement for all Germany, and the right of all Germans to change their abode in every part of the Fatherland, with the abolition of all custom-house barriers to commercial intercourse, with uniformity of weights, measures, and coinage, and liberty of the press throughout Germany. Thereby he placed himself at the head of the United Germany movement.

THE MOB RELEASING MR. WILKES ON HIS WAY TO PRISON. (See p. 193.)Jellacic, the Ban, or Governor, of Croatia, resolved to hold a Slavonic Diet at Agram on the 5th of June; but it was forbidden as illegal by the Austrian Government, and the Ban was summoned to Innsbruck to explain his conduct to the emperor. He disobeyed the summons. The Diet was held, and one of its principal acts was to confer upon Jellacic the title of Ban, which he had held under the now repudiated authority of the emperor. He was consequently denounced as a rebel, and divested of all his titles and offices. The emperor proceeded to restore his authority by force of arms. Carlowitz was bombarded, and converted into a heap of ruins; and other cities surrendered to escape a similar fate. It was not, however, from disloyalty to the imperial throne, but from hostility to the ascendency of Hungary, that the Ban had taken up arms. He therefore went to Innsbruck early in July, and having obtained an interview with the emperor, he declared his loyalty to the Sovereign, and made known the grievances which his nation endured under the Hungarian Government. His demands were security and equality of rights with the Hungarians, both in the Hungarian Diet and in[579] the administration. These conditions were profoundly resented by the Magyars, who, headed by Count Batthyny and Louis Kossuth, had in 1847 extorted a Constitution from the emperor. It was the unfortunate antipathy of races, excited by the Germanic and Pan-Slavonic movements, that enabled the emperor to divide and conquer. The Archduke Stephen in opening the Hungarian Diet indignantly repelled the insinuation that either the king or any of the royal family could give the slightest encouragement to the Ban of Croatia in his hostile proceedings against Hungary. Yet, on the 30th of September following, letters which had been intercepted by the Hungarians were published at Vienna, completely compromising the emperor, and revealing a disgraceful conspiracy which he appears to have entered into with Jellacic, when they met at Innsbruck. Not only were the barbarous Croatians, in their devastating aggression on Hungary, encouraged by the emperor while professing to deplore and condemn them, but the Imperial Government were secretly supplying the Ban with money for carrying on the war. Early in August the Croatian troops laid siege to several of the most important cities in Hungary, and laid waste some of the richest districts in that country. In these circumstances the Diet voted that a deputation of twenty-five members should proceed at once to Vienna, and make an appeal to the National Assembly for aid against the Croats, who were now rapidly overrunning the country under Jellacic, who proclaimed that he was about to rid Hungary "from the yoke of an incapable, odious, and rebel Government." The deputation went to Vienna, and the Assembly, by a majority of 186 to 108, resolved to refuse it a hearing. Deeply mortified at this insult, the Hungarians resolved to break completely with Austria. They invested Kossuth with full powers as Dictator, whereupon the Archduke resigned his vice-royalty on the 25th of September, and retired to Moravia.

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Chatham, undeterred by the fate of his motion, determined to make one more effort, and bring in a Bill for the pacification of the colonies, and he called upon Franklin to assist in framing it. On the following Tuesday, Franklin hurried down to Hayes with the draft of the Bill left with him, and with his full approbation of it, having, he says, only added one word, that of "constitutions" after "charters." The next day (Wednesday), the 1st of February, Chatham appeared in the House of Lords with his Bill. He declared that it was a[215] Bill not merely of concession, but of assertion, and he called on the Lords to entertain it cordially, to correct its crudenesses, and pass it for the peace of the whole empire. The Bill first explicitly asserted our supreme power over the colonies; it declared that all that related to the disposing of the army belonged to the prerogative of the Crown, but that no armed force could be lawfully employed against the rights and liberties of the inhabitants; that no tax, or tollage, or other charge for the revenue, should be levied without the consent of the provincial Assemblies. The Acts of Parliament relating to America passed since 1764 were wholly repealed; the judges were made permanent during their good behaviour, and the Charters and constitutions of the several provinces were not to be infringed or set aside, unless upon some valid ground of forfeiture. All these concessions were, of course, made conditional on the recognition by the colonies of the supreme authority of Parliament.

Contemporary with Cowper was Mrs. Tighe, the author of "Psyche," an allegorical poem, in which the beauty of the sentiment made acceptable that almost exploded form of composition. But there was at this period a number of writers who had much more false than true sentiment. The euphuism of the reign of Queen Elizabeth broke forth in another fashion. A kind of poetical club was formed at Batheaston, the residence of Lady Miller, near Bath. She and her guests, amongst whom was Miss Seward, wrote verses, which they published under the title of "Poetical Amusements." A still more flaunting school set themselves up amongst the English at Florence, one of whom, a Mr. Robert Merry, dubbed himself "Della Crusca," whence the clique became known as the "Della Cruscan School." Amongst the members of it figured Mrs. Piozzi, the widow of Thrale the brewer, Boswell, Johnson's biographer, Mary Robinson, the younger Colman, and Holcroft, the dramatist, with others of less name. They addressed verses to each other in the most florid and extravagant style under the names of "Rosa Matilda," "Laura Maria," "Orlando," and the like. The fashion was infectious; and not only were the periodicals flooded by such silly mutual flatteries, but volumes were published full of them. Gifford, the editor of the Quarterly Review, and translator of Juvenal, attacked this frenzy in a satire called the "Baviad," and continued the attack in the "M?viad," which, however, was more particularly a censure on the degraded condition of the drama. This put an end to the nuisance, and Gifford won great fame by it; though, on referring to his two celebrated satires, we are surprised at their dulness, and are led to imagine that it was their heaviness which crushed these moths of literature. Gifford had himself a great fame in his day, which was chiefly based on his formidable position as editor of the Quarterly Review.At the period at which we have now arrived France was in a state of the wildest and most awful convulsion. A revolution had broken out, more terrible and furious than had ever yet appeared in the history of nations. The French people, so long trodden down by their princes, their aristocracy, and their clergy, and reduced to a condition of wretchedness and of ignorant brutality, almost unparalleled, seizing the opportunity of the distresses of the impoverished Government, and encouraged by a new race of philosophers who preached up the equality of the human race, had broken through their ancient subserviency, and were pulling down all the old constituted powers, ranks, and distinctions, with a rapidity which electrified the whole world.

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