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To this communication Sir Robert Peel returned the following reply:—"Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has had the honour of receiving your Majesty's note this morning. Sir Robert Peel trusts that your Majesty will permit him to state to your Majesty his impression with respect to the circumstances which have led to the termination of his attempts to form an Administration for the conduct of your Majesty's service. In the interview with which you honoured Sir Robert Peel yesterday morning, after he had submitted to your Majesty the names of those he proposed to recommend to your Majesty for the principal executive appointments, he mentioned to your Majesty his earnest wish to be enabled, by your Majesty's sanction, so to constitute your Majesty's Household that your Majesty's confidential servants might have the advantage of a public demonstration of your Majesty's full support and confidence, and at the same time, so far as possible, consistent with such demonstration, each individual appointment in the Household should be entirely acceptable to your Majesty's personal feelings. On your Majesty's expressing a desire that the Earl of Liverpool should hold an office in the Household, Sir Robert Peel immediately requested your Majesty's permission at once to confer on Lord Liverpool the office of Lord Steward, or any other office which he might prefer. Sir Robert Peel then observed that he should have every wish to apply a similar principle to the chief appointments which are filled by the Ladies of your Majesty's Household; upon which your Majesty was pleased to remark, that you must retain the whole of these appointments, and that it was your Majesty's pleasure that the whole should continue as at present, without any change. The Duke of Wellington, in the interview to which your Majesty subsequently admitted him, understood also that this was your Majesty's determination, and concurred with Sir Robert Peel in opinion that, considering the great difficulties of the present crisis, and the expediency of making every effort, in the first instance, to conduct the public business of the country with the aid of the present Parliament, it was essential to the success of the mission with which your Majesty had honoured Sir Robert Peel that he should have such public proof of your Majesty's entire support and confidence, as would be afforded by the permission to make some changes in your Majesty's Household, which your Majesty resolved on maintaining entirely without change. Having had the opportunity, through your Majesty's gracious consideration, of reflecting upon this point, he humbly submits to your Majesty that he is reluctantly compelled, by a sense of public duty, and of the interests of your Majesty's service, to adhere to the opinion which he ventured to express to your Majesty." Subsequent explanations proved that the gaucherie of Sir Robert Peel was chiefly responsible for the crisis. He was right in principle, but he was wrong in the abrupt manner in which he appeared to force the change of the Ladies upon the Queen. The Duke, with his usual shrewdness, had foreseen that the accession of a female Sovereign would place the Conservatives at a disadvantage, because, said he, "Peel has no manners, and I have no small talk."The chief difficulty was the king. At the commencement of the month of January, 1829, his Majesty had not yet signified his consent that the whole subject of Ireland, including the Catholic question, should be taken into consideration by his confidential servants. In his interview with the Duke of Wellington in the course of the autumn the king had manifested much uneasiness and irritation, and had hitherto shown no disposition to relax the opposition which (of late years, at least) he had manifested to the consideration by his Government of the claims of the Roman Catholics. In all the communications which Mr. Peel had with the king on this subject, his determination to maintain the existing laws was most strongly expressed. In November, 1824, the king wrote, "The sentiments of the king upon Catholic Emancipation are those of his revered and excellent father; and from these sentiments the king never can, and never will, deviate." All subsequent declarations of opinion on his part were to the same effect; and the events which were passing in Ireland, "the systematic agitation, the intemperate conduct of some[293] of the Roman Catholic leaders, the violent and abusive speeches of others, the acts of the Association, assuming the functions of government, and, as it appeared to the king, the passiveness and want of energy in the Irish executive, irritated his Majesty, and indisposed him the more to recede from his declared resolution to maintain inviolate the existing law."

REVENUE CUTTERS CAPTURING AN AMERICAN SMUGGLING VESSEL. (See p. 184.)Amid these popular outbursts the great body of the Spaniards were calmly organising the country for defence. A junta or select committee was elected in each district, and these juntas established communications with each other all over the land. They called on the inhabitants to furnish contributions, the clergy to send in their church plate to the mint, and the common people to enrol themselves as soldiers and to labour at the fortifications. The Spanish soldiers, to a man, went over to the popular side, and in a few days the whole nation was in arms. The crisis of which Buonaparte had warned Murat was come at once, and the fight in Madrid on the 2nd of May was but the beginning of a war which was to topple the invader from his now dizzy height. This made Buonaparte convene a mock national junta, or Assembly of Notables, to sanction the abdication, and the appointment of Joseph Buonaparte as the new monarch. Joseph entered Madrid on the 6th of June, and proclaimed a new constitution.

This put matters beyond all chance of mistake. The menace had such an effect on the aged Electress that she was taken ill and died suddenly in the arms of the Electoral Princess, afterwards Queen Caroline (May 28, 1714). Sophia was a very accomplished as well as amiable woman. She was perfect mistress of the German, Dutch, French, English, and Italian languages; and, notwithstanding the endeavours of the Jacobite party in England to render her ridiculous, had always maintained an elevated and honourable character. She was more of an Englishwoman than a German, and, had she lived a few weeks longer, would have had—according to her often avowed wish—"Here lies Sophia, Queen of England," engraven on her coffin. The journey of the prince was wholly abandoned; not that the inclination of the prince for the journey was abated, nor that the Whigs ceased to urge it. Townshend, Sunderland, Halifax, and others pressed it as of the utmost importance; and both the Elector and his son wrote to the queen, assuring her that, had the prince been allowed to come, he would soon have convinced her Majesty of his desire to increase the peace and strength of her reign rather than to diminish them.True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides

These were measures which must have greatly irritated the American colonists. They exhibited a disposition to curb and repress their growing energies between the interests of British merchants and British West Indian planters. The prospect was far from encouraging; whilst, at the same time, the English Ministers, crushing these energies with one hand, were contemplating drawing a revenue by taxation from them on the other. Britain argued that she sacrificed large amounts in building up colonies, and therefore had a right to expect a return for this expenditure. Such a return, had they had the sagacity to let them alone, was inevitable from the trade of the colonies in an ever-increasing ratio.[See larger version]

General Cartaux arrived and took up his position in the villages around Toulon. He was reinforced by General Doppet, from the Rhone, and General Dugommier, from the Var; and the latter had in his corps-d'armée a young lieutenant of artillery, who contained in his yet unknown person the very genius of war—namely, Napoleon Buonaparte. Cartaux was a man who had risen from the ranks; Doppet had been a physician in Savoy; and Dugommier was acting on a plan sent from the Convention. Buonaparte suggested what he thought a much superior plan. "All you need," he said, "is to send away the English; and to do that, you have only to sweep the harbour and the roadstead with your batteries. Drive away the[423] ships, and the troops will not remain. Take the promontory of La Grasse, which commands both the inner and outer harbour, and Toulon will be yours in a couple of days." On this promontory stood two forts, Equilette and Balaquier, which had been much strengthened by the English. It was resolved to assault these forts, and batteries opposite to them were erected by the French under Buonaparte's direction. After much desperate fighting, vast numbers of troops being pressed against the forts, that of Balaquier was taken. This gave the French such command of the inner harbour, that Lord Hood called a council of war, and showed the necessity of retiring with the fleet, and thus enabling the Royalists to escape, who would otherwise be exterminated by their merciless countrymen. This was agreed to, and it was resolved to maintain the different forts till the ships had cleared out. The Neapolitans behaved very ill, showing no regard for anything but their own safety. They held two forts—one at Cape Lebrun, and the other at Cape Lesset; these, they said, they would surrender as soon as the enemy approached. They made haste to get their ships and men out of harbour, leaving all else to take care of themselves. The Spaniards and Piedmontese behaved in a much nobler manner. They assisted willingly all day in getting on board the Royalists—men, women, and children. All night the troops began to defile through a narrow sallyport to the boats under the guns of the fort La Malaga. This was happily effected; and then Sir Sidney Smith, who had recently arrived at Toulon, and had volunteered the perilous office of blowing up the powder-magazines, stores, arsenals, and the ships that could not be removed, began his operations. He succeeded in setting fire to the stores and about forty ships of war that were in the harbour.The elections were now carried on with all the fire and zeal of the two parties. The Tories boasted of their successful efforts to stem the tide of expenditure for the war, to staunch the flow of blood, and restore all the blessings of peace. The Whigs, on the contrary, made the most of their opposition to the Treaty of Commerce, which they represented as designed to sacrifice our trade to the insane regard now shown to the French. To show their interest in trade, they wore locks of wool in their hats; and the Tories, to show their attachment to the Restoration and the Crown, wore green twigs of oak. Never was shown more completely the want of logical reason in the populace, for whilst they were declaring their zeal for the Protestant succession, and whilst burning in effigy on the 18th of November—Queen Bess's day—the Pope, the Devil, and the Pretender, they sent up a powerful majority of the men who were secretly growing more and more favourable to the Pretender's return. Never, indeed, had the chances of his restoration appeared so great. General Stanhope, on the close of the elections, told the Hanoverian minister that the majority was against them, and that if things continued ever so short a time on the present footing, the Elector would not come to the Crown unless he came with an army.Progress was again shown in a speech of Lord John Russell in the debate on the condition of the people on the 26th of May. Still clinging to his idea of a fixed duty, he said, "If I had a proposition to make, it would not be the 8s. duty which was proposed in 1841." An exclamation of "How much, then?" from Sir James Graham drew forth the further remark—"No one, I suppose, would propose any duty that would be less than 4s.; and 4s., 5s., or 6s., if I had a proposition to make, would be the duty that I should propose." The awkward anomalies of Sir Robert Peel's position were the frequent subject of the attacks of his enemies at this time; but the country felt that there was a littleness in the Whig leader's paltry and vacillating style of dealing with a great question, beside which, at least, the position of the Minister exhibited a favourable contrast.

Amongst the most distinguished of this series of architects is James Gibbs, who, after studying in Italy, returned to England in time to secure the erection of some of the fifty churches ordered to be built in the metropolis and its vicinity in the tenth year of Queen Anne. The first which he built is his finest—St. Martin's, at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square.[160] Besides St. Martin's, Gibbs was the architect of St. Mary's, in the Strand; of Marylebone Chapel; of the body of All Saints', Derby—an incongruous addition to a fine old Gothic tower; of the Radcliffe Library, at Oxford; of the west side of the quadrangle of King's College, and of the Senate House, Cambridge, left incomplete. In these latter works Sir James Burrows, the designer of the beautiful chapel of Clare Hall, in the same university, was also concerned. Gibbs was, moreover, the architect of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.THE GREAT MOGUL ENTERING THE ENGLISH CAMP. (See p. 317.)

In Ireland the administration of the law was becoming daily more difficult. Mr. Steele and Mr. O'Gorman Mahon were magistrates, and yet they were actively engaged in exciting the people to the very highest pitch, and urging them to defy the constituted authorities. On a day when a riot was expected at Ennis, county Clare, and the high sheriff made preparations to prevent it, both these gentlemen appeared there, decorated with the order of "Liberators," and followed by a mob. Mr. O'Gorman Mahon held very improper language to the high sheriff in presence of the troops. All this was certified to by sixteen magistrates, and by the commanding officer; yet Lord Anglesey, with the advice of the Lord Chancellor, decided on not depriving them of the commission of the peace. This conduct greatly disappointed the Duke of Wellington, and on the 11th of November he wrote a strong letter to him, in which he said: "I cannot express to you adequately the extent of the difficulties which these and other occurrences in Ireland create in all discussions with his Majesty. He feels that in Ireland the public peace is violated every day with impunity by those whose duty it is to preserve it; that a formidable conspiracy exists; and that the supposed conspirators—those whose language and conduct point them out as the principal agitators of the country—are admitted to the presence of his Majesty's representative, and equally well received with the king's most loyal subjects." The Duke also, as we have already observed, strongly censured the conduct of the Viceroy and the Lord Chancellor for visiting Lord Cloncurry, a member of the Association, remarking, "The doubts which are entertained respecting the loyalty of the Roman Catholic Association, the language which has been held there respecting the king himself, his Royal Family, the members of his Government, your colleagues in office, and respecting nearly every respectable member of society, and the unanimously expressed detestation of the violence of the Association, might be deemed reasons for omitting to encourage any of its members by the countenance or favour of the king's representative."The names and prices of all the purchased members of the Irish Parliament were preserved in the Irish Black and Red lists. A selection of a few of them will interest the reader:—

Such was Massena's situation, so early as the commencement of November—having to maintain his army in a country reduced to a foodless desert by the art of his masterly antagonist, and, instead of being able to drive the British before him, finding them menacing him on all sides, so that he dispatched General Foy to make his way with a strong escort to Ciudad Rodrigo, and thence to proceed with all speed to Paris, to explain to the Emperor the real state of affairs. The state was that the whole of Portugal, except the very ground on which Massena was encamped, was in possession of the British and the Portuguese. There was no possibility of approaching Lisbon without forcing these lines at Torres Vedras, and that, if done at all, must be at the cost of as large an army as he possessed altogether. All the rest of Portugal—Oporto, Coimbra, Abrantes—and all the forts except Almeida were in the hands of the enemy. As to the destitution of Massena's army, we have the description from his own statements in letters to Napoleon, which were intercepted. From this information, Lord Wellington wrote in his dispatches: "It is impossible to describe the pecuniary and other distresses of the French army in the Peninsula. All the troops are months in arrears of pay; they are, in general, very badly clothed; they want horses, carriages, and equipments of every description; their troops subsist solely upon plunder; they receive no money, or scarcely any, from France, and they realise but little from their pecuniary contributions from Spain. Indeed, I have lately discovered that the expense of the pay and the hospitals alone of the French army in the Peninsula amounts to more than the sum stated in the financial exposé as the whole expense of the entire French army."

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It was with this object that Mr. Pierce Mahony got up the celebrated "Leinster declaration," so called from the signature of Ireland's only duke. But the experiment served only to reveal the weakness of the moderate party, for after lying for signature in Latouche's Bank for two months, only forty-two names were attached to it within that period. When, however, the struggle between the two parties was on the point of having a bloody issue, the alarm spread through the ranks of moderate men on both sides, and the document rapidly received signatures. The declaration set forth that the disqualifying laws which affected Roman Catholics were productive of consequences prejudicial in the highest degree to the interests of Ireland—the primary cause of her poverty—the source of political discontents and religious animosities—destructive alike of social happiness and national prosperity. Unless the legislature should speedily apply a remedy to those evils, they must in their rapid progression assume such a character as would, perhaps, render their removal impossible. It was stated, therefore, to be a matter of paramount importance that the whole subject should be taken into immediate consideration by Parliament, "with a view to such a final conciliatory adjustment as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of our national institutions, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his Majesty's subjects."LADY HAMILTON WELCOMING THE VICTORS OF THE NILE.

Another cause of the general uneasiness and[344] depression of the public mind was the appearance, in the autumn of this year, of the mysterious visitant, cholera morbus. This disease had been long known in India, but it was only of late years that it began to extend its ravages over the rest of the world. Within two years it had carried off nearly a million of people in Asia. It made its first appearance in England at Sunderland, on the 26th of October, 1831. Its name had come before, spreading terror in every direction. It appeared in Edinburgh on February 6th, 1832, at Rotherhithe and Limehouse on February 13th, and in Dublin on March 3rd, 1832. In all these places, and in many others, the mortality was very great. But it was still more severe on the Continent. We know now that cholera could have been in a great measure averted, and that its mystery lay in our ignorance. We know that it always fell most heavily on the inhabitants of towns, hamlets, or houses where deficient drainage and ventilation, accumulations of putrescent matters, intemperance, and want of personal cleanliness most prevailed. It selected for the scenes of its habitation and its triumphs the usual haunts of typhus fever; and it effected its greatest ravages in the neighbourhoods of rivers and marshes. In London it was most virulent on the level of the Thames, and lost its power in exact arithmetical ratio to the height of the districts above that level. If it attacked a town or an army, and the inhabitants or the soldiers decamped, and scattered themselves over the country, in the clear air and pure sunshine, they escaped. It was possible, therefore, to guard against its power by a proper system of drainage and sewage; by proper ventilation; by personal cleanliness, temperance, and regularity; by the abolition of nuisances, stagnant pools, and open ditches; and by wholesome regimen and regular exercise in the open air. As it was, a general fast was appointed and the Privy Council issued stringent regulations which were not of much effect.The calculations of no political party had ever been more completely falsified than those of the Jacobites and their congeners the Tories on the death of the queen. They had relied on the fact that the House of Hanover was regarded with dislike as successors to the throne of England by all the Catholic Powers of Europe, on account of their Protestantism, and many of the Protestant Powers from jealousy; and reckoned that, whilst France would be disposed to support the claims of the Pretender, there were no Continental countries which would support those of Hanover, except Holland and the new kingdom of Prussia, neither of which gave them much alarm. Prussia was but a minor Power, not capable of furnishing much aid to a contest in England. Holland had been too much exhausted by a long war to be willing to engage in another, except for a cause which vitally concerned itself. In England, the Tories being in power, and Bolingbroke earnest in the interest of the Pretender, the Duke of Ormonde at the head of the army, there appeared to the minds of the Jacobites nothing to fear but the too early demise of the queen, which might find their plans yet unmatured. To this they, in fact, attributed their failure; but we may very confidently assert that, even had Anne lived as long as they desired her, there was one element omitted in their calculations which would have overthrown all their attempts—the invincible antipathy to Popery in the heart of the nation, which the steadfast temper of the Pretender showed must inevitably come back with him to renew all the old struggles. The event of the queen's death discovered, too, the comparative weakness of the Tory faction, the strength and activity of the Whigs. The king showing no haste to arrive, gave ample opportunity to the Jacobites—had they been in any degree prepared, as they ought to have been, after so many years, for this great crisis—to introduce the Pretender and rally round his standard. But whilst George I. lingered, no Stuart appeared; and the Whigs had taken such careful and energetic precautions, that without him every attempt must only have brought destruction on the movers. The measures of Shrewsbury were complete. The way by sea was secured for the Protestant king, and the Regency Act provided for the security of every department of Government at home.The year 1747 was opened by measures of restriction. The House of Lords, offended at the publication of the proceedings of the trial of Lord Lovat, summoned the parties to their bar, committed them to prison, and refused to liberate them till they had pledged themselves not to repeat the offence, and had paid very heavy fees. The consequence of this was that the transactions of the Peers were almost entirely suppressed for nearly thirty years from this time, and we draw our knowledge of them chiefly from notes taken by Horace Walpole and Lord Chancellor Hardwicke. What is still more remarkable, the reports of the House of Commons, being taken by stealth, and on the merest sufferance, are of the most meagre kind, sometimes altogether wanting, and the speeches are given uniformly under fictitious names; for to have attributed to Pitt or Pelham their[112] speeches by name would have brought down on the printers the summary vengeance of the House. Many of the members complained bitterly of this breach of the privileges of Parliament, and of "being put into print by low fellows"; but Pelham had the sense to tolerate them, saying, "Let them alone; they make better speeches for us than we can make for ourselves." Altogether, the House of Commons exhibited the most deplorable aspect that can be conceived. The Ministry had pursued Walpole's system of buying up opponents by place, or pension, or secret service money, till there was no life left in the House. Ministers passed their measures without troubling themselves to say much in their behalf; and the opposition dwindled to Sir John Hinde Cotton, now dismissed from office, and a feeble remnant of Jacobites raised but miserable resistance. In vain the Prince of Wales and the secret instigations of Bolingbroke and Doddington stimulated the spirit of discontent; both Houses had degenerated into most silent and insignificant arenas of very commonplace business.


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