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On the 8th of February Lord John Russell brought forward the paragraph of the Speech relating to agricultural distress, and moved for a select committee to inquire into the causes of the depression of the agricultural interest, although he confessed that he did not anticipate any satisfactory result from the investigation. In this the noble lord did not miscalculate, for after sitting for eight months the committee could not agree to any report, and all the benefit they conferred upon the public was an outline of the evidence which was laid before the House at the end of the Session. On the 9th and the 12th the same Minister submitted three measures to the House, which were passed into law this Session—namely, a Bill for the Commutation of Tithes in England; a Bill for a General Registration of Marriages, Births, and Deaths; and another for the amendment of the Law of Marriage. On the 16th of this month Mr. Hardy brought before the House of Commons the case of Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Raphael. The latter gentleman was one of the sheriffs of London, and he wished to represent an Irish constituency. Mr. O'Connell thought it was possible to get him in for the borough of Carlow; but he warned him that the expenses would be £2,000, and that this sum should be deposited in a bank as a preliminary, "say £2,000." It was alleged that this was a corrupt bargain, and Mr.[401] O'Connell was accused of selling a Parliamentary seat. Mr. Hardy, therefore, moved for a select committee to investigate the transaction. The committee was obtained, and the result was a complete acquittal of Mr. O'Connell. So strong, however, was the feeling against him that no less than sixty members of Brooks's Club resigned, having failed to procure his expulsion.

The miscellaneous literature of this reign was immense, consisting of travels, biographies, essays on all subjects, and treatises in every department of science and letters. Prominent amongst these are the "Letters of Junius," who, in the early part of the reign, kept the leading statesmen, judges, and the king himself, in terror by the relentlessness of his scarifying criticisms. These letters, which are the perfection of political writing, have been ascribed to many authors, but most generally to Sir Philip Francis; though it is hard to speak on the subject with certainty. The writings of Dr. Johnson furnish many items to this department. His "Dictionary of the English Language" (1755) was a gigantic labour; his "Lives of the Poets," his "Tour to the Western Isles," would of themselves have made a reputation, had he never written his poetry, his periodical essays, or edited Shakespeare. Burke, too, besides his Speeches, added largely to general literature. He wrote his "Inquiry into the Origin of the Sublime and Beautiful;" assisted in the composition of the Annual Register for several years; and, in 1790, published his most famous work, "Reflections on the French Revolution." Besides these he wrote political letters and essays. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu produced her celebrated Letters about the middle of the century, and many other women were popular writers at this period: Sophia and Harriett Lee, Anna Maria Williams, Mrs. Lennox, Mrs. Catherine Talbot, Elizabeth Carter, the translator of Epictetus, Mrs. Montagu, an essayist on Shakespeare, Mrs. Chapone, author of "Letters on the Improvement of the Mind," Mrs. Barbauld, and Mrs. Charlotte Smith. In theology, metaphysics, and mental philosophy, the earlier portion of the reign was rich. In rapid succession appeared Reid's "Inquiry into the Human Mind," Campbell's "Answer to Hume on Miracles," Beattie's "Essay on Truth," Wallace's "Essay on the Numbers of Mankind," and Stuart's "Enquiry into the Principles of Political Economy." But nine years after Stuart's work appeared another on the same subject, which raised that department of inquiry into one of the most prominent and influential sciences of the age. This was the famous treatise "On the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," by Adam Smith (1776), which produced a real revolution in the doctrines of the production and accumulation of wealth. In teaching the advantages of free trade and the division of labour it has rendered incalculable services to mankind.Further correspondence on the subject did not heal the wound that had been inflicted on the pride of the Spanish Government, but rather inflamed it; and on the 19th of May the British ambassador received a peremptory order to quit the kingdom within forty-eight hours. In dismissing him, the Duke de Sotomayor administered to him a very sharp rebuke. "Your conduct," he said, "in the execution of your important mission has been reprobated by public opinion in England, censured by the British press, and condemned in the British Parliament. Her Catholic Majesty's Government cannot defend it when that of her Britannic Majesty has not done so." Sir Henry Bulwer accordingly departed, Mr. Otway, the principal attaché, remaining to transact any necessary business connected with the embassy. Diplomatic relations were not renewed for some time, and, it must be admitted, that the insult that had been offered to England was in a great measure provoked.

THE COSSACK'S CHALLENGE. (See p. 42.)

The military transactions of the Continent this year had been of the most remarkable kind. Buonaparte, after his repulse at Pultusk, had retired to Warsaw, which he entered on the first day of the year 1807. He calculated on remaining there till the return of spring. But Benningsen, the Russian general, was determined to interrupt this pleasant sojourn. He had an army of eighty thousand or ninety thousand men, with a very bad commissariat, and equally badly defended from the severity of the winter. The King of Prussia was cooped up in K?nigsberg, with an army of a very few thousand men, and his situation was every day rendered more critical by the approach of the divisions of Ney and Bernadotte, whom the treacherous surrender of the Prussian fortresses by their commanders had set at liberty. But Benningsen hastened to relieve the King of Prussia at K?nigsberg; his Cossacks spread themselves over the country with great adroitness, surprising the French convoys of provisions. More Cossacks were streaming down to their support out of the wintry wilds of Russia, and the French were forced from their pleasant quarters[543] in Warsaw, to preserve the means of their existence. Buonaparte, alarmed at these advances, determined to turn out and force the Russians eastward, towards the Vistula, as he had forced the Prussians at Jena with their rear turned to the Rhine. To take the Russians thus in the rear, he ordered Bernadotte to engage the attention of Benningsen on the right whilst he made this man?uvre on the left. But Benningsen, fortunately, learned their stratagem, by the seizure of the young French officer who was carrying Buonaparte's dispatches to Bernadotte. Benningsen was therefore enabled to defeat Buonaparte's object. He concentrated his troops on Preuss-Eylau, where he determined to risk a battle. But he was not allowed to occupy this position without several brisk encounters, in which the Russians lost upwards of three thousand men. The battle of Eylau took place on the 7th of February. It was such a check as Buonaparte had never yet experienced. He had been beaten at every point; Augereau's division was nearly destroyed; that of Davoust, nearly twenty thousand in number, had been repulsed by a much inferior body of Prussians. Fifty thousand men are said to have been killed and wounded, of whom thirty thousand were French. Twelve eagles had been captured, and remained trophies in the hands of the Russians.Even this example was not sufficient to protect her Majesty from the criminal attempts of miscreants of this class. Another was made on the 3rd of July following, as the Queen was going from Buckingham Palace to the Chapel Royal, accompanied by Prince Albert and the King of the Belgians. In the Mall, about half way between the palace and the stable-yard gate, a deformed youth was seen by a person named Bassett to present a pistol at the Queen's carriage. Bassett seized him and brought him to the police; but they refused to take him in charge, treating the matter as a hoax. Bassett himself was subsequently arrested, and examined by the Privy Council. When the facts of the case were ascertained, the police hastened to repair the error of the morning, and sent to all the police-stations a description of the real offender. This led to the apprehension of a boy called Bean, who was identified, examined, and committed to prison. His trial took place on the 25th of August, at the Central Criminal Court. The Attorney-General briefly related the facts of the case, and Lord Abinger, the presiding judge, having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty," convicting the prisoner of presenting a pistol, loaded with powder and wadding, "in contempt of the Queen, and to the terror of divers liege subjects." The sentence of the court was—"Imprisonment in Millbank Penitentiary for eighteen calendar months."PRINCE CHARLIE'S VANGUARD AT MANCHESTER. (See p. 100.)

Meeting of Parliament—Lord Chatham's Amendment to the Address—The News of Saratoga—Treaty between France and America—Washington in Valley Forge—Intrigues against him—Violation of Burgoyne's Convention—Debates in Parliament—Attempt to bring Chatham into the Ministry—Lord North's Conciliation Bills—The French Note—Patriotism of the Nation—The King refuses to send for Chatham—His last Speech and Death—Honours to his Memory—Burke's Measure of Irish Relief—Repeal of Laws against Roman Catholics—Explosion of Scottish Bigotry—Turgot's Warnings—Naval Engagement off Ushant—Failure of Lafayette's Canadian Expedition—Clinton compelled to evacuate Philadelphia—Failure of Lord North's Commissioners—D'Estaing and Sullivan attempt to take Rhode Island—Subsequent Proceedings of D'Estaing—Courts-martial of Keppel and Palliser—The Irish Volunteers—Spain declares War—Military Preparations—Junction of the French and Spanish Fleets—They retire from the Channel—D'Estaing in the West Indies—His Attempt on Savannah—Weakness of Lord North's Ministry—Meeting of Parliament—Lord North's Irish Bill—Richmond, Shelburne, and Burke attempt Economic Reforms—The Meeting at York petitions for Reform of Parliament—Burke's Economic Scheme—North's Man?uvre—Further Attempts at Reform—The Westminster Meeting—Dunning's Motion—Defeat of his later Resolutions—"No Popery" in Scotland—Lord George Gordon's Agitation—The Riots and their Progress—Their Suppression—Trial of the Prisoners—Rodney relieves Gibraltar—Destruction of English Merchantmen—Disputes with Holland—The Armed Neutrality of the North—Capture of Charleston—Declaration of South Carolina—Battle of Camden—Expedition into North Carolina—Arrival of the French Squadron—Rodney in the West Indies—Arnold's Treachery—Trial and Death of André—Breach with Holland—Attacks on Jersey and Gibraltar—Mutiny in the Army of Washington—Arnold's Raids in Virginia—Cornwallis in North Carolina—His Engagements with Greene—His March into Virginia—Rawdon and Greene—Battle of Eutaw Springs—Siege of York Town—The American Armies close round him—Cornwallis compelled to Surrender.

Stood waiting too, for whom? Lord Chatham."

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From Riga Buonaparte learned that Macdonald maintained the blockade, thus keeping Courland in awe, and alarming St. Petersburg; that St. Cyr, more to the south, had compelled Wittgenstein, after a severe battle at Polotsk, to assume the defensive; and that Regnier had defeated Tormasoff at Gorodeczna, in Poland. But Tormasoff fell back on the Moldavian army, commanded by Admiral Tchitchigoff; and General Steingel was marching with the army of Finland to join Wittgenstein. These distinct successes, therefore, were but of small moment in comparison with the lowering prospects before him.During this period, St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, was built by Thomas Archer. The churches of Greenwich, of St. George's, Hanover Square, and St. Luke's, Middlesex, were designed by John James. To this time likewise belong St. Giles's-in-the-Fields; St. Olave's, Southwark, and Woburn Abbey, by Flitcroft; Chatsworth House and Thoresby, by Salmon; Montagu House, by the French architect, Pouget; All Saints' Church, and the Peckwater Quadrangle of Christ Church, Oxford, by Dean Aldrich; and the library of Christ Church, designed by Dr. George Clarke, M.P. for Oxford, in the reign of Anne. After these the Earl of Burlington, a worshipper of Palladio and Inigo Jones, became a very fashionable architect, and built the dormitory at Westminster School; Petersham House, and other noblemen's mansions. The fine colonnade in the courtyard of Burlington House is also his work. Burlington was essentially a copyist, as was his protégé Kent, who built Holkham, in Norfolk, and the Horse Guards, but acquired as much reputation by his landscape gardening as he gained little by his architecture. Towards the end of this period several foreign artists were employed in England. We have already named Pouget; Giacomo Leoni was much employed; and Labelye, a Swiss, built Westminster Bridge, which was completed in 1747. Thomas Ripley, originally a carpenter, built the Admiralty.

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On the 12th of February Sir James Graham moved for the reduction of the salaries of all persons holding offices under Government, in proportion to the enhanced value of money produced by the Bank Restriction Act, which added to the weight of all fixed payments while it lowered wages and the price of provisions. "Hence," he said, "the miserable state to which the people of this country were now reduced, and the necessity for rigid, unsparing economy; and in that system of economy one great source of retrenchment must be the reduction of the salaries of those who had their hands in the public purse. Justice requires, necessity demands it." Ministers did not dare to resist this motion openly. They evaded it by an amendment, which was unanimously adopted, for an Address to the king, requesting him to order an inquiry to be made into all the departments of the Civil Government, with a view of reducing the number of persons employed in the various Services, and the amount of their salaries. On the 15th Mr. Hume attempted to carry retrenchment into the Army and Navy, moving a resolution to the effect that the former should be reduced by 20,000 men, and the latter by the sum of a million and a half. All the reductions he proposed would have effected a saving of eight millions annually. But neither the Whigs nor the Canning party were disposed to go such lengths. The motion was, therefore, defeated, the minority consisting solely of Radical reformers, who mustered fifty-seven on the division. Another assault on the Government was led on by Mr. Poulett Thompson, who moved for the appointment of a Committee for a Revision of the system of Taxation with a view to saving expense in the mode of collecting the revenue. The motion was resisted by Mr Peel on the ground that such important duties should not be delegated to a fraction of the members of the House. The motion was rejected by a large majority. A few days later, however, Ministers sustained a damaging defeat in the Committee of Supply on the Navy estimates. Two young men, who had been public servants for a few months only, Mr. R. Dundas and Mr. W. S. Bathurst, Junior Commissioners of the Navy, had been pensioned off on the reduction of their offices, the one with £400 and the other with £500 a year. The arrangement was attacked as a gross job and defended upon principle, and Ministers after[309] mustering all their strength were beaten by a majority of 139 to 121, on the motion that those pensions should be struck off. Several other motions, brought forward with a view of effecting retrenchments, were rejected by the House. This movement in the direction of financial reform, no doubt, received an impulse from the resentment of the leading Whigs, whose claims to take part in the Government were ignored by the Duke. But this remark does not apply to the efforts of Mr. Attwood and Mr. Baring, who moved that instead of a gold standard there should be a gold and silver standard, and that the Act for prohibiting the issue of small notes should be repealed. They strengthened their case by an appeal to the facts of the existing distress and commercial depression arising from a restricted currency. On the part of the Government, however, it was argued that a double standard of gold and silver would cause a loss of five per cent, to creditors if debtors were to pay in the silver standard—that the whole country would be a scene of confusion and ruin—that silver never was in practice the standard of the country, and that it never had been actually in a state to be used as a legal tender. Latterly the law had enacted that it should not be a legal tender beyond twenty-five pounds. By weight, indeed, it was a legal tender to any amount, but practically it had become so depreciated that there was no such thing as a standard by weight. Mr. Attwood's resolutions on the currency were negatived without a division.The English took the field in the summer of 1763 against Meer Cossim with six hundred Europeans and one thousand two hundred Sepoys. Major Adams, the commander of this force, was vigorously resisted by Meer Cossim, but drove him from Moorshedabad, gained a decided victory over him on the plains of Geriah, and, after a siege of nine days, reduced Monghyr. Driven to his last place of strength in Patna, and feeling that he must yield that, Meer Cossim determined to give one parting example of his ferocity to his former patrons, as, under their protection, he had given many to his own subjects. He had taken prisoners the English belonging to the factory at Patna, amounting to one hundred and fifty individuals. These he caused to be massacred by a renegade Frenchman in his service, named Sombre. On the 5th of October his soldiers massacred all of them except William Fullarton, a surgeon known to the Nabob. The mangled bodies of the victims were thrown into two wells, which were then filled up with stones. This done, the monster Cossim fled into Oude, and took refuge with its Nabob, Sujah Dowlah. The English immediately entered Patna, which was still reeking with the blood of their countrymen, and proclaimed the deposition of[317] Meer Cossim, and the restoration of Meer Jaffier as Nabob of Bengal.Foiled in these quarters, Alberoni appeared more successful in the North. A negotiation had been opened between the two potentates, so long at bitter variance, the Czar and Charles XII. of Sweden. They were induced to meet in the island of ?land, and to agree that the Czar should retain Livonia, and other Swedish territories south of Finland which he had torn from Sweden, but, in compensation, Charles was to be allowed to reconquer Bremen and Verden from George of Hanover and England, and Norway from Denmark; and the two monarchs were to unite their arms for the restoration of Stanislaus to the throne of Poland, and of the Pretender to that of Great Britain. The success of these arrangements appeared to Alberoni so certain that he boasted that the Northern tempest would burst ere long over England with annihilating fury; but even here he was doomed to disappointment. Charles[42] XII. delighted in nothing so much as in wild and romantic enterprise. Such was that of the conquest of Norway; and he was led by his imagination to commence it without delay. With his characteristic madness, he divided his army into two parts, with one of which he took the way by the coast of Norway, and the other he sent over the mountains at the very beginning of winter. There that division perished in the snow amid the most incredible horrors; and he himself, whilst carrying on the siege of Frederickshall, was killed on the 11th of December, as appears probable, by the treacherous shot of a French engineer in his service. Almost simultaneously the Duke of Maine's conspiracy against the French Government was detected, and he and his wife, together with the Spanish Ambassador, were apprehended. There was nothing for it on the part of the Regent but to proclaim war against Spain—a measure which England had long been urging on him. The English declaration appeared on the 28th of December, 1718, and the French on the 9th of January, 1719.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 17th, he sent a flag of truce to Washington, proposing a cessation of hostilities for twenty-four hours, in order that commissioners might meet and settle the terms of surrender. They were soon arranged, and articles of surrender were signed by the respective generals on the morning of the 19th of October.

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