Such were the circumstances of France in every quarter of the globe, except on the Continent of Europe; and there already, notwithstanding the vast space over which Buonaparte ruled by the terror of his arms, there were many symptoms of the coming disruption of this empire of arms, which sprang up like a tempest and dispersed like one. Spain and Portugal, at one end of the Continent, were draining the very life's blood from France, and turning all eyes in liveliest interest to the spectacle of a successful resistance, by a small British army, to this Power so long deemed invincible. In the North lowered a dark storm, the force and fate of which were yet unsuspected, but which was gathering into its mass the elements of a ruin to the Napoleonic ambition as sublime as it was to be decisive. In France itself never had the despotic power and glory of Buonaparte appeared more transcendent. Everything seemed to live but at his beck: a magnificent Court, Parliament the slave of his will, made up of the sham representatives of subjected nations, the country literally covered with armies, and nearly all surrounding nations governed by kings and princes who were but his satraps. Such was the outward aspect of things; and now came the long-desired event, which was to cement his throne with the blood of kindred kings, and link it fast to posterity—the birth of a son. On the 20th of March it was announced that the Empress Maria Louisa was delivered of a son, who was named Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph, Prince of the French Empire, and King of Rome.One of the most appalling of the narratives sent to the Central Committee of the Society of Friends was Mr. William Bennet's account of his journey in Ireland. He left Dublin on the 12th of January, and proceeded by coach to Longford, and thence to Ballina, from which he penetrated into remote districts of the county Mayo. In the neighbourhood of Belmullet he and his companion visited a district which may serve as a representation of the condition of the labouring class generally in the mountainous and boggy districts, where they burrowed and multiplied, more like a race of inferior animals than human beings. "Many of the cabins," wrote Mr. Bennet, "were holes in the bog, covered with a layer of turf, and not distinguishable as human habitations from the surrounding moors, until close down upon them. The bare sod was about the best material of which any of them were constructed. Doorways, not doors, were provided at both sides of the latter, mostly back and front, to take advantage of the way of the wind. Windows and chimneys, I think, had no existence. A second apartment or partition of any kind was exceedingly rare. Furniture properly so called, I believe, may be stated at nil. I cannot speak with certainty, and wish not to speak with exaggeration, we were too much overcome to note specifically; but as far as memory serves, we saw neither bed, chair, nor table at all. A chest, a few iron or earthen vessels, a stool or two, the dirty rags and night coverings, formed about the sum total of the best-furnished. Outside many were all but unapproachable from the mud and filth surrounding them; the scene inside is worse, if possible, from the added closeness, darkness, and smoke.... And now language utterly fails me in attempting to depict the state of the wretched inmates.... We entered a cabin. Stretched in one dark corner, scarcely visible from the smoke and rags that covered them, were three children huddled together, lying there because they were too weak to rise, pale and ghastly; their little limbs, on removing a portion of the covering, perfectly emaciated; eyes sunk, voice gone, and evidently in the last stage of actual starvation. Crouched over the turf embers was another form, wild and all but naked, scarcely human in appearance. It stirred not nor noticed us. On some straw, soddened upon the ground, moaning piteously, was a shrivelled old woman, imploring us to give her something, baring her limbs partly to show how the skin hung loose from her bones, as soon as she attracted our attention. Above her, on something like a ledge, was a young woman with sunken cheeks, a mother, I have no doubt, who scarcely raised her eyes in answer to our inquiries; but pressed her hand upon her forehead, with a look of unutterable anguish and despair.... Every infantile expression had entirely departed; and, in some, reason and intelligence had evidently flown. Many were remnants of families, crowded together in one cabin; orphaned little relatives taken in by the equally destitute, and even strangers—for these poor people are kind to each other, even to the end. In one cabin was a sister, just dying, lying beside her little brother, just dead. I have worse than this to relate; but it is useless to multiply details, and they are, in fact, unfit."
Whilst this glorious news came from the West, from the East arrived tidings equally stirring. In India Colonel Coote, afterwards famous as Sir Eyre Coote, defeated the French under Lally, and made himself master of all Arcot. General Ford defeated the Marquis de Conflans, and took Masulipatam, and afterwards defeated a detachment of Dutch, which had landed from Java to aid our enemies in Bengal. Ford completely routed them, and took the seven ships which had brought them over, and which lay in the Hooghly.If the man who turnips cries,ATTACK ON SIR CHARLES WETHERELL AT BRISTOL. (See p. 340.)
[See larger version]There is in all this much of the splenetic jealousy of an aged invalid towards a vigorous competitor, who has outstripped him in the race. O'Connell excited much hostility amongst the friends of Emancipation by his opposition to the veto which they were willing to give to the British Crown on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops by the Court of Rome. But the more antagonists he had, and the more battles he fought, the greater was his hold on the Roman Catholic priests and people. His power had arrived at its greatest height when the Canningites left the Ministry, and Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald came to Ireland to seek the suffrages of the Clare electors as an influential member of the Government. At first, no one had the least doubt of his triumphant return. He had been popular as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland; he was a steady friend of Catholic Emancipation, for which he had always voted; he was personally popular; the gentry of the county were almost to a man devoted to him. It appears that O'Connell had at first no idea of starting against him. The proposal is said to have originated with Sir David Roose, who, having accidentally met Mr. P. V. Fitzpatrick on the 22nd of June, remarked that O'Connell ought to offer himself for Clare. Mr. Fitzpatrick then recollected having often heard Mr. John Keogh, of Mount Jerome, who had been the Catholic leader for many years, express his conviction that Emancipation would never be granted till a Catholic was elected a member of Parliament. If, when returned by a constituency, he was not permitted to take his seat because he would not violate his conscience by swearing what he did not believe, John Bull, who is jealous of constitutional rights, would resent this wrong, and would require the oath to be altered for the sake of the constituency. The moment this thought occurred to Mr. Fitzpatrick, he ran to O'Connell and begged of him to stand for Clare. They went to the office of the Dublin Evening Post, and there, in presence of Mr. F. W. Conway, the address to the electors was written. Still O'Connell shrank from the contest on account of the enormous cost. "You know," he said, "that, so far from being in circumstances to meet that outlay from my own resources, I am encumbered with heavy liabilities beyond my power of discharging. You are the only person with whom I am acquainted who knows intimately the Catholic aristocracy and men of wealth. Would you undertake to sound them as to funds for the contest?" Fitzpatrick answered, "I will undertake it, and I am confident of success." Within an hour he got three men of wealth to put down their names for ￡100 each. The four then went round to the principal Catholics of Dublin, and during the day they got ￡1,600 from sixteen persons. The country followed the example of the metropolis so liberally that ￡14,000 was raised within a week, and money continued to flow in during the contest. The supplies, however, were not sufficient for the enormous demand, and in the heat of the contest a messenger was sent posthaste to Cork, and in an incredibly short space of time returned with ￡1,000 from Mr. Jerry Murphy, who himself subscribed ￡300, and got the remainder from its patriotic inhabitants. The sum of ￡5,000 had been voted by the Association for the expenses of the election. They had been very anxious to get a candidate to oppose Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, and a popular Protestant, Major Macnamara, had been requested to come forward, but he declined on the ground of his personal obligations to the Ministerial candidate. Indeed, there were few of the smaller gentry in the county on whom he had not conferred favours by the liberal distribution of places among their sons. The Roman Catholic gentry were quite as much indebted to him as the Protestants, and they were not ungrateful, for they stood by him on the hustings almost to a man. Mr. O'Connell was preceded by two friends, Tom Steel and O'Gorman Mahon; the former a Protestant, the other a Roman Catholic: both men remarkable for their chivalrous bearing, and a dashing, reckless spirit, which takes with the Irish peasantry. A third agitator entered the field in the person of honest Jack Lawless, another leading member of the Association, and one of its most effective speakers. This band was soon joined by Father Tom Maguire, a famous controversialist, from the county of Leitrim, who had just been engaged in a discussion with the Rev. Mr. Pope, and was hailed by the peasantry as the triumphant champion of their faith. There was also a barrister, Mr. Dominick Ronayne, who spoke the Irish language, and who, throwing an educated mind into the powerful idiom of the country, produced great effects upon the passions of the people. Mr. Sheil, second only to O'Connell in energy and influence, and superior to him in the higher attributes of the orator, in the fiery temperament and imaginative faculty which constitute genius, flung himself into the arena with the greatest ardour. On the Sunday previous to the election each of these agitators was dispatched to a chapel situated in a district which was the stronghold of one or other of the most popular landlords, for the purpose of haranguing the people after mass, and rousing their enthusiasm to the highest pitch. Mr. Sheil went to a place called Corrofin, situated in a mountainous district, the property of Sir Edward O'Brien, father of Mr. Smith O'Brien, who drove to the place in his carriage, drawn by four horses. There he saw the whole population congregated, having advanced from the rocky hills in large bands, waving green boughs, and preceded by fifes and pipers. The hitherto popular landlord was received in solemn silence, while his antagonist, Mr. Sheil, was hailed with rapturous applause. Sir Edward O'Brien consequently lost heart, and, leaving his phaeton opposite the chapel-door, went to church. Mr. Sheil gives a graphic description of Father Murphy, the priest of this rudely constructed mountain chapel. His form was tall, slender, and emaciated; "his ample hand was worn to a skinny meagretude; his face was long, sunken, and cadaverous, but was illuminated by eyes blazing with all the fire of genius and the enthusiasm of religion; his lank black hair fell down in straight lines along a lofty forehead. The sun was shining with brilliancy, and rendered his figure, attired as it was in white garments, more conspicuous. The scenery about was in harmony—it was wild and desolate." This priest met the envoy of the Association on the threshold of his mountain temple, and hailed him with a solemn greeting. After mass the priest delivered an impassioned harangue. The spirit of sarcasm gleamed over his features, and shouts of laughter attended his description of a miserable Catholic who should prove recreant to the great cause by making a sacrifice of his country to his landlord. "The close of his speech," says Mr. Sheil, "was peculiarly effective. He became inflamed by the power of his emotions, and, while he raised himself into the loftiest attitude to which he could ascend, he laid one hand on the altar and shook the other in the spirit of almost prophetic admonition, and, while his eyes blazed and seemed to start from his forehead, thick drops fell down his face, and his voice rolled through lips livid with passion and covered with foam. It is almost unnecessary to say that such an appeal was irresistible. The multitude burst into shouts of acclamation, and would have been ready to mount a battery roaring with cannon at his command. Two days afterwards the results were felt at the hustings, and while Sir Edward O'Brien stood aghast, Father Murphy marched into Ennis at the head of his tenantry, and polled them to a man in favour of Daniel O'Connell."
The Queen reached the western entrance of Westminster Abbey at half-past eleven o'clock, and was there met by the great officers of State, the noblemen bearing the regalia, and the bishops carrying the paten, the chalice, and the Bible. The arrangements in the interior of the Abbey were nearly the same as at the previous coronation, but the decorations were in better taste. Galleries had been erected for the accommodation of spectators, to which about 1,000 persons were admitted. There was also a gallery for the members of the House of Commons, and another for foreign ambassadors. Soon after twelve o'clock the grand procession began to enter the choir, in the order observed on former occasions. The Queen was received with the most hearty plaudits from all parts of the building, and when she was proclaimed in the formula—"Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Victoria—the undoubted Queen of this realm. Wherefore, all you who are come this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?"—there was a loud and universal burst of cheering, with cries of "God save the Queen." When the crown was placed on her Majesty's head there was again an enthusiastic cry of "God save the Queen," accompanied by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At this moment the peers and peeresses put on their coronets, the bishops their caps, and the kings-of-arms their crowns, the trumpets sounding, the drums beating, the Tower and park guns firing by signal. The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex removing their coronets, did homage in these words:—"I do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto you to live and die against all manner of folk, so help me God." They touched the crown on the Queen's head, kissed her left cheek, and then retired. It was observed that her Majesty's bearing towards her uncles was very affectionate. The dukes and other peers then performed their homage, the senior of each rank pronouncing the words. As they retired, each peer kissed her Majesty's hand. The Duke of Wellington, Earl Grey, and Lord Melbourne were loudly cheered as they ascended the steps to the throne. Lord Rolle, who was upwards of eighty, stumbled and fell on the steps. The Queen immediately stepped forward, and held out her hand to assist the aged peer. This touching incident called forth the loudly expressed admiration of the entire assembly. While the ceremony of doing homage was being performed, the Earl of Surrey, Treasurer of the Household, was scattering silver medals of the coronation about the choir and the lower galleries, which were scrambled for with great eagerness. The ceremonials did not conclude till past four o'clock.
Fox, on this occasion, also introduced the subject of the Prince of Wales's allowance, who, he contended, had far less than had been granted to a Prince of Wales since the accession of the House of Hanover, that allowance being one hundred thousand pounds a-year; and the present parsimony towards the prince being grossly aggravated by the royal Civil List having been raised, in this reign, from six hundred thousand pounds to nine hundred thousand pounds, and the Privy Purse from six thousand pounds to sixty thousand pounds. Fox's remarks were rendered all the more telling because, when the House went into committee on the finances, Pitt had made a most flourishing statement of the condition of the Exchequer. He took off the taxes which pressed most on the poorer portion of the population—namely, on servants, the late augmentations on malt, on waggons, on inhabited houses, etc.,—to the amount of two hundred thousand pounds and appropriated four hundred thousand pounds towards the reduction of the National Debt. Still blind to the storm rising across the strait of Dover, he declared that these were mere trifles compared with what he should be able to do shortly, for never was there a time when a more durable peace might be expected!Paine, in his "Rights of Man," was far from restricting himself to the courtesies of life in attacking Burke. He had been most hospitably received by Burke on many occasions at his house, and had corresponded with him, and must therefore have seen sufficient of him to know that, though he might become extremely enthusiastic in his championship of certain views, he could never become mean or dishonest. Yet Paine did not hesitate to attribute to him the basest and most sordid motives. He branded him as the vilest and most venal of apostates. Paine had, in fact, become a monomaniac in Republicanism. He had been engaged to the last in the American Revolution, and was now living in Paris, and constantly attending the Jacobin club. He was hand-in-hand with the most rabid of the Republicans, and was fast imbibing their anti-Christian tenets. Paine fully believed that the French were inaugurating something much finer than any millennium; that they were going to establish the most delightful liberty, equality, and fraternity, not simply throughout France but throughout the world. Before the doctrines of the French clubbists and journalists, all superstition, all despotism, all unkindness were to vanish from amongst mankind, and a paradisiacal age of love and felicity was to commence. To those who pointed to the blood and fury already too prominently conspicuous in this business, he replied that these were but the dregs of corrupt humanity, which were working off in the great fermentation, and all would become clear and harmonious.
The new Parliament met on the 14th of November. Mr. Manners Sutton was re-elected Speaker. A week was spent in the swearing-in of members, and on the 21st the Session was opened by the king in person. In the Royal Speech allusion was made to the throwing open of the ports for the admission of foreign grain, and the distress that had visited the manufacturing districts. The Address was carried in the Upper House without a division, and in the Lower House an amendment, moved by Mr. Hume, found only twenty-four supporters. On the 5th of December Alderman Waithman moved for a committee of inquiry with reference to the part taken by members of Parliament in the Joint Stock mania of 1824-5-6. He stated that within the last three years six hundred joint-stock companies had been formed, most of them for dishonest purposes. The directors of these fraudulent schemes worked with the market as they pleased, forcing up the prices of shares to sell, and depressing them to buy, pocketing the difference. He dwelt particularly on the Arignon Mining Company, of which the late chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, Mr. Brogden, had been a director. The directors of this company, besides an allowance of three guineas per day for the use of their names, had divided between them a large surplus, arising from traffic in shares. Other members of the House, he alleged, had enriched themselves by bubble companies, particularly Sir William Congreve. At the suggestion of Mr. Canning, the inquiry was restricted to the Arignon Company. A vast amount of loss and suffering had been inflicted by these bubble companies. A check was given to the steady and wholesome progress of the country by the fever of excitement, followed by a sudden and terrible collapse. Healthful commerce was blighted, and one of the worst results of the revulsion was that it not only swept away the delusive projects of adventurers, but paralysed for a season the operations of legitimate enterprise. The commercial atmosphere, however, had been cleared by the monetary crisis of 1825-6. An extensive decomposition of commercial elements was effected. Masses of fictitious property were dispersed, and much of the real capital of the country was distributed in new and safe channels, which caused the year 1827 to open with more cheering prospects.In the face of such facts it was clear that something must be done, even by a Protectionist Ministry, to diminish the effect of the growing belief that bad legislation was at the bottom of the country's difficulties. In the spring men had looked eagerly for the Budget of the new Ministry. It had been bitterly remarked that at the time when Parliament was prorogued there were nearly 21,000 persons in Leeds whose average earnings were only 11-3/4 d. per week—that in one district in Manchester alone a gentleman had visited 258 families, consisting of 1,029 individuals, whose average earnings were only 7? d. per head a week; and that while millions were in this deplorable condition, the duty on wheat stood at 24s. 8d. a quarter, and Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues demanded four months' leisure at their country abodes before they would permit the Legislature to take the distress of the people into consideration. At length came the meeting of Parliament, at which the Queen in person read the Speech prepared by her Ministers. It acknowledged with deep regret "the continued distress in the manufacturing districts," and that the sufferings and privations which had resulted from it had been "borne with exemplary patience and forbearance." Finally, her Majesty recommended to the consideration of both Houses "the laws which affect the import of corn and other articles." What was the intention of the Ministers was not then known; but it was already understood that, unlike their rivals, who had proposed a fixed duty, the new Government would attempt some modification of the sliding scale. In the account of these transactions which Sir Robert Peel left to be published by his executors after his death, he says:—"One of the first acts of the Government over which I presided (the Government of August, 1841) was to propose a material change in the Corn Law of 1828. I brought the subject under the consideration of my colleagues by means of written memoranda, in preference to proposals made verbally. In the first of these memoranda I recommended my colleagues to undertake the revision of the Corn Laws of 1828, as an act of the Government. In the second, after I had procured their assent to the principle of revision, I submitted a proposal in respect to the extent to which such revision should be carried, and to the details of the new law." Then were seen the first symptoms of that estrangement from his party which reached its climax in 1846. Glaring as was the necessity for change, and evident as it was, even to the body of the landowners, that they must choose between the mild reform of Peel and the more objectionable measure of his antagonists, there were members of the Cabinet who would still have held out for no concession. The Duke of Buckingham retired from the Ministry, and the Duke of Richmond refused to allow his son to move the Address.The irritation which this note caused was increased by the fact that before it was communicated by Sir Henry Bulwer to the Spanish Minister, the Duke de Sotomayor, a copy of it had got into print in one of the Opposition journals. In replying to it the Duke reminded our representative that when Lord Palmerston sent the despatch in question the Spanish Cortes were sitting, the press was entirely free, and the Government had adopted a line of conduct admitted to be full of kindness and conciliation. He asked, therefore, what motive could induce the British Minister to make himself the interpreter of the feelings and opinions of a foreign and independent nation in regard to its domestic affairs, and the kind of men that should be admitted to its councils. The Spanish Cabinet, which had the full confidence of the Crown and the Cortes and had been acting in conformity with the constitution and the laws, could not see "without the most extreme surprise the extraordinary pretensions of Lord Palmerston, which led him to interfere in this manner with the internal affairs of Spain, and to support himself on inexact and equivocal data, and the qualification and appreciation of which could not, in any case, come within his province." They declined to give any account of their conduct at the instigation of a foreign Power, and declared that all the legal parties in Spain unanimously rejected such a humiliating pretension. And, he triumphantly asked, "What would Lord Palmerston say if the Spanish Government were to interfere in the administrative acts of the British Cabinet, and recommend a modification of the régime of the State; or if it were to advise it to adopt more efficacious or more liberal measures to alleviate the frightful condition of Ireland? What would he say if the representative of her Catholic Majesty in London were to qualify so harshly as your Excellency has done, the exceptional measures of repression which the English Government prepares against the aggression which threatens in the midst of its own States? What would he say if the Spanish Government were to demand, in the name of humanity, more consideration and more justice on behalf of the unfortunate people of Asia? What, in fine, would he say if we were to remind him that the late events on the Continent gave a salutary lesson to all Governments, without excepting Great Britain?"
[See larger version]When the subsidy to Hesse-Cassel was sent home to receive the signatures of the Cabinet, it was found to amount to an annual payment by England of one hundred and fifty thousand crowns, besides eighty crowns to every horseman, and thirty crowns to every foot soldier, when they were really called out to service. That to Russia was immensely greater; then came in prospective that to Saxony, to Bavaria, etc. These latter States had been fed all through the last few years for doing nothing, and now demanded vastly higher terms. Yet when the Hessian Treaty was laid on the Council table by the compliant Newcastle, Ministers signed it without reading it. Pitt and Fox, however, protested against it; and when the Treasury warrants for carrying the treaty into execution were sent down to Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he refused to sign them.
Opening of 1843—Assassination of Drummond—The Quarterly on the League—Scene between Peel and Cobden—Mr. Villiers's Annual Motion—Peel's Free Trade Admissions—Progress of the League Agitation—Activity of its Press—Important Accessions—Invasion of the County Constituencies—The Free Traders in Parliament—Disraeli attacks Peel—Lord John Russell's Attitude—Debate on Mr. Villiers's Motion—Mr. Goulburn's Budget—The Sugar Duties—Defeat of the Government—Peel obtains a Reconsideration of the Vote—Disraeli's Sarcasms—The Anti-League League—Supposed Decline of Cobdenism—The Session of 1845—The Budget—Breach between Peel and his Party—The Potato Disease—The Cabinet Council—Memorandum of November 6—Dissent of Peel's Colleagues—Peel's Explanation of his Motives—Lord Stanley's Expostulation—Announcement in the Times—The Edinburgh Letter—Resignation of the Ministry—Russell Fails to Form a Government—Return of Peel—Parliament meets—Debates on the Queen's Speech—Peel's general Statement—Mr. Bright's Eulogium—The Corn Bill passes the Commons and the Lords—Defeat of Sir Robert Peel—Some scattered Facts of his Administration.Burke proceeded amidst constant interruption to review the many scenes and debates in which Fox and himself had acted, as well as those on which they had differed, especially their difference of opinion on the Royal Marriage Act; but no difference of opinion had ever before affected their friendship. He alluded to his own long services and his grey hairs, and said that it was certainly an indiscretion, at his time of life, to provoke enemies, or induce his friends to desert him; but that, if his firm and steady adherence to the British Constitution placed him in that dilemma, he would risk all, and, as public duty required, with his last breath exclaim, "Fly from the French Constitution!" Here Fox whispered that there was no loss of friends; that there could be no loss of friendship between them; but Burke said—"Yes, there was a loss of friends: he knew the penalty of his conduct; he had done his duty at the price of his friends—there was an end of their friendship." It was some time before Fox could answer; he was completely overcome by his emotion; and it was only after a free flow of tears that he could proceed. He then said: "Painful as it was to listen to such sentiments as those just delivered by one to whom he owed so many obligations, he could never forget that, when little more than a boy, he had been in the habit of receiving instructions and favours from his right honourable friend. Their friendship had grown with their life; it had continued for upwards of five-and-twenty years; and he hoped, notwithstanding what had happened that day, that his right honourable friend would think on past times, and would give him credit for not intending anything unkind. It was quite true that they had before now differed on many subjects, without lessening their friendship, and why should they not now differ on the French Revolution without a severance of friendship? He could not help feeling that the conduct of his right honourable friend tended to fix upon him the charge of Republican principles, whereas he was far from entertaining such principles. His friend had heaped very ignominious terms upon him that day." Here Burke said aloud, he did not recollect having used such terms; and Fox promptly observed that "if his friend did not recollect those epithets—if they are out of his mind, then they were for ever out of his mind, too; they were obliterated and forgotten." He then denied that there was any marshalling of a party on this subject; that not one gentleman who had risen to call his right honourable friend to order had done it by his desire; on the contrary, he had entreated his friends not to interrupt him. After again dwelling for some time on the merits of the French Revolution, he once more lamented the breach in the unanimity of his friend and himself, and said he would keep out of the way of his right honourable friend till he had time to reflect and think differently, and that their common friends might bring them together again; that he would endeavour to discuss the question on some future day, with all calmness, if his friend wished, but for the present he had said all that he desired to say.
Have a turnip than his father.An impression got abroad, soon after the Clare election, that the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel were wavering on the Catholic question; and in the month of August a profound sensation was produced by a speech made by Mr. Dawson, one of the members for Londonderry. Mr. Dawson was the brother-in-law of the Home Secretary. The latter represented Oxford University, having beaten Canning out of the field, as the champion of Protestant ascendency. The former represented the greatest stronghold of Protestantism in Ireland, the very last of all its constituencies to tolerate a departure from its own inspiring watchword, "No Surrender." Mr. Dawson had been a most uncompromising antagonist of the Catholic claims. We cannot wonder, then, at the startling effect, which ran like an electric shock through the country, when such a man—a member of the Government—at a public banquet, in the midst of the local chiefs of Conservatism within the walls of Derry, surrounded by all the memorials of the glorious Revolution of 1688, pronounced the word "Surrender." He was described as the "pilot balloon," to show the direction in which the wind blew in high quarters. Thus, there was a complete accordance between Mr. Sheil, the eloquent agitator, and Mr. Dawson, one of the ablest and most loyal supporters of the Government, as to the victorious power of the Catholic Association. But to have its triumphs thus proclaimed on the very spot where Protestant ascendency had been established 140 years before, and which had ever since remained its greatest stronghold, was more than could be borne by men who had just been drinking with enthusiasm "The glorious, pious, and immortal memory of William III." Mr. Dawson was, therefore, reviled and execrated; he was burned in effigy, and for years his name was almost as odious to the Orangemen as Lundy the traitor. Hitherto, the agitation on both sides had been little better than child's-play. The Protestant party rested satisfied in the persuasion that "the Constitution in Church and State" was safe in the keeping of a thoroughly Conservative Government—a House of Lords which would not change the laws of England, and a Sovereign who would not violate his coronation oath. But when they found their standard-bearers fainting, and their most trusted commanders parleying with the enemy, their exasperation knew no bounds. The Brunswickers were now terribly in earnest. Their blood was up, and they longed for the arbitrament of the sword.详情
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