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Parliament opened its first sitting on the 9th of October. The rumour of invasion, of course, gave the tone to the king's speech. He recited the leading facts of the conspiracy, and observed that he should the less wonder at them had he in any one instance, since his accession to the throne of his ancestors, invaded the liberty or property of his subjects.At the very time that Washington was flying before the British army, Congress, putting a firm face on the matter, went on legislating as boldly as ever. It established Articles of Confederation and perpetual union between the several States. These Articles were a supplement to and extension of the Declaration of Independence, and were sixteen in number:—1st. That the thirteen States thus confederating should take the title of the United States. 2nd. That each and all were engaged in a reciprocal treaty of alliance and friendship for their common defence, and for their general advantage; obliging themselves to assist each other against all violence that might threaten all or any of them on account of religion, sovereignty, commerce, or under any other pretext whatever. 3rd. That each State reserved to itself alone the exclusive right of regulating its internal government. 4th. That no State in particular should either send or receive embassies, begin any negotiations, contract any engagements, form any alliances, or conclude any treaties with any king, prince, or power whatsoever, without the consent of the United States assembled in Congress; that no person invested with any post in the United States should be allowed to accept any presents, emoluments, office, or title, from any king, prince, or foreign Power; and that neither the General Congress, nor any State in particular, should ever confer any title of nobility. 5th. That none of the said States should have power to form alliances, or confederations, even amongst themselves, without the consent of the General Congress. 6th. That no State should lay on any imposts, or establish any duties, which might affect treaties to be hereafter concluded by Congress with foreign Powers. 7th. That no State in particular should keep up ships of war, or land troops beyond the amount regulated by Congress. 8th. That when any of the States raised troops for the common defence, the officers of the rank of colonel and under should be appointed by the legislature of the State, and the superior officers by Congress. 9th. That all the expenses of the war, etc., should be paid out of a common treasury. Other clauses defined the functions and powers of Congress, and the 14th offered to Canada admission to all the privileges of the other States, should she desire it; but no other colony was to be admitted without the formal consent of nine of the States composing the union.The great financial questions of 1786 were the Duke of Richmond's plan of fortifying Portsmouth and Plymouth, and Pitt's proposal of a sinking fund to pay off the national debt, an excise duty on wines, and Pitt's commercial treaty with France. During the previous Session the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance, had proposed a plan of fortifying these large arsenals, so that, in the supposed absence of our fleet on some great occasion, they would be left under the protection of regiments of militia, for whom enormous barracks were to be erected. A board of officers had been appointed to inquire into the advantages of the plan, and their report was now brought up on the 27th of February, and introduced by Mr. Pitt, who moved that the plan be adopted. This scheme was strongly opposed by General Burgoyne, Colonel Barré, and others. Mr. Bastard moved an amendment declaring the proposed fortifications inexpedient. He said the militia had been called the school of the army, but to shut them up in these strongholds, separate from their fellow-subjects, was the way to convert them into universities for pr?torian bands. He protested against taking the defence of the nation from our brave fleet and conferring it on military garrisons; tearing the ensign of British glory from the mast-head, and fixing a standard on the ramparts of a fort. The Bill was rejected, Fox, Sheridan, Windham, and all the leading Oppositionists declaiming against it.

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. (After the Portrait by G. Richmond.)JOHN WILKES.

The feeling of humanity that gained ground among the masses powerfully affected the middle classes. The consequence was that the state of public feeling produced by the practical inculcation of Christianity and the diffusion of knowledge compelled our legislature to change its system, despite the obstinate resistance of Lords Eldon and Ellenborough, hardened by a long official familiarity with the destructive operation of legal cruelty. How fearful the amount of that destruction was we may infer from the calculation of Mr. Redgrave, of the Home Office, who stated that had the offences tried in 1841 been tried under the laws of 1831, the eighty capital sentences would have been increased to 2,172. Mr. Redgrave gave the following succinct history of the mitigation of the criminal code during the reigns of George IV. and William IV., in a series of enactments which were extorted from a reluctant Legislature by society, humanised through the education of the masses:—In 1826, 1827, and 1828 Sir Robert Peel carried several very important Bills for the consolidation and amendment of the criminal laws, but these Bills did not abolish capital punishments. That statesman, indeed, made it a matter of boast that he did not constitute any new capital felonies, and pointed out an instance in which he had abated the capital punishment by increasing from 40s. to £5, the sum of which the theft in a dwelling-house constituted a capital offence, and by widening the technical description of a dwelling. In 1830 Sir Robert Peel brought in his Forgery Bill, and petitions were poured into the House from all quarters against the re-enactment of the severe penalties for this offence. Sir James Mackintosh again took up the subject, and moved that the capital punishment be struck out from the Bill. He was unsuccessful; but in the last stage of the measure Mr. Spring-Rice was enabled to defeat the Ministry by a majority of 151 to 138, and to remove the sentence of death from the Bill. It was, however, restored by the Lords, and the Bill, as altered, was suffered to pass the House of Commons at the end of the Session. In 1832 two most important Bills for abolishing capital punishments were passed. Mr. Ewart, assisted by the Government, was able to carry a Bill abolishing the punishment of death in cases of horse, sheep, and cattle stealing, and larceny in a dwelling-house. He was opposed by Sir Robert Peel, and an amendment was made in the Lords, subjecting these offences to the fixed penalty of transportation for life. At the same time, Ministers brought in a Bill for abolishing capital punishment in cases of forgery. The Bill was introduced into the Commons by the Attorney-General, and into the House of Lords by the Lord Chancellor. It passed into law, but an amendment was made in the House of Lords, under protest of the Lord Chancellor, exempting the forgery of wills and powers of attorney to transfer stock, which offences were left capital. In 1833 Mr. Leonard carried his Bill for abolishing capital punishment for housebreaking, executions for which offence were continued down to 1830. In 1834 Mr. Ewart carried a Bill for abolishing capital punishment for returning from transportation, and in the following year for sacrilege and letter-stealing. This was the state of the criminal law when Lord John Russell brought in Bills for its mitigation, founded on the report of a committee which Government had appointed. The little progress which Sir S. Romilly and Sir J. Mackintosh had made in opposition to the Governments of their day will be seen by the foregoing sketch, as well as the extensive and salutary changes which followed. Lord John Russell's Bills effected an extensive abolition of the sentence of death, and a mitigation of the secondary punishments. He was enabled to abolish capital punishments in all cases but murder and attempts to murder where dangerous bodily injuries were effected; burglary and robbery when attended with violence or wounds; arson of dwelling-houses where life was endangered; and six other offences of[427] very rare occurrence. The number of capital convictions in 1829 was 1,385; and in 1834, three years after the extensive abolition of capital punishments, the number was reduced to 480.[229]It met on the 29th of November. The king, in his speech, alluded to the determined resistance to the imperial authority of the American colonists, and pre-eminently of those of Massachusetts Bay. He called upon Parliament to support him in his endeavours to restore order. There was strong opposition to the addresses in both Houses, demands being made for a full production of all papers and correspondence on this great subject, but the battle did not begin until January, 1775, when Chatham moved the repeal of the legislation of the previous year, and the withdrawal of the troops from Boston.

On the 24th of April, accordingly, the king proposed, in a speech from the throne, the measure to the Houses in these words. Both Houses sent addresses of affection, and the bill was introduced into the House of Lords; and it was there contended that it was too vague, no person being directly named, except the queen. To remedy this the king sent a new message, naming the five princes of the royal house, with the power of nominating others in the case of the deaths of any of them. Still, on the second reading, Lord Lyttelton declared that this left it perfectly uncertain who would become regent; and he moved an address to the king to name which one of the persons specified he would nominate as regent. But here the Duke of Richmond asked, whether the queen were naturalised; and if not, whether she were capable of acting as regent. He asked, also, who were, strictly speaking, the royal family? The Earl of Denbigh replied, "All who were prayed for;" but the Duke of Bedford contended that those only in the order of succession constituted the royal family. This went at once to exclude the Princess Dowager of Wales, the king's mother; and Halifax, Bedford's colleague, agreed with him. Amidst all this confusion, Lord Halifax hastened away to the king, and advised him to have the name of his mother omitted, lest the Lords should strike it out, and thus make it appear a public insult. The poor bewildered king, taken by surprise, said, "I will consent, if it will satisfy my people."On the 14th of September the Russian army filed through the streets of their beloved but doomed city, with sad looks, furled banners, and silent drums, and went out at the Kolomna gate. The population followed them. Rostopschin had encouraged vast numbers already to transplant all their wealth and stores from the place, and, as his last act, he called up two prisoners—a Russian traitor, and a Frenchman who had dropped hostile expressions. The Russian he ordered, with the consent of the culprit's own father, to be put to death; the Frenchman he set at liberty, telling him to go to Buonaparte and say that but one traitor had been found in Russia, and him he had seen cut to pieces. Rostopschin then mounted his horse and rode after his countrymen, having first[47] ordered all the gaols to be set open, and their wretched inhabitants to be allowed to make their escape.

The Church Temporalities Bill, with some alterations, passed the Lower House; it encountered strong opposition in the Lords, who defeated the Ministry on one important amendment, but it ultimately passed, on the 30th of July, by a majority of fifty-four, several peers having recorded their protests against it, among whom the Duke of Cumberland was conspicuous. The Commissioners appointed under the Bill were the Lord Primate, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Lord Chancellor and Chief Justice of Ireland, and four of the bishops, and some time afterwards three laymen were added. The following were the principal features of this great measure of Church Reform: Church Cess to be immediately abolished—this was a direct pecuniary relief to the amount of about £80,000 per annum, which had been levied in the most vexatious manner—and a reduction of the number of archbishops and bishops prospectively, from four archbishops and eighteen bishops to two archbishops and ten bishops, the revenues of the suppressed sees to be appropriated to general Church purposes. The archbishoprics of Cashel and Tuam were reduced to bishoprics, ten sees were abolished, the duties connected with them being transferred to other sees—Dromore to Down, Raphoe to Derry, Clogher to Armagh, Elphin to Kilmore, Killala to Tuam, Clonfer to Killaloe, Cork to Cloyne, Waterford to Cashel, Ferns to Ossory, Kildare to Dublin. The whole of Ireland was divided into two provinces by a line drawn from the north of Dublin county to the south of Galway Bay, and the bishoprics were reduced to ten. The revenues of the suppressed bishoprics, together with those of suspended dignities and benefices and disappropriated tithes, were vested by the Church Temporalities Act in the Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to be applied by them to the erection and repairs of churches, to the providing for Church expenses hitherto defrayed by vestry rates, and to other ecclesiastical purposes. The sales which were made of perpetuities of Church estates, vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, produced upwards of £631,353; the value of the whole perpetuities, if sold, was estimated at £1,200,000. The total receipts of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1834 were £68,729; in 1835 they amounted to £168,027; and in 1836 they reached £181,045. The cost of the official establishment was at one time £15,000; during the later years, however, it averaged less than £6,000. Its total receipts, up to July, 1861, were £3,310,999. The Church Temporalities Act imposed a tax on all benefices and dignities whose net annual value exceeded £300, graduated according to their amount, from two and a half to five per cent., the rate of charge increasing by 2s. 6d. per cent. on every additional £10 above £405. All benefices exceeding £1,195 were taxed at the rate of fifteen per cent. The yearly tax imposed on all bishoprics was graduated as follows:—Where the yearly value did not exceed £4,000 five per cent.; not exceeding £6,000, seven per cent.; not exceeding £8,000, ten per cent.; and not exceeding £10,000, twelve per cent. In lieu of tax the Archbishopric of Armagh was to pay to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners an annual sum of £4,500, and the see of Derry to pay £6,160. The exact net incomes of the Irish bishops were as follows:—Armagh, £14,634; Meath, £3,764;[361] Derry, £6,022; Down, £3,658; Kilmore, £5,248; Tuam, £3,898; Dublin, £7,636; Ossory, £3,874; Cashel, £4,691; Cork, £2,310; Killaloe, £3,310; Limerick, £3,987—total, £63,032. The total amount of tithe rent-charge payable to ecclesiastical persons—bishops, deans, chapters, incumbents of benefices, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners was £401,114. The rental of Ireland was estimated, by the valuators under the Poor Law Act, at about £12,000,000—this rental being about a third part of the estimated value of the annual produce of the land.

This contest excited universal interest. Mr. O'Connell, the Roman Catholic candidate, was not unknown in England. He had come to London as the leading member of a deputation to urge the concession of Catholic Emancipation upon the Government and the legislature, when he met a number of the leading statesmen of the day at the house of the Duke of Norfolk. He had been examined by a committee of the Lords, together with Dr. Doyle, in 1825, on which occasion the ability he displayed, his extensive and accurate knowledge, his quickness in answering, and the clearness with which he conveyed information, excited the admiration of all parties. In the appeal case of Scully versus Scully he pleaded before Lord Eldon. It was the first time he had appeared in his forensic character in England. No sooner had he risen to address their lordships than it was buzzed about the precincts of Westminster, and persons of all descriptions crowded in with anxious curiosity to witness the display, including several peers and members of Parliament. He addressed their lordships for nearly two hours, during which the Lord Chancellor paid him great attention, though he had only thirty-three hours before carried the House of Lords with him in rejecting the Bill by which the great advocate would have been admitted to the full privileges of citizenship. Referring to this subject, Lord Eldon wrote in his diary, "Mr. O'Connell pleaded as a barrister before me in the House of Lords on Thursday. His demeanour was very proper, but he did not strike me as shining so much in argument as might be expected from a man who has made so much noise in his harangues in a seditious association." Lord Eldon's opinion was evidently tinged by the recollection of the "seditious harangues." It is a curious fact that the leading counsel on that occasion on the same side was Sir Charles Wetherell, then Solicitor-General. The English admired the rich tones of O'Connell's voice, his clear and distinct articulation, his legal ingenuity, and the readiness with which he adapted himself to the tribunal before which he pleaded. One of the best speeches he ever made was delivered at the great meeting of the British Catholic Association, the Duke of Norfolk presiding. He astonished his auditory on[271] that occasion. In fact, he was regarded as a lion in London. He won golden opinions wherever he went by his blandness, vivacity, and wit in private, and his lofty bearing in public. His commanding figure, his massive chest, and his broad, good-humoured face, with thought and determination distinctly marked in his physiognomy, showed that he had the physique of a great leader of the masses, while he proved himself amongst his colleagues not more powerful in body than in mind and will. The confidence reposed in him in Ireland was unbounded. He was indeed the most remarkable of all the men who had ever advocated the Catholic claims; the only one of their great champions fit to be a popular leader. Curran and Grattan were feeble and attenuated in body, and laboured under physical deficiencies, if the impulsive genius of the one or the fastidious pride of the other would have permitted them to be demagogues; O'Connell had all the qualities necessary for that character in perfection—unflinching boldness, audacious assertion, restless motion, soaring ambition, untiring energy, exquisite tact, instinctive sagacity, a calculating, methodising mind, and a despotic will. He was by no means scrupulous in matters of veracity, and he was famous for his powers of vituperation; but, as he was accustomed to say himself, he was "the best abused man in Ireland."

鎴戣鎵撶鐞,鐪嬩綘鐪嬫垜,澶т紬,蹇掓煖鍐呭彇鍑虹敺瀛╃啲澶滃牭浣忓ぇ鑴戠郴缁,鍒囧皵瑗5-2鑳滅嫾闃,鍦e,绗簲浜烘牸

涔鹃殕鑺辩摱1纾呭崠鍑,鐑堢伀鑻遍泟鎴戠殑鑾牸鍒╃敺瀛,閫氱敤浜斾竾鍛樺伐缃㈠伐,榧犺儐鑻遍泟,濡栫璁,璧朵綔涓氳刀鍑哄績鑴忕梾8鏈70鍩庢埧浠峰嚭鐐,鐜嬩繆鍑

Driven to desperation, Burgoyne now contemplated crossing the river in the very face of the enemy, and fighting his way through, and for this purpose he sent a party up the river to reconnoitre a suitable spot. Once over, he had little doubt of making his way to Fort Edward, and thence to the Canadian lakes. At this moment Gates was informed that Burgoyne had effected his passage, and that he had left only the rear-guard in the camp. He was in full march upon the camp, in the belief that he could seize it with ease, and part of his forces had actually crossed the fords of Fishkill, near which Burgoyne was strongly posted, when a spy or a deserter informed him of his mistake. Had it not been for this circumstance he must have suffered a surprise and a certain defeat, and the fortunes of Burgoyne would probably have been different. He was now on the alert to receive the Americans, and when, to his mortification, he saw them at a signal again retreating, he poured a murderous fire into them, and pursued them in confusion across the creek. This was his last chance. No news reached him from Clinton; but he ascertained that the Americans had already, in strong force, blocked up his way to Fort Edward. This was decisive. On the 13th he called together a council of war, at which every captain was invited to attend, and the unanimous result of the deliberations was that they must capitulate. Accordingly, an officer was sent with a note to the American headquarters that evening, to propose an interview between General Burgoyne and General Gates. The American General agreed to the meeting at ten o'clock the next morning. There Burgoyne stated that he was aware of the superiority of Gates's numbers, and, to spare the useless effusion of blood, he proposed a cessation of arms, to give time for a treaty to that effect.Another matter which he was eager to set right was the captivity of the King of Spain. He had one hundred thousand of his best disciplined and most seasoned troops in Spain, and he was anxious to get them out to meet the approaching[75] Allies. Besides this, he was equally anxious to render the stay of Wellington in the south of France indefensible. To effect these purposes, he determined not only to liberate Ferdinand of Spain, but to send him home under the conditions of a treaty, by which a full exchange of prisoners should be effected, and the continuance of the British there be declared unnecessary. Nay, he did all in his power to embroil the Spaniards with their deliverers, the British. By a treaty Buonaparte recognised Ferdinand VII. and his successors as King of Spain and the Indies, and Ferdinand, on his part, bound himself to maintain the integrity of his empire, and to oblige the British immediately to evacuate every part of Spain. The contracting powers were to maintain their maritime rights against Great Britain; and whilst Buonaparte surrendered all fortresses held by him in Spain, Ferdinand was to continue to all the Spaniards who had adhered to King Joseph the rights, privileges, and property they had enjoyed under him.

Yet the whole demand for sailors was carried, and the demand of inquiry as absolutely rejected. Parliament went on and voted three million two hundred and five thousand five hundred and five pounds for the expenses of the navy; four thousand pounds for Greenwich Hospital; five hundred thousand pounds for the discharge of the debts of the navy. For the army, including some new contracts with the German princes for men to serve in America, three million pounds. What was still more disgraceful was that, amid all these charges on the public purse, the king came again with a fresh demand for six hundred thousand pounds for debts on the Civil List. It was pretended that extraordinary calls had been made on the royal purse by the suffering Royalists in America; but it was notorious that the Royal household continued in the same condition of reckless waste and extravagance as it was when the former half million was voted for the same purpose. Yet the Commons granted this sum; and, by way of preventing the king from falling into fresh difficulties, added one hundred thousand pounds a year to the Civil List. The matter, however, did not pass without a plain reminder to his Majesty. The rough-spoken Sir Fletcher Norton, the Speaker of the Commons, when presenting this Bill for the increase of the Civil List to the king, said:—"Sir,—In a time of public distress, full of difficulty and danger, under burdens almost too heavy to be borne, your faithful Commons postponed all other business, and granted your Majesty not only a large present supply, but a very great additional revenue—great beyond example—great beyond your Majesty's highest wants!" Having passed these votes, Parliament was prorogued on the 13th of December till the 21st of the following January.This memorable controversy between the Prime Minister and the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, exhibiting a painful conflict of opinion and feeling between the two personages more particularly charged with the government of the country in the midst of a dangerous crisis, was brought to a close by a letter from the Duke of Wellington on the 28th of December. The following is a copy:—

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