Towards the end of May Wellesley commenced his march over the Spanish frontiers; his force being about twenty thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry. He fell in with the old Spanish general, Cuesta, at Oropesa, on the 20th of July, who was at the head of thirty thousand men, but miserably equipped, discouraged by repeated defeats, and nearly famished. Sir Arthur was woefully disappointed by this first view of a Spanish army in the field, and here, indeed, all his difficulties began. The general was a regular Spanish hidalgo—proud, ignorant, and pig-headed. He received Wellesley with immense stiffness and ceremony, as if somebody immeasurably his inferior; and though he knew no English, nor Sir Arthur any Spanish, he would not condescend to speak French with him. His army collected supplies from all the country round; and though the British were come to fight for them, the Spaniards expected them to provide for themselves, and there was the greatest difficulty in inducing the people to sell the British anything except for fabulous prices. Still worse, Sir Arthur found it impossible to get Cuesta to co-operate in anything. He fancied that he knew a great deal more about military affairs than the "Sepoy general," as Wellesley was termed, and that he ought to direct in everything, though he had done nothing but get well beaten on every occasion. And yet, if we take a glance at the French forces now in Spain, against whom they had to make head, the utmost harmony and co-operation was necessary.Meanwhile, Bute was sedulously at work to clear the way for his own assumption, not merely of office, but of the whole power of the Government. He acted as already the only medium of communication with the king, and the depositary of his secrets. He opened his views cautiously to Bubb Dodington, who was a confidant of the Lichfield House party, and still hungering after a title. Dodington advised him to induce Lord Holderness to resign and take his place, which, at first, Bute affected to disapprove of, but eventually acted upon. The first object was to get rid of Pitt, who, by his talents and haughty independence of manner, was not more acceptable to the king and his counsellor, Bute, than by his policy, which they desired to abandon. Pamphlets were therefore assiduously circulated, endeavouring to represent Pitt as insatiable for war, and war as having been already too burdensome for the nation.On the 27th of January Colonel Wardle, a militia officer, rose in his place in the House of Commons and made some startling charges against the Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief of the army. Wardle had been a zealous Conservative, but had now changed his politics, and was acting with the party of extreme Reformers headed by Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Folkestone, and others. His charge was that the Duke of York was keeping a mistress, named Mary Ann Clarke, a married woman, to the great scandal of the nation, and was allowing her to traffic in commissions and promotions in the army. Nor was this all; he asserted that, not in the army alone, but in the Church, this public adulteress was conferring promotions, through her influence with the Duke, and that she had quite a levee of clergy, who were soliciting and bribing her to procure livings and even bishoprics. These were sufficiently exciting statements, and the Colonel demanded a Committee of Inquiry to enable him to prove his assertions. Sir Francis Burdett seconded the motion; and the proposal was not met—as it should have been by Ministers or the Duke's friends—by a denial, but, in general, by a eulogium on the Duke's excellent discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief. The House determined that, wherever the infamy was to fall, it should have the full airing of a committee of the whole House, which was appointed to commence its inquiries on Wednesday, the 1st of February, the Duke intimating, through his friends, that he was, on his part, desirous of the fullest investigation of the matter. From the evidence of Mrs. Clarke it appeared very clear that the Duke had permitted her to traffic in the sale of commissions, and both Mrs. Clarke and Mary Ann Taylor, whose brother was married to Mrs. Clarke's sister, asserted that the Duke had received part of the money for some of these bargains. Sums of one thousand pounds, of five hundred pounds, and two hundred pounds had been paid to her for such services.
GIBRALTAR.For a moment Walpole appeared about to fall from his altitude, and the Jacobite faction was in ecstasies. The dispatch of Townshend, announcing the king's death in Germany, arrived in London on the 14th of June, and was soon followed by himself. Walpole instantly hastened to the palace of Richmond, where the Prince of Wales resided, and was told that the prince was taking his usual afternoon siesta. He desired that he might be awoke, in consequence of important intelligence. George, suddenly aroused, rushed forth half dressed to learn the urgent business, when Walpole knelt down and kissed his hand, informing him of his father's decease, and that he was king. George was at first incredulous, but Walpole produced Townshend's dispatch, and inquired whom his majesty would be pleased to appoint to draw up the necessary declaration to the Privy Council, trusting that it would be himself. To his consternation and chagrin the king said abruptly, "Compton;" and Walpole withdrew in deep vexation, imagining his own reign was at an end.
The passing of these Acts was marked by attacks on Lord Clive. Burgoyne brought up a strong report from his Committee, and, on the 17th of May, moved a resolution charging Clive with having, when in command of the army in Bengal, received as presents two hundred and thirty-four thousand pounds. This was carried; but he then followed it by another, "That Lord Clive did, in so doing, abuse the power with which he was entrusted, to the evil example of the servants of the public." As it was well understood that Burgoyne's resolutions altogether went to strip Clive of the whole of his property, a great stand was here made. Clive was not friendless. He had his vast wealth to win over to him some, as it inflamed the envy of others. He had taken care to spend a large sum in purchasing small boroughs, and had six or seven of his friends and kinsmen sitting for these places in Parliament. He had need of all his friends. Throughout the whole of this inquiry the most persistent and envenomed attacks were made upon him. He was repeatedly questioned and cross-questioned, till he exclaimed, "I, your humble servant, the Baron of Plassey, have been examined by the select Committee more like a sheep-stealer than a member of Parliament." Then the House thought he had suffered enough, for nothing was clearer than that justice required the country which was in possession of the splendid empire he had won to acknowledge his services, whilst it noted the means of this acquisition. Burgoyne's second resolution was rejected, and another proposed by Wedderburn, the Solicitor-General, adopted, "That Robert, Lord Clive, did, at the same time, render great and meritorious services to this country." This terminated the attack on this gifted though faulty man. His enemies made him pay the full penalty of his wealth. They had struck him to the heart with their poisoned javelins. From a boy he had been subject to fits of hypochondriacal depression; as a boy, he had attempted his own life in one of these paroxysms. They now came upon him with tenfold force, and in a few months he died by his own hand (November 22, 1774).
The forces on which the Ameers relied numbered about 20,000 men, who had retired to a great stronghold, eight days' journey distant, in the dreary desert of Beloochistan. Thither, notwithstanding the difficulties of the march, Sir Charles Napier boldly determined to pursue them. The wells being all dry, water for the troops and their horses had to be carried on camels' backs. With 360 men of the Queen's Regiment, mounted on camels, and 200 irregular cavalry, followed by ten camels bearing provisions, and eighty loaded with water, the adventurous general directed his perilous course into the desert, commencing his march on the 5th of January, 1843. After three or four days' march over burning sands, the camels became too weak to draw the howitzers. Their place was supplied, or their failing strength aided, by the hardy and indomitable Irishmen who formed part of the expedition. "At length, on the evening of the 14th, the square tower of Emaum-Ghur was discerned, rising on the distant horizon in solitary grandeur, in that profound solitude." They found the place deserted; Mahommed Khan, the governor, having retired with his treasure the day before, leaving an immense quantity of ammunition behind. With this the fortress was blown up. No fewer than twenty-four mines were run under it in different parts. As Major Warburton, the engineer, was applying his fusee to the last one, his assistant cried, "The other mines are going to burst." "That may be," he replied; "but this must burst also." He then set fire to the fusee with his own hand, and quietly walked away. In a few minutes the stronghold of the Beloochees was blown into fragments. They had another, of equal strength, farther on in the desert; but to attack that with the forces now at his command was an impossibility; and so Sir Charles Napier returned, and rejoined his main army near Hyderabad, having sent Outram to negotiate the details of the treaty.On the 12th of March, 1839, Mr. Villiers again moved for a committee of the whole House to take into consideration the Act regulating the importation of foreign corn, and the Manchester delegates were once more in London to watch the progress of events. On this occasion the House again decided, by 342 votes to 195, not to take the subject into consideration. The defeat was of course expected; but the members of the Association immediately assembled again, and issued an address to the public, in which for the first time they recommended the formation of a permanent union, to be called the Anti-Corn Law League, and to be composed of all the towns and districts represented in the delegation, and as many others as might be induced to form Anti-Corn Law associations, and to join the League. Delegates from the different local associations were to meet for business from time to time at the principal towns represented; but in order to secure unity of action, it was proposed that the central office of the League should be established at Manchester, and that to its members should be entrusted the duties of engaging lecturers, obtaining the co-operation of the public press, establishing and conducting a stamped periodical publication, and keeping up a constant correspondence with the local associations. The delegates then parted, becoming so many local missionaries for spreading the doctrines of the new crusade. The Manchester Association had issued a large number of handbills and placards. It now began to publish more largely and systematically a series of pamphlets. Among these were "Facts for Farmers," in which it was shown to demonstration that, whatever might be the interest of the landowners, their tenants had no real share in the benefits of their monopoly. The cheapness of the publications secured them an extraordinary sale wherever political questions were discussed. Mr. Villiers's speech, extending to thirty-two closely printed pages, was sold at three halfpence; Mr. Poulett Thomson's speech, occupying sixteen pages, at three farthings. When the appeals were made to the electors of the kingdom during the height of the agitation, as many as half a million each of the more popular tracts were issued at a time. In accordance with the resolution passed by the League at its formation in London, a fortnightly organ of the new movement was started on the 16th of April. Its title was the Anti-Corn Law Circular. A preliminary address announced that a copy of the paper would be regularly forwarded to every newspaper, review, and magazine in the empire. The first number contained a "Modern History of the Corn Laws," by Richard Cobden, with various information on the progress of the movement. Meanwhile the work of lecturing went on. Free Trade missionaries were dispatched to all parts, and, to the annoyance of the landlords, even preached their obnoxious doctrines to audiences in smock frocks in the agricultural towns and villages, where the views of the country party had hitherto held undisputed sway. Among the most remarkable of these speakers was Colonel Perronet Thompson, who, by his celebrated "Catechism of the Corn Laws," and his other writings, had done perhaps more than any other man of his time to confute the fallacies of the Protectionist party. The clear and terse style, the shrewd reasoning power, the apt and homely illustration, and, above all, the hearty sincerity and good temper of this remarkable man, were equally acceptable among the most refined or the least educated audiences.
Before the conclusion of the reign of George II. a new school of fiction had appeared. De Foe had, besides his "Robinson Crusoe," opened up the inexhaustible field of incident and character existing in actual life in his "Colonel Jack," "Moll Flanders," "Roxana," and other novels, and Fielding and Richardson extended it. Fielding, too, died six years before the beginning of this reign, and Richardson in the first year of it. But their works were in full circulation, and extended their influence far into this period. They have, therefore, been left to be noticed here in connection with the class of writers to whom they gave origin, and to whom they properly belong. Richardson (b. 1689; d. 1761) seems to have originated the true novel of real life in his "Pamela," which was the history of a servant, written with that verisimilitude that belongs to biography. This was commenced in 1740, and brought to a conclusion in 1741. The extra-ordinary sensation which it created was sufficient proof that the author had struck into the very heart of nature, and not only knew where the seat of human passion lay, but had the highest command over it. It was not, in fact, from books and education, but from native insight and acute observation, that he drew his power. He was born in Derbyshire, and received his education at a common day-school. He was then apprenticed as a printer in London, and established himself as a master in that business, which he continued to pursue with great success. His "Pamela" ran through five editions in the first year. In 1748 appeared his "Clarissa Harlowe," and wonderfully extended his reputation, which reached its full blaze in his "Sir Charles Grandison," in 1754. In all these works he showed himself a perfect analyst of the human heart, and detector of the greatest niceties of character. Though he could have known little or nothing of aristocratic life, yet, trusting to the sure guidance of nature, he drew ladies and gentlemen, and made them act and converse as the first ladies and gentlemen of the age would have been proud to act and speak. A more finished gentleman than Sir Charles Grandison, or correcter lady than Miss Byron, was never delineated. The only thing was, that, not being deeply versed in the debaucheries and vulgarisms of the so-called high life of the time, he drew it as much purer and better than it was. It is in the pages of Fielding and Smollett that we must seek for the darker and more real character of the age. The fault of Richardson was his prolixity. He develops his plot, and draws all his characters, and works out his narrative with the minutest strokes. It is this which prevents him from being read now. Who could wade through a novel of nine volumes? Yet these were devoured by the readers of that time with an avidity that not even the novels of Sir Walter Scott were waited for in the height of his popularity.But Harley and St. John had deprived the nation of its triumph, and left the way open to fresh insults and humiliations. No sooner did Villars see the English forces withdrawn from the Allies, than he seized the opportunity to snatch fresh advantages for France, and thus make all their demands on the Allies certain. He crossed the Scheldt on the 24th of July, and, with an overwhelming force, attacked the Earl of Albemarle, who commanded a division of the Allied army at Denain. Eugene, who, from the reduction of Quesnoy, had proceeded to lay siege to Landrey, instantly hastened to the support of Albemarle; but, to his grief, found himself, when in sight of him, cut off from rendering him any assistance by the breaking down of the bridge over the Scheldt; and he had the pain to see Albemarle beaten under his very eyes. Seventeen battalions of Albemarle's force were killed or taken. He himself and all the surviving officers were made prisoners. Five hundred wagons loaded with bread, twelve pieces of brass cannon, a large quantity of ammunition and provisions, horses and baggage, fell into the hands of the French. Villars then marched on to Marchiennes, where the stores of the Allies were deposited, and took it on the 31st of July, the garrison of five thousand being sent to Valenciennes prisoners. He next advanced to Douay, where Eugene would have given him battle, but was forbidden to do so by the States, and thus Douay fell into Villars' hands. Then came the fall of Quesnoy and Bouchain, which had cost Marlborough and Eugene so much to win.Early in the following year the mayor and the commanding officer, Colonel Brereton, were brought to trial for neglect of duty. The mayor was acquitted, as not having been adequately supported by the military; but Colonel Brereton's humanity led to the most painful consequences. His trial began on the 9th of January following, and lasted four days, during which, as the proofs against him accumulated, he was overwhelmed with agony of mind. On the night of the 12th he did not visit, as was his custom, the chamber of his two motherless daughters. He was heard walking for hours about his room during that night, and in the morning, when the court assembled, it was announced that the prisoner had shot himself through the heart.
But though the 21st of January was to be the day of the grand attack on the Ministry, the battle was not deferred till then. Every day was a field-day, and the sinking Minister was dogged step by step, his influence weakened by repeated divisions, and his strength worn out by the display of the inevitable approach of the catastrophe. The first decided defeat that he suffered was in the election of the Chairman of Committees. The Ministerial candidate, Giles Earle, was thrown out by a majority of two hundred and forty-two to two hundred and thirty-eight, and the Opposition candidate, Dr. Lee, was hailed by a shout that rent the House. Other close divisions followed. The fall of Walpole was now certain, and he would have consulted both his dignity and comfort in resigning at once. This was the earnest advice of his friends, but he had been too long accustomed to power to yield willingly. He was oppressed with a sense of his defeats, and the insolence of enemies whom he had so long calmly looked down upon without fear. He was growing old and wanted repose, but he still clung convulsively to his authority, though he had ceased to enjoy it.By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd.
The Cabinet, by a very considerable majority, declined giving its assent to the proposals which the Minister thus made to them. They were supported by only three members of the Cabinet—the Earl of Aberdeen, Sir James Graham, and Mr. Sidney Herbert. The other members of the Cabinet, some on the ground of objection to the principle of the measures recommended, others upon the ground that there was not yet sufficient evidence of the necessity for them, withheld their sanction.
Nelson, who had returned to England, by the 15th of September was on board of his old flagship, the Victory, and immediately sailed for Cadiz, accompanied only by three other ships of war. On the 29th he arrived off Cadiz, and was received by the fleet with enthusiastic acclamation. It was his birthday. He posted himself about twenty leagues to the west of Cadiz, in hope that the French fleet would come out. He knew that it was in great distress for provisions, because Napoleon, intending the fleet to assemble at Brest, had laid in the necessary stores there, and could not convey them, in any reasonable time, to Cadiz. Still more, it was believed that Napoleon refused to send any supplies there, having given Villeneuve imperative orders to make his way to Brest. But it is also asserted, by French authorities, that Napoleon had ordered the Minister of Marine to take the command from Villeneuve, and that the admiral was piqued to show the Emperor, by a daring exploit, that he had done him injustice. Under these or similar motives, Villeneuve determined to sail out, and encounter the British fleet. Nelson was watching for him behind Cape St. Mary, like a cat watching a mouse, as he said in a letter to the Abbé Campbell, of Naples, a friend of his and of Lady Hamilton's. On the 9th of October, certain that the enemy would soon come out, Nelson sent to Lord Collingwood his plan of the battle. It was to advance in two lines of sixteen ships each, with an advanced squadron of eight of the fastest-sailing two-decked ships. They were thus to break the enemy's line in three places at once. Nelson was to aim at the centre; Collingwood, leading the second line, to break through at about the twelfth ship from the rear; and the light squadron, at three or four ships from the centre—Nelson's point of attack. "I look," wrote Nelson, "with confidence to a victory before the van of the enemy can succour their rear; and then the British fleet will, most of them, be ready to receive their twenty sail of the line, or to pursue them, should they endeavour to make off. If the van of the enemy tack, the captured ships must run to the leeward of the British fleet; if the enemy wear, the British must place themselves between them and the captured and disabled British ships, and, should the enemy close, I have no fear for the result. The second in command will, in all possible things, direct the movements of his line by keeping them as compact as the nature of the circumstances will admit. Captains are to look to their particular line as their rallying-point; but, in case signals cannot be clearly seen or understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy!" Such were Nelson's general orders, and they were entirely approved by Lord Collingwood.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.
In such circumstances closed the year 1789. The intense excitement which the rapid course of these French events had produced in England had nearly superseded all other topics of interest. At first there was an almost universal jubilation over this wonderful revolution. The dreadful state of misery and oppression to which France had been reduced; the fearful exactions; the system of popular ignorance maintained by priestcraft; the abominable feudal insolence; the abuse of lettres de cachet; and the internal obstructions of customs and barriers between one province and another, made every friend of freedom desirous of seeing all these swept away. The early progress of their destruction was hailed with enthusiasm in England. Even the retired and timid poet, Cowper sang a triumphal note on the fall of the Bastille; but soon the bloody fury of the populace, and the domineering character of the Assembly, which did not deign to stop at the proper constitutional limits, began to create distrust and alarm. Amongst the first to perceive and to denounce this work of anarchy rather than of reform, was Burke. In common with Fox and Pitt, and many other statesmen, he had rejoiced in the fall of the corrupt government of France; but he soon began to perceive that the people were displaying the same ferocious character as in all their former outbreaks. "If," he wrote to M. Menonville, a moderate Member of the Assembly, "any of these horrid deeds were the acts of the rulers, what are we to think of the armed people under such rulers? But if there be no rulers in reality, and the chiefs are driven before the people rather than lead them; and if the armed corps are composed of men who have no fixed principle of obedience, and are moved only by the prevalence of some general inclination, who can repute himself safe amongst a people so furious and so senseless?" As he continued to gaze, he was compelled to confess that he saw no great and wise principles of legislation displayed by the Assembly; but that it went on destroying, without knowing how to rebuild in a manner likely to last or to work any one any good. The whole of the constitution-making, which annihilated the royal power, which erected no second chamber, but absorbed all authority into the Assembly, a mixed and heterogeneous body, he declared to be a bungling and monstrous performance. On the other hand, Dr. Price, Dr. Priestley, and numbers of equally enthusiastic men, saw nothing but what was animating in the progress of the French Revolution. "The Revolution Society," including many of the highest names of the Whig aristocracy, which was accustomed to meet on the 5th of November, to celebrate the anniversary of the landing of William III., and the English Revolution of 1688, this year presented a glowing address of congratulation to the French National Assembly, which was carried over by Lord Stanhope and Dr. Price. Of course, they and the address were received with great acclamation by the Assembly. The admiration of the French Revolution spread over Britain. Clubs were established, both in London and in the country, in sympathy with it, and the press became very Gallican and Republican in its tone, and there was much corresponding with admirers of the revolution in France, especially with Thomas Paine, who had now transferred himself from America, with a political fanatic destined to acquire considerable attention, calling himself Anacharsis Clootz, the "orator of mankind," and with many others.Lord Howe arrived from England, and cast anchor off Sandy Hook, a few hours after the Declaration of Independence had been read to the army by Washington. He had been expected by his brother, General Howe, who had arrived at the same point on the 29th of June, supposing he should find the admiral there. General Howe found Washington already in New York, and actively engaged in throwing up entrenchments, both there and on Long Island, to close the Hudson against the British fleet. Washington's headquarters were at New York; those of General Sullivan, at the western extremity of Long Island, opposite to New York; and Governor's Island, Paulus Hook, New Rochelle, and other points, were strongly defended to protect the rear of the city. At the time of Admiral Howe's arrival, the army of Washington did not amount to more than seventeen thousand men, of whom three thousand were sick, and but about ten thousand men fit for duty. From his letters to Congress, it is clear that he entertained very little hope of maintaining his ground in case of attack, for the fresh forces brought by Howe from England, being joined by the shattered remains of Sir Peter Parker's squadron, amounted to twenty thousand men. A few days afterwards, however, he was joined by two regiments from Philadelphia, and by large bodies of New York and New England Militia, raising his army to twenty-seven thousand men, but of these a large number were sick. He now posted strong reinforcements in Brooklyn. On this General Howe quitted Sandy Hook, and advanced to Staten Island, where he could watch the operations of the enemy. The Americans abandoned Staten Island, on his approach, without firing a gun.Whilst these proceedings were in agitation, the Tory and Jacobite party, which had at the king's accession appeared stunned, now recovering spirit, began to foment discontent and sedition in the public mind. They got the pulpits to work, and the High Church clergy lent themselves heartily to it. The mobs were soon set to pull down the meeting-houses of the Dissenters. Many buildings were destroyed, and many Dissenters insulted. They did not pause there, but they blackened the character of the king, and denied his right to the Crown, whilst the most fascinating pictures were drawn of the youth, and grace, and graciousness of the rightful English prince, who was wandering in exile to make way for the usurper. To such a length did matters go, that the Riot Act, which had been passed in the reign of Mary, and limited to her own reign, which was again revived by Elizabeth, and had never since been called into action, was now made perpetual, and armed with increased power. It provided that if twelve persons should unlawfully assemble to disturb the peace, and any one Justice should think proper to command them by proclamation to disperse, and should they, in contempt of his orders, continue together for one hour, their assembling should be felony without benefit of clergy. A subsequent clause was added, by which pulling down chapels or houses, even before proclamation, was made subject to the same penalties. Such is the Act in force at this day.
From the 11th of February to the 1st of March the struggle went on, many endeavours being made, but without effect, to come to an agreement between the parties. On the last day Fox moved that an Address be carried up to the king by the whole House, representing the violence done to the Constitution by a Minister retaining his place after a vote of want of confidence by the Commons, and insisting strongly on the right and duty of that House to advise his Majesty on the exercise of his prerogative. Pitt replied that, by attempting to force the king to decide contrary to his judgment, they were placing the sceptre under the mace; but the resolution was carried by a majority, though of twelve only, and on the 4th the Address was carried up, when the king repeated that his sentiments remained the same. Fox, on the return of the House, moved that this answer should not be taken into consideration before the 8th, and till then the Mutiny Bill should remain in abeyance. His object was to stave off a dissolution until the 25th, when the Mutiny Bill expired. By refusing to renew it, he hoped to force his rival to resign. The House on the 8th was excessively crowded, for a very warm debate was anticipated. When it came to divide about midnight, Fox was found to have carried his resolution, but only by a majority of one. This was the climax of defeat. The once triumphant Opposition saw that all was over with them, and they gave up the contest.详情
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