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[See larger version]The middle classes at that time, bent on the acquisition of Parliamentary Reform, were anxious that the movement should be conducted strictly within the bounds of legality, and without producing any social disorders. There was, however, a class of agitators who inflamed popular discontent by throwing the blame of the existing distress on machinery, on capitalists, and on the Government. This course of conduct served to encourage mobs of thieves and ruffians both in town and country, who brought disgrace upon the cause of Reform, and gave a pretext for charging the masses of the people with a lawless spirit and revolutionary tendencies. Carlile and Cobbett were the chief incendiaries. Both were brought to trial; Carlile was fined 2,000 and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, but Cobbett was acquitted as the jury were unable to agree.Buonaparte apparently lost no time, after his return to Paris from Sch?nbrunn, in communicating to Josephine the fact that the business of the divorce and the new marriage was settled. On the 30th of November, 1809, he opened the unpleasant reality to her in a private interview, and she fell into such violent agitation, and finally into so deep a swoon, as to alarm Napoleon. He blamed Hortense for not having broken the matter to her three days before, as he had desired. But however much Napoleon might be affected at this rude disruption of an old and endeared tie, his feelings never stood in the way of his ambitious plans. The preparations for the divorce went on, and on the 15th of December a grand council was held in the Tuileries on the subject. At this important council all the family of Napoleon, his brothers and sisters, now all kings and queens, were summoned from their kingdoms to attend, and did attend, except Joseph from Spain, Madame Bacciochithat is, Eliseand Lucien, who had refused to be made a king. Cambacrs, now Duke of Parma and arch-chancellor of the Empire, and St. Jean d'Angly, the Minister of State, attended to take the depositions. Napoleon then said a few words expressive of his grief at this sad but necessary act, of affection for and admiration of the wife he was about to put away, and of his hope of a posterity to fill his throne, saying he was yet but forty, and might reasonably expect to live to train up children who should prove a blessing to the empire. Josephine, with a voice choked with tears, arose, and, in a short speech, made the act a voluntary one on her part. After this the arch-chancellor presented the written instrument of divorce, which they signed, and to which all the family appended their signatures. This act was presented to the Senate the very next day by St. Jean d'Angly, and,[3] strangely enough, Eugene Beauharnais, Josephine's son, was chosen to second it, which he did in a speech of some length. The Senate passed the necessary Senatus Consultum, certifying the divorce, and conferring on Josephine the title of empress-queen, with the estate of Navarre and two millions of francs per annum. They also voted addresses to both Napoleon and Josephine of the most complimentary character. This being done, Napoleon went off to St. Cloud, and Josephine retired to the beautiful abode of Malmaison, near St. Germains, where she continued to reside for the remainder of her life, and made herself beloved for her acts of kindness and benevolence, of which the English dtenus, of whom there were several at St. Germains, were participants.

In Ireland the magistrates acted on the circular, and on the 23rd of February, 1811, two magistrates proceeded to disperse the Catholic committee in Dublin. They were told by the committee that they were sitting simply for the purpose of petitioning Parliament, and they did not venture to interrupt it. The movement went on all over Ireland, the committees were numerously attended, and, notwithstanding a proclamation from Dublin Castle commanding the magistrates everywhere to disperse all such gatherings, in Dublin the general committee, numbering nearly three hundred persons, met in Fishamble Street on the 19th of October. Police were sent to disperse them, but on arriving they had already signed the petition, and were coming away amid a vast concourse of spectators. Several persons were arrested and tried, but the juries returned verdicts of "Not Guilty."

The same day it was carried by the Home Secretary to the House of Lords, accompanied by an unusual number of members. In introducing the measure in the Upper House the Duke of Wellington spoke with great force, and with all the directness and simplicity for which he was remarkable. One memorable passage deserves to be recorded in this history:"It has been my fortune," said the Duke, "to have seen much of[297] warmore than most men. I have been constantly engaged in the active duties of the military profession from boyhood until I have grown grey. My life has been passed in familiarity with scenes of death and human suffering. Circumstances have placed me in countries where the war was internalbetween opposite parties in the same nation; and rather than a country I loved should be visited with the calamities which I have seenwith the unutterable horrors of civil warI would run any risk, I would make any sacrifice, I would freely lay down my life. There is nothing which destroys property and prosperity as civil war does. By it the hand of man is raised against his neighbour, against his brother, and against his father! The servant betrays his master; and the master ruins his servant. Yet this is the resource to which we must have lookedthese are the means which we must have appliedin order to have put an end to this state of things, if we had not embraced the option of bringing forward the measure for which I hold myself responsible."CHAPTER V. REIGN OF GEORGE II.(concluded).


Addresses were agreed to in both Houses without a division. The only discussion of interest that took place in connection with them referred to the dissolution, and the circumstances in which it occurred. The Opposition denounced it as an impolitic proceeding, bearing the appearance of a revolutionary coup d'tat. They charged the Lord Chancellor with making a false statement, in alleging that the Commons had stopped the supplies, which, if true, was not the real cause of the dissolution, the Cabinet having previously resolved upon that measure. Some of the Ministers also, in their addresses to their constituenciesSir James Graham, for exampleconveyed the same injurious impression, stating that "the last division, which had the effect of delaying the supplies, left no alternative but that of abandoning the Bill or of appealing to the people." With this "factious" conduct the Tory candidates were taunted at the elections, and they complained that they suffered in consequence much unmerited odium. The Chancellor denied the imputation. Not only had the Ministers decided upon the measure of dissolution, but the requisite commission had been actually prepared; and Lord Brougham said, "Knowing this, I must have been the veriest dolt and idiot in the creation, if I had said what has been attributed to me. I stated a factthat the dissolution being resolved upon, if there were wanting any justification for the step, the conduct of the House of Commons the night before furnished ample justification for that proceeding." But the truth is, the Opposition were smarting under the sense of defeat; they had been out-man?uvred by Lord Grey, and defeated by the use of their own tactics.

The year 1812 opened, in England, by the assembling of Parliament on the 7th of January. The speech of the Regent was again delivered by commission. The great topic was the success of the war in Spain under Lord Wellington, whose military talents were highly praised. There was a reference also to the disagreements with America, and the difficulty of coming to any amicable arrangement with the United States. Lords Grey and Grenville, in the Peers, pronounced sweeping censures on the continuance of the war with France, and on the policy of Ministers towards America, from which source they prognosticated many disasters. In the Commons, the Opposition used similar language; and Sir Francis Burdett took a very gloomy view of our relations both with France and North America, and declared that we could anticipate no better policy until we had reformed our representative system.

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Unsettled Condition of EuropeMachinations of Russia and Austria against TurkeyDisasters of the AustriansCapture of OczakoffFurther Designs of CatherineIntervention of PittGustavus of Sweden invades RussiaHis Temporary CheckHe remodels the Diet and pursues the WarJoseph renews the WarDisaffection in HungaryRevolution in the Austrian NetherlandsAbolition of the Joyeuse EntreThe Emperor declared to have forfeited the CrownThe Austrian Troops retired to LuxembourgDeath of JosephOutbreak of the French RevolutionEfforts of Turgot and his Successors to introduce ReformsLomnie de BrienneRecall of NeckerAssembly of the States GeneralThe Third Estate becomes the National AssemblyThe Meeting in the Tennis CourtContemplated Coup d'tatProject of a City GuardDismissal of NeckerInsurrection in ParisThe City GuardCapture of the BastilleThe Noblesse renounce their PrivilegesBankruptcy and Famine"O Richard, O Mon Roi!"The Women and the National Guard march on VersaillesThe King brought to ParisEffect of the Revolution in EnglandDifferent Views of Burke and FoxRejection of Flood's Reform BillThe Nootka Sound AffairSatisfaction obtained from SpainMotions of Reform in the Irish ParliamentConvention of ReichenbachContinuance of the War between Sweden and RussiaRenewal of the War with Tippoo SahibDebates in ParliamentDiscussions on the Eastern QuestionThe Canada BillIt is made the occasion of speeches on the French RevolutionBreach between Fox and BurkeAbuse of Burke by the WhigsWilberforce's Notice for Immediate EmancipationColonisation of Sierra LeoneBill for the Relief of Roman CatholicsFox's Libel BillBurke's "Reflections on the French Revolution"Replies of Mackintosh and PaineDr. PriceDr. PriestleyThe Anniversary of the taking of the BastilleThe Birmingham RiotsDestruction of Priestley's LibrarySuppression of the RiotsMildness of the Sentences.

And, in truth, everything now seemed to run counter to Walpole, and to tend towards war. His colleague, the Duke of Newcastle, who had been one of the most obsequious of subordinates both under Stanhope and Walpole, now thought he should serve himself decidedly by advocating war. The king was naturally of a martial turn; he had won some military repute in his youth, and he was no longer under the exceedingly sensible guidance of the queen. Newcastle, therefore, probably in the hope of supplanting Walpole, fostered this spirit in the king, and took advantage of it to recommend warlike measures in the Cabinet, and to send despatches to the British ambassadors in Spain, which but for the energy and wisdom of Walpole might have done irreparable mischief, and which rendered the negotiations extremely difficult. Lord Chancellor Hardwicke and Lord Harrington arrayed themselves on the same side, and blew the war-note in the House of Lords with unrestrained zeal. There was a time when Walpole would have had[71] these antagonistic colleagues dismissed; but both he and they saw too well that there was such a strong war spirit in both king and people, that no such thing was possible. He therefore pursued his efforts with the Court of Spain for peaceable conclusions, at the same time that he fell in so far with the belligerent spirit as to make active preparations as if for an encounter. This, however, was his last and most powerful argument for peacean argument meant to tell on the fears, as he could not reach a spirit of conciliation in the Spaniards.VIRGINIA WATER.



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