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Mr. O'Connell's avowed principle of action was "moral force." He was in the constant habit of asserting that "the man who commits a crime gives strength to the enemy;" and that no political advantages, however great, should be obtained at the expense of "one drop of Christian blood." Nevertheless, the letters which he was in the habit of addressing to "the people of Ireland,"[286] and which were remarkable for their clearness, force, and emphatic tautology, had always prefixed to them, as a standing motto, Byron's couplet

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO: FRENCH CUIRASSIERS CHARGING A BRITISH SQUARE.CRIPPLED BUT UNCONQUERED, 1805.

In 1805 a great step in British painting was made by the establishment of the British Institution; and in 1813 this institution opened the National Gallery. The annual exhibitions soon became enriched by the consummate works of Hilton, Etty, Haydon, Briggs, Sir Thomas Lawrence (in elegant portraits), Phillips, Shee, Carpenter, Harlow, Wilkie, Mulready, Turner, Calcot, Collins, Landseer, Martin, Danby, Howard, Cooper, Leslie, and Hone. No age in England had produced so illustrious a constellation of painters, as varied in character as they were masterly in artistic power.Walpole was instantly on the alert on this startling discovery. He prevailed on the king to put off his journey to Germany. Troops were drawn round London and a camp was formed in Hyde Park. The king took up his residence at Kensington, in the midst of the soldiers, and the Prince of Wales retired to Richmond. General Macartney was dispatched for still more troops from Ireland; some suspected persons were arrested in Scotland; the States of Holland were solicited to have ships and soldiers in readiness; an order was obtained from the Court of Madrid to forbid the embarkation of Ormonde; and General Churchill was dispatched to Paris to make all secure with the Regent. Atterbury was arrested on the 24th of August.

Wilberforce, on the 27th of January, had obtained a committee of inquiry into the slave trade. He, Clarkson, and the anti-slavery committees, both in London and the provinces, were labouring with indefatigable industry in collecting and diffusing information on this subject. The Committee of the Commons found strong opposition even in the House, and, on the 23rd of April, Lord Penrhyn moved that no further evidence should be heard by the Committee; but this was overruled, and the hearing of evidence continued through the Session, though no further debate took place on the question.

This signal and unexpected defeat seemed to rouse the Government to a fresh effort for victory over the triumphant bookseller. The Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough, who was not accustomed to let juries and the accused off so easily, rose from his sick bed, where he was fast drifting towards the close of his career. The defendant was called into court the next morning, the 19th of December. There sat Ellenborough, with a severe and determined air. Abbott sat by his side. Hone this time was charged with having published an impious and profane libel, called "The Litany, or General Supplication." The Attorney-General again asserted that, whatever might be the intention of the defendant, the publication had the effect of bringing into contempt the service of the Church. Hone opened his books to recommence the reading of parallel productions of a former day, or by persons high in esteem in the Church, but this was precisely what the invalid Lord Chief Justice had left his bed to prevent. The judge told him all that was beside the mark, but Hone would not allow that it was so, opened his books, and read on in spite of all attempts to stop him. Never had Ellenborough, not even in his strongest and best days, been so stoutly encountered; scarcely ever had such a scene been witnessed in the memory of man. The spectators showed an intense interest in the combat, for such it was, and it was evident that the general sympathy went with the accused, who put forth such extraordinary and unlooked-for power. The exhausted Chief Justice was compelled to give way, and Hone went on reading one parody after another, and dwelt especially on the parodies of the Litany which the Cavaliers wrote to ridicule the Puritan Roundheads. When he had done, the Lord Chief Justice addressed the jury in a strain of strong direction to find a verdict for the Crown. He said "he would deliver the jury his solemn opinion, as he was required by the Act of Parliament to do; and under the authority of that Act, and still more in obedience to his conscience and his God, he pronounced this to be a most impious and profane libel. Believing and hoping that they, the jury, were Christians, he had no doubt but they would be of the same opinion." This time the solemn and severe energy of the Lord Chief Justice seemed to have made an impression on part of the jury, for they took an hour and a half to determine their verdict, but they again returned one of Not Guilty.

The year 1732 was distinguished by little of importance. The Opposition, led on by Pulteney, attacked the Treaty of Vienna, concluded on March 16th, 1731, by which the Pragmatic Sanction had been approved of, and which, they contended, might lead us into a Continental war some day, or into a breach of the public faith, of which, they asserted, this Ministry had perpetrated too many already. They assailed the standing army, but were answered that there was yet a Pretender, and many men capable of plotting and caballing against the Crown. The King was so incensed at Pulteney for his strictures on the army, that he struck his name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and ordered that all commissions of the peace which he held in different counties should be revoked. Amongst the staunchest supporters of the Government was Lord Hervey, a young man of ability who is now best remembered because, having offended Pope, he was, according to custom, pilloried by the contentious poet, as Sporus in the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Pope nicknamed him Lord Fanny, in derision of his dainty and effeminate manners. Hervey contended that the writers who attacked Government ought to be put down by force, and in his own person he attempted to put this in practice; for Pulteney being suspected by him of having written a scarifying article on him in The Craftsman, he challenged him, and both combatants were wounded. Plumer very justly contended that scribblers ought to be left to other scribblers.The Ministers and their supporters were complimentary, as a matter of course, to the new Sovereign, who had graciously continued them in their offices; and the Whigs, who had ascribed their exclusion from power to the personal dislike of the king, were resolved that there should not be again any obstacle of the kind, and that they would keep upon the best possible terms with the Court. During the previous part of the Session they had kept up a rapid fire of motions and questions upon the Government, especially with regard to the public expenditure, the distress of the operatives, and the necessity of rigid economy and large retrenchment. The attacks were led by Sir James Graham, who, though he was always left in a minority in the divisions on his motions, did much to weaken the Government by exciting public feeling against them on the ground of their alleged heartless extravagance, while many of the people were starving and the country was said to be going fast to destruction. The Duke of Wellington, however, moved an answer to the Royal Message, declaring that they would forward the measure necessary to provide for the temporary supply required. He suggested that as everybody would be occupied about the coming elections, the best mode of proceeding would be to dissolve at once. Lord Grey, in the name of the Opposition, complained of this precipitancy, and delivered a long speech full of solemn warnings of evil. He supposed that the king might die before the new Parliament was chosen; the Heir Apparent was[313] a child in fact, though not in law. No regency existing, she would be legally in the possession of her full regal power, and this was a situation which he contended would be fraught with danger. A long, unprofitable wrangle ensued, dull repetitions dragged out the debate, when at length the Duke wisely refused to accede to the proposition for a useless interval of delay, and proved the numerical strength of the Administration. Lord Grey having moved for an adjournment to allow time for providing a regency, the motion was lost by a majority of 44, the numbers being 56 against 100.

Taking this view of his Continental neighbours, George was driven to the conclusion that his only safety lay in firmly engaging France to relinquish the Pretender. The means of the attainment of this desirable object lay in the peculiar position of the Regent, who was intent on his personal aims. So long as the chances of the Pretender appeared tolerable, the Regent had avoided the overtures on this subject; but the failure of the expedition to the Highlands had inclined him to give up the Pretender, and he now sent the Abb Dubois to Hanover to treat upon the subject. He was willing also to destroy the works at Mardyk as the price of peace with England. The preliminaries were concluded, and the Dutch included in them; but the Treaty was not ratified till January, 1717.On the 15th the British squadron brought in the Emigrant troops from the Elbe, under the young and gallant Count de Sombreuil; but they amounted only to eleven thousand men. Puisaye now ordered the Count de Vauban to advance against Hoche with twelve thousand Chouans, and, whilst they attacked on the right, he himself attacked his lines in front. After some desperate fighting they were driven back, and lost most of their cannon in the deep sand of the isthmus. Their misfortunes were completed, on the 20th, by the garrison of the fort of Penthivre going over to the enemy, surrendering the fort to them, and helping to massacre such of their officers and comrades as refused to follow their example. The English admiral exerted himself to receive the remainder of the troops who remained true on board his ships; but the storminess of the weather and the impatience of the fugitives rendered this a most difficult task. About fourteen thousand regulars and two thousand four hundred Chouans were got on board; but Sombreuil, exposed to the murderous fire from the enemy whilst waiting on the beach, surrendered on promise of life. No sooner, however, were they in the hands of the Republicans than all the officers and gentlemen were led out and shot; and the common men enrolled in Hoche's regiments.

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Elsewhere, however, Lord Palmerston abstained from interference, particularly in Germany. The immense phlegmatic mass of the Teutonic populationamounting to 43,000,000, spread over 246,000 square miles, and divided into thirty-five sovereign Stateswas powerfully moved by the shock of the French Revolution. Those States existed under every form of government, from absolutism to democracy. They were all united into a Bund or Confederation, the object of which was the maintenance of the independence of Germany, and of its several States. The Confederation consisted of a Diet, composed of the plenipotentiaries of all the States. This Diet was no bad emblem of the German mind and characterfruitful in speculation, free in thought, boundless in utterance, but without strength of will or power of action. The freer spirits demanded more liberal forms of government, and on these being refused, the Revolution broke out in Baden, Hesse-Cassel, and Bavaria. In Saxony the monarchy was saved by bending before the storm of revolution: a new Administration was appointed, which at once issued a programme of policy so liberal that the people were satisfied. Even the King of Hanover yielded to the revolutionary pressure, and called to his councils M. Hub, a Liberal deputy, who had been imprisoned several years for resisting an unconstitutional act of the Crown. On the 20th of March he issued a proclamation, in which he stated that, in compliance with the many representations addressed to him, he had abolished the censorship of the press, granted an amnesty and restoration of rights to all who had been condemned for political offences, and was willing to submit to changes in the Constitution, based upon the responsibility of Ministers to the country. It was not without necessity that such appeals were addressed to the German people. At Frankfort, while the Assembly were occupied in framing a brand-new Constitution, the Republican party in the Chamber appealed out of doors to the passions of the multitude, and excited them to such a pitch that barricades were erected, and the red flag planted in the streets. By midnight the struggle was over, and tranquillity everywhere restored through the exertions of the military.

Such was the state of things with which the Duke of Wellington had to deal as British plenipotentiary when he left London on his mission early in September, taking Paris on his way. There he had some interesting conferences with the king and his Minister. The latter could hold out no hope that France would fulfil her engagements as to the slave trade. He spoke, indeed, of their African settlements as useless to the French people, and proposed to make them over to Britain in exchange for the Isle of France; but farther than this he declined to go, because there were too many interests, both public and private, engaged to thwart his efforts, should he be so unwise as to make any. His language with regard to South America was not less vague and unsatisfactory. He stated that France had not entered into relations with those provinces in any form, and did not intend to do so till they should have settled their differences with Spain one way or another. M. de Villele did not add, as he might have done, that France was feeling her way towards the severance of Spain from her colonies, and towards the establishment in the New World of one or two monarchies, with younger branches of the House of Bourbon at their head.

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