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But the English measures detained the Russian fleet in the Baltic with Greig at its head, and Russia was saved from her due chastisement. The King of Sweden, indeed, landed an army of thirty-five thousand men in Finland; and his brother, the Duke of Sudermania, appeared in the[352] Baltic at the head of a strong fleet. Nothing could have prevented Gustavus from marching directly on the Russian capital, and St. Petersburg was consequently thrown into the wildest alarm. But Gustavus was only bent on recovering the provinces which Russia had reft from Sweden. He advanced successfully for some time, the Russians everywhere flying before him; but Russian gold and Russian intrigue soon altered all this. Catherine ordered her fleet, which was in the Gulf of Finland, with Greig at its head, to bear down on the Swedish fleet, and, at the same time, emissaries were despatched amongst the officers of Gustavus's army with plenty of gold, and letters were sent to the States of Sweden, calling on them to disavow the proceedings of the king. Before Gustavus had left Sweden with his army, her Minister, passing over the king himself, had made similar communications to Gustavus's proud and disaffected nobles, and Gustavus had ordered him out of the country. The Russian and Swedish fleets now came to an engagement in the straits of Kalkbaden. The battle was desperate; the Swedes fought with their wonted valour; and the Russians, under the management of Greig and the British officers, showed that they were apt scholars. The two fleets separated, after doing each other great mischief, each claiming the victory. Catherine immediately rewarded Greig with a letter of thanks, written by her own hand, and with the more substantial present of a large sum of money, and a good estate in Livonia. Moreover, the partial success of Russia by sea had the effect of encouraging the corrupted officers of Gustavus to refuse to proceed farther in Finland.Still there was no need to despair. The archduke had yet a great force; there were the divisions of the Archdukes John, Ferdinand, and Regnier, and the Tyrolese were all in active operation in their mountains. But the Emperor, on learning the fate of the battle, lost heart, made offers of peace, which were accepted, and an armistice was signed by Francis at Znaim, in Moravia. The armistice took place on the 11th of July, but the treaty of peace was not signed till the 14th of October, at the palace of Sch?nbrunn. The long delay in completing this treaty was occasioned by the exactions which Buonaparte made on Austria of cessions of territory, and the means he took to terrify Francis into submission to his terms. He even addressed a proclamation to the Hungarians, exhorting them to separate from Austria and form an independent kingdom, telling them that they formed the finest part of the Austrian empire, and yet had received nothing from Austria but oppression and misfortunes. By such means, and by constantly exerting himself to sow the germs of discontent through all the Austrian provinces, he at last succeeded in concluding peace on condition of the cession of various territories to his partisans of the Confederacy of the Rhine, and of Trieste, the only Austrian port, to France, thus shutting up Austria, as he hoped, from communication with England. In all, Austria sacrificed forty-five thousand square miles and nearly four millions of subjects to this shameful peace. Neither were his allies, the King of Saxony and the Emperor of Russia, forgotten; each obtained a slice of Austria.It was five o'clockthe House densely crowded; for Lord Surrey was going to make the great Opposition motion of want of confidence, and only waited for the arrival of the Minister. As North hurried up the House, there were loud cries of "Order! order! Places! places!" North no sooner reached the Treasury bench than he rose to make his important disclosure; but the Opposition called vociferously for Lord Surrey, while the Ministerial members called for Lord North. Fox then moved that "Lord Surrey do speak first," but North instantly exclaimed, "I rise to speak to that motion." Being now obliged to hear him, for he was perfectly in order, he observed, that, had they suffered him at once to proceed, he might have saved them much useless noise and confusion, for, without any disrespect to the noble lord, he was going to show that his motion was quite unnecessary, as the Ministers had resigned, and that that resignation was accepted by the king! He had only wanted to announce that fact, and to move an adjournment of a few days, in order to make the necessary arrangements for the new Administration. Never was there a more profound surprise. The House was adjourned for five days, and the members prepared to depart and spread the news. But it proved a wild, snowy evening; the carriages had not been ordered till midnight, and whilst the members were standing about in crowds waiting for their equipages, rather than walk home through the snow, Lord North, who had kept his carriage, put three or four of his friends into it, and, bowing to the other members, said, laughingly, "You see, gentlemen, the advantage of being in the secret. Good night!"

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Still there was no need to despair. The archduke had yet a great force; there were the divisions of the Archdukes John, Ferdinand, and Regnier, and the Tyrolese were all in active operation in their mountains. But the Emperor, on learning the fate of the battle, lost heart, made offers of peace, which were accepted, and an armistice was signed by Francis at Znaim, in Moravia. The armistice took place on the 11th of July, but the treaty of peace was not signed till the 14th of October, at the palace of Sch?nbrunn. The long delay in completing this treaty was occasioned by the exactions which Buonaparte made on Austria of cessions of territory, and the means he took to terrify Francis into submission to his terms. He even addressed a proclamation to the Hungarians, exhorting them to separate from Austria and form an independent kingdom, telling them that they formed the finest part of the Austrian empire, and yet had received nothing from Austria but oppression and misfortunes. By such means, and by constantly exerting himself to sow the germs of discontent through all the Austrian provinces, he at last succeeded in concluding peace on condition of the cession of various territories to his partisans of the Confederacy of the Rhine, and of Trieste, the only Austrian port, to France, thus shutting up Austria, as he hoped, from communication with England. In all, Austria sacrificed forty-five thousand square miles and nearly four millions of subjects to this shameful peace. Neither were his allies, the King of Saxony and the Emperor of Russia, forgotten; each obtained a slice of Austria.

[See larger version]All attempts at negotiation having failed, sealed green bags were laid upon the table of the House of Lords and of the House of Commons, with a message from the king to the effect that in consequence of the arrival of the queen he had communicated certain papers respecting her conduct, which he recommended to their immediate and serious attention. The bags contained documents and evidence connected with a commission sent in 1818 to Milan and other places to investigate chargesor rather to collect evidence to sustain charges which had been made against the Princess of Wales. The principal of these charges was that she had been guilty of adultery with a person named Bergami, whom she had employed as a courier, and afterwards raised to the position of her chamberlain and companion. The commission was under the direction of Sir John Leach, afterwards Vice-Chancellor.

In 1823 we behold the starting-point of the liberal system of commercial policy, for which not only England, but all the world, is so much indebtedthe rivulet which gradually expanded into a mighty river bearing incalculable blessings upon its bosom to every nation under heaven. The appointment of Mr. Huskisson as a member of the Government was an immense advantage to the nation. He was a man of great abilities, which he had perseveringly devoted to the study of political economy. He was a complete master of all subjects in which statistics were involved, and was universally looked up to as the highest authority on all financial and commercial questions. As President of the Board of Trade he had ample opportunities of turning his knowledge to account, and to him is mainly due the initiation and direction of the course of commercial policy which a quarter of a century later issued in the complete triumph of Free Trade. Mr. Huskisson was not only intimately acquainted with the whole range of economic, financial, and mercantile subjects, in their details as well as in their principles, he was also a powerful debater, a sound reasoner, and was animated in all he did by a spirit of generous philanthropy. At the same time it is only just to point out that he did but carry out the policy of Mr. Wallace, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, a statesman whose name is almost forgotten.The result of the general election in the Upper Province was favourable to the Government; for of the 62 members returned, 44 were opposed to the organic changes demanded by the majority of the old Assembly. The result was that the Government and the legislature of this province were able to work together harmoniously and satisfactorily. This result, however, was said to be obtained by extraordinary, and not always legitimate influence, on the part of the Government,[400] and there was a large body of malcontents who joined the Lower Province in its rebellion, which occurred in 1837. The Governor of Upper Canada, who brought about this favourable change, was Sir Francis Head, who held the post of major in the army in 1835, when he was employed as Assistant Poor Law Commissioner in the county of Kent. Lord Glenelg, recognising in him a man of capacity and energy, fitted for a great emergency, suddenly appointed him Governor of Upper Canada. He rendered most important service afterwards in conducting the military operations by which the rebellion was put down. Lord Gosford was not so successful in the Lower Province. He was accused of having misled the people by holding out false hopes, and both he and the Colonial Secretary, under whose instructions he acted, were charged with something like treachery, by hinting at great concessions and keeping the word of promise to the ear, for the mere purpose of quieting the agitation and evading the reforms demanded. Lord Gosford, unable to stem the torrent of disaffection, dissolved the Assembly, and was recalled in order to make way for Sir J. Colborne. Both these Governors rendered the most important service in putting down the rebellion which soon afterwards broke out, and effecting the pacification and union of the provinces, which, as we shall hereafter see, were placed upon the solid basis of self-government and equal rights.

Mr. Peel urged that it is dangerous to touch time-honoured institutions in an ancient monarchy like this, if the Dissenters did not feel the tests as a grievance; if they did, it would be a very strong argument for a change. "But," he asked, "are the grievances now brought forward in Parliament really felt as such by the Dissenters out of doors? So far from it, there were only six petitions presented on the subject from 1816 to 1827. The petitions of last year were evidently got up for a political purpose." He quoted from a speech of Mr. Canning's, delivered, in 1825, on the Catholic Relief Bill, in which he said, "This Bill does not tend to equalise all the religions in the State, but to equalise all the Dissenting sects of England. I am, and this Bill is, for a predominant church, and I would not, even in appearance, meddle with the laws which secure that predominance to the Church of England. What is the state of the Protestant Dissenters? It is that they labour under no practical grievances on account of this difference with the Established Church; that they sit with us in this House, and share our counsels; that they are admissible into the highest offices of State, and often hold them. Such is the operation of the Test and Corporation Acts, as mitigated by the Annual Indemnity Act; this much, and no more, I contend, the Catholics should enjoy." With regard to Scotland Mr. Peel appealed to the facts that from that country there was not one solitary petition; that there was not any military or naval office or command from which Scotsmen were shut out; that, so far from being excluded from the higher offices of Government, out of the fourteen members who composed the Cabinet, threeLord Aberdeen, Lord Melville, and Mr. Grantwere Scotsmen and good Presbyterians. Even in England the shutting out, he said, was merely nominal. A Protestant Dissenter had been Lord Mayor of London the year before. The Acts had practically gone into desuetude, and the existing law gave merely a nominal preponderance to the Established Church, which it was admitted on all hands it should possess.

Charles, accompanied by O'Sullivan, Sheridan, and other gentlemen, rode away to a seat of Lord Lovat's. The wild gallop of horsemen startled that wily old fox in his lair; and when he heard the news the Master began to tremble for his own safety. There are different accounts of his reception of the fugitive prince. One says that he was so occupied with thinking of making his own escape, that he hardly showed common courtesy to the prince and his companions, and that they parted in mutual displeasure. Another states that Lovat urged the same advice as Lord George Murray had done, still to get up into the mountains, and make a bold face, by which time might be gained for fresh reinforcements, or at least for making some terms for the unhappy people. But it is clear that Charles had now lost all spirit, if he had ever retained much after he had been forced to retreat from Derby. He and his party rode away again at ten o'clock at night, and reached Invergarry, the castle of Glengarry, about two hours before daybreak. Lord George still entertained the idea of keeping together a large body of Highlanders. He had already with him one thousand two hundred. Charles had stolen away from Invergarry to Arkaig, in Lochaber, and thence to Glenboisdale, where the messengers of Lord George found him, accompanied only by O'Sullivan, O'Neil, and Burke, his servant, who knew the country and acted as guide. All the rest of his train had shifted for themselves. Lord George entreated the prince not to quit the country, but to continue to gather a force in the mountains, and thus resist and harass their enemies till they received reinforcements; but Charles sent him word that the only chance was for himself to hasten over to France, and use all his interest to bring over an efficient force. He therefore sent Lord George a written plan of his intentions, which was not, however, to be opened till he had sailed; and he desired Lord George to request the different chiefs and their men to seek their own safety as best they might. That act terminated the Rebellion.

He found the Bedford clan ready, as usual, for office, but wanting to come in a whole legion; the poor weak Duke of Newcastle was equally prepared, shedding tears in his facile way, hugging and kissing people in his trouble, and wondering why his "dear old friend" had thus abandoned him. Pitt passed on, and chose Lord Camden as Lord Chancellor; Northington as President of the Council; Lord Granby as Commander-in-Chief; Shelburne and Conway as Secretaries of State; the Duke of Grafton as First Lord of the Treasury; Charles Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer; with Lord North, James Grenville, brother of Temple, Colonel Barr, and others, in secondary posts. Mr. Stewart Mackenzie, Bute's brother, was restored to his former office, but without any control over Scottish affairs. It was clear that Pitt had selected his colleagues without regard to party, but with an eye to the ability of the respective persons. It was a mode of acting particularly after the fancy of the king, who had always been, according to his own words to Pitt on the occasion, "zealously ready to give his aid towards destroying all party distinctions, and restoring that subordination to government, which can alone preserve that inestimable blessing, liberty, from degenerating into licentiousness." "I venture," said Burke, "to say, it did so happen that persons had a single office divided between them, who had never spoken to each other in their lives, until they found themselves, they knew not how, pigging together, heads and points, in the same truckle bed."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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But we come now to a new phase in the Poor-Law system, rather a complete revolution, by which the flood-gates of pauperism were opened, and all those barriers that had restrained the increase of population were swept away. The old system had been somewhat relaxed in 1782 by Mr. Gilbert's Act, which, by incorporating parishes into unions, prevented grasping landlords and tenants from feeling that intense interest in the extinction of population and pauperism which they did when the sphere was limited to a single parish. But in the year 1795 the price of corn rising from 54s. to 74s., and wages continuing stationary, the distress of the poor was very great and many of the able-bodied were obliged to become claimants for parish relief. But instead of meeting this emergency by temporary expedients and extra grants suited to the occasion, the magistrates of Berks and some other southern counties issued tables showing the wages which they affirmed every labouring man ought to receive, not according to the value of his labour to his employer, but according to the variations in the number of his family and the price of bread; and they accompanied these tables with an order directing the parish officers to make up the deficit to the labourer, in the event of the wages paid him by his employer falling short of the tabulated allowance. This was the small beginning of a gigantic evil. The practice originating in a passing emergency grew into a custom, and ultimately assumed the force of an established right, which prevailed almost universally, and was productive of an amount of evil beyond anything that could have been conceived possible. The allowance scales issued from time to time were framed on the principle that every labourer should have a gallon loaf of standard wheaten bread weekly for every member of his family, and one over. The effect of this was, that a man with six children, who got 9s. a week wages, required nine gallon loaves, or 13s. 6d. a week, so that he had a pension of 4s. 6d. over his wages. Another man with a wife and five children, so idle and disorderly that no one would employ him, was entitled to eight gallon loaves for their maintenance, so that he had 12s. a week to support him. The increase of allowance according to the number of children acted as a direct bounty upon early marriage.Meanwhile the Whigs were anxious to add fresh security to their own lease of office. At the last election they had procured the return of a powerful majority; but two years out of the triennial term had expired, and they looked with apprehension to the end of the next year, when a dissolution must take place. They were aware that there were still strong plottings and secret agitations for the restoration of the banished dynasty. By both the king and his Ministers all Tories were regarded as Jacobites, and it was resolved to keep them out of office, and, as much as possible, out of Parliament. They had the power in their own hands in this Parliament, and, in order to keep it, they did not hesitate to destroy that Triennial Act for which their own party had claimed so much credit in 1694, and substitute a Septennial Act in its place. They would thereby give to their own party in Parliament more than a double term of the present legal possession of their seats. Instead of one year, they would be able to look forward four years without any fear of[33] Tory increase of power through a new election. On the 10th of April, Devonshire, Lord Steward of the Household, moved the repeal of the Triennial Act, long lauded as one of the bulwarks of our liberties, under the now convenient plea that it had been "found very grievous and burthensome, by occasioning much greater and more continued expenses in order to elections of members to serve in Parliament, and more lasting heats and animosities amongst the subjects of this realm than ever were known before the said clause was enacted."

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