Victory of PittThe King's delightPitt's FinanceThe India BillPitt's BudgetThe Westminster ElectionThe ScrutinyFox is returnedThe Volunteers in IrelandFlood's Reform BillRiots in IrelandPitt's Commercial Policy for IrelandOpposition of the English MerchantsAbandonment of the MeasurePitt's Reform BillHis Administrative ReformsBill for fortifying Portsmouth and PlymouthPitt's Sinking FundFavourable Reception of the BillPitt's Excise BillCommercial Treaty with FranceImpeachment of Warren HastingsRetrospect of Indian Affairs: Deposition of Meer JaffierResistance of Meer CossimMassacre of PatnaBattle of Buxar and Capture of AllahabadClive's Return to IndiaSettlement of Bengal and OudeDomestic ReformsRise of Hyder AliHis Treaty with the EnglishHe is defeated by the MahrattasDeposition of the Rajah of TanjoreFailure of Lord Pigot to reinstate himLord North's Regulating BillDeath of CliveWarren Hastings becomes Governor-GeneralHis dealings with the FamineTreatment of Reza Khan and the Nabob of BengalResumption of Allahabad and CorahMassacre of the RohillasArrival of the New Members of CouncilStruggle for SupremacyRobbery of Cheyte SingNuncomar's ChargesHis Trial and ExecutionHastings' Constitutional ResignationHis Final VictoryWars against the MahrattasHyder Ali's AdvanceDefeat of BaillieEnergy of HastingsVictories of Sir Eyre CooteCapture of Dutch SettlementsNaval Engagements between the British and FrenchDeath of Hyder AliTippoo continues the WarHe invokes PeaceHastings' extortions from Cheyte SingHastings' visit to BenaresRising of the PeopleRescue of Hastings and Deposition of Cheyte SingExtortion from the Begums of OudeParliamentary InquiriesHastings' Reception in EnglandBurke's Motion of ImpeachmentPitt's Change of FrontThe Prince of Wales and the WhigsInquiry into his DebtsAlderman Newnham's MotionDenial of the Marriage with Mrs. FitzherbertSheridan's Begum SpeechImpeachment of HastingsGrowth of the Opposition to the Slave TradeThe Question brought before ParliamentEvidence ProducedSir W. Dolben's BillTrial of Warren HastingsSpeeches of Burke, Fox, and SheridanIllness of the KingDebates on the Regency BillThe King's RecoveryAddress of the Irish Parliament to the Prince of Wales. And, in truth, Ney was in the most terrible of situations. When he left Smolensk he was at the head of eight thousand men, but followed by an army of stragglers, whom the cannon of Platoff caused to evacuate Smolensk instantly, leaving behind him five thousand sick and wounded. When they reached the battle-field of Krasnoi they saw the carcases of their late comrades lying in heaps on the ground, and, a little beyond, the Russians in full force occupying the banks of the Losmina, and crowding all the hills around. In spite of this, Ney endeavoured to cut his way through, but failed, after a dreadful slaughter, and only saved one thousand five hundred men of his[52] whole force by retreating and taking another route to the river, where he lost all his baggage, and such sick as he brought with him, for the ice broke with their weight. Pursued by the Cossacks, he came up with Davoust's division on the 20th of November. "When Napoleon," says Segur, "heard that Ney had reappeared, he leaped and shouted for joy, saying, 'Then I have saved my eagles! I would have given three hundred millions sooner than have lost him.'" The losses which troubled Napoleon were those which endangered his own safety or reputation; he thought little of the hundreds of thousands who had perished through this mad expedition; but he rejoiced over the safety of Ney, because he deemed it a pledge that his own escape was also assured.

The Session of 1753 was distinguished by two remarkable Acts of Parliament. The one was for the naturalisation of the Jews, the other for the prevention of clandestine marriages. The Jew Bill was introduced into the Lords, and passed it with singular ease, scarcely exciting an objection from the whole bench of bishops; Lord Lyttelton declaring that "he who hated another man for not being a Christian was not a Christian himself." But in the Commons it raised a fierce debate. On the 7th of May, on the second reading, it was assailed by loud assertions that to admit the Jews to such privileges was to dishonour the Christian faith; that it would deluge the kingdom with usurers, brokers, and beggars; that the Jews would buy up the advowsons, and thus destroy the Church; that it was flying directly in the face of God and of Prophecy, which had declared the Jews should be scattered over the face of the earth, without any country or fixed abode. Pelham ridiculed the fears about the Church, showing that, by their own rigid tenets, the Jews could neither enter our Church nor marry our women, and could therefore never touch our religion, nor amalgamate with us as a people; that as to civil offices, unless they took the Sacrament, they could not be even excisemen or custom-house officers. The Bill passed by a majority of ninety-five to sixteen; but the storm was only wafted from the Parliament to the public. Out-of-doors the members of Parliament, and especially the bishops, were pursued with the fiercest rancour and insult. Members of the Commons were threatened by their constituents with the loss of their seats for voting in favour of this Bill; and one of them, Mr. Sydenham, of Exeter, defended himself by declaring that he was no Jew, but travelled on the Sabbath like a Christian. The populace pursued the members and the bishops in the streets, crying, "No Jews! No Jews! No wooden shoes!" In short, such was the popular fury, that the Duke of Newcastle was glad to bring in a Bill for the repeal of his Act of Naturalisation on the very first day of the next Session, which passed rapidly through both Houses.

God's will be done!

'Tis a sign that he had rather

SIR ROBERT PEEL. [See larger version]

Whilst the French armies had been carrying bloodshed and misery into the countries around them, their brethren at home had been equally[436] busy in pushing forward those mutual hatreds which appeared likely to end in the extermination of the whole race of revolutionists. The Girondists being destroyed, new divisions showed themselves in those who had hitherto been alliesRobespierre and his coadjutors. Hbert, Chaumette, Clootz, Ronsin, and others, began to raise their heels against their chief, and their chief doomed every one of them to the guillotine. His most important victim was Danton, a man by no means contemptible (guillotined April 5th, 1794).

Before passing to the momentous history of the Irish famine we must notice some isolated facts connected with the Peel Administration, which our connected view of the triumph of Free Trade has prevented our mentioning under their proper dates. Among the many measures of the time which were fiercely discussed, the most complicated were the Bank Charter Act of 1844, and the Act dealing with the Irish and Scottish Banks of 1845, whereby the Premier placed the whole banking system of the kingdom upon an entirely new basis, in particular by the separation of the issue and banking business of the Bank of England, and by the determination of the issues by the amount of bullion in reserve. Under the Act the Bank was at liberty to issue 14,000,000 of notes on the security of Exchequer Bills and the debt due to it from the Government, but all issues above this amount were to be based on bullion. Still hotter were the passions roused by the Maynooth Bill, by which 30,000 were devoted to the improvement of the college founded at Maynooth for the education of Roman Catholic priests. The language used during the debates by the Protestant party has few parallels in the history of the British Parliament, and Sir Robert Peel's difficulties were increased by the resignation of Mr. Gladstone, who found his present support of the Bill incompatible with the opinions expressed in his famous essay on Church and State. Lord Aberdeen's foreign policy was completely the reverse of the bold, if hazardous, line adopted by Lord Palmerston. We have seen how the Ashburton mission composed the critical questions at issue with the United States, and in similar fashion a dispute about the Oregon boundary, which had been pending for thirty years, was terminated on sound principles of give-and-take by fixing the line at the 49th parallel, while Vancouver Island was reserved for Britain, and the commerce of the Columbia was made free. With France our relations were of the most pacific character; so close, indeed, was the entente cordiale that it was a commonplace of Tory oratory that M. Guizot was Foreign Minister of England. This was certainly not the case; on the contrary, when the Society Islands, over which Pomare was queen, were forcibly annexed by a roving French admiral, Lord Aberdeen behaved with very proper spirit, and obtained an indemnity for the missionary Pritchard, who had been forcibly placed under arrest. In other respects the friendship of Great Britain with France continued unimpaired, and there was an interchange of visits between the Queen and King Louis Philippe. It was a sign of a harmony of views between the two nations. Unfortunately, owing to a variety of causes, it was not to be of long continuance.

The night was cold, and the two armies lay on the ground. In the middle of the night Anderson of Whitburgh, a gentleman whose father had been out in the 'Fifteen and who knew the country well, suddenly recollected a way across the bog to the right. He communicated this to Hepburn of Keith and Lord George Murray, who went to waken the prince, who, sitting up in his heap of pea-straw, received the news with exultation. He started up, a council was called, and as it drew towards morning it was resolved to follow Anderson as their guide immediately. An aide-de-camp was despatched to recall Lord Nairn and his five hundred, and the army marched after Anderson in profound silence. It was not without some difficulty that they crossed it, after all; some of the soldiers sank knee-deep, and the prince himself stumbled and fell. When they reached the firm ground the mounted pickets heard the sound of their march, though they could not see them for the thick fog. The dragoon sentinels demanded who went there, fired their pistols, and galloped off to give the alarm.

On Monday, the 17th, Fox renewed the discussion, supported by Mr. Grey, who complained that at a so-called loyal meeting held at Manchester, the people had been incited to attack the property of those of more liberal views; and that an association had been formed in London, at the "Crown and Anchor" Tavern, which had issued a paper called "A Pennyworth of Truth from Thomas Bull to his Brother John," containing most unfounded censures on the Dissenters, whom it charged as being the authors of the American war. He declared that this paper was far more inflammatory than Paine's "Rights of Man," and he desired that it might be read at the table. Fox severely criticised the conduct of the loyal associations, and the means taken by the subscription papers to mark out those who maintained Liberal opinions; all such marked persons, he said, were in danger, on any excitement, of having their persons or houses attacked. He mentioned one paper concluding with the words, "Destruction to Fox and all his Jacobin crew!" This was, he thought, pretty plainly marking him out for such treatment as Dr. Priestley and Mr. Walker had received. The motion was rejected.

At the point at which our former detail of[316] Indian affairs ceased, Lord Clive had gone to England to recruit his health. He had found us possessing a footing in India, and had left us the masters of a great empire. He had conquered Arcot and other regions of the Carnatic; driven the French from Pondicherry, Chandernagore, and Chinsura; and though we had left titular princes in the Deccan and Bengal, we were, in truth, masters there; for Meer Jaffier, though seated on the throne of Bengal, was our mere instrument.

Hugh Howard, made Postmaster-General.

During the French war, when the Paris fashions were intercepted, much variety in the fashion of dress took place amongst both gentlemen and ladies; but before the peace had arrived the most tasteless costumes had become general, and the waists of both sexes were elevated nearly to their shoulders. The tight skirts and short waists of the ladies gave them the most uncouth aspect imaginable; and the cut-away coats and chimneypot hats of the gentlemen were by no means more graceful. The military costume had undergone an equally complete revolution, and with no better success.

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.