Otherwise the prospect was dismal enough, and some of the greatest thinkers of the age were profoundly affected by the conviction that they were on the eve of a vast convulsionthat the end of the world was at hand, and that the globe was about to emerge into a new state of existence. The unsettled state of society accounts, in some measure, for the prevalence of the delusions of Edward Irvingthen in the height of his fame; delusions from which such minds as Dr. Arnold's did not wholly escape. In reply to inquiries about the gift of tongues, this great man wrote:"If the thing be real, I should take it merely as a sign of the coming day of the Lord. However, whether this be a real sign or no, I believe the day of the Lord is comingi.e. the termination of one of the great ages of the human race; whether the final one of all, or not, that, I believe, no created being knows, or can know.... My sense of the evils of the times, and to what purpose I am bringing up my children, is overwhelmingly bitter. All the moral and physical worlds appear so exactly to announce the coming of the great day of the Lordi.e. a period of fearful visitation, to terminate the existing state of thingswhether to terminate the whole existence of the human race, neither man nor angel knowsthat no entireness of private happiness can possibly close my mind against the sense of it."

The system of exclusive dealing thus recommended was a system of social corruption and social persecution, while the attempt to serve Ireland by the exclusive use of articles of Irish produce only showed Mr. O'Connell's ignorance of political economy. The system, however, was soon abandoned. This was only interrupted by the cries of " bas Guizot!" " bas les Ministres!" These cries, everywhere received with electrical enthusiasm, were uttered with the greatest bitterness about Guizot's house, where an incident occurred that, whether intended or not, sealed the fate of the Orleans dynasty. The people were pressing on the military, and in the confusion a man named Lagrange stepped forward and shot the commanding officer. The troops then fired point blank into the dense mass, and many were killed. When the firing ceased, a funeral procession was rapidly formed, the bodies were collected and placed upon a large cart, their still bleeding wounds exposed under the glare of torchlight. The effect may be imagined: it thrilled the whole city with feelings of horror and revenge. [See larger version]

In Ireland the bulk of the population had been left to the Catholic pastors, who were maintained by their flocks, the property of the Catholic Church having been long transferred by Act of Parliament to the Church of England, or, as it was called, the sister Church of Ireland. The number of parishes in Ireland had been originally only two thousand four hundred and thirty-six, though the population at that time was half that of England; but in 1807 Mr. Wickham stated that, in 1803, these had been consolidated, and reduced to one thousand one hundred and eighty-three. In some of these parishes in the south of Ireland, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the incomes amounted to one thousand pounds, to one thousand five hundred pounds, and even to three thousand pounds a year; yet that in a considerable number of these highly endowed parishes there was no church whatever. In others there were churches but no Protestant pastors, because there were no Protestants. The provision for religious instruction went wholly, in these cases, to support non-resident, and often very irreligious, clergymen. In fact, no truly religious clergyman ever could[171] hold such a living. The livings were, in fact, looked upon as sinecures to be conferred by Ministers on their relatives or Parliamentary supporters. It was stated that out of one thousand one hundred and eighty-three benefices in Ireland, two hundred and thirty-three were wholly without churches; and Mr. Fitzgerald said, "that where parishes had been consolidated, the services rendered to the people by their clergyman had been diminished in proportion as his income had been augmented; for no place of religious worship was provided within the reach of the inhabitants; nor could such parishioners obtain baptism for their children, or the other rites of the Church; and the consequence was that the Protestant inhabitants, in such places, had disappeared."

Thenby a process of argument so close, so logical, as to amount to a demonstrationSir Robert Peel meets this objection, and shows that the proposals of the Conservative party afforded no solution of the real difficulty. Granted that the overwhelming sense of the people of Great Britain was against concession, what aid could they afford in the daily, practical administration of the law in Ireland? If seditious libels were to be punished, or illegal confederacies, dangerous to the public peace, to be suppressed, the offenders could only be corrected and checked through the intervention of an Irish jury, little disposed, if fairly selected, to defer in times of political excitement to the authority of English opinion. But the real difficulty to be surmounted was not the violation of the law; it lay, rather, in the novel exercise of constitutional franchises, in the application of powers recognised and protected by the law, the power of speech, the power of meeting in public assemblies, the systematic and not unlawful application of all these powers to one definite purposenamely, the organisation of a force which professed to be a moral force, but had for its object to encroach, step by step, on the functions of regular government, to paralyse its authority, and to acquire a strength which might ultimately render irresistible the demand for civil equality. If, then, Irish agitation could not be repressed through the action of Irish juries, if the agitators kept strictly within the letter of the law, so that even a conviction by an Irish jury might be pronounced, by the highest legal authorities in England, an Act making trial by jury "a mockery, a delusion, and a snare," how was the public opinion of England and Scotland to be brought to bear in putting down the popular will in Ireland? It could be done only through the Imperial Parliament, by having a law passed to suspend or abolish the Constitution in Ireland. But the existing Parliament could not be got to pass any such measure, for the House of Commons had just voted that the proper way to put down agitation in Ireland was to grant Catholic Emancipation; and that the remedy of establishing civil equality ought to be tried without delay. Was[278] there any hope that a dissolution of Parliament would produce different results? No; for at the general election of 1826, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, and Devonshire sent representatives to Parliament, a majority of whom voted against the maintenance of Protestant ascendency in Ireland. The members for London, for Liverpool, for Norwich, for Coventry, for Leicester, were equally divided on the question; while the members for Westminster, Southwark, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Preston, Chester, and Derby voted unanimously for concession. Now, the Parliament which assumed this Liberal complexion had been elected in circumstances calculated to call forth the strongest manifestation of Protestant feeling; for it was only the previous year that, after long discussion and a severe contest, the Commons had sent up to the Lords, by a majority of twenty-one, a Bill for the repeal of Roman Catholic disabilities. Then, with regard to Ireland, what would have been the effect of a general election there? Would not the example of Clare have been imitated in every county and borough where the Roman Catholic electors were the majority? And what would have been the effect of such an attempt on the public peace? Probably, to involve the whole island in the horrors of a civil and religious war; to be followed by another penal code. The Year of RevolutionsLord Palmerston's Advice to SpainIt is rejected by the Duke of SotomayorDismissal of Sir H. BulwerThe Revolution in GermanyCondition of PrussiaThe King's OrdinanceHe disclaims a Desire to become German EmperorThe National Assembly dispersed by ForceA New ConstitutionThe King declines the German CrownThe Revolution in ViennaFlight of Metternich and of the EmperorAffairs in BohemiaCroats and HungariansJellachich secretly encouragedRevolt of HungaryMurder of LambergDespotic Decrees from ViennaThe second Revolution in ViennaBombardment of ViennaAccession of Francis JosephCommencement of the WarDefeats of the AustriansQuarrel between Kossuth and G?rgeiRussian InterventionCollapse of the InsurrectionThe Vengeance of AustriaDeath of Count BatthyaniLord Palmerston's ProtestSchwartzenberg's ReplyThe Hungarian RefugeesThe Revolution in ItalyRevolt of VeniceMilan in ArmsRetreat of RadetzkyEnthusiasm of the ItaliansRevolution and counter-Revolution in Sicily and NaplesDifficulties of the PopeRepublic at RomeThe War in LombardyAustrian OverturesRadetzky's SuccessesFrench and British MediationArmistice arrangedResumption of HostilitiesBattle of NovaraAbdication of Charles AlbertTerms of PeaceSurrender of Venice, Bologna, and other Italian CitiesForeign Intervention in RomeThe French ExpeditionTemporary Successes of the RomansSiege and Fall of RomeRestoration of the PopeParliamentary Debates on Italian AffairsLord Palmerston's Defence of his Policy.

Before the close of 1792 the French resolved to send an ambassador to the United States to demand a return of the aid given to the Americans in their revolution, by declaration of war against Great Britain. M. Genet was dispatched for this purpose at the beginning of 1793.[415] Still neutrality was maintained, though our ambassador was withdrawn from Paris, and M. Chauvelin was no longer recognised in an official capacity by the British Court. This gentleman, however, continued in London, ignoring the loss of his official character, and officiously pressing himself on the attention of Ministers as still French plenipotentiary. Lord Grenville was repeatedly obliged to remind him that he had no power to correspond with him officially. He, however, informed him privately that, if the French Government wished to be duly recognised in Great Britain, they must give up their assumed right of aggression on neighbouring countries and of interference with established Governments. The French Girondist Ministers took advantage of this letter which Chauvelin transmitted to them to send a reply, in which, however, having now invaded Holland, they gave no intimation of any intention of retiring. They even declared that it was their intention to go to war with Britain; and if the British Government did not comply with their desires, and enter into regular communication with them, they would prepare for war. Lord Grenville returned this letter, informing Chauvelin again that he could receive no official correspondence from him in a private capacity. This was on the 7th of January, 1793; Chauvelin continued to press his communications on Lord Grenville, complaining of the Alien Bill, and on the 18th presented letters of credence. Lord Grenville informed him, in reply, that his Majesty in the present circumstances could not receive them. These circumstances were the trial and conviction of Louis XVI. On the 24th arrived the news of Louis's execution, and Chauvelin immediately received passports for himself and suite, and an order to quit the kingdom within eight days. This order created the utmost exultation in the French Convention, for the Jacobins were rabid for war with all the world, and on the 1st of February the Convention declared war against Britain, and the news reached London on the 4th. Such was the Ministerial explanation.

The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.

"THE POLLING."

At first the course of affairs was not eventful. On the 7th of May Pitt moved a series of resolutions as the basis of a Bill for reform of Parliament. The main features of this scheme were those of taking measures against bribery and corruption; the disfranchisement of boroughs when a majority of the electors was proved corrupt; and the addition of a hundred new members to the House of Commons, nearly all of them from the counties, except an additional member or two from the metropolis.

On the 15th of September this year the Manchester and Liverpool Railway was opened. It was the first line opened for passenger traffic in the British empire. There was much difference of opinion as to the success of the experiment, and vast crowds attended to see the first trains running. The Duke of Wellington, Mr. Huskisson, and many persons of the highest distinction, started in the trains, which travelled on two lines in the same direction, sometimes nearly abreast. At Parkside the trains stopped to take in water, and Mr. Huskisson and several of his friends got out. He was brought round to the carriage where the Duke of Wellington was seated, who, as soon as he saw him, shook hands cordially with his old colleague. At this moment the other train started, when there was a general cry of "Get in, get in!" There was not time to do this, but Mr. Holmes, who was with Mr. Huskisson, had sufficient presence of mind to draw himself up close to the Duke's carriage, by which means he escaped uninjured. Mr. Huskisson, unfortunately, caught one of the doors, which, struck by the train in motion, was swung round, and caused him to fall on the other railway, so that his right leg was passed over and crushed by the engine. The Duke of Wellington and others ran to his assistance. The only words he uttered were, "I have met my death. God forgive me!" He was carried to Eccles, where the best medical advice was obtained, but he survived only a few hours, bearing his intense pain with great fortitude.

It was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an annuity of 50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council, and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records were brought from the Tower: the "Liber Regalis" and other ancient volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:"The lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were equally unsuccessful.

To acquire popularity, the Rockingham administration made a further restriction on the import of foreign silks; they made a modification of the Cider Bill, but this only extended to taking the duty off cider belonging to private persons, and was regarded as a bribe to the country gentlemen. They induced the House of Commons to pass a resolution on the 25th of April, declaring general warrants illegal, and, if for seizing any member of the House, a breach of privilege. But when they passed this in the form of a bill, the Lords threw it out; and a second bill for the same purpose failed in the Commons. Still, these conciliatory measures did not procure them confidence. Colonel Barr refused them his support; General Conway was sick of his post, and longed to be out of it; and Henley, Lord Northington, as Chancellor, was found actually intriguing against his colleagues. With the Court they grew into no favour, because the king thought them backward in procuring from Parliament suitable provision for his younger brother. It was clear that this could not last. To cap the climax of weakness, the Rockingham Cabinet came to open issue amongst themselves on the plan of government for Canada. Northington informed the king that they could not go on; and the king, on the 7th of July, gave the Chancellor a letter to Pitt, inviting him to form a new Ministry. The same day his Majesty also informed the existing Cabinet of the change which he contemplated. Conway[190] said frankly, it was the best thing the king could do; but Lord Rockingham and the Duke of Newcastle were deeply offended.