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On the day after this division a deputation of nearly ninety members of the House of Commons, headed by Lord James Stuart, waited upon Lady Palmerston, and presented her with a full-length portrait of her husband, representing him in evening dress and wearing the ribbon of the Order of the Bath. They requested her Ladyship to accept of that testimony of their high sense of Viscount Palmerston's public and private character, and of the independent policy by which he maintained the honour and interests of the country. What made this presentation singularly opportune was the fact that on the same day a telegraphic despatch had been received from Paris, announcing the settlement of the Greek question. The Government was undoubtedly strengthened by Lord Palmerston's display, at a moment when its fall seemed inevitable.

NAPOLEON'S INTERVIEW WITH METTERNICH. (See p. 67.) The French were driven again out of Naples by the end of July. Cardinal Ruffo brought down a wild army of Calabrians, and an army made up of Russians, Turks, Portuguese, and British, completed the expulsion of the Republicans and restored the king. In this restoration Nelson and his squadron took a most effective part; but unfortunately for his fame, he at this time became acquainted with Lady Hamilton, the wife of the British ambassador, and gave himself up entirely to her fascinations. Lady Hamilton was the friend of the Queen of Naples (a sister of the unfortunate Marie Antoinette), and she was said to have instigated Nelson to take a melancholy part in the savage retaliations of the court on the Neapolitan Republicans, but the charge has since been completely disproved. Nelson sent Commodore Trowbridge to Civita Vecchia to blockade it, and both that port and the castle of St. Angelo soon surrendered, and Captain Lewis rowed up the Tiber in his barge, hoisted the British colours on the Capitol, and acted as Governor of Rome till Pius VI., ejected by the French in the previous year, was nominally restored. The poor old man, however, never returned to his kingdom; he died at Valence, on the Rh?ne, on the 29th of August of this year. The election of the new Pope, Pius VII., did not take place till March, 1800. Before the end of the year, nearly all Italy, except Genoa, was cleared of the French. As Ministers did not resign on being placed in a minority the third time, rumours were industriously circulated by their opponents that they meant to rule the country despotically; that they were about to dissolve Parliament the second time, and had resolved to maintain the army on their[381] own responsibility, without the Mutiny Act. On the 2nd of March Lord John Russell, referring to these rumours, gave notice that he intended to bring forward the Irish Appropriation question, and the question of Municipal Reform. It was for a test of this kind that Sir Robert Peel waited. In the meantime he denied that he had any such intentions as those ascribed to him, and compelled Mr. Hume to withdraw his proposal to limit the supplies to three months. He promised that Government would bring in a Bill on the Irish Church; but it would adhere strictly to the principle that ecclesiastical property should be reserved for ecclesiastical purposes. He declared they would be prepared to remedy all real abuses when the report of the Commissioners appointed for their investigation was received.

Whilst these things were happening, and but two days before the mail arrived bringing the news of the defeat at Closter-Campen, George II. died. He had, till within the last two years, enjoyed robust health. He had then a severe attack of gout, and from that time his eyes and hearing had failed. On the morning of the 25th of October he rose at his usual hour of six, drank his chocolate, inquired how the wind was, being anxious for the arrival of the mails, and then suddenly fell, uttered a groan, and expired. He was seventy-seven years of age. The king had a stormy and rather perilous passage across the Channel. Mr. Freemantle sarcastically alludes to the feelings of the royal passenger in connection with this voyage:"The king in his journey home overtook Lord and Lady Harcourt, now the bosom friends of Lady Conyngham, stopped them, got out of his carriage, and sat with them for a quarter of an hour on the public road, recounting all his perilous adventures at sea, and flattering reception in Ireland. Lady Harcourt told me his pious acknowledgment for his great escape of being shipwrecked was quite edifying, and the very great change in his moral habits and religious feelings was quite astonishing, and all owing to Lady Conyngham." On his return to London, after a visit to Hanover, the king devoted himself to a life of seclusion for a considerable time, during which it appears that the Marchioness of Conyngham maintained an ascendency over him most damaging to his character and Government. She had not only made the royal favour tributary to the advancement of her own family, but she meddled in political affairs with mischievous effect. "Had it been confined to mere family connections," writes Robert Huish, "no voice, perhaps, would have been raised against it; but when the highest offices in the Church were bestowed on persons scarcely previously heard ofwhen political parties rose and fell, and Ministers were created and deposed to gratify the ambition of a femalethen the palace of the king appeared as if surrounded by some pestilential air. The old hereditary counsellors of the king avoided the Court, as alike fatal to private probity and public honour. The entrance to Windsor Castle was, as it were, hermetically sealed by the enchantress within to all but the favoured few. The privilege of the entre was curtailed to the very old friends of the king, and even the commonest domestics in the castle were constrained to submit to the control of the marchioness. The Court of George IV. certainly differed widely from that of Charles II., although the number and[221] reputation of their several mistresses were nearly the same in favour and character; but George IV. had no confiscations to confer on the instruments of his pleasures."

The third reading of the Arms Bill passed by a majority of 66, and soon received the Royal Assent. In the Queen's Speech at the close of the Session there was a very pointed reference made to the state of Ireland. Her Majesty said that she had observed with the deepest concern the persevering efforts made to stir up discontent and disaffection among her subjects in Ireland, and to excite them to demand the repeal of the union; and from her deep conviction that the union was not less essential to the attainment of good government in Ireland than to the strength and stability of the empire, it was her firm determination, with the support of Parliament, and under the blessing of Divine Providence, to maintain inviolate that great bond of connection between the two countries. She thus concluded, "I feel assured that[530] those of my faithful subjects who have influence and authority in Ireland will discourage to the utmost of their power a system of pernicious agitation which disturbs the industry and retards the improvement of that country, and excites feelings of mutual distrust and animosity between different classes of my people." With regard to the Turkish question, all possible measures were in the first instance to be tried, with a view to reconcile the differences between Russia and Turkey. These referred to the Russian protection of the Christian subjects of the Sultan, and the navigation of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. When these matters were disposed of, then, and not till then, was the condition of Greece to be considered, and in dealing with this question the British plenipotentiary was to use great caution, to avoid committing England either to the recognition or subjugation of that country. DUEL BETWEEN THE "GUERRIRE" AND THE "CONSTITUTION." (See p. 36.)

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Mr. Canning had been offered the Governor-Generalship of India. Before his departure, he was resolved, if possible, to make a breach in the system of Parliamentary exclusiveness. On the 29th of March he gave notice of a motion to bring in a Bill for the admission of Roman Catholic peers to seats in Parliament, and on the following day supported it by a speech of great power of argument and brilliant eloquence, illustrating his position very happily from the case of the Duke of Norfolk, and his official connection with the ceremonial of the coronation. He asked, "Did it ever occur to the representatives of Europe, when contemplating this animating spectacledid it occur to the ambassadors of Catholic Austria, of Catholic France, or of states more bigoted in matters of religionthat the moment this ceremony was over the Duke of Norfolk would become disseized of the exercise of his privileges amongst his fellow peers?that his robes of ceremony were to be laid aside and hung up until the distant (be it a very distant!) day when the coronation of a successor to his present most gracious Sovereign might again call him forth to assist at a similar solemnisation?that, after being thus exhibited to the eyes of the peers and people of England, and to the representatives of the princes and nations of the world, the Duke of Norfolkhighest in rank amongst the peersthe Lord Clifford, and others like him, representing a long line of illustrious ancestry, as if called forth and furnished for the occasion, like the lustres and banners that flamed and glittered in the scene, were to be, like them, thrown by as useless and trumpery formalities?that they might bend the knee and kiss the hand, that they might bear the train or rear the canopy, might discharge the offices assigned by Roman pride to their barbarian ancestors

On the 15th of April Buonaparte quitted Paris, for the last time as a permanent abode; on the 16th he was at Mainz, and on the 25th at Erfurt. Before quitting Paris he had appointed Maria Louisa regent in his absence. This he deemed a stroke of policy likely to conciliate the Emperor of Austria. But the Empress's power was merely nominal. She could appear at the Council board, but it was only as the instrument of the Emperor; he carried all active power along with him, and ruled France from his camp. He had still upwards of fifty thousand troops in the garrisons of Prussia, commanded by Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy; and he advanced at the head of three hundred thousand men. Eugene Beauharnais had been compelled necessarily to evacuate Dantzic, Berlin, and Dresden as the Russians and Prussians advanced, and to retreat upon the Elbe. In the month of May Bernadotte, according to concert, crossed over to Stralsund with thirty-five thousand men, and awaited the reinforcements of Russians and Germans which were to raise his division to eighty thousand men, with which he was to co-operate with the Allies, and protect Hamburg. The Allies, under Tetterborn, Czernicheff, and Winzengerode, spread along both sides of the Elbe, the Germans rising enthusiastically wherever they came. Hamburg, Lübeck, and other towns threw open their gates to them. The French general, Morand, endeavouring to quell the rising of the people of Lüneburg, was surprised by the Russians, and his detachment of four thousand men was cut to pieces, or taken prisoners. Eugene marched from Magdeburg to surprise Berlin, but was met at M?ckern, defeated, and driven back to Magdeburg. Such was the success of the Allies, and the exulting support of the people, that even Denmark and Saxony began to contemplate going over to the Allies. Blucher entered Dresden on the 27th of March, driving Davoust before him, who blew up an arch of the fine bridge to cover his retreat. The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia entered the city soon afterwards, and were received by the inhabitants with acclamations. On the 28th of April died the old Russian general, Kutusoff, at Bautzen, and was succeeded by General Wittgenstein.

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Austria stood in a hesitating position. On the one hand, she felt reluctant to join the Allies and assist in destroying the throne of the Emperor's son-in-law; but at the same time she was anxious to strengthen her own position by giving more strength to her neighbour, Prussia. For this purpose Austria offered her mediation for a peace on terms that would restore Prussia to a more becoming position, and such proposals of mediation were made by the Austrian Minister to Great Britain. But these entirely failed. On the one hand, Napoleon would concede nothing, but declared that he would entirely annihilate Prussia, and would give Silesia to Austria for her assistance in the war; on the other hand, Great Britain declared that there could be no peace unless France disgorged the bulk of her usurpations.

Bolingbroke had assured Iberville, the French agent, that, had the queen only lived six weeks longer, his measures were so well taken that he should have brought in the Pretender in spite of everything. On the very day of the queen's death Marlborough landed at Dover, so exactly had he timed his return. He found George I. proclaimed in London, in York, and in other large towns, not only without disorder, but with an acclamation of joy from the populace which plainly showed where the heart lay.

The beacon light is quenched in smoke,

Our forces on the Italian coast were met by the active spirit of the new King of Naples, Joachim Murat. Sir John Stuart, who had won the splendid victory of Maida, embarked, on the 13th of June, fifteen thousand British troops in Sicily, and proceeded to menace Naples, and create alarm in various quarters, so as to draw the French from Upper Italy, and thus relieve the Austrians. With part of these forces siege was laid to Scylla; with the other Sir John anchored off Cape Miseno, close to Bai? and Puzzuoli, and directly across the bay, about a dozen miles from Naples. The greatest alarm was excited, and nothing would have been easier for Sir John than to have battered the town about the ears of the intruder king; but this the interests of the old king did not permit, especially as Ferdinand's second son, Don Leopold, was present as nominal commander, but he was of no use really, being a most effeminate and incapable person. Sir John then sailed to the islands of Procida and Ischia, compelled the garrisons to capitulate, dismantled the fortifications, and then abandoned these islands. During all this time our warships were scouring the whole of the coasts of Southern Italy, capturing every vessel that ventured out, and keeping the French generals on shore in constant agitation. In the encounters with the enemy's vessels on these coasts many brilliant exploits were performed by our captains, and by none more than by Captain Staines, of the Cyane frigate, who, on the 27th of June, stood a stout but most unequal fight with a Neapolitan frigate and corvette, under the very batteries of Naples. The siege of Scylla was raised by a strong French force, and Sir John Stuart returned to Sicily. Scylla was, however, shortly after abandoned again by the French, and its guns and stores, which appeared to have been left in some panic, fell into the hands of the British.