As the French now made vigorous preparations for war, George II. began to tremble for Hanover, and put out all his energies to accomplish fresh alliancesof course, at the cost of fresh subsidies to be paid by England. Hesse-Cassel, the Empress of Russia, and even his old enemy, Frederick of Prussia, were applied to, and engaged, by promises of English money, in defence of Hanover. George was especially afraid of Frederick, who was bound by no ties where his interest was at stake, and who, if not retained at a high rate, might fall on Hanover as he had done on Silesia. In gaining Frederick, however, George lost his old ally, Austria, which, forgetting all past obligations, immediately made alliance with France.

The indignation of all parties in England was unbounded. They were persuaded that Junot might have been compelled to surrender with all his army as prisoners of war; that his arms and booty ought to have been given up entirely, as[562] well as the Russian fleet; and the army prevented from taking any part in the after war, except upon a proper exchange. And no doubt this might have been the case had Wellesley been permitted to follow his own judgment. A court of inquiry was appointed to sit in the great hall of Chelsea College, which opened on the 14th of November and closed on the 27th of December. Yet matters were so managed that scarcely any blame was cast on Sir Harry Burrard, and all the generals were declared free from blame. Sir Harry was, indeed, included in the praise bestowed by the committeethat Sir Hew Dalrymple, Sir Harry himself, and Sir Arthur Wellesley, as well as the rest of the officers and men, had displayed an ardour and gallantry on every occasion during the expedition that reflected the highest lustre on his Majesty's troops. But the public was not at all mystified by this strange sentence. Dr. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury (b. 1643)[146] who figures so prominently in the reign of William and Mary, and who rendered such essential service to the establishment of religious liberty, is the great historian of his time. Without his narratives of his own period, we should have a very imperfect idea of it. With all his activity at Court and in Parliament, he was a most voluminous writer. His publications amount to no less than a hundred and forty-five, though many of these are mere tracts, and some of them even only single sermons. His earliest productions date from 1669, and they continued, with little intermission, to the time of his death in 1715a space of forty-six years. His great works are "The Reformation of the Church," in three volumes, folio, 1679, 1681, and 1715; and his "History of His Own Times," in two volumes, published after his death in 1724. Burnet lays no claim to eloquence or to much genius, and he has been accused of a fondness for gossip, and for his self-importance; but the qualities which sink all these things into mere secondary considerations are his honesty and heartiness in the support of sound and liberal principles far beyond the majority of his fellow prelates and churchmen. Whilst many of these were spending their energies in opposing reform and toleration, Burnet was incessantly, by word and pen, engaged in assisting to build up and establish those broad and Christian principles under which we now live. Besides the great works named, he wrote also "Memoirs of James and William, Dukes of Hamilton;" "Passages in the Life and Death of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester;" a "Life of Bishop Bedell;" "Travels on the Continent;" "An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles," etc. etc. [See larger version]

Mr. Lamb, the Chief Secretary, wrote to Mr. Peel to the same effect. The Act, he said, had failed in fulfilling its main object, as well as every other advantageous purpose. To re-enact it would irritate all parties, and expose the Ministry to odium. He alluded to sources of dissension that were springing up in the Roman Catholic body, particularly the jealousy excited in the Roman Catholic prelates by the power which the Association had assumed over the parochial clergy. On the whole, his advice was against renewing the Statute. On the 12th of April Lord Anglesey wrote a memorandum on the subject, in which he pointed out the impolicy of any coercive measure, which, to be effective, must interfere with the right of public meeting, and make a dangerous inroad on the Constitution, at the same time displaying the weakness of the Government, which is shown in nothing more than passing strong measures which there was not vigour to enforce. His information led him to believe that the higher orders of the Roman Catholic clergy had long felt great jealousy of the ascendency that the leaders of the Association had assumed over the lower priesthood. Besides, many of the most respectable of the Catholic landlords were irritated at their tenantry for continuing to pay the Catholic rent, contrary to their injunctions; and sooner or later he believed the poorer contributors must consider the impost as onerous, arbitrary, and oppressive. These matters he regarded as seeds of dissolution, which would be more than neutralised by any coercive attempt to put down the Association. He felt confident that no material mischief could result from allowing the Act quietly to expire, supported as the Government was by "the powerful aid of that excellent establishment, the constabulary force, already working the greatest[270] benefit, and capable of still further improvement, and protected as this force was by an efficient army, ably commanded." After the reports that had gone abroad, to the effect that the Government were about to settle the question, and that they had even prepared a Bill on the subject, this letter from the Prime Minister to the Roman Catholic Primate was most disappointing. Besides, it was absurd to expect that the subject could be buried in oblivion. The Duke, no doubt, had in his mind the difficulty with the king, and the excitement of Protestant feeling in England, which was exasperated by the violence of the debates in the Catholic Association, and the tone of menace and defiance which that body had assumed. This obstacle was not lessened by the letter in question, the purport of which was communicated to Mr. O'Connell, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant. The latter wrote an admirable letter in reply, which led to serious consequences. On the 22nd of December Dr. Curtis sent him the Duke's letter, and a copy of his own answer to it. He acknowledged that it conveyed information which he had not himself received, though entitled, from his position, to receive it first. He then frankly offered his opinion as to the course which it behoved the Catholics to pursue. He was perfectly convinced that the final and cordial settlement of the question could alone give peace, harmony, and prosperity to all classes of his Majesty's subjects. He advised that the Duke of Wellington should by every means be propitiated; for if any man could carry the measure, it was he. All personal and offensive insinuations should therefore be suppressed, and ample allowance should be made for the difficulties of his situation. "Difficult," said Lord Anglesey, "it certainly is; for he has to overcome the very strong prejudices and the interested motives of many persons of the highest influence, as well as allay the real alarm of many of the more ignorant Protestants." As to burying in oblivion the question for a short time, the Viceroy considered the thing utterly impossible, and, if possible, not at all desirable. He recommended, on the contrary, that all constitutional means should be used to forward the cause, coupled with the utmost forbearance, and the most submissive obedience to the law. Personality offered no advantage. It offended those who could assist, and confirmed predisposed aversion. "Let the Catholic," said his lordship, "trust to the justice of his cause, and to the growing liberality of mankind. Unfortunately, he has lost some friends, and fortified enemies, during the last six months, by unwearied and unnecessary violence. Brute force, he should be assured, can effect nothing. It is the legislature that must decide this great question, and my anxiety is that it should be met by the Parliament under the most favourable circumstances, and that the opposers of Catholic Emancipation shall be disarmed by the patient forbearance as well as by the unwearied perseverance of its advocates."

As for Spain, she abandoned all designs on Portugal, and restored the colony of Sacramento; and she surrendered every point on which her declaration of war against England was basednamely, the right to fish on the coast of Newfoundland; the refusal to allow us to cut logwood in Honduras; and to admit the settlement of questions of capture by our courts of law. Expenditure.