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But though Pitt protested against thanking the king for bringing over Hanoverian troops, he found it necessary to support the king's German treaties and alliances, which were avowedly for the defence of Hanover. Fox reminded him of his favourite phrase, that Hanover was a millstone round the neck of England; but it was not the first time that Pitt had had to stand the taunt of eating his own words, and he braved it out, especially voting two hundred thousand pounds to Frederick of Prussia. A wonderful revolution in Continental politics had now converted this long-hostile nephew of George II. into an ally, if not a friend. [See larger version]

But the subject was not so easily disposed of. Colonel Barr, in the House of Commons, only three days after Burke introduced his great motion, declared that Burke's measure did not go far enough; that Burke did not mean to interfere with the enormous pensions and overpaid places already in possession; and that he would himself introduce a motion for a Committee of Accounts, to probe all these depths of corruption, and to examine into the army extravagances, which were excessive, and to him unaccountable. Lord North, so far from opposing this motion, declared his surprise that no one had thought of introducing it before, and that he was extremely anxious himself for the reduction of all needless expenditure. The Opposition expressed their particular satisfaction; but they were rather too precipitate, for North made haste to get the business into his own hands; and, on the 2nd of March, was ready with a Bill of his own framing. The Opposition were lost in astonishment; and Barr denounced this perfidious conduct in the Minister in terms of just indignation. The whole Opposition, who found themselves outwitted, declared that the scheme, so far from being intended to relieve the country, was meant to shield existing abuses, and they accordingly resisted it to the utmost. North, however, by his standing majority of myrmidons, carried the Bill through the House; and Sir Guy Carleton, late Governor of Canada, and five others, were appointed Commissioners. Thus the whole motion was in reality shelved.

Tears on his hollow cheek

In the autumn the great Congress of Sovereigns assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle. We have already anticipated their chief objectthe final evacuation of France by the Allied troops, and the settlement of compensations. They assembled about the middle of September, and remained together till the middle of November. Their business conferences, however, did not commence till the 30th of September. With regard to the evacuation of France, we need only state that it was greatly promoted by the exertions of the Duke of Wellington. Robert Owen was there to endeavour to enlist the Sovereigns in his schemes of social reform, but did not make any proselytes amongst the crowned heads, though the Czar Alexander told him he fully entered into his views, as he was generally accustomed to tell all reformers and religious professors, leaving them in the pleasing delusion that they had won him to their opinions. Clarkson was there to engage them to sanction the suppression of the slave trade, but with as indifferent a result. This was the closing scene of the great European drama, which opened with the French Revolution and terminated with the capture of Buonaparte. The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle may be regarded as the recital of the epilogue. CHAPTER XIV. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).

This fleet had enough to do to cope with Rodney in the West Indian waters. Rodney, as we have hinted, with twenty sail of the line, came up with De Guichen's fleet of twenty-three sail of the line, besides smaller vessels, on the evening of the 16th of April, off St. Lucia. He came into action with it on the 17th, and succeeded in breaking its line, and might have obtained a most complete victory, but that several of his captains behaved very badly, paying no attention to his signals. The Sandwich, the Admiral's ship, was much damaged in the action, and the French sailed away. Rodney wrote most indignantly home[276] concerning the conduct of the captains, and one of them was tried and broken, and some of the others were censured; but they were protected by the spirit of faction, and escaped their due punishment. Rodney, finding he could not bring the French again to engage, put into St. Lucia to refit, and land his wounded men, of whom he had three hundred and fifty; besides one hundred and twenty killed. De Guichen had suffered far more severely. Rodney again got sight of the French fleet on the 10th of May, between St. Lucia and Martinique; but they avoided him, and made their escape into the harbour of Fort Royal. Hearing of the approach of a Spanish fleet of twelve sail of the line, and a great number of lesser vessels and transports, bringing from ten thousand to twelve thousand men, Rodney went in quest of it, to prevent its junction with the French; but Solano, the Spanish admiral, took care not to go near Rodney, but, reaching Guadeloupe, sent word of his arrival there to De Guichen, who managed to sail thither and join him. This now most overwhelming united fleet of France and Spain left Rodney no alternative but to avoid an engagement on his part. He felt that not only our West India Islands, but the coasts of North America, were at its mercy; but it turned out otherwise.

Accession of George IV.Meeting of ParliamentGeneral ElectionOpening of the New SessionDulness of AffairsBrougham on EducationQueen CarolineOmission of her Name from the LiturgyShe rejects the King's Proposals, and arrives in EnglandAttempts at a CompromiseThe King orders an InquiryThe Secret CommitteeThe Bill of Pains and PenaltiesArrival of the Queen in the House of LordsDiscussions on the Form of ProcedureSpeeches of Denman and the Attorney-GeneralEvidence for the ProsecutionBrougham's SpeechAbandonment of the BillGeneral RejoicingsViolence of Party FeelingPopularity of the QueenHer Claim to be crowned refusedThe Queen's Attempt to enter the AbbeyIndiscretion of the ActThe Coronation and the BanquetThe subsequent ScrambleDeath of the QueenDeparture of her BodyThe King's Visit to IrelandA Royal Oration and its enthusiastic ReceptionThe King and Lady ConynghamChanges in the GovernmentDiscontent of EldonWellesley in IrelandAlarming State of the CountryCanning's Speech on Catholic EmancipationParliamentary ReformAgricultural Distress and FinanceEldon's Outbreak on the Marriage BillSuicide of Lord LondonderryScene at his FuneralVisit of George IV. to ScotlandLoyalty of Sir Walter ScottAccount of the FestivitiesPeel's Letter to ScottReturn of the KingCanning takes the Foreign Office and Leadership of the House of CommonsHuskisson joins the CabinetThe Duke of Wellington sent to VeronaHis InstructionsPrinciples of the Holy AllianceThe Spanish ColoniesFrench Intervention in SpainThe Duke's Remonstrances with the French KingHis Interview with the CzarThe Congress of VeronaFailure of Wellington to prevent Intervention in SpainVindication of Canning's Policy in the CommonsHe calls the New World into Existence.

Buonaparte had watched all the motions of the Northern Powers and of Austria from the first, and was fully prepared to encounter and overthrow them. Even before his return from Italy his plans were laid. No sooner, indeed, was he in France again than he proceeded to his great camp at Boulogne, and dated several decrees thence, thus drawing attention to the fact. All France was once more persuaded that he was now going to lead his invincible Army of England across the strait, and add perfidious Albion to his conquests. He had increased that army greatly; it had been diligently disciplined, and contained soldiers who had carried him to victory in Italy and in Egypt. Such an army of a hundred and fifty thousand picked men was deemed capable of achieving anything, with the Emperor at their head. But Napoleon had no intention of making the desperate attempt to cross the Channel without an overwhelming fleet, and this, for reasons which we will mention by-and-bye, did not come. The maps of England had all been thrown aside, and those of Germany substituted. He was busy collecting material for artillery; he was sending everywhere to buy up draught-horses to drag his baggage and ammunition and guns; and suddenly, when people were looking for the ordering out of his flotilla, they were surprised by hearing that he was in full march for the Rhine. On the 23rd of September he sent a report to the Senate in these words:"The wishes of the eternal enemies of the Continent are accomplished; hostilities have commenced in the midst of Germany; Austria and Russia have united with England; and our generation is again involved in all the calamities of war. But a very few days ago I cherished a hope that peace would not be disturbed. Threats and outrage only showed that they could make no impression upon me; but the Austrians have passed the Inn; Munich is invaded; the Elector of Bavaria is driven from his capital; all my hopes have therefore vanished. I tremble at the idea of the blood that must be spilled in Europe; but the French name will emerge with renovated and increased lustre." This was accompanied by two decrees: one for ordering eighty thousand conscripts, and the other for the organisation of a national guard. The next day he was on the way to Strasburg. He said to Savary, "If the enemy comes to meet me"for Mack, like a madman, was rushing towards the Rhine, far away from his allies"I will destroy him before he has re-passed[505] the Danube; if he waits for me, I will take him between Augsburg and Ulm." The result showed how exactly he had calculated.

Exasperated at the failure of this measure, a furious mob broke into the Irish House of Commons on the 15th of April, but they were soon quelled, and two of the ringleaders seized. The magistrates of Dublin were censured for observing the gathering of the mob and taking no measures to prevent its outbreak. The printer and supposed publisher of the Volunteers' Journal were called before the House and reprimanded, and a Bill was brought in and passed, to render publishers more amenable to the law. The spirit of violence still raged through the country. Tumultuous associations were formed under the name of Aggregate Bodies.

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