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    Slider 1 RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN. (After the Portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.)
    Slider 2 In the meantime, petitions, memorials, and remonstrances were presented from New York and other places, and from the British inhabitants of Canada, but all were rejected. On the 26th of May George III. prorogued Parliament, and expressed his perfect satisfaction in its proceedings; so utterly unconscious was this king that he was alienating a great empire, and which, indeed, was already virtually gone from him; for during the very time that Parliament had been protesting against even the contemptible crumbs of concession offered by Ministers, war had broken out, blood had flowed, and the Americans had triumphed!
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    Yet the whole demand for sailors was carried, and the demand of inquiry as absolutely rejected. Parliament went on and voted three million two hundred and five thousand five hundred and five pounds for the expenses of the navy; four thousand pounds for Greenwich Hospital; five hundred thousand pounds for the discharge of the debts of the navy. For the army, including some new contracts with the German princes for men to serve in America, three million pounds. What was still more disgraceful was that, amid all these charges on the public purse, the king came again with a fresh demand for six hundred thousand pounds for debts on the Civil List. It was pretended that extraordinary calls had been made on the royal purse by the suffering Royalists in America; but it was notorious that the Royal household continued in the same condition of reckless waste and extravagance as it was when the former half million was voted for the same purpose. Yet the Commons granted this sum; and, by way of preventing the king from falling into fresh difficulties, added one hundred thousand pounds a year to the Civil List. The matter, however, did not pass without a plain reminder to his Majesty. The rough-spoken Sir Fletcher Norton, the Speaker of the Commons, when presenting this Bill for the increase of the Civil List to the king, said:"Sir,In a time of public distress, full of difficulty and danger, under burdens almost too heavy to be borne, your faithful Commons postponed all other business, and granted your Majesty not only a large present supply, but a very great additional revenuegreat beyond examplegreat beyond your Majesty's highest wants!" Having passed these votes, Parliament was prorogued on the 13th of December till the 21st of the following January.

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    THE "FIGHTING TMRAIRE" TUGGED TO HER LAST BERTH TO BE BROKEN UP, 1838.

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    In preparation for this movement James the Pretender was to sail secretly to Spain, in readiness to cross to England; and he had already quitted his house in Rome and removed to a villa, the more unobserved to steal away at the appointed moment. Ormonde also had left Madrid and gone to a country seat half way to Bilbao, when the secret of the impending expedition was suddenly revealed by the French Government to that of England. The conspirators had been mad enough to apply to the Regent for five thousand troops, trusting that, notwithstanding his peaceful relations with Britain, he would secretly enjoy creating it some embarrassment. But in this, as in all other views, they proved more sanguine than profound. Sir Luke Schaub, the British Ambassador, was immediately informed of it on condition, it was said, that no one should die for it.

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    Measures to alter this disgraceful state of things were repeatedly introduced, but as steadily rejected. The collection of tithes seemed to occupy the chief attention of the Established clergy of Ireland, even where they rendered no spiritual services, and eventually led to a state of irritation and of dire conflict between the Protestant incumbent and the Catholic population which did not cease till after the death of George III. The clergyman called in the soldiery to assist him in the forcible levying of tithes, and the bloodshed and frightful plunder of the poor huts of the Irish in this bellum ecclesiasticum became the scandal of all Christendom ere it was ended by the Act of a later reign, which transferred the collection of tithes to the landlord in the shape of rent.

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    The large majorities in the House of Lords were to be ascribed chiefly to the unparalleled influence of the Duke of Wellington. But the public at the time were little aware of the difficulties that great man had to deal with in overcoming the opposition of the king, who was much under the influence of the Duke of Cumberland. When the storm of Conservative violence reached its height, after the rejection of Peel in Oxford, and his return, not without a struggle, for Westbury; and when, on the 3rd of March, he gave notice that he would draw the attention of the House to the clause of the Royal Speech referring to Ireland, the king, greatly excited and alarmed, sent the same evening to desire that the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and the Chancellor should wait upon him next day. He had already seen the Chancellor once, and the Duke twice separately. The king received his three Ministers, when they presented themselves at the palace, kindly but gravely; he looked anxious and embarrassed while he requested them to make him acquainted with the details of their Bill. It was explained to him that it would relieve Roman Catholics from the necessity of making a declaration against the doctrine of transubstantiation; whilst it so far modified in their case the oath of supremacy, as to omit all notice of the king's authority in things spiritual. "What!" he exclaimed, "do you mean to alter the ancient law of supremacy?" It was to no purpose he was shown that the alteration applied only to Roman Catholics, who would be dispensed from swearing what they could not believe; but he appealed to his own coronation oath, in reference to which he could not recognise the dispensing power of his Ministers. The king was condescending in the extreme. He seemed deeply grieved at the dilemma to which they had been brought. He acknowledged that possibly he had gone too far on former occasions, though he had acted entirely through misapprehension. But now he trusted that they would see, with him, that it had become a point of conscience, and that there was no alternative left him except to withdraw his assent. In the most respectful manner they acquiesced in his Majesty's determination, allowing, without a murmur, that he had a perfect right to act as he proposed. But when he went on further to ask what they intended to do, the Duke's answer was explicit: they must retire from his Majesty's service, and explain to Parliament that unexpected obstacles had arisen to the accomplishment of the policy which they were engaged to pursue. To this Mr. Peel added, that as the Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association had been carried on the understanding that other and more comprehensive measures would follow, it would be necessary to make Parliament generally aware of the causes which operated to prevent the bringing forward of those measures. The king heard all this to an end, without attempting to interrupt, or argue with, his Ministers. He admitted, on the contrary, that it was impossible for them to take any other course, and then bade them farewell, kissing each of them on both cheeks. They set off from Windsor immediately, and arrived at Lord Bathurst's, where their colleagues were waiting dinner for them. They made a full report of all that had occurred, and announced that the Government was at an end. The party broke up, believing themselves to be out of office; but early next morning, before any decisive steps had been taken, a special messenger arrived at Apsley House with a letter from the king. It was guardedly expressed, for it went no further than to state that his Majesty had found greater difficulties than he expected in forming a new Cabinet, and was therefore desirous that the present Ministry should go on. The moment was critical, and the position of the Government delicate and in some sense insecure. No doubt, his Majesty's letter might be read as[299] implying an abandonment of the objections which he had taken to the policy of his Ministers overnight, but it was certainly capable of a different interpretation. It appeared, therefore, to the Duke, that before proceeding further it would be necessary to come to a clear understanding with the king as to his Majesty's real intentions, and Mr. Peel concurring in this opinion, the Duke was requested to write to the king on the subject. He did so, with all the candour and loyalty which were natural to him; and the result was an unequivocal declaration from the Sovereign that he would accept the measures of his Ministers as his own.

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    But the Nabob of Oude held out new temptations of gain to Hastings. The Rohillas, a tribe of Afghans, had, earlier in the century, descended from their mountains and conquered the territory lying between the Ganges and the mountains to the west of Oude. They had given it the name of Rohilcund. These brave warriors would gladly have been allies of the British, and applied to Sujah Dowlah to bring about such an alliance. Dowlah made fair promises, but he had other views. He hoped, by the assistance of the British, to conquer Rohilcund and add it to Oude. He had no hope that his rabble of the plains could stand against this brave mountain race, and he now artfully stated to Hastings that the Mahrattas were at war with the Rohillas. If they conquered them, they would next attack Oude, and, succeeding there, would descend the Ganges and spread over all Bahar and Bengal. He therefore proposed that the British should assist him to conquer Rohilcund for himself, and add it to Oude. For this service he would pay all the expenses of the campaign, the British army would obtain a rich booty, and at the end he would pay the British Government besides the sum of forty lacs of rupees. Hastings had no cause of quarrel with the Rohillas, but for the proffered reward he at once acceded to the proposal. In April, 1774, an English brigade, under Colonel Champion, invaded Rohilcund, and in a hard-fought field defeated the Rohillas. In the whole of this campaign nothing could be more disgraceful in every way than the conduct of the troops of Oude. They took care to keep behind during the fighting, but to rush forward to the plunder. The Nabob and his troops committed such horrors in plundering and massacreing not only the Rohillas, but the native and peaceful Hindoos, that the British officers and soldiers denounced the proceedings with horror. It was now, however, in vain that Hastings called on the Nabob to restrain his soldiers, for, if he did not plunder, how was he to pay the stipulated forty lacs of rupees? and if he ruined and burnt out the natives, how were they, Hastings asked, to pay any taxes to him as his new subjects? All this was disgraceful enough, but this was not all. Shah Allum now appeared upon the scene, and produced a contract between[326] himself and the Nabob, which had been made unknown to Hastings, by which the Nabob of Oude stipulated that, on condition of the Mogul advancing against the Rohillas from the south of Delhi, he should receive a large share of the conquered territory and the plunder. The Nabob now refused to fulfil the agreement, on the plea that the Mogul ought to have come and fought, and Hastings sanctioned that view of the case, and returned to Calcutta with his ill-gotten booty.

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    On receiving the Emperor Alexander's decisive reply that no terms could be entered into with Napoleon till he had evacuated both Pomerania and Prussia, Buonapartewho professed to be greatly insulted by the demandimmediately set out from Paris for the northern army, on the 9th of May, and left his passports for the Russian Ambassador, which were delivered two days afterwards. Buonaparte, accompanied by Maria Louisa, proceeded immediately to Dresden, to which place he had invited, or rather summoned, all his allied and vassal monarchs to meet him. There, accordingly, were assembled the Emperor and Empress of Austriathe Empress being the sister of the expelled Duke of Modena, and mother-in-law of the Empress of the French,the solitary King of Prussia (whose queen had perished under the calumnies and insults of Napoleon), and a crowd of lesser German monarchs. Whilst Napoleon was playing the host to these crowned heads, and treating them to banquets, plays, and operas, he was closeted with his cabinet, still planning fresh humiliations for them when he had utterly extinguished Russia. He declared to them that he should take Galicia from Austria, and Silesia from Prussia. He summoned the Abb de Pradt, now Archbishop of Malines, and bade him go and promise the Poles the restoration of their kingdom, so as to induce them to follow him in a mass to Russia. "I will," he said, "put all Poland on horseback! I am on my way to Moscow. Two battles there will do the business! I will burn Thoula! The Emperor Alexander will come on his knees; and then Russia is disarmed. All is ready, and only waits my presence. Moscow is the heart of their empire. Besides, I make war at the expense of the blood of the Poles! I will leave fifty thousand of my Frenchmen in Poland. I will convert Dantzic into another Gibraltar."

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    "MY DEAR LORD ANGLESEY,I have been very sensible, since I received your last letter, that the correspondence which that letter terminated had left us in a relation towards each other which ought not to exist between the Lord-Lieutenant and the king's Minister, and could not continue to exist without great inconvenience and injury to the king's service. I refrained from acting upon this feeling till I should be able to consult with my colleagues, and I took the earliest opportunity which the return to town of those who were absent afforded to obtain their opinion, which concurred with my own. Under these circumstances, having taken the king's pleasure upon the subject, his Majesty has desired me to inform you that he intends to relieve you from the Government of Ireland. I will shortly notify the arrangements which will become necessary in consequence.

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