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    ELECTION MEETING IN IRELAND. (See p. 254.)

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    In committee the Opposition endeavoured to introduce some modifying clause. They proposed that the Dissenters should have schools for their own persuasion; and, had the object of the Bill been to prevent them from endangering the Church by educating the children of Churchmen, this would have served the purpose. But this was not the real object; the motive of the Bill was the old tyrannic spirit of the Church, and this most reasonable clause was rejected. They allowed, however, dames or schoolmistresses to teach the children to read; and they removed the conviction of offenders from the justices of peace to the courts of law, and granted a right of appeal to a higher court. Finally, they exempted tutors in noblemen's families, noblemen being supposed incapable of countenancing any other than teachers of Court principles. Stanhope seized on this to extend the privilege to the members of the House of Commons, arguing that, as many members of the Commons were connected with noble families, they must have an equal claim for the education of their children in sound principles. This was an exquisite bit of satire, but it was unavailing. The Hanoverian Tories, headed by Lord Anglesey, moved that the Act should extend to Ireland, where, as the native population was almost wholly Catholic, and therefore schismatic in the eye of the Established Church, the Bill would have almost entirely extinguished education. The Bill was carried on the 10th of June by a majority only of seventy-seven against seventy-two, and would not have been carried at all except for the late creation of Tory peers.

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    On the 30th of January, 1793, Dundas announced to the House of Commons a message from the throne, communicating the news of the execution of the French king. This was accompanied by copies of a correspondence with M. Chauvelin, the late plenipotentiary of Louis, and of an order for his quitting the kingdom, in consequence of this sanguinary act. The message made a deep impression on the House, though the circumstances were already well known. It was agreed to take these matters into consideration on the 2nd of February, when Pitt detailed the correspondence which had for some time taken place between the British Cabinet and the French Government. He said that Britain, notwithstanding many provocations, had carefully maintained an attitude of neutrality, even when, in the preceding summer, France was at war with Austria and Prussia, and was menacing our Dutch allies. The French, on their part, had, he said, made similar professions. They had publicly renounced all aggression, and yet they had annexed Saxony, overrun Belgium, and now contemplated the invasion of Holland. They had done more: they had plainly menaced this country with invasion. So recently as the last day of the year, their Minister of Marine had addressed a letter to the seaports of France, in which this was the language regarding England:"The King and his Parliament mean to make war against us. Will the English Republicans suffer it? Already these free men show their discontent, and the repugnance they have to bear arms against their brothers, the French. Well, we will fly to their succour; we will make a descent on the island; we will lodge there fifty thousand caps of liberty; we will plant there the sacred tree; we will stretch out our arms to our Republican brethren, and the tyranny of their Government shall soon be destroyed!" There was a strong war spirit manifest in the House. Fox and his diminished party combated it in vain. The same prevailing expression was exhibited in a similar debate in the House of Lords, in which Lord Loughboroughwho, on the 20th of January, succeeded Thurlow as Lord Chancellorsupported the views of Ministers. But there was little time allowed for the two Houses to discuss the question of peace or war, for on the 11th of February Dundas brought down a royal message, informing the Commons that the French had declared war on the 1st of February, against both Britain and Holland. On the following day Pitt moved an Address to his Majesty, expressing a resolve to support him in the contest against France. In the debate, Burke declared the necessity of war against a nation which had, in fact, proclaimed war against every throne and nation. At the same time, he declared that it would be a war in defence of every principle of order or religion. It would not be the less a most desperate war. France was turning almost every subject in the realm into a soldier. It meant to maintain its armies on the plunder of invaded nations. Trade being ruined at home by the violence of mob rule, the male population was eager to turn soldiers, and to live on the spoils of the neighbouring countries. Lyons alone, he said, had thirty thousand artisans destitute of employment; and they would find a substitute for their legitimate labour in ravaging the fields of Holland and Germany. He deemed war a stern necessity. A similar Address was moved and carried in the Peers.