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HEROISM OF THE MAID OF SARAGOSSA. (See p. 556.)On the following evening Lord Melbourne, having explained why he resigned, said, "And now, my lords, I frankly declare that I resume office unequivocally and solely for this reason, that I will not abandon my Sovereign in a situation[463] of difficulty and distress, and especially when a demand is made upon her Majesty with which I think she ought not to complya demand, in my opinion, inconsistent with her personal honour, and which, if acquiesced in, would make her reign liable to all the changes and variations of political parties, and render her domestic life one constant scene of unhappiness and discomfort." The Whigs, therefore, returned to office, but not to power.

of rationsIt was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an annuity of 50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council, and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records were brought from the Tower: the "Liber Regalis" and other ancient volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:"The lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were equally unsuccessful.

This all-important question was adjourned to the next day, the 8th of June, when it was debated in a committee of the whole House. As the discussion, however, took place with closed doors, as all great debates of Congress did, to hide the real state of opinion, and to give to the ultimate decision an air of unanimity, the reports of it are meagre and unsatisfactory. We know, however, that Lee, the original mover, was supported by his colleague Wythe, and most energetically by John Adams; that it was as vigorously opposed by John Dickinson and his colleagues, Wilson, of Pennsylvania, Robert Livingstone, of New York, and John Rutledge, of South Carolina. Moreover, a considerable number of members from different States opposed the motion, on the ground, not of its being improper in itself, but, as yet, premature. Six colonies declared for it, including Virginia. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland were at present against it. New York, Delaware, and South Carolina, were not decided to move yet; and it was proposed to give them time to make up their minds. Dr. Zubly, of Georgia, protested against it, and quitted the Congress. To give time for greater unanimity, the subject was postponed till the 1st of July; but, meanwhile, a committee was appointed to draw up a Declaration of Independence. The members of this committee were only five, namely, Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia; John Adams, of Massachusetts; Roger Sherman, of Connecticut; Richard R. Livingstone, of New York; and Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania.The Crown had resolved to proceed against the queen by a Bill of Pains and Penalties, the introduction of which was preceded by the appointment of a secret committee, to perform functions somewhat analogous to those of a grand jury in finding bills against accused parties. Mr. Brougham earnestly protested against the appointment of a secret committee, which was opposed by Lords Lansdowne and Holland. The course was explained and defended by the Lord Chancellor, who said that the object of Ministers in proposing a secret committee was to prevent injustice towards the accused; that committee would not be permitted to pronounce a decision; it would merely find, like a grand jury, that matter of accusation did or did not exist; such matter, even if found to have existence, could not be the subject of judicial proceeding, strictly so called. The offence of a queen consort, or a Princess Consort of Wales, committing adultery with a person owing allegiance to the British Crown would be that of a principal in high treason, because by statute it was high treason in him; and as accessories in high treason are principals, she would thus be guilty of high treason as a principal; but as the act of a person owing no allegiance to the British Crown could not be high treason in him, so neither could a princess be guilty of that crime merely by being an accessory to such a person's act. Yet although, for this reason, there could be no judicial proceeding in such a case, there might be a legislative one; and the existence or non-existence of grounds for such legislative proceeding was a matter into which it would be fit that a secret committee should inquire. In no case could injustice be done, because that committee's decision would not be final. There might be differences of opinion about the best mode of proceeding, but, for God's sake, said the Lord Chancellor, let it be understood that they all had the same object in view, and that their difference was only about the best mode of procedure.

Meanwhile, Buonaparte, summoned by the Directory to take the command of the army of England, had arrived in Paris on the 5th of December, 1797, and had taken up his abode in his former residence, in the Rue Chantereine, which the Commune immediately changed, in honour of the conquest of Italy, into the Rue de la Victoire. But it was necessary that Buonaparte should prepare for the invasion of England, for which purpose he had been called home. All France was in transports of joy at the thought of seeing England at last overrun. The Directory had raised their cry of "Delenda est Carthago!" "It is at London," they said, "that all the misfortunes of Europe are manufactured; it is in London that they must be terminated." On the 8th of February, 1798, Napoleon left Paris to obtain information as to the coasts of the English Channel, preparatory to the sailing of the armament. He visited taples, Ambleteuse, Boulogne, Calais, Dunkirk, Furnes, Nieuwport, Ostend, and Walcheren, making at these different ports the necessary surveys, and holding long and earnest conversations with sailors, pilots, smugglers, and fishermen. He returned to Paris on the 22nd, having, in a fortnight, quite satisfied himself that the attempt had better be relinquished so long as England commanded the sea.[See larger version]

Vigilant Stair had discovered the ships that had been prepared at Havre, by the connivance and aid of the late king, and he insisted that they should be stopped. Admiral Byng also appeared off Havre with a squadron, and Lord Stair demanded that the ships should be given up to him. With this the Regent declined to comply, but he ordered them to be unloaded, and the arms to be deposited in the royal arsenal. One ship, however, escaped the search, containing, according to Bolingbroke, one thousand three hundred arms, and four thousand pounds of powder, which he proposed to send to Lord Mar, in Scotland.Mr. Bankes again introduced his Billwhich was about to expirefor prohibiting the grant of offices in reversion; and he endeavoured again to make it permanent, but, as before, he was defeated on the second reading in the Commons. He then brought in a Bill confined to two years only, and this, as before, was allowed to pass both Houses. Great discussion arose on the grant of the office of paymaster of widows' pensions to Colonel MacMahon, the confidential servant of the Prince Regent. This was a mere sinecure, which had been held by General Fox, the brother of Charles James Fox; and it had been recommended that, on the general's death, it should be abolished; but Ministersmore ready to please the Regent than to reduce expenditurehad, immediately on the general's decease, granted it to Colonel MacMahon. Ministers met the just complaints of the Opposition by praising the virtues and ability of MacMahonas if it required any ability or any virtue to hold a good sinecure! But there was virtue enough in the Commons to refuse to grant the amount of the salary, Mr. Bankes carrying a resolution against it. But Ministers had their remedy. The prince immediately appointed MacMahon his private secretary, and a salary of two thousand pounds was moved for. But Mr. Wynne declared that any such office was unknown to the countrythat no regent or king, down to George III., and he only when he became blind, had a private secretary; that the Secretary of State was the royal secretary. Ministers replied that there was now a great increase of public business, and that a private secretary for the Regent was not unreasonable; but they thought it most prudent not to press the salary, but to leave it to be paid out of the Regent's privy purse.



FREE TRADE HALL, MANCHESTER. (From a Photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate.)

Civil war seems to have been averted only by the Duke's precipitate abandonment of the undertaking to form a Ministry. No one can for a moment imagine that the chief members of the Grey Administration ever intended to proceed to illegal extremities, but that the conduct of their friends led the Reforming world to think of and prepare for armed resistance admits of little doubt. Parliament and the country were kept in suspense and anxiety by varying rumours about the formation of a Government for several days, during which comments were freely made on the conduct of the Duke of Wellington and his friends. On the one hand, it was confidently stated that the king would keep his word as to Reform, which the Duke had agreed to carry. On the other hand, it was denied that the Duke could ever consent to tergiversation so base. On the former supposition, Mr. Macaulay said he was willing that others should have "infamy and place." But he added, "Let us have honour and Reform." Sir Robert Inglis was too honest to differ from this view of the matter, and too candid to conceal his sentiments. He declared that he could not but regard such a course on the part of his leader "with the greatest pain, as one of the most fatal violations of public confidence which could be inflicted."

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