But the chief source whence the means at their disposal were derived was the magnificent bounty of the citizens of the United States of America. The supplies sent from America to Ireland were on a scale unparalleled in history. Meetings were held in Philadelphia, Washington, New York, and other cities in quick succession, presided over by the first men in the country. All through the States the citizens evinced an intense interest, and a noble generosity, worthy of the great Republic. The railway companies carried free of charge all packages marked "Ireland." Public carriers undertook the gratuitous delivery of packages intended for the relief of Irish distress. Storage to any extent was offered on the same terms. Ships of war, without their guns, came to the Irish shores on a mission of peace and mercy, freighted with food for British subjects. Cargo after cargo followed in rapid succession, until nearly 100 separate shipments had arrived, our Government having consented to pay the freight of all donations of food forwarded from America, which amounted in the whole to ￡33,000. The quantity of American food consigned to the care of the Society of Friends was nearly ten thousand tons, the value of which was about ￡100,000. In addition to all this, the Americans remitted to the Friends' Committee ￡16,000 in money. They also sent 642 packages of clothing, the precise value of which could not be ascertained. There was a very large amount of remittances sent to Ireland during the famine by the Irish in the United States. Unfortunately, there are no records of those remittances prior to 1848; but after that time we are enabled to ascertain a large portion of them, though not the whole, and their amount is something astonishing. The following statement of sums remitted by emigrants in America to their families in Ireland was printed by order of Parliament:—During the years 1848, ￡460,180; 1849, ￡540,619; 1850, ￡957,087; 1851, ￡990,811.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.CARLTON HOUSE, LONDON (1812).
On the 17th of October the peace between France and Austria was definitively signed at Campo Formio. To France Austria ceded Belgium, the left bank of the Rhine, including Mayence, the Ionian islands, and the Venetian possessions in Albania, both of which really belonged to Venice. Venice itself, and its territory as far as the Adige, with Istria and Venetian Dalmatia on the other side of the Adriatic, were made over to Austria without ceremony. The Milan and Mantuan states were given up by Austria, with Modena, Massa, Carrara; and the papal provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, and the rest of them, as far as the Rubicon, were included in a new so-called Cisalpine Republic belonging to France. Tuscany, Parma, Rome, and Naples were still called Italian, but were as much, Naples excepted, in the power of France as the rest. In fact, except Venetia, which Austria secured, all Italy except Naples was subjected to the French, and the regular process of democratising was going on, in the latter kingdom, for an early seizure.News arrived that the king, by proclamation, had prohibited the export of arms and military stores to America. This news was received with a burst of rage. The people of Rhode Island, who had burnt the king's schooner, The Gaspee, seized forty pieces of cannon on the batteries defending the harbour, and carried them into the country. The people of New Hampshire surprised a small fort called William and Mary, garrisoned only by one officer and five men, and carried off the ordnance, arms, ammunition and military stores. Everywhere orders were issued for the purchase of arms and ammunition; for training the militia; for erecting powder mills, and manufactories of arms and shot, as well as for making saltpetre. So far as it depended on the people of Massachusetts, it was already rebellion. Still, however, the other colonies, except, perhaps, Virginia, were far from this bellicose temper. The colonies, in general, thought the measures of the late Congress too strong; and the State of New York, in spite of the impetuosity of such men as Jay, carried a vote rejecting the resolutions of the Congress.The condition of Washington was inconceivably depressing. The time for the serving of the greater part of the troops was fast expiring; and numbers of them, despite the circumstances of the country, went off. Whilst Washington was, therefore, exerting himself to prevail on them to continue, he was compelled to weaken his persuasions by enforcing the strictest restraint on both soldiers and officers, who would plunder the inhabitants around them on the plea that they were Tories. Sickness was in his camp; and his suffering men, for want of hospitals, were obliged to lie about in barns, stables, sheds, and even under the fences and bushes. He wrote again to Congress in a condition of despair. He called on them to place their army on a permanent footing; to give the officers such pay as should enable them to live as gentlemen, and not as mean plunderers. He recommended that not only a good bounty should be given to every non-commissioned officer and soldier, but also the reward of a hundred or a hundred and fifty acres of land, a suit of clothes, and a blanket. Though Congress was loth to comply with these terms, it soon found that it must do so, or soldiers would go over to the royal army.
The depth of Walpole's mortification, however, was shown by the vengeance he took on those who had opposed him. This fell with peculiar weight on Lord Chesterfield. Chesterfield had acquired a great reputation by his able management of affairs at the Hague. Since his return he had become Lord Steward of the Household, and a frequent and much admired debater in the House. But Chesterfield was too ambitious himself to stoop patiently to the domineering temper of Walpole. He was said to have thrown out some keen sarcasms at Walpole's Excise Bill, and his three brothers in the Commons voted against it. Only two days after the abandonment of the Bill, as Chesterfield was ascending the staircase at St. James's, he was stopped by an attendant, and summoned home to surrender the White Staff. The same punishment was dealt out to a number of noblemen who acted in concert with him. Lord Clinton, a Lord of the Bedchamber, the Earl of Burlington, Captain of the Band of Pensioners, were dismissed, as well as the Duke of Montrose, and the Earls of Marchmont and Stair from offices held in Scotland. The Duke of Bolton and Lord Cobham were, by a most unjustifiable stretch of authority, deprived of their regiments.On the 15th the British squadron brought in the Emigrant troops from the Elbe, under the young and gallant Count de Sombreuil; but they amounted only to eleven thousand men. Puisaye now ordered the Count de Vauban to advance against Hoche with twelve thousand Chouans, and, whilst they attacked on the right, he himself attacked his lines in front. After some desperate fighting they were driven back, and lost most of their cannon in the deep sand of the isthmus. Their misfortunes were completed, on the 20th, by the garrison of the fort of Penthièvre going over to the enemy, surrendering the fort to them, and helping to massacre such of their officers and comrades as refused to follow their example. The English admiral exerted himself to receive the remainder of the troops who remained true on board his ships; but the storminess of the weather and the impatience of the fugitives rendered this a most difficult task. About fourteen thousand regulars and two thousand four hundred Chouans were got on board; but Sombreuil, exposed to the murderous fire from the enemy whilst waiting on the beach, surrendered on promise of life. No sooner, however, were they in the hands of the Republicans than all the officers and gentlemen were led out and shot; and the common men enrolled in Hoche's regiments.
The secession of the Duke of Savoy only the more roused the indignation of the Allies. The Dutch breathed a hotter spirit of war just as their power of carrying it on failed; and even the experienced Heinsius made an energetic oration in the States General, declaring that all the fruits of the war would be lost if they consented to the peace proposed. But to avoid it was no longer possible. The English plenipotentiaries pressed the Allies more and more zealously to come in, so much so that they were scarcely safe from the fury of the Dutch populace, who insulted the Earl of Strafford and the Marquis del Borgo, the Minister of the Duke of Savoy, when the news came that the duke had consented to the peace. Every endeavour was made to detach the different Allies one by one. Mr. Thomas Harley was sent to the Elector of Hanover to persuade him to co-operate with her Majesty; but, notwithstanding all risk of injuring his succession to the English Crown, he declined. Similar attempts were made on the King of Prussia and other princes, and with similar results. The English Ministers now began to see the obstacles they had created to the conclusion of a general peace by their base desertion of the Allies. The French, rendered more than ever haughty in their demands by the successes of Villars, raised their terms as fast as any of the Allies appeared disposed to close with those already offered. The Dutch, convinced at length that England would make peace without them, and was bending every energy to draw away their confederates, in October expressed themselves ready to treat, and to yield all pretensions to Douay, Valenciennes, and Mauberg, on condition that Condé and Tournay were included in their barrier; that the commercial tariffs with France should be restored to what they were in 1664; that Sicily should be yielded to Austria, and Strasburg to the Empire. But the French treated these concessions with contempt, and Bolingbroke was forced to admit to Prior that they treated like pedlars, or, what was worse, like attorneys. He conjured Prior "to hide the nakedness of his country" in his intercourse with the French Ministers, and to make the best of the blunders of his countrymen, admitting that they were not much better politicians than the French were poets. But the fault of Bolingbroke and his colleagues was not want of talent, it was want of honesty; and, by their selfish desire to damage their political rivals, they had brought their country into this deplorable dilemma of sacrificing all faith with their allies, of encouraging the unprincipled disposition of the French, who were certain to profit by the division of the Allies, and of abandoning the glory and position of England, or confessing that the Whigs, however much they had erred in entering on such enormous wars, had in truth brought them to the near prospect of a far more satisfactory conclusion than what they were taking up with.Whilst Walpole was thus labouring to secure the peace of Europe, Bolingbroke was as industriously at work to undermine him. He had cultivated his intimacy with the Duchess of Kendal still more diligently, and by liberal bribes, and more liberal promises if he succeeded in once more regaining power, he had brought her to exert her influence with the king in his favour. This most sordid and rapacious of mistresses, who looked on England only as a country to be managed for her benefit, ventured at length to put into the king's hand a memorial drawn up for her by Bolingbroke, demonstrating that the country must be absolutely ruined if Walpole continued in office. The stratagem was too palpable. Whilst she talked only, her suggestions might pass for her own, but the style of the document must have at once caused the king's suspicion of its true source. He put the paper into Walpole's hand. Walpole, after interrogating the two Turks, who were always in attendance on the king, and on their denying all knowledge of the means by which the missive reached the royal person, went directly to the Duchess and charged her with the fact. She did not deny it. Walpole advised the king to admit Bolingbroke to the audience which he solicited in the memorial, trusting that the king's dislike of him would prevail in the interview. The result appeared to be of that kind; nevertheless, Walpole was far from being secure in his own mind. He knew that the mistress would be continually returning to the charge in favour of her friend and paymaster, though she enjoyed a pension from Government of seven thousand five hundred pounds; and he even contemplated retiring with a peerage, but was dissuaded from this by the Princess of Wales and the Duke of Devonshire. On the other hand, Bolingbroke was in the highest expectation of his speedy restoration not only to rank but to office.per cent.
In the presence of this great exciting cause the remaining business of the Session of the British Parliament appeared tame. Mr. R. Smith introduced a petition for Parliamentary reform from Nottingham, and this was followed by a number of similar petitions from other places: but whilst French emissaries and English demagogues were preaching up revolution, nobody would listen to reform, and a motion of Mr. Grey, to refer these petitions to a committee, was rejected by two hundred and eighty-two votes to forty-one. On the 25th of February Dundas introduced an optimistic statement of the affairs of India, declaring that dependency as very flourishing, in spite of the continuance of the war with Tippoo; and this was preparatory to a renewal of the charter of the East India Company, which was carried on the 24th of May. Francis, Fox, and others, opposed the Bill, and made very different statements in vain. The real condition of India was not destined to force itself on the nation till it came in the shape of a bloody insurrection, and seventy million pounds of debt, more than sixty years afterwards.The magistrates, now summoned by the Lord Provost to a meeting in the Goldsmiths' Hall, resolved to send a deputation to the prince, desiring that he would cease hostilities till they had had time to decide what they should do. Scarcely had the deputies set out, when news came that the transports, with Cope's army on board, were seen off Dunbar, the wind being unfavourable for making Leith, and that his troops would soon be landed, and in full march for the city. It was now determined to recall the deputation, but that was found to be too late, and General Guest was applied to to return the muskets, bayonets, and cartridge boxes which had been given up to him. Guest very properly regarded men who had thrown up their arms in a panic as unfit to be trusted with them again, and advised that the dragoons should be ordered to unite with Cope's infantry, and advance on the city with all possible speed. About ten o'clock at night the deputation returned, having met the prince at Gray's Mill, only two miles from the city, who gave them a letter to the authorities, declaring that they had a sufficient security in his father's declarations and his own manifesto; and he only gave them till two o'clock in the morning to consider his terms. The deputation returned in the utmost dejection, little deeming that the prince had taken such measures as should render them the means of surrendering the city. But Charles had despatched Lochiel and Murray of Broughton, with eight hundred Camerons, to watch every opportunity of surprising the town, carrying with them a barrel of gunpowder to blow up one of the gates. This detachment had arrived, and hidden themselves in ambush near the Netherbow Port. The deputation passed in with their coach by another gate, and the ambush lay still till the coachman came out at the Netherbow Port to take his carriage and horses to the stables in the suburbs. The ambush rushed upon the gate before it could be closed, secured the sentinels, ran forward to the other gate, and secured its keepers also. When the inhabitants rose in the morning they were astonished to find the city in possession of the Highlanders. On the 17th of September Charles occupied Holyrood. Amidst wild enthusiasm, the Old Pretender was proclaimed as King James VIII. at the Cross, Murray of Broughton's beautiful wife sitting on horseback, with a drawn sword in her right hand, while with her left she distributed white favours to the crowd.The war of faction still went on furiously. In the Lords there was a violent debate on an address, recommended by Wharton, Cowper, Halifax, and others, on the old subject of removing the Pretender from Lorraine; and they went so far as to recommend that a reward should be offered to any person who should bring the Pretender, dead or alive, to her Majesty. This was so atrocious, considering the relation of the Pretender to the queen, that it was negatived, and another clause, substituting a reward for bringing him to justice should he attempt to land in Great Britain or Ireland. Though in the Commons, as well as in the Lords, it was decided that the Protestant succession was in no danger, an address insisting on the removal of the Pretender from Lorraine was carried. Anne received these addresses in anything but a gratified humour. She observed, in reply, that "it really would be a strengthening to the succession of the House of Hanover, if an end were put to these groundless fears and jealousies which had been so industriously promoted. I do not," she said, "at this time see any necessity for such a proclamation. Whenever I judge it necessary, I shall give my orders to have it issued."
In July, 1814, whilst the struggles were going on upon the Canadian frontiers, the British projected an expedition against the very capital of the United States. This was carried into execution about the middle of August. Sir Alexander Cochrane landed General Ross, and a strong body of troops, on the banks of the Patuxent, and accompanied them in a flotilla of launches, armed boats, and small craft up the river itself. On entering the reach at Pig Point they saw the American flotilla, commanded by Commodore Baring, lying seventeen in number. They prepared to attack it, when they saw flames begin to issue from the different vessels, and comprehended that the commodore had deserted them; and it was firmly believed that he had so timed the setting fire to his vessels that they might blow up when the British were close upon them, if they had not already boarded them. Fortunately, the flames had made too much progress, and the British escaped this danger. The vessels blew up one after another, except one, which the British secured. Both soldiers and sailors were highly incensed at this treachery, and prepared to avenge it on Washington itself. On the 24th of August they were encountered at Bladensburg, within five miles of Washington, by eight or nine thousand American troops, posted on the right bank of the Potomac, on a commanding ridge. Madison was on one of the hills, to watch the battle, on the event of which depended the fate of the capital.The taste for Italian music was now every day increasing; singers of that nation appeared with great applause at most concerts. In 1703 Italian music was introduced into the theatres as intermezzi, or interludes, consisting of singing and dancing; then whole operas appeared, the music Italian, the words English; and, in 1707, Urbani, a male soprano, and two Italian women, sang their parts all in Italian, the other performers using English. Finally, in 1710, a complete Italian opera was performed at the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, and from that time the Italian opera was regularly established in London. This led to the arrival of the greatest composer whom the world had yet seen. George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, in Germany, in 1685. He had displayed wonderful genius for music as a mere child, and having, at the age of seven years, astonished the Duke of Saxe Weissenfels—at whose court his brother-in-law was a valet—who found him playing the organ in the chapel, he was, by the Duke's recommendation, regularly educated for the profession of music. At the age of ten, Handel composed the church service for voices and instruments; and after acquiring a great reputation in Hamburg—where, in 1705, he brought out his "Almira"—he proceeded to Florence, where he produced the opera of "Rodrigo," and thence to Venice, Rome, and Naples. After remaining in Italy four years, he was induced to come to England in 1710, at the pressing entreaties of many of the English nobility, to superintend the opera. But, though he was enthusiastically received, the party spirit which raged at that period soon made it impossible to conduct the opera with any degree of self-respect and independence. He therefore abandoned the attempt, having sunk nearly all his fortune in it, and commenced the composition of his noble oratorios. Racine's "Esther," abridged and altered by Humphreys, was set by him, in 1720, for the chapel of the Duke of Chandos at Cannons. It was, however, only by slow degrees that the wonderful genius of Handel was appreciated, yet it won its way against all prejudices and difficulties. In 1731 his "Esther" was performed by the children of the chapel-royal at the house of Bernard Gates, their master, and the following year, at the king's command, at the royal theatre in the Haymarket. It was fortunate for Handel that the monarch was German too, or he might have quitted the country in disgust before his fame had triumphed over faction and ignorance. So far did these operate, that in 1742, when he produced his glorious "Messiah," it was so coldly received that it was treated as a failure. Handel, in deep discouragement, however, gave it another trial in Dublin, where the warm imaginations of the Irish caught all its sublimity, and gave it an enthusiastic reception. On its next presentation in London his audience reversed the former judgment, and the delighted composer then presented the manuscript to the Foundling Hospital, where it was performed annually for the benefit of that excellent institution, and added to its funds ten thousand three hundred pounds. It became the custom, from 1737, to perform oratorios on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Handel, whose genius has never been surpassed for vigour, spirit, invention, and sublimity, became blind in his latter years. He continued to perform in public, and to compose, till within a week of his death, which took place on April 13, 1759.
The Scottish burgh question was brought forward again this Session. The magistrates of the burgh of Aberdeen having been elected, in 1817, in the same corrupt manner as those of Montrose had been in 1816, the Court of Session had declared the election illegal. The burgh of Montrose was found to have been disfranchised; but this was not the case with Aberdeen, and the magistrates applied to Government to grant a warrant for a new election, or rather a re-election of themselves. This the Government, in the face of the decision of the Court of Session, as well as of a numerously signed petition from the burgesses praying that the election should be by open poll, issued. On the 1st of April Lord Archibald Hamilton moved an address to the Prince Regent, praying for a copy of this warrant. It was strenuously resisted by Ministers, but the motion was lost by only a small majority. On the 6th of May Lord Archibald Hamilton renewed his motion in another form—namely, that the petitions which had been presented from Scottish burghs on the subject of Reform should be submitted to a committee of inquiry. He showed that out of sixty-six royal burghs thirty-nine had voted for Reform; that these thirty-nine contained a population of four hundred and twenty thousand souls, whilst the remaining twenty-seven contained only sixty thousand. The preponderance was so great that, in spite of the opposition of Ministers, the House took another view of the matter, and Lord Archibald's motion was carried, though only by one hundred and forty-nine votes against one hundred and forty-four.Sir John Stuart did not long remain idle at Palermo. At the suggestion of Lord Collingwood, he sent out an expedition to seize on a number of the Ionian Isles, which had been taken possession of by the French, who were calculating on further conquests in that direction—namely, in continental Greece itself. The Warrior, commanded by Captain Spranger, attended by other vessels, carried over one thousand six hundred troops, under command of Brigadier-General Oswald. The troops were half of them British, and half Corsicans, Sicilians, Calabrians, and other foreigners in British pay. They carried with them Signor Foresti and an Ionian Greek as interpreters and agents with their countrymen, many of whom, they were aware, had an indignant hatred of the French domination. They arrived off Cephalonia on the 28th of September, and on the 1st of October, being joined by their transports and gunboats, they anchored in the bay of Zante, and the following morning commenced a landing, under the cover of a brisk fire from some of the ships and gunboats. The land-batteries were soon silenced, and before night the French commander had not only surrendered the castle, but the islands of Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo. Two of the seven islands remained for the time in the hands of the French—Santa Maura and Corfu. But Santa Maura, after a sharp contest, was carried, in the following April, by General Oswald, most brilliantly supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson Lowe, Major Church, and other officers. General Camus, the French commandant, surrendered with his garrison of one thousand men. There remained only Corfu, but this, the most important island of the group, would have required a much stronger force to reduce it; and as it was completely useless to the French, being cut off from all communication with France by our ships, it remained under France till 1814, when, at the Congress of Paris, it was made over by Louis XVIII., and the whole seven islands were declared a republic, under the protection of Great Britain. Such was the origin of our connection with the Ionian Islands, where we maintained a Commissioner and a body of troops, much to the discontent of a party in the islands, who desired to join the kingdom of Greece.
Buonaparte had arrived at Vittoria on the 8th of November, between the defeat of Blake at Espinosa and his dispersion at Reynosa, and he immediately dispatched Soult to attack Belvedere. This self-confident commander of two-and-twenty—surrounded by as self-confident students from Salamanca and Leon—instead of falling back, and forming a junction with Casta?os, stood his ground in an open plain in front of Burgos, and was scattered to the winds. Between three and four thousand of his men were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners, and all his cannon and baggage captured. Buonaparte had now only to beat Casta?os, and there was an end to the whole Spanish force. That general was much more cautious and prudent than the rest, and he fell back on the approach of Marshal Lannes, at the head of thirty thousand men, to Tudela. But Buonaparte had sent numerous bodies of troops to intercept his course in the direction of Madrid, and, unfortunately for Casta?os, he was joined by Palafox, who had made so successful a stand against the French at Saragossa. Casta?os was for retreating still, to avoid Lannes in front, and Ney and Victor, who were getting into his rear; but Palafox, and others of his generals, strongly recommended his fighting, and a commissioner sent from the Junta in Madrid, in the French fashion, to see that he did his duty, joined in the persuasion, by hinting that to retreat would give suspicion of cowardice and treachery. Against his better judgment, Casta?os, therefore, gave battle on the 22nd of November, at Tudela, and was completely routed. Palafox hastened back to Saragossa, which was destined to surrender after another frightful siege. The road was now left open to Madrid, and the French troops had orders to advance and reduce it; and they did this with a fiendish ferocity, burning the towns and villages as they proceeded, and shooting every Spaniard that they found in arms.But the Allies had only fallen back behind the Elbe, and taken up a strong position at Bautzen, on the Spree, about twelve leagues from Dresden, whilst an army under Bülow covered Berlin. No sooner did the Allies fall back to the right bank of the Elbe than Davoust attacked Hamburg on the 9th of May with five thousand men, and vowed vengeance on the city for having admitted the Allies. To their surprise the citizens found themselves defended by a body of Danes, from Altona, who were the allies of France, but had been just then thinking of abandoning Napoleon. But the fate of the battle of Lützen changed their views, and they retired in the evening of that day, leaving Hamburg to the attacks of the French. Bernadotte, not having received the promised reinforcements, did not venture to cover Hamburg. Davoust entered the place like a devil. He shot twelve of the principal citizens, and drove twenty-five thousand of the inhabitants out of the city, pulled down their houses, compelling the most distinguished men of the town to work at this demolition and at raising the materials into fortifications. The people had long been subjected by the French to every possible kind of pillage and indignity; no women, however distinguished, had been allowed to pass the gate without being subjected to the most indecent examinations. But now the fury of the French commander passed all bounds. He levied a contribution of eighteen millions of dollars: and not satisfied with that, he robbed the great Hamburg bank, and declared all his doings to be by orders of the Emperor.
Such were the circumstances of France in every quarter of the globe, except on the Continent of Europe; and there already, notwithstanding the vast space over which Buonaparte ruled by the terror of his arms, there were many symptoms of the coming disruption of this empire of arms, which sprang up like a tempest and dispersed like one. Spain and Portugal, at one end of the Continent, were draining the very life's blood from France, and turning all eyes in liveliest interest to the spectacle of a successful resistance, by a small British army, to this Power so long deemed invincible. In the North lowered a dark storm, the force and fate of which were yet unsuspected, but which was gathering into its mass the elements of a ruin to the Napoleonic ambition as sublime as it was to be decisive. In France itself never had the despotic power and glory of Buonaparte appeared more transcendent. Everything seemed to live but at his beck: a magnificent Court, Parliament the slave of his will, made up of the sham representatives of subjected nations, the country literally covered with armies, and nearly all surrounding nations governed by kings and princes who were but his satraps. Such was the outward aspect of things; and now came the long-desired event, which was to cement his throne with the blood of kindred kings, and link it fast to posterity—the birth of a son. On the 20th of March it was announced that the Empress Maria Louisa was delivered of a son, who was named Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph, Prince of the French Empire, and King of Rome.The charity schools throughout the country were discovered, by the operation of Henry Brougham's Commission, to be monopolised by the landlords of the different parishes and the clergy, and the ample revenues for education embezzled by them. In some such schools there was not a single scholar; in others, as at Pocklington, in Yorkshire, the free grammar school, with an endowment of one thousand pounds a year, had only one scholar. This state of physical and moral destitution was made the more dreary by the equally low state of religion. The Dissenters were on the increase, and, chiefly in towns, were exerting themselves to disperse the Egyptian darkness of this Georgian era, and Methodism was now making rapid progress amongst the working classes, both in town and country. But the preachers of Methodism met with a reception from the country squirearchy and clergy which has no parallel since the days of Popish persecution. They were dragged out of the houses where they preached, kicked and buffeted, hauled through horse-ponds, pelted with mud and stones; and the clergy and magistracy, so far from restraining, hounded on the mob in these outrages. The lives of these preachers, and the volumes of the Wesleyan Magazine, abound in recitals of such brutalities, which, if they had not been recorded there, would not now be credited. What John Wesley and his brother Charles, and George Whitefield suffered, especially in Devonshire and Cornwall, reads like a wild romance.详情
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