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It was high time that some measures were taken for preventing clandestine marriages. Nothing could be so loose as the marriage laws, or so scandalous as the practice regarding marriages at this date. No previous public notice or publication of banns was hitherto required, nor was any license requisite. Any clergyman, though of the most infamous character, could perform the ceremony at any time or place, without consent of parents or guardians. The consequence was, that the strangest and most scandalous unions took place, for which there was no remedy, and the results of which were lives of misery and disgrace. The merest children were inveigled into such connections, and the heirs of noble estates were thus entrapped into the most repulsive alliances, and made the victims of the most rapacious and unprincipled of mankind. The Fleet Prison, where were many ruined parsonsruined by their crimes and low habitswas a grand mart for such marriages. A fellow of the name of Keith had[116] acquired great pre-eminence in this line. He used to marry, on an average, six thousand couples every year; and on the news of this Bill, which would stop his trade, he vowed vengeance on the bishops, declaring that he would buy a piece of ground and out-bury them all!The year 1805 was opened by Buonaparte addressing a second letter to George III. Its tenor may be gathered from the concluding paragraph. "Alas! what a melancholy prospect to cause two nations to fight, merely for the sake of fighting. The world is sufficiently large for our two nations to live in it, and reason is sufficiently powerful to discover means of reconciling everything, when the wish for reconciliation exists on both sides. I have, however, fulfilled a sacred duty, and one which is precious to my heart. I trust your Majesty will believe in the sincerity of my sentiments, and my wish to give you every proof of it.Napoleon."Meeting of ParliamentEugene's Visit to EnglandMinisterial Attacks on the DutchMeeting of the Negotiators at UtrechtThe Question of the Spanish ThroneSham Fighting against the FrenchDebates on the Peace in ParliamentWithdrawal of the English TroopsConsequent Triumph of the FrenchBolingbroke's Visit to ParisBreak-up of the Grand AllianceMore Negotiations with the PretenderDeath of GodolphinMarlborough retires to the ContinentSignature of the PeaceThe Treaty of CommerceIts Rejection by the CommonsThe Whereabouts of the PretenderDissolution of ParliamentThe General ElectionIntrigues with St. GermainsBolingbroke's ActivityHis Friends in OfficeThe Empire and Spain make PeaceThe Pretender declines Overtures to Change his ReligionIllness of the QueenTax on NewspapersAttack upon the "Public Spirit of the Whigs"Steele expelled the HouseProposals against the Pretender and for bringing over the Electoral PrinceCounter-scheme for bringing over the PretenderObstacles to the SchemeThe Queen's Letter to the ElectorDeath of the Electress SophiaThe Schism BillIts Progress through the HousesReward for the Apprehension of the PretenderFall of OxfordBolingbroke's Jacobite CabinetIllness of the QueenThe Whig Coup d'tatRuin and Desperation of the JacobitesDeath of AnneProclamation of George I.

"On account of the gravity of the question," says Sir Robert Peel, "and the smallness of the minority assenting to my views, I might perhaps have been justified in at once relinquishing office; but after mature reflection, considering that the rejection of my proposals was not a peremptory one by all of those who for the present declined to adopt them, that additional information might materially abate the objections of many, and that the dissolution of a Government on account of differences on such a matter as that under consideration must cause great excitement in the public mind, I determined to retain office until there should be the opportunity of reconsideration of the whole subject. That opportunity would necessarily recur at the latter end of this current month (November), when it was agreed that the Cabinet should again assemble. In determining to retain office for the present, I determined also not to recede from the position which I had taken, and ultimately to resign office if I should find on the reassembling of the Cabinet that the opinions I had expressed did not meet with general concurrence. I determined also, in order to guard against the mischievous consequences of failure in such an undertaking, not to attempt the adjustment of the question at issue unless there should be a moral assurance of ultimate success. It was most painful to me to differ from colleagues with whom I had hitherto acted in uninterrupted harmony, for whom I had sincere personal regard, and cordial esteem and respect founded on an intimate knowledge of their motives and conduct in the discharge of their respective duties."Deserted by the Prussians, the French retired with precipitation to Prague, where they were followed by the Austrian army under Prince Charles of Lorraine and Prince Lobkowitz. Soon after the Grand Duke of Tuscany took the principal command, and the French offered to capitulate on condition that they might march away with their arms and baggage. This was refused; but Marshal Belleisle stole out of Prague in December, and, giving Lobkowitz the slip, made for the mountains with fourteen thousand men and thirty pieces of artillery. Belleisle[82] displayed unwearied activity in protecting his men and baggage from the harassing pursuit of Lobkowitz. Notwithstanding this his men perished in great numbers from famine and the severity of the season. They had been reduced to eat horseflesh before leaving Prague, and now they fell exhausted in the deep snows, and were mercilessly butchered by the Austrian irregulars and peasantry. On the 29th of December he reached Eger, and from that point marched into Alsace without further molestation; but he then found that of the thirty-five thousand troops which he took into Germany, only eight thousand remained. Though this retreat was celebrated as one of the most remarkable in history, the Marshal, on reaching Versailles, was received with great coldness.

The success of the Waverley Novels turned the main force of the genius and literary resources of the country into the ever widening channel of prose fiction. Many names of note appeared before the public as novel writers about that time. In Scotland, under the immediate shadow of the author of "Waverley," came John Galt, Mrs. Johnstone, Miss Ferrier, the Ettrick Shepherd, Allan Cunningham, Gibson Lockhart, Picken, Moir. In Ireland, and of Irish birth, there were Colley, Grattan, Crofton Croker, Banim, Gerald Griffin, Samuel Lover, and last, though not least, William Carleton. In England, and chiefly of English birth, were Mrs. Shelley, Peacock, Thomas Hope, Theodore and James Hook, Morier, Lister, Ward, Gleig, Horace Smith, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Trollope, Captain Marryat, and Mr. James.Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick was more successful. He was at the head of an army of fifty-five thousand men, including ten or twelve thousand English, under Lord George Sackville. As the French had taken Frankfort-on-the-Main, he left the British and Hanoverian troops, amounting to twenty-eight thousand men, to watch the French, under Marshal de Contades, upon the Lippe, and set out to drive back the other divisions of the French, under De Broglie. He found these amounted to thirty-five thousand strong, but he did not hesitate to engage them at Bergen, on the Nidda, near Frankfort. After a hard-fought battle, he was defeated with a loss of two thousand men and five pieces of cannon. De Broglie pushed rapidly after him, formed a junction with Contades, and speedily reduced Cassel, Münster, and Minden. There appeared every prospect of the whole Electorate of Hanover being again overrun by them. The archives were once more sent off to Stade, ready for embarkation. But Ferdinand now displayed the superiority of his generalship. He left five thousand of his troops, with an air of carelessness, in the way of the French, who, unsuspicious of any stratagem, hastened forward to surprise them, when, to their astonishment, they found the whole of Ferdinand's army had been brought up in the night, and were drawn up behind a ridge near Minden.Lord Howe, when he had collected his ships after the storm which separated him from D'Estaing, again made for Boston, in the hope of being able to attack the French Admiral in the harbour; but he found him too well protected by the batteries to be able to reach him. He therefore returned to New York, and, as his leave of absence had arrived, he surrendered the command to Admiral Byron, and took his leave of America on the 26th of September, and reached Portsmouth on the 25th of October. Byron now had a very good fleet, consisting of ships of one size or other to the number of ninety-one sail. Such a fleet assembled on the American coast at a proper time would have intercepted and destroyed the fleet of D'Estaing, and have cleared all those waters of French and American privateers. Byron no sooner came into command than he also made a voyage to Boston, to see whether he could not come at D'Estaing's fleet; but his usual weather attended him, his ships were scattered by a tempest, and D'Estaing took the opportunity of sailing to the West Indies, according to his orders. Notwithstanding the agreement of the French to assist America, they were thinking much more of recovering Canada or seizing on the British West India islands for themselves.

In the Christmas recess Chatham hastened to Bath, to improve his health for the campaign of the ensuing Session; but when Parliament met again, in the middle of January, 1767, Ministers were in consternation at his not reappearing. The Duke of Grafton and Beckford, who were his most devoted adherents, were thunderstruck. They found it impossible to keep in order the heterogeneous elements of the Cabinet. All the hostile qualities, which would have lain still under the hand of the great magician, bristled up, and came boldly out. The spirit of Bedford, of Newcastle, and of Rockingham, was active in their partisans, and gathered courage to do mischief. Lord Shelburne and the Duke of Grafton became estranged; Charles Townshend, who had as much ambition and eccentricity as talent, began to show airs, and aim at supremacy. Grafton implored Chatham to come to town if possible, and when that was declared impracticable, to allow him to go down, and consult with him in his sick chamber. But he was informed that the Minister was equally unable to move or to consult.

The Revolution of 1688, which overthrew absolutism in the State, overthrew it also in the Church. The political principles of William of Orange, and the Whigs who brought him in, were not more opposed to the absolutism of the Stuarts than the ecclesiastical principles of the new king and queen, and the prelates whom they introduced into the Church, were to the high-churchism of Laud, Sancroft, Atterbury, and their section of the Establishment. When Parliament, on the accession of William and Mary, presented the Oath of Allegiance to the Lords and Commons, eight of the bishops, including Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused it; and of these, five were of the number of the seven who had refused to sign James II.'s Declaration of Indulgence, and thus gave the immediate occasion to the outbreak ending in the Revolution. Thus a fresh faction was produced in the Establishment, that of the Non-jurors, who were,[142] after much delay and patience, finally excluded from their livings. As the existing law could not touch the non-juring bishops so long as they absented themselves from Parliament, where the oath had to be put to them, a new Act was passed, providing that all who did not take the new oaths before the 1st of August, 1689, should be suspended six months, and at the end of that time, in case of non-compliance, should be ejected from their sees. Still the Act was not rigorously complied with; they were indulged for a year longer, when, continuing obstinate, they were, on the 1st of February, 1691, excluded from their sees. Two of the eight had escaped this sentence by dying in the interimnamely, the Bishops of Worcester and Chichester. The remaining six who were expelled were Sancroft, the Primate, Ken of Bath and Wells, Turner of Ely, Frampton of Gloucester, Lloyd of Norwich, and White of Peterborough. In the room of these were appointed prelates of Whig principles, the celebrated Dr. Tillotson being made Primate. Other vacancies had recently or did soon fall out; so that, within three years of his accession, William had put in sixteen new bishops, and the whole body was thus favourable to his succession, and, more or less, to the new views of Church administration.SAILING INTO ACTION AT TRAFALGAR.

THE MOB BOARDING THE GRAIN SHIP AT GARRY KENNEDY. (See p. 484.)Sir John marched out of Edinburgh for the north on the very day that the standard of the Stuarts was erected in Glenfinnan, the 19th of August. On the following day he continued his route from Stirling, accompanied by one thousand five hundred foot, leaving, very properly, the dragoons behind him, as of no service in the mountains, nor capable of finding forage there. He then continued his march towards Fort Augustus, which he hoped to make the centre of his operations, and then to strike a sudden and annihilating blow on the handful of rebels. At Dalwhinnie he heard that the rebels now mustered six thousand, and that they meant to dispute the pass of Corriarrick, lying directly in the line of his march towards Fort Augustus. This Corriarrick had been made passable by one of General Wade's roads, constructed after the rebellion of 1715, to lay open the Highlands. The road wound up the mountain by seventeen zig-zags or traverses, and down the other side by others, called by the Highlanders the Devil's Staircase. Three hundred men were capable, much more three thousand, of stopping an army in such a situation, and Cope called a council of war. At length it was agreed that they should take a side route, and endeavour to reach Inverness and Fort George. The resolve was a fatal one, for it gave the appearance of a flight to the army, and left the road open to Stirling and the Lowlands.

The great philosopher of this period was John Locke (b. 1632; d. 1704). Locke had much to do with the governments of his time, and especially with that extraordinary agitator and speculator, Ashley, Lord Shaftesbury, whom he attended in his banishment, and did not return till the Revolution. Yet, though so much connected with government, office, and the political schemers, Locke remained wonderfully unworldly in his nature. His philosophical bias, no doubt, preserved him from the corrupt influences around him. He was a staunch advocate of toleration, and wrote three letters on Toleration, and left another unfinished at his death. In these he defended both religious and civil liberty against Jonas Proast and Sir Robert Filmer, advocates of the divine right of kings. His "Thoughts on Education" and his "Treatises on Government" served as the foundations of Rousseau's "Emile" and his "Contrat Social." Besides these he wrote numerous works of a theological kind, as "The Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity;" and in his last years, "A Discourse upon Miracles," "Paraphrases of St. Paul," and "An Essay for the Understanding of St. Paul's Epistles;" a work "On the Conduct of the Understanding," and "An Examination of Father Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all Things in God." But his great work is his "Essay concerning the Human Understanding." This may be considered the first pure and systematic treatise on metaphysics in the English language; and though the pursuit of the science since his time has led to the rejection of many of his opinions, the work will always remain as an able and clearly-reasoned attempt to follow the method of Bacon in tracing the nature and operations of the understanding.The landowners, headed by the Duke of Richmond, had established an Anti-League League, for counteracting the Manchester men with their own weaponsan association which the satirists of the day represented by a slightly modified picture[515] from the fable of the frog and the bull. To those, however, who read only the tracts of the Anti-League League, it doubtless appeared that the torrent was to some degree arrested. It began to be asserted that the League was extinct, that the country was sick of its incessant agitation, and that Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright were about to "back out." These, however, were not the views of the League men. The lists of voters, the freehold land scheme, and the gathering in of that 100,000 fund which was now fast approaching completion, furnished them with abundant employment, and their campaign was carried on with a success which gave sure promise of the final capture of the stronghold of the enemy.Here, then, our history of the political transactions of the reign of George III. terminates. That reign really terminated in 1811, with the appointment of the Regency, which continued the ruling power during the remainder of his life. From that date it is really the history of the Regency that we have been prosecuting. But this was necessary to maintain the unity of the narrative of that most unexampled struggle which was involving the very existence of every nation in Europe. Of all this the poor old, blind, and deranged king knew nothinghad no concern with it. The reins of power had fallen from his hands for ever: his "kingdom was taken from him, and given to another." He had lived to witness the rending away of the great western branch of his empire, and the sun of his intellect went down in the midst of that tempest which threatened to lay in ruins every dynasty around him. We have watched and detailed that mighty shaking of the nations to its end. The events of the few remaining years during which George III. lived but did not rule, were of a totally different character and belong to a totally different story. They are occupied by the national distresses consequent on the war, and the efforts for reform, stimulated by these distresses, the first[119] chapter of which did not close till the achievement of the Reform Bill in 1832.

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The new British Parliament met on November 26, and Ministers were seen to have a powerful majority. The king announced, in his speech from the throne, that hostilities had broken out in India with Tippoo, and that a peace had been effected between Russia and Sweden, and he mentioned the endeavours that were in progress for restoring amity between the Emperor of Austria and his subjects in the Netherlands. In the debate on the Address in the Commons, Fox appeared inclined still to laud France, and to condemn our interference in the Netherlands. His eyes were not yet opened to the real danger from France, whose example was indeed exciting popular disturbances in the Netherlands and in Poland. Already the doctrines of Liberty and Equality had reached the ears of the negroes in St. Domingo, who had risen to claim the rights of man so amiably proclaimed by France, and the troops of France were on their way thither to endeavour to put them down, in direct contradiction of their own boasted political philosophy. In the Lords, Earl Greythe father of the Whig statesmanon the 13th of December, called for the production of papers relating to Nootka Sound. The motion was negatived by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-four votes. But the Marquis of Lansdowne contended that Spain had a right to the whole of the North American coast on which Nootka Sound is situated, and had had it since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He asserted that we had insulted the weakness of Spain; and that Mr. Mears and the other projectors of the trading settlement of Nootka Sound were a set of young men of letters, seeking for novelties. He completely overlooked the provocations which[376] Spain had lately given us, and her endeavours to enter into a conjunction with France against us. He condemned Ministers for having alienated France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, overlooking the fact that they had made alliances with Prussia, Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands. Pitt's cousin, Lord Grenville, replied to this one-sided view of things, and proudly contrasted the position of Britain at this moment to what it was at the conclusion of the American War, when Lord Lansdowne himself, as Lord Shelburne, had been in the Ministry. Pitt, on the 15th of December, stated that the expenses of the late armament, and the sums necessary to keep up the increased number of soldiers and sailors for another year, before which they could not be well disbanded, owing to certain aspects of things abroad, would amount to something more than three millions, which he proposed to raise by increasing the taxes on sugar, on British and foreign spirits, malt, and game licences, as well as raising the assessed taxes, except the commutation and land taxes. He stated that there was a standing balance of six hundred thousand pounds to the credit of the Government in the Bank of England, which he proposed to appropriate to the discharge of part of the amount. He, moreover, introduced a variety of regulations to check the frauds practised in the taxes upon receipts and bills of exchange, which he calculated at three hundred thousand pounds per annum. With this, Parliament adjourned for the Christmas recess, and thus closed the eventful year of 1790.

In Wales, such was the neglect of religion by the Establishment, that, previous to 1804, there was scarcely a clergyman of the Church of England in the principality who was a native, or could preach in Welsh. The capability of a minister to make himself understood by his parishioners had been totally disregarded by those who had the presentation to livings; the exercise of patronage had alone been cared for; the souls of people went for nothing. About that time the Rev. Mr. Charles was engaged as curate in a Welsh parish. He found not a single Bible in the parish, and on extending his inquiries he scarcely found a Bible in Wales. He made this fact known to the public, in an appeal for Welsh Bibles, and for this appeal and the attendant exposure of the clerical neglect he was dismissed from his cure, and could find no bishop who would license him to preach in any other parish. But his truly Christian act had excited the attention of the religious public, and had the effect of establishing the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1804.LORD NELSON. (After the Portrait by Sir William Beechey, R.A.)

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