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    Lord Oxford's case was brought at length to a termination also in his favour. His friends having complained of the hardship of keeping him without a hearing for nearly two years, the 24th of June was appointed for the trial to take place in Westminster Hall. The Commons again met in committee to complete the evidence against him; but it was now found that Walpole, who was the chairman, and who had formerly pursued the inquiry with all eagerness, had suddenly cooled, and seldom came near the Committee; and they therefore appointed a new one. In fact, he and Townshend, out of opposition, were doing that secretly which they could not do openly without loss of characterthey were exerting themselves in favour of their old antagonist, and they soon hit on a scheme for bringing him off without any trial at all. The Lords were persuaded to listen to any evidence in support of the charge of[39] misdemeanour before they heard that on the grave charge of treason, and the result foreseen by the Opposition took place when the resolution was reported to the Commons. They immediately determined that it was an infringement of their privileges, and declined compliance with it. This was what Walpole and the then partisans, secret or open, of Lord Oxford, had foreseen. The Commons refusing to attend in Westminster Hall on the day fixed, the Lords returned to their own House, and passed a resolution declaring the Earl of Oxford acquitted, an announcement received by the people with acclamation. The Commons then demanded that Oxford should be excepted from the Act of Grace; but, notwithstanding, he was released from the Tower, and the Commons never renewed the impeachment.
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    The people having collected in great crowds in the neighbourhood of the Council House, Dalton ordered out a company of soldiers, under a young[355] ensign, to patrol the streets, and overawe any attempts at demonstrations in support of the Council. The young ensign, having a stone flung at him, without further ceremony ordered his men to fire into the crowd, and six persons were killed, and numbers of others wounded. No sooner did Joseph hear of this rash and cruel act, than he wrote highly approving of it, and promoting the ensign. The people, greatly enraged, rose in the different towns, and were attacked by the Imperial troops, and blood was shed in various places. With his usual disregard of consequences, Joseph was at this moment endeavouring to raise a loan in the Netherlands, to enable him to carry on the war against Turkey. But this conduct completely quashed all hope of it; not a man of money would advance a stiver. Trautmansdorff continued to threaten the people, and Dalton was ready to execute his most harsh orders. It was determined to break up the University of Antwerp, and on the 4th of August, 1789, troops were drawn up, and cannon planted in the public square, to keep down the populace, whilst the professors were turned into the streets, and the college doors locked. Here there occurred an attack on the unarmed people, as wanton as that which took place at Brussels, and no less than thirty or forty persons were killed on the spot, and great numbers wounded. This Massacre of Antwerp, as it was called, roused the indignation of the whole Netherlands, and was heard with horror by all Europe. The monks and professors who had been turned out became objects of sympathy, even to those who regarded with wonder and contempt their bigotry and superstition. But Joseph, engaged in his miserable and disgraceful war against the Turks, sent to Dalton his warmest approval of what he called these vigorous measures.

    By Elena Smith

    The Emperor Francis determined to remain at Aube, with the division under General Ducca, not[80] thinking it becoming him to join in the attack on the French capital where his daughter ruled as empress-regent; and a body of ten thousand cavalry, under command of Winzengerode and Czernicheff, was ordered to watch the motions of Napoleon and intercept his communications with Paris, whilst the Russian and Prussian light troops scoured the roads in advance, stopping all couriers. Blucher, at the same time, having thrown open the gates of Rheims, was moving on Chalons and Vitry, to form a junction with the army of Schwarzenberg. The flying parties captured, near Sommepuix, a convoy of artillery and ammunition; and, on another occasion, they fell in with a courier bearing a budget of the most melancholy intelligence to the Emperorthat the British had made a descent on Italy; that the Austrians had defeated Augereau, and were in possession of Lyons; that Bordeaux had declared for Louis XVIII.; and that Wellington was at Toulouse. These tidings gave immense confidence to the Allies. Near Fre-Champenoise the Allies met, finding Blucher in the act of stopping a body of infantry, five thousand in number, which was bearing provisions and ammunition to the army of Napoleon. The column consisted of young conscripts and National Guards, who had never been in action, but they bravely defended their charge till they were surrounded by the mingling forces of the two armies, and compelled to surrender.

    By Elena Smith

    Meanwhile the war had continued, and with the commencement of 1841 fortune began to favour the British. The Chinese position at the mouth of the Canton river was forced, and the Emperor was compelled to send a Commissioner, Keshin by name, to treat with the "outer barbarians." Keshin cunningly transferred the scene of negotiations to Canton, in order to secure time to strengthen the forts and prepare for defence. He accordingly employed the interval busily in erecting new batteries at the Bogue, barricading the bars in the river by sinking boats laden with stones, throwing up breastworks near Canton, and levying troops. The British Commissioner, wearied and irritated by these proceedings, gave directions to Commodore Bremer to proceed at once to compulsory methods of bringing the Chinese to reason. On the 7th of January, therefore, he opened fire on the Bogue forts, on two of which the British flag very soon floated. Next morning, when everything was ready to attack the principal fort, Annughoy, a flag of truce was sent by the Chinese, and hostilities were suspended. Keshin offered to adjust matters immediately, and on the 20th a circular appeared, signed by Captain Elliot, and dated Macao, addressed to "Her Britannic Majesty's subjects," stating that her Majesty's plenipotentiary had to announce the conclusion of preliminary arrangements between the Imperial Commissioner and himself, involving the following conditions:1st. The cession of the harbour and island of Hong Kong to the British Crown. 2nd. An indemnity to the British Government of 6,000,000 dollars, to be paid in annual instalments in six years. 3rd. Direct official intercourse between the two countries upon equal footing. It was quite evident that her Majesty's plenipotentiary did not understand the sort of people he had to deal with; otherwise, he would not have arrested the operations of Commodore Bremer till he had all the principal forts in his possession. In fact he was completely duped by Keshin.

    By Elena Smith

    After the flight from Ballingarry, and the desertion of his followers, Smith O'Brien abandoned the cause in despair, and concealed himself for several days among the peasantry in a miserable state of mind. He had none of the qualities of a rebel chief, and he had not at all calculated the exigencies of the position that he had so rashly and criminally assumed, involving the necessity of wholesale plunder and sanguinary civil strife, from which his nature shrank. Besides, he soon found that the people would not trust a Protestant leader, and that there was, after all, no magic in the name of O'Brien for a Roman Catholic community. But to the honour of the peasantry it should be spoken, that though many of them were then on the verge of starvation, not one of them yielded to the temptation of large rewards to betray him or his fugitive colleagues, and several of them ran the risk of transportation by giving them shelter. In these circumstances, on the 5th of August, Mr. O'Brien walked from his hiding-place in Keeper Mountain into Thurles, where he arrived about eight o'clock in the evening. He[570] went immediately to the railway station to procure a ticket for Limerick. On the platform there were seventeen constables in plain clothes, who did not know him; but a railway guard named Hulme, an Englishman, recognised him, and tapping him on the shoulder, he presented a pistol at him and said, "You are the Queen's prisoner." A strong escort of police was immediately procured, and the prisoner was conveyed in a special train to Dublin, where he was lodged in Kilmainham gaol.

    By Elena Smith