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    [See larger version]The affairs of Ireland had been entrusted in the House of Commons to the vigorous hands of Mr. Stanley (afterwards Earl of Derby), who had been sent over as Chief Secretary with Lord Anglesey, and whom, from his firmness in administering the law, Mr. O'Connell denounced as "scorpion Stanley." On the 24th of March Mr. Stanley moved the first reading of the Bill to amend the representation of Ireland. A long and a violent debate ensued, in which Ireland was not so much thought of as the vast general interests involved in the impending revolution. In the meantime Ministers had done what they could to make the king comfortable with regard to his revenue. They proposed 510,000 a year for the Civil List, instead of 498,480, as recommended by the committee, while the liberal jointure of 100,000 a year was settled upon Queen Adelaide. This gratified his Majesty in the highest degree, and reconciled him to the dissolution, his decision being hastened by the attempt of the Tories to stop supplies. When the royal carriages were not ready to take him to the House of Lords, the king said, "Then call a hackney coach."THE FRENCH REVOLUTION: COSTUME OF 1790.
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    During this protracted agony of suspense and alarm business was almost at a standstill. Nobody seemed to think or talk of anything but the rebellionthe chances of success and the possibility of having to submit to a republic. There could not be a more striking proof of the inability of Lord Clarendon to cope with this emergency than his dealings with the proprietors of the World, a journal with a weekly circulation of only 500 or 600 copies, which subsisted by levying blackmail for suppressing attacks on private character. It was regarded as a common nuisance, and yet the Lord-Lieutenant took the editor into his confidence, held private conferences with him on the state of the country, and gave him large sums for writing articles in defence of law and order. These sums amounted to 1,700, and he afterwards gave him 2,000 to stop an action in the Court of Queen's Bench. Mr. Birch, the gentleman in question, was not satisfied with this liberal remuneration for his services; the mine was too rich not to be worked out, and he afterwards brought an action against Sir William Somerville, then Chief Secretary, for some thousands more, when Lord Clarendon himself was produced as a witness, and admitted the foregoing facts. The decision of the court was against Birch; but when, in February, 1852, the subject was brought before the House of Commons by Lord Naas, the Clarendon and Birch transactions were sanctioned by a majority of 92.

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    Whilst the Court had been conspiring, the people had conspired too. The electors at the H?tel de Ville listened with avidity to a suggestion of Mirabeau, thrown out in the National Assembly, which passed at the time without much notice. This was for organising the citizens into a City Guard. The plan had originated with Dumont and his countryman, Duroverai, both Genevese. Mirabeau had adopted and promulgated it. Fallen unnoticed in the Assembly, on the 10th of July Carra revived it at the H?tel de Ville. He declared that the right of the Commune to take means for the defence of the city was older than the Monarchy itself. The Parisian people seconded, in an immense multitude, this daring proposition, and desired nothing more than a direct order to arm themselves and to maintain their own safety. Thus encouraged, Mirabeau renewed his motion in the National Assembly. He demanded that the troops should be withdrawn from the neighbourhood of Versailles and Paris, and a burgher guard substituted. He also moved that the "discussion on the Constitution should be suspended till the security of the capital and the Assembly were effected." He moved for an address to the king, praying him to dismiss the[363] troops, and rely on the affections of his people. The motion was carried, and a committee appointed to draw up the address. The address was presented by a deputation of twenty-four members. The king replied that the troops had been assembled to preserve public tranquillity and to protect the National Assembly; but that if the Assembly felt any apprehension, he would send away the troops to Noyon or Soissons and would go himself to Compigne. This answer was anything but satisfactory, for this would be to withdraw the Assembly much farther from Paris, and the movement would thus weaken the influence of the Assembly, and at the same time place the king between two powerful armiesthe one under Broglie, at Soissons, and another which lay on the river Oise, under the Marquis de Bouill, a most determined Royalist. The Assembly was greatly disconcerted when this reply was reported.

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    Ten years passed away from the adoption of Mr. Canning's resolution, and little or nothing was effectually done to mitigate the system, not-withstanding various subsequent recommendations of the British Government. The consolidated slave law for the Crown colonies contained in an Order in Council issued in 1830, was proposed for the chartered colonies as a model for their adoption; but it contained no provision for the education or religious instruction of the slaves. All the chartered colonies, except two, Grenada and Tobago, had legalised Sunday markets, and they allowed no other time to the negroes for marketing or cultivating their provision grounds. The evidence of slaves had been made admissible; but in most of the colonies the right was so restricted as to make it entirely useless. Except in the Crown colonies, the marriage of slaves was subject to all sorts of vexatious impediments. The provision against the separation of families was found everywhere inoperative. The right of acquiring property was so limited as to prove a mockery and a delusion. The Order in Council gave the slaves the right of redeeming themselves and their families, even against the will of their owners; but all the chartered colonies peremptorily refused any such right of self-liberation. In nearly all the colonies the master had a right by law to inflict thirty-nine lashes at one time, on any slave of any age, or of either sex, for any offence whatever, or for no offence. He could also imprison his victims in the stocks of the workhouse as long as he pleased. There was no return of punishments inflicted, and no proper record. An Order in Council had forbidden the flogging of females; but in all the chartered colonies the infamous practice had been continued in defiance of the supreme Government. The administration of justiceif the term be applicable to a system whose very essence was iniquitywas left to pursue its own course, without any effort[367] for its purification. In July, 1830, Mr. Brougham brought forward his motion, that the House should resolve, at the earliest possible period in next Session, to take into consideration the state of the West Indian colonies, in order to the mitigation and final abolition of slavery, and more especially in order to the amendment of the administration of justice. But the national mind was then so preoccupied with home subjects of agitation that the House was but thinly attended, and the motion was lost by a large majority. The Reform movement absorbed public interest for the two following years, so that nothing was done to mitigate the hard lot of the suffering negro till the question was taken up by Mr. Stanley, in 1833, in compliance with the repeated and earnest entreaties of the friends of emancipation. The abolitionists, of course, had always insisted upon immediate, unconditional emancipation. But the Ministerial plan contained two provisions altogether at variance with their views; a term of apprenticeship, which, in the first draft of the measure, was to last twelve years, and compensation to the ownersa proposition which, though advanced with hesitation, ultimately assumed the enormous amount of twenty millions sterling. On the principle of compensation there was a general agreement, because it was the State that had created the slave property, had legalised it, and imposed upon the present owners all their liabilities. It was therefore thought to be unjust to ruin them by what would be regarded as a breach of faith on the part of the legislature. The same excuse could not be made for the system of protracted apprenticeship, which would be a continuance of slavery under another name. If the price were to be paid for emancipation, the value should be received at once. This was the feeling of Lord Howick, who was then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, and who resigned his office rather than be a party to the apprenticeship scheme, which he vigorously opposed in the House, as did also Mr. Buxton and Mr. O'Connell. But the principle was carried against them by an overwhelming majority. Among the most prominent and efficient advocates of the negroes during the debates were Mr. Buckingham, Dr. Lushington, Admiral Flemming, and Mr. T. B. Macaulay. The opposition to the Government resolution was not violent; it was led by Sir Robert Peel, whose most strenuous supporters were Sir Richard Vivian, Mr. Godson, Mr. W. E. Gladstone, and Mr. Hume. In the House of Lords the resolutions were accepted without a division, being supported by the Earl of Ripon, Lord Suffield, Earl Grey, and the Lord Chancellor Brougham. The speakers on the other side were the Duke of Wellington, the Earl of Harewood, Lord Ellenborough, and Lord Wynford.

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    The Bill having passed, amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the Reformers, Lord John Russell and Lord Althorp were ordered to carry it in to the Lords, and "to request the concurrence of their Lordships in the same." They did so on Monday, the 26th, followed by a large number of members. It was read by the Lords the first time, and the debate on the second reading commenced on the 9th of April. On that day the Duke of Buckingham gave notice thatin the event of the Bill being rejected, a result which he fully anticipatedhe would bring in a Reform Bill, of which the principal provisions would be to give members to large and important towns, to unite and consolidate certain boroughs, and to extend the elective franchise. Lord Grey then rose to move the second reading of the Reform Bill. The principle of the Bill, he remarked, was now universally conceded. It was admitted in the Duke of Buckingham's motion. Even the Duke of Wellington did not declare against all reform. They differed with the Opposition then only as to the extent to which reform should be carried. He adverted to the modifications that had been made in the Bill, and to the unmistakable determination of the people. At this moment the public mind was tranquil, clamour had ceasedall was anxious suspense and silent expectation. Lord Grey disclaimed any wish to intimidate their lordships, but he cautioned them not to misapprehend the awful silence of the people. "Though the people are silent," he said, "they are looking at our proceedings this night no less intently than they have looked ever since the question was first agitated. I know it is pretended by many that the nation has no confidence in the Peers, because there is an opinion out of doors that the interests of the aristocracy are separated from those of the people. On the part of this House, however, I disclaim all such separation of interests; and therefore I am willing to believe that the silence of which I have spoken is the fruit of a latent hope still existing in their bosoms." The Duke was severe upon the "waverers," Lords Wharncliffe and Harrowby, who defended themselves on the ground that the Bill must be carried, if not by the consent of the Opposition, against their will, by a creation of peers that would swamp them. The Earl of Winchilsea, on the third day, expressed unbounded indignation at the proposed peer-making. If such a measure were adopted he would no longer sit in the House thus insulted and outraged; but would bide his time till the return of those good days which would enable him to vindicate the insulted laws of his country by bringing an unconstitutional Minister before the bar of his peers. The Duke of Buckingham would prefer cholera to the pestilence with which this Bill would contaminate the Constitution. This day the Bill found two defenders on the episcopal bench, the Bishops of London and Llandaff. The Bishop of Exeter, in the course of the debate, made remarks which called forth a powerful and scathing oration from Lord Durham. The Bill was defended by Lord Goderich, and Lord Grey rose to reply at five o'clock on Friday morning. Referring to the attack of the Bishop of Exeter, he said, "The right reverend prelate threw out insinuations about my ambition: let me tell him calmly that the pulses of ambition may beat as strongly under sleeves of lawn as under an ordinary habit." He concluded by referring to the proposed creation of peers, which he contended was justified by the best constitutional writers, in extraordinary circumstances, and was in accordance with the acknowledged principles of the Constitution. The House at length divided at seven o'clock on the morning of the 13th, when the second reading was carried by a majority of nine; the numbers beingcontents present, 128; proxies, 56-184; non-contents present, 126; proxies, 49-175. The Duke of Wellington entered an elaborate protest on the journals of the House against the Bill, to which protest 73 peers attached their signatures.

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    CHARTISTS AT CHURCH. (See p. 456.)

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