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On the 21st of September the Convention had met in the Tuileries. The first act of the Convention was to send to the Legislative Assembly the notification of its formation, and that the existence of that body was, as a matter of course, at an end. They then marched in a body to the Salle de Manege, and took possession of it. The Girondists now appeared on the Right, the Jacobins on the Left, under the name of the Mountain, and the Centre, or Moderates, took the name of the Plain. The first speech and motion was made by Manuel, proposing that the President of the Convention and of France should be lodged in the Tuileries, attended by all the state which had accompanied the king, and that, whenever he appeared in the House, all the members should receive him standing. The motion was received with a storm of reprobation, and dismissed. The second motion, made by Collot d'Herbois, was for the immediate abolition of royalty. He was seconded by the Abb Gregoire, and it was unanimously abolished accordingly. No time was lost in communicating this fact to the royal family in the Temple.

On the 13th of September Charles James Fox died at Chiswick House, the residence of the Duke of Devonshire. He had been for a considerable time suffering from dropsy, and had got as far as Chiswick, in the hope of gathering strength enough to reach St. Anne's Hill, near Chertsey, his own house. But his days were numbered. He was only fifty-eight years of age. During his illness his colleagues and so-called friends, with that strange coldness and selfishness which always distinguished the Whigs, with very few exceptions, never went near him. Those honourable exceptions were the Duke of Devonshire, who had offered him his house, the Prince of Wales, his nephew, Lord Holland, his niece, Miss Fox, and his old friend, General Fitzpatrick. Still, Fox was not deserted by humbler and less known friends. Lords Grenville and Howick, his colleagues, rarely went near him, and all the Ministry were too busy anticipating and preparing for the changes which his decease must make. When this event took place there was a great shifting about, but only one new member of the Cabinet was admitted, Lord Holland, and only one resigned, the Earl Fitzwilliam. Lord Howick took Fox's department, that of Foreign Affairs; Lord Holland became Privy Seal; Grenville, First Lord of the Admiralty; and Tierney, President of the Board of Control. Sidmouth, afterwards so prominent in Tory Cabinets, still sat in this medley one as President of the Council, and Lord Minto[531] was gratified by the Governor-Generalship of India. As Parliament was not sitting at the time of Fox's death, Ministers ordered his interment in Westminster Abbey, and he was carried thither on the 10th of October, the twenty-sixth anniversary of his election for Westminster, and laid almost close to the monument of Chatham, and within a few inches of the grave of his old rival, Pitt.

LORD LIVERPOOL. (After the Portrait by Sir T. Lawrence, P.R.A.)

A revolution of a similar character took place in France within a month of the fall of Ripperda in Spain. The Duke of Bourbon had exhibited a gross incapacity for governing France under the young king. He was replaced by Cardinal Fleury, whose pacific designs harmonised with those of Walpole. Thus Fleury's accession to power only strengthened the English alliance with France. As for Spain, notwithstanding the fall of Ripperda, Philip continued the same course of policyclinging firmly to the Emperor, and employing Palm, the envoy of the Emperor in London, through bribery to the Duchess of Kendal and the king's Hanoverian Ministers, Bothmar and the rest, who were averse from the Treaty of Hanover, as in their estimation too exclusively calculated for British interests. They even produced a strong feeling of this kind in the mind of George, and they managed to detach the King of Prussia from the British alliance. On the other hand, Sweden was won over, by British gold and diplomacy, from Russian interests. The Dutch also, with their usual slowness, came into the Hanover Treaty. Several British fleets were at sea during the summer, watching the different points of possible attack. One under Admiral Wager sailed to the Baltic to overawe the Russians, which it did effectually. Admiral Jennings, with another squadron, having on board some land troops, scoured the coasts of Spain, kept the Spaniards in constant alarm, and returned home safe before winter. A third fleet, under Admiral Hosier, was not so fortunate. He was ordered to sail to the West Indies, and the shores of the Spanish Main, to obstruct or capture the galleons; but he was attacked off Porto Bello by the yellow fever, and lost a great number of his men. On the 28th Massena had discovered the pass of Boyalva through these hills, to the north of Busaco, which Wellington had ordered Colonel Trant to occupy. But Trant had missed his way, and did not reach the pass in time. Wellington saw, therefore, his flank turned, and the enemy on the highway to Oporto. He therefore quitted his position, and, taking Coimbra in his way, compelled such of the inhabitants as had not obeyed his order to march along with him. On the 1st of October he was on his route southward, accompanied by this strange crowd. It was a perfect exodus, and appeared to the poor inhabitants as a severe measure, but to it they owed their after-salvation. Had they remained, it would have been only to suffer the oppressions and insults of the French, and to see them supporting themselves on their provisions. As it was, the French, on entering Coimbra, found it, as they had done Viseu, totally deserted, and the stacks of corn and provision that could not be carried away, for the most part too adroitly buried to be easily found. They were left to the starvation that the English general designed for them. But what a scene on the road! The whole country moving south with the cattle and sheep, and waggons laden with their goods. "No power of description," said an eye-witness, "can convey to the mind of any reader the afflicting scenes, the[605] cheerless desolation that we daily witnessed on our march from the Mondego to the lines. Where-ever we moved, the mandate, which enjoined the wretched inhabitants to forsake their homes and to remove or destroy their little property, had gone before us. The villages were deserted; the churchesretreats so often, yet so vainly confided inwere empty; the mountain cottages stood open and untenanted; the mills in the valley, but yesterday so busy, were motionless and silent. From Thomar the flanks of our line of march were literally covered with the flying population of the country. In Portugal there are at no time many facilities for travelling, and those few the exigencies of the army had very greatly diminished. Rich indeed were those who still retained a cabriolet, and mules for its service. Those who had bullock-cars, asses, or any mode of transporting their families and property, looked contented and grateful; for respectable men and delicate women of the second class might on every side be seen walking slowly and painfully on foot, encumbered by heavy burdens of clothes, bedding, and food." It was a whole country in emigration; quitting their cities, homes, and fields to coop themselves up in the vicinity of Lisbon, for the stern purpose of starving the detested enemy out of the land.

Serious differences between Great Britain and the United States of America occupied the attention of both Governments during the years 1841 and 1842, and were brought to a satisfactory[492] termination by the Ashburton Treaty, referred to in the Royal Speech at the opening of Parliament in 1843. The questions at issue, which were keenly debated on both sides, related to the right of search, the Canadian boundary, and the McLeod affair. The Government of Great Britain regarding the slave-trade as an enormous evil and a scandal to the civilised world, entered into arrangements with other nations for its suppression. For that purpose treaties were concluded, securing to each of the contracting parties the mutual right of search under certain limitations. The United States Government declined to be a party to these treaties, and refused to have their vessels searched or interfered with in time of peace upon the high seas under any pretence whatever. Notwithstanding these treaties, however, and the costly measures which Great Britain had recourse to for suppressing the nefarious traffic in human beings, the slave trade was carried on even by some of the nations that had agreed to the treaties; and in order to do this more effectually, they adopted the flag of the United States. For the purpose of preventing this abuse, Great Britain claimed the right of search or of visitation to ascertain the national character of the vessels navigating the African seas, and detaining their papers to see if they were legally provided with documents entitling them to the protection of any country, and especially of the country whose flag they might have hoisted at the time. Lord Palmerston, as Foreign Secretary, argued that while his Government did not claim the right to search American merchantmen in times of peace, a merchantman could not exempt itself from search by merely hoisting a piece of bunting with the United States emblems and colours upon it. It should be shown by the papers that the vessel was entitled to bear the flagthat she was United States property, and navigated according to law. Mr. Stevenson, the American Minister, protested strongly against this doctrine, denying that there was any ground of public right or justice in the claim put forth, since the right of search was, according to the law of nations, a strictly belligerent right. If other nations sought to cover their infamous traffic by the fraudulent use of the American flag, the Government of the United States was not responsible; and in any case it was for that Government to take such steps as might be required to protect its flag from abuse.

This was a thunderstroke to NewcastleLegge,[120] who had been so pliant, thus to rebel. Newcastle, in his consternation, hastened to Pitt, imploring him to use his influence with Legge, and promising him the Seals as Secretary, engaging to remove all prejudice from the king's mind. But not only Pitt, but the public, had been long asking whether, in these critical times, everything was to be sacrificed for the sake of this old grasping jobber at the Treasury? whether Newcastle was to endanger the whole nation by keeping out of office all men of talent? Pitt stood firm: no offers, no temptations, could move him. Newcastle, finding Pitt unmanageable, flew to Fox, who accepted the Seals on condition of having proper powers conceded to him, and agreed to support the treaties, against which he had been equally as violent as Pitt, having just before said to Dodington, "I am surprised you are not against all subsidies." Robinson was consoled with a pension of two thousand pounds a year and the post of Master of the Wardrobe. The king had returned from Hanover, and Fox was not to receive the Seals till two days after the meeting of Parliament, so that he might keep his place and support the Address. By his accession to office he changed the violence of the opposition of the Duke of Bedford, and brought the support of the Russells to the Ministry. This strength, however, did not prevent the certainty of a breakup of the Cabinet. Pitt was now arrayed against his former colleagues.

"Father is gone!

Amongst the prose writers of this period a lady stands prominent, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (b. 1690; d. 1762), the daughter of the Duke of Kingston, and mother of Lady Bute, the wife of the Earl of Bute, the celebrated Minister of George III. Lady Mary derives her chief fame from her Letters, which were not published till after her death. They are as remarkable for their wit, brilliancy, and clear, thorough sense, as any of the writings of the age. In these we have a most graphic picture of life in the East, as she had lived some years at Constantinople with her husband. She thence conferred one of the greatest boons on her country, by the introduction of inoculation for the smallpox. Lady Mary translated the "Enchiridion of Epictetus," and wrote many verses, including satirical ones, called "Town Eclogues;" but her fame must always rest upon her clear and sparkling letters. She was celebrated for her wit and beauty, and was a leading figure in the fashionable as well as the literary world. Pope and she were long great friends, but quarrelled irreconcilably.

Sir James Yeo, greatly disappointed, put Sir George Prevost and his troops over to Kingston again, and then proceeded to the head of the lake, to reinforce General Vincent. Dearborn, as soon as he heard of this junction, fled along the lake shore to Fort George, where he shut himself up in a strongly-entrenched camp with about five thousand men. There Vincent, however, determined to attack him, but once more he was met by the curse of an incompetent appointment. Major-General Rottenburg had been made Governor of Upper Canada, and assumed the command over the brave Vincent, only to do nothing.

Further correspondence on the subject did not heal the wound that had been inflicted on the pride of the Spanish Government, but rather inflamed it; and on the 19th of May the British ambassador received a peremptory order to quit the kingdom within forty-eight hours. In dismissing him, the Duke de Sotomayor administered to him a very sharp rebuke. "Your conduct," he said, "in the execution of your important mission has been reprobated by public opinion in England, censured by the British press, and condemned in the British Parliament. Her Catholic Majesty's Government cannot defend it when that of her Britannic Majesty has not done so." Sir Henry Bulwer accordingly departed, Mr. Otway, the principal attach, remaining to transact any necessary business connected with the embassy. Diplomatic relations were not renewed for some time, and, it must be admitted, that the insult that had been offered to England was in a great measure provoked.

The British Parliament accepted the measure without much debate, regarding it as a simple case of necessity. It passed the House of Lords with only three non-contentsLords Derby, King, and Holland. In the Commons it was passed by a majority of two hundred and thirty-six against thirty. Mr. Grey moved an amendment, praying his Majesty to suspend the question till the sentiments of the Irish people at large could be ascertained regarding this measure. He said that twenty-seven counties had petitioned against the measure; that seven hundred and seven thousand persons had petitioned against it, and only three thousand for it. But this amendment was swept away by a vast majority; the Act was passed, and received the royal assent on the 2nd of July. This and the vote of the necessary moneys being the great business of the Session, Parliament was prorogued on the 29th of the same month.