And he celebrates the compass in equally imposing heroics

In the East Indies, immediately afterwards, another severe blow was inflicted on Spain. An expedition sailed from Madras, and Admiral Cornish conveyed in a small fleet a body of men amounting to two thousand three hundred, and consisting of one regiment of the line, in addition to marines and sepoys. Colonel William Draper, afterwards so well known for his spirited contest with the still undiscovered author of "Junius's Letters," was the commander. They landed near Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands, on the 24th of September, the Spanish garrison there being taken completely by surprise. The whole of the Philippines submitted without further resistance; and Draper, besides being made a knight of the Bath, was, with the naval commanders, thanked by Parliament, as well they might be. Indeed, Mr. O'Connell's agitating tour in the North of England and in Scotland was in effect a crusade against the Lords. In a speech which he addressed to an immense assemblage of the working classes of Manchester, he said, if there were only one House of Parliament, a majority of that House, perhaps a faction, might become the rulers of the entire nation. He was, therefore, for two Houses, but they should be honest and competent. Why should a man be a legislator because his father was one? It was as reasonable to expect that a man would be a good tailor on the hereditary principle. The Lords had proved themselves to be arrant botchers in the work of[393] legislation. Were they to have 170 masters of that class? He then proceeded in this strain:"Will you endure that any gang or banditti, I care not by what name you call them, should treat you contemptuously? In one word, I call them rogues. We must put down the House of Lords. Ye are miserable minions of power. Ye have no choice for yourselves till that House be thoroughly reformed. Let the king retain his prerogative of raising men to that rank and station to which they may be eligible. Let every 200,000 men in Great Britain and Ireland select one lord from this list; that will give you 120 for the 24,000,000; let them be re-eligible every five years, and you will have a steady Chamber." Still, the outrageous attacks of Mr. O'Connell gave much offence, and when, on his return to Dublin after his crusade, he was invited to dinner by the Lord-Lieutenant, a violent storm was raised against the Government, and the king was greatly indignant. Prussia, it might be supposed, would escape the invasion of Revolutionary principles in 1848. Great hopes had been excited on the accession of Frederick William IV. to his father's throne. Yet it was evident to close observers of the signs of the times that a spirit of sullen discontent was brooding over the population. There was a feeling that their amiable and accomplished Sovereign had disappointed them. He proved to be excessively sensitive to the slightest infringement of his prerogative, and he abhorred the idea of representative bodies, who might oppose constitutional barriers to his own absolute will. Hence, there grew up sensibly a mutual feeling of distrust between him and the people, and the natural effect on his part was a change from the leniency and liberality of his earlier years to a more austere temper, while a tedious, inactive, and undecided course of policy wore out the patience of those who expected a more constitutional system. Consequently, although the administration of the country was free from any taint of corruption, and was, on the whole, moderate and just, the revolutionary earthquake of 1848 shook the kingdom of Prussia to its very foundations.

Lord Wellington, notwithstanding that the destruction of these armies, on which the defence of Andalusia and the provinces of the south depended, completely proved the justice of his statements to the Junta, was deeply chagrined by the circumstance. "I lament," he said, in his despatches, "that a cause which promised so well a few weeks ago, should have been so completely lost by the ignorance, presumption, and mismanagement of those to whose direction it was entrusted. I declare that, if they had preserved their two armies, or even one of them, the cause was safe. The French could have sent no reinforcements which could have been of any use; time would have been gained; the state of affairs would have daily improved; all the chances were in our favour; and, in the first moment of weakness, occasioned by any diversion on the Continent, or by the growing discontent of the French themselves with the war, the French armies must have been driven out of Spain." Lord Wellington's position was, by the destruction of these armies, left totally open, and he had for some time resolved to retire wholly into Portugal, and had been planning that system of defence which afterwards proved so astonishing to the French. Though he was left with about twenty thousand men to maintain himself against the whole French host in Spain, he never for a moment contemplated quitting the Peninsula, nor despaired of the final result. The experienced eye of Lord Wellington, after the battle of Vimiera, had, at a glance, seen the admirable capability of the mountain ranges of Torres Vedras for the construction of impregnable lines of defence for Lisbon. So far from holding any notion of being driven to his ships, like Sir John Moore, he was satisfied that, by fortifying the defiles through these hills, and keeping our ships on the Tagus and on the coast, he could defy all the armies of France. He proceeded now to Lisbon, where he arrived on the 10th of October, reconnoitred the hills, and, having done so, left with Colonel Fletcher, of the Engineers, a clearly written statement of all that he desired to be done, so as to make the double line of defences complete: to erect batteries on each side of the defiles through which the necessary roads ran, to erect breastworks and entrenchments where required, and to break down the bridges in front of them. He ascertained the precise time it would require to accomplish all this, and, ordering all to be carried on with the utmost quickness, he returned to Badajos, and next proceeded to Seville, to join his brother in urging on the Spanish Government the necessary measures for the defence of the country. After visiting Cadiz[580] with his brother, he returned to his headquarters, where he had scarcely arrived on the 17th of November, when he received the news of the total overthrow of the Spaniards at Oca?a. He then made a deliberate and orderly retreat from Spain, crossing the Tagus at Abrantes, where he left General Hill with his division, supported by General Fane's brigade of heavy horse, and marched to Almeida, and quartered his army there in a more healthy situation. His troops were now also well supplied with provisions. During the long interval of reposethat is, till the following MayWellington actively employed himself in putting life and order into the commissariat, baggage, and conveyance departments; and General Beresford, to whom the important function of disciplining the Portuguese troops was assigned, laboured in that with such effect, that he produced at the next campaign troops which, led by British officers, and mixed with British regiments, fought admirably. The Portuguese were wise enough to allow the British commander full control, and by this means they avoided those defeats and calamities which fell long and heavily on the Spaniards. Fox, on this occasion, also introduced the subject of the Prince of Wales's allowance, who, he contended, had far less than had been granted to a Prince of Wales since the accession of the House of Hanover, that allowance being one hundred thousand pounds a-year; and the present parsimony towards the prince being grossly aggravated by the royal Civil List having been raised, in this reign, from six hundred thousand pounds to nine hundred thousand pounds, and the Privy Purse from six thousand pounds to sixty thousand pounds. Fox's remarks were rendered all the more telling because, when the House went into committee on the finances, Pitt had made a most flourishing statement of the condition of the Exchequer. He took off the taxes which pressed most on the poorer portion of the populationnamely, on servants, the late augmentations on malt, on waggons, on inhabited houses, etc.,to the amount of two hundred thousand pounds and appropriated four hundred thousand pounds towards the reduction of the National Debt. Still blind to the storm rising across the strait of Dover, he declared that these were mere trifles compared with what he should be able to do shortly, for never was there a time when a more durable peace might be expected!

Despite these representations, however, the resolutions were confirmed by the same majority as before. Other debates succeeded on the second reading of the Bill, but the majority on these gradually sank from sixty to sixteen. As the storm grew instead of abated, the queen demanded of Lord Scarborough what he thought of it, and he replied, "The Bill must be relinquished. I will answer for my regiment against the Pretender, but not against the opposers of the Excise." "Then," said the queen, "we must drop it." Sir Robert summoned his majority, and requested their opinion, and they proposed to go on, observing that all taxes were obnoxious, and that it would not do to be daunted by a mob. But Walpole felt that he must yield. He declared that he was not disposed to enforce it at the point of the bayonet, and on the 11th of April, on the order of the day for the second reading, he moved that the measure should be postponed for two months. Thus the whole affair dropped. The usually triumphant Minister found himself defeated by popular opinion. The Opposition were hardly satisfied to allow this obnoxious Bill thus to slip quietly away; but out-of-doors there was rejoicing enough to satisfy them. But the attempts to reduce the other chiefs to subjection were unsuccessful. An unfortunate collision with the tribes of Ghilzais formed a painful episode in the Afghan war. The Cabul Pass is a long defile, through which the road runs from Cabul to Jelalabad, which it was therefore necessary to keep open for the purpose of safe intercourse between Cabul and British India. The Indian Government thought that the most desirable mode of effecting this object was to pay the Ghilzai chiefs a yearly sum from the Cabul treasury, in order that our troops might not be molested. But retrenchment being determined upon, the money was withheld; the chiefs, therefore, felt that the British had been guilty of a deliberate breach of faith. They were exasperated, assumed a hostile attitude, and cut off all communication with British India. It therefore became necessary to force the Pass, for which purpose Major-General Sir Robert Sale was sent by General Elphinstone from Cabul, with a brigade, of light infantry. On the 12th of October they entered the Pass, near the middle of which the enemy were found posted behind precipitous ridges of the mountains on each side, from which they opened a well-directed fire. General Sale was hit with a ball above the ankle, and compelled to retire and give the command to Colonel Dennie. The Pass was gallantly cleared, but with severe fighting and heavy loss. After this was accomplished, the force had still to fight its way through a difficult country, occupied by an active enemy, for eighteen days. All the commanding points of the hills were held by the Ghilzais, where they were protected by breastworks; and though they had been from time to time outflanked and routed, when the march was resumed and the cumbrous train of baggage filed over the mountains the enemy again appeared from beyond the most distant ridges, renewing the contest with increased numbers and the most savage fury. Since leaving Cabul our troops had been kept constantly on the alert by attacks night and day. Their positions had been secured only by unremitting labour, throwing up entrenchments, and very severe outpost duty. The enemy were eminently skilful at the species of warfare to which their attempts had been confined, and were armed with weapons that enabled them to annoy the invaders from a distance at which they could be reached only by our artillery. The brigade reached Jelalabad on the 12th of November.

Great was the excitement when, in pursuance of this recommendation, Mr. Peel introduced the Emancipation Bill on the 5th of March. Everywhere the Protestant press teemed, and the Protestant pulpit rang, with denunciations of Wellington and Peel as arch-traitors. From the highest pinnacle of popularity the Duke fell to the lowest depth of infamy; the laurels won in so many glorious fields were withered by the furious breath of popular execration. Petitions were poured into the House of Commons from all parts of the United Kingdom, and "the pressure from without" was brought to bear against the two Ministers, who were considered the chief delinquents, with a force and vehemence that would have deterred a man of weaker nerves than the Duke of Wellington; but he felt that he had a duty to discharge, and he did not shrink from the consequences. Nor did Mr. Peel. His speech, in introducing the measure, went over the ground[296] he had often traversed in privately debating the question with his friends. Matters could not go on as they were. There must be a united Cabinet to carry on the king's Government effectually. It must be united either on the principle of Catholic Emancipation or Catholic exclusion. It must either concede the Catholic claims, or recall existing rights and privileges. This was impossibleno Government could stand that attempted it; and if it were done, civil war would be inevitable. The House of Commons, trembling in the nice balance of opinion, had at length inclined to concession. Ireland had been governed, since the union, almost invariably by coercive Acts. There was always some political organisation antagonistic to the British Government. The Catholic Association had just been suppressed; but another would soon spring out of its ashes if the Catholic question were not settled. Mr. O'Connell had boasted that he could drive a coach-and-six through the former Act for its suppression; and Lord Eldon had engaged to drive "the meanest conveyance, even a donkey cart, through the Act of 1829." The new member for Oxford (Sir Robert Inglis) also stated that twenty-three counties in Ireland were prepared to follow the example of Clare. "What will you do," asked Mr. Peel, "with that power, that tremendous power, which the elective franchise, exercised under the control of religion, at this moment confers upon the Roman Catholics? What will you do with the thirty or forty seats that will be claimed in Ireland by the persevering efforts of the agitators, directed by the Catholic Association, and carried out by the agency of every priest and bishop in Ireland?" Parliament began to recede; there could be no limit to the retrogression. Such a course would produce a reaction, violent in proportion to the hopes that had been excited. Fresh rigours would become necessary; the re-enactment of the penal code would not be sufficient. They must abolish trial by jury, or, at least, incapacitate Catholics from sitting on juries. Two millions of Protestants must have a complete monopoly of power and privilege in a country which contained five millions of Catholics, who were in most of the country four to onein some districts twenty to oneof the Protestants.

New York, Jersey, and the New England States traded in the same commodities: they also built a considerable number of ships, and manufactured, especially in Massachusetts, coarse linens and woollens, iron, hats, rum, besides drying great quantities of fish for Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean markets. Massachusetts already employed 40,000 tons of shipping. New England furnished the finest masts in the world for the navy; Virginia and Maryland furnished 50,000 hogsheads of tobacco, annually valued at 370,000; employing 24,000 tons of shipping. From these colonies we received also large quantities of skins, wool, furs, flax, etc. Carolina had become a great rice-growing country. By the year 1733 it had nearly superseded the supply of that article from Italy in Spain and Portugal; in 1740 it exported nearly 100,000 barrels of rice; and seven years afterwards, besides its rice, it sent to England 200,000 pounds of indigo, rendering us independent of France for that article; and at the end of the present period its export of indigo had doubled that quantity, besides a very considerable exportation of pitch, sassafras, Brazil wood, skins, Indian corn, and other articles.

One of the first acts of the Parliament, which met on November 12th, was to punish the peculations and abuses of the Lord Chancellor, Parker, Earl of Macclesfield. The Court of Chancery, in former ages a sink of corruption, was at this time in its worst condition. The offices of Masters were regularly sold, and the Masters as regularly took care to recoup themselves by all manner of peculation. The estates of widows and orphans and the money of suitors were unscrupulously plundered. There was a loud outcry against these robberies, and especially against the Lord Chancellor, for his not only tolerating but partaking in them. He endeavoured to escape the storm of public indignation by resigning in January, but this did not avail him. He was impeached by Sir George Oxenden in the Commons, and tried in the Lords, and fined thirty thousand pounds. A motion for disabling him from ever again sitting in Parliament or holding any office was lost only by a very few votes. The king struck his name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and in 1725 Sir Peter King was made Chancellor in his stead, with the title of baron.




The Irish peasantry very soon learnt that whatever Emancipation had done or might do for barristers and other persons qualified to hold situations under Government, from which Roman Catholics had previously been almost entirely excluded, it had done nothing to remove or even to mitigate their practical grievances. They found that the rackrents of their holdings were not reduced; that the tax-collector went round as usual, and did not abate his demands; that the tithe-proctor did not fail in his visits, and that, in default of payment, he seized upon the cow or the pig, the pot or the blanket. Through the machinery of the Catholic Association, and the other associations which O'Connell had established, they became readers of newspapers. They had read that a single tithe-proctor had on one occasion processed 1,100 persons for tithes, nearly all of the lower order of farmers or peasants, the expense of each process being about eight shillings. It would be scarcely possible to devise any mode of levying an impost more exasperating, which came home to the bosoms of men with more irritating, humiliating, and maddening power, and which violated more recklessly men's natural sense of justice. If a plan were invented for the purpose of driving men into insurrection, nothing could be more effectual than the tithe-proctor system. Besides, it tended directly to the impoverishment of the country, retarding agricultural improvement and limiting production. If a man kept all his land in pasture, he escaped the impost; but the moment he tilled it, he was subjected to a tax of ten per cent, on the gross produce. The valuation being made by the tithe-proctora man whose interest it was to defraud both the tenant and the parson,the consequence was that the gentry and the large farmers, to a great extent, evaded the tax, and left the small occupiers to bear nearly the whole burden; they even avoided mowing their meadows in some cases, because then they should pay tithe for the hay.