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In the interval, the character and conduct of the Prince of Wales came prominently before the public. The two great friends of the prince were Fox and Sheridan. If the intellectual qualities of these two remarkable men had been equalled by their moral ones, no fitter companions for a young prince could have been found. But, unfortunately, they were as distinguished for their drinking and dissipation, and Fox for his reckless gambling, as for their talents. Pitt and they were in violent opposition, and as Pitt, with his cold, unimpulsive nature, stood firmly by the king, Fox and Sheridan were, as matters of party, warmly the advocates of the prince. Hence the king and his son, sufficiently at strife on the ground of the prince's extravagance and debauchery, were rendered doubly so by the faction fire of their respective adherents. Pitt, who might have softened greatly the hostile feeling between the royal father and son, by recommending less parsimony on the part of the king, and kindly endeavouring to induce the prince to exhibit more respect for his father, never displayed the slightest disposition to act so generous and truly politic a part. Sheridan and some others of the Whig party mentioned the prince's debts, and urged the propriety of something being done to save the honour of the Heir Apparent; but Pitt turned a deaf ear, and the king informed the prince that he could not sanction the payment of his debts by Parliament, nor was he disposed to increase his allowance from the Civil List. On this the prince determined to break up his household, which had been appointed by the king, and cost the prince twenty thousand pounds, to sell his horses and carriages, and to live in a few rooms like a private gentleman. This he did; his fine horses were paraded through the streets on their way to Tattersall's to be sold, and he stopped the building of Carlton House. All this would have been admirable had it proceeded from a real desire to economise on the part of the prince, in order to satisfy his clamorous creditors, and to commence a real reform of his habits; but the whole was only a mode of mortifying the king and Court party by thus exhibiting the Heir Apparent as compelled, by the refusal of a proper allowance, to abandon the style befitting his rank, and sink himself into that of a mere lodger of scanty means. If this grand man?uvre did not accomplish its object at Court, it, however, told on his own party, who resolved in the next Session to make a grand effort for the liquidation of his debts.
The Ministerial changes consequent on the death of Mr. Canning were announced on the 17th of August. Viscount Goderich, afterwards Earl of Ripon, became the First Lord of the Treasury, the Duke of Portland President of the Council, Mr. Herries Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Huskisson Colonial Secretary, and Mr. C. Grant President of the Board of Trade. On the 22nd the Duke of Wellington was gazetted as Commander-in-Chief. He accepted this office at the earnest request of the king, and it was universally felt that he was the fittest man for the post; but those who, with Lord Eldon, earnestly wished for the speedy downfall of the new Ministrywhich they regarded as almost exclusively Canningitelamented that he should have assumed that position which would necessarily paralyse his opposition in the House of Lords, and so far tend to keep in the Administration. There was, however, little chance of that, for perhaps no Cabinet was ever more divided. They intrigued man against man, section against section; and at last, without any external pressure, the Cabinet fell to pieces from its own weakness. Lord Goderich lost heart, and gave in his resignation before Parliament met. The king was at Windsor while the work of dissolution was going on. When it was complete, he said, "If they had not dissolved themselves by their own acts, I should have remained faithful to them to the last." They appeared before him on the 8th of January, 1828, to resign the offices which they had received from his hands. The Duke of Wellington was then sent for. It was not his wish to become Prime Minister of England. The reasons which had impelled him, on a former occasion, to resist the solicitations of his colleagues induced him now to remonstrate respectfully with the Sovereign; but the king would take no denial. Speech of the Onondagas and Cayugas, in Colden, Five Nations, 63 (1727).
The Privy Council decided that the petition from Massachusetts was framed on false and exaggerated allegations, and was groundless, vexatious, and scandalous. Two days afterwards, the king dismissed Franklin from the office, which he had till now held, of Deputy-Postmaster of America.The army had declared for the Republic; the clergy were passive; but the great difficulty was with the unemployed workmen of Paris, to whom promises were made which it was utterly impossible to fulfil. The Government undertook "to put an end to the long and iniquitous sufferings of workmen, and to give employment to every one, at good wages;" for which purpose a commission was appointed, whose president was M. Louis Blanc, and his vice-president M. Albert, formerly a manufacturer, to whose name the word ouvrier was always attached. This commission fixed the time of labour as ten hours for all professions. One of the first fruits of its interference with the labour market was a demand that the British workmen should be expelled from the railways and different manufacturing establishments. In many places they had to fly for their lives, to escape the fury of the mob.
We have now to turn from the feeble and ill-directed efforts of Britain to counteract the plans of Napoleon on land to the successful ones on her really protecting elementthe sea. All Napoleon's endeavours to cross the Channel with his Grand Army he had seen to be impossible. Nelson was riding there in his glory, and the French fleets were only safe while they were in port. The impatience of this restraint caused Napoleon to urge on his admirals a greater daring; and these incitements to a rash hazard brought, eventually, that which must have occurred sooner, had the admirals listened to his suggestions rather than their own knowledge of the truththe utter destruction of the French navy. Under such stimulants from the Emperor, Villeneuve seized the opportunity, when the weather had driven back the blockading British fleet, to steal out of Toulon on the 18th of January, 1805, and another fleet of ten vessels escaped out of Rochefort on the 11th of the same month. These squadrons stood away for the West Indies, and managed to get home again without meeting with a British fleet. Thus encouraged, Villeneuve made another venture. Nelson, who was watching Villeneuve off Toulon, in order to tempt him out, bore away along the Spanish coast as far as Barcelona. Villeneuve put out to sea on the 31st of March, with ten ships of the line, seven frigates, and two brigs. Nelson had gone a little too far, and it was not till the 7th of April that he heard of their issue from port. Before he could prevent it, they had passed the Strait of Gibraltar, and struck once more across the Atlantic. He was joined by the Spanish admiral, Gravina, from Cadiz, with six Spanish ships of the line, and two other French ships of the line. This combined fleet now amounted to eighteen sail of the line, six forty-four gun ships, and a number of smaller craft. Nelson did not hesitate to pursue them with his ten ships of the line and three frigates; but contrary winds withheld him, and it was the 7th of May before he could get out of the Strait of Gibraltar. His ships were, most of them, in very bad condition, one of them, the Superb, not having been in a home port for four years. Villeneuve had upwards of a month's start of Nelson, and his orders were to bear away to Martinique with five thousand one hundred troops, which he had on board, to capture St. Lucia, and strengthen the garrisons of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Dominica. He was afterwards to wait and see if Gautheaume could get out of Brest and join him with twenty-one more sail of the line, when they were to do all possible mischief amongst our islands and merchantmen. But the chief scheme was, by this means, to draw the British fleet after them, and then, hurrying back, enable Buonaparte to cross the Channel for England. Villeneuve did nothing but take the Diamond Rock, a fortification of the British, lying opposite to Fort Royal Bay, into which he had entered. He then sailed to Guadeloupe, where he was joined by two seventy-four gun ships; and an American having apprised him of a homeward-bound British convoy, he went after it, and succeeded, off Antigua, in capturing fifteen merchantmen. His success was, however, spoiled in the possession of it, for one of the prisoners informed him that Nelson was already in the West Indies in quest of him. Terrified at this news, he burnt all his prizes, and made all sail homewards. Nelson, in the meantime, was misled by some of the Yankee skippers abounding in those seas, and sent on a false scent after Villeneuve towards Venezuela and the mouth of the Orinoco. Not finding him, he was satisfied that he had sailed for Europe, and he made after him. Nelson sighted Cape St. Vincent on the 17th of July, after a run of more than three thousand two hundred miles. The next day he fell in with Admiral Collingwood, who was watching Cadiz, but who had no news of Villeneuve, but informed him that Sir Robert Calder was blockading Ferrol. On the 19th he anchored in the Bay of Gibraltar, and went on shore for the first time for two years, short only of two days. Hearing that Villeneuve was still out in the Atlantic, he bore away westward again to intercept him, but in vain; and, on returning to Ushant, where Collingwood was cruising, he learned that Sir Robert Calder had met with and attacked him at the very time Nelson was off Gibraltar, namely, on the 22nd of July. and the Jesuits were somewhat distrusted. Gaudais is
Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known as one of the most eminent female poets of her time, by the signature "L. E. L." which she appended to her numerous contributions in the magazines, was born at Hans Place, Chelsea, in 1802. Her "Poetical Sketches" were published first in the Literary Gazette. In 1824 appeared her "Improvisatrice." She was the author of two other volumes of poetry, and of a successful novel. A spirit of melancholy pervades her writings; but it is stated by Mr. L. Blanchard, in the "Life and Literary Remains," which he published, that she was remarkable for the vivacity and playfulness of her disposition. Her poetry ranked very high in public estimation for its lyric beauty and touching pathos; but the circumstances of her early death, which was the subject of much controversy, invested her name with a tragic and romantic interest. In 1838 she was married to Mr. George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, but the marriage was unhappy, and she died, shortly afterwards, from an overdose of laudanum.The obligation of clearing his land and living on it was laid on seignior and censitaire alike; but the latter was under a variety of other obligations to the former, partly imposed by custom and partly established by agreement when the grant was made. To grind his grain at the seigniors mill, bake his bread in the seigniors oven, work for him one or more days in the year, and give him one fish in every eleven, for the privilege of fishing in the river before his farm; these were the most annoying of the conditions to which the censitaire was liable. Few of them were enforced with much regularity. That of baking in the seigniors oven was rarely carried into effect, though occasionally used for purposes of extortion. It is here that the royal government appears in its true character, so far as concerns its relations with Canada, that of a well-meaning despotism. It continually intervened between censitaire and seignior, on the principle that as his Majesty gives the land for nothing, he can make what conditions he pleases, and change them when he pleases. * These interventions were usually favorable to the censitaire. On one occasion an intendant reported to the minister, that in his opinion all rents ought to be reduced to one sou and one live capon for every arpent of front, equal in most cases to forty superficial arpents. ** Every thing, he remarks, ought to be brought down to the level of the first grants made in days of innocence, a happy period which he does not attempt to define. The minister replies that the diversity of the rent is, in fact, vexatious, and that, for his part, he is disposed to abolish it altogether. *** Neither he nor the intendant gives the slightest hint of any compensation
Colbert wrote to him with equal severity: "I have communicated to the king the contents of all the despatches which you have written to me during the past year; and as the matters of which they treat are sufficiently ample, including dissensions almost universal among those whose duty it is to preserve harmony in the country under your command, his Majesty has been pleased to examine all the papers sent by all the parties interested, 51 and more particularly those appended to your letters. He has thereupon ordered me distinctly to make known to you his intentions." The minister then proceeds to reprove him sharply in the name of the king, and concludes: "It is difficult for me to add any thing to what I have just said. Consider well that, if it is any advantage or any satisfaction to you that his Majesty should be satisfied with your services, it is necessary that you change entirely the conduct which you have hitherto pursued."