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      The portion of it which returned to France from CanadaDUNFORD, NEAR MIDHURST, WHERE COBDEN WAS BORN.

      In imagination she followed first one equipage, then another, * Journal des Jsuites, Feb., 1661.

      The seignior was usually the immediate vassal of the Crown, from which he had received his land gratuitously. In a few cases, he made grants to other seigniors inferior in the feudal scale, and they, his vassals, granted in turn to their vassals, the habitants or cultivators of the soil. ** SometimesMr. Grey seized the professed desire of peace by Government, so soon as Parliament met after the Christmas recess, to bind them to it by a resolution. He complained that, so far from any intentions of peace, Ministers were making fresh preparations for the prosecution of the war. Pitt denied this, and asserted that the Government was really anxious for peace, but could not consent to it unless France agreed to yield up its conquests of Belgium, Holland, Savoy, and Nice. On the 10th of March Mr. Grey moved for an inquiry into the state of the kingdom. He showed that this contest, so unsuccessful, had[450] already, in three years, added seventy-seven millions to the national debt; more than the whole expense of the American war, which had cost sixty-three millions. He commented severely on the wasteful manner in which this money had been thrown away on monarchs who had badly served the cause, or had perfidiously betrayed it; and on the plunder of the country by jobbers, contractors, commissaries, and other vampires, who had left the poor soldiers to neglect, starvation, and death, amid the horrors of winter, and inhospitable, pretended friends, for whom they had been sent to fight. Grey and Fox followed this up by fresh resolutions and motions condemning Ministers for their misconduct of the war, and enormous waste of the public money; but all these were triumphantly got rid of by overwhelming majorities; and in the face of this ineffectual assault, Pitt introduced his Budget, calling for fresh loans, amounting to no less than twenty-five million five hundred thousand pounds, and for supplies to the amount of upwards of forty-five millions. Some of the items of this sum werenavy, seven million five hundred and twenty-two thousand five hundred and fifty-two pounds; army, eleven million nine hundred and eleven thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine pounds; ordnance, one million nine hundred and fifty-four thousand six hundred and sixty-five pounds; miscellaneous and extraordinary, thirteen million eight hundred and twenty-one thousand, four hundred and thirty pounds. The last item alone amounted to more than the whole national expenditure before the commencement of this war, yet the whole of these startling sums were readily voted away by the Ministerial majority; and with these funds in hand for renewed prosecution of the war, the Session ended, on the 19th of May.

      Of all the expectants of office in the Wellington Administration, the most bitterly disappointed was the ex-Chancellor, Lord Eldon, to whom official life had from long habit become almost a necessity. He had enjoyed power long enough in reason to admit of his retirement with a contented mind; but the passion for it was never stronger than at the present moment. He hastened to London a few days after Christmas on account of rumours of a dissolution of the Cabinet. Having so often done this when there was a talk of a Ministerial crisis, he was called the "stormy petrel." Believing that he had mainly contributed to bring about the Ministerial catastrophe, he was dreadfully mortified when he saw in the newspapers the list of the new Ministers beginning thus: "Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst." He had not set his heart this time on the office of Lord Chancellor, he would have been content with the Presidentship of the Council or Privy Seal; but his name was not found in the list at all, nor had he been consulted in any way, or informed about what was going forward during the fortnight that passed before the Ministerial arrangements were completed. This utter neglect of his claims excited his anger and indignation to the utmost, and caused him to indulge in bitter revilings and threats against the new Cabinet. The great Tory lords shared in his resentment, and felt that they were all insulted in his person. Referring to the Ministerial arrangements, he wrote:"You will observe, Dudley, Huskisson, Grant, Palmerston, and Lyndhurst (five) were all Canningites, with whom the rest were three weeks ago in most violent contest and opposition; these things are to me quite marvellous. How they are all to deal with each other's conduct, as to the late treaty with Turkey and the Navarino battle, is impossible to conjecture. As the first-fruits of this arrangement, the Corporation of London have agreed to petition Parliament to repeal the laws which affect Dissenters."

      Amongst the fine arts, the first to which we direct attention, that is, music, was warmly patronised by the Royal Family, and therefore maintained the status which it had acquired in the last reign, though it produced no great original genius. Church music continued to be cultivated, and the anthems of Kent, published in 1773, and those of Nares, published in 1778, were of much merit. To these we may add the services and anthems of Doctors Hayes, Dupuis, Arnold, Cooke, Ayrton, and of Mr. Battishill. The "Shunamite Woman," an oratorio by Arnold, appeared at a later date, as well as the anthems and services of Dr. Whitfield.

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      It was during the year 1838 that the Chartists became an organised body. The working classes had strenuously supported the middle classes in obtaining their political rights during the agitation for the Reform Bill, and they expected to receive help in their turn to obtain political franchises for themselves, but they found Parliament indifferent or hostile to any further changes in the representation, while the middle class, satisfied with their own acquisitions, were not inclined to exert themselves much for the extension of political rights among the masses. The discontent and disappointment of the latter were aggravated by a succession of bad harvests, setting in about 1835. The hardships of their condition, with scanty employment and dear provisions, the people ascribed to their want of direct influence upon the[456] Government. This gave rise to a vigorous agitation for the extension of the franchise, which was carried on for ten years. In 1838 a committee of six members of Parliament and six working men prepared a Bill embodying their demands. This was called the "People's Charter." Its points were six in number:First, the extension of the right of voting to every male native of the United Kingdom, and every naturalised foreigner resident in the kingdom for more than two years, who should be twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and unconvicted of crime; second, equal electoral districts; third, vote by ballot; fourth, annual Parliaments; fifth, no property qualification for members; sixth, payment of members of Parliament for their services.


      The state of parties in the House of Commons at the opening of the Session of 1837 was so evenly balanced, that Government had a very narrow majority. The number of Whigs was calculated at 150, of Liberals 100, and of Radicals 80, making the total number of Ministerialists 330. On the other side, the Tories counted 139, the Ultra-Tories 100, and the Conservatives, belonging to the new school which Sir[414] Robert Peel had constituted, 80. Parliament was opened by commission on the last day of January. The Royal Speech announced the continuance of friendly relations with Foreign Powers, alluded to the affairs of Spain and Portugal, and directed the attention of Parliament to the state of Lower Canada. It recommended a renewal of the inquiry into the operation of joint-stock banks; also measures for the improvement of civil and criminal jurisprudence, and for giving increased stability to the Established Church. Special attention was directed to the state of Ireland, with reference to its municipal corporations and the collection of tithes, and to "the difficult and pressing question of a legal provision for the poor." Animated debates on the Address took place in both Houses. The Radicals, led on by Mr. Roebuck, strongly condemned the want of earnest purpose on the part of Ministers, whom he represented as "worse than the Tories." He accused them of pandering to popular passions on one side, and to patrician feelings on the other. But, situated as they were, what could they do? Their majority was small and uncertain in the Commons, while the Opposition in the Lords was powerful and determined. Lord Lyndhurst mutilated measure after measure, and then at the end of each Session taunted Ministers with their failure. They were trying to get on with a House of Commons elected under the influence of a Conservative Administration. Of course, Lord Melbourne could have dissolved Parliament and appealed to the country, in the hope of getting a working majority; but the king was decidedly averse from a dissolution; and it would have been an exceedingly unwise course to adopt, at a time when the precarious state of his health plainly indicated that the reign was fast drawing to a close, and its termination would necessitate another general election. It was unreasonable to expect that in consequence of weakness proceeding from such causes a Liberal Cabinet should surrender the reins of power to the Tory party, on the eve of a new reign, and with all the bright prospects that would be opened by the accession of a youthful queen to the Throne. At the close of the Session of 1836 they had, indeed, contemplated resignation, but eventually determined to go on.


      its efforts to extirpate error by a sort of external association in the city of Caen, consisting of merchants, priests, officers, petty nobles, and others, all inspired and guided by Bernires. They met every week at the Hermitage, or at the houses of each other. Similar associations existed in other cities of France, besides a fraternity in the Rue St. Dominique at Paris, which was formed by the Jesuit Bagot, and seems to have been the parent, in a certain sense, of the others. They all acted together when any important object was in view.


      If by favors like these the king expected to lead the ecclesiastics into compliance with his