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Here, had the Government been wise, they would have stopped; but they were not contented without experiencing a third defeat. The next morning, the 20th of December, they returned to the charge with an indictment against Mr. Hone for publishing a parody on the Athanasian Creed, called "The Sinecurist's Creed." The old Chief Justice was again on the bench, apparently as resolved as ever, and this time the defendant, on entering the court, appeared pale and exhausted, as he well might, for he had put forth exertions and powers of mind which had astonished the whole country and excited the deepest interest. The Attorney-General humanely offered to postpone the trial, but the defendant preferred to go on. He only begged for a few minutes' delay to enable him to put down a few notes on the Attorney-General's address after that was delivered; but the Chief Justice would not allow him this trifling favour, but said, if the defendant would make a formal request for the purpose, he would put off the trial for a day. This would have injured the cause of the defendant, by making it appear that he was in some degree worsted, and, fatigued as he was, he replied, promptly, "No! I make no such request." William Hone, on this third trial, once more seemed to forget his past fatigues, and rose with a strength that completely cowed the old and fiery judge. He did not desist till he had converted his dictatorial manner into a suppliant one. After quoting many eminent Churchmen as dissentients from the Athanasian Creed, and amongst them Warburton and Tillotson, he added, "Even his lordship's father, the Bishop of Carlisle, he believed, took a similar view of this creed." This was coming too near; and the judge said, "Whatever that opinion was, he has gone, many years ago, where he has had to account for his belief and his opinions. For common delicacy, forbear." "O, my lord," replied the satisfied defendant, "I shall certainly forbear." The judge had profited by the lesson to-day: he gave a much more temperate charge to the jury, and they required only twenty minutes to return the third and final victory of Not Guilty. Never had this arbitrary Government suffered so withering a defeat. The sensation throughout the country was immense. The very next day Lord Ellenborough sent in his announcement of retiring from[131] the bench, and in a very short time he retired from this world altogether (December 13, 1818), it being a settled conviction of the public mind that the mortification of such a putting-down, by a man whom he rose from his sick-bed to extinguish, tended materially to hasten that departure. The Association had become so formidable, and was yet so carefully kept within the bounds of law by "Counsellor O'Connell," in whose legal skill the Roman Catholics of all classes had unbounded confidence, that the Government resolved to procure an Act of Parliament for its suppression. Accordingly, on the 11th of February, 1825, a Bill was brought into the House of Commons by the Irish Chief Secretary, Mr. Goulburn, under the title of Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill. The plural form caused a great deal of debating. The Government declared they wished to include the Orange Society as well as the Catholic Association. But the Opposition had no faith in this declaration, and Mr. Brougham stated that they would put down the Catholic Association with one hand and pat the Orange Society on the back with the other. The debates on the subject were very animated, and touched upon constitutional questions of the widest interest to the public. The Irish Attorney-General said he did not deny that if a set of gentlemen thought fit to unite for those purposes, it was in their power to do so; but then came the question as to the means which they employed, and those means he denied to be constitutional. "They have," he said, "associated with them the Catholic clergy, the Catholic nobility, many of the Catholic gentry, and all the surviving delegates of 1791. They have established committees in every district, who keep up an extensive correspondence through the country. This Association, consisting originally of a few members, has now increased to 3,000. They proceeded to establish a Roman Catholic rent; and in every single parish, of the 2,500 parishes into which Ireland is divided, they appointed twelve Roman Catholic collectors, which make an army of 30,000. Having this their army of collectors, they brought to their assistance 2,500 priests, and the whole ecclesiastical body. And thus provided, they go about levying contributions on the peasantry." This Mr. Plunket pronounced to be unconstitutional, though not in the strict sense illegal; the Association was a representative and a tax-levying body. He denied that any portion of the subjects of this realm had a right to give their suffrages to others, had a right to select persons to speak their sentiments, to debate upon their grievances, and to devise measures for their removal. This was the privilege alone of the Commons of the United Kingdom. He would not allow that species of power to anybody not subjected to proper control. But to whom were those individuals accountable? Where was their responsibility? Who was to check them? Who was to stop their progress? By whom were they to be tried or rebuked if found acting mischievously? People not acquainted with Ireland were not aware of the nature of this formidable instrument of power, greater than the power of the sword. Individuals connected with it went into every house and every family. They mixed in all the relations of private life, and afterwards detailed what they heard with the utmost freedom. The Attorney-General could not conceive a more deadly instrument of tyranny than it was when it interfered with the administration of justice. Claiming to represent six millions of the people of Ireland, it denounced as a public enemy, and arraigned at the bar of justice, any individual it chose to accuse of acting contrary to the popular interest. Thus the grand inquest of the people were the accusers, and there was an unlimited supply of money to carry on the prosecution. The consequence was that magistrates were intimidated, feeling that there was no alternative but to yield, or be overwhelmed by the tide of fierce popular passions.

CAPTAIN WALPOLE INTERCEPTING THE DUKE OF SALDANHA'S SHIPS. (See p. 306.)

THE ROYAL PALACE, MADRID. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.) [501]

The supplies for the present year were voted to the amount of fifty million one hundred and eighty-five thousand pounds. No new taxes were to be levied, but there was to be a loan of eight million pounds. This money was distributed as follows: twenty-five million pounds to the land service and ordnance, twenty million pounds to[600] the navy, a subsidy to Portugal of nine hundred and eighty-eight thousand pounds, and to Sicily of four hundred thousand pounds. Yet, on the first view of the case, the selection of the Swedes augured anything but a Russian alliance; and showed on the surface everything in favour of Napoleon and France, for it fell on a French general and field-marshal, Bernadotte. The prince royal elect made his public entry into Stockholm on the 2nd of November. The failing health of the king, the confidence which the talents of Bernadotte had inspired, the prospect of a strong alliance with France through himall these causes united to place the national power in his hands, and to cast upon him, at the same time, a terrible responsibility. The very crowds and cries which surrounded him expressed the thousand expectations which his presence raised. The peasantry, who had heard so much of his humble origin and popular sentiments, looked to him to curb the pride and oppression of the nobles; the nobles flattered themselves that he would support their cause, in the hope that they would support him; the mass of the people believed that a Republican was the most likely to maintain the principles of the Revolution of 1809; the merchants trusted that he would be able to obtain from Napoleon freedom for trade with Great Britain, so indispensable to Sweden; and the[7] army felt sure that, with such a general, they should be able to seize Norway and re-conquer Finland. Nor was this all. Bernadotte knew that there existed a legitimist party in the country, which might long remain a formidable organ in the hands of internal factions or external enemies. How was he to lay the foundation of a new dynasty amid all these conflicting interests? How satisfy at once the demands of France, Britain, and Russia? Nothing but firmness, prudence, and sagacity could avail to surmount the difficulties of his situation; but these Bernadotte possessed.

BATTLE OF NAVARINO: THE "ASIA" ENGAGING THE SHIPS OF THE CAPITAN BEY AND MOHURREM BEY. (See p. 262.) From the Painting by Andrew C. Gow, R.A.

On this basis Mr. Vansittart, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the 9th of June, produced his Budget. Including the interest on the Debt, the whole annual expenditure amounted to seventy-six million, seventy-four thousand poundsan ominous peace expenditure. Instead, therefore, of the supplies, aided by the draft from the Sinking Fund, leaving a surplus of two million pounds, a fresh loan of twelve million poundsbesides the three million pounds of new taxes on malt, tobacco, coffee, cocoa, tea, British spirits, pepper, and foreign wool was needed. By the hocus-pocus of Exchequer accounts this was made to look like a reduction of the Debt instead of an increase of it; but the country saw with dismay that three years after the peace the incubus of past war was still[145] adding to its burden. Mr. Tierney, on the 18th, moved for a committee to inquire into the state of the nation, but this was negatived by three hundred and fifty-seven votes against one hundred and seventy-eight; and a motion of Sir Henry Parnell on the 1st of July for extensive retrenchments was got rid of in the same manner.

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On the 21st of October the British fleet sailed from Copenhagen Roads; at Helsingfors the fleet was saluted by the King of Sweden, who invited the admirals to breakfast; and, by the end of the month, was anchored in Yarmouth Roads safely, with all its captives. Fresh offers of alliance with Denmark were made before leaving, accompanied with promises of restoration, but were indignantly refused by the Crown Prince; and no sooner were the British gone, than the Danes converted their trading-vessels into armed ones, and commenced a raid amongst the British merchants, now in the Baltic, for the protection of which some men-of-war ought to have been left. The Crown Prince, now thrown completely into the arms of the French, made a declaration of war against Britain, and the British Government issued an order for reprisals on the ships, colonies, and property of the Danes. They also seized on the island of Heligoland, a mere desolate rock, but, lying at the mouth of the Elbe, and only twenty-five miles from the mouths of the Weser and the Eider, it was of the greatest importance, during the war, as a safe rendezvous for our men-of-war, and as a dep?t for our merchandise, ready to slip into any of the neighbouring rivers, and thus, by smugglers, to be circulated all over the Continent, in spite of Buonaparte's embargo. It served also to remind the people of those regions, that, though Buonaparte ruled paramount on land, there was a power on the sea that yet set him and all his endeavours at defiance.

These were measures which must have greatly irritated the American colonists. They exhibited a disposition to curb and repress their growing energies between the interests of British merchants and British West Indian planters. The prospect was far from encouraging; whilst, at the same time, the English Ministers, crushing these energies with one hand, were contemplating drawing a revenue by taxation from them on the other. Britain argued that she sacrificed large amounts in building up colonies, and therefore had a right to expect a return for this expenditure. Such a return, had they had the sagacity to let them alone, was inevitable from the trade of the colonies in an ever-increasing ratio.

BATTLE OF NAVARINO: THE "ASIA" ENGAGING THE SHIPS OF THE CAPITAN BEY AND MOHURREM BEY. (See p. 262.)

But in spite of Bute's incapacity the expeditions planned by Pitt were uniformly successful. The British fleets were everywhere busy attacking[174] the Spanish colonies, and cutting off the Spanish ships at sea. A fleet had been dispatched, under Admiral Rodney, at the latter end of the last year, against Martinique, carrying nearly twelve thousand men, commanded by General Monckton. They landed on the 7th of January at Cas de Navires, besieged and took Port Royal, the capital, St. Pierre, and, finally, the whole island. This was followed by the surrender of St. Vincent, Grenada, and St. Lucia, so that the English were now masters of the whole of the Caribbees. A portion of this squadron, under Sir James Douglas, then proceeded to join an expedition, which sailed from Portsmouth on the 5th of March; the fleet commanded by Admiral Sir George Pococke, and the army by the Earl of Albemarle. The squadron arrived before Havana on the 4th of JuneKing George's birthdayand effected a landing without much difficulty.