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Meer Cossim, for a time, served their purpose. They obtained, as the price of his elevation, a large sum of money and an accession of territory. But he was not a man of the obsequious temper of Meer Jaffier. He removed his court from Moorshedabad to Monghyr, two hundred miles farther from Calcutta. He increased and disciplined his troops; he then made compulsory levies on the English traders, from which they had always claimed exemption. There was a loud outcry, and a determined resistance on the part of the English; but Meer Cossim not only continued to compel them to pay the same revenue dues as others, but imprisoned or disgraced every man of note in his dominions who had ever shown regard to the English. It was clear that he chafed under the impositions of his elevators, and meant to free himself from them and their obligations together. It was in vain that the English Council in Calcutta uttered warning and remonstrance; there was the most violent controversy between the English factory at Patna and Meer Cossim. Vansittart hastened to Monghyr, to endeavour to arrange matters with Cossim. He consented to the payment, by the English, of the inland revenue to the amount of nine per cent.; and on his part he accepted a present for himself from Cossim of seven lacs of rupees, or upwards of seventy thousand pounds. But on this occasion, though Vansittart had pocketed this large bribe from Meer Cossim, the council in Calcutta, who got nothing, voted the terms most dishonourable, and sent a fresh deputation to Cossim at Monghyr. This deputation was headed by Mr. Amyott; but as it went to undo what Vansittart had just done, Cossim, who saw no end of exactions, and no security in treating with the English, caused his troops to fall on the unfortunate deputation as they passed through Moorshedabad, and they were all cut to pieces. Here was an end to all agreement with this impracticable man, so the Council immediately decreed the deposition of Meer Cossim, and the restoration of the more pliant puppet, Meer Jaffier. The year 1759 is one of the most glorious in our annals. Pitt, by his own spirit, and by selecting brave and able men, had infused such ardour into our service, that our officers no longer seemed the same men. Still, France, stung by the reverses and insults which we had heaped on her, but especially by our ravages of her coast, contemplated a retaliatory descent on ours. Gunboats were accumulated at Le Havre and other ports, and fleets were kept ready at Toulon and Brest, as well as a squadron at Dunkirk, under Admiral Thurot, a brave seaman. The king sent a message to the Commons, demanding the calling out of the militia; and[132] the twenty-four thousand French prisoners who had been left in great destitution by their own Government on our hands, were marched into the interior of the country. In July Admiral Rodney anchored in the roads of Le Havre, bombarded the town, set it on fire in several places, and destroyed many of the gunboats. In August the Toulon fleet, commanded by Admiral De la Clue, on its way to operate against our coast, was pursued by Boscawen, who had recently returned from America, and overtaken off Lagos, in Algarve. De la Clue was mortally wounded, and his shipreckoned the finest in the French navyand three others were taken, whilst a fifth was run aground and burnt. At the same time the blockades of Dunkirk and Brest were vigorously kept up.

The new Ministry were now to find that it was very difficult to perpetuate principles and measures which they had for a quarter of a century been condemning simply because they furnished weapons of annoyance to the party then in power. The public, still smarting under the ruinous mismanagement of the war, returned to the charge, by demanding an inquiry into the conduct of Walpole, whom they accused of their sufferings. These petitions were introduced and recommended by what were called the Boy PatriotsPitt, Lyttelton, and the rest. The storm was appeased only by Lord North's condescending to explain his measure in such a manner as deprived it of every particle of generous feeling, and reduced it to the lowest Machiavellian level. He said the real object of the resolution was to divide the Americans, to satisfy the moderate part of them, and oppose them to the immoderate, to separate the wheat from the chaff; that he never expected his proposal to be generally acceptable. On this, Colonel Barr and Burke assaulted him fiercely. Barr branded the whole scheme as founded on that low, shameful, abominable maxim, "Divide et impera." Burke declared that the proposition was at variance with every former principle of Parliament, directly so with the restrictive measures now in progress; that it was mean without being conciliatory. But the resolution passed by two hundred and seventy-four votes against eighteen.

The Queen did not disturb the Administration which she found in office. The Premier, Lord Melbourne, who was now fifty-eight years old, had had much experience of public life. He had been Chief Secretary for Ireland, Home Secretary, and Prime Minister, to which position he had been called the second time, after the failure of Sir Robert Peel's Administration in the spring of 1835. The young Queen seems to have looked to his counsel with a sort of filial deference; and from the time of her accession to the close of his career he devoted himself to the important task of instructing and guiding his royal mistress in the discharge of her various official dutiesa task of great delicacy, which he performed with so much ability and success as not only to win her gratitude, but to secure also the approbation of the country, and to disarm the hostility of political opponents. No royal pupil, it may be safely said, ever did more credit to a mentor than did Queen Victoria. For the time being, Lord Melbourne took up his residence at Windsor, and acted as the Queen's Secretary.

These motions were defeated, and Lord North, on the 21st of June, moved for the introduction of a Bill to double the militia and raise volunteer corps. The proposal to double the militia was rejected, that to raise volunteer corps accepted. To man the Navy a Bill was brought in to suspend for six months all exemptions from impressment into the Royal Navy. The measure was passed through two stages before rising, and carried the next morning, and sent up to the Lords. There it met with strong opposition, and did not receive the Royal Assent till the last day of the Session. This was the 3rd of July, and was followed, on the 9th, by a Royal Proclamation ordering all horses and provisions, in case of invasion, to be driven into the interior. The batteries of Plymouth were manned, and a boom was drawn across the harbour at Portsmouth. A large camp of militia was established at Cox Heath, in front of Maidstone, and, in truth, this demonstration of a patriotic spirit was very popular.

France and England being already agreed, independently of the consent of the rest of the Allies, the conference began on a basis which was sure to lead to immediate confusion and contention. The Dutch plenipotentiaries were astonished to see the different tone displayed by the French ambassadors. They were no longer the humble personages that they had been at Gertruydenberg. The Abb Polignac, who was the chief speaker, assumed a high and confident manner. The French envoys, therefore, when the Dutch deputies demanded that the treaty should be carried out on the basis of the terms offered at Gertruydenberg, told them plainly that matters were now quite altered, and that the conditions offered at Gertruydenberg could not be entertained by France at all, but those to which the Queen of England had agreed in London; that unless the Dutch were willing to treat on these conditions, they would find their allies concluding peace without them, and that on the spot. The chief article to which the Allies objected was the concession of Spain to Philip; and they were the more resolute because it had become imminently necessary from changes that had now taken place in France. The Dauphin had died of the smallpox during the last year. The title had been conferred on his son, the Duke of Burgundy; but the Duke of Burgundy had just expired, too, in the sixth year of his age; and of the Dauphin's children there only now remained the Duke of Anjou, a sickly child of two years old. This child was the only remaining obstacle to Philip, the King of Spain, mounting the throne of France. The danger was so obvious of the union of France and Spain in a very few yearsto prevent which had been the object of the warthat the English Government was compelled to demand from Philip a distinct renunciation of all claims on the French Crown, and from France as distinct a one in the treaty that any such claim should be resisted. St. John entered into a correspondence with De Torcy, the French minister, on this point; and the answers of De Torcy must have shown the English Government how useless it was to attempt to bind Frenchmen on such matters. He replied that any renunciation on the part of Philip or any French prince would be utterly null and void according to the laws; that on the king's death the next heir male of the royal blood succeeded, independently of any disposition or restriction of the late king, or any will of the people, or of himself, even; that he was, by the laws of France, sovereign by right of succession, and must be so, in spite of any circumstances to the contrary; that neither himself, the throne, nor the people had anything to do with it, but to obey the constitution. Therefore, even if Philip did bind himself to renounce the Crown of France, should the present Dauphin die, he would be king, independently of any circumstances whatever. Another expedient, however, was proposed by the English ministry, who must have seen clearly enough the folly of their treating on such hollow ground. That was, if Philip did not like to renounce the Crown of France, he should at once quit the throne of Spain, and agree that the Duke of Savoy should take it and the Indies, surrendering his own territories to Philip, to which should be added Naples, Sicily, Montserrat, and Mantua, all of which, whenever Philip succeeded to the French Crown, should be annexed to France, with the exception of Sicily, which should be made over to Austria. Louis XIV. professed to be delighted with this arrangement, but Philip would not listen to it, showing plainly that he meant, notwithstanding any renunciation, to retain his claim to both France and Spain.

Told what no tongue could speak;

This was no idle threat; the guards at Dublin castle and at the several barracks were doubled; Alborough House, commanding the road to Clontarf, was garrisoned; the streets on the north side of the city were patrolled by parties of soldiers during the night. Three war steamers were placed in the Liffey, with their guns run out, commanding the ground where the meeting was to be held; while the guns at the Pigeon House fort at the mouth of the river, right opposite Clontarf, were so placed as to sweep the road to it. The village was occupied by the 5th Dragoon Guards, the 60th Rifles, the 11th Hussars, the 54th Regiment of Infantry, and a brigade of Royal Horse Artillery; the infantry being commanded by Colonel Fane, the cavalry by Lord Cardigan, and the artillery by Colonel Higgins. The men and horses were provisioned for twenty-four hours, and each soldier was furnished with sixty rounds of ball cartridge. A crisis had now come; a collision between the troops and O'Connell's army of teetotallers was imminent, and even he could have no doubt of the[531] issue. He seemed to stand appalled on the edge of the precipice to which he had brought his deluded followers, and shrinking from the consequences, he made all possible haste to save them. As soon as the proclamation was issued, he called a special meeting of the Repeal Association, and announced that in consequence of the measures taken by the Government, which he denounced as "the most base and imbecile step ever taken," there would be no meeting at Clontarf the next day. He submitted a counter-proclamation, which was adopted and posted up that evening throughout the city beside the Government proclamation. It was also sent by special messengers to the neighbouring towns and villages. The preventive measures taken on both sides were completely successful. No mounted Repealers came in from the country, and though vast multitudes went out from Dublin to view the military demonstrations, their meeting with the Queen's forces was quite amicable. They were allowed to see the spectacle, but they were compelled to move on along the high road, which they did very good-humouredly.

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The danger of civil war was felt to be so great that earnest attempts were made to conciliate the queen, and to effect a compromise. Mr. Wilberforce was very zealous in this matter. He wrote to the king, entreating him to restore the queen's name to the liturgy. This was a vital point. The Ministry had expressed their intention to resign if this must be done. Mr. Wilberforce headed a deputation from the House of Commons, who proceeded to her residence, in full court costume. He describes her manner as "extremely dignified,[207] but very stern and haughty." He got no thanks from either party for his attempts at negotiation. He was very much abused by Cobbett and other writers on the popular side. Mr. Brougham and Mr. Denman met the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh on the 15th of June to discuss an adjustment; when it was laid down, as a preliminary, that the queen must not be understood to admit, nor the king to retract, anything; and that the questions to be examined werethe future residence of the queen; her title, when travelling on the Continent; the non-exercise of certain rights of patronage in England; and the income to be assigned to her for life. This fourth topic the queen desired might be altogether laid aside in these conferences; and the differences which arose upon the first proposition prevented any discussion on the second and third. They suggested that her Majesty should be officially introduced by the king's Ministers abroad to foreign Courts, or, at least, to the Court of some one state which she might select for her residence; and that her name should be restored to the liturgy, or something conceded by way of equivalent, the nature of which, however, was not specified by her negotiators. It was answered that, on the subject of the liturgy, there could be no change of what had been resolved; that, with respect to her residence in any foreign state, the king, although he could not properly require of any foreign Power to receive at its Court any person not received at the Court of England, would, however, cause official notification to be made of her legal character as queen; and that a king's yacht, or a ship of war, should be provided to convey her to the port she might select. These conditions were wholly declined by the queen, and on the 19th of June the negotiations were broken off. On the 22nd two resolutions were passed by the House of Commons, declaring their opinion that, when such large advances had been made toward an adjustment, her Majesty, by yielding to the wishes of the House, and forbearing to press further the propositions on which a material difference yet remained, would not be understood as shrinking from inquiry, but only as proving her desire to acquiesce in the authority of Parliament.

The English Roman Catholics produced an[435] historianDr. Lingardwho, for the correctness and strength of his diction, as well as the extent of his learning, ranks among the first names in this department of literature. He was a man of great force of mind, remarkable acuteness in testing historical evidence, and considerable powers of description. Being a priest, it was not to be expected that he would be impartial in his treatment of the events and characters of the Reformation, and the subsequent conflicts between the Churches of England and Rome. Of his own Church he was a zealous defender and a skilful apologist; but where that bias did not interfere, his judgments were generally sound. He died in 1851.