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      ** Lettre de Laval Queylus, 4 Ao?t, 1661.



      "But perhaps it might be possible to get a Bill passed to disfranchise the Irish forty-shilling freeholdersa class of voters who, as they had been created for acknowledged purposes of corruption in the Irish Parliament, would have nobody to stand up for them in high places, now that they refused to play their patrons' game. This was quite as improbable an issue as the other. The disfranchisement of forty-shilling freeholders had, indeed, been talked of in former years; but, if effected at all, it was to be in connection with a measure of Catholic Emancipation. To propose it now for the avowed purpose of rendering Catholic Emancipation impossible would be to insure the rejection of the Bill. That plan, therefore, fell at once to the ground; and there remained but two others.Some of these disputes were local and of no special significance; while others are very interesting, because, on a remote and obscure theatre, they represent, sometimes in striking forms, the contending passions and principles of a most important epoch of history. To begin with one which even to this day has left a root of bitterness behind it.

      On the 21st of June Pitt introduced and carried several resolutions, which formed the basis of his Commutation Act. These went to check smuggling, by reducing the duty on tea from fifty to twelve and a half per cent., and to raise the house and window tax so as to supply the deficiency. A Bill was then passed to make good another deficiency in the Civil List, to the amount of sixty thousand pounds. Early in August Mr. Pitt brought in his India Bill, which differed chiefly from his former one in introducing a Government Board of Commissioners, with power to examine and revise the proceedings of the Court of Directors. This, which afterwards acquired the name of the Board of Control, was opposed by Fox, but passed both Houses with little trouble.`Who wants me?' she cut into Tommy's chant with a note of sharp anxiety.

      Now, though in some obscure and ignorant parts of the country there were clubs which contemplated the foolish idea of seizing on neighbouring properties, the committees must have been very ill-informed to have drawn any such conclusion as to the Hampden Clubs, which were organised for Parliamentary reform under the auspices of Sir Francis Burdett, Major Cartwright, Lord Cochrane, Cobbett, and others. Most of these persons had large properties to be sacrificed by the propagation of any such principles, and the great topics of Cobbett's Register, the organ through which he communicated with the people, were the necessity of refraining from all violence, and of rising into influence by purely political co-operation. But these reports answered the purposes of the Government, and they proceeded to introduce, and succeeded in passing, four Acts for the suppression of popular opinion. The first was to provide severe punishment for all attempts to seduce the soldiers or sailors from their allegiance; the second to give safeguards to the person of the Sovereign, but which did not include the most effectual of allthat of making him beloved; the third was to prevent seditious meetings, and gave great power to the magistrates and police to interfere with any meeting for the mildest Reforms; the fourth was the old measure of suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, which armed the magistrates with the fearful authority to arrest and imprison at pleasure, without being compelled to bring the accused to trial. The last of these Acts was not passed till the 29th of March, and it was to continue in force only till the 1st of July. But in the meantime events took place which occasioned its renewal.Until the beginning of the nineteenth century the state of mathematical science was very low in England. The commencement of a better era originated with Woodhouse at Cambridge and Playfair in Edinburgh, by both of whom the Continental methods were introduced into the studies of their respective Universities. About 1820 the translation of La Croix's "Differential Calculus," superintended by Sir John Herschel and Dean Peacock, came into use as a text-book. Soon afterwards the writings of Laplace and Poisson were generally read in the Universities; and a few men of active and daring minds, chiefly of the Cambridge school, such as Professor Airy and Sir John Lubbock, grappled with the outstanding difficulties of physical astronomy; whilst a larger number applied themselves to the most difficult parts of pure analysis, and acquired great dexterity in its use, in the solution of geometrical and mechanical problems.


      Again, on the 22nd of March, Burke made another earnest effort to induce the infatuated Ministers and their adherents in Parliament to listen to reason. In one of the finest speeches that he ever made, he introduced a series of thirteen resolutions, which went to abolish the obnoxious Acts of Parliament, and admit the principle of the colonial Assemblies exercising the power of taxation. In the course of his speech he drew a striking picture of the rapid growth and the inevitable future importance of these colonies. He reminded the House that the people of New England and other colonies had quitted Great Britain because they would not submit to arbitrary measures; that in America they had cultivated this extreme independence of character, both in their religion and their daily life; that almost[216] every man there studied law, and that nearly as many copies of Blackstone's "Commentaries" had been sold there as in England; that they were the Protestants of Protestants, the Dissenters of Dissenters; that the Church of England there was a mere sect; that the foreigners who had settled there, disgusted with tyranny at home, had adopted the extremest principles of liberty flourishing there; that all men there were accustomed to discuss the principles of law and government, and that almost every man sent to the Congress was a lawyer; that the very existence of slavery in the southern States made white inhabitants hate slavery the more in their own persons. "You cannot," he said, "content such men at such a distanceNature fights against you. Who are you that you should fret, rage, and bite the chains of Nature? Nothing worse happens to you than does to all nations who have extensive empires. In all such extended empires authority grows feeble at the extremities. The Turk and the Spaniard find it so, and are compelled to comply with this condition of Nature, and derive vigour in the centre from the relaxation of authority on the borders." His resolutions were negatived by large majorities.

      But of far greater historical interest than such criticism is that of Ramsay, the Scotch poet and painter, to whom a copy of Beccarias treatise had been shown by Diderot, and who wrote a letter about it to the latter, which, though it contains some very just criticisms on Beccaria, yet reads for the most part very curiously by the light of subsequent history, and illustrates graphically the despair of all reform then felt by most men of reflection.[8]

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      the practical effect of the change was merely to exclude theEARL GREY STREET, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. (From a Photograph by Poulton & Son, Lee.)

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      Nevertheless, he made what preparations he could, begging all the while for more soldiers, and carrying on at the same time a correspondence with his rival, Dongan. At first, it was courteous on both sides; but it soon grew pungent, and at last acrid. Denonville wrote to announce his arrival, and Dongan replied in French: "Sir, I have had the honor of receiving your letter, and greatly rejoice at having so good a neighbor, whose reputation is so widely spread that it has anticipated your arrival. I have a very high respect for the king of France, of whose bread I have eaten so much that I feel under an obligation to prevent whatever can give the least umbrage to our masters. M. de la Barre is a very worthy gentleman, but he has not written to me in a civil and befitting style." [9]Daulac had crammed a large musketoon with powder, and plugged up the muzzle. Lighting the fuse inserted in it, he tried to throw it over the barrier, to burst like a grenade among the crowd of savages without; but it struck the ragged top of one of the palisades, fell back among the Frenchmen and exploded, killing and wounding several of them, and nearly blinding others. In the confusion that followed, the Iroquois got possession of the loopholes, and, thrusting in their guns, fired on those within. In a moment more they had torn a breach in the palisade; but, nerved with the energy of desperation, Daulac and his followers sprang to defend it. Another breach was made, and then another. Daulac was struck dead, but the survivors kept up the fight. With a sword or a hatchet in one hand and a knife in the other, they threw themselves against the throng of enemies, striking and stabbing with the fury of madmen; till the Iroquois, despairing of taking them alive, fired volley after volley and shot them down. All was over, and a burst of triumphant yells proclaimed the dear-bought victory.

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