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On the 3rd of February the Commons attended to hear the commission read at the bar of the Lords, which was done by Earl Bathurst, in the absence of Thurlow. On returning to their House now as an authorised Parliament, the Commons read the Bill for the first time without a division, but on the second reading, on the 6th of February, Burke attacked it with unabated ferocity. He wanted to know how they were to determine when the king was sane again. Who was to inform them of it? Who was to certify it? He asserted the utter impossibility of adducing proof whether a person who had been insane were perfectly recovered or not. If this doctrine had been established, the regency must have become permanent. But this mode of reasoning was too metaphysical for the House of Commons; the debate passed on, and the Bill was committed. The clause providing against the non-residence of the prince, and against his marrying a papist, again brought up Mr. Rolle. He said that he had given his assent to the appointment of the prince regent on the assurance of his friends, that he was not married to a certain lady, either in law or in fact; but that he had since read a famous pamphlet, which affirmed that the facts were in opposition to those avowals. This was a brochure of Horne Tooke's, in the shape of a letter to a friend, in which he declared his positive knowledge of the prince's marriage with "the late Mrs. Fitzherbert," who, he contended, in spite of the Marriage Act, was his lawful wife. Rolle was answered by Lord North, who declared that the object of the pamphleteer was simply to make mischief by throwing out assertions that he never meant to prove, and Welbore Ellis called for the reading of the Royal Marriage Act, and showed that no royal marriage could be valid without the king's consent, and that, therefore, whatever was the case, all those objections were a mere waste of words. Rolle did not press the question to a division. The other clauses of the Bill raised much debate, but were all passed, and on the 10th of February the council was appointed to assist the queen in her charge, and Pitt named as members of it the four principal officers of the household, the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, the Master of the Horse, and the Groom of the Stole, with the addition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor Thurlow, the Archbishop of York, and Lord Kenyon. The names of the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, several of the other princes, the Lord Mayor of London, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, were all strongly urged upon Parliament as persons who ought to be members of this council, but they were, to a man, rejected by a majority of about fifty.On the 22nd of January, 1801, the first Imperial Parliament met, and Addington was re-elected Speaker. The king did not meet this Parliament till the whole of its members had been sworn; his opening of it for business took place on the 2nd of February, and his speech had no cheering topics to give spirit to its first proceedings; on the Continent there had been nothing but defeat on the part of the Allies, of triumph on that of France. Our late ally, Paul, had not only seized our merchant vessels in the ports of the Baltic, and the property of our merchants in the Russian towns, but he had entered into a league with Sweden and Denmark to close the Baltic altogether to us, and to compel us to relinquish the right of search. This confederacy, by stopping the supplies of corn from the North, threatened us with great aggravation of the distresses at home; and some members advocated the surrender of the right of search, or the acceptance of the principles of an armed neutrality, such as Catherine of Russia had endeavoured to establish. But Pitt plainly showed that to allow neutral vessels to carry arms, ammunition, and commodities of life into the ports of our enemies would render all blockades of their forts useless, and enormously increase our difficulties during war. Orders were immediately issued to send a powerful fleet into the Baltic to chastise the insane Czar.
The distinguished poets still thronging the close of this period would require voluminous space to particularise their works: the vigorous and classic Savage Landor; the graceful, genial Leigh Hunt; Charles Lamb, quaint and piquant; Rogers, lover equally of art and nature; John Wilson, tender, but somewhat diffuse; Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, linked in perpetual memory with his "Kilmeny" and the "Bird of the Wilderness;" Allan Cunningham; MacNeill; Grahame, author of "The Sabbath;" James Montgomery, amongst the very few successful poets of religion; Tennant, author of "Anster Fair;" Kirke White, Sotheby, Maturin, Procter (Barry Cornwall), Milman, Joanna Baillie, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Howitt, Richard Howitt, Elliott the Corn-Law Rhymer, whose most beautiful poems had been for twenty years steadily ignored by the whole English press, till they were accidentally discovered by Sir John Bowring.In the House of Commons, too, the Speaker, Sir John Cust, was removed by death at the same moment, and Sir Fletcher Norton was elected in his place. On the 22nd of January, the same day that Sir Fletcher Norton was made Speaker of the House of Commons, the Marquis of Rockingham moved in the Lords for an inquiry into the state of the nation. The crumbling down of the Cabinet continued. James Grenville resigned; Dunning, the Solicitor-General, and General Conway, followed; and on the very day of Lord Rockingham's motion, the Duke of Grafton himself laid down the Seals. The whole of his administration had thus vanished, like a mere fog ministry, at the first reappearance of the luminary, Chatham.
A fresh war had broken out with us in India. Tippoo Sahib had resumed hostilities. He conceived the idea of obtaining the aid of an army from France, and of thus driving us, according to his vow, entirely out of India. He opened communications with M. du Fresne, the Governor of Pondicherry, which Britain had very imprudently restored to France at the peace after the American war. M. Leger, civil administrator in England, brought Tippoo's proposals to Paris. Louis replied to the proposal that the matter too keenly reminded him of the endeavour to destroy the power of Britain in America, in which advantage had been taken of his youth, and which he should never cease to regret. He had learned too deeply the severe retribution which the propagation of Republicanism had brought upon him. But, without waiting the arrival of the hoped-for French troops, Tippoo had broken into the territories of the British ally, the Rajah of Travancore, and by the end of 1789 had nearly overrun them. Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd, suddenly attacked by Tippoo with an overwhelming force, had been compelled to retire before him, with severe losses amongst his sepoys. But General Medows advanced from Trichinopoly with fifteen thousand men, and following nearly the route so splendidly opened up by Colonel Fullarton, took several fortresses. Tippoo retreated to his capital, Seringapatam; but there he again threatened Madras; and General Medows was compelled to make a hasty countermarch to prevent that catastrophe. In the meantime, General Abercrombie landed at Tellicherry with seven thousand five hundred men from the presidency of Bombay; took from the Mysoreans all the places which they had gained on the Malabar coast; restored the Hindoo Rajahs, who, in turn, helped him to expel the forces of Tippoo from the territories of the Rajah of Travancore, who was completely re-established. This was the result of the war up to the end of the year 1790; but Tippoo still menaced fresh aggressions.
As regards Dumesnils charges, the truth seems to be, that the financial managers of the colony, being ignorant and unpractised, had kept imperfect and confused accounts, which they themselves could not always unravel; and that some, if not all of them, had made illicit profits under cover of this confusion. That their stealings approached the enormous sum at which Dinesnil places them is not to be believed. But, even on the grossly improbable assumption of their entire innocence, there can be no apology for the means, subversive of all justice, by which Laval enabled his partisans and supporters to extricate themselves from embarrassment.Transplantation Of Feudalism.Precautions.Faith And Hope Age.The Seignior.The Censitaire.Royal Intervention.The Gentilhomme.Canadian Noblesse.
On any Monday morning one would have found the superior council in session in the antechamberBetter to die than wed: