[See larger version]

When the committee on the petitions next met, on the 10th of April, Dunning, elated with his success, was ready with fresh resolutions. His first was that it was necessary for the purity and independence of Parliament that the proper officer should, within ten days of the meeting of Parliament in each Session, lay before the House an account of moneys paid out of the Civil List, or out of any part of the public revenue, to any member of Parliament. This, too, was triumphantly carried, only to be followed by another from Dunning, that the persons holding the offices of Treasurer of the Chamber, Treasurer of the Household, or clerkships of the Green Cloth, with all their deputies, should be incapable of sitting in the House of Commons. Here the[266] confounded Ministerial members began to recover their spirit under the sweeping sentences passed against them, and Dunning only carried this resolution by a majority of two. Either they thought they had done enough by their late votes to satisfy their constituents, or Ministers had found means to render them obedient by menacing losses from their side, for when Dunning proposed a resolution that his Majesty should be requested not to dissolve or prorogue Parliament until proper measures had been taken to secure to the people the benefits prayed for in their petitions, the motion was rejected by a majority of fifty-one in a very full House. Fox and Dunning vented their indignation at this result on the Ministerial phalanx, whom they declared to be the worst of slavesslaves sold by themselves into the most contemptible thraldom. But their castigation was in vain; the troop was brought back to its primitive compliance, and defeated every future motion from the Opposition. When Parliament reassembled, Fox seized the very earliest moment to address the Chair and occupy the attention of the House. He rose at the unusually early hour of half-past two o'clock in the day, before the newly returned members had taken their oaths. Pitt himself was in this predicament, but, as soon as he had taken his oath, he rose to speak; but Fox contended that he was already in possession of the House, and, though Pitt announced that he had a message from the king, Fox persisted, and moved that the House should go into committee on the state of the nation. This allowed Pitt to speak, who declared that he had no objection to the committee; but he thought it more advisable to go into the question of India, on which subject he proposed to introduce a Bill. He then made some sharp remarks on the conduct of Fox in thus seizing, by artifice, a precedence in speaking, and on the petulance and clamour which the Opposition had displayed, and on the violent and unprecedented nature of their conduct, by which they hoped to inflame the spirit of the country and excite unnecessary jealousies. In truth, Fox and his party were now running a most unwise career. Possessed of a large majority, they were indignant that the king should have dismissed them, and thought that they could outvote the new Ministry, and drive them again from office. They had, no doubt, such a majority; but, at the same time, they had the king resolute against them. They had insulted him by their violent denunciations of his letter, and they had not, in their anger, the discernment to perceive that not only would this be made use of by their opponents to injure them, both in Parliament and out of it, but their proceeding with so much heat and violence was calculated to make them appear factiousmore concerned for their places than for the interests of the country. All this took place; the king and Ministry saw how all this would operate, and calmly awaited its effects. Fox and his party were, however, blind to the signs of the times, and carried no less than five resolutions against the Government.

During the recess of Parliament, a dispute occurred with Spain regarding the Falkland Islands, which led to the very verge of war. In 1764 the French, under Bougainville, made a settlement on Falkland Sound; but Spain putting in a claim that these isles were part of her South American territory, Choiseul, the French Minister, abandoned the settlement, and the Spaniards changed its name from Port Louis to Port Soledad. The very next year, 1765, Commodore Byron was sent to form a settlement on another of the islands, which he named Port Egmont, in honour of Lord Egmont, First Lord of the Admiralty. Such were the distant islets to which, in 1769, Spain began to assert her claim. The Governor of Port Soledad sent repeated messages to Captain Hunt, of the Tamar, stationed at Port Egmont, requiring the abandonment of the place. When the notices were succeeded by threats, Captain Hunt sailed home to lay the matter before his Government. He landed at Portsmouth in June, 1770, and made known the Spanish interference to the Cabinet. Meanwhile, the Spaniards, taking advantage of Hunt's absence, had, about the time that he arrived in England, dispatched to the Falklands Buccarelli, the Governor of Buenos Ayres, with five frigates and one thousand six hundred men. Having entered the port on pretence of wanting water, and finding the Tamar absent, and only two armed sloops there, and a mere handful of soldiers, Buccarelli landed his force, and, after the firing of a few shots for form's sake, the English surrendered, and were permitted to depart with all the honours of war.

ATTACK ON THE ROYAL CARRIAGE. (See p. 448.) Signing the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission at Tanfield, Edinburgh, May 23rd, 1843.

Wellington was therefore on the point of entering Paris when, on the same day, the 3rd, he received a flag of truce from the Provisional Government, asking for a military convention between the armies at St. Cloud. This was accepted, and one English and one Prussian officer met three French officers, and the convention was concluded by the agreement that the French army should retire behind the river Loire, and that the Allies should be put in peaceable possession of Paris, with all the defences on the Montmartre side of the city, as well as every other. This convention was signed the next day by Wellington, Blucher, and Davoust, and, according to its stipulation, the French troops evacuated Paris, and marched towards the Loire. Ney and Labdoyre made their exit from the city, knowing that they would be arrested by Louis XVIII., if possible.

The French army in Spain numbered more than two hundred thousand men, and of these more than one hundred and thirty thousand lay in the provinces bordering on Portugal, or between it and Madrid. Victor had thirty-five thousand in Estremadura; and close behind him, in La Mancha, Sebastiani had twenty thousand more. Northward, in Old Castile, Leon, and Asturias, Kellermann and Bonnet had ten thousand. Soult, in Galicia, was joined by Ney and Mortier, making his army again upwards of fifty thousand, with whom he contemplated returning into Portugal. General Dessolles had fifteen thousand men at Madrid to protect the intrusive King Joseph; and Suchet and Augereau, in Aragon and Catalonia, commanded fifty thousand. Almost all the strong fortresses in the country were in their hands. The only circumstances favourable to the Allies were that the French generals were at variance amongst themselves; that none of them paid any deference to the commands of King Joseph, who was nominally generalissimo; and that the Spaniards were, everywhere where woods and mountains favoured them, harassing the French in a manner that made them very sick of the country, and that often reduced them to a state of severe privation.

These defeats, which were gradually hemming Napoleon round by his enemies in Dresden, were the direct result of the active aid of Great Britain to the Allies. Sir Charles Stewart, the brother of Lord Castlereagh, had been dispatched to the headquarters of the Allies. By means of the abundant supplies of arms and money, the population of Hanover was raised; Bernadotte was kept firm to his support of the Coalition; and, by Sir Charles, he was also urged to march on Leipsic, and be present at the final conflict. Brigadier-General Lyon was sent to head the troops in Hanover; and the Duke of Cambridge to conduct the civil government of the country. Money was supplied in abundance, in addition to military stores. Two millions were advanced to the Crown Prince of Sweden for his army, two millions more to the Russians and Prussians, and another half million to Russia to equip its fleet in the Baltic. Without these vast supplies the combined armies could not have kept their ground.

The Marquis of Ely " " 45,000