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Buonaparte had arrived in Rochefort on the 3rd of Julyonly fifteen days after the battle of Waterloo. The two frigates provided by the Provisional Government to convey him to Americathe Saale and the Medusa, accompanied by the corvette Balladire and the large brig Epervierlay in the Aix roads; but Buonaparte was very sure that the British Government would not permit them to sail. That Government, anticipating such an event as the endeavour of Napoleon to make his escape to Americawhence he might watch his opportunity of once more renewing the troubles of the worldhad, immediately after the battle of Waterloo, placed no less than thirty vessels of different descriptions along the whole coast of France, from Ushant to Cape Finisterre, thus making it impossible for any vessel to pass out of a French port without undergoing the severest search. Napoleon thereupon embarking in a British frigate, the Bellerophon, wrote a theatrical letter, claiming the hospitality of the Prince Regent:

On Monday, the 18th of May, O'Connell took his seat under the gallery. Seldom, if ever before, were there in the House so many strangers, peers, or members. The adjourned debate was resumed, and it was resolved that he should be heard at[303] the bar. To the bar he then advanced, accompanied by his solicitor, Mr. Pierce Mahony, who supplied him with the books and documents, which had been arranged and marked to facilitate reference. His speech on that occasion is said to have been one of the most remarkable for ability and argument he ever delivered. It should be observed that his claim to enter the House without taking the oaths was supported from the first by the opinion of Mr. Charles Butler, an eminent English barrister, and a Roman Catholic; but law and precedent were against him, and he could not be admitted. The House ordered the Speaker to make out a new writ for Clare.

"Such is the extraordinary power of the Association, or, rather, of the agitators, of whom there are many of high ability, of ardent mind, of great daring (and if there was no Association, these men are now too well known not to maintain their power under the existing order of exclusion), that I am quite certain they could lead on the people to open rebellion at a moment's notice; and their organisation is such that in the hands of desperate and intelligent leaders they would be extremely formidable. The hope, and indeed the probability, of present tranquillity rests upon the forbearance and the not very determined courage of O'Connell, and on his belief, as well as that of the principal men amongst them, that they will carry their cause by unceasing agitation, and by intimidation, without coming to blows. I believe their success inevitable; that no power under heaven can arrest its progress. There may be rebellionyou may put to death thousandsyou may suppress it, but it will only be to put off the day of compromise; and, in the meantime, the country is still more impoverished, and the minds of the people are, if possible, still more alienated, and ruinous expense is entailed upon the empire. But supposing that the whole evil was concentred in the Association, and that, if that was suppressed, all would go smoothly, where is the man who can tell me how to suppress it? Many cry out that the nuisance must be abatedthat the Government is supinethat the insolence of the demagogues is intolerable; but I have not yet found one person capable of pointing out a remedy. All are mute when you ask them to define their proposition. All that even the most determined opposers to Emancipation say is, that it is better to leave things as they are than to risk any change. But will things remain as they are? Certainly not. They are bad; they must get worse; and I see no possible means of improving them but by depriving the demagogues of the power of directing the people; and by taking Messrs. O'Connell, Sheil, and the rest of them, from the Association, and placing them in the House of Commons, this desirable object would be at once accomplished. CHAPTER XXII. REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued). [473]

"Buckingham Palace,

The first thing which occupied the Government on the opening of the year 1779 were the trials of Keppel and Palliser. That of Keppel commenced on the 7th of January, and lasted till the 11th of February. The Court consisted of five admirals and eight captains; Sir Thomas Pye, Admiral of the White, being president. Keppel was acquitted, and pronounced to have behaved like a brave and experienced officer, and to have rendered essential service to the State. This sentence occasioned a wonderful rejoicing in the City, where Keppel's political principles prevailed. The portico of the Mansion House was illuminated two successive nights, and there were general illuminations throughout London and Westminster. It had been well had the demonstration ended there; but the mob took the opportunity of the guard which had been stationed before the house of Palliser in Pall Mall being withdrawn at midnight to smash in his windows, burst in the doors, and destroy his furniture. The work of destruction once begun was soon extended. The mob demolished the windows of Lord North and Lord George Germaine, as well as of the Admiralty, Government being looked upon as the real enemies of Keppel and accessories of Palliser. The next day, the 12th of February, Parliament and the City Corporation gave the most unmistakable sanction to these proceedings. Both Houses of Parliament voted thanks to Keppel: the Lords unanimously, the Commons with only one dissenting voice. The Court of Common Council not only voted thanks to Keppel, but presented him with the freedom of the City in a box of heart of oak, richly ornamented, and the City was more brilliantly illuminated than before, the Monument being decked out with coloured lamps. During the Republic of France, and in the worst times of Robespierre, the French had their Minister, M. Genet, in the United States, who excited the democrats to acts of hostility against Great Britain, and gave them French authority to seize and make prizes of British vessels at sea, though they were nominally at peace with England. And though Washington, then President, protested against these proceedings, the main body of the people were against him, and were supported in that spirit by Jefferson, who was Secretary of State. When Jefferson became President, in 1801, and Madison his Secretary of State, the hatred to Great Britain was carried to its extreme, and the friendship of Buonaparte was cultivated with the utmost zeal. When Jefferson was a second time President, in 1807, he violently resisted our right of search of neutral vessels, thus playing into the hands of Buonaparte and his Berlin Decree, in the hope of carrying on a large trade with the European Continent at our expense. Out of this arose the affair of the Leopard and the Chesapeake off the capes of Virginia, in which the Chesapeake, refusing to allow a search for British deserters, was attacked and taken. This put the whole of the democracy of America into a raging fury, though the boarding of the United States war-sloop, the Hornet, in the French port of L'Orient, for the same purpose, was passed over without a murmur. To prevent such collisions, Canning, on the part of the British Government, issued orders that search of war-ships should be discontinued. This, however, did not prevent Jefferson from making proclamations prohibiting British men-of-war from entering or remaining in American ports; and the utmost indignities were offered to all the officers and crews of our men-of-war who happened to be lying in American harbours. Moreover, Jefferson issued, in December, 1807, an embargo against all American vessels quitting their own ports, because if at sea they did not submit to be searched to ascertain whether they were carrying goods to French ports, they were treated as hostile by Great Britain, were attacked and seized. This was in retaliation of Buonaparte's Berlin Decree, and made necessary by it. On the other hand, Buonaparte seized any American or other vessel entering into any port of Europe under the power of France, which had submitted to search. To prevent this certain seizure of trading vessels, the embargo was issued, and all merchant vessels of all nations were prohibited from entering American ports. A more[34] suicidal act than this could not be conceived, and the people of the United States soon complained loudly of the consequences. In 1809, Madison succeeding Jefferson in the Presidency, and Buonaparte having now rendered matters worse by his Milan Decree, besides his Berlin one, Madison abolished the general embargo with all nations except France and Great Britain, and declared this, too, at an end, whenever either or both of these nations withdrewthe one its Decrees and the other its Orders in Council. But in 1810 Madison declared that France had withdrawn its Decrees so far as America was concerned; though this was notoriously untrue. Numbers of American vessels continued to be seized in French ports, though the United States Government dared not complain, nor did they ever recover any compensation from Napoleon; it was from Louis Philippe that they first obtained such compensation, and, curiously enough, through the friendly intervention of Great Britain.

At the same unfortunate juncture, the king[196] insisted on Lord North demanding from Parliament half a million for the liquidation of his debts, though he possessed a civil list of eight hundred thousand a-year. Simple as were the habits of George and his queen, the most reckless disregard of economy was practised in his household. No means were taken to check the rapacity of his tradesmen, and it was shown that even for the one item of the royal coach, in 1762, there had been charged seven thousand five hundred and sixty-two pounds! The Commons voted the half million, the public grumbled, and the popularity of Wilkes, the great champion of reform, rose higher than ever. A fourth time the freeholders of Middlesex nominated him as their candidate; and on this occasion a fresh Government nominee presented himself. This was Colonel Henry Lawes Luttrell. Two other candidates, encouraged by Luttrell's appearance, came forward; and on the 13th of April the list of the poll, which had gone off quietly, showed Wilkes one thousand one hundred and forty-three; Luttrell, two hundred and ninety-six; Whitaker, five; and Roach, none.

At an early hour a crowd was assembled at the queen's residence in South Audley Street. Lady Anne Hamilton, "faithful found among the faithless, faithful only she," arrived a few minutes before five o'clock. Soon afterwards the gate was thrown open, and a shout was raised, "The queen! the queen!" She appeared in her state coach, drawn by six bays, attended by Lady Hood and Lady Anne Hamilton, Lord Hood following in his own carriage. Having arrived at Dean's Yard Gate, it was found that the entrance for persons of rank was Poet's Corner; thither the coachman went, but there he found there was no thoroughfare. After several stoppages she was conducted to the Poet's Corner, and arriving at the place where the tickets were received, Lord Hood demanded admission for the queen. The doorkeeper said that his instructions were to admit no person without a peer's ticket. Lord Hood asked, "Did you ever hear of a queen being asked for a ticket before? This is your queen. I present to you your queen. Do you refuse her admission?" She also said that she was his queen, and desired permission to pass. The doorkeeper answered that his orders were peremptory. Lord Hood then tendered one ticket which he had, and asked the queen whether she would enter alone. After a short consultation she declined, and it was resolved that, having been refused admission to the cathedral church of Westminster, she should return to her carriage. As she quitted the spot, some persons in the doorway laughed derisively, and were rebuked by Lord Hood for their unmannerly and unmanly conduct.

Napoleon also exerted himself to excite a rebellion in Ireland. He was the more bent on this, because he saw that it was hopeless to make a direct descent on England itself. He had collected a great fleet in the harbours of Boulogne, Dieppe, Havre, Dunkirk, Ostend, and other smaller ports, many of them capable only of receiving the gunboats in which he proposed to transport his soldiers. He had assembled a very fine army on the heights above Boulogne, called the Army of England, and there continually exercised it, under the inspection of Soult, Ney, Davoust, and Victormen, the pride of his army; but he saw such powerful fleets crowding the Channel, blockading his very ports, cutting out, every now and then, some of his gunboats under the very batteries, and the war-ships of Britain even standing in and firing at him and his suite as they made observations from the cliffs, that, combined with the information that England was almost all one camp, he abandoned the project, for the present, in despair. But Ireland he deemed vulnerable, from the treason of her own children. He assembled all the Irish refugees in Paris, formed the Irish Brigade into the Irish Legion, and sent over active agents to arouse their countrymen in Ireland. Amongst these were Quigley and Robert Emmett, who had been engaged in the Rebellion of 1798. Quigley had been outlawed, and Emmett had been so deeply implicated in that Rebellion with his brother Thomas, who was banished, that he had found it necessary to quit the country. These emissaries soon collected around them, in Dublin, disaffected associates, amongst them being Dowdall, Redmond, and Russell. They formed a central committee, and corresponded with others in different towns, and especially with one Dwyer, who had also been in the former Rebellion, and had ever since maintained himself and a knot of desperate followers in the mountains of Wicklow. The Government received, from time to time, information of the proceedings of these foolish menEmmett being a rash youth of only twenty-two or twenty-three years of agebut they took no precautions; and when, on the 23rd of July, the eve of the Festival of St. James, these desperadoes rushed, at evening, into the streets of Dublin, armed with pikes, old guns, and blunderbusses, the authorities were taken entirely by surprise. There were from two thousand to three thousand soldiers in the Castle, but neither police, soldier, nor officer appeared till the mob had murdered Colonel Brown, who was hastening to the Castle to arouse the troops, and Lord Kilwarden, the Chief Justice, whom they dragged from his carriage as it passed, and killed, along with his nephew, but, at the same time, they allowed the Chief Justice's daughter, who was with them, to depart. Soon after thisbut not before the insurgents had severely wounded a Mr. Clarke, a manufacturer, who was riding to alarm the Castlethe soldiers appeared, and the mob fled at their very sight. The same day Russell had turned out at Belfast, and Quigley at Kildare, but with as little success. Emmett had escaped to the Wicklow mountains to join Dwyer; but having assumed the fatal disguise of French officers, the country people, who hated the French since their appearance under General Humbert, when they had ridiculed the Catholic religion, drove him and twelve of his companions back. In a short time, Emmett, Russell, Redmond, and others were all secured and executed. Dowdall escaped, with Allen and others, out of Ireland; Quigley and Stafford, one of his companions, were admitted as king's evidence, and thus escaped. The project of Napoleon had thus entirely failed, with the sacrifice of some of his leading agents.