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      They glanced sideways at the big Englishman, who appeared to be one of themselves, and at the little minister. On him, more especially on his hat, their eyes rested threateningly. They had heard of him before, most of them. They answered his genial greeting surlily, but he was quite unruffled. He beamed upon the room as he seated himself at one of the tables and ordered supper, for which, in obedience to a dirty sign upon the wall, he paid in advance.[See larger version]


      George had arrived in England from his German States on the 11th of November of the preceding year, 1719, and opened Parliament on the 23rd. In his speech he laid stress on the success of his Government in promoting the evacuation of Sicily and Sardinia by Spain, in protecting Sweden, and laying the foundation of a union amongst the great Protestant Powers of Europe. He then recurred to the subject of the Bill for limiting the peerage, which had been rejected in the previous Session. George was animated by the vehement desire to curtail the prerogative of his son, and said that the Bill was necessary to secure that part of the Constitution which was most liable to abuse. Lord Cowper declared, on the other hand, that besides the reasons which had induced him to oppose the measure before, another was now added in the earnestness with which it was recommended. But Cowper was not supported with any zeal by the rest of the House, and the Bill passed on the 30th of November, and was sent down to the House of Commons on the 1st of December. There it was destined to meet with a very different reception. During the recess Walpole had endeavoured to rouse a resistance to it in both Houses. He had convened a meeting of the Opposition Whigs at Devonshire House, and called upon them to oppose the measure; but he found that some of the Whig peers were favourable to it, from the perception that it would increase the importance of their order; others declared that it would be inconsistent in them to oppose a principle which they had so strenuously maintained against a Tory Ministrythat of discountenancing the sudden creation of peers for party purposes; and others, though hostile to the Bill, declared that they should only expose themselves to defeat by resisting it. But Walpole persisted in his opposition, and declared that, if his party deserted him, he would contend against the Bill single-handed. He asserted that it would meet with strong resistance from the country gentlemen who hoped some time or other to reach the peeragea hope which the Bill, if carried, would extinguish for ever.

      In 1821, 7,250,000 lbs. of coffee were consumed by fourteen millions of people in Great Britain. In 1824 the consumption of coffee in the United Kingdom was 8,250,000 lbs., and the duties wereon foreign coffee, 2s. 6d. per lb.; East India, 1s. 6d.; British West India, 1s. per lb. In the same year the consumption wasof foreign coffee, 1,540 lbs.; East India, 313,000 lbs.; West India, about 800,000 lbs. In the following year Mr. Huskisson reduced the duties on these several kinds to 1s. 3d., 9d., and 6d., respectively, which caused a rapid increase in the consumption. In 1840 the consumption wasof East and West India, 14,500,000 lbs.; and of foreign, 14,000,000 lbs. In 1841, 27,250,000 lbs. were consumed by eighteen and a half millions of people. The tea trade with China was used by the East India Company for the purpose of enriching itself by an enormous tax upon the British consumer. During one hundred years it ranged from 2s. to 4s. in the pound excise duty, with a customs duty of 14 per cent., down to a total minimum duty of 12? per cent. The former duty was estimated at 200 per cent. on the value of the common teas. The effect, as might be expected, was an enormous amount of smuggling. The monopoly of the Company was abolished; it was made lawful for any person to import tea by the Act 4 William IV., c. 85; and the trade was opened on the 22nd of April, 1834. The ad valorem duties were abolished, and all the Bohea tea imported for home consumption was charged with a customs duty of 1s. 6d. per lb.; Congou and other teas of superior quality were charged 2s. 2d. per lb., and some 3s. per lb. In 1836 these various duties gave place to a uniform one of 2s. 1d. per lb., which, with the addition of 5 per cent., imposed in 1840, continued till 1851, when the penny was removed. During the last year of restricted trade (1833) our aggregate importations amounted to 32,000,000 lbs.; during the first year of Free Trade, they bounded up to 44,000,000 lbs.; and in 1856 they had attained to 86,000,000 lbs. The average price of tea per lb., including duty, in 1834, was 4s. 4d. In 1821 the total quantity of tea imported into Great Britain was upwards of 31,000,000 lbs., and its value 1,873,886; in 1834 the quantity was about 35,000,000 lbs., and the value about 2,000,000. In 1837 the quantity was about 40,000,000 lbs.

      Cairness drew up his pinto pony in front of a group of log cabins, and, turning in his saddle, rested his hands upon the white and bay flanks. "Hullo-o-o!" he repeated.Coote landed at Madras at the beginning of November. A council was immediately called, Whitehill was removed from the government of the Presidency, and the member of Council next in seniority appointed. Coote had brought with him only five hundred British troops and six hundred Lascars. The whole force with which he could encounter Hyder amounted only to one thousand seven hundred Europeans and five thousand native troops. Coote, whose name as the conqueror of the French at Wandewash and Pondicherry struck terror into Hyder, soon resumed his triumphs on his old ground, driving the enemy from[331] Wandewash. Hearing then of the arrival of the French armament off Pondicherry, he marched thither, and posted himself on the Red Hills. The French fleet, consisting of seven ships of the line and four frigates, was anchored off the place. But the French squadron having sailed away for the Isle of France, from apprehension of the approach of a British fleet, Hyder retreated, and, entering the territory of Tanjore, laid it waste, while his son, Tippoo, laid siege again to Wandewash. Hyder was again encouraged to advance, and on the 6th of July, 1781, Coote managed to bring him to action near Porto Novo, and completely routed him and his huge host, though he had himself only about eight thousand men. Hyder retired quite crestfallen to Arcot, and ordered Tippoo to raise the siege of Wandewash.


      The objects of the Association were"1st, to forward petitions to Parliament; 2nd, to afford relief to Catholics assailed by Orange lodges; 3rd, to encourage and support a liberal and independent press, as well in Dublin as in Londonsuch a press as might report faithfully the arguments of their friends and refute the calumnies of their enemies; 4th, to procure cheap publications for the various schools in the country; 5th, to afford aid to Irish Catholics in America; and, 6th, to afford aid to the English Catholics." Such were the ostensible objects, but more was aimed at than is here expressed. The Association was formed on a plan different from other bodies in Ireland. It proposed to redress all grievances, local or general, affecting the people. It undertook as many questions as ever engaged the attention of a legislature. "They undertook," said the Attorney-General Plunket, "the great question of Parliamentary Reform; they undertook the repeal of the union; they undertook the regulation of Church property; they undertook the administration of justice. They intended not merely to consider the administration of justice, in the common acceptance of the term; but they determined on the visitation of every court, from that of the highest authority down to the court of conscience. They did not stop here. They were not content with an interference with courts; they were resolutely bent on interfering with the adjudication of every cause which affected the Catholics, whom they styled 'the people of Ireland.'"

      But besides nascent war, the Anti-Slavery movement of Wilberforce, Pitt's friend, was decidedly adverse to the expected increase of income. The Abolitionists had now begun to abandon the use of slave-grown sugar, and they proposed to extend this to all the produce of the West India islands, till the slave trade should be extirpated. This alarmed Pitt, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he prevailed on Wilberforce to discourage this project for awhile. The Abolition cause received serious injury from the frightful insurrection which had broken out in St. Domingo, and from the outrages which the insurgent blacks had perpetrated on the whites. Such were held up by the friends of slavery as the natural consequences of novel doctrines of philanthropy. What made[391] the matter more serious was, that Brissot and the worst of the Jacobins were the authors of these bloody tragedies, by their violent advocacy of the universal adoption of the Rights of Man. All these men were enthusiastic applauders of the English Abolitionists. Paine was a prominent Abolitionist; and Clarkson, the right hand of Wilberforce, was an equal admirer of the French Revolution, and gave serious offence by attending a dinner at the "Crown and Anchor," to celebrate the taking of the Bastille. These circumstances had a great effect when Wilberforce, on the 2nd of April, brought in his annual motion for the immediate abolition of the slave trade. Fox and Pitt eloquently supported him; but Dundas, now become Secretary of State, prevailed to introduce into the motion the words "gradual abolition." The Wilberforce party managed to carry a motion in the Commons, for the abolition of the trade to the West Indies, on the 1st of January, 1796; but this was thrown out in the Lords, where it was opposed by the Duke of Clarence, who had been in the West Indies, and thought the descriptions of the condition of the slaves overdrawn. It was also opposed by Thurlow, by Horsley, Bishop of St. Davids, and a considerable majority.

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      "To get out the bids." His courage was waxing a little.

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      But on the 15th of December, only eight days later, Lord Shelburne followed up the question by moving that the alarming additions annually made to the Debt, under the name of extraordinaries incurred in different services, demanded an immediate check; that the distresses of landed and mercantile interests made the strictest economy requisite, and that the expenditure of such large sums without grants from Parliament was an alarming violation of the Constitution. He showed that these expenses bore no proportion to those of any former wars as to the services performed for them, and stated plainly that the cause was notoriousthat the greater part of the money went into the pockets of the Ministers' contracting friends. Lord Shelburne's motion was also rejected. He then gave notice for a further motion of a like nature on the 8th of February.


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