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Mr. Lamb, the Chief Secretary, wrote to Mr. Peel to the same effect. The Act, he said, had failed in fulfilling its main object, as well as every other advantageous purpose. To re-enact it would irritate all parties, and expose the Ministry to odium. He alluded to sources of dissension that were springing up in the Roman Catholic body, particularly the jealousy excited in the Roman Catholic prelates by the power which the Association had assumed over the parochial clergy. On the whole, his advice was against renewing the Statute. On the 12th of April Lord Anglesey wrote a memorandum on the subject, in which he pointed out the impolicy of any coercive measure, which, to be effective, must interfere with the right of public meeting, and make a dangerous inroad on the Constitution, at the same time displaying the weakness of the Government, which is shown in nothing more than passing strong measures which there was not vigour to enforce. His information led him to believe that the higher orders of the Roman Catholic clergy had long felt great jealousy of the ascendency that the leaders of the Association had assumed over the lower priesthood. Besides, many of the most respectable of the Catholic landlords were irritated at their tenantry for continuing to pay the Catholic rent, contrary to their injunctions; and sooner or later he believed the poorer contributors must consider the impost as onerous, arbitrary, and oppressive. These matters he regarded as seeds of dissolution, which would be more than neutralised by any coercive attempt to put down the Association. He felt confident that no material mischief could result from allowing the Act quietly to expire, supported as the Government was by "the powerful aid of that excellent establishment, the constabulary force, already working the greatest[270] benefit, and capable of still further improvement, and protected as this force was by an efficient army, ably commanded."

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By the marvellous aids of canals and steam-engines manufacturing power became most immensely augmented in all directions, but especially in the spinning and weaving of cotton goods. The machines invented by Wyatt and Paul in 1733, and improved by Arkwright in 1767, if not invented anew, without knowledge of Wyatt and Paul's plan of spinning by rollersa moot point; the spinning-jenny with seven spindles, invented by James Hargreaves, a weaver near Blackburn, in 1767; and the mule-jenny, combining the working of the machines of Arkwright and Hargreaves, by Samuel Crompton, in 1779, completely superseded spinning cotton yarn by hand. These machines were first worked by water power, but steam power was used after the steam-engine had been invented; and the growth of cotton-spinning became rapid beyond conception, spreading over all Lancashire and the midland counties in a marvellous manner. The cotton-mills of Robert Peel, in Lancashire and Staffordshire; of the Strutts, at Belper, in Derbyshire; of Dale, at New Lanark; of Robinson, at Papplewick; and Arkwright, at Cromford, which raised these gentlemen to vast wealth, being only the leviathans amongst swarming concerns of less dimensions.

At length, after every clause of the Bill, and every word and every place in each of the schedules had been the subjects of all possible motions and discussionsafter a warfare which, for animosity and duration, was unparalleled in our Parliamentary history, the Bill was read a third time on the 21st of September, and passed by a majority of 109, the numbers being 345 to 236. The result was received with loud and long-continued cheering by the Reformers in the House. The anxious and impatient multitude in the streets caught up the sounds of triumph with exultant enthusiasm; the acclamations of all classes of the people rang throughout the agitated metropolis. The news spread like wildfire through the country, and was everywhere received with ringing of bells and other demonstrations of joy. As soon as the Bill passed an illumination of London was proposed, and an application was made to the Lord Mayor, in order to obtain his sanction, which was granted. The illumination was extensive, and those who refused to comply had their windows broken by the populace. In many places the people, whose patience had been so severely tested, began to lose their self-control, and were betrayed into riotous conduct. Mr. Macaulay, and other leading Reformers in Parliament, had warned the Opposition of this danger, and it turned out that their apprehensions were not altogether visionary. Ireland continued, during 1831 and 1832, in a very unsettled state. The restraint imposed by the Catholic Association during the Emancipation struggle was relaxed when the object was attained, and when Mr. O'Connell was absent from the country, attending his Parliamentary duties. The consequence was that the people, suffering destitution in some cases and in others irritated by local grievances, gave vent to their passions in vindictive and barbarous outrages. O'Connell himself was not in a mood to exert himself much in order to produce a more submissive spirit in the peasantry, even if he had the power. He was exasperated by his collisions with Mr. Stanley, by whom he was treated in a spirit of defiance, not unmingled with scorn; so that the great agitator was determined to make him and the Government feel his power. Had Mr. Stanley when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland possessed the experience that he afterwards acquired when he became Earl of Derby, he would have adopted a more diplomatic tone in Parliament, and a more conciliatory spirit in his Irish administration. His character as it appeared to the Irish Roman Catholics, sketched by O'Connell, was a hideous caricature. A more moderate and discriminating Irish sketch of him by Mr. Fitzpatrick represented the Chief Secretary as possessing a judgment of powerful penetration and a facility in mastering details, with a temper somewhat reserved and dictatorial. Popularity was not his idol; instead of the theatrical smile and plastic posture of his predecessors, there was a knitted brow and a cold manner. Mr. Stanley left much undone in Ireland. But this candid Catholic writer gives him credit for having accomplished much, not only in correcting what was evil, but in establishing what was good. He is praised for putting down Orange processions, and for "the moral courage with which he grappled with the hydra of the Church Establishment." He created as well as destroyed, and "his creations were marked with peculiar efficiency." "The Irish Board of Works sprang up under his auspices. The Shannon navigation scheme at last became a reality, and the proselytism of the Kildare Place Society received a fatal check by the establishment of the national system of education. The political philippics which Baron Smith had been in the habit of enunciating from the Bench were put a stop to by Mr. Stanley. He viewed the practice with indignation, and trenchantly reprobated it in the House of Commons. It ought to be added that Mr. Stanley built a house in Tipperary, chiefly with the object of giving employment to the poor." It has been often remarked that the Chief Secretary for Ireland, on his arrival in Dublin, is always surrounded by men each of whom has his peculiar specific for the evils of the country. But Mr. Sheil said that Mr. Stanley, instead of listening to such counsel with the usual "sad civility, invariably intimated with some abrupt jeer, bordering on mockery, his utter disregard of the advice, and his very slender estimate of the adviser." Mr. Stanley made an[355] exception, however, in favour of the then celebrated "J. K. L." He acknowledged a letter from Dr. Doyle, on the education question, with warm expressions of thanks for the suggestions contained in it, and a wish to see him on his arrival in Dublin. Towards O'Connell, however, Mr. Stanley seems to have cherished a strong antipathy. They exercised mutual repulsion upon one another, and they never came into contact without violent irritation.

In Ireland the administration of the law was becoming daily more difficult. Mr. Steele and Mr. O'Gorman Mahon were magistrates, and yet they were actively engaged in exciting the people to the very highest pitch, and urging them to defy the constituted authorities. On a day when a riot was expected at Ennis, county Clare, and the high sheriff made preparations to prevent it, both these gentlemen appeared there, decorated with the order of "Liberators," and followed by a mob. Mr. O'Gorman Mahon held very improper language to the high sheriff in presence of the troops. All this was certified to by sixteen magistrates, and by the commanding officer; yet Lord Anglesey, with the advice of the Lord Chancellor, decided on not depriving them of the commission of the peace. This conduct greatly disappointed the Duke of Wellington, and on the 11th of November he wrote a strong letter to him, in which he said: "I cannot express to you adequately the extent of the difficulties which these and other occurrences in Ireland create in all discussions with his Majesty. He feels that in Ireland the public peace is violated every day with impunity by those whose duty it is to preserve it; that a formidable conspiracy exists; and that the supposed conspiratorsthose whose language and conduct point them out as the principal agitators of the countryare admitted to the presence of his Majesty's representative, and equally well received with the king's most loyal subjects." The Duke also, as we have already observed, strongly censured the conduct of the Viceroy and the Lord Chancellor for visiting Lord Cloncurry, a member of the Association, remarking, "The doubts which are entertained respecting the loyalty of the Roman Catholic Association, the language which has been held there respecting the king himself, his Royal Family, the members of his Government, your colleagues in office, and respecting nearly every respectable member of society, and the unanimously expressed detestation of the violence of the Association, might be deemed reasons for omitting to encourage any of its members by the countenance or favour of the king's representative."

On the return of the king and Carteret, Parliament was opened on the 1st of December. The first trial of the Opposition was on the Address, on which occasion its real strength was not called forth, and this was carried by two hundred and seventy-eight votes against one hundred and forty-nine. But the subject of Hanoverian troops and Hanoverian measures soon displayed its extent and virulence. There was a vehement feeling against everything relating to Hanover, and Pitt lost no time in denouncing Carteret and his measures in the most bitter terms. Pitt's thunder was echoed by others, and the scene in the Commons was described by a spectator as like nothing but a tumultuous Polish Diet. Such was the ferment amid which opened the year 1744, and it soon became evident that the existence of the country was at stake. Preparations had been making for the invasion of England for some time. Cardinal Tencin, the new French Minister, sent Murray of Broughton to James in Rome, to desire him to send his eldest son, Prince Charles, to France to be in readiness for the campaign[87] in England, and in due course the Young Pretender arrived at Gravelines.

The affairs of Ireland had been entrusted in the House of Commons to the vigorous hands of Mr. Stanley (afterwards Earl of Derby), who had been sent over as Chief Secretary with Lord Anglesey, and whom, from his firmness in administering the law, Mr. O'Connell denounced as "scorpion Stanley." On the 24th of March Mr. Stanley moved the first reading of the Bill to amend the representation of Ireland. A long and a violent debate ensued, in which Ireland was not so much thought of as the vast general interests involved in the impending revolution. In the meantime Ministers had done what they could to make the king comfortable with regard to his revenue. They proposed 510,000 a year for the Civil List, instead of 498,480, as recommended by the committee, while the liberal jointure of 100,000 a year was settled upon Queen Adelaide. This gratified his Majesty in the highest degree, and reconciled him to the dissolution, his decision being hastened by the attempt of the Tories to stop supplies. When the royal carriages were not ready to take him to the House of Lords, the king said, "Then call a hackney coach."

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Thus this mighty armadaof which such high things were expectedwas dispersed; Rodney, sending part of his fleet to Jamaica, proceeded to join Arbuthnot at New York, with eleven ships of the line and four frigates. The news of his approach reached the French and Americans there, at the same time as that of the return of De Guichen to Europe, and spread the greatest consternation. To consider what was best to do in the circumstances, a meeting was proposed at Hartford, in Connecticut, between Washington and Rochambeau, which took place on the 21st of September. At this moment a discovery took place which had a startling effect on the Americans, and was calculated to inspire the most gloomy views of their condition. General Arnold, who had fought his way up from the humble station of a horse-dealer to that which he now held, had, on all occasions, shown himself an officer of the most daring and enterprising character. Having been appointed military governor of Philadelphia, after its evacuation by General Clinton in 1778, as a post where he might recover from the severe wounds which he had received in the recent campaign, he began a style of living much too magnificent for his finances, for, with all his abilities, Arnold was a vain and extravagant man. He married a beautiful young lady of that city of Royalist origin. Rumours to his disadvantage were soon afloat, originating in this cause, for whatever he did was regarded by the staunch Whigs with an unfavourable eye. Congress was the more ready to listen to charges against him, because, involved himself in debts incurred by his extravagance, he pressed them for large claims upon them, which they had no means to satisfy. Commissioners were selected by them to examine his claims, and these men, appointed for their hard, mean natures, reduced his demands extremely. Arnold uttered his indignation at such treatment in no measured terms, and the consequence was that he was arrested, tried by a court-martial, on various charges of peculation in his different commands, and for extortion on the citizens of Philadelphia. Some of these were declared groundless, but others were pronounced to be proved, and Arnold was condemned to be reprimanded by the Commander-in-Chief. This put the climax to his wrath. Washington, who had, in Arnold's opinion, been as unjustly exalted and favoured for his defeats and delays, as he himself had been envied and repressed for his brilliant exploits, was of all men the one from whom he could not receive with patience a formal condemnation. This sentence was carried into effect in January, 1779, and Arnold, stung to the quick, was prepared to perpetrate some desperate design. The opportunity came when he was placed in command of West Point, on the Hudson, which was the key to all intercourse between the Northern and Southern States.