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    "May 10th, 1839.
    [282] The war in Germany grew more and more bloody. Russia and Austria came down upon Frederick this year with great forces. Daun entered Saxony; Laudohn and Soltikow, Silesia. Laudohn defeated Fouqu at Landshut, and took the fortress of Glatz, and compelled Frederick, though hard pressed by Daun, to march for Silesia. The month was July, the weather so hot that upwards of a hundred of his soldiers fell dead on the march. Daun followed him, watching his opportunity to fall upon him when engaged with other troops, but on the way Frederick heard of the defeat of Fouqu and the fall of Glatz, and suddenly turned back to reach Dresden before Daun, and take the city by storm; but as Daun was too expeditious for him, and Maguire, the governor, an Irishman, paid no heed to his demands for surrender, Frederick, who had lately been so beautifully philosophising on the inhumanities of men, commenced a most ferocious bombardment, not of the fortress but of the town. He burnt and laid waste the suburbs, fired red-hot balls into the city to burn it all down, demolished the finest churches and houses, and crushed the innocent inhabitants in their flaming and falling dwellings, till crowds rushed from the place in desperation, rather facing his ruthless soldiers than the horrors of his bombardment.
    The Premier was at this time subjected to a great mortification in being compelled by the House of Commons, and public opinion out of doors, to cancel the appointment of the Marquis of Londonderry as ambassador to St. Petersburg. A deep sympathy with the oppressed Poles, and an abhorrence of the unrelenting despotism of Russia pervaded the public mind in the United Kingdom. The Marquis of Londonderry had distinguished himself by sympathies of an opposite kind, and had characterised the Poles as the Czar's rebellious subjects. It was generally felt that England could not be fairly represented at the Court of St. Petersburg by a man of such well-known sentiments. The press was loud in its condemnation of the appointment, and Mr. Sheil brought the subject before the House of Commons by moving that an Address be presented to his Majesty for a copy of the appointment. As Lord Stanley declared emphatically against the selection of the noble marquis for such a mission, it was evident that if Government had gone to a division they would have been defeated. Sir Robert Peel therefore gave way with a good grace, stating that the appointment had not been formally made out; and though the House seemed to be interfering unduly with the Royal Prerogative, he would not advise his Majesty to persist in it. The motion was then withdrawn, and when Lord Londonderry read the report of the debate in the papers next day, he immediately sent in his resignation. In announcing this in the House of Peers, he said: "Having but one object, and that to serve the king honestly and to the best of my ability, were I to depart from this country after what has passed in the House of Commons, I should feel myself, as a representative of his Majesty, placed in a new, false, and improper position. My efficiency would be impaired, and it would be impossible for me to fill the office to which I have been called with proper dignity or effect. Upon these grounds, I have now to announce that no consideration will induce me to accept the office which his Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer on me."
    BY THOMAS DAVIDSON.
    General Montgomery reached the St. Lawrence, and detached six hundred men to invest Fort Chambly, situated on the river Sorel, about five miles above Fort St. John. The menaced condition of Quebec compelled General Carleton to abandon Montreal to its fate, and to hasten to the capital, and Montgomery immediately took possession of it. So far all succeeded with the American expedition. Carleton, to reach Quebec, had to pass through the American forces on the St. Lawrence. He went in disguise, and dropped down the river by night, with muffled oars, threading the American craft on the river, and so reached Quebec alone, but in safety. Montgomery was determined to fall down the St. Lawrence too, to support Arnold; but his position was anything but enviable. He had been obliged to garrison Forts Chambly and St. John's, and he was now compelled to leave another garrison at Montreal. This done, he had only four hundred and fifty men left, and they were in the most discontented and insubordinate condition. As he proceeded, therefore, he found them fast melting away by desertion; and, had he not soon fallen in with Arnold and his band at Point aux Trembles, he would have found himself alone.
    On the 12th of March, 1839, Mr. Villiers again moved for a committee of the whole House to take into consideration the Act regulating the importation of foreign corn, and the Manchester delegates were once more in London to watch the progress of events. On this occasion the House again decided, by 342 votes to 195, not to take the subject into consideration. The defeat was of course expected; but the members of the Association immediately assembled again, and issued an address to the public, in which for the first time they recommended the formation of a permanent union, to be called the Anti-Corn Law League, and to be composed of all the towns and districts represented in the delegation, and as many others as might be induced to form Anti-Corn Law associations, and to join the League. Delegates from the different local associations were to meet for business from time to time at the principal towns represented; but in order to secure unity of action, it was proposed that the central office of the League should be established at Manchester, and that to its members should be entrusted the duties of engaging lecturers, obtaining the co-operation of the public press, establishing and conducting a stamped periodical publication, and keeping up a constant correspondence with the local associations. The delegates then parted, becoming so many local missionaries for spreading the doctrines of the new crusade. The Manchester Association had issued a large number of handbills and placards. It now began to publish more largely and systematically a series of pamphlets. Among these were "Facts for Farmers," in which it was shown to demonstration that, whatever might be the interest of the landowners, their tenants had no real share in the benefits of their monopoly. The cheapness of the publications secured them an extraordinary sale wherever political questions were discussed. Mr. Villiers's speech, extending to thirty-two closely printed pages, was sold at three halfpence; Mr. Poulett Thomson's speech, occupying sixteen pages, at three farthings. When the appeals were made to the electors of the kingdom during the height of the agitation, as many as half a million each of the more popular tracts were issued at a time. In accordance with the resolution passed by the League at its formation in London, a fortnightly organ of the new movement was started on the 16th of April. Its title was the Anti-Corn Law Circular. A preliminary address announced that a copy of the paper would be regularly forwarded to every newspaper, review, and magazine in the empire. The first number contained a "Modern History of the Corn Laws," by Richard Cobden, with various information on the progress of the movement. Meanwhile the work of lecturing went on. Free Trade missionaries were dispatched to all parts, and, to the annoyance of the landlords, even preached their obnoxious doctrines to audiences in smock frocks in the agricultural towns and villages, where the views of the country party had hitherto held undisputed sway. Among the most remarkable of these speakers was Colonel Perronet Thompson, who, by his celebrated "Catechism of the Corn Laws," and his other writings, had done perhaps more than any other man of his time to confute the fallacies of the Protectionist party. The clear and terse style, the shrewd reasoning power, the apt and homely illustration, and, above all, the hearty sincerity and good temper of this remarkable man, were equally acceptable among the most refined or the least educated audiences.

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    At this crisis George Grenville brought in and carried through a measure, which showed how useful he might have been, had he never been raised out of his proper element to rule and alienate colonies. He was now fast sinking into the grave, though but fifty-eight years of age. This measure was a bill to transfer the trial of controverted elections from the whole House of Commons to a select Committee of it. Ever since the famous Aylesbury case, the whole House had taken the charge of examining all petitions against the return of candidates and deciding them. This was a great obstruction of business; and Grenville now proposed to leave the inquiry and decision to the select Committee, which was to be composed of fifteen members of the House, thirteen of whom were to be chosen by the contesting claimants for the seat, out of a list of forty-five, elected by ballot from the whole House. The other two were to be named, one each, by the contesting candidates. The Committee was empowered to examine papers, call and swear witnesses, and, in fact, to exercise all the authority previously wielded by the whole House. It was opposed by Welbore Ellis, Rigby, Dyson, and Charles James Fox, not yet broken from his office shell into a full-fledged patriot. It was, however, carried, and being supported in the Lords by Lord Mansfield, who on this occasion manifested an unusual disregard of his party principles, it was passed there too.

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    A combination of circumstances invested the accession on the 20th of June, of the Princess Victoria, with peculiar interest. She was the third female Sovereign called to occupy the throne since the Reformation; and like those of Elizabeth and Anne, her reign has served to mark an era in British history. The novelty of a female Sovereign, especially one so young, had a charm for all classes in society. The superior gifts and the amiable disposition of the Princess, the care with which she had been educated by her mother, and all that had been known of her private life and her favourite pursuits, prepared the nation to hail her accession with sincere acclamations. There was something which could not fail to excite the imagination and touch the heart, in seeing one who in a private station would be regarded as a mere girl, just old enough to come out into society, called upon to assume the sceptre of the greatest empire in the world, and to sit upon one of the oldest thrones, receiving the willing homage of statesmen and warriors who had been historic characters for half a century. We are not surprised, therefore, to read that the mingled majesty and grace with which she assumed her high functions excited universal admiration, and "drew tears from many eyes which had not been wet for half a lifetime;" and that warriors trembled with emotion, who had never known fear in the presence of the enemy. When the ceremony of taking the oath of allegiance had been gone through, her Majesty addressed the Privy Council:"The severe and afflicting loss which the nation has sustained by the death of his Majesty, my beloved uncle, has devolved upon me the duty of administering the government of this empire. This awful responsibility is imposed upon me so suddenly, and at so early a period of my life, that I should feel myself utterly oppressed by the burden, were I not sustained by the hope that Divine Providence, which has called me to this work, will give me strength for the performance of it; and that I shall find in the purity of my intentions, and in my zeal for the public welfare, that support and those resources which usually belong to a more mature age and to long experience. I place my firm reliance upon the wisdom of Parliament, and upon the loyalty and affection of my people."

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    THE FUSILIERS AT ALBUERA. (See p. 18.)

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    Whilst the debate was proceeding, great crowds gathered round the House, and became even more numerous and more agitated. Walpole, irritated by the persuasion that these throngs were collected by the arts of the Opposition, threw out a remark which he afterwards deeply repented. He said gentlemen might call themselves what they liked, but he knew whom the law called "Sturdy Beggars." This phrase, carried out of doors, highly incensed the crowd, who considered that it was meant to cast contempt on the people at large. At two o'clock in the morning, and after thirteen hours' debate, on division there appeared two hundred and sixty-six for the measure, and two hundred and five against. The great increase of the minority struck Walpole with surprise and alarm.

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    Napoleon, reinforced by a number of French, Bavarian, Würtemberg, and Saxon troops, moved off to attack the Allies at Bautzen, on the 19th of May. He had detached Lauriston and Ney towards Berlin to rout Bülow, but they were stopped by Barclay de Tolly and Yorck at K?nigswartha and at Weissig, and compelled to retreat. On the 21st Ney combined with Napoleon, and they made a united attack on Blucher's position on the fortified heights of Klein and Klein-Bautzen. In this battle German fought against German, the Bavarians against Bavarians, for they took both sides, such was the dislocated state of the nation. It was not till after a long and desperately-fought battle that the Allies were compelled to give ground, and then they retired, without the loss of a single gun, and posted themselves strongly behind the fortress of Schweidnitz, so famous in the campaigns of Frederick of Prussia.

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    Alberoni, though defeated at sea, was more successful in Sicily, and he continued his cabals against England in nearly every Court of Europe with only the more assiduity. He was zealously at work in France, England itself, Holland, Piedmont, and Sweden. By his ambassador at the Hague he endeavoured to keep the Dutch out of the Quadruple Alliance by exciting their commercial jealousy; but he was ably opposed by our minister there, the Earl of Cadogan. In Piedmont he endeavoured to deter Victor Amadeus from entering into this alliance by assuring him that he was only endeavouring to secure Sicily to keep it out of the hands of the Austrians, and reserve it for him; while, on the other hand, he threatened him with thirty thousand bayonets if he dared to accede to the Quadruple Treaty. The Allies, however, threatened still greater dangers, and the Duke at last consented to accept Sardinia in lieu of Sicily, and that island remains attached to the kingdom of Italy to the present time.

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    [425]

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    Population. Valuation. Greatest number

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    It was not till between eleven and twelve o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 18th of June, that this terrible conflict commenced; for the troops of Napoleon had not yet all reached the ground, having suffered from the tempests of wind and rain equally with the Allies. The rain had now ceased, but the morning was gloomy and lowering. The action opened by a brisk cannonade on the house and wood of Hougomont, which were held by the troops of Nassau. These were driven out;[99] but their place was immediately taken by the British Guards under General Byng and Colonels Home and Macdonald. A tremendous cannonade was kept up on Hougomont by Jerome's batteries from the slopes above; and under cover of this fire the French advanced through the wood in front of Hougomont, but were met by a terrible fire from the British, who had the orchard wall as a breastwork from which to assail the enemy. The contest here was continued through the day with dreadful fury, but the British held their ground with bull-dog tenacity. The buildings of the farmyard and an old chapel were set fire to by the French shells; but the British maintained their post amid the flames, and filled the wood in front and a lane running under the orchard wall with mountains of dead.

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    85%
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    The Swiss acted a more cautious part. Fearful that Napoleon might yet, by some other wonderful chance, regain his power, they summoned a Diet, passed an order for the neutrality of the cantons, and issued an order calling on the Allies to respect this, and not attempt to march troops through their country. This would have suited Buonaparte extremely well, as it would have closed his eastern frontiers to the Austrians, who were marching that way under Count Bubna; but the Austrians informed the Swiss authorities that they should certainly march through; and the Allied sovereigns dispatched Count Capo d'Istria and Herr Lebzeltern to Zurich to state that the power of France over Switzerland was at an end, and to desire them to send deputies to meet them, and to establish an independent government for Switzerland. Thus assured, the greater part of the cantons sent their deputies to Zurich, who proclaimed the restoration of national independence, and gave free consent for the armies of the Allies to march through the country.
    80%
    In fact, the chief scene of the war during this year continued to be south. In September, D'Estaing arrived off Savannah, to co-operate with the American forces in recovering that important place. He brought with him twenty-four ships of the line and fourteen frigates, and was moreover attended by a numerous squadron of French and American privateers, besides carrying a considerable body of troops. On learning D'Estaing's approach, General Lincoln and Governor Rutledge began to march their troops towards Savannah, and sent a number of small vessels to enable the French to carry their troops up the river, and land them near the town. General Prevost, commander of the English garrison, made the most active preparations to receive them. D'Estaing had agreed to wait for the arrival of General Lincoln, with the South Carolina force, but, with the want of faith characteristic of the man, on the 12th of September he landed three thousand men, and summoned General Prevost to surrender in the name of the French king. Prevost claimed twenty-four hours to decide, and this time he employed in strengthening his defences. Before the expiration of this time Colonel Maitland, who was on the march for Beaufort with eight hundred veterans, came in, and Prevost returned for answer that he would defend the place to the utmost. On the 16th, General Lincoln arrived, and was greatly incensed to find that D'Estaing had broken the agreement to wait for him, and still worse, had summoned the place in the name of France instead of the Congress.
    90%

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    Ministers were soon compelled to pursue the policy which Pitt had so successfully inaugurated. With all the determination of Lord Bute and his colleagues to make a speedy peace, they found it impossible. The Family Compact between France and Spain was already signed; and in various quarters of the world Pitt's plans were so far in progress that they must go on. In East and West, his plans for the conquest of Havana, of the Philippine Isles, and for other objects, were not to be abruptly abandoned; and Ministers were compelled to carry out his objects, in many particulars, in spite of themselves. And now the unpleasant truth was forced on the attention of Ministers, that the war which Pitt declared to be inevitable was so, and that he had recommended the only wise measure. The country was now destined to pay the penalty of their folly and stupidity in rejecting Pitt's proposal to declare war against Spain at once, and strip her of the means of offence, her treasure ships. Lord Bristol, our ambassador at Madrid, announced to Lord Bute, in a despatch of the 2nd of November, that these ships had arrived, and that all the wealth which Spain expected from her American colonies for the next year was safe at home. And he had to add that with this, Wall, the Minister, had thrown off the mask, and had assumed the most haughty and insolent language towards Great Britain. This was a confession on the part of Lord Bristol that he had suffered Wall to throw dust in his eyes till his object was accomplished, and it made patent the fact that Pitt had been too sagacious to be deceived; but that the new Ministers, whilst insulting Pitt and forcing him to resign, had been themselves completely duped. Spain now, in the most peremptory terms, demanded redress for all her grievances; and, before the year had closed, the Bute Cabinet was compelled to recall Lord Bristol from Madrid, and to order Fuentes, the Spanish ambassador in London, to quit the kingdom. On the 4th of January, 1762, declaration of war was issued against Spain. Neither king nor Ministers, seeing the wisdom of Pitt's policy and the folly of their own, were prevented from committing another such absurdity. They abandoned Frederick of Prussia at his greatest need. They refused to vote his usual subsidy. By this execrable proceedingfor we not only abandoned Frederick, but made overtures to Austria, with which he was engaged in a mortal strugglewe thus threw him into the arms and close alliance of Russia, and were, by this, the indirect means of that guilty confederation by which Poland was afterwards rent in pieces by these powers. On the 5th of January, 1762, died the Czarina Elizabeth. She was succeeded by her nephew, the Duke of Holstein, under the title of Peter III. Peter was an enthusiastic admirer of the Prussian king; he was extravagant and incessant in his praises of him. He accepted the commission of a colonel in the Prussian service, wore its uniform, and was bent on clothing his own troops in it. It was clear that he was not quite sane, for he immediately recalled the Russian army which was acting against Frederick, hastened to make peace with him, and offered to restore all that had been won from him in the war, even to Prussia proper, which the Russians had possession of. His example was eagerly seized upon by Sweden, which was tired of the war. Both Russia and Sweden signed treaties of peace with Frederick in May, and Peter went farther: he dispatched an army into Silesia, where it had so lately been fighting against him, to fight against Austria. Elated by this extraordinary turn of affairs, the Prussian ambassador renewed his applications for money, urging that, now Russia had joined Frederick, it would be easy to subdue Austria and terminate the war. This was an opportunity for Bute to retrace with credit his steps; but he argued, on the contrary, that, having the aid of Russia, Frederick did not want that of England; and he[173] is even accused of endeavouring to persuade Russia to continue its hostilities against Prussia; and thus he totally alienated a power which might have hereafter rendered us essential service, without gaining a single point. The Duke of Newcastle, man of mediocre merit as he was, saw farther than Bute into the disgraceful nature of thus abandoning a powerful ally at an extremity, as well as the impolicy of converting such a man into a mortal enemy; and, finding all remonstrances vain, resigned. Bute was glad to be rid of him; and Newcastle, finding both his remonstrance and resignation taken very coolly, had the meanness to seek to regain a situation in the Cabinet, but without effect, and threw himself into the Opposition.
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    Within a few days of taking Philadelphia, Lord Howe raised three batteries on the side of the river. On the 3rd of October Washington issued from his camp on the Schuylkill, about fourteen miles from Germantown, having heard that two British detachments had been withdrawn thence to attack the forts on the Delaware. He had been reinforced by militia from Maryland and New Jersey, and determined to surprise the British camp at Germantown. Two columns of Continental troops, led by Greene and Sullivan, were to gain the front of the British, and attack it; whilst two other columns of militia were to attack the rear. This force marched all night, and entered Germantown about sunrise, and all seemed likely to favour their enterprise. A fog prevented the discovery of their approach. But, at the first surprise, Colonel Musgrove threw himself into a storehouse, and kept up such a fire from the windows as checked the assault of the Americans, and gave time for the rest of the British force to get under arms. The village of Germantown consisted of one long street. Across this street the British army had encamped, and stoutly resisted the advance of the Americans. Musgrove was summoned to surrender; but he continued his fire from the house without taking any notice, and, before artillery could be brought up to batter the house, General Greig and Brigadier Agnew came up to his assistance. The Continental troops in front, led on by Washington himself, made a brisk attack, but were repulsed at all points, and were badly co-operated with by the militia in the rear. Washington was compelled to fall back to his camp at Skippack Creek, leaving behind him about eight hundred killed and wounded, and four hundred prisoners. So far, however, was Sir William Howe from availing himself of this opportunity to follow up the attack on Washington, and disperse his army, that he, as usual, thought only of getting into snug winter quarters.

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    Lord Eldon, who was by no means weary of political life, became uneasy about his position, and certain arrangements at which the king had mysteriously hinted. The Lord Chancellor religiously obeyed his injunction to abstain from speaking on politics to anybody. But he was revolving in his mind not less anxiously who was to be the new leader of the House of Commons, and how the Constitution in Church and State might be best protected against the spirit of innovation. On the king's return from his northern metropolis the Lord Chancellor was about to press upon him the promotion to the vacant leadership of the House of Commons of Mr. Peel, who had won high distinction in the late debate upon the Catholic peers, when he found, to his unspeakable chagrin, that Lord Liverpool himself had selected Mr. Canning, and overcome the royal objections to him on the ground of his having been formerly the champion of the queen. He had represented to the king that this was the only arrangement by which the Whigs could be effectually excluded, and he gave him an assurance that Catholic Emancipation, though left an open question, should be resolutely opposed. Great as Mr. Canning's talents for Parliament were, and great as was the want of talent on the Ministerial side of the House, it was not without the utmost reluctance that the Cabinet consented to receive him as an associate. They invited him to fill the place vacated by Lord Londonderry, because he was forced upon them by circumstances, and they felt that the Government could not go on without his aid. His only competitor was Mr. Peel, who had not yet had sufficient opportunity of evincing his great powers for the conduct and discussion of public affairs to command the station which many of his colleagues would have gladly seen assigned to him. Canning was unpopular with the anti-Catholic party in general, and particularly obnoxious to the Lord Chancellor; and, besides, there was the great objection of his having been the friend and adherent of the queen. But Lord Liverpool, the Premier, having been associated with him from early life, was so thoroughly convinced that he was the fittest man for the post, and so well acquainted with his transcendent powers of intellect, that he prevailed upon him to relinquish the Governor-Generalship of India, to which he had been appointed, and to accept the vacant Secretaryship for Foreign Affairs, together with the leadership of the Commons.

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    The Empress Maria Theresa, never reconciling herself to the seizure of Silesia by Frederick, and not finding England disposed to renew a war for the object of recovering it, applied to her old enemy, France. It required some ability to accomplish this object of detaching France from its ancient policy of hostility to Austria, pursued ever since the days of Henry IV., and in severing the alliance with Prussia; but her Minister, Kaunitz, who had been her ambassador in Paris, contrived to effect it. The temptation was thrown out of the surrender of Belgic provinces to augment France, in return for assistance in recovering German possessions from Prussia. To add fresh stimulus to this change, the vengeance of offended woman was brought into play. Madame Pompadour, Louis XV.'s all-powerful mistress, had sent[124] flattering compliments to Frederick by Voltaire; but the Prussian king only repaid them with sneers. On the other hand, the virtuous Maria Theresa did not blush to write, with her own hand, the most flattering epistles to the Pompadour. By these means, the thirst of revenge raised in the heart of the French mistress worked successfully the breach with Prussia and the alliance with Austria. The same stimulus was tried, and with equal effect, on the Czarina Elizabeth, on whose amorous licence the cynical Prussian monarch had been equally jocose. Kaunitz knew how to make the sting of these ungallant sallies felt at both Paris and St. Petersburg, and the winter of 1755-6 saw the Russian alliance with Prussia and England renounced, the English subsidy, with far more than German probity, renounced too, and Russia pledged to support Austria and France. The Elector of Saxony, Augustus, King of Poland, who amused himself with low pot-house companions and tame bears, and left his affairs to his minister, Count Brühl, was also induced, by the promise of Prussian territory, to join the league; and even Sweden, whose queen, Ulrica, was sister to Frederick, was drawn over to take side against him, in the hope of recovering its ancient province of Pomerania. This confederation of ninety millions of people, leagued against five millions, was pronounced by Pitt "one of the most powerful and malignant ones that ever yet threatened the independence of mankind."
    The complaints of agricultural distress prevalent in England, with the sudden reaction from war prices at the establishment of peace, had become so loud and general this year that Parliament undertook to find a remedy. An agricultural committee had been appointed to inquire into the subject, and had produced a report which was far from satisfactory. On the 29th of April the House of Commons resolved itself into a committee to consider the report. Three different schemes were proposed for the relief of the farmers and landlordsthe first by the Marquis of Londonderry, the second by Mr. Ricardo, and the third by Mr. Huskisson. There was no scarcity of produce in England; on the contrary, it was very abundant, and the evil that oppressed the farmers was excessive cheapness, by which they were disabled from paying the high rents and heavy taxation entailed by the war. Some of the remedies proposed were sufficiently radical in their character. The most natural was the reduction of taxation by means of retrenchment in the public expenditure. Some proposed that the tithes should be alienated from the Church, and used for the purpose of reducing the national burdens. The largest party insisted upon the reduction of the interest of the National Debt, which was defended as an equitable measure on the ground of the increased value of the currency since the passing of Peel's Bill for the resumption of cash payments. The plan of relief proposed by Lord Londonderry consisted of the repeal of the annual malt tax, and the loan of a million by Exchequer Bills to the landed interest upon the security of warehoused corn.