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      In the House of Lords the second reading was carried on the 28th of May by a majority of 47, and the Bill was finally passed on the 25th of June. The attitude of the House was due entirely to the Duke of Wellington, and his conduct constitutes his best claim to the title of statesman. But the downfall of the Peel Ministry was inevitable. In a letter to the Duke, of the 18th of February, Lord Stanley had said that, whatever might be the result of the Corn Bill, the days of the existing Government were numbered, and that the confidence of his party in Sir Robert Peel had been so shaken, "that, in spite of his pre-eminent abilities and great services, he could never reunite it under his guidance." The Protectionist party found its opportunity in the Irish Coercion Bill, which, introduced by Earl St. Germans into the House of Lords, had slowly passed through its various stages, and appeared in the Commons in March. At first the Bill was obstructed in order to delay the Corn Bill, but when that measure became law, Whigs and Protectionistswho had voted for the second reading of the Protection of Life Billresolved to use it as an instrument for the overthrow of Peel. They combined, therefore, with the Radicals and Irish members, and, on the very night on which Free Trade was passed by the Lords, the Minister was finally defeated in the Commons. He might have dissolved, but his preference was for retirement. The concluding words of his speech will long be remembered. He said: "With reference to honourable gentlemen opposite, I must say, as I say with reference to ourselves, neither of us is the party which is justly entitled to the credit of those measures. There has been a combination of parties, and that combination, and the influence of Government, have led to their ultimate success; but the name which ought to be, and will be, associated with the success of those measures, is the name of the man who, acting, I believe, from pure and disinterested motives, has, with untiring energy, by appeals to reason, enforced their necessity with an eloquence the more to be admired because it was unaffected and unadornedthe name which ought to be associated with the success of those measures is the name of Richard Cobden. Sir, I now close the address which it has been my duty to make to the House, thanking them sincerely for the favour with which they have listened to me in performing the last act of my official career. Within a few hours, probably, that favour which I have held for the period of five years will be surrendered into the hands of anotherwithout repiningI can say without complaintwith a more lively recollection of the support and confidence I have received than of the opposition which, during a recent period, I have met with. I shall leave office with a name severely censured, I fear, by many who, on public grounds, deeply regret the severance of party tiesdeeply regret that severance, not from interest or personal motives, but from the firm conviction that fidelity to party engagementsthe existence and maintenance of a great partyconstitutes a powerful instrument of government. I shall surrender power severely censured also by others who, from no interested[524] motives, adhere to the principle of Protection, considering the maintenance of it to be essential to the welfare and interests of the country. I shall leave a name execrated by every monopolist who, from less honourable motives, clamours for Protection because it conduces to his own individual benefit; but it may be that I shall leave a name sometimes remembered with expressions of good-will in the abodes of those whose lot it is to labour, and to earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow, when they shall recruit their exhausted strength with abundant and untaxed food, the sweeter because it is no longer leavened by the sense of injustice."SIGNATURES TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

      There seem to be three principal reasons why, under our present system, crime still keeps its general level, irrespective of all changes in our degrees of punishment.Everybody was in the streets; animals ran wildly about; children cried; men and women, seized with fright, knew not where to take refuge, expecting every moment to be buried under the ruins of the houses, or swallowed up in some abyss opening under their feet. Some, on their knees in the snow, cried for mercy, and others passed the night in prayer; for the earthquake continued without ceasing, with a motion much like that of a ship at sea, insomuch that sundry persons felt the same qualms of stomach which they would feel on the water. In the forests the commotion was far greater. The trees struck one against the other as if there were a battle between them; and you would have said that not only their branches, but even their trunks started out of their places and leaped on each other with such noise and confusion that the Indians said that the whole forest was drunk. Mary of the Incarnation gives a similar account, as does also Frances Juchereau de Saint-Ignace; and these contemporary records are sustained to some extent by the evidence of geology. * A remarkable effect was produced on the St. Lawrence, which was so charged with mud and clay that for many weeks the water was unfit to drink. Considerable hills and large tracts of forest slid from their places, some into the river, and some into adjacent valleys. A number of men in a boat near Tadoussac stared aghast at a large hill covered with trees, which sank into the water before their eyes; streams were turned from their courses; water-falls were levelled; springs were dried up in some places, while in others new springs appeared. Nevertheless, the accounts that have come down to us seem a little exaggerated, and sometimes ludicrously so; as when, for example, Mother Mary of the Incarnation tells us of a man who ran all night to escape from a fissure in the earth which opened behind him and chased him as he fled.

      this plan, and accordingly went on board another vessel, which was to sail immediately. The council caused the six cannon of the battery in the Lower Town to be pointed at her, and threatened to sink her if she left the harbor; but she disregarded them, and proceeded on her way.Yet, on the first view of the case, the selection of the Swedes augured anything but a Russian alliance; and showed on the surface everything in favour of Napoleon and France, for it fell on a French general and field-marshal, Bernadotte. The prince royal elect made his public entry into Stockholm on the 2nd of November. The failing health of the king, the confidence which the talents of Bernadotte had inspired, the prospect of a strong alliance with France through himall these causes united to place the national power in his hands, and to cast upon him, at the same time, a terrible responsibility. The very crowds and cries which surrounded him expressed the thousand expectations which his presence raised. The peasantry, who had heard so much of his humble origin and popular sentiments, looked to him to curb the pride and oppression of the nobles; the nobles flattered themselves that he would support their cause, in the hope that they would support him; the mass of the people believed that a Republican was the most likely to maintain the principles of the Revolution of 1809; the merchants trusted that he would be able to obtain from Napoleon freedom for trade with Great Britain, so indispensable to Sweden; and the[7] army felt sure that, with such a general, they should be able to seize Norway and re-conquer Finland. Nor was this all. Bernadotte knew that there existed a legitimist party in the country, which might long remain a formidable organ in the hands of internal factions or external enemies. How was he to lay the foundation of a new dynasty amid all these conflicting interests? How satisfy at once the demands of France, Britain, and Russia? Nothing but firmness, prudence, and sagacity could avail to surmount the difficulties of his situation; but these Bernadotte possessed.

      Such was the crisis when Frontenac left Canada at the moment when he was needed most, and Le Febvre de la Barre came to supplant him. The new governor introduces himself with a burst of rhodomontade. "The Iroquois," he writes to the king, "have twenty-six hundred warriors. I will attack them with twelve hundred men. They know me before seeing me, for they have been told by the English how roughly I handled them in the West Indies." This bold note closes rather tamely; for the governor adds, "I think that if the Iroquois believe that your Majesty would have the goodness to give me some help, they will make peace, and let our allies alone, which would save the trouble and expense of an arduous war." [8] He then begs hard for troops, and in fact there was great need of them, for there were none in Canada; 80 and even Frontenac had been compelled in the last year of his government to leave unpunished various acts of violence and plunder committed by the Iroquois. La Barre painted the situation in its blackest colors, declared that war was imminent, and wrote to the minister, "We shall lose half our trade and all our reputation, if we do not oppose these haughty conquerors." [9]Meanwhile, crouched behind trees and logs, they beset the fort, harassing its defenders day and night with a spattering fire and a constant menace of attack. Thus five days passed. Hunger, thirst, and want of sleep wrought fatally on the strength of the French and their allies, who, pent up together in their narrow prison, fought and prayed by turns. Deprived as they were of water, they could not swallow the crushed Indian corn, or hominy, which was their only food. Some of them, under cover of a brisk fire, ran down to the river and filled such small vessels as they had; but this pittance only tantalized their thirst. They dug a hole in the fort, and were rewarded at last by a little muddy water oozing through the clay.

      makes the same statement. All these writers, though two of


      [See larger version]And I think she's mad.


      Frontenac, as his enemies declare, was accustomed, when enraged, to foam at the mouth. Perhaps he did so when he learned the behavior of Perrot. If he had had at command a few companies of soldiers, there can be little doubt that he would have gone at once to Montreal, seized the offender, and brought him back in irons; but his body-guard of twenty men was not equal to such an enterprise. Nor would a muster of the militia have served his purpose; for the settlers about Quebec were chiefly peaceful peasants, while the denizens of Montreal were disbanded soldiers, fur traders, and forest adventurers, the best fighters in Canada. They were nearly all in the interest of Perrot, who, if attacked, had the temper as well as the ability to make a passionate resistance. Thus civil war would have ensued, and the anger of the king would have fallen on both parties. On the other hand, if Perrot were left unpunished, the coureurs de bois, of whom he was the patron, would set no bounds to their audacity, and Frontenac, who had been ordered to suppress them, would be condemned as negligent or incapable.


      Five days after this, February 10th, the matter was made public by Lord Darnley rising in the Upper House, and moving for an inquiry into the conduct of the Ministry. This roused up Lord Grenville, who candidly avowed that, in consequence of their failure to introduce the question of Catholic emancipation, the Ministers had resigned and only held office till a new Cabinet was formed. On this, Lord Darnley postponed his motion. On the same day, in the Commons, a letter from Addington, the Speaker, was read, announcing his resignation of the Speakership in consequence of the king's proposal to nominate him to a situation incompatible with that post. Pitt then rose and confirmed this, and proposed an adjournment till the next day in order to prepare for the nomination of the new Speaker. The House adjourned accordingly, and next day, the 11th of February, elected Sir John Mitford, the Attorney-General, as Speaker. Before the House could resume business, it was announced that the king was illconfined to the house by a severe cold; but it was soon known that it was a return of his old malady, lunacy, in consequence of his extreme agitation on the proposal of the Catholic question and the resignation of Pitt. The report was soon augmented into the startling rumour that the king was dangerously ill, and that a regency must take placeif not superseded by his death. At this news Fox, who had for some time absented himself from Parliament, on the plea that all endeavours to carry sound and prudent measures were hopeless with Pitt's great martial majority, hastened up to town from St. Anne's Hill; and the Whig body was in a flutter of expectation that he would soon be the Minister of the prince regent, or of George IV. But all these hopes were speedily overthrown by the news of the rapid improvement of the king, and on the 12th of March the royal physicians announced him perfectly recovered. He attributed his illness to Pitt's conduct, and the ex-Premier thereupon wrote and promised never to re-open the question again.Although announced with the Budget, the proposed change in the sugar duties formed a separate and more momentous question. At that time, strictly foreign sugar was virtually prohibited by the excessive differential dutiesBritish plantation sugar paying a duty of 25s. 3d. per cwt., foreign, of 66s. 2d. When the Whig Administration had proposed to diminish this enormous difference, the Tories had pleaded the injustice to the West India landlords of taking away their slaves, and then exposing them to competition with countries still possessing slave labour. The question had thus become one of party. The Whigs were pledged to consult the interests of the British consumer; the Tories to protect the West Indies; and beating the Whigs on this very point, the Tories had turned them out of office. The British consumer had, however, happily some voice in the elections, and the problem was now to conciliate him without a glaring breach of consistency. Accordingly, the tax on our colonial sugar was to be left untouched, as was the tax on foreign sugar, the growth of slave countries; but henceforth it was proposed that the duty on foreign sugar, the produce of free labour, should pay only 10s. more than colonial. Thus was the first great blow struck at the protective sugar duties, and at that West Indian party which had so long prevailed in Parliament over the interests of the people. But the battle had yet to be fought.