- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 295MB
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 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.
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."  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." 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.