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On the withdrawal of Melville, Whitbread moved for his impeachment, and Mr. Bond for his prosecution in the ordinary courts of law, and this amendment was carried. But Melville preferred impeachment to a trial at common law. Mr. Bond was induced to withhold any further procedure in consequence of his motion, and Mr. Leycester, one of Melville's friends, made a fresh motion for impeachment, which was carried, and on the 26th of June Whitbread, accompanied by a great number of members, impeached him at the bar of the House of Lords. A Bill was also passed through both Houses regulating the course of his impeachment. The impeachment itself, owing to very important events, including the death of Pitt, was not proceeded with till April, 1806. On the 10th of July Lord Sidmouth and the Earl of Buckinghamshire resigned. It was supposed that difference of opinion regarding Lord Melville's case was the cause, and the surmise was correct, Addington taking strong exception to the appointment of Sir Charles Middleton, a very old man, to succeed Melville. Lord Camden succeeded Sidmouth, and Lord Harrowby Lord Buckinghamshire. Castlereagh obtained Camden's post of Secretary of Colonial Affairs. This secession weakened Pitt's Ministry considerably. On the 12th of July Parliament was prorogued, but a message was sent down to the House to enable his Majesty to carry out some arrangements in the north of Europe, which were necessary for the security and independence of Britain, and a sum, in addition to the large supplies already granted, was voted, which was not to exceed three millions and a half.I get a perspective on the world, that other people who have been
speak unless they make their hands into a megaphone and shout.We must return from victory abroad to discontent at home. On the 28th of January, 1817, the Prince Regent opened the fifth Session of Parliament. In his speech he expressed indignation at "the attempts which had been made to take advantage of the distresses of the country for the purpose of exciting a spirit of sedition and violence;" and he declared himself determined to put down these attempts by stern measures. The seconder of the Address in the Commons had the good sense to believe that the demagogues and their acts would die of themselves. Certainly, if the demagogues had no cause on which to base their efforts, those efforts must have proved fruitless; and the wisdom of Government consisted in seriously inquiring whether there were such causes. To attempt to insure peace by smothering distress is the old remedy of tyrants, and is like heaping fuel on fire to put it out. Whilst this debate was proceeding, a message arrived from the Lords to announce that the Regent, on his return from the House, had been insulted, and some missile thrown through the windows of his carriage. The House agreed upon an Address to the Regent on this event, and then adjourned.
The king attended the theatre one evening, and by his desire the drama of Rob Roy was performed. The theatre was of course crowded to excess, the boxes presenting a dazzling galaxy of rank and beauty. When the approach of the king was announced, there was a pause of deathlike stillness; then an outburst of deep, honest enthusiasm never to be forgotten. "A prolonged and heartfelt shout, which for more than a minute rent the house," a waving of handkerchiefs, tartan scarfs, and plumed bonnets, testified the joy of the assembly and delighted the ears and eyes of the "chief of chiefs." Sir Walter Scott in a letter to his son gives a vivid description of this royal visit. For a fortnight Edinburgh had been a scene of giddy tumult, and considering all that he had to do, he wondered that he had not caught fever in the midst of it. All, however, went off most happily. The Edinburgh populace behaved themselves like so many princes, all in their Sunday clothes; nothing like a mobno jostling or crowding. "They shouted with great emphasis, but without any running or roaring, each standing as still in his place as if the honour of Scotland had depended on the propriety of his behaviour. This made the scene quite new to all who had witnessed the Irish reception." The king's stay in Scotland was protracted till the 29th of August. On the day before his departure, Mr. Peel, who accompanied him as Home Secretary, wrote the following letter to Sir Walter Scott:"My dear sir,The king has commanded me to acquaint you that he cannot bid adieu to Scotland without conveying to you individually his warm personal acknowledgments for the deep interest you have taken in every ceremony and arrangement connected with his Majesty's visit, and for your ample contributions to their complete success. His Majesty well knows how many difficulties have been smoothed, and how much has been effected by your unremitting activity, by your knowledge of your countrymen, and by the just estimation in which they hold you. The king wishes to make you the channel of conveying to the Highland chiefs and their followers, who have given to the varied scenes which we have witnessed so peculiar and romantic a character, his particular thanks for their attendance, and his warm approbation of their uniform deportment. He does justice to the ardent spirit of loyalty by which they are animated, and is convinced that he could offer no recompense for their services so gratifying to them as the assurance which I now convey of the esteem and approbation of their Sovereign."
The strong towns and fortresses of Prussia were all surrendered with as much rapidity as the army had been dispersed. They were, for the most part, commanded by imbecile or cowardly old villains; nay, there is every reason to believe that, in many instances, they sold the places to the French, and were paid their traitor fees out of the military chests of the respective fortresses. Whilst these events were so rapidly progressing, Louis Buonaparte, the new King of Holland, with an army of French and Dutch, had overrun, with scarcely any opposition, Westphalia, Hanover, Emden, and East Friesland. The unfortunate King of Prussia, who had seen his kingdom vanish like a dream, had fled to K?nigsberg, where he was defended by the gallant Lestog, and awaited the hoped-for junction of the Russians marching to his aid. Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, forgetting the slighted advice which he had offered to Prussia to unite with Austria, opened Stralsund and Riga to the fugitive Prussians.
And one day--well, I won't bore you with particulars--but somehow,AFTER THE PAINTING BY SIR DAVID WILKIE, R. A., IN THE ROYAL COLLECTION.
and a goose, and I did send for a cup of tee (a china drink)