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But whilst his political efforts did their work in his lifetime, his literary labours are the basis of his present fame. These were almost all produced after his sixtieth year; "Robinson Crusoe," by far the most popular of all his writings and one of the most popular in all the world's literature, "The Dumb Philosopher," "Captain Singleton," "Duncan Campbell," "Moll Flanders," "Colonel Jacque," "The Journal of the Plague," "The Memoirs of a Cavalier," "The Fortunate Mistress; or, Roxana," "The New Voyage round the World," and "Captain Carleton." The life and fidelity to human nature with which these are written have continually led readers to believe them altogether real narratives. The "Journal of the Plague" was quoted as a relation of facts by Dr. Mead; Chatham used to recommend "The Memoirs of a Cavalier" as the best account of the Civil War; Dr. Johnson read the life of "Captain Carleton" as genuine, and we continually see the story of "Mrs. Veal's Ghost," written by Defoe to puff Drelincourt's heavy "Essay on Death," included in collections as a matter-of-fact account of an apparition. This quality of verisimilitude is one of the greatest charms of his inimitable "Crusoe," which is the delight of the young from age to age.

Not at all dismayed by this unrighteous severity, the Scottish Friends of the People met in convention, in Edinburgh, on the 9th of October. At this Convention delegates appeared, not only from most of the large towns of Scotland, but also from London, Sheffield, and Dublin. Letters were also received from the Societies in England. Mr. William Skirving, a friend of Muir and Palmer, as secretary to the Convention, read these letters, and other papers, demanding annual parliaments and universal suffrage. As the British Parliament was considered, and truly, merely a corrupt clique of the representatives of boroughmongers, they proposed to apply directly to the king, that he might urge those necessary reforms on the Legislature.[428] In Scottish fashion, the Reformers opened and closed their sittings with prayer, presenting a striking contrast to the French Revolutionists. On the 6th of November delegates appeared from the Society of United Irishmen, and Margarot and Gerald from the Society of the Friends of the People in London. Margarot stated that five hundred constables had beset the meeting in London, to prevent delegates from getting away to this Convention, but that the manufacturing towns of England were almost all in favour of Reform; that in Sheffield alone there were fifty thousand; that a general union of the Reformers of the United Kingdom would strike terror into their enemies, and compel them to grant annual parliaments and universal suffrage.THE MINT, LONDON.

Being conveyed to St. John's, Burgoyne there disembarked, and on the 16th of June he commenced his march for Crown Point, the shipping following him by the lake. On the 1st of July he appeared before Ticonderoga. The place required ten thousand troops effectually to defend it; but St. Clair who commanded them had only three thousand, very indifferently armed and equipped. St. Clair saw at once that he must retire, as the Americans had already done, at Crown Point; but he sought to do it unobserved. Accordingly, in the night of the 5th of July the flight took place; but St. Clair's orders were immediately disobeyed; the soldiers fired the house which had been occupied by General de Fermoy, and the British were at once apprised of the retreat. The sailors soon broke up the obstructions at the mouth of the river, and a fleet of gunboats was in instant pursuit. They overtook the Americans near the falls of Skenesborough, and quickly mastered the protecting galleys, and destroyed the vessels. General Burgoyne followed with other gunboats containing troops, and at the same time dispatched Generals Fraser and Reisedel by land after St. Clair.Burnet describes the state of religion and intelligence in the nation at the period of Anne's reign as most lamentable, the clergy as "dead and lifeless: the most remiss in their labours in private, and the least severe in their lives," of all that he had seen amongst all religions at home or abroad; the gentry "the worst instructed and the least knowing of any of their rank that he ever went amongst;" and the common people beyond all conception "ignorant in matters of religion." The words of Atterbury, a high Tory, were quite as strong. A description of the state of religion in the country, drawn up by him, was presented by Convocation to the queen, which stated that "the manifest growth of immorality and profaneness," "the relaxation and decay of the discipline of the Church," the "disregard to all religious places, persons, and things," had scarcely had a parallel in any age. Dr. Calamy, a great Nonconformist, equally complains that the "decay of real religion, both in and out of the Church," was most visible. Under the Georges much the same state of affairs[143] prevailed. The episcopal bench was Whig, though very apathetic; while the clergy were Tory, and disinclined to listen to their superiors.of rations

[See larger version]NELSON AT THE BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN. (See p. 481.)In the Commons, on the same day, Grenville delivered a message from the Crown, announcing to the House the imprisonment of one of their members during the recess. Wilkes immediately rose in his place, and complained of the breach of that House's privilege in his person; of the entry of his house, the breaking open of his desk, and the imprisonment of his personimprisonment pronounced by the highest legal authority to be illegal, and therefore tyrannical. He moved that the House should take the question of privilege into immediate consideration. On the other hand, Lord North, who was a member of the Treasury board, and Sir Fletcher Norton, Attorney-General, put in the depositions of the printer and publisher, proving the authorship of No. 45 of the North Briton on Wilkes, and pressing for rigorous measures against him. A warm debate ensued, in which Pitt opposed the proceedings to a certain extent, declaring that he could never understand exactly what a libel was.[181] Notwithstanding, the Commons voted, by a large majority, that No. 45 of the North Briton was "a false, scandalous, and malicious libel," tending to traitorous insurrection, and that it should be burnt by the common hangman.

Meanwhile Lord Ashley, a staunch upholder of the Corn Laws, in a letter to his constituents of Dorsetshire declared his opinion "that the destiny of the Corn Laws was fixed," and that it would be wise to consider "how best to break the force of an inevitable blow." Mr. Bickham and Captain Estcott, also strong defenders of the landlords' monopoly, published their conviction that the Corn Laws were no longer tenable; and on the 22nd of November Lord John Russell, who was at Edinburgh, addressed a letter to the electors of the City of London, which was duly circulated throughout the kingdom, and which contained the following remarkable passages:But the most remarkable growth of religion was through the instrumentality of the Wesleyan Methodists. These spread over all the country, through town and village, into places where the ministers of the Establishment had fallen into a spiritual sleep from want of rivalry. In Wales they found a great and almost unoccupied field. In Cornwall, where Wesley had been abused and pelted with stones, they became universal, and still continue to astonish the visitor to that county by their extraordinary numbers, almost every Cornish miner being of that sect. Throughout England the spread of Methodism has been a most influential cause of the revival of activity and discipline in the Established Church itself; for it soon became evident that the Church must exert itself, or the body of the people, especially in the country and in manufacturing districts, would be absorbed by the Wesleyan interest.

A revolution of a similar character took place in France within a month of the fall of Ripperda in Spain. The Duke of Bourbon had exhibited a gross incapacity for governing France under the young king. He was replaced by Cardinal Fleury, whose pacific designs harmonised with those of Walpole. Thus Fleury's accession to power only strengthened the English alliance with France. As for Spain, notwithstanding the fall of Ripperda, Philip continued the same course of policyclinging firmly to the Emperor, and employing Palm, the envoy of the Emperor in London, through bribery to the Duchess of Kendal and the king's Hanoverian Ministers, Bothmar and the rest, who were averse from the Treaty of Hanover, as in their estimation too exclusively calculated for British interests. They even produced a strong feeling of this kind in the mind of George, and they managed to detach the King of Prussia from the British alliance. On the other hand, Sweden was won over, by British gold and diplomacy, from Russian interests. The Dutch also, with their usual slowness, came into the Hanover Treaty. Several British fleets were at sea during the summer, watching the different points of possible attack. One under Admiral Wager sailed to the Baltic to overawe the Russians, which it did effectually. Admiral Jennings, with another squadron, having on board some land troops, scoured the coasts of Spain, kept the Spaniards in constant alarm, and returned home safe before winter. A third fleet, under Admiral Hosier, was not so fortunate. He was ordered to sail to the West Indies, and the shores of the Spanish Main, to obstruct or capture the galleons; but he was attacked off Porto Bello by the yellow fever, and lost a great number of his men.From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. A scene followed the king's departure which seems almost incredible. After the service of the second course, the numerous attendants, singers, and even ladies and gentlemen began to press round the royal table, as if prepared for a scramble to possess its contents. The crowd of spectators pressed nearer and nearer. For a moment only covetous eyes were cast on the spoils, as if each were afraid to begin the plunder; but, at last, a rude hand having been thrust through the first ranks, and a golden fork having been seized, this operated as a signal to all, and was followed by a "general snatch." In a short time all the small portable articles were transferred to the pockets of the multitude. The Lord High Chamberlain, hearing of the attack, hastened to the rescue, and[216] with the greatest difficulty saved the more important articles of plate, and had them conveyed to Carlton Garden. Then followed a scene unparalleled in the annals of coronations. The crowds in the galleries had beheld with envy the operations at the banquet. They were very hungry, and very thirsty, and seeing now that Westminster Hall was "liberty hall," they rushed down different stairs and passages, and attacked the viands and the wine. A raging thirst was the first thing to be satisfied, and in a few minutes every bottle on the table was emptied. A fresh supply was soon obtained from the cellarettes. When the ravening selfishness of the hungry crowd was satisfied, the gentlemen recovered their politeness, and began to think of the ladies. Groups of beautiful women then found their way to the tables, and every effort was made to afford them the refreshment of which they stood so much in need. In the meantime, the plunderers took advantage of the confusion to enrich themselves with trophies, breaking and destroying the table ornaments to obtain fragments of things too cumbrous to carry away. Thus, baskets, flowerpots, vases, and figures were everywhere disappearing, and these were followed by glasses, knives, forks, salt-spoons, and, finally, the plates and dishes. The last were engraved with the royal arms and the letters "Geo. IV.," and were therefore specially coveted as memorials. The dirty state of the articles, however, was rather out of keeping with the costly dresses; but the ladies and gentlemen got over the difficulty by wrapping up the articles in their pocket-handkerchiefs. Having thus secured all the spoils they could, they made all possible haste to their carriages. At a subsequent period, it was with the greatest difficulty that the royal plate could be kept from being carried away by the multitude outside when the barriers were removed.

Meanwhile by the advice of Bute the king sent for Pitt. On the 27th of August he had an audience of the king at Buckingham House. Pitt, however, insisted on having in with him all, or nearly all, his old colleagues, and this was too much for the king; whilst not to have had them would have been too little for Pitt, who was too wise to take office without efficient and congenial colleagues. The king, nevertheless, did not openly object, but allowed Pitt to go away with the impression that he would assent to his demands. This was Saturday, and Pitt announced this belief to the Dukes of Devonshire and Newcastle, and the Marquis of Rockingham. But on Sunday Grenville had had an interview with the king, and finding that he considered Pitt's terms too hard, had laboured successfully to confirm him in that opinion. Accordingly, on Monday, at a second meeting, the king named the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Halifax, and George Grenville, for leading posts in the Cabinet, saying, "Poor George Grenville, he is your near relation, and you once loved him." Pitt said that it would not do, bowed and retired; the king saying, "My honour is concerned, and I must support it."[See larger version]

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The Hanoverian Tories now again joined the Whigs, and their demands compelled the Government to issue a proclamation offering a reward of five thousand pounds for the apprehension of the Pretender should he attempt to land anywhere in Great Britain. Wharton proposed that the words "Alive or Dead" should be inserted in the proclamation, but the queen rejected them with horror. The House of Lords passed a resolution increasing the reward to one hundred thousand pounds. It was made high treason, too, to enlist or be enlisted for the Pretender. Bolingbroke, however, assured Iberville, a French agent, that "it would make no difference;" and that the queen regarded the whole as a mere sop to the public was evinced by her immediately afterwards receiving the Earl of Mar, a most determined Jacobite, at Court on his marriage with Lady Francis Pierrepoint, sister of the celebrated Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and soon after making this man one of her Ministers of State, who, in the very next year, headed the Jacobite rebellion.

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