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      between which crops were growing, stretched away to the edges of the bordering forest; and the green, shaggy back of the mountain towered over all. in 1695 and entitled Mmoire pour le Canada.



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      Paley, of course, defended the thing he found established; nor, considering the system he had to defend, did he state the case for it without ingenuity. He had, indeed, nothing to add to what Blackstone had said regarding punishment, namely, that it was inflicted, not in proportion to the real guilt of an offence, but in proportion to its facility of commission and difficulty of detection. To steal from a shop was not more criminal than to steal from a house, but, as it was more difficult to detect, it was more severely punished. Sheep, horses, and cloth on bleaching-grounds were more exposed to thieves than other kinds of property; therefore their theft required a stronger deterrent penalty.

      ** Lettre de Laval a Queylus, Ibid.Poland, abandoned to her own resources, made a brave but ineffectual defence. The Russians received several severe checks in their advance. At Zadorsk, at Palorma, and finally at Dulienska, the Poles fought them gallantly. At the last-named battle, on the 17th of July, the heroic Kosciusko made terrible havoc of the Russian lines, and was only prevented from utterly routing them by his flank being turned by another arrival of Russians, whom the Emperor Francis, of Austria, had allowed to march through Galicia. The Russians advanced to Warsaw, took regular possession of it, and of all the towns and military[399] forts throughout the country. They dismissed the patriot officers of the army, and dispersed the army itself in small divisions into widely-separated places. They abolished the new Constitution, thrust the burgher class again out of their newly-acquired privileges, and put the press under more ignominious restrictions than before. They confiscated the estates of nobles who had advocated the new reforms. Both Catherine and her Ministers treated the idea of any partition of Poland as the most groundless and ridiculous of notions. They pointed to the invasion of Germany already by Custine, the French Revolutionary general, and justified the temporary occupation of Poland as necessary to the security of both Poland and the neighbouring states. We must leave the three robber Powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, therefore, gloating over their prey, and ready to rend it asunder, in order to continue the narrative of the wild explosion of France.


      An attempt was made during the Session to mitigate the evils of the Game Laws, and a Bill for legalising the sale of game passed the Commons with extraordinary unanimity. In the House of Lords the Bill met with determined opposition. In vain Lord Wharncliffe demonstrated the demoralising and disorganising effects of the Game Laws. Lord Westmoreland was shocked at a measure which he declared would depopulate the country of gentlemen. He could not endure such a gross violation of the liberty of the aristocratic portion of the king's subjects; and he thought the guardians of the Constitution in the House[306] of Commons must have been asleep when they allowed such a measure to pass. Lord Eldon, too, who was passionately fond of shooting, had his Conservative instincts aroused almost as much by the proposal to abolish the monopoly of killing hares and pheasants, as by the measure for admitting Roman Catholics into Parliament. The Bill was read a second time, by a majority of ten; but more strenuous exertions were called forth by the division, and the third reading of this Bill to mitigate an iniquitous system was rejected by a majority of two. Lord Eldon's familiarity with the principles of equity did not enable him to see the wrong of inflicting damage to the amount of 500,000 a year on the tenant farmers of the country, by the depredations of wild animals, which they were not permitted to kill, and for the destruction caused by which they received no compensation.The number of Catholics in Britain at the time of passing the Relief Bill was estimated by themselves at nearly 1,000,000, scattered, in various proportions, through England, Scotland, and Wales. Of these, 200,000 were resident in London. The most Catholic counties in England were Lancashire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Cheshire, Northumberland, Durham, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Kent. In Ireland the Roman Catholics were estimated at five millions and a half; and the Protestants, of all denominations, at one million and three-quarters. By the removal of the disabilities eight English Catholic peers were enabled to take their seats by right in the House of Lords. The Catholic baronets in England were then sixteen in number. In Ireland there were eight Roman Catholic peers; in Scotland, two. The system of religious exclusion had lasted 271 years, from the passing of the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity in 1559.

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      In the meantime the Irish State trial, and the affairs of Ireland generally, were the subject of frequent discussions in both Houses of Parliament. On the 13th of February the Marquis of Normanby moved a resolution condemnatory of the policy of the Government, contrasting it with his own Administration, with the treatment of Canada, and with the liberal policy by which, he said, Austria had conquered disaffection in Lombardy. He was answered by Lord Roden and others, and on a division his motion was rejected by a majority of 175 to 78. On the same day the state of Ireland was introduced by Lord John Russell, in a speech which occupied three hours. The debate that followed lasted for nine days. The principal speakers who took part in it were Mr. Wyse, Sir James Graham, Mr. Young, Sir George Grey, Lord Eliot, Mr. Shaw, the Recorder of Dublin, Lord Howick, Lord Stanley, Mr. Macaulay, Sir William Follett, Sir Thomas Wilde, Sir F. Pollock, the English Attorney-General, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Sheil, and Sir Robert Peel. The discussion turned mainly upon the question whether or not O'Connell had had a fair trial, and upon this the lawyers and the House pronounced opinions in harmony with the interests of their respective parties. But nearly every topic that could be mentioned was brought up in the course of the monster debate. Sir Robert Peel concluded a long and able speech in defence of his Government with the following beautiful peroration:"I have a firm conviction that if there were calm and tranquillity in Ireland, there is no part of the British empire that would make such rapid progress in improvement. There are facilities for improvement and opportunities for it which will make the advance of Ireland more rapid than the advance of any other country. I will conclude, then, by expressing my sincere and earnest hope that this agitation, and all the evil consequences of it, may be permitted to subside; and hereafter, in whatever capacity I may be, I should consider that the happiest day of my life when I could see the beloved Sovereign of these realms fulfilling the fondest wishes of her heart, possessing a feeling of affection towards all her people, but mingling that[535] affection with sympathy and tenderness towards Ireland. I should hail the dawning of that auspicious day, when she could alight like some benignant spirit on the shores of Ireland, and lay the foundations of a temple of peace; when she could, in accents which proceeded from the heartspoken to the heart rather than to the earcall upon her Irish subjects of all classes and of all denominations, Protestants and Roman Catholics, Saxon and Celt, to forget the difference of creed and of race, and to hallow that temple of peace which she should then found, with sacrifices still holier than those by which the temples of old were hallowedby the sacrifice of those evil passions that dishonour our common faith, and prevent the union of heart and hand in defence of our common country."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.


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