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    • The debates were very animated, and excited the liveliest interest. The Bill was read the first time by a majority of five. On the 10th of May the House divided on the second reading, which was carried by a majority of twelve, the numbers being, for the Bill, two hundred and thirty-five; noes, two hundred and twenty-three. The exertions made to defeat this Bill were extraordinary. There were twenty-seven pairs of members who appeared in the House. The Duke of York canvassed against it in all directions with the utmost zeal and activity. It was felt that if it passed into law, the admission of Roman Catholics into the Lower House must follow as a matter of course. The Bill, however, was thrown out by the Lords. (After the Portrait by A. E. Challon, R.A.) GET AWESOME FEATURE LIST
    • Hon. J. Stratford, 7,500 for the other half of Baltinglass, and paymaster of foreign troops, with 1,300 a year. GET AWESOME FEATURE LIST
    • On the 27th of January Colonel Wardle, a militia officer, rose in his place in the House of Commons and made some startling charges against the Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief of the army. Wardle had been a zealous Conservative, but had now changed his politics, and was acting with the party of extreme Reformers headed by Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Folkestone, and others. His charge was that the Duke of York was keeping a mistress, named Mary Ann Clarke, a married woman, to the great scandal of the nation, and was allowing her to traffic in commissions and promotions in the army. Nor was this all; he asserted that, not in the army alone, but in the Church, this public adulteress was conferring promotions, through her influence with the Duke, and that she had quite a levee of clergy, who were soliciting and bribing her to procure livings and even bishoprics. These were sufficiently exciting statements, and the Colonel demanded a Committee of Inquiry to enable him to prove his assertions. Sir Francis Burdett seconded the motion; and the proposal was not metas it should have been by Ministers or the Duke's friendsby a denial, but, in general, by a eulogium on the Duke's excellent discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief. The House determined that, wherever the infamy was to fall, it should have the full airing of a committee of the whole House, which was appointed to commence its inquiries on Wednesday, the 1st of February, the Duke intimating, through his friends, that he was, on his part, desirous of the fullest investigation of the matter. From the evidence of Mrs. Clarke it appeared very clear that the Duke had permitted her to traffic in the sale of commissions, and both Mrs. Clarke and Mary Ann Taylor, whose brother was married to Mrs. Clarke's sister, asserted that the Duke had received part of the money for some of these bargains. Sums of one thousand pounds, of five hundred pounds, and two hundred pounds had been paid to her for such services. GET AWESOME FEATURE LIST
    Washington saw almost with despair the condition of the American army; any other man would have despaired of it altogether. He wrote to Congress that nothing could make soldiers trustworthy but longer terms of service; that, in fact, they ought to be engaged for the whole war, and subjected to a rigid and constant discipline. He complained that the soldiers were much bolder in plundering than fighting; and one of his officers observed that the Pennsylvanian and New England troops would as soon fight each other as the enemy. His Adjutant-General, Reed, declared that discipline was almost impossible amid such a levelling spirit as prevailed. These startling facts made Congress begin in earnest to look out for foreign aid. In the meantime, it voted that the army should be reorganised with eighty-eight[231] battalions, to be enlisted as soon as possible, and to serve during the war; each State to furnish its respective quota, and to name the officers as high as colonels. But Washington had soon to complain that they only voted, and did not carry the plan strenuously into action; that there was a mighty difference between voting battalions and raising men.

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    While stirring events were in progress on the Continent, public attention was naturally distracted from home politics; nor were these in themselves of a nature to command enthusiasm. The Russell Government was weak, but the Opposition was weaker. Sir Robert Peel with his little band gave, on the whole, his support to the Ministry, and Mr. Disraeli, on the retirement of Lord George Bentinck, had only just begun to rally the Conservatives, who had been utterly dispirited and crushed by the carrying of Free Trade. Finance was always a weak point with the Whigs, and that of 1848 was no exception to the rule. Urged by the Duke of Wellington's letter to Sir John Burgoyne on the state of the defences, the Chancellor of the Exchequer determined on increasing the naval and military establishments. The result was a deficit of three millions, and no less than three withdrawals and alterations of the Budget had to be made before his proposals could be so shaped as to be acceptable to the House. The next Session was mainly devoted to Irish affairs, the Rate in Aid producing a collision between the two Houses, which was decided in favour of the Lords. In the same year, however, the most important measure of the Russell Ministry became law; the repeal, namely, of the Navigation Act, by which the carrying monopoly was abolished after the retaliation of foreign nations had reduced the principle of reciprocity, upon which Mr. Huskisson's Act had been framed, to a dead letter. Supported by the Canadian demand for liberation from the restrictions of the Navigation Act, Ministers courageously faced the clamour raised by the Protectionists, and carried their Bill through the Commons by large majorities. In the Upper House, however, they snatched a bare majority of ten through the circumstance that they had more proxies than their opponents.

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    A quarrel took place between Massena and Ney on the subject of attacking the British and Portuguese who invested Almeida, where was a French garrison, and Ney threw up his command, and retired to Salamanca. Massena was daily expecting the junction of Soult, who had taken Badajoz; but Wellington did not give time for this junction. He attacked Massena at Sabugal on the 3rd of April, and defeated him with heavy loss. Massena then continued his retreat for the frontier of Spain, and crossed the Agueda into that country on the 6th. Wellington then placed his army in cantonments between the Coa and the Agueda, and made more rigorous the blockade of Almeida.

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    The Bill was suffered to pass the second reading, but was thrown out, on the motion of its being committed, by two hundred and twenty-two against two hundred and fourteen. Fox then gave notice of his intention of bringing in a new Bill of his own on India, and demanded to know from the Ministers whether he might expect to proceed in security with it, or whether the House would be dissolved. Pitt did not answer; the question was repeated by other members, but Pitt continued silent, till General Conway said it was a new thing to see a Minister sitting in sulky silence, and refusing to satisfy the reasonable desires of the House. This brought out Pitt with an indignant denial; but he preserved silence as to the probability of a dissolution.

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    Nelson fell about the middle of the action, and for hours it continued with terrible fury. Whole masses of ships lay jammed together, pouring into one another the most tremendous broadsides. When all was over, the vessels on both sides appeared mere ruins. Nineteen ships of the line were taken, but some of them were so battered that they were useless, and incapable of moving. Six or seven of the enemy's ships immediately went down or were burnt. The Spanish admiral, Gravina, was mortally wounded; the rear-admiral, Cisneros, was taken, and the French admiral, Villeneuve. The French and Spaniards, in the few ships which had escaped into Cadiz, seeing the helpless condition of many of the British vessels, made a sortie, and re-captured two of the prizes, and carried them into port. The Algeciras, another of the captured ships, was also rescued, and carried into Cadiz by her crew, who rose the next morning on the English lieutenant and prize party in charge of her during a gale, the English having taken off the hatches to give the Spaniards a chance for their lives, should she drive on shore. In the end, the prizes were found so riddled by shot that they were burnt; so that, with some of them running on shore in the gale, only four of the wholethree Spanish and one Frenchwere saved, and brought to England as trophies. But the French and Spanish navies might be said to be annihilated; and, whatever might happen on the Continent, for the remainder of Napoleon's career England was for ever put beyond his reach. Nelson had indeed finished his mission. He had revived all the maritime glory of the days of Drake and Blake, and shown that, with a man like him at the head of her fleet, Britain might sit on her ocean throne, and smile at the hostile efforts of a world combined to crush her.

    Desigining
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    per cent., while the actual increase in England and Wales, in the same space of time between 1801 and 1831, as found by numeration, reached to 5,024,207 souls, or 56

    Enginering
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    But the most discouraging feature of this war was the incurable pride of the Spaniards, which no reverses, and no example of the successes of their allies could abate sufficiently to show them that, unless they would condescend to be taught discipline, as the Portuguese had done, they must still suffer ignominy and annihilation. Blake, who had been so thoroughly routed on every occasion, was not content, like the British and Portuguese, to go into quarters, and prepare, by good drilling, for a more auspicious campaign. On the contrary, he led his rabble of an army away to the eastern borders of Spain, encountered Suchet in the open field on the 25th of October, was desperately beaten, and then took refuge in Valencia, where he was closely invested, and compelled to surrender in the early part of January next year, with eighteen thousand men, twenty-three officers, and nearly four hundred guns. Such, for the time, was the end of the generalship of this wrong-headed man. Suchet had, before his encounter with Blake, been making a most successful campaign in the difficult country of Catalonia, which had foiled so many French generals. He had captured one fortress after another, and in June he had taken Tarragona, after a siege of three months, and gave it up to the lust and plunder of his soldiery.

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    But the smoothness was only on the surfacebeneath were working the strongest political animosities and the most selfish desires. The little knot of aristocratic families which had so long monopolised all the sweets of office, now saw with indignation tribes of aspirants crowding in for a share of the good things. The aspirants filled the ante-chamber of Bute, the angry and disappointed resorted to Newcastle, who was in a continual state of agitation by seeing appointments given to new men without his knowledge; members rushing in to offer their support to Government at the next election, who had[169] hitherto stood aloof, and were now received and encouraged.