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      "And you think there will be trouble?" He knew that the buck had come there for nothing but to inform.



      Such was Massena's situation, so early as the commencement of Novemberhaving to maintain his army in a country reduced to a foodless desert by the art of his masterly antagonist, and, instead of being able to drive the British before him, finding them menacing him on all sides, so that he dispatched General Foy to make his way with a strong escort to Ciudad Rodrigo, and thence to proceed with all speed to Paris, to explain to the Emperor the real state of affairs. The state was that the whole of Portugal, except the very ground on which Massena was encamped, was in possession of the British and the Portuguese. There was no possibility of approaching Lisbon without forcing these lines at Torres Vedras, and that, if done at all, must be at the cost of as large an army as he possessed altogether. All the rest of PortugalOporto, Coimbra, Abrantesand all the forts except Almeida were in the hands of the enemy. As to the destitution of Massena's army, we have the description from his own statements in letters to Napoleon, which were intercepted. From this information, Lord Wellington wrote in his dispatches: "It is impossible to describe the pecuniary and other distresses of the French army in the Peninsula. All the troops are months in arrears of pay; they are, in general, very badly clothed; they want horses, carriages, and equipments of every description; their troops subsist solely upon plunder; they receive no money, or scarcely any, from France, and they realise but little from their pecuniary contributions from Spain. Indeed, I have lately discovered that the expense of the pay and the hospitals alone of the French army in the Peninsula amounts to more than the sum stated in the financial expos as the whole expense of the entire French army."

      GREENWICH HOSPITAL

      To such a pitch of folly and despotism had the Grafton Ministry been driven by the events of the Session of 1769, by their conduct towards the Americans and Wilkes. The Rockinghams and Grenvilles were combined against the Grafton Cabinet, and thus acquiring popularity at its expense. Lord Camden, though still retaining his place, utterly disapproved of their proceedings. The people everywhere held meetings to express their total loss of confidence in both the Ministers and Parliament, and to pray the king to dissolve the latter. In the autumn, the action of Wilkes against Lord Halifax, for the seizure of his papers, was tried, and the jury gave him four thousand pounds damages.


      On the 1st of July the report of the committee was read, together with the form of declaration as drawn up by Jefferson, but afterwards remodelled by Franklin and the committee. Nine states now voted for independence. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it. Delaware and South Carolina requested an adjournment to the next day, in order to make up their minds, when they voted for it, a new delegate having arrived from Delaware with firmer instructions. New York held out against independence, General Howe having now arrived at Sandy Hook, and the Provincial Congress having retired from New York to White Plains. Jay and Gouverneur Morris, from that State, were, however, vehement for independence, asserting that the Congress of New York ought to be dissolved, and delegates sent up to a new and more popular Congress.

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      The better class of citizens did not roam over the country much, and no officers had stopped at his ranch in almost two years, though they had often passed by. And he knew well enough that they would have let their canteens go unfilled, and their horses without fodder, for a long time, rather than have accepted water from his wells or alfalfa from his land. He could understand their feeling, too,that was the worst of it; but though his love and his loyalty toward Felipa never for one moment wavered, he was learning surely day by day that a woman, be she never so much beloved, cannot make up to a man for long for the companionship of his own kind; and, least of all,he was forced to admit it in the depths of his consciousness now,one whose interests were circumscribed.These motions were defeated, and Lord North, on the 21st of June, moved for the introduction of a Bill to double the militia and raise volunteer corps. The proposal to double the militia was rejected, that to raise volunteer corps accepted. To man the Navy a Bill was brought in to suspend for six months all exemptions from impressment into the Royal Navy. The measure was passed through two stages before rising, and carried the next morning, and sent up to the Lords. There it met with strong opposition, and did not receive the Royal Assent till the last day of the Session. This was the 3rd of July, and was followed, on the 9th, by a Royal Proclamation ordering all horses and provisions, in case of invasion, to be driven into the interior. The batteries of Plymouth were manned, and a boom was drawn across the harbour at Portsmouth. A large camp of militia was established at Cox Heath, in front of Maidstone, and, in truth, this demonstration of a patriotic spirit was very popular.

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      "I don't know anything whatever about it," he answered; "that is none of my affair. I should be surprised if he were, and I must say I am inclined to think he is not."FROM THE PAINTING BY CLARKSON STANFIELD, R.A., IN THE CORPORATION ART GALLERY, GUILDHALL.

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      Meanwhile, Sir Robert Peel applied himself with great energy and diligence to the legislative work that he had proposed for his Government. On the 17th he moved for leave to bring in a Bill to relieve Dissenters from the disabilities under which they laboured with regard to the law of marriage. It was felt to be a great grievance that Nonconformists could not be married except according to the rites of the Established Church, to which they had conscientious objections. Attempts had been made by the Whigs to relieve them, but in a hesitating manner, and with only a half recognition of the principle of religious equality. Sir Robert Peel took up the subject in a more liberal spirit and with more enlightened views. He proposed that, so far as the State had to do with marriage, it should assume the form of a civil contract only, leaving the parties to solemnise it with whatever religious ceremonies they chose. The Bill for this purpose met the approval of the House, and would have satisfied the Dissenters if Sir Robert Peel had remained in office long enough to pass it. All the committees of the preceding year were reappointed, in order to redeem, as far as possible, the time lost by the dissolution. A measure was brought forward for the improvement of the resources of the Church of England, by turning some of the larger incomes to better account, and by creating two additional bishoprics, Ripon and Manchester. The Premier did not act towards the Dissenters in the same liberal spirit with regard to academic education as he did with regard to marriage. They were excluded from the privileges of the Universities; and yet when it was proposed to grant a charter to the London University, that it might be able to confer degrees, the Government opposed the motion for an Address to the king on the subject, and were defeated by a majority of 246 to 136.


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