咸辉主持召开自治区政府第62次常务会议

The court-house on the day of nomination presented a striking scene. On the left hand of the sheriff stood a Cabinet Minister, attended by the whole body of the aristocracy and gentry, Protestant and Catholic, of the county Clare. On the right stood Mr. O'Connell, with scarcely a single gentleman by his side. But he was "the man of the people" and of the priests, and so he was master of the situation. Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald was proposed by Sir Edward O'Brien, and seconded by Sir A. Fitzgerald. The Ministerial candidate first addressed the freeholders. He was an accomplished gentleman and an excellent speaker. Mr. Sheil, who was present, remarked that he delivered one of the most effective and dexterous speeches it had ever been his fortune to hear. His venerable father, who had voted against the union in the Irish Parliament, was now on his death-bed, and the knowledge of the[274] contest had been kept from him, lest the excitement should hasten his departure. In alluding to him, and to his own services to the county, Mr. Fitzgerald's eyes filled with tears, and there were few amongst his opponents, excited as they were against him, who did not give the same evidence of emotion; and when he sat down, although the great majority of the audience were strongly opposed to him, and were enthusiasts in favour of the rival candidate, a loud and unanimous burst of acclamation shook the court-house. The depth of Walpole's mortification, however, was shown by the vengeance he took on those who had opposed him. This fell with peculiar weight on Lord Chesterfield. Chesterfield had acquired a great reputation by his able management of affairs at the Hague. Since his return he had become Lord Steward of the Household, and a frequent and much admired debater in the House. But Chesterfield was too ambitious himself to stoop patiently to the domineering temper of Walpole. He was said to have thrown out some keen sarcasms at Walpole's Excise Bill, and his three brothers in the Commons voted against it. Only two days after the abandonment of the Bill, as Chesterfield was ascending the staircase at St. James's, he was stopped by an attendant, and summoned home to surrender the White Staff. The same punishment was dealt out to a number of noblemen who acted in concert with him. Lord Clinton, a Lord of the Bedchamber, the Earl of Burlington, Captain of the Band of Pensioners,[64] were dismissed, as well as the Duke of Montrose, and the Earls of Marchmont and Stair from offices held in Scotland. The Duke of Bolton and Lord Cobham were, by a most unjustifiable stretch of authority, deprived of their regiments.

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.

Bolingbroke (b. 1678; d. 1751) must be named with the prose writers of the age. Amongst his writings there is little that will now interest the reader. He wrote in a brilliant and pretentious style, as he acted; and his writings, like his policy, are more showy than sound. As a cold sceptic in religion, and a Jacobite in politics, proud and essentially selfish in his nature, we are not likely to find anything from his pen which can strongly attract us, or is calculated to benefit us. In the Tory party, to which he belonged, he was one of those brilliant and self-complacent apparitions, which have all the[149] qualities of the meteordazzling, but speedily sinking into darkness, though his "Patriot King" had some temporary influence, and even furnishes the keynote to some of the earlier writings of Lord Beaconsfield.

The paper was communicated to the king by the Duke of Wellington, who wrote, on the 17th of January, that he entirely concurred in the sentiments and opinions contained in it; and, referring to Mr. Peel's request to be allowed to retire from the Government, the Duke said:"I tell you fairly, I do not see the smallest chance of getting the better of these difficulties, if you should not continue in office. Even if I should be able to obtain the king's consent to enter upon the course which it will probably be found the wisest to adoptwhich it is almost certain that I shall not if I should not have your assistance in office,the difficulties in Parliament will be augmented tenfold in consequence of your secession, while the means of getting the better of them will be diminished in the same proportion. I entreat you, then, to reconsider the subject, and to give[295] us and the country the benefit of your advice and assistance in this most difficult and important crisis."

CHAPTER XI. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).

Whilst Napoleon was thus advancing towards Paris, the besotted Bourbons rather rejoiced in it, for they said it would compel the two chambers to invest the king with despotic powerthat was what they were still longing for; and Louis himself, addressing the foreign ambassadors, bade them assure their sovereigns that he was well, and that the foolish enterprise of "that man" should as little disturb Europe as it had disturbed him.