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were not as clear and quick-sighted as himself. His enemies impute to him an inclination to arbitrary principles. The chief cause of this imputation was his disdain of popularity. He despised it to very scorn.
never garnished the execution of his duty by those flowers and fringes of popular sentiment, meaning nothing, with which other men disguise the good they are doing the people, lest it should bring upon them the obloquy of the populace."
A third death remains to be recorded in this year - that of queen Charlotte, at Kew Palace, on the 17th of November, in the seventy-fifth year of her age. Opposite opinions would be satisfied, and, strange as it may appear, a just notion given of her character, by merely saying she was formed to be the consort of George III. ·She was, it has been said, chaste, decorous, and prudent. Her chastity is unquestionable, and, being a virtue of the people, is not without its merit in a queen; but her decorum was suspected of being hypocritical, and her prudence of being sordid. She accepted presents with a want of scruple which implied either personal meanness, or a return in the corrupt disposal of court honours. The precious stuffs of the East were found piled and moth-eaten in her wardrobe upon her death. Her personal property disposed of by her will was sworn under 140,000l. ; but it was dated only the day before she died, and there had been previously a family partition of her treasure, chiefly in favour of the prince regent. She mentions her eldest daughter, the queen of Wirtemburg, in her will only as being already provided for, without the
slightest token of remembrance, or expression of kindness. This marked distinction was ascribed to a letter of the queen of Wirtemburg, in which she said that Napoleon, to whom, by the way, she was indebted for being a queen, had really the ways of a gentleman. Queen Charlotte has still her duped or canting admirers; but the spirit of the nation and of the times is changed, and a queen of England in the second quarter of the nineteenth century could harldly choose a more unhappy model.
The regent still indulged the aberrations of his fancy and taste upon upholstery and architecture. He assembled a council of professional and other virtuosi to deliberate on the alteration and improvement of Carlton House for the hundredth time. Pending these deliberations, the queen died; Buckingham House became disposable; and it was determined by the council to take down Carlton House altogether, and change the queen's house into a palace. This resolution proved of some moment, from the impulse given by it to architecture, which, of all the arts, has been the most encouraged in the late reign, and made at this period an amazing start in the capital.
The first session of the new parliament was opened by commission, on the 14th of January, 1819. Mr. Manners Sutton was re-elected speaker without competition, and with universal applause. The speech of the commissioners, after disposing of the king's illness and the queen’s death, adverted to two foreign topics of some importance, — the evacuation of France by the allied troops, and the brilliant campaign of the preceding year in India.
A congress of the great European powers was held in the autumn of 1818, at Aix-la-Chapelle. The duke of Wellington and lord Castlereagh assisted as the representatives of England; and the chief result, as affecting British interests, was a treaty for the surrender of the French fortresses to Louis XVIII., in the month of November, after an occupation of only three years. Arrangements were also made in the treaty for the payment, by instalments, of 265,000,000 francs by France to the allied powers, upon the general winding up of accounts, in pursuance of the treaty of occupation of 1815.
An eloquent and justly self-gratulating narrative of his campaign was given by the governor-general, lord Hastings, in his reply to an address of the inhabitants of Calcutta on his return from the seat of war. * It will here suffice to say of this brilliant but remote campaign, that it extinguished the treacherous and formidable power of the Mahrattas; completely broke the robber bands of cavalry called Pindarries; and consolidated, not compromised, the security and peace of the British empire in India by new and extensive conquests.
The speech, having referred to the prospects of continued peace in Europe, and the achievements of lord Hastings in India as matters of gratification to parliament, adverted to “ reductions in the military and naval services,” to “ considerable and progressive improvements in the most important branches of the revenue,” and described the trade,
* See Ann. Reg. 1819.
commerce, and manufactures of the country as “ in a most flourishing condition.” Lord Lansdowne, in the house of lords, said that the retrenchments were insufficient; the public income still 14,000,0001. short of the public expenditure; and that, though the condition of trade, commerce, and manufactures was improved, yet public prosperity was far from being fully or firmly restored. Mr. Macdonald, in the house of commons, treated as extravagant the representations of the state of the country in the speech and address; expressed his surprise at mutual felicitations which a little sober reflection should have checked, and described the ministry with much point and truth as distinguished by egregious blunders and great military success ; unable to arrive at an opinion upon such leading questions of administration as the currency, the poor laws, law reform, the catholic question, and as sustained only by the divisions of party between the public apathy on the one side, and public disgust on the other. The addresses, however, were agreed to without amendment or opposition in either house.
The death of the queen rendered it necessary to appoint in her place a guardian of the king's person. Lord Liverpool proposed the duke of York, and the propriety of the appointment was readily admitted. But a second proposition, that the duke should receive a salary of 10,000l. a year for this filial duty, which would have been light even to a stranger, created much opposition. “ The royal duke's only duty to his afflicted father," said Mr.
Tierney, “would be to go from London or Oatlands to Windsor once or twice a week, and it was modestly proposed that he should be allowed 10,0001. a year for the hire of post horses. Was the duke of York in want of 10,0001. a year ? If so, let ministers speak out, and not come to the house in this sneaking, shuffling, paltry manner.” Under pretence of respect for the dignity of the crown, and of loyal reverence for the person of George III.,
enormous burden was maintained under the name of the Windsor establishment. The dominant party of that day had the amazing effrontery to mock the reason and distresses of the people, and even the melancholy visitation of a person in whom the light of external sense and of internal consciousness were alike extinct, when the real and sole motive was that of ministering to the distempered avarice of the queen, the scandalous prodigalities of the duke of York, and the mean arrogance with which lords of the bedchamber and other court placemen condescend to quarter their pride and wants upon the people.
Ministers at last seemed to entertain a serious notion of the resumption of cash payments. Pressed on the one side by the increasing conviction in and out of parliament of the propriety of returning to a sound currency, on the other, by the power and artifices of what is called the monied interest, including capitalists, jobbers, Jews, and all who have an interest in the facility of discount and high prices, they manifested a sort of wavering inclintion to the former. Mr. Tierney, on the 2d of