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BOOK The Dutch on their part bestowed rewards more XX.

liberal and solid on the officers and sailors of their 1781.

fleet, and admiral Zoutman was received at Amster. dam with great applause and acclamation; and the event of this remarkable action showed, that the Dutch seamen were still possessed of that determined courage which had distinguished them in the days of De Ruyter and Van Tromp.

About this time the emperor, now resident in the Netherlands, issued a placart, by which Ostend was declared to be a free port; and in the month of October he acceded in form to the armed neutrality, as the kings of Prussia and Portugal had also pre.

viously done. Spirited Notwithstanding the great concessions made by ings of the the parliament of Great Britain to the people of and people Ireland, that country, finding its own strength, re.

mained in a state far short of satisfaction : for it had still much to ask, or rather to demand. The army on the Irish establishment had been hitherto invariably governed and directed by the sole prerogative of the monarch; but as the spirit of liberty and independence increased, a Mutiny Bill, on the model of the English, had been recently introduced into the Irish parliament, and passed into a perpe. tual law. But a measure originally highly popular was now the subject of loud complaint; and it was affirmed, not without reason, that liberty could never be secured on just and constitutional grounds

of Ireland.

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so long as the monarch was irrevocably invested BOOK with the unlimited power of the sword; that in England the Mutiny Bill was passed only from year to year, and in the very preamble of it standing armies without the consent of parliament are declared illegal; the troops themselves, the law that regulated, and the power that commands them, are by this bill limited to one year. Thus was the army of England rendered a parliamentary army, and the constitutional ascendency of the subject over the soldier preserved.

In numerous county and provincial meetings the supremacy of the British parliament was in formal resolves positively denied, and the absolute independence of Ireland on the British legislature boldly asserted. The unconstitutional powers of the Irish privy council, where, agreeably to the famous law of Poyning, all laws must originate, were reprobated, a Habeas-Corpus Act louldly called for, the abolition of all superfluous places and pensions insisted upon. The zeal and activity of the military associations sufficiently evinced their determination to enforce their claims by a mode of application which was in no danger of being disregarded.

BOOK XXI.

SESSION of Parliament-Infatuation of Ministers. Moriou

condemnatory of the American Iar ly Sir James Lowther. Remarkable Delate on the Army Estimates. Lord George Germaine advanced to the Peerage under Circumstances of unprecedented Indignity and Disgrace. Mr. For renews his Motion of Censure upon Lord Sandwich, in which Two Hun. dred and Seventeen Memlers of the House of Commons concur. General Conway's Motion against the American War negatived ly a Majority of One Voice only. General Conu'ay's Second Motion carried by a Majority of Nineteen Voices. Successive Motions of Censure on the Ministers. Entire Change of Administration-Marquis of Rockingham a Second Time Minister. High and peremptory Claims of the Irish Parliament. Repeal of the Irish Declaratory Act. Mr. Burke's Reform Bill a Third Time introdused and passed. King's Debis a Third Time discharged. Resolution respecting the Middlesex Election rescinded. Nr. Pitt's Motion of Inquiry into the State of the Representation. Death of the Marquis of Rockingham. Advancement of Eurl Shelburne Fatal Divisions amongst the Whigs. Minorca conquered ly the Spaniards. Island of St. Christopher, &c. captured ly the French. The Bahamas taken ly the Spaniards. Decisive Victory of Sir George Rodney over the French off Dominique. Glorious Defence and final Relief of Gibraltar. Provisional Articles of Peace with America signed at Paris, November 1782. General Washington resigns his Commission. Session of Parliament-Strength of the New Ministry. Preliminaries of Peace with France and Spain signed. Debates on the Peace-Terms of it disapproved by the Commons. Coalition between Mr. Fox and Lord North. Change of Ministry

Duke of Portland First Minister. Ertreme Unpopularity of the Coalition Administration. Act of Renunciation of the Authority of Great Britain over Ireland. Embarrassments of the East-India Company. Mr. Pitt's Plan of Parliamentary Reform. Remarkable Petition of the Quakers. Order of Council for the Regulation of Commerce between the Continent of America and the West Indies. Treaty of Peace signed between England and Holland. State of Europe. Mr. Fox's India Bill moved-Passes the Commons, but is rejected by the Lords. Sudden Dismission of the Coalition Ministers. Mr. Pitt First MinisterHis great Popularity. Politicul Conflict between the Crown and the Commons. Mr. Pilt's India Bill rejected. The Nation declares in favor of the Crown. The Parliament dissolved. Meeting of the New ParliamentTriumph of the Minisier,

XXI.

1781.

The second session of the present parliament com- BOOK menced at Westminster on the 27th of November, 1781. In the speech from the throne his ma-session of jesty observed, “ That the war was still unhappily Speech prolonged, and that, to his great concern, the events from the of it had been very unfortunate to his army in Virginia, having ended in the total loss of his forces in that province. But he could not consent to sacrifice, either to his own desire of peace or to the temporary ease and relief of his subjects, those essential rights and permanent interests upon which the strength and security of this country must ever principally depend.” His majesty declared, “ that he retained a firm confidence in the protection of Divine Providence, and A PERFECT CONVICTION of the Justice of his cause;"--and he concluded

XXI.

1781.

Character of the KING.

BOOK by calling “ for the concurrence and support of

parliament, and a VIGOROUS, ANIMATED, and
UNITED EXERTION of the FACULTIES and RE-
SOURCES of his PEOPLE.” Upon the whole, this
speech was plainly indicatory of a fixed and reso-
lute determination to prosecute a war, of which it
might well be supposed that “ fools as gross as ig.
norance made drunk" might by this time have seen
the hopelessness and the absurdity.
The monarch had now swayed the sceptre

o
these kingdoms more than twenty years, and, in
the course of a long and variegated series of events,
his character both personal and political was com-
pletely matured and developed. The province of
history is sacred; and in the delineation of the dif,
ferent
personages

whom she exhibits on the grand theatre of human action, she equally disdains injustice to the meanest and adulation to the highest individual. The capacity of this prince—whose reign will be memorable to all succeeding ages~ little cultivated by education, and unimproved in early youth by a liberal intercourse with men of genius and discernment, was by universal acknowledgment of a class which had no pretensions to native su, periority. In his conduct upon all occasions an invincible pertinacity was discoverable, which it would be

for the flatterers of a court to dignify with the appellation of firmness. His acknowledged rectitude of intention was clouded by the absence

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