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BEAUS AND BELLES OF THE REGENCY PERIOD.the charter of the West India Company was revoked, and trade was declared open to all subjects of the king; yet commerce was still condemned to wear the ball and chain. New restrictions were imposed, meant for good, but resulting in evil. Merchants not resident in the colony were forbidden all trade, direct or indirect, with the Indians. * They were also forbidden to sell any goods at retail except in August, September, and October; ** to trade anywhere in Canada above Quebec; and to sell clothing or domestic articles ready made. This last restriction was designed to develop colonial industry. No person, resident or not, could trade with the English colonies, or go thither without a special passport, and rigid examination by the military authorities. *** Foreign trade of any kind was stiffly prohibited. In 1719, after a new company had engrossed the beaver trade, its agents were empowered to enter all houses in Canada, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and search them for foreign goods, which when found were publicly burned. **** In the next year, the royal council ordered that vessels engaged in foreign trade should be captured by force of arms, like pirates, and confiscated along with their cargoes; (v) while anybody having an article of foreign manufacture in his possession was subjected to a heavy fine. (v*)
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.
Thus the whole country was torn by religious animosity; the nobles were insolent to the Crown, and the people were nothing. Such was the divided condition of Poland which led to its dismemberment. All nobility of mind was destroyed; pride and oppression were the inseparable consequences of such a system. There was no middle class, no popular class; it was a country of lords and slavesof one class domineering over the other. The Greek Catholics were the Dissidents, and the Dissidents sought aid from Russiawhich was also Greek in religionand, to insure this aid, condescended to the lowest arts of solicitation, to the practice of fawning, stooping, and cringing to the great barbarous power of Russia on one side, and to the equally barbarous power of Turkey on the other. The nobles could bring large bodies of cavalry into the field, as many, at times, as a hundred thousand; but as they had no free people, and dreaded to arm their slaves, they had little or no infantry, except such as they hired, and even this was in no condition to withstand the heavy masses of Russian infantry, much less such armies as Prussia or Austria might be tempted to bring against them.
But far above all rose, at this period, the already popular romantic poet, Walter Scott. Before him, in Scotland, Henry Mackenzie had occupied for a long time the foreground as a writer of fiction, in "The Man of Feeling," "Julia de Roubign," etc., but in a very different class of invention. As Walter Scott (b. 1771; d. 1832) had opened up the romance of the Scottish Highlands in his poems, so he now burst forth, on the same ground, in historic romance, with a vigour, splendour, and wonderful fertility of imagination and resource of knowledge which far exceeded everything in the history of literature since the days of Shakespeare. We need not attempt to characterise the voluminous series of what are called the "Waverley Novels," which, in their ample range, occupied almost every country of Europe and every climate, from the bleak rocks of Orkney to the glowing plains of Syria and India; they are familiar to all readers, and closed this period with a splendour from the mingled blaze of invention, poetry, and science, which no succeeding age is likely to surpass.[See larger version]
ALEXANDER I.During the absence of Major-General Smith Lord Lake maintained the bombardment of the fortress of Bhurtpore. As Holkar continued to hover near with a large body of cavalry, Lord Lake went in quest of him, and coming up with him, now again joined by Meer Khan and some bands of Pindarrees, he gave him a most crushing defeat on the 2nd of April, and drove him across the Chumbul river. On this, the Rajah of Bhurtpore consented to treat; and, on the 2nd of April, he agreed to surrender the fort of Deeg to the British till such time as they were satisfied of his fidelity; to renounce all connection with the enemies of Britain; to pay by instalments twenty lacs of Ferruckabad rupees; to surrender a portion of his territory, and deliver one of his sons as a hostage for the fulfilment of his engagements. This was settled on the 10th of April, and on the 21st Lord Lake went in quest of Scindiah and Holkar, who had united their forces. At his approach they retreated towards Ajmere. As the rainy season was approaching, Lord Lake returned, and quartered his troops at Agra, Muttra, and neighbouring towns. Lord Wellesley was now superseded in the government of India by Lord Cornwallis, who was averse from the system of extensive annexation which Lord Wellesley had pursued. But his own health was failing, and as he ascended the country in order to confer with Lord Lake on his future policy, he died at Ghazee-pure, near Benares, having returned to India only three months. Sir George Barlow assumed the direction of affairs till the appointment of a new Governor General; and as Lord Lake was of opinion that there could be no security till Holkar and Scindiah were driven over the Indus, it was resolved to carry out that object. Scindiah, however, came in and made peace, and Holkar went northward, boasting that he would cross the Indus, and then return with a new avalanche of Sikhs and Afghans, and sweep away the British forces. But the Sikhs, who wished both him and us away, refused all aid to Holkar, except to mediate for him. Even then he hung back, and made great difficulties about the conditions; but Lord Lake at last informed him that unless the treaty were signed by a certain day, he would cross the Sutlej and advance to attack him. This brought him to, and on the 7th of January, 1806, the treaty was duly signed by him. By it Holkar renounced all claims on Poonah and Bundelcund, and, indeed, on any territory on the northern bank of the Chumbul, as well as all claims on the British Government and its allies. On her part, Britain agreed to restore to him, eighteen months after the treaty, Chandore, Galnauh, and other forts and districts south of the Taptee and Godavery, provided he fulfilled his engagements, remained peaceful, and did not molest the territories of the Company and its allies. By the treaty with Scindiah, which was completed on the 23rd of November, that of Surjee Anjengaum, made by General Wellesley, was confirmed: to restore to him Gwalior and Gohud, with the right to resume them in case he violated the treaty. The river Chumbul was made his boundary. In exchange for certain jaghires, amounting to fifteen lacs of rupees annually, which had been granted to some of his officers by the former treaty, he received an annual pension of four lacs of rupees for himself, a jaghire, worth two lacs of rupees, for his wife, and another, worth one lac, for his daughter. As for his father-in-law, Surjee-Row-Gautkaa man most hostile to the British, and who was supposed to have stimulated both Scindiah and Holkar to their late warhe was bound, like Holkar, not to admit him again to his counsels or service. No interference was made with his conquests between the rivers Chumbul and Taptee, nor with his arrangements with his tributary chiefs in Mewar and Marwar; but, on the other hand, he was required not to take into his service any Europeans, without consent of the British. French officers, indeed, who had served under M. Perron, were found to have directed the defence of the hill forts in this campaign, greatly to our damage.
Mr. Fyshe Palmer was not tried till the 12th of September. He was then brought before the Circuit Court of Justiciary at Perth, and charged with writing and publishing an "Address to the People," which had been issued by the Society of the Friends of Liberty, at Dundee. Palmer was an Englishman of good family, in Bedfordshire. He had taken his degree at Cambridge, and obtained a fellowship at Queen's College; but he had afterwards joined the Unitarians, and had resided and preached some time at Montrose and Dundee, and had delivered lectures on Unitarianism in Edinburgh and Forfar. It appeared that Palmer was not the author of the Address, but had only been asked to correct the proof of it, and that he had, whilst so doing, struck out some of the strongest passages. One Mealmaker, a weaver, acknowledged himself the author of the Address; but Palmer was a Unitarian, and this, to the bigoted Presbyterianism of his judges, was rank poison. His advocate pleaded that he was not quite sane, but neither did this avail; the jury brought in an instant and unanimous verdict of guilty, and the judges condemned him to be transported for seven years. This was a still more outrageous sentence than that of Muir, for Palmer had corresponded with no French or Reforming societies whatever; he had simply corrected a proof!