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      On the 30th of August they reached Blair Castle. The Duke of Athol, the proprietor, fled at their approach, and old Tullibardine resumed his ancestral mansion, and gave a splendid banquet there to Charles and his officers. On the third day they resumed their march, and reached Perth on the 4th of September, which the prince entered on horseback, amid loud acclamations. Whilst at Perth he received two valuable accessions to his partythe titular Duke of Perth, who brought with him two hundred men, and Lord George Murray, the brother of the Duke of Athol, and a man of considerable military experience.

      On Newcastle's resignation Bute placed himself at the head of the Treasury, and named Grenville Secretary of Statea fatal nomination, for Grenville lost America. Lord Barrington, though an adherent of Newcastle, became Treasurer of the Navy, and Sir Francis Dashwood Chancellor of the Exchequer. Bute, who, like all weak favourites, had not the sense to perceive that it was necessary to be moderate to acquire permanent power, immediately obtained a vacant Garter, and thus parading the royal favours, augmented the rapidly growing unpopularity which his want of sagacity and honourable principle was fast creating. He was beset by legions of libels, which fully exposed his incapacity, and as freely dealt with the connection between himself and the mother of the king.

      He was surprised, but he was pleased too, and he took the long fingers in his and held them gently.

      The French army in Spain numbered more than two hundred thousand men, and of these more than one hundred and thirty thousand lay in the provinces bordering on Portugal, or between it and Madrid. Victor had thirty-five thousand in Estremadura; and close behind him, in La Mancha, Sebastiani had twenty thousand more. Northward, in Old Castile, Leon, and Asturias, Kellermann and Bonnet had ten thousand. Soult, in Galicia, was joined by Ney and Mortier, making his army again upwards of fifty thousand, with whom he contemplated returning into Portugal. General Dessolles had fifteen thousand men at Madrid to protect the intrusive King Joseph; and Suchet and Augereau, in Aragon and Catalonia, commanded fifty thousand. Almost all the strong fortresses in the country were in their hands. The only circumstances favourable to the Allies were that the French generals were at variance amongst themselves; that none of them paid any deference to the commands of King Joseph, who was nominally generalissimo; and that the Spaniards were, everywhere where woods and mountains favoured them, harassing the French in a manner that made them very sick of the country, and that often reduced them to a state of severe privation.

      Admirable as was the character of Caroline, she has been accused of retaining her resentment against her son to the last. Pope and Chesterfield affirm that she died refusing to see or forgive her son; but Ford, though he says she would not see him, states that she "heartily forgave him"; and Horace Walpole says she not only forgave him, but would have seen him, but that she feared to irritate her husband. To Sir Robert Walpole she expressed her earnest hope that he would continue to serve the king as faithfully as he had done, and, curiously enough, recommended the king to him, not him to the king. She died on the 20th of November, perhaps more lamented by Walpole than by her own husband (though, as Lord Hervey tells us, George was bitterly affected), for Walpole well knew how much her strong sense and superior feeling had tended to keep the king right, which he could not hope for when she was gone. The king appeared to lament her loss considerably for a time, that is, till consoled by his mistress, the Countess of Walmoden, whom he had kept for a long time at Hanover, and now soon brought over to England. He sent for her picture when she was dead, shut himself up with it some hours, and declared, on reappearing, that he never knew the woman worthy to buckle her shoe.


      In wood engraving, Thomas Bewick, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, revived the art, and threw such fascination into it by the exquisite tail-pieces in his "Natural History," that his name will always be associated with this style of engraving.


      The news from Boston could not have arrived at a moment when the public mind was more ill-disposed towards the Americans. The affair of the abstraction of Mr. Whately's private letters from his house or office, and their publication, contrary to custom and to its own engagement, by the Massachusetts Assembly, had produced a deep conviction in all classes in England of the utter disregard of honour both in the American colonists and their agent, Franklin. This disgraceful violation of the sacred security of private papers roused the indignation of Mr. William Whately, banker, in Lombard Street, and brother to the late Mr. Thomas Whately. He conceived strong suspicions of John Temple, afterwards Sir John Temple, Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire, and, though one of the Commissioners of Customs at Boston, really hostile to the Commission, and a strong partisan of Franklin. Whately challenged Temple, and was severely wounded in the rencontre. At this, Franklin came forward with an avowal that neither the late Mr. Whately nor Mr.[211] Temple had anything to do with the carrying off of the letters; that he alone was responsible for this act."And I went outside the post the night after you left, down to the river. Some one will probably tell you about a wounded Sierra Blanca found down among the bushes in the river bottom that same night. I shot him, and then I hacked him up with my knife." He had taken his pipe from his mouth and was looking at her incredulously, perplexed. He did not understand whether it was a joke on her part, or exactly what it was.


      The first Reform Parliament was dissolved by proclamation on the 30th of December, after an existence of only one year and eleven months. This proceeding was regarded by the Reformers as a sort of political sacrilege; a manifest flying in the face of the people; a clear declaration of an intention to destroy popular rights. But the care bestowed on the registries told strongly in favour of the Conservatives at the English elections. The exertions they made to secure a majority were immense. It was believed at the time that the Carlton Club had expended nearly a million sterling in securing the success of their candidates in every possible way in which money could be made available. In the counties and boroughs the Whigs and Radicals lost about 100 seats, but after all the Conservatives could muster only 302 members; against 356. The contests were unusually numerous and severe, but the Reform Act machinery worked so well that the elections were for the most part conducted in a very orderly manner. In many places the closeness of the poll was remarkable. It was a neck and neck race between the rival candidates. In the metropolitan boroughs the Ministerialists were everywhere defeated. Not one of the sixteen seats in this vast centre of influence could the Government, with all its lavish expenditure, obtain. In some of the provincial towns, howeverBristol, Exeter, Newcastle, Hull, York, Leeds, Halifax, and Warringtona Tory supplanted a Whig. At Liverpool the contest was intensely exciting. During the last hour of polling were seen in every direction vans, gigs, and flies in rapid motion, and the price of a vote rose from 15 to 25. The result was the return of Lord Sandon, a moderate Tory; Sir Howard Douglas, the other Conservative candidate, being defeated by Mr. Ewart. In Lancashire and Hampshire both the Liberal candidates were defeated. Manchester, Birmingham, Bolton, Sheffield, Preston, and most of the manufacturing towns, returned Liberals. On the whole, the Government had a small majority of the five hundred English members. In Scotland, however, the Reform Act had wrought a complete revolution, and the mass of the electors so long excluded from political power used the privileges they had obtained with great zeal in favour of the party to which they were indebted for their enfranchisement. The whole of the burghs, twenty in number, returned Liberal members. Five of the counties were gained by the Tories and three by the Whigs, where respectively they had formerly failed. Glasgow, whose voice had been neutralised by returning one representative of each party, now returned two Liberals. Serious disturbances took place at Jedburgh when Lord John Scott, the Tory candidate, made his appearance. At Hawick, in the same county, the rioting was still worse. The persons who came to vote for him were spit upon, pelted with stones, and severely struck. In some cases they were thrown into the stream that runs through the town, and subjected to the most shocking indignities, which the judges who afterwards tried the cases declared to be "worse than death itself."