The following is the general result of the Reform Acts upon the constitution of the Imperial Parliament:In England the county constituencies, formerly 52, returning 94 members, were increased to 82, returning 159 members. The borough members were 341, giving a total of 500 for England. In Ireland the number of the constituencies remained the same, but five members were added, making the total number 105, representing 32 counties and 41 boroughs including the University of Dublin. A second member was given to each of the following:Limerick, Waterford, Belfast, Galway, and Dublin University. The proportion of counties and boroughs in Scotland was 30 and 23, giving a total of 53. All the counties of the United Kingdom returned 253 members, all the boroughs 405, the total number constituting the House of Commons being 658. Nevertheless, the results actually attained in the first two years were briefly these: first, the[466] chargeable letters delivered in the United Kingdom, exclusive of that part of the Government's correspondence which formerly passed free, had already increased from the rate of about 75,000,000 a year to that of 208,000,000; secondly, the London district post letters had increased from about 13,000,000 to 23,000,000, or nearly in the ratio of the reduction of the rates; thirdly, the illicit conveyance of letters was substantially suppressed; fourthly, the gross revenue, exclusive of repayments, yielded about a million and a half per annum, which was sixty-three per cent. on the amount of the gross revenue of 1839, the largest income which the Post Office had ever afforded. These results, at so early a stage, and in the face of so many obstructions, amply vindicated the policy of the new system. But by its enemies that system was declared to be a failure, until the striking evidence of year after year silenced opposition by an exhaustive process.

In consequence of the difficulty of getting impartiality combined with local information, the Commissioners determined to unite in the inquiry "a native of Great Britain with a resident native of Ireland." They were very slow in their investigations, and complaints were made in Parliament and by the public of the time and money consumed in the inquiry. In the early part of 1836 they made a second report, in which they gave an account of the various institutions that had been established for the relief of the poor, such as infirmaries, dispensaries, fever hospitals, lunatic asylums, foundling hospitals, houses of industry, the total charge of which amounted to about 205,000, of which 50,000 consisted of Parliamentary grants, the remainder being derived from grand jury presentments, voluntary contributions, and other local sources. This second[403] report, which added little or nothing to the knowledge of the public on the subject, and suggested no general plan for the relief of the poor, was by no means satisfactory to the public. Mr. Nicholls was then a member of the English Poor Law Commission; and the state of the Irish poor being pressed upon his attention, he prepared for the consideration of Government a series of suggestions, founded upon a general view of social requirements and upon his experience of the English Poor Law, coupled with the evidence appended to the Irish Commissioners' first report. These suggestions were presented to Lord John Russell in January, 1836, about the same time as the Commissioners' second report. In due time that body published their third report, containing the general results of their inquiry upon the condition of the people, which may be summed up as follows:There is not the same division of labour which exists in Great Britain. The labouring class look to agriculture alone for support, whence the supply of agricultural labour greatly exceeds the demand for it, and small earnings and widespread misery are the consequences. It appeared that in Great Britain the agricultural families constituted little more than one-fourth, whilst in Ireland they constituted about two-thirds of the whole population; that there were in Great Britain, in 1831, 1,055,982 agricultural labourers; in Ireland, 1,131,715, although the cultivated land of Great Britain amounted to about 34,250,000 acres, and that of Ireland only to about 14,600,000. So that there were in Ireland about five agricultural labourers for every two that there were for the same quantity of land in Great Britain. It further appeared that the agricultural progress of Great Britain was more than four times that of Ireland; that agricultural wages varied from sixpence to one shilling a day; that the average of the country is about eightpence-halfpenny; and that the earnings of the labourers come, on an average of the whole class, to from two shillings to two and sixpence a week or thereabouts for the year round. The Commissioners state that they "cannot estimate the number of persons out of work and in distress during thirty weeks of the year at less than 585,000, nor the number of persons dependent upon them at less than 1,800,000, making in the whole 2,385,000. This, therefore," it is added, "is about the number for which it would be necessary to provide accommodation in workhouses, if all who required relief were there to be relieved;" and they consider it impossible to provide for such a multitude, or even to attempt it with safety. The expense of erecting and fitting up the necessary buildings would, they say, come to about 4,000,000; and, allowing for the maintenance of each person twopence-halfpenny only a day (that being the expense at the mendicity establishment of Dublin), the cost of supporting the whole 2,385,000 for thirty weeks would be something more than 5,000,000 a year; whereas the gross rental of Ireland (exclusive of towns) is estimated at less than 10,000,000 a year, the net income of the landlords at less than 6,000,000, and the public revenue is only about 4,000,000. They could not, therefore, recommend the present workhouse system of England as at all suited to Ireland.

Charles, accompanied by O'Sullivan, Sheridan, and other gentlemen, rode away to a seat of Lord Lovat's. The wild gallop of horsemen startled that wily old fox in his lair; and when he heard the news the Master began to tremble for his own safety. There are different accounts of his reception of the fugitive prince. One says that he was so occupied with thinking of making his own escape, that he hardly showed common courtesy to the prince and his companions, and that they parted in mutual displeasure. Another states that Lovat urged the same advice as Lord George Murray had done, still to get up into the mountains, and make a bold face, by which time might be gained for fresh reinforcements, or at least for making some terms for the unhappy people. But it is clear that Charles had now lost all spirit, if he had ever retained much after he had been forced to retreat from Derby. He and his party rode away again at ten o'clock at night, and reached Invergarry, the castle of Glengarry, about two hours before daybreak. Lord George still entertained the idea of keeping together a large body of Highlanders. He had already with him one thousand two hundred. Charles had stolen away from Invergarry to Arkaig, in Lochaber, and thence to Glenboisdale, where the messengers of Lord George found him, accompanied only by O'Sullivan, O'Neil, and Burke, his servant, who knew the country and acted as guide. All the rest of his train had shifted for themselves. Lord George entreated the prince not to quit the country, but to continue to gather a force in the mountains, and thus resist and harass their enemies till they received reinforcements; but Charles sent him word that the only chance was for himself to hasten over to France, and use all his interest to bring over an efficient force. He therefore sent Lord George a written plan of his intentions, which was not, however, to be opened till he had sailed; and he desired Lord George to request the different chiefs and their men to seek their own safety as best they might. That act terminated the Rebellion.

FLORA MACDONALD. (After the Portrait by J. Markluin, 1747.)

The Marquis of Ely " " 45,000 RIPON CATHEDRAL. The evils of this system had reached their height in the years 1832-3. That was a time when the public mind was bent upon reforms of all sorts, without waiting for the admission from the Tories that the grievances of which the nation complained were "proved abuses." The Reformers were determined no longer to tolerate the state of things in which the discontent of the labouring classes was proportioned to the money disbursed in poor rates, or in voluntary charities; in which the young were trained in idleness, ignorance, and vicethe able-bodied maintained in sluggish and sensual indolencethe aged and more respectable exposed to all the misery incident to dwelling in such a society as that of a large workhouse, without discipline or classification, the whole body of inmates subsisting on food far exceeding, both in kind and in amount, not merely the diet of the independent labourer, but that of the majority of the persons who contributed to their support; in which a farmer paid ten shillings a year in poor rate, and was in addition compelled to employ supernumerary labourers, not required on his farm, at a cost of from 100 to 250 a year; in which the labourer had no need to bestir himself to seek work or to please his master, or to put a restraint upon his temper, having all a slave's security for subsistence, without the slave's liability to punishment; in which the parish paid parents for nursing their little children, and children for supporting their aged parents, thereby destroying[364] in both parties all feelings of natural affection and all sense of Christian duty. The Government, therefore, resolved to apply a remedy. The following is a brief outline of the main features of the measure they proposed, and which was adopted by the legislature. They found the greatest evils of the old system were connected with the relief of the able-bodied; and in connection with that lay the chief difficulty of administering relief. It was, above all things, an essential condition that the situation of the pauper should not be madereally or apparentlyso desirable as that of independent labourers of the lowest class; if it were, the majority of that class would have the strongest inducements to quit it, and get into the more eligible class of paupers. It was necessary, therefore, that an appeal to the parish should be a last resourcethat it should be regarded as the hardest taskmaster and the worst paymaster. This principle was embodied in the Poor Law Amendment Act; and the effects which quickly followed on its operation were most marked and salutary. Able-bodied paupers were extensively converted into independent labourers, for whose employment a large fund was created by the reduction of parochial expenditure; next followed a rise in wages; then a diminution, not only of pauper marriages, but of early and imprudent marriages of all sorts; and lastly, there was a diminution of crime, with contentment among the labourers, increasing with their industry: relief of a child was made relief to the parent, and relief of a wife relief to the husband. In fact, the law combined charity with economy.



Sir Arthur determined to give Soult as sharp a chase as he had given Sir John Moore. He wrote to General Beresford to hold Villa Real, if possible, whilst he pressed on the heels of Soult. On the 16th of May he came up with Soult's rear, near Salamonde, defeated the rear-guard, killed and wounded a great number of men, and Sir Arthur wrote that, had they had half an hour's more daylight, he should have taken the whole of his rear-guard. He added: "I shall follow him to-morrow. He has lost everythingcannon, ammunition, baggage, military chestand his retreat is in every respect, even in weather, a pendant for the retreat to Corunna." In truth, had Sir John Moore sent a Nemesis to avenge himself, it could not have executed a more complete retribution. All the horrors of Sir John's retreat, and far worse, were repeated. The French had exasperated the population here, as everywhere, by their reckless cruelties and rapacity, and they surrounded the flying army, and killed every man that they could find straggling, or who was left exhausted on the road. On the other hand, the French tracked their retrograde path with equal fury. "Their route," says Sir Arthur, "could be traced by the smoke of the villages that they set on fire." Sir Arthur, in his dispatches, also says that, during their abode in Portugal, the French had murdered people merely because they did not like their seizure of their country; and that he saw men hanging on trees by the roadside, whom they had executed for no other reason. So the scene of Soult's retreat was now one long picture of Pandemoniumthe whole way strewn with dead men, horses, and mules; a wasted country, and an infuriated peasantry seeking to wreak their vengeance. Sir Arthur stopped his pursuit near the frontiers of Spain. He could not overtake Soult, who fled flinging away every impediment, whilst he was compelled to carry his supplies and artillery along with him. Besides, the French, since the defeat of the Spaniards at Tudela, had entered Andalusia in great force, where there was no army to oppose them except the ill-equipped one of the proud and unmanageable General Cuesta; and Marshal Victor, who commanded in Estremadura, might readily have made a descent on Lisbon, had Wellesley gone far into Spain. He therefore resolved to return to Oporto, to make necessary inquiries as to the roads into Spain; to improve his commissariat; and then, forming a junction with Cuesta, to[575] advance against Marshal Victor. Whilst at Oporto he had the satisfaction to learn that Frere was superseded by his own brother, Lord Wellesley, as ambassador for Spain, a circumstance of immense importance to the cause.

In September, 1791, the Assembly, having completed the Constitution, which was accepted by the king, dissolved. Its place was taken by the National Legislative Assembly, which met on the 1st of October. As the Jacobins had expected, the elections of the Departments had occupied but little attention. The public gaze had been fixed on the acts of the Assembly about to retire, so that a race of new men appeared, which seemed at first to divide itself into two partiesthe Cot Droit, or Constitutional party, and the Cot Gauche, or Democratic party; but the latter party soon divided itself into two, the Mountain and the Gironde. It is difficult to discern the distinguishing traits of these two Revolutionary parties. At first they all worked together, clearly for the downfall of the monarchy. Robespierre, Petion, Marat, Danton, were associated with those who afterwards divided themselves into the Gironde, with Condorcet, Brissot, the Rolands, and Vergniaud. Though Robespierre, Petion, and Danton were no longer in the Assembly, they ruled the Jacobin party there from the clubs. It was not till the question of war arose that the split took place. The Jacobins and Girondists were for war, Robespierre was obstinately against it. At first he stood nearly alone, but by degrees, though he did not draw the Jacobins very soon to his views, he drew them speedily away from the Girondists. This party of the Girondists had been growing and forming for some time. It took its rise originally at Bordeaux, the great commercial city of the department of the Gironde. Bordeaux was of Roman origin. It had always displayed a warm love of independence, which its Parliaments had continually kept alive. It had of late years become the chief commercial link between France and the revolutionised United States. It had early, too, become leavened with the new philosophy; it was the birthplace of Montaigne and Montesquieu. The Gironde sent up to the new Assembly twelve deputies, all as yet unknown, but all deeply imbued with the new principles. These, on arriving in Paris, soon found themselves mixed up, at the house of Condorcet and the Rolands, with Robespierre, Danton, Petion, Buzot, Brissot, Carra-Louvet, Thomas Paine, and, in fact, nearly all the thorough Revolutionists. The active centre of the whole party, up to the period of the question of the war against the Emigrants, was Madame Roland, and such she continued to be of the Girondists after their separation into a distinct party, and after that they had become the antagonists of the Mountain or Jacobin party.

To all this his Lordship had to add various specimens of the Canons. By the 3rd, every one asserting that the Church of England was not a true apostolical church should be excommunicated. The 4th and 5th excommunicated all who declared that there was anything contrary to sound Scripture in the form of worship of the Church of England, or anything superstitious or erroneous in the Thirty-Nine Articles. The 65th enjoined all ordinaries to see that all offenders, under the different Acts here enumerated, should be cited and punished according to statute, or excommunicated. The 72nd forbade, under pain of excommunication, all ministers, without licence of the bishop, to attempt, upon any pretence whatever, to cast out any devil or devils, under pain of deposition from the ministry. The 73rd made it a subject of excommunication that any priest or minister should meet with other persons in any private house or elsewhere to consult upon any canon, etc., which may tend to impeach or deprave the doctrine, the Book of Common Prayer, or any part of the discipline and government of the Church of England; and by the 115th, all churchwardens are enjoined to make presentments of offenders in any of these particulars; and all judges, magistrates, etc., are bound to encourage, and not to discourage, all such presentments. Lord Stanhope observed that the Court of King's Bench, in 1737, had decided that these Canons, not having ever received the sanction of Parliament, were not binding on the laity; and he contended that the ratification of them by James I., not being authorised by the original statute, the 25th of Henry VIII., made them as little binding on the clergy. He had not, therefore, included the Canons in his Bill. He took care, too, to except Catholics from the benefit of the Bill; neither was the Bill to repeal any part of the Test and Corporation Acts, nor the 12th and 13th of William III., "for the better securing the rights and liberties of the subject." He finally showed that these fierce[163] and persecuting Acts were not become utterly obsolete; they were ever and anon revived, and might, any of them, be acted upon at any moment. It might reasonably have been supposed that the bishops would have supported the Bill unanimously; that they would have been glad to have all such evidences of the odious means by which their Church had been forced on the people, swept out of the Statute-book and forgotten. No such thing. The Archbishop of Canterbury declared, if Dissenters were allowed to defend their principles, the atheist and the theist might be allowed to defend theirs. But Bishop Horsley, then of St. David's, was the chief speaker against the repeal of these precious laws. He declared that this repeal would level every bulwark of the Church; that "the Christian religion would not remain in any shape, nor, indeed, natural religion!" It is needless to say that the Bill was rejected; it could not attain even to a second reading.