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    Such was the state of affairs at home and abroad during the recess of 1829. The Government hoped that by the mollifying influence of time the rancour of the Tory party would be mitigated, and that by the proposal of useful measures the Whig leaders would be induced to give them their support, without being admitted to a partnership in power and the emoluments of office. But in both respects they miscalculated. The Duke met Parliament again on the 4th of February, 1830. It was obvious from the first that neither was Tory rancour appeased nor Whig support effectually secured. The Speech from the Throne, which was delivered by commission, was unusually curt and vague. It admitted the prevalence of general distress. It was true that the exports in the last year of British produce and manufacture exceeded those of any former year; but, notwithstanding this indication of an active commerce, both the agricultural and the manufacturing classes were suffering severely in "some parts" of the United Kingdom. There was no question about the existence of distress; the only difference was as to whether it was general or only partial. In the House of Lords the Government was attacked by Earl Stanhope, who moved an amendment to the Address. He asked in what part of the country was it that the Ministers did not find distress prevailing? He contended that the kingdom was in a state of universal distress, likely to be unequalled in its duration. All the great interestsagriculture, manufactures, trade, and commercehad never at one time, he said, been at so low an ebb. The Speech ascribed the distress to a bad harvest. But could a bad harvest make corn cheap? It was the excessive reduction of prices which was felt to be the great evil. If they cast their eyes around they would see the counties pouring on them spontaneously every kind of solicitation for relief; while in towns, stocks of every kind had sunk in value forty per cent. The depression, he contended, had been continuous and universal ever since the Bank Restriction Act passed, and especially since the suppression of small notes took effect in the beginning of the previous year. Such a universal and continued depression could be ascribed only to some cause pressing alike upon all branches of industry, and that cause was to be found in the enormous contraction of the currency, the Bank of England notes in circulation having been reduced from thirty to twenty millions, and the country bankers' notes in still greater proportion. The Duke of Wellington, in reply, denied that the Bank circulation was less than it had been during the war. In the former period it was sixty-four millions, including gold and silver as well as paper. In 1830 it was sixty-five millions. It was an unlimited circulation, he said, that the Opposition required; in other words, it was wished to give certain individuals, not the Crown, the power of coining in the shape of paper, and of producing a fictitious capital. Capital was always forthcoming[308] when it was wanted. He referred to the high rents paid for shops in towns, which were everywhere enlarged or improved, to "the elegant streets and villas which were springing up around the metropolis, and all our great towns, to show that the country was not falling, but improving." After the Duke had replied, the supporters of the amendment could not muster, on a division, a larger minority than nine. In the House of Commons the discussion was more spirited, and the division more ominous of the fate of the Ministry. The majority for Ministers was only fifty-three, the numbers being 158 to 105. In the minority were found ultra-Tories, such as Sir Edward Knatchbull, who had proposed an amendment lamenting the general distress, Mr. Bankes, Mr. Sadler, and General Gascoigne, who went into the same lobby with Sir Francis Burdett, Lord John Russell, Mr. Brougham, Mr. Hume, and Lord Althorp, representing the Whigs and Radicals; while Lord Palmerston, Mr. Huskisson, Mr. Charles Grant, and Sir Stratford Canning represented the Canning party. No such jumble of factions had been known in any division for many years.

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    Such was the state of things in Ireland when the news of the French Revolution arrived and produced an electric effect throughout the country. The danger of permitting such atrocious incitements to civil war to be circulated among the people was obvious to every one, and yet Lord Clarendon allowed this propagandism of rebellion and revolution to go on with impunity for months.? Mitchel might have been arrested and prosecuted for seditious libels any day; the newsvendors who hawked the United Irishman through the streets might have been taken up by the police, but the Government still remained inactive. Encouraged by this impunity, the revolutionary party had established confederate clubs, by means of which they were rapidly enlisting and organising the artisans of the city, at whose meetings the most treasonable proceedings were adopted.
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    ATTACK ON SIR CHARLES WETHERELL AT BRISTOL. (See p. 340.)

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