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left nothing to desire. A prie-dieu had been placed for him. He declined it. They offered him a cushion, but he would not have it; and, fevered as he was, he knelt on the bare pavement with a devotion that edified every beholder. Te Deum was sung, and a day of rejoicing followed.
* The torturers were Christian Algonquins, converts of the
Add to all this the rarity of communication with the distant colony. The ships from France arrived at Quebec in July, August, or September, and returned in November. The machine of Canadian government, wound up once a year, was expected to run unaided at least a twelvemonth. Indeed, it was often left to itself for two years, such was sometimes the tardiness of the overburdened government in answering the despatches of its colonial agents. It is no matter of surprise that a writer well versed in its affairs calls Canada the country of abuses. *Mr. Lamb, the Chief Secretary, wrote to Mr. Peel to the same effect. The Act, he said, had failed in fulfilling its main object, as well as every other advantageous purpose. To re-enact it would irritate all parties, and expose the Ministry to odium. He alluded to sources of dissension that were springing up in the Roman Catholic body, particularly the jealousy excited in the Roman Catholic prelates by the power which the Association had assumed over the parochial clergy. On the whole, his advice was against renewing the Statute. On the 12th of April Lord Anglesey wrote a memorandum on the subject, in which he pointed out the impolicy of any coercive measure, which, to be effective, must interfere with the right of public meeting, and make a dangerous inroad on the Constitution, at the same time displaying the weakness of the Government, which is shown in nothing more than passing strong measures which there was not vigour to enforce. His information led him to believe that the higher orders of the Roman Catholic clergy had long felt great jealousy of the ascendency that the leaders of the Association had assumed over the lower priesthood. Besides, many of the most respectable of the Catholic landlords were irritated at their tenantry for continuing to pay the Catholic rent, contrary to their injunctions; and sooner or later he believed the poorer contributors must consider the impost as onerous, arbitrary, and oppressive. These matters he regarded as seeds of dissolution, which would be more than neutralised by any coercive attempt to put down the Association. He felt confident that no material mischief could result from allowing the Act quietly to expire, supported as the Government was by "the powerful aid of that excellent establishment, the constabulary force, already working the greatest benefit, and capable of still further improvement, and protected as this force was by an efficient army, ably commanded."
The Allied sovereigns and their Ministers met at Vienna, in the opening of the year 1815, in congress, to settle the boundaries of all such States as had undergone disruptions and transformations through the will of Buonaparte. They were proceeding, with the utmost composure, to rearrange the map of Europe according to their several interests and ambitions. Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden had their sovereigns or their representatives there. Those for Great Britain were the Duke of Wellington, the Lords Cathcart and Clancarty, and Sir Charles Stewart. All at once a clap of political thunder shook the place, and made every astute diplomatist look aghast. It was announced that Buonaparte had escaped from Elba, and was rapidly traversing France on the way to Paris, and that his old soldiers were flocking with acclamation to his standard. It was what was certain to occurwhat every man not a cunning diplomatist must have foreseen from the first, as certainly as that a stone thrown up is sure to come down again. Yet no one seems to have foreseen it, except it were Lord Castlereagh, who, not arriving at Paris before this foolish scheme was adopted, had protested against it, and then yielded to it. On the 13th of March the ministers of the Allied Powers met, and signed a paper which, at length, was in earnest, and showed that they were now as well convinced of a simple fact as the dullest intellect had been ten years beforethat there was no use treating Buonaparte otherwise than as a wild beast. They now declared him an outlaw, a violator of treaties, and an incorrigible disturber of the peace of the world; and they delivered him over to public contempt and vengeance. Of course, the British ambassadors were immediately looked to for the means of moving the armies of these high and mighty Powers, and the Duke of Wellington to plan and to lead the military operations against the man who had once more developed himself from the Emperor of Elba into the Emperor of the French.
Of course, the commercial changes introduced by Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Robinson excited loud murmurs of dissatisfaction from the interests affected, especially the shipping interest. But the best answer to objectors was the continuously flourishing state of the country. At the opening of the Session in 1825, Lord Dudley and Ward, in moving the Address in answer to the King's Speech in the Upper House, observed:"Our present prosperity is a prosperity extending to all orders, all professions, and all districts, enhanced and invigorated by the flourishing state of all those arts which minister to human comfort, and those inventions by which man obtains a mastery over nature by the application of her own powers, and which, if one had ventured to foretell a few years ago, it would have appeared almost incredible." This happy state of things was the result of a legitimate expansion of trade. Manufacturers and merchants were at first guided by a spirit of sober calculation. The steady advance in the public securities, and in the value of property of all sorts, showed that the national wealth rested upon a solid basis. The extension of the currency kept pace with the development of trade and commerce, and the circulation of bankers' paper was enormously increased. But out of the national prosperity there arose a spirit of rash speculation and adventure, resulting in a monetary crisis. The issue of notes by country banks was under no restriction; no measures were taken to secure that their paper represented property, and could be redeemed if necessary. There were hundreds of bankers in the provinces who could issue any quantity of notes they pleased, and these passed as cash from hand to hand. The spirit of speculation and enterprise was stimulated to a feverish degree of excitement by the recognition of the states of Colombia, Mexico, and Buenos Ayres, formally announced in the King's Speech on the 3rd of February, which said that treaties of commerce had been made with those new states. The rich districts of South America being thus thrown open, there was a rush of capitalists and adventurers to work its inexhaustible mines. A number of companies was formed for the purpose, and the gains of some of them in a few months amounted to fifteen hundred per cent. The result was a mania of speculation, which seized upon all classes, pervaded all ranks, and threw the most sober and quiet members of society into a state of tumultuous excitement. Joint-stock companies almost innumerable were established, to accomplish all sorts of undertakings. There were thirty-three companies for making canals and docks, forty-eight for making railroads, forty-two for gas, twenty insurance companies, twenty-three banking companies, twelve navigation packet companies, five indigo and sugar companies, thirty-four metal companies, and many others. The amount of capital subscribed in these various companies, which numbered two hundred and seventy-six, was upwards of 174,000,000. In connection with South America there was the Anglo-Mexican Company, the Brazilian, the Colombian, Real de Monte, and the United Mexican. On the South American shares only ten pounds each had been paid, except the Real de Monte, on which 70 had been paid. We may judge of the extent to which gambling speculation was carried from the following statement of the market prices of the shares, in five of the principal mining companies, at two periods, December 10th, 1824, and January 11th, 1825: