Prussia having been introduced into the debate, on the 1st of March it was renewed by Mr. Martin, followed by Francis, Fox, and others, who argued that the secret was thus out; we were fighting again on account of the old mischiefGerman alliances. Pitt defended the policy of Ministers. He asked whether Russia was to be permitted to drive the Turks from Europe and plant herself in Constantinople, with Greece as part of her empire? In that case, Russia would become the first maritime power in the world, for her situation in the heart of the Mediterranean, and with Greeks for her sailorsthe best sailors in that seawould give her unrivalled advantages, and make her the most destructive opponent of British interests that had ever arisen. Pitt drew a dark character of the Czarinathe Messalina of the North; reminded the House of her endeavours to strike a mortal blow at us during the American war; of her arrogance and insolence on many occasions, and said that he did not envy Fox the honour of having his bust ordered by this notorious woman from Nollekens, the sculptor. Fox well deserved this hard blow, for he had shown a strange blindness to the grasping designs of Russia, and confessed that, whilst in office, he had refused to concur in remonstrances to Russia against the seizure of the Crimea. The motion of Whitbread was rejected by a majority of two hundred and forty-four against one hundred and sixteen. In the Commons, Mr. Spencer Compton, the Ministerial nominee, was elected Speaker. The king opened his first Parliament in person, but, being unable to speak English, he handed his speech to Lord Chancellor Cowper to read. In the Commons the Address condemned in strong language the shameful peace which had been made after a war carried on at such vast expense, and attended with such unparalleled successes; but expressed a hope that, as this dishonour could not with justice be imputed to the nation, through his Majesty's wisdom and the faithful endeavours of the Commons the reputation of the kingdom might in due time be vindicated and restored. This was the first announcement of the Ministers' intention to call their predecessors to account, and Secretary Stanhope, in the course of the debate, confirmed it, observing that it had been industriously circulated that the present Ministers never designed to bring the late Ministers to trial, but only to pass a general censure on them; but he assured the House that, though active efforts had been used to prevent[27] a discovery of the late treasonable proceedings, by conveying away papers from the Secretaries' offices, yet Government had sufficient evidence to enable them to bring to justice the most corrupt Ministry that ever sat at the helm. Before three weeks were over a secret committee was appointed to consider the Treaty of Utrecht.

George III., at the time of the sudden death of his grandfather, was in his twenty-second year. The day of the late king's death and the following night were spent in secret arrangements, and the next morning George presented himself before his mother, the Princess-dowager, at Carlton House, where he met his council, and was then formally proclaimed. This was on the 26th of October, 1760.

On the 14th of July, when Barclay de Tolly was close pressed by Napoleon, he learned that though Bagration had been repulsed at Mohilev, he was now advancing on Smolensk; he therefore himself again retreated before the French towards Vitebsk. At that town he had a partial engagement with the French; but he quitted it in good order. Here Murat and most of the other general officers entreated Napoleon to close the campaign for this year; but he refused. The soldiers were dispirited by this continual pursuit without result; Murat himself was heartily sick of endeavouring to get a dash at the enemy and being as constantly foiled; King Jerome had been disgraced and sent back to his Westphalian dominions, on the charge of having let Bagration escape by want of sufficient energy; and Wittgenstein had, to the great disgust of Napoleon, on the 2nd of July, crossed the river, surprised Sebastiani's vanguard of cavalry in Drissa, and completely routed them. These things had embittered Buonaparte; and if he ever intended to encamp for the winter at Vitebsk, he now abandoned the idea with indignation. It was still midsummer; the enemy had so far eluded him; he had not been able to strike one of his usual great blows and send terror before him. He was impatient of a pause. "Surrounded," says Sgur, "by disapproving countenances, and opinions contrary to his own, he was moody and irritable. All the officers of his household opposed him, some with arguments, some with entreaties, someas Berthiereven with tears; but he exclaimed, 'Did they think he was come so far only to conquer a parcel of wretched huts? that he had enriched his generals too much; that all to which they now aspired was to follow the pleasures of the chase, and to display their splendid equipages in Paris. We must,' he said, 'advance upon Moscow, and strike a blow, in order to obtain peace, or winter-quarters and supplies.'"

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Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1829. The state of Ireland was the chief topic of the Royal Speech. The existence of the Catholic Association was referred to as inimical to the public peace; and its suppression was recommended, as a necessary preliminary to the consideration of the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics. This part of the Speech excited much interest, as preluding the great contest of the Session. On the 4th Mr. Peel had written to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, resigning his seat for the University, which he had won from Canning on the strength of his anti-Catholic principles. He need not have resigned, but he acted the more honourable part. Having offered himself for re-election, he was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who, after a contest which lasted three days, during which 1,364 votes were polled, was elected by a majority of 146. As one of the most numerous convocations ever held in Oxford had, in the previous year, by a majority of three to one, voted against concession to the Roman Catholics, it was a matter of surprise that the Home Secretary was not defeated by a larger majority. He secured a seat with some difficulty at Westbury. On the 10th, Mr. Peel, while still member for Oxford, introduced the first of the three measures intended for the pacification of Irelanda Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association. As it was known to be an essential condition of granting Emancipation, there was little opposition to it either in Parliament or in Ireland. By it the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered to disperse the meetings of any association he thought dangerous to the public peace. The Bill quickly passed both Houses, and in a few days received the Royal Assent. Anticipating the action of the executive, the Association, on the 12th of February, dissolved itself, with the unanimous concurrence of the bishops, Mr. Sheil stating at the meeting that he was authorised to throw twenty-two mitres into the scale.