« AnteriorContinuar »
which their continuance must inevitably produce. "That we confidently hope that his Royal Highness's urgent but friendly representations will produce their desired effect; yet that in justice to the great interests that are at stake, we cannot but feel it our indispensable duty, to express our confident expectation, that if all his Royal Highness's amicable endeavours should prove unavailing, the great powers which, at the congress of Vienna, so honourably announced to the world their abhorrence of the slave trade, as radically unjust and cruel, will deem themselves compelled by an over-ruling sense of duty, to adopt, however reluctantly, such a course of commercial policy, as, without infringing on the just rights of any other nation, will alone prevent their indirectly, but powerfully, contributing to the continued existence of this inhuman traffic:
"That there is one important truth, which we beg leave most earnestly to press on his Royal Highness's most serious attention, a truth which painful experience has too fully taught us, that, however strong may be the prohibitions of the slave trade, and with how great sincerity soever they may be issued, they will prove practically inefficient, unless some general concert for ascertaining and bringing to punishment the offending parties, be mutually established between the several powers, under whose flags this trade has been, or may be carried on:
"That we must once more declare to his Royal Highness, that in enforcing these considerations on his Royal Highness's most serious attention, we are actuated VOL. LIX.
not merely by the feelings of humanity, but by the positive dictates of duty and conscience: that it is by these motives, and not as claiming any superiority in point of humanity or of morals, that we are actuated in our earnest desires to obtain the co-operation of all other civilized nations: that, remembering how long and how largely this country contributed to augment the miseries, and perpetuate the barbarisin of Africa, we cannot but esteem ourselves specially and peculiarly bound, not to leave that vast con tinent in its present degraded state, but to endeavour, so far as we may be able, both by our own conduct, and in concert with other powers, to repair the wrongs we have inflicted, by opening the way for the diffusion of those blessings which, under the favour of Providence, a legitimate commerce, and a friendly intercourse with the enlightened nations of Europe, cannot fail to introduce in their train."
Lord Castlereagh, while he complimented his honourable friend on his steady perseverance in the great cause in which he had so much distinguished himself, hinted at the difficulty of coming to an understanding with the two reluctant powers without a danger of injuring pendent negociations. He therefore would not enter into the subject at greater length at present, but would not oppose the address, because it expres-ed the sentiments of his Majesty's government.
Occasion was then taken by some members to give their opinions; but the address was agreed to without opposition.
The session of parliament con[H] cluded
cluded on July 12th, with the following speech from his Royal Highness the Prince Regent.
My Lords and Gentlemen ;
"I cannot close this session of parliament, without renewing my expressions of deep regret at the continuance of his Majesty's lamented indisposition.
"The diligence with which you have applied yourselves to the consideration of the different objects which I recommended to your attention at the commencement of the session, demands my warmest acknowledgments; and I have no doubt that the favourable change which is happily taking place in our internal situation, is to be mainly ascribed to the salutary measures which you have adopted for preserving the public tranquillity, and to your steady adherence to those principles by which the constitution, resources, and credit of the country have been hitherto preserved and maintained.
Notwithstanding the arts and industry which have been too successfully exerted in some parts of the country to alienate the affections of his Majesty's subjects, and to stimulate them to acts of violence and insurrection, I have had the satisfaction of receiving the most decisive proofs of the loyalty and public spirit of the great body of the people; and the patience with which they have sustained the most severe temporary distress cannot be too highly commended.
"I am fully sensible of the confidence which you have manifested towards me, by the extraordinary powers which you have placed in my hands: the necessity which has called for them is to me
matter of deep regret; and you may rely on my making a temperate but effectual use of them, for the protection and security of his Majesty's loyal subjects.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons;
"I thank you for the supplies which you have granted to me; and for the laborious investigationwhich, at my recommendation, you have made into the state of the income and expenditure of the country.
"It has given me sincere pleasure to find that you have been enabled to provide for every branch of the public service without any addition to the burthens of the people.
"The state of public credit affords a decisive proof of the wisdom and expediency, under all the present circumstances, of those financial arrangements which you have adopted.
"I have every reason to believe that the deficiency in the revenue is, in a great degree, to be ascribed to the unfavourable state of the last season; and I look forward with sanguine expectations to its gradual improvement.
"My Lords and Gentlemen; "The measures which were in progress at the commencement of the session, for the issue of a new silver coinage, have been carried into execution in a manner which has given universal satisfaction; and to complete the system which has been sanctioned by parliament, a gold coinage of a new denomination has been provided for the convenience of the public.
"I continue to receive from foreign powers the strongest assurances of their friendly disposition towards this country, and of
their desire to preserve the general tranquillity.
"The prospect of an abundant harvest throughout a considerable part of the continent is in the highest degree satisfactory. This happy dispensation of Providence cannot fail to mitigate, if not wholly to remove, that pressure under which so many of the nations of Europe have been suffering in the course of the last year; and I trust that we may look for ward in consequence to an improvement in the commercial relations of this and of all other countries.
Domestic Events.-Course of the Year.-Double suspension of the Habeas Corpus.-Celebration of the Queen's and Prince Regent's Birth-Days.— Trials. Special Commission held at Derby.
DOMESTIC EVENTS, &c.
Tthe distress spread through
HIS year commenced with
the greatest part of Europe, in consequence of the late and unproductive harvest of the last autumn. Although the British islands partook in a smaller degree of the prevalent evil than most other countries, from which their free admission to all foreign ports afforded them important relief, yet hardships fell heavy upon certain districts too remote from such tardy aid; and Ireland, especially, suffered severely from the want of the most essential articles of human sustenance. We are informed that the distress was so great in particular parts, that the poor people could find no other resource than that of anticipating their crop of potatoes by an unripe product. As the year advanced, however, better prospects began to open; and it was the general opinion that corn and other products seldom offered a more promising harvest to the cultivator. Whether this promise has not been exaggerated may be a matter of doubt; at least it appears certain that the year has concluded with an advance in the price of wheat and barley which could hardly have been expected at the time of their first decline.
A distinguishing character of
the present year has been the double suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; which,
one of the Arst parliamentary measures at the beginning of the session, was resumed near the close of it, and voted to be continued till the commencement-of another session, in consequence of a renewed alarm. We refer to our view of the debates in Parliament for the particulars of this remarkable contest; of the issue of which we shall only observe, that whilst the ministerial members expressed great regret at being obliged to have recourse to a temporary violation of the constitution for the purpose of preventing the most urgent dangers, their opponents held that no danger was equal to the habit of entrusting ministers, at their own convenience or pleasure, with an expedient fatal to liberty.
CELEBRATION OF THE QUEEN'S
Some months ago the Prince Regent, with a view to relieve the distresses of the manufacturing classes, by affording them employment, gave directions in the Gazette for the public celebration of the Queen's birth-day, and of his own; and, in order to make the relief more effectual, notice was given, that it was expected, that on both occasions all those who
should attend the Court would
The Court, in honour of the Queen's birth-day, was at first fixed for the 6th of February; but her Majesty being at that time unable, from the effects of her late illness, to bear the fatigues incident to these occasions, it was postponed to the 20th, when her Majesty was entirely recovered.
to do so till half-past three. The Prince Regent arrived in state about half-past three: his carriage was preceded, surrounded, and followed by a party of life-guards. The procession passed along in perfect silence. Most of the Royal Family went in state. The Duke
and Duchess of York arrived first: then the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold; next the Duke and Duchess of Glocester; and lastly, the Duke of Sussex and the Princess Sophia of Glocester. The Speaker of the House of Commons went in state, and also the Austrian and Dutch ambassadors.
Her Majesty entered the drawing-room about two o'clock, and first received the congratulations of the foreign ambassadors, of the Cabinet Ministers, and of all who had the privilege of entré.
PRINCE REGENT'S BIRTH-DAY,
April 23, being St. George's day, had been selected as the day on which the birth of the Prince Regent was in future to be observed, instead of the 12th of August, and a drawing-room, and other splendours, were of course appointed: but a sudden indisposition of the Queen, which occurred in the course of the preceding night, prevented the drawing-room from taking place. Her Majesty The day was announced, was taken ill at an early hour of usual, by the ringing of bells and the morning. Sir Henry Halford the salute of artillery; and the was immediately sent for, and atpeople reminded by these intima- tended the Royal patient twice betions, flocked in great numbers to fore nine o'clock. Communicathe vicinity of the Queen's Palace. tions of the unlucky occurrence The weather, which had been were dispatched to all the branches very dull and rainy, began to of the Royal Family; and, in the clear up about 2 o'clock, and the course of the morning, the streets scene became very gay and mag- leading to Buckingham-house and nificent. The company began to St. James's were placarded with arrive about one, and continued bills, announcing the indisposi