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The case of the Irish Church was stated by Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, and Sir James Graham, who argued that its revenues were greatly exaggerated, subjected to heavy drawbacks and deductions. The vestry cess had been abolished. A tax exclusively borne by the clergy of three to fifteen per cent. had been laid upon all livings, and the Church Temporalities Act provided that in all parishes in which service had not been performed from 1830 to 1833, when a vacancy occurred, there should be no reappointment, and the revenues of that living, after paying a curate, should be destined to other parishes differently situated, but for purposes strictly Protestant. Here was a provision already made for the progressive diminution or extinction of the Episcopal Church in those districts where it was not called for, and could be of no utility. Whence, then, the anxiety to take away a surplus, which probably would not exceed 100,000 a year, from a Church already subjected to such heavy and exclusive burdens? It was not pretended that the object of this appropriation was to apply the income seized to the payment of the National Debt, or that it was justified by State necessity. They argued that if the appropriation clause, as now shaped, once passed into law, not only would the Protestant faith cease to be the established religion in Ireland, but the measure would be fatal to the Established Church in England also. In fact, the Conservatives contended that this was only the first of a series of measures avowedly intended to annihilate the Protestant Establishment. O'Connell proposed to confiscate the property of the Church, in order to relieve the land from its appropriate burdens, and to exempt it from the support of the poor. They argued, therefore, that on no reasonable ground could it be maintained that this concession to Irish agitation could have any other effect than stimulating the agitators to make fresh demands.He first published an engraving of "The Small Masquerade Ticket, or Burlington Gate," in ridicule of Lord Burlington's architecture, and of Pope's eulogiums on Burlington and satire of the Duke of Chandos. He illustrated "Hudibras," and produced a satirical plate, "The Taste of the Times," in 1724; and, some years after, "The Midnight Conversation" and "Southwark Fair." Not content with the fame which this vein, so peculiarly his own, was bringing him, he had the ambition to attempt the historical style, but this was a decided failure. In 1734, however, he came out in his full and peculiar strength in "The Harlot's Progress." The melancholy truth of this startling drama, mingled with touches of genuine humour, seized at once on the minds of all classes. It became at once immensely popular; it was put on the stage, and twelve hundred subscriptions for the engravings produced a rich harvest of profit. In the following year he produced "The Rake's Progress," which, though equally clever, had not the same recommendation of novelty. In 1744 he offered for sale the original paintings of these subjects, as well as "The Four Times of the Day," and "The Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn;" but here he felt the effects of the sturdy English expression of his sentiments on art, and his distributing of an engraving of "The Battle of the Pictures," as a ticket of admission, gave great offence to painters and their patrons. The whole sum received was only four hundred and twenty-seven pounds. Undaunted by his self-injuring avowal of his opinions, he offered in 1750 the pictures of "Marriage la Mode" for sale, but put forth an advertisement in such caustic terms, as he reflected on the result of his former auction, that he effectually kept away purchasers, and obtained only a hundred and twenty pounds for what Mr. Angerstein afterwards gave a thousand pounds for. His "March to Finchley" being sent for the royal inspection, so impressed George II. with the idea that it was a caricature of his Guards, that, though the engraving of it was dedicated to him, he ordered the picture out of his sight, with expressions of great indignation. Hogarth quietly substituted the name of the King of Prussia in the dedication, as "an encourager of the arts."
Congress, alarmed at the progress of the English in South Carolina, had made extraordinary efforts to reinforce the Republican party in North Carolina. On the fall of Charleston, General Gates, who had acquired a high but spurious reputation upon the surrender of Burgoyne, was sent to take the chief command. In marching towards South Carolina, the American army suffered severely from the tropical heat of the climate and the scarcity of food. Gates led them through a country of alternating swamps and sandy deserts, called by the Americans pine-barrens. The troops lived chiefly on the lean cattle which they found scattered through the woods, on green Indian corn, and peaches, which were plentiful, being indigenous to the State of Louisiana. Lord Rawdon, who was lying at Camden, where he had halted his men to protect them from the heat, was joined there by Lord Cornwallis early in August. The entire force when united did not, however, exceed two thousand men, whilst the troops of Gates amounted to six thousand. The British general, notwithstanding, advanced briskly to meet the Americans, and on the evening of the 16th of August the two armies met rather unexpectedly, and some skirmishing took place, after which they halted in position till near daybreak.
The Court and the nobles were greatly alarmed, and secretly preparing for war. The nobles had joined the Assembly with the utmost repugnance, and many only on the assurance that the union would not continue. The members of that Order continued to protest against the proceedings of the Assembly, rather than join in its deliberations. The king himself had consented to the union, in the hope that the nobles would be able to put a check on the Tiers tat. King and nobles saw now that all such hopes were vain. And whilst Necker was retained to satisfy the people for the present, and whilst Mounier, Lally Tollendal, and Clermont Tonnerre were consulting with him on establishing a Constitution resembling that of Britain, the Court was preparing to put down the insurrection and the Assembly by force. Marshal Broglie was placed at the head of the troops which surrounded both Paris and Versailles. He judged of both soldiers and citizens by the recollections of the Seven Years' War, and assured the king that a little grape-shot would soon disperse the rioters. Fifteen regiments, chiefly foreign, had been gradually drawn round the capital. The headquarters of Broglie were at Versailles, where he had a brilliant staff and a formidable train of artillery, some of which commanded the very hall in which the Assembly sat. There was a battery at the bridge of Svres, commanding the road to Paris, and in Paris itself there were strong batteries on Montmartre, which overlooked the city, and which, moreover, were carefully entrenched. Besides these preparations, there were French regiments quartered at St. Germain, Charenton, St. Cloud, and other places. Altogether, fifty thousand troops were calculated to be collected. The old noblesse were impatient for the king to give the order to disperse the people both in Paris and Versailles; to surround the Assembly, seize the chief members, put them in prison, and send the rest adrift; to treat the ringleaders of the electors in the same manner; to dissolve formally the States General, and restore the old order of things. Had the reins of government been in the hands of a Bonaparte, the whole plan would have been executed, and would for the time, without doubt, have succeeded. But Louis XVI. was not the man for a coup-d'tat of that rigorous nature. He shuddered at the idea of shedding his subjects' blood; and instead of doing that for which the troops had been assembled, he now listened to Necker, who reminded him that when the people were put down or shot down, and the States General dispersed, the old debts and difficulties would remain, and without States General or Parliament there would be no authority to impose or collect taxes. To Necker's arguments, the more timid and liberal nobles added that the excitement would soon wear itself out; that nothing serious could be done in the presence of such forces, and that the Constitution, once completed, all would right itself, and that he would have to congratulate himself on his bloodless patience in a new and happier reign. This was humane but fatal advice in the circumstances. The soldiers, allowed to remain inactive in the very midst of the hotbed of sedition, were sure to become infected with the spirit of revolution. The debates in the National Assembly were actively distributed in print, and the soldiers read them eagerly.
The secession of the Duke of Savoy only the more roused the indignation of the Allies. The Dutch breathed a hotter spirit of war just as their power of carrying it on failed; and even the experienced Heinsius made an energetic oration in the States General, declaring that all the fruits of the war would be lost if they consented to the peace proposed. But to avoid it was no longer possible. The English plenipotentiaries pressed the Allies more and more zealously to come in, so much so that they were scarcely safe from the fury of the Dutch populace, who insulted the Earl of Strafford and the Marquis del Borgo, the Minister of the Duke of Savoy, when the news came that the duke had consented to the peace. Every endeavour was made to detach the different Allies one by one. Mr. Thomas Harley was sent to the Elector of Hanover to persuade him to co-operate with her Majesty; but, notwithstanding all risk of injuring his succession to the English Crown, he declined. Similar attempts were made on the King of Prussia and other princes, and with similar results. The English Ministers now began to see the obstacles they had created to the conclusion of a general peace by their base desertion of the Allies. The French, rendered more than ever haughty in their demands by the successes of Villars, raised their terms as fast as any of the Allies appeared disposed to close with those already offered. The Dutch, convinced at length that England would make peace without them, and was bending every energy to draw away their confederates, in October expressed themselves ready to treat, and to yield all pretensions to Douay, Valenciennes, and Mauberg, on condition that Cond and Tournay were included in their barrier; that the commercial tariffs with France should be restored to what they were in 1664; that Sicily should be yielded to Austria, and Strasburg to the Empire. But the French treated these concessions with contempt, and Bolingbroke was forced to admit to Prior that they treated like pedlars, or, what was worse, like attorneys. He conjured Prior "to hide the nakedness of his country" in his intercourse with the French Ministers, and to make the best of the blunders of his countrymen, admitting that they were not much better politicians than the French were poets. But the fault of Bolingbroke and his colleagues was not want of talent, it was want of honesty; and, by their selfish desire to damage their political rivals, they had brought their country into this deplorable dilemma of sacrificing all faith with their allies, of encouraging the unprincipled disposition of the French, who were certain to profit by the division of the Allies, and of abandoning the glory and position of England, or confessing that the Whigs, however much they had erred in entering on such enormous wars, had in truth brought them to the near prospect of a far more satisfactory conclusion than what they were taking up with.