[Footnote 175: To whom the chief glory of the Waterloo campaign belongs there can, of course, be no doubt; and though the Austrians and Prussians put forward a claim to an equal share, and Russia even to a preponderating one, in the first deposition of Napoleon, he himself constantly attributed his fall more to the Peninsular contest than to any of his wars east of the Rhine. And, indeed, it is superfluous to point out that almost to the last he gained occasional victories over the Continental armies, but that he never gained one advantage over the British force; and that Wellington invaded France the first week of October, 1813—nearly three months before a single Russian or German soldier crossed the Rhine.]
[Footnote 176: Letter to Sir W. Scott, Twiss’s “Life of Lord Eldon,” ii., 272. It is remarkable that in his “Life of Lord Ellenborough” Lord Campbell takes no notice of this case.]
[Footnote 177: The opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General, Sir S. Shepperd and Sir R. Gifford, is given at length in the author’s “Life of Lord Liverpool,” ii., 373.]
[Footnote 178: It is a shrewd observation of Sully, that it is never any abstract desire for theoretical reforms, or even for increased privileges, which excites in lower classes to discontent and outrage, but only impatience under actual suffering.]
[Footnote 179: The bill (entitled “The Seditious Meetings Prevention Bill"), 60 George III., c. 6, is given at full length in Hansard’s “Parliamentary Debates,” series 1., vol. xli., p. 1655.]
[Footnote 180: In the House of Lords the majority was 135 to 38; in the House of Commons, 851 to 128. And even of this minority, many would have supported the bill, if the ministers would have consented to adopt an amendment proposed by Lord Althorp, to limit its operation to a few of the northern and midland counties, in which alone, as he contended, any spirit of dangerous disaffection had been exhibited.]
[Footnote 181: It may be as well to mention that these pages were written in the autumn of 1880.]
Survey of the Reign of George III.—The Cato Street Conspiracy.—The Queen’s Return to England, and the Proceedings against her.—The King Visits Ireland and Scotland.—Reform of the Criminal Code.—Freedom of Trade.—Death of Lord Liverpool.—The Duke of Wellington becomes Prime-minister.—Repeal of the Test and Corporation Act.—O’Connell is Elected for Clare.—Peel Resigns his Seat for Oxford.—Catholic Emancipation.—Question of the Endowment of the Roman Catholic Clergy.—Constitutional Character of the Emancipation.—The Propriety of Mr. Peel’s Resignation of his Seat for Oxford Questioned.
In the first month of 1820 George III. died. His had been an eventful reign, strangely checkered with disaster and glory; but, if we compare its close with its commencement, it was still more remarkably distinguished by a development of the resources and an increase in the wealth and power of the nation, to which the history of no other country in the same space of time affords any parallel.