It would seem that the law officers of the Crown despaired of proceeding in the old way, but they, or the Ministers themselves, hit on a new and more daring one. On the 27th of March the Secretary of State addressed a circular letter to the lords-lieutenant of counties, informing them that the Law Officers were of opinion that a justice of the peace may issue warrants to apprehend persons charged with the publication of political libels, and compel them to give bail; and he required the lords-lieutenant to communicate this opinion to the ensuing Quarter Sessions, that all magistrates might act upon it. This was the most daring attack on the liberty of the subject which had been made in England since the days of the Stuarts. Lord Grey, on the 12th of May, made a most zealous and able speech in the House of Lords against this proceeding, denouncing the investment of justices of the peace with the power to decide beforehand questions which might puzzle the acutest juries, and to arrest and imprison for what might turn out to be no offence at all. He said:"If such be the power of the magistrate, and if this be the law, where, I ask, are all the boasted securities of our independence and freedom?" But it appears from the correspondence of Lord Sidmouth, that he was at this moment glorying in this expedient and triumphing in its imagined success. He said the charge of having put such power into the hands of magistrates, he would do his best and most constant endeavour to deserve; and that already the activity of the dealers in libellous matter was much diminished. He had, in truth, struck a deadly terror to the hearts of the stoutest patriots, who saw no prospect but ruin and incarceration if they dared to speak the truth. Cobbett then fled, and got over to America. In taking leave of his readers, in his Register of March 28th, he gave his reasons for escaping from the storm:"Lord Sidmouth was 'sorry to say' that I had not written anything that the Law Officers could prosecute with any chance of success. I do not remove," he continued, "for the purpose of writing libels, but for the purpose of being able to write what is not libellous. I do not retire from the combat with the Attorney-General, but from a combat with a dungeon, deprived of pen, ink, and paper. A combat with the Attorney-General is quite unequal enough; that, however, I would have encountered. I know too well what a trial by special jury is; yet that, or any sort of trial, I would stand to face. So that I could be sure of a trial of whatever sort, I would have run the risk; but against the absolute power of imprisonment, without even a hearing, for time unlimited, in any gaol in the kingdom, without the use of pen, ink, and paper, and without communication with any soul but the keepersagainst such a power it would have been worse than madness to attempt to strive."

The restrictions, however, if not to any great extent a practical grievance, were felt to be a stigma utterly undeserved, and the necessity for an annual Indemnity Act continually reminded a large, influential, intelligent, energetic portion of the nation of their inferiority to the rest of the king's subjects. The Government felt that public opinion was against them. They therefore allowed the Bill to go into committee without opposition, and there they adopted it as their own by carrying certain amendments. It passed the Commons by a majority of 44, the numbers being 237 to 193. From the tone of the debate in the Commons it was evident that the Government was not sorry to be left in a minority. In the House of Lords the measure encountered more opposition. Lord Eldon, exasperated with the treatment he had received from the Ministers, denounced it with the utmost vehemence. When he heard of its success in the Lower House, he was in a state of consternation.

A very instructive point of comparison is the relative increase of different classes of occupations in the decennial period from 1831 to 1841. A comparative return of the Commissioners includes males only, ages twenty years and upwards, and exhibits the following results. The number of occupiers and labourers in agriculture had decreased in that period from 1,251,751 to 1,215,264; but the Commissioners explained this result by supposing that numerous farm servants had been returned in 1841 as domestic servants instead of as agricultural labourers. Persons engaged in commerce, trade, and manufactures had increased from 1,572,292 to 2,039,409 (or 29?7 per cent.); capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, from 216,263 to 286,175 (or 32?3 per cent.); labourers employed in labour not agricultural had decreased from 611,744 to 610,157; other males, twenty years of age, except servants, had increased from 237,337 to 392,211; male servants, twenty years of age and upwards, had increased from 79,737 to 164,384; including, however, as already noticed, many farm servants. For the purpose of instituting a just comparison of the relative increase of particular employments, it must be understood that the total number of male persons, twenty years of age and upwards (exclusive of army, navy, and merchant seamen), had increased in this period of ten years from 3,969,124 to 4,707,600 (or 18?6 per cent.). These[417] people were better fed than their ancestors, and had more work to do. There are three kinds of raw material the consumption of which is particularly indicative of social advancement, as giving employment to the people, adding to their comforts, and increasing the national wealth. These are timber, cotton, and wool. Taking all the different kinds of imported timber, there was an increase during the ten years of 37 per cent.; in cotton there was an increase of 61 per cent.; and of sheep and lamb's wool, in addition to the home production, there was an increased importation of more than 78 per cent.

His steady helm amid the struggling tides;

This was the case with Sir James Thornhill, of Thornhill, near Weymouth. His father, however, had spent his fortune and sold the estate, and Sir James, being fond of art, determined to make it his profession to regain his property. His uncle, the celebrated Dr. Sydenham, assisted him in the scheme. He studied in London, and then travelled through Flanders, Holland, and France. On his return he was appointed by Queen Anne to paint the history of St. Paul in the dome of the new cathedral of St. Paul, in eight pictures in chiaroscuro, with the lights hatched in gold. So much was the work approved, that he was made historical painter to the queen. The chief works of the kind by Sir James were the Princess's apartment at Hampton Court, the gallery and several ceilings in Kensington Palace, a hall at Blenheim, a chapel at Lord Oxford's, at Wimpole, a saloon of Mr. Styles's, at Moorpark, and the ceilings of the great hall at Greenwich Hospital. On the ceiling of the lower hall appear, amid much allegorical scenery, the portraits of William and Mary, of Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Newton, and others; on that of the upper hall appear the portraits of Queen Anne and her husband, the Prince of Denmark; and paintings of the landing of William at Torbay, and the arrival of George I. There are, in addition, portraits of George I., and two generations of his family. Sir James also painted the altar-piece of All Souls', Oxford, and one presented to his native town, Weymouth.

The weather was so unpropitious when the royal squadron cast anchor on the 14th, that it was found necessary to defer the landing until the 15th. The officers of the Household and of the State, in splendid uniforms and appropriate insignia, awaited the king's landing. He wore the full-dress uniform of an admiral, with St. Andrew's cross and a large thistle in his gold-laced hat. The Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian and the Lord Chamberlain received his Majesty on shore, while the senior magistrate congratulated him on his arrival on Scottish ground. The cavalry, the Highland infantry, and the Gentlemen Archers of the Royal Guards saluted him. The Usher of the White Rod sent his herald to give three knocks at the city gate, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh going through the same medi?val forms as the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The knocking, after proper delay, was answered, the keys were delivered and returned, and the king was admitted into his ancient capital with enthusiastic acclamations. The royal cortge was peculiarly interesting from the variety of costumes adopted. The king declared that the beauty of the scenery, the splendour of the display, and the enthusiasm of his welcome affected him more than anything in the whole course of his life. The people, in their turn, were delighted beyond measure with the condescension and affability of their Sovereign. He took up his residence during his stay at Dalkeith Palace, as the guest of the Duke of Buccleuch. The following day he held a levee in the palace of Holyrood, restored for the occasion to its former splendour, so far as upholstery could accomplish the renovation. The king on this occasion wore the Highland costume, selecting for his dress the tartan of the Stewarts. On the next day three thousand persons paid their respects to his Majesty at a court held in the same place. He received his visitors in a field-marshal's uniform. He completely won the hearts of the Scottish ladies, dancing with the young and gaily chatting with the old. A magnificent fte was given by the Lord Provost in the Parliament House, Sir Walter Scott officiating as croupier. When the king's health had been drunk, his Majesty stood up and said, "I am quite unable to express my sense of the gratitude which I owe to[228] the people of this country. But I beg to assure them that I shall ever remember, as one of the proudest moments of my life, the day I came among them, and the gratifying reception they gave me. I return you, my Lord Provost, my lords and gentlemen, my warmest thanks for your attention this day, and I can assure youwith truth, with earnestness and sinceritythat I shall never forget your dutiful attention to me upon my visit to Scotland, and particularly the pleasure I have derived from dining in your hall this day." ("God save the King" and immense cheering followed.) He continued: "I take this opportunity, my lords and gentlemen, of proposing the health of the Lord Provost, Sir William Arbuthnot, Baronet, and the Corporation of Edinburgh." When the king named the Lord Provost by the title he had conferred upon him, the magistrate knelt, and kissed his hand, which was held out at the moment, and the incident was loudly applauded by the company. The king afterwards gave as a toast, "Health to the chieftains and clans, and God Almighty bless the 'Land o' Cakes!'" He added, "Drink this with three times three!" The delight of the company in drinking this toast may well be imagined.

Great Britain, which had amassed so vast a debt in aiding the Continental sovereigns against Napoleon, played the magnanimous to the last. She gave up her share of the public indemnities, amounting to five million pounds, to the King of Holland and the Netherlands, to enable him to restore that line of fortresses along the Belgian frontiers which our Dutch king, William III., had planned, and which Joseph II. of Austria had suffered to fall to decay, thus rendering invasion from France especially easy. Nor was this all: she advanced five million pounds to enable the different sovereigns to march their troops home again, as she had advanced the money to march them up, the money demanded of France not being ready. Truly might Napoleon, in St. Helena, say that England, with her small army, had no business interfering in Continental wars; that "with our fleet, our commerce, and our colonies, we are the strongest power in the world, so long as we remain in our natural position; but that our gains in Continental wars are for others, our losses are for ourselves, and are permanent."