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The king had recently ordered that the intendant, though holding only the third rank in the 48 council, should act as its president.  The commission of Duchesneau, however, empowered him to preside only in the absence of the governor;  while Frontenac is styled "chief and president of the council" in several of the despatches addressed to him. Here was an inconsistency. Both parties claimed the right of presiding, and both could rest their claim on a clear expression of the royal will.But there was another side to the brightness of this success. In literature as in war no position of honour can be won or held without danger, and of this Beccaria seems to have been conscious when he pleaded against the charge of obscurity, that in writing he had had before his eyes the fear of ecclesiastical persecution. His love for truth, he confessed, stopped short at the risk of martyrdom. He had, indeed, three very clear warnings to justify his fears. Muratori, the historian, had suffered much from accusations of heresy and atheism, and had owed his immunity from worse consequences chiefly to the liberal protection of Pope Benedict XIV. The Marquis Scipio Maffei had also incurred similar charges for his historical handling of the subject of Free-will. But there was even a stronger warning than these, and one not likely to be lost on a man with youth and life before him; that was the fate of the unfortunate Giannone, who, only sixteen years before Beccaria wrote, had ended with his life in the citadel of Turin an imprisonment that had lasted twenty years, for certain observations on the Church of Rome which he had been rash enough to insert in his History of Naples.
This was an announcement of the utter overthrow of the Revolution, and the restoration of the ancient condition of France, with its aristocracy and its slaves. The sensation which it produced was intense. The king was immediately accused of secretly favouring this language, though it was far from being the case. It was in vain that he disavowed the sentiments of this haughty and impolitic proclamation to the Assembly; he was not believed, and the exasperation against him was dreadfully aggravated.
* Doutre et Lareau, Histoire du Droit Canadien, 163. * ibid.
Casson, in his Histoire du Montral, preserved in manuscriptThe Tory party sustained serious damage in consequence of an inquiry on the subject of Orange lodges in the army, which was granted in May, on the motion of Mr. Finn, an Irish member. Very startling disclosures were made by this committee during Sir Robert Peel's brief Administration. Various addresses had been presented from Orange societies, which led to pertinacious questioning of the Ministers. It was asked whether the addresses in question purported to come from Orange societies; whether the king ought to receive addresses from illegal associations; and whether it was true, as the newspapers said, that such addresses had been graciously received by his Majesty. There was a peculiar significance given to these inquiries by an impression that began to prevail that there had been on foot for some years a conspiracy to prevent the Princess Victoria from ascending the throne, and to secure the sovereignty for the eldest brother of the king, the Duke of Cumberland, the avowed head of the Tory party, and also the head of the Orange Society, through whose instrumentality the revolution was to be effected, in furtherance of which Orange lodges had been extensively organised in the army. The report of the committee was presented in September, and from this report it appeared that Orange lodges were first held in England under Irish warrants; but that in 1808 a lodge was founded in Manchester, and warrants were issued for the holding of lodges under English authority. On the death of the Grand Master in that town, in 1821, the lodge was removed to London, where the meetings were held in the house of Lord Kenyon, Deputy Grand Master. The Duke of York had been prevented from assuming the office of Grand Master, because the law officers of the Crown were of opinion that the society was illegal. The Act against political associations in Ireland having expired in 1828, the Orange lodges started forth in vigorous and active existence, under the direction of the Duke of Cumberland as Grand Master. The passing of the Emancipation Act seems to have had the effect of driving the leaders of the society into a conspiracy to counteract its operation, or to bring about a counter-revolution by means of this treasonable organisation; though, perhaps, they did not consider it treasonable, as their object was to place upon the throne the brother of the king, whom they thought to be alone capable of preserving the Constitution, and of excluding from it a very young princess, who would be during her minority in the hands of Whigs and Radicals, whom they believed to be leagued together to destroy it. Considering the frenzy of party spirit at this time, and the conditional loyalty openly professed by the men who annually celebrated the battle of the Boyne and the glorious Revolution of 1688, there is nothing very surprising in the course adopted by the Orange societies, though the English public were astounded when they learnt for the first time, in 1835, that there were 140,000 members of this secret society in England, of whom 40,000 were in London; and that the army was to a large extent tainted.
SCENE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: BREACH BETWEEN BURKE AND FOX. (See p. 379.)Whilst these scenes were going on all around, and the city was menaced every moment by troops, by the raving multitude, and by whole squadrons of thieves and assassins, the electors were busily employed in organising a City Guard. But, previous to entering on this task, it was necessary to establish some sort of municipal authority more definite and valid than that of the electors at large. A requisition was then presented to the provost of trades (prv?t des marchands) to take the head. A number of electors were appointed his assistants. Thus was formed a municipality of sufficient powers. It was then determined that this militia, or guard, should consist of forty-eight thousand men furnished by the districts. They were to wear not the green, but the Parisian cockade, of red and blue. Every man found in arms, and wearing this cockade, without having been enrolled in this body by his district, was to be apprehended, disarmed, and punished. And thus arose the National Guard of Paris.
Any action that is not included between the two above-indicated extremes can only be called a crime or punished as such by those who find their interest in so calling it. The uncertainty of these limits has produced in different nations a system of ethics contrary to the system of laws, has produced many actual systems of laws at total variance with one another, and a quantity of laws which expose even the wisest man to the severest penalties. Consequently the words virtue and vice have become of vague and variable meaning, and from the uncertainty thus surrounding individual existence, listlessness and a fatal apathy have spread over political communities.