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      On the 1st of June according to the arrangements of General Gage, as the clock struck twelve, all the public offices were closed, and the whole official business was transferred to Salem. But the wide discontent of the people met him there as much as at Boston. When the Assembly met, which was in the following week, such was its spirit that General Gage felt that he must dissolve it. General Gage, seeing the lowering aspect of affairs, took the precaution to throw more troops into the neighbourhood, so that he had some six regiments, with a train of artillery, when he encamped on the common near Boston. Active emissaries were immediately sent amongst these troops, who, by presents of ardent spirits and fine promises, seduced a considerable number from their duty. To prevent this, he stationed a strong guard at Boston Neck, a narrow isthmus connecting the town with the common and open country. On this a vehement cry was raised, that he was going to cut off all communication with the country, blockade the town, and reduce it to submission by famine. The inhabitants of the county of Worcester sent a deputation to inquire Gage's intentions, and they did not omit to hint that, if necessary, they would drive in the guard with arms; for, in fact, besides the arms which most Americans then had, others had been supplied to such as were too poor to purchase them. Gordon, their historian, tells us that the people were preparing to defend their rights by the sword; that they were supplying themselves from Boston with guns, knapsacks, etc. According to the Militia Law, most men were well furnished with muskets and powder, and were now busily employed in exercising themselves; thus all was bustle, casting of balls, and making ready for a struggle. Gage, seeing all this, removed the gunpowder and the military stores from Charlestown, Cambridge, and other localities, to his own quarters. This, again, excited a deep rage in the people, who threatened to attack his troops. To prevent this, he went on briskly with his defences on the Neck; but what he did by day the mob endeavoured to undo by night. They set fire to his supplies of straw; they sank the boats that were bringing bricks, and overturned his waggons conveying timber. Nothing but the greatest patience and forbearance prevented an instant collision.


      Men for the most part leave the regulation of their chief concerns to the prudence of the moment, or to the discretion of those whose interest it is to oppose the wisest laws; such laws, namely, as naturally help to diffuse the benefits of life, and check that tendency they have to accumulate in the hands of a few, which ranges on one side the extreme of power and happiness, and on the other all that is weak and wretched. It is only, therefore, after having passed through a thousand errors in matters that most nearly touch their lives and liberties, only after weariness of evils that have been suffered to reach a climax, that men are induced to seek a remedy for the abuses which oppress them, and to recognise the clearest truths, which, precisely on account of their simplicity, escape the notice of ordinary minds, unaccustomed as they are to analyse things, and apt to receive their impressions anyhow, from tradition rather than from inquiry.The sisters had great need of a man to do the heavy work of the house and garden, but found no means of hiring one, when an incident, in which they saw a special providence, excellently supplied the want. There was a poor colonist named Jouaneaux to whom a piece of land had been given at some distance from the settlement. Had he built a cabin upon it, his scalp would soon have paid the forfeit; but, being bold and hardy, he devised a plan by which he might hope to sleep in safety without abandoning the farm which was his only possession. Among the stumps of his clearing there was one hollow with age. Under this he dug a sort of cave, the entrance of which was a small hole carefully hidden by brushwood. The hollow stump was easily converted into a chimney; and by creeping into his burrow at night, or when he saw signs of danger, he escaped for some time the notice of the Iroquois. But, though he could dispense with a house, he needed a barn for his hay and corn; and while he was building one, he fell from the ridge of the roof and was seriously hurt. He was carried to the H?tel Dieu, where the nuns showed him every attention, until, after a long confinement, he at last recovered. Being of a grateful nature and enthusiastically devout, he was so touched by the kindness of his benefactors, and so moved by the spectacle of their piety, that he conceived the wish of devoting his life to their service. To this end a contract was drawn up, by which he pledged himself to work for them as long as strength remained; and they, on their part, agreed to maintain him in sickness or old age.

      "The disease by which the plant has been affected has prevailed to the greatest extent in Ireland.

      character, held a high position at court; and his acute and`I trust that you are properly grateful for this very rare good fortune


      Two other fatal consequences flow from the cruelty of punishments, and are contrary to their very purpose, the prevention of crimes. The first is, that it is not so easy to preserve the essential proportion between crime and punishment, because, however much a studied cruelty may diversify its forms, none of them can go beyond the extreme limit of endurance which is a condition of the human organisation and sensibility. When once this extreme limit is attained, it would be impossible to invent such a corresponding increase of punishment for still more injurious and atrocious crimes as would be necessary to prevent them. The other consequence is, that impunity itself arises from the severity of punishments. Men are restrained within limits both in good and evil; and a sight too atrocious for humanity can only be a passing rage, not a constant system, such as the laws ought to be; if the latter are really cruel, either they are changed, or themselves give rise to a fatal impunity. Jesuits. Chaumonot, who was present to give spiritual aid to

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      Ministers carried their indemnity in the Commons by one hundred and sixty-two against sixty-nine; but this did not prevent a prolongation of the demands of the Reformers for a searching inquiry into their employment of the spies. Many petitions were presented to the House of Commons for this inquiryone of them from Samuel Bamford, who had been a sufferer by imprisonment. On the 3rd of February Hone's case was brought forward by William Smith, of Norwich; on the 10th, Lord Archibald Hamilton made a motion for inquiry into similar prosecutions of persons in Scotland, and especially of Andrew M'Kinley, and this was supported by Sir Samuel Romilly and others, but rejected; yet the next day Mr. Fazakerley made a demand for a rigid inquiry into the employment of the spies, and for ascertaining whether they really had exceeded their instructions. Here was an opportunity for Ministers to clear themselves, were they really innocent of sending them out to excite as well as to discover conspirators. There was a violent debate, but the motion was rejected by one hundred and eleven against fifty-two. The discussion left no doubt of the employment of Oliver and others, and this fact being put beyond dispute, Ministers should, in self-vindication, have cleared themselves, if they were guiltless, as their friends pretended; but they did not do so. On the 17th Lord Folkestone moved for inquiry into the treatment in prison of Mr. Ogden and others, and a similar motion was made on the 19th, in the Lords, by the Earl of Carnarvon. In both cases Ministers, instead of courting inquiry, resented it, and closed the door of investigation by large majorities. Lords Sidmouth, Bathurst, and Liverpool were prominent in staving off these inquiries; and Lords Grosvenor, King, and Holland were earnest in urging the necessity of such inquiry for their own good fame. Lord Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby, put this in the strongest light. He said that he thought Ministers "had been much calumniated, but they would be most so by themselves if they refused to inquire into those acts, when inquiry, according to their own statements, would fully[135] acquit them of the charges laid against them." This was so self-evident that the fact that they would not admit this inquiry might, were there no other grounds for decision, be taken as positive proof of their guilt. But it is not likely that Oliver and his comrades, who were for months in daily communication with Ministers whilst on their detestable missions, would have dared so far to exceed their orders, or, had they done so, that they would have been protected at the expense of the reputations of Ministers themselves, and rewarded into the bargain. The instructions to these men were undoubtedly of too dark a character to be produced in open daylight.

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      Great Britain bears a heavy burden of taxation, yet she does not seem to feel it. Many years ago Mr. Disraeli, in the House of Commons, called the National Debt a "flea-bite." It is not quite so light a matter as that; still, it does not seem to render her step less firm, nor retard her progress, nor give her much trouble. It is a matter of wonder to foreigners how the British people manage to have so much money after paying so smartly in the shape of taxes, and spending so much on food, clothing, and household accommodation. The secret lies in the wonderful industry and thrift in the masses of the people. They work hard, live well, and waste little. The number of people who live in Great Britain without labouring in any way for their support with head or hand is very small. Of 5,812,000 males twenty years of[424] age and upwards, in 1831, no less than 5,466,000 were engaged in some calling or profession. The progressive well-being of the middle classes of England has been indicated very satisfactorily by the improved character of their dwellings. If the country is more healthful than the city, one cause may be found in the less crowded state of the habitations. In the country the proportion was about five and a half persons on an average in each house; in London about a third more. In Scotland the proportion was six to ten in 1831, and in Ireland it was six to twelve, taking the capital in each case as representing the urban population. The number of inhabited houses which England contained in 1821 was 1,952,000; in Ireland the number was 1,142,602; in Scotland it was 341,474. In 1841 the numbers wereEngland, 2,753,295; Ireland, 1,328,839; Scotland, 503,357. The large increase in Scotland is accounted for by the fact that in the returns of 1841 "flats" were set down as houses, which was not the case in the first return. The tax on inhabited houses rated in three classes from 10 to 20, from 20 to 40, and from 40 and upwards. From 1821 to 1833 the houses rated at 40 and upwards increased in England from 69,000 to 84,000. The other two classes of houses increased in about the same proportion. The house duty was repealed in 1834. There was a duty on bricks till 1850, by which means the quantity consumed was ascertained, and the increase between 1821 and 1847 was 130 per cent. Between the years 1821 and 1841 the use of carriages with four wheels increased 60 per cent.double the ratio of the increase of the population. In the meantime hired carriages had increased from 20,000 to 33,000. Colonel Sykes, at a meeting of the Statistical Society, counted the cost of keeping a four-wheeled private carriage, including servants, at 250 a year. This may be too high an estimate; but taking four-wheeled and two-wheeled carriages together, Mr. Porter thought the average expense was not less than 100 a year for each, which would give more than 5,000,000 for this luxury in 1821, more than 9,000,000 for 1831, and more than 10,000,000 for 1841a proof of wealth which no other country in Europe could show.CHAPTER VI.

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      James M'Cleland, made Baron of Exchequer.


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