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Dr. Erasmus Darwin assumed the hopeless task of chaining poetry to the car of science. He was a physician of Derby, and, like Sir Richard Blackmore, "rhymed to the rumbling of his own coach wheels;" for we are told that he wrote his verses as he drove about to his patients. His great poem is the "Botanic Garden," in which he celebrates the loves of the plants, and his "Economy of Vegetation," in which he introduces all sorts of mechanical inventions. Amongst the rest he announces the triumphs of steam in sonorous rhymes

The 20th of November arrived; the two Houses met, and Lord Camden in the Peers, and Pitt in the Commons, were obliged to announce the incapacity of the king to open the Session, and to move for an adjournment till the 4th of December, in order that the necessary measures for transferring the royal authority, temporarily, might be taken. Fox, at this important crisis, was abroad, and had to hurry home with headlong speed, in order to join his party in their anxious deliberations preparatory to the great question of the regency. In the meantime, the king's physicians had been examined before the Privy Council, and had given their opinion that the royal malady would prove only temporary. This in particular was the opinion of Dr. Willis, a specialist who had the chief management of the case, and whose mild treatment, in contrast to the violent means previously employed, had already produced a marked improvement. From this moment Pitt appears to have taken his decisionnamely, to carry matters with a high hand, and to admit the Prince of Wales as regent only under such restrictions as should prevent him from either exercising much power himself, or conferring much benefit on his adherents. When, therefore, Parliament met, after the adjournment, and that in great strengthfor men of all parties had hurried up to town,Lord Camden moved in the Lords, and Pitt in the Commons, that, in consequence of the king's malady, the minutes of the Privy Council containing the opinions of the royal physicians should be read, and that this being done, these opinions should be taken into consideration on the 8th of December.

AMERICAN BILL OF CREDIT (1775). The restless spirit of Buonaparte did not allow him any repose, even after his subjugation of the greater part of the north of Europe. Whilst he had been contending with the Russians, he had been planning fresh campaignsfresh conquests at the opposite extremity of the Continent. Godoy, the favourite of the King of Spain, and the paramour of his dissolute queen, who had professed great admiration of Buonaparte, seeing him so deeply engaged in Germany, had suddenly called out a considerable army, and addressed it in a vaunting but mysterious way. The news of this reached Buonaparte on the field of Jena, and, discovering by this means the real sentiments of the Spanish favourite towards him, he vowed vengeance on Spain. It was by no means the first time that he had contemplated the conquest of Spain and Portugal, but this circumstance inspired him with a new impulse in that direction, and a plausible excuse. In his interviews with Alexander of Russia, these views had been avowed; and now, no sooner had he returned to Paris than he commenced his operations for that purpose. He blended this scheme, at the same time, with his great one of shutting out the British trade from the whole Continent. Russia had, by the Treaty of Tilsit, entered into a compact to enforce his system in her ports. Holland was compelled to submit to it. The kingdom of Westphalia was now in the hands of his brother Jerome, who had been forced to separate from his American wife, Elizabeth Paterson, and had been married to a daughter of the King of Würtemberg, so that the territories now comprised in the new kingdom of Westphalia were under the same law of exclusion. He had extended it to the Prussian ports since his conquest of that country, and to the Hanseatic towns. Denmark was ready to comply, and the treaty with Russia extended his embargo ostensibly to the whole western shores of the Baltic. Sweden refused to accept it, and the foolhardy King Christian IV. declared war on Russia, and invaded Norway. He promptly lost Finland and Pomerania. Sir[547] John Moore, with an army of 10,000 men, was sent to his assistance, but found him so unreasonable that he thought it better to return without landing the troops. Christian was soon afterwards deposed, and his uncle established in his place, who accepted the Continental system. But Alexander was as little faithful in this part of the Treaty as in other parts. In fact, he dared not strictly enforce the exclusion of British trade, were he so disposed. Nearly the whole heavy produce of Russiahemp, iron, timber, wax, pitch, and naval stores, which constituted the chief revenues of the Russian nobleswas taken by the British, and paid for in their manufactures. To have cut off his trade would have made the life of Alexander as little secure as that of his father, Paul, had been. The Russian and British trade therefore continued, under certain devices, and notwithstanding the decrees of the Czar to the contrary. Buonaparte knew it, but was not prepared to open up a new war with Russia on that accountat least, at present. He was now turning his attention to the south.

The brilliant successes of this campaign had clearly been the result of Pitt's plans before quitting office. Bute and his colleagues had no capacity for such masterly policy, and as little perception of the immense advantages which these conquests gave them in making peace. Peace they were impatient forless on the great grounds that peace was the noblest of national blessings, than because the people grumbled at the amount of taxationand because, by peace, they diminished, or hoped to diminish, the prestige of the great Minister, who had won such vast accessions to the national territory. Bute was eager to come to terms with France and Spain, regardless of the advantages he gave to prostrate enemies by showing that impatience. Had he made a peace as honourable as the war had been, he would have deserved well of the country; but to accomplish such a peace required another stamp of mind.

The confederacy of Spain, Austria, and Sweden against England greatly encouraged the Pretender and his party. His agents were active on almost every coast in Europe, under the able direction of Atterbury. But there were two new allies whom James acquired at this time who did him little service; these were Lord North and the Duke of Wharton. They went over to the Continent, and not only openly avowed themselves as friends of the Pretender, but renounced Protestantism and embraced Popery. Lord North, however, found himself so little trusted at the Pretender's Court, notwithstanding his apostasy, that he went to Spain, entered its service, and there continued till his death, in 1734. Wharton also arrived at Madrid, where he fell in with a congenial spirit. This was Ripperda, the renegade Dutchman, now created a Duke and made Prime Minister of Spain. He had lately returned from a mission to Vienna, and was as full of foolish boastings as Wharton himself. He told the officers of the garrison at Barcelona on landing, that the Emperor would bring one hundred and fifty thousand men into the field; that Prince Eugene had engaged for as many more within six months of the commencement of a war; that in that case France would be pillaged on all sides, the King of Prussia, whom he was pleased to call the Grand Grenadier, would be chased from his country in a single campaign, and King George out of both Hanover by the Emperor, and Great Britain by the Pretender; that so long as he was in authority there should never be peace between France and Spain. Yet to Mr. Stanhope he declared that though he had talked both in Vienna and Spain in favour of the Pretender, he was, nevertheless, as sincerely attached to the interests of his Britannic Majesty as one of his own subjects; that he would prove this on the first opportunity, and that he only talked as he did to please their Catholic majesties,[55] and to avoid being suspected as a traitor, and falling into the hands of the Inquisition, which he knew kept a sharp eye on him as a recent convert.

Parliament was prorogued on the 31st of May, 1826, and two days afterwards dissolved. It had nearly run its course. It was the sixth Session, which had been abridged with a view of getting through the general election at a convenient season. But though short, the Session had much work to show of one kind or another, including some useful legislation. The Parliamentary papers printed occupied twenty-nine folio volumes, exclusive of the journals and votes. The Parliament whose existence was now terminated had, indeed, effected the most important changes in the policy of Great Britain, foreign and domestic. Mr. Canning had severed the connection, unnatural as it was damaging, between England and the Holy Alliance. The Government of the freest country in the world, presenting almost the only example of a constitution in which the power of the people was represented, was no longer to be associated in the councils of a conclave of despots; and this change of direction in its foreign policy was cordially adopted by the House of Commons and by the nation. Another great and vital change in national policy was the partial admission of the principles of Free Trade, which the Tories regarded, not without reason, as effecting a complete revolution, which extended its influence to the whole legislation and government.

The trumpet's silvery sound is still,

The Bastille surrendered almost immediately after the governor had been seized with despair. The French Guard began to cannonade the fortress; the captain of the Swiss, who might undoubtedly have held out much longer, saw that no rescue came, and that prolonged resistance would only lead in the end to sanguinary vengeance, he therefore hoisted a white flag. The captain of the Swiss demanded to be allowed to capitulate, and to march out with the honours of war; but the furious mob cried out, "No capitulation! no quarter! The rascals have fired upon the People!" The Swiss captain then said that they would lay down their arms, on condition that their lives should be spared. Then the gates of the old prison were thrown open, and the furious and triumphant mob burst in. The news of the fall of the Bastille came as a thunder-clap. The king, who had not been so confident, was gone to bed. The Duke de Liancourt, Grand Master of the Wardrobe, by virtue of his office went to his bedside, awoke him, and told him the amazing fact. "What!" exclaimed Louis, "is it, then, really a revolt?" "Say, rather, sire," replied the Duke, "a revolution!"

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In 1821, 7,250,000 lbs. of coffee were consumed by fourteen millions of people in Great Britain. In 1824 the consumption of coffee in the United Kingdom was 8,250,000 lbs., and the duties wereon foreign coffee, 2s. 6d. per lb.; East India, 1s. 6d.; British West India, 1s. per lb. In the same year the consumption wasof foreign coffee, 1,540 lbs.; East India, 313,000 lbs.; West India, about 800,000 lbs. In the following year Mr. Huskisson reduced the duties on these several kinds to 1s. 3d., 9d., and 6d., respectively, which caused a rapid increase in the consumption. In 1840 the consumption wasof East and West India, 14,500,000 lbs.; and of foreign, 14,000,000 lbs. In 1841, 27,250,000 lbs. were consumed by eighteen and a half millions of people. The tea trade with China was used by the East India Company for the purpose of enriching itself by an enormous tax upon the British consumer. During one hundred years it ranged from 2s. to 4s. in the pound excise duty, with a customs duty of 14 per cent., down to a total minimum duty of 12? per cent. The former duty was estimated at 200 per cent. on the value of the common teas. The effect, as might be expected, was an enormous amount of smuggling. The monopoly of the Company was abolished; it was made lawful for any person to import tea by the Act 4 William IV., c. 85; and the trade was opened on the 22nd of April, 1834. The ad valorem duties were abolished, and all the Bohea tea imported for home consumption was charged with a customs duty of 1s. 6d. per lb.; Congou and other teas of superior quality were charged 2s. 2d. per lb., and some 3s. per lb. In 1836 these various duties gave place to a uniform one of 2s. 1d. per lb., which, with the addition of 5 per cent., imposed in 1840, continued till 1851, when the penny was removed. During the last year of restricted trade (1833) our aggregate importations amounted to 32,000,000 lbs.; during the first year of Free Trade, they bounded up to 44,000,000 lbs.; and in 1856 they had attained to 86,000,000 lbs. The average price of tea per lb., including duty, in 1834, was 4s. 4d. In 1821 the total quantity of tea imported into Great Britain was upwards of 31,000,000 lbs., and its value 1,873,886; in 1834 the quantity was about 35,000,000 lbs., and the value about 2,000,000. In 1837 the quantity was about 40,000,000 lbs.