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"More than 100 workhouse officers fell victims to the famine fever during this fatal year, which also decimated the ranks of the Catholic clergy of the country. Mr. Trevelyan gives names of thirty English and Scottish priests who sacrificed their lives to their zealous attendance on the immigrant Irish, who carried the pestilence with them in their flight to other portions of the United Kingdom. Pestilence likewise slew its victims in the[542] fetid hold of the emigrant ship, and, following them across the ocean, immolated them in thousands in the lazar houses that fringed the shores of Canada and the United States. The principal business of the time was in meal, and coffins, and passenger ships. A fact may be mentioned which renders further description of the state of the country needless. The Cork Patent Saw Mills had been at full work from December, 1846, to May, 1847, with twenty pairs of saws, constantly going from morning till night, cutting planks for coffins, and planks and scantlings for fever sheds, and for the framework of berths for emigrant ships."

He was proceeding in all apparent safety when, approaching the village of Tarrytown, three militiamen suddenly sprang forward, and, seizing his bridle, demanded who he was. Andr, being on neutral ground, exceeded his former incaution, and instead of ascertaining whether the men were Americans, in which case Arnold's pass was his security, he asked the men who they were, and being answered "From below," which was the pass for New York, replied, "And so am I." By this, discovering that he was a British officer, the men began to search him, and soon made prize of his fatal papers. Warned in time, Arnold escaped on board a British man-of-war. But very different was the fate of Major Andr. General Clinton, the moment he was aware of his arrest, sent a letter to Washington, stating that Andr had gone on shore under a flag of truce, and, at the time of his arrest, was travelling under a pass from Arnold, the commander of the district. Clinton therefore requested Washington to liberate Andr immediately. To this letter Washington did not reply till after a lapse of four days, and after the board of officers appointed for the purpose had declared Andr a spy. He even rejected the last prayer of the gallant soldier that he might be spared the gibbet, and had him hanged. In the interval, the character and conduct of the Prince of Wales came prominently before the public. The two great friends of the prince were Fox and Sheridan. If the intellectual qualities of these two remarkable men had been equalled by their moral ones, no fitter companions for a young prince could have been found. But, unfortunately, they were as distinguished for their drinking and dissipation, and Fox for his reckless gambling, as for their talents. Pitt and they were in violent opposition, and as Pitt, with his cold, unimpulsive nature, stood firmly by the king, Fox and Sheridan were, as matters of party, warmly the advocates of the prince. Hence the king and his son, sufficiently at strife on the ground of the prince's extravagance and debauchery, were rendered doubly so by the faction fire of their respective adherents. Pitt, who might have softened greatly the hostile feeling between the royal father and son, by recommending less parsimony on the part of the king, and kindly endeavouring to induce the prince to exhibit more respect for his father, never displayed the slightest disposition to act so generous and truly politic a part. Sheridan and some others of the Whig party mentioned the prince's debts, and urged the propriety of something being done to save the honour of the Heir Apparent; but Pitt turned a deaf ear, and the king informed the prince that he could not sanction the payment of his debts by Parliament, nor was he disposed to[337] increase his allowance from the Civil List. On this the prince determined to break up his household, which had been appointed by the king, and cost the prince twenty thousand pounds, to sell his horses and carriages, and to live in a few rooms like a private gentleman. This he did; his fine horses were paraded through the streets on their way to Tattersall's to be sold, and he stopped the building of Carlton House. All this would have been admirable had it proceeded from a real desire to economise on the part of the prince, in order to satisfy his clamorous creditors, and to commence a real reform of his habits; but the whole was only a mode of mortifying the king and Court party by thus exhibiting the Heir Apparent as compelled, by the refusal of a proper allowance, to abandon the style befitting his rank, and sink himself into that of a mere lodger of scanty means. If this grand man?uvre did not accomplish its object at Court, it, however, told on his own party, who resolved in the next Session to make a grand effort for the liquidation of his debts.

The meeting of the Westminster electors the next day, held in Palace Yard, under the very walls of Parliament, was attended by vast crowds, and the tone of the speakers was most indignant. They justified the letter of their representative to themselves; denounced the conduct of the Commons as oppressive, arbitrary, and illegal, tending to destroy the popular liberties; and they approved highly of the baronet's spirited resistance to the forcing of his house. They called for his liberation, and for that of the unjustly incarcerated Mr. Gale Jones. They drew up a letter to Sir Francis to this effect, to be presented to him in the Tower by the high bailiff of Westminster; and they prepared a petition and remonstrance to the House of Commons in equally spirited terms, which was presented the same evening by Lord Cochrane. The Honourable J. W. Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley and Ward, opposed the reception of the petition as highly indecorous, and as violating the dignity of the House; but Whitbread defended it, and even Canning and Perceval excused, in some degree, the tone of the petition in the circumstances. It was ordered, therefore, to be laid on the table. In the midst of these cabals died the Regent, and Townshend, acting with Walpole, sent over Walpole's brother Horace to watch their interests at Paris. Carteret, on the other hand, ordered Sir Luke Schaub to make every exertion for the grant of the dukedom. On the arrival of Horace Walpole, Bolingbroke, obeying the impulses of the courtier and not of the man, immediately waited on him, and placed all his influence at the French Court at his service; but Walpole, who had an invincible repugnance to Bolingbroke, whilst he availed himself of the advantages offered by Bolingbroke, still kept him at a great and stately distance. Undeterred by this conduct, however, Bolingbroke swallowed his mortification, and continued to keep his eye and his hope on the Walpole Ministry. Unassisted by Bolingbroke, the dukedom could not be obtained; but George reconciled Madame Platen to the match by giving her daughter a portion of ten thousand pounds. Horace Walpole, at the same time, succeeded in getting Schaub recalled, and himself installed in his office of Ambassador at Parisa decided victory over Carteret; indeed, so decided, that Carteret was removed from the Secretaryship to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland.

In the meantime, General Lake had made a march on Delhi, continuing, as he went, his correspondence with M. Perron. As General Lake approached the fortress of Allyghur, the stronghold of Perron, the Frenchman came out with fifteen thousand men, but again retreated into the fortress. This was on the 29th of August. Perron made a strong resistance, and held out till the 4th of September, when the place was stormed by a party headed by Colonel Monson and Major Macleod. The success was somewhat clouded by the surprise[492] and surrender of five companies of General Lake's sepoys, who had been left behind to guard an important position, but with only one gun. This accident, however, was far more than counterbalanced by the withdrawal of Perron from the service of the Mahrattas. He had found so much insubordination amongst his French officers, and saw so clearly that there was no chance of competing with the British, that he had at length closed with General Lake's offers, and, abandoning his command, had obtained a passport for himself, family, suite, and effects, and retired to Lucknow. This being accomplished, General Lake continued his march on Delhi, in order to release Shah Allum, the Mogul, and drew near it on the 11th of September. He there found that the army previously commanded by Perron, but now by Louis Bourquien, nineteen thousand strong, had crossed the Jumna and was posted between him and the city. Bourquien had posted his army on a rising ground, flanked on both sides by swamps, and defended in front by strong entrenchments and about seventy pieces of cannon. As Lake had only four thousand five hundred men, to attack them in that position appeared madness. The British were briskly assailed before they could pitch their tents, and General Lake, feigning a retreat, succeeded in drawing the enemy down from their commanding situation and out of their entrenchments; he then suddenly wheeled, fired a destructive volley into the incautious foe, and followed this rapidly by a charge with the bayonet. The enemy fled, and endeavoured to regain their guns and entrenchments; but Lake did not leave them timeanother volley and another bayonet charge completely disorganised them, and they fled for the Jumna and the road by which they had come. The troops of Scindiah, which had held the Mogul prisoner, evacuated the city, and on the 16th General Lake made a visit of state to the aged Shah Allum, who expressed himself as delighted at being delivered from his oppressors and received under the protection of the British.