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In Wales, such was the neglect of religion by the Establishment, that, previous to 1804, there was scarcely a clergyman of the Church of England in the principality who was a native, or could preach in Welsh. The capability of a minister to make himself understood by his parishioners had been totally disregarded by those who had the presentation to livings; the exercise of patronage had alone been cared for; the souls of people went for nothing. About that time the Rev. Mr. Charles was engaged as curate in a Welsh parish. He found not a single Bible in the parish, and on extending his inquiries he scarcely found a Bible in Wales. He made this fact known to the public, in an appeal for Welsh Bibles, and for this appeal and the attendant exposure of the clerical neglect he was dismissed from his cure, and could find no bishop who would license him to preach in any other parish. But his truly Christian act had excited the attention of the religious public, and had the effect of establishing the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1804.

CHARLES JAMES FOX. (After the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.) This fleet had enough to do to cope with Rodney in the West Indian waters. Rodney, as we have hinted, with twenty sail of the line, came up with De Guichen's fleet of twenty-three sail of the line, besides smaller vessels, on the evening of the 16th of April, off St. Lucia. He came into action with it on the 17th, and succeeded in breaking its line, and might have obtained a most complete victory, but that several of his captains behaved very badly, paying no attention to his signals. The Sandwich, the Admiral's ship, was much damaged in the action, and the French sailed away. Rodney wrote most indignantly home[276] concerning the conduct of the captains, and one of them was tried and broken, and some of the others were censured; but they were protected by the spirit of faction, and escaped their due punishment. Rodney, finding he could not bring the French again to engage, put into St. Lucia to refit, and land his wounded men, of whom he had three hundred and fifty; besides one hundred and twenty killed. De Guichen had suffered far more severely. Rodney again got sight of the French fleet on the 10th of May, between St. Lucia and Martinique; but they avoided him, and made their escape into the harbour of Fort Royal. Hearing of the approach of a Spanish fleet of twelve sail of the line, and a great number of lesser vessels and transports, bringing from ten thousand to twelve thousand men, Rodney went in quest of it, to prevent its junction with the French; but Solano, the Spanish admiral, took care not to go near Rodney, but, reaching Guadeloupe, sent word of his arrival there to De Guichen, who managed to sail thither and join him. This now most overwhelming united fleet of France and Spain left Rodney no alternative but to avoid an engagement on his part. He felt that not only our West India Islands, but the coasts of North America, were at its mercy; but it turned out otherwise.

One of the first things which the Regent did was to re-appoint the Duke of York to the post of Commander-in-chief of the Forces. Old Sir David Dundas, as thoroughly aware of his unfitness for the office as the army itself was, had requested leave to retire, and on the 25th of May the appointment of the duke was gazetted. There was a considerable expression of disapproval in the House of Commons of this measure. Lord Milton moved that it was highly improper and indecorous, and he was supported by Lord Althorp, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Whitbread, and others; but the facts which had come to light through Mrs. Clarke's trials, both regarding her and her champion, Colonel Wardle, had mitigated the public feeling towards the duke so far, that the motion was rejected by a majority of two hundred and ninety-six against forty-seven. It is certain that the change from the duke to Sir David Dundas, so far as the affairs of the army were concerned, was much for the worse. The duke was highly popular in that office with the soldiers, and he rendered himself more so by immediately establishing regimental schools for their children on Dr. Bell's system.

Periodical writing grew in this reign into a leading organ of opinion and intelligence. The two chief periodicals, according to our present idea of them, were the Gentleman's Magazine and the Monthly Review. These were both started prior to the accession of George III. The Gentleman's Magazine was started by Cave, the publisher, in 1731; and the Monthly Review commenced in 1749. The former was a depository of a great variety of matters, antiquarian, topographical, critical, and miscellaneous, and has retained that character to the present hour. The Monthly Review was exclusively devoted to criticism. But in the early portion of the reign a periodical literature of a totally different character prevailedthe periodical essayistformed on the model of the Spectator, Guardian, and Tatler of a prior period. Chief amongst these figured Ambrose Philips's Freethinker; the Museum, supported by Walpole, the Wartons, Akenside, etc.; the Rambler, by Dr. Johnson; the Adventurer, by Hawkesworth; the World, in which wrote chiefly aristocrats, as Lords Lyttelton, Chesterfield, Bath, Cork, Horace Walpole, etc.; the Connoisseur, chiefly supplied by George Colman and Bonnel Thornton; the Old Maid, conducted by Mrs. Frances Brooke; the Idler, by Johnson; the Babbler, by Hugh Kelly; the Citizen of the World, by Goldsmith; the Mirror, chiefly written by Mackenzie, the author of the "Man of Feeling;" and the Lounger, also chiefly conducted by Mackenzie. This class of productions, appearing each once or twice a week, afforded the public the amusement and instruction now furnished by the daily newspapers, weekly reviews, and monthly magazines. Towards the end of the reign arose a new species of review, the object of which was, under the guise of literature, to serve opposing parties in politics. The first of these was the Edinburgh Review, the organ of the Whigs, started in 1802, in which Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith were the chief writers. This, professing to be liberal, launched forth the most illiberal criticisms imaginable. There was scarcely a great poet of the timeWordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Byron, James Montgomery, Leigh Hunt, Shelley, Keatswhom it did not, but vainly, endeavour to crush. To combat the influence of this Whig organ, in 1809 came forth the Quarterly Review, the great organ of the Tories, to which Scott, Southey, Wilson Croker, Gifford, etc., were the chief contributors. In 1817 this was followed by another Conservative journal, not quarterly, but monthly in its issue, conducted chiefly by Professor Wilson and Lockhart, namely, Blackwood's Magazine, in which the monthly magazines of to-day find their prototype, but with a more decided political bias than these generally possess.

The tidings of this disaster roused the people of England to a pitch of desperation. The Ministers were condemned for their gross neglect and imbecile procrastination, and Byng was execrated as a coward and a traitor. Meanwhile, the most culpable man of all, Newcastle, was trembling with terror, and endeavouring to find a scapegoat somewhere. Fox was equally trembling, lest Newcastle should make that scapegoat of him. He declared to Dodington that he had urged Newcastle to send succour to Minorca as early as Christmas, and that Cumberland had joined him in urging this, to no purpose. He asserted that Newcastle ought to answer for it. "Yes," replied Dodington, "unless he can find some one to make a scapegoat of." This was the very fear that was haunting Fox, and he hastened, in October, to the king, and resigned the seals. This was a severe blow to Newcastle, and he immediately thought of Murray to succeed him; but, unfortunately, Sir Dudley Ryder, the Lord Chief Justice, just then having died, Murray had fixed his ambition on occupying his seat on the bench. They were obliged to give it to him, with the title[123] of Mansfield, or make a mortal enemy of him. Newcastle then thought of conciliating Pitt. Pitt refused to belong to any Ministry at all in which Newcastle remained. Newcastle, in his perplexity, next tried Lord Egmont, and even old Granville, but both declined the honour; and not a man being to be found who would serve under him, he was compelled most reluctantly to resign. He had certainly presided over the destinies of the nation far too long.

H. M. Sandford, made Lord Mount Sandford.

THE CATHEDRAL, TUAM.

Whilst Louis lay ill at Metz, France received an unexpected relief. Prince Charles was hastily recalled to cope with Frederick of Prussia, who had now joined France in the counter-league of Frankfort, and burst into the territories of Maria Theresa. He found in Prague a garrison of fifteen thousand men, yet by the 15th of September he had reduced the place, after a ten days' siege. At the same time Marshal Seckendorf, the Imperial general, entered Bavaria, which was defended only by a small force, and quickly reinstated[88] Charles on the throne of Munich. Vienna itself was in the greatest alarm, lest the enemies uniting should pay it a visit. But this danger was averted by the rapid return of Prince Charles of Lorraine from before Strasburg. He had to pass the very front of the French army; nevertheless, he conducted his forces safely and expeditiously to the frontiers of Bohemia, himself hastening to Vienna to consult on the best plan of operations. Maria Theresa again betook herself to her heroic Hungarians, who, at her appeal, once more rushed to her standard; and Frederick, in his turn alarmed, called loudly on the French for their promises of assistance, but called in vain. The French had no desire for another campaign in the heart of Austria. The Prussian invader, therefore, soon found himself menaced on all sides by Austrians, Croatians, and Hungarian troops, who harassed him day and night, cut off his supplies and his forages, and made him glad to retrace his steps in haste.