Page images

in October, 1834, and the money is to be divided among the bank proprietors, at the rate of 251. for every 1007, of stock which each may hold. Bank paper is to be made a legal tender for all sums above 5., except by the bank itself or its branches. This regulation is to be in force "from and after the first day of August, 1834, unless and until parliament shall otherwise direct." There is to be in future a periodical publication of the accounts of the bank. A statement of the amount of the assets belonging to the company, and also of the notes which they have in circulation, is to be transmitted weekly to the chancellor of the exchequer ; and from these weekly reports, an average state of the accounts for the preceding three months is to be published every month in the London Gazette. All bills for not more than three months are to be exempted from the operation of the usury laws, or, in other words, may be drawn so as to bear any rate of interest the parties may agree upon. This enactment may be expected greatly to facilitate all mercantile transactions in seasons when money is scarce; and it is, besides, valuable as the first relaxation of a principle which has been till now, vigorously maintained in opposition to the clearest rights of com


Some other important laws were brought forward by the ministry, reforming existing abuses; but the most important enactments, were those regulating the labour of children in

factories, and allowing depositors in saving banks, to purchase government annuities.


By the first of these, children under nine years of age are not to be employed in the factories, those under thirteen, are work not more than nine hours, and those under eighteen not more than twelve hours in the day, and not at all in the night. By the other act, parochial societies are authorized, the rector or resident justice of the peace, being one of the trustees for receiving deposits for the purchase of government annuities. The purchaser, if he live to the time when the annuity is to commence, will be entitled to receive an annuity equivalent to the value of all his payments, with compound interest; if he be unable to continue his yearly instalments, he may have his money back; or if he die before the commencement of the annuity, his family can obtain repayment of the sums paid.

Besides these measures, which looked directly to the improvement of the condition of the labouring classes, and to the relaxation of the monopolies created by the tory party, during its long continuance in power; the ministry also had contributed materially, to reduce the taxation under which the British nation had so long groaned. The reduction was estimated at about 1,545,000l., which added 1,709,000l., repealed in 1831-2, would make a total repeal of taxes in three years, of 3,254,000l.

Notwithstanding this reduc

tion, there was still a surplus of receipt over expenditure of 1,513,000l. This would be reduced by the interest on the West India compensation money, so as to permit a repeal of the house tax in 1834, and the landed interest was promised further relief by a commutation of tithes and a reform of the poor laws.

Another subject of first rate importance was brought forward during this session, but with no immediate effect, in relation to a system of national education. A resolution, pledging the house to take up this subject early in the next session, was moved by Mr. Roebuck, on the 30th of July, in a speech of great ability. The motion gave rise to a short de bate, and was eventually withdrawn, members in general appearing to feel that it would be better to defer entering upon the consideration of the question, until it could be brought forward

more definite shape. A beginning in this work was made in the course of the session by the government, in moving (on the 16th of August) for a grant of 20,000l. "to be issued in aid of private subscriptions for the erection of school-houses for the education of the children of the poorer classes."

One of the debates of the session which excited considera

ble interest, was that which took place on the 15th of August, on Mr. Buckingham's motion against impressment. Having been met by the chancellor of the exchequer with the previous question, it was only lost by a majority of 59 to 54. On the second of April, also, Mr. Hume very nearly carried a motion against flogging in the army, except for the offences of mutiny, or of being drunk when on guard, or of theft; the numbers were, 140 in its favour, and 151 against it. An order was some time after issued from the horseguards, prohibiting this punishment, except for certain specified descriptions of misconduct.

These improvements in the condition of the kingdom, and striking reforms in the public policy and, legislation, contributed to restore quiet and tranquillity to the nation. With the exception of a tumult in Cold Bath Fields on the thirteenth of May, occasioned by an attempt on the part of the police to disperse a public meeting of the political unions, England has seldom enjoyed greater tranquillity than in the year 1833.

The people were contented with the government; and the reform of the political abuses of which they complained, seemed to be carried on with vigour, tempered with prudence.




FRANCE.-Policy af Louis Phillippe.-Return of French Army from Belgium.-Meeting of Chambers in 1833.-Duchess of Berri.-Prorogation of Chambers.-Second Session of Chambers.--Common School System.-American Indemnity. PORTUGAL.-Parties in Peninsula.-Siege of Oporto.-Algarves invaded. Don Miguel's Fleet captured.-Lisbon taken.Donna Maria proclaimed.-Measures of Don Pedro. SPAIN.-Salic Law abolished.-Disatisfaction of Don Carlos.Illness of Ferdinand.-Salic Law re-established.-Again abolished.-Death of Ferdinand.-Donna Maria Isabella proclaimed.-Rebellious movements of Carlists.-Liberal Policy of Regency. TURKEY.-War between the Pashas of Egypt and Syria.-Capture of Acre.-Rebellion of Pasha of Egypt.-War between him and the Porte.-Defeat of Grand Vizier.-Interference of Russia.Peace and Annexation of Syria and Palestine to Egypt.Treaty of Constantinople.

GREECE.-Arrival of Otho.-Greek Ministry.-Courts of Justice established.--Departure of French Troops.-Greek Church declared independent.-State of Commerce.-Conspiracy suppressed.


SINCE the death of Casimir Périer, in 1832, the policy pursued by Louis Phillippe has been essentially that which was laid down by this wise and energetic minister. Its principle is avoidance of extremes. While the bigoted royalists have been

striving to restore the ancient regime, and the republicans have been equally earnest to carry out the principle of the revolution of July-the government has been acting upon what is called the juste milieu, and has, with great success, prevent

ed the vessel of state from being driven too widely from her true


November, and the nominee of the ministers, M. Dupin, elected president of the deputies, over his competitor Lafitte, by a majority of 234 to 136.

In spite of the union of the Carlists and the Republicans, the government has maintained its The only extreme which the power-and if any conclusion chamber now contained was the can be drawn from the late his- extreme left. Of this the above tory of France, it is that neither minority was composed. The of the extreme parties have monarchical party, which had much strength in that country. formerly constituted the extreme The partisans of both royal- right, was all but annihilated in ism and republicanism have been this branch of the legislature. active and unscrupulous,-they M. Berryer was almost its only have shown both talent and representative. The centre, ardour, and yet all their attempts, from the hide-and-go-seek warfare of the Duchess of Berri, in La Vendée, to the popular outbreakings in Lyons and Paris, have only resulted in imparting new strength to the government, In Paris, the national guards, composed of the middle classes, turned out with spirit in defence of the government, and did not retire from the contest with the armed insurgents, until they had driven them from the streets to their hiding places in the


The year 1833 began in tranquillity at home and abroad. The troops that had aided in restoring peace to Belgium, having compelled the citadel at Antwerp to surrender, returned by easy marches to France, and were met by the King at Mons, where he rewarded the deserving with the cross of the legion of honour, and congratulated the army upon its success.

The king returned to Paris the 19th of January. The chambers were then in session, having been re-opened the 19th of

however, still continued to be divided into two sections-the right and the left centre, the former of which, alone properly constituted the party of the ministers, although they generally also received the support of the latter, whose chief was M. Dupin. In this new state of things, a new nomenclature of parties came to be adopted; and the Dupinists were designated as the tiers parti, or third party, the other two being the regular ministerialists, and the regular opposition,

The tiers parti, from its position, necessarily possessed great power, the vote, in fact, depending entirely upon which of the other two parties it chose to join. It generally sided with the ministry; but on one occasion, in the beginning of March, it gave a remarkable demonstration of its importance as one of the regulating forces of the political machine. Having suddenly thrown its weight on a particular vote into the scale of the opposition, it very nearly overset the government, and might have

done so entirely, if it had chosen to abide by its new alliance. But although strong enough to break up the existing cabinet, M. Dupin and his friends well knew, that they could not form another that would stand, composed of members of their own body.

On the 22d of February, the Duchess de Berri, who had been figuring the preceding year as a political incendiary, put an end to the apprehensions of the government, and the hopes of her partisans as to any disturbances, through her agency, by a declaration, that "pressed by circumstances," she felt bound to declare that she had been secretly married during her sojourn in Italy. This confession was soon followed, May 10, by the birth of a daughter, who was declared to be the child of count Hector Luchesi Pelli, a person in the service of her brother, the king of Naples. This unfortunate termination of her romantic attempt to emulate the adventures of the celebrated chevalier Charles Edward, threw no small ridicule upon the cause of the Carlists. They affected to disbelieve the whole story, but the voice of truth and ridicule was too strong for their loyal scepticism, and they were fain to compromise by avoiding all allusion to her name, The part she had acted, although destructive to her cause, still brought her the personal advantage of a restoration to freedom, About a month after her confinement, the royal wanton was released from her prison, and was transported with her daughter to Palermo, being considered

no longer dangerous as a political incendiary.

Meanwhile, on the 25th of April, the session of the legislative chambers had been brought to a close by a prorogation, by which, however, they were appointed to meet again, to com mence a new session the next day. The object of this proceeding was to enable the budget for each year to be voted in future during the current year, or rather as near its commencement as possible, instead of, as heretofore, not till after its close. The supplies for 1832, for instance, had not been voted till the spring of 1833, after the expenses they were to meet had all been actually incurred; and what ready money the government required, had been granted in the mean time by what were called douzièmes provisoires, or votes of provisional credit. The chamber, however, was prohibited by law from voting more than one budget in the same session; and hence the necessity of commencing a new session before the budget of 1833 could be presented,

A bill was brought forward at this session, (April 6,) for the fulfilment of the treaty of indemnity between the United States and France. Its passage, however, was not urged upon the chambers, and after the minister of finance had explained the grounds of the treaty, the bill was suffered to remain on the table until the end of the session.

The second session commenced the 26th of April, and

« PreviousContinue »