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The news of the approach of the French succours was brought by Lafayette, who, much to the joy of Washington, and of America generally, again reached the States, landing at Boston in April. He announced that the fleet, commanded by the Chevalier de Ternay, consisted of seven sail of the line, with numerous smaller vessels, and brought over six thousand troops, under the Comte de Rochambeau. The French squadron reached Rhode Island on the 13th of July. Washington thereupon declared himself ready for an attack on New York; but Rochambeau replied that it would be better to wait for the expected and much larger fleet of De Guichen. Before De Guichen appeared, the English admiral, Graves, arrived, with six ships of war, thus increasing the English superiority at sea, and De Ternay found himself blockaded in the harbour of Newport, and Rochambeau was glad to entrench himself on Rhode Island, and abandon all idea of attacking New York. Sir Henry Clinton, on his part, planned an attack on Rochambeau with the army, while the French fleet blockaded in Newport harbour should be attacked by Admiral Arbuthnot. But Clinton and Arbuthnot were at variance, and the admiral did not promptly and cordially second the views of Clinton. He went slowly round Long Island, to place himself in conjunction with the general; whilst Clinton embarked eight thousand troops, and approached the position of Rochambeau. But Arbuthnot strongly contended against the attempt, declaring Rochambeau too formidably fortified, and Washington, at the same time, advancing from his position with a large force, suddenly passed the North River and approached King's Bridge, as if meditating an attack on New York. These circumstances induced Clinton reluctantly to return to New York. Washington retreated to his old ground at Morristown, and Arbuthnot remained blockading De Ternay before Newport. Neither party, therefore, could do more than be still for the remainder of the season. Clinton was completely crippled for any decisive action by the miserable modicum of troops which the English Government had furnished him, and the enemy now knew that the fleet of De Guichen was not likely to arrive this season.In 1828, when the Duke of Cumberland became Grand Master, he issued a commission to his "trusty, well-beloved, and right worshipful brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Fairman," whom he had chosen from a knowledge of his experience and a confidence in his integrity. This commission was signed as follows: "Given under my seal at St. James's, this 13th day of August, 1828. Ernest G. M." In the fulfilment of his commission, Colonel Fairman went to Dublin, in order to bring the Irish and English lodges into one uniform system of secret signs and passwords. He also made two extensive tours in England and Scotland, for the purpose of extending the system through the large towns and populous districts. From letters written by Colonel Fairman at various dates, we gather that he hoped to strike the foe with awe by assuming an attitude of boldness; that they had inculcated the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance "too religiously by far;" that Lords Kenyon, Londonderry, Longford, and Cole had written about their prospects in the highest spirits; that Lord Wynford and other chiefs denounced the Melbourne Administration to the Duke of Cumberland; that if the duke would make a tour in the country, for which Fairman had prepared the way, he would be idolised; that Lord Kenyon had in two years spent nearer 20,000 than 10,000 on behalf of the good cause; that Lord Roden wrote to him about "our cause;" that they wanted another "sound paper" as well as the Morning Post to advocate the causethe cause, as they professed, of all the friends of Christianity who devoutly cherished the hope of the arrival of a day of reckoning, when certain "hell-hounds would be called upon to pay the full penalty of their cold-blooded tergiversations." It was found that of 381 lodges existing in Great Britain, 30 were in the army, andthe inquiry having been extended to the colonies on the motion of Mr. Humethat lodges had been established among the troops at Bermuda, Gibraltar, Malta, Corfu, New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and the North American colonies. The Bishop of Salisbury was Lord Prelate and Grand Chaplain of the order, and there were a number of clergymen of the Church chaplains. No Dissenter in England belonged to the body, though it included many Presbyterians in Ireland, where the members amounted to 175,000, who were ready at any time to take the field.
[See larger version]He put his arm about her and she laid her head against his breast. "I am jealous of him," she said, without any manner of preface.
Early in this year Admiral Sir John Jervis fell in with the great Spanish fleet, which was intended to co-operate with the French in the invasion of Ireland, and defeated it. Nelson had predicted that the Spanish fleet would not take much destroying. Admiral de Langara had had a fortunate escape in the Mediterranean, in venturing to Corsica. He had now been superseded by Don Juan de Cordova, and Jervis, on the 14th of February, met with him off Cape St. Vincent. Cordova had twenty-seven sail of the line, Jervis only fifteen; but he had Nelson in his fleet, which more than counterbalanced the inequality of numbers; and the discipline on board the Spanish ships was far below that of the British. Nelson broke through the Spanish line, and chiefly by his exertions and man?uvres four of the largest vessels were taken, including one of one hundred and twelve guns. The rest escaped into Cadiz, and there the British blockaded them. The news of this brilliant victory arrived in London when the public was greatly dispirited by the exhausted state of the Bank of England, and helped to revive confidence. Sir John Jervis was made Earl of St. Vincent, and Nelson, the real hero, a Knight of the Bath.
But the question of the restrictions upon Dissenters was again taken up by Lord Stanhope, in 1811. On the 21st of March he presented to the House of Lords a short Bill "For the better securing the liberty of conscience." It had the same fate as his former ones. Ministers seemed rather inclined to abridge the liberty of conscience, for immediately afterwards, namely, on the 9th of May, Lord Sidmouth brought in a Bill to limit the granting of licences to preach, asserting that this licence was made use of by ignorant and unfit persons, because having such a licence exempted them from serving in the militia, on juries, etc. The Bill excited great alarm amongst the Dissenters, and Lord Stanhope and Lord Grey, on the 17th of the month, when Lord Sidmouth moved for the second reading of the Bill, prayed for some time to be allowed for the expression of public opinion. The second reading was, accordingly, deferred till the 21st, by which time a flock of petitions came up against it, one of which was signed by four thousand persons. Lord Erskine said that these petitions were not a tenth part of what would be presented, if time were afforded for the purpose; and he ridiculed the idea of persons obtaining exemption from serving in the militia by merely taking out licences to preach. Lord Grey confirmed this, saying that it was impossible for persons to obtain such licences, except they were ministers of separate congregations. This was secured by an Act passed in 1802, and still more, the party applying for such licence was restricted from following any trade, except that of keeping a school. These regulations, he stated, were most minutely adhered to, both in the general and local militia, and he challenged Lord Sidmouth to show him a single instance, since the Act of 1802, where exemption had been improperly obtained by a Dissenter. Lord Grey proved from actual returns that the whole number of persons who had been licensed during the last forty-eight years had only been three thousand six hundred and seventy-eight, or about seventy-seven annually on an average, and that the highest number reached in any one year had been only about one hundred and sixty. He contended that these facts demonstrated the non-necessity of the Bill. It was lost.