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      The English having deposed Suraja Dowlah, the nabob of Bengal, and set up their tool, the traitor Meer Jaffier, who had actually sold his master, the nabob, to them, the unfortunate Nabob was soon assassinated by the son of Meer Jaffier. But Meer Jaffier, freed thus from the fear of the restoration of the Nabob, soon began to cabal against his patrons, the English. Clive was absent, and the government conducted by Mr. Henry Vansittart, a man of little ability in his course of policy. All discipline ceased to exist amongst the English; their only thought was of enriching themselves by any possible means. Meer Jaffier was not blind to this. He saw how hateful the English were making themselves in the country, and was becoming as traitorous to them as he had been to his own master. Early, therefore, in the autumn of 1760, Vansittart and Colonel Caillaud marched to Cossimbazar, a suburb of Moorshedabad, where Meer Jaffier lived, at the head of a few hundred troops, and offered certain terms to him. Meer Jaffier appeared to shuffle in his answer; and, without more ceremony, the English surrounded his palace at the dead of night, and compelled him to resign, but allowed him to retire to Fort William, under the protection of the British flag; and they then set up in his stead Meer Cossim, his son-in-law.


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      He went upon the sick report at once, and for three days thereafter raved of crucified women with fair hair, of children lying dead in the ca?on, of the holes in his boot soles, and a missing aparejo, also of certain cursed citizens, and the bad quality of the canned butter.


      During the Easter recess, popular meetings were held condemning the conduct of Ministers and calling for Parliamentary Reform. On the meeting of the House again, a very strong petition, bearing rather the character of a remonstrance, was presented from the electors of Middlesex by Mr. George Byng, on the 2nd of May. The Ministerial party declared that the petition was an insult to the House; but the Reformers maintained that not only the language of the petition, but the whole of the unhappy events which had taken place, were the direct consequences of the corrupt character of the representation, and of the House screening from due punishment such culprits as the Duke of York, Lord Castlereagh, etc. The petition was rejected; but the very next day a petition of equal vigour and plainness was voted by the Livery of London, and was presented on the 8th, and rejected too. The House had grown so old in corruption, that it felt itself strong enough to reject the petitions of the people. A memorial was presented also on the same subject from Major Cartwright, one of the most indefatigable apostles of Reform, by Whitbread, and this was rejected too, for the major pronounced the committal of Sir Francis a flagrantly illegal act.

      THE JUMMA MUSJID, DELHI. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.)

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      Previous to this, however, Chatham had thought over several decisive measures, and sketched out a scheme of foreign and domestic policy, which marked how far above the intellectual grasp of most of his contemporaries was that of his mind. He determined, if possible, to form an alliance of European states against the Family Compact of the Bourbons in France and Spain; to reform the Government of Ireland, which greatly needed it, and that of India.

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      ST. GEORGE'S CATHEDRAL, SOUTHWARK.

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      Pitt, in a series of motions and violent debates on themwhich did not terminate till the 23rd of January, 1789not only carried his point, that Parliament should assert the whole right of appointing a regent, but he contrived to tie down the prince completely. On the 16th of December Pitt moved three resolutionsthe third and most material of which was, that it was necessary that both Houses should, for the maintenance of the constitutional authority of the king, determine the means by which the royal assent might be given to an Act of Parliament for delegating the royal authority during the king's indisposition. After most determined opposition by the Whigs, he carried the whole of these resolutions, and it was then moved that the proper mode of doing this was to employ the Great Seal just as if the king were in the full exercise of his faculties. To prepare the way for this doctrine, the lawyers in Pitt's party had declared that there was a broad distinction between the political and the natural capacity of the king; that, as the king could do no wrong, so he could not go politically, though he might go naturally, mad; that therefore the king, in his political capacity, was now as fully in[345] power and entity as ever, and therefore the Great Seal could be used for him as validly as at any other time. In vain did Burke exclaim that it was "a phantom," "a fiction of law," "a mere mummery, a piece of masquerade buffoonery, formed to burlesque every species of government." In the midst of the debate Mr. Rushworth, the young member for Newport, in Hampshire, standing on the floor of the House, exclaimed, in a loud and startling tone, "I desire that gentlemen of more age and experience than myself will refer to the glorious reign of George II. Let them recall to their memory the year 1745. Suppose that great and good king had lain under a similar affliction of madness at that period, where are the men, much less a Minister, that would have dared to come down to that House, and boldly, in the face of the world, say that the Prince of Wales had no more right to the regency than any other subject? The man or Minister who could have dared to utter such language must henceforward shelter in some other place than in the House of Commons, and in some other country than England!" The Prince of Wales, by letter, complained of the want of respect shown to him, but Pitt carried the resolution regarding the Great Seal, that it should be appended to a commission for opening Parliament, it now occupying the position of a convention, and that the commission should then affix the royal assent to the Bill for the regency. This done, he consented to the demand for the appearance of the physicians again before proceeding with the Bill, and the physicians having expressed hopes of the king's speedy recovery, on the 16th of January Pitt moved the following resolutions:That the Prince of Wales should be invested with the royal authority, subject, however, to these restrictions, namely, that he should create no peers; that he should grant no place or pension for life, or in reversion, except such place as in its nature must be held for life, or during good behaviour; that the prince should have no power over the personal property of the king, nor over the king's person or household; that these two latter powers should be entrusted to the queen, a council being appointed to assist her in these duties by their advice, but subject to her dismissal, and without any power of alienation of any part of the property. The bad character of the prince, combined with the rumours of his indecent jests at the expense of his unhappy parents, rendered the restrictions universally popular.


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