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      "Yes he is. And I put him there." He left her to what he saw was her belief that it was because of the Kirby affair. "You'll see when you get back. And I'll put you there, too, if I care to. The best chance you have is to do as I tell you."During this year the Americans continued to hope for relief to themselves from the progress of the Armed Neutrality, but derived little good from it, though, through their exertions, they beheld Holland added to the open enemies of England. The Dutch Government, flattering themselves that, with nearly all the world against her, England must succumb, had long been secretly in negotiation with the insurgent subjects of England, and their treachery was now suddenly, by a singular circumstance, brought to light. Captain Keppel, cruising in the Vestal frigate off the banks of Newfoundland, in the month of September, captured one of the American packets. On the approach of the British boats to the packet, it was observed that something was hastily flung overboard. A sailor leaped from one of the boats into the sea, and succeeded in securing this something before it had sunk beyond reach. It turned out to be a box, which had been weighted with lead, but not sufficiently to render it so rapid in its descent as to prevent its seizure by the British tar. On being opened, it revealed a mass of papers belonging to an American emissary to the Court of Holland, and opened up a long course of negotiations, and an eventual treaty of peace and commerce between Holland and our American colonies. The bearer of these papers was discovered on board the packet, in the person of Henry Laurens, late president of the American Congress. These most important papers, together with their bearer, were sent with all speed to England. Copies were forwarded to Sir Joseph Yorke, our Ambassador at the Hague, who was instructed to demand from the States General the disavowal of the negotiations. The States General, confounded by the discovery of their clandestine negotiations, remained silent for a week, and then only replied by advancing complaints of violence committed by the British navy on their traders, and of its having insulted the Dutch flag by seizing some American privateers in the port of the island of St. Martin, under the very guns of the fort. Sir Joseph did not allow himself to be diverted from his demand, but again, on the 12th of December, a month after the presentation of his memorial, demanded an answer. No answer was returned. England was thus compelled to declare war against Holland on the 20th of December, Sir Joseph Yorke being recalled by the king, and Count Welderen receiving his passports in London.


      There was no difficulty in these negotiations as to the full and entire recognition of the independence of the States. The difficult points were but twoone regarding the fishery, and the other regarding the interests of the Royalists or Tories. The British Commissioners stood out strongly for the free permission of all who had been engaged in the war on the English side to return to their homes, and for the restitution of all property confiscated in consequence of such partisanship. The American Commissioners endeavoured to meet this demand by saying the recommendations of Congress would have all the effect that the English proposed. This the Commissioners regarded as so many words, and they insisted so determinedly on this head, that it appeared likely the negotiation would be broken off altogether. At last Franklin said they would consent to allow for all losses suffered by the Royalists, on condition that a debtor and a creditor account was opened, and recompense made for the damages done by the Royalists on the other side; commissioners to be appointed for the purpose of settling all those claims. The English envoys saw at once that this was a deception, that there would be no meeting, or no use in meeting, and they therefore abandoned the point; and the question of the fishing being in part conceded, the provisional articles were signed on the 30th of November, by the four American Commissioners on the one side, and by Mr. Oswald on the other. In the preamble it was stated[298] that these articles were to be inserted in, and to constitute, a treaty of peace, but that the treaty was not to be concluded until the terms of peace had also been settled with France and Spain.


      "Where did you" she began; but her voice failed, and she had to begin again. "Where did you get this?"

      "Say!" she apostrophized.[Pg 69]

      Landor turned away from the window and looked at her. It was in human nature that she had never seemed so beautiful before. Perhaps it was, too, because there[Pg 149] was warmth in her face, the stress of life that was more than physical, at last.


      SCENE AT THE "SURRENDER" BANQUET IN DERRY. (See p. 287.)But though Pitt ceased to be a Parliamentary reformerand by degrees became the most determined opponent of all reformhe yet made an immediate movement for administrative reform. He took up the plans of Burke, praying for a commission to inquire into the fees, gratuities, perquisites, and emoluments received in the public offices, with reference to existing abuses. He stated that, alreadyacting on the information of reports of the Board of Commissioners appointed in Lord North's timefixed salaries, instead of fees and poundages, had been introduced in the office of the land-tax, and the Post Office was so improved as to return weekly into the Treasury three thousand pounds sterling, instead of seven hundred sterling. Similar regulations he proposed to introduce into the Pay Office, the Navy and Ordnance Office. He stated, also, that he had, when out of office, asserted that no less than forty-four millions sterling was unaccounted for by men who had been in different offices. He was ridiculed for that statement, and it was treated as a chimera; but already twenty-seven millions of such defalcations had been traced, and a balance of two hundred and fifty-seven thousand pounds sterling was on the point of being paid in. In fact, the state of the Government offices was, at that time, as it had long been, such that it was next to impossible for any one to get any business transacted there without bribing heavily. As a matter of course, this motion was strongly opposed, but it was carried, and Mr. Francis Baring and the two other Comptrollers of army accounts were appointed the Commissioners.

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      Chapter 5

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      It was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an annuity of 50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council, and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records were brought from the Tower: the "Liber Regalis" and other ancient volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:"The lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were equally unsuccessful.AFTER CULLODEN: REBEL HUNTING.

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      "Well, not in the immediate vicinity," he admitted. "No; but they passed along the foot-hills, and stole some stock, an' killed three men no later than this evening."


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