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    Whilst our armies were barely holding their own in Spain, our fleets were the masters of all seas. In the north, though Sweden was nominally at war with us, in compliance with the arrogant demands of Buonaparte, Bernadotte, the elected Crown Prince, was too politic to carry out his embargo literally. The very existence of Sweden depended on its trade, and it was in the power of the British blockading fleet to prevent a single Swedish vessel from proceeding to sea. But in spite of the angry threats of Napoleon, who still thought that Bernadotte, though become the prince and monarch elect of an independent country, should remain a Frenchman, and, above all, the servile slave of his will, that able man soon let it be understood that he was inclined to amicable relations with Great Britain; and Sir James de Saumarez, admiral of our Baltic fleet, not only permitted the Swedish merchantmen to pass unmolested, but on various occasions gave them protection. Thus the embargo system was really at an end, both in Sweden and in Russia; for Alexander also refused to ruin Russia for the benefit of Buonaparte, and both of these princes, as we have seen, were in a secret league to support one another. Denmark, or, rather, its sovereign, though the nephew of the King of Great Britain, remained hostile to us, remembering not only the severe chastisements our fleets had given Copenhagen, but also the facility with which Napoleon could, from the north of Germany, overrun Denmark and add it to his now enormous empire. In March of this year the Danes endeavoured to recover the small island of Anholt, in the Cattegat, which we held; but they were beaten off with severe loss, leaving three or four hundred men prisoners of war.

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    Before the re-assembling of Parliament the new Ministers had done all in their power to arouse a "No Popery!" cry in the country, because they intended to advise a dissolution of Parliamentalthough this had only sat four monthsin order to bring in a more anti-Catholic and anti-Reform body. On the 9th of April, the day following the meeting of Parliament, Mr. Brand moved a resolution, that it was contrary to the first duties of the confidential advisers of the Crown to bind themselves by any pledge to refrain from offering the king such counsel as might seem necessary to the welfare of the kingdom. The new Ministers, who had entered office without any such pledge being demanded, for their sentiments were too well known to the king, yet, seeing that this resolution was the first of a series intended to end in a vote of want of confidence in them, at once opposed it, and threw it out by two hundred and fifty-eight to two hundred and twenty-six. The Marquis of Stafford made a similar motion in the Lords, and Sidmouth now spoke and voted against his late colleagues, to whom he must have been throughout opposed on all points; but the strangest thing must have been to hear Erskine, whilst supporting the motion, avowing his great repugnance to the Catholics, as people holding a gross superstition, the result of the darkness of former ages, and declaring that he never thought of encouraging them, but rather that they might feel inconvenience, though suffering no injustice; as if this were possible; for if they suffer no injustice they could feel no inconvenience. And this, after assuring the king that he would never again enjoy peace if he dismissed his Ministers for[535] desiring to encourage them! The Marquis of Stafford's motion was rejected by a hundred and seventy-one against ninety.

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    GEORGE III.'S LIBRARY, BRITISH MUSEUM.

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