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      Then taps sounded, ringing its brazen dirge to the night in a long, last note. It ended once, but the bugler went to the other side of the parade and began again. Lawton repeated the shaking of his fist. He was growing impatient, and also scared. A little more of that shrill music, and his nerves would go into a thousand quivering shredshe would be useless. Would the cursed, the many times cursed military never get to bed? He waited in the shadow of the corrals, leaning against the low wall, gathering his forces. The sentry evidently did not see him. The post grew more and more still, the clouds more and more thick.

      On the 13th of July Brougham delivered his speech on slavery, which produced such an impression upon the public mind that it mainly contributed, as he himself admitted, to his election a few weeks afterwards as one of the members for Yorkshirethe proudest position which a Parliamentary representative could occupy. He proposed "that this House do resolve, at the earliest practicable period next Session, to take into its serious consideration the state of the slaves in the colonies of Great Britain, in order to the mitigation and final abolition of slavery; and more especially to the amendment of the administration of justice within the same." Mr. Wilmot Horton brought forward a series of resolutions, by way of evading the difficulty. Sir George Murray, the Colonial Secretary, entreated Mr. Brougham to withdraw his motion, as the public would come to a wrong conclusion from seeing the small numbers that would vote upon it at that late period of the Session, and on the eve of a dissolution. Sir Robert Peel pressed the same consideration, but Mr. Brougham persisted, and in a very thin House the numbers on the division wereAye., 27; noes, 56majority against the motion, 29. This division ended the party struggles of the Session. On the 23rd of July Parliament was prorogued by the king in person, and next day it was dissolved by proclamation. The writs, returnable on the 14th of September, were immediately issued for a general election, which was expected, and proved to be, the most exciting and most important political contest at the hustings recorded in the history of England.

      In our time this defeat would, as a matter of course, have turned out the Ministry, but in that day it had no such effect. They continued to hold office, and to command undiminished majorities on other questions. Still more singular was its effect, for it induced them to offer office to their triumphant opponent Walpole, who not only accepted a subordinate post amongst themthe Paymaster of the Forcesbut consented to support the very clauses regarding the Scottish peers which he had so firmly denounced, should they be inclined to bring forward the Bill a third time.


      Amongst those who hailed enthusiastically the French Revolution, and gave credit to its promises of benefit to humanity, were a considerable number of the Dissenting body, and especially of the Unitarian class. Amongst these, Drs. Price, Priestley, Kippis, and Towers were most prominent. Dr. Pricewho furnished Pitt with the theory of the Sinking Fund, and with other propositions of reform,on the breaking out of the French Revolution was one of the first to respond to it with acclamation. He was a member of the Revolution Society, and in 1789 he preached before it a sermon on "The Love of our Country," and in this drew so beautiful a picture of the coming happiness of man from the French Revolution, that he declared that he was ready to exclaim with Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." At the dinner on the same occasion he moved that a congratulatory address be sent to the National Assembly on that glorious event, which was seconded by Lord Stanhope the chairman, and which was sent, and received with great acclamation by the National Assembly. Burke, in his "Reflections on the French Revolution," was very severe on Price, as well as on his coadjutors; and as Price died this year it was said that the "Reflections" had killed him, which, were it true, could not be said[384] to have done it very prematurely, for the doctor was in his seventieth year.



      The last night's debate continued till between six and seven o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 8th of October. It was a night of intense anxiety, both in the House and out of doors. The space about the throne was crowded with foreigners and members of the other House. There was a number of ladies, peeresses, and their daughters, sitting there the whole night, manifesting their excitement in every way consistent with decorum. Palace Yard and the space all round the House was thronged with people waiting to hear the result of the division. The night was wet, however, and the debate was so protracted that the crowd had dispersed before morning. This was a matter of consolation to the Opposition peers, who dreaded a mobbing. It was now broad daylight, and no sound was heard outside except the rolling of the carriages of the peers, who passed up Parliament Street as quietly as if they had come from disposing of a road Bill. The fate of the Bill was that day decided, for it, 158; against it, 199leaving a majority of 41. "The night was made interesting," wrote Lord Eldon, "by the anxieties of all present. Perhaps, fortunately, the mob on the outside would not wait so long.""Shut up," said Brewster, with malicious glee. "They also serve who only stand and wait, you know," he chuckled. "You can serve your admiring and grateful country quite as well in the adjutant's office as summering on the verdant heights of the Mogollons."