After the coronation, the queen resided at Brandenburgh House, determined to lead a life of dignified retirement. But the violent agitation and excitement, and the terribly painful mortification to which she was subjected in her ill-advised attempt to form part of the coronation pageant, were too much for her constitution. As soon as it was evident that her end was approaching, much public sympathy was excited, and the vicinity of her residence was incessantly thronged with persons of all classes making anxious inquiries about her health, and solicitous for her restoration. On the 4th of August, when her professional advisers were receiving instructions about the disposition of her property, one of them suggested the propriety of sending a messenger to Italy to seal up her papers, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of her enemies. "And what if they do?" she exclaimed; "I have no papers that they may not see. They can find nothing, because there is nothing, nor ever has been, to impeach my character." One of them said that he was aware of that, but her enemies might put there what they did not find. She replied, "I have always defied their malice, and I defy it still." Nevertheless, it was her conscious failure in her efforts to make the public believe this, coupled with the public humiliation to which she had been subjected, that bowed down her spirit at last, and gave the victory to her enemies. She had painted their characters in vivid colours in her private diary, and might have transmitted their punishment to posterity had she ordered it to be preserved and published; but she gave directions to have it destroyed, and it was burnt in her presence by one of her foreign maids. After suffering intensely for four or five days, she sank into a stupor, from which she never woke, and on the 7th of August, after an entire absence of sense and faculty for more than two hours, expired Caroline of Brunswick, Queen Consort of George IV., in the fifty-fourth year of her age. She had by her bedside in her last hours her faithful friends and constant attendants, Lord and Lady Hood, and Lady Anne Hamilton; Alderman Wood, who had been devoted to her interests from the first, was also present, as well as her legal and medical advisers. In the later period of the reign some of our chief poets appeared also as prose writers in biography, criticism, and general literature: Southey, as biographer and critic; Campbell and Moore, Leigh Hunt and Charles Lamb, in the same field; so also Hazlitt, Sydney Smith, Jeffrey, Playfair, Stewart, Brown, Mackintosh, and Benthamthe last in the philosophy of law. In physical science, Sir Humphry Davy, Leslie, Dalton, the author of the atomic theory, and Wollaston, distinguished themselves.

But the Ministry of Pitt contained many elements of weakness and discord. Addington and Melville were violently opposed to each other. Wilberforce found this to his cost when he returned to his annual vote for the abolition of the Slave Trade. Addington and Melville, hostile to each other, were both hostile to him and to his project. Pitt warned him of this, and begged him to let his usual motion lie over this Session; but Wilberforce had been so fortunate in carrying it last Session through the Commons, that he was sanguine of succeeding now with both Commons and Lords. He introduced the Bill, obtained a first reading on the 10th of February, and had the second reading fixed for the 28th, but then it was thrown out by seventy-seven against seventy. The Scots members, who the preceding year were neutral, now, probably influenced by Melville, voted against him in a body; the Irish, who had been his warm supporters, now opposed him or held aloof, incensed by his having voted for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. It was a terrible blow to Wilberforce, but a worse blow was impending over one of his underminersMelville.

As at Eylau, so at Friedland, Napoleon made no attempt to follow the Russians. But the battle, nevertheless, produced important consequences. The King of Prussia did not think himself safe at K?nigsberg, and he evacuated it; and the unhappy queen prepared, with her children, to fly to Riga. The Russians retreated to Tilsit, and there Alexander made up his mind to negotiate with Napoleon. He was far from being in a condition to despair; Gustavus, the King of Sweden, was at the head of a considerable army at Stralsund; a British expedition was daily expected in the Baltic; the spirit of resistance was reawakening in Prussia; Schill, the gallant partisan leader, was again on horseback, with a numerous body of men, gathered in various quarters; and Hesse, Hanover, Brunswick, and other German provinces were prompt for revolt on the least occasion of encouragement. Buonaparte felt the peril of crossing the Niemen, and advancing into the vast deserts of Russia, with these dangerous elements in his rear. Besides, his presence was necessary in France. He had been absent from it nearly a year; he had drawn heavily on its resources, and a too long-continued strain without his personal influence might produce fatal consequences. To leave his army in the North was to leave it to certain defeat, and with the danger of having all Germany again in arms. These circumstances, well weighed by a man of genius and determination, would have induced him to make a resolute stand, and to draw his enemy into those wilds where he afterwards ruined himself, or to wear him out by delay. Alexander, however, had not the necessary qualities for such a policy of procrastination. He was now depressed by the sufferings of his army, and indignant against Britain. "The Clare election supplied the manifest proof of an abnormal and unhealthy condition of the public mind in Irelandthe manifest proof that the sense of a common grievance and the sympathies of a common interest were beginning to loosen the ties which connect different classes of men in friendly relations to each other, to weaken the force of local and personal attachments, and to unite the scattered elements of society into a homogeneous and disciplined mass, yielding willing obedience to the assumed authority of superior intelligence hostile to the law and to the Government which administered it. There is a wide distinction (though it is not willingly recognised by a heated party) between the hasty concession to unprincipled agitation and provident precaution against the explosion of public feeling gradually acquiring the strength which makes it irresistible. 'Concede nothing to agitation,' is the ready cry of those who are not responsiblethe vigour of whose decisions is often proportionate to their own personal immunity from danger, and imperfect knowledge of the true state of affairs. A prudent Minister, before he determines against all concessionagainst any yielding or compromise of former opinionsmust well consider what it is that he has to resist, and what are his powers of resistance. His task would be an easy one if it were sufficient to resolve that he would yield nothing to violence or to the menace of physical force. In this case of the Clare election, and of its natural consequences, what was the evil to be apprehended? Not force, not violence, not any act of which law could take cognisance. The real danger was in the peaceable and legitimate exercise of a franchise according to the will and conscience of the holder. In such an exercise of that franchise, not merely permitted, but encouraged and approved by constitutional law, was involved a revolution of the electoral system in Irelandthe transfer of political power, so far as it was connected with representation, from one party to another. The actual transfer was the least of the evil; the process by which it was to be effectedthe repetition in each county of the scenes of the Clare electionthe fifty-pound free-holders, the gentry to a man polling one way, their alienated tenantry anotherall the great interests of the county broken down'the universal desertion' (I am quoting the expressions of Mr. Fitzgerald)the agitator and the priest laughing to scorn the baffled landlordthe local heaving and throes of society on every casual vacancy in a countythe universal convulsion at a general electionthis was the danger to be apprehended; those were the evils to be resisted. What was the power of resistance? 'Alter the law, and remodel the franchise,' was the ready, the improvident response. If it had been desired to increase the strength of a formidable confederacy, and, by rallying round it the sympathies of good men and of powerful parties in Great Britain, to insure for it a signal triumph, to extinguish the hope of effecting an amicable adjustment of the Catholic question, and of applying a corrective to the real evils and abuses of elective franchise, the best way to attain these pernicious ends would have been to propose to Parliament, on the part of the Government, the abrupt extinction of the forty-shilling franchise in Ireland, together with the continued maintenance of civil disability."

GREENWICH HOSPITAL On the 17th of March a proclamation was placarded at the gates of the palace, announcing that the king was resolved to remain and share the fate of his people. Great were the acclamations and rejoicings; but, towards evening, the crowds that still lingered around the royal residence saw unmistakable signs of departure: there was an active movement amongst the Guards; carriages and baggage were becoming apparent, and the agitation of the people grew intense. The Prince of Asturias and his brother protested against the departure; bodies of soldiers, in open revolt, began to assemble, and the people cried that they would have the head of the traitor, Godoy. From angry words the populace and revolted soldiers came to blows with the Household Troops. Godoy's brother led up a regiment against the rioters, but the men seized him, and joined the people. Whilst one crowd surrounded the Palace of Aranjuez, another rushed to the house of Godoy to seize and kill him. They ran all over his house, but could not discover him. The tumult continued all night, but was somewhat appeased the next morning by a Royal proclamation, which announced that the king had dismissed him from his offices. This did not, however, prevent the people continuing the search for Godoy, who was at length discovered by a Life-Guardsman in a garret of his own house, where he had been concealed between two mattresses. Compelled to come forth by heat and thirst, he was dragged into the street, soundly beaten, and would soon have been put to death, had not the Prince of Asturias, at the urgent entreaty of the king and queen, interceded, declaring that he should be tried for his crimes, and duly punished. Godoy was committed to custody, in the Castle of Villaviciosa: his property was confiscated; and, on the 19th, the king, terrified at the still hostile aspect of the people, proclaimed his own resignation in favour of Ferdinand, their favourite; in truth, as little deserving of their favour, by any moral or intellectual quality, as the king himself. The abdication was formally communicated by letter to Napoleon, whose troops, under Murat, were, during these tumults, now rapidly advancing on Madrid.

"MY DEAR PEEL,I find it difficult to express to you the regret with which I see how widely I differ in opinion with Graham and yourself as to the necessity for proposing to Parliament a repeal of the Corn Laws. Since the Cabinet on Saturday I have reflected much and anxiously upon it;[519] but I cannot bring my mind to any other conclusion than that at which I had then arrived. I have thought it best to put down in writing the view of the case which presents itself to me; and when you have read it, I will thank you to send it on to Graham, with whom I have had no conversation upon it. I foresee that this question, if you persevere in your present opinion, must break up the Government one way or the other; but I shall greatly regret indeed if it should be broken up, not in consequence of our feeling that we had proposed measures which it properly belonged to others to carry, but in consequence of differences of opinion among ourselves." MR. ALEXANDER'S LEVES IN KING'S BENCH PRISON. (See p. 310.)