Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known as one of the most eminent female poets of her time, by the signature "L. E. L." which she appended to her numerous contributions in the magazines, was born at Hans Place, Chelsea, in 1802. Her "Poetical Sketches" were published first in the Literary Gazette. In 1824 appeared her "Improvisatrice." She was the author of two other volumes of poetry, and of a successful novel. A spirit of melancholy pervades her writings; but it is stated by Mr. L. Blanchard, in the "Life and Literary Remains," which he published, that she was remarkable for the vivacity and playfulness of her disposition. Her poetry ranked very high in public estimation for its lyric beauty and touching pathos; but the circumstances of her early death, which was the subject of much controversy, invested her name with a tragic and romantic interest. In 1838 she was married to Mr. George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, but the marriage was unhappy, and she died, shortly afterwards, from an overdose of laudanum. CARLTON HOUSE, LONDON (1812).

NAPOLEON ON BOARD THE "BELLEROPHON." (From the Picture by W. Q. Orchardson, R. A.) The Cabinet met again on the 25th, when Sir Robert Peel informed his colleagues that, in the position of affairs, he could not abstain from advising the immediate suspension, by Order in Council, of the restrictive law of importation, or the early assembling of Parliament for the purpose of proposing a permanent change. Lord Aberdeen, Mr. Sidney Herbert, and Sir James Graham supported him. The Duke of Wellington gave a reluctant adhesion. It then became known that Lord Stanley had withdrawn from the Ministry, and it was believed that the Duke of Buccleuch intended to follow his example. The majority of the Cabinet had decided in favour of a permanent reduction in the sliding scale; but the position of the Minister was now too uncertain for him to attempt to carry through his measures. A resignation was the only step which could show the true strength of parties, and determine who would and who would not follow the Minister in that course which, if he was to return to power, he had finally resolved to take. On the 5th of December he announced his determination to her Majesty, and the public learned that the Peel Administration was at an end. LOUIS PHILIPPE HEARS OF THE REVOLUTION. (See p. 551.)

[See larger version]

The Grenville Ministry was approaching its extinction. It had done a great work in the abolition of the Slave Trade, but there was another species of abolition which they were disposed to further which was not quite so acceptable. They had supported Wilberforce and his party in their measure for the negroes, but Wilberforce and his friends were by no means willing to support them in liberating the Catholics from their disabilities. Grenville and Fox had made no particular stipulation, on taking office, to prosecute the Catholic claims, but they were deeply pledged to this by their speeches of many years. It was, therefore, highly honourable of them, though very impolitic, to endeavour to do something, at least, to show their sincerity. Though the king was obstinately opposed to any relaxation of the restraints on this class of his subjects, yet the Fox and Grenville Ministry had introduced a milder and more generous treatment of the Catholics in Ireland. The Duke of Bedford, as Lord-Lieutenant, had discouraged the rampant spirit of Orangeism, and admitted Catholics to peace and patronage. He had abandoned the dragooning system, and had managed to settle some disturbances which broke out in the autumn of 1806, without even proclaiming martial law. These measures had won the cordial attachment of the Catholics both in Ireland and England, but, in the same proportion, had exasperated the Church and War party against them in both countries. Their adding another three-and-a-half per cent. to the income and property taxes had still further embittered these parties, and the antagonism to them was every day becoming stronger. Yet they resolved, in spite of all this, to make an attempt to do some justice to the Catholics. They managed to carry an additional grant to the College of Maynooth, and on the 4th of March, when this grant was debated, Wilberforce, though[533] wanting the support of Ministers for his Slave Trade Bill, made a violent speech against all concessions to the Catholics. He declared the Protestant Church the only true one, and, therefore, the only one which ought to be supported. "He did not profess," he said, "to entertain large and liberal views on religious subjects; he was not, like Buonaparte, an honorary member of all religions." Undeterred by these tokens of resistance, Lord Howick, the very next day, moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable Catholics to hold commissions in the army and navy on taking a particular oath. He said that it was a strange anomaly that Catholics in Ireland could hold such commissions since 1793, and attain to any rank except that of Commander-in-Chief, of Master-General of the Ordnance, or of General of the Staff, yet, should these regiments be ordered to this country, they were, by law, disqualified for service. A clause had already been added to the Mutiny Bill to remove the anomaly. He proposed to do away with this extraordinary state of things, and enable his Majesty, at his pleasurefor it only amounted to that, after allto open the ranks of the army and navy to all subjects, without distinction, in Great Britain as well as Ireland. 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. The enemy's fleets being thus destroyed or shut up, Pitt determined on his great enterprise, the conquest of Canada. The idea was worthy of his genius. His feeble predecessors had suffered the French from this neighbouring colony to aspire to the conquest of our North American territory. They had built strong forts on the lakes and down the valley of the Ohio; they intended to connect them with the Mississippi, and then to drive us out of the country. Had not Pitt come into office they might probably have succeeded. But Pitt had already commenced the driving in of the French outposts, and he now planned the complete expulsion of that nation from their advanced posts and from Canada itself. His scheme had three parts, which were all to concentrate themselves into one grand effortthe taking of Quebec, the capital. It was a daring enterprise, for Canada was ably governed and defended by Marshal de Montcalm, a man of great military experience and talent, and highly esteemed for his noble character by the colonists and the Indians, vast tribes of whom he had won over to his interest by his courtesy and conciliatory manner, whilst the English had as much disgusted them by their haughty surliness. But Pitt had picked his men for the occasion, and especially for the grand coup-de-main, the taking of Quebec. He formed his whole plan himself, and though it was not perfect, and was greatly criticised by military men, it succeeded[133] though not in effecting the combination which he contemplated, in all its parts.