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Their attention and interest were soon called from the Walcheren investigation to the proceedings respecting Sir Francis Burdett. In the metropolis the popular feeling on this subject was exceedingly powerful, and at one time touched very closely on serious disturbance and riot. In other parts of the kingdom, the question respecting the Privileges of the House of Commons was viewed with more coolness, but not as of less importance and magnitude. What passed in the Country and in the House of Commons while this question was in agitation deserves to be carefully considered by all who wish to mark and understand the signs of the times.
Towards the close of the year the unfortunate malady with which His Majesty was afficted xalled forth the sympathy of an affectionate and loyal people, intermixed and divided, however, by an anxiety respecting the Government of the Nation, at, a period of foreign warfare and internal conimercial embarrass
Of domestic events, not strictly political, the commercial embarrassments and failures that occurred, and the attention and investigation to which the Report of the Bullion Committee gave rise, are the most important. On account of their importance we have deemed it adviseable to step a little out of our usual plan in order to devote two chapters to what may be termed the History of the Political Economy of Great Britain during the year 1810. .
In our last volume we briefly referred to the disturbances that liad taken place in our East India ter
ritories. In the present will be found a full, and we trust an accurate and impartial, account of the cause, the rise, progress, and termination of these disturbances. We have spoken freely, but we apprehend neither uncandidly nor without good and sufficient reason, respecting the policy which dictates our public measures in that part of the world.
The History of Foreign Affairs during the year 1810 is, perhaps, not so important in itself as interesting with regard to the events which the present year has witnessed. In the Peninsula, during the autumn and winter of 1810, Lord Wellington with admirable sagacity laid those plans, and with unexpected but no less admirable prudence persevered in them, of which he has now reaped the advantages and the glory. It will be remembered by the Readers of our former volumes, that we never despaired of ultimate success * in the Peninsula; we acknowledge that the events which have occurred in Spain have not answered our expectations : but the affairs of Portugal have exceeded our most sanguine hopes. The Portuguese under British leaders have proved themselves worthy of fighting by the side of those who have repeatedly defeated the conquerors of Europe; while the Spanish troops, deprived by the blind and unaccountable obstinacy of their government of the same advantages, have hitherto made but small progress towards discipline or success. The people of that country have, however, in a great measure, supplied the defects of
* See Preface to the Volumes for 1808 and 1809: see also Chapter XVIII, of the British and Foreign History of the present Volume.
their regular armies, and have withstood the immense power of Bonaparte with more perseverance and valour than most of the disciplined troops of the Continent. So long as they have arms in their hands their country can never become the peaceable or permanent prey of the invader. The common enemy may continue to pour in his myriads till lie has even exhausted the population of his own country : but they cannot avail against a nation determined to be free, and assisted by the British, who know how to appreeiate their own rights as an independent nation. The events of the present campaign; the glorious victories lately obtained by our countrymen Lord Wellington and Marshal Beresford, are, we trust, but preIndes to still nobler deeds, in which Spain and Portugal shall, in a much larger degree, participate in the triumphs of the army of the United Kingdom,
London, June 4th, 181!.
revise and improue the Criminal Law of the Land.