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On the following morning, being Monday, the Ministers came to the resolution of entering the baronet's house by force; and, as he sat at breakfast with a considerable company of friends, an attempt was made by a man to enter by the window, which he broke in trying to raise the sash. This man was secured; but a more successful party of officers below dashed in a window on the ground floor, and soon appeared in the drawing-room. Sir Francis was seized and, still struggling and protesting, was conveyed to a carriage. Then, escorted by the military, he was taken to the Tower, amid tremendous crowds, crying "Burdett for ever!" A strong force had occupied the passage through the City, and had drawn up before the Tower before the arrival of the party with the prisoner, whom they had taken round by Pentonville and Islington. The scene during the conveyance of Sir Francis into the old fortress was indescribable for tumult and yelling. As the soldiers were returning they were hooted and pelted with stones, and at last they lost patience and fired, killing two persons and wounding several others.
Not at all dismayed by this unrighteous severity, the Scottish Friends of the People met in convention, in Edinburgh, on the 9th of October. At this Convention delegates appeared, not only from most of the large towns of Scotland, but also from London, Sheffield, and Dublin. Letters were also received from the Societies in England. Mr. William Skirving, a friend of Muir and Palmer, as secretary to the Convention, read these letters, and other papers, demanding annual parliaments and universal suffrage. As the British Parliament was considered, and truly, merely a corrupt clique of the representatives of boroughmongers, they proposed to apply directly to the king, that he might urge those necessary reforms on the Legislature. In Scottish fashion, the Reformers opened and closed their sittings with prayer, presenting a striking contrast to the French Revolutionists. On the 6th of November delegates appeared from the Society of United Irishmen, and Margarot and Gerald from the Society of the Friends of the People in London. Margarot stated that five hundred constables had beset the meeting in London, to prevent delegates from getting away to this Convention, but that the manufacturing towns of England were almost all in favour of Reform; that in Sheffield alone there were fifty thousand; that a general union of the Reformers of the United Kingdom would strike terror into their enemies, and compel them to grant annual parliaments and universal suffrage.The indignation of all parties in England was unbounded. They were persuaded that Junot might have been compelled to surrender with all his army as prisoners of war; that his arms and booty ought to have been given up entirely, as well as the Russian fleet; and the army prevented from taking any part in the after war, except upon a proper exchange. And no doubt this might have been the case had Wellesley been permitted to follow his own judgment. A court of inquiry was appointed to sit in the great hall of Chelsea College, which opened on the 14th of November and closed on the 27th of December. Yet matters were so managed that scarcely any blame was cast on Sir Harry Burrard, and all the generals were declared free from blame. Sir Harry was, indeed, included in the praise bestowed by the committeethat Sir Hew Dalrymple, Sir Harry himself, and Sir Arthur Wellesley, as well as the rest of the officers and men, had displayed an ardour and gallantry on every occasion during the expedition that reflected the highest lustre on his Majesty's troops. But the public was not at all mystified by this strange sentence.
de Longueu?l (Le Moyne), de Baston, de Beltre, et autres.Bourdon, though of humble origin, was, perhaps, the most intelligent man in the council. He was chiefly known as an engineer, but he had also been a baker, a painter, a syndic of the inhabitants, chief gunner at the fort, and collector of customs for the company. Whether guilty of embezzlement or not, he was a zealous devotee, and would probably have died for his creed. Like Villeray, he was one of Lavals stanchest supporters, while the rest of the council were also sound in doctrine and sure in allegiance.
Mr. Charles Osborne, made judge of the King's Bench 3,300
[See larger version]As a matter of fact the law affords a very clear proof, that its real purpose is to administer retributive justice and that punishment has no end beyond itself, by its careful apportionment of punishment to crime, by its invariable adjustment between the evil a man has done and the evil it deals out to him in return. For what purpose punish offences according to a certain scale, for what purpose stay to measure their gravity, if merely the prevention of crime is the object of punishment? Why punish a slight theft with a few months imprisonment and a burglary with as many years? The slight theft, as easier to commit, as more tempting accordingly, should surely have a harder penalty affixed to it than a crime which, as it is more difficult, is also less probable and less in need of strong counter-inducements to restrain it. That the law never reasons in this way is because it weighs offences according to their different degrees of criminality, or, in other words, because it feels that the fair retaliation for the burglary is not a fair retaliation for the theft.
The New England man was precisely the same material with that of which Cromwell formed his invincible Ironsides; but he had very little forest experience. His geographical position cut him off completely from the great wilderness of the interior. The sea was his field of action. Without the aid of government, and in spite of its restrictions, he built up a prosperous commerce, and enriched himself by distant fisheries, neglected by the rivals before whose doors they lay. He knew every ocean from Greenland to Cape Horn, and the whales of the north and of the south had no more dangerous foe. But he was too busy to fight without good cause, and when he turned his hand to soldiering it was only to meet some pressing need of the hour. The New England troops in the early wars were bands of raw fishermen and farmers, led by civilians decorated with military titles, and subject to the slow and uncertain action of legislative bodies. The officers had not learned to command, nor the men to obey. The remarkable exploit of the capture of Louisburg, the strongest fortress in America, was the result of mere audacity and hardihood, backed by the rarest good luck.