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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.

Prussia, it might be supposed, would escape the invasion of Revolutionary principles in 1848. Great hopes had been excited on the accession of Frederick William IV. to his father's throne. Yet it was evident to close observers of the signs of the times that a spirit of sullen discontent was brooding over the population. There was a feeling that their amiable and accomplished Sovereign had disappointed them. He proved to be excessively sensitive to the slightest infringement of his prerogative, and he abhorred the idea of representative bodies, who might oppose constitutional barriers to his own absolute will. Hence, there grew up sensibly a mutual feeling of distrust between him and the people, and the natural effect on his part was a change from the leniency and liberality of his earlier years to a more austere temper, while a tedious, inactive, and undecided course of policy wore out the patience of those who expected a more constitutional system. Consequently, although the administration of the country was free from any taint of corruption, and was, on the whole, moderate and just, the revolutionary earthquake of 1848 shook the kingdom of Prussia to its very foundations.

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Napoleon, who had every need of success to regain his former position in the opinion of France, sent off in all haste to Paris the most exaggerated account of the battle of Lützen, as one of the most[66] decisive victories that he had ever won, and that it had totally scattered the Allies, and neutralised all the hopes and schemes of Great Britain. The Empress went in procession to Notre Dame, where Te Deum was celebrated by Cardinal Maury, who drew the most extravagant picture of Napoleon's invincible genius. The same false statements were sent also to every friendly Court in Europe, even to Constantinople. The stratagem had its effect. The wavering German princes, who were ready to go over to their own countrymen, still ranged their banners with the French. The King of Saxony had gone to Prague as a place whence he might negotiate his return to the ranks of his own fatherland; but he now hastened back again, and was in Dresden on the 12th of May with Napoleon, who conducted him in a kind of triumph through his capital, parading his adhesion before his subjects who had hailed the Allies just before with acclamations. The Saxon king, in fresh token of amity to Napoleon, ceded to him the fortress of Torgau, much to the disgust of his subjects. GENOA.

This proviso, however, by no means affected the treaty with America. This secret treaty was made binding and effectual so far as America and England were concerned. The first article acknowledged fully the independence of the United States. The second fixed their boundaries, much to the satisfaction of the Americans; and liberty was secured to them to fish on the banks of Newfoundland, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and wherever they had been accustomed to fish, but not to dry the fish on any of the king's settled dominions in America. By the fourth, fifth, and sixth articles it was engaged for Congress that it should earnestly recommend to the several Legislatures to provide for the restitution of all estates belonging to real British subjects who had not borne arms against the Americans. All other persons were to be allowed to go to any of the States and remain there for the settlement of their affairs. Congress also engaged to recommend the restitution of confiscated estates on the repayment of the sums for which they had been sold; and no impediments were to be put in the way of recovering real debts. All further confiscations and prosecutions were to cease. By the seventh and eighth articles the King of England engaged to withdraw his fleets and armies without causing any destruction of property, or carrying away any negro slaves. By these articles, the navigation of the Mississippi, from its source to the ocean, was to remain for ever free and open to both parties. If West Florida happened to be in the possession of Britain at the termination of a general peace, a secret article determined its boundaries.