[See larger version] CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.

The disabilities under which the Roman Catholics laboured were a constant source of irritation in Ireland; the agitation upon the subject was becoming every day more formidable. Mr. Plunket was anxious to bring forward the question in the House of Commons, but he was urged by his colleagues to postpone it, from an apprehension that the time was not yet come to give it a fair consideration: the Cabinet was divided, the Chancellor was obstinate, and the king vacillating, if not double-minded. "As to the conduct of the king," writes Mr. Freemantle, a member of the Government, "it is inexplicable. He is praising Lord Liverpool on all occasions, and sending invitations to nobody but the Opposition. With regard to Ireland, I am quite satisfied the great man is holding the most conciliatory language to both partiesholding out success to the Catholics, and a determination to resist them to the Protestants." [See larger version]

BELL'S "COMET." (See p. 421.)