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Affairs had now assumed such an aspect that the different sections of the Opposition saw the necessity of coalescing more, and attending zealously; but still they were divided as to the means to be pursued. A great meeting was held on the 27th of November at the Marquis of Rockingham's, to decide on a plan of action. It was concluded to move for a committee on the state of the nation, and Chatham being applied to, advised that the very next day notice should be given that such a motion should be made on Tuesday next, the 2nd of December. The motion was made, the committee granted, and in it the Duke of Richmond moved for the production of the returns of the army and navy in America and Ireland. Whilst Lord Northwho, if he had been his own master, would have resignedwas refusing to produce the necessary papers, the Lords consented to this measure; and at this very moment came news of the surrender at Saratoga, which was speedily confirmed. The Catholic and Apostolic Church, founded by the Rev. Edward Irving, had at the time of the census of 1851 about 30 congregations, comprising nearly 6,000 communicants, and the number was said to be gradually increasing. Mr. Irving (who in 1819 assisted Dr. Chalmers at Glasgow) was the minister of the Scottish Church, Regent Square, London, very eloquent, and very eccentric; and towards the close of 1829 it was asserted that several miraculous gifts of healing and prophecy, and of speaking with strange tongues, were displayed in his congregation. Having been excluded from the Scottish Church, a chapel was erected for him, in 1832, in Newman Street. In the course of a few years other churches were erected in different places. The Apostolic Church was established on the model of the Jewish Tabernacle, with twelve apostles, a new order of prophets, etc. In 1836 they delivered their testimony to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to most of the bishops, and to many ministers in different denominations. They also resolved to deliver their testimony to the king in person, and "to as many Privy Councillors as could be found, or would receive it." In 1837 a "Catholic testimony" was addressed to the patriarchs, bishops, and sovereigns of Christendom, and was subsequently delivered to Cardinal Acton for the Pope, to Prince Metternich for the Emperor of Austria, and to other bishops and kings throughout Europe. The turn of affairs on the Continent justified Walpole's gravest apprehensions. France was discovered to have made a compact with Spain, and once having taken this step, she displayed her usual activity in every Court of Europe, to induce the allies to break with England and prevent her from making new leagues. Walpole did his best to counteract these French influences. He managed to secure the Russian Court, before in connection with France, and subsidised Sweden, Denmark, Hesse-Cassel, and some other of the German States. But at this crisis (1740) died the savage old Frederick William of Prussia, and his son Frederick now commenced that extraordinary military career which obtained him the name of the Great. Temptingly adjoining his own territory, the young king beheld that of an equally young female sovereign, Maria Theresa of Austria, and he determined to extend his kingdom at her expense. The mystery of Frederick's movements was dissipated by his crossing, on the 23rd of December, the Austrian frontiers into Silesia. It was seen that it was the favourable opportunity of overpowering a weak neighbour which had tempted the Prussian to break his engagement, and to endeavour to make himself master of the domains of a defenceless young princess. But Frederick brought out some antiquated claims on the province Of Silesia, and on these he justified his breach of treaties. Maria Theresa applied, in her alarm, to the Powers who had concurred in the Pragmatic Sanction, but all except George II. fell away instantly from her. They believed her incapable of defending her territories, and hoped to come in for a share of the spoil. The Elector of Bavaria joined Prussia; Saxony did the same; France was eager for the promised half of the winnings; and Spain and Sardinia assured Frederick of their secret support. George II., confounded by this universal defection, advised Maria Theresa to compromise the affair with Prussia by giving up half Silesia, or the whole, if necessary; but the high-spirited queen rejected the proposal with scorn, and called on George to furnish the troops guaranteed by England under the Pragmatic Sanction. George could, however, only assemble some few soldiers on the Hanoverian frontier, but this obliged Frederick to appropriate a considerable section of his army to guard against any attack from Hanover.

In the Macpherson and Lockhart Papers we have now the fullest evidence of what was going on to this end. The agents of both Hanover and St. Germains were active; but those of Hanover were depressed, those of St. Germains never in such hope. The Jesuit Plunkett wrote: "The changes go on by degrees to the king's advantage; none but his friends advanced or employed in order to serve the great project. Bolingbroke and Oxford do not set their horses together, because Oxford is so dilatory, and dozes over things, which is the occasion there are so many Whigs chosen this Parliament. Though there are four Tories to one, they think it little. The ministry must now swim or sink with France." In fact, Oxford's over-caution, and his laziness, at the same time that he was impatient to allow any power out of his own hands, and yet did not exert it when he had it, had disgusted the Tories, and favoured the ambitious views which Bolingbroke was cherishing. The latter had now managed to win the confidence of Lady Masham from the Lord Treasurer to himself; and, aware that he had made a mortal enemy of the Elector of Hanover by his conduct in compelling a peace and deserting the Allies, he determined to make a bold effort to bring in the Pretender on the queen's decease, which every one, from the nature of her complaint, felt could not be far off. To such a pitch of openness did the queen carry her dislike, that she seemed to take a pleasure in speaking in the most derogatory terms of both the old Electress Sophia and her son. Oxford's close and mysterious conduct disgusted the agents of Hanover, without assuring those of the Pretender, and threw the advantage with the latter party more and more into the hands of Bolingbroke. Baron Schutz, the Hanoverian agent, wrote home that he could make nothing of Oxford, but that there was a design against his master; and when Lord Newcastle observed to the agent of the Pretender that, the queen's life being so precarious, it would be good policy in Harley to strike up with the king and make a fair bargain, the agent replied, "If the king were master of his three kingdoms to-morrow, he would not be able to do for Mr. Harley what the Elector of Hanover had done for him already." Thus Oxford's closeness made him suspected of being secured by the Elector at the very moment that the Elector deemed that he was leaning towards the Pretender.

Reproduced by Andr & Sleigh, Ltd., Bushey, Herts.