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templating the probability of his own dissolution, and of his having the Duke of Wellington as a successor, whose principles he knew to be at variance with his own, “ Two years, will undo « all that I have done."

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The reader must now be carried back to some important domestick events which marked the commencement of 1827.

On the 5th of January the Duke of York expired after a long and painful illness. His Royal Highness was the political enemy of Mr. Canning; and not long before his dissolution he had made an urgent representation to the King, “ strenuously advising His Majesty to place the “ Government of the Country in a state of “ uniformity - and that that uniformity should “ be one of a decided opposition to the Catholick " Claims.” His Majesty was, however, too well


convinced of the value of Mr. Canning's services to be willing to dispense with them, as he must have done had he followed the advice of his Brother; and the step which His Royal Highness had taken was communicated to Mr. Canning.

The health of His Royal Highness was, at the time of this communication, supposed to be rapidly improving; but Mr. Canning determined to wait for the more advanced recovery of the Commander in Chief, before he adopted any decisive measures, with respect to this active demonstration of hostility against a confidential servant of the Crown on the part of an individual holding so high an official post in the King's service. Instead, however, of recovering, His Royal Highness shortly after began rapidly to grow worse. While in this state the Royal patient was exhorted to leave behind him some testamentary exposition of his opinions on the Catholick Question; he, however, steadfastly refused to do so, saying, that had he lived he would have fought the question to the uttermost, but that he did not think it fair to embarrass those from whom he was about to be separated. Such noble and considerate conduct served not a little to increase Mr. Canning's “self-congratulation that he had “ not allowed himself to be hurried into a contro“ versial discussion, which must in its effects have “ disquieted the last weeks of His Royal High


“ ness's life, and the closing intercourse between “ His Royal Highness and the King.

“I would not,” said Mr. Canning, “ for the “ world have had to lay such a consequence to “my own charge, however unintentionally pro• duced, or under whatever provocation.”

Mr. Canning attended the funeral of the Duke of York, at which mournful ceremony he caught a cold, which ended in an illness, that gave a shock to his constitution, from which it never entirely recovered.

It was at Brighton, on the evening of the 17th of February, before he had been able to quit his room to which he had been confined by this ill. ness, and almost before he had attended to any business, that Mr. Canning first heard, that Lord Liverpool had been attacked by apoplexy in the morning of that day, and that he continued in a state of total insensibility.

The painful intelligence was communicated by a letter from Mr. Peel, who arrived at the Pavilion late in the evening, and had a short audience of His Majesty. Early on the following morning Mr. Peel had a conference with Mr. Canning, when it was agreed that the joint advice most fitting to tender to the King would be to delay the adoption of any measures: since immediately “ to presume a fatal, or a hopeless “ issue to Lord Liverpool's illness would be

highly indelicate ; and if Lord Liverpool “should ever come to himself sufficiently to “ learn what had passed, it would be gratifying " to all parties that no step had been taken,

or even mooted, for the disposal of his suc« cession.”

In this advice the King directly concurred, and at once entered into the feelings which dictated it.

By the 22d of February Mr. Canning was sufficiently recovered to attend the King At that interview His Majesty expressed his great satisfaction at the advice which had been given.

At the time of Lord Liverpool's attack the two questions of the corn laws, and Catholick emancipation, were about to be brought before Parliament.

In that Minister the former measure lost its most efficient advocate, and the latter had no longer to contend with one of its most able, though certainly not bigoted, or headstrong opponents.

The 26th of February had been fixed for the simultaneous bringing forward, in both Houses, severally by Mr. Canning and Lord Liverpool, of the proposed alterations in the Corn Laws. And on the 1st of March Sir Francis Burdett was to have made his motion on Catholick Emancipation. Before Mr. Canning left Brighton communications were made to him, signifying

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