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    William Fortescue, a pension of 3,000 a year.

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    Gates replied that he was well aware that General Burgoyne's army was reduced to the last extremity; that it had lost the greater part of its men by repeated defeats, sickness, etc., together with their artillery, horses, and ammunition; that their retreat was cut off, and, therefore, he could listen to nothing but an absolute surrender. Burgoyne said he would never admit that his retreat was cut off whilst he had arms in his hands; and Gates, who knew that Clinton was on his march, and might soon alter the whole face of things, was only too anxious to have Burgoyne's army out of the way. After some preliminaries, therefore, to save appearances, on the 16th it was agreed that the British should march out of their camp with all the honours of war; should deposit their cannon on the banks of the Hudson, and there pile their arms at the command of their own officers; that the troops, of whatever nation they might be composed, should retire in all security and honour to Boston, where they should be provided with all necessary comforts until they embarked for England, under condition of not serving against the United States again during that war; that the Canadians should be allowed to return in all honour to their own country; and that in no case should officers be separated from their own men. These were not such terms as are usually granted to conquered armies; and the reason was, that Clinton was every day drawing nearer. Scarcely were these terms agreed on, when this fact became known to Burgoyne. For a moment he hesitated whether he should sign the contract; but, on consultation with his officers, he felt himself bound in honour to ratify it, and accordingly, the next morning, the 17th of October, the deed was signed, and the troops, marching out, grounded their arms.
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    On the 1st of March Sir Francis Burdett presented a Catholic petition, and in a speech of great eloquence and force moved for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the grievances of which it complained. The question thus brought before the House of Commons was one on which the Cabinet was divided. Canning had come down to the House from a sick bed, and on a crutch, to give his support to the motion. Plunket delivered one of his most powerful speeches on the same side. Peel took upon himself the heavy task of replying to both. He was supported by Mr. Leslie Foster. Brougham closed the debate; and the motion was carried by a majority of thirteen, amid loud cheers. Resolutions were adopted, and a Bill founded upon them passed the Commons, but it was lost in the Upper House, where it was thrown out, on the 19th of May, by a majority of sixty-five. It was on that occasion that the Duke of York, then heir presumptive to the Throne, made the celebrated declaration against all concession to the Catholics, which excited against him intense animosity in Ireland. At the conclusion of a vehement speech he said:"If I have expressed myself warmly, especially in the latter part of what I have said, I must appeal to your lordships' generosity. I feel the subject most forcibly; but it affects me the more deeply when I recollect that to its agitation must be ascribed that severe illness and[252] ten years of misery which had clouded the existence of my beloved father. I shall therefore conclude with assuring your lordships that I have uttered my honest and conscientious sentiments, founded upon principles I have imbibed from my earliest youth, to the justice of which I have subscribed after careful consideration in maturer years; and these are the principles to which I will adhere, and which I will maintain, and that up to the latest moment of my existence, whatever may be my situation of life, so help me God!"

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    Charles, wrought up to the highest pitch of agony at the prospect of being compelled to abandon the splendid design of entering London in triumph, continued to expostulate and entreat the whole day. The Duke of Perth and some of the Irish officers, moved by his distress, gave way, and called on the other chiefs to yield; but they remained immovable, and the prince, seeing the case hopeless, at length gave up the contest, and, in deep dejection, assented to the retreat. But, as if he deemed the relinquishment of the march on the metropolis the ruin of the whole enterprise, he declared that henceforth he would summon no more councilsbeing accountable only to God and his father, he would not again either seek or accept their advice.

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