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be signed for the further prorogation, and that this commission should be signed by the king; but, after the physicians had been called in, as we have before seen, on the 25th of October, it would have been a step a little too bold to put the king's name to the bottom of a commission, which must have been dated after that 25th of October, and before the time of prorogation. Therefore, there could be no commission. The Houses met agreeably to the proclamation, and motions being made in each House, they adjourned to the 15th of November, on which day they re-assembled, and, in both Houses, an adjournment was moved and carried, that adjournment being to the 29th of November. The Houses met again on the 29th of November, and entered into long debates with regard to the state of the king, and with regard to the probability or improbability of his recovery. In the meanwhile, preparations were making by the two hostile
parties for a grand struggle, as to which should have the government in its hands in the case of a regency. The party which had the power in their hands, discovered not the smallest desire to give it up. The prince, who was of course to be regent, had continued to live on the usual terms with his party, which was that of the people called Whigs. This party strongly protested against all limitation of powers; and that the regent should, at once, be possessed of all the
powers that belonged to the king. The prince, his brothers, and all his party, contended stoutly for the possession of these full powers; but the other party contended for the contrary, and finally they prevailed, owing to the great distrust which the country entertained, and justly entertained, of the Whig faction. The prince and the whole of his brothers signed a protest against any regency that should not give to the prince all the powers of king ; but this had very little effect upon the people: indeed, it rather strengthened the hands of Perceval and his party, and tended to enable them finally to effect their purpose.
А regency was, therefore, at last established by law for a limited period with limited powers.
96. This act was passed on the 5th of Feb. 1811, and the provisions were as follows: 1. That the Prince of Wales should be regent. 2. That he should sign, “George, Prince Regent, in the name and behalf of his majesty.” 3. That his power should cease when the health of the king should be restored. 4. That the acts passed and the orders and appointments made by the regent should remain good, unless countermanded or reversed by the king. 5. That no act of the regent should be valid unless done in the name of the king, and according to the provisions of the act. 6. That the regent should, before he entered on his office, take three oaths ; first, an oath of allegiance to the king; second, that he
would faithfully execute the office of regent, according to the provisions of the act; and third, that he would inviolably maintain and presreve the Protestant religion, which oaths he was to take before the privy council. 7. That he should further, at the time of taking these oaths, make, subscribe, and audibly repeat the declaration of the 30th of Charles II., for disabling papists from sitting in the Houses of Parliament; and should produce to the privy council a certificate that he had taken the sacrament of the Lord's supper, in some one or other of the royal chapels, which certificate should be signed by the person administering the same. 8. That, until the 1st day of February, 1812, he should be restrained from granting peerages, or summoning heirs-apparent, or appointing to titles in abeyance. 9. That he should be restrained from granting offices in reversion, or for a longer period than during his majesty's pleasure, except those which by law are granted for life. 10. That he should not be restrained from granting pensions under the Ist of George the Third, and the 43rd and 45th of George the Third, which relate to certain little matters connected with the sea service and the colonies. 11. That he should not have power to give the royal assent to the repeal of the act for the settlement of the crown, the act of uniformity, or the act of union with Scotland, 12. That, if the regent did not reside in the
her daughter being the heiress-apparent would of necessity give her great weight and power.
Thus they prevented her from making, while her husband was weak, that attack, which, when he became strong, it was too late for her to think of making.
92. Thus, then, she had to live in this state of neglect until the year 1811, when the derangement of mind of the king rendered a regenty necessary. And now, strictly speaking, begins the history of the Regency and Reign of George IV., during which we shall find, that greater innovations were made in the governing of the kingdom, greater inroads on the rights and liberties of the people, greater severities exercised on them, and a greater mass of misery endured by them, than during any former, or any ten former, reigns, the reign of George II. not excepted, though that reign has been justly called a reign of taxation and of terror.
From the Commencement of the Regency, in July,
1811, to the Death of the Prime Minister,
93. From the spring of 1807, until the month of June 1810, there had been, at times, rumours relative to the state of the king's mind. People talked about it very familiarly ; but, as is always the case where great and terrible power exists, and especially with a press, nine-tenths of which was always directly or indirectly interested in
propagating falsehood, amidst the mass of contradictory reports, the public could come at no certainty relative to the facts. There is nothing like a corrupt press, which has the appearance or name of being free, for the propagation or sustaining of falsehood'; and, accordingly, with three hundred
newspapers in circulation, and with all the boast about entire freedom of the press, the English people knew no more than the people of China did what was the real situation of the king during the three last-mentioned years. If