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Why did his master break?

The same evening the new prison of Clerkenwell was broken open, and all the prisoners were let loose. These joined the drinking, rabid mass, and, in their turn, attacked and gutted the houses of two of the most active magistratesSir John Fielding and Mr. Cox. As they went along, they compelled the inhabitants to illuminate their houses, under menace of burning them down. Everywhere they seized on gin, brandy, and beer, and thus, in the highest paroxysm of drunken fury, at midnight they appeared before Lord Mansfield's house, in Bloomsbury Square. He was quickly obliged to escape with Lady Mansfield by the back door, and to take refuge in the house of a friend in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The mob broke in, and, having demolished the doors and windows, proceeded to destroy and fling out into the square the furniture, pictures, and books, of which their fellows outside made several bonfires. Then perished one of the finest libraries in England, not only of works of law but of literature, which his lordship, through a long course of years, had been collecting. The chief difficulty was the king. At the commencement of the month of January, 1829, his Majesty had not yet signified his consent that the whole subject of Ireland, including the Catholic question, should be taken into consideration by his confidential servants. In his interview with the Duke of Wellington in the course of the autumn the king had manifested much uneasiness and irritation, and had hitherto shown no disposition to relax the opposition which (of late years, at least) he had manifested to the consideration by his Government of the claims of the Roman Catholics. In all the communications which Mr. Peel had with the king on this subject, his determination to maintain the existing laws was most strongly expressed. In November, 1824, the king wrote, "The sentiments of the king upon Catholic Emancipation are those of his revered and excellent father; and from these sentiments the king never can, and never will, deviate." All subsequent declarations of opinion on his part were to the same effect; and the events which were passing in Ireland, "the systematic agitation, the intemperate conduct of some[293] of the Roman Catholic leaders, the violent and abusive speeches of others, the acts of the Association, assuming the functions of government, and, as it appeared to the king, the passiveness and want of energy in the Irish executive, irritated his Majesty, and indisposed him the more to recede from his declared resolution to maintain inviolate the existing law." [35]

Taking this view of his Continental neighbours, George was driven to the conclusion that his only safety lay in firmly engaging France to relinquish the Pretender. The means of the attainment of this desirable object lay in the peculiar position of the Regent, who was intent on his personal aims. So long as the chances of the Pretender appeared tolerable, the Regent had avoided the overtures on this subject; but the failure of the expedition to the Highlands had inclined him to give up the Pretender, and he now sent the Abb Dubois to Hanover to treat upon the subject. He was willing also to destroy the works at Mardyk as the price of peace with England. The preliminaries were concluded, and the Dutch included in them; but the Treaty was not ratified till January, 1717.

DOCTOR JOHNSON IN THE ANTE-ROOM OF LORD CHESTERFIELD, WAITING FOR AN AUDIENCE, 1748.