Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/432

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who protested were Halifax, Shrewsbury and Mulgrave, three noblemen belonging to different political parties, but all distinguished by their literary attainments. It is to be lamented that the signatures of Tillotson and Burnet, who were both present on that day, should be wanting. Dorset was absent.[399]

Blount, by whose exertions and machinations the opposition to the censorship had been raised, did not live to see that opposition successful. Though not a very young man, he was possessed by an insane passion for the sister of his deceased wife. Having long laboured in vain to convince the object of his love that she might lawfully marry him, he at last, whether from weariness of life, or in the hope of touching her heart, inflicted on himself a wound of which, after languishing long, he died. He has often been mentioned as a blasphemer and selfmurderer. But the important service which, by means doubtless most immoral and dishonourable, he rendered to his country, has passed almost unnoticed.[400]

Late in this busy and eventful session the attention of the Houses was called to the state of Ireland. The government of that kingdom had, during the six months which followed the surrender of Limerick, been in an unsettled state. It was not till the Irish troops who adhered to Sarsfield had sailed for France, and till the Irish troops who had made their election to remain at home had been disbanded, that William at length put forth a proclamation solemnly announcing the termination of the civil war. From the hostility of the aboriginal inhabitants, destitute as