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类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-25 17:02:05

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Two of the workmen from Butterley Foundry entered the "White Horse," which was kept by a widow Wightman, whose son George was deep in the foolish conspiracy into which Oliver and this his blind, savage tool, the Nottingham Captain, were leading him. They found Brandreth with a map before him, and telling them there was no good to be done, they must march up to London and overthrow the Government. He said all the country was rising; that at Nottingham the people had already taken the castle and seized the soldiers in their barracks, and were waiting for them. This shows that he had come straight from Oliver, who, on the 7th, was at Nottingham, attending the meeting there, and who knew that the meeting in Yorkshire had been prevented. Yet he had allowed the people of Nottingham to believe that the Yorkshire men were coming, according to agreement, in thousands; and he allowed Brandreth to go and arouse Derbyshire, under the belief that Nottingham that night would be in the hands of the insurgents. On Monday night, the 9th of June, Brandreth and a knot of his colleagues proceeded to muster their troop of insurgents for the march to Nottingham. They roused up the men in their cottages, and, if they refused to go, they broke in the doors with a crowbar, and compelled them to join them. Most of these unwilling levies slipped away in the dark on the first opportunity. At South Wingfield he assembled his forces in an old barn, and then they proceeded through the neighbourhood demanding men and guns. An old woman had the courage to tap the "captain" on the shoulder, and say—"My lad, we have a magistrate here;" and many of the men thought Brandreth must be mad or drunk. At the farm of widow Hetherinton he demanded her men and arms, and when she stoutly refused him, he put the gun through[127] the window and shot one of her men dead. As the day dawned, Brandreth and his infatuated troop appeared before the gates of Butterley Foundry, and demanded the men; but Mr. Goodwin, the manager, had been apprised of their approach, and had closed the gates. Brandreth had planned to take Butterley Foundry, and carry away not only the men but a small cannon kept there; but Mr. Goodwin went out and told Brandreth he should not have a man for any such insane purpose, and seeing an old man that he well knew, Isaac Ludlam, who bore a good character, and had been a local preacher amongst the Methodists, he seized him by the collar and pushed him into the foundry court, telling him not to be a fool, but stay at home. Ludlam, however, replied, "he was as bad as he could be," rushed out, and went on—to his death; for he was one of those that were executed.

On the 9th of January, a month after their arrival, Lord Derwentwater was impeached of high treason by Mr. Lechmere in a bitter speech in the Commons. Other members, with equal acrimony, followed with impeachments against the Lords Widdrington, Nithsdale, Wintoun, Carnwath, Kenmure, and Nairn. The impeachments were carried up to the House of Lords on the same day, and on the 19th the accused noblemen were brought before the Peers, where they knelt at the bar until they were desired to rise by the Lord Chancellor, when, with the exception of Lord Wintoun, they confessed their guilt, and threw themselves on the mercy of the king. Sentence of death was immediately pronounced on those who had pleaded guilty; and Lord Wintoun was condemned after trial, but several months later he effected his escape from the Tower. Every effort was made to save the prisoners, and they were all reprieved, with the exception of Derwentwater, Kenmure, and Nithsdale. The first two were executed; but the Countess of Nithsdale, being about to take her leave of her husband, contrived, by introducing some friends, to secure his escape in female attire.

Thomas Moore, the poet, in the latter period of his life, published several biographical works—namely, a "Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan," in 1825; "Notices of the Life of Lord Byron," in 1830; and "Memoirs of Lord Edward Fitzgerald," in 1831. Byron had written memoirs of his own life, which he presented to Moore, and by the publication of which a very large sum of money could have been made; but Moore generously placed the MS. at the disposal of Mrs. Leigh, the poet's sister and executrix; and from a regard to his memory, they were consigned to the flames. It is supposed, however, that all that was valuable in them was found in the noble lord's journals and memorandum-books. Among literary biographies—a class of publications highly interesting to cultivated minds—the first place is due to Lockhart's "Life of Sir Walter Scott," a work that ranks next to Boswell's "Life of Johnson."

On the arrival of peace the fall of agricultural prices ruined great numbers who had pushed their speculations and land purchases beyond their legitimate means; but the Corn Laws again buoyed up both farmers and landlords, and the progress of improvement continued. Draining strong lands, manuring light ones with lime and marl, and the introduction of artificial grasses, added incalculably to the produce of the country. Turnips enabled the farmer to maintain his cattle and sheep in high condition during the winter, and the introduction of the Swedish turnip and mangel-wurzel extended this advantage till rye, rye-grass, sainfoin, and clover became plentiful. Before the end of the reign rentals had doubled, and lands, even in hilly districts, where it had been supposed that nothing but oats would grow, and where the reapers were often obliged to shake the snow from the corn as they cut it, were seen producing good wheat, and, from the better system of husbandry, at a much earlier period of autumn.

Whilst these violent dissensions had sprung up from the French Revolution, Wilberforce and his coadjutors had been active in their exertions to abolish the Slave Trade. Thomas Clarkson, now devoted heart and soul to this object, was, with Dr. Dickson, sent out by the parent Anti-Slavery Society through the country, to call into life provincial societies and committees, and found themselves zealously supported and warmly welcomed by philanthropists, and especially by the Society of Friends. They circulated the evidence taken before the House of Commons' Committee, and made a great impression. On the other hand, the French Revolution proved as antagonistic to the cause of the abolitionists as it had to the friendship of Burke and Fox. The dreadful insurrection in St. Domingo was attributed to the formation of the Society in Paris of Les Amis des Noirs, and many otherwise enlightened men took the alarm, lest similar scenes in our West Indian colonies should be the result of the doctrines of the abolitionists. Few persons could be found willing to entertain the idea of immediate abolition of the trade in slaves; and even Dr. Parr, though a great Whig and adherent of Fox, declared that these Utopian schemes of liberty to blacks were alarming to serious men. Wilberforce was earnestly entreated to reconsider his plan; he was assured that immediate abolition would not pass the Commons, nor even gradual abolition the Lords. Wilberforce, however, could not be deterred from bringing on the question. On the 18th of April he moved for leave to bring in a Bill to prevent the introduction of any more slaves into our colonies. Besides showing the cruelties practised in the collection and transmission of negroes, he brought forward evidence to prove that, so far from this trade being, as had been represented before the Committee of the Commons, the nursery of British seamen, it was their grave. He showed that of twelve thousand two hundred and sixty-three men employed in it, two thousand six hundred and forty-five had been lost in twelve months. This was calculated to produce far less effect than the surrender of hundreds of thousands of negroes, inasmuch as profit and loss was a more telling argument with the slave traders than mere humanity; and they exerted all their influence in defence of their traffic. Wilberforce added that even had this trade really been a beneficial one as regarded mere political economy, there was a smell of blood about it that all the perfumes of Arabia could not disguise. He was ably supported by Fox and Pitt; but, on this occasion, the Prime Minister could not command[381] his large majority; the motion was lost by one hundred and sixty-three against eighty-eight.

To reach the enemy the British had to cross the river, and that by a single bridge. This was commanded by the American artillery, and it might have been expected that it would not be easily carried; but, on the contrary, a light brigade swept over it, in face of the cannon, followed by the rest of the army; and the troops deploying right and left the moment they were over, this single division—about one thousand six hundred strong—routed the whole American force before the remainder of the British could come into action. Few of the Americans waited to be killed or wounded. Madison had the mortification to see his army all flying in precipitation, and the city open to the British.After the coronation, the queen resided at Brandenburgh House, determined to lead a life of dignified retirement. But the violent agitation and excitement, and the terribly painful mortification to which she was subjected in her ill-advised attempt to form part of the coronation pageant, were too much for her constitution. As soon as it was evident that her end was approaching, much public sympathy was excited, and the vicinity of her residence was incessantly thronged with persons of all classes making anxious inquiries about her health, and solicitous for her restoration. On the 4th of August, when her professional advisers were receiving instructions about the disposition of her property, one of them suggested the propriety of sending a messenger to Italy to seal up her papers, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of her enemies. "And what if they do?" she exclaimed; "I have no papers that they may not see. They can find nothing, because there is nothing, nor ever has been, to impeach my character." One of them said that he was aware of that, but her enemies might put there what they did not find. She replied, "I have always defied their malice, and I defy it still." Nevertheless, it was her conscious failure in her efforts to make the public believe this, coupled with the public humiliation to which she had been subjected, that bowed down her spirit at last, and gave the victory to her enemies. She had painted their characters in vivid colours in her private diary, and might have transmitted their punishment to posterity had she ordered it to be preserved and published; but she gave directions to have it destroyed, and it was burnt in her presence by one of her foreign maids. After suffering intensely for four or five days, she sank into a stupor, from which she never woke, and on the 7th of August, after an entire absence of sense and faculty for more than two hours, expired Caroline of Brunswick, Queen Consort of George IV., in the fifty-fourth year of her age. She had by her bedside in her last hours her faithful friends and constant attendants, Lord and Lady Hood, and Lady Anne Hamilton; Alderman Wood, who had been devoted to her interests from the first, was also present, as well as her legal and medical advisers.

At the Congress, which began in June, William Stanhope, Horace Walpole, and Poyntz represented England. At Paris Lord Waldegrave supplied the place of Horace Walpole; and at the Hague the Earl of Chesterfield ably managed the national interests. At the Congress there was a frequent exchange of memorials and counter-memorials, but no real business was done. The only things which grew apparent were that France and Spain were becoming more reconciled, and that the league between Spain and the Emperor was fast dissolving.But smoothly as this transaction had passed, there was a hurricane behind. The threatened extension of the measure to Scotland roused all the Presbyterian bigotry of the North. The synod of Glasgow and other synods passed resolutions vowing to oppose any interference with the Scottish Act for the suppression of Popery. Press and pulpit were speedily inflamed; associations were formed in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and most of the towns, for the defence of the Protestant interest. All the old persecutions and insults of Catholics were renewed; they could not safely appear in the streets, or remain safely in their houses. Not even those liberal enough to advocate the just rights of Catholics were secure, at least from rude treatment. Dr. Robertson, the historian, was hooted, when he went abroad, as a favourer of the Papists. There was as yet no more toleration in Scotland than if a William III. had never appeared in England. From Scotland the intolerant leaven spread southwards. It grew fiercer and fiercer, and in a while found a proper champion in the hot-headed Lord George Gordon, whose exploits as the ringleader of riot, and fire, and confusion, culminated two years later in the scenes of destruction and terror for ever memorable as the Gordon riots.It was the lot of the Earl of Clarendon to govern Ireland during the most trying period of her history. It was a trying crisis, affording great opportunity to a statesman of pre-eminent ability to lay broad and solid foundations for a better state of society. But though a painstaking and active administrator, Clarendon was not a great statesman; he had no originating power to organise a new state of things, nor prescience to forecast the future; but he left no means untried by which he could overcome present difficulties. The population had been thinned with fearful rapidity; large numbers of the gentry had been reduced from affluence to destitution; property was changing hands on all sides; the Government had immense funds placed at its command; a vast machinery and an enormous host of officials operating upon society when it was in the most plastic and unresisting state, a high order of statesmanship could have made an impress upon it that would have endured for ages. But Lord Clarendon's government, instead of putting forth the power that should have guided those mighty resources to beneficial and permanent results, allowed them to be agencies of deterioration. The truth is, he was frightened by a contemptible organisation, existing openly under his eyes in Dublin, for the avowed purpose of exciting rebellion and effecting revolution. The conspirators might have been promptly dealt with and extinguished in a summary way; but instead of dealing with it in this manner, Clarendon watched over its growth, and allowed it to come to maturity, and then brought to bear upon it a great military force and all the imposing machinery of State trials; the only good result of which was a display of forensic eloquence worthy of the days of Flood and Grattan.

Warren Hastings was summoned to the bar, and there kneeling, the Lord Chancellor, Thurlow, intimated the charge against him, and assured him that, as a British subject, he would receive full justice from the highest British court. Hastings replied, in a clear and firm voice, that he had the highest confidence in the justice and integrity of that august court. The clerks of the court then commenced reading the charges against him, and the answers to them, and this reading occupied the whole of that day and the following one; and on the third, Burke rose to deliver his opening speech. This occupied the whole of four days, beginning on the 15th, and terminating on the 19th of February. The effect of that speech, notwithstanding its enormous length, was such as had scarcely ever been witnessed in a court of justice before. As he detailed the horrors practised by Hastings on the princes and people of India, both the orator and his audience were convulsed with terror and agitation. Ladies fainted away in the galleries; Mrs. Sheridan, amongst others, had to be carried out insensible: the faces of the strongest men, as well as of the more sensitive women, were flushed with emotion, or bathed in tears. In his peroration Burke far exceeded even himself. He appeared raised, enlarged into something ethereal by his subject, and his voice seemed to shake the very walls and roof of that ancient court. Finally, he exclaimed:—"I impeach Warren Hastings, Esquire, of high crimes and misdemeanours. I impeach him in the name of all the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights, and liberties he has subverted, whose properties he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate. I impeach him in the name, and by virtue of those eternal laws of justice which he has violated. I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured, and oppressed, in both sexes, in every age, rank, situation, and condition of life. And I conjure this high and sacred court to let not these proceedings be heard in vain." Such was the effect of this wonderful torrent of eloquence that Hastings himself said, "For half an hour I looked up at the orator in a reverie of wonder; and during that space I actually felt myself the most culpable man on earth; but I recurred to my own bosom, and there found a consciousness that consoled me under all I heard and all I suffered."Poor Law Amendment Act { 585 unions 13,964CADIZ.

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Now followed a period in which many works were produced which were extremely popular in their day, but of which few now retain public appreciation. Amongst these none reached the same estimation as "Henry, Earl of Moreland: or, The Fool of Quality," by Henry Brooke. It was designed to show the folly and the artificial morale of the age, by presenting Henry as the model of direct and natural sentiments, for the indulgence of which he was thought a fool by the fashionable world. The early part of the work is admirable, and the boyhood of Henry is the obvious prototype of Day's "History of Sandford and Merton;" but as it advances it becomes utterly extravagant. Miss Frances Brooke, too, was the author of "Julia Mandeville" and other novels. Mrs. Charlotte Smith, long remembered for her harmonious sonnets, was the author of numerous novels, as "The Old Manor House," "Celestina," "Marchmont," etc.; there were also Mrs. Hannah More[175] with her "C?lebs in Search of a Wife;" Mrs. Hamilton with her "Agrippina;" Bage with his "Hermstrong: or, Man as he is Not;" "Monk" Lewis with his "Tales of Wonder" and his "Monk;" and Horace Walpole with his melodramatic romance of "The Castle of Otranto." But far beyond Walpole rose Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, the very queen of horror and wonder, in her strange, exciting tales of "The Sicilian Romance," "The Romance of the Forest," "The Mysteries of Udolpho," "The Italian," etc. No writer ever carried the powers of mystery, wonder, and suspense, to the same height, or so bewitched her age by them.[See larger version]Such were the means employed by the British Government in 1817 to quiet the country under its distress—a distress the inevitable result of the long and stupendous war. The only idea was to tighten the reins of Government—to stimulate the sufferers into overt acts, and then crush them. Fortunately, with the exception of the Derby juries, the juries in general saw through the miserable farce of rebellion, and discharged the greater part of Oliver's and Lord Sidmouth's victims. Watson was acquitted of high treason in London on the 16th of June, less than a week after the Derbyshire insurrection. His son had eluded the pursuit of the police. Seventeen prisoners on the like charges were liberated in July in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and were paid seven shillings each to carry them home. On the 22nd of August, of the twenty-four persons that Oliver had entrapped in Yorkshire, twenty-two were discharged—against eleven of them no bills being found by the grand jury—and the two left in prison were detained there because, under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, they were not brought up for trial. The Manchester Blanketeers were, in like manner, all discharged, though the Duke of Northumberland did his utmost to stimulate Lord Sidmouth to get them punished. On the country at large the impression was that the Government had propagated a most needless alarm, and that those who had fallen on the scaffold had been exalted by them from poor, ignorant labourers into burlesque traitors, through the execrable agency of their incendiaries, Oliver, Castles, Mitchell, and others.

GENERAL ELECTION OF 1784: MASTER BILLY'S PROCESSION TO GROCERS' HALL—PITT PRESENTED WITH THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF LONDON. (Reduced facsimile of the Caricature by T. Rowlandson.)

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