Meanwhile, the American emissaries were both busy and successful at the Court of France. Though the Government still professed most amicable relations towards Great Britain, it winked at the constant sale of the prizes taken by American privateers, or those who passed for such, in their ports. The Government had, as we have seen, supplied the insurgents with money and arms. It was now arranged between Silas Deane and the French Minister, Vergennes, that the supplies of arms and ammunition should be sent by way of the West Indies, and that Congress should remit payment in tobacco and other produce. The French Government supplied the American agents with money for their purchases of arms and necessary articles for the troops, also to be repaid in tobacco. Two of the ships sent off with such supplies were captured by the British men-of-war; but a third, loaded with arms, arrived safely. To procure the money which they could not draw from Europe, Congress made fresh issues of paper money, though what was already out was fearfully depreciated. They voted a loan also of five millions of dollars, at four per cent. interest. They authorised a lottery to raise a like sum, the prizes to be payable in loan-office certificates. These measures only precipitated the depreciation of the Government paper; people refused to take it; and Washington, to prevent the absolute starvation of the army, was endowed with the extraordinary power of compelling the acceptance of it, and of arresting and imprisoning all maligners of the credit of Congress. Congress went further, and passed a resolution that their bills ought to pass current in all payments, trade, and dealings, and be deemed equal in value to the same sum in Spanish dollars; and that all persons refusing to take them should be considered enemies to the United States; and the local authorities were called upon to inflict forfeitures and other penalties on all such persons. Still further: the New York convention having laid before Congress their scheme for regulating the price of labour, produce, manufactured articles, and imported goods, it was adopted. But these arbitrary and unscientific measures the traders set at defiance, and the attempts to enforce them only aggravated the public distress. Loans came in slowly, the treasury ran low, the loan offices were overdrawn, and the issue of bills of credit was reluctantly recommenced; ten additional millions were speedily authorised, and as the issue increased, the depreciation naturally kept pace with it. The Commissioners in France were instructed to borrow money there, but the instructions were more easily given than executed.
The General Election—Crime in Ireland—Increased Powers granted to the Executive—Ireland on the Verge of Rebellion—Death of O'Connell—Viceroyalty of Lord Clarendon—Special Commission in Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary—The Commission at Clonmel—Rise of the Young Ireland Party—The Nation—Meagher and Smith O'Brien—They try to dispense with the Church—The Irish Confederation—The United Irishman—News of the French Revolution—Panic in Dublin—Lord Clarendon and Mr. Birch—The Deputation to Paris—Smith O'Brien in Parliament—Preparations for Civil War—Young and Old Ireland at blows—Arrest and Trial of Mitchel, Smith O'Brien, and Meagher—Transportation of Mitchel—Lord Clarendon's Extraordinary Powers—Smith O'Brien in the South—Commencement of the Insurrection—Battle of Ballingarry—Arrest of Smith O'Brien—Collapse of the Rebellion—Trial of the Conspirators—Trials and Sentences—The Rate in Aid—The Encumbered Estates Act—The Queen's Visit to Ireland—Cove becomes Queenstown—A Visit to Cork—Kingstown and Dublin—Departure from Dublin—An Affecting Incident—Belfast.
Sir J. G. Blackwood, created Lord Dufferin.As harmony was restored on the Continent, so harmony characterised, to a wonderful degree, the opening of the British Parliament in January, 1736. The king felicitated the country on the happy turn which affairs had taken on the Continent, and said "that he trusted the same peace and goodwill would manifest themselves in the domestic affairs of the realm." All appeared likely to realise this wish. A congratulatory address was carried without a division, and without a syllable of dissent. But the peace was hollow—the calm only preceded a storm.
Thus surrounded by treason, Louis doubted the fidelity of Soult, who resigned his command; but he trusted Ney, and sent him to attack Buonaparte in the rear, whilst an army at Mélun, under Clarke, Duke of Feltre, was to attack him in front. Ney took leave of Louis on the 9th of March, declaring that he would bring Buonaparte to him in a cage; but at Lons-le-Saulnier, on the 14th, he received a letter from Napoleon, calling him "the bravest of the brave," and inviting him to resume his place in his army, and Ney went over at once. To abate the public opinion of his treason, he pretended that this expedition had been long arranged between himself and Buonaparte, but this Buonaparte at St. Helena denied.T. Lingray, junior, ￡1,500, and made usher at the Castle.
On the 18th of February, however, Fox moved a string of resolutions condemnatory of war with France. They declared that that country was only doing what every country had a right to do—reorganise its internal Constitution; that, as we had allowed Russia, Prussia, and Austria to dismember Poland, we had no right to check the aggressions of France on these countries; as we had remained quiescent in the one case, we were bound to do so in the other, and not to make ourselves confederates of the invasion of Poland; and his final resolution went to entreat his Majesty not to enter into any engagements with other Powers which should prevent us from making a separate peace with France. Burke did not lose the opportunity of rebuking Fox for his long advocacy of the Empress Catherine, whose unprincipled share in the partition of Poland he was now compelled to reprobate. The resolutions of Fox were negatived by two hundred and seventy votes against forty-four. Not daunted by this overwhelming majority, Fox again, on the 21st of February, brought forward his resolution in another form, declaring that there were no sufficient causes for war. The motion was negatived without a division.
Chemistry also received valuable extensions of its field. Dr. John Mayow published new facts respecting nitre, and on the phenomena of respiration and combustion, as revealed by experiments on this and other substances. At the commencement of the eighteenth century Stahl, a German chemist, propounded his theory of phlogiston as the principle of combustion, which was only exploded by the further discoveries of Dr. Black, Cavendish, and Priestley. Soon after, Dr. Hales threw new light on a?riform bodies, or, as they are now termed, gases; and finally, Dr. Black demonstrated the presence of a gas in magnesia, lime, and the alkalies, which had long before been noticed by Van Helmont, but had been forgotten. This was then termed fixed air, but has now acquired the name of carbonic acid gas, or carbon dioxide. At the end of this period chemistry was extensively studied, and was rapidly revealing its secrets.On the 28th of October General Hill surprised a French force, under General Drouet, near Estremadura, and completely routed it, taking all the baggage, artillery, ammunition, and stores, with one thousand five hundred prisoners. By this action the whole of that part of Estremadura except Badajoz was cleared of the French. This done, General Hill went into cantonments, and the British army received no further disturbance during the remainder of the year. Thus Wellington had completely maintained the defence of Portugal, and driven back the French from its frontiers. Wherever he had crossed the French in Spain, he had severely beaten them too.
During this year the Americans continued to hope for relief to themselves from the progress of the Armed Neutrality, but derived little good from it, though, through their exertions, they beheld Holland added to the open enemies of England. The Dutch Government, flattering themselves that, with nearly all the world against her, England must succumb, had long been secretly in negotiation with the insurgent subjects of England, and their treachery was now suddenly, by a singular circumstance, brought to light. Captain Keppel, cruising in the Vestal frigate off the banks of Newfoundland, in the month of September, captured one of the American packets. On the approach of the British boats to the packet, it was observed that something was hastily flung overboard. A sailor leaped from one of the boats into the sea, and succeeded in securing this something before it had sunk beyond reach. It turned out to be a box, which had been weighted with lead, but not sufficiently to render it so rapid in its descent as to prevent its seizure by the British tar. On being opened, it revealed a mass of papers belonging to an American emissary to the Court of Holland, and opened up a long course of negotiations, and an eventual treaty of peace and commerce between Holland and our American colonies. The bearer of these papers was discovered on board the packet, in the person of Henry Laurens, late president of the American Congress. These most important papers, together with their bearer, were sent with all speed to England. Copies were forwarded to Sir Joseph Yorke, our Ambassador at the Hague, who was instructed to demand from the States General the disavowal of the negotiations. The States General, confounded by the discovery of their clandestine negotiations, remained silent for a week, and then only replied by advancing complaints of violence committed by the British navy on their traders, and of its having insulted the Dutch flag by seizing some American privateers in the port of the island of St. Martin, under the very guns of the fort. Sir Joseph did not allow himself to be diverted from his demand, but again, on the 12th of December, a month after the presentation of his memorial, demanded an answer. No answer was returned. England was thus compelled to declare war against Holland on the 20th of December, Sir Joseph Yorke being recalled by the king, and Count Welderen receiving his passports in London.
The success of the Waverley Novels turned the main force of the genius and literary resources of the country into the ever widening channel of prose fiction. Many names of note appeared before the public as novel writers about that time. In Scotland, under the immediate shadow of the author of "Waverley," came John Galt, Mrs. Johnstone, Miss Ferrier, the Ettrick Shepherd, Allan Cunningham, Gibson Lockhart, Picken, Moir. In Ireland, and of Irish birth, there were Colley, Grattan, Crofton Croker, Banim, Gerald Griffin, Samuel Lover, and last, though not least, William Carleton. In England, and chiefly of English birth, were Mrs. Shelley, Peacock, Thomas Hope, Theodore and James Hook, Morier, Lister, Ward, Gleig, Horace Smith, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Trollope, Captain Marryat, and Mr. James.
His enemies of his own house were not so easily intimidated. The summer had been an unprecedentedly rainy one. The crops had failed, and, in consequence of the scarcity and dearness of corn, there had been riots, especially in the western counties. The enraged people had burned down the ricks and barns of the farmers who were hoarding their corn for higher prices. Chatham instantly, that is, on the 10th of September, issued a proclamation against "forestallers and regraters." As the riots still increased, on the 24th he caused an Order in Council to be issued, laying an embargo on corn, and prohibiting the sailing of vessels already laden with wheat for foreign markets, the failure of crops being as great on the Continent as in England. He had been advised not to venture on so bold a measure without calling together Parliament; but he would not hear of it, lest it should look like timidity of counsel. It was a daring stretch of prerogative, and did not pass without severe censure. Chatham defended the measure: he quoted Locke in justification of such measures for the prevention of internal calamity and tumult; and he defended it further by the fact, that to have called together Parliament would have brought noblemen and gentlemen from their own neighbourhood, just when they were most needful there to maintain order. Lord Camden, the present Chancellor, and Lord Northington, the late one, stoutly supported him, Camden saying that it was a measure so moderate and beneficial, that a Junius Brutus might have trusted it to a Nero. Unfortunately, he added that, at worst, it was only "a forty days' tyranny"—a phrase which excited the utmost clamour, and was long remembered against him.Two British columns advancing by night—one by the shore road and the other over the hills—managed to capture the patrols and approach the outposts of the Americans. Washington having been all day engaged in strengthening his lines, had returned to New York. Putnam was posted on the left; and General Stirling was posted on the right on the seashore, near the part called the Narrows. On the hills Sullivan occupied one of the passes towards the left. The column on the British right, consisting of Hessians, under General Von Heister, seized on the village of Flat Bush, nearly opposite to Sullivan. At the same time, Sir Henry Clinton and Sir William Erskine reconnoitred Sullivan's position and the rest of the line of hills, and sent word to General Howe that it would not be difficult to turn Sullivan's position where the hills were low, near the village of Bedford. Howe immediately ordered Lord Percy to support Clinton with his brigades, in the direction of Bedford, and General Grant to endeavour to turn the position of General Stirling, whilst the Hessians were ready to attack Sullivan in front. At a signal, Howe himself marched along with one of the divisions. In order to draw the enemy's attention from the movements of General Clinton, Grant made a direct attack upon Stirling's position, which brought to his aid a great part of Sullivan's forces, thus deserting their own ground. Grant maintained his attack till daylight, by which time Clinton had, by a slight skirmish, crossed the line on his side. The attention from his march was diverted by Von Heister attacking Putnam's position on the direct way to Brooklyn, and Lord Howe, from his ships, opening a cannonade on Governor's Island and Red Hook, in the rear of that town. About eight o'clock came a fire from Clinton's column, which had now forced its way into the rear of Putnam and between the Americans and Brooklyn. On this discovery they endeavoured to make a way to their lines before that town, but were driven back by Clinton only to find themselves assailed in the rear by Von Heister. Thus hemmed in, they fled in confusion. This action in their rear alarmed both Sullivan and Stirling, yet they maintained their ground against Grant till they learned the total rout of their comrades opposed to Clinton and Heister, when they laid down their arms and ran for it. Knowing the ground better than the British, many of them managed to escape to Brooklyn; but one thousand and ninety-seven prisoners were taken, and from one thousand two hundred to one thousand five hundred Americans were killed or wounded. The English lost only about four hundred killed and wounded.详情
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