类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-25 13:10:55


The whole army now crossed the river at leisure, and marched towards Lahore. Lord Hardinge issued a proclamation, in which he stated that the war was the result of the wanton and unprovoked incursion of the Sikhs; that the British Government wanted no acquisition of territory, but only security for the future, indemnity for the expenses of the war, and the establishment of a government at Lahore, which should afford a guarantee against such aggressions in the time to come. The Ranee and her durbar, or council, now saw the necessity of prompt submission, which was tendered by plenipotentiaries sent to the British camp, who threw the whole blame of the war on the[600] uncontrollable troops. They were well received by the Governor-General, and a treaty was without difficulty concluded on the 15th of February at a place called Kussoor. By the terms of the treaty, all the territory lying between the river Beas and the Sutlej was ceded to the British Government. The sum of one million sterling was to be paid for the expenses of the war; but the sum was found too heavy, and instead Gholab Singh was rewarded for his fidelity to the British by the grant of a large tract of territory between the Beas and the Indus. Peace having been thus concluded, the young Maharajah, Dhuleep Singh, was received by the Governor-General at his camp with Oriental pomp; and on the 22nd of February Sir Henry Hardinge entered Lahore at the head of his victorious army, taking possession of the gates, the citadel, and the Royal palace.

From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. A scene followed the king's departure which seems almost incredible. After the service of the second course, the numerous attendants, singers, and even ladies and gentlemen began to press round the royal table, as if prepared for a scramble to possess its contents. The crowd of spectators pressed nearer and nearer. For a moment only covetous eyes were cast on the spoils, as if each were afraid to begin the plunder; but, at last, a rude hand having been thrust through the first ranks, and a golden fork having been seized, this operated as a signal to all, and was followed by a "general snatch." In a short time all the small portable articles were transferred to the pockets of the multitude. The Lord High Chamberlain, hearing of the attack, hastened to the rescue, and[216] with the greatest difficulty saved the more important articles of plate, and had them conveyed to Carlton Garden. Then followed a scene unparalleled in the annals of coronations. The crowds in the galleries had beheld with envy the operations at the banquet. They were very hungry, and very thirsty, and seeing now that Westminster Hall was "liberty hall," they rushed down different stairs and passages, and attacked the viands and the wine. A raging thirst was the first thing to be satisfied, and in a few minutes every bottle on the table was emptied. A fresh supply was soon obtained from the cellarettes. When the ravening selfishness of the hungry crowd was satisfied, the gentlemen recovered their politeness, and began to think of the ladies. Groups of beautiful women then found their way to the tables, and every effort was made to afford them the refreshment of which they stood so much in need. In the meantime, the plunderers took advantage of the confusion to enrich themselves with trophies, breaking and destroying the table ornaments to obtain fragments of things too cumbrous to carry away. Thus, baskets, flowerpots, vases, and figures were everywhere disappearing, and these were followed by glasses, knives, forks, salt-spoons, and, finally, the plates and dishes. The last were engraved with the royal arms and the letters "Geo. IV.," and were therefore specially coveted as memorials. The dirty state of the articles, however, was rather out of keeping with the costly dresses; but the ladies and gentlemen got over the difficulty by wrapping up the articles in their pocket-handkerchiefs. Having thus secured all the spoils they could, they made all possible haste to their carriages. At a subsequent period, it was with the greatest difficulty that the royal plate could be kept from being carried away by the multitude outside when the barriers were removed.The Bedchamber Crisis—Peel's Explanation—The Whigs return to Office—Mr. Shaw Lefevre is elected Speaker—Education Scheme—It is carried in a modified form—Post Office Reform—Rowland Hill's Pamphlet—The Proposal scouted by the Authorities—select Committee appointed—The Scheme becomes Law—Cabinet Changes—Political Demonstrations—Announcement of the Queen's Marriage—Lady Flora Hastings—The Queen's Speech—Insertion of the word "Protestant"—Debate on the Prince's Precedence—His Income fixed by the Commons—Stockdale v. Hansard—Stockdale's second and third Actions—Stockdale and the Sheriffs committed—His fourth and fifth Actions—Russell's Bill settles the Question—Other Events of the Session—The Queen's Marriage—Oxford's Attempt on her Life—His Trial for High Treason—Foreign Affairs; the Opium Traffic—Commissioner Lin confiscates the Opium—Debates in Parliament—Elliot's Convention—It is Disapproved and he is Recalled—Renewal of the War—Capture of the Defences of Canton—Sir Henry Pottinger assumes Command—Conclusion of the War—The Syrian Crisis; Imminent Dissolution of the Turkish Empire—The Quadrilateral Treaty—Lord Palmerston's Difficulties—The Wrath of M. Thiers—Lord Palmerston's Success—Fall of Acre—Termination of the Crisis—Weakness of the Ministry—The Registration Bills—Lord Howick's Amendment—The Budget—Peel's Vote of Censure is carried—The Dissolution—Ministers are defeated in both Houses—Resignation of the Melbourne Ministry.On the 2nd of November the following letter was addressed to the Minister by Lord Stanley, containing an exposition of the grounds on which he dissented from the proposals submitted to the Cabinet:—

[See larger version][See larger version]In 1732 the new colony of Georgia was founded by General Oglethorpe, and became a silk-growing country, exporting, by the end of this period, 10,000 pounds of raw silk annually.

O'Connell was promptly challenged by Alvanley, and declined the combat. But his second son, Morgan, was resolved not to let the matter rest. As soon as he heard of the proceedings, he wrote to Lord Alvanley a very spirited letter, in which he designated the challenge as a party man?uvre, with no other object than to cast a stigma upon his father—upon the party to which he belonged, as well as upon the Government and its supporters. He denounced the proceeding as a wretched man?uvre—as an utterly ungentlemanly and braggadocio mode of carrying on party warfare. He adopted his father's insulting language, not, he said, in the vain hope of inducing him to give satisfaction; but, lest he should be wrong in that surmise, he intimated that he was at his lordship's service. This letter was conveyed through Colonel Hodges. The result was that the parties met at Arlington Street, when they arranged to have a meeting at a short distance beyond the turnpike next the Regent's Park, on the Barnet[387] Road. The ground was measured at twelve paces; the parties took their positions; the word was given, "Ready—fire." O'Connell fired, but Lord Alvanley did not, owing to a mistake, and claimed the right to fire, which was refused. Both parties fired two rounds more without effect, each satisfied that the other had acted with perfect fairness. There was no apology made on either side.Paine, in his "Rights of Man," was far from restricting himself to the courtesies of life in attacking Burke. He had been most hospitably received by Burke on many occasions at his house, and had corresponded with him, and must therefore have seen sufficient of him to know that, though he might become extremely enthusiastic in his championship of certain views, he could never become mean or dishonest. Yet Paine did not hesitate to attribute to him the basest and most sordid motives. He branded him as the vilest and most venal of apostates. Paine had, in fact, become a monomaniac in Republicanism. He had been engaged to the last in the American Revolution, and was now living in Paris, and constantly attending the Jacobin club. He was hand-in-hand with the most rabid of the Republicans, and was fast imbibing their anti-Christian tenets. Paine fully believed that the French were inaugurating something much finer than any millennium; that they were going to establish the most delightful liberty, equality, and fraternity, not simply throughout France but throughout the world. Before the doctrines of the French clubbists and journalists, all superstition, all despotism, all unkindness were to vanish from amongst mankind, and a paradisiacal age of love and felicity was to commence. To those who pointed to the blood and fury already too prominently conspicuous in this business, he replied that these were but the dregs of corrupt humanity, which were working off in the great fermentation, and all would become clear and harmonious.

This was an announcement of the utter overthrow of the Revolution, and the restoration of the ancient condition of France, with its aristocracy and its slaves. The sensation which it produced was intense. The king was immediately accused of secretly favouring this language, though it was far from being the case. It was in vain that he disavowed the sentiments of this haughty and impolitic proclamation to the Assembly; he was not believed, and the exasperation against him was dreadfully aggravated.

Ni faciat, maria ac terras c?lumque profundum

The same scenes, but on a still larger scale, were exhibiting in the capital. The Reign of Terror was fully inaugurated, and rapidly extending itself. At first, on the expulsion of the Girondists from the Convention—that is, in June—the guillotinings were only fourteen. In July the number was about the same; but in August Robespierre became a member of the Committee of Public Safety, which carried on the machinery of government, and then the work went on swimmingly. From the moment that Robespierre took his place on the Committee, the stream of blood flowed freely and steadily. His friend—if such monsters can be said to have any friends—Barrère, who belonged to the timid Plain till the Girondists were[424] overthrown, now became his active agent. He proposed, on the 7th of August, that William Pitt should be proclaimed the enemy of the whole human race, and that a decree should be passed that every man had a right to assassinate him. On the 9th it was announced that the Republic was completed; that Hérault de Séchelles had produced a new and perfect constitution, which was at once adopted by the Convention. It was a constitution containing all the doctrines of the Mountain, in the bombast of that truculent faction. As it was quickly set aside, we need not detail its principles. Then this constitution was celebrated on the 10th of August, the anniversary sacred to the downfall of monarchy. Next followed fresh executions, among the most notable victims being Marie Antoinette (October 16) and Madame Roland (November 9), while most of the prominent Girondists were hunted down and killed.



As soon as the Ministry had been restored, the House reassembled for the election of a new Speaker in the room of Mr. Abercromby, who had declared his intention of resigning, having no longer sufficient strength to perform the arduous duties imposed on him by his office. When his intention was announced, he received, through Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell, the highest testimony of the esteem in which he was held by the two great parties, not only for his conduct in the Chair, but also for his strenuous exertions to improve the mode of conducting the private business of the House. This was in accordance with precedent, but as a matter of fact Mr. Abercromby was a very weak Speaker, and his ruling had been repeatedly questioned by the House. He was chosen Speaker in 1835. On his resignation of that office he was raised to the peerage as Lord Dunfermline. Mr. Handley nominated Mr. Shaw Lefevre, member for North Hants, as a person eminently qualified to succeed to the vacant chair. Mr. Williams Wynn, a member of great experience and reputation in the House, proposed Mr. Goulburn, member for the University of Cambridge. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson Patten. It was a party contest, and tested the strength of the Ministry and the Opposition. The House divided on the motion that Mr. Shaw Lefevre do take the Chair, which was carried by a majority of eighteen, the numbers being 317 and 299.On the 19th of October the French attacked the duke with sixty thousand men, and though his little army fought with its usual dogged bravery it was compelled to give way. It did this, however, only to assume a fresh position, still covering Nimeguen, where, on the 27th, the French again attacked it, and compelled it to retire from the contest. The duke led the wreck of his army across the Waal and the Rhine, and posted himself at Arnhem in Guelderland, to throw some impediment in the path of Pichegru, who was advancing, at the command of the Convention, to reduce Holland. Nimeguen, full of Dutch traitors, soon opened its gates; Maestricht did the same to Kleber; and at the end of the campaign the gloomiest prospects hung over Holland.The Crown had resolved to proceed against the queen by a Bill of Pains and Penalties, the introduction of which was preceded by the appointment of a secret committee, to perform functions somewhat analogous to those of a grand jury in finding bills against accused parties. Mr. Brougham earnestly protested against the appointment of a secret committee, which was opposed by Lords Lansdowne and Holland. The course was explained and defended by the Lord Chancellor, who said that the object of Ministers in proposing a secret committee was to prevent injustice towards the accused; that committee would not be permitted to pronounce a decision; it would merely find, like a grand jury, that matter of accusation did or did not exist; such matter, even if found to have existence, could not be the subject of judicial proceeding, strictly so called. The offence of a queen consort, or a Princess Consort of Wales, committing adultery with a person owing allegiance to the British Crown would be that of a principal in high treason, because by statute it was high treason in him; and as accessories in high treason are principals, she would thus be guilty of high treason as a principal; but as the act of a person owing no allegiance to the British Crown could not be high treason in him, so neither could a princess be guilty of that crime merely by being an accessory to such a person's act. Yet although, for this reason, there could be no judicial proceeding in such a case, there might be a legislative one; and the existence or non-existence of grounds for such legislative proceeding was a matter into which it would be fit that a secret committee should inquire. In no case could injustice be done, because that committee's decision would not be final. There might be differences of opinion about the best mode of proceeding, but, for God's sake, said the Lord Chancellor, let it be understood that they all had the same object in view, and that their difference was only about the best mode of procedure.

From skirmishing at sea the British had now come to direct war with the people of North America. From the period of the American colonists obtaining their independence of Great Britain, they retained a peculiar animus against the mother country. In the war by which that independence was achieved by the aid of France, Holland, and Spain, which all combined to attack Britain on sea and land, the Americans displayed no traces of the magnanimity that usually accompanies bravery. They resorted to many dishonourable practices, amongst which was the breach of contract in retaining prisoners from the army of General Burgoyne. The same spirit continued to animate them afterwards. It was natural to suppose that their success would have the usual effect of making them forget enmity when the cause of it was gone by; but this was not the case. In all contests of Great Britain with revolutionary France, they rejoiced over any disasters which befel her, and were silent in the hour of her victories. Though they were bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, and our population was pouring over to swell their numbers, they displayed towards us a hostility that no other nation, France excepted, had ever shown.[See larger version]It was stated that the overthrow of Peel's Government was decided by what was called the Lichfield House compact, which made a great noise at the time. By this compact it was alleged that a formal coalition had been effected between the Whigs and the Irish Catholics; but they denied that there was anything formal about the arrangement. There was a meeting, it is true, at Lichfield House, when Lord John Russell stated his intentions, and described what would be his Parliamentary tactics. These met the approval of O'Connell and his friends, and to that extent alone, even by implication, did any compact exist. There had also, it appears from Mr. Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell," been certain pour-parlers, the result of a formal circular issued by Lord Duncannon. Mr. O'Connell was accustomed to explain his reason for supporting the Whigs by a comparison which was not the most complimentary to them; he said they were like an old hat thrust into a broken pane to keep out the cold.


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