This blow induced Scindiah to sue for peace from General Wellesley in November, and a truce was accordingly entered into with him; but as the Rajah of Berar still kept the field, Wellesley marched against him, and encountered him on the plains of Argaum, about one hundred and twenty miles north of the Purna river. He was surprised to find the treacherous Scindiah, notwithstanding the truce, also encamped with him. Wellesley attacked the allies on the 28th of November, though it was evening when he was ready for action, and there remained only twenty minutes of daylight. But it proved a brilliant moonlight night, and he routed the whole army, and his cavalry pursued the fugitives for several miles, taking many elephants, camels, and much baggage. He captured all their cannon, thirty-eight pieces, and all their ammunition. This done, he hastened to reduce the formidable fortress of Gawilgarh, situated on a lofty rock. On the 15th the outer walls were carried, and the 94th regiment, led on by Captain Campbell, scaled the inner one, opened the gate, and the whole place was soon in possession of the British. This closed the opposition of the Rajah of Berar. On the 17th of December he came to terms, and surrendered to Wellesley the important province of Cuttack and the district of Balasore. Immediately afterwards Scindiah was compelled to treat in earnest. He consented to surrender all the country between the Jumna and the Ganges, with numerous forts and other territories, and agreed to recognise the right of the Peishwa to the domains which the British had conferred upon him. Both he and the Rajah of Berar stipulated to send away all Frenchmen or other Europeans and Americans, and not to employ them again, nor even to employ British subjects, native or European, without the consent of the British Government.THE GORDON RIOTS.SURRENDER OF LORD CORNWALLIS, YORK TOWN. (See p. 283.)
But though Pitt protested against thanking the king for bringing over Hanoverian troops, he found it necessary to support the king's German treaties and alliances, which were avowedly for the defence of Hanover. Fox reminded him of his favourite phrase, that Hanover was a millstone round the neck of England; but it was not the first time that Pitt had had to stand the taunt of eating his own words, and he braved it out, especially voting two hundred thousand pounds to Frederick of Prussia. A wonderful revolution in Continental politics had now converted this long-hostile nephew of George II. into an ally, if not a friend.
The very first act was to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act for a year. To punish the Catholics and Non-jurors, who were all regarded as implicated in this conspiracy, Walpole proposed to raise one hundred thousand pounds by a tax on their estates. A Bill of Pains and Penalties was passed against Atterbury, and he was compelled to go into banishment. On the 18th of June Atterbury was put on board a man-of-war and conducted to Calais. As he landed there, he was told that Bolingbroke had received the king's pardon, and was just quitting Calais for England; and the Bishop said, with a smile, "Then I am exchanged."
Both Houses adjourned, by successive motions, to the 10th of March; they then met, and were informed by the Lord Chancellor that, by the blessing of Providence, his Majesty being recovered from his severe indisposition, and able to attend to the public affairs of his kingdom, had issued a commission authorising the holding and continuing of Parliament; and the commission having been read, the Chancellor declared himself commanded to convey to them his Majesty's warmest acknowledgments for the additional proofs they had given of their attachment to his person. Addresses were then moved, as at the commencement of a Session, by both Houses, and also addresses of congratulation to her Majesty the queen; and the same evening the capital was illuminated, and the most sincere joy was evidenced in the happy event of the royal convalescence. On the 8th of April Pitt informed the House that the king had appointed Thursday, the 23rd of that month, as a day of public thanksgiving for his recovery, and that it was his Majesty's intention to go in procession to St. Paul's Cathedral on that day, to return thanks to Almighty God. The House voted thanks for his Majesty's having taken measures for their accommodation on the occasion, and passed a resolution to attend.When Ney and Caulaincourt saw Marmont at Essonnes, he informed them that he had entered into a convention with the Allied sovereigns on his own account. They begged him to suspend it and accompany them, and he consented. Whilst the three commissioners were with the Emperor Alexander, news was brought that Count Souham, with whom Marmont had left the command of his troops, had gone over, and marched the division into the lines of the Allies. On this the Emperor said they had better return to Napoleon, and assure him that the Allies would accept nothing short of an absolute and unqualified abdication. When they announced this to him, to their surprise, he exclaimed, "But what provisions are made for me? How am I to be disposed of?" They replied that it was proposed by the Emperor Alexander that he should retain the title of Emperor; should have the island of Elba, a guard, a small fleet, and all the attributes of royalty, with a suitable income. With a mood of mind incomprehensible in any other person, he immediately called for maps and books about Elba, and began contemplating his future position, as though he had only been changing one France for another; but there can be no doubt that he, in reality, was weighing the facilities of the place for that effort to regain the empire of France, which he certainly never renounced for a moment. On the 11th of April he drew up a form of unconditional abdication, signed, and dispatched it. Ney, Macdonald, and Caulaincourt arrived with the treaty to which the Allied sovereigns had agreed. Elba was assigned to him—an island twenty leagues in extent, with twelve thousand inhabitants—and he was to have an income of six millions of francs, besides the little revenue of the island. Two millions and a half more were assigned as annuities to Josephine, and the other members of his family. The Empress was to be created Duchess of Parma, Placentia, and Guastella, in full sovereignty. The marshals and other officers of his army were received into the same ranks and dignities in the army of the Bourbon sovereign. Lord Castlereagh, who had arrived after the conclusion of this treaty, pointed out the folly of it, which must have been apparent to every man of the slightest reflection; for, to a certainty, Napoleon would not for a day longer than he was compelled observe it in a place like Elba, in the very vicinity of France. He declined, on the part of Great Britain, any concern in it; but to avoid a renewal of the war, he offered no formal opposition. Napoleon arrived at Elba on the 4th of May.
The first proclamation issued by the Provisional Government was the following:—"A retrograde Government has been overturned by the heroism of the people of Paris. This Government has fled, leaving behind it traces of blood, which will for ever forbid its return. The blood of the people has flowed, as in July; but, happily, it has not been shed in vain. It has secured a national and popular Government, in accordance with the rights, the progress, and the will of this great and generous people. A Provisional Government, at the call of the people, and some deputies, in the sitting of the 24th of February, is for the moment invested with the care of organising and securing the national victory. It is composed of MM. Dupont (de L'Eure), Lamartine, Crémieux, Arago, Ledru Rollin, and Garnier Pagès. The secretaries to this Government are MM. Armand Marrast, Louis Blanc, and Ferdinand Flocon." Scarcely had the ex-king found a resting-place on British soil than every vestige of royalty was obliterated in France.[See larger version]
The year 1773 opened with an inquiry in Parliament into the abuses of the administration of affairs in India. There were great complaints of the wholesale rapacity and oppression perpetrated on the natives by the Company's servants. Before the close of the preceding year, a secret committee had been appointed to inquire into these abuses, and to take the matter out of the hands of Government, the Company proposed to appoint a number of supervisors to go out to India and settle the causes of complaint. The secret committee proposed a Bill to prevent this, as a scheme for merely evading a thorough inquiry and continuing the atrocities. Burke, who was a holder of India stock, defended the Company, and declared that such a Bill would annihilate the Company, and make the House of Commons the Company itself and the Speaker its chairman. He reminded them that the Company paid to Government four hundred thousand pounds a year, and that Government had connived at the maladministration which had been carried on. This certainly was, so far from a reason against the Bill, a reason why they should connive no longer; and the Bill was carried by a large majority.Pampeluna and San Sebastian being invested, Lord Wellington proceeded with his main army to occupy the passes of the Pyrenees. These, Wellington, in his dispatches, says amounted to about seventy, and, in the service of securing these, he complains that he was left very much without the necessary supplies for his army. The British Government had, from some cause—he supposed to send them against the Americans—reduced the number of convoys, and many of our store-ships were taken by the French frigates and privateers. It was, as much as ever, in vain to expect the Spaniards to do anything to supply the deficiency, after all that the English had done for them. As fast as they got rid of the French, they busied themselves in making war on the clergy and putting them down. Wellington was, therefore, continually obliged to arrest his marches to wait for provisions. Notwithstanding, by the 7th of July he had driven Joseph Buonaparte through the mountains into France, chased Clausel beyond Tudela on the Ebro, and taken his post on the very edge of France. Buonaparte, alarmed at the progress of Wellington, displaced Jourdan as incapable, and sent back Soult to do what neither he, nor Ney, nor Marmont, nor Massena had been able to do before they were necessarily displaced—that is, arrest the onward march of Wellington into France.The news of these imposts, and of this intended stamp duty, flew across the Atlantic, and produced the most bitter excitement. Never could this unwelcome news have reached the colonies at a more unpropitious moment. To restrictions on their legitimate trade, the British had been adding others on their illegitimate trade. Nearly all the American colonies lay on the seaboard, and were, therefore, naturally addicted to a free sort of trade, which these new duties made contraband. The British Government had sent out a number of revenue ships and officers to cut off this trade, and capture and confiscate all vessels found practising it. The colonists met in various places, and passed very strong resolutions against these regulations. The people of New England spread their views and resolves all over the colonies by means of the press. They refused to listen to any overtures of the British Government on the subject. They claimed the right to grant, of their own free will, such contributions to the revenue of the empire as their own assemblies should deem just, and to submit to no compulsion where they had no voice. They called on all the colonists to refrain as much as possible from purchasing any of the manufactures of England so long as she showed a disposition to oppress them, and to obtain their materials for clothing from other countries, or to begin to manufacture them themselves; and to cease also to use all luxuries on which the duties were laid. To make their case known in England, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia appointed the celebrated Benjamin Franklin their agent in London.
In our time this defeat would, as a matter of course, have turned out the Ministry, but in that day it had no such effect. They continued to hold office, and to command undiminished majorities on other questions. Still more singular was its effect, for it induced them to offer office to their triumphant opponent Walpole, who not only accepted a subordinate post amongst them—the Paymaster of the Forces—but consented to support the very clauses regarding the Scottish peers which he had so firmly denounced, should they be inclined to bring forward the Bill a third time.The fear of the Russians being removed, the king was impatient to get the Treaty with France ratified both by England and Holland. As there was some delay on the part of Holland, Stanhope proposed to comply with the king's desire, that the Treaty should be signed, without further waiting for the Dutch, but with the agreement on both sides that they should be admitted to sign as soon as they were ready. Dubois was to proceed to the Hague, and there sign the Treaty in form with our plenipotentiaries at that place, Lord Cadogan and Horace Walpole. But these ministers had repeatedly assured the States that England would never sign without them, and Horace Walpole now refused to consent to any such breach of faith. He declared he would rather starve, die, do anything than thus wound his honour and conscience; that he should regard it as declaring himself villain under his own hand. He said he would rather lay his patent of reversion in the West Indies, or even his life, at his Majesty's feet, than be guilty of such an action, and he begged leave to be allowed to return home. Townshend, for a moment, gave in to the proposition for not waiting for the Dutch, but immediately recalled that opinion; and he drew the powers of the plenipotentiaries for signing so loosely, that Dubois declined signing upon them. As we have said, the ratification did not take place till January, 1717, and after great causes of difference had arisen between Townshend and Stanhope. So greatly did Stanhope resent the difference of opinion in Townshend, that he offered his resignation to the king, who refused to accept it, being himself by this time much out of humour with both Townshend and Robert Walpole, the Paymaster of the Forces.
Among the other causes which contributed to the unpopularity of the Duke of Wellington and the weakness of his Administration was the prosecution by the Attorney-General of Mr. Alexander, the editor of the Morning Journal. A series of articles had appeared in that paper, which were considered so virulent and libellous, so far surpassing the bounds of fair discussion, that the Duke felt under the same necessity of ordering a prosecution that he had felt to fight the duel with Lord Winchilsea. It was regarded as an inevitable incident of his position, one of the things required to enable him to carry on the king's Government. He obtained a victory, but it cost him dear: a sentence of fine and imprisonment was inflicted upon his opponent, and the Morning Journal was extinguished; but, in the temper of the times, the public were by no means disposed to sympathise with the victor in such a contest. On the contrary, the victory covered him with odium, and placed upon the head of the convicted the crown of martyrdom. Mr. Alexander was visited daily in the King's Bench prison by leading politicians, and a motion was made in the House of Commons with a view to incriminate the Government who ordered the prosecution. In another instance also, but of a nature less damaging, the Government received a warning of its approaching downfall. Mr. Peel, anxious to mitigate the severity of the criminal code, and to render it less bloody, proposed to inflict the penalty of death only on persons committing such forgeries as could not by proper precautions be guarded against. It was a step in the right direction, but one too hesitating, and stopping short of the firm ground of sound policy. Sir James Mackintosh, therefore, on the third reading of the Bill, moved a clause for the abolition of the penalty of death in all cases of forgery, which was carried by a majority of 151 against 138. Thus the Session wore on, in a sort of tantalising Parliamentary warfare, with no decisive advantages on either side till the attention and interest of Parliament and the nation were absorbed by the approaching dissolution of George IV. and the dawning light of a new reign.
The next month Pitt despatched a smaller fleet and force to destroy the port of Cherbourg, which the French had constructed under Cardinal Fleury, and, as they stated by an inscription, "for all eternity." This time the command was given to General Bligh. Howe was admiral, and on board with him went Prince Edward, afterwards Duke of York. On the 8th of August the troops were landed at Cherbourg, which was deserted by the garrison, and they destroyed the forts and harbour, demolished a hundred and seventy pieces of iron cannon, and carried off twenty-two fine brass ones. After re-embarking and returning to Portsmouth, Bligh was ordered to pay another visit to St. Malo, but still found it too strong for him; yet he landed his men in the bay of St. Lunaire, about two leagues westward of St. Malo; and the weather immediately driving Howe to sea, the army was marched overland to St. Cast, some leagues off. The soldiers were allowed to rove about and plunder, till Bligh heard that the Duke of Aiguillon was advancing against them at the head of a strong force. Bligh then, but in no hurry, marched for the port of St. Cast, followed by Aiguillon, who waited till he had embarked all but one thousand five hundred men, when he fell upon them, and slaughtered a thousand of them in a hollow way amongst the rocks leading down to the shore.The Austrians advanced under Marshal Braun, an officer of English extraction, against Frederick, but after a hard-fought battle at Lowositz, on the 1st of October, Frederick beat them, and soon after compelled the Saxon army, seventeen thousand strong, to surrender at Pirna. The King of Saxony, who had taken refuge in the lofty rock fortress of K?nigstein, surrendered too, on condition of being allowed to retire to Warsaw, and Frederick established his headquarters for the winter at Dresden, levying heavy contributions throughout Saxony.详情
Copyright © 2020