THE CHARGE OF THE CAVALRY AT MEEANEE. (See p. 592.)Besides the truths drawn by cross-examination from the witnesses for the slave-dealing merchants, who contended that even Sir William Dolben's Bill would nearly ruin Liverpool, Captain Parry, who had been sent by Pitt to Liverpool to examine some of the slave-ships, brought the directest proofs that the representations of these witnesses were false, and the accommodation for the slaves was most inhuman; Sir William Dolben himself had examined a slave-ship then fitting out in the Thames, and gave details which horrified the House. This Bill went to prohibit any ship carrying more than one slave to a ton of its register; the only matter in which the House gave way was that none should carry more than five slaves to every three tons, and a very few years proved that this restriction had been the greatest boon to the dealers as well as the slaves in the preservation of the living cargoes. The Bill met with some opposition in the Lords, and there Admiral Rodney and Lord Heathfield, both naturally humane men, were amongst its strongest opponents. The measure, however, passed, and received the Royal Assent on the 11th of July. Some well-meaning people thought that by legalising the freightage of slaves, England had acknowledged the lawfulness of the trade; but the advocates of the abolition made no secret of their determination to persevere, and this victory only quickened their exertions.
But the fleet at Sheerness, which sympathised with that at Portsmouth, did not think fit to accept the terms which had satisfied the seamen of Portsmouth. They were incited by a sailor, named Richard Parker, to stand for fresh demands, which were not likely to meet with the sympathy of either sailors or landsmen, being of a political character and including a revision of the Articles of War. On the 20th of May, the ships at the Nore, and others belonging to the North Sea fleet, appointed delegates, and sent in their demands, in imitation of the Portsmouth men. The Admiralty flatly rejected their petition. On the 23rd of May the mutineers hoisted the red flag; and all the ships of war lying near Sheerness dropped down to the Nore. On the 29th, a committee from the Board of Admiralty went down to Sheerness, to try to bring them to reason, but failed. The mutineers then drew their ships in a line across the Thames, cutting off all traffic between the sea and London. On this, the Government proceeded to pull up the buoys at the mouth of the river, to erect batteries along the shores for firing red-hot balls; and a proclamation was issued declaring the fleet in a state of rebellion, and prohibiting all intercourse with it. This soon brought some of the mutineers to their senses. They knew that every class of people was against them. On the 4th of June, the king's birthday, a royal salute was fired from the whole fleet, as a token of loyalty; the red flag was pulled down on every ship but the Sandwich, on board of which was Parker, and all the gay flags usual on such occasions were displayed. Several of the ships now began to drop away from the rest, and put themselves under protection of the guns of Sheerness. On the 13th of June the crew of the Sandwich followed this example, and delivered up the great agitator, Richard Parker, who was tried, and hanged at the yard-arm of that ship on the 30th. Some others of the delegates were executed, and others imprisoned in the hulks; and thus terminated this mutiny, as disgraceful to the sailors as that at Portsmouth was reasonable and honourable.Towards the end of William IV.'s reign the style of ladies' dress suddenly changed. The unshapely short-waisted robe was succeeded by one of ampler dimensions, longer and fuller, with a moderate amount of crinoline—enough to give dignity and grace to the figure, but not expanding to the same absurd extent as afterwards—and long pointed stomachers. The bonnets were considerably reduced in size. The ball dresses at the beginning of the Victorian reign became more like those of a later day, except that they were then made of heavy, rich materials—silk, satin, brocade, etc. The style of the sleeve varied, but one of the fashions at this time was a puffing at the shoulder, and sloping gradually down, commonly called the "leg-of-mutton sleeve." The cloaks were large and full, enveloping the whole figure, and reaching almost to the ground.
Prorogation of Parliament—Agitation against the House of Lords—O'Connell's Crusade—Inquiry into the Orange Lodges—Report of the Committee—Mr. Hume's Motion—Renewed Attack in 1836—The Lodges dissolved—Lord Mulgrave in Ireland—His Progresses—Wrath of the Orangemen—Prosperity of the Country—Condition of Canada—A Commission appointed—Violence of the King—Lord Gosford in Canada—His Failure to pacify the Canadians—Upper Canada—Pepys becomes Lord Chancellor—Opening of Parliament—The King's Speech—O'Connell and Mr. Raphael—The Newspaper Duty—The Irish Poor—Appointment of a Commission—Its numerous Reports—The Third Report—Private Bills on the Subject—Mr. Nicholls' Report—Lord John Russell's Bill—Abandonment of the Measure—Debate on Agriculture—Finance—The Ecclesiastical Commission—Its first Report—The Commission made permanent—The Tithe Commutation Act—The Marriage Act—The Registration Act—Commercial Panics—Foreign Affairs—Russian Aggression—Occupation of Cracow—Disorder in Spain—Revolution in Portugal—Position of the Ministry—A Speech of Sheil's—The Church Rates Bill—Death of the King—His Treatment of the Ministry.The National Assembly commenced its sittings on the 4th of May in a temporary wooden structure erected for the purpose. One of its first acts was to pass a resolution—that the Provisional Government had deserved well of the country. But the revolutionary passions out of doors were far from being appeased. Secret societies and clubs were actively at work, and on the 11th of May a placard appeared, citing a proclamation of the Provisional Government dated the 25th of February, in which it unwisely undertook "to guarantee labour for all the citizens," and proceeding thus:—"The promises made on the barricades not having been fulfilled, and the National Assembly having refused, in its sitting on the 10th of May, to constitute a Ministry of Labour, the delegates of the Luxembourg decline to assist at the fête called 'de la Concorde.'" On the 15th of May the Chamber was invaded by a body of men, carrying banners in their hands, and shouting for Poland. The President put on his hat, and the Assembly broke up. After a short time he returned. The National Guard appeared in force, and quickly cleared the hall. After these measures were taken to suppress the counter-revolution, the Assembly resumed its labours. A proclamation was issued, stating that the National Guard, the Garde Mobile, all the forces in Paris and the neighbourhood, had driven before them the insane conspirators, who concealed their plots against liberty under the pretence of zeal for Poland.
As at Eylau, so at Friedland, Napoleon made no attempt to follow the Russians. But the battle, nevertheless, produced important consequences. The King of Prussia did not think himself safe at K?nigsberg, and he evacuated it; and the unhappy queen prepared, with her children, to fly to Riga. The Russians retreated to Tilsit, and there Alexander made up his mind to negotiate with Napoleon. He was far from being in a condition to despair; Gustavus, the King of Sweden, was at the head of a considerable army at Stralsund; a British expedition was daily expected in the Baltic; the spirit of resistance was reawakening in Prussia; Schill, the gallant partisan leader, was again on horseback, with a numerous body of men, gathered in various quarters; and Hesse, Hanover, Brunswick, and other German provinces were prompt for revolt on the least occasion of encouragement. Buonaparte felt the peril of crossing the Niemen, and advancing into the vast deserts of Russia, with these dangerous elements in his rear. Besides, his presence was necessary in France. He had been absent from it nearly a year; he had drawn heavily on its resources, and a too long-continued strain without his personal influence might produce fatal consequences. To leave his army in the North was to leave it to certain defeat, and with the danger of having all Germany again in arms. These circumstances, well weighed by a man of genius and determination, would have induced him to make a resolute stand, and to draw his enemy into those wilds where he afterwards ruined himself, or to wear him out by delay. Alexander, however, had not the necessary qualities for such a policy of procrastination. He was now depressed by the sufferings of his army, and indignant against Britain.
The Ministers and their supporters were complimentary, as a matter of course, to the new Sovereign, who had graciously continued them in their offices; and the Whigs, who had ascribed their exclusion from power to the personal dislike of the king, were resolved that there should not be again any obstacle of the kind, and that they would keep upon the best possible terms with the Court. During the previous part of the Session they had kept up a rapid fire of motions and questions upon the Government, especially with regard to the public expenditure, the distress of the operatives, and the necessity of rigid economy and large retrenchment. The attacks were led by Sir James Graham, who, though he was always left in a minority in the divisions on his motions, did much to weaken the Government by exciting public feeling against them on the ground of their alleged heartless extravagance, while many of the people were starving and the country was said to be going fast to destruction. The Duke of Wellington, however, moved an answer to the Royal Message, declaring that they would forward the measure necessary to provide for the temporary supply required. He suggested that as everybody would be occupied about the coming elections, the best mode of proceeding would be to dissolve at once. Lord Grey, in the name of the Opposition, complained of this precipitancy, and delivered a long speech full of solemn warnings of evil. He supposed that the king might die before the new Parliament was chosen; the Heir Apparent was a child in fact, though not in law. No regency existing, she would be legally in the possession of her full regal power, and this was a situation which he contended would be fraught with danger. A long, unprofitable wrangle ensued, dull repetitions dragged out the debate, when at length the Duke wisely refused to accede to the proposition for a useless interval of delay, and proved the numerical strength of the Administration. Lord Grey having moved for an adjournment to allow time for providing a regency, the motion was lost by a majority of 44, the numbers being 56 against 100.The next day, the other column, which had marched through Moffat, came up, and the united army advanced towards Carlisle. They were perceived as they were crossing a moor on the 9th, about two miles from Carlisle, by the garrison, which began to fire their cannon upon them, and kept it up actively for some time. On the 10th Charles sent a letter summoning the garrison to surrender, but the garrison returned no answer, except by its cannon. They expected that Marshal Wade would soon march to their relief, whence their courage; and, indeed, the prince heard that Wade was on the way by Hexham, and, instead of waiting for him, he went to meet him at Brampton, in the forest of Inglewood, seven miles from the town; but, finding he had been deceived, he sent back part of the troops to commence the siege of Carlisle in form. As the batteries began to rise, the courage of the commanders in the town began to fail, and they offered to capitulate; but the prince declined any terms but surrender of both town and castle, the troops being allowed to retire without their arms on engaging not to serve against Charles for twelve months. These terms were accepted on the 15th, and the prince made a triumphant entry on the 17th.But the most important operations were at this moment taking place in the south between Dupont and Casta?os. Casta?os was quartered at Utrera with twenty thousand men. Dupont had been ordered by Murat to march from Madrid into the south-west, and make himself master of the important post of Cadiz. After a countermand, he again advanced in that direction, and had crossed the Sierra Morena, so celebrated in the romance of "Don Quixote," and reached the ancient city of Cordova. There he received the news that Cadiz had risen against the French, and had seized the French squadron lying in the bay, and, at the same time, that Seville was in the highest state of insurrection. Whilst pausing in uncertainty of what course to pursue, Casta?os advanced from Utrera towards the higher part of the Guadalquivir. If Dupont had rushed forward to attack Casta?os at Utrera, he would have done it under great disadvantages. He was cut off from the main French army by the Sierra Morena, and these mountains being occupied by the insurgent inhabitants, he would have no chance of falling back in case of disaster. He now advanced to Andujar, which he reached on the 18th of June, having had to fight his way through bands of fiery patriots.
In the Commons, on the same day, Grenville delivered a message from the Crown, announcing to the House the imprisonment of one of their members during the recess. Wilkes immediately rose in his place, and complained of the breach of that House's privilege in his person; of the entry of his house, the breaking open of his desk, and the imprisonment of his person—imprisonment pronounced by the highest legal authority to be illegal, and therefore tyrannical. He moved that the House should take the question of privilege into immediate consideration. On the other hand, Lord North, who was a member of the Treasury board, and Sir Fletcher Norton, Attorney-General, put in the depositions of the printer and publisher, proving the authorship of No. 45 of the North Briton on Wilkes, and pressing for rigorous measures against him. A warm debate ensued, in which Pitt opposed the proceedings to a certain extent, declaring that he could never understand exactly what a libel was. Notwithstanding, the Commons voted, by a large majority, that No. 45 of the North Briton was "a false, scandalous, and malicious libel," tending to traitorous insurrection, and that it should be burnt by the common hangman.Immediately on the rejection of his terms Frederick William concluded a treaty with Alexander on the 28th of February, and Austria was invited to join the league. Alexander had joined his army himself on the 22nd of December, and had marched along with it through that horrible winter. On the 1st of March Prussia concluded its alliance with Alexander, offensive and defensive. On the 15th Alexander arrived at Breslau, and there was an affecting meeting of the two sovereigns, who had been placed in outward hostility by the power of Buonaparte, but who had never ceased to be friends at heart. The King of Prussia was moved to tears. "Courage, my brother," said Alexander; "these are the last tears that Napoleon shall cause you."
The king's speech at the opening of Parliament, and the martial tone of the speeches by the members of both Houses, exceedingly exasperated Napoleon; for though preparing for war he was scarcely ready, and meant to have carried on the farce of peace a little longer. Talleyrand demanded of Lord Whitworth the reason of this ebullition of the British Parliament and of the Press. Lord Whitworth replied, as he had done regarding the comments on the trial of Peltier, that it was the direct result of the insulting articles in the Moniteur, which was known to be the organ of the French Government; whereas, in Britain, the Government had no direct control, either over the speeches in Parliament or over the press. Talleyrand and Whitworth again discussed all the vexed questions of the retention of Malta, the conduct of Colonel Sebastiani in the East, the aggressions of Napoleon in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, in violation of the Treaty of Amiens; and Lord Whitworth declared that all Britain wanted was, that the Treaty should be faithfully carried out on both sides; that we were ready to evacuate Malta, and recall our complaints, on that being done. But this was what Napoleon was resolved never to do, and he therefore resorted to the most extraordinary insults to the British Ambassador. He requested Lord Whitworth to call at the Tuileries at nine o'clock in the evening of the day on which he had had his conference with Talleyrand. Napoleon had, by an assumption of extreme hauteur and impetuosity, frightened the Austrian Ambassador at Campo Formio, and he probably thought of frightening the British one; but Britain had not been beaten like Austria, and such a proceeding could only enrage the British people. In this interview, Buonaparte ran over, in a rapid and excited harangue of two hours' length, scarcely permitting Lord Whitworth to interpose a word of reply, all the alleged causes of dissatisfaction with England; at one moment threatening to invade it, if it cost him his life; at another, proposing that France and England should unite to rule the Continent, and offering to share with it all the benefits of such an alliance. Lord Whitworth replied, as before, that the British Government desired nothing but the bona fide execution of the Treaty of Amiens, and could not for a moment entertain such schemes of aggression and domination as the First Consul proposed to her. He began to comment gravely on the aggressions in Switzerland and Italy, but Buonaparte cut him short angrily, saying those things were no business of his and that he had no right to talk of them. There was a fresh interview with Talleyrand, and fresh notes from him and Andreossi of the same character. A similar though more violent scene occurred at a levee on the 13th of March, in which Napoleon passionately accused Britain of driving France into war. A shrewd observer, Madame de Rémusat, was of opinion that his rage was simulated.But matters had greatly changed at Calcutta before this. Maclean did not present the letter of resignation till October, 1776; but, in September of that year, Colonel Monson had died, and, the members in the Council being now equal, the Governor-General's casting vote restored to him his lost majority. Hastings was not the man to defer for a moment the exercise of his authority. He began instantly to overturn, in spite of their most violent efforts, the measures of Francis and friends. He dismissed Goordas from the chief authority in Oude, and reinstated his "dear friend, Nat Middleton," as he familiarly termed him. He revived his land revenue system, and was planning new and powerful alliances with native princes, especially with the Nabob of Oude, and the Nizam of the Deccan, not omitting to cast a glance at the power of the Sikhs, whose dangerous ascendency he already foresaw. In the midst of these and other grand plans for the augmentation of British power in India—plans afterwards carried out by others—he was suddenly astounded by the arrival of a packet in June, 1777, containing the news of his resignation, and of its acceptance by the Directors. He at once protested that it was invalid, as he had countermanded the resignation before its presentation; but General Clavering, as next in succession, at once claimed the office of Governor-General, and Francis, in Council, administered the oath to him. Clavering immediately demanded the keys of the fort and the treasury from Hastings; but that gentleman refused to admit his own resignation, much less Clavering's election to his post. Here, then, were two would-be Governor-Generals, as Europe had formerly seen two conflicting Popes. To end the difficulty, Hastings proposed that the decision of the question should be referred to the Supreme Court. It is wonderful that Clavering and Francis should have consented to this, seeing that Impey, Hastings' friend, and the judge of Nuncomar, was at the head of that Court; but it was done, and the Court decided in Hastings' favour. No sooner was Hastings thus secured, than he charged Clavering with having forfeited both his place in the Council, and his post as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, by attempting to seize on the Governor-Generalship. Clavering and Francis were compelled to appeal once more to the Supreme Court, and this time, to his honour, Impey decided in favour of Clavering. Clavering, who had been deeply mortified by his defeat, died a few days after this occurred, in August, 1777. By this event the authority of Hastings in the government was sufficiently restored, notwithstanding that Wheler generally sided with Francis, for him to carry his own aims.
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO: FRENCH CUIRASSIERS CHARGING A BRITISH SQUARE.
With the reign of George III. commenced a series of improvements in the manufacture of iron, which have led not only to a tenfold production of that most useful of metals, but to changes in its quality which before were inconceivable. Towards the end of the reign of George II. the destruction of the forests in smelting iron-ore was so great as to threaten their extinction, and with it the manufacture of iron in Britain. Many manufacturers had already transferred their businesses to Russia, where wood was abundant and cheap. It was then found that coke made from coal was a tolerable substitute for charcoal, and, in 1760, the very first year of the reign of George III., the proprietors of the Carron Works in Scotland began the use of pit-coal. Through the scientific aid of Smeaton and Watt, they applied water-, and afterwards steam-power, to increase the blast of their furnaces to make it steady and continuous, instead of intermitting as from bellows; and they increased the height of their chimneys. By these means, Dr. John Roebuck, the founder of these works, became the first to produce pig iron by the use of coal. This gave great fame to the Carron Works, and they received large orders from Government for cannon and cannon-balls. It was some time, however, before enough iron could be produced to meet the increasing demand for railroads, iron bridges, etc.; and so late as 1781 fifty thousand tons were imported annually from Russia and Sweden.DEPARTURE OF THE BRITISH TROOPS FROM ALEXANDRIA. (See p. 539.)
Paskievitch and the other Russian generals pleaded earnestly with the Emperor of Austria, imploring him to extend his clemency to all the officers and soldiers who had been engaged in the insurrection. But the Emperor was deeply mortified at the humiliation of having to call for Russian aid against his own rebellious subjects; he was vexed at the horror the Hungarians felt about surrendering to his army, as well as jealous of the magnanimity of the Muscovites. He therefore answered the Russian appeal, that he had sacred duties to perform towards his other subjects, which, as well as the general good of his people, he was obliged to consider. The warmest apologists of Austria were forced to condemn the vindictive and cruel policy now adopted. G?rgei was pardoned and offered rank in the Russian army, which he declined, and Klapka escaped by the terms of his capitulation; but fourteen other Hungarian officers of the highest rank were cruelly immolated to Austrian vengeance. One lady was ordered to sweep the streets of Temesvar, another was stripped and flogged by the soldiery. Many eminent Magyars were hanged. But of all the atrocities which stained the name of Austria, and brought down upon her the execration of the civilised world, none was so base and infamous as the judicial murder of Count Batthyány. This illustrious man, who had presided over the Hungarian Ministry, was sentenced to be hanged. Having taken leave of his wife, he endeavoured, in the course of the night, to escape the infamy of such a death by opening the veins of his neck with a blunt paper-knife; but the attempt was discovered, and the surgeon stopped the bleeding. Next day the noble patriot procured a less ignominious doom—he was shot (October 6, 1849).The Frankfort Parliament had spent a year doing nothing but talking. They came, however, to the important resolution of offering the Imperial Crown of Germany to the King of Prussia. As soon as the Prussian Assembly heard this, they adopted an address to the king, earnestly recommending him to accept the proffered dignity. They were deeply interested by seeing the house of Hohenzollern called to the direction of the Fatherland and they hoped he would take into his strong hands the guidance of the destinies of the German nation. On the 3rd of April, 1849, the king received the Frankfort deputation commissioned to present to him the Imperial Crown. He declined the honour unless the several Governments of the German States should approve of the new Imperial Constitution, and concur in the choice of the Assembly. As soon as this reply was made known, the second Prussian Chamber adopted a motion of "urgency," and prepared an address to the king, entreating him to accept the glorious mission of taking into firm hands the guidance of the destiny of regenerated Germany, in order to rescue it from the incalculable dangers that might arise from the conflicting agitations of the time. The address was carried only by a small majority. The king had good reason for refusing the imperial diadem; first, because Austria, Würtemberg, Bavaria, and Hanover decidedly objected; and secondly because the king required changes in the Frankfort Constitution which the Parliament refused to make. These facts enabled his Majesty to discover that the imperial supremacy was "an unreal dignity, and the Constitution only a means gradually, and under legal pretences, to set aside authority, and to introduce the republic." In July the state of siege was terminated in Berlin, and the new elections went in favour of the Government.详情
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