At the very time he received this appointment he was actually in correspondence with Colonel Robinson, an officer of General Clinton's staff, declaring that he was become convinced of the more righteous cause of the mother country, and that he was prepared to testify this by some signal service to his king. It was at the beginning of August of the present year when Arnold assumed his command at West Point; and Clinton lost no time in opening a direct correspondence with him, through which such singular advantages were offered. Sir Henry Clinton employed as his agent in this correspondence a young officer of high promise in his profession and of considerable literary talents, Major John André, Adjutant-General and aide-de-camp to Sir Henry. As Clinton was naturally anxious to bring this hazardous correspondence to a close, he pressed Arnold to come to a speedy decision, offering him rank in the army and a high reward in return for the promised services—namely, the surrender of West Point, with all its dependent forts and stores, including, as a matter of course, the command of the Hudson, and the terror and distrust which this act would spread through the American army. The absence of Washington at the meeting with Rochambeau at Hartford was seized on as a proper opportunity for a personal and final conference on the subject. Major André was selected by General Clinton to meet Arnold on neutral ground. The place selected was on the western bank of the Hudson, and Clinton strongly enjoined him to enter on no account within the American lines, to assume no disguise, nor to be the bearer of any written documents. Day dawned before the whole preliminaries were settled, though the chief point was determined—namely, that West Point should be surrendered to the English on the following Monday. André was prevailed on to remain with Arnold the greater part of the day; and then, on going down to the shore, he found that the boatman who had brought him out refused to carry him back. When André returned to Arnold at Smith's house, he gave him a pass, and advised him to travel by land to King's Ferry, and there to cross. He insisted that for this purpose he must assume a disguise, and travel under his assumed name of John Anderson. So little was André apprehensive of danger, that he not only disobeyed the injunction of his commander-in-chief in this particular, but in the far more important one of carrying written papers, which he concealed in his boot.The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.The violent discontent with the conduct of Bute and his Ministry gave considerable strength to the Opposition, at the head of which now stood Pitt, supported by Lord Temple and the Duke of Newcastle. George Grenville, not satisfied with the terms of the peace, resigned the post of Secretary to Halifax, and took his new one at the head of the Admiralty; and Henry Fox, Paymaster of the Forces, became the leader of the Commons. The Duke of Devonshire and the Marquis of Rockingham also resigned their places in the royal household; and the king, in his vexation, striking Devonshire's name out of the list of Privy Councillors, the Duke's kinsmen, Lords George Cavendish and Bessborough, also resigned.
The naval transactions of 1810 were almost wholly confined to watching the French, Spanish, and Italian coasts, to thwart the French, who, on their part, were continually on the watch for any of our blockading ships being driven by the weather, or called to some other station, in order to run out and convey men and stores into Spain. The last action of Lord Collingwood took place in this service. Though his health was fast failing, and he had repeatedly entreated the Admiralty to allow him to give up the command and go home to his family—the only chance of his long survival—they always refused. His complaint was declared by the faculty to be owing to his long confinement on board ships, and he had now scarcely set foot on shore for three years. But notwithstanding all this, with a singular selfishness the Admiralty kept him on board, and he was too high-minded to resign his commission whilst he could be of service to his country. In this state of health he was lying off Toulon, blockading that port, when he was driven to Minorca by a gale of wind. He had regained the coast of Catalonia, when he heard that the French fleet had issued from Toulon, and were making for Barcelona. The whole British fleet were in exultation; but on sighting this supposed fleet it was found to consist only of three sail of the line, two frigates, and about twenty other vessels, carrying provisions to the French army at Barcelona. They no sooner caught view of the British fleet than they made off in all haste, and the British gave chase. Admiral Martin was the first to come up with them in the Gulf of Lyons, where two of the ships of the line ran ashore, and were set fire to by the French admiral, Baudin. Two others ran into the harbour of Cette; and eleven of the store-ships ran into the Bay of Rooas, and took refuge under the powerful batteries; but Lord Collingwood, in spite of the batteries, sent in the ships' boats, and in the face of the batteries, and of boarding nets, set fire to and destroyed them. Five other store-ships were captured. This was the last exploit of the brave and worthy Collingwood. His health gave way so fast, that, having in vain endeavoured again to induce the Admiralty to relieve him of his command, expressly assuring them that he was quite worn out, on the 3rd of March he surrendered his post to Rear-Admiral Martin, and set sail in the Ville de Paris for England. But it was too late; he died at sea on the 7th of March, 1810. Very few admirals have done more signal service, or have displayed a more sterling English character than Lord Collingwood; and perhaps none were ever more grudgingly rewarded or so unfeelingly treated by the Admiralty, who, in fact, killed him by a selfish retention of his services, when they could be continued only at the cost of his life.
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.These certainly were large concessions, but it was to be remembered that we had not received them for nothing; they had cost vast sums, and the national debt had been doubled by this war, and now amounted to one hundred and twenty-two million six hundred thousand pounds. These territories had, in fact, cost us upwards of sixty million pounds; and it is certain that Pitt would have exacted a more complete renunciation from France of the conquered countries. There was a clause inserted which Pitt would never have permitted—namely, that any conquests that should be made after the signing of these articles, should be restored by all parties. Now, Bute and the Ministry knew that we had expeditions out against Cuba and the Philippines, and that the only conquests likely to be made were in those quarters. To throw away without equivalent the blood and money expended in these important enterprises was a most unpatriotic act. Still, there was opportunity for more rational terms, for Grimaldi, the Spanish ambassador at Paris, held back from signing, in hope that we should be defeated at Havana, and that then he could raise his terms. When the news of the loss of both Havana and Manila arrived, Grimaldi was in great haste to sign, and Mr. Grenville and Lord Egremont very properly insisted that we should demand an equivalent for the conquest in Cuba. Pitt would have stood firm for the retention of that conquest as by far the most important, and as justly secured to us by the refusal of the Spanish ambassador to sign at the proper time. But Bute would have signed without any equivalent at all. Fortunately, there was too strong an opposition to this in the Cabinet, and the Duke of Bedford was instructed to demand Florida or Porto Rico in lieu of Havana. Florida was yielded—a fatal, though at the moment it appeared a valuable concession, for it only added to the compactness of the American colonies, hastening the day of independence, whilst Cuba would have remained under the protection of the fleet, one of the most valuable possessions of the British empire.
During these transactions there was naturally an earnestly-inquiring eye kept open towards Hanover, whence the king appeared in no hurry to issue forth and assume the throne of these three fair kingdoms. The coolness with which George of Hanover appeared to contemplate the splendid prize which had fallen to him, seemed to the English little less than unnatural. Thrones and crowns are generally seized upon with avidity; but the new king seemed to feel more regret in quitting his petty Electorate than eagerness to enter on his splendid kingdom. But George was a man of phlegmatic disposition, and of the most exact habits, and went through his duties like an automaton or a piece of machinery. He took, therefore, much time in settling his affairs in Hanover before he turned his face towards England, and it was not till the 18th of September, or nearly seven weeks after the decease of the late queen, that he landed at Greenwich with his son George. "His views and affections were," as Lord Chesterfield properly observed, "singly confined to the narrow compass of his Electorate. England was too big for him."Mr. Villiers's motion was again brought forward on the 9th of May. The debate lasted for five nights, and ended in a division which, though it showed a majority of 256 against inquiry, was encouraging as evidencing an increase in the number of the Free Traders. The minority numbered 125. The debate was chiefly remarkable for the violence of the monopolist party. Sir Robert Peel said that the subject was exhausted, and nothing new could be adduced. "The motion of Mr. Villiers was fairly stated and proposed—there was no subterfuge involved in it. But he thought that the principle must be applied generally and universally to every article on which a duty was levied. They could not stand on the single article of corn. By the adoption of the motion they would sound the knell of Protection, and they must immediately proceed to apply the principle to practice. This would at once upset the commercial arrangements of the last year. The whole of our colonial system must be swept away without favour and without consideration." A contemporary writer describes the uproar which took place on this occasion as exceeding anything that had been witnessed since the night of the memorable division on the Corn Bill. The minority, it is said, were aware that the remaining speeches, even if delivered, could not be reported, and for that and other reasons were in their resolves so resolute, that although outvoted in some divisions, the question was just as often removed and seconded. At length Mr. Ross told Lord Dungannon, that if he were contented to sit till eight o'clock, he himself, and those who acted with him, would willingly sit till nine; and it was at this stage that Sir Charles Napier slyly suggested that they should divide themselves into three watches, after the fashion of a ship's crew. This arrangement would afford ease to all, excepting the Speaker, to whom he was sorry he could not afford the slightest relief. Worn out at length by the violence of their exertions, and despairing of victory, the majority yielded.
On the 3rd of February the Commons attended to hear the commission read at the bar of the Lords, which was done by Earl Bathurst, in the absence of Thurlow. On returning to their House now as an authorised Parliament, the Commons read the Bill for the first time without a division, but on the second reading, on the 6th of February, Burke attacked it with unabated ferocity. He wanted to know how they were to determine when the king was sane again. Who was to inform them of it? Who was to certify it? He asserted the utter impossibility of adducing proof whether a person who had been insane were perfectly recovered or not. If this doctrine had been established, the regency must have become permanent. But this mode of reasoning was too metaphysical for the House of Commons; the debate passed on, and the Bill was committed. The clause providing against the non-residence of the prince, and against his marrying a papist, again brought up Mr. Rolle. He said that he had given his assent to the appointment of the prince regent on the assurance of his friends, that he was not married to a certain lady, either in law or in fact; but that he had since read a famous pamphlet, which affirmed that the facts were in opposition to those avowals. This was a brochure of Horne Tooke's, in the shape of a letter to a friend, in which he declared his positive knowledge of the prince's marriage with "the late Mrs. Fitzherbert," who, he contended, in spite of the Marriage Act, was his lawful wife. Rolle was answered by Lord North, who declared that the object of the pamphleteer was simply to make mischief by throwing out assertions that he never meant to prove, and Welbore Ellis called for the reading of the Royal Marriage Act, and showed that no royal marriage could be valid without the king's consent, and that, therefore, whatever was the case, all those objections were a mere waste of words. Rolle did not press the question to a division. The other clauses of the Bill raised much debate, but were all passed, and on the 10th of February the council was appointed to assist the queen in her charge, and Pitt named as members of it the four principal officers of the household, the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, the Master of the Horse, and the Groom of the Stole, with the addition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor Thurlow, the Archbishop of York, and Lord Kenyon. The names of the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, several of the other princes, the Lord Mayor of London, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, were all strongly urged upon Parliament as persons who ought to be members of this council, but they were, to a man, rejected by a majority of about fifty.DEFEAT OF GENERAL BRADDOCK IN THE INDIAN AMBUSH. (See p. 119.)
FATHER MATHEW AND THE FAMINE-STRICKEN POOR. (See p. 537.)
Mr. O'Connell rose to address the people in reply. It was manifest that he considered great exertion to be requisite in order to do away with the impression which his antagonist had produced. It was clear, to those who were acquainted with the workings of his physiognomy, that he was collecting all his might. Mr. O'Connell bore Mr. Fitzgerald no sort of personal aversion, but he determined, in this exigency, to have little mercy on his feelings, and to employ all the power of vituperation of which he was possessed against him. "This," remarks Mr. Sheil, "was absolutely necessary; for if more dexterous fencing had been resorted to by Mr. O'Connell, many might have gone away with the opinion that, after all, Mr. Fitzgerald had been thanklessly treated by the Catholic body. It was, therefore, disagreeably requisite to render him for the moment odious. Mr. O'Connell began by awakening the passions of the multitude in an attack on Mr. Fitzgerald's allies. Mr. Gore had lauded him highly. This Mr. Gore is of Cromwellian descent, and the people detest the memory of the Protector to this day. There is a tradition (I know not whether it has the least foundation) that the ancestor of this gentleman's family was a nailer by trade in the Puritan army. Mr. O'Connell, without any direct reference to the fact, used a set of metaphors, such as 'striking the nail on the head,' 'putting a nail into a coffin,' which at once recalled the associations which were attached to the name of Mr. Gore, and roars of laughter assailed that gentleman on every side. Mr. Gore has the character of being not only very opulent, but of bearing regard to his possessions proportionate to their extent. Nothing is so unpopular as prudence in Ireland; and Mr. O'Connell rallied Mr. Gore to such a point upon this head, and that of his supposed origin, that the latter completely sank under the attack. He next proceeded to Mr. Fitzgerald, and having thrown in a picture of the late Mr. Perceval, he turned round, and asked of the rival candidate with what face he could call himself their friend, when the first act of his political life was to enlist himself under the banners of 'the bloody Perceval'? This violent epithet was sent into the hearts of the people with a force of expression and a furious vehemence of will that created a great sensation amongst the crowd, and turned the tide against Mr. Fitzgerald."Mr. Robert Johnson, made judge of Common Pleas 3,300
FROM THE PAINTING BY CLARKSON STANFIELD, R.A., IN THE CORPORATION ART GALLERY, GUILDHALL.The Home Secretary thus refers to a letter of Lord Eldon, written to his daughter soon after the event, as follows:—"After observing, 'Nothing is talked of now which interests anybody the least in the world, except the election of Mr. O'Connell,' he makes these memorable remarks:—'As Mr. O'Connell will not, though elected, be allowed to take his seat in the House of Commons unless he will take the oaths, etc. (and that he won't do unless he can get absolution), his rejection from the Commons may excite rebellion in Ireland. At all events, this business must bring the Roman Catholic question, which has been so often discussed, to a crisis and a conclusion. The nature of that conclusion I do not think likely to be favourable to Protestantism.' It is clear, therefore," continues Mr. Peel, "that Lord Eldon was fully alive to the real character and magnitude of the event."
There was no man in the colonies, nevertheless, who contributed so much to bring the open Declaration of Independence to a crisis as Thomas Paine, the celebrated author of "The Rights of Man" and of "The Age of Reason." Paine was originally a Quaker and staymaker at Thetford, in Norfolk. He renounced his Quakerism and his staymaking, became an exciseman, and then an usher in a school, reverting again to the gauging of ale firkins. In 1772 he wrote a pamphlet on the mischiefs arising from the inadequate payment of the excise officers, laying them open to bribes, etc. This pamphlet having been sent to Franklin, induced him to recommend the poor author to emigrate to America. Paine adopted the advice, and settled at Philadelphia in 1774. He there devoted himself to political literature, wrote for the papers and journals, finally edited the Philadelphia Magazine, and, imbibing all the ardour of revolution, wrote, in January of the year 1776, a pamphlet called "Common Sense." This pamphlet was the spark that was needed to fire the train of independence. It at once seized on the imagination of the public, cast other writers into the shade, and flew, in thousands and tens of thousands of copies, throughout the colonies. It ridiculed the idea of a small island, three thousand miles off, ruling that immense continent, and threatening, by its insolent assumption, the expanding energies of three millions of men, more vigorous, virtuous, and free, than those who sought to enslave them.详情
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