Prussia, which had remained inactive whilst Buonaparte was winning over Bavaria and Würtemberg to his interests, and while he was crushing Austria, now that she stood alone took the alarm, and complained that the French troops on the Rhine and in the Hanse Towns, which, by the Treaty of Pressburg, ought to have been withdrawn from Germany, remained. The Queen of Prussia and Prince Louis, the king's cousin, were extremely anti-Gallic. They had long tried to arouse the king to resist the French influence in Germany, to coalesce with Austria while it was time, and to remove Haugwitz from the Ministry, who was greatly inclined towards France. The Emperor Alexander professed himself ready to unite in this resistance to France, and Frederick William began now to listen to these counsels. He withdrew his minister, Lucchesini, from Paris, and sent General Knobelsdorff in his place. On the 1st of October Knobelsdorff presented to Talleyrand a long memorial, demanding that the French troops should re-cross the Rhine immediately, in compliance with the Treaty of Pressburg; that France should desist from throwing obstacles in the way of the promotion of a league in North Germany, comprehending all the States not included in the Confederation of the Rhine; and that the fortress of Wesel and those abbeys which Murat, since becoming Grand Duke of Berg and Cleve, had seized and attached to his territory, should be restored.
Ministers were in haste to close and dissolve Parliament in order to call a new one before the very probable demise of the king—for though they had provided that in case of the decease of the queen the Parliament should not reassemble, this did not apply to the decease of the king; and should this take place before the day fixed for the assembling of the new Parliament, the old Parliament—even though formally dissolved—would reassemble: therefore, on the 10th of June—the very day after the passing of the supplementary Alien Bill—the Prince Regent came down to the House of Lords, prorogued Parliament, and then immediately the Lord Chancellor pronounced it dissolved. The members of the Commons were taken by surprise. No such sudden dismissal had taken place since 1625, when Charles I. dismissed his Oxford Parliament after a single week's session. On the return to their own House the Speaker was proceeding, as usual, to read the Royal Speech, but he was reminded by Mr. Tierney that there was no Parliament in existence, and by Lord Castlereagh that, by so doing, he might render himself liable to a Pr?munire, and he therefore desisted and the members withdrew.
Sir Francis Burdett once wrote a letter of a single sentence to his friend Lord Cloncurry, as follows:—"Dear Lord Cloncurry, I should like to know what you think would allay Irish agitation? Yours truly, F. B." It would have taken a volume to answer this question, and perhaps, after all, Sir Francis Burdett would not have been satisfied. George IV. thought that his visit would have had that effect, and appearances for a time seemed to justify his sanguine anticipations. The visit had been long meditated. He set out on a yachting excursion soon after the coronation, and arrived at Plymouth on the 1st of August amidst the huzzas of an immense concourse of people. On the following day the royal squadron departed for Ireland, and anchored in the bay at Holyhead on the 7th. The news of his approach threw the people of Dublin into a paroxysm of joy, to which the newspapers of the day gave expression in the most extravagant terms. The blessing that awaited them seemed too great to be realised. Never had they comforted their hours of despondency or flattered themselves in seasons of imagined felicity, with anything approaching to the reality which fortune was about to shower upon them. The king's name, they declared, was more to them than a tower of strength; it had effected what neither patriots, philosophers, nor moralists could ever accomplish.Under the influence of this persuasion, Buonaparte suddenly made overtures of peace to Great Britain, though, on the conditions which he proposed, they were certain to be rejected. The Duke of Bassano wrote to Lord Castlereagh, offering to secure the independence of Spain under the present reigning dynasty; that Portugal should continue under the rule of the House of Braganza, and Naples under Murat. Lord Castlereagh replied that if by the present reigning dynasty of Spain was meant King Joseph, there could be no treaty, and there the matter ended; for even Fouché says that Napoleon's Ministers were ashamed of so clumsy a proposal of ignorance and bad faith. Failing with Great Britain, Buonaparte turned to Russia herself, intimating a desire for peace, but not finding it in his heart to offer any terms likely to be accepted. In fact, he was now so demented by the ambition which meant soon to destroy him, that he fancied that a mere mention of peace was enough to win over any of his enemies in face of his vast armies. Including the forces of his German and Italian subsidiaries, he had on foot one million one hundred and eighty-seven thousand men. Of these, he led four hundred and seventy thousand men into Russia. Italy, Naples, Austria, Prussia, Würtemberg, Baden, Saxony, Westphalia, and other Confederates of the Rhine furnished each from twenty thousand to sixty thousand men. To swell up his French portion, he had called out two conscriptions, each of a hundred thousand men, in one year, and had organised a new system of conscription under the name of "National Guards," which professedly were only to serve in France as a militia but which were soon drafted off into foreign service. This consisted of three levies, or bans—"the ban," "the second ban," and "the arrière ban." They included all who were capable of bearing arms of all classes. The ban was composed of youths from twenty to twenty-six years of age; the second ban of men from twenty-six to forty, and the arrière ban of those from forty to sixty. By such means was the native population of France being rapidly drawn off into destruction by this modern Moloch.
When these letters were published in America, their real character was concealed, and every means taken to represent them as official despatches to the officers of Government in England. The public rage was uncontrollable. A committee was formed to wait on Governor Hutchinson, and demand whether he owned the handwriting. Hutchinson freely owned to that, but contended very justly that the letters were of a thoroughly private character, and to an unofficial person. Notwithstanding, the House of Assembly drew up a strong remonstrance to the British Government, charging the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor with giving false and malicious information respecting the colony, and demanding their dismissal. This remonstrance, accompanied by copies of the letters themselves, was immediately dispatched over the colonies, and everywhere produced, as was intended, the most violent inflammation of the public mind against us. The Bostonians had for some time established what was called a Corresponding Committee, whose business it was to prepare and circulate through the whole of the colonies papers calculated to keep alive the indignation against the British Government. This Committee quickly was responded to by other committees in different places, and soon this plan became an organisation extending to every part of the colonies, even the most remote, by which intelligence and arguments were circulated through all America with wonderful celerity.The trial of Sir Charles Wolseley and Dr. Harrison for their speeches at the meeting for Reform at Stockport in June, 1819, terminated also in their conviction and imprisonment for eighteen months, as well as the giving of security for their future good behaviour on liberation.
"Know, then, 'twas I;
Then follows a long list of lawyers. We may select a few of the most lavishly paid:—By the marvellous aids of canals and steam-engines manufacturing power became most immensely augmented in all directions, but especially in the spinning and weaving of cotton goods. The machines invented by Wyatt and Paul in 1733, and improved by Arkwright in 1767, if not invented anew, without knowledge of Wyatt and Paul's plan of spinning by rollers—a moot point; the spinning-jenny with seven spindles, invented by James Hargreaves, a weaver near Blackburn, in 1767; and the mule-jenny, combining the working of the machines of Arkwright and Hargreaves, by Samuel Crompton, in 1779, completely superseded spinning cotton yarn by hand. These machines were first worked by water power, but steam power was used after the steam-engine had been invented; and the growth of cotton-spinning became rapid beyond conception, spreading over all Lancashire and the midland counties in a marvellous manner. The cotton-mills of Robert Peel, in Lancashire and Staffordshire; of the Strutts, at Belper, in Derbyshire; of Dale, at New Lanark; of Robinson, at Papplewick; and Arkwright, at Cromford, which raised these gentlemen to vast wealth, being only the leviathans amongst swarming concerns of less dimensions.
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O'CONNELL RETURNING HOME FROM PRISON. (See p. 532.)The court then adjourned to the 15th of April. The case of the Begums was opened by Mr. Adams, and concluded the next day by Mr. Pelham. Then sixteen days were occupied by the evidence, and at length, on the 3rd of June, Sheridan began to sum up the evidence, and, in a speech which lasted three days, he kept the court in the highest state of excitement. The place was crowded to suffocation during the whole time, and as much as fifty guineas is said to have been paid for a single seat. Greatly as this speech of Sheridan's was admired, it was felt to be too ornate and dramatic: there was not the deep and genuine feeling of Burke in it, and the effect was so evidently studied, that, on concluding, Sheridan fell back into the arms of Burke, as if overcome by his own sensations. The prorogation of Parliament was now at hand, and only two out of the twenty charges had been gone through: neither of them had yet been replied to, and yet other causes of engrossing interest arising, the trial was entirely suspended till the 20th of April of the following year! Then it was taken up languidly and at uncertain intervals, and rapidly became a mere exhibition of rhetoric. Further, Burke's unlawyer-like style and intemperance of language drew upon him the censure of the Lord Chancellor, and even of the House of Commons. A revulsion of public feeling took place, and was seen in the acquittal of Stockdale who was tried for libelling the promoters of the trial. Three years afterwards Burke himself renounced sixteen of his charges, and all popular interest in the trial gradually disappeared.
In much the same way the silk industry had been protected by prohibitory legislation, of which the only effect was to convert smuggling into an important trade. Again, the manufacturers petitioned for the removal of the duties upon spun silk, but were eager to exclude foreign manufactured silks. On the other hand, the silk spinners were opposed to the introduction of spun silk, but desired the removal of duties upon raw silk, while the journeymen believed that ruin stared them in the face if foreign manufactured silks were introduced. Robinson, with Huskisson's assistance, decided to admit foreign silk on an ad valorem duty of 30 per cent. At the same time he largely reduced the duties on the raw material. The duty on Indian silk was reduced from 4s. to 3d., that on Chinese and Italian silks from 5s. 6d. to 6d., that on organzine from 14s. 10d. to 7s. 6d. a pound. The manufacturers vowed and protested that they were ruined; in ten years' time they were exporting to France, their former rival, ￡60,000 worth of manufactured silk.The Ministry, as reconstructed, consisted of Lord North, First Lord of the Treasury; the Great Seal was in commission; Granby's places, the Ordnance and Commander of the Forces, were still unsupplied; so was the Duke of Manchester's old post of Lord of the Bed-Chamber. The Earl of Halifax became Lord Privy Seal; the Earl of Pembroke became a Lord of the Bed-Chamber; the Earl of Waldegrave, Master of the Horse to the queen; Sir Gilbert Elliot, Treasurer of the Navy; Charles James Fox became a junior Lord of the Admiralty; Admiral Holborne another; Mr. Welbore Ellis became one of the Vice-Treasurers of Ireland; and Thurlow was appointed Solicitor-General, in place of Dunning.A debate which took place shortly afterwards was characterised by a memorable scene. In the month of January, 1843, Mr. Edward Drummond, the private secretary of Sir Robert Peel, had been shot in the street at Charing Cross, by an assassin, named M'Naughten. The unfortunate gentleman died of the wound, and the wildest rumours agitated the town as to the motive which had prompted the deed. Many asserted that it was a political one. M'Naughten had been seen loitering in Whitehall Gardens, and had followed his victim from Sir Robert Peel's residence in that locality. It was at once rumoured that the Prime Minister was the intended victim. M'Naughten had come from Glasgow, and it was said that when the Queen was in Scotland Sir Robert Peel invariably rode in the royal carriage, and Mr. Drummond in Sir Robert's own carriage. If this were true, it was remarked, the assassin's confidence would have been complete when he saw Mr. Drummond actually leave the house of Sir Robert Peel. Although the assassin was afterwards proved to be insane, the fact, coupled with the political excitement of the time, made a painful impression upon the minds of public men.详情
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