[See larger version]But it was not till 1766 that the public became possessed of what may be called the first domestic novel, in the "Vicar of Wakefield" of Oliver Goldsmith (b. 1728; d. 1774). The works of Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett had been rather novels of general life than of the home life of England, but this work was a narrative of such every-day kind as might occur in any little nook in the country. It was a picture of those chequered scenes that the lowliest existence presents: the simple, pious pastor, in the midst of his family, easily imposed on and led into difficulties; the heartless rake, bringing disgrace and sorrow where all had been sunshine before; the struggles and the triumphs of worth, which had no wealth or high rank to emblazon it; and all mingled and quickened by a humour so genial and unstudied that it worked on the heart like the charms of nature herself. No work ever so deeply influenced the literary mind of England. The productions which it has originated are legion, and yet it stands sui generis amongst them all. The question may seem to lack sequence, yet we may ask whether there would have been a "Pickwick" if there had not been a "Vicar of Wakefield?"
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?"[See larger version]
[See larger version]Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield, as we have said, of a decided Jacobite house, was a rising young lawyer, who had won great fame for his speech in a case of appeal before the House of Lords, was now Solicitor-General—accomplished and learned in the law, a man of pleasing person, and a fine orator, bold, persevering in his profession, yet, with all the caution of a Scotsman, plodding his way towards the bench—the real and almost the only object of his ambition. Murray, indeed, let Newcastle know that such was his ambition; and therefore, as Pitt was passed over from the royal dislike and Newcastle's own jealousy, and Murray, too, for this reason, Henry Fox alone was the man for the leadership of the Commons. Newcastle told him that he proposed him for that post; but when they met, Fox soon found that he was expected to play the r?le without the essential power. Fox, of course, demanded to be informed of the disposal of the secret-service money, but Newcastle replied that his brother never disclosed that to any one, nor would he. Fox reminded him that Pelham was at once First Lord of the Treasury and leader of the Commons, and asked how he was to "talk to members when he did not know who was in pay and who was not?" And next he wished to know who was to have the nomination to places? Newcastle replied, Himself. Who was to recommend the proper objects?—Still himself. Who to fill up the ministerial boroughs at the coming elections?—Still Newcastle himself. Fox withdrew in disgust, and Newcastle gave the seals of the Secretaryship to a mere tool—Sir Thomas Robinson, a dull, uncouth man, who had been some years ambassador at Vienna, and had won the favour of the king by his compliance with all his German desires. Robinson, according to Lord Waldegrave, was ignorant even of the language of the House of Commons, and when he attempted to play the orator, threw the members into fits of merriment. Newcastle, says Lord Stanhope, had succeeded in a very difficult attempt—he "had found a Secretary of State with abilities inferior to his own."
The Coronation—Fears of Eminent Men—The Cholera—The Waverers—Lord John Russell introduces the third Reform Bill—Its Progress through the Commons—The Second Reading carried in the Lords—Behind the Scenes—Feeling in the Country—Disfranchisement Clauses postponed—Grey resigns—Ebrington's Resolution—Wellington attempts to form a Ministry—Popular fury—The Run on the Bank—Wellington abandons his post—Grey exacts the King's Consent to the creation of Peers—The Opposition withdrawn—The Bill becomes Law—The Irish Reform Bill—The Bill in the Lords—The Scottish Reform Bill—Becomes Law—Result of the Reform Bills—Mr. Stanley in Ireland—The Tithe-proctor—The Church Cess—Tithe Legislation of 1831—Irish Education—Wyse's Report—Stanley's Bill—Its Provisions for Religious Instruction—General Election—New Parliament—The Coercion Bill—The Church Temporalities Bill—The Poor Law Commission—Its Report—Sketch of the Poor Law System—Provisions of the Poor Law Amendment Act—History of the Emancipation Movement—Mr. Stanley's Resolutions—Provisions of the Act of Emancipation—The Dorsetshire Labourers—The Copenhagen Fields Meeting—Other Meetings and Strikes—Sheil and Lord Althorp—O'Connell's Motion on the union—Baron Smith—Littleton's Tithe Bill—Mr. Ward's Motion—Resignation of Mr. Stanley and his Friends—An Indiscreet Speech of the King's—The Debate on Mr. Ward's Motion—Final Collapse of the Cabinet—Retrospect of Lord Grey's Ministry.NAPOLEON AT ROSSBACH. (See p. 527.)The receipt of such proposals in England produced the utmost consternation in the Cabinet. Townshend, in an "absolutely secret" answer to Stanhope, expressed the concern both of himself and the Prince of Wales at the prospect of a rupture with the Czar, who would seize the British ships and subjects in Russia, and prohibit the supply of naval stores from his kingdom, and that especially at a crisis when England was threatened with an invasion from Sweden and a rising of the Jacobites. He did not deny that there was a great risk of both these kingdoms and the German empire being exposed to imminent danger by the designs of the Czar on the whole coast of the Baltic, a danger which he might, had he dared, truly have attributed to George's own deeds by offending Sweden, instead of uniting with it to counterbalance the Czar's plan of aggrandisement. Fortunately, the Czar was induced, by the combined remonstrances of Austria, Denmark, and Sir John Norris, to abandon his projects for the moment, at least in Germany, and to withdraw his troops from Mecklenburg.
Colonel Gardiner endeavoured to charge the advancing enemy with his dragoons; but it was in vain that he attempted to animate their craven souls by word and example—at the first volley of the Highlanders they wheeled and fled. The same disgraceful scene took place on the left, at nearly the same moment. Hamilton's regiment of horse dispersed at the first charge of the Macdonalds, leaving the centre exposed on both its flanks. The infantry made a better stand than the cavalry; it discharged a steady and well-directed volley on the advancing Highlanders, and killed some of their best men, amongst others, a son of the famous Rob Roy. But the Highlanders did not give them time for a second volley; they were up with them, dashed aside their bayonets with their targets, burst through their ranks in numerous places, so that the whole, not being able to give way on account of the park wall of Preston, were thrown into confusion, and at the mercy of the foe. Never was a battle so instantly decided—it is said not to have lasted more than five or six minutes; never was a defeat more absolute. Sir John Cope, or Johnnie Cope, as he will be styled in Scotland to the end of time, by the assistance of the Earls of Loudon and Home, collected about four hundred and fifty of the recreant dragoons, and fled to Coldstream that night. There not feeling secure, they continued their flight till they reached Berwick, where Sir Mark Kerr received Cope with the sarcastic but cruelly true remark that he believed that he was the first general on record who had carried the news of his own defeat.The British Ministry adopted the advice most cordially. Lord Liverpool, in the House of Lords, and Lord Castlereagh, in the Commons, on the 6th of April, announced the astounding fact of the escape of Buonaparte, and proposed addresses from both Houses to the Prince Regent, recommending the most energetic measures of co-operation with the Allies now finally to crush this lawless man. Whitbread vehemently opposed this measure, declaring that it was not our business "to commence a new crusade to determine who should fill the throne of France." This was true enough; but it was a truth, in the then temper of the Government or public, which was not likely to be attended to. The addresses were carried in both Houses without any division, and Lord Wellington was nominated to command the forces which should take the field for Great Britain; and these were to amount to no fewer than one hundred and fifty thousand, and to consist of a moderate number of British soldiers, and the rest to be paid Hanoverians, Belgians, Dutch, and Germans. Parliament immediately voted the enormous sum of ninety million pounds for supplies, knowing the vast subsidies which would be required by the Allied monarchs, besides the large sum necessary to pay our own quota of troops.
The whole of London was thrown into great agitation, and Sir John Anstruther that evening, in the House of Commons, was very severe on the Ministers for not taking more decided measures for the protection of the metropolis. The next day the letter of Sir Francis was taken into consideration. Many severe strictures were made on his conduct, and even Whitbread contended that the Speaker's warrant was perfectly legal, and that Sir Francis had done a great injury to the cause of Reform by stirring up a riot in the prosecution of a constitutional question. There was a call for the expulsion of the Radical baronet from the House; but as this would have produced a new election in Westminster, by which he would certainly have been returned afresh, that was prudently abandoned.Fielding (b. 1707; d. 1754) began his career by an attempt, in "Joseph Andrews," to caricature the "Pamela" of Richardson. He represented Joseph as Pamela's brother; but he had not proceeded far when he became too much interested in his own creation to make a mere parody of him. This novel he produced in 1742, the year after the completion of "Pamela." The following year he gave to the world "Jonathan Wild;" in 1749, "Tom Jones;" and in 1751, but three years before his death, at the age of only forty-seven, "Amelia." But, besides a novelist, Fielding was a dramatic writer, a political writer, and the editor of four successive periodicals—The Champion, The True Patriot, The Jacobite Journal, and The Covent Garden Journal. Fielding, unlike Richardson, was educated at Eton, and afterwards at Leyden. He had fortune, but he dissipated it; and had the opportunity of seeing both high and low life, by his rank as a gentleman and his office as a police-magistrate. His novels are masterly productions. His squire Western and parson Adams, and his other characters are genuine originals; and they are made to act and talk with a raciness of humour and a flow of wit that might even yet render them popular, if their occasional grossness did not repel the reader of this age. It is, indeed, the misfortune of Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett, that they lived in so coarse and debauched an epoch; their very fidelity now renders them repulsive. Richardson and Fielding were the Dickens and Thackeray of their day. In Fielding, the colder nature and the more satiric tone make the resemblance to Thackeray the more striking.A new and vigorous campaign was this year carried on in India by General, now Lord, Lake, against the Mahrattas. Holkar had refused to enter into amicable arrangements with the British at the same time as Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar, but had continued to strengthen his army, and now assumed so menacing an attitude, that Lord Lake and General Frazer were sent to bring him to terms or to action. They found him strongly posted near the fortress of Deeg, in the midst of bogs, tanks, and topes, and formidably defended by artillery. On the 13th of November, 1804, General Frazer attacked them, notwithstanding, and defeated them, but was killed himself in the action, and had six hundred and forty-three men killed and wounded; for the fire of round, grape, and chain shot by the Mahrattas was tremendous. On the 17th Lord Lake fell on Holkar's cavalry near Ferruckabad, commanded by Holkar himself, and thoroughly routed it, very nearly making capture of Holkar. He retreated into the Bhurtpore territory, the Rajah of that district having joined him. Lord Lake determined to follow him, and drove him thence, reducing the forts in that country. He had first, however, to make himself master of the fortress of Deeg, and this proved a desperate affair. Still the garrison, consisting of troops partly belonging to Holkar and partly to the Rajah of Bhurtpore, evacuated it on Christmas Day, leaving behind them a great quantity of cannon and ammunition. On the 1st of January, 1805, Lord Lake, accompanied by Colonel Monson, marched into the territory of Bhurtpore, and on the 3rd sat down before its fortress, one of the strongest places in India. On the 18th of January Major-General Smith arrived from Agra with three battalions of Sepoys and a hundred Europeans. But these advantages were counterbalanced by Meer Khan arriving with a strong force from Bundelcund to assist Holkar.
The very day that Lord Cornwallis had marched from Wilmington, Lord Rawdon was bravely fighting with Greene at Hobkirk's Hill, in South Carolina. Greene had not ventured to attack Lord Cornwallis; but he thought he might, by diverting his course into South Carolina, induce him to follow, and thus leave exposed all North Carolina to Wayne and Lafayette, as well as all his important posts in the upper part of North Carolina. Greene failed to draw after him Cornwallis, but he sat down at Hobkirk's Hill, about two miles from the outposts of Lord Rawdon's camp at Camden. Lord Rawdon, hearing that Greene was waiting to be reinforced by troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, did not give him time for that. He marched out of Camden, at nine o'clock in the morning, on the 25th of April, and quietly making a circuit through some woods, he came upon Greene's flank, and drove in his pickets before he was perceived. Startled from his repose, Greene sought to return the surprise by sending Colonel Washington, a nephew of the American commander-in-chief, with a body of cavalry, to fall on Rawdon's rear, as he was passing up the hill. But Rawdon was aware of this man?uvre, and prevented it, still pressing up Hobkirk's Hill, in the face of the artillery, charged with grape-shot. Greene's militia fled with all speed, and Rawdon stood triumphant on the summit of the hill, in the centre of Greene's camp. But the success was not followed up, owing to the insufficiency of the English troops, and Greene was able, without risking another engagement, to compel Rawdon to retire to Charleston. The American general encamped on the Santee Hills until September, when he descended on Colonel Stewart, who had succeeded Rawdon. After a severe struggle at Eutaw Springs on the 8th of September, Stewart retired to Charleston Neck, and all Georgia and South Carolina were lost to the English, with the exception of Charleston and Savannah. Meanwhile, Lord Cornwallis only allowed himself three days' rest at Presburg; he marched thence, on the 24th of May, in quest of Lafayette, who was encamped on the James River. Cornwallis crossed that river at Westover, about thirty miles below Lafayette's camp, and that nimble officer retreated in all haste to join General Wayne, who was marching through Maryland with a small force of eight hundred Pennsylvanians. Lafayette and Wayne retreated up the James River, and Cornwallis pursued his march to Portsmouth. There he received an order from Sir Henry Clinton, desiring him to look out for a position where he could fortify himself, and at the same time protect such shipping as might be sent to the Chesapeake to prevent the entrance of the French. Cornwallis fixed on York Town, on York River, and there, and at Gloucester, in its vicinity, he was settled with his troops by the 22nd of August. Sir Henry Clinton wrote, intimating that he should probably send more troops to the Chesapeake, as there was a probability that Washington and Rochambeau, giving up the attack of New York, would make a united descent on York Town. Wayne and Lafayette were already continually increasing their forces above York Town; but any such reinforcements by Sir Henry were prevented by the entrance of the Comte de Grasse, with twenty-eight sail of the line and several frigates, into the Chesapeake, having on board three thousand two hundred troops, which he had brought from the West Indies. These troops he landed, and sent, under the Marquis de St Simon, to join Lafayette, much to his delight.详情
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