High duties were not the only evils that had been strangling the silk trade. Its chief seat was at Spitalfields, where by the Act of 1811 and other legislation the magistrates had been empowered to fix the rate of wages, and to subject to severe penalties any masters who employed weavers in other districts. The result, said a manufacturers' petition in 1823, is, "that the removal of the entire manufacture from the metropolis is inevitable, if the Acts are to continue any longer in force." However, the journeymen declared that a repeal of the Acts would be followed by the reduction of their wages and the increase of the poor rates. No less than 11,000 petitioned against Huskisson's motion for a repeal, and, though the Bill passed the House of Commons by small majorities, it was so altered by amendments in the Lords that it was abandoned for the Session. But in this remarkable Session of 1824 it was reintroduced and passed through all its stages. As a result the Combination Acts directed against meetings of workmen to affect wages, the Acts which prevented the emigration of artisans, and the laws against the exportation of machinery were brought under discussion by Joseph Hume. The last question was waived for the present, but the laws interfering with the emigration of artisans were repealed without a voice being raised in their favour. As for the Combination Acts, it was ordained that no peaceable meeting of masters or workmen should be prosecuted as a conspiracy, while summary punishments were enacted on those "who by threats, intimidation, or acts of violence interfered with that freedom, which ought to be allowed to each party, of employing his labour or capital in a manner he may deem most advantageous." In consequence, however, of the outrages which occurred during the Glasgow strikes of 1824, during which a workman who disregarded the wishes of his union was shot, and men of one trade were employed to assassinate the masters of another, further legislation was necessary. By the Act of 1825 all associations were made illegal, excepting those for settling such amount of wages as would be a fair remuneration to the workman. Any other combination either of men against masters or of masters against men, or of working men against working men, was made illegal. The law thus framed continued to regulate the relations of capital and labour for nearly half a century.
At the ensuing assizes in August, those rioters who had been apprehended were tried; some at Worcester for participating in the outrages, but there only one prisoner was committed. Of those tried at Warwick, on the 25th of the month, four received sentence of death. Of these five rioters condemned, only three actually suffered, while two received his Majesty's gracious pardon. The victims of this riot thought the penalty much too trivial! Such, indeed, was the perverted state of public feeling in and around Birmingham, that the sufferers were regarded as men seeking the lives of innocent men who had only shown their loyalty to Church and King. They were declared to be no better than selfish murderers. Whilst they attended at the assizes, their lives scarcely seemed safe. They were publicly abused in the streets, or menaced and cursed wherever they appeared. In the very assize-hall there were persons who, on seeing Priestley, cried, "Damn him! there is the cause of all the mischief!" He was followed in the streets, especially by an attorney, who cursed him furiously, and wished he had been burned with his house and books. The favourite toast of the Church-and-King party was, "May every Revolutionary dinner be followed by a hot supper!" The damages awarded to the sufferers were, in most cases, ludicrously inadequate. Hutton was a heavy loser; Priestley received three thousand and ninety-eight pounds, but he complained that this was two thousand pounds short of the extent of his loss. But this deficiency was made up by sympathising friends.
And all this time the spirit of revolt against Napoleon's domination was growing rapidly in Germany; and had the Austrians only made the slightest use of their present opportunity, the whole of the country would have been in arms and the French completely driven out. Though Prussia was still too much depressed to dare to rise and join Austria, there was a fast-growing spirit of indignation amongst its population, which the Tugend Bund had tended greatly to increase. The brave Major Schill, without waiting for any sanction from the King of Prussia, led forth his band of hussars, amounting to about five thousand, and prepared to join with Colonel D?rnberg, an officer of Jerome, the King of Westphalia's guard, to raise an insurrection in that State, and drive out Jerome and the French. The design was betrayed to Jerome by a traitorous friend of D?rnberg, and he was compelled to fly. Letters found amongst D?rnberg's papers showed the participation of Schill in the scheme. Jerome, of course, complained to the King of Prussia, and the unhappy monarch was obliged to disavow and denounce the conduct of Schill. The brave partisan made his way to Wittenberg and Halberstadt, and was pursued by the forces of Westphalia and Holland northwards to Weimar, and finally to Stralsund, which he prepared to defend. The place was stormed by the Dutch and Westphalians, and Schill was killed fighting in the streets of Stralsund, after having split the head of the Dutch general, Carteret, with his sword. Thus fell the gallant Schill, true to his motto—"Better a terrible end than endless terror."
Goldsmith was in his poetry, as in his prose, simple, genuine, and natural. His "Deserted Village" and "Traveller" were in the metre of Pope, but they were full of the most exquisite touches of pathos, of truth, and liberty; they were new in spirit, though old in form. Charles Churchill, the satirist, was full of flagellant power. He has been said to have formed himself on Dryden; but it is more probable that his models were Lucian and Juvenal. He was a bold and merciless chastiser of the follies of the times. He commenced, in the "Rosciad," with the players, by which he stirred a nest of hornets. Undauntedly he pursued his course, attacking, in "The Ghost," the then all-powerful Dr. Johnson, who ruled like a despot over both literary men and their opinions. These satires, strong and somewhat coarse, were followed by "The Prophecy of Famine," an "Epistle to Hogarth," "The Conference," "The Duellist," "The Author," "Gotham," "The Candidate," "The Times," etc. In these Churchill not only lashed the corruptions of the age, but the false principles of nations. He condemned the seizure of other countries by so-called Christian powers, on the plea of discovery. It was only to be lamented that Churchill, who was a clergyman, in censuring his neighbour's vices did not abandon his own.
Sir Cecil Wray. Sam House (Publican on the side of Fox). Charles James Fox.As for Spain, she abandoned all designs on Portugal, and restored the colony of Sacramento; and she surrendered every point on which her declaration of war against England was based—namely, the right to fish on the coast of Newfoundland; the refusal to allow us to cut logwood in Honduras; and to admit the settlement of questions of capture by our courts of law.
TALLEYRAND. (After the Portrait by Gerard.)Mr. Peel's reflections on the Clare election are deeply interesting. "It afforded," he writes, in his Memoirs, "a decisive proof, not only that the instrument on which the Protestant proprietor had hitherto mainly relied for the maintenance of his political influence had completely failed him, but that, through the combined exertions of the agitator and the priest—or, I should rather say, through the contagious sympathies of a common cause among all classes of the Roman Catholic population—the instrument of defence and supremacy had been converted into a weapon fatal to the authority of the landlord. However men might differ as to the consequences which ought to follow the event, no one denied its vast importance. It was seen by the most intelligent that the Clare election would be the turning-point in the Catholic question—the point—
In concluding the remarkable events of this year, we must turn to India, and witness the termination of the career of Tippoo Sahib. This prince, for ever restless under the losses which he had suffered from the British, though nominally at peace with them, was seeking alliances to help him once more to contend with them. He sought to engage the Afghans in his favour, and to bring over the British ally, the Nizam of the Deccan. Failing in this, he made overtures to the French Republic through the Governor of the Isle of France. Buonaparte, as we have said, had Tippoo in his mind when he proposed to march to India and conquer it, but only a few hundreds of French of the lowest caste reached Seringapatam from the Isle of France. Lord Mornington, afterwards the Marquis of Wellesley, determined to anticipate the plans of Tippoo, and dispatched General Harris with twenty-four thousand men into Mysore, at the same time ordering another force of seven thousand, under General Stuart, from Bombay, to co-operate with him. To these also was added a strong reinforcement of British troops in the pay of the Nizam, and some regiments of sepoys, commanded by English officers. The united forces of Harris and the Nizam came into conflict with Tippoo's army on the 22nd of March, 1799, when within two days' march of Seringapatam. In this action, Colonel Wellesley, afterwards the Duke of Wellington, greatly distinguished himself, and the success of the action was ascribed to his regiment, the 34th. On the 5th of April General Harris invested Seringapatam, and on the 14th General Stuart arrived with the Bombay army. Tippoo soon made very humble overtures for peace, but the British, having no faith in him, continued the siege, and the city was carried by storm on the 4th of May, and Tippoo himself was found amongst the slain. Two of his sons fell into the hands of the victors; his territories were divided between the British and the Nizam. The former retained Seringapatam and the island on which it is situated, and the whole of his territory on the Malabar coast, with Coimbra, and all the rest of his possessions stretching to the Company's territories west and east, thus completing their dominion from sea to sea. The Nizam received equally valuable regions in the interior, and a province was bestowed on the descendant of the Hindoo rajah who had been dispossessed of it by Hyder Ali, Tippoo's father. Thus was the British empire of India freed from its most formidable enemy, and thus was it enabled, soon afterwards, to send an armament up the Red Sea to assist in driving the French from Egypt.In the south great successes had been won by the French. A formidable attack was made on the territories of the King of Sardinia and the position of Saorgio was turned. But another division of these French descended from the Alps. It was the month of May when General Dumas, with the army of the Alps, had forced his way through the defiles of Mont Cenis. The Piedmontese garrisons of the forts there had fled without much resistance, astonished and confounded at seeing the French appear on the loftiest heights around them. The French pursued their retreating troops as far as Susa, led on by Jacobinised Savoyards, who hated the Piedmontese. But Dumas, finding that strong forces of Piedmontese and Austrians, under the King of Sardinia and the Austrian General Wallis, were drawn up at the foot of the Alps, did not venture to descend into the plains. Another body of the army of Italy was delayed some time in the Genoese territory, whilst Buonaparte was employed in sounding the condition and intentions of the people of Genoa. All the Alpine passes were in their hands, and Italy was doomed to drink the cup of misery to the very dregs.
The town of Charleston being now in his possession, Sir Henry Clinton proceeded to reduce the whole province to obedience. He issued proclamations, calling on the well-affected young men to form themselves into military bodies, and to act in support of the king's troops, pledging himself that they should never be called upon to march beyond the frontiers of North Carolina on the one side, or those of Georgia on the other; and he assured the inhabitants at large of the utmost protection of person and property, so long as they continued peaceable and loyal subjects of the Crown. In the meantime, Lord Cornwallis continued to enforce these proposals by the movements of his troops. Could Sir Henry Clinton have remained in this quarter, he would without doubt have steadily carried his victorious arms northward till he had everywhere restored the rule of England. But he was completely crippled by the wretched management of the miserable Government at home, who seemed to expect to reconquer America without an army. At this crisis he received news that the Americans were mustering in strong force on the Hudson, and that a French fleet was daily expected on the coast of New England to co-operate with them. He was now compelled to embark for New York, leaving Lord Cornwallis to maintain the ground obtained in South Carolina as well as he could with a body of four thousand men. His second in command was Lord Rawdon, a young officer who had distinguished himself greatly at the battle of Bunker's Hill, and who, like Cornwallis, his chief, was destined, in after years, to occupy the distinguished post of Governor-General of India, with the successive titles of Earl Moira and Marquis of Hastings. The chief business of Cornwallis was to maintain the status gained in South Carolina, but he was at liberty to make a move into North Carolina if he thought it promising.After the departure of Fitzwilliam an open rebellion began. But the measures of his successor, Lord Camden, were at once moderate and prompt. A vigilant eye was kept on the agents of sedition and the Democratic clubs, which swarmed all over Ireland, as much in the Presbyterian north as in the Catholic south. Wolfe Tone and Hamilton Rowan had escaped to the United States; but there they fell in with Dr. Reynolds, Napper Tandy, and other enthusiastic Irish revolutionists. Tone was supplied with money, and dispatched to France to stimulate the Directory to the Irish invasion. He arrived at Havre in February, 1796, and on reaching Paris he presented letters from M. Adet, the French Minister to the United States, and was warmly received by Carnot, General Clarke, acting as Minister of War, and the Duke de Feltre. He was assured that General Hoche should be sent over with a resistless army as soon as it could be got ready, but the Directory desired to see some other of the leading members of the United Irishmen before engaging in the enterprise. Tone promised General Clarke one thousand pounds a year for life, and similar acknowledgments to all the other officers, on the liberation of Ireland; and he solicited for himself the rank of Brigadier-General, with immediate pay, and obtained it.详情
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