类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-27 02:50:32


The Opposition made no objection to the re-election of Onslow as Speaker of the Commons, but they made a determined attack on the Address. Lord Noel Somerset moved that in the Address his Majesty should be desired not to engage this kingdom in a war for the defence of his Hanoverian dominions. This was seconded by Shippen, who declared that he had grown old in the House of Commons only to see all the predictions of his life realised in the management of the nation. Pulteney seemed to be animated by a double portion of patriotic indignation.[78] He reviewed Walpole's whole administration, and accused him, not merely of individual acts of erroneous policy, but of deliberate treachery. The Whigs, elated by this fiery denunciation of the Minister, called for a division; but Pulteney, aware that they had not yet a majority, observed that dividing was not the way to multiply. Walpole, on his part, offered to leave out the paragraph thanking his Majesty for his royal care in prosecuting the war with Spain; but this was only regarded as a proof of conscious weakness, and Pulteney proceeded to charge Walpole with purposely ruining the nation to serve the Pretender. This called Walpole up, and he defended himself with all his accustomed self-command and ability. He retorted the charges of serving the Pretender on his enemies, and these with real grounds. He referred to Chesterfield's recent visit to the Pretender's Court at Avignon. He asked, as he had done before more than once, whether he, as Minister, had raised the war in Germany, or advised the war with Spain? Whether he was amenable for the deaths of the late Emperor and the King of Prussia, which opened up all these complications? Whether the lawless ambition of Frederick, and the war between Sweden and Russia, were chargeable on him? He offered to meet the Opposition on the question of the state of the nation, if they would name a day. This challenge was accepted, and the 21st of January, 1742, was fixed upon. The clause respecting the Spanish war, as Walpole had suggested, was also struck out, and the Address then was carried unanimously.Austria also furnished thirty thousand men, under Prince Schwarzenberg, but with secret orders to do no more than just keep up appearances, as Alexander had done during the campaign of Wagram. It was of the utmost consequence that Turkey should have been conciliated by Napoleon. Russia had long been ravaging the outlying provinces of that empire, and nothing could have been more plain than the policy of engaging Turkey against Russia at this crisis, to divide the latter's attention by menacing its eastern boundaries. But Buonaparte ever since the Treaty of Tilsit had been neglecting the Turks, to allow his ally, Alexander, to make his aggressions on them, and now he altered his plan too late. When he made overtures, so late as March of this year, not only to put them in possession of Moldavia and Wallachia, but to recover the[40] Crimea for the Turks, on condition that they should invade Russia from the east with a hundred thousand men, his offer was rejected, the Porte having already been persuaded by the British to make peace with Russia at Bucharest. Thus France, entering on this great enterprise, left Spain and Sweden in open hostility, and carried with her Austria and Prussia as very dubious allies. At the same time the news arrived of the fall of Ciudad Rodrigo, in Spain, and, with this, the certainty that Great Britain would do all in her power to arouse and support the enemies of Napoleon in every quarter.

On the motion for taking this Bill into further consideration, on the 8th of April, Mr. Hussey presented various petitions from merchants regarding the measure, and moved that the Bill required recommittal. He was seconded by Fox, who now, though approving of the main principles of the Bill, took occasion to contend for the development of the advanced doctrines of political liberty inculcated by the French revolutionists, and to urge the insertion of clauses in the Bill, in accordance with them. When the day for the debate on the Bill arrived, Fox called on Burke, though he had not done so for some time, and, in the presence of a common friend, entered into explanations which appeared satisfactory. Fox then proposed that the answer of Burke should not take place on the discussion of the Quebec Bill, though this was the Bill on which this topic had been introduced. Burke refused to comply; but the two old friends walked to the House together, displaying the last show of friendship which was to take place between them. Accordingly, on the 6th of May, when the chairman of the Committee put the question, that the Quebec Bill be read paragraph by paragraph, Burke rose, and determined to have a fair hearing on the question of the French Revolution, and proceeded to inveigh strongly against it. Then there were loud cries of "Order!" and "Question!" and Mr. Baker declared that the argument of Mr. Burke was calculated to involve the House in unnecessary altercation, and perhaps with the Government of another nation. Fox said his right honourable friend could scarcely be said to be out of order, for it seemed to be a day of privilege, when any gentleman might stand up and take any topic, and abuse any Government, whether it had reference to the point in question or not; that not a word had been said of the French Revolution, yet he had risen and abused it. He might just as well have abused that of China or Hindostan. This taunt came with ill grace from Fox, who had himself introduced this extraneous topic into the debates on this very Bill, and seized that occasion to attack Burke's opinions in his absence.Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strachan;

CHAPTER XIV. THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued).Still, Fox took the opportunity to sound the French Government as to the possibility of peace. In a correspondence with Talleyrand he said that Britain would be willing to treat on reasonable terms, the first condition of which was that the Emperor Alexander should be admitted to the treaty. This was at once refused; yet Fox did not give up the attempt, and at length the French Government proposed that a British ambassador should go to Paris, to endeavour to arrange the principles of an agreement. Fox complied. Before a British plenipotentiary was[518] permitted to proceed to Paris, the great points of the negotiation should have been brought forward, and it should have been seen whether there was a probability of agreeing. It should have been understood whether Buonaparte was disposed to surrender Naples again, which Britain demanded; to require the retirement of the Prussians from Hanover, even if nothing was said of Holland and Switzerland. To send a plenipotentiary without having ascertained these points was simply to enable Buonaparte to boast that he had sought to conciliate, and that British rapacity and ambition rendered all his overtures useless. This was exactly what occurred. Lord Yarmouth, late Marquis of Hertford, who had been residing for years in France as one of Buonaparte's détenus at the Peace of Amiens, was first sent. Lord Yarmouth arrived in Paris towards the end of May, and though it had been settled that the negotiations should, for the present, remain secret, the French had taken care to make every Court in Europe well acquainted with the fact. Then one of the very first demands—having got the ambassador there—was for the recognition, not only of Buonaparte as emperor, but also of all his family as princes and princesses of the blood. Next they came to the surrender of Naples, but Talleyrand assured Lord Yarmouth that the Emperor, so far from giving up Naples, or any part of Italy, must have Sicily, which was in possession of the British, because Joseph Buonaparte, now made King of Naples, declared that it could not be held without Sicily. France, Talleyrand said, would consent to Britain holding Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, which we had taken again, and would not only restore Hanover to us, but also allow us to seize on the Hanse Towns and Hamburg! We were in fact, to be permitted to set up for marauders, like themselves, and invade neutral States, and appropriate them; but, as for Naples or Sicily being restored, that was impossible. Lord Yarmouth also demanded that Dalmatia, Istria, and Albania should be restored, the last to the Turks, whose empire should regain its entirety. These points were equally resisted. Meanwhile, Prussia had taken the alarm about Hanover, and Russia, fearful of our treating without her, sent to Paris Count d'Oubril. Talleyrand managed to excite jealousies between the British and Russian envoys, to such a degree, that d'Oubril quitted Paris hastily, and returned to St. Petersburg. Instead of peace, the elements of new heartburnings and wars every day developed themselves. Finding that Lord Yarmouth did not succeed. Fox sent over the Earl of Lauderdale, but he got on no better. Buonaparte insisted that Sicily should be given up to Naples, and a little mock monarchy should be created for Ferdinand, the ex-king, in the Balearic Isles, which were to be taken unceremoniously from Spain. Lord Lauderdale, after a month's waste of words, demanded his passports, and returned; and Fox had now had ample proof that no peace was to be effected with Napoleon, except upon the terms of leaving the Continent to his dictation.

On the very day that this report was being read in the House died one of the accused, James Craggs, Secretary of State. His complaint was smallpox; but the state of mind induced by this exposure is supposed to have rendered the malady fatal. His father, who was Postmaster-General, was so shamefully involved in the same dishonest proceedings, that he took poison.In the course of his speech Lord John Russell stated that he had made inquiry with respect to the amount of relief afforded to wandering mendicants, and the result was that in most cases a shilling an acre was paid by farmers in the year, and he calculated that it amounted on the whole to perhaps £1,000,000 a year. Among those thus relieved, he said, the number of impostors must be enormous. It was not proposed, however, to prohibit vagrancy until the whole of the workhouses should be built and ready for the reception of the destitute. A lengthened discussion then took place in reference to the proposed measure, in which Mr. Shaw, Mr. O'Connell, Lord Howick, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, and other members took part. The Bill was read a first time, and on the 25th of April, 1837, Lord John Russell moved the second reading, when the debate was adjourned till the 1st of May. Notwithstanding a good deal of hostile discussion the second reading was carried without a division. On the 9th of May the House went into committee on the Bill. Twenty clauses were passed with only two unimportant divisions. The introduction of a settlement clause was rejected by a majority of 120 to 68. The vagrancy clauses were postponed for future consideration. The committee had got to the sixtieth clause on the 7th of June, when the king's illness became so serious that his recovery was highly improbable, and the business of Parliament was consequently suspended. He died on the 20th of June, and on the 17th of July Parliament was prorogued, so that there was an end for the present to the Irish Poor Relief Bill, and all the other measures then before Parliament.

Blucher's headquarters were at Namur, his right extending to Charleroi, near the left of Wellington, and his left and reserves covering Gevil and Liége. His force amounted to eighty thousand men, supplied with two hundred cannon. On the 15th Buonaparte addressed his army, telling them that the enemies arrayed against them were the same that they had so often beaten, and whom they must beat again if they were the men they had been. "Madmen!" he exclaimed, "the moment of prosperity has blinded them. The oppression and humiliation of the French people are beyond their power. If they enter France they will there find their tomb!" This address had such an effect that the French advanced with all the spirit of their former days. They swept the western bank of the Sambre of the Prussian outposts; they advanced to Charleroi, drove out the Prussians under Ziethen, and compelled them to fall back on the village of Gosselies, and thence to Ligny and St. Amand. It was now seen that the object of Buonaparte was to cut off the communication between the Prussians and British, and defeat the Prussians first, instead of having to fight the two armies at once. To complete this Ney had been dispatched to attack and drive back the British advance at Quatre Bras and Frasnes; but, hearing firing in the direction of Charleroi, which was the engagement with Ziethen, he sent a division to support the French there, and thus found his main body too weak to move the British at Quatre Bras. For doing this without orders, Buonaparte reprimanded Ney, as he afterwards did Grouchy for too implicitly following his orders in pursuit of Blucher.

But during these transactions France and England had not been idle. A new alliance had been signed at Hanover between England, France, and Prussia, to which soon after were added Denmark and Holland. The real objects of this treaty were to counterbalance that between Spain, Austria, and Russia, to compel the dissolution of the Ostend Company, and to prevent the menaced assistance to the Pretender. This was the celebrated Treaty of Hanover.The Pope had been labouring to satisfy his subjects by effecting some mitigation of the ecclesiastical system of government. He had promulgated a plan for the organisation of the executive in nine departments; the chiefs of which were to compose the Council of Ministers, to consist partly of laymen, with a cardinal as secretary. The populace, however, became gradually more unmanageable. The cardinals were insulted wherever they appeared in the streets. In the new Administration, Count Rossi—formerly Ambassador from France—occupied the post of Prime Minister. He was the object of popular distrust; and it was supposed that by his temporising policy, and the feint of practical reforms, he was merely trying to gain time, and to delude the people—so, at least, thought the revolutionary party. The 15th of November was the day appointed for the opening of the Chambers, and on that day he was murdered on the steps of the Cancellaria. The mob obtained the upper hand with surprising rapidity. Thenceforth the Pope took no part in public affairs, and remained a prisoner in his palace, though the Government was still carried on in his name. It was not to be expected that the head of the Roman Catholic Church would remain long in that position. But the difficulty was to get out of the city unobserved. However, he escaped in disguise to Gaeta. Garibaldi, who had returned from South America, and had been serving with the army of Charles Albert as a guerilla leader, now appeared on the Roman stage. He had collected together about 3,000 volunteers and refugees, with whom he arrived in Rome at the end of January, 1849. A constituent Assembly was convoked, by which the Pope was dethroned, and a republic proclaimed, at the head of which was a triumvirate composed of Mazzini, Armellini, and Saffi.

The spirit of gambling thus set going by Government itself soon surpassed all bounds, and burst forth in a thousand shapes. It was well known that the king, his mistresses, his courtiers, his son and heir apparent, were all dabbling busily in the muddy waters of this huge pool of trickery and corruption. A thousand other schemes were invented and made public to draw in fresh gudgeons, and the Prince of Wales allowed his name to stand as governor of a Welsh Copper Company. All ranks and classes rushed to Change Alley—dukes, lords, country squires, bishops, clergy (both Established and Dissenting), were mixed up with stockjobbers and brokers in eager traffic. Ladies of all ranks mingled in the throng, struggling through the press and straining their voices to be heard amid the hubbub. There and all over the kingdom were advertised and hawked about the following and other schemes:—Wrecks to be fished for on the Irish coast; plans for making of oil from sunflower seeds; for extracting of silver from lead; for the transmuting of quicksilver into a malleable and fine metal; for importing a number of large jackasses from Spain; for a wheel for perpetual motion; and, finally, for an undertaking which shall in due time be revealed!

WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM.Undaunted by his defeat, he immediately offered himself for Middlesex, and there, though the mob could not vote, they could act for him. They assembled in vast numbers, shouting, "Wilkes and Liberty!" They accompanied him to the poll; they stopped all the roads that led to the hustings at Brentford, suffering no one to pass who was not for Wilkes and liberty. His zealous supporters wore blue cockades or paper in their hats, inscribed "Wilkes and Liberty," or "No. 45." At night they assembled in the streets, insisting on people illuminating their houses in honour of Wilkes; abused all Scotsmen they met; scribbled "No. 45" on the panels of carriages as they passed; made the parties in them shout their favourite cry; broke the windows of Lord Bute at the West End, and of Harley, the Lord Mayor, at the Mansion House—the same Harley, a younger brother of the Earl of Oxford, who, as sheriff, had had to burn No. 45 of the North Briton in Cornhill. By such means the mob managed to return Wilkes at the very head of the poll.[533]



But the conquered Sikhs did not very easily acquiesce in the terms proposed by the conquerors, in spite of the wise administration of the great brothers John and Henry Lawrence, who organised a thoroughly efficient government in the new territories. Gholab Singh was chased from the territory the British had given him, and it became necessary that British arms should reinstate him, and that a British force should permanently garrison Lahore, at a cost to the Sikh Government of £220,000 a year. The intriguing and restless Ranee was sent off from the capital to Sharpoora, where she was kept under surveillance. Sir Charles Napier was obliged to resign his government in Scinde from ill-health, and he returned home in 1847. The Governor-General, after making a progress through various parts of the empire, in order to inaugurate and encourage works of social improvement, was also obliged to retire from his post, in consequence of the failure of his health owing to the fatigues and hardships he had endured in the campaign, and Henry Lawrence accompanied him. On his return home Hardinge was made Master-General of the Ordnance and Commander-in-Chief, being succeeded in India by Lord Dalhousie, who arrived there on the 10th of January, 1848. He, too, found disturbances to be quelled and treachery to be punished among our allies and tributaries. Troubles occurred at Lahore, where the hostility of the inhabitants to the British broke out with terrible effect. Mr. Vans Agnew, the British Resident, and Lieutenant Anderson were treacherously murdered at Mooltan, apparently by the orders of Moolraj, who had been ordered to pay a large sum as succession duty to the Sikh Government. Their death was avenged by Lieutenant Edwardes and General Courtland, who, at the head of a small force, attacked and defeated the revolted Sikhs, 3,000 strong. At length 26,000 troops under General Whish invested the place. But his troops went over to the enemy, and he was compelled to raise the siege and retire. At the same time an insurrection broke out in the Punjab, headed by the governor of the North-West Provinces; in fact, there was a general revolt of the Sikhs against British rule.

[593]In the meantime the Chartists had made their preparations. The members of the National Convention met early in the morning at its hall in John Street, Fitzroy Square, and after this the members took their places in a great car, which had been prepared to convey them to the Common. It was so large that the whole Convention and all the reporters who attended it found easy accommodation—Mr. Feargus O'Connor and Mr. Ernest Jones sitting in the front rank. It was drawn by six fine horses. Another car drawn by four horses contained the monster petition, with its enormous rolls of signatures. Banners with Chartist mottoes and devices floated over these imposing vehicles. The Convention thus driven in state passed down Holborn, over Blackfriars Bridge, and on to the Common, attended by 1,700 Chartists, marching in procession. This was only one detachment; others had started from Finsbury Square, Russell Square, Clerkenwell Green, and Whitechapel. The largest body had mustered in the East, and passed over London Bridge, numbering about 6,000. They all arrived at the Common about ten o'clock, where considerable numbers had previously assembled; so the Common appeared covered with human beings. In all monster meetings there are the widest possible differences in the estimates of the numbers. In this case they were set down variously at 15,000, 20,000, 50,000, and even 150,000. Perhaps 30,000 was the real number present.St. Clair had marched with such celerity that he reached, before the next night, Castleton, thirty miles from Ticonderoga. But the rear division under Colonel Warner halted at Hubberton, six miles short of Castleton. Early next morning, General Fraser found them on a hill. No sooner did they descry him, than one of the regiments turned and fled, leaving most of their officers to be taken prisoners. But the other two regiments, commanded by Warner and Francis, stood their ground stoutly. Fraser had with him only about eight hundred men, and the Americans were from one thousand two hundred to one thousand five hundred strong. But Fraser advanced up the hill and attacked them briskly. The Americans were protected by a sort of breastwork formed of logs and trees, and they gave Fraser a smart reception. But, calculating on the approach of Reisedel and the Germans, he fought on; and Reisedel soon after marching up with a full band of music, the Americans imagined that the whole body of the Germans was there, and fled on to Castleton as fast as they could.


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