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An extraordinary scene of confusion was being enacted in the House of Commons at the moment when the king's reluctance was overcome. Sir R. Vivian took occasion to arraign Ministers violently for their intention of dissolving Parliament. Sir Francis Burdett contended that he was out of order. The Speaker ruled that he was in order. The Reformers differed from the Chair. Loud cries of "Sir Robert Peel! Sir Robert Peel!" were answered by counter-cries of "Sir Francis Burdett! Sir Francis Burdett!" and some wiser cries of "Chair! Chair!" The Speaker rose and stilled this unprecedented storm—rebuked those who had disputed his authority, and again called on Sir Robert Peel, who proceeded thereupon, in undisguised anger, to address the House. But as the noise of the cannon, which announced the king's approach, boomed into the House, the Reform members loudly cheered, each discharge being greeted with overbearing and triumphant shouts. Suddenly Sir Robert's angry speech, and the loud cheers of the Reformers, were stilled by the three admonitory taps of the Usher of the Black Rod, who came to summon the members to attend his Majesty in the House of Peers. The Speaker at once obeyed, the Commons following. A similar scene of confusion in the Upper House was interrupted by the approach of the king. Lord Londonderry said, "I protest my lords, I will not submit to——." Further than this his speech did not proceed, as the Lord Chancellor, who heard the king approaching, clutched the seals, left the woolsack, and darted out of the House. Lord Londonderry, not yet despairing, moved Lord Shaftesbury again to act as Speaker, and Lord Mansfield began a furious harangue in a loud and angry voice. In the meantime the Lord Chancellor met the king entering the House, and proceeding in procession to the robing-room. As the king advanced, the noise in the House became distinctly audible. "What's that, my Lord Chancellor?" said the king. "Only, may it please you, sire, the House of Lords amusing themselves while awaiting your Majesty's coming." The king, knowing what was meant, hastily robed, and as hastily entered the House—cutting short Lord Mansfield's speech, and putting an end to all chance of passing the resolution under debate. The king ascended the throne, and commanded the attendance of the Commons. The bar of the House of Lords was thronged by the mass of members who now entered. The Speaker addressed the king, stating that the House of Commons approached the king with profound respect; and that the Commons had at no time more faithfully responded to the real feelings and interest of his Majesty's affectionate people; "while it has been," he added, "their earnest desire to support the dignity and honour of the Crown, upon which depend the greatness, the happiness, and the prosperity of this country." The Royal Assent being given to the bills that had passed, and, among others, to the Civil List Bill, the Chancellor presented to his Majesty the Speech he was to deliver, and the king, with the high shrill tone he always employed, but with more than wonted energy, read the first, which, indeed, was the really important paragraph of the Speech, and that which alone men cared to listen to or hear.Another dishonourable characteristic of the Ministers of Queen Anne at this period was that they were in secret zealous partisans of the Pretender, and whilst openly professing a sacred maintenance of the Protestant succession, were doing all in their power to undermine it. They had given mortal offence to the Elector George of Hanover, the heir to the Throne, by their treachery to the Allies; and, as the health of the queen was most precarious from her excessive corpulence and gout, which was continually menacing a retreat to her stomach, this was equally a cause for their hastening the peace, however disgracefully, and for paving the way, if possible, for the return of the Pretender at the queen's death. Bolingbroke was the great correspondent with St. Germains, as his letters in the Stuart Papers abundantly show. But Oxford, although always more cunning and mysterious, was equally concerned in it; nor was the queen, if we may believe these remarkable papers, by any means averse from the succession of the Pretender, in spite of his stubborn adhesion to Popery. The Jacobite party was numerous, powerful, and indefatigable. They were in the Ministry and in both Houses of Parliament. At this moment a public appointment was made which filled the Whigs with consternation and rage. This was no other than that of the Duke of Hamilton—a supposed partisan of the Pretender—to be Ambassador to the Court of Versailles. Prior was still there, and had all the requisites of a clever and painstaking Envoy; but, being only a commoner and a poet, it did not suit the aristocratic notions of England that he should be accredited Ambassador. Hamilton was appointed, and would thus have had the amplest opportunity of concerting the return of the Stuarts with the base ministers at home. But he was not destined to see Versailles, for, as readers of Thackeray's "Esmond" will remember, he was killed in a duel by Lord Mohun.
MR. STANLEY (AFTERWARDS 14th EARL OF DERBY). [From a photograph by S. A. Walker, Regent Street, London.
Pitt was not for a moment deceived, and in August the Family Compact was signed. He broke off the negotiation, recalled Stanley from Paris, dismissed Bussy from London, and advised an immediate declaration of war against Spain, whilst it was yet in our power to seize the treasure ships. But there was but one Pitt—one great mind capable of grasping the affairs of a nation, and of seizing on the deciding circumstances with the promptness essential to effect. The usually timid Newcastle became suddenly courageous with alarm. Bute pronounced Pitt's proposal as "rash and unadvisable;" the king, obstinate as was his tendency, declared that, if his Ministers had yielded to such a policy, he would not; and Pitt, having laboured in vain to move this stolid mass of ministerial imbecility through three Cabinet Councils, at last, in the beginning of October, declared that, as he was called to the Ministry by the people, and held himself responsible to them, he would no longer occupy a position the duties of which he was not able to discharge. On the 5th he resigned, and his great Ministry came to an end.The Ministry of Addington was felt to be utterly inadequate to the difficulties of the times. The country felt that Pitt or Fox must soon be called to the helm. Addington had shown a desire to strengthen his administration by bringing into it George Tierney, whom he had appointed Treasurer of the Navy and a Privy Councillor. Pitt, who had an intense dislike to Tierney—with whom he had, in 1798, fought a duel—showed increasing determination, from the introduction of Tierney to the Cabinet, to oppose the Ministry of Addington with all his vigour. An opportunity was given him on the 27th of February. The Hon. Sir Charles Yorke, the Secretary-at-War, had introduced a Bill for consolidating all the existing laws respecting the volunteers. In the debate on the second reading of this Bill on this day, a question was incidentally introduced by Sir Robert Lawley as to the exact state of the king's health, which, he said, concerned the safety of the country as much as the affairs of the volunteers. Fox followed up this idea, and demanded more perfect information on this subject from Ministers. He declared that the House had no information on this important subject, and he asked whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer really had any. He supported the motion for an adjournment which Sir Robert Lawley had made, in order that the House might be put in possession of the truth. Fox made it felt that he was looking forward to the fact of a regency. Addington, on this, declared that there was no necessity for any serious measures, that he was persuaded that the king's indisposition would be of short duration. Pitt made some strong observations on the conduct of Ministers in keeping Parliament in the dark on this head, though he opposed the adjournment.
Whilst blood was thus flowing by the guillotine, not only in Paris, but, under the management of Jacobin Commissioners, in nearly all the large towns of France, especially Lyons, Bordeaux, and Nantes, a terrible work of extermination was going on against the royalists of La Vendée. The simple people of that province, primitive in their habits and sincere in their faith, desired no Republic. Their aristocracy, for the most part of only moderate possessions, lived amongst them rather like a race of kindly country squires than great lords, and the people were accordingly cordially attached to them. In March of the year 1793 the Convention called for a conscription of three hundred thousand, and the Vendéans, to a man, refused to serve under a Government that had persecuted both their priests and their seigneurs. This was the certain signal of civil war. Troops were ordered to march into La Vendée, and compel obedience. Then the peasants flew to arms, and called on the nobles and priests to join them. At first they were entirely successful, but matters changed when Kleber was put in practical command.
Mr. Jemison, as commissioner for distributing a million and a half of this compensation money! 1,200
When the two parties separated in 1846, the Young Irelanders established the Irish Confederation, which held its meetings in the Music Hall, Abbey Street, and whose platform was occupied by a number of young men, who subsequently figured in the State trials—Mr. Dillon, a barrister, who had been a moderator in Trinity College, Mr. Doheny, solicitor, Mr. O'Gorman, and Mr. Martin, a Protestant gentleman of property in the county Down. The object of the confederacy was to prepare the country for national independence, "by the force of opinion, by the combination of all classes of Irishmen, and the exercise of all the political, social, and moral influence within their reach." They disclaimed any intention of involving the country in civil war, or invading the just rights of any of its people; and they were specially anxious that Protestants and Roman Catholics should be united in the movement. Resolutions to this effect were adopted at a great meeting in the Rotunda, a revolutionary amendment by Mr. Mitchel having been rejected, after a stormy debate, which lasted three days, and did not terminate on the last day until one o'clock at night. This led to Mitchel's secession from the Nation, and the establishment of the United Irishman, in which he openly and violently advocated rebellion and revolution. He continually insisted on the adoption of the most diabolical and repulsive measures, with the utmost sang froid. Every Saturday his journal contained a letter "To the Earl of Clarendon, Her Majesty's Executioner-General and Butcher-General of Ireland." Plans of insurrection were freely propounded; the nature and efficiency of street fighting were copiously discussed; ladies were invited to throw vitriol from their windows on the Queen's troops, and to fling empty bottles before the cavalry that they might stumble and fall. Precise instructions were given, week after week, for the erection of barricades, the perforation of walls, and other means of attack and defence in the war against the Queen.[See larger version]The proofs of this prosperity have been exhibited in various other ways. In 1815 the yearly value of dwelling-houses in England and Wales was ￡14,000,000 for nearly 10,000,000 of people; in 1841 the yearly rental was ￡23,000,000 for Under 16,000,000 of people; which, reckoning the rental at twenty years' purchase, shows an investment in houses of capital amounting to ￡180,000,000 in twenty-six years. Counting since the Peace in 1815, it was estimated that the real property of England and Wales in the form of additional dwellings must have absorbed ￡240,000,000 of capital. Sir Robert Peel, in bringing forward his proposal for an income tax in 1842, assumed the value of real property in Great Britain to be as follows:—Rent of land, ￡39,400,000; rent of houses, ￡25,000,000; tithes, mines, etc., ￡8,400,000: total, ￡72,800,000, which, at twenty-five years' purchase, would be equal to a capital of ￡1,820,000,000. The annual value of real property actually assessed to the property and income tax in 1843 turned out to be much more than Sir Robert Peel estimated, amounting to more than ￡95,000,000 a year.
Amongst the novelists of the later period of the reign we may name Horace Smith, author of "Brambletye House," etc.; Leigh Hunt, the poet, author of "Sir Ralph Esher;" Peacock, author of "Headlong Hall;" Beckford, author of the wild Eastern tale of "Vathek;" Hamilton, author of "Cyril Thornton," etc.; Maturin, author of "Melmoth the Wanderer," etc.; Mrs. Brunton, author of "Discipline," "Self-Control," etc.; and Miss Ferrier, author of "Marriage" and other novels of a high order. Jane Austen (b. 1775; d. 1817), author of "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," "Sense and Sensibility," etc., all distinguished by the nicest sense of character, was far above any of these, and ranks with the foremost of our writers of fiction.
News now came that the Brest fleet was putting to sea. On the 7th of May Lord Bridport went on board and ordered anchor to be weighed. Not a man stirred; nor was it likely. No sooner had Lord Bridport told them what was not true, that their demands were acceded to, than, in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, Ministers had spoken of the subject in very ambiguous terms, and the Board of Admiralty had only ended the ambiguity by issuing an order on the 1st of May, commanding, in consequence of "the disposition lately shown by the seamen of several of his Majesty's ships," that the arms and ammunition of the marines should be kept in readiness for use in harbour, as well as at sea; and that on the first appearance of mutiny the most vigorous measures should be taken to quell it. This was ordering the officers of marines to fire on the sailors who should refuse to be thus shamefully juggled out of their promised rights by the Government. On board the London, Vice-Admiral Colpoys pushed the matter so far that his men resisted orders; and as one was unlashing a gun, Simpson, the first-lieutenant, told him that if he did not desist he would shoot him. The man went on unlashing, and Simpson shot him dead! On this, the sailors, in a rage, disarmed the officers and proceeded to hang Simpson at the yard-arm. Colpoys then begged for the lieutenant's life, assuring them that the order was his own, and that Simpson had only done his duty in obeying it. The chaplain and surgeon joined in the entreaty; and the men, far more merciful and reasonable than their commanders, complied. They ordered, however, Colpoys and all the officers to their respective cabins, and put the marines, without arms, below deck. Similar scenes took place on the other ships, and the fleet remained in the hands of the sailors from the 7th to the 11th of May, when Lord Howe arrived with an Act of Parliament, granting all their demands. Howe, who was old and infirm, persuaded them to prepare a petition for a full pardon. They, however, accompanied this petition by an assurance that they would not serve again under the tyrannical officers whom they had put on shore; and this was conceded. Admiral Colpoys was included in this list of officers proscribed by their oppressed men, along with four captains, twenty-nine lieutenants, seventeen masters' mates, twenty-five midshipmen, five captains of marines, three lieutenants, four surgeons, and thirteen petty officers of marines. The whole being arranged on the 15th of May, the red flag was struck; and the deputies waited on Lord Howe to express their obligations to him for his kind services on behalf of the oppressed seamen. His lordship gave them luncheon, and then was escorted by them, along with Lady Howe, on board the fleet. On their return, they carried Lord Howe on their shoulders to the Governor's House. Sir Roger Curtis's squadron had just come in from a cruise, and on learning what had passed, declared themselves ready to support the rest of the fleet; but the news which Howe had brought at once satisfied them, and all eagerly prepared to set sail, and demonstrate their loyal zeal by an encounter with the Brest fleet.详情
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