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. 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.
Some of the offenders in this "Bottle Riot," as it was called, were prosecuted. Bills against them were sent up to the grand jury of the city of Dublin. But as this body had a strong Orange animus, the bills were thrown out. Mr. Plunket then proceeded by ex-officio informations, which raised a great outcry against the Government, as having violated the Constitution, and a resolution to that effect was moved by Mr. Brownlow in the House of Commons. It turned out, however, that his predecessor, Mr. Saurin, one of his most vehement accusers, who alleged that the course was altogether unprecedented, had himself established the precedent ten or twelve years before. Forgetting this fact, he denounced the conduct of Mr. Plunket as "the most flagrant violation of constitutional principle that had ever been attempted." The trial in the Court of Queen's Bench, which commenced on February 3rd, 1823, produced the greatest possible excitement. The ordinary occupations of life appeared to be laid aside in the agitating expectation of the event. As soon as the doors were opened, one tremendous rush of the waiting multitude filled in an instant the galleries, and every avenue of the court. The result of the trial was, that the jury disagreed, the traversers were let out on bail, the Attorney-General threatening to prosecute again; but the proceedings were never revived.
Least of all did the ambitious designs of the Czarina Catherine against Turkey seem menacing to us; yet these designs speedily drew into their current the whole power of Austria, endangered our relations with the countries on the Baltic, and attracted the revolutionary torrent over the fertile plains of the Netherlands, opposite to our own shores, menacing the stability of our allies, the Dutch. Catherine had found the Turks not so easily to be overcome as she imagined, feeble and tottering as she considered their empire. The absorption of the Ottoman kingdom and the establishment of the Muscovite throne at Constantinople had been her confident dream. But the Turks, though in a condition of decline and disorganisation which promised an easy subjugation of them, had still their spirit of fanatic fatalism, which could rouse them to deeds of impetuous valour. The whole organisation and regulations of their army were in the worst condition. The janissaries, which had been amongst the finest infantry in the world, were now thoroughly demoralised and in insolent insubordination towards their own government. Their cavalry was numerous, but wretchedly disciplined. The commissariat was in the worst state conceivable, and their artillery, though it had received the energetic attentions of the French Baron De Toff, was contemptible. It might have appeared that nothing was necessary but to enter Turkey and drive the army, as a disorganised rabble, before the foe. But Catherine had not found it so. Her favourite, Potemkin, had been repeatedly defeated in his attempts to advance into Turkey from the Crimea, and Catherine had been glad to engage Joseph II. of Austria in the enterprise by a promise of an ample share of the spoil. In fact, the pair contemplated something like a partition of Europe. In their meeting at Cherson in 1787, Joseph had engaged to send one hundred thousand men to the campaign against Turkey. He had no quarrel with the Sultan, and though a zealous advocate for national reforms, he paid very little regard to national or international justice. In all his reforms, Joseph, with true Austrian spirit, showed the despot still. He did not attempt to carry such reforms as his subjects desired, but such as he thought proper for them; and he was always ready to force what he deemed liberalism and improvement upon them at the point of the bayonet. In attacking Turkey, he did not wait to proclaim war, much less to have a pretence for it, but he suddenly made a rush upon the neighbouring city and frontier fortress of Belgrade. The Turks, though taken by surprise, defended the place victoriously; and Joseph's subsequent assault on the fortress of Gradiska was equally unsuccessful and equally disgraceful.
THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON IN NOTRE DAME. (See p. 499.)THE JUMMA MUSJID, DELHI. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co.)In fact, the chief scene of the war during this year continued to be south. In September, D'Estaing arrived off Savannah, to co-operate with the American forces in recovering that important place. He brought with him twenty-four ships of the line and fourteen frigates, and was moreover attended by a numerous squadron of French and American privateers, besides carrying a considerable body of troops. On learning D'Estaing's approach, General Lincoln and Governor Rutledge began to march their troops towards Savannah, and sent a number of small vessels to enable the French to carry their troops up the river, and land them near the town. General Prevost, commander of the English garrison, made the most active preparations to receive them. D'Estaing had agreed to wait for the arrival of General Lincoln, with the South Carolina force, but, with the want of faith characteristic of the man, on the 12th of September he landed three thousand men, and summoned General Prevost to surrender in the name of the French king. Prevost claimed twenty-four hours to decide, and this time he employed in strengthening his defences. Before the expiration of this time Colonel Maitland, who was on the march for Beaufort with eight hundred veterans, came in, and Prevost returned for answer that he would defend the place to the utmost. On the 16th, General Lincoln arrived, and was greatly incensed to find that D'Estaing had broken the agreement to wait for him, and still worse, had summoned the place in the name of France instead of the Congress.
The Guards at the gates stood with tricolour cockades on their hats, and the great ladies of the Court came driving in, for they were not far off. The Duchess of St. Leu had been permitted to remain in Paris, and her house had been the focus of all the Buonapartist adherents and conspiracies. From that centre had been sent summonses to every branch of the Buonaparte family to be in readiness, and all had responded except Cardinal Fesch, Louis Buonaparte, and Eugene Beauharnais, who had too much sense to quit Munich with his wife, the daughter of the Bavarian king. Even Murat, to his ruin, had been induced to declare for Buonaparte once more.The king, undeterred, descended into the court, and passing along the ranks, addressed them from time to time, telling them he relied on their attachment, and that in defending him they defended their wives and children. He then proceeded through the vestibule, intending to go to the garden, when he was assailed by fierce cries from some of the soldiers: "Down with the veto!" "Down with the traitor!" "Vive la nation!" Madame Campan, who was at a window looking into the garden, saw some of the gunners go up to the king, and thrust their fists in his face, insulting him in the most brutal language. He was obliged to pass along the terrace of the Feuillants, which was crowded with people, separated from the furious multitude merely by a tricolour line, but he went on in spite of all sorts of menaces and abuse. He saw the battalions file off before his face, and traverse the garden with the intention of joining the assailants in the Place du Carrousel, whilst the gensdarmes at the colonnade of the Louvre and other places did the same. This completely extinguished all hope in the unhappy king. The Viscomte Du Bouchage, seeing the situation of Louis from the palace, descended in haste with another nobleman, to bring him in before some fatality happened to him. He complied, and returned with them. When the gunners thrust their fists in his face, Madame Campan says Louis turned as pale as death; yet he had shown no want of courage, had it been of the right sort. He had, indeed, refused to wear a kind of defensive corset which the queen had had made for him, saying, on the day of battle it was his duty to be uncovered, like the meanest of his servants. When the royal family came in again, Madame Campan says, "The queen told me all was lost; that the king had shown no energy, and that this sort of review had done more harm than good." The royal family, amidst insults and reproaches, walked on fast to the Assembly, and placed themselves under its protection. Vergniaud, the president, assured them of safety.
It was time, if they were to avoid a battle. Cumberland was already on the march from Edinburgh. He quitted Holyrood on the 31st of January, and the insurgents only commenced their retreat the next morning, the 1st of February, after spiking their guns. With this force the prince continued his march towards Inverness, a fleet accompanying him along the coast with supplies and ammunition. On nearing Inverness, he found it rudely fortified by a ditch and palisade, and held by Lord Loudon with two thousand men. Charles took up his residence at Moray Castle, the seat of the chief of the Macintoshes. The chief was in the king's army with Lord Loudon, but Lady Macintosh espoused the cause of the prince zealously, raised the clan, and led them out as their commander, riding at their head with a man's bonnet on her head, and pistols at her saddle-bow. Charles, the next morning, the 17th of February, called together his men, and on the 18th marched on Inverness. Lord Loudon did not wait for his arrival, but got across the Moray Firth with his soldiers, and accompanied by the Lord-President Forbes, into Cromarty. He was hotly pursued by the Earl of Cromarty and several Highland regiments, and was compelled to retreat into Sutherland. Charles entered Inverness, and began to attack the British forts. Fort George surrendered in a few days, and in it they obtained sixteen pieces of cannon and a considerable stock of ammunition and provisions.[See larger version]
Still the affairs of Wilkes continued to occupy almost the sole thought and interest of the Session. On the 23rd of November the question of privilege came up; and though he was absent, having been wounded in a duel, it was actively pushed by the Ministers. Mr. Wilbraham protested against the discussion without the presence of Wilkes, and his being heard at the bar in his defence. Pitt attended, though suffering awfully from the gout, propped on crutches, and his very hands wrapped in flannel. He maintained the question of privilege, but took care to separate himself from Wilkes in it. The rest of the debate was violent and personal, and ended in voting, by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-three, that the privilege of Parliament did not extend to the publication of seditious libels; the resolution ordering the North Briton to be burnt by the hangman was confirmed. These votes being sent up to the Lords, on the 25th they also debated the question, and the Duke of Cumberland, Lord Shelburne, and the Duke of Newcastle, defended the privilege of Parliament as violated in the person of Wilkes. In the end, however, the Ministers obtained a majority of a hundred and fourteen against thirty-eight. Seventeen peers entered a strong protest against the decision. On the 1st of December there was a conference of the two Houses, when they agreed to a loyal address to the king, expressing their detestation of the libels against him.
The general election was, on the whole, favourable to the Government; the forces of Conservatism being roused into activity by the violent democratic tendencies of the times, and by the threats of revolution. The new Parliament met on the 21st of April. Mr. Manners Sutton was re-elected Speaker. A week was occupied in swearing in the members, and the Session was opened on the 27th by a Speech from the king, the vagueness of which gave no ground for an amendment to the Address in either House. In the old roll of members one illustrious name was found, borne by a statesman who was never more to take his seat in the House. Henry Grattan expired (June 4) soon after the Session commenced. Sir James Mackintosh, in moving a new writ for Dublin, which Grattan had represented for many years, observed "that he was, perhaps, the only man recorded in history who had obtained equal fame and influence in two assemblies differing from each other in such essential respects as the English and Irish Parliaments."详情
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