This decided repulse ought to have shown the prince the violence that he was doing to the public sense of decency, and the mischief to his own character; but the disappointment only the more embittered him and increased his miserable obstinacy. Time had no effect in abating his unnatural resentment. Though this parliamentary decision took place in February, he continued so much in the same temper, that the very last day of the following May, his wife being seized with symptoms of labour, he suddenly determined to remove her from Hampton Court, where all the Royal Family then were, and hurry her off to London.On the 17th of October the peace between France and Austria was definitively signed at Campo Formio. To France Austria ceded Belgium, the left bank of the Rhine, including Mayence, the Ionian islands, and the Venetian possessions in Albania, both of which really belonged to Venice. Venice itself, and its territory as far as the Adige, with Istria and Venetian Dalmatia on the other side of the Adriatic, were made over to Austria without ceremony. The Milan and Mantuan states were given up by Austria, with Modena, Massa, Carrara; and the papal provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, and the rest of them, as far as the Rubicon, were included in a new so-called Cisalpine Republic belonging to France. Tuscany, Parma, Rome, and Naples were still called Italian, but were as much, Naples excepted, in the power of France as the rest. In fact, except Venetia, which Austria secured, all Italy except Naples was subjected to the French, and the regular process of democratising was going on, in the latter kingdom, for an early seizure.
The Spaniards had at length made Lord Wellington Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies, but this appointment was little more than nominal, for the Spanish generals continued as froward and insubordinate as ever; and the Spanish Government was poorer than ever, its remittances from the South American colonies, which were asserting their independence, being stopped. Wellington's dependence, therefore, continued to rest on his army of British and Portuguese—sixty-three thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry.
In Ireland the magistrates acted on the circular, and on the 23rd of February, 1811, two magistrates proceeded to disperse the Catholic committee in Dublin. They were told by the committee that they were sitting simply for the purpose of petitioning Parliament, and they did not venture to interrupt it. The movement went on all over Ireland, the committees were numerously attended, and, notwithstanding a proclamation from Dublin Castle commanding the magistrates everywhere to disperse all such gatherings, in Dublin the general committee, numbering nearly three hundred persons, met in Fishamble Street on the 19th of October. Police were sent to disperse them, but on arriving they had already signed the petition, and were coming away amid a vast concourse of spectators. Several persons were arrested and tried, but the juries returned verdicts of "Not Guilty."[See larger version]
Captain Dacres, of the Guerrière, returning to Halifax to refit after convoying another fleet of merchantmen, fell in with the large United States' frigate Constitution, commanded by Captain Hull. The Guerrière was old and rotten, wanting a thorough refit, or, rather, laying entirely aside. In addition to other defects she was badly supplied with ammunition. The Guerrière had only two hundred and forty-four men and nineteen boys; the Constitution had four hundred and seventy-six men, and a great number of expert riflemen amongst them, which the American men-of-war always carried to pick off the enemy, and especially the officers, from the tops. Yet Captain Dacres stayed and fought the Constitution till his masts and yards were blown away, and his vessel was in a sinking state. In this condition Dacres, who was himself severely wounded with a rifle-ball, struck, the only alternative being going to the bottom. The old ship was then set on fire, the British crew being first removed to the American ship. Though the contest had been almost disgracefully unequal, the triumph over it in the United States was inconceivable. Hull and his men were thanked in the most extravagant terms, and a grant of fifty thousand dollars was made them for a feat which would not have elicited a single comment in England. But when our officers and men were carried on board the Constitution, they discovered that nearly one-half—a number, in fact, equal to their own—were English or Irish. Some of the principal officers were English; many of the men were very recent deserters; and so much was the American captain alarmed lest a fellow-feeling should spring up between the compatriots of the two crews, that he kept his prisoners manacled and chained to the deck of his ship during the night after the battle, and for the greater part of the following day.
Mr. O'Connell's avowed principle of action was "moral force." He was in the constant habit of asserting that "the man who commits a crime gives strength to the enemy;" and that no political advantages, however great, should be obtained at the expense of "one drop of Christian blood." Nevertheless, the letters which he was in the habit of addressing to "the people of Ireland," and which were remarkable for their clearness, force, and emphatic tautology, had always prefixed to them, as a standing motto, Byron's couplet—
The commercial treaty with France, Pitt's greatest achievement as a financier, was not signed until the recess—namely, in September. It was conceived entirely in the spirit of Free Trade, and was an honest attempt to establish a perpetual alliance between the two nations. Its terms were:—That it was to continue in force for twelve years; with some few exceptions prohibitory duties between the two countries were repealed; the wines of France were admitted at the same rate as those of Portugal; privateers belonging to any nation at war with one of the contracting parties might no longer equip themselves in the ports of the other; and complete religious and civil liberty was granted to the inhabitants of each country while residing in the other. One result of the treaty was the revival of the taste for light French wines which had prevailed before the wars of the Revolution, and a decline in the sale of the fiery wines of the Peninsula. But the treaty was bitterly attacked by the Opposition. Flood reproduced the absurd argument that wealth consists of money, and that trade can only be beneficial to the country which obtains the largest return in gold. Fox and Burke, with singular lack of foresight, declaimed against Pitt for making a treaty with France, "the natural political enemy of Great Britain," and denounced the perfidy with which the French had fostered the American revolt. In spite of the illiberality of these arguments, Pitt, with the acquiescence of the commercial classes, carried the treaty through Parliament by majorities of more than two to one.The court then adjourned to the 15th of April. The case of the Begums was opened by Mr. Adams, and concluded the next day by Mr. Pelham. Then sixteen days were occupied by the evidence, and at length, on the 3rd of June, Sheridan began to sum up the evidence, and, in a speech which lasted three days, he kept the court in the highest state of excitement. The place was crowded to suffocation during the whole time, and as much as fifty guineas is said to have been paid for a single seat. Greatly as this speech of Sheridan's was admired, it was felt to be too ornate and dramatic: there was not the deep and genuine feeling of Burke in it, and the effect was so evidently studied, that, on concluding, Sheridan fell back into the arms of Burke, as if overcome by his own sensations. The prorogation of Parliament was now at hand, and only two out of the twenty charges had been gone through: neither of them had yet been replied to, and yet other causes of engrossing interest arising, the trial was entirely suspended till the 20th of April of the following year! Then it was taken up languidly and at uncertain intervals, and rapidly became a mere exhibition of rhetoric. Further, Burke's unlawyer-like style and intemperance of language drew upon him the censure of the Lord Chancellor, and even of the House of Commons. A revulsion of public feeling took place, and was seen in the acquittal of Stockdale who was tried for libelling the promoters of the trial. Three years afterwards Burke himself renounced sixteen of his charges, and all popular interest in the trial gradually disappeared.In the midst of this constitution-making, famine was stalking through the country, and bankruptcy was menacing the exchequer. The first loan of thirty millions had proved a total failure; a second of eighty, according to a fresh plan of Necker's, was equally a blank. With the necessities of the Government, the necessities of the people kept pace. The whole country was revolutionising instead of working; destroying estates instead of cultivating them. Farmers were afraid of sowing what they might never reap; trade and manufactures were at an end, for there was little money and no confidence. The country was not become unfruitful, but its people had gone mad, and the inevitable consequence was an ever-increasing famine. This, instead of being attributed to the true causes, was ascribed by the mob orators to all kinds of devilish practices of the Court and the aristocracy.
In Germany, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, after driving the French out of Hanover, had followed them across the Rhine this spring, and on the 23rd of June defeated them at Crefeld, with a slaughter of six thousand men. He then took Düsseldorf; but the French court recalling the incapable Clermont, and sending Marshal De Contades with fresh forces against him, and Prince Soubise defeating the Hessians, he was obliged to fall back into Westphalia, where he was joined by the Duke of Marlborough and Lord George Sackville with the English auxiliaries, but too late to effect anything further. Shortly afterwards the Duke of Marlborough died suddenly, under strong suspicions of having been poisoned.
CARLTON HOUSE, LONDON (1812).Chemistry also received valuable extensions of its field. Dr. John Mayow published new facts respecting nitre, and on the phenomena of respiration and combustion, as revealed by experiments on this and other substances. At the commencement of the eighteenth century Stahl, a German chemist, propounded his theory of phlogiston as the principle of combustion, which was only exploded by the further discoveries of Dr. Black, Cavendish, and Priestley. Soon after, Dr. Hales threw new light on a?riform bodies, or, as they are now termed, gases; and finally, Dr. Black demonstrated the presence of a gas in magnesia, lime, and the alkalies, which had long before been noticed by Van Helmont, but had been forgotten. This was then termed fixed air, but has now acquired the name of carbonic acid gas, or carbon dioxide. At the end of this period chemistry was extensively studied, and was rapidly revealing its secrets.详情
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