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Much opposition was excited by the part of Mr. Stanley's letter to the Duke of Leinster which spoke of "encouraging" the clergy to give religious instruction, and requiring the attendance of the scholars at their respective places of worship on Sunday to be registered by the schoolmaster. This was treading on religious ground, and committing both Protestants and Catholics to the actual support of what they mutually deemed false. But the Government were driven to this course by the cry of "infidelity" and "atheism" which the new plan encountered as soon as it was proposed in Parliament. Explanations were afterwards issued by authority, showing that the "encouragement" of religious instruction meant only granting "facility of access" to the children out of school hours, not "employing or remunerating" the teachers. The Commissioners very properly treated the Bible as a book for religious instruction; but so far from offering the sacred volume an "indignity," or "forbidding" its use, they said: "To the religious instructors of the children they cheerfully leave, in communicating instruction, the use of the sacred volume itself, as containing those doctrines and precepts a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion." To obviate every cavil, however, as far as possible, without departing from the fundamental principle of the Board, it was arranged that the Bible might be read at any hour of the day, provided the time was distinctly specified, so that there should be no suspicion of a desire to take advantage of the presence of Roman Catholics. This satisfied the Presbyterians, who nearly all placed their schools in connection with the Board. But the great body of the Established clergy continued for some time afterwards hostile, having put forward the Church Education Society as a rival candidate for Parliamentary recognition and support. Its committee declared that the national system was "essentially defective" in permitting the Catholic children to refuse the Bible. They said this permission "involves a practical indignity to the Word of God," and that it was "carrying into effect the discipline of the Church of Rome, in restricting the use of the inspired writings." This was the grand charge against the Board, the vital point in the controversy.A succession of battles now took place with varying success, but still leaving the Allies nearer to Paris than before. If Buonaparte turned against Blucher, Schwarzenberg made an advance towards the capital; if against Schwarzenberg, Blucher progressed a stage. To check Schwarzenberg whilst he attacked Blucher, Napoleon sent Oudinot, Macdonald, and Gerard against Schwarzenberg; but they were defeated, and Napoleon himself was repulsed with severe loss from Craonne and the heights of Laon. But Buonaparte getting between the two Allied armies, and occupying Rheims, the Austrians were so discouraged that Schwarzenberg gave orders to retreat. The Emperor Alexander strenuously opposed retreat; but the effectual argument was advanced by Lord Castlereagh, who declared that the moment the retreat commenced the British subsidies should cease. A sharp battle was fought on the 20th of March, between Schwarzenberg and Napoleon, at Arcis-sur-Aube, and Napoleon was compelled to retreat. Blucher, who had received the order to retreat from Schwarzenberg, had treated it with contempt, and replied to it by his favourite word, "Forwards!" Napoleon had now to weigh the anxious question, whether it was better to push on, and stand a battle under the walls of Paris, with his small, much-reduced force, against the Allies, and with the capital in a state of uncertainty towards him—or to follow and harass the rear of the enemy. He seems to have shrunk from the chance of a defeat under the eyes of his metropolis, and he therefore, finding a Prussian force in Vitry, crossed the Marne on the 22nd of March, and held away towards his eastern frontiers, as if with some faint, fond hope that the peasantry of Franche Comté and Alsace might rise and fly to his support. But no such movement was likely; all parts of France were mortally sick of his interminable wars, and glad to see an end put to them. The Allies had now taken the bold resolve to march on Paris and summon it to surrender.
The effect of the American war, so extremely unsatisfactory to the nation, had now perceptibly reduced the influence of Lord North and his Ministry. Their majorities, which had formerly been four to one, had now fallen to less than two to one; and this process was going rapidly on. The changes in the Cabinet had been considerable, but they had not contributed to reinvigorate it. The removal of Thurlow to the House of Lords had left nobody equal to him in the Commons to contend with such men as Fox, Burke, Barré, and the several others. Wedderburn had taken Thurlow's place as Attorney-General, and Wallace had stepped into Wedderburn's as Solicitor-General. Lord Weymouth, who had held the posts of Secretary of State for the North and South Departments since the death of the Earl of Suffolk, now resigned, and Lord Hillsborough was appointed to the Southern Department, and Lord Stormont to the Northern Department. Neither of these changes was popular. The Duke of Bedford's party had become more and more cool towards Lord North, and in every respect there was a declining power in the Cabinet. It was at variance with itself, and was fast losing the confidence of the public. Lord George Germaine was still retained by the king as Secretary of the Colonies, notwithstanding the disgust he had excited by the unfortunate planning of the expedition of Burgoyne.Simultaneously with these proceedings, the actions commenced by Wilkes, and the printer, publishers, and others arrested under the general warrant, were being tried in the Common Pleas. All the parties obtained verdicts for damages, and that of Wilkes was for a thousand pounds. Chief-Justice Pratt, strengthened by the verdicts, made a most decided declaration of the illegality and unconstitutional nature of general warrants.In England there had been a coalition of what was called the Portland section of the Whigs, with Pitt's Ministry. These Whigs had not only separated from Fox and his friends, but they had, from the first outbreak of the French Revolution, followed the lead of Burke and supported all Pitt's measures. The Duke of Portland, therefore, was, in July, made Third Secretary of State; Lord Fitzwilliam, President of the Council, and, in December, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; Earl Spencer was made, at the same time, Lord Privy Seal, and, in December, First Lord of the Admiralty; Pitt's elder brother, Lord Chatham, being removed for him, and made Privy Seal; and Windham became Secretary of War in place of Sir George Yonge.
The State prosecutions commenced in January, 1844, in the Court of Queen's Bench, before the Lord Chief Justice Penefather, and Justices Burton, Crampton, and Perrin. Besides the Attorney and Solicitor-General, there were ten counsel employed for the Crown, and there was an equal number on the side of the traversers, including Mr. Sheil, Mr. Hatchel, Mr. Moore, Mr. Whiteside, Mr. Monaghan, afterwards Chief Justice, Mr. O'Hagan, and Mr. Macdonogh. This monster trial was remarkable in many respects. It excited great public interest, which pervaded all classes, from the highest to the lowest. It lasted from the 16th of January to the 12th of February; the speech of the Attorney-General occupied two days; the jury list was found to be defective, a number of names having been secretly abstracted; newspaper articles were admitted as evidence against men who never saw them; the Lord Chief Justice betrayed his partiality in charging the jury, by speaking of the traversers as "the other side." The principal witnesses were shorthand writers from London, avowedly employed by the Government to report the proceedings of the monster meetings. Mr. Jackson, reporter for the Morning Herald, also placed his notes at the service of the Government. Mr. O'Connell defended himself in a long argument for Repeal, and an attack on the Government. The most brilliant orations delivered on the occasion were those of Sheil and Whiteside. Mr. Fitzgibbon, one of the counsel for the traversers, made a remark offensive to the Attorney-General, Mr. T. C. B. Smith, who immediately handed him a challenge, in the presence of his wife, while the judges had retired for refreshment. The matter was brought before the court, and, after mutual explanations, was allowed to drop.
By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd.The next day the war against France was proclaimed, and for the righteous cause of restoring the independence of the nations. Prussia, and indeed all Germany, had now been trampled on sufficiently to crush the effeminacy out of all classes—to rouse the true soul of liberty in them. Men of every rank offered themselves as the defenders and avengers of their country; the students at this moment not only sung, but aided freedom. The volunteers were formed into Black Bands, and others assumed the dress and arms of the Cossacks, who had won much admiration. They were disciplined in the system of Scharnhorst, and soon became effective soldiers. A leader was found for them after their own heart—the brave and patriotic Blucher, who had been reserving himself for this day, and Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, better tacticians than himself, were appointed to assist him, and carry out all the strategic movements; whilst Blucher, never depressed by difficulties, never daunted by defeat, led them on with the cheer from which he derived his most common appellation of Marshal Forwards—"Forwards! my children, forwards!" All classes hastened to contribute the utmost amount possible to the necessary funds for this sacred war. The ladies gave in their gold chains and bracelets, their diamonds and rubies, and wore as ornaments chains and bracelets of beautifully wrought iron.
Whilst these contentions were going on, Wren had entered fairly on his profession of architect. He built the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford, begun in 1663, and completed in 1669; and the fine library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the beautiful square, Neville's Court, to the same college. He also built the chapels of Pembroke and Emmanuel Colleges, in the same university. In the erection of these, he suffered, from the conceit and conflicting opinions of parties concerned, a foretaste of the squabbles and contradictions which rendered the whole period of the building of St. Paul's miserable. In 1665 he found leisure to visit Paris, and study the magnificent palaces and churches with which Louis XIV. was embellishing his capital. There he got a glimpse of the design for the Louvre, which Bernini, the architect, showed him, but only for a moment; and he was in communication with Mansard, Le Vau, and Le Pautre.These cases may serve as illustrations of the state of the country at that time. On the 10th of January between twenty and thirty of the convicts were brought up together for sentence, and it seemed difficult to believe that so ill-looking and desperate a set of villains could be congregated in one place. They had all, with one exception, been found guilty, without any recommendation to mercy from the jury. After an impressive address from the judge, the sentences were pronounced, varying in the amount of punishment assigned. But they heard their doom with the greatest indifference. The commission next adjourned to Ennis, the assize town of the county of Clare, where the results were equally satisfactory. The judges arrived at Clonmel, the chief town of Tipperary, on the 24th of January. There they found upwards of four hundred prisoners in gaol, charged with crimes marked by various degrees of atrocity. The trial that excited most attention here was that of John Sonergan, for the murder of Mr. William Roe, a landed proprietor and a magistrate of the county, who was shot in the open day, upon the road near one of his own plantations. The scene which was presented in this court on the 31st of January, was described in the report of the trials as scarcely ever paralleled. Five human beings, four of whom were convicted of murder, and one of an attempt to murder, stood in a row at the front of the dock, to receive the dreadful sentence of the law, which consigned them to an ignominious death.
But there was no time for festivities. The English army was approaching, and it was necessary for Charles to assert his right by hard blows as well as by proclamations. The citizens stood aloof from his standard; but Lord Nairn arrived most opportunely from the Highlands with five hundred of the clan Maclachlan, headed by their chief, and accompanied by a number of men from Athol. These swelled his little army to upwards of two thousand five hundred, and Charles declared that he would immediately lead them against Cope. The chiefs applauded this resolution, and on the morning of the 19th he marched out to Duddingston, where the troops lay upon their arms, and then he summoned a council of war. He proposed to continue the march the next morning, and meet Cope upon the way. In the highest spirits the clans marched on through Musselburgh and over the heights at Carberry, where Mary Queen of Scots made her last unfortunate fight, nor did they stop till they came in sight of the English army.
By the 8th of October Wellington was safely encamped within these impregnable lines, and the crowd of flying people sought refuge in Lisbon, or in the country around it. The British did not arrive a moment too soon, for Massena was close at their heels with his van; but he halted at Sobral for three days to allow of the coming up of his main body. This time was spent by the British in strengthening their position, already most formidable. The two ranges of mountains lying one behind the other were speedily occupied by the troops; and they were set to work at more completely stopping up roads, and constructing barriers, palisades, platforms, and wooden bridges leading into the works. For this purpose fifty thousand trees were allowed them, and all the space between Lisbon and these wonderful lines was one swarming scene of people bringing in materials and supplies. The right of the position was flanked by the Tagus, where the British fleet lay anchored, attended by a flotilla of gunboats, and a body of marines occupied the line of embarkation; Portuguese militia manned the Castle of St. Julian and the forts on the Tagus, and Lisbon itself was filled with armed bands of volunteers. There was no want of anything within this busy and interesting enclosure, for the British fleet had the command of the sea and all its means of supply. Seven thousand Portuguese peasantry were employed in bringing in and preparing the timber for the defences; and every soldier not positively on guard was enthusiastic in helping the engineers and artillery in the labour of making the lines impregnable.
[See larger version]The congress had opened at Aix-la-Chapelle early in the spring, but it did not begin its sittings till the 11th of March, 1748, Sandwich being sent thither as our Plenipotentiary. The campaign, however, opened simultaneously, and, could Cumberland and the king have managed it, war would soon have overturned the hopes of peace; but circumstances were too much for them. The Prince of Nassau, ambitious as he was of military renown, failed to bring into the field his Dutch levies; the thirty thousand Prussians, as Pelham had expected, did not appear. The Dutch, so far from furnishing the sums they had engaged for, sent to London to raise the loan of a million sterling; but London itself had ceased to be a money-lending place. The war had drained the resources even of the British capital. To complete the deadlock, Marshal Saxe advanced into the field, and showed to the world that, though Cumberland might beat an army of famine-exhausted Highlanders, he was no match for him. He completely out-generalled him, made false demonstrations against Breda, where the Allied army lay, and then suddenly concentrated his forces before Maestricht, which, it was evident, must soon fall into his hands. Maestricht secured, the highway into Holland was open.
The time for the last grand conflict for the recovery of their forfeited throne in Great Britain by the Stuarts was come. The Pretender had grown old and cautious, but the young prince, Charles Edward, who had been permitted by his father, and encouraged by France, to attempt this great object in 1744, had not at all abated his enthusiasm for it, though Providence had appeared to fight against him, and France, after the failure of Dunkirk, had seemed to abandon the design altogether. When he received the news of the battle of Fontenoy he was at the Chateau de Navarre, near Evreux, the seat of his attached friend, the young Duke de Bouillon. He wrote to Murray of Broughton to announce his determination to attempt the enterprise at all hazards. He had been assured by Murray himself that his friends in Scotland discountenanced any rising unless six thousand men and ten thousand stand of arms could be brought over; and that, without these, they would not even engage to join him. The announcement, therefore, that he was coming threw the friends of the old dynasty in Scotland into the greatest alarm. All but the Duke of Perth condemned the enterprise in the strongest terms, and wrote letters to induce him to postpone his voyage. But these remonstrances arrived too late; if, indeed, they would have had any effect had they reached him earlier. Charles Edward had lost no time in making his preparations.Sir George Prevost now put himself at the head of the brave troops that had so lately advanced from conquest to conquest under Wellington. He had eleven thousand of these brave fellows, including a fine regiment of cavalry, and a numerous train of artillery. With such an army, an able general would not only have cleared the whole frontier of Canada, but would have inflicted a severe chastisement on the Americans in their own territory. The great object to be accomplished was the destruction of Sacketts Harbour, with which must fall at once the whole naval power of America on Lake Ontario. Every military man expected that this would be done; but Sir George, after waiting in a camp at Chamblay, advanced to Plattsburg Harbour, on Lake Champlain. But there he would do nothing till the American flotilla, which lay in the harbour, was also attacked. For this purpose Captain Downie was sent by Sir James Yeo from the Ontario squadron suddenly to take command of a squadron of a few ships and a miscellaneous naval force, as hastily mustered and knowing little of each other—Downie knowing only one of his officers. The ship which he commanded was just launched, was unfinished, and everything was in confusion: yet in this condition, Sir George Prevost insisted on their going into action against a superior and well-prepared American squadron, promising to make a simultaneous attack on the harbour and defences on land. Downie commenced the attack on the water, but found no co-operation from Sir George on shore, who stood still till he had seen Downie killed, and the unequal British vessels, three in number, fairly battered to pieces, and compelled to strike. And, after all, Sir George never did commence the attack on the fort with that fine army, which would have carried it in ten minutes, but marched back again, amid the inconceivable indignation of officers and men, who could not comprehend why they should be condemned to obey the orders of so disgraceful a poltroon. On their march, or rather retreat, they were insulted by the wondering Americans, and abandoned vast quantities of stores, ammunition, and provisions. The loss of men during this scandalous expedition was not more than two hundred; but eight hundred veterans—who had been accustomed to very different scenes, under a very different commander—in their resentment at his indignity went over to the enemy. In fact, had this unhappy general continued longer in command, the whole British force would have become thoroughly demoralised.详情
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