8,175,124 ￡13,187,421 2,556,601 ￡1,676,268The Ministry being complete, Parliament met on the 2nd of December. It was found that the new Administration had not that influence in the boroughs that Newcastle, who had cultivated it, had; and several members of the Cabinet, Pitt amongst them, had difficulty in getting returned, as was the case with Charles Townshend. In the king's speech, his Majesty was made to speak of the militia, which he was known by everybody to hold in sovereign contempt, as the best and most constitutional means of national defence. He announced also that he had ordered the return of the Hanoverian troops to their own country; and the Duke of Devonshire inserted in the Address from the Lords an expression of thanks for having brought these troops over. Pitt had declared that he would quit the Cabinet if such a vote was passed, and Temple came hurrying down to the House—Pitt being absent from the Commons with the gout—and declared that he had quitted a sick bed to protest against it. This was an unlucky beginning. It was clear that there was want of unity in the Cabinet at its very birth, and out-of-doors the people were loudly complaining of the scarcity of food, and bread riots were frequent. The king himself could not help ridiculing the speech his new Ministers had composed for him; and a poor printer being arrested for putting another speech into his mouth, George said he hoped the man might receive very lenient punishment, for, as far as he could understand either of the speeches, he thought the printer's the best. To abate the ferment out-of-doors, the Commons passed two Bills: one prohibiting the export of grain, flour, or biscuit; the other prohibiting, for several months, distillation from wheat or barley.Fox and his party still maintained a vigorous and persevering endeavour to remain at peace; but he weakened his efforts by professing to believe that we might yet enter into substantial engagements with the French, who had at this moment no permanent settled Government at all, but a set of puppet Ministers, ruled by a Convention, and the Convention ruled by a mob flaming with the ideas of universal conquest and universal plunder. If Fox had advocated the wisdom of maintaining the defensive as much as possible, and confining ourselves to defending our Dutch allies, as we were bound, his words would have had more weight; but his assurance that we might maintain a full and friendly connection with a people that were butchering each other at home, and belying all their most solemn professions of equity and fraternity towards their dupes abroad, only enabled Pitt to ask him with whom he would negotiate—Was it with Robespierre, or the monster Marat, then in the ascendant? "But," added Pitt, "it is not merely to the character of Marat, with whom we would now have to treat, that I object; it is not to the horror of those crimes which have stained their legislators—crimes in every stage rising above one another in enormity,—but I object to the consequences of that character, and to the effect of those crimes. They are such as render a negotiation useless, and must entirely deprive of stability any peace which could be concluded in such circumstances. The moment that the mob of Paris comes under a new leader, mature deliberations are reversed, the most solemn engagements are retracted, or free will is altogether controlled by force. All the crimes which disgrace history have occurred in one country, in a space so short, and with circumstances so aggravated, as to outrun thought and exceed imagination." In fact, to have made an alliance with France at that moment, and for long afterwards, would have been to sanction her crimes, and to share the infamy of her violence and lawlessness abroad.
Parliament met on the 10th of January, 1765. The resentment of the Americans had reached the ears of the Ministry and the king, yet both continued determined to proceed. In the interviews which Franklin and the other agents had with the Ministers, Grenville begged them to point to any other tax that would be more agreeable to the colonists than the stamp-duty; but they without any real legal grounds drew the line between levying custom and imposing an inland tax. Grenville paid no attention to these representations. Fifty-five resolutions, prepared by a committee of ways and means, were laid by him on the table of the House of Commons at an early day of the Session, imposing on America nearly the same stamp-duties as were already in practical operation in England. These resolutions being adopted, were embodied in a bill; and when it was introduced to the House, it was received with an apathy which betrayed on all hands the profoundest ignorance of its importance. Burke, who was a spectator of the debates in both Houses, in a speech some years afterwards, stated that he never heard a more languid debate than that in the Commons. Only two or three persons spoke against the measure and that with great composure. There was but one division in the whole progress of the Bill, and the minority did not reach to more than thirty-nine or forty. In the Lords, he said, there was, to the best of his recollection, neither division nor debate!It was with this object that Mr. Pierce Mahony got up the celebrated "Leinster declaration," so called from the signature of Ireland's only duke. But the experiment served only to reveal the weakness of the moderate party, for after lying for signature in Latouche's Bank for two months, only forty-two names were attached to it within that period. When, however, the struggle between the two parties was on the point of having a bloody issue, the alarm spread through the ranks of moderate men on both sides, and the document rapidly received signatures. The declaration set forth that the disqualifying laws which affected Roman Catholics were productive of consequences prejudicial in the highest degree to the interests of Ireland—the primary cause of her poverty—the source of political discontents and religious animosities—destructive alike of social happiness and national prosperity. Unless the legislature should speedily apply a remedy to those evils, they must in their rapid progression assume such a character as would, perhaps, render their removal impossible. It was stated, therefore, to be a matter of paramount importance that the whole subject should be taken into immediate consideration by Parliament, "with a view to such a final conciliatory adjustment as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of our national institutions, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his Majesty's subjects."
Thus was O'Connell driven into a new course of agitation. He did not conceal, even in the hour of his triumph, that he regarded Catholic Emancipation as little more than a vantage ground on which he was to plant his artillery for the abolition of the Legislative union. After the passing of the Emancipation Act he appealed as strongly as ever to the feelings of the people. "At Ennis," he said, "I promised you religious freedom, and I kept my word. The Catholics are now free, and the Brunswickers are no longer their masters; and a paltry set they were to be our masters. They would turn up the white of their eyes to heaven, and at the same time slily put their hands into your pockets.... What good did any member ever before in Parliament do for the county of Clare, except to get places for their nephews, cousins, etc.? What did I do? I procured for you Emancipation." "The election for Clare," he said, "is admitted to have been the immediate and irresistible cause of producing the Catholic Relief Bill. You have achieved the religious liberty of Ireland. Another such victory in Clare, and we shall attain the political freedom of our beloved country. That victory is still necessary to prevent Catholic rights and liberties from being sapped and undermined by the insidious policy of those men who, false to their own party, can never be true to us, and who have yielded not to reason, but to necessity, in granting us freedom of conscience. A sober, moral, and religious people cannot continue slaves—they become too powerful for their oppressors—their moral strength exceeds their physical powers—and their progress towards prosperity is in vain opposed by the Peels and Wellingtons of society. These poor strugglers for ancient abuses yield to a necessity which violates no law, and commits no crime; and having once already succeeded by these means, our next success is equally certain, if we adopt the same virtuous and irresistible means." His new programme embraced not only the Repeal of the union, but the restoration of the franchise to the "forties."But far more remarkable were the effects of the championship of French principles in the celebrated Dr. Joseph Priestley. Priestley was now nearly sixty years of age—a time of life when men rarely become great enthusiasts in any cause. He was a Unitarian minister, and was now the pastor of a congregation at Birmingham. He was well known for various theological writings, in which he had announced his doubts of the immateriality of the sentient principle in man, especially in his "Disquisition on Matter and Spirit." He had been tutor to Lord Shelburne, first Lord Lansdowne; but had quitted that post, as supposed, in consequence of the objection of Lord Shelburne to these principles, retaining, however, an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds a-year. But Priestley was far more known and esteemed for his researches and discoveries in natural philosophy, especially in electricity, chemistry, and pneumatics. Orthodoxy and Toryism were extremely rampant in Birmingham, and Priestley was regarded as the very patriarch and champion of Socinianism and Republicanism. There wanted only a spark to fire trains of fierce intolerance against Priestley and his party, and, unfortunately, this was furnished by themselves. They resolved to celebrate, by a dinner, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, on the 14th of July. Before the dinner took place, such were the rumours of impending riots that the party proposed to defer the celebration to a future day; but the landlord had prepared the dinner, and declared his opinion that there would be no danger if the party dispersed early, without stopping to drink many toasts. Darbley, the innkeeper, curiously enough, was a Churchman, and in good odour with the Tory party. Satisfied by his representations, about eighty persons determined to hold the dinner on the appointed day, though a considerable number stayed away, and amongst those Priestley himself. The company were hooted as they entered the inn, but chiefly by a crowd of dirty lads, who cried "Church and King!" On the table were ranged three figures: a medallion of the king encircled with a glory, an emblematical figure of British Liberty, and another of French Slavery bursting its chains. In the evening a fierce riot broke out, instigated—according to Priestley's account—by some prominent magistrates, though the statement was never proved. The mob rushed to Darbley's hotel after the dinner was over and most of the people were gone. There they raised the cry of "Church and King!" and began to throw stones. Some one cried out, "Don't break Darbley's windows; he is a Churchman!" But the Church-and-King people and their set, now flushed with wine and loyalty, waved their handkerchiefs from the windows of the opposite inn, and hurrahed the mob on. With this encouragement, which seemed to the crowd to legalise their proceedings, the mob rushed into the house, declaring that they wanted to knock the powder out of Dr. Priestley's wig. They did not find the doctor, so they smashed most of the furniture in the house, and dashed in the windows, notwithstanding the host's orthodoxy. Some one then cried, "You have done mischief enough here; go to the meetings!" and the mob rolled away, first to the new meeting-house, where Priestley preached, which they soon demolished and set fire to. They then proceeded to the old meeting-house, and destroyed that too, being hounded on by people of decent station in the place, and made furious by the beer which was distributed among them.
The only matters of interest debated in Parliament during this year, except that of the discontent in the country, were a long debate on Catholic emancipation, in the month of May, which was negatived by a majority of only twenty-four, showing that that question was progressing towards its goal; and a motion of Lord Castlereagh for the gradual abolition of sinecures. This intimated some slight impression of the necessity to do something to abate the public dissatisfaction, but it was an impression only on the surface. This Ministry was too much determined to maintain the scale of war expenditure to which they had been accustomed to make any real retrenchment. A committee appointed to consider the scheme recommended the abolition of sinecures to the amount of fifty-four thousand pounds per annum, but neutralised the benefit by recommending instead a pension-list of forty-two thousand pounds per annum. The country received the amendment with disgust and derision.It remains only to notice the terminating scene of the once gay Murat, Buonaparte's gallant leader of cavalry in so many campaigns, and finally King of Naples. In consequence of plans that he had laid with Buonaparte in Elba, Murat rose on the 22nd of March of this year, and pushed forward with the intention of driving the Austrians out of Upper Italy. But Austria was well aware of what had been in progress, and, though Murat proclaimed the independence of Italy, the Italians fled from him rather than joined him. On the Po he was met by the Austrians, under General Fremont, fifty thousand strong, and defeated. He retreated rapidly towards Naples again, suffering other discomfitures, and at the same time receiving a notice from Lord William Bentinck that, as he had broken his convention with the European Powers, Britain was at war with him. To keep the Neapolitans in his interest, he drew up a liberal Constitution, on the 12th of May, amid the mountains of the Abruzzi, and sent it to Naples, where his queen, Caroline Buonaparte, proclaimed it. It was of no avail; the people, instead of assisting him, were ready to rise against him, and his soldiers every day rapidly deserted and went to their homes.But whilst Gifford was thus demolishing an outbreak of bad taste, a much more remarkable evidence that those who lay claim to good taste frequently have it not was given by the appearance of several new plays and other documents attributed to Shakespeare. The chief of these was "Kynge Varrtygerne," a tragedy, edited by Samuel Ireland. Numbers of persons of high name and pretension, as Dr. Parr, Boswell, Pye, the laureate, Chalmers, the editor of an issue of "British Poets," Pinkerton, a writer of all sorts of things, etc., became enthusiastic believers and admirers of these pretended discoveries. They turned out to be impudent forgeries by the son of the editor, named William Henry Ireland, and are in reality such trash that they are a melancholy proof of how little value, from some learned persons, is the adoration of Shakespeare. Malone, in an "Inquiry" into the authenticity of these writings, in 1796, completely exposed their spuriousness. Pinkerton, one of their most zealous advocates, himself perpetrated a similar forgery of a volume of Scottish poems, issued as ancient ones. He enjoyed the particular patronage of Horace Walpole.
In the Bill which was founded on the resolutions the term of apprenticeship was limited to six years for the plantation negroes, and four for all others. The Bill passed the House of Lords with slight opposition; and on the 28th of August, 1833, it received the Royal Assent. It does not appear that William IV. urged any plea of conscience against signing this Act of Emancipation, although in his early days he had been, in common with all the Royal Family, except the Duke of Gloucester, opposed to the abolition of the slave trade. The Act was to take effect on the 1st day of August, 1834, on which day slavery was to cease throughout the British colonies. All slaves who at that date should appear to be six years old and upwards were to be registered as "apprentice labourers" to those who had been their owners. All slaves who happened to be brought into the United Kingdom, and all apprentice labourers who might be brought into it with the consent of their owners, were to be absolutely free. The apprentices were divided into three classes. The first class consisted of "predial apprentice labourers," usually employed in agriculture, or the manufacture of colonial produce, on lands belonging to their owners, and these were declared to be attached to the soil. The second class, consisting of the same kind of labourers, who worked on lands not belonging to their owners, were not attached to the soil. The third class consisted of "non-predial apprenticed labourers," and embraced mechanics, artisans, domestic servants, and all slaves not included in the other two classes. The apprenticeship of the first was to terminate on the 1st of August, 1840; and of the "non-predial" on the same day in 1838. The apprentices were not obliged to labour for their employers more than forty-five hours in any one week. Voluntary discharges were permitted; but, in that case, a provision was made for the support of old and infirm apprentices. An apprentice could free himself before the expiration of the term, against the will of his master, by getting himself appraised, and paying the price. No apprentices were to be removed from the colony to which they belonged, nor from one plantation to another in the same colony, except on a certificate from a justice of the peace that the removal would not injure their health or welfare, or separate the members of the same family. Under these conditions the apprentices were transferable with the estates to which they were attached. Their masters were bound to furnish them with food, clothing, lodging, and other necessaries, according to the existing laws of the several colonies, and to allow them sufficient provision ground, and time for cultivating it, where that mode of maintenance was adopted. All children under six years of age when the Act came into operation, and all that should be born during the apprenticeship, were declared free; but if any children were found destitute, they could be apprenticed, and subjected to the same regulations as the others. The Act allowed governors of colonies to appoint stipendiary magistrates, with salaries not exceeding ￡300 a year, to carry the provisions of the law into effect. Corporal punishment was not absolutely abolished, but it could be inflicted only by the special justices, who were authorised to punish the apprentices by whipping, beating, imprisonment, or addition to the hours of labour. The corporal punishment of females was absolutely forbidden in all circumstances. The quantity of punishment was restricted, and the hours of additional labour imposed were not to exceed fifteen in the week.
Encouraged by their success against the commercial treaty, the Whigs demanded that the Pretender, according to the Treaty of Peace, should be requested to quit France. It had been proposed by the French Court, and privately acceded to by Anne, that he should take up his residence at Bar-le-duc or Lorraine. The Duke of Lorraine had taken care to inquire whether this would be agreeable to the queen, and was assured by her Minister that it would be quite so. As his territory—though really a portion of France—was nominally an independent territory, it seemed to comply with the terms of the Treaty; but the Whigs knew that this was a weak point, and on the 29th of June Lord Wharton, without any previous notice, moved in the Peers that the Pretender should remove from the Duke of Lorraine's dominions. The Court party was completely taken by surprise, and there was an awkward pause. At length Lord North ventured to suggest that such a request would show distrust of her Majesty; and he asked where was the Pretender to retire to, seeing that most, if not all, the Powers of Europe were on as friendly terms with the king as the Duke of Lorraine. Lord Peterborough sarcastically remarked that as the Pretender had begun his studies at Paris, he might very fitly go and finish them at Rome. No one, however, dared to oppose the motion, which was accordingly carried unanimously. On the 1st of July, only two days afterwards, General Stanhope made a similar motion in the House of Commons, which was equally afraid to oppose it, seeing that the House was still under the Triennial Act, and this was its last session. The slightest expression in favour of the Pretender would have to be answered on the hustings, and there was a long silence. Sir William Whitelock, however, was bold enough to throw out a significant remark, that he remembered the like address being formerly made to the Protector to have King Charles Stuart removed out of France, "leaving to every member's mind to suggest how soon after he returned to the throne of England notwithstanding." The addresses carried up from both Houses were received by the queen with an air of acquiescence, and with promises to do her best to have the Pretender removed. Prior, in Paris, was directed to make the wishes of the public known to the French Government. But this was merely pro forma; it was understood that there was no real earnestness on the part of the English queen or ministry. Prior, writing to Bolingbroke, said that De Torcy asked him questions, which for the best reason in the world he did not answer; as, for instance, "How can we oblige a man to go from one place when we forbid all others to receive him?" In fact, the Abbé Gualtier, in his private correspondence, assures us that Bolingbroke himself suggested to the Duke of Lorraine the pretexts for eluding the very commands that he publicly sent him.At length the firing mutually ceased, but the Russians did not quit their position; it was the French who drew off, and their outposts, during the following night, were alarmed by the Russian cavalry. The Russians had fifteen thousand killed and thirty thousand wounded; the French ten thousand killed and above twenty thousand wounded, and of these latter very few recovered, for they were destitute of almost every hospital necessary, even lint. The Russians made one thousand prisoners and the French about two thousand. The loss of guns on either side was nearly equal. Had the battle been resumed the next day it must have gone hard with the French; but Kutusoff was not willing to make such another sacrifice of his men, and he resumed the policy of De Tolly and made his retreat, continuing it to Moscow in so masterly a manner, that he left neither dead, nor dying, nor wounded, nor any article of his camp equipage behind him, so that the French were at a loss to know where he had really gone. On the 12th they learned, however, that he had retreated to Moscow, and Buonaparte instantly resumed his march. At Krymskoi Murat and Mortier came upon a strong body of Russians, and were repulsed, with the loss of two thousand men. The Russian rear-guard then hastened on again towards Moscow.
A combination of circumstances invested the accession on the 20th of June, of the Princess Victoria, with peculiar interest. She was the third female Sovereign called to occupy the throne since the Reformation; and like those of Elizabeth and Anne, her reign has served to mark an era in British history. The novelty of a female Sovereign, especially one so young, had a charm for all classes in society. The superior gifts and the amiable disposition of the Princess, the care with which she had been educated by her mother, and all that had been known of her private life and her favourite pursuits, prepared the nation to hail her accession with sincere acclamations. There was something which could not fail to excite the imagination and touch the heart, in seeing one who in a private station would be regarded as a mere girl, just old enough to come out into society, called upon to assume the sceptre of the greatest empire in the world, and to sit upon one of the oldest thrones, receiving the willing homage of statesmen and warriors who had been historic characters for half a century. We are not surprised, therefore, to read that the mingled majesty and grace with which she assumed her high functions excited universal admiration, and "drew tears from many eyes which had not been wet for half a lifetime;" and that warriors trembled with emotion, who had never known fear in the presence of the enemy. When the ceremony of taking the oath of allegiance had been gone through, her Majesty addressed the Privy Council:—"The severe and afflicting loss which the nation has sustained by the death of his Majesty, my beloved uncle, has devolved upon me the duty of administering the government of this empire. This awful responsibility is imposed upon me so suddenly, and at so early a period of my life, that I should feel myself utterly oppressed by the burden, were I not sustained by the hope that Divine Providence, which has called me to this work, will give me strength for the performance of it; and that I shall find in the purity of my intentions, and in my zeal for the public welfare, that support and those resources which usually belong to a more mature age and to long experience. I place my firm reliance upon the wisdom of Parliament, and upon the loyalty and affection of my people."
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[See larger version]The Queen's marriage has been referred to in connection with the proceedings in Parliament. The details of that interesting event, and other incidents affecting her Majesty's happiness which occurred during the year, will now be recorded. The royal party assembled in the morning of the 10th of February at Buckingham Palace, whence it had been arranged that the members of her Majesty's family and those of Prince Albert's, accompanied by the officers of State, should proceed to St. James's Palace. The entire route along which the royal cortège was to pass was lined by the Horse Guards, while the trumpeters, in their State uniforms, were stationed at intervals to announce the approach of the royal bride and bridegroom. First, the Ladies and Gentlemen of her Majesty's Household, in seven royal carriages, arrived at the garden entrance of St. James's Palace; and then followed the splendid State coach containing her Majesty, her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent, and the Mistress of the Robes. The closet behind the Throne Room had been draped with silk and prepared for the reception of the Queen. There her Majesty, attended by her maids of honour, train-bearers, and bridesmaids, remained until the Lord Chamberlain of her Household marshalled the procession to the Chapel Royal. Soon after her Majesty had entered the closet, the clash of "presented arms," the roll of drums and flourish of trumpets outside, told that the bridegroom had arrived. At a quarter to one o'clock the ring was placed upon her Majesty's finger; outside, the guns thundered forth the intelligence; but their loud booming was nearly drowned by the long-continued shouts of acclamation which arose from the thousands who thronged the park. At the conclusion of the service the Queen Dowager cordially embraced and kissed the bride, and the Prince acknowledged Queen Adelaide's congratulations by kissing her hand. The bride and her royal consort drove at once to Buckingham Palace, and the noble assembly that had witnessed the ceremony retired. After a splendid breakfast at Buckingham Palace the bride and bridegroom took their departure for Windsor Castle. The sun shone out in cloudless lustre just at the moment of their leaving the gateway; the vast concourse of people assembled outside the palace hailed this as a happy omen, and as the carriage containing the royal pair drove off, the air was rent with the most enthusiastic cheering.
NAPOLEON I. (From the Portrait by Paul Delaroche.)THE CATHEDRAL, TUAM.详情
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