Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strachan;
[See larger version]VIEW IN OLD PARIS: THE PORTE AU BLé, FROM THE END OF THE OLD CATTLE MARKET TO THE PONT NOTRE DAME. (From a Print by De l'Espinasse in 1782.)
Whilst Walpole was thus labouring to secure the peace of Europe, Bolingbroke was as industriously at work to undermine him. He had cultivated his intimacy with the Duchess of Kendal still more diligently, and by liberal bribes, and more liberal promises if he succeeded in once more regaining power, he had brought her to exert her influence with the king in his favour. This most sordid and rapacious of mistresses, who looked on England only as a country to be managed for her benefit, ventured at length to put into the king's hand a memorial drawn up for her by Bolingbroke, demonstrating that the country must be absolutely ruined if Walpole continued in office. The stratagem was too palpable. Whilst she talked only, her suggestions might pass for her own, but the style of the document must have at once caused the king's suspicion of its true source. He put the paper into Walpole's hand. Walpole, after interrogating the two Turks, who were always in attendance on the king, and on their denying all knowledge of the means by which the missive reached the royal person, went directly to the Duchess and charged her with the fact. She did not deny it. Walpole advised the king to admit Bolingbroke to the audience which he solicited in the memorial, trusting that the king's dislike of him would prevail in the interview. The result appeared to be of that kind; nevertheless, Walpole was far from being secure in his own mind. He knew that the mistress would be continually returning to the charge in favour of her friend and paymaster, though she enjoyed a pension from Government of seven thousand five hundred pounds; and he even contemplated retiring with a peerage, but was dissuaded from this by the Princess of Wales and the Duke of Devonshire. On the other hand, Bolingbroke was in the highest expectation of his speedy restoration not only to rank but to office.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 British Cabinet having come to the conclusion that the Duke of Wellington ought not to abstain from attending the Congress because of its meeting in an Italian city, and thinking so himself, he set out for Verona, after a fortnight's sojourn in Vienna.
But Ministers were too sensible of the unconstitutional character of their deeds to rest satisfied with the mere justification of an accepted report. A Bill of Indemnity was introduced to cover "all persons who had in 1817 taken any part in apprehending, imprisoning, or detaining in custody persons suspected of high treason, or treasonable practices, and in the suppression of tumultuous and unlawful assemblies." Thus Ministers were shielded under general terms, and to avoid all appearance of personal movement in this matter by those in the Cabinet the most immediately active, the Bill was introduced by the Duke of Montrose, the Master of the Horse.To all this his Lordship had to add various specimens of the Canons. By the 3rd, every one asserting that the Church of England was not a true apostolical church should be excommunicated. The 4th and 5th excommunicated all who declared that there was anything contrary to sound Scripture in the form of worship of the Church of England, or anything superstitious or erroneous in the Thirty-Nine Articles. The 65th enjoined all ordinaries to see that all offenders, under the different Acts here enumerated, should be cited and punished according to statute, or excommunicated. The 72nd forbade, under pain of excommunication, all ministers, without licence of the bishop, to attempt, upon any pretence whatever, to cast out any devil or devils, under pain of deposition from the ministry. The 73rd made it a subject of excommunication that any priest or minister should meet with other persons in any private house or elsewhere to consult upon any canon, etc., which may tend to impeach or deprave the doctrine, the Book of Common Prayer, or any part of the discipline and government of the Church of England; and by the 115th, all churchwardens are enjoined to make presentments of offenders in any of these particulars; and all judges, magistrates, etc., are bound to encourage, and not to discourage, all such presentments. Lord Stanhope observed that the Court of King's Bench, in 1737, had decided that these Canons, not having ever received the sanction of Parliament, were not binding on the laity; and he contended that the ratification of them by James I., not being authorised by the original statute, the 25th of Henry VIII., made them as little binding on the clergy. He had not, therefore, included the Canons in his Bill. He took care, too, to except Catholics from the benefit of the Bill; neither was the Bill to repeal any part of the Test and Corporation Acts, nor the 12th and 13th of William III., "for the better securing the rights and liberties of the subject." He finally showed that these fierce and persecuting Acts were not become utterly obsolete; they were ever and anon revived, and might, any of them, be acted upon at any moment. It might reasonably have been supposed that the bishops would have supported the Bill unanimously; that they would have been glad to have all such evidences of the odious means by which their Church had been forced on the people, swept out of the Statute-book and forgotten. No such thing. The Archbishop of Canterbury declared, if Dissenters were allowed to defend their principles, the atheist and the theist might be allowed to defend theirs. But Bishop Horsley, then of St. David's, was the chief speaker against the repeal of these precious laws. He declared that this repeal would level every bulwark of the Church; that "the Christian religion would not remain in any shape, nor, indeed, natural religion!" It is needless to say that the Bill was rejected; it could not attain even to a second reading.
On the 5th of May, towards evening, Massena attacked the British right, posted in Fuentes d'Onoro, with great impetuosity, and the whole fury of the battle, from beginning to end, was concentrated on this quarter. At first the British were forced back from the lower part of the town, driven to the top, where they retained only a cluster of houses and an old chapel. But Wellington pushed fresh bodies of troops up the hill, and again drove down the French at the point of the bayonet, and over the river Das Casas. The next day the battle was renewed with the greatest desperation, and again the British, overwhelmed with heavy columns of men, and attacked by the powerful body of cavalry, seemed on the point of giving way. The cannonade of Massena was terrible, but the British replied with equal vigour, and a Highland regiment, under Colonel Mackinnon, rushed forward with its wild cries, carrying all before it. The battle was continued on the low grounds, or on the borders of the river, till it was dark, when the French withdrew across the Das Casas. The battle was at an end. Massena had been supported by Marshal Bessières, but the two marshals had found their match in a single English general, and an army as inferior to their own in numbers as it was superior in solid strength. Four hundred French lay dead in Fuentes d'Onoro itself, and the killed, wounded, and prisoners amounted, according to their own intercepted letters, to over three thousand. The British loss was two hundred and thirty-five killed—amongst whom was Colonel Cameron,—one thousand two hundred and thirty-four wounded, and three hundred and seventeen missing, or prisoners. Almeida was at once evacuated; the garrison blowing up some of the works, then crossing the Agueda, and joining the army of Massena, but not without heavy loss of men, besides all their baggage, artillery, and ammunition.Amongst other authors of the time, then very popular, but now little read, were Armstrong, author of "The Art of Preserving Health;" Akenside, of "The Pleasures of Imagination;" Wilkie, of "The Epigoniad;" and Glover, of the epic of "Leonidas." Falconer's "Shipwreck" and Beattie's "Minstrel" are poems much more animate with the vitality of grace and feeling. Then there were Anstey, with his "Bath Guide," half descriptive and half satiric; Stephenson's "Crazy Tales;" Mason's "Isis," a satire on the University of Oxford, and his tragedies of "Elfrida" and "Caractacus," which, with other poems by the same author, enjoyed a popularity that waned before more truly living things. Then there were the brothers Joseph and Thomas Warton. Both of these deserve to be mentioned amongst our first-rate prose writers—Joseph for his excellent "Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope," and Thomas for his "History of English Poetry," and this is merely a fragment, coming down only to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. But that which, at this period, produced a thorough reform of our poetry was the publication of "The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry," by Bishop Percy. These specimens of poetry went back beyond the introduction of the French model into England—to the times when Chaucer, and still earlier poets, wrote from the instincts of nature, and not from scholastical or fashionable patterns. In particular, the old ballads, such as "Chevy Chace," "The Babes in the Wood," and the like, brought back the public taste from the artificial to the natural. The simple voice of truth, pathos, and honest sentiment was at once felt by every heart, and the reign of mere ornate words was over. After the Reliques came "The Border Minstrelsy" of Scott and completed the revolution. These ancient ballads, in both Percy and Scott, were found, in many instances, to be founded on precisely the same facts as those of the Swedes and Danes, collected seventy years before, thus showing that they were originally brought into Great Britain by the Scandinavians—a proof of their high antiquity. A similar return to nature was going on in Germany and the North of Europe, showing that the very collection of Percy's "Reliques" originated in some general cause, and that cause, no doubt, was the universal weariness of the artificial style which had so long prevailed in literature.
In 1817 the number of power-looms in Lancashire was estimated at 2,000, of which only about 1,000 were then in employment, and the wages had fallen below the rate at which goods could be produced by machinery. To the power-loom, therefore, the hand-loom weavers gradually gave way. In 1832 there were 80,000 power-looms in Lancashire, employing persons of both sexes and of all ages from nine years upwards, at rates of wages varying from half-a-crown to ten shillings a week. In 1817 the estimated number of persons employed in the spinning of cotton in Great Britain was 110,763, and the quantity of yarn produced was under 100,000,000 lbs.; in 1853 the yarn spun was nearly 700,000,000 lbs. In 1838 the total number of cotton factories in Great Britain and Ireland was 1,815, of which there were in England and Wales, 1,599; in Scotland, 192; in Ireland, 24. The total number of persons employed in these factories was 206,000, of whom 145,934 were females.The English Roman Catholics produced an historian—Dr. Lingard—who, for the correctness and strength of his diction, as well as the extent of his learning, ranks among the first names in this department of literature. He was a man of great force of mind, remarkable acuteness in testing historical evidence, and considerable powers of description. Being a priest, it was not to be expected that he would be impartial in his treatment of the events and characters of the Reformation, and the subsequent conflicts between the Churches of England and Rome. Of his own Church he was a zealous defender and a skilful apologist; but where that bias did not interfere, his judgments were generally sound. He died in 1851.
Here, had the Government been wise, they would have stopped; but they were not contented without experiencing a third defeat. The next morning, the 20th of December, they returned to the charge with an indictment against Mr. Hone for publishing a parody on the Athanasian Creed, called "The Sinecurist's Creed." The old Chief Justice was again on the bench, apparently as resolved as ever, and this time the defendant, on entering the court, appeared pale and exhausted, as he well might, for he had put forth exertions and powers of mind which had astonished the whole country and excited the deepest interest. The Attorney-General humanely offered to postpone the trial, but the defendant preferred to go on. He only begged for a few minutes' delay to enable him to put down a few notes on the Attorney-General's address after that was delivered; but the Chief Justice would not allow him this trifling favour, but said, if the defendant would make a formal request for the purpose, he would put off the trial for a day. This would have injured the cause of the defendant, by making it appear that he was in some degree worsted, and, fatigued as he was, he replied, promptly, "No! I make no such request." William Hone, on this third trial, once more seemed to forget his past fatigues, and rose with a strength that completely cowed the old and fiery judge. He did not desist till he had converted his dictatorial manner into a suppliant one. After quoting many eminent Churchmen as dissentients from the Athanasian Creed, and amongst them Warburton and Tillotson, he added, "Even his lordship's father, the Bishop of Carlisle, he believed, took a similar view of this creed." This was coming too near; and the judge said, "Whatever that opinion was, he has gone, many years ago, where he has had to account for his belief and his opinions. For common delicacy, forbear." "O, my lord," replied the satisfied defendant, "I shall certainly forbear." The judge had profited by the lesson to-day: he gave a much more temperate charge to the jury, and they required only twenty minutes to return the third and final victory of Not Guilty. Never had this arbitrary Government suffered so withering a defeat. The sensation throughout the country was immense. The very next day Lord Ellenborough sent in his announcement of retiring from the bench, and in a very short time he retired from this world altogether (December 13, 1818), it being a settled conviction of the public mind that the mortification of such a putting-down, by a man whom he rose from his sick-bed to extinguish, tended materially to hasten that departure.It was at this crisis, when Hastings was just recovering his authority in the Council, that the news arrived in India, and spread amongst the native chiefs, that in Yenghi Dunia, or the New World, the Company Sahib—for the East Indians could never separate the ideas of the East India Company and England itself—there had been a great revolution, and the English driven out. This, as might be expected, wonderfully elated the native chiefs, and especially those in the south. There the French of Pondicherry and Chandernagore boasted of the destruction of the British power, and that it was by their own hands. Hastings, who was as able and far-seeing as he was unprincipled in carrying out his plans for the maintenance of the British dominion in India, immediately set himself to counteract the mischievous effects of these diligently-disseminated rumours, and of the cabals which the French excited. These were most to be feared amongst the vast and martial family of the Mahrattas. The Mahrattas had risen on the ruins of the great Mogul empire. They now extended their tribes over a vast space of India from Mysore to the Ganges. The Peishwa, as head of these nations, held his residence at Poonah. Besides his, there were the great houses of Holkar and Scindia; the Guicowar, who ruled in Guzerat; the Bonslah, or Rajah of Berar, a descendant of Sivaji. The Mahrattas were, for the most part, a rude, warlike race, rapacious and ambitious, and living in the most primitive style. To destroy the confidence of these fierce warriors in the French, Hastings gave immediate orders, on receiving the news of the proclamation of war in Europe, for the seizure of the French settlements. This was on the 7th of July, 1778; on the 10th he had taken Chandernagore, and ordered Sir Hector Munro to invest Pondicherry. That was soon accomplished, and the only remaining possession of France, the small one of Mahé, on the coast of Malabar, was seized the next spring.
The new Parliament reassembled on the 14th of November, and the king in his speech, whilst pretending the differences which had arisen between us, France, and Spain were by no means serious, yet called for enlarged supplies to defend our American territories against the designs of these Powers. In fact, matters were becoming very serious in our American colonies; but the Government withheld the real facts from the knowledge of the public, and it was not till the opening of Parliament, in March, 1755, that they candidly avowed that war was inevitable. The French and English were actually engaged in war both in the East Indies and in America. In the East Indies there was just now an apparent pause in hostilities, through an agreement between the two Companies; but in North America matters daily grew worse. There were, and had been ever since the Peace, violent disputes as to the boundary-lines both of Nova Scotia—or, as the French styled it, Acadia—and between Canada and our colony of New England. The French, becoming more and more daring, commenced the erection of forts in the valley of the Ohio, to connect the settlements on the St. Lawrence with those on the Mississippi. They had already erected one called Duquesne, greatly to the indignation of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia. In Nova Scotia, Major Lawrence, with one thousand men, defeated the French and their Indian allies; but, on the other hand, the French surprised and sacked Block's Town, on the Ohio, belonging to the Virginians, who sent forward Major George Washington to attack Fort Duquesne. Washington, destined to acquire the greatest name in the New World, marched with four hundred men, but was surprised at a place called Great Meadows, and was glad to capitulate on condition of retiring with military honours (1754).On the 17th of July—a week after the burial of the King—the Queen went in state to meet Parliament. She was received along the line of procession with extraordinary enthusiasm; and never on the accession of a Sovereign was the House of Peers so thronged by ladies of rank. A tone of kindness, mercy, and conciliation, befitting her youth and sex, marked her first Speech from the Throne. She stated that she regarded with peculiar interest the measures that had been brought to maturity for the mitigation of the criminal code, and the reduction of the number of capital punishments; promised that it should be her care to strengthen our institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, by discreet improvement, wherever improvement was required, and to do all in her power to compose and allay animosity and discord. Immediately on the delivery of the Royal Speech Parliament was prorogued in order to its dissolution. The general elections speedily followed, and were all over early in August. The Ministerial candidates were accused of making an unconstitutional use of the Queen's name in their addresses, and availing themselves of her popularity to strengthen the position of the Government, and the Conservatives asserted that the Queen had no partiality for her present advisers, whom she found in office, and bore with only till Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues should feel strong enough to take their places. The elections did not materially alter the balance of parties, the Whigs still commanding a small majority.
The career of Lord Ellenborough as Governor-General of India was one of the most remarkable in its annals. He went out for the purpose of inaugurating a policy of peace, conciliation, and non-intervention. His course from that day was one of constant aggression and war. The conquests of Scinde and Gwalior were planned and prepared for deliberately and in good time; and when the Governments to be subdued were goaded into hostilities, he was ready to pounce upon them with overwhelming force. His friends defended this policy on the ground that, though it was aggressive it was self-defensive; to guard against a possible, but very remote contingency—an invasion of the Sikhs to drive the British out of India. The Governor-General, however, had become entirely too warlike; and since he had smelt powder and tasted blood at Gwalior, the Board of Control, who had already formally censured his Scinde policy, became so alarmed at his martial propensities that they determined on his immediate recall, and sent out Sir Henry Hardinge to rule in his stead.
The Diet issued a counter-proclamation rebutting Catherine's long catalogue of charges seriatim, and denying the right of any nation, under any pretence whatever, to interfere with the internal changes of another nation executed by the proper authorities and representatives of the people. Stanislaus Augustus issued an address to the Polish army, calling upon it to defend the national rights from the domination of Russia. But, unfortunately, Poland was in no condition to cope with the might of Russia. No pains had been taken to organise the army in years past on any scale capable of defending the nation; the new rights conferred on the people were too new to have given them yet any interest in them. Poland, therefore, in all haste, made solicitations for help to Prussia, Austria, Britain, Sweden, and Denmark; but in vain. Sweden and Denmark had, now that Gustavus was dead, determined to have no concern in wars resulting in any way from the French Revolution. Frederick William of Prussia pretended to have foreseen this offence to Russia in the alarming measures of the Diet, and protested that had it not been for these, Russia would never have taken the decided step which she had now done. He, however, coldly professed himself ready to unite with Russia and Austria to restore the former state of things in Poland. As for Austria, she lay cold and neutral in appearance; but though Poland was not aware of it, both Prussia and Austria were in the secret league for the dismemberment of that unfortunate country.详情
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