The growing importance of the middle classes, the rapid multiplication of men of wealth and high social position in the mercantile community; the marriage of their daughters into noble families rendered insolvent by extravagance, and the diffusion of knowledge among all classes of the community, gradually levelled or lowered the barriers of exclusiveness, increased the facilities of social intercourse, and rendered the fashions in the clothing of both sexes more accordant with good taste, more convenient, and more conducive to health. With the use of the trousers, and Hessian or Wellington boots, came the loose and easy surtout, and frock-coat; and instead of the deep stiff white cravat, black stocks or black ties were worn except in full dress at evening parties. The clergy, however, retained the white neckcloth, and, strange to say, it also became the necessary distinction of footmen, butlers, hotel-waiters, and shop-assistants. The old Court dress coat, with its bag-like skirt, was abandoned by gentlemen who attended dinner parties and balls, for the "swallow-tailed" dress coat.
The Ministry had, as a matter of course, been much weakened by the retirement of Lord Grey; but, having got through the Session, it might have survived to the next meeting of Parliament but for the death of Earl Spencer, which occurred on the 10th of November—an event which removed Lord Althorp to the House of Peers. It was supposed that this would lead only to a fresh modification of the Cabinet, by a redistribution of places. For example, Lord John Russell was to succeed Lord Althorp as the leader of the House of Commons. Lord Melbourne's Administration seemed to be quietly acquiesced in, as sufficient for a time; the nation evidently assuming that, in any case, a Liberal Government was the necessary consequence of a reformed Parliament. The public were therefore startled when it was announced on the 15th that the king had dismissed his Ministers. It appeared that Lord Melbourne had waited upon his Majesty at Brighton, on the 14th, to take his commands as to the new arrangements he was about to make. But the king said he considered that Government dissolved by the removal of Lord Althorp; that he did not approve of the intended construction of the Cabinet; that Lord John Russell would make "a wretched figure" as leader of the House, and that Abercromby and Spring-Rice were worse than Russell; that he did not approve of their intended measure with regard to the Irish Church; and concluded by informing Lord Melbourne that he would not impose upon him the task of completing the Ministerial arrangements, but would send for the Duke of Wellington.Napoleon's Plans of Conquest—Sebastiani's Report—Napoleon's Complaints against the British Press—Espionage and Confiscation—He continues his Continental Aggressions—Napoleon's Interview with Lord Whitworth—Imminence of War—Negotiations for Pitt's Return to Office—War Declared—Napoleon Arrests British subjects in France—Seizure of Hanover—Emmett's Rebellion—Naval Attacks on the French Coast—The Mahratta War—Battle of Assaye—Successes of General Lake—Battle of Laswaree—Battle of Argaum—Conclusion of the War—Renewed Illness of George III.—Increasing Opposition of Pitt—He offers to undertake the Government—He forms a Tory Ministry—Wilberforce's Abolition Motion—The Additional Force Bill—Scheme for blowing up the French Fleet—War with Spain—The Georges Conspiracy—Murder of the Duke D'Enghien—Napoleon becomes Emperor—His Letter to the British King—The Condition of Europe—Lord Mulgrave's Reply to the Letter—Ministerial Changes—Weakness of the Ministry—Attack on Lord Melville—Whitbread's Motion—Melville's Defence—His Impeachment voted—Secession of Lord Sidmouth—The European Coalition—Hastened by Napoleon's Aggressions—Rashness of Austria—Invasion of Bavaria—Napoleon marches on the Rhine—Capitulation of the Austrian Army at Ulm—Occupation of Vienna—Battle of Austerlitz—Treaties of Sch?nbrunn and Pressburg—The Baltic Expedition—Expedition to Naples—Naval Affairs—Nelson's Pursuit of Villeneuve—Calder's Engagement—Battle of Trafalgar—Death of Nelson—Continuation of the Mahratta War—Lord Lake's Engagements with Holkar—Siege of Bhurtpore—Defeat of Meer Khan—The Rajah of Bhurtpore makes Peace—Treaties with Scindiah and Holkar—Death of Pitt—Payment of his Debts by the Nation.[See larger version]
Pitt, on the day mentioned, announced these facts, and declared that his Majesty had demanded satisfaction from the Court of Spain for the insult to our flag and for the usurpation of our settlement; but that considerable armaments were making in the ports of Spain. He called upon the House to address his Majesty, imploring him to take all necessary measures for the vindication of our honour and our rights. Fox naturally expressed his surprise at this announcement, after the high assurances of such profound prospects of peace little more than a fortnight before. He moreover asserted that not only were the Ministers fully aware of all these circumstances at the very moment when the Premier made these statements, but that he had himself been aware of them a considerable time before that. Pitt endeavoured to explain that all the circumstances were not known when he professed such confidence in peace; but these assertions were clearly as little true as the former, for the British Government had received information from the Spanish Government itself, as early as the 10th of the previous February. Notwithstanding, the House supported the Government warmly in its determination to resist the enormous claims of Spain and to compel her to make satisfaction. Lord Howe was desired to have a fleet in readiness, and the Spanish Court having taken a high tone to Mr. Merry, our Minister at Madrid, Mr. Fitzherbert was dispatched thither as our plenipotentiary. He arrived at Madrid in the beginning of June. At first the Spanish Court were very high, and applied to France for co-operation, according to treaty; but France, in the throes of the Revolution, had no money to spend in such armaments and, on second thoughts, Spain dreaded introducing French revolutionary sailors amongst their own. They soon, therefore, lowered their tone, agreed to surrender Nootka Sound, make full compensation for all damages, and consented that British subjects should continue their fisheries in the South Seas, and make settlements on any coasts not already occupied. Captain Vancouver, who had been with Cook as a midshipman in his last two voyages, being present at his tragical death, was sent out in the following year to see that the settlement of Nootka Sound was duly surrendered to England. He saw this done, the Spanish commander, Quadra, behaving in a very friendly manner; and he proceeded then, during the years 1792 and 1793, to make many accurate surveys of the western coasts of North and South America, in which the Spaniards gave him every assistance. The British took formal possession not only of Nootka Sound, but of the fine island called after Vancouver. Pitt was highly complimented for his firmness and ability in the management of this business.Our Relations with Scinde—Occupation of the Country—Napier in Scinde—Ellenborough's Instructions—A New Treaty—Capture of Emaum-Ghur—The Treaty signed—Attack on the Residency—Battle of Meeanee—Defeat of Shere Mahommed—Subjugation of Scinde—Napier's Government of the Province—Position of the Sikhs—Disorders in Gwalior—Battle of Maharajpore—Settlement of Gwalior—Recall of Lord Ellenborough—Sir Henry Hardinge—Power of the Sikhs—Disorders on the Death of Runjeet Singh—The Sikhs cross the Sutlej—Battle of Moodkee—Battle of Ferozeshah—The Victory won—Battle of Aliwal—Battle of Sobraon—Terms of Peace—Administration of the Lawrences—Murder of Vans Agnew and Anderson—Renewal of the War—Battles of Chillianwallah and of Goojerat—Capture of Mooltan—Annexation of the Punjab.
Such were the conditions on which this great contest was finally terminated. The Americans clearly had matters almost entirely their own way, for the English were desirous that everything should now be done to conciliate their very positive and by no means modest kinsmen, the citizens of the United States. It was, in truth, desirable to remove as much as possible the rancour of the American mind, by concessions which England could well afford, so as not to throw them wholly into the arms of France. The conditions which the Americans, on their part, conceded to the unfortunate Royalists consisted entirely of recommendations from Congress to the individual States, and when it was recollected how little regard they had paid to any engagements into which they had entered during the war—with General Burgoyne, for example—the English negotiators felt, as they consented to these articles, that, so far, they would prove a mere dead letter. They could only console themselves with the thought that they would have protected the unhappy Royalists, whom Franklin and his colleagues bitterly and vindictively continued to designate as traitors. Franklin showed, on this occasion, that he had never forgotten the just chastisement which Wedderburn had inflicted on him before the Privy Council for his concern in the purloining of the private papers of Mr. Thomas Whateley, in 1774. On that occasion, he laid aside the velvet court suit, in which he appeared before the Council, and never put it on till now, when he appeared in it at the signing of the Treaty of Independence.Grenville, chagrined as he was, still clung to the Government, and called in the Duke of Bedford as President of the Council, Lord Sandwich as Secretary of State. Lord Hillsborough succeeded Lord Shelburne at the Board of Trade. Such was the Government which was to supersede the necessity of Pitt; Lord Chesterfield declaring that they could not meet the Parliament, for that they had not a man in the Commons who had either abilities or words enough to call a coach.
In September, 1791, the Assembly, having completed the Constitution, which was accepted by the king, dissolved. Its place was taken by the National Legislative Assembly, which met on the 1st of October. As the Jacobins had expected, the elections of the Departments had occupied but little attention. The public gaze had been fixed on the acts of the Assembly about to retire, so that a race of new men appeared, which seemed at first to divide itself into two parties—the Coté Droit, or Constitutional party, and the Coté Gauche, or Democratic party; but the latter party soon divided itself into two, the Mountain and the Gironde. It is difficult to discern the distinguishing traits of these two Revolutionary parties. At first they all worked together, clearly for the downfall of the monarchy. Robespierre, Petion, Marat, Danton, were associated with those who afterwards divided themselves into the Gironde, with Condorcet, Brissot, the Rolands, and Vergniaud. Though Robespierre, Petion, and Danton were no longer in the Assembly, they ruled the Jacobin party there from the clubs. It was not till the question of war arose that the split took place. The Jacobins and Girondists were for war, Robespierre was obstinately against it. At first he stood nearly alone, but by degrees, though he did not draw the Jacobins very soon to his views, he drew them speedily away from the Girondists. This party of the Girondists had been growing and forming for some time. It took its rise originally at Bordeaux, the great commercial city of the department of the Gironde. Bordeaux was of Roman origin. It had always displayed a warm love of independence, which its Parliaments had continually kept alive. It had of late years become the chief commercial link between France and the revolutionised United States. It had early, too, become leavened with the new philosophy; it was the birthplace of Montaigne and Montesquieu. The Gironde sent up to the new Assembly twelve deputies, all as yet unknown, but all deeply imbued with the new principles. These, on arriving in Paris, soon found themselves mixed up, at the house of Condorcet and the Rolands, with Robespierre, Danton, Petion, Buzot, Brissot, Carra-Louvet, Thomas Paine, and, in fact, nearly all the thorough Revolutionists. The active centre of the whole party, up to the period of the question of the war against the Emigrants, was Madame Roland, and such she continued to be of the Girondists after their separation into a distinct party, and after that they had become the antagonists of the Mountain or Jacobin party.In 1732 the new colony of Georgia was founded by General Oglethorpe, and became a silk-growing country, exporting, by the end of this period, 10,000 pounds of raw silk annually.
Lord Palmerston and Mr. Poulett Thompson treated the apprehensions of Lord Dudley Stuart as visionary, and expressed their conviction that there was nothing in the conduct of the Czar to excite either alarm or hostility in Great Britain. Their real opinions were very different. A few days later an event occurred which showed how little Russia was to be relied upon; and that it was impossible to restrain her aggressive propensities, even by the most solemn treaty obligations, undertaken in the face of Europe, and guaranteed by the Great Powers. Cracow, which comprised a small territory about 490 square miles in extent, with a population of about 123,000, including the city, was at the general settlement in 1815 formed into a free State, whose independence was guaranteed by the Treaty of Vienna in the following terms:—"The town of Cracow, with its territory, is declared to be for ever a free, independent, and strictly neutral city, under the protection of Russia, Austria, and Prussia." During the insurrection of Poland in 1830 the little State of Cracow could not repress its sympathies, and the news of the outbreak was received there with the greatest enthusiasm. After the destruction of the Polish army, persons who were compromised by the revolt sought an asylum in Cracow; and 2,000 political refugees were found settled there in 1836. This served as a pretext for the military occupation of the city in February of that year, notwithstanding the joint guarantee that it should never be entered by a foreign army. This was only a prelude to the ultimate extinction of its independence, which occurred ten years later. Lord Palmerston launched a vigorous protest, but it had no result.Dr. Arbuthnot, a great friend of Pope and Swift, was also one of the ablest prose writers, "The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus," published in Pope's and Swift's works, and the political satire of "John Bull," a masterly performance, being attributed to him.
The fame of Sir Thomas Lawrence (b. 1769) had attained to its meridian in this period. In portrait painting he was one of the most distinguished artists of the day, and he attained proficiency in it without having gone to Italy or studied the old masters. It has been said of him, as well as of Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he painted three generations of beauties. He went to Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818, by invitation, to take the likenesses of the most distinguished statesmen who were there assembled for diplomatic purposes. During his residence on the Continent he was received by the Sovereigns of the different countries he visited, and entertained with marked distinction; and the propriety and elegance of his deportment, we are told, made an impression highly favourable to his character. On his return he found that he had been unanimously elected to succeed West as the President of the Royal Academy, and this office he continued to hold till his death, which took place on the 7th of January, 1830.GREAT SEAL OF GEORGE II.There was a radical difference in spirit between the Viceroy and the Premier. The former sympathised warmly with the Roman Catholics in their struggles for civil equality, feeling deeply the justice of their cause. The Duke, on the other hand, yielded only to necessity, and thought of concession not as a matter of principle, but of expediency; he yielded, not because it was right to do so, but because it was preferable to having a civil war. The feeling of Mr. Peel was somewhat similar; it was with him, also, a choice of evils, and he chose the least.
Very strong hopes were entertained by the Liberal party from the Administration of Lord Wellesley, but it was his misfortune to be obliged to commence it with coercive measures, always the ready resource of the Irish Government. The new Viceroy would have removed, if possible, the causes of public disturbance; but, in the meantime, the peace must be preserved and sanguinary outrages must be repressed, and he did not shrink from the discharge of his duty in this respect on account of the popular odium which it was sure to bring upon his Government. Mr. Plunket, as Attorney-General, was as firm in the administration of justice as Mr. Saurin, his high Tory predecessor, could be. The measures of repression adopted by the legislature were certainly not wanting in severity. The disorders were agrarian, arising out of insecurity of land tenure, rack rents, and tithes levied by proctors upon tillage, and falling chiefly upon the Roman Catholic population, who disowned the ministrations of the Established Church. The remedies which the Government provided for disturbances thus originating were the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act and the renewal of the Insurrection Act. By the provisions of the latter the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered, on the representation of justices in session that a district was disturbed, to proclaim it in a state of insurrection, to interdict the inhabitants from leaving their homes between sunset and sunrise, and to subject them to visits by night, to ascertain their presence in their own dwellings. If absent, they were considered idle and disorderly, and liable to transportation for seven years! These measures encountered considerable opposition, but they were rapidly passed through both Houses, and received the Royal Assent a week after Parliament met. Under these Acts a number of Whiteboys and other offenders were tried and convicted, several hanged, and many transported. Lord Wellesley must have felt his position very disagreeable between the two excited parties. To be impartial and just was to incur the hostility of both. Possibly he became disgusted with the factions that surrounded him. Whether from this cause, or from an indolent temper, or from the feeling that he was hampered and restrained, and could not do for the country what he felt that its well-being required, or from ill health, it is certain that he became very inactive. A member of the Cabinet writes about him thus:—"I find the Orange party are loud in their abuse of Lord Wellesley, for shutting himself up at the Ph?nix Park, lying in bed all day, seeing nobody, and only communicating with Secretary Gregory by letter. Indeed, I believe that the latter is more than he often favours Secretaries Peel and Goulburn with." In another letter, the same Minister, Mr. Wynn, complains of his total neglect of his correspondence with England. This, he said, was inexcusable, because those on whom the chief responsibility rested had a right to know his views upon the state of Ireland, in order to be able to meet the Opposition during the sitting of Parliament. This was written towards the end of April, and at that time the Government had not for a month heard a syllable from him on the agitated questions of tithes, magistracy, and police. The state of Ireland, indeed, became every day more perplexing and alarming. A revolutionary spirit was abroad, and all other social evils were aggravated by famine, which prevailed in extensive districts in the south and west. The potato crop, always precarious, was then almost a total failure in many counties, and left the dense population, whose existence depended upon it, totally destitute. The cry of distress reached England, and was responded to in the most generous spirit. Half a million sterling was voted by Parliament, and placed at the disposal of Lord Wellesley, to be dispensed in charitable relief and expended on public works for the employment of the poor. In addition to this, the English people contributed from their private resources the sum of three hundred thousand pounds for the relief of Irish distress. On the 30th of May there was a ball given for the same object, in the King's Theatre, London, which produced three thousand five hundred pounds.[See larger version]
Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known as one of the most eminent female poets of her time, by the signature "L. E. L." which she appended to her numerous contributions in the magazines, was born at Hans Place, Chelsea, in 1802. Her "Poetical Sketches" were published first in the Literary Gazette. In 1824 appeared her "Improvisatrice." She was the author of two other volumes of poetry, and of a successful novel. A spirit of melancholy pervades her writings; but it is stated by Mr. L. Blanchard, in the "Life and Literary Remains," which he published, that she was remarkable for the vivacity and playfulness of her disposition. Her poetry ranked very high in public estimation for its lyric beauty and touching pathos; but the circumstances of her early death, which was the subject of much controversy, invested her name with a tragic and romantic interest. In 1838 she was married to Mr. George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, but the marriage was unhappy, and she died, shortly afterwards, from an overdose of laudanum.详情
Copyright © 2020