Such was the condition into which an army and navy, once illustrious through the victories of Marlborough and Blake, were reduced by the aristocratic imbecility of the Newcastles, Bedfords, and Cumberlands. This last princely general had, in fact, put the climax to his career. He had placed himself at the head of fifty thousand confederate troops, in which there were no English, except the officers of his own staff, to defend his father's Electorate of Hanover. But this ruthless general, who never won a battle except the solitary one of Culloden, against a handful of famished men, was found totally incompetent to cope with the French general, d'Estrées. He allowed the French to cross the deep and rapid Weser, and continued to fall back before them as they entered the Electorate, until he was driven to the village of Hastenbeck, near Hameln, where the enemy overtook and defeated him. He then continued his retreat across the desolate Lüneburg Heath, to cover Stade, near the mouth of the Elbe, where the archives and other valuable effects of Hanover had been deposited for safety. At this time Richelieu succeeded to the command of d'Estrées in this quarter, and he continued to drive Cumberland before him, taking Hameln, G?ttingen, and Hanover itself, and soon after Bremen and Verden. Thus were Hanover and Verden, which had cost England such millions to defend, seized by France; nor did the disgrace end here. Cumberland was cooped up in Stade, and compelled, on the 8th of December, to sign a convention at Closter-Seven, by which he engaged to send home the Hesse and Brunswick troops, and to disperse the Hanoverians into different quarters, not to serve again during the war.These dispiriting losses, combined with the fall of Minorca, stimulated the public and the mercantile bodies to petition earnestly for the termination of the American war; and Parliament met at the appointed time amid numbers of such demands. Petitions came from the cities of London and Westminster, and many other towns and counties, bearing rather the features of remonstrances. No sooner did the House meet than Fox moved for an inquiry into the causes of the constant failure of our fleets in these enterprises, on which so much had depended. The object was to crush Lord Sandwich, the head of the Admiralty. Fox's motion was rejected, but only by a majority of twenty-two. The strength of Ministers was fast ebbing.
Even this example was not sufficient to protect her Majesty from the criminal attempts of miscreants of this class. Another was made on the 3rd of July following, as the Queen was going from Buckingham Palace to the Chapel Royal, accompanied by Prince Albert and the King of the Belgians. In the Mall, about half way between the palace and the stable-yard gate, a deformed youth was seen by a person named Bassett to present a pistol at the Queen's carriage. Bassett seized him and brought him to the police; but they refused to take him in charge, treating the matter as a hoax. Bassett himself was subsequently arrested, and examined by the Privy Council. When the facts of the case were ascertained, the police hastened to repair the error of the morning, and sent to all the police-stations a description of the real offender. This led to the apprehension of a boy called Bean, who was identified, examined, and committed to prison. His trial took place on the 25th of August, at the Central Criminal Court. The Attorney-General briefly related the facts of the case, and Lord Abinger, the presiding judge, having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty," convicting the prisoner of presenting a pistol, loaded with powder and wadding, "in contempt of the Queen, and to the terror of divers liege subjects." The sentence of the court was—"Imprisonment in Millbank Penitentiary for eighteen calendar months."Scilly Islands as one parish) 89
Carthagena was strongly fortified, and the garrison was reinforced by the crews of a squadron lying there under Don Blas de Leon. If the place was to be assaulted, it should have been done at once; but Vernon lay perfectly inactive for five days, as if to allow the enemy to make all his preparations for defence. Notwithstanding this, the brave English erected a battery on shore, and played so effectually on the principal fort, that they soon made a breach in it, whilst the fleet fired into the harbour, thus dividing the attention of the enemy. In spite of their advantages, the Spaniards abandoned their forts and batteries, the English entered the breach, the vessels in the harbour were destroyed, and the passage cleared so that the fleet could sail in and support the army. There appeared nothing capable of preventing the conquest of the town but the cabals of the two commanders. Lord Cathcart had caught the endemic fever and died, and was succeeded by General Wentworth in command of the land forces. Wentworth had a great contempt of Vernon, and Vernon was by no means well disposed towards Wentworth. The fleet having entered the harbour, the land forces were all disembarked, and posted within a mile of Carthagena; but there the success stopped. Vernon had written home his dispatches to the Duke of Newcastle saying, "The wonderful success of this evening and night is so astounding, that we cannot but cry out, 'It is the Lord's doing, and it seems marvellous in our eyes!'"
In a little time the Americans, recovering their spirits, returned to their guns, and plied them so well that they soon knocked the breastworks of sugar and treacle casks to pieces. As nothing would tempt the Americans to show themselves from behind their cotton bales and embankments, after maintaining this murderous position for two whole nights and days, Pakenham drew back his men, sacrificing some of his guns, and formed a scheme of sending a detachment across the river to turn the batteries and then play them upon the enemy. But for this purpose it was necessary to cut a canal across the tongue of land on which the army stood, in order to bring up the boats required to carry the troops over the river. Major-General Lambert had arrived with reinforcements, so that against the American twenty thousand Pakenham had now about eight thousand men. All worked at the canal, and it was finished on the 6th of January. Colonel Thornton was to carry across the river one thousand four hundred men, and surprise the great flanking battery of eighteen or twenty guns, whilst Sir Edward Pakenham advanced against the lines in front. A rocket was to be thrown up by Pakenham when he commenced his assault, and Thornton was at that instant to make a rush on the battery and turn it on the enemy. But they had not sufficiently calculated on the treacherous soil through which they cut their canal. Thornton found it already so sludged up that he could only get boats through it sufficient to carry over three hundred and fifty men, and this with so much delay that, when Pakenham's rocket went up, he was still three miles from the battery—and that in broad daylight—which he ought already to have taken. Unaware of this, Pakenham advanced against the chain of forts and ramparts. He had ordered ladders and fascines to be in readiness for crossing the canal, but by some gross neglect it was found that they were not there, and thus the whole of the British troops were exposed to the deadly fire of the American batteries and musketry. No valour was of any use in such circumstances; but Sir Edward cheered on the few but brave-hearted troops till the ladders and fascines could arrive; but ere this happened, Pakenham was killed. Generals Gibbs and Keane took the place of the fallen commander, and still cheered on their men; but it was only to unavailing slaughter: the American marksmen, under cover, and with their rifles on rest, picked off the British soldiers at their pleasure. Gibbs was soon killed and Keane disabled by a wound. In such circumstances the troops gave way and retired, a strong reserve protecting the rear; but out of gun-shot there was no further danger, for the Americans were much too cunning to show their heads beyond the protection of their defences.George II. was born in 1683, and was, consequently, in his forty-fourth year when he ascended the throne. In 1705 he married the Princess Caroline Wilhelmina of Anspach, who was born in the year before himself, by whom he had now four children—Frederick Prince of Wales, born in 1707, William Duke of Cumberland, born in 1721, and two daughters.The strong sense, lively fancy, and smart style of his satires, distinguished also Pope's prose, as in his "Treatise of the Bathos; or, the Art of Sinking in Poetry;" his "Memoirs of P. P., Clerk of this Parish"—in ridicule of Burnet's "Own Times"—his Letters, etc. In some of the last he describes the country and country seats, and the life there of his friends; which shows that, in an age more percipient of the charm of such things, he would have probably approached nearer to the heart of Nature, and given us something more genial and delightful than anything that he has left us.
[See larger version]Levis, who knew that his success depended on forestalling any English arrivals, lost no time in throwing up trenches and preparing batteries. Had the river continued closed, Quebec must soon have reverted to the French; but, on the 11th of May, the English were rejoiced to see a frigate approaching, and this, only four days after, was followed by another frigate and a ship of the line. These, commanded by Lord Colville, immediately attacked and destroyed or drove on shore the French flotilla, and at that sight Levis struck his tents and decamped as rapidly as he came, leaving behind him his baggage and artillery. Nor was the Marquis de Vaudreuil left long undisturbed at Montreal. The three expeditions, which had failed to meet the preceding summer, were now ordered to converge on Montreal—Amherst from Lake Ontario, Haviland from Crown Point, and Murray from Quebec. Amherst had been detained at Oswego by an outbreak of the Cherokees against us. This native tribe had been friendly to us, and we had built a fort in their country, and called it Fort Loudon, after Lord Loudon; but in the autumn of 1759 they had been bought over by the French, and made a terrible raid on our back settlements, murdering and scalping the defenceless inhabitants. Mr. Lyttelton, the Governor of South Carolina, marched against them with a thousand men, and compelled them to submission; but no sooner had he retired than they recommenced their hostilities, and Amherst sent against them Colonel Montgomery, with one thousand two hundred men, who made a merciless retaliation, plundering and burning their villages, so as to impress a sufficient terror upon them.
It has been remarked that the "monster meetings" could never have been conducted in the orderly manner for which they were distinguished, but for the Temperance reform which had been effected by Father Mathew, a benevolent, tolerant, and single-minded friar from Cork, who was known as the Apostle of Temperance, and who had induced vast numbers from all parts of the country to take the pledge, which the majority religiously kept for some years. The monster meetings, of which forty-five were held during the year, were vast assemblages whose numbers it was difficult to calculate, but they varied from 20,000 to 100,000 each. The people, generally well-dressed, came crowding to the appointed place from every direction, some on horseback, some on jaunting cars and carts, generally preceded by bands with immense banners, and sometimes marching in military order. O'Connell, the "uncrowned monarch," as his followers called him, arrived from Dublin, sitting on the dickey of a coach, usually drawn by four horses. He was always accompanied by his devoted friend, Tom Steel, the "head pacificator," one of the most ardent of hero-worshippers, who looked up to his chief as a sort of demi-god. The first of the monster meetings was held at Trim, in the county Meath, on the 19th of March, and was said to have been attended by about 30,000 persons. A dinner took place in the evening, at which Mr. O'Connell delivered an exciting speech. Referring to the bright eyes and hardy look of the multitudes that surrounded him that day, he asked, would they be everlasting slaves? They would answer "No," and he would join in the response, and say, "I shall be either in my grave or be a free man. Idle sentiments will not do. It will not do to say you like to be free. The man who thinks and does not act upon his thoughts is a scoundrel who does not deserve to be free." The monster meeting held at Mullingar on the 14th of May (Sunday) was attended by Dr. Cantwell and Dr. Higgins, two Roman Catholic bishops, and a great number of priests. This was one of the largest of the meetings, and was remarkable for the declaration made by Dr. Higgins, to the effect that "every Roman Catholic bishop in Ireland, without exception, was a Repealer. He defied all the Ministers of England to put down the agitation. If they prevented them from assembling in the open fields, they would retire to their chapels, and suspend all other instruction, in order to devote all their time to teaching the people to be Repealers. They were even ready to go to the scaffold for the cause of their country, and bequeath its wrongs to their successors." This outburst excited tumultuous applause, the whole assembly rising and cheering for a considerable time.
The Congress at Vienna—Napoleon's Escape from Elba—Military Preparations—England supplies the Money—Wellington organises his Army—Napoleon's Journey through France—His Entry into Paris—The Enemy gathers round him—Napoleon's Preparations—The New Constitution—Positions of Wellington and Blucher—The Duchess of Richmond's Ball—Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras—Blucher's Retreat—The Field of Waterloo—The Battle—Charge of the Old Guard—Arrival of the Prussians—The Retreat—French Assertions about the Battle refuted—Napoleon's Abdication—The Allies march on Paris—End of the Hundred Days—The Emperor is sent to St. Helena—The War in America—Events on the Canadian Frontier—Repeated Incapacity of Sir George Prevost—His Recall—Failure of American Designs on Canada—Capture of Washington by the British—Other Expeditions—Failure of the Expedition to New Orleans—Anxiety of the United States for Peace—Mediation of the Czar—Treaty of Ghent—Execution of Ney and Labédoyère—Inability of Wellington to interfere—Murat's Attempt on Naples—His Execution—The Second Treaty of Paris—Final Conditions between France and the Allies—Remainder of the Third George's Reign—Corn Law of 1815—General Distress—Riots and Political Meetings—The Storming of Algiers—Repressive Measures in Parliament—Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act—Secret Meetings in Lancashire—The Spy Oliver—The Derbyshire Insurrection—Refusal of Juries to convict—Suppression of seditious Writings—Circular to Lords-Lieutenant—The Flight of Cobbett—First Trial of Hone—The Trials before Lord Ellenborough—Bill for the Abolition of Sinecures—Death of the Princess Charlotte—Opening of the Session of 1818—Repeal of the Suspension Act—Operation of the Corn Law—The Indemnity Bill—Its Passage through Parliament—Attempts at Reform—Marriages of the Dukes of Clarence, Cambridge, and Kent—Renewal of the Alien Act—Dissolution of Parliament and General Election—Strike in Manchester—Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle—Raids of the Pindarrees—Lord Hastings determines to suppress them—Malcolm's Campaign—Outbreak of Cholera—Campaign against the Peishwa—Pacification of the Mahratta District—Apparent Prosperity of Great Britain in 1819—Opening of Parliament—Debates on the Royal Expenditure—Resumption of Cash Payments—The Budget—Social Reforms—The Scottish Burghs—Roman Catholic Emancipation rejected—Weakness of the Government—Meeting at Manchester—The Peterloo Massacre—The Six Acts—The Cato Street Conspiracy—Attempted Insurrection in Scotland—Trials of Hunt and his Associates—Death of George III.
The progress in the manufacture of hardware is strikingly exhibited by the increase of the population of Birmingham. According to the census of 1821, it was 106,722; in 1831 it was 146,986; in 1841 it was 181,116, showing an increase of 80 per cent. in twenty years. The number of houses during the same period was nearly doubled. Mr. Babbage has given a table, extracted from the books of a highly respectable house in Birmingham, showing the reduction in the price of various articles made of iron between 1812 and 1832, which varied from 40 to 80 per cent. The exportation of cutlery from England amounted in 1820 to about 7,000 tons; in 1839 it was 21,000 tons. Since 1820 the annual value of the exportations of hardware and cutlery increased about 50 per cent. The town of Sheffield is another remarkable instance of the growth of population in consequence of the manufacture of cutlery. In 1821 the population was 65,275; in 1841 it was 111,000. The various manufacturers of cutlery and plated goods, and the conversion of iron into steel, employed in 1835 upwards of 560 furnaces. The declared value of British-made plated ware, jewellery, and watches, exported from the United Kingdom in 1827 was ￡169,456; in 1839 it amounted to ￡258,076. The value of machinery shipped to foreign countries in 1831 was only ￡29,000; in 1836 it was ￡166,000; in 1837, ￡280,000; and in 1840, ￡374,000.DEFEAT OF GENERAL BRADDOCK IN THE INDIAN AMBUSH. (See p. 119.)In the face of such facts it was clear that something must be done, even by a Protectionist Ministry, to diminish the effect of the growing belief that bad legislation was at the bottom of the country's difficulties. In the spring men had looked eagerly for the Budget of the new Ministry. It had been bitterly remarked that at the time when Parliament was prorogued there were nearly 21,000 persons in Leeds whose average earnings were only 11-3/4 d. per week—that in one district in Manchester alone a gentleman had visited 258 families, consisting of 1,029 individuals, whose average earnings were only 7? d. per head a week; and that while millions were in this deplorable condition, the duty on wheat stood at 24s. 8d. a quarter, and Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues demanded four months' leisure at their country abodes before they would permit the Legislature to take the distress of the people into consideration. At length came the meeting of Parliament, at which the Queen in person read the Speech prepared by her Ministers. It acknowledged with deep regret "the continued distress in the manufacturing districts," and that the sufferings and privations which had resulted from it had been "borne with exemplary patience and forbearance." Finally, her Majesty recommended to the consideration of both Houses "the laws which affect the import of corn and other articles." What was the intention of the Ministers was not then known; but it was already understood that, unlike their rivals, who had proposed a fixed duty, the new Government would attempt some modification of the sliding scale. In the account of these transactions which Sir Robert Peel left to be published by his executors after his death, he says:—"One of the first acts of the Government over which I presided (the Government of August, 1841) was to propose a material change in the Corn Law of 1828. I brought the subject under the consideration of my colleagues by means of written memoranda, in preference to proposals made verbally. In the first of these memoranda I recommended my colleagues to undertake the revision of the Corn Laws of 1828, as an act of the Government. In the second, after I had procured their assent to the principle of revision, I submitted a proposal in respect to the extent to which such revision should be carried, and to the details of the new law." Then were seen the first symptoms of that estrangement from his party which reached its climax in 1846. Glaring as was the necessity for change, and evident as it was, even to the body of the landowners, that they must choose between the mild reform of Peel and the more objectionable measure of his antagonists, there were members of the Cabinet who would still have held out for no concession. The Duke of Buckingham retired from the Ministry, and the Duke of Richmond refused to allow his son to move the Address.详情
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