类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-29 00:09:46


No sooner was this motion made than Spencer Perceval rose to oppose it. Sidmouth worked upon the king's feelings by sending in his resignation, and the Duke of Portland had offered to form a Ministry in accordance with the king's feelings. The Bill was, notwithstanding, brought in, read a first time, and the second reading fixed for the 12th of March. But now it was found that the king, who had previously received the Ministerial proposal without any comment, seeing his way clear with another Ministry, refused even his qualified consent to the prosecution of the measure. The Ministers postponed the second reading to the 18th, promising an after-statement of their reasons. But their reasons were already well known in both Houses of Parliament through the private communications of the embryo Cabinet. On the 25th of March there were motions made in both Houses for an adjournment: this was to allow the new Ministry to be announced in the interval. In the Lords, Earl Grenville seized the opportunity to make some observations in defence of the conduct of his Cabinet during its possession[534] of office. He said they had entered it with the determination to carry these important measures, if possible: the Sinking Fund, the abolition of the Slave Trade, and the relief of the Catholics. He was happy to say that they had carried two of them; and though they had found the resistance in a certain quarter too strong for them to carry the third, they conceived that never did the circumstances of the times point out more clearly the sound policy of granting it. France had wonderfully extended her power on the Continent; peace between her and the nations she had subdued would probably lead Buonaparte to concentrate his warlike efforts on this country. What so wise, then, as to have Ireland attached to us by benefits? With these views, the king, he said, had been induced to allow Ministers to make communications to the Catholics of Ireland through the Lord-Lieutenant, which he had seemed to approve; yet when these communications as to the intended concessions had been made, his Majesty had been induced to retract his assent to them. Ministers had then endeavoured to modify the Bill so as to meet his Majesty's views; but, not succeeding, they had dropped the Bill altogether, reserving only, in self-justification, a right to make a minute on the private proceedings of the Cabinet, expressing their liberty to bring this subject again to the royal notice, as circumstances might seem to require; but now his Majesty had called upon them to enter into a written obligation never again to introduce the subject to his notice, or to bring forward a measure of that kind. This, he said, was more than could be expected of any Ministers of any independence whatever. The point was, of course, of some constitutional importance, but there was much truth in Sheridan's remark: "I have often heard of people knocking out their brains against a wall, but never before knew of anyone building a wall expressly for the purpose."

At the very time that Washington was flying before the British army, Congress, putting a firm face on the matter, went on legislating as boldly as ever. It established Articles of Confederation and perpetual union between the several States. These Articles were a supplement to and extension of the Declaration of Independence, and were sixteen in number:—1st. That the thirteen States thus confederating should take the title of the United States. 2nd. That each and all were engaged in a reciprocal treaty of alliance and friendship for their common defence, and for their general advantage; obliging themselves to assist each other against all violence that might threaten all or any of them on account of religion, sovereignty, commerce, or under any other pretext whatever. 3rd. That each State reserved to itself alone the exclusive right of regulating its internal government. 4th. That no State in particular should either send or receive embassies, begin any negotiations, contract any engagements, form any alliances, or conclude any treaties with any king, prince, or power whatsoever, without the consent of the United States assembled in Congress; that no person invested with any post in the United States should be allowed to accept any presents, emoluments, office, or title, from any king, prince, or foreign Power; and that neither the General Congress, nor any State in particular, should ever confer any title of nobility. 5th. That none of the said States should have power to form alliances, or confederations, even amongst themselves, without the consent of the General Congress. 6th. That no State should lay on any imposts, or establish any duties, which might affect treaties to be hereafter concluded by Congress with foreign Powers. 7th. That no State in particular should keep up ships of war, or land troops beyond the amount regulated by Congress. 8th. That when any of the States raised troops for the common defence, the officers of the rank of colonel and under should be appointed by the legislature of the State, and the superior officers by Congress. 9th. That all the expenses of the war, etc., should be paid out of a common treasury. Other clauses defined the functions and powers of Congress, and the 14th offered to Canada admission to all the privileges of the other States, should she desire it; but no other colony was to be admitted without the formal consent of nine of the States composing the union.

Mr. Jemison, as commissioner for distributing a million and a half of this compensation money! 1,200Instead of waiting to watch Washington, or leaving any force for that purpose, Howe now suddenly altered his plans, marched back in reality to Staten Island, and left the enemy in full command of the Jerseys. Embarking his army on the 5th of July, he left General Clinton at New York with seventeen battalions, a body of loyal American militia, and a regiment of light horse. He set sail on the 23rd of July, and stood out to sea. Washington, now supposing that he meant to make an attempt on Boston, moved slowly towards the Hudson; but he had soon information that caused him to retreat again towards the Delaware; and, news coming that Howe had been seen off Cape May, he advanced to Germantown. Instead of entering the Delaware, however, the British fleet was presently seen steering eastward, and all calculations were baffled. Washington, now believing that he was intending to return to New York, proceeded to Philadelphia, and had an interview with Congress.

[See larger version]It was arranged that the coronation should take place early in the summer of 1821, and the queen, who in the interval had received an annuity of £50,000, was resolved to claim the right of being crowned with the king. She could hardly have hoped to succeed in this, but her claims were put forth in a memorial complaining that directions had not been given for the coronation of the queen, as had been accustomed on like occasions, and stating that she claimed, as of right, to celebrate the ceremony of her royal coronation, and to preserve as well her Majesty's said right as the lawful right and inheritance of others of his Majesty's subjects. Her memorial was laid before the Privy Council, and the greatest interest was excited by its discussion. The records were brought from the Tower: the "Liber Regalis" and other ancient volumes. The doors continued closed, and strangers were not allowed to remain in the adjoining rooms and passages. The following official decision of the Privy Council was given after some delay:—"The lords of the committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said order of reference, have heard her Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General in support of her Majesty's said claim, and having also heard the observations of your Majesty's Attorney- and Solicitor-General thereupon, their lordships do agree humbly to report to your Majesty their opinions, that as it appears to them that the Queens Consort of this realm are not entitled of right to be crowned at any time, her Majesty the queen is not entitled as of right to be crowned at the time specified in her Majesty's memorials. His Majesty, having taken the said report into consideration, has been pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, to approve thereof." The queen's subsequent applications, which included a letter to the king, were equally unsuccessful.

By the 8th of October Wellington was safely encamped within these impregnable lines, and the crowd of flying people sought refuge in Lisbon, or in the country around it. The British did not arrive a moment too soon, for Massena was close at their heels with his van; but he halted at Sobral for three days to allow of the coming up of his main body. This time was spent by the British in strengthening their position, already most formidable. The two ranges of mountains lying one behind the other were speedily occupied by the troops; and they were set to work at more completely stopping up roads, and constructing barriers, palisades, platforms, and wooden bridges leading into the works. For this purpose fifty thousand trees were allowed them, and all the space between Lisbon and these wonderful lines was one swarming scene of people bringing in materials and supplies. The right of the position was flanked by the Tagus, where the British fleet lay anchored, attended by a flotilla of gunboats, and a body of marines occupied the line of embarkation; Portuguese militia manned the Castle of St. Julian and the forts on the Tagus, and Lisbon itself was filled with armed bands of volunteers. There was no want of anything within this busy and interesting enclosure, for the British fleet had the command of the sea and all its means of supply. Seven thousand Portuguese peasantry were employed in bringing in and preparing the timber for the defences; and every soldier not positively on guard was enthusiastic in helping the engineers and artillery in the labour of making the lines impregnable.Richard Hare, made Lord Ennismore, with patronage.

On the 6th of May Burke had brought forward a measure for the benefit of his long-oppressed country, to the effect that Ireland should enjoy the privilege of exporting its manufactures, woollen cloths and woollens excepted, and of importing from the coast of Africa and other foreign settlements all goods that it required, except indigo and tobacco. The Irish were to have the additional privilege of sending to England duty-free, cotton-yarns, sail-cloth, and cordage. Parliament, for once, looked on these demands with favour. They recollected that the Americans had endeavoured to excite disaffection amongst the Irish by reference to the unjust restrictions on their commerce by the selfishness of England, and they felt the loss of the American trade, and were willing to encourage commerce in some other direction. Lord Nugent co-operated with Burke in this endeavour. But the lynx-eyed avarice of the English merchants was instantly up in arms. During the Easter recess, a host of petitions was[254] got up against this just concession. The city of Bristol, which was represented by Burke, threatened to dismiss him at the next election, if he persisted in this attempt to extend commercial justice to Ireland; but Burke told them that he must leave that to them; for himself, he must advocate free trade, which, if they once tried it, they would find far more advantageous than monopoly. They kept their word, and threw him out for his independence. At the same time, the English merchants, as they had always done before by Ireland, triumphed to a great extent. They demanded to be heard in Committee by counsel, and the Bills were shorn down to the least possible degree of benefit.



The Duke of Richmond made a feeble reply, and then Chatham rose, in the deepest indignation, to answer the Duke, but the violence of his feelings overcame him; he staggered and fell in a swoon, and would have been prostrated on the[252] floor but for the assistance of some friendly hands. He lay apparently in the agonies of death. The whole House was agitated; the Peers crowded round him in the greatest commotion; all except the Earl of Mansfield, who beheld the fall of his ancient rival almost as unmoved, says Lord Camden, "as the senseless body itself." His youngest son, John Charles Pitt, was there, and exerted himself to render all possible assistance. The insensible orator was carried in the arms of his friends to the house of Mr. Sargent, in Downing Street. By the prompt aid of a physician, he was in some degree recalled to consciousness, and within a few days was conveyed to his own dwelling at Hayes. There he lingered till the morning of May 11th, when he died in the seventieth year of his age.



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