Walpole ridiculed the notion which had gone abroad that the revenue officers would be increased into quite a standing army, and would endanger the common liberty by their being empowered to enter private dwellings to search for concealed excisable articles. He said the increase would be only a hundred and twenty-six persons and that the Customs now possessed more searching power than he proposed to give to the Excise.During these transactions the activity of the Pretender and his agents was encouraged by the growing influence of Bolingbroke in the English Court. Bolingbroke proposed to Oxford that they should pay the dowry of the Pretender's mother, the widow of James II.; but to this Oxford objected, saying that the widow of James had not contented herself with the title of queen-dowager of England, but had assumed that of queen mother, which, he observed, could not be lawfully admitted after the attainder of her son. This strengthened the hands of Bolingbroke with Lady Masham, who was violently in favour of the Pretender. Lady Masham's disgust with Oxford was wonderfully increased. In writing to Mesnager, she did not hesitate to say that if the Court of St. Germains trusted to Oxford, they would be deceived; that he was "famous for loving a secret, and making intricacies where there needed none, and no less renowned for causing everything of such a nature to miscarry." The Pretender, having every day increased encouragement from Lady Masham and Bolingbroke, demanded of the Emperor of Germany one of his nieces in marriage; and it was reported that the Emperor was agreeable to it, and ready to espouse his cause. It was well known that distinct propositions had been made to the Pretender through the Duke of Berwick, at the instance of Lady Masham, before her breach with Oxford, by which his restoration on the demise of Anne was agreed to on condition that he should guarantee the security of the Church and Constitution of England, and that not even his mother should be admitted to the knowledge of this agreement. At the last point, however, Oxford failed to conclude this secret treaty. The Duke of Berwick, in his Memoirs, says that, in consequence of this conduct of Oxford's, the friends of the Pretender turned their attention to other parties about the Court—to Lord Ormonde, the Duke of Buckingham, and many other persons. Buckingham—who was married to the Lady Catherine Darnley, a daughter of James II. by Catherine Sedley, and was, therefore, brother-in-law to the Pretender—wrote to the Earl of Middleton, the Pretender's Minister, how earnestly he desired to see the king back on the English throne; that nothing but his religion stood in the way; that this was the only thing which prevented the queen from acknowledging him; and he urged him to follow the example of Henry IV. of France, who gave up the Protestant religion when he saw that he could not securely hold the Crown without doing so. But the Pretender was, much to his credit—being firmly persuaded of the truth of his religion—much too honest to renounce it, even for the Crown of such a kingdom as Great Britain; and he argued that the English people ought to see in his sincerity a guarantee for his faithful dealing with them in all other matters. But, unfortunately, the example of his father had barred the way to any such plea. No man was more positive in the adherence to his religion, or in his sacrifices on its account; but no man had at the same time so thoroughly demonstrated that he had no such honourable feeling as to breaking his word where any political matter was concerned.Lord Wellington had been duly informed of the progress of these man?uvres, and they had given him great anxiety; nor were these the only causes of anxiety which affected him. The British Ministry were so much absorbed with the business of supporting the Allies in their triumphant march after Buonaparte, that they seemed to think the necessity of Lord Wellington's exertions at an end. At the close of 1813 they recalled Sir Thomas Graham and some of his best battalions to send them into Holland. They appeared to contemplate still further reductions of the Peninsular army, and Lord Wellington was obliged to address them in very plain terms to impress them with the vital necessity of maintaining the force in this quarter unweakened. He reminded them that thirty thousand British troops had kept two hundred thousand of Buonaparte's best troops engaged in Spain for five years; that without this assistance Spain and Portugal would have long ago been completely thrown under the feet of the invader, and the Allies of the North would have had to contend against the undivided armies and exertions of Napoleon; that to render his own army inefficient would be at once to release one hundred thousand veterans such as the Allied armies had not had to deal with. This had the proper effect; and as soon as Wellington had obtained the necessary supplies, he resumed his operations to drive Soult from under the walls of Bayonne.
If the scandalous gossip of the Court may be trusted, the king did not allow affairs of State, or public displays, or the death of the queen to wean him even for a week from his attachment to Lady Conyngham. Mr. Freemantle, a rather cynical commentator on public affairs, wrote as follows:—"Lady C. has been almost constantly at the Ph?nix Park, but has not appeared much in public." Again, the same writer remarks, "I never in my life heard of anything equal to the king's infatuation and conduct towards Lady Conyngham. She lived exclusively with him during the whole time he was in Ireland at the Ph?nix Park. When he went to Slane, she received him dressed out as for a drawing-room; he saluted her, and they then retired alone to her apartments. A yacht is left to bring her over, and she and the whole family go to Hanover. I hear the Irish are outrageously jealous of her, and though courting her to the greatest degree, are loud in their indignation at Lord C. This is just like them. I agree in all you say about Ireland. As there is no chance of the boon being granted, no lord-lieutenant could have a chance of ingratiating himself, or of fair justice done him, with the king's promises and flattery."But he went on to Smorgony, and there, the remains of the army having come up, he called a council of war on the 5th of December. He told his generals that he had ordered Ney to reorganise the army at Wilna, and had appointed Murat, King of Naples, generalissimo in his absence. He assumed a tone of great confidence, promised his army good winter-quarters beyond the Niemen, and assured them that he was hasting away to present himself directly at the head of one hundred and twenty thousand men to keep the Austrians and Prussians firm to their alliance, and thus to make those he left behind more secure than he could do by staying with them. He then passed through the crowd of his officers, who were drawn up in an avenue as he passed, bidding them adieu with forced and melancholy smiles. He then stepped into a sledge with Caulaincourt and shut themselves in, and Duroc and Lobau followed in another sledge; and thus the man who entered Russia with nearly half a million of men, stole away, leaving the miserable remnant of his vast army to the elements and the Russians!
Miserably as Arnold had passed the winter in his camp, as spring approached he again planted his batteries above Quebec, but produced so little effect that Carleton lay still in expectation of his reinforcements on the breaking up of the river. On the 1st of April General Wooster arrived, and took the command, much to the disgust of Arnold, who was sent to command a detachment at Montreal. On the 1st of May, General Thomas, who was to be supreme in command, arrived, and found the forces amounting to about two thousand men. The river was now opening; and on the 6th of May three English ships had made their way up to Quebec, full of troops. Two companies of the 29th Regiment and one hundred marines were immediately landed amid the rejoicings of the inhabitants; and General Carleton gave instant orders to issue forth and attack the American lines. But General Thomas, conscious that, so far from being able to take Quebec, he should be himself taken, unless he decamped with all haste, was already on the move. General Carleton pursued him vigorously, and the retreat of the Americans became a regular rout. They threw themselves into boats at the Three Rivers, leaving behind them all their artillery and stores, as well as the sick, who were numerous, the smallpox having broken out amongst them. Thomas managed to reach Fort Chambly and St. John's on the Sorel; but there he died, having taken the smallpox.
In the meantime the nation began to form itself rapidly into two parties—Reformers and Anti-Reformers. The Tories were all reunited, driven together by the sense of a common danger; divisions occasioned by the currency and agricultural distress were all forgotten—all merged in one mighty current of Conservative feeling. The whole strength of that party rallied under the leadership of Sir Robert Peel. His bitterest opponents, such as Lord Winchilsea and Sir Edward Knatchbull, were among the most ardent and cordial of his allies. On the other hand, the Reformers were in transports of joy and exultation. "I honestly confess," said Mr. John Smith, "that when I first heard the Ministerial proposal, it had the effect of taking away my breath, so surprised and delighted was I to find the Ministers so much in earnest." This was the almost universal feeling among Reformers, who comprised the mass of the middle and working classes. No Bill in the Parliamentary annals of Britain was ever honoured like this. It was accepted by universal suffrage as the Charter of Reform. Every clause, every sentence, every word in it was held sacred; and the watchword at every meeting was, "The Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill." Petitions were got up in every town, and almost every parish, some of them bearing twenty thousand or thirty thousand signatures, demanding the passing of the Bill untouched and unimpaired.On the 15th of April, notwithstanding Luttrell's signal defeat, the House of Commons, on the motion of Onslow, son of the late Speaker, voted, after a violent debate, by a majority of fifty-four, that "Henry Lawes Luttrell, Esq., ought to have been returned for Middlesex." The debate was very obstinate. The whole of the Grenville interest, including Lord Temple, was employed against Government, and the decision was not made till three o'clock on Sunday morning.Buonaparte took up his residence at a palace in the suburbs. In the night there was an alarm of fire; it broke out in the quarter full of bazaars and coachmakers' factories. Napoleon rushed to the spot, and the flames were extinguished by the exertions of the soldiers. The next day all was quiet, and such French as lived in Moscow came out of their hiding-places and joined their countrymen. The following night the fires burst forth again. At first the conflagration had been attributed to accident; now it was felt to be the result of design, and Russians were seen fanatically hurrying from place to place with combustibles in their hands—the preparations of Rostopschin. Buonaparte during the day had taken possession of the Kremlin, and it was in imminent danger. When the fire was discovered near it, it came with the wind; it was extinguished, but the wind changed, and fire rose on that side, and again blew towards the palace. This occurred several times during the night; it was clear that there was a determined resolve to burn down the Kremlin. The flames defied all the efforts of the soldiers; they hunted down, according to Napoleon's twenty-first bulletin, no less than three hundred incendiaries, and shot them on the spot. These were armed with fusees six inches long, and inflammables, which they threw on the roofs. Buonaparte, who that day had dispatched a letter to Alexander proposing peace, was in the utmost agitation. He walked to and fro in distraction. "These are indeed Scythians!" he exclaimed. The equinoctial gales rose in all their wild fury. Providence commenced its Nemesis. The Kremlin was on fire, and all was raging fire around it; churches, palaces, streets, mostly of wood, were roaring in the storm. It was with difficulty that Buonaparte could be induced to leave the Kremlin, and as he did so he said gloomily, "This bodes us great misfortunes." He began to foresee all the horrors which followed.
Lord Anglesey had expressed himself so strongly in his communications with the Government, that he was afraid of being regarded by them as a partisan. He deprecated giving the executive any additional powers, though not without apprehensions of a rebellion, which he believed he had sufficient force to quell, even in the improbable event of foreign aid, upon which some of the Irish people might, however rashly, rely for success. On the 20th of July he wrote: "It appears not improbable there may be an attempt to introduce arms, and finally insurrection. I am quite sure the disaffected are amply organised for the undertaking. They are partially, but ill, armed. Pikes, however, to any amount, and at very short notice, would be easily manufactured, if they are not already made and secreted. Still, I cannot bring myself to believe that the ruling characters are at all inclined to put their cause to the test of arms; and if they do, I cannot imagine how, without foreign aid—of which there appears no fear—they can calculate upon success." The priests had become all silent and reserved, even towards those with whom they had hitherto maintained confidential intercourse. No money would tempt them to make a single disclosure, and there was a general impression among them that some great event was at hand. The law officers of the Crown had been consulted as to the expediency of prosecuting some of the agitators for the most violent of their speeches; but their advice was, that it could not be done with any prospect of success, because their most exciting stimulants were accompanied by declarations that they wished only to guard the Government against insurrection, which only concession could prevent. Such being the condition of Ireland, the position of the Government was in the highest degree perplexing. The House of Commons was for Emancipation; the Lords were opposed to it; the king was opposed to it. The strength of political parties was nicely balanced in Parliament, and strong political excitement prevailed on both sides of the Irish Sea. Peel, in view of this state of affairs, says: "I maturely and anxiously considered every point which required consideration, and I formed a decision as to the obligation of public duty, of which I may say with truth that it was wholly at variance with that which the regard for my own personal interests or private feelings would have dictated." His intention was to relinquish office; but he resolved not to do so without placing on record his opinion that a complete change of policy was necessary, that the Catholic question should no longer be an open question, and that the whole condition of Ireland, political and social, should be taken into consideration by the Cabinet, precisely in the same manner in which every other question of grave importance was considered, and with the same power to offer advice upon it to the Sovereign. He also gave it as his decided opinion that there was less evil and less danger in conceding the Catholic claims than in persevering in the policy of resistance. He left London for Brighton soon after the close of the Session, having made a previous arrangement with the Duke of Wellington that he should send him a memorandum explanatory of his views on the state of Ireland and on the Catholic question, and that he should write to the Duke fully in reply. On the 9th of August the Duke wrote to him as follows:—"I now send you the memorandum which I sent to the king on the state of Ireland, a letter which I sent to him at the same time, his answer, a memorandum upon the Roman Catholic question which I have since drawn up, and a letter which I wrote yesterday to the Lord Chancellor."On the 14th of January, 1793, the members of the Convention met, amid a mob surrounding the House, and demanding, "Death to the tyrant! Death to him or to us!" Other crowds crammed the galleries. The debate, which had begun immediately after the king's speech, was renewed, and furious menaces and recriminations between the Girondists and the Mountain were uttered. At length the Convention reduced all the questions to these three: 1st. Is Louis Capet guilty of conspiring against the liberty of the nation and the safety of the State? 2nd. Shall the judgment, whatever it be, be referred to the sanction of the people? 3rd. What punishment shall be inflicted on him?The lace manufacture was still prosecuted merely by hand, and chiefly in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and in the West of England. No lace was produced from machinery before 1768.
"Father clammed thrice a week,But the most important operations were at this moment taking place in the south between Dupont and Casta?os. Casta?os was quartered at Utrera with twenty thousand men. Dupont had been ordered by Murat to march from Madrid into the south-west, and make himself master of the important post of Cadiz. After a countermand, he again advanced in that direction, and had crossed the Sierra Morena, so celebrated in the romance of "Don Quixote," and reached the ancient city of Cordova. There he received the news that Cadiz had risen against the French, and had seized the French squadron lying in the bay, and, at the same time, that Seville was in the highest state of insurrection. Whilst pausing in uncertainty of what course to pursue, Casta?os advanced from Utrera towards the higher part of the Guadalquivir. If Dupont had rushed forward to attack Casta?os at Utrera, he would have done it under great disadvantages. He was cut off from the main French army by the Sierra Morena, and these mountains being occupied by the insurgent inhabitants, he would have no chance of falling back in case of disaster. He now advanced to Andujar, which he reached on the 18th of June, having had to fight his way through bands of fiery patriots.
DR. CHALMERS. (After the Portrait by John Faed, R.S.A.)Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Mr. Arthur O'Connor, nephew of Lord Longueville, went over to Paris to arrange the invasion. In London, Fitzgerald, his French wife, who accompanied him, and O'Connor, were entertained by members of the Opposition, and dined at the house of a peer in company with Fox, Sheridan, and several other leading Whigs; and Thomas Moore, in his Life of Fitzgerald, more than hints that he made no secret to these patriots of the object of his journey, for he was of a very free-talking and open Irish temperament. The friends of Fox have been inclined to doubt this discreditable fact, but no one was more likely than Moore to be well informed about it; and when Fitzgerald and O'Connor were on their trial, not only Fox, but Sheridan, Lord John Russell, the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, Lords Thanet and Oxford came forward, and gave them both the highest character as excellent, honourable men. These emissaries reached Basle, by way of Hamburg, in the spring of 1797, and there, through Barthélemy, negotiated with the Directory. The Directory objected to receive Lord Edward Fitzgerald at Paris, on account of his connection with the Orléans family through his wife, lest the people should imagine that it was with some design on the Orléans estate; he therefore returned again to Hamburg, and O'Connor proceeded to Paris and arranged for the expedition under General Hoche, whose disastrous voyage we have already related. Fitzgerald and O'Connor did not reach Ireland again without the British Government being made fully aware of their journey and its object, from a lady fellow-traveller with Fitzgerald to Hamburg, to whom, with a weak and, as it concerned the fate of thousands, unpardonable garrulity, he had disclosed the whole. Almost simultaneously the arrest of the revolutionary committee of the North disclosed a systematic and well-organised conspiracy. In March, 1797, General Lake proceeded to disarm the revolutionaries in Ulster, and accomplished his task with ruthless severity.详情
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