类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-12-01 13:58:00


[551]The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.THE STANDARD OF PRINCE CHARLIE'S BODYGUARD, TAKEN AT CULLODEN. (In the possession of Sir Archibald Lamb at Beauport, Sussex.)

Thus ended the rebellion of 1848, which had so long kept the country in a state of alarm. It is true that some of the leaders headed small bodies of insurgents in the county of Waterford, and attacked several police barracks, but in none of the affrays were the insurgents successful. The police, who were not more than one to fifty of the rebels, routed them in every instance without any loss of life on their part. The constabulary were then 10,000 strong in Ireland, and Smith O'Brien confidently counted upon their desertion to his ranks; but though the majority of the force were Roman Catholics, they were loyal to a man. Dillon and O'Gorman had escaped to France, but Terence McManus, a fine young man, who had given up a prosperous business as a broker in Liverpool, to become an officer in the "Army of Liberation," was arrested in an American vessel proceeding from Cork to the United States. A special commission for the trial of the prisoners was opened on the 21st of September, at Clonmel, high treason having been committed in the county Tipperary.Great exertions had been made to draw Prussia into the confederation that was forming, and on the 25th of May, 1804, a defensive alliance had been concluded between Prussia and Russia. But the King of Prussia was, at the same time, listening to the offers of Buonaparte, who was encouraging him to expect the annexation of Hanover, and also further territory at the cost of Austria. In these circumstances, Prussia kept a dubious position, but continued to strengthen her armies for an emergency, holding herself ready to close with the best offer. Austria herself was afraid of another war with Buonaparte, and strongly urged that negotiations should be opened with him before proceeding to extremities. However, she too concluded a treaty with Russia in November. It was Pitt's object to draw these threads together. Fortunately the Czar sent his Minister, Nowosiltzoff, to England in 1805, and he readily fell in with Pitt's ideas. Accordingly, on the 11th of April the Treaty of St. Petersburg was signed on the basis of the maintenance of the Treaties of Lunéville and Amiens. The great coalition was thus practically complete, when news arrived that Buonaparte had annexed Genoa to France. This was a most gross violation of the Treaty of Lunéville. But the annexation of Genoa was but a small part of the aggressions of Buonaparte on Italy. On the very same journey he made himself King of Italy. On Sunday, the 26th of May, he was crowned in the cathedral of Milan. The Archbishop of Milan performed the ceremony, blessing the old iron crown of the ancient kings of Lombardy, and Buonaparte putting it himself on his head, as he had done that of France. Nor did Napoleon stop here. He wanted a little snug principality for his sister Eliza and her husband, the Corsican Bacciochi, and he turned the Republic of Lucca into such an one, and conferred it upon them.

"Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not,Nevertheless, the results actually attained in the first two years were briefly these: first, the[466] chargeable letters delivered in the United Kingdom, exclusive of that part of the Government's correspondence which formerly passed free, had already increased from the rate of about 75,000,000 a year to that of 208,000,000; secondly, the London district post letters had increased from about 13,000,000 to 23,000,000, or nearly in the ratio of the reduction of the rates; thirdly, the illicit conveyance of letters was substantially suppressed; fourthly, the gross revenue, exclusive of repayments, yielded about a million and a half per annum, which was sixty-three per cent. on the amount of the gross revenue of 1839, the largest income which the Post Office had ever afforded. These results, at so early a stage, and in the face of so many obstructions, amply vindicated the policy of the new system. But by its enemies that system was declared to be a failure, until the striking evidence of year after year silenced opposition by an exhaustive process.

One great article of manufacture and export, however, down to this period, continued to be that of our woollens. To guard this manufacture many Acts had been passed at different times, prohibiting the exportation of the raw material. Immediately after the Revolution a fresh Act of this kind was passed, and such was the jealousy even of the Irish and of our American colonies weaving woollen cloths, that, in 1689, an Act was passed prohibiting the exportation of wool or woollen goods from Ireland or our plantations to any country except England. Having taken measures thus to confine as much as possible the profit of the woollen manufacture to England, the next year, which saw all protecting duties taken off corn, saw also leave given for the exportation of woollen cloths duty-free from England to any part of the world. Sir William Davenant estimates the value of the yearly growth of wool in England at this time at about £2,000,000, and the value of its woollen manufactures at £8,000,000. He calculates that one-fourth of this amount was exported. In 1738 Mr. John Kay invented the mode of casting the shuttle by what is called a "picking-peg," by which means the weaver was enabled to weave cloths of any width, and throw off twice the quantity in the same time. In 1758 the Leeds Cloth Hall was erected, and, about twenty years afterwards, a hall for white cloths.

The first place that reeled under the electric shock of the French Revolution was Glasgow. On the 5th of March, in the afternoon, a body of 5,000 men suddenly assembled on the Green in that city, tore up the iron railings for weapons, and thus formidably armed, they commenced an attack on the principal shops, chiefly those of gunsmiths and jewellers. The police, apprehending no outbreak of the kind, were scattered on their beats, and could afford no protection until forty shops had been pillaged and gutted, and property to the value of £10,000 carried off or destroyed. Next morning about 10,000 persons assembled on the Green, armed with muskets, swords, crowbars, and iron rails, and unanimously resolved—"To march immediately to the neighbouring suburb of Calton, and turn out all the workers in the mills there, who, it was expected, would join them; to go from thence to the gas manufactory, and cut the pipes, so as to lay the city at night in darkness; to march next to the gaols and liberate all the prisoners; and to break open the shops, set fire to and plunder the city." They immediately set out for the Calton mills, meeting on their way fourteen pensioners in charge of a prisoner. These they attempted to disarm, but the veterans fired, and two men fell dead. Instantly the rioters raised the cry, "Blood for blood!" and were wresting the muskets from the soldiers, when a squadron of cavalry galloped up with drawn swords. The people fell back, and the riot was suppressed. It afterwards transpired that the Chartists in all the manufacturing towns of the west of Scotland only awaited the signal of success from Glasgow to break out in rebellion. The prompt suppression of the movement was therefore a matter of great importance.

Notwithstanding the hopes which might have been fairly entertained that the measure of Reform would have been rendered complete throughout the kingdom, a considerable time elapsed before its benefits were extended to the sister country; and a large amount of persevering exertion was required before a measure for the purpose was carried through Parliament, although its necessity was unquestionable. This arose from certain difficulties which it was not found easy to overcome, so as to meet the views, or, at least, to secure the acquiescence, of the various parties in the House. And hence it happened that it was not until 1840 that an Act was passed for the regulation of municipal corporations in Ireland, after repeated struggles which had to be renewed from year to year, and the question was at length only settled by a sort of compromise. On the 7th of February, 1837, Lord John Russell moved for leave to bring in the Irish Municipal Bill, which was passed by a majority of 55; but the consideration of it was adjourned in the Peers till it was seen what course Ministers were to adopt with regard to the Irish Tithe Bill. Early in 1838 the Bill was again introduced, when Sir Robert Peel, admitting the principle by not opposing the second reading, moved that the qualification should be £10. The motion was lost, but a similar one was made in the Upper House, and carried by a majority of 60. Other alterations were made, which induced Lord John Russell to relinquish his efforts for another year. In 1839 he resumed his task, and the second reading was carried by a majority of 26. Once more Sir Robert Peel proposed the £10 qualification for the franchise, which was rejected in the Commons, but adopted in the Lords by nearly the same majorities as before. Thus baffled again, the noble lord gave up the measure for the Session. In February, 1840, the Bill was introduced by Lord Morpeth with a qualification of £8. Sir Robert Peel now admitted that a settlement of the question was indispensable. With his support the Bill passed the Commons by a majority of 148. It also passed the Lords, and on the 18th of August received the Royal Assent.Meanwhile, Sir Robert Peel applied himself with great energy and diligence to the legislative work that he had proposed for his Government. On the 17th he moved for leave to bring in a Bill to relieve Dissenters from the disabilities under which they laboured with regard to the law of marriage. It was felt to be a great grievance that Nonconformists could not be married except according to the rites of the Established Church, to which they had conscientious objections. Attempts had been made by the Whigs to relieve them, but in a hesitating manner, and with only a half recognition of the principle of religious equality. Sir Robert Peel took up the subject in a more liberal spirit and with more enlightened views. He proposed that, so far as the State had to do with marriage, it should assume the form of a civil contract only, leaving the parties to solemnise it with whatever religious ceremonies they chose. The Bill for this purpose met the approval of the House, and would have satisfied the Dissenters if Sir Robert Peel had remained in office long enough to pass it. All the committees of the preceding year were reappointed, in order to redeem, as far as possible, the time lost by the dissolution. A measure was brought forward for the improvement of the resources of the Church of England, by turning some of the larger incomes to better account, and by creating two additional bishoprics, Ripon and Manchester. The Premier did not act towards the Dissenters in the same liberal spirit with regard to academic education as he did with regard to marriage. They were excluded from the privileges of the Universities; and yet when it was proposed to grant a charter to the London University, that it might be able to confer degrees, the Government opposed the motion for an Address to the king on the subject, and were defeated by a majority of 246 to 136.

Washington, who had witnessed the battle, saw, to his infinite mortification, the British pursuing his flying troops almost up to their entrenchments. The ardour of the English soldiers was such that they would speedily have stormed and carried the lines, and not a man of the American army on Long Island would have escaped being taken or killed. But General Howe, with that marvellous stupidity which marked all our generals in this war, ordered them back, saying that the lines could be taken with less loss of life by regular approach. The next morning they began throwing up trenches near one of the American redoubts, from which to cannonade it; but Washington was much more aware of the untenable nature of his position than Howe, and, under favour of darkness, and of a thick fog in the morning, he had been for hours busily transporting his forces over the East River to New York. All that day, and in the night of the 29th, he continued, with all possible silence, conveying over his troops, artillery, and stores, expecting every moment that General Howe would burst through his lines at Brooklyn, and attack him in the rear, whilst Lord Howe, with his ships, would advance, and blow all his fragile transports into the water. Soon, however, Washington saw there was no maintaining his position there. He found the British fast enclosing him on all sides, too; and on the 12th of September he began to evacuate the place in such haste as to leave behind him a great quantity of his artillery and stores. The English landed on York Island without the loss of a man. Three thousand men had placed themselves ready to attack the British as they landed, and before they could form; but the sight of two companies of grenadiers, already in position, had such an effect on them, that they fled, leaving their blankets and jackets, which they had thrown off in certainty of beating the English.

The paper was communicated to the king by the Duke of Wellington, who wrote, on the 17th of January, that he entirely concurred in the sentiments and opinions contained in it; and, referring to Mr. Peel's request to be allowed to retire from the Government, the Duke said:—"I tell you fairly, I do not see the smallest chance of getting the better of these difficulties, if you should not continue in office. Even if I should be able to obtain the king's consent to enter upon the course which it will probably be found the wisest to adopt—which it is almost certain that I shall not if I should not have your assistance in office,—the difficulties in Parliament will be augmented tenfold in consequence of your secession, while the means of getting the better of them will be diminished in the same proportion. I entreat you, then, to reconsider the subject, and to give[295] us and the country the benefit of your advice and assistance in this most difficult and important crisis."

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Parliament opened its first sitting on the 9th of October. The rumour of invasion, of course, gave the tone to the king's speech. He recited the leading facts of the conspiracy, and observed that he should the less wonder at them had he in any one instance, since his accession to the throne of his ancestors, invaded the liberty or property of his subjects.

On the 18th of April Lord John Russell moved that the House should go into committee on the Bill, stating that he proposed to make certain alterations in the details of the measure, but none affecting its principles. General Gascoigne then moved that it should be an instruction to the committee that the number of members composing the House of Commons ought not to be reduced. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sadler, and resisted by Lord Althorp, who declared that the object of the motion was to destroy the Bill. It was nevertheless carried, after an animated debate, by a majority of eight against the Government. Ministers had been placed in a position of peculiar difficulty—they had to humour the king's vanity and love of popular applause, in order to prevent his becoming sulky, and refusing to consent to a dissolution, which they felt to be inevitable. They had also to proceed with great caution in dealing with the Opposition, lest, irritated by the threat of dissolution, they should resolve to stop the supplies, it being impossible to dissolve Parliament in the present state of the estimates. They had been fortunate enough, however, to guard against this danger. On the 23rd of March supply had been moved, and a large portion of the army estimates voted. On the 25th Sir James Graham moved portions of the navy estimates, and on the same night the Civil List was provided for. Further supplies of various kinds having luckily been granted, on the 30th the House was adjourned for the Easter holidays, till the 12th of April.A very instructive point of comparison is the relative increase of different classes of occupations in the decennial period from 1831 to 1841. A comparative return of the Commissioners includes males only, ages twenty years and upwards, and exhibits the following results. The number of occupiers and labourers in agriculture had decreased in that period from 1,251,751 to 1,215,264; but the Commissioners explained this result by supposing that numerous farm servants had been returned in 1841 as domestic servants instead of as agricultural labourers. Persons engaged in commerce, trade, and manufactures had increased from 1,572,292 to 2,039,409 (or 29?7 per cent.); capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, from 216,263 to 286,175 (or 32?3 per cent.); labourers employed in labour not agricultural had decreased from 611,744 to 610,157; other males, twenty years of age, except servants, had increased from 237,337 to 392,211; male servants, twenty years of age and upwards, had increased from 79,737 to 164,384; including, however, as already noticed, many farm servants. For the purpose of instituting a just comparison of the relative increase of particular employments, it must be understood that the total number of male persons, twenty years of age and upwards (exclusive of army, navy, and merchant seamen), had increased in this period of ten years from 3,969,124 to 4,707,600 (or 18?6 per cent.). These[417] people were better fed than their ancestors, and had more work to do. There are three kinds of raw material the consumption of which is particularly indicative of social advancement, as giving employment to the people, adding to their comforts, and increasing the national wealth. These are timber, cotton, and wool. Taking all the different kinds of imported timber, there was an increase during the ten years of 37 per cent.; in cotton there was an increase of 61 per cent.; and of sheep and lamb's wool, in addition to the home production, there was an increased importation of more than 78 per cent.


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