Notwithstanding these rejoicings, however, there is no doubt that the imprisonment completely broke the spirit of O'Connell. During 1843 he had been urged forward by the impetuosity and warlike spirit of the Young Ireland party, and the excitement of the monster meetings seems to have filled his mind with the notion that he could really wield the physical power of the country in an actual contest with the Queen's forces. His prison reflections dissipated all such illusions. The enforced inactivity, at his time of life, of one accustomed to so much labour and to such constant speaking, no doubt affected his health. Probably the softening of the brain, of which he died, commenced about this time. At all events he was thenceforward an altered man, excessively cautious and timid, with a morbid horror of war and blood, and a rooted dislike of the Young Ireland leaders, which the Old Ireland party did all they could to strengthen. Mr. Smith O'Brien had been the Conservative member for the county of Limerick, and had been opposed to the Repeal agitation; but the moment O'Connell was arrested, he joined the Association, taking the vacant position of leader, and adopting the policy of the Young Ireland party, which avowedly tended to war and revolution. Boasting of a lineal descent from the conqueror of the Danes at Clontarf, and hailed by some of his admirers as one who had a right to wear his crown, the new convert to Repeal seemed determined to go all lengths for the liberation of his country from the Saxon yoke. O'Connell at first seemed to rejoice in the accession of strength to the cause, but signs of jealousy and dislike were soon manifested. In private there was a marked coolness between the two leaders, and when, at the meetings of the Association, any of the Young Ireland orators gave utterance to martial sentiments, they were promptly called to order by O'Connell; but they revenged themselves by frequently outvoting him in committee, which was a grievous mortification to one so long accustomed to almost absolute rule among his followers. He attended Parliament during the Session of 1845-46, diligently performing his duties as a representative, sitting in committees, and taking part in the debates of the House. During his absence the Young Ireland party gained a complete ascendency in the Repeal Association. Mr. Smith O'Brien, who refused to sit on any committee in the House of Commons not connected with Irish business, and was imprisoned in the cellar for his contumacy, made himself an idol with the revolutionary party at home by his refractory spirit and the perversity of his conduct. The other leaders of that party who exerted the greatest influence were Thomas Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy, D'Arcy M'Gee, and Thomas Meagher—all men of superior ability, whose organ, the Nation, exerted great influence throughout the country. Ultimately, a series of "peace resolutions," which were proposed in the Repeal Association, pledging its members to abjure the sword as an instrument for redressing the grievances of Ireland, caused an open rupture between the two parties. The Young Irelanders seceded in a body from Conciliation Hall, and established an organisation of their own—"The Irish Confederation." From this time the Repeal rent rapidly fell off, and when O'Connell again returned to Dublin he found that the spell of his enchantment, once so potent, was broken; and the famine came soon after, to consummate his affliction and break his heart. Before the sad close of his public career had arrived, and pending the issue of the State trial, O'Connell had a proof of the magnanimity of the English people, of those Saxons whose national character he had so often assailed and maligned. When he appeared at one of the Anti-Corn-Law meetings in Covent Garden Theatre, his reception by the assembled multitude is described as one of the most magnificent displays of popular enthusiasm ever witnessed. They remembered only that his jury was packed, that his judges were prejudiced, and that he had been for thirty years the able and consistent opponent of the Corn Laws. He declared himself that he was not prepared for such a demonstration, even by the experience of the monster meetings. This great triumph on English ground seemed to infuse new life into the veteran agitator, for his speech on that occasion was one of the finest and most effective he ever delivered.The Allied sovereigns and their Ministers met at Vienna, in the opening of the year 1815, in congress, to settle the boundaries of all such States as had undergone disruptions and transformations through the will of Buonaparte. They were proceeding, with the utmost composure, to rearrange the map of Europe according to their several interests and ambitions. Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden had their sovereigns or their representatives there. Those for Great Britain were the Duke of Wellington, the Lords Cathcart and Clancarty, and Sir Charles Stewart. All at once a clap of political thunder shook the place, and made every astute diplomatist look aghast. It was announced that Buonaparte had escaped from Elba, and was rapidly traversing France on the way to Paris, and that his old soldiers were flocking with acclamation to his standard. It was what was certain to occur—what every man not a cunning diplomatist must have foreseen from the first, as certainly as that a stone thrown up is sure to come down again. Yet no one seems to have foreseen it, except it were Lord Castlereagh, who, not arriving at Paris before this foolish scheme was adopted, had protested against it, and then yielded to it. On the 13th of March the ministers of the Allied Powers met, and signed a paper which, at length, was in earnest, and showed that they were now as well convinced of a simple fact as the dullest intellect had been ten years before—that there was no use treating Buonaparte otherwise than as a wild beast. They now declared him an outlaw, a violator of treaties, and an incorrigible disturber of the peace of the world; and they delivered him over to public contempt and vengeance. Of course, the British ambassadors were immediately looked to for the means of moving the armies of these high and mighty Powers, and the Duke of Wellington to plan and to lead the military operations against the man who had once more developed himself from the Emperor of Elba into the Emperor of the French.
LORD COLLINGWOOD.[See larger version]T. Lingray, ￡1,500, and a commissionership of stamps.
Meanwhile, Bute was sedulously at work to clear the way for his own assumption, not merely of office, but of the whole power of the Government. He acted as already the only medium of communication with the king, and the depositary of his secrets. He opened his views cautiously to Bubb Dodington, who was a confidant of the Lichfield House party, and still hungering after a title. Dodington advised him to induce Lord Holderness to resign and take his place, which, at first, Bute affected to disapprove of, but eventually acted upon. The first object was to get rid of Pitt, who, by his talents and haughty independence of manner, was not more acceptable to the king and his counsellor, Bute, than by his policy, which they desired to abandon. Pamphlets were therefore assiduously circulated, endeavouring to represent Pitt as insatiable for war, and war as having been already too burdensome for the nation.
The murder of one landlord was sufficient to spread terror throughout the whole class, the most recent and horrible case being used for this purpose in the threatening notices. Thus, when Major Mahon was shot, a letter was sent to the wife of another landed proprietor, warning her that if her husband did not remit all the arrears of rent due by his tenants, two men would be sent to dispatch him as they had dispatched the demon Mahon. The Lord-Lieutenant had increased the constabulary force in the disturbed districts, and called out the military to aid in the execution of the law. But it was the opinion of the magistrates in those districts that the powers of the executive were not sufficient. The object of Sir George Greys measure was to extend those powers—not to create any new tribunal, for trial by jury had worked satisfactorily. What he proposed was that the Lord-Lieutenant should have power to "proclaim" disturbed districts, to increase in them the constabulary force to any extent he might think fit out of the reserve of 600 in Dublin, to limit the use of firearms, and to establish nocturnal patrols. He thought that by such a measure the Government would be able to put down the crimes that were disorganising society in Ireland. Sir Robert Peel supported the Government measure. Mr. Feargus O'Connor divided the House against it; but was supported by only twenty members. It was soon after read a second time, having been strenuously resisted by some of the Irish members. It rapidly went through committee, and was read a third time, when the minority against it was only fourteen. The Bill passed through the Lords without alteration.The trumpet's silvery sound is still,
The silk trade received a great impulse by the erection of a silk-mill at Derby, in 1719, by John Lombe and his brothers. Lombe had smuggled himself into a silk-mill in Italy, as a destitute workman, and had then copied all the machinery. To prevent the operation of this new silk factory in England—which was worked by a water-wheel on the river Derwent, had 97,746 wheels, movements, and individual parts, and employed three hundred persons—the King of Sardinia prohibited the exportation of the raw material, and thus, for a time, checked the progress of the manufacture. Parliament voted Sir Thomas Lombe ￡14,000 as a compensation for loss of profits thus occasioned, on condition that the patent, which he had obtained for fourteen years, should expire, and the right to use the machinery should be thrown open to the public. By the middle of this period our silk manufactures were declared superior to those of Italy, and the tradesmen of Naples recommended their silk stockings as English ones. In 1755 great improvements were introduced by Mr. Jedediah Strutt in the stocking-loom of Lee.
VIEW OF LONDON FROM THE TOWER TO LONDON BRIDGE IN THE LATTER PART OF THE 18TH CENTURY. (After the Picture by Maurer.)
In the opening of the reign the gentlemen retained the full-skirted coat, with huge cuffs, the cocked-hats and knee-breeches of the former period. Pigtails were universal, and the more foppish set up their hair in a high peak, like the women. The ladies had their hair turned up on frames half a yard high, and this hairy mountain was ornamented with strings of pearls or diamonds, or surmounted with a huge cap edged with lace. They wore their waists as long as possible, with a peaked stomacher, and hanging sleeves of Mecklenburg lace. Their gowns were of the richest silks, satins, and brocades, their skirts flowing; and the fan was an indispensable article.
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VIEW OF CATO STREET, LONDON, SHOWING THE STABLE AT WHICH THE CONSPIRATORS WERE CAPTURED. A, LOFT; B, STABLE-DOOR. (From a print published in 1820.)GEORGE WASHINGTON. (After the Portrait by Smart.)
At length, after much mischievous delay, the Government ventured to lay hands upon the disseminators of sedition and the organisers of rebellion. On the 13th of May John Mitchel was arrested and committed to Newgate. On the 15th, Mr. Smith O'Brien, who had been previously arrested and was out on bail, was brought to trial in the Queen's Bench, and arraigned on ex officio information as being a wicked, seditious, and turbulent person, and having delivered a speech for the purpose of exciting hatred and contempt against the Queen in Ireland, and inducing the people to rise in rebellion. He was defended by Mr. Butt, a Conservative barrister, who spoke of the ancient lineage and estimable character of the prisoner, concluding thus:—"Believe me, gentlemen, all cannot be right in a country in which such a man as William Smith O'Brien is guilty, if guilty you pronounce him, of sedition." At the conclusion of this sentence the majority of the bar, and of the people in court, rose from their seats and loudly cheered, the ladies in the galleries waving their handkerchiefs. The jury were locked up all night without refreshments, but they could not agree. The next day Meagher was tried, with a similar result, and was hailed by a cheering multitude outside, whom he addressed from a window in the Nation office. Mitchel, however, was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to transportation for fourteen years; he was immediately conveyed in the police prison van to a small steamer which waited in the bay, and then to a man-of-war which conveyed him to Bermuda.详情
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