CALVI, CORSICA.He had been able to borrow a hundred and eighty thousand livres from two of his adherents, had made serious exertions to raise arms, and though he had kept his project profoundly secret from the French King and Ministry, lest they might forcibly detain him, he had managed to engage a French man-of-war called the Elizabeth, carrying sixty-seven guns, and a brig of eighteen guns called the Doutelle, an excellent sailer. On the 2nd of July the Doutelle left St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire, and waited at Belleisle for the Elizabeth, when they put forward to sea in good earnest. Unfortunately, only four days after leaving Belleisle, they fell in with the British man-of-war the Lion, of fifty-eight guns, commanded by the brave Captain Butt, who in Anson's expedition had stormed Paita. There was no avoiding an engagement, which continued warmly for five or six hours, when both vessels were so disabled that they were compelled to put back respectively to England and France.
But the success of the capture only intensified the commotion on shore. The tumult continued the next day; the mob broke the windows of the houses of the commissioners and the custom-house officers; they dragged the collector's boat on shore, and made a bonfire of it. These officers fled for their lives—first on board the Romney, and then to Castle William, a fortress at the mouth of the harbour. The third day was Sunday, and the Bostonians kept the day with the decorum customary with New Englanders; but on the Monday the riot was resumed with unabated vigour. Placards were carried round the town, calling on the Sons of Liberty to meet on Tuesday at ten o'clock. The Sons of Liberty were members of the non-importation associations, which had been established there, and in many parts of America. They had adopted that designation from a phrase in a speech of Colonel Barré, delivered in Parliament as early as 1765. Daughters of Liberty existed as well as Sons of Liberty, who mutually bound themselves to drink no tea, as well as to wear nothing imported after the passing of these duties. The Government retaliated by pouring troops into the town and summoning ships of war into the harbour.In the course of this commercial madness the imports greatly exceeded the exports, and there was consequently a rapid drain of specie from the country. The drain of bullion from the Bank of England was immense. In August, 1823, it had ￡12,658,240, which in August, 1825, was reduced to ￡3,634,320, and before the end of the year it ran as low as ￡1,027,000. Between July, 1824, and August, 1825, twelve millions of cash were exported from Great Britain, chiefly to South America. During the Revolutionary war, which had lasted for fourteen years, the capital of the country had been completely exhausted, while all productive labour had been abandoned. The unworked mines were filled with water. They were accessible, it is true, to English speculators, but they were worked exclusively with English capital. The South American mining companies were so many conduits through which a rapid stream of gold flowed from Great Britain. The catastrophe that followed took the commercial world by surprise; even the Chancellor of the Exchequer failed to anticipate the disaster. On the contrary, his Budget of 1825 was based upon the most sanguine expectations for the future, and on the assurance that the public prosperity was the very reverse of what was ephemeral and peculiar, and that it arose from something inherent in the nation. Even at the prorogation of Parliament in July, the Royal Speech referred to the "great and growing" prosperity on which his Majesty had the happiness of congratulating the country at the beginning of the Session. The commercial crisis, however, with widespread ruin in its train, was fast coming upon Britain. Vast importations, intended to meet an undiminished demand at high prices, glutted all the markets, and caused prices to fall rapidly. Merchants sought accommodation from their bankers to meet pressing liabilities, that they might be enabled to hold over their goods till prices rallied. This accommodation the bankers were unable to afford, and sales were therefore effected at a ruinous loss. The South American mines, it was found, could not be worked at a profit, and they made no return for the twenty million pounds of British money which they had swallowed up. The effect was a sudden contraction of the currency, and a general stoppage of banking accommodation. The country banks, whose issues had risen to ￡14,000,000, were run upon till their specie was exhausted, and many of them were obliged to stop payment. The Plymouth Bank was the first to fail, and in the next three weeks seventy banks followed in rapid succession. The London houses were besieged from morning to night by clamorous crowds, all demanding gold for their notes. Consternation spread through all classes. There was a universal pressure of creditors upon debtors, the banks that survived being themselves upon the edge of the precipice; and the Bank of England itself, pushed to the last extremity, peremptorily refused accommodation even to their best customers. Persons worth one hundred thousand pounds could not command one hundred pounds; money seemed to have taken to itself wings and fled away, reducing a state of society in the highest degree artificial almost to the condition of primitive barbarism, which led Mr. Huskisson to exclaim, "We were within twenty-four hours of barter."
JEDBURGH ABBEY. (After the Painting by Sir George Reid, P.R.S.A.)
So passed from a long possession of power a Minister who inaugurated a system of corruption, which was not so much abused by himself, as made a ready instrument of immeasurable mischief in the hands of his successors. Had Walpole used the power which he purchased with the country's money more arbitrarily and perniciously, the system must have come much sooner to an end. As it was, the evils which he introduced fell rather on posterity than on his own time.
From the Painting by Andrew C. Gow, R.A.It was agreed between the Catholic Powers that the Papal territory should be invaded at the same time by Neapolitan, Austrian, and French troops. France was determined to have the chief part, and, if possible, all the glory of the enterprise. Odillon Barrot, President of the Council, explained the objects of the French expedition, on the 16th of April. The Minister demanded extraordinary credit for the expenses of the expedition. It was promptly voted without any opposition, save some murmurs from the Left. An expedition was immediately organised, and an army, 6,000 strong, was embarked at Marseilles, with astounding celerity, on the 22nd of April, 1849, under the command of General Oudinot. But the Romans had no confidence in their professed protectors. On the contrary, they set about making all possible preparations for the defence of the city. In consequence of the hints he had got, however, Oudinot sent forward a reconnoitring party, which was saluted with a fire of artillery, certainly not meant as a feu de joie. The French general then ordered an attack upon two gates, the Portese and San Pancrazio, both on the right bank of the Tiber. The Romans repelled them at both points with a discharge of grape-shot, and they were compelled to retire with heavy loss; General Garibaldi, with his Lombard legion, having surrounded a retreating column, and made 200 prisoners. After this mortifying repulse, Oudinot retired to Palo, near Civita Vecchia, to await reinforcements, in order to enable him to vindicate the honour of the French arms, which could now be done only by the capture of Rome; and the French Government were probably not sorry to have this pretext for their unwarrantable course of aggression. In the meantime reinforcements were rapidly sent from Toulon. During this period a Neapolitan army, 16,000 strong, commanded by the king in person, had entered the States of the Church. Garibaldi, disregarding the orders of Roselli, went forth to meet the invaders, fell upon them with the suddenness of a thunderbolt, won a victory over them, and compelled them to retreat. All negotiations having failed, the French general commenced a regular siege. The city was cannonaded from the 11th to the 21st of June, when Garibaldi assured the Triumvirs that the defence was no longer possible. So Pius IX. was restored by foreign bayonets. Shortly after, the Pope issued a decree, proprio motu, containing a programme of "liberal institutions," so far as they were compatible with an absolute authority, enjoyed in virtue of Divine Right. The people were up for a brief period; they were now down, and would be kept down, if possible. They had presumed to think that they were the source of political power; that they could give their representatives the right of making laws and dethroning kings; but they must now learn that their business was to obey, and submit to anything which their superiors might think proper, of their own will and pleasure, to ordain.
After the flight from Ballingarry, and the desertion of his followers, Smith O'Brien abandoned the cause in despair, and concealed himself for several days among the peasantry in a miserable state of mind. He had none of the qualities of a rebel chief, and he had not at all calculated the exigencies of the position that he had so rashly and criminally assumed, involving the necessity of wholesale plunder and sanguinary civil strife, from which his nature shrank. Besides, he soon found that the people would not trust a Protestant leader, and that there was, after all, no magic in the name of O'Brien for a Roman Catholic community. But to the honour of the peasantry it should be spoken, that though many of them were then on the verge of starvation, not one of them yielded to the temptation of large rewards to betray him or his fugitive colleagues, and several of them ran the risk of transportation by giving them shelter. In these circumstances, on the 5th of August, Mr. O'Brien walked from his hiding-place in Keeper Mountain into Thurles, where he arrived about eight o'clock in the evening. He went immediately to the railway station to procure a ticket for Limerick. On the platform there were seventeen constables in plain clothes, who did not know him; but a railway guard named Hulme, an Englishman, recognised him, and tapping him on the shoulder, he presented a pistol at him and said, "You are the Queen's prisoner." A strong escort of police was immediately procured, and the prisoner was conveyed in a special train to Dublin, where he was lodged in Kilmainham gaol.[See larger version]
But Austria had not the prudence to guide herself by these considerations. Her ablest statesman, Metternich, and the ablest statesman of France, Talleyrand, had many private conferences with the Russian ambassador, Romanzoff, to endeavour to concert some scheme by which this war could be prevented, but in vain. Austria believed that the time for regaining her position in Germany, Italy, and the Tyrol, was come; and Talleyrand knew that Buonaparte would make no concession to avoid the threatened collision, because it would argue at once a decline of his power. All that he could do, he did, which was on his hasty return to Paris from Spain: he opened communications with Austria, intended to defer the declaration of war for a few months whilst he made his preparations. He had little fear of crushing Austria summarily. He believed that Soult, having driven Sir John Moore out of Spain, would prevent the British from sending another army there; and he was confident that his generals there could speedily reduce the Spaniards to submission. On the other hand, Austria, he knew, could have no assistance from Russia, Prussia, or the other Northern Powers. All he wanted, therefore, was a little time to collect his armies. Austria had made gigantic exertions, and had now on foot a greater host than she had ever brought into the field before. It was said to comprehend half a million of men, two hundred thousand of whom were under the command of the Emperor's brother, the Archduke Charles, and posted in Austria to defend the main body of the empire. Another large army was, under the command of the Archduke John, in Carinthia and Carniola, ready to descend on the north of Italy; and a third was posted in Galicia, under the Archduke Ferdinand, to defend Poland. John was to co-operate with Charles through the defiles of the Tyrol, which, having been given over, by the pressure of Buonaparte at the Treaty of Pressburg, to Bavaria, was ready to rise and renew its ancient and devoted union with Austria.
Man and woman of middle class Parson Lady and gentleman Labourer and wife
Whilst this powerful confederacy was putting forth all its strength to drive from the seat of supremacy the man who had so long guided the fortunes of England, another confederacy was knitting together its selfish members to rend in pieces and share amongst them the empire of the young Queen of Austria. Frederick was willing enough to make a league with France, but he was cautious enough not to make it too soon. He wanted to know whether he could keep England out of the campaign, in which case he could deal easily with Austria himself. Walpole's attempts to prevent the war from becoming European, however, failed, and the treaty being signed with the Prussian king, Marshal Maillebois marched an army across the Rhine, and Belleisle and Broglie went with another. Maillebois pursued his course direct for Hanover, where George was drilling and preparing a number of troops, but in no degree capable of making head against the French. Panic-stricken at their approach, he made haste to come to terms, and agreed to a year's neutrality for Hanover, leaving Maria Theresa to her fate, and, moreover, engaging not to vote for the election of her husband, the Duke of Lorraine, to be Emperor. The news of this conduct of the King of England in the person of the Elector of Hanover, was received in Great Britain with the utmost indignation. Belleisle and De Broglie had, during this time, joined their forces to those of the old Elector of Bavaria, the constant enemy of Austria and the friend of France, and had marched into Austria. He took Linz, on the Danube, and commenced his march on Vienna. As this allied army approached Vienna, Maria Theresa fled with her infant son, afterwards Joseph II., into Hungary, her husband and his brother, Prince Charles of Lorraine, remaining to defend the city. The Hungarians received their menaced queen with enthusiasm. She had done much since the recent commencement of her reign to win their affections. She had been crowned in the preceding month of June in their ancient capital, and had sworn to maintain their ancient constitution in all its force, and the people were fervent in their loyalty. When, therefore, she appeared before the Hungarian Parliament in Presburg with her son in her arms, and called upon that high-spirited nation to defend her against her perfidious and selfish enemies, the sensation was indescribable. All rose to their feet, and, drawing their swords half-way from the scabbard, they exclaimed, "Our lives and our blood for your majesty! We will die for our king, Maria Theresa!"The general result of the elections was considered to have diminished by fifty the number of votes on which Ministers could depend, and the relation in which they now stood to the more popular part of the representation was stated to be as follows:—Of the eighty-two members returned by the forty counties of England, only twenty-eight were steady adherents of the Ministry; forty-seven were avowed adherents of the Opposition, and seven of the neutral cast did not lean much to Government. Of the thirteen popular cities and boroughs (London, Westminster, Aylesbury, etc.), returning twenty-eight members, only three seats were held by decidedly Ministerial men, and twenty-four by men in avowed opposition. There were sixty other places, more or less open, returning 126 members. Of these only forty-seven were Ministerial; all the rest were avowed Opposition men, save eight, whose leaning was rather against the Government than for it. Of the 236 men then returned by elections more or less popular in England, only seventy-nine were Ministerial votes; 141 were in avowed opposition, and sixteen of a neutral cast.详情
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