When Emancipation was carried, the Catholics did not forget the claims of Mr. O'Connell, who had laboured so hard during a quarter of a century for its accomplishment. A testimonial was soon afterwards got up to reward him for his services. Mr. C. O'Laughlin, of Dublin, subscribed ￡500; the Earl of Shrewsbury 1,000 guineas, and the less grateful Duke of Norfolk the sum of ￡100. The collection of the testimonial was organised in every district throughout Ireland, and a sum of ￡50,000 sterling was collected. Mr. O'Connell did not love money for its own sake. The immense sums that were poured into the coffers of the Catholic Association were spent freely in carrying on the agitation, and the large annuity which he himself received was mainly devoted to the same object. One means, which had no small effect in accomplishing the object, was the extremely liberal hospitality which was kept up, not only at Derrynane Abbey, but at his town residence in Merrion Square; and he had, besides, a host of retainers more or less dependent upon his bounty.FROM THE PAINTING BY D. O. HILL, R.S.A.If Grenville and his Cabinet, in their ignorance of human nature, had made a gross mistake in their conduct towards Wilkes, they now made a more fatal one in regard to our American colonies. These colonies had now assumed an air of great importance, and were rapidly rising in population and wealth. The expulsion of the French from Canada, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton, the settlement of Georgia by General Oglethorpe, the acquisition of Florida from Spain, had given a compactness and strength to these vast colonies, which promised a still more accelerated and prosperous growth. At this period the inhabitants are calculated to have amounted to two millions of Europeans, and half a million of coloured people, Indians and negroes. The trade was becoming more extensive and valuable to the mother country. The imports from England, chiefly of her manufactures, amounted to three million pounds annually in value. They carried on a large trade with our West Indian islands and the Spanish American colonies, and French and Dutch West Indies. They also built ships for the French and Spaniards, in the West Indies. They had extensive iron and copper mines and works in different states. They manufactured great quantities of hats in New England. The fisheries of Massachusetts produced two hundred and thirty thousand quintals of dried fish, which they exported to Spain and Portugal, and other Catholic countries of Europe. Carolina exported its rice to these countries as well as to England; and they exported vast quantities of cured provisions, dye-woods, apples, wax, leather, tobacco from Virginia and Maryland (fifty thousand hogsheads annually to England alone) valued at three hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds. The masts from New England, sent over for the British navy, were the largest in the world.
The magnitude of the interests at stake, the difficulty of estimating the real character and extent of the threatened evil, and the alarming consequences that must ensue if the worst fears should be realised, rendered immediate action necessary. A Cabinet Council was held on the 31st of October. From what passed on that occasion, says Sir Robert Peel, in the account which he has left of these events, "it was easy to foresee that there was little prospect of a common accord as to the measures to be adopted." On the 5th of November he apprised her Majesty of the probability of serious differences of opinion. At the adjourned meeting of the Cabinet, on the 6th of November, he submitted certain proposals for the consideration of his colleagues, which he has recorded in the following outline of these events:—"On account of the gravity of the question," says Sir Robert Peel, "and the smallness of the minority assenting to my views, I might perhaps have been justified in at once relinquishing office; but after mature reflection, considering that the rejection of my proposals was not a peremptory one by all of those who for the present declined to adopt them, that additional information might materially abate the objections of many, and that the dissolution of a Government on account of differences on such a matter as that under consideration must cause great excitement in the public mind, I determined to retain office until there should be the opportunity of reconsideration of the whole subject. That opportunity would necessarily recur at the latter end of this current month (November), when it was agreed that the Cabinet should again assemble. In determining to retain office for the present, I determined also not to recede from the position which I had taken, and ultimately to resign office if I should find on the reassembling of the Cabinet that the opinions I had expressed did not meet with general concurrence. I determined also, in order to guard against the mischievous consequences of failure in such an undertaking, not to attempt the adjustment of the question at issue unless there should be a moral assurance of ultimate success. It was most painful to me to differ from colleagues with whom I had hitherto acted in uninterrupted harmony, for whom I had sincere personal regard, and cordial esteem and respect founded on an intimate knowledge of their motives and conduct in the discharge of their respective duties."
Music advanced at an equal rate with its sister arts, and during this period added to its conquests the compositions of Purcell and Handel. William was too much engaged in war to become a patron of music, or of any of the fine arts, and his queen, Mary, does not appear to have possessed much taste for it. She is related by Sir John Hawkins to have sent for Purcell and Mrs. Arabella Hunt, a famous singer, to entertain her. Mrs. Hunt sang some of Purcell's splendid compositions, and Purcell accompanied them on the harpsichord; but Mary soon grew weary of these, and called on Mrs. Hunt to sing the Scottish ballad, "Cold and Raw!"Before the report of the committee was presented, Mr. Hume, on the 4th of August, moved eleven resolutions declaring the facts connected with Orangeism, proposing an Address to the king, and calling his Majesty's attention to the Duke of Cumberland's share in those transactions. Lord John Russell, evidently regarding the business as being of extreme gravity, moved that the debate be adjourned to the 11th of August, plainly to allow the Duke of Cumberland an opportunity of retiring from so dangerous a connection; but instead of doing so, he published a letter to the chairman of the committee, stating that he had signed blank warrants, and did not know that they were intended for the army. Lord John Russell expressed his disappointment at this illogical course. If what he stated was true, that his confidence was abused by the members of the society in such a flagrant manner, he should have indignantly resigned his post of Grand Master, but he expressed no intention of doing so. Mr. Hume's last resolution, proposing an Address to the king, was adopted, and his answer, which was read to the House, promised the utmost vigilance and vigour. On the 19th the House was informed that Colonel Fairman had refused to produce to the committee a letter-book in his possession, which was necessary to throw light on the subject of their inquiry. He was called before the House, where he repeated his refusal, though admonished by the Speaker. The next day an order was given that he should be committed to Newgate for a breach of privilege, but it was then found that he had absconded.
On the 18th of October the Americans crossed the frontier opposite to the village of Queenstown with three thousand men, and found only three hundred British to oppose them. But Brock was with them, and cheered them so gallantly that they made a desperate resistance. Unfortunately, Brock was killed, and then the brave three hundred retreated, and the American general, Wadsworth, posted himself, with one thousand six hundred men, on the heights behind Queenstown. But the same afternoon he was attacked by a fresh body of about one thousand British and Canadians, and had nearly his whole force killed or taken prisoners. Himself and nine hundred of his men were captured, and four hundred remained on the field slain or severely wounded. The rest, a mere remnant, escaped into the woods, or were drowned in endeavouring to swim back to their own shore. Thus ended Madison's first attempt to conquer Canada.
On the 26th of March the Marquis of Chandos made an attempt to obtain some relief for the agricultural interest, which was then in a very depressed state, and the measure he proposed was the abolition of the malt tax, which brought in the sum of ￡4,812,000. Sir Robert Peel prophesied that if this tax were abolished they would be in for a property tax. He said: "My prophecy is, that if you repeal this tax you will make an income tax necessary; to that, be assured, you must come at last, if you repeal the malt tax. You will lay your taxes on articles of general consumption—on tobacco, on spirits, on wine—and you will meet with such a storm that will make you hastily recede from your first advances towards a substitute. To a property tax, then, you must come; and I congratulate you, gentlemen of the landed interest, on finding yourselves relieved from the pressure of the malt tax, and falling on a good, comfortable property tax, with a proposal, probably, for a graduated scale. And you who represent the heavy land of this country, the clay soils—the soils unfit for barley—I felicitate you on the prospect that lies before you. If you think that the substitute will be advantageous to your interests, be it so; but do not—when hereafter you discover your mistake—do not lay the blame upon those who offered you a timely warning, and cautioned you against exchanging the light pressure of a malt duty for the scourge of a property tax." The motion was rejected by a majority of 350 to 192.
Owing to these circumstances, occasion was taken, on the presentation to the Privy Council of the petition of the people of Boston for the removal of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, to animadvert on Franklin's conduct. This took place on the 29th of January, 1774, when Dunning and Lee were retained on the part of the petition, and Wedderburn, the Solicitor-General, appeared for the Crown. There were no less than thirty-five Privy Councillors present, amongst them Lord North, and Lord Gower at their head, as Lord President. Neither Dunning nor Lee spoke effectively, but as if they by no means relished the cause in which they were engaged; while Wedderburn seemed animated by extraordinary life and bitterness. He was the friend of Whately, who was now lying in a dangerous state from his wound. After speaking of the Charter and the insubordinate temper of the people of Massachusetts, he fell with withering sarcasm on Franklin, who was present. Hitherto, he said, private correspondence had been held sacred, even in times of the most rancorous party fury. But here was a gentleman who had a high rank amongst philosophers, and should be the last to sanction such infamous breaches of honour, openly avowing his concern in them. He asked where, henceforth, Dr. Franklin could show his face; and said that henceforth he must deem it a libel to be termed "a man of letters," he was "a man of three letters, f u r, a thief." Wedderburn could compare him only to Zanga, in Dr. Young's "Revenge:"—On the 20th of June, when the Bill was in committee of the Peers, the Lord Chancellor urged his objection to the retrospective clause, as unsettling the rights of property. The report being brought up on the 25th, he repeated his objections, and moved that the retrospective clause should be omitted. The motion was negatived. On the 2nd of July, the day fixed for the third reading, his brother, Lord Stowell, made a similar motion, which was also defeated. The Lord Chancellor moved the insertion of a clause for giving validity to deeds, assignments and settlements made by persons having claims on any property affected by the Bill. The Marquis of Lansdowne opposed this clause, which, he said, would give the Bill the effect of declaring children legitimate and yet disinheriting them—"of peopling the House of Lords with titled beggars." This clause having been negatived on a division, the Lord Chancellor proposed another to the same effect, with the addition of the words, "for good and valuable consideration." This also was rejected by a majority. This was too much for the temper of Lord Eldon, so long accustomed to have his way in that House. Irritated at being repeatedly thwarted in his efforts, on declaring the numbers he exclaimed with vehemence, "My lords, ten days ago I believed this House possessed the good opinion of the public, as the mediator between them and the laws of the country; if this Bill pass to-night, I hope in God that this House may still have that good opinion ten days hence. But to say the best of this measure, I consider it neither more nor less than a legal robbery, so help me God! I have but a short time to remain with you, but I trust it will be hereafter known that I used every means in my power to prevent its passing into law." Thenceforth the Lord Chancellor became sulky with his colleagues, feeling himself dragged on by their too rapid progress. He was very reluctant to attend their Cabinet meetings, and absented himself whenever he could make any excuse. In reply to a summons from Mr. Peel, the Home Secretary, to attend a meeting on the Alien Act, he answered that he could not possibly attend, adding, "My absence, however, can be of little, and possibly of no consequence." The Session ended on the 6th of August; the Parliament being prorogued by the king in person.
But at length the thunder of the Russian cannon roused him from this delirious dreaming. Kutusoff, inducing Murat by a stratagem to declare the armistice at an end, attacked his position and defeated him, with a loss of two thousand men killed, and one thousand five hundred taken prisoners. He took his cannon and baggage, and drove him from his entrenchments. The only food found in the French camp was horseflesh and flayed cats; the King of Naples had no better for his table—thus showing the miserable straits to which they were reduced. On the 19th of October Buonaparte marched out of Moscow, leaving, however, a strong garrison in the Kremlin, under Mortier, for it would appear that he still intended to return thither. The army which followed him still consisted of nearly one hundred and twenty thousand men, accompanied by five hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, and two thousand artillery waggons. Buonaparte spoke with affected cheerfulness to his generals, saying that he would march by Kaluga to the frontiers of Poland, where they would go into comfortable winter quarters. After the army came another host of camp-followers of French who had been resident at Moscow but dared not remain behind, and a vast train of carriages loaded with baggage and the spoils of Moscow.During the recess of Parliament, a dispute occurred with Spain regarding the Falkland Islands, which led to the very verge of war. In 1764 the French, under Bougainville, made a settlement on Falkland Sound; but Spain putting in a claim that these isles were part of her South American territory, Choiseul, the French Minister, abandoned the settlement, and the Spaniards changed its name from Port Louis to Port Soledad. The very next year, 1765, Commodore Byron was sent to form a settlement on another of the islands, which he named Port Egmont, in honour of Lord Egmont, First Lord of the Admiralty. Such were the distant islets to which, in 1769, Spain began to assert her claim. The Governor of Port Soledad sent repeated messages to Captain Hunt, of the Tamar, stationed at Port Egmont, requiring the abandonment of the place. When the notices were succeeded by threats, Captain Hunt sailed home to lay the matter before his Government. He landed at Portsmouth in June, 1770, and made known the Spanish interference to the Cabinet. Meanwhile, the Spaniards, taking advantage of Hunt's absence, had, about the time that he arrived in England, dispatched to the Falklands Buccarelli, the Governor of Buenos Ayres, with five frigates and one thousand six hundred men. Having entered the port on pretence of wanting water, and finding the Tamar absent, and only two armed sloops there, and a mere handful of soldiers, Buccarelli landed his force, and, after the firing of a few shots for form's sake, the English surrendered, and were permitted to depart with all the honours of war.
As to the silk and wool trades, in the ten years preceding 1824 the quantity of raw and thrown silk used by our manufacturers was on an average of 1,882,311 lbs. per annum. In the ten succeeding years the average was nearly double, viz. 95 per cent. higher; and in the sixteen years which ended in 1849 there was an increase of 120 per cent. over the quantity used under the restrictive system. According to the report of the inspectors of factories, there were, in 1835, 231 silk factories in England, six in Scotland, and one in Ireland. The total number of females thus employed was over 20,000, and the total number of both sexes was about 31,000. The total number of woollen and worsted factories at work in 1835 was returned by the inspectors of factories as being 1,313, showing an increase of ten per cent. in four years. The total number of persons employed in them in 1835 was 71,274, on which there was an increase of twenty per cent. up to 1839. There was a general depression in the price of British wool, in consequence of which a Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to inquire into the causes. From the evidence which they received, it appeared that the actual number of sheep in England and Wales had increased one-fifth since the year 1800, when it was 19,000,000, yielding about 95,000,000 lbs. of wool, or about five pounds for each fleet. It was estimated that the quantity used for manufacturing purposes increased during the first half of the nineteenth century by 115 per cent. Yorkshire is the chief seat of the woollen manufacture, and the best proof of its progress, perhaps, is presented in the state of the population, which in the whole of the West Riding increased during the first forty years of the century at the rate of 104 per cent. At the census of 1801 it was 563,953, while the census of 1841 showed it to be 1,154,101.
But whilst his political efforts did their work in his lifetime, his literary labours are the basis of his present fame. These were almost all produced after his sixtieth year; "Robinson Crusoe," by far the most popular of all his writings and one of the most popular in all the world's literature, "The Dumb Philosopher," "Captain Singleton," "Duncan Campbell," "Moll Flanders," "Colonel Jacque," "The Journal of the Plague," "The Memoirs of a Cavalier," "The Fortunate Mistress; or, Roxana," "The New Voyage round the World," and "Captain Carleton." The life and fidelity to human nature with which these are written have continually led readers to believe them altogether real narratives. The "Journal of the Plague" was quoted as a relation of facts by Dr. Mead; Chatham used to recommend "The Memoirs of a Cavalier" as the best account of the Civil War; Dr. Johnson read the life of "Captain Carleton" as genuine, and we continually see the story of "Mrs. Veal's Ghost," written by Defoe to puff Drelincourt's heavy "Essay on Death," included in collections as a matter-of-fact account of an apparition. This quality of verisimilitude is one of the greatest charms of his inimitable "Crusoe," which is the delight of the young from age to age.BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. (See p. 570.)During this summer the island of Corsica fell into our hands, and that by conduct as brilliant on the part of Nelson and the troops and seamen under him, as was at the time the formal inefficiency of our generals there. The Corsicans soon experienced the insolence and rapacity of the godless French Republicans, and rose in general insurrection. The patriot Paoli was the first to advise them to renounce all connection with such a race of fiends, and was, in consequence, proscribed by the Convention, but at the same time appointed General-in-Chief and President of the Council of Government by his own people. As he well knew that little Corsica was no match for France, he applied to the British for assistance. Lord Hood was then engaged in the defence of Toulon, but he sent a few ships and troops during the summer and autumn to Paoli's aid, and by this assistance the French were driven out of every part of the island except San Fiorenzo, Calvi, and Bastia. The mother of Buonaparte, and part of the family, who were living at Ajaccio, fled to France, imploring the aid of the Convention for her native island. Lord Hood, however, having evacuated Toulon, made haste to be beforehand with them. By the 7th of February, 1794, he had blockaded the three ports still in the hands of the French, and had landed five regiments, under the command of General Dundas, at San Fiorenzo. The French were soon compelled to evacuate the place, but they retreated to Bastia, without almost any attempt on the part of Dundas to injure or molest them. Lord Hood now urged the immediate reduction of Bastia, but Dundas, an incompetent officer, and tied up by all the old formal rules of warfare, declared that he could not attempt to carry the town till the arrival of two thousand fresh troops from Gibraltar. But there was a man of very different metal and notions serving there, namely, Nelson, who was indignant at this timid conduct. He declared that if he had five hundred men and the Agamemnon ship-of-war, he could take the place. Lord Hood was resolved that he should try, whilst he himself blockaded the harbour. Nelson, who declared his own seamen of the Agamemnon were of the right sort, and cared no more for bullets than for peas, had one thousand one hundred and eighty-three soldiers, artillerymen, and marines, with two hundred and fifty sailors, put under his command, with the title of brigadier. They landed on the 4th of April, dragged their cannon up to the tops of the rocks overhanging Bastia, to the astonishment of French, Corsicans, and the timid Dundas. On the 10th Nelson was aloft with his whole force, and with all his cannon in position. A body of Corsicans rather kept guard than gave any active assistance on another side of the town; for they had no cannon, or could not drag them up precipices like British seamen. On the 11th Lord Hood summoned the town to surrender; but the French commander and Commissioner, Lacombe-Saint-Michel, replied that he had red-hot shot for the ships and bayonets for the British soldiers, and should not think of yielding till he had two-thirds of his garrison killed. But Nelson, ably seconded by Colonel Vilettes, plied his artillery to such purpose, that, on the 10th of May, Lacombe-Saint-Michel made offer of surrender, and on the 19th the capitulation was completed. The French forces and the Corsicans in their interest were shipped off to Toulon, after the signing of the capitulation on the 21st; and now General D'Aubant, who had succeeded General Dundas, but who had continued lying at San Fiorenzo instead of assisting at the siege, came up with his troops and took possession of Bastia. The whole loss of the British in this brilliant affair was only fourteen men killed and thirty-four wounded. Calvi, the most strongly-situated and fortified place, still remained to be taken. By the middle of June it was thoroughly invested, both by sea and land, and Nelson again serving on shore, assisted by Captains Hallowell and Serecold, was pouring shells and red-hot shot into the fort. Captain Serecold was killed at the very outset; but Nelson and Hallowell, chiefly with the sailors and marines, continued the bombardment through the terrible heat of the dog-days, and the enervating effects of malaria from stagnant ponds in the hills, and compelled the surrender on the 10th of August, but not before one-half of the two thousand men engaged were prostrated by sickness. The island was now, by the advice of Paoli, offered to the British Crown and by it accepted; but a gross blunder was made in not appointing Paoli Governor, as was expected both by himself and his compatriots. Instead of this most proper and conciliatory measure, Sir Gilbert Elliot was appointed Governor, to the disappointment and disgust of the Corsicans. Sir Gilbert attempted to gratify the islanders by framing a new Constitution for them, and granting them trial by jury; but neither of these institutions was adapted to their ideas, and both failed to heal the wound which the ignominious treatment of their great patriot occasioned.详情
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