On the 8th of April the dissolution of the Peel Administration took place, and on the 18th Lord Melbourne announced the completion of his arrangements. On that occasion Lord Alvanley asked the Premier if he had secured the assistance of Mr. O'Connell and his friends, and if so, upon what terms. Lord Melbourne answered that he did not coincide in opinion with Mr. O'Connell; that he had taken no means to secure his support; that he gave the most decided negative to Lord Alvanley's question; adding, "And if he has been told anything to the contrary, he has been told what is false, and without foundation." In the House of Commons, a few days after, Colonel Sibthorpe spoke of O'Connell as the prompter and adviser of the new Ministry, and said: "I do not like the countenances of the honourable gentlemen opposite, for I believe them to be the index of their minds, and I will oppose them on every point, from the conviction that they could not bring forward anything that would tend to benefit the country. I earnestly hope that we shall have a safe and speedy riddance from such a band." This escapade roused the ire of O'Connell, who instantly rose and said that he thought the gallant colonel's countenance was, at all events, as remarkable as any upon the Ministerial benches. He would not abate him a single hair in point of good-humour. "Elsewhere," he said, "these things may be treated in a different style. There is no creature—not even a half-maniac or a half-idiot—that may not take upon himself to use that language there which he would know better than to make use of elsewhere; and the bloated buffoon ought to learn the distinction between independent men and those whose votes are not worth purchasing, even if they were in the market."
Still, Fox took the opportunity to sound the French Government as to the possibility of peace. In a correspondence with Talleyrand he said that Britain would be willing to treat on reasonable terms, the first condition of which was that the Emperor Alexander should be admitted to the treaty. This was at once refused; yet Fox did not give up the attempt, and at length the French Government proposed that a British ambassador should go to Paris, to endeavour to arrange the principles of an agreement. Fox complied. Before a British plenipotentiary was permitted to proceed to Paris, the great points of the negotiation should have been brought forward, and it should have been seen whether there was a probability of agreeing. It should have been understood whether Buonaparte was disposed to surrender Naples again, which Britain demanded; to require the retirement of the Prussians from Hanover, even if nothing was said of Holland and Switzerland. To send a plenipotentiary without having ascertained these points was simply to enable Buonaparte to boast that he had sought to conciliate, and that British rapacity and ambition rendered all his overtures useless. This was exactly what occurred. Lord Yarmouth, late Marquis of Hertford, who had been residing for years in France as one of Buonaparte's détenus at the Peace of Amiens, was first sent. Lord Yarmouth arrived in Paris towards the end of May, and though it had been settled that the negotiations should, for the present, remain secret, the French had taken care to make every Court in Europe well acquainted with the fact. Then one of the very first demands—having got the ambassador there—was for the recognition, not only of Buonaparte as emperor, but also of all his family as princes and princesses of the blood. Next they came to the surrender of Naples, but Talleyrand assured Lord Yarmouth that the Emperor, so far from giving up Naples, or any part of Italy, must have Sicily, which was in possession of the British, because Joseph Buonaparte, now made King of Naples, declared that it could not be held without Sicily. France, Talleyrand said, would consent to Britain holding Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, which we had taken again, and would not only restore Hanover to us, but also allow us to seize on the Hanse Towns and Hamburg! We were in fact, to be permitted to set up for marauders, like themselves, and invade neutral States, and appropriate them; but, as for Naples or Sicily being restored, that was impossible. Lord Yarmouth also demanded that Dalmatia, Istria, and Albania should be restored, the last to the Turks, whose empire should regain its entirety. These points were equally resisted. Meanwhile, Prussia had taken the alarm about Hanover, and Russia, fearful of our treating without her, sent to Paris Count d'Oubril. Talleyrand managed to excite jealousies between the British and Russian envoys, to such a degree, that d'Oubril quitted Paris hastily, and returned to St. Petersburg. Instead of peace, the elements of new heartburnings and wars every day developed themselves. Finding that Lord Yarmouth did not succeed. Fox sent over the Earl of Lauderdale, but he got on no better. Buonaparte insisted that Sicily should be given up to Naples, and a little mock monarchy should be created for Ferdinand, the ex-king, in the Balearic Isles, which were to be taken unceremoniously from Spain. Lord Lauderdale, after a month's waste of words, demanded his passports, and returned; and Fox had now had ample proof that no peace was to be effected with Napoleon, except upon the terms of leaving the Continent to his dictation.[See larger version]
This note contained much that was not true. It implied that Buonaparte had come voluntarily and without necessity on board the Bellerophon, whilst it was well known that perhaps another hour would have been too late to secure him from seizure by the officers of Louis, king of France. He affected to claim the protection of British laws, when he was a notoriously proclaimed outlaw, so proclaimed by the whole of the Allied Powers for the breach of his solemn engagement to renounce all claims on the throne of France. There was, therefore, no answer whatever to that note from the Prince Regent, who was under engagement to his Allies, as they to him, to hold no communication with a man who had so shamefully broken his word, and had, moreover, thereby sacrificed so many valuable lives. The reply was from Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty, announcing to him that the British Government, with the approbation of its Allies, had determined that, to prevent any further opportunity for the disturbance of the peace of Europe by General Buonaparte, he should be sent to St. Helena; that they had been guided in this choice, not only by the desire of his security, but also by the consideration that the island was extremely healthy, and would afford him much greater liberty than he could enjoy in a nearer locality; and that he might select three officers, with his surgeon, and twelve domestics to attend him. From the number of the officers Savary and Lallemand were expressly excepted. It also added that the persons permitted to accompany him would be subject to a certain degree of restraint, and would not be permitted to leave the island without the sanction of the British Government. It was finally added that General Buonaparte should make no delay in the selection of his suite, as Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, appointed to the command of the Cape of Good Hope, would convey him in the Northumberland to St. Helena, and would be presently ready to sail. Napoleon left Plymouth Sound on the 5th of August, and died at St. Helena on May 5th, 1821, having spent his last years in quarrelling with his gaoler, Sir Hudson Lowe, and in an elaborate attempt to falsify history.
Two more attempts were made. Mr. Crewe reproduced the Bill to disable revenue officers from voting at elections, which was at once rejected. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke then reintroduced his Bill to exclude contractors from the House of Commons, unless their contracts were obtained at a public bidding. This was suffered, for appearance' sake, to pass the House with little opposition; but it was arrested in the Peers by the law lords, at the head of whom were Mansfield and Thurlow, and thrown out.
The remnant of the Beloochee forces were hunted for some weeks by flying columns. At length, Captain Roberts, at the head of one of them, captured the brother of Shere Mahommed and 1,000 of his followers. Another column was attacked by the Ameer himself; but his followers, after the first round of fire, dispersed. The whole military force of the Ameers was now annihilated, and the conquest of Scinde was complete. "I think," said Sir Charles Napier, "I may venture to say that Scinde is now subdued. The Scindian population everywhere express their satisfaction at the change of masters." No doubt the change from Mohammedan to British rule was an advantage to the poor Hindoos; and if it be allowable to do evil that good may come, Lord Ellenborough was justified in the means he had adopted for supplanting the Ameers.Richard Hare, made Lord Ennismore, with patronage.
On assembling his remnant of an army in Brelowa, Buonaparte beheld a state of general disorganisation prevailing. Perishing with cold and hunger, every man was only mindful of himself. In a short time the whole village was pulled down to make camp-fires of the timber, for the weather was fiercely cold. He could scarcely prevent them from stripping off the roof under which he had taken shelter. He set out on his march for Wilna on the 29th of November. The army hurried along without order or discipline, their only care being to outstrip the Russians, who were, like famished wolves, at their heels; the Cossacks continually cutting down numbers of their benumbed and ragged comrades, who went along more like spectres than actual men. The thermometer was at twenty degrees below zero.But a brave and liberal member of the peerage, Earl Stanhope, did not flinch from endeavouring to get repealed a number of these disgraceful evidences of Church bigotry, which still cumbered the Statute book from long past periods. In May, 1789, a few days after Mr. Beaufoy's second defeat on the question of the Test and Corporation Acts, Lord Stanhope proposed "a Bill for relieving members of the Church of England from sundry penalties and disabilities to which, by the laws now in force, they may be liable, and for extending freedom in matters of religion to all persons—Papists only excepted—and for other purposes therein mentioned." His Lordship had given notice of his intention to introduce such a Bill in the previous February, as Mr. William Smith had done in the Commons, when what was called the Uniformity Clause in the Regency Bill was discussed, contending that this clause, which prohibited the Regent from giving the Royal Assent to the repeal of the Act for Uniformity passed in the reign of Charles II., might prevent the repeal of a preceding Act, of a very bigoted character, of a previous date. The Bishops, with the Archbishop of Canterbury at their head, opposed his intention, contending that this was not a proper time for such a discussion. Lord Stanhope now detailed the names, dates, and characters of the Acts which he had in view. They were these:—The Act of 1 Elizabeth, ordering every person to go to church, and imposing a fine of twenty pounds—a very large sum then—on any one above the age of sixteen absenting himself or herself from church for a month; and in case of non-payment, ordering the imprisonment of the offender till the fine were paid, or the offender conformed. In case of twelve months' absence, the offender was to be bound in a bond of two hundred pounds, with two sureties, for his compliance in future. By the 23 Elizabeth these penalties were made still more rigorous, and by the 35th of her reign, all persons who absented themselves for a month were liable not only to the twenty pounds a month, but that money might be refused, if tendered, and the offender be deprived of two-thirds of his lands, tenements, and hereditaments, instead of the twenty pounds. By the 3 James I. these abominable powers were extended, and every person was made amenable for every visitor, servant, and servant of visitors to his or her house, and should be compelled to pay ￡10 per month for the non-attendance at church of each of them; and over and above all these penalties, the ecclesiastical courts might as fully exercise their jurisdiction over these offenders as if no such special Acts existed.[See larger version]
The Spanish Revolution had a marked effect on French politics. M. Thiers and his colleagues had been pressing for an effective intervention against Don Carlos; but they were unable to overcome the reluctance of the king to send a French army into Spain, even to sustain the régime which the king had recognised and approved. This was completely superseded by the changes that had just taken place. He should now interpose, not to protect the reigning dynasty against pretenders, but to take part in a war between Constitutionalists and Liberals of different shades. When, therefore, Louis Philippe was asked to send aid to the French legion of volunteers serving as auxiliaries in Spain, and to adopt other measures against the Carlists, as the only means of preventing the queen's Government from being carried away by the torrent of revolution, he positively refused. Lord Palmerston, influenced by the continued ill-success of the Spanish Legion, made overtures to the same effect, but without result. Louis Philippe was, in fact, listening to the overtures of Metternich, and inclined to desert the British alliance.详情
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