The Duke of Leinster, in pursuance of his intention to oppose the Bill in all its stages, moved that the order of the day be rescinded. The motion was negatived by a majority of two hundred and sixty to forty-one; the number of peers present being three hundred and one. Lord Carnarvon denounced the Bill of Pains and Penalties as a measure unnecessary and unconstitutional. It was a species of ex post facto and illegitimate mode of proceeding against an individual, an unprecedented anomaly in the law. In one of the cases which they had adduced as the best precedent, the sentence passed on the criminal was that he should be boiled to death! Far better to have drawn a veil over the transactions, than to have searched the Alps, the Apennines, and the ocean for evidence against the queen. The measure had excited the disgust of every honest man in the kingdom.Napoleon now called up his auxiliary forces from Saxony, Würtemberg, Bavaria, and from all the Confederation of the Rhine, as well as new battalions from France, and advanced against the Russians. In the first place, the French, who had completed the subjugation of the Prussian states east of the Oder, pushed forward towards Poland, to attack the Russian general, Benningsen, who advanced to Warsaw, and occupied it in conjunction with the Prussians. Benningsen, however, finding the Prussians few and dispirited, fell back beyond the Vistula, and Murat, at the head of the French vanguard, entered Warsaw on the 28th of November. He was soon after joined there by Buonaparte, and Warsaw being put into a state of defence, the French army advanced to the Vistula and the Bug, in spite of the lateness of the season. Benningsen again retreated behind the Wkra, where he united his forces with those of Generals Buxhowden and Kaminskoi. Kaminskoi took the supreme command. When Napoleon arrived at the Wkra on the 23rd of December, he formed his army into three divisions, and forced the passages of the river. Kaminskoi fell back behind the Niemen, and the French pursued him, committing some injury on him. This trifling advantage Napoleon converted, in his bulletins to Paris, into the rout and general defeat of the Russians. It was true that the Russians were destitute of stores, having applied to Britain for money, and obtained only eighty thousand pounds. They fought, therefore, under great disadvantages, against an army furnished with everything. Notwithstanding, Benningsen, who was by far the most vigorous of their generals—for Kaminskoi was fast falling into lunacy—posted himself strongly behind Pultusk, his right led by Barclay de Tolly, and his left by Ostermann. Kaminskoi ordered Benningsen to retreat, but he refused, and stood his ground. At first Tolly was driven back by Lannes and Davoust, but Benningsen converted this disadvantage into a ruse, ordering Tolly to continue his retreat, till the French were drawn on, so that he could bring down his left wing on them. This he did with such effect that he killed and wounded nearly eight thousand of them, having, however, himself five thousand killed and wounded. Lannes and five other generals were amongst the wounded. The French seized the opportunity of darkness to retreat with such speed, that the next morning not a trace of them could be seen near Pultusk. Prince Galitzin fought another division of the French the same day at Golynim, and with the same success. Had Benningsen had the chief command, and brought down the whole united Russian army on Napoleon, the victory must have been most decisive; as it was, it taught the French that they had different troops to Prussians or Austrians to contend with. They drew off, and went into winter quarters at Warsaw and the towns to the eastward. The chief command of the Russian army was now conferred on Benningsen, and so far from Buonaparte having, as he boasted, brought the war to a close with the year, we shall find Benningsen, at the head of ninety thousand men, soon forcing him into a winter campaign.
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.[See larger version]
BENARES. (From a Photograph by Frith and Co.)
To insure a powerful diversion, the Sultan had engaged the military co-operation of Sweden. Sweden had been forcibly deprived of Finland by Peter the Great, and she longed to recover it. She had a brave army, but no money. The Grand Turk, to enable her to commence the enterprise, had sent her a present of about four hundred thousand pounds sterling. Sweden put her fleet in preparation in all haste, and had Pitt merely allowed the Russian fleet to quit the Baltic, there was nothing to prevent the execution of the Swedish design on Finland, nor, indeed, of marching directly on St. Petersburg in the absence of the army.LORD CLIVE. (After the Portrait by Gainsborough.)Parliament met on the 10th of January, 1765. The resentment of the Americans had reached the ears of the Ministry and the king, yet both continued determined to proceed. In the interviews which Franklin and the other agents had with the Ministers, Grenville begged them to point to any other tax that would be more agreeable to the colonists than the stamp-duty; but they without any real legal grounds drew the line between levying custom and imposing an inland tax. Grenville paid no attention to these representations. Fifty-five resolutions, prepared by a committee of ways and means, were laid by him on the table of the House of Commons at an early day of the Session, imposing on America nearly the same stamp-duties as were already in practical operation in England. These resolutions being adopted, were embodied in a bill; and when it was introduced to the House, it was received with an apathy which betrayed on all hands the profoundest ignorance of its importance. Burke, who was a spectator of the debates in both Houses, in a speech some years afterwards, stated that he never heard a more languid debate than that in the Commons. Only two or three persons spoke against the measure and that with great composure. There was but one division in the whole progress of the Bill, and the minority did not reach to more than thirty-nine or forty. In the Lords, he said, there was, to the best of his recollection, neither division nor debate!
Besides the flattering assurances of the steady improvement in commerce and manufactures, and, consequently, in the revenues, the Regent's Speech, read, as usual, by the Lord Chancellor, justly congratulated the country on the successful termination of the Pindarree war by the Marquis of Hastings. It informed the two Houses that a new treaty had been entered into with the United States for adjusting the different points at issue between the two nations, not settled by the treaty of peace, and also for regulating the commerce between them. It announced the results of the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, and stated that some new measures were needed for the care of his Majesty's person in consequence of the death of the queen. The Address, in both Houses, was carried almost pro forma. Mr. Manners Sutton was elected Speaker of the Commons by acclamation.At the opening of 1810 a peace was contracted with Turkey; but not with the Sultan Selim, with whom we had been at war, nor with his successor, Mahmoud. Whilst the throne of Turkey was occupied by a mere boy, and whilst his regular troops were dispersed, Alexander of Russia, famed for his piety, thought it a fine opportunity to seize on his neighbour's lands. His Ministers, at the commencement of 1809, at the Congress of Jassy, demanded, as a condition of peace, the cession of the Turkish provinces on the left bank of the Danube. The Turks, of course, refused to thus dismember their empire for the aggrandisement of Russia; and Alexander, who was resolved to have those provinces by hook or by crook, immediately declared war on Turkey, on the shameless plea that it had made peace with Britain. The Russians were supported by the Greeks, and other inhabitants of Moldavia and Wallachia; but on crossing the Danube and pushing forward into Bulgaria they were beaten on every occasion. On the 22nd of October, 1809, a desperate conflict took place between them under the walls of Silistria, which continued from morning till night, in which the Russians were driven back, and, in a second engagement, routed with such slaughter that they retired from Bulgaria, and went into winter-quarters in Moldavia and Wallachia. In this campaign it was found that the guns were served by French officers, though Buonaparte professed to be willing that Alexander should possess himself of Constantinople. By the peace with Turkey, the trading ports of that empire were again opened to us, and our manufactures, entering there, spread over all the Continent, and were sold and worn in Hamburg, Bremen, and other towns where they were strictly excluded by sea.
The French left six hundred killed and wounded on the field; the British had four hundred and eighty killed or disabled. Laborde retreated amongst the hills to the village of Azambugueira, and thence to Torres Vedras, where he looked for the junction of Loison, and where that general really appeared. Still the British force was equal, if not superior, in numbers to the French, and Sir Arthur Wellesley advanced along the sea-coast to Vimiera, where he was joined by Generals Anstruther and Acland. Unfortunately, at this moment arrived Sir Harry Burrard, whom the Ministry had ordered to supersede Sir Arthur Wellesley in the chief command till the arrival of Sir Hew Dalrymple, who was to be the General-in-Chief; Burrard, second in command; and Wellesley, Sir John Moore, Lord Paget, Sir John Hope, and Macdonald Frazer, to command different divisions. Thus, by the old system of routine, the real military genius was reduced from the first to the fourth in command. Sir Arthur went on board Sir Harry Burrard's vessel on the evening of his arrival, the 20th of August, and explained to him the positions of the armies, and his plan of advancing along the coast to Mafra, thus turning the flank of Laborde and Loison, and compelling them to fight or retreat on Lisbon. This was clearly the view of every one of the officers, who were eager to press on; but Sir Harry, old and cautious, was of opinion that nothing more should be risked till Sir John Moore arrived with his reinforcements. Sir Arthur must have returned under a sense of deep disappointment, but, fortunately for him, the enemy did not allow of his waiting for Sir John Moore. At midnight he received a hasty message that the French were in motion, and coming in one dense mass of twenty thousand men to surprise and rout him. Sir Arthur was strongly posted in the village of Vimiera and on the hills around it. He sent out patrols, and ordered the pickets to be on the alert, and he then called out his troops, and had them in good fighting order by the dawn of day. At about seven o'clock the advance of the enemy was perceived by the clouds of dust that rose into the air, and soon they were seen coming on in columns of infantry, preceded by cavalry. By ten o'clock the French were close at hand, and made an impetuous attack on the British centre and left, to drive them into the sea, according to a favourite French phrase, the sea actually rolling close to their rear. The first troops which came into collision with them were the 50th regiment, commanded by Colonel Walker. Seeing that the intention of the French, who were led by Laborde himself, was to break his line by their old method of pushing on a dense column by a momentum from behind, which drove in the van like a wedge, in spite of itself, Colonel Walker instantly changed the position of his regiment so as, instead of a parallel line, to present an oblique one to the assailing column. This was, therefore, driven on by the immense rear, and, instead of breaking the British line, was actually taken in flank by it, and the musketry and grape-shot mowed down the French in a terrible manner. This was at once succeeded by a rapid charge with the bayonet; and so astonishing was the effect of this unexpected movement, that the French were thrown into irretrievable confusion, and broke on every side. Whilst this was the effect on the centre and left, General Sir Ronald Fergusson was attacked with equal impetuosity by Loison: bayonets were crossed, and the same result as took place at Maida occurred—the French fell back and fled. Nothing was wanted but a good body of cavalry to follow up the flying foe, and completely reduce them to surrender. The small body of horse, commanded by Colonel Taylor, fought with an ardour that led them too far into the centre of Margaron's powerful cavalry, and Colonel Taylor was killed, and half of his little troop with him. Kellermann, to stop the pursuit, posted a strong reserve in a pine wood, on the line of retreat, but they were driven out at the point of the bayonet. Had the orders of General Wellesley now been carried out, the French would have been cut off from much further retreat. General Hill was commanded to take a short cut, and interpose between the French and the strong position of Torres Vedras, and General Fergusson was directed to follow sharply in their rear. In all probability they must have capitulated at once; but here the evil genius of Sir Harry Burrard again interfered to save them. He appeared on the field and thought sufficient had been done till Sir John Moore arrived. It was not enough for him that the French had now been twice put to rout within a few days, and were in full flight, and that they were found not to be twenty thousand, but only eighteen thousand strong. He ordered the pursuit to cease, and the army to sit down at Vimiera till the arrival of Moore. To the great astonishment of the French, and the equal mortification of the British, the retreating enemy was thus allowed to collect their forces and take possession of the heights of Torres Vedras.
INTERIOR OF THE JERUSALEM CHAMBER, WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
It is true that George II. was also a brave and staunch commander, prepared to die on the spot rather than yield, as he had shown at Dettingen. But the greater part of his forces at Finchley were raw levies, and might not have stood better than the troops had done in Scotland. There was a terror of the Highlanders, even in the army; and as for London itself, the panic, when it was heard that they had got between the duke's army and the capital, was, according to Fielding, who was then in London, incredible. There was a frantic rush upon the Bank of England, and it is said that it must have closed had it not gained time by paying in sixpences. The shops were shut, business was at a stand, the Ministers were in the utmost terror, and the Duke of Newcastle was said to have shut himself up for a day, pondering whether he should declare for the Pretender or not. The king himself was by no means confident of the result. He is said to have sent most of his precious effects on board a yacht at the Tower quay, ready to put off at a minute's warning. The day on which the news of the rebels being at Derby reached London was long renowned as Black Friday. In such a state of terror, and the army at Finchley inferior in numbers, and infinitely inferior in bravery, who can doubt that Charles would for a time have made himself master of the metropolis?The objects of the Association were—"1st, to forward petitions to Parliament; 2nd, to afford relief to Catholics assailed by Orange lodges; 3rd, to encourage and support a liberal and independent press, as well in Dublin as in London—such a press as might report faithfully the arguments of their friends and refute the calumnies of their enemies; 4th, to procure cheap publications for the various schools in the country; 5th, to afford aid to Irish Catholics in America; and, 6th, to afford aid to the English Catholics." Such were the ostensible objects, but more was aimed at than is here expressed. The Association was formed on a plan different from other bodies in Ireland. It proposed to redress all grievances, local or general, affecting the people. It undertook as many questions as ever engaged the attention of a legislature. "They undertook," said the Attorney-General Plunket, "the great question of Parliamentary Reform; they undertook the repeal of the union; they undertook the regulation of Church property; they undertook the administration of justice. They intended not merely to consider the administration of justice, in the common acceptance of the term; but they determined on the visitation of every court, from that of the highest authority down to the court of conscience. They did not stop here. They were not content with an interference with courts; they were resolutely bent on interfering with the adjudication of every cause which affected the Catholics, whom they styled 'the people of Ireland.'"The night was cold, and the two armies lay on the ground. In the middle of the night Anderson of Whitburgh, a gentleman whose father had been out in the 'Fifteen and who knew the country well, suddenly recollected a way across the bog to the right. He communicated this to Hepburn of Keith and Lord George Murray, who went to waken the prince, who, sitting up in his heap of pea-straw, received the news with exultation. He started up, a council was called, and as it drew towards morning it was resolved to follow Anderson as their guide immediately. An aide-de-camp was despatched to recall Lord Nairn and his five hundred, and the army marched after Anderson in profound silence. It was not without some difficulty that they crossed it, after all; some of the soldiers sank knee-deep, and the prince himself stumbled and fell. When they reached the firm ground the mounted pickets heard the sound of their march, though they could not see them for the thick fog. The dragoon sentinels demanded who went there, fired their pistols, and galloped off to give the alarm.
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HELIGOLAND.The Irish corporations were included in the inquiry, which commenced in 1833. The Irish Commissioners took for their local investigations the one hundred and seventeen places which had sent representatives to the Irish Parliament. They found everywhere the grossest abuses. By an Act of George II., residence had been dispensed with as a qualification for corporate offices. The effect of this was to deprive a large number of them of a resident governing body. In some cases a few, very rarely a majority, of the municipal council were inhabitants of the town. In others, the whole chartered body of burgesses were non-resident, and they attended as a mere matter of form, to go through the farce of electing members of Parliament, or for the purpose of disposing of the corporate property. In some boroughs the charter gave the nomination of a member of Parliament to the lord of the manor or some local proprietor. In others the power of returning the Parliamentary representative was vested in a small self-elected body of freemen; almost invariably the power of nomination was actually possessed by the gentleman known as the "patron" or "proprietor," who could dispose of the seat as he thought proper, and if not reserved for himself or some member of his family, it was sold for the highest price it would bring in the market—treated in every respect as absolute property, which was transmitted, like the family estate, from father to son. This property was fully recognised at the union, and it was by buying it up at an exceedingly liberal price that Lord Castlereagh was enabled to carry that measure. By the Act of union a large number of those rotten corporations, some of which had not even a hamlet to represent, were swept away. But a considerable number remained, and of these the Commissioners of inquiry remarked:—"This system deserves peculiar notice in reference to your Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects. In the close boroughs they are almost universally excluded from all corporate privileges. In the more considerable towns they have rarely been admitted even as freemen, and, with few exceptions, they are altogether excluded from the governing bodies. In some—and among these is the most important corporation in Ireland, that of Dublin—their admission is still resisted on avowed principles of sectarian distinction. The exclusive spirit operates far more widely and more mischievously than by the mere denial of equal privileges to persons possessing perfect equality of civil worth; for in places where the great mass of the population is Roman Catholic—and persons of that persuasion are for all efficient purposes excluded from corporate privileges—the necessary result is that the municipal magistracy belongs entirely to the other religious persuasions; and the dispensation of local justice, and the selection of juries being committed to the members of one class exclusively, it is not surprising that such administration of the law should be regarded with distrust and suspicion by the other and more numerous body."详情
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