Those princes that did bring men into the field, such as the Hessians, Brunswickers, etc.—the Menschen-Ver?ufer, or man-sellers, as they were styled by their own people—were rapacious beyond example. During the American war we had employed these Hessians, Brunswickers, and the like, at a cost that excited general indignation. Besides paying seven pounds ten shillings and a penny for every man, the Duke of Brunswick, who furnished only four thousand and eighty-four men, had had an annual subsidy of fifteen thousand five hundred and nineteen pounds. The Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who furnished twelve thousand men, had ten thousand two hundred and eighty-one pounds a year.The opposition, however, was powerful. When Mr. Goulburn brought forward his resolution by which sugar certified to be the growth of China, Manila, Java, or other countries where no slave labour was employed, should be admitted at a duty of 34s., the colonial duty being 24s., the danger of the position of the Ministers was soon perceived. Lord John Russell proposed an amendment in favour of admitting all foreign sugars at 34s., a proposal which, though calculated to maintain the price of sugar at a higher point than the Government proposition, was less distasteful to the Free Traders, as abolishing the differential principle. This amendment was rejected by a majority of only 69. On the 14th of June the Government Bill came on for a third reading, and the contest then began in earnest. Mr. Miles, the representative of the West India party, moved an amendment proposing a reduction of the duty on colonial sugar to 20s., instead of 24s., and the raising of the duties on foreign to 30s. and 34s. The Free Trade party were not entrapped by this offer of a reduction of 4s. on colonial sugar. They saw that Mr. Miles's amendment would only establish a differential duty of 14s. instead of 10s., the difference going to the West India planters. They now, moreover, at least hoped more from Sir Robert Peel than from any Minister likely to succeed him. Mr. Cobden and the League party therefore supported the Government; but so powerful was the combination against them that the division, which took place on the 14th of June, left Ministers in a minority of 20.
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ARREST OF THE RAJAH OF BENARES. (See p. 334.)The Austrians being again expelled from Italy, Buonaparte, in his all-absorbing cupidity, determined to turn adrift the Pope, and add his little vineyard to his now cumbrously overgrown Ahab's domains. He had begun this spoliation in 1808, seizing on the greater part of the Pontiff's territories; sending away his cardinals, and reducing him to little better than a solitary prisoner in his own palace. This was an ungrateful return to the poor old Pope for making the long journey into France to crown him, and thus to give a sacred sanction to his usurpation of the imperial crown—a sanction of immense effect throughout the Catholic world. Pius VII. had given Buonaparte great offence by refusing to declare war on Great Britain, and thus keeping up a breach in his system of exclusion of British commerce. He had, therefore, already taken military possession of Civita Vecchia and Ancona, but he now resolved to take the whole temporal dominion from the Pope, and abrogate, by virtue of his assumed heirship of Charlemagne's realm, the gift of Charlemagne to the Church. On the 2nd of February, 1809, General Miollis, by order of Buonaparte, took possession of Rome, disarmed and disbanded the Pope's guard, and marched his other soldiers to the north, telling them they should no longer remain under the effeminate rule of a priest. Miollis then gave the Pontiff the alternative to join the French league, offensive and defensive, or to be deposed. The Pope firmly refused to concede his rights to anything but absolute force. On the 17th of May, therefore, Napoleon's decree for the deposition of the Pope from his temporal power was proclaimed. It assumed the heirship of Charlemagne to be in Buonaparte; declared the union of the spiritual and temporal powers to be the source of all scandals and discords in the Catholic Church; that they were, therefore, at an end—the Roman State for ever united to the French Empire. On the 10th of June Pius issued a bull excommunicating Buonaparte and all who aided him in his sacrilegious usurpation of the patrimony of St. Peter; and this was followed, on the 6th of July, by General Radet forcing the gates of the Vatican, taking possession of it with his troops, entering the presence of the Pope, who was amid his priests, and clad in his pontificals, and demanding that he should instantly sign a renunciation of all the temporal estates attached to the see of Rome. Pius declared that he neither could nor would perform any such sacrilegious act. He was then informed that he must quit Rome. Pius was detained at Savona three years, and was then removed to Fontainebleau.
The death of the Princess Charlotte left the prospect of the succession to the Crown equally serious. Of the numerous sons and daughters of George III. not one had legitimate issue. It might be necessary soon to look abroad in Germany or in Denmark for an heir to the Crown. This consideration led to a number of royal marriages during the earlier part of this year. The first of these marriages was not of this description. It was that of the Princess Elizabeth, his Majesty's third daughter, to the Landgrave and Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Homburg, on the 7th of April. As the princess was already nearly eight-and-forty, no expectation of issue in that quarter was entertained. On the 13th of April Lord Liverpool brought down a message from the Regent to the Peers, and Lord Castlereagh to the Commons, announcing treaties of marriage in progress between the Duke of Clarence and the Princess Adelaide Louisa, of Saxe-Meiningen; and also between the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Augusta Wilhelmina, of Hesse, youngest daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse. The House of Commons was also asked to add an additional ten thousand pounds a year to the allowance of the Duke of Clarence, and six thousand pounds a year each to those of the Dukes of Cumberland and Cambridge, and to that of the Duke of Kent, if he, too, should marry. Ministers intimated that it had been the intention to ask much larger sums, but they found that it was necessary to reduce the sum asked for the Duke of Clarence. It was a matter of notoriety that the duke had already a large family by the actress, Mrs. Jordan, and probably the feeling of the House was influenced by his desertion of that lady; but there was a stout opposition and the sum was reduced to six thousand pounds. Loud acclamations followed the carrying of this amendment, and Lord Castlereagh rose and said, after the refusal of the sum asked, he believed he might say that the negotiation for the marriage might be considered at an end. The next day the duke sent a message declining the sum granted; yet, after all, his marriage took place. The Duke of Cumberland was already married to the Princess Frederica Sophia, the daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had been divorced from Frederick Louis, Prince of Prussia. The Duke of Cumberland was one of the most unpopular men in the whole kingdom, for there were rumours of very dark passages in his life, and Parliament had rejected an application for an additional allowance on his marriage; and it now rejected this application amid much applause. The sum asked for the Duke of Cambridge was carried, but not without considerable opposition. The spirit of reform was in the air.Though war had long been foreseen with France, when it took place we had no fleet in a proper condition to put to sea. It was not till the 14th of July that Lord Howe, who had taken the command of the Channel fleet, sailed from Spithead with fifteen ships of the line, three of which were first-rates, but none of them of that speed and equipment which they ought to have been. He soon obtained intelligence of a French fleet of seventeen sail of the line, seen westward of Belleisle. He sent into Plymouth, and had two third-rate vessels added to his squadron. On the 31st of July he caught sight of the French fleet, but never came up with them, the French ships being better sailers. After beating about in vain, he returned to port, anchoring in Torbay on the 4th of September. At the end of October Howe put to sea again with twenty-four sail of the line and several frigates, and several times came near the French fleet, but could never get to engage. He, however, protected our merchant vessels and disciplined his sailors. One French ship was taken off Barfleur by Captain Saumarez of the Crescent, and that was all.
The funeral was but poorly attended. Few members of either House were there, except those of the Opposition. Gibbon says that "the Government ingeniously contrived to secure the double odium of suffering the thing to be done, and of doing it with an ill grace." Burke and Savile, Thomas Townshend, and Dunning, were pall-bearers; Colonel Barré carried the banner of the barony of Chatham, supported by the Marquis of Rockingham and the Dukes of Richmond, Northumberland, and Manchester; William Pitt, in the place of his elder brother, who was gone to Gibraltar, was the chief mourner, followed by eight Peers, as assistant mourners, amongst whom were Lord Shelburne and Lord Camden. The tomb of Chatham is in the north transept of the Abbey, distinguished by the monument soon afterwards erected to his honour.By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd.
With the reign of George III. commenced a series of improvements in the manufacture of iron, which have led not only to a tenfold production of that most useful of metals, but to changes in its quality which before were inconceivable. Towards the end of the reign of George II. the destruction of the forests in smelting iron-ore was so great as to threaten their extinction, and with it the manufacture of iron in Britain. Many manufacturers had already transferred their businesses to Russia, where wood was abundant and cheap. It was then found that coke made from coal was a tolerable substitute for charcoal, and, in 1760, the very first year of the reign of George III., the proprietors of the Carron Works in Scotland began the use of pit-coal. Through the scientific aid of Smeaton and Watt, they applied water-, and afterwards steam-power, to increase the blast of their furnaces to make it steady and continuous, instead of intermitting as from bellows; and they increased the height of their chimneys. By these means, Dr. John Roebuck, the founder of these works, became the first to produce pig iron by the use of coal. This gave great fame to the Carron Works, and they received large orders from Government for cannon and cannon-balls. It was some time, however, before enough iron could be produced to meet the increasing demand for railroads, iron bridges, etc.; and so late as 1781 fifty thousand tons were imported annually from Russia and Sweden.At length the fated 1st of March arrived, when the Paymaster of the Forces arose amidst profound silence, to state the Bill. Lord John Russell's speech was remarkable for research, accuracy, and knowledge of constitutional law, but not for oratory. He showed that the grievances of which the people complained, in connection with the Parliamentary representation, were three—first, the nomination of members by individuals; secondly, elections by close corporations; and thirdly, the enormous expenses of elections. Sixty nomination boroughs, not having a population of 2,000 each, were to be totally disfranchised; 46 boroughs, having a population of not more than 4,000, and returning two members each, would be deprived of one. The seats thus obtained were to be given to large towns and populous counties. In boroughs, the elective franchise was to be extended to householders paying ￡10 rent; in counties, to copyholders of ￡10 a year, and leaseholders of ￡50. Persons already in possession of the right of voting were not to be deprived of it, if actually resident. Non-resident electors were to be disfranchised, and the duration of elections was to be shortened by increasing the facilities for taking the poll. No compensation was to be given to the proprietors of the disfranchised boroughs, which was justified under the precedent of the forty-shilling freeholders of Ireland, who had received no compensation for the loss of their votes. The question of the duration of Parliaments was reserved for future consideration.
ABBOTSFORD AND THE EILDON HILLS. (From a Photograph by Valentine & Sons, Dundee.)
SIR ROBERT PEEL.Pitt's expeditions were not particularly well arranged. Instead of sending an army of thirty or forty thousand to the Baltic, and calling on Russia to do the same, which she could have done, notwithstanding the army under the Emperor Alexander, he sent only about six thousand, and sent another eight thousand from Malta, to co-operate with twelve thousand Russians in a descent on the kingdom of Naples. This expedition might have been left till the success in the North was secured; in truth, it had better have been left altogether. When General Don and Lord Cathcart landed in Swedish Pomerania, and were joined by the king's German legion and some other German hired troops, our army amounted only to sixteen thousand men, the Swedes to twelve thousand, and the Russians to ten thousand—altogether, not forty thousand men. But what was worse than the paucity of numbers was the disunion amongst the commanders. Lord Harrowby was sent to Berlin, to endeavour to induce Prussia to join this coalition, but Prussia was well aware of the want of unity in the Allied Army, and, weighing probabilities, she could not be moved. The King of Sweden was so incensed at the cold, shuffling conduct of the King of Prussia, that he wrote him some very indignant and undiplomatic letters, which only furnished him with a further excuse for holding aloof. Gustavus, seeing no good likely to be done, resigned his command of the Allied Army, where, indeed, he had enjoyed no real command at all, and retired with his forces to Stralsund. This was a fatal exposition of want of unity, and it was not till three weeks were gone that the breach was healed. By this time it was the middle of November. Ulm had surrendered, Napoleon was master of Vienna, and Prussia was still watching what would be the fate of the coming battle between Napoleon and the Emperors of Austria and Russia. The union of the Allies came too late; the force was altogether too small to turn the scale of the campaign. Had Gustavus marched into Hanover a month earlier, with sixty thousand men, he might have rendered Austerlitz a nonentity; as it was, he had only time to invest Hameln, where Bernadotte had left a strong garrison, when the news of Austerlitz arrived, and caused the Allies to break up the campaign, and each to hurry off to his own country.
But the year 1809 opened with one auspicious circumstance. There was no relief from the necessity of continuing the flight; but the proud Corsican, who hoped to annihilate the "English leopards," was suddenly arrested in his pursuit, and called away to contend with other foes. On the 1st of January he was in Astorga, and from the heights above it could see the straggling rear of the British army. Nothing but the most imperative urgency prevented him from following, and seeking a triumph over the hated British—but that urgency was upon him. Pressing dispatches from France informed him that the North was in ferment, and that Austria was taking the field. The intelligence was too serious to admit of a moment's delay; but he made sure that Soult could now conquer the British, and on the 2nd he turned his face northward, and travelled to Paris with a speed equal to that with which he had reached Spain.
In 1805 a great step in British painting was made by the establishment of the British Institution; and in 1813 this institution opened the National Gallery. The annual exhibitions soon became enriched by the consummate works of Hilton, Etty, Haydon, Briggs, Sir Thomas Lawrence (in elegant portraits), Phillips, Shee, Carpenter, Harlow, Wilkie, Mulready, Turner, Calcot, Collins, Landseer, Martin, Danby, Howard, Cooper, Leslie, and Hone. No age in England had produced so illustrious a constellation of painters, as varied in character as they were masterly in artistic power.To the Anti-Corn-Law Leaguers there was at least the consolation of finding that scarcely a speech was delivered by the Prime Minister which did not contain some distinct recognition of the great principles of political economy, showing how completely he had, in reality, embraced those doctrines. On one occasion he remarked, "We have reserved many articles from immediate reduction, in the hope that ere long we may attain that which we consider just and beneficial to all—namely, increased facilities for our exports in return. At the same time, I am bound to say that it is for our interest to buy cheap, whether other countries will buy cheap or no. We have a right to exhaust all means to induce them to do justice; but if they persevere in refusing, the penalty is on us if we do not buy in the cheapest market." Several of the most conspicuous followers of Sir Robert Peel also in their speeches recognised the abstract principles of Free Trade in a way which was ominous for the continuance of the landlords' monopoly. Among the most interesting instances of this was that of Mr. Gladstone, the young statesman who was destined afterwards to play so great a part in carrying forward the reforms of his chief.详情
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