[See larger version]Prevented by the arrival of Daun from utterly destroying Dresden, though he had done enough to require thirty years of peace to restore it, Frederick marched for Silesia. Laudohn, who was besieging Breslau, quitted it at his approach; but the Prussian king, who found himself surrounded by three armies, cut his way, on the 15th of August, at Liegnitz, through Laudohn's division, which he denominated merely "a scratch." He was instantly, however, called away to defend his own capital from a combined army of Russians under Todleben, and of Austrians under Lacy, another Irishman; but before he could reach them they had forced an entrance, on the 9th of October. The Russians, departing from their usual custom of plunder, touched nothing, but levied a contribution of one million seven hundred thousand dollars on the city. At Frederick's approach they withdrew.
Sir Cecil Wray. Sam House (Publican on the side of Fox). Charles James Fox.
But if Lucien, who had rendered Napoleon such essential services in enabling him to put down the French Revolution, could not escape this meddling domination as a private man, much less could his puppet-kings, whether brothers or brothers-in-law. He was beginning to have violent quarrels with Murat and his sister Caroline, king and queen of Naples; nor could the mild and amiable temper of Louis, king of Holland, protect him from the insults and the pressure of this spoiled child of fortune.It was not to be expected that the difficulties of Ireland would have passed away with the paroxysm of the crisis through which that nation had been working into a better state of existence. The social evils of that country were too deep-rooted and too extensive to be got rid of suddenly. The political disturbances above recorded, coming immediately after the famine, tended to retard the process of recovery. Another failure of the potato crop caused severe distress in some parts of the country, while in the poorer districts the pressure upon the rates had a crushing effect upon the owners of land, which was, perhaps, in the majority of cases, heavily encumbered. This led to the passing of a measure for the establishment of a "rate in aid," in the Session of 1849, by which the burden of supporting the poor was more equally divided, and a portion of it placed upon the shoulders most able to bear it. In anticipation of this rate the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Charles Wood, proposed an advance of ￡100,000 to meet the existing pressure. The proposed "rate in aid" was sixpence in the pound, to be levied in every union in Ireland, towards a general fund for the relief of the poor, and this was connected with a provision that the maximum rate should not exceed five shillings in the pound in any electoral division. The proposition of the Government, with the exception of the maximum rate clause, was agreed to after a good deal of discussion and various amendments. In the House of Lords the Bill was carried with difficulty, after much discussion and the moving of various amendments.
Groaned to be gone.But the Nabob of Oude held out new temptations of gain to Hastings. The Rohillas, a tribe of Afghans, had, earlier in the century, descended from their mountains and conquered the territory lying between the Ganges and the mountains to the west of Oude. They had given it the name of Rohilcund. These brave warriors would gladly have been allies of the British, and applied to Sujah Dowlah to bring about such an alliance. Dowlah made fair promises, but he had other views. He hoped, by the assistance of the British, to conquer Rohilcund and add it to Oude. He had no hope that his rabble of the plains could stand against this brave mountain race, and he now artfully stated to Hastings that the Mahrattas were at war with the Rohillas. If they conquered them, they would next attack Oude, and, succeeding there, would descend the Ganges and spread over all Bahar and Bengal. He therefore proposed that the British should assist him to conquer Rohilcund for himself, and add it to Oude. For this service he would pay all the expenses of the campaign, the British army would obtain a rich booty, and at the end he would pay the British Government besides the sum of forty lacs of rupees. Hastings had no cause of quarrel with the Rohillas, but for the proffered reward he at once acceded to the proposal. In April, 1774, an English brigade, under Colonel Champion, invaded Rohilcund, and in a hard-fought field defeated the Rohillas. In the whole of this campaign nothing could be more disgraceful in every way than the conduct of the troops of Oude. They took care to keep behind during the fighting, but to rush forward to the plunder. The Nabob and his troops committed such horrors in plundering and massacreing not only the Rohillas, but the native and peaceful Hindoos, that the British officers and soldiers denounced the proceedings with horror. It was now, however, in vain that Hastings called on the Nabob to restrain his soldiers, for, if he did not plunder, how was he to pay the stipulated forty lacs of rupees? and if he ruined and burnt out the natives, how were they, Hastings asked, to pay any taxes to him as his new subjects? All this was disgraceful enough, but this was not all. Shah Allum now appeared upon the scene, and produced a contract between himself and the Nabob, which had been made unknown to Hastings, by which the Nabob of Oude stipulated that, on condition of the Mogul advancing against the Rohillas from the south of Delhi, he should receive a large share of the conquered territory and the plunder. The Nabob now refused to fulfil the agreement, on the plea that the Mogul ought to have come and fought, and Hastings sanctioned that view of the case, and returned to Calcutta with his ill-gotten booty.
Colonel Campbell did not lose a single man, and had but three wounded, so that it is evident that the flight of the enemy must have been instantaneous and universal. Murat made no further attempt to seize Sicily, though he kept his camp on the heights behind Reggio and Scylla for two years longer.
Food we had none;The number of places in which the inquiries under the commission were carried on was 237, having a population of 2,028,513. In twenty-five places the number of corporators was not ascertained; in the others (212) they amounted to 88,509. The governing body was self-elected in 186 boroughs. This body elected the mayor in 131 boroughs, appointed the recorder in 136, and the town-clerk in 135. The number of corporators exercising magisterial functions was 1,086, in 188 boroughs. In 112 boroughs the corporations had exclusive criminal jurisdiction, extending to the trial of various descriptions of offences, and in forty-two their jurisdiction was not exclusive. Seventeen boroughs did not enjoy any income whatever; in eight the precise amount could not be obtained. The total income of 212 boroughs amounted to ￡366,948; their expenditure to ￡377,027. 103 were involved in debts amounting to ￡1,855,371, and were besides burdened with annuities amounting to ￡4,463. In twenty-eight boroughs only were the accounts published; in fifteen the annual income was under ￡20; in eleven it was between ￡2,000 and ￡3,000; in five, ￡3,000, and under ￡4,000; in one, ￡4,000, and under ￡5,000; in four, ￡5,000, and under ￡7,500; in five, ￡10,000, and under ￡12,500; in one, ￡12,500, and under ￡15,000; in one, ￡15,000, and under ￡20,000; and in one, ￡91,000.CHAPTER XXI. REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued).
In the course of his speech Lord John Russell stated that he had made inquiry with respect to the amount of relief afforded to wandering mendicants, and the result was that in most cases a shilling an acre was paid by farmers in the year, and he calculated that it amounted on the whole to perhaps ￡1,000,000 a year. Among those thus relieved, he said, the number of impostors must be enormous. It was not proposed, however, to prohibit vagrancy until the whole of the workhouses should be built and ready for the reception of the destitute. A lengthened discussion then took place in reference to the proposed measure, in which Mr. Shaw, Mr. O'Connell, Lord Howick, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, and other members took part. The Bill was read a first time, and on the 25th of April, 1837, Lord John Russell moved the second reading, when the debate was adjourned till the 1st of May. Notwithstanding a good deal of hostile discussion the second reading was carried without a division. On the 9th of May the House went into committee on the Bill. Twenty clauses were passed with only two unimportant divisions. The introduction of a settlement clause was rejected by a majority of 120 to 68. The vagrancy clauses were postponed for future consideration. The committee had got to the sixtieth clause on the 7th of June, when the king's illness became so serious that his recovery was highly improbable, and the business of Parliament was consequently suspended. He died on the 20th of June, and on the 17th of July Parliament was prorogued, so that there was an end for the present to the Irish Poor Relief Bill, and all the other measures then before Parliament.The clergy, Protestant and Roman Catholic, almost the only resident gentry in several of the destitute districts, worked together on the committees with commendable zeal, diligence, and unanimity. Among the Roman Catholic clergy, Father Mathew was at that time by far the most influential and popular. The masses of the peasantry regarded him as almost an inspired apostle. During the famine months he exerted himself with wonderful energy and prudence, first, in his correspondence with different members of the Government, earnestly recommending and urging the speedy adoption of measures of relief; and next in commending those measures to the people, dissuading the hungry from acts of violence, and preaching submission and resignation under the heavy dispensation of Providence. If the temperance organisation established by Father Mathew had been perverted to political purposes by the Repeal agitation, there is no doubt that it contributed in a very large degree to the preservation of life and property during the two awfully trying years of famine. "It is a fact," said Father Mathew—"and you are not to attribute my alluding to it to vanity—that the late provision riots have occurred in the districts where the temperance movement has not been encouraged. Our people are as harmless in their meetings as flocks of sheep, unless when inflamed and maddened by intoxicating drink. Were it not for the temperate habits of the greater portion of the people of Ireland, our unhappy country would be before now one wide scene of tumult and bloodshed."
Dr. Erasmus Darwin assumed the hopeless task of chaining poetry to the car of science. He was a physician of Derby, and, like Sir Richard Blackmore, "rhymed to the rumbling of his own coach wheels;" for we are told that he wrote his verses as he drove about to his patients. His great poem is the "Botanic Garden," in which he celebrates the loves of the plants, and his "Economy of Vegetation," in which he introduces all sorts of mechanical inventions. Amongst the rest he announces the triumphs of steam in sonorous rhymes—
[See larger version]The prorogation of Parliament, on the 21st of June, liberated both Sir Francis and the unfortunate president of the debating society, Mr. John Gale Jones. On the morning of this day vast crowds assembled before the Tower to witness the enlargement of the popular baronet. There was a great procession of Reformers with banners and mottoes, headed by Major Cartwright, and attended by Mr. Sheriff Wood and Mr. Sheriff Atkins; but as Sir Francis apprehended that there might be some fresh and fatal collision between the military and the people, he prudently resolved to leave the Tower quietly by water, which he effected, to the deep disappointment of the populace. No such excitement as this had taken place, on a question of right between the House of Commons and an individual member, since the days of Wilkes.The first measure of importance after the appearance of Pitt in the House of Commons as Prime Minister was the annual motion of Wilberforce for leave to bring in a Bill for the abolition of the Slave Trade. Pitt and Fox both supported it, and it was carried by seventy-five against forty-nine. The second reading was carried by a still larger majority—one hundred against forty-two—but on going into committee upon it, it was postponed to the next Session. War and preparations for war were the all-absorbing business of those times.
But no such easy rendering of the contract was contemplated by Buonaparte. He did not even adhere to the letter of it. French officers were to be placed in all the Dutch garrisons, and eighteen thousand troops were to be maintained, of whom six thousand were to be French. Instead of six thousand soldiers, General Oudinot appeared at the head of twenty thousand at Utrecht. These, Buonaparte informed Louis, were to occupy all the strong posts of the country, and to have their headquarters at Amsterdam, his capital. Louis determined to be no party to this utter subjugation of the country, nor any longer to play the part of a puppet sovereign. On the 1st of July he executed a deed of abdication in favour of his son, Napoleon Louis, expressing a hope that, though he had been so unfortunate as to offend the Emperor, he trusted he would not visit his displeasure on his innocent family. He then drew up a vindication of his conduct, saying that he was placed in an impossible situation, and that he had long foreseen this termination of it. He sent this to be published in England, the only place in which it could appear; and he then gave an entertainment to a number of his friends at his palace at Haarlem, and at midnight entered a private carriage and drove away. He proceeded to Graz, in Styria, where he devoted his leisure to the instruction of his children, and to literature, and wrote "Documens Hìstoriques et Réflexions sur le Gouvernement de la Holland"—being an account of his administration of the government of that country—and also a novel, called "Marie, ou les Hollandaises." His wife, Hortense, went to Paris, where she became a great leader in the world of fashion. On the 9th of July, only eight days after the abdication of Louis, Buonaparte issued a decree declaring Holland "re-united to France!" Oudinot marched into Amsterdam, and took possession of it in the name of his master. It was declared the third city of the French empire. The French Ministers issued reports to vindicate this annexation, which was a disgraceful breach of Napoleon's pledge to the Senate—that the Rhine should be the boundary of France—and also of his repeated assurances that Holland should remain an independent kingdom.详情
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