[See larger version]In the comments with which he concluded his speech there were some signs of progress in the development of Free Trade ideas in the mind of the perplexed and trammelled Minister, which are interesting to read by the light of his later career. He still maintained, in deference to the views of those who surrounded him, that it was the duty of the Legislature to take precautions to ensure that the main source of our supply of food should be derived from domestic agriculture; but he admitted that any protection, beyond what would compensate for the alleged special burdens upon agriculture, could only be vindicated on the ground that it was for the interest of all classes of the community. Mr. Cobden, who in the autumn of the previous year had been returned for Stockport, said a few words after the speech. He declared himself not surprised at the position, constituted as the Government was; for he had not, he said, expected to gather grapes of thistles; but he denounced the sliding scale as an insult to a suffering people. Following him, Lord John Russell gave notice that he should move a resolution to the effect that it was not advisable in any alteration of the Corn Laws to adopt the principle of a graduated sliding scale; and Mr. Villiers gave notice that, on going into committee, he should take the sense of the House on the policy of imposing any duty whatever on the foreign corn or food imported into the country. The debate on Sir Robert Peel's proposition began on Monday, the 14th of February, and reached the close of its first stage on Wednesday, when Lord John Russell's motion was negatived by a majority of 123, in a House of 575. Mr. Villiers's motion was debated for five nights more, and finally negatived by a majority of 393 to 90. The Whigs now gave the people to understand that the eight shilling duty of the year before was abandoned, and that if they were again in power they would propose a lower sum. In Parliament the position of the Minister was by no means an enviable one. The Free Traders pressed him closely with questions which must have made him feel still more strongly the embarrassing part which he was compelled to play. In the House of Lords the Corn Importation Bill was passed with slight opposition. Lord Brougham proposed a resolution in favour of a perfectly free trade in corn, which was negatived. A resolution, moved by Lord Melbourne, in favour of a fixed duty, was also negatived by a majority of 117 to 49.During the excitement that followed the passing of the Emancipation Act incessant attacks were made upon the character of the Duke of Wellington. Perhaps the most violent of these was published in the Standard by the Earl of Winchilsea, one of the most ardent of the anti-Catholic peers, who charged the Premier with disgraceful conduct. The offence was contained in a letter addressed by Lord Winchilsea to Mr. Coleridge, secretary to the committee for establishing the King's College, London. He said he felt rather doubtful as to the sincerity of the motives which had actuated some of the prime movers in that undertaking, "when he considered that the noble duke at the head of his Majesty's Government had been induced on this occasion to assume a new character, and to step forward himself as the public advocate of religion and morality." He then proceeded:—"Late political events have convinced me that the whole transaction was intended as a blind to the Protestant and High Church party; that the noble duke, who had, for some time previous to that period, determined upon breaking in upon the Constitution of 1688, might the more effectually, under the cloak of some outward show of zeal for the Protestant religion, carry on his insidious designs for the infringement of our liberties, and the introduction of Popery into every department of the State." The Duke having obtained from Lord Winchilsea an avowal of the authorship, demanded a retractation or apology, which was refused. The matter was then referred to friends, and a hostile meeting was agreed upon. "It is," says Mr. Gleig, "a curious feature in this somewhat unfortunate occurrence, that when the moment for action arrived it was found that the Duke did not possess a pair of duelling-pistols. Considering the length of time he had spent in the army, and the habits of military society towards the close of the last century, that fact bore incontestable evidence to the conciliatory temper and great discretion of the Duke. Sir Henry Hardinge, therefore, who acted as his friend, was forced to look for pistols elsewhere, and borrowed them at last—he himself being as unprovided as his principal—from Dr. Hume, the medical man who accompanied them to the ground. The combatants met in Battersea Fields, now Battersea Park. Lord Winchilsea, attended by the Earl of Falmouth, having received the Duke's fire, discharged his pistol in the air. A written explanation was then produced, which the Duke declined to receive unless the word 'apology' was inserted; and this point being yielded, they separated as they had met, with cold civility."
Argyll, who received the news of the retreat about four in the afternoon of that day, occupied Perth with Dutch and English troops by ten o'clock the next morning. They had quitted Stirling on the 29th, and that night they encamped on the snow amid the burnt remains of the village of Auchterarder. Argyll and Cadogan followed the advanced guard and entered Perth on the evening of the 1st of February; but the remainder of the troops did not arrive till late at night, owing to the state of the roads and the weather. Some few of the rebels, who had got drunk and were left behind, were secured. The next day Argyll and Cadogan, with eight hundred light foot and six squadrons of dragoons, followed along the Carse of Gowrie to Dundee. Cadogan, in a letter to Marlborough, complained of the evident reluctance of Argyll to press on the rebels. When he arrived at Dundee on the 3rd, the rebel army was already gone. He and Cadogan then separated, taking different routes towards Montrose. Cadogan, whose heart was in the business, pushed on ahead, and on the 5th, at noon, reached Arbroath, where he received the news that the Pretender had embarked at Montrose and gone to France. In this manner did the descendant of a race of kings and the claimant of the Crown of Great Britain steal away and leave his unhappy followers to a sense of his perfidious and cruel desertion. His flight, no doubt, was necessary, but the manner of it was at once most humiliating and unfeeling. The consternation and wrath of the army on the discovery were indescribable. They were wholly broken up when Argyll reached Aberdeen on the 8th of February.
The Georges conspiracy, as it is commonly called, was followed by a still more startling act of violence. As the Bourbons still continued to watch for the overthrow of his power, Buonaparte determined to take a deep revenge on the persons of any of that family whom he could by any means get into his hands. Could he have inveigled the Count d'Artois and the Duke of Berry, as he attempted, to leave London and land in Brittany, he would have seized them and put them to death without ceremony or mercy. But there was another member of the family, though the farthest off from succession to the throne, who was living on the French frontiers, within a tempting reach of his soldiers in Alsace, and him he determined to kidnap and kill. This proposed victim of a most lawless and wicked vengeance was Antoine-Henri de Bourbon, Duke d'Enghien, the son of the Prince of Condé. The project was so odious, so certain to cover both Napoleon and France with inextinguishable infamy, that it startled the not very sensitive mind of Talleyrand, who, it is said, gave the duke secret warning of his danger, and advised him to remove farther from the Rhine. In consequence, the duke applied to Sir Charles Stuart to get him a passport from the Austrian Minister, to enable him to cross the Austrian territory to rejoin his grandfather, then at Warsaw with Louis XVIII. Sir Charles Stuart applied to M. de Cobenzl for this purpose, and had the Austrian Court been quicker in its movements, the duke would have been safe enough from the myrmidons of Buonaparte; but, whilst lingering at Ettenheim in Baden for the necessary passport, the duke had so little suspicion of the prompt and deadly nature of the usurper's design against him, that he took no means to conceal himself, or he might still have escaped. But in the middle of the night of the 14th of March he was aroused by the sound of horses' hoofs, and, looking out, saw that the chateau was surrounded by a troop of French cavalry. Buonaparte had despatched his aide-de-camp, Caulaincourt, to Strasburg to effect this capture, and he had sent on Colonel Ordenner to bring the duke away from the heart of a neutral territory. The duke was summarily tried by a military tribunal and shot (March 21, 1804) at Vincennes. The news of this most audacious crime soon transpired, and filled Europe with horror and execration against its perpetrators.At this juncture Sir Henry Pottinger succeeded Captain Elliot, with orders to bring the war to a satisfactory conclusion. His measures were prompt; Amoy fell on the 26th of August, Chusan, which had been abandoned, was recaptured in September, and the Chinese experienced further reverses in 1842. At length the Chinese saw that resistance was vain, and that they must come to terms, as the "barbarians" could not be exterminated. Full powers had been given to three Commissioners to negotiate a treaty of peace, which, after various conferences, was concluded on the 26th of August, 1842. It embraced the following stipulations:—The payment by the Chinese of an indemnity of ￡4,375,000 in addition to the ransom of ￡1,250,000 already surrendered; the opening of the new ports of Canton, Amoy, Fou-chow-fou, Ning-po, and Shang-hai to British merchants, with permission to consular officers to reside there; the cession of the island of Hong Kong to the British in perpetuity; correspondence to be conducted on terms of perfect equality between the officers of both Governments; and the islands of Chusan and Ku-lang-su to be held by the British until the money payments were made, and arrangements for opening the ports were completed.
The introduction of the steam-engine, railroads, and canals enabled the coal-miners during this reign to extend the supply of coals enormously. In 1792 the coal-mines of Durham and Northumberland alone maintained twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty persons, and employed a capital of three million one hundred and thirty thousand pounds—a very small amount of both people and money as compared with the workers and capital engaged in the trade since the expansion of the manufacturing and steam systems. The coal-fields of Durham and Northumberland extend to nearly eight hundred square miles, but the beds in Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, the Midland Counties, South of Scotland, and Ireland, are still immense and not yet fully explored. Fresh strata are discovered as steam power enables us to go deeper. In 1817 Sir Humphry Davy perfected his safety-lamp, which, by means of a simple wire gauze, enabled the miner to work amid the most explosive gases. These lamps, however, were not able to protect the colliers from their own carelessness, and most horrible destruction, from time to time, took place amongst them from neglect.THE STANDARD OF PRINCE CHARLIE'S BODYGUARD, TAKEN AT CULLODEN. (In the possession of Sir Archibald Lamb at Beauport, Sussex.)
"GOD SAVE KING JAMES."By the terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussian Poland was taken away, but not to be incorporated with a restored Poland, as Buonaparte had delusively allowed the Poles to hope. No; a restored Poland was incompatible with a treaty of peace with Russia, or the continuance of it with Austria. It was handed over to the Duke of Saxony, now elevated to the title of the King of Saxony and Duke of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw—the name which Prussian Poland assumed. The duped Polish patriots cursed Buonaparte bitterly in secret. Alexander, with all his assumed sympathy for his fallen cousins of Prussia, came in for a slice of the spoil, nominally to cover the expenses of the war. Dantzic, with a certain surrounding district, was recognised as a free city, under the protection of Prussia and Saxony; but Buonaparte took care to stipulate for the retention of a garrison there till the conclusion of a general peace, so as to stop out any British armament or influence. To oblige the Emperor of Russia, he allowed the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who were the Czar's relations, to retain possession of their territories; but he returned to Prussia only about one-half of the provinces which he had seized, reducing her very much to the limits in which Frederick the Great had found her before his usurpations. She surrendered her provinces between the Rhine and the Elbe, which, together with Hesse, Brunswick, and part of Hanover, were formed into the kingdom of Westphalia and given to Jerome Buonaparte. She was saddled by a crushing war indemnity, and had to leave Berlin and the chief fortresses in the hands of the French until the debt was paid. In the articles of the Treaty which were made public, Alexander paid a nominal courtesy to his ally, Great Britain, by offering to mediate between her and France, if the offer were accepted within a month; but amongst the secret articles of the Treaty was one binding the Czar to shut his ports against all British vessels, if this offer were rejected. This was a sacrifice demanded of Alexander, as Great Britain was Russia's best customer, taking nearly all her raw or exported produce. In return for this, and for Alexander's connivance at, or assistance in, Buonaparte's intention of seizing on Spain and Portugal, for the taking of Malta and Gibraltar, and the expulsion of the British from the Mediterranean, Alexander was to invade and annex Finland, the territory of Sweden, and, giving up his designs on Moldavia and Wallachia, for which he was now waging an unprovoked war, he was to be allowed to conquer the rest of Turkey, the ally of Napoleon, and establish himself in the long-coveted Constantinople. Thus these two august robbers shared kingdoms at their own sweet will and pleasure. Turkey and Finland they regarded as properly Russian provinces, and Spain, Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, and, eventually, Britain, as provinces of France.
The Scottish burgh question was brought forward again this Session. The magistrates of the burgh of Aberdeen having been elected, in 1817, in the same corrupt manner as those of Montrose had been in 1816, the Court of Session had declared the election illegal. The burgh of Montrose was found to have been disfranchised; but this was not the case with Aberdeen, and the magistrates applied to Government to grant a warrant for a new election, or rather a re-election of themselves. This the Government, in the face of the decision of the Court of Session, as well as of a numerously signed petition from the burgesses praying that the election should be by open poll, issued. On the 1st of April Lord Archibald Hamilton moved an address to the Prince Regent, praying for a copy of this warrant. It was strenuously resisted by Ministers, but the motion was lost by only a small majority. On the 6th of May Lord Archibald Hamilton renewed his motion in another form—namely, that the petitions which had been presented from Scottish burghs on the subject of Reform should be submitted to a committee of inquiry. He showed that out of sixty-six royal burghs thirty-nine had voted for Reform; that these thirty-nine contained a population of four hundred and twenty thousand souls, whilst the remaining twenty-seven contained only sixty thousand. The preponderance was so great that, in spite of the opposition of Ministers, the House took another view of the matter, and Lord Archibald's motion was carried, though only by one hundred and forty-nine votes against one hundred and forty-four.
[See larger version]It was towards the end of May before Marshal M?llendorf, the Prussian general, began the campaign. He then attacked the French, and drove them out of their entrenchments at Kaiserslautern with great slaughter. There, however, his activity seemed to cease; and on the 12th of July the French again fell upon him. He fought bravely for four whole days, supported by the Austrians; but both these Powers were compelled to retreat down the Rhine, the Prussians retiring on Mayence and the Austrians crossing the river for more safety. The French marched briskly after the Prussians, took Trèves, and then sent strong detachments to help their countrymen to make a complete clearance of Belgium and to invade Holland. Clairfait, who was still hovering in Dutch Flanders, was attacked by overwhelming numbers, beaten repeatedly, and compelled to evacuate Juliers, Aix-la-Chapelle, and finally Cologne. The French were so close at his heels at Cologne that they shouted after him that "that was not the way to Paris." Coblenz, where the Royalist Emigrants had so long made their headquarters, though strongly fortified, soon after surrendered. The stout fortress of Venloo, on the Meuse, and Bois-le-Duc, as promptly surrendered, and the French marched on Nimeguen, near which the Duke of York lay, hoping in vain to cover the frontiers of Holland. The people of Holland, like those of Belgium, were extensively Jacobinised, the army was deeply infected by French principles, and to attempt to defend such a country with a mere handful of British was literally to throw away the lives of our men. Yet the duke stood stoutly in this hopeless defence, where half Holland ought to have been collected to defend itself.
It was with this object that Mr. Pierce Mahony got up the celebrated "Leinster declaration," so called from the signature of Ireland's only duke. But the experiment served only to reveal the weakness of the moderate party, for after lying for signature in Latouche's Bank for two months, only forty-two names were attached to it within that period. When, however, the struggle between the two parties was on the point of having a bloody issue, the alarm spread through the ranks of moderate men on both sides, and the document rapidly received signatures. The declaration set forth that the disqualifying laws which affected Roman Catholics were productive of consequences prejudicial in the highest degree to the interests of Ireland—the primary cause of her poverty—the source of political discontents and religious animosities—destructive alike of social happiness and national prosperity. Unless the legislature should speedily apply a remedy to those evils, they must in their rapid progression assume such a character as would, perhaps, render their removal impossible. It was stated, therefore, to be a matter of paramount importance that the whole subject should be taken into immediate consideration by Parliament, "with a view to such a final conciliatory adjustment as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of our national institutions, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his Majesty's subjects."详情
Copyright © 2020