Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ld., Bushey, Herts.Sir James Yeo, greatly disappointed, put Sir George Prevost and his troops over to Kingston again, and then proceeded to the head of the lake, to reinforce General Vincent. Dearborn, as soon as he heard of this junction, fled along the lake shore to Fort George, where he shut himself up in a strongly-entrenched camp with about five thousand men. There Vincent, however, determined to attack him, but once more he was met by the curse of an incompetent appointment. Major-General Rottenburg had been made Governor of Upper Canada, and assumed the command over the brave Vincent, only to do nothing.
When the Peers assembled on the 7th it became quite evident that in allowing the Bill to go into committee they were only practising a man?uvre. In the first place they wished to prevent the creation of peers, and in the second they were resolved to mutilate the Bill in committee. They were aware that they had the sympathy of the king in this plot, and that he would have been glad of their success, irritated as he was by the coercion and pressure put upon him by his Ministers. The first step was taken by Lord Lyndhurst, who proposed in committee to defer the consideration of the disfranchising clauses till the enfranchising clauses had been considered. "Begin," he said, "by conferring rights and privileges, by granting boons and favours, and not by depriving a portion of the community of the privileges which they at present enjoy." This ostentatious preference of boons and favours for the people, postponing disfranchisement to enfranchisement, ringing changes on the words, was a mere artifice, but it was at once seen through by the indignant people. Lord Grey and Lord Brougham promptly exposed the attempted imposition; the former hoped the noble lords would not deceive themselves. He would not say that the proposal was insidious, but its object was utterly to defeat the Bill. He declared that if the motion were successful it would be fatal to the whole measure. It would then be necessary for him to consider what course he should take. He dreaded the effect of the House of Lords opposing itself, as an insurmountable barrier, to what the people thought necessary for the good government of the country. The noble earl's warning was on this occasion disregarded. The House being in committee proxies could not be counted, and the amendment of Lord Lyndhurst was carried after an angry debate—contents, 151; non-contents, 116; majority, 35. This division put a sudden stop to the proceedings in committee. Lord Grey at once proposed that the chairman should report progress, and asked leave to sit again on the 10th. Lord Ellenborough endeavoured to dissuade him from this course, and proceeded to give a description of the measure which he was prepared to substitute for the Ministerial Bill, and which he presumed to hope would be satisfactory to the country. This was a critical moment in the destiny of England, and the awful nature of the crisis seemed to be felt by all present, except those who were blinded by faction. Lord Grey had now but one alternative, a large creation of peers or resignation. With a majority against him in the Lords so refractory, nothing could be done; but the king declined to create the fifty peerages which the Ministry demanded. Accordingly, on Wednesday, the 9th of May, the resignation of the Ministers (and the king's acceptance of it) was formally announced by Lord Grey in the House of Lords, and by Lord Althorp in the House of Commons. Lord Ebrington immediately rose, and gave notice that he would next day move a call of the House, and then an Address to his Majesty on the present state of public affairs. In the course of the debate which ensued, attempts were made by Mr. Baring and Sir Robert Peel to excite sympathy for the Lords, as taking a noble stand against the unconstitutional pressure upon the king for the creation of peers, but in vain. Neither the House of Commons nor the country could be got to give them credit for any but the most selfish motives. They considered their obstinacy to be nothing better than the tenacity of the monopolists in power. Mr. Macaulay indignantly denounced their inconsistency in pretending that they wished to carry a measure of Reform. The influence of the Crown, always powerful, was visible in the division on Lord Ebrington's motion. The "ayes" were only 288 instead of the 355 that carried the third reading of the Reform Bill. There were evidently many defaulters; but woe to them at the next general election! Rigid scrutiny was instituted, and a black list made out of those who had deserted their constituents on this momentous question. In the meantime the most angry remonstrances came to absent members from their constituents. The motion, however, was carried by a majority of 80. It was evidently a relief to the king to get rid of the Whigs; and he knew so little of the state of public feeling as to suppose that a modified Reform measure, a mere pretence of Reform, would satisfy the country. He therefore sent for Lord Lyndhurst in order to consult him, assigning the reason, that being now Chief Baron, he was removed from the vortex of politics, although he had led the Opposition in their successful attack upon the Ministerial measure. The first thing Lord Lyndhurst did was to wait upon the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, to both of whom he stated the views of the king. His Majesty insisted that some extensive measures of Reform should be carried. "My advice to the king," said the Duke, "was not to reappoint his late Ministry, nor was it to appoint myself. I did not look to any objects of ambition. I advised him to seek the assistance of other persons well qualified to fill the high situations of the State, expressing myself willing to give his Majesty every assistance, whether in office or out, to enable him to resist the advice which had been given him." The Premiership was offered to Sir Robert Peel, but he peremptorily declined to take such a perilous position, declaring that "no authority nor example of any man, nor any number of men, could shake his determination not to accept office, under existing circumstances, upon such conditions." On the 12th of May the Duke undertook to form an Administration, taking the post of Prime Minister himself. Mr. Manners Sutton was to be leader of the Commons, Lord Lyndhurst Chancellor, and Mr. Baring Chancellor of the Exchequer. For five days the courageous Duke was engaged in a desperate effort to form a Cabinet. But no sooner was it known throughout the country than a terrific storm of popular fury burst forth, which threatened to blow down the House of Peers and sweep away the Throne. The king, from being the popular idol, became suddenly an object of popular execration. The queen, who had also been a great favourite with the people, attracted a large share of the odium excited against the Court. It was understood that her influence had much to do in causing the king to desert Lord Grey, and to break faith with him with regard to the creation of peers. The king and queen were groaned at and hissed, and pursued with tremendous noises by the people, while passing through the town of Brentford. Dirt was hurled at the royal carriage; and if the military escort had not kept close to the windows, it is probable their majesties would have sustained personal injury. Along the road to London the people expressed their feeling in a similar manner; and when the carriage entered the Park the mob saluted their majesties with yells and execrations of every description.
In September, 1791, the Assembly, having completed the Constitution, which was accepted by the king, dissolved. Its place was taken by the National Legislative Assembly, which met on the 1st of October. As the Jacobins had expected, the elections of the Departments had occupied but little attention. The public gaze had been fixed on the acts of the Assembly about to retire, so that a race of new men appeared, which seemed at first to divide itself into two parties—the Coté Droit, or Constitutional party, and the Coté Gauche, or Democratic party; but the latter party soon divided itself into two, the Mountain and the Gironde. It is difficult to discern the distinguishing traits of these two Revolutionary parties. At first they all worked together, clearly for the downfall of the monarchy. Robespierre, Petion, Marat, Danton, were associated with those who afterwards divided themselves into the Gironde, with Condorcet, Brissot, the Rolands, and Vergniaud. Though Robespierre, Petion, and Danton were no longer in the Assembly, they ruled the Jacobin party there from the clubs. It was not till the question of war arose that the split took place. The Jacobins and Girondists were for war, Robespierre was obstinately against it. At first he stood nearly alone, but by degrees, though he did not draw the Jacobins very soon to his views, he drew them speedily away from the Girondists. This party of the Girondists had been growing and forming for some time. It took its rise originally at Bordeaux, the great commercial city of the department of the Gironde. Bordeaux was of Roman origin. It had always displayed a warm love of independence, which its Parliaments had continually kept alive. It had of late years become the chief commercial link between France and the revolutionised United States. It had early, too, become leavened with the new philosophy; it was the birthplace of Montaigne and Montesquieu. The Gironde sent up to the new Assembly twelve deputies, all as yet unknown, but all deeply imbued with the new principles. These, on arriving in Paris, soon found themselves mixed up, at the house of Condorcet and the Rolands, with Robespierre, Danton, Petion, Buzot, Brissot, Carra-Louvet, Thomas Paine, and, in fact, nearly all the thorough Revolutionists. The active centre of the whole party, up to the period of the question of the war against the Emigrants, was Madame Roland, and such she continued to be of the Girondists after their separation into a distinct party, and after that they had become the antagonists of the Mountain or Jacobin party.Disappointed in this quarter, the odious race of incendiary spies of Government tried their arts, and succeeded in duping some individuals in Yorkshire, and many more in Derbyshire. That the principal Government spy, Oliver, was busily engaged in this work of stirring up the ignorant and suffering population to open insurrection from the 17th of April to the 7th of June, when such an outbreak took place in Derbyshire, we have the most complete evidence. It then came out, from a servant of Sir John Byng, commander of the forces in that district, that Oliver had previously been in communication with Sir John, and no doubt obtained his immediate liberation from him on the safe netting of his nine victims. In fact, in a letter from this Sir John Byng (then Lord Strafford), in 1846, to the Dean of Norwich, he candidly admits that he had received orders from Lord Sidmouth to assist the operations of Oliver, who was, his lordship said, going down into that part of the country where meetings were being frequently held, and that Oliver, who carried a letter to Sir John, was to give him all the information that he could, so that he might prevent such meetings. Here, as well as from other sources, we are assured that Oliver only received authority to collect information of the proceedings of the conspirators, and by no means to incite them to illegal acts. We have also the assurance of Mr. Louis Allsop, a distinguished solicitor of Nottingham, that Oliver was in communication with him on the 7th of June, immediately on his return from Yorkshire, and informed him that a meeting was the same evening to take place in Nottingham, and he and another gentleman strongly urged him to attend it, which Oliver did. Mr. Allsop says that Oliver had no instructions to incite, but only to collect information. All this has been industriously put forward to excuse Ministers. But what are the facts? We find Oliver not only—according to evidence which came out on the trials of the unfortunate dupes at Derby—directly stimulating the simple people to insurrection, but joining in deluding them into the persuasion that all London was ready to rise, and that one hundred and fifty thousand from the east and west of the capital only waited for them. We find him not only disseminating these ideas throughout these districts from the 17th of April to the 27th of May, but also to have concerted a simultaneous rising in Yorkshire, at Nottingham, and in Derbyshire, on the 6th of June. Thornhill-lees, in Yorkshire, was on the verge of action, and ten delegates, including Oliver, were arrested. In Derbyshire the insurrection actually took place.D?rnberg escaped to Great Britain. Katt, another patriot, assembled a number of veterans at Stendal, and advanced as far as Magdeburg, but was compelled to fly to the Brunswickers in Bohemia. Had the Archduke Charles marched through Franconia at the opening of the campaign, as he proposed, all these isolated bodies might have been encouraged, and knit into a formidable army. But the most powerful of all these independent leaders, the Duke of Brunswick, was too late to join Schill, Katt, and D?rnberg. The son of the Duke of Brunswick who had been so barbarously treated by Buonaparte had vowed an eternal revenge. But the French were in possession of his sole patrimony, Oels, and he went to Bohemia, where he raised a band of two thousand hussars, which he equipped and maintained by the aid of England, the home of his sister Caroline, the Princess of Wales. He clothed his hussars in black, in memory of his father's death, with the lace disposed like the ribs of a skeleton, and their caps and helmets bearing a death's-head in front—whence they were called the Black Brunswickers. He advanced at their head through Saxony, Franconia, Hesse, and Hanover, calling on the populations to rise and assert their liberties. He defeated Junot at Berneck, and the Saxons at Zittau, but it was the middle of May before he entered Germany, and by that time the enemy had widely separated Schill and the other insurgents. He managed, however, to surprise Leipsic, and thus furnish himself with ammunition and stores. But the Dutch, Saxons, and Westphalians were all bearing down on him. He defeated them at Halberstadt and in Brunswick, but was finally overpowered by numbers of these Dutch and Germans disgracefully fighting against their own country, and he retreated to Elsfleth, and thence sailed for England.
Before Buonaparte, therefore, could proceed to Spain, he determined to meet the Czar at Erfurth, in Germany, by their open union to overawe that country, and to bind Alexander more firmly to his interest by granting him ampler consent to his designs on Turkey and on Finland. The meeting took place on the 27th of September, and terminated on the 17th of October. Both Emperors returned in appearance more friendly and united than ever, but each in secret distrusting his ally. Buonaparte, who was now intending in earnest to divorce Josephine, and marry a daughter of a royal house, by whom he might have issue, and thus league himself with the old dynasties, made a proposal for one of the Russian archduchesses, which was evaded by Alexander, on the plea of the difference of religion. Such a plea did not deceive the keen sagacity of Buonaparte; he felt it to result from a contempt of his plebeian origin, and a belief in the instability of his giddy elevation; and he did not forget it. To impress on Europe, however, the idea of the intimate union of the Czar and Buonaparte, they addressed, before leaving Erfurth, a joint letter to the King of Great Britain, proposing a general peace. To this letter Canning answered to the Ministers of Russia and France, that Sweden—against whom the Czar had commenced his war of usurpation—Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, must be included in any negotiations. The French and Russian Ministers, on the contrary, proposed a peace on the principle of every one retaining what they had got. This, Canning replied, would never be consented to; and the two emperors knew that very well, but the letter had served Buonaparte's purpose. It enabled him to tell France and the world how much he was disposed to peace, and how obstinate was Britain; it served to make the world believe in the close intimacy of the Czar and himself. He now hurried back to France, and, opening the session of the Corps Législatif, on the 25th of October, he announced that he was going to Spain to drive the "English leopards"—for such he always absurdly persisted in calling the lions in the royal arms of Great Britain—out of both Spain and Portugal. On the 27th he set out.MEN OF WAR OFF PORTSMOUTH.
On the 25th of November Parliament was opened, and the king, in his speech, made a strong appeal to the country for support against the unprovoked war on the part of France and Spain. The Marquis of Rockingham, in proposing an amendment on the Address in the Lords, was extremely severe. He concluded by moving that every part of the Address, except the title, should be expunged, and that, instead of what then stood, a prayer should be inserted that his Majesty would reflect on the extent of territory which marked the opening of his reign, the opulence and power, the reputation abroad, the concord at home, to which he had succeeded, and now on the endangered, impoverished, enfeebled, distracted, and even dismembered, state of the whole, after the enormous grants of his successive Parliaments, and calling on him, as the only remedy of impending ruin, to dismiss his present evil councillors, and summon new and more auspicious ones. The language was crushing, but it derived its force from its undeniable truth. Lord John Cavendish moved a similar amendment in the Commons; and the Opposition declared that it was well that his Majesty's speech expressed trust in Divine Providence, for Providence was the only friend that his Government had now left; and that our arms, both on sea and land, were paralysed by the scandalous practice of putting at the head of the army and navy mere Court favourites, and by the want of all vigour and sagacity of planning and following up our campaigns. Fox went further, and asserted that weakness and stupidity could not effect the wholesale shame and ruin that surrounded us; that there must be treachery somewhere; and that, if this were driven a little further, the people would seize on arms, and chase the miserable Cabinet from its abused seat. Lord North made the best reply that the circumstances admitted; but there were no symptoms of the Ministers resigning, or being removed by the infatuated monarch, and the amendments were rejected in both Houses, as a matter of course.
By permission of the Corporation of Liverpool.In America Lord Amherst took the chief command, with Wolfe as his second; Abercrombie being despatched to reduce the French forts on Lakes George and Champlain, and thus open the way into Canada. On the 2nd of June the British fleet, commanded by Admiral Boscawen, and carrying Lord Amherst and twelve thousand men, anchored before Louisburg, the capital of Cape Breton. The French had six thousand men, soldiers and marines, and five ships of the line were drawn up in the harbour. The landing was therefore effected with difficulty; but Wolfe, who led the way in person, showed such spirit and activity, and the Admiral and General, unlike the usual conduct on such occasions, acted together with such unanimity and zeal, that the French were compelled, towards the end of July, to capitulate, and the soldiers of the garrison were sent to England, prisoners of war. The whole island of Cape Breton submitted to the conquerors, and the island of St. John was also reduced by Colonel Lord Rollo. St. John's was afterwards named Prince Edward's Island, in compliment to the royal family.
Accordingly, on the 5th of June, the queen proceeded to the House of Lords, and stated in a long speech the terms on which it was proposed to make the peace with France—namely, that Louis XIV. should acknowledge the Protestant succession and remove the Pretender out of France; that Philip should renounce the Crown of Spain, should that of France devolve on him; and that the kings of both France and Spain should make solemn engagements for themselves and their heirs that the two kingdoms should never be united under one crown; that Newfoundland, with Placentia, Hudson's Bay, Nova Scotia, or Acadia, as it was then termed by the French, as well as Gibraltar, Port Mahon, and the whole island of Minorca, should be ceded to England; that the Spanish Netherlands, Naples, Sardinia, the Duchy of Milan, and the places on the Tuscan coast, formerly belonging to Spain, should be yielded to Austria, the appropriation of Sicily being not so far determined; that France would make the Rhine the barrier of the Empire, yielding up all places beyond it, and razing the fortresses on the German side as well as in the river; that the barriers of Savoy, the Netherlands, and Prussia, should be made satisfactory to the Allies. The Electoral dignity was to be acknowledged in the House of Hanover.
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The report was agreed to, the impeachment was voted, and Burke, attended by the majority of the House, on the 10th of May, carried it up to the Lords. On the motion of Burke, Warren Hastings was then taken into custody, and delivered over to the Lords, who bound him to appear to take his trial, when called upon, in a bond of twenty thousand pounds himself, and Messrs. Sullivan and Sumner as his sureties in ten thousand pounds each.The year 1812 opened, in England, by the assembling of Parliament on the 7th of January. The speech of the Regent was again delivered by commission. The great topic was the success of the war in Spain under Lord Wellington, whose military talents were highly praised. There was a reference also to the disagreements with America, and the difficulty of coming to any amicable arrangement with the United States. Lords Grey and Grenville, in the Peers, pronounced sweeping censures on the continuance of the war with France, and on the policy of Ministers towards America, from which source they prognosticated many disasters. In the Commons, the Opposition used similar language; and Sir Francis Burdett took a very gloomy view of our relations both with France and North America, and declared that we could anticipate no better policy until we had reformed our representative system.详情
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