At the opening of the year 1814 Buonaparte was busy endeavouring to make good some of his false steps, so as to meet the approaching Allies with all possible strength. He made haste to liberate the captive Pope, and thus remove one of the causes of the hostility of the Italians to him, for in Italy the Austrians were bearing hard on his Viceroy, Eugene, who had but about forty-five thousand men there, whilst Murat, at Naples, so far from supporting the claims of Napoleon, was endeavouring to bargain with the Allies for the kingdom of Naples. Buonaparte, at the commencement of the year, sent Cardinal Maury and the Bishops of Evreux and Plaisance to Pius VII. at Fontainebleau. But even in such pressing circumstances Buonaparte could not make a generous offer. He endeavoured to bargain for the cession of a part of the Papal territories, on condition of the surrender of the rest. But Pius, who had always shown great spirit, replied that the estates of the Church were not his to give, and he would not give his consent to their alienation. Foiled on this point, Buonaparte then sent word that the Pope should be unconditionally liberated. "Then," said Pius, "so must all my cardinals." This was refused, but he was permitted to go alone, and a carriage and guard of honour were given him. Before departing, Pius called together the cardinals, seventeen in number, and commanded them to wear no decoration received from the French Government, and to assist at no festival to which they should be invited. He then took his leave, on the 24th of January, and reached Rome on the 18th of May. Thus ended the most foolish of all the arbitrary actions of Napoleon. The folly of it was so obvious that he disclaimed having ordered the seizure of the Pope, but he showed that this was false by keeping him prisoner more than five years.Our forces on the Italian coast were met by the active spirit of the new King of Naples, Joachim Murat. Sir John Stuart, who had won the splendid victory of Maida, embarked, on the 13th of June, fifteen thousand British troops in Sicily, and proceeded to menace Naples, and create alarm in various quarters, so as to draw the French from Upper Italy, and thus relieve the Austrians. With part of these forces siege was laid to Scylla; with the other Sir John anchored off Cape Miseno, close to Bai? and Puzzuoli, and directly across the bay, about a dozen miles from Naples. The greatest alarm was excited, and nothing would have been easier for Sir John than to have battered the town about the ears of the intruder king; but this the interests of the old king did not permit, especially as Ferdinand's second son, Don Leopold, was present as nominal commander, but he was of no use really, being a most effeminate and incapable person. Sir John then sailed to the islands of Procida and Ischia, compelled the garrisons to capitulate, dismantled the fortifications, and then abandoned these islands. During all this time our warships were scouring the whole of the coasts of Southern Italy, capturing every vessel that ventured out, and keeping the French generals on shore in constant agitation. In the encounters with the enemy's vessels on these coasts many brilliant exploits were performed by our captains, and by none more than by Captain Staines, of the Cyane frigate, who, on the 27th of June, stood a stout but most unequal fight with a Neapolitan frigate and corvette, under the very batteries of Naples. The siege of Scylla was raised by a strong French force, and Sir John Stuart returned to Sicily. Scylla was, however, shortly after abandoned again by the French, and its guns and stores, which appeared to have been left in some panic, fell into the hands of the British.
In 1827 began the plan of publishing monthly volumes of valuable scientific works, previously so expensive as to be beyond the reach of the multitude. To Mr. Constable, of Edinburgh, belongs the credit of this plan; but he failed before it could be carried out. His name, however, was given to the series, and "Constable's Miscellany" was started in 1827. The works were issued in monthly numbers, at a shilling each, and in volumes at 3s. 6d. each. Mr. Murray, the eminent London publisher, took up the idea, and published monthly volumes of "The Family Library," at five shillings each. A series of "Sacred Classics" was also published. The "Edinburgh Cabinet Library" commenced in 1830, and contained the works of some of the first writers of the day. There was also a series called a "Library of Entertaining Knowledge," in four-shilling volumes, started by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, which was established in 1825. The first of its sixpenny treatises on science was issued in 1827. It was "A Discourse on the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science," by Henry Brougham. The society thus began to work upon a vast field, a mere skirt of which it was able to cultivate.Mr. Grey seized the professed desire of peace by Government, so soon as Parliament met after the Christmas recess, to bind them to it by a resolution. He complained that, so far from any intentions of peace, Ministers were making fresh preparations for the prosecution of the war. Pitt denied this, and asserted that the Government was really anxious for peace, but could not consent to it unless France agreed to yield up its conquests of Belgium, Holland, Savoy, and Nice. On the 10th of March Mr. Grey moved for an inquiry into the state of the kingdom. He showed that this contest, so unsuccessful, had already, in three years, added seventy-seven millions to the national debt; more than the whole expense of the American war, which had cost sixty-three millions. He commented severely on the wasteful manner in which this money had been thrown away on monarchs who had badly served the cause, or had perfidiously betrayed it; and on the plunder of the country by jobbers, contractors, commissaries, and other vampires, who had left the poor soldiers to neglect, starvation, and death, amid the horrors of winter, and inhospitable, pretended friends, for whom they had been sent to fight. Grey and Fox followed this up by fresh resolutions and motions condemning Ministers for their misconduct of the war, and enormous waste of the public money; but all these were triumphantly got rid of by overwhelming majorities; and in the face of this ineffectual assault, Pitt introduced his Budget, calling for fresh loans, amounting to no less than twenty-five million five hundred thousand pounds, and for supplies to the amount of upwards of forty-five millions. Some of the items of this sum were—navy, seven million five hundred and twenty-two thousand five hundred and fifty-two pounds; army, eleven million nine hundred and eleven thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine pounds; ordnance, one million nine hundred and fifty-four thousand six hundred and sixty-five pounds; miscellaneous and extraordinary, thirteen million eight hundred and twenty-one thousand, four hundred and thirty pounds. The last item alone amounted to more than the whole national expenditure before the commencement of this war, yet the whole of these startling sums were readily voted away by the Ministerial majority; and with these funds in hand for renewed prosecution of the war, the Session ended, on the 19th of May.
NELSON AT THE BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN. (See p. 481.)His plan for his chef-d'?uvre, St. Paul's, like his grand plan for the City, with its principal streets ninety feet wide, its second-rate streets sixty, and its third-rate thirty, was rejected. This cathedral was a composition compact and simple, consisting of a single general octagonal mass, surmounted by a dome, and extended on its west side by a portico, and a short nave or vestibule within. The great idea of Wren was to adapt it to Protestant worship, and therefore he produced a design for the interior, the parts of which were beautifully grouped together so as to produce at once regularity and intricacy, yet without those long side aisles and recesses, which the processions and confessionals of Roman Catholic worship require. The whole long period of Wren's erection of this noble pile was one continued battle with the conceit, ignorance, and dogmatism of the commissioners, who made his life a bitter martyrdom; and when we read the admired inscription in St. Paul's, "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice," we behold, on obeying its injunction, only what Wren did, not what he suffered in doing it.
The Session of 1840 was opened by the Queen in person. The first two paragraphs of the Royal Speech contained an announcement of the coming marriage. The Speech contained nothing else very definite or very interesting; and the debate on the Address was remarkable for nothing more than its references to the royal marriage. The Duke of Wellington warmly concurred in the expressions of congratulation. He had, he said, been summoned to attend her Majesty in the Privy Council when this announcement was first made. He had heard that the precedent of the reign of George III. had been followed in all particulars except one, and that was the declaration that the Prince was a Protestant. He knew he was a Protestant, he was sure he was of a Protestant family; but this was a Protestant State, and although there was no doubt about the matter, the precedent of George III. should have been followed throughout, and the fact that the Prince was a Protestant should be officially declared. The Duke, therefore, moved the insertion of the word "Protestant" before the word "Prince" in the first paragraph of the Address. Lord Melbourne considered the amendment altogether superfluous. The Act of Settlement required that the Prince should be a Protestant, and it was not likely that Ministers would advise her Majesty to break through the Act of Settlement. The precedent which the Duke had endeavoured to establish was not a case in point, for George III. did not declare to the Privy Council that the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a Protestant, but only that she was descended from a long line of Protestant ancestors. All the world knew that the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg was a Protestant, and that he was descended from the most emphatically Protestant house in Europe. But the House decided to insert the phrase.Scarcely had Parliament ceased to sit, and the king was gone to spend the summer months in Germany, when the vigilance of the Ministry was demanded to ward off a fresh invasion. Alberoni, defeated in his schemes on France, and his hopes of the invasion of England by Charles XII. crushed by that monarch's death, determined now to make a grand effort to support the Pretender himself. For this purpose, he invited him to Spain, and at the same time began the equipment of a formidable fleet to carry over a Spanish force, under the command of the Duke of Ormonde, to the shores of Britain. The Pretender was not intended to accompany the expedition, but to be in readiness to follow on the first news of its successful landing. But it was no more destined to reach these shores than the Grand Armada. It has always been the fate of invading squadrons to encounter providential tempests in coming hitherward, and the usual hurricane was ready to burst. Scarcely, indeed, had the fleet lost sight of Cape Finisterre before the storm swooped down upon it. For twelve days the terrible Bay of Biscay was swept by a frightful wind, which drove the vessels in all directions, and rendered it impossible to manage them. Fortunate would it have been if every vessel had failed to reach the shores at which they aimed; but two vessels, on board of which were the Earls Marshal and Seaforth, and the Marquis of Tullibardine, accompanied by about three hundred Spanish soldiers, reached Scotland, and landed, on the 16th of April, at Kintail, in Ross-shire. In the hope that Ormonde would still reach England, this small force lay quiet for some time, and so little did they excite notice, that the Government imagined that they had re-embarked. Their presence there, however, had the mischievous effect of exciting some few of the Highlanders to join them. They seized Donan Castle, and thus attracted the attention of the English. Some vessels of war arrived upon the coast. The castle was speedily retaken, and Lord Carpenter, the commander of the forces in Scotland, sent some troops from Inverness against them. General Wightman, the officer thus despatched, was attended by about a thousand men, and found the enemy, now swollen to about two thousand, strongly posted at Glenshiel. He immediately attacked them, and the miscellaneous force speedily dispersed. The Highlanders, who knew the country, rapidly disappeared amongst the hills, and the Spaniards had no other resource than to lay down their arms.On the following evening Lord Melbourne, having explained why he resigned, said, "And now, my lords, I frankly declare that I resume office unequivocally and solely for this reason, that I will not abandon my Sovereign in a situation of difficulty and distress, and especially when a demand is made upon her Majesty with which I think she ought not to comply—a demand, in my opinion, inconsistent with her personal honour, and which, if acquiesced in, would make her reign liable to all the changes and variations of political parties, and render her domestic life one constant scene of unhappiness and discomfort." The Whigs, therefore, returned to office, but not to power.
These cases may serve as illustrations of the state of the country at that time. On the 10th of January between twenty and thirty of the convicts were brought up together for sentence, and it seemed difficult to believe that so ill-looking and desperate a set of villains could be congregated in one place. They had all, with one exception, been found guilty, without any recommendation to mercy from the jury. After an impressive address from the judge, the sentences were pronounced, varying in the amount of punishment assigned. But they heard their doom with the greatest indifference. The commission next adjourned to Ennis, the assize town of the county of Clare, where the results were equally satisfactory. The judges arrived at Clonmel, the chief town of Tipperary, on the 24th of January. There they found upwards of four hundred prisoners in gaol, charged with crimes marked by various degrees of atrocity. The trial that excited most attention here was that of John Sonergan, for the murder of Mr. William Roe, a landed proprietor and a magistrate of the county, who was shot in the open day, upon the road near one of his own plantations. The scene which was presented in this court on the 31st of January, was described in the report of the trials as scarcely ever paralleled. Five human beings, four of whom were convicted of murder, and one of an attempt to murder, stood in a row at the front of the dock, to receive the dreadful sentence of the law, which consigned them to an ignominious death.Astounded by these repeated defections, Louis tried to gather some notion of the state of other bodies and troops about him. He attended a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, and was received with acclamation; he reviewed twenty-five thousand of the National Guard, and there was the same display of loyalty; he inspected six thousand troops of the line, but there the reception was not encouraging. He finally summoned a council at the Tuileries, and there the generals declared frankly that he had no real means of resisting Buonaparte. This was on the 18th of March, and Louis felt that it was time for him to be making his retreat. At one o'clock in the morning of the 20th he was on his way towards Lille, escorted by a body of Household Troops. It was time, for that very day Buonaparte reached the camp of Mélun, where Macdonald had drawn up the troops to attack him; but Buonaparte threw himself amongst them, attended only by a slight escort of horse, and the soldiers all went over to him with a shout. Macdonald rode back to Paris, and, following the king, assumed the command of the Guard accompanying him. Louis hoped that the troops at Lille, under Mortier, would stand by him; but Mortier assured him of the contrary, and so, taking leave of Macdonald on the frontiers, Louis pursued his way to Ostend and thence to Ghent, where he established his Court. The Household Troops who had accompanied him were disbanded on the frontiers, and in attempting to regain their homes by different routes, most of them were killed, or plundered and abused.
[See larger version]The history of this question of Jewish Emancipation gives proof, as striking as any upon record, of the obstinacy and tenacity of prejudice established by law, although no possible danger could arise to the British Constitution from the admission of the Jews; although Mr. Salomons had been elected Sheriff of London in 1835, and a Bill was passed to enable him to act; although the year after, Mr. Moses Montefiore was likewise elected Sheriff of London, and knighted by the Queen; although in 1846 Jews elected to municipal offices were relieved by Parliament from taking the oaths; although Baron Rothschild and Alderman Salomons had been repeatedly elected by immense majorities; although Bills for emancipating the Jews, the only class of her Majesty's subjects still labouring under political disabilities on account of their religion, were passed year after year by the House of Commons, but were indignantly rejected by the House of Lords. At length, in 1858, the Commons were obliged to admit the Jews by a resolution of their own House, but it was not till 1860 that an Act was passed permitting Jewish members of Parliament to omit from the oath the words "on the true faith of a Christian."
One of the series of four Paintings entitled "The Election," by W. Hogarth.The great difficulties of the Government at this time were the settlement of the questions with Spain of the right to cut logwood in the bay of Campeachy, and the retention of Gibraltar. The Spaniards had frequently resisted the cutting of logwood in the Bay of Campeachy by the English; and in 1717 the Marquis of Monteleone had presented a memorial against it; but the Board of Trade contended that the practice was of old standing, and amounted to a right. This representation was now laid before the House of Commons, and was backed by many petitions from the merchants of London and other places, complaining of the interruptions to their trade to the South American and West Indian colonies, which had been carried on by connivance rather than by actual permission of Spain. There was a great fermentation in the public mind on these subjects, and the Minister was accused of tamely submitting to national injuries. The nation seemed ready to rush into a war with Spain, and perhaps all the more so that the king, in his opening speech, had observed that "an actual war was preferable to such a doubtful peace, but that the exchange was very easy to be made at any time."
The conduct of Vernon, though he had been the Idol of the Opposition, and not of the Ministry, as it became known, increased enormously the unpopularity of Walpole. Though he had literally been forced into the war by the Opposition, the whole of its disasters were charged, not on them, but on him; and they did not hesitate to throw from themselves upon him the odium of all its failures. The general election which now came on was seized upon to load Walpole with all the weight of the unsuccessful war. The Duchess of Marlborough, Pulteney, and the Prince of Wales raised funds to outbribe the master of corruption himself. They incurred heavy debts to complete his ruin, and as the news of the miserable issue of the expedition to the Spanish settlements came in, numbers of those who had been returned to Parliament as friends of the Ministry turned round and joined the Opposition in violent denunciations of the mismanagement of the war. Lord Chesterfield, whilst these transactions had been progressing, had hastened on to Avignon, and, taking up his quarters with the Duke of Ormonde, obtained from the Pretender letters to nearly a hundred Jacobites in England and Scotland, engaging them to put out all their power and influence against Walpole.
Spain and Portugal are so bound together by natural sympathy that they generally share the same vicissitudes. Bad feeling had arisen between the national party and the Government in consequence of the appointment of Prince Ferdinand, the husband of the queen, to be commander-in-chief of the army. Other causes increased the popular discontent, which was at its height when the public was electrified by the news of the Spanish Revolution. The Ministers were obliged to make concessions; but, besides being inadequate, they were too late. The steamboat from Oporto was loaded with opposition members, who were received with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of welcome. On the 9th of September the clubs had everything arranged for a revolution, and a mixed array of troops of the line, ca?adors, and National Guards, proclaimed the Constitution adopted by John VI.; and, having sung a constitutional hymn, they appointed a deputation, headed by Viscount Sa Bandiera, to wait upon Queen Donna Maria. She had first contemplated resistance, but the army would not act against the people. The National Guards were in possession of the city, having occupied the Rocio Square in Lisbon all night, and in the morning they were informed that the queen had yielded to their wishes, appointing a new Ministry, with Bandiera at its head. Some of the most obnoxious of the ex-Ministers took refuge from popular vengeance on board the ships of the British squadron lying in the Tagus. Most of the peers protested against the Revolution; but it was an accomplished fact, and they were obliged to acquiesce.LA ROCHE-JAQUELEIN AND THE REPUBLICAN SOLDIERS. (See p. 444.)The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.详情
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