During this period—from 1769 to 1772—Warren Hastings had been second in the Council at Madras; but in the latter year he was promoted to the head of the Council in Bengal. During this period, too, the British had been brought into hostilities with the Rajah of Tanjore. The history of these proceedings is amongst the very blackest of the innumerable black proceedings of the East India Company. The Rajah of Tanjore was in alliance with the Company. In 1762 they had guaranteed to him the security of his throne; but now their great ally, Mohammed Ali, the Nabob of the Carnatic, called to the English for help against the Rajah. The conduct of honourable men would have been to offer themselves as mediators, and so settle the business; but not by such means was the whole of India to be won from the native princes. The Rajah of the Carnatic offered to purchase the territory of Tanjore from the British for a large sum. The latter, however, had guaranteed the defence of these territories to the Rajah of Tanjore by express treaty. No matter, they closed the bargain with the Rajah of the Carnatic; they agreed to seize Tanjore, and make it over to Mohammed Ali. An army assembled at Trichinopoly on the 12th of September, 1771, invaded Tanjore, seized the Rajah and his family, and invested the whole of Tanjore in the name of the Nabob of the Carnatic.The Parliament of England had now nearly run its septennial course, and was accordingly dissolved on the 30th of September. Such was the feeling of resentment in Great Britain against the proceedings of the Americans, that the Parliament that was now elected gave the Ministers an increased majority.The effects of the monstrous drain of the war on the revenues of the country were now beginning to show themselves in the manufacturing districts, and the workpeople had broken out in serious riots in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. Instead of attributing their distresses to the vast system of taxation, they attributed them to the increase of machinery, and broke into the mills in many places and destroyed it. This was only adding to the misery by destroying capital, and stopping the very machinery which gave them bread. A committee of inquiry was instituted, and the result showed that the members of Parliament were not a whit more enlightened than the artisans themselves. Instead of attempting to find some means of ameliorating the condition of the starving population—which, indeed, they could not do, for nothing but peace and reduction of taxation, and the restoration of the natural conditions of commerce could do it,—they recommended coercion, and Lord Castlereagh brought in a severe Bill for the purpose,—the first of many such Bills of his, which nearly drove the people eventually to revolution, and, by a more fortunate turn, precipitated reform of Parliament. This Bill, the operation of which was limited to the following March, was carried by large majorities, and Parliament, thinking it had done enough to quiet hungry stomachs in the north, was prorogued on the 30th of July, and on the 20th of September dissolved.
During this year Buonaparte made another attempt to recover the mastery of St. Domingo. Dessalines was now emperor, having a court full of black nobles and marshals, an exact parody of Napoleon's. A French squadron, under Admiral Lessigues, consisting of five ships of the line, two frigates, and a corvette, managed to escape the British fleets, and, on the 20th of January, to anchor in the road of St. Domingo. They had just landed a body of troops, when Sir John Duckworth made his appearance with seven sail-of-the-line and four frigates. Lessigues slipped his cables, and endeavoured to get out to sea, but the wind did not favour him; Sir John Duckworth came up with him, and, on the 6th of February, attacked and defeated him. Though Sir John had the superiority in number of vessels, the French vessels were, some of them, much larger ones; and one, the Imperial, was reckoned the largest and finest ship of their navy—a huge three-decker, of three thousand three hundred tons, and a hundred and thirty guns. Yet, in three hours, Sir John had captured three of the French line of battle ships; the other two ran on the rocks, and were wrecked. One of these was the gigantic Imperial. Nearly the whole of her crew perished, five hundred being killed and wounded before she struck. One of these frigates which escaped was afterwards captured by a British sloop of war in a very battered condition from a storm, in addition to the fight.
"ON THE ROAD FROM WATERLOO TO PARIS."
The farmers were not so discontented with this allowance system as might be supposed, because a great part of the burden was cast upon other shoulders. The tax was laid indiscriminately upon all fixed property; so that the occupiers of villas, shopkeepers, merchants, and others who did not employ labourers, had to pay a portion of the wages for those that did. The farmers were in this way led to encourage a system which fraudulently imposed a heavy burden upon others, and which, by degrading the labourers, and multiplying their numbers beyond the real demand for them, must, if allowed to run its full course, have ultimately overspread the whole country with the most abject poverty and wretchedness. There was another interest created which tended to increase the evil. In the counties of Suffolk, Sussex, Kent, and generally through all the south of England, relief was given in the shape of house accommodation, or free dwellings for the poor. The parish officers were in the habit of paying the rent of the cottages; the rent was therefore high and sure, and consequently persons who had small pieces of ground were induced to cover them with those buildings.
The news of these imposts, and of this intended stamp duty, flew across the Atlantic, and produced the most bitter excitement. Never could this unwelcome news have reached the colonies at a more unpropitious moment. To restrictions on their legitimate trade, the British had been adding others on their illegitimate trade. Nearly all the American colonies lay on the seaboard, and were, therefore, naturally addicted to a free sort of trade, which these new duties made contraband. The British Government had sent out a number of revenue ships and officers to cut off this trade, and capture and confiscate all vessels found practising it. The colonists met in various places, and passed very strong resolutions against these regulations. The people of New England spread their views and resolves all over the colonies by means of the press. They refused to listen to any overtures of the British Government on the subject. They claimed the right to grant, of their own free will, such contributions to the revenue of the empire as their own assemblies should deem just, and to submit to no compulsion where they had no voice. They called on all the colonists to refrain as much as possible from purchasing any of the manufactures of England so long as she showed a disposition to oppress them, and to obtain their materials for clothing from other countries, or to begin to manufacture them themselves; and to cease also to use all luxuries on which the duties were laid. To make their case known in England, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia appointed the celebrated Benjamin Franklin their agent in London.The corruptionists in Parliament were deaf to eloquence or remonstrance; the base contractors sitting there, and the other vile absorbers of the money voted by the country for the most sacred purposes, for the preservation of the integrity and existence of the empire, sat still in impudent hardihood; but the sound of these stirring words was already out of doors. The City of London voted thanks to the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Shelburne for their motions, and for their promised resumption of the subject on the 8th of February. A great meeting was called at York to induce that county to prepare a petition for reform in Parliament. Many efforts were made by persuasion and by menace to prevent these freeholders from meeting. But the Marquis of Rockingham and Sir George Savile stood forward, attended the meeting, and encouraged the freeholders. The meeting was held on the 30th of December, and, besides these distinguished men, was attended by peers, gentlemen, clergymen—the richest and noblest in the county. A petition was adopted to the House of Commons in the strongest terms. Before separating, this most important meeting appointed a committee of correspondence, consisting of sixty-one gentlemen, to carry out the objects of the petition, and still further to prepare the plan of a national association for the promotion of the great business of reform. The contagion spread rapidly; in numbers of other counties, and in many of the leading cities, similar petitions were got up, and committees of correspondence formed. The result was that very soon, in the counties of Middlesex, Chester, Hants, Hertford, Sussex, Huntingdon, Surrey, Cumberland, Bedford, Essex, Gloucester, Somerset, Wilts, Dorset, Devon, Norfolk, Berks, Bucks, Nottingham, Kent, Northumberland, Suffolk, Hereford, Cambridge, Derby, Northampton, and the towns of York and Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, Newcastle, Reading, and Bridgewater, petitions were prepared, and in most of them corresponding committees organised.But there was another topic started in this first Imperial Parliament which was as odious to George III. as the perfidious conduct of his late Russian ally. As one means of bringing about the union with Ireland, Pitt held out to the Irish Catholics the argument that by having Irishmen in the united Parliament they would be most likely to obtain a repeal of the Catholic disabilities. Both he and Lord Cornwallis had sent circulars to this effect, anonymous, it is true, but with a secret avowal of their authorship, amongst the leading Catholics, which had a great effect in procuring their assent to the union. Lord Castlereagh, who as Secretary of State for Ireland had helped to carry the union, claimed the redemption of this pledge. The matter was talked over in the Cabinet during the autumn of 1799, and again in September, 1800. Pitt introduced the subject about the middle of January in the Privy Council. But in the interval the Chancellor, Lord Loughborough, had betrayed the plan to the king, and in conjunction with Lord Auckland had convinced his Majesty that it would involve a violation of the Coronation Oath. George was indignant, and almost furious. At the levee on the 28th of January, when Lord Castlereagh was presented, he said to Dundas, "What is this which this young lord [Castlereagh] has brought over to fling at my head?" He alluded to a plan for Catholic emancipation, and added, "I shall reckon every man my personal enemy who proposes any such measure! This is the most jacobinical thing I ever heard of." Dundas replied that his Majesty would find amongst those friendly to the measure some whom he had never supposed to be his enemies. On the 31st of January Pitt wrote to the king, assuring him that the union with Ireland would render it absolutely necessary that important questions regarding the Catholics and Dissenters should be discussed; but, as he found how extremely such topics were disliked by his Majesty, and yet how just it was that Catholics should be admitted to Parliament as well as Protestant Dissenters, who were already admitted, he begged to be permitted to resign. At the same time, not to inconvenience his Majesty, he was willing to hold office till his Majesty had reconstructed a Cabinet wholly to his mind. George replied, the very next day, that Mr. Pitt's letter had occasioned him the liveliest concern; that, so far from exposing him to the agitation of this question, he had flattered himself that the union, by uniting the Protestants of both kingdoms, would for ever have excluded the question of Catholic emancipation. He expressed his ardent wish that Pitt should continue to be his Minister as long as he lived; and he only required, as a condition, that he should stave off this question. Pitt replied, on the 3rd of February, that his Majesty's determined tone on the subject of Catholic emancipation left him no alternative but to resign, in compliance with his duty; and that, as his Majesty's resolve was taken, it would certainly be best for the country that his retirement should be as early as possible. On the 5th the king wrote, accepting Pitt's resignation, though with expressions of deep regret.
In the morning of that day—a fine and sunny day—Hill leading on our right drove the French from the heights of La Puebla. This was not done without a severe struggle. The Spanish general, Morillo, led on his brigade bravely, and was wounded. Colonel the Hon. G. Cadogan, in the action on the heights, was also mortally wounded, but refused to quit the field, and was carried to an elevation where he could watch the progress of the battle while he lived. General Hill then pushed the French across the river Zadora and the defiles and heights beyond to the village of Subijana de Alava, which he took possession of, and the French left fell back on Vittoria. The other divisions, under Lord Dalhousie, Sir Thomas Picton, and General Cole, also crossed the river at different bridges or fords, and everywhere drove the French before them. The scene from the heights, which were crowded with people, was one of the most animating ever beheld; the British everywhere advancing amid the roar of cannon and musketry, the French retiring everywhere on Vittoria. In the meantime, our left, under Sir Thomas Graham, having a considerable number of Spanish and Portuguese troops in it, advanced to the heights beyond the Zadora, along the Bilbao road, and carried the village of Gamara Mayor, while the Spanish division of Longa carried that of Gamara Monor. Both the Spanish and Portuguese troops behaved admirably. While Major-General Robertson's brigade carried Gamara Mayor, Colonel Halkett's, supported by that of General Bradford, carried the village of Abechuco. Here a determined effort was made by the French to recover this post, but they were driven back by Major-General Oswald, with the fifth division.Rt. Hon. J. Toler, a peerage and chief justiceship.The Assembly had not paid him the respect to wait on him; but, at the last moment, they passed a resolution that the Assembly was inseparable from the person of the king, and appointed one hundred deputies to attend him. Amongst them was Mirabeau. It was about one o'clock when the king quitted Versailles amid a general discharge of musketry, falsely, on this occasion, termed a feu-de-joie. The king and queen, the dauphin, and the little daughter, Monsieur, the king's brother, and Madame Elizabeth, the king's sister, went all in one great State coach. Others of the royal household, with the ladies of honour, and the one hundred deputies, followed in about a hundred vehicles of one kind or other. The Mayor, Bailly, received them at the barrier of Paris, and conducted them to the H?tel de Ville. So soon as they had passed the barrier, the numerous procession were joined by the whole leviathan mob of Paris, calculated at two hundred thousand men! It was night, and the crushing and shouting throngs prevented the royal carriage from more than merely moving all the way from the barrier to the Place de Grève. At the H?tel de Ville, Moreau de St. Mery addressed the king in a long speech, congratulating him on his happy arrival amongst his people—his "loving children of the capital." The poor tired and dispirited king replied that he always came with confidence amongst his people. Bailly repeated the words in a loud tone to the people, but omitted the words "with confidence," whereupon the queen said, with much spirit, "Sir, add 'with confidence';" so Bailly replied, "Gentlemen, in hearing it from the lips of the queen you are happier than if I had not made that mistake." The king was then exhibited on the balcony to the mob, with a huge tricolour cockade in his hat, at which sight, in French fashion, the people hugged and kissed each other and danced for joy. It was eleven o'clock at night before the miserable royal captives were conducted by Lafayette to their appointed prison—for such it was, in fact—the great palace of their ancestors, the Tuileries, which had been uninhabited for a century, and had not been prepared for their reception. The Assembly followed, and proceeded to work under the eyes of the Paris commune and the people. Power was fast slipping from their hands.
Such a calamity could not but be attended with the most mischievous consequences. Chatham was obliged to leave town, and seek retirement and a purer air at North End, near Hampstead. Townshend, who in a few days would have ceased to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, still retained office, and now showed more freely the wild and erratic character of his genius. He had lost half a million from the revenue by the reduction of the land-tax, and he pledged himself to the House to recover it from the Americans. He declared that he fully agreed with George Grenville, even in the principle of the Stamp Act, and ridiculed the distinction set up by Chatham, and admitted by Franklin, of the difference between internal and external taxation. This was language calculated to fire the already heated minds of the colonists, who, the more they reflected on Chatham's lofty language on the supreme authority of the mother country in the declaratory Act, the more firmly they repudiated it.The names and prices of all the purchased members of the Irish Parliament were preserved in the Irish Black and Red lists. A selection of a few of them will interest the reader:—
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.[See larger version]详情
Copyright © 2020