To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of the lower orders—the only class which had raised a cheer for him on his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever the tree of liberty was planted—for it was now the trick of Buonaparte to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing on which he had so uniformly trampled—it was cut down and burnt. It was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications; strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier. Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Langres, and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works, and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with Wellington!"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.
On the other hand, the Corresponding Society and the Society for Constitutional Information kept up an open correspondence with the National Convention of France, even after the bloody massacres of September of this year, which we have yet to mention. Unwarned by these facts, they professed to see, in the example of Frenchmen, the only chance of the liberation of the English nation from the oppressions of the Crown and of an overgrown aristocracy. They made no secret of their desire to establish a Republic in Great Britain; and the Society for Constitutional Information included amongst its members a number of red-hot Americans. These Societies and the Revolutionary Society in London continued to send over glowing addresses to the French Convention, declaring their desire to fraternise with them for liberty and equality, and their determination never again to fight with Frenchmen at the command of despots.
[See larger version]Pampeluna and San Sebastian being invested, Lord Wellington proceeded with his main army to occupy the passes of the Pyrenees. These, Wellington, in his dispatches, says amounted to about seventy, and, in the service of securing these, he complains that he was left very much without the necessary supplies for his army. The British Government had, from some cause—he supposed to send them against the Americans—reduced the number of convoys, and many of our store-ships were taken by the French frigates and privateers. It was, as much as ever, in vain to expect the Spaniards to do anything to supply the deficiency, after all that the English had done for them. As fast as they got rid of the French, they busied themselves in making war on the clergy and putting them down. Wellington was, therefore, continually obliged to arrest his marches to wait for provisions. Notwithstanding, by the 7th of July he had driven Joseph Buonaparte through the mountains into France, chased Clausel beyond Tudela on the Ebro, and taken his post on the very edge of France. Buonaparte, alarmed at the progress of Wellington, displaced Jourdan as incapable, and sent back Soult to do what neither he, nor Ney, nor Marmont, nor Massena had been able to do before they were necessarily displaced—that is, arrest the onward march of Wellington into France.
For a few weeks the cottiers and small farmers managed to eke out a subsistence by the sale of their pigs, and any little effects they had. But pigs, fowls, furniture, and clothing soon went, one after another, to satisfy the cravings of hunger. The better class of farmers lived upon their corn and cattle; but they were obliged to dismiss their servants, and this numerous class became the first victims of starvation; for when they were turned off, they were refused admission by their relations, who had not the means of feeding them. Tailors, shoemakers, and other artisans who worked for the lower classes, lost their employment and became destitute also. While the means of support failed upon every side, and food rose to such enormous prices that everything that could possibly be eaten was economised, so that the starving dogs were drowned from compassion, the famine steadily advanced from the west and south to the east and north, till it involved the whole population in its crushing grasp. It was painfully interesting to mark the progress of the visitation, even in those parts of the country where its ravages were least felt. The small farmer had only his corn, designed for rent and seed. He was obliged to take it to the mill, to ward off starvation. The children of the poor, placed on short allowance, were suffering fearfully from hunger. Mothers, heart-broken and worn down to skeletons, were seen on certain days proceeding in groups to some distant dep?t, where Indian meal was to be had at reduced prices, but still double that of the ordinary market. As they returned to their children with their little bags on their heads, a faint joy lit up their famine-stricken features. Those children, who had lived for two days and two nights on a dole of raw turnips, would now be relieved by a morsel of nourishing food. The fathers, who had absented themselves from home in order to avoid the agony of listening to their heart-piercing cries, might now sit down and look their little ones in the face. But, if the mother failed to obtain the relief for which she had travelled so far, what then? Yesterday no breakfast, no dinner, no supper; the same to-day; no prospect of better to-morrow. The destitute rushed to the workhouses, which soon became crowded to excess by those who had been able-bodied men and women, while the aged, the sickly, and the children were left to starve. Overpowered by hunger, they lay down helpless, the ready victims of the pestilence that walked close upon the footsteps of famine, and died in thousands. Let us consider the state of a population such as has been described. Scattered over remote districts, with no gentry resident within many miles, none to whom a complaint could be made but the clergyman, whose energies were overtaxed, how utterly helpless must have been the condition of those doomed people!In 1720 Colin Maclaurin, the successor of James Gregory in the mathematical chair at Edinburgh, published his "Geometrical Organica," a treatise on curves; in 1742 his admirable treatise on Fluxions; and in 1748 his treatise on Algebra. Dr. Robert Simson, professor of mathematics at Glasgow, published a restoration of the "Loci" of Apollonius, and an English translation of Euclid, which continued down to a late period in use, both in Scotland and England. In 1717 James Stirling published a Latin treatise on lines of the third order, and another on Fluxions, called "Methodus Differentialis," in 1730. William Emerson, a mathematician and mechanist, wrote on fluxions, trigonometry, mechanics, navigation, algebra, optics, astronomy, geography, dialling, etc., but a considerable portion was only in part published during this period. Thomas Simpson, a weaver, of Market Bosworth, at the age of seven-and-twenty suddenly discovered himself as an extraordinary mathematician, and went on till his death, in 1761, publishing works on fluxions, the nature and laws of chance, on mixed mathematics, on the doctrine of annuities and reversions, on algebra, elementary geometry, trigonometry, etc. James Ferguson, also, the son of a day-labourer, in Banffshire, studied mathematics whilst tending sheep, and published a number of works on the phenomena of the harvest moon, astronomy, mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, and optics. Ferguson had a remarkably lucid and demonstrative style, both in writing and lecturing, and his example excited a keen spirit of inquiry amongst the working classes, so that he is said to have diffused the knowledge of physical science amongst the class from which he sprang more than any other man.
During that evening and night there were serious contentions between the mob and the soldiers still posted in front of Sir Francis's house, and one man was shot by the military. Scarcely had the sheriffs quitted the house of the besieged baronet on the Sunday morning, supposing no attempt at capture would take place that day, when the serjeant-at-arms presented himself with a party of police, and demanded entrance, but in vain. All that day, and late into the night, the mob continued to insult the soldiers who kept guard on the baronet's house, and an order being given at night to clear the streets around, the mob broke the lamps, and threw all into darkness. They then carried away the scaffolding from a house under repair, and made a barricade across Piccadilly, which was, however, removed by the soldiers; and the rain falling in torrents, the mob dispersed.
CARLTON HOUSE, LONDON (1812).The growth of material wealth during this reign had in no degree improved the condition of the working class in any proportion to that of other classes. Landlords had greatly raised their rents, and farmers, by the high price of corn and other provisions, had grown comparatively rich, many very rich. The merchants and master manufacturers had shared liberally in the benefits of a vastly increased commerce, and the wonderful spread of manufactures; but the working manufacturers, between the high price of corn and meat, and the lowness of their wages, were in a miserable condition, and frequently, as we have seen, were driven to riot and insurrection. The handloom weavers were swamped by machinery, and those working the machinery were living in wretched houses, and in a most neglected and insanitary condition. Before the first Sir Robert Peel introduced his Bill for reforming the hours and other regulations of cotton mills, many of these worked night and day, one gang, as it was called, succeeding another at the spinning-jenny, in hot, ill-ventilated rooms. Apprentices were purchased of parishes, either children of paupers, or orphans of such, and these were kept by mill-owners, and worked long hours, one gang having to quit their beds in the morning for another gang of these poor unfortunates to turn into them. The agricultural labourers were little better off. Their habitations were of the worst description, though squires' kennels on the same estates were equal, in all sanitary conditions, to tolerable mansions. Their wages remained only some eight or ten shillings a week—when the wheat which they had raised was one hundred and thirty shillings per quarter, and a stone of flour of fourteen pounds cost a gold seven-shilling piece. This drove them in shoals to the workhouse, and produced a state of things that is hardly credible. Their mental and moral condition was equally deplorable. Education, either in town or country, was scarcely known. There was not a school in all the swarming region of Whitechapel, and many another equally poor and populous region of London, much less in country towns and agricultural parishes. It was a settled maxim amongst the landed gentry, that education, even of the most elementary kind, would totally destroy the supply of servants; and it was gravely stated in Parliament that the plot of Thistlewood was owing to the working classes being able to read.
The first report related to the duties and revenues of bishops. The Commissioners suggested various alterations of the boundaries of dioceses. They recommended the union of the sees of Gloucester and Bristol, and of Bangor and St. Asaph. They also recommended the establishment of two new sees, Ripon and Manchester. They calculated the net income of the bishoprics of England and Wales at ￡148,875. They found that, owing to the unequal manner in which this revenue was distributed, the income of one-half the bishoprics was below the sum necessary to cover the expenses to which a bishop is unavoidably subject, which rendered it necessary to hold livings in commendam. To do away with this state of things, and with a view to diminish the inducements to episcopal translations, they recommended a different distribution of episcopal revenues. In the second and fourth reports, and the draft of the fifth report, they presented the result of their inquiries on cathedral and collegiate churches. They recommended the appropriation of part of their revenues, and of the whole of the endowments for non-residentiary prebends, dignitaries, and officers, and that the proceeds in both cases should be carried to the account of a fund, out of which better provision should be made for the cure of souls. In their second report they stated that they had prepared a Bill for regulating pluralities and the residence of the clergy.In 1710 was established the Academy of Ancient Music, the object of which was to promote the study of vocal and instrumental harmony. Drs. Pepusch, Greene, and other celebrated musicians were amongst its founders. They collected a very valuable musical library, and gave annual concerts till 1793, when more fashionable ones attracted the public, and the society was dissolved. In 1741 was established the Madrigal Society, the founder of which was John Immyns, an attorney. It embraced men of the working classes, and held meetings on Wednesday evenings for the singing of madrigals, glees, catches, etc. Immyns sometimes read them a lecture on a musical subject, and the society gradually grew rich. The composers of such pieces at this period were such men as Purcell, Eccles, Playford, Leveridge, Carey, Haydn, Arne, etc. Public gardens became very much the fashion, and in these, at first, oratorios, choruses, and grand musical pieces were performed, but, by degrees, gave way to songs and catches. Vauxhall, originally called Spring Garden, established before the Revolution, became all through this period the fashionable resort of the aristocracy, and to this was added Ranelagh, near Chelsea College, a vast rotunda, to which crowds used to flock from the upper classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, to hear the music and singing. These performances spread greatly the taste for music, and probably excited the alarm of the puritanically religious, for there arose a loud outcry against using music in churches, as something vain and unhallowed. Amongst the best publications on the science of music during this period were Dr. Holder's "Treatise on the Natural Grounds and Principles of Harmony," 1694; Malcolm's "Treatise on Music, Speculative, Practical, and Historical," 1721; Dr. Pepusch's "Treatise on Harmony," 1731; Dr. Smith's "Harmonics; or, the Philosophy of Musical Sounds;" Avison's "Essay on Musical Expression," 1752. Avison also published twenty-six concertos for a band, which were much admired.
During this Session a very important Bill was introduced, and passed both Houses, for the improvement of the police, and the administration of justice in London. The old unpaid and very corrupt magistrates were set aside. The metropolis was divided into five districts, each having its police office, at which three justices were to sit, each having a salary of three hundred pounds per annum. They were not allowed to take fees in their own persons, and all fines paid in the courts were to be put in a box towards defraying the salaries and other official expenses. Constables and magistrates were empowered to take up persons who could not give a good account of themselves, and commit them as vagabonds.
In 1823 we behold the starting-point of the liberal system of commercial policy, for which not only England, but all the world, is so much indebted—the rivulet which gradually expanded into a mighty river bearing incalculable blessings upon its bosom to every nation under heaven. The appointment of Mr. Huskisson as a member of the Government was an immense advantage to the nation. He was a man of great abilities, which he had perseveringly devoted to the study of political economy. He was a complete master of all subjects in which statistics were involved, and was universally looked up to as the highest authority on all financial and commercial questions. As President of the Board of Trade he had ample opportunities of turning his knowledge to account, and to him is mainly due the initiation and direction of the course of commercial policy which a quarter of a century later issued in the complete triumph of Free Trade. Mr. Huskisson was not only intimately acquainted with the whole range of economic, financial, and mercantile subjects, in their details as well as in their principles, he was also a powerful debater, a sound reasoner, and was animated in all he did by a spirit of generous philanthropy. At the same time it is only just to point out that he did but carry out the policy of Mr. Wallace, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, a statesman whose name is almost forgotten.On the day appointed for the trial of Warren Hastings there was a wonderful crowding into the great hall at Westminster. The walls had been in preparation hung with scarlet, and galleries raised all round for the accommodation of spectators. The seats for the members of the House of Commons were covered with green cloth, those for the lords and all the others with red. Galleries were set apart for distinguished persons, and for the members of the foreign embassies. When the lords, nearly one hundred and seventy in number, entered in procession, the vast hall presented a striking scene, being crowded, with the exception of the space in the centre for the peers, with all who were noted in the land, from the throne downwards. The lords were all in their robes of gold and ermine, marshalled by the king-at-arms and the heralds. First entered Lord Heathfield, the brave old Elliot of Gibraltar, as the junior baron, and the splendid procession was closed by the Earl Marshal of England, the Duke of Norfolk, and by the brothers and sons of the king, the Prince of Wales last of all. The twelve judges attended to give their advice on difficult points of law, and the Managers were attended also by their counsel, Drs. Scott and Lawrence, and Mr. Mansfield, Mr. Pigot, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Douglas. The galleries blazed with the rich array of ladies and foreign costumes. There were seen the queen with her daughters, and the Princesses Elizabeth, Augusta, and Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester, Mrs. Fitzherbert, the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, Sheridan's handsome wife, and the great actress, Mrs. Siddons. Gibbon the historian, Dr. Parr, Mr., afterwards Sir, James Mackintosh, and numbers of distinguished artists, amongst them Sir Joshua Reynolds and Gainsborough, were also present.详情
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