In the later period of the reign some of our chief poets appeared also as prose writers in biography, criticism, and general literature: Southey, as biographer and critic; Campbell and Moore, Leigh Hunt and Charles Lamb, in the same field; so also Hazlitt, Sydney Smith, Jeffrey, Playfair, Stewart, Brown, Mackintosh, and Bentham—the last in the philosophy of law. In physical science, Sir Humphry Davy, Leslie, Dalton, the author of the atomic theory, and Wollaston, distinguished themselves.
The advice of Pitt prevailed. Ministers determined to bring in two Acts in accordance with his counsels: an Act declaratory of the supreme power of Parliament over the colonies, and another repealing the Stamp Act, on the plea which he had suggested. The Declaratory Act passed readily enough, for all parties agreed in it; but the repeal of the Stamp Act met with stout opposition. Grenville, with the pertinacity of a man who glories in his disgrace, resisted it at every stage. When he was hissed by the people, he declared that "he rejoiced in the hiss. If it were to do again, he would do it!" In the Lords there was a strong resistance to the repeal. Lord Temple, who had now deserted Pitt, supported his brother Grenville with all his might. Lords Mansfield, Lyttelton, and Halifax, the whole Bedford faction, and the whole Bute faction, opposed it. The king declared himself for repeal rather than bloodshed.In five days he had snatched the most damaging victories. The Archduke Charles retreated in haste towards Bohemia, to secure himself in the defiles of its mountains; and Buonaparte employed the 23rd and 24th of April in reviewing his troops and distributing rewards. General Hiller, who, with the Archduke Louis, had been defeated at Landshut, had united himself to a considerable body of reserve, and placed himself on the way, as determined to defend the capital. He retreated upon Ebersberg, where the sole bridge over the Traun gave access to the place, the banks of the river being steep and rocky. He had thirty thousand men to defend this bridge, and trusted to detain the French there till the Archduke Charles should come up again with reinforcements, when they might jointly engage them. But Massena made a desperate onset on the bridge, and, after a very bloody encounter, carried it. Hiller then retreated to the Danube, which he crossed by the bridge of Mautern, and, destroying it after him, continued his march to join the Archduke Charles. This left the road open to Vienna, and Buonaparte steadily advanced upon it. The Archduke Charles, becoming aware of this circumstance, returned upon his track, hoping to reach Vienna before him, in which case he might have made a long defence. But Buonaparte was too nimble for him: he appeared before the walls of the city, and summoned it to surrender. The Archduke Maximilian kept the place with a garrison of fifteen thousand men, and he held out for three or four days. Buonaparte then commenced flinging bombs into the most thickly populated parts of the city, and warned the inhabitants of the horrors they must suffer from a siege. All the royal family had gone except Maximilian and the young archduchess, Maria Louisa, who was ill. This was notified to Buonaparte, and he ordered the palace to be exempted from the attack. This was the young lady destined very soon to supersede the Empress Josephine in the imperial honours of France. The city capitulated on the 12th of May, the French took possession of it, and Napoleon resumed his residence at the palace of Sch?nbrunn, on the outskirts.
It was no wonder that Spain, feeling the serious effects of this state of things, should resist it; and when she did so, and exerted an unusual degree of vigilance, then the most terrible outcries were raised, and wonderful stories were circulated of Spanish cruelties to our people beyond the Atlantic. At this time the Opposition got hold of one of these, and made the House of Commons and the nation resound with it. It was, that one Captain Robert Jenkins, who had been master of a sloop trading from Jamaica, had been boarded and searched by a Coastguard, and treated in a most barbarous manner, though they could detect no proof of smuggling in his vessel. He said that the Spanish captain had cut off one of his ears, bidding him carry it to his king, and tell his Majesty that if he were present he would treat him in the same manner. This story was now seven years old, but it was not the less warmly received on that account. It excited the utmost horror, and Jenkins was ordered to appear at the bar of the House of Commons on the 16th of March, to give an account of the outrage himself; and it would appear that both he and other witnesses were examined the same day. Jenkins carried his ear about with him wrapped in cotton, to show to those to whom he related the fact, and the indignation was intense. He was asked by a member how he felt when he found himself in the hands of such barbarians, and he replied, "I recommended my soul to God, and my cause to my country." The worthy skipper had probably been crammed with this dramatic sentiment by some of his clever Parliamentary introducers; but its effect was all the same as if it had been a genuine and involuntary expression of his own mind. Researches made at the Admiralty in 1889 proved that he really had lost an ear.On the 1st of December the army resumed its march. They immediately found the effect of Cumberland's presence at Lichfield: they had to ford the Mersey near Stockport, and to carry the baggage and artillery over a rude wooden bridge, consisting of the trunks of trees thrown across, at Chorlton. That evening they reached Macclesfield. Lord George pushed on with his division to Congleton, whence he sent on Colonel Kerr, who routed a small body of the Duke of Kingston's horse, and drove them towards Newcastle-under-Lyme. Kerr seized Captain Weir, well known as one of Cumberland's principal spies, and, by threatening him with the gallows, drew from him the particulars of the duke's numbers and position. It appeared that the duke was under the impression that the prince was directing his march towards Wales to join his partisans there, and having encouraged this notion by this advance, and led the duke to proceed as far as Stone, Lord George suddenly altered his route, and got to Ashbourne, and thence to Derby, thus throwing the road to London quite open, and being two or three days' march in advance of the duke. Charles entered Derby the same day, the 4th of December, and took up his quarters at a house belonging to the Earl of Exeter, at the bottom of Full Street.Foiled in these quarters, Alberoni appeared more successful in the North. A negotiation had been opened between the two potentates, so long at bitter variance, the Czar and Charles XII. of Sweden. They were induced to meet in the island of ?land, and to agree that the Czar should retain Livonia, and other Swedish territories south of Finland which he had torn from Sweden, but, in compensation, Charles was to be allowed to reconquer Bremen and Verden from George of Hanover and England, and Norway from Denmark; and the two monarchs were to unite their arms for the restoration of Stanislaus to the throne of Poland, and of the Pretender to that of Great Britain. The success of these arrangements appeared to Alberoni so certain that he boasted that the Northern tempest would burst ere long over England with annihilating fury; but even here he was doomed to disappointment. Charles XII. delighted in nothing so much as in wild and romantic enterprise. Such was that of the conquest of Norway; and he was led by his imagination to commence it without delay. With his characteristic madness, he divided his army into two parts, with one of which he took the way by the coast of Norway, and the other he sent over the mountains at the very beginning of winter. There that division perished in the snow amid the most incredible horrors; and he himself, whilst carrying on the siege of Frederickshall, was killed on the 11th of December, as appears probable, by the treacherous shot of a French engineer in his service. Almost simultaneously the Duke of Maine's conspiracy against the French Government was detected, and he and his wife, together with the Spanish Ambassador, were apprehended. There was nothing for it on the part of the Regent but to proclaim war against Spain—a measure which England had long been urging on him. The English declaration appeared on the 28th of December, 1718, and the French on the 9th of January, 1719.
The Duke of Wellington's declaration against Reform had all the effect of an arbitrary prohibition thrown in the way of a violent passion. The effect was tremendous; a revolutionary flame was kindled everywhere at the same instant, as if the whole atmosphere—north, south, east, and west—was wrapt in a sheet of electric fire. No words from any statesman in English history ever produced such an impression. The transports became universal; all ranks were involved; all heads, save the strongest and most far-seeing, were swept away by the torrent of excitement. John Bull's patience was gone. Parliamentary Reform was right; the time was come when it should be granted; and no man, not even the Duke of Wellington, should be allowed to withstand the nation's will. The unpopularity of the Duke with his own party swelled for the moment the current of the movement. High Churchmen declared that Reform would raise a barrier against Papal aggression, which they felt to be necessary, as experience had shown that the existing Constitution afforded no security. The old Tories, in their resentment on account of the concession to the Catholic claims, appeared to be ready to support the popular demands, if by so doing they could mortify or overthrow the Government. The inhabitants of the towns, intelligent, active, progressive, longed for Parliamentary Reform, because they believed it would remove the impediments which retarded the advancement of society. There were only two classes of the community who were believed at the time to be opposed to the Reform movement: first, the aristocratic Whigs, because Parliamentary Reform would destroy the influence by which they had for a century after the Revolution governed the country, but their accidental position as popular leaders obliged them for the time to go with the current; second, the class to whom Mr. Cobbett applied the term "borough-mongers," including all those who had property in Parliamentary seats, and could sell them, or bestow them, as they thought proper. The former, it was argued, were obliged to conceal their attachment to the old system, which had secured to a few great families a monopoly of government and its emoluments. The latter had become so odious to the nation that their opposition availed little against the rapid tide of public feeling and the tremendous breakers of popular indignation."SOLICITING A VOTE." FROM THE PAINTING BY R. W. BUSS, 1834.but that with the pageantry of the hour their importance faded away?—that as their distinction vanished their humiliation returned?—and that he who headed the procession of peers to-day could not sit among them as their equal on the morrow?"
RETREAT OF THE HIGHLANDERS FROM PERTH. (See p. 31.)
Events now rushed on with accumulating force and accelerated pace. There had been a long drought, withering up the prospects of the harvest, and now, in July, came a terrible hailstorm, which extended one hundred and fifty miles round Paris, destroying the nearly ripe corn, the fruit on the trees, and leaving all that extent of country a desert, and the inhabitants the prey of famine. In such circumstances the people could not, those in other quarters would not, pay taxes; the Treasury was empty, and the king was compelled to promise to convoke the States General in the following May; Brienne endeavoured to amuse the active reformers by calling on men of intelligence to send in plans for the proper conduct of the States General, as none had been held for one hundred and seventy-two years. The public was impatient for a much earlier summons, but probably they would not have been much listened to, had Loménie de Brienne known how to keep things going. His empty exchequer, however, and the pressing demands upon him, drove him to solicit the king to recall Necker and appoint him once more Comptroller of the Finances. He imagined that the popularity of Necker would at least extend the public patience. The queen energetically opposed the reinstatement of Necker; the position of affairs was, however, too desperate, and Necker was recalled. His triumphant return was speedily followed by the meeting of the States.
GREAT SEAL OF GEORGE III.Poland, abandoned to her own resources, made a brave but ineffectual defence. The Russians received several severe checks in their advance. At Zadorsk, at Palorma, and finally at Dulienska, the Poles fought them gallantly. At the last-named battle, on the 17th of July, the heroic Kosciusko made terrible havoc of the Russian lines, and was only prevented from utterly routing them by his flank being turned by another arrival of Russians, whom the Emperor Francis, of Austria, had allowed to march through Galicia. The Russians advanced to Warsaw, took regular possession of it, and of all the towns and military forts throughout the country. They dismissed the patriot officers of the army, and dispersed the army itself in small divisions into widely-separated places. They abolished the new Constitution, thrust the burgher class again out of their newly-acquired privileges, and put the press under more ignominious restrictions than before. They confiscated the estates of nobles who had advocated the new reforms. Both Catherine and her Ministers treated the idea of any partition of Poland as the most groundless and ridiculous of notions. They pointed to the invasion of Germany already by Custine, the French Revolutionary general, and justified the temporary occupation of Poland as necessary to the security of both Poland and the neighbouring states. We must leave the three robber Powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, therefore, gloating over their prey, and ready to rend it asunder, in order to continue the narrative of the wild explosion of France.
MR. ALEXANDER'S LEVES IN KING'S BENCH PRISON. (See p. 310.)
This insult roused the fiery blood of Spain. The king and queen were excited to paroxysms of rage. They told Mr. William Stanhope that, in future, they would put confidence in no prince except his master, nor admit any one else to mediate for them in their negotiations. But George refused to break with France on their account, and ventured to remind Philip that he himself stood greatly in need of the alliance with France. Blinded, however, by their wounded pride, the King and Queen of Spain now turned their anger against England. They recalled their plenipotentiaries from the Congress of Cambray, which was sitting to settle the affairs of Europe, and professed their readiness to abandon all their hostility to the Emperor of Germany, and to concede all that they had so long demanded from him, on condition that he entered into a close alliance with them against France and England. They sent back to France the widow of the late Don Louis, and also Mademoiselle Beaujolais, another daughter of the late Regent Orleans, who had been contracted to Don Carlos.On the other hand, the kings whom he had set up amongst his brothers and brothers-in-law added nothing to his power. Joseph proved a mere lay figure of a king in Spain; Louis had rejected his domination in Holland, and abdicated; Lucien had refused to be kinged at all; Murat managed to control Naples, but not to conciliate the brave mountaineers of the country to French rule. The many outrages that Buonaparte had committed on the brave defenders of their countries and their rights were still remembered to be avenged. Prussia brooded resentfully over the injuries of its queen; the Tyrol over the murder of Hofer and his compatriots. Contemptible as was the royal family of Spain—the head of which, the old King Charles, with his queen, made a long journey to offer his felicitations on the birth of the king of Rome,—the Spaniards did not forget the kidnapping of their royal race, nor the monstrous treatment of the Queen of Etruria, the daughter of Charles IX. and the sister of Ferdinand. Buonaparte first conferred on her the kingdom of Etruria, and then took it away again, to settle Ferdinand in it instead of in Spain; but as he reduced Ferdinand to a prisoner, he reserved Etruria to himself, and kept the Queen of Etruria in durance at Nice. Indignant at her restraint, she endeavoured to fly to England, as her oppressor's brother, Lucien, had done. But her two agents were betrayed, and one of them was shot on the plain of Grenelle, and the other only reprieved when the fear of death had done its work on him, and he only survived a few days. She herself was then shut up, with her daughter, in a convent.
Of these unions and parishes 111 were declared and organised in the first year, 252 in the second, 205 in the third, and 17 in the fourth. Within the four years succeeding 1834 as many as 328 unions had workhouses completed and in operation, and 141 had workhouses building or in course of alteration. The work went on slowly till the whole country was supplied with workhouse accommodation. The amount expended in providing new workhouses up to 1858 was ￡4,168,759, and in altering and enlarging old workhouses, ￡792,772; the total amount thus expended was upwards of five millions sterling.When the French saw that Ormonde could not induce the mercenary troops to move, they refused to surrender Dunkirk, and an English detachment which arrived there to take possession found the gates shut in their faces. At this insult the British troops burst out into a fury of indignation. The officers as well as the men were beside themselves with shame, and shed tears of mortification, remembering the glorious times under Marlborough. Ormonde himself, thus disgraced, thus helpless—for he had not the satisfaction, even, of being able to avenge himself on the French,—thus deserted by the auxiliaries, and made a laughing-stock to all Europe by the crooked and base policy of his Government, retired from before the walls of Dunkirk, and directed his course towards Douay. The Dutch shut their gates against him, and he finally retired in ignominy to England.详情
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