With Spain the prospect of war became every day more imminent. Stanhope quitted that country, and the Spanish Government ordered the seizure of the Prince Frederick, a ship belonging to the South Sea Company. Twenty thousand men were assembled and sent against Gibraltar. All attempts on the great fortress were as useless as former ones had been. The English regarded the attack with even an air of indifference, whilst their guns, sickness, and desertion, were fast cutting off the besiegers. In four months the investing army, being reduced to half its number, drew off with this empty but destructive result.
Pitt, in a series of motions and violent debates on them—which did not terminate till the 23rd of January, 1789—not only carried his point, that Parliament should assert the whole right of appointing a regent, but he contrived to tie down the prince completely. On the 16th of December Pitt moved three resolutions—the third and most material of which was, that it was necessary that both Houses should, for the maintenance of the constitutional authority of the king, determine the means by which the royal assent might be given to an Act of Parliament for delegating the royal authority during the king's indisposition. After most determined opposition by the Whigs, he carried the whole of these resolutions, and it was then moved that the proper mode of doing this was to employ the Great Seal just as if the king were in the full exercise of his faculties. To prepare the way for this doctrine, the lawyers in Pitt's party had declared that there was a broad distinction between the political and the natural capacity of the king; that, as the king could do no wrong, so he could not go politically, though he might go naturally, mad; that therefore the king, in his political capacity, was now as fully in power and entity as ever, and therefore the Great Seal could be used for him as validly as at any other time. In vain did Burke exclaim that it was "a phantom," "a fiction of law," "a mere mummery, a piece of masquerade buffoonery, formed to burlesque every species of government." In the midst of the debate Mr. Rushworth, the young member for Newport, in Hampshire, standing on the floor of the House, exclaimed, in a loud and startling tone, "I desire that gentlemen of more age and experience than myself will refer to the glorious reign of George II. Let them recall to their memory the year 1745. Suppose that great and good king had lain under a similar affliction of madness at that period, where are the men, much less a Minister, that would have dared to come down to that House, and boldly, in the face of the world, say that the Prince of Wales had no more right to the regency than any other subject? The man or Minister who could have dared to utter such language must henceforward shelter in some other place than in the House of Commons, and in some other country than England!" The Prince of Wales, by letter, complained of the want of respect shown to him, but Pitt carried the resolution regarding the Great Seal, that it should be appended to a commission for opening Parliament, it now occupying the position of a convention, and that the commission should then affix the royal assent to the Bill for the regency. This done, he consented to the demand for the appearance of the physicians again before proceeding with the Bill, and the physicians having expressed hopes of the king's speedy recovery, on the 16th of January Pitt moved the following resolutions:—That the Prince of Wales should be invested with the royal authority, subject, however, to these restrictions, namely, that he should create no peers; that he should grant no place or pension for life, or in reversion, except such place as in its nature must be held for life, or during good behaviour; that the prince should have no power over the personal property of the king, nor over the king's person or household; that these two latter powers should be entrusted to the queen, a council being appointed to assist her in these duties by their advice, but subject to her dismissal, and without any power of alienation of any part of the property. The bad character of the prince, combined with the rumours of his indecent jests at the expense of his unhappy parents, rendered the restrictions universally popular.
English cookery, even in the greatest houses, had not yet been much affected by French art. The dinners were remarkably solid, hot, and stimulating. Mulligatawny and turtle soups came first, then at one end of the table was uncovered the familiar salmon, and at the other the turbot surrounded by smelts. Next came a saddle of mutton, or a joint of roast beef, and for the fourth course came fowls, tongue, and ham. French dishes were placed on the sideboard, but for a long time such weak culinary preparations were treated with contemptuous neglect. The boiled potato was then very popular, and vegetables generally were unaccompanied with sauce. The dessert, which was ordered from the confectioner's, was often very costly. The wines used at dinner were chiefly port, sherry, and hock. "A perpetual thirst seemed to come over people, both men and women," says Captain Gronow, "as soon as they had tasted their soup, as from that moment everybody was taking wine with everybody else till the close of the dinner, and such wine as produced that class of cordiality which frequently wanders into stupefaction. How this sort of eating and drinking ended was obvious from the prevalence of gout; and the necessity of every one making the pill-box a constant bedroom companion."Ni faciat, maria ac terras c?lumque profundum
Under the operation of the Corn Laws the price of wheat rose to one hundred and fifty-six shillings a quarter in 1801, and the enclosure of waste lands kept pace accordingly; and upwards of a million of acres were enclosed every ten years. From 1800 the amount of enclosure in ten years was a million and a half of acres. The rapid increase of population, through the growth of manufactures, and the introduction of canals, as well as the fact that the people at large began to abandon the use of oats and rye in bread, and to use wheat, promoted the growth of that grain immensely. In 1793 Sir John Sinclair established the Board of Agriculture, which was incorporated, and received an annual grant from Parliament. The indefatigable Arthur Young was elected its secretary, and agricultural surveys of the kingdom were made. The reports of these were published, adding greatly to a comprehension of the real state of cultivation. In 1784 Young had commenced the publication of the "Annals of Agriculture," by which invaluable information was diffused, and new prizes were offered by the Board for improvements, and great annual sheep-shearings were held at Woburn and Holkham, by the Duke of Bedford and Mr. Coke, afterwards Lord Leicester, which tended to stimulate the breed of better sheep. The king himself had his model farms, and introduced merino sheep from Spain. It was long, however, before the better modes of ploughing could be introduced amongst the farmers. The Scots were the first to reduce the number of the horses which drew the plough, using only two, whilst in England might still be seen a heavy, clumsy machine drawn by from four to six horses, doing less work, and that work less perfectly.The coronation was a magnificent ceremonial, and during the proceedings in the Abbey, Westminster Hall was being prepared for the banquet. There were three tables on each side, each table having covers for fifty-six persons, and each person having before him a silver plate. The other plate was entirely of gold. The dishes served up were all cold, consisting of fowls, tongues, pies, and a profusion of sweetmeats, with conserves and fruit of every kind. At twenty minutes to four o'clock the gates were thrown open to admit the procession on its return. Seen from the opposite end of the hall, the effect was magnificent as the procession passed under the triumphal arch. On the entrance of the king he was received with loud and continued acclamations. His Majesty being seated at the banquet, the first course came with a grand procession, which the king seemed to regard with great satisfaction. The Duke of Wellington, as Lord High Constable, the Marquis of Anglesey, as Lord High Steward, and the Deputy Earl Marshal, Lord Howard of Effingham, mounted on horses, and attended by their pages and grooms, advanced to the foot of the platform; the horsemen stopped while the clerks of the kitchen advanced to the royal table, and took the dishes from the gentlemen pensioners. Then the whole procession moved back, the horsemen backing their chargers with the greatest precision, amidst loud applause. The first course having been removed, a flourish of trumpets was heard at the bottom of the hall, the great gates were instantly thrown wide open, and the champion, Mr. Dymoke, made his appearance under the Gothic archway, mounted on his piebald charger, accompanied on the right by the Duke of Wellington, and on the left by Lord Howard of Effingham, and attended by trumpeters and an esquire. The usual challenges were given. Some other ceremonies having been gone through, the king's health was proposed by one of the peers, and drunk with acclamation. The National Anthem was then sung, after which the king rose and said, "The king thanks his peers for drinking his health and does them the honour of drinking their health and that of his good people." Shortly afterwards his Majesty quitted the hall and returned to his palace in his private carriage, attended by his usual body-guard.Mack, who was advancing rashly out of reach of any supporting bodies of troops, expected to encounter the French in front. He therefore took possession of Ulm and Memmingen, and threw his advanced posts out along the line of the Iller and the Upper Danube, looking for the French advancing by way of the Black Forest. But Buonaparte's plan was very different. He divided his army into six grand divisions. That commanded by Bernadotte issued from Hanover, and, crossing Hesse, appeared to be aiming at a junction with the main army, which had already reached the Rhine. But at once he diverged to the left, ascended the Main, and joined the Elector of Bavaria at Würzburg. Had Mack had a hundredth part of the strategic talent attributed to him, he would have concentrated his forces into one powerful body, and cut through the cordon which Buonaparte was drawing around him, and, under good generalship, such soldiers as the Hungarians would have done wonders; but he suffered his different detachments to be attacked and beaten in detail, never being ready with fresh troops to support those which were engaged, whilst the French were always prepared for this object. Accordingly, Soult managed to surround and take one entire Austrian division at Memmingen, under General Spangenberg, and Dupont and Ney defeated the Archduke Ferdinand at Günzburg, who had advanced from Ulm to defend the bridges there. Ferdinand lost many guns and nearly three thousand men. This induced Mack to concentrate his forces in Ulm, where, however, he had taken no measures for supplying his troops with provisions during a siege. He was completely surrounded, and compelled to capitulate on the 19th of October, 1805.
TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN. (From a Photograph by Poulton and Son, Lee.)
Another admiral was still less fortunate. This was Linois, who had been beaten off in his attack on a British fleet of India merchantmen, in the Straits of Malacca, some time before, and who had been cruising far and wide in pursuit of British prizes, whilst a number of English commanders were eagerly hunting after him. He was now returning home, when, in sight of the port of Brest, with only two of his ships remaining, Sir John Warren stood in his way, and compelled him to surrender both of them.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.Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ld., Bushey, Herts.
Comedy and farce occupied the middle portion of the reign, but neither of them rose to the height of Sheridan. In tragedy, Murphy's "Arminius," Godwin's "Antonio," and Madame D'Arblay's "Edwy and Elgiva," were the best. Amongst the comedies, Holcroft's "Road to Ruin," Morton's "Speed the Plough," Mrs. Inchbald's "Wives as they Were, and Maids as they Are," and Colman's "Sylvester Daggerwood," were the most popular.Such were the means employed by the British Government in 1817 to quiet the country under its distress—a distress the inevitable result of the long and stupendous war. The only idea was to tighten the reins of Government—to stimulate the sufferers into overt acts, and then crush them. Fortunately, with the exception of the Derby juries, the juries in general saw through the miserable farce of rebellion, and discharged the greater part of Oliver's and Lord Sidmouth's victims. Watson was acquitted of high treason in London on the 16th of June, less than a week after the Derbyshire insurrection. His son had eluded the pursuit of the police. Seventeen prisoners on the like charges were liberated in July in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and were paid seven shillings each to carry them home. On the 22nd of August, of the twenty-four persons that Oliver had entrapped in Yorkshire, twenty-two were discharged—against eleven of them no bills being found by the grand jury—and the two left in prison were detained there because, under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, they were not brought up for trial. The Manchester Blanketeers were, in like manner, all discharged, though the Duke of Northumberland did his utmost to stimulate Lord Sidmouth to get them punished. On the country at large the impression was that the Government had propagated a most needless alarm, and that those who had fallen on the scaffold had been exalted by them from poor, ignorant labourers into burlesque traitors, through the execrable agency of their incendiaries, Oliver, Castles, Mitchell, and others.
Meanwhile Brigadier Wild occupied a position of great difficulty at Peshawur. He had four native infantry regiments, containing a large number of young soldiers, whom the mutinous Sikhs had impressed with a great horror of the Khyber Pass. The only cavalry he had was a troop of irregular horse, and the only guns, four pieces of Sikh artillery. Besides, the owners of the camels, which had been hired at Ferozepore to proceed as far as Jelalabad, refused to advance farther than Peshawur. It was in these circumstances that Sale and M'Gregor earnestly urged the advance of the brigade for the relief of that place. The fortress of Ali Musjid, regarded as the key to the Khyber Pass, is situated about twenty-five miles from Peshawur: and as it lay between the two positions of Sale and Wild, it was of the utmost importance that it should be occupied. It was accordingly resolved that one-half of Wild's brigade should be dispatched for this service. On the 15th of January Colonel Moseley, with the 53rd and 64th Sepoy Regiments, started under cover of the night, and reached their destination early in the morning. The fortress was about five miles up the Pass. Soon after they had taken up their position they discovered to their dismay that owing to some mistake, instead of 350 supply bullocks, which had been ordered, only fifty or sixty had arrived. Here, then, were two regiments shut up in an isolated fortress without provisions. Day after day passed and no succour came. Wild made an effort to send forward supplies, but the attempt was a disastrous failure. The Sikh auxiliaries mutinied to a man, and refused to enter the Pass. There being no prospect of relief, Colonel Moseley determined to evacuate the fortress. Captain Burt and Captain Thomas offered to remain and keep possession of so important a position, if only 150 men would volunteer for the service. But none were found willing to undertake the perilous duty, and so Ali Musjid was abandoned and suffered to fall into the hands of the Afreedis. The brigade had some fighting on its way back. Some of its officers were killed, some wounded and sick were abandoned, and some baggage was lost.But far above all rose, at this period, the already popular romantic poet, Walter Scott. Before him, in Scotland, Henry Mackenzie had occupied for a long time the foreground as a writer of fiction, in "The Man of Feeling," "Julia de Roubigné," etc., but in a very different class of invention. As Walter Scott (b. 1771; d. 1832) had opened up the romance of the Scottish Highlands in his poems, so he now burst forth, on the same ground, in historic romance, with a vigour, splendour, and wonderful fertility of imagination and resource of knowledge which far exceeded everything in the history of literature since the days of Shakespeare. We need not attempt to characterise the voluminous series of what are called the "Waverley Novels," which, in their ample range, occupied almost every country of Europe and every climate, from the bleak rocks of Orkney to the glowing plains of Syria and India; they are familiar to all readers, and closed this period with a splendour from the mingled blaze of invention, poetry, and science, which no succeeding age is likely to surpass.
Thereupon a period of the utmost suspense ensued. The British Cabinet was of very divided mind; there was a strong peace party, headed by Lord Holland and Lord Clarendon, with which Lord John Russell, after much hesitation, eventually threw in his lot. Again and again he threatened resignation, and it needed all the diplomacy of the Prime Minister and the strong remonstrances of the Queen to induce him to remain at his post. Even more serious was the attitude of the French Government. M. Thiers, who had become Prime Minister in March, was furious at the humiliation to which his predecessors' shilly-shally had exposed his country. He blustered about going to war, talked about increasing the fleet and calling out the reserves, and tried to persuade the British ambassador, Sir Henry Bulwer, that the king, his master, was even more bloodthirsty than himself. All in vain; Lord Palmerston had taken the measure of his opponents. He knew that, though Thiers might mean fighting, Louis Philippe had no such intention; he knew, too, that the Pasha, whom the world thought to be invincible, was a mere man of straw. His opinion was justified by the easy success of the joint British, Austrian, and Turkish squadron. Beyrout fell early in September, Saida, the ancient Sidon, surrendered before the end of the month, and on the 3rd of November Commodore Napier reduced to ruins, after a bombardment of only three hours, Acre, the fortress hitherto held to be impregnable, from which even Napoleon had turned away in despair. The fall of Acre settled, for the time being, the Eastern question. Already Louis Philippe had seen the necessity of abandoning words which were not to be followed by deeds. He had refused to countenance the bellicose speech from the throne with which M. Thiers proposed to open the Chambers in October; that Minister had in consequence resigned, and had been succeeded by Marshal Soult with M. Guizot as his Foreign Minister. Still Lord Palmerston refused to readmit France to the European concert until the Egyptian resistance was at an end. However, his more pacific colleagues induced him to allow the French Government to take part in the diplomatic discussion, which led to the ultimate settlement of the crisis in the following July. By that treaty the independence of the Porte was guaranteed by a provision that the Bosphorus and Dardanelles should be closed to ships of war of all Powers in time of peace, while the Pasha was punished for his contumacy by being compelled to surrender the whole of Syria, retaining by way of compensation the hereditary possession of Egypt.Meanwhile, Lafayette and Bailly, summoned by this strange news, had hurried to the H?tel de Ville, where they found the National Guard and the French Guard drawn up, and demanding to be led to Versailles. The French Guard declared that the nation had been insulted by the Flanders regiment—the national cockade trampled on; and that they would go and bring the king to Paris, and then all should be well. Bailly and Lafayette attempted to reason with them; but they, and thousands upon thousands of armed rabble again collected there, only cried, "Bread! bread! Lead us to Versailles!" There was nothing for it but to comply; and at length Lafayette declared that he would conduct them there. He mounted his white horse, and this second army, about three o'clock in the afternoon, marched in the track of the amazons who had already reached Versailles.
It is true that George II. was also a brave and staunch commander, prepared to die on the spot rather than yield, as he had shown at Dettingen. But the greater part of his forces at Finchley were raw levies, and might not have stood better than the troops had done in Scotland. There was a terror of the Highlanders, even in the army; and as for London itself, the panic, when it was heard that they had got between the duke's army and the capital, was, according to Fielding, who was then in London, incredible. There was a frantic rush upon the Bank of England, and it is said that it must have closed had it not gained time by paying in sixpences. The shops were shut, business was at a stand, the Ministers were in the utmost terror, and the Duke of Newcastle was said to have shut himself up for a day, pondering whether he should declare for the Pretender or not. The king himself was by no means confident of the result. He is said to have sent most of his precious effects on board a yacht at the Tower quay, ready to put off at a minute's warning. The day on which the news of the rebels being at Derby reached London was long renowned as Black Friday. In such a state of terror, and the army at Finchley inferior in numbers, and infinitely inferior in bravery, who can doubt that Charles would for a time have made himself master of the metropolis?On the 13th of May came down a message, announcing the approaching marriage of the Duke of Kent with the daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Victoria Maria Louisa, sister of Prince Leopold, and widow of Emich Charles, the Prince of Leiningen. The princess was already the mother of a son and daughter. The nation was extremely favourable to this match. The Duke of Kent was popular, and the more so that he had always been treated with unnatural harshness by his father. He had been put under the care of an old martinet general in Hanover, who had received a large annual allowance with him, and kept him so sparely that the poor youth ran away. He had been then sent to Gibraltar, where the severe discipline which he had been taught to consider necessary in the army brought him into disgrace with the garrison. But towards the public at large his conduct had been marked by much liberality of principle.详情
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