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类型:奇幻地区:30ı发布:2020-10-23 14:16:13

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The Duke of Richmond read a paragraph from a newspaper in which the report was stated, naming Lord Temple without any disguise. On this Temple rose, and admitted that he had given certain advice to the king, but would neither admit nor deny that it was of the kind intimated in the report. That the rumour was founded on truth, however, was immediately shown by the division. Numbers of lords who had promised Ministers to vote for the Bill withdrew their support; the Prince of Wales declined voting; and the Opposition carried a resolution for adjournment till the next day, in order to hear evidence in defence of the East India Company. It was clear that the Bill had received its death-blow, and would never pass the Lords after this expression of the royal will, and on the 17th of December it was lost by nineteen votes.

[See larger version]William IV. was welcomed to the Throne with great acclamation. Called "The Sailor King," he was endowed with many of the personal qualities which make the sailor's character popular with Englishmen. He had been Lord High Admiral, and in that capacity he had lately been moving about the coasts, making displays and enjoying ftes, although this was thought by some to be unseemly in the Heir Presumptive to the Throne, at a time when its occupant was known to be in a very infirm state of health. Heavy bills connected with these vainglorious displays were sent to the Treasury, which the Duke of Wellington endorsed with a statement that such expenses were not allowed. Although opinions differed about William very much, not only between the friends of Reform and the Conservatives, but between the leaders of the Liberal party themselves, he was esteemed the most popular king since the days of Alfred. William was certainly a more exemplary character than his brother. He had indeed formed an attachment to a celebrated actress, Mrs. Jordan, by whom he had a numerous family, one of whom was subsequently admitted to the ranks of the nobility with the title of Earl of Munster, and the others were raised to the dignity of younger sons of a marquis. He had, however, been married for several years to the Princess Adelaide, of Saxe-Meiningen, who became Queen of England, and adorned her exalted station by her virtues and her beneficence. They had two children, both of whom died in infancy; and as the king was in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the queen was not young, there was no longer any hope of a direct succession to the Throne. Altogether, Charles Greville's verdict on the king"something of a buffoon and more of a blackguard"is excessively severe. If eccentric and hot-tempered, William IV. was straightforward and upright. He had some knowledge of foreign affairs, and thoroughly understood his position as a constitutional king.

Whilst this Bill was passing the Lords, on the 28th of March Lord Gower brought a fresh one into the Commons, which had no less object than the repeal of the Charter of Massachusetts. It was entitled, "A Bill for the Better Regulating Government in the Province of Massachusetts Bay." It went to remove the nomination of the members of the Council, of the judges and magistrates, etc., from the popular constituencies to the Crown. Lord North observed that the Charter of William III. had conferred these privileges on Massachusetts as exceptional to all other colonies, and that the consequence was that the Governor had no power whatever. Strong opposition was made to this proposed Bill by Dowdeswell, Sir George Savile, Burke, Barr, Governor Pownall, General Conway, and Charles Fox, who was now in opposition. The Bill passed the Commons by a majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against sixty-four; and it passed the Lords by a majority of ninety-two against twenty. But even now another Bill passed the House of Commonsa Bill for removing to another colony for trial any inhabitant of Massachusetts Bay, who was indicted for any murder or other capital offence which the Governor might deem to be perpetrated in the attempt to put down tumults and riots. This measure was still more vehemently opposed than the rest.

But Pitt was already doing his own work and paving his own way. He wrote to the king on the 25th of April, informing him of the determined opposition he felt himself called upon to make to Addington's mode of administration, but assuring him that he would never attempt to force Fox upon him. This was saying, as plainly as he could speak to the king, that he was ready to resume the helm himself, and that, with the opposition that he could exert, the Government of Addington could not go on. Accordingly, Pitt received a notice that his Majesty would soon call for him to attend on him. On the 30th of April the Marquis of Stafford, in the House of Lords, gave notice of a motion identical with that of Fox in the Commonsnamely, for inquiry into the national defences. Lord Hawkesbury immediately entreated the marquis to postpone his motion, for reasons which, he assured the House, it would deem fully satisfactory if he were at liberty to state them. It was at once understood that negotiations were on foot for a change of Administration. Lord Grenville, who was a relative of Pitt, but at the same time pledged to include Fox in any offers to himself of entering the Ministry, called upon Lord Hawkesbury to be more explicit; but he declined, and after some discussion the motion was postponed. Pitt, in fact, had received a message from the king, and on the 2nd of May, through Lord Chancellor Eldon, presented a letter sketching a plan of a new Cabinet, in which he included not only Lord Grenville but Fox also. On the 7th he had, for the first time, an interview with the king, which lasted three hours, and Pitt then more fully stated his views, and recommended a mixed Cabinet on the ground that there was every prospect of a long war, and that it was desirable that they should have a strong administration. Whether such a coalition would have been strong is more than doubtful, opposed as the views and tempers of Fox and Pitt were. But the king would not allow the name of Fox to be in the list. On the other hand, Lord Grenville refused to become part of an Administration from which Fox was excluded. He said he could not accept office in a Cabinet formed on the basis of exclusion, being convinced that an effective government could only be secured by uniting in it as large a proportion as possible of the weight, talents, and character to be found in public men of all descriptions. Pitt was thus forced to form a Government on a narrow Tory basis. On the 11th of May the Marquis of Stafford said, in the House of Lords, that he understood that a certain right honourable gentleman, who had turned his great abilities to the subject of the national defences, was about to take the management of public affairs, and that he therefore withdrew his motion. The next day the public announcement was made that Addington had resigned, and that Pitt had accepted the Chancellorship of the Exchequer. Of the Addington Ministry Pitt retainedLord[496] Chancellor Eldon; the Duke of Portland, President of the Council; the Earl of Westmoreland, Lord Privy Seal; his own brother, the Earl of Chatham, Master-General of the Ordnance; and Lord Castlereagh, President of the Board of Control. To these he added Dundas, now Lord Melville, as First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Harrowby as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, in place of Lord Hawkesbury; and Lord Camden as Secretary of the Colonies, in place of Lord Hobart. Lord Mulgrave became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in place of Lord Pelham. George Canning, now becoming a marked man, was made Treasurer of the Navy, in place of Tierney, but this gave him no seat in the Cabinet. Huskisson was Secretary to the Treasury, and Mr. Perceval remained Attorney-General.

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On the 21st of September the Convention had met in the Tuileries. The first act of the Convention was to send to the Legislative Assembly the notification of its formation, and that the existence of that body was, as a matter of course, at an end. They then marched in a body to the Salle de Manege, and took possession of it. The Girondists now appeared on the Right, the Jacobins on the Left, under the name of the Mountain, and the Centre, or Moderates, took the name of the Plain. The first speech and motion was made by Manuel, proposing that the President of the Convention and of France should be lodged in the Tuileries, attended by all the state which had accompanied the king, and that, whenever he appeared in the House, all the members should receive him standing. The motion was received with a storm of reprobation, and dismissed. The second motion, made by Collot d'Herbois, was for the immediate abolition of royalty. He was seconded by the Abb Gregoire, and it was unanimously abolished accordingly. No time was lost in communicating this fact to the royal family in the Temple.

The distinguished poets still thronging the close of this period would require voluminous space to particularise their works: the vigorous and classic Savage Landor; the graceful, genial Leigh Hunt; Charles Lamb, quaint and piquant; Rogers, lover equally of art and nature; John Wilson, tender, but somewhat diffuse; Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, linked in perpetual memory with his "Kilmeny" and the "Bird of the Wilderness;" Allan Cunningham; MacNeill; Grahame, author of "The Sabbath;" James Montgomery, amongst the very few successful poets of religion; Tennant, author of "Anster Fair;" Kirke White, Sotheby, Maturin, Procter (Barry Cornwall), Milman, Joanna Baillie, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Howitt, Richard Howitt, Elliott the Corn-Law Rhymer, whose most beautiful poems had been for twenty years steadily ignored by the whole English press, till they were accidentally discovered by Sir John Bowring.At this period, both the grand old styles of architecture, the Gothic for ecclesiastical buildings, and the Tudor and Elizabethan for palaces and mansions, had, for a time, run their course. A classical or Italian fashion had come in, and the picturesque churches and halls of our ancestors were deemed barbarous. Inigo Jones had introduced the semi-classical style, and now Sir Christopher Wren and Vanbrugh arose to render it predominant. Wren had the most extraordinary opportunity for distinguishing himself. The fire of London had swept away a capital, and to him was assigned the task of restoring it. Wren (b. 1632; d. 1723) was descended from a clerical family. In 1651 he was appointed to the chair of astronomy at Gresham College; three years afterwards to that of the Savilian professor at Oxford. In 1661 he was appointed by Charles II. to assist Sir John Denham, the surveyor-general, and in 1663 he was commissioned to examine the old cathedral of St. Paul, with a view to its restoration in keeping with the Corinthian colonnade which Inigo Jones had, with a strange blindness to unity, tagged on to a Gothic church. The old church was found to be so thoroughly dilapidated, that Wren recommended its entire removal and the erection of another. This created a terrible outcry amongst the clergy and citizens, who regarded the old fabric as a model of beauty.But Ministers were too sensible of the unconstitutional character of their deeds to rest satisfied with the mere justification of an accepted report. A Bill of Indemnity was introduced to cover "all persons who had in 1817 taken any part in apprehending, imprisoning, or detaining in custody persons suspected of high treason, or treasonable practices, and in the suppression of tumultuous and unlawful assemblies." Thus Ministers were shielded under general terms, and to avoid all appearance of personal movement in this matter by those in the Cabinet the most immediately active, the Bill was introduced by the Duke of Montrose, the Master of the Horse.

Lord Oxford's case was brought at length to a termination also in his favour. His friends having complained of the hardship of keeping him without a hearing for nearly two years, the 24th of June was appointed for the trial to take place in Westminster Hall. The Commons again met in committee to complete the evidence against him; but it was now found that Walpole, who was the chairman, and who had formerly pursued the inquiry with all eagerness, had suddenly cooled, and seldom came near the Committee; and they therefore appointed a new one. In fact, he and Townshend, out of opposition, were doing that secretly which they could not do openly without loss of characterthey were exerting themselves in favour of their old antagonist, and they soon hit on a scheme for bringing him off without any trial at all. The Lords were persuaded to listen to any evidence in support of the charge of[39] misdemeanour before they heard that on the grave charge of treason, and the result foreseen by the Opposition took place when the resolution was reported to the Commons. They immediately determined that it was an infringement of their privileges, and declined compliance with it. This was what Walpole and the then partisans, secret or open, of Lord Oxford, had foreseen. The Commons refusing to attend in Westminster Hall on the day fixed, the Lords returned to their own House, and passed a resolution declaring the Earl of Oxford acquitted, an announcement received by the people with acclamation. The Commons then demanded that Oxford should be excepted from the Act of Grace; but, notwithstanding, he was released from the Tower, and the Commons never renewed the impeachment.Mr. Stanley left behind him one enduring monument of his administration in Ireland which, though afterwards a subject of controversy and party strife, conferred immense advantages upon the countrythe national system of education. It has been remarked that the principle of the Irish Establishment was that of a "missionary church;" that it was never based on the theory of being called for by the wants of the population; that what it looked to was their future spiritual necessities. It was founded on the same reasons which prompt the building of churches in a thinly peopled locality, the running of roads through an uncultivated district, of drains through a desert morass. The principle was philanthropic, and often, in its application, wise; but it proceeded on one postulate, which, unfortunately, was here wantingnamely, that the people will embrace the faith intended for them. This was so far from having hitherto been the case that the reverse was the fact. For nearly three centuries this experiment was tried with respect to the education of the rising generations of the Roman Catholics, and in every age it was attended by failures the most marked and disastrous. The Commissioners of National Education refer to this uniformity of failure in their sixth report, in which they observe,"For nearly the whole of the last century the Government of Ireland laboured to promote Protestant education, and tolerated no other. Large grants of public money were voted for having children educated in the Protestant faith, while it was made a transportable offence in a Roman Catholic (and if the party returned, high treason) to act as a schoolmaster, or assistant to a schoolmaster, or even as a tutor in a private family. The Acts passed for this purpose continued in force from 1709 to 1782. They were then repealed, but Parliament continued to vote money for the support only of the[357] schools conducted on principles which were regarded by the great body of the Roman Catholics as exclusively Protestant until the present system was established."

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The American Congress, which had imagined Gates a greater officer even than Washington, because he had captured Burgoyne through the ability of Arnold, though Washingtonfrom envy, as they supposedhad always held a more correct opinion, now saw their error. No sooner was this victory at Camden achieved, than Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton after General Sumter, who was marching on the other side of the Wateree on his way into South Carolina. Tarleton started after him with a couple of hundred of cavalry, and rode so sharply that he had left half his little force behind him, when he came up with him near Catawba Ford, and fell upon his far superior force without a moment's hesitation, killing and wounding one hundred, and taking captive upwards of two hundred, with all Sumter's baggage, artillery, and one thousand stand of arms.MARSHAL BLUCHER. (From the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.)

There is in all this much of the splenetic jealousy of an aged invalid towards a vigorous competitor, who has outstripped him in the race. O'Connell excited much hostility amongst the friends of Emancipation by his opposition to the veto which they were willing to give to the British Crown on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops by the Court of Rome. But the more antagonists he had, and the more battles he fought, the greater was his hold on the Roman Catholic priests and people. His power had arrived at its greatest height when the Canningites left the Ministry, and Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald came to Ireland to seek the suffrages of the Clare electors as an influential member of the Government. At first, no one had the least doubt of his triumphant return. He had been popular as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland; he was a steady friend of Catholic Emancipation, for which he had always voted; he was personally popular; the gentry of the county were almost to a man devoted to him. It appears that O'Connell had at first no idea of starting against him. The proposal is said to have originated with Sir David Roose, who, having accidentally met Mr. P. V. Fitzpatrick on the 22nd of June, remarked that O'Connell ought to offer himself for Clare. Mr. Fitzpatrick then recollected having often heard Mr. John Keogh, of Mount Jerome, who had been the Catholic leader for many years, express his conviction that Emancipation would never be granted till a Catholic was elected a member of Parliament. If, when returned by a constituency, he was not permitted to take his seat because he would not violate his conscience by swearing what he did not believe, John Bull, who is jealous of constitutional rights, would resent this wrong, and would require the oath to be altered for the sake of the constituency. The moment this thought occurred to Mr. Fitzpatrick, he ran to O'Connell and begged of him to stand for Clare. They went to the office of the Dublin Evening Post, and there, in presence of Mr. F. W. Conway, the address to the electors was written. Still O'Connell shrank from the contest on account of the enormous cost. "You know," he said, "that, so far from being in circumstances to meet that outlay from my own resources, I am encumbered with heavy liabilities beyond my power of discharging. You are the only person with whom I am acquainted who knows intimately the Catholic aristocracy and men of wealth. Would[272] you undertake to sound them as to funds for the contest?" Fitzpatrick answered, "I will undertake it, and I am confident of success." Within an hour he got three men of wealth to put down their names for 100 each. The four then went round to the principal Catholics of Dublin, and during the day they got 1,600 from sixteen persons. The country followed the example of the metropolis so liberally that 14,000 was raised within a week, and money continued to flow in during the contest. The supplies, however, were not sufficient for the enormous demand, and in the heat of the contest a messenger was sent posthaste to Cork, and in an incredibly short space of time returned with 1,000 from Mr. Jerry Murphy, who himself subscribed 300, and got the remainder from its patriotic inhabitants. The sum of 5,000 had been voted by the Association for the expenses of the election. They had been very anxious to get a candidate to oppose Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, and a popular Protestant, Major Macnamara, had been requested to come forward, but he declined on the ground of his personal obligations to the Ministerial candidate. Indeed, there were few of the smaller gentry in the county on whom he had not conferred favours by the liberal distribution of places among their sons. The Roman Catholic gentry were quite as much indebted to him as the Protestants, and they were not ungrateful, for they stood by him on the hustings almost to a man. Mr. O'Connell was preceded by two friends, Tom Steel and O'Gorman Mahon; the former a Protestant, the other a Roman Catholic: both men remarkable for their chivalrous bearing, and a dashing, reckless spirit, which takes with the Irish peasantry. A third agitator entered the field in the person of honest Jack Lawless, another leading member of the Association, and one of its most effective speakers. This band was soon joined by Father Tom Maguire, a famous controversialist, from the county of Leitrim, who had just been engaged in a discussion with the Rev. Mr. Pope, and was hailed by the peasantry as the triumphant champion of their faith. There was also a barrister, Mr. Dominick Ronayne, who spoke the Irish language, and who, throwing an educated mind into the powerful idiom of the country, produced great effects upon the passions of the people. Mr. Sheil, second only to O'Connell in energy and influence, and superior to him in the higher attributes of the orator, in the fiery temperament and imaginative faculty which constitute genius, flung himself into the arena with the greatest ardour. On the Sunday previous to the election each of these agitators was dispatched to a chapel situated in a district which was the stronghold of one or other of the most popular landlords, for the purpose of haranguing the people after mass, and rousing their enthusiasm to the highest pitch. Mr. Sheil went to a place called Corrofin, situated in a mountainous district, the property of Sir Edward O'Brien, father of Mr. Smith O'Brien, who drove to the place in his carriage, drawn by four horses. There he saw the whole population congregated, having advanced from the rocky hills in large bands, waving green boughs, and preceded by fifes and pipers. The hitherto popular landlord was received in solemn silence, while his antagonist, Mr. Sheil, was hailed with rapturous applause. Sir Edward O'Brien consequently lost heart, and, leaving his phaeton opposite the chapel-door, went to church. Mr. Sheil gives a graphic description of Father Murphy, the priest of this rudely constructed mountain chapel. His form was tall, slender, and emaciated; "his ample hand was worn to a skinny meagretude; his face was long, sunken, and cadaverous, but was illuminated by eyes blazing with all the fire of genius and the enthusiasm of religion; his lank black hair fell down in straight lines along a lofty forehead. The sun was shining with brilliancy, and rendered his figure, attired as it was in white garments, more conspicuous. The scenery about was in harmonyit was wild and desolate." This priest met the envoy of the Association on the threshold of his mountain temple, and hailed him with a solemn greeting. After mass the priest delivered an impassioned harangue. The spirit of sarcasm gleamed over his features, and shouts of laughter attended his description of a miserable Catholic who should prove recreant to the great cause by making a sacrifice of his country to his landlord. "The close of his speech," says Mr. Sheil, "was peculiarly effective. He became inflamed by the power of his emotions, and, while he raised himself into the loftiest attitude to which he could ascend, he laid one hand on the altar and shook the other in the spirit of almost prophetic admonition, and, while his eyes blazed and seemed to start from his forehead, thick drops fell down his face, and his voice rolled through lips livid with passion and covered with foam. It is almost unnecessary to say that such an appeal was irresistible. The multitude burst into shouts of acclamation, and would have been ready to mount a battery roaring with cannon at his command. Two days[273] afterwards the results were felt at the hustings, and while Sir Edward O'Brien stood aghast, Father Murphy marched into Ennis at the head of his tenantry, and polled them to a man in favour of Daniel O'Connell."

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