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In Ireland the administration of the law was becoming daily more difficult. Mr. Steele and Mr. O'Gorman Mahon were magistrates, and yet they were actively engaged in exciting the people to the very highest pitch, and urging them to defy the constituted authorities. On a day when a riot was expected at Ennis, county Clare, and the high sheriff made preparations to prevent it, both these gentlemen appeared there, decorated with the order of "Liberators," and followed by a mob. Mr. O'Gorman Mahon held very improper language to the high sheriff in presence of the troops. All this was certified to by sixteen magistrates, and by the commanding officer; yet Lord Anglesey, with the advice of the Lord Chancellor, decided on not depriving them of the commission of the peace. This conduct greatly disappointed the Duke of Wellington, and on the 11th of November he wrote a strong letter to him, in which he said: "I cannot express to you adequately the extent of the difficulties which these and other occurrences in Ireland create in all discussions with his Majesty. He feels that in Ireland the public peace is violated every day with impunity by those whose duty it is to preserve it; that a formidable conspiracy exists; and that the supposed conspiratorsthose whose language and conduct point them out as the principal agitators of the countryare admitted to the presence of his Majesty's representative, and equally well received with the king's most loyal subjects." The Duke also, as we have already observed, strongly censured the conduct of the Viceroy and the Lord Chancellor for visiting Lord Cloncurry, a member of the Association, remarking, "The doubts which are entertained respecting the loyalty of the Roman Catholic Association, the language which has been held there respecting the king himself, his Royal Family, the members of his Government, your colleagues in office, and respecting nearly every respectable member of society, and the unanimously expressed detestation of the violence of the Association, might be deemed reasons for omitting to encourage any of its members by the countenance or favour of the king's representative."MAP OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME WHEN THEY GAINED THEIR INDEPENDENCE.

ABBOTSFORD AND THE EILDON HILLS. (From a Photograph by Valentine & Sons, Dundee.)Joseph, in the face of these things, passed an edict sequestrating all the abbeys in Brabant. The States of Brabant therefore refused the voting of any subsidies, and Joseph, irritated to deeper blindness, determined to abolish the Great Charter entitled the Joyeuse Entre, so called because granted on the entry of Philip the Good into Brussels, and on which nearly all their privileges rested. To compel them to vote a permanent subsidy, the military surrounded the States of Hainault, forcibly dissolved their sitting, and then calling an extraordinary meeting of the States of Brabant, Trautmansdorff ordered them to pass an Act sanctioning such a subsidy. But the deputies remained firm, and thereupon the Joyeuse Entre was annulled by proclamation, and the House of Assembly dissolved. Joseph vowed that he would extinguish the rebellion in blood, and reduce the Netherlands to the same despotism which ruled all his other states, except Hungary and the Tyrol.

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.L'univers t'abandonne"

By the marvellous aids of canals and steam-engines manufacturing power became most immensely augmented in all directions, but especially in the spinning and weaving of cotton goods. The machines invented by Wyatt and Paul in 1733, and improved by Arkwright in 1767, if not invented anew, without knowledge of Wyatt and Paul's plan of spinning by rollersa moot point; the spinning-jenny with seven spindles, invented by James Hargreaves, a weaver near Blackburn, in 1767; and the mule-jenny, combining the working of the machines of Arkwright and Hargreaves, by Samuel Crompton, in 1779, completely superseded spinning cotton yarn by hand. These machines were first worked by water power, but steam power was used after the steam-engine had been invented; and the growth of cotton-spinning became rapid beyond conception, spreading over all Lancashire and the midland counties in a marvellous manner. The cotton-mills of Robert Peel, in Lancashire and Staffordshire; of the Strutts, at Belper, in Derbyshire; of Dale, at New Lanark; of Robinson, at Papplewick; and Arkwright, at Cromford, which raised these gentlemen to vast wealth, being only the leviathans amongst swarming concerns of less dimensions.The most interesting of all the debates that occurred in the House of Commons during the Session of 1850 was that which took place on the foreign policy of Great Britain, particularly with reference to Greece. The House of Lords had passed a vote of censure upon the Government, by a majority of thirty-seven, on a motion brought forward by Lord Stanley, and folk were anxious to see how the House of Commons would deal with that fact. On the 20th of June Lord John Russell read the resolution, and said, "We are not going in any respect to alter the course of conduct we have thought it right to pursue in respect of foreign Powers, in consequence of that resolution." He concluded his speech with the following bold defiance, which elicited general and protracted cheering:"So long as we continue the Government of this country, I can answer for my noble friend [Lord Palmerston] that he will act not as a Minister of Austria, or of Russia, or of France, or of any other country, but as the Minister of England. The honour of England and the interests of Englandsuch are the matters that are within our keeping; and it is to that honour and to those interests that our conduct will in future be, as it has hitherto been, directed."

In the House of Commons, too, the Speaker, Sir John Cust, was removed by death at the same moment, and Sir Fletcher Norton was elected in his place. On the 22nd of January, the same day that Sir Fletcher Norton was made Speaker of the House of Commons, the Marquis of Rockingham moved in the Lords for an inquiry into the state of the nation. The crumbling down of the Cabinet continued. James Grenville resigned; Dunning, the Solicitor-General, and General Conway, followed; and on the very day of Lord Rockingham's motion, the Duke of Grafton himself laid down the Seals. The whole of his administration had thus vanished, like a mere fog ministry, at the first reappearance of the luminary, Chatham.If we were to believe figures, and the returns of exports and imports, and of duties paid, we must set down the opening of the year 1819 as considerably prosperous. This was the view which Ministers took of the condition of Great Britain when they met the new Parliament on the 14th of January. The speculations that had been carried on during 1818 had swelled the revenue, and given an impression of growing commerce, which unfortunately did not exist. The results of these speculations in imports of raw material, especially of cotton, and in extensive exports of manufactures to countries not yet sufficiently reinvigorated to purchase, had produced numerous and heavy failures during the latter part of the past year, and these still continued, in strange contrast to the self-congratulating language of Ministers. In nothing was the fall of price so great as in cotton, and those who had bought[142] largely suffered in proportion. These bankruptcies were not confined to Great Britain; they extended to New York, and to southern ports of the United States, where the same speculation had been going on largely.

To commence a course of more rigour in Massachusetts, Governor Hutchinson was recalled, and General Gage, a man who had seen service, and had the reputation of firmness and promptitude, was appointed in his stead. But the mischief of the new Acts became rapidly apparent. Had the Boston Port Bill alone been passed, perhaps not much harm might have been done. There were numbers of people throughout America who were of opinion that Boston had gone too far in destroying the tea, and might have remained passive if the Bostonians had been compelled to make compensation. But the fatal Act was[212] that which abolished the Massachusetts Charter. That made the cause common; that excited one universal alarm. If the British Government were thus permitted to strike out the colonial Charters at pleasure, all security had perished. All the colonies determined to support their own cause in supporting that of Massachusetts.At length the firing mutually ceased, but the Russians did not quit their position; it was the French who drew off, and their outposts, during the following night, were alarmed by the Russian cavalry. The Russians had fifteen thousand killed and thirty thousand wounded; the French ten thousand killed and above twenty thousand wounded, and of these latter very few recovered, for they were destitute of almost every hospital necessary, even lint. The Russians made one thousand prisoners and the French about two thousand. The loss of guns on either side was nearly equal. Had the battle been resumed the next day it must have gone hard with the French; but Kutusoff was not willing to make such another sacrifice of his men, and he resumed the policy of De Tolly and made his retreat, continuing it to Moscow in so masterly a manner, that he left neither dead, nor dying, nor wounded, nor any article of his camp equipage behind him, so that the French were at a loss to know where he had really gone. On the 12th they learned, however, that he had retreated to Moscow, and Buonaparte instantly resumed his march. At Krymskoi Murat and Mortier came upon a strong body of Russians, and were repulsed, with the loss of two thousand men. The Russian rear-guard then hastened on again towards Moscow.

Of course, the commercial changes introduced by Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Robinson excited loud murmurs of dissatisfaction from the interests affected, especially the shipping interest. But the best answer to objectors was the continuously flourishing state of the country. At the opening of the Session in 1825, Lord Dudley and Ward, in moving the Address in answer to the King's Speech in the Upper House, observed:"Our present prosperity is a prosperity extending to all orders, all professions, and all districts, enhanced and invigorated by the flourishing state of all those arts which minister to human comfort, and those inventions by which man obtains a mastery over nature by the application of her own powers, and which, if one had ventured to foretell a few years ago, it would have appeared almost incredible." This happy state of things was the result of a legitimate expansion of trade. Manufacturers and merchants were at first guided by a spirit of sober calculation. The steady advance in the public securities, and in the value of property of all sorts, showed that the national wealth rested upon a solid basis. The extension of the currency kept pace with the development of trade and commerce, and the circulation of bankers' paper was enormously increased. But out of the national prosperity there arose a spirit of rash speculation and adventure, resulting in a monetary crisis. The issue of notes by country banks was under no restriction; no measures were taken to secure that their paper represented property, and could be redeemed if necessary. There were hundreds of bankers in the provinces who could issue any quantity of notes they pleased, and these passed as cash from hand to hand. The spirit of speculation and enterprise was stimulated to a feverish degree of excitement by the recognition of the states of Colombia, Mexico, and Buenos Ayres, formally announced in the King's Speech on the 3rd of February, which said that treaties of commerce had been made with those new states. The rich districts of South America being thus thrown open, there was a rush of capitalists and adventurers to work its inexhaustible mines. A number of companies was formed for the purpose, and the gains of some of them in a few months amounted to fifteen hundred per cent. The result was a mania of speculation, which seized upon all classes, pervaded all ranks, and threw the most sober and quiet members of society into a state of tumultuous excitement. Joint-stock companies almost innumerable were established, to accomplish all sorts of undertakings. There were thirty-three companies for making canals and docks, forty-eight for making railroads, forty-two for gas, twenty insurance companies, twenty-three banking companies, twelve navigation packet companies, five indigo and sugar companies, thirty-four metal companies, and many others. The amount of capital subscribed in these various companies, which numbered two hundred and seventy-six, was upwards of 174,000,000. In connection with South America there was the Anglo-Mexican Company, the Brazilian, the Colombian, Real de Monte, and the United Mexican. On the South American shares only ten pounds each had been paid, except the Real de Monte, on which 70 had been paid. We may judge of the extent to which gambling speculation was carried from the following statement of the market prices of the shares, in five of the principal mining companies[243], at two periods, December 10th, 1824, and January 11th, 1825:



Parliament opened gloomily on the 21st of January, 1806. The total failure of Pitt's new Continental coalition, the surrender of Ulm, the battle of Austerlitz, the retreat of Austria into peace with Napoleon, and of Russia into her northern snows, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium nearly all prostrate at the feet of Buonaparte, were killing Pitt. He had sought for renovation in the autumn at Bath; but its salutary waters and atmosphere had failed to restore his spirit, or to remove what Fox called the "Austerlitz look" from his face. He was dying at Putney as the House met, and the king was not in a condition to open the Session personally. The Royal Speech, read by a Commissioner, referred, with just pride, to the great victory of Trafalgar, and had but little to say on the defeat of all our endeavours on the Continent. The Opposition determined to move an amendment to the Address; but this was prevented by the announcement of the death of Pitt on the 23rd, two days after the opening of Parliament. Mr. Lascelles gave notice of a motion for a public funeral in Westminster Abbey. Fox moved that this question should be postponed till after the discussion on the Address, which was considered by Pitt's friends as a great want of generosity in Fox. The amendment was, of course, overruled, and it was voted, on the 27th of January, by a majority of two hundred and fifty-eight against eighty-nine, that Pitt should be buried in Westminster Abbey; which accordingly took place, the royal dukes, the Archbishop of Canterbury, eight bishops, a great number of peers, and about a hundred members of the House of Commons attending.

On the 29th of November Flood moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the more equal representation of the people. This was the scheme of the Volunteer Parliament, and all the delegates to the Convention who were members of the House, or had procured admittance as spectators, appeared in uniform. The tempest that arose is described as something terrific. The orders of the House, the rules of debate, the very rules of ordinary conduct amongst gentlemen, were utterly disregarded. The fury on both sides was uncontrollable. The motion was indignantly rejected by one hundred and fifty-seven votes against seventy-seven; and the House immediately voted a cordial Address to his Majesty, declaring their perfect satisfaction with the blessings enjoyed[311] under his auspicious reign, and the present happy Constitution, and their determination to support him with their lives and fortunes. On the 13th of March Mr. Flood introduced his Bill once more, for equalising the representation of the people in Parliament. It proposed to abolish the right of boroughs altogether to send members, and to place the franchise in the people at large. Sir John Fitzgibbon, the Attorney-General, stoutly opposed it; Grattan dissented from it, and it was thrown out on the motion to commit it.[557]



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