The chief seats of the hosiery manufacture are in the counties of Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester. The number of stocking-frames in England in 1821 was under 30,000, showing an increase in thirty years of only 10,000. Mr. Felkin gives an estimate for 1833, which states that there were 33,000 frames in England, producing 3,510,000 dozen stockings a year, and consuming 8,137,000 lbs. of cotton yarn, worsted, and silk, valued at ￡814,000; the wages for making them amounting to ￡948,000, and for finishing, ￡229,000; the total value being little short of ￡2,000,000 sterling, and the total value of the materials ￡560,000. The total number of persons employed in the making of stockings was 73,000. The total of fixed capital engaged in the manufacture was ￡385,000, and of floating capital ￡1,050,000. The quantity of cotton hosiery goods made in 1833 was estimated by Mr. Felkin to have increased more than fifty per cent. in the preceding twenty years.
On the morning of Monday, the 28th, the king's brother, Edward, Duke of York, and Lord Bute were sworn members of the Privy Council. It was obvious that Bute was to be quite in the ascendant, and the observant courtiers paid instant homage to the man through whom all good things were to flow. The king declared himself, however, highly satisfied with his present Cabinet, and announced that he wished no changes. A handbill soon appeared on the walls of the Royal Exchange expressing the public apprehension: "No petticoat government—no Scotch favourite—no Lord George Sackville!" Bute had always championed Lord George, who was so bold in society and so backward in the field; and the public now imagined that they would have a governing clique of the king's mother, her favourite, Bute, and his favourite, Lord George.Thus the whole country was torn by religious animosity; the nobles were insolent to the Crown, and the people were nothing. Such was the divided condition of Poland which led to its dismemberment. All nobility of mind was destroyed; pride and oppression were the inseparable consequences of such a system. There was no middle class, no popular class; it was a country of lords and slaves—of one class domineering over the other. The Greek Catholics were the Dissidents, and the Dissidents sought aid from Russia—which was also Greek in religion—and, to insure this aid, condescended to the lowest arts of solicitation, to the practice of fawning, stooping, and cringing to the great barbarous power of Russia on one side, and to the equally barbarous power of Turkey on the other. The nobles could bring large bodies of cavalry into the field, as many, at times, as a hundred thousand; but as they had no free people, and dreaded to arm their slaves, they had little or no infantry, except such as they hired, and even this was in no condition to withstand the heavy masses of Russian infantry, much less such armies as Prussia or Austria might be tempted to bring against them.Prevented by the arrival of Daun from utterly destroying Dresden, though he had done enough to require thirty years of peace to restore it, Frederick marched for Silesia. Laudohn, who was besieging Breslau, quitted it at his approach; but the Prussian king, who found himself surrounded by three armies, cut his way, on the 15th of August, at Liegnitz, through Laudohn's division, which he denominated merely "a scratch." He was instantly, however, called away to defend his own capital from a combined army of Russians under Todleben, and of Austrians under Lacy, another Irishman; but before he could reach them they had forced an entrance, on the 9th of October. The Russians, departing from their usual custom of plunder, touched nothing, but levied a contribution of one million seven hundred thousand dollars on the city. At Frederick's approach they withdrew.
Well-disposed people happily comprised the great mass of the population of all ranks and classes, who responded with alacrity to the appeal of the Government for co-operation. Great alarm was felt in the metropolis lest there should be street-fighting and plundering, and it might be said that society itself had taken effective measures for its own defence. The 10th of April, 1848, will be a day for ever remembered with pride by Englishmen, and posterity will read of it with admiration. In the morning nothing unusual appeared in the streets, except that the shops were mostly closed, the roar of traffic was suspended, and an air of quiet pervaded the metropolis. No less than 170,000 men, from the highest nobility down to the humblest shopkeeper, had been enrolled and sworn as special constables—a great army of volunteers, who came forward spontaneously for the defence of the Government. In every street these guardians of the peace might be seen pacing up and down upon their respective beats, and under their respective officers. Among them was Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, acting as a private, under the command of the Earl of Eglinton. No soldiers appeared in the streets; but, during the previous night, the Duke of Wellington had taken the most effective measures to prevent any violation of the peace. Strong bodies of foot and horse police were placed at the ends of the bridges, over which the Chartists must pass from Kennington Common to Westminster, and these were assisted by large numbers of special constables, posted on the approaches at each side. And lest these should be overpowered by the Chartists in attempting to force a passage, a strong force of military—horse, foot, and artillery—was kept concealed from view in the immediate neighbourhood. The public buildings were all occupied by troops and strongly fortified. Two regiments of the line were stationed at Millbank Penitentiary. There were 1,200 infantry at the Deptford Dockyards. At the Tower 30 pieces of heavy field ordnance were ready to be shipped by hired steamers to any spot where their services might be required. The public offices at the West-end, Somerset House, and in the City, were occupied by troops and stored with arms. The Bank of England was strongly fortified, sandbags being piled all round upon the roof, as parapets to protect the gunners, while the interior was filled with soldiers. There were also similar barricades to the windows, with loopholes for muskets. In the space of Rose Inn Yard, at the end of Farringdon Street, a large body of troops was posted ready to move at a moment's notice, and another in the enclosure of Bridewell Prison. At several points immediately about Kennington Common, commanding the whole space, bodies of soldiers were placed out of view, but ready for instant action. The Guards—horse and foot—were all under arms, in Scotland Yard and in other places.Such language was certain to irritate, in no ordinary degree, the full-blown pride of Buonaparte. It is probable that he was only too desirous of finding a cause of quarrel with Prussia. He longed to avenge himself on her for keeping him in a state of tantalising uncertainty during his Austrian campaign; and he wished to bring the whole of Germany under his dominion. He replied, through Talleyrand, that Prussia had no right to demand from him that he should withdraw his troops from friendly States, and that they should remain there as long as he pleased. In fact, he was already watching the movements of Prussia. He was well aware of the negotiations with Russia, he had full information of the man?uvring of troops, and that the Queen of Prussia, in the uniform of the regiment called by her name, had been at reviews of the army, encouraging the soldiers by her words. He had, weeks before, assembled his principal marshals—Soult, Murat, Augereau, and Bernadotte—in Paris, and, with them, sketched the plan of the campaign against Prussia. Four days before Knobelsdorff presented the King of Prussia's letter to Talleyrand Napoleon had quitted Paris, and was on the Rhine, directing the march of his forces there, and calling for the contingents from the princes of the Rhenish Confederation; nay, so forward were his measures, that his army in Germany, under Berthier, stretched from Baden to Düsseldorf, and from Frankfort-on-the-Main to Nuremberg. At the same time he commenced a series of the bitterest attacks on Prussia in the Moniteur and other papers under his control, and of the vilest and most unmanly attacks on the character of the Queen of Prussia, a most interesting and amiable woman, whose only crime was her patriotism.
On the Rhine, the war was carried on quite into the winter. The King of Prussia did not stay longer than to witness the surrender of Mayence; he then hurried away to look after his new Polish territory, and left the army under the command of the Duke of Brunswick. Brunswick, in concert with Wurmser and his Austrians, attacked and drove the French from their lines at Weissenburg, took from them Lauter, and laid siege to Landau. Wurmser then advanced into Alsace, which the Germans claimed as their old rightful territory, and invested Strasburg. But the Convention Commissioners, St. Just and Lebas, defended the place vigorously. They called forces from all quarters; they terrified the people into obedience by the guillotine, Lebas saying that with a little guillotine and plenty of terror he could do anything. But he did not neglect to send for the gallant young Hoche, and put him at the head of the army. Wurmser was compelled to fall back; Hoche marched through the defiles of the Vosges, and, taking Wurmser by surprise, defeated him, made many prisoners, and captured a great part of Wurmser's cannon. In conjunction with Pichegru, Dessaix, and Michaud, he made a desperate attack, on the 26th of December, on the Austrians in the fortified lines of Weissenburg, whence they had so lately driven the French; but the Duke of Brunswick came to their aid, and enabled the Austrians to retire in order. Hoche again took possession of Weissenburg; the Austrians retreated across the Rhine, and the Duke of Brunswick and his Prussians fell back on Mayence. Once there, dissatisfied with the Prussian officers, he resigned his command, he and Wurmser parting with much mutual recrimination. Wurmser was not able long to retain Mayence; and the French not only regained all their old positions, before they retired to winter quarters, but Hoche crossed the lines and wintered in the Palatinate, the scene of so many French devastations in past wars. The French also repulsed the enemy on the Spanish and Sardinian frontiers.[See larger version]
The age was remarkably prolific in female poets and novelists, some of whom have taken as high a rank in literature as their sex have done in any age. Lady Blessington and Lady Morgan were not young at the death of George III., but many of their most celebrated works were published during the two subsequent reigns. The former, soon after the death of Lord Blessington in 1829, fixed her residence in London at Gore House, which became the centre of attraction for men of talent and distinction in every department. Even great statesmen and Ministers of the Crown sometimes spent their evenings in her circle, which was then unrivalled in London for the combined charms of beauty, wit, and brilliant conversation; and besides, all the celebrities and lions of London were sure to be met there. The ambiguous attachment that so long subsisted between her and Count D'Orsay, one of the most accomplished men of the age, however, excluded Lady Blessington from the best society. The heavy expenses of her establishment compelled her to work hard with her pen, and she produced a number of works, which were in great demand in the circulating libraries of the day. They are no longer read. Debt at length broke up the establishment at Gore House, and all its precious collections passed under the hammer of the auctioneer, to satisfy inexorable creditors. Lady Blessington removed to Paris, where she lived in retirement for some years, and died in 1849. Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson) was before the country as an author for nearly half a century. She was born in Dublin, in 1783, and died in 1859. Before she was sixteen years of age she was the author of two novels. Her third work, "The Wild Irish Girl," brought to her the fame for which she longed, and made her a celebrity. In 1811 she married Sir Charles Morgan, a Dublin physician. Her principal works as a novelist were "Patriotic Sketches," "O'Donnell," "Florence M'Carthy," and "The O'Briens and O'Flahertys," which was published in 1827.The Opposition made no objection to the re-election of Onslow as Speaker of the Commons, but they made a determined attack on the Address. Lord Noel Somerset moved that in the Address his Majesty should be desired not to engage this kingdom in a war for the defence of his Hanoverian dominions. This was seconded by Shippen, who declared that he had grown old in the House of Commons only to see all the predictions of his life realised in the management of the nation. Pulteney seemed to be animated by a double portion of patriotic indignation. He reviewed Walpole's whole administration, and accused him, not merely of individual acts of erroneous policy, but of deliberate treachery. The Whigs, elated by this fiery denunciation of the Minister, called for a division; but Pulteney, aware that they had not yet a majority, observed that dividing was not the way to multiply. Walpole, on his part, offered to leave out the paragraph thanking his Majesty for his royal care in prosecuting the war with Spain; but this was only regarded as a proof of conscious weakness, and Pulteney proceeded to charge Walpole with purposely ruining the nation to serve the Pretender. This called Walpole up, and he defended himself with all his accustomed self-command and ability. He retorted the charges of serving the Pretender on his enemies, and these with real grounds. He referred to Chesterfield's recent visit to the Pretender's Court at Avignon. He asked, as he had done before more than once, whether he, as Minister, had raised the war in Germany, or advised the war with Spain? Whether he was amenable for the deaths of the late Emperor and the King of Prussia, which opened up all these complications? Whether the lawless ambition of Frederick, and the war between Sweden and Russia, were chargeable on him? He offered to meet the Opposition on the question of the state of the nation, if they would name a day. This challenge was accepted, and the 21st of January, 1742, was fixed upon. The clause respecting the Spanish war, as Walpole had suggested, was also struck out, and the Address then was carried unanimously.
Whilst Parliament was busy with the Septennial Bill, George I. was very impatient to get away to Hanover. Like William III., he was but a foreigner in England; a dull, well-meaning man, whose heart was in his native country, and who had been transplanted too late ever to take to the alien earth. The Act of Settlement provided that, after the Hanoverian accession, no reigning sovereign should quit the kingdom without permission of Parliament. George was not content to ask this permission, but insisted that the restraining clause itself should be repealed, and it was accordingly repealed without any opposition. There was one difficulty connected with George's absence from his kingdom which Council or Parliament could not so easily deal with: this was his excessive jealousy of his son. The king could not take his departure in peace if the Prince of Wales was to be made regent, according to custom, in his absence. He proposed, therefore, through his favourite, Bothmar, that the powers of the prince should be limited by rigorous provisions, and that some other persons should be joined with him in commission. Lord Townshend did not hesitate to express his sense of the impolicy of the king's leaving his dominions at all at such a crisis; but he also added that to put any other persons in commission with the Prince of Wales was contrary to the whole practice and spirit of England. Driven from this, the king insisted that, instead of regent, the prince should be named "Guardian and Lieutenant of the Realm"—an office which had never existed since the time of the Black Prince.
Napoleon reached Warsaw on the 10th of December, after a narrow escape of being taken at a village named Youpranoui. On the 14th of December he was in Dresden, and had a long conversation with his satrap king there; and, after escaping some endeavours of the Prussians to seize him, he arrived safely in Paris at midnight of the 18th, where the Parisians, who had with some indifference suppressed the conspiracy got up by the Republicans under General Mallet, hastened to overwhelm him with the most fulsome flatteries. The story of his rubbing his hands over the fire on his arrival at the Tuileries, and saying, "This is pleasanter than Moscow," shows an intensity of selfishness which no history on earth can equal. In this one campaign, that magnificent army, the very flower of French, German, and Polish soldiery—perhaps the finest army ever assembled—had perished to a mere fraction, and that amid the most unheard of, the most hitherto unconceived horrors. The remnant of these soldiers was still struggling on in their deserted march, through these horrors even still more intensified. Numbers were falling every day all along the frozen desert tracks, exhausted by famine and cold, and the snows immediately buried them. When they approached any place of rest or refreshment, they fought furiously for fragments of firewood or pieces of horse-flesh. When a horse fell under the burdens they had piled upon him, he was torn by them limb from limb, while yet palpitating with life, and devoured raw. Such was the weariness of these miserable fugitives over immeasurable deserts of frost and snow, through cutting, scythe-edged winds, that nothing but the sound of the Cossack drum, and the howls of the Cossack avengers could induce them to rise and pursue their desolate march. And the man who had brought all these terrible calamities upon nearly half a million of men—and more than half a million by far, including women, children, and other camp-followers, to say nothing of the invaded Russians—felt not a pang for these vast human sufferings, but only for his own detestable pride.
The statutory provision for all who cannot support themselves had now existed for upwards of 280 years. There was no considerable increase of population in England from the period when the Poor Laws were established up to the middle of the eighteenth century. Its people have been distinguished for their industry, thrift, and forethought. No other nation has furnished such unquestionable proofs of the prevalence of a provident and independent spirit. From the year 1601, when the Act 43 Elizabeth, the foundation of the old code of Poor Laws, was put in force, to the commencement of the war with Napoleon, there had been scarcely any increase of pauperism. In 1815 there were 925,439 individuals in England and Wales, being about one-eleventh of the then existing population, members of friendly societies, formed for the express purpose of affording protection to the members in sickness and old age, and enabling them to subsist without resorting to the parish fund. It may be asked, How was this state of things compatible with the right to support at the expense of the parish which the law gave to the destitute? The answer is, that the exercise of that right was subjected to the most powerful checks, and restricted in every possible way. In 1723 an Act was passed authorising the church-wardens and overseers, with the consent of the parishioners, to establish a workhouse in each parish; and it was at the same time enacted that the overseers should be entitled to refuse relief to all who did not choose to accept it in the workhouse, and to submit to all its regulations. In consequence of this Act workhouses were erected in many parishes, and they had an immediate and striking effect in reducing the number of paupers. Many who had previously received pensions from the parish preferred depending on their own exertions rather than take up their abode in the workhouse.[See larger version]GENERAL ELECTION OF 1784: MASTER BILLY'S PROCESSION TO GROCERS' HALL—PITT PRESENTED WITH THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF LONDON. (Reduced facsimile of the Caricature by T. Rowlandson.)
SIR ROWLAND HILL, 1847.详情
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