On the 3rd Parliament assembled, and the nation was full of expectation as to the measures of the Government. The great question of the day was understood to have been under their anxious consideration during the winter. It subsequently transpired that the measure of Reform contemplated by Lord Grey at the close of the year was far more moderate than the one which was brought forward by Lord John Russell. The material increase in the amount of concession was said to be chiefly owing to the growing demands of the people, enlightened by the discussions in the political unions. Lord Durham was the most advanced Liberal in the Cabinet, and most strenuously insisted on the necessity of a very liberal measure. In order that the Bill might be well matured, and might fully meet the wants of the country, Lord Grey appointed a committee to consider the whole subject, and report upon it to the Cabinet. This committee consisted of his son-in-law, Lord Durham, who was intimately acquainted with his own views; Lord John Russell, who had represented the Whig party in the House of Commons in the various proposals that he had made on the subject of Reform; Sir James Graham, who enjoyed the confidence of the advanced Liberals, and was considered something more than a Whig; and Lord Duncannon, who was supposed to be well acquainted with the Irish corporations. According to the general instructions given to the committee, they were to prepare the outlines of a measure which should be sufficiently comprehensive to meet the demands of public opinion, so as to extinguish the desire for further change. But it must rest upon property as its basis, and be connected with existing territorial divisions. He wished that the prerogative of the Crown should be in no degree diminished, that the peers should lose none of their rights or privileges; but that, saving these, the democracy should play its due part in the legislation and government of the country. The committee began to work as soon as the Administration was organised. They first discussed the principles involved in the measure, then the details were separately examined, and when a point was decided and agreed upon, it was recorded in writing by Lord Durham. Lord John Russell furnished the materials for Schedules A and B, which were supplied to him by coadjutors, who were labouring diligently out of doors facilitating the work. The first draft of the measure, as adopted by the committee, was explained by Lord Durham in the form of a report to the Cabinet, showing how the plans thus propounded would fulfil the conditions required, and, by satisfying all reasonable desires, stop the tendency to innovation. The scheme, when thus placed before the Cabinet, became the subject of their anxious deliberation, and was unanimously adopted by them, with the exception of the ballot, which was rejected owing to Lord Grey's objections. It was then submitted to the king at Brighton, a few days from the meeting of Parliament, was discussed with him from point to point, and sanctioned.
In much the same way the silk industry had been protected by prohibitory legislation, of which the only effect was to convert smuggling into an important trade. Again, the manufacturers petitioned for the removal of the duties upon spun silk, but were eager to exclude foreign manufactured silks. On the other hand, the silk spinners were opposed to the introduction of spun silk, but desired the removal of duties upon raw silk, while the journeymen believed that ruin stared them in the face if foreign manufactured silks were introduced. Robinson, with Huskisson's assistance, decided to admit foreign silk on an ad valorem duty of 30 per cent. At the same time he largely reduced the duties on the raw material. The duty on Indian silk was reduced from 4s. to 3d., that on Chinese and Italian silks from 5s. 6d. to 6d., that on organzine from 14s. 10d. to 7s. 6d. a pound. The manufacturers vowed and protested that they were ruined; in ten years' time they were exporting to France, their former rival, ￡60,000 worth of manufactured silk.Lord Auckland was then Governor-General of India, but the period of his tenure of office was drawing to a close. He hoped it would end brightly, that the war for the restoration of an imbecile and puppet king would have ended triumphantly, and that he would return to his native land bearing something of the reflected glory of the conquerors of Afghanistan. He had been cheered by the despatches of the too sanguine envoy in the month of October, who spoke only of the continued tranquillity of Cabul. November passed, however, without any intelligence, and all was anxiety and painful suspense. Intelligence at last came confirming the worst anticipations. Calcutta was astounded at the news that Afghanistan, believed to be prosperous and grateful for British intervention, was in arms against its deliverers. Suddenly the tranquillity of that doomed country was found to be a delusion. "Across the whole length and breadth of the land the history of that gigantic lie was written in characters of blood." Confounded and paralysed by the tidings of so great a failure, which he had not energy to retrieve, he thought only of abandoning the vicious policy of aggression that had ended so miserably, and given such a terrible blow to the prestige of British power in India, on which our dominion in the East so much depended. He had owed his appointment to the Whigs; and the Conservatives, who were now in office, had opposed the policy of the Government regarding the Afghan war. But no one seemed more sick of the policy of aggression than the Governor-General himself. He became thoroughly convinced of the folly of placing a detached force in a distant city which could be reached only through dangerous defiles occupied by an ever-watchful enemy, depending for supplies upon uncertain allies, and without any basis of operations. The expedition had proved enormously expensive, and had drained the Indian treasury of funds that should have been employed in developing the resources of our Indian possessions. When all this had ended in disastrous failure and national disgrace—when he recollected that the directors of the Company, as well as the Government, had expressed intense dissatisfaction at his policy, feeling conscious that their complaints were just, and that their worst forebodings had been realised, his spirit seems to have been completely broken; instead of any attempt at retrieving the misfortunes of his Government, he thought only of saving, if possible, what remained of the forces that he had sent across the Indus. Writing to the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Jaspar Nicolls, who was then on a tour through the Upper Provinces of India, with reference to the sending forward of reinforcements, he said he did not see how the sending forward of a brigade could by any possibility have any influence on the events which it was supposed were then passing at Cabul, which they could not reach before April. In his opinion they were not to think of marching fresh armies to the reconquest of that which they were likely to lose. He feared that safety to the force at Cabul could only come from itself. The Commander-in-Chief himself had been always of opinion that the renewed efforts of the Government to support Shah Sujah on his throne, and to establish a permanent influence in Afghanistan, was a great mistake. However, owing to the energy of Mr. George Clarke, the Governor-General's agent on the north-west frontier, and his assistant, Captain, afterwards Sir, Henry Lawrence, forces were dispatched from that quarter, under the command of General Pollock, who had commanded the garrison of Agra, having been in the Indian service since 1803, and having distinguished himself under General Lake. This appointment gave the greatest satisfaction, as it was believed that he was selected solely for his merit, and not through aristocratic influence. While he was preparing to advance, Lord Auckland was recalled, and Lord Ellenborough, the new Governor-General, arrived at Calcutta.Mention must be made of the extraordinary calculating machines of Charles Babbage. A few years after leaving college he originated the plan of a machine for calculating tables, by means of successive orders of differences, and having received for it, in 1822 and the following year, the support of the Astronomical and Royal Societies, and a grant of money from Government, he proceeded to its execution. He also in 1834 contrived a machine called the "analytical engine," extending the plan so as to develop algebraic quantities, and to tabulate the numerical value of complicated functions, when one or more of the variables which they contain are made to alter their values; but the difficulties of carrying out this plan became insurmountable. In 1839 Babbage resigned the professorship of mathematics in the University of Cambridge. He died at the end of 1871, having devoted his life to the study and advancement of science.
But the Court had hesitated too long. The people had taken the start of them, and now came sounds which paralysed the Court party with consternation. Scarcely was midnight passed on this eventful 14th of July, when the throngs increased rapidly around the Bastille, and the cries grew fiercer, "Down with it!" "Let us storm it!" De Launay, the governor, had made all necessary preparations, charged a dozen long guns on the towers with balls of a pound and a half each, and disposed his little force to the best advantage. While the democratic leaders were negotiating with the garrison, the crowd grew first impatient, then furious. They advanced impetuously against the first drawbridge. Two men mounted the roof of the guard-house, and, with axes, cut the chains of the bridge, which fell down. The mass of assailants rushed forward towards the second bridge, but were met by a discharge of musketry, which did deadly execution amongst them and brought them to a stand. The firing proceeded at once from the towers and from the loop-holes below. A number of the assailants fell, whilst only two of the muskets fired by the people during the whole day took effect. De Launay now gave orders to fire on the assailants with grape. This drove them back to some distance, but they soon came on more furious than ever. De Launay looked in vain for the promised succour from Besenval or Broglie, and seeing the ever-increasing and ever more raging thousands around, he lost his head, was seized with despair, and resolved to blow up the prison and a great part of the old town near it. Six hundred and thirty-five barrels of gunpowder were deposited in the magazine. Seizing a match, he ran to cast it into an open barrel, and thus send into the air the horrible old fortress, himself, and garrison. With it must inevitably have been destroyed all the quarter of the Bastille, all the Marais, and a great part of the Faubourg St. Antoine. Two uncommissioned officers stopped him by crossing their bayonets. He then attempted to kill himself, but was secured. His head was wholly gone—he was no longer capable of issuing an order.His first measure was to establish the Great Northern Alliance. He had obtained information of designs on the part of France and Spain to make a descent on our southern coast, and burn the dockyards of Portsmouth and Plymouth. Before quitting office, in 1761, he had planned this alliance, and he now made endeavours, but in vain, to induce Frederick of Prussia to come into such an alliance. Frederick was too sore at his treatment by the Cabinet of Lord Bute to listen to any proposals from England. Still, this would not have prevented Chatham from prosecuting the object of the alliance with Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany, and Holland, had he remained long enough in office. His name carried the utmost weight all over the Continent. His indomitable vigour, and his victorious arms, had been witnessed with wonder. In Paris, Horace Walpole found the news of his return to office produced a panic not to be described. The very mention of his name struck a silence into the most boastful or insolent company.
In the lives of English painters the story of Benjamin Robert Haydon is perhaps the saddest. In youth he devoted himself with such zeal to the study of art that people wondered how he ever found time to eat. He was one of those men of genius who may be called "unlucky." He was always in pecuniary difficulties, though his father allowed him ￡200 per annum in the earlier part of his career. He applied for admission into the Academy, but did not obtain a single vote; and he got involved in controversies, which continued to embitter his life. He succeeded at last, however, by his energy, in commanding public attention and winning fame. For the "Judgment of Solomon" he received ￡700, with ￡100 voted to him by the directors of the British Institution, and the freedom of Plymouth. His pictures were, however, very unequal; here and there was a powerful piece of work, but the whole was generally rough and unfinished. He committed suicide in 1846. Sculpture, which was then at its lowest ebb, was relieved alone from vacuity by the works of Chantrey, Flaxman, and Gibson.
Grenville, being on the look-out for new taxes, had paid particular attention to the rapid growth of the American colonies, and was inspired with the design of drawing a revenue from them. The scheme had been suggested to Sir Robert Walpole, when his Excise Bill failed, by Sir William Keith, who had been governor of Pennsylvania; but Sir Robert had a far deeper insight into human nature than the shallow and obstinate Grenville. He replied, "I have already Old England set against me, and do you think I will have New England set against me too?"This Act, as disgraceful as any which ever dishonoured the statute-book in the reigns of the Tudors or Stuarts, was introduced into the Commons, on the 12th of May, by Sir William Wyndham, and was resolutely opposed by the Whigs, amongst whom Sir Peter King, Sir Joseph Jekyll, Mr. Hampden, Robert Walpole, and General Stanhope distinguished themselves. They did not convince the majority, which amounted to no less than two hundred and thirty-seven to one hundred and twenty-six. In the Lords, Bolingbroke himself moved the second reading, and it was ably opposed by the Lords Cowper, Wharton, Halifax, Townshend, Nottingham, and others. The greatest curiosity was displayed regarding the part which Oxford would take, as it was known that in the Council he had endeavoured to soften the rigorous clauses; but in the House he followed his usual shuffling habit, declaring that he had not yet considered the question; and, having induced the Opposition to let the second reading pass without a division, he absented himself from the final voting, and thus disgusted both parties and hastened his own fall.
The first thing which occupied the Government on the opening of the year 1779 were the trials of Keppel and Palliser. That of Keppel commenced on the 7th of January, and lasted till the 11th of February. The Court consisted of five admirals and eight captains; Sir Thomas Pye, Admiral of the White, being president. Keppel was acquitted, and pronounced to have behaved like a brave and experienced officer, and to have rendered essential service to the State. This sentence occasioned a wonderful rejoicing in the City, where Keppel's political principles prevailed. The portico of the Mansion House was illuminated two successive nights, and there were general illuminations throughout London and Westminster. It had been well had the demonstration ended there; but the mob took the opportunity of the guard which had been stationed before the house of Palliser in Pall Mall being withdrawn at midnight to smash in his windows, burst in the doors, and destroy his furniture. The work of destruction once begun was soon extended. The mob demolished the windows of Lord North and Lord George Germaine, as well as of the Admiralty, Government being looked upon as the real enemies of Keppel and accessories of Palliser. The next day, the 12th of February, Parliament and the City Corporation gave the most unmistakable sanction to these proceedings. Both Houses of Parliament voted thanks to Keppel: the Lords unanimously, the Commons with only one dissenting voice. The Court of Common Council not only voted thanks to Keppel, but presented him with the freedom of the City in a box of heart of oak, richly ornamented, and the City was more brilliantly illuminated than before, the Monument being decked out with coloured lamps.Monster meetings, not unaccompanied by disturbance, were held in various places, the most serious of which occurred at Birmingham. The inhabitants of this town had been kept in a state of almost incessant alarm by the proceedings of disorderly persons calling themselves Chartists. Representations to this effect having been sent to the Home Office, sixty picked men of the metropolitan force were sent down to aid the civil authorities in the preservation of peace. They arrived at Birmingham by the railway on Thursday, July 4th, and speedily mustering, they marched two abreast into the Bull Ring, where about 2,000 Chartists were assembled, at nine o'clock in the evening. They endeavoured, at first, to induce the meeting quietly to disperse, but failed in the attempt. They then seized the flags with which Lord Nelson's monument in the centre of the square was decorated, and among which was one that bore a death's head; but the Chartists, who had at first been disconcerted, recaptured them, after a desperate struggle, and broke their staves into pieces, to be used as clubs. A conflict immediately ensued, in which the police, who were armed only with batons, were seriously injured; and the Chartists were retiring in triumph when the 4th Dragoons charged them, by concert, through all the streets leading to the Bull Ring, and they fled in every direction. Further riots ensued, and on the 15th an organised mob attacked the houses in the High Street and Spiral Street. They broke into the warehouses, flinging their contents into the streets. A large pile of bedding was set on fire in the Bull Ring. Windows and shop-fittings were remorselessly demolished by the infuriated multitude. A few minutes past nine o'clock the cry of "Fire!" was raised. Scarcely had the words been uttered when the rioters carried immense heaps of burning materials from the streets, forcing them into the houses of Mr. Bourne and Mr. Legatt. Within a quarter of an hour the flames burst out with awful violence from both houses, amidst the exulting shouts of the rioters. While this work of destruction was going on they had the streets to themselves. The general cry among the inhabitants was, "Where are the military? Where are the magistrates?" At length, about ten o'clock, sixty of the metropolitan police, with a posse of special constables, made their appearance, and rushed upon the rioters sword in hand, causing them to fly in all directions. The dragoons, under the command of Colonel Chatterton, were now discerned galloping down Moore Street, and another squadron at the same moment down High Street, and in five minutes about 300 of the Rifle Brigade marched to the Bull Ring. The inhabitants, feeling like people sore pressed by a long siege, clapped their hands with joy at the approach of their deliverers. The fire engines also came under escort, having been driven away before, and set about arresting the conflagration. In the meantime the cavalry were scouring and clearing the streets and suburbs, and the police were busily engaged bringing in prisoners. About midnight the roofs of the two houses fell in, and about one o'clock the fire was got under. Next day the shops were nearly all closed, the middle classes full of suspicion, and the populace vowing vengeance against the police and the soldiers. A piece of artillery placed at the head of High Street contributed materially to prevent further disturbance. About twenty prisoners were made, and the evidence produced before the magistrates showed the determined purpose of the rioters. When these outrages were the subject of discussion in the House of Lords, the Duke of Wellington said, "That he had seen as much of war as most men; but he had never seen a town carried by assault subjected to such violence as Birmingham had been during an hour by its own inhabitants."
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.Notwithstanding these checks at Emsdorf and Warburg, the French obtained possession of G?ttingen and Cassel. Ferdinand attempted, but in vain, to dislodge them from G?ttingen, and the hereditary Prince, attempting to surprise the Marquis de Castries at Wesel, was repulsed with a loss of one thousand two hundred men at Closter-Campen, near that town, and was compelled to retreat. This closed the campaign, and the French took up their winter quarters at G?ttingen and Cassel.
MAP OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL TO ILLUSTRATE THE PENINSULAR WAR.Prince Ferdinand this summer had to contend with numerous armies of the French. De Broglie marched from Frankfort into Hesse with a hundred thousand men. On the 10th of July they met the hereditary Prince of Brunswick at Corbach, and defeated him, though he gained a decided advantage over them a few days after at Emsdorf, taking the commander of the division and five battalions prisoners. This was followed by Ferdinand himself, who was at Warburg, where he took ten pieces of artillery, killed one thousand five hundred of the French, and drove them into the Dimel, where many were drowned. The British cavalry had the greatest share in this victory. In fact, the Marquis of Granby led them on all occasions with such spirit and bravery, that Ferdinand placed them continually in the post of danger, where of course they suffered more severely than the other troops.
One of the most charming poets of the time was Mrs. Hemans, whose maiden name was Felicia Dorothea Browne, daughter of a Liverpool merchant, and sister of Colonel Browne, a distinguished officer, who was for many years one of the Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police in Dublin. In 1819 she obtained a prize of ￡50 for the best poem on the subject of Sir William Wallace; and in 1821 that awarded by the Royal Society of Literature for the best poem on the subject of Dartmoor. Her next production was a tragedy, "The Vespers of Palermo," which was unsuccessful on the stage. "The Forest Sanctuary" appeared in 1826, and in 1828 "Records of Woman." In 1830 appeared "Songs of the Affections," and four years later, "National Lyrics," "Hymns for Childhood," and "Scenes and Hymns of Life." There was a collective edition of her works published, with a memoir by her sister, in 1839, and several other editions subsequently, not only in Great Britain, but in America, where her poems were exceedingly popular. She died in 1835.On the 26th of August Massena arrived before Almeida, a strongly fortified town not thirty miles from Ciudad Rodrigo. Wellington hoped that it would detain him at least a month, for it had a good Portuguese garrison, commanded by Colonel Cox, an English officer: and he himself drew near, to be able to seize any opportunity of damaging the besiegers. But in the night of the 27th there was a terrible explosion of a powder magazine, which threw down part of the wall, and made the place untenable. Treachery was immediately suspected, and what followed was sufficient proof of it; for the Portuguese major, whom Colonel Cox sent to settle the terms of the capitulation, went over to the French, and was followed by a whole Portuguese regiment with the exception of its British officers. This was a great disappointment to Lord Wellington, whose plan was to detain Massena till the rainy season set in, when he would at once find himself embarrassed by bridgeless floods and in intolerable roads, and, as he hoped and had ordered, in a country without people and without provisions.
Whilst these transactions had been taking place on the Continent, our fleets, which should have kept the French and Spaniards in check, had done worse than nothing. France had subtly delayed to declare war against us, so that, although she joined her fleets and armies to the enemy, we could not attack her without being the first to declare war, or to commence it by direct breach of the peace. Admiral Haddock, who was on the watch in the Mediterranean to harass the Spaniards, was thus baffled. The Spanish fleet was joined by twelve French men-of-war from Toulon, the admiral of which declared that he had orders to defend the Spaniards if they were attacked. As the combined fleet, moreover, doubled his own, Haddock was compelled to fall off and leave them.详情
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