类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-29 21:27:27


Surely, both magistrates and soldiers might now have been satisfied. A defenceless multitude have no means of resistance, and, doing their best to get away, might have been left to do so without further molestation, which would be equally brutal in the magistrates, and cowardly in the soldiers. But neither of these parties seems to have thought so on this unhappy occasion. The magistrates issued no orders to desist, and the soldiers, by the confession of one of their officers, went on striking with the flats of their swords at the impeded people, who were thrown down in their vain efforts to get away, and piled in struggling heaps on the field. Mr. Hulton confessed that he walked away from the window after he had let loose the horse-soldiers on the people. "He would rather not see any advance of the military." He was, in fact, so tender-hearted that he did not mind the people—men, women, and children, met to exercise their political rights—being trodden down under the iron hoofs of horses, and cut down by the sword, so long as he did not see it.ELECTION MEETING IN IRELAND. (See p. 254.)"I have to lament that, in consequence of the failure of the potato crop in several parts of the United Kingdom, there will be a deficient supply of an article of food which forms the chief subsistence of great numbers of my people.

"To call Parliament together on the 27th instant, to ask for indemnity and a sanction of the order by law.This insult roused the fiery blood of Spain. The king and queen were excited to paroxysms of rage. They told Mr. William Stanhope that, in future, they would put confidence in no prince except his master, nor admit any one else to mediate for them in their negotiations. But George refused to break with France on their account, and ventured to remind Philip that he himself stood greatly in need of the alliance with France. Blinded, however, by their wounded pride, the King and Queen of Spain now turned their anger against England. They recalled their plenipotentiaries from the Congress of Cambray, which was sitting to settle the affairs of Europe, and professed their readiness to abandon all their hostility to the Emperor of Germany, and to concede all that they had so long demanded from him, on condition that he entered into a close alliance with them against France and England. They sent back to France the widow of the late Don Louis, and also Mademoiselle Beaujolais, another daughter of the late Regent Orleans, who had been contracted to Don Carlos.

The system of Buonaparte, by which he endeavoured to prevent the knowledge of these events in Spain and Portugal from spreading through France, was one of unscrupulous lying. He took all sorts of false means to depress the spirits of the insurgents by mere inventions, which he had inserted in the Spanish and Portuguese Gazettes under his influence. At one time it was that George III. was dead, and that George IV. was intending to make peace with Napoleon. But whatever effect he might produce by such stories for a time in the Peninsula, the truth continued to grow and spread over France. It became known that Junot and his army were driven from Lisbon; that Dupont was defeated and had surrendered in the south of Spain; then that King Joseph had fled from Madrid; and that all the coasts of the Peninsula were in possession of the British, who were received by the Spaniards and Portuguese as friends and allies. Compelled to speak out at length, on the 4th of September a statement appeared in the Moniteur mentioning some of these events, but mentioning only to distort them. It could not be concealed that Britain was active in these countries, but it was declared that the Emperor would take ample vengeance on them. In order to silence the murmurs at the folly as well as the injustice of seizing on Spain, which was already producing its retributive fruits, he procured from his slavish Senate a declaration that the war with Spain was politic, just, and necessary. Buonaparte then determined to put forth all his strength and drive the British from the Peninsula; but there were causes of anxiety pressing on him in the North. Austria and Russia wore an ominous aspect, and a spirit of resistance showed itself more and more in the press of Germany, and these things painfully divided his attention. His burden was fast becoming more than he could bear.But, whilst Congress was sitting, the spirit of revolution was every day growing more rife in Massachusetts. Governor Gage had issued writs for a new Assembly, which was to meet at Salem on the 5th of October; but so many of the newly appointed members refused to act, that he issued a proclamation to countermand the writs. The patriots, however, set the proclamation at defiance; and confident, from the resignation of the timid loyalists, that they were in a majority, met at Salem, and formed themselves into a provincial congress, to be joined by such other persons as[214] should be chosen for the consideration of public affairs. They then adjourned to Concord, a town about twenty miles from Boston, and elected John Hancock, the owner of the Liberty sloop, as president. They then adjourned to Cambridge, and constituted Concord the dep?t of arms and ammunition for twelve thousand militia. They enrolled the militia under the name of "Minute Men," or men who were to turn out, at a minute's notice, with musket or rifle. They appointed committees and sub-committees for different purposes, and, in fact, put the province into a perfect attitude of war.Connaught 1,418,859 1,465,643 745,652 526,048

But far more important are the wondrous powers evolved from the study of heat. The pioneer in this branch of work was the Hon. H. Cavendish, who was born in 1731, and devoted his life, until his death in 1810, to the pursuits of science. He was followed by Dalton, who made several important discoveries in chemistry, particularly with reference to the gases, and in the doctrine of heat. With the greatest modesty and simplicity of character, he remained in the obscurity of the country, neither asking for approbation nor offering himself as an object of applause. In 1833, at the age of sixty-seven, he received a pension from Government, which he enjoyed till 1844, when he died. His discoveries may be said to have terminated at the age of forty, though he laboured for thirty years after. His first sketch of the atomic theory was propounded as early as 1807.but that with the pageantry of the hour their importance faded away?—that as their distinction vanished their humiliation returned?—and that he who headed the procession of peers to-day could not sit among them as their equal on the morrow?"

Very important events had during this time been taking place in Europe. In the north, Russia, checked in its encroachments on Turkey for the present, turned its eyes on the inviting region of Poland. Poland, after neglecting its own internal improvement, and the raising of the condition of its people, so as to give them a[396] real interest in the defence of the country, had suddenly set about establishing a new Constitution, very much on the model of the French Revolutionary one. The Diet declared the throne hereditary, and not elective, as hitherto; and Stanislaus Augustus, the king—that is, Poniatowski, the former lover and favourite of Catherine of Russia—was wholly agreeable to this. The Diet proposed the Elector of Saxony as Poniatowski's successor, the king having no children. It also admitted the burgher class into its body. As there was a strong party, however, in opposition to the popular party, the patriots met secretly, and not only pledged themselves to the new Constitution, but to pass it en masse and at once, without canvassing the particular articles of it. The king, being privy to this, on the 3rd of May, 1791, entered the hall of the Diet. The new Constitution was read, passed by a majority, and signed by the king. Stanislaus then led the way to the cathedral, where he was followed by all the nuncios except twelve, and there both he and they swore to maintain this new Constitution. An unexpected difficulty was found in persuading the Elector of Saxony to accept the Crown; for, though both Russia and Prussia still professed friendship for Poland, he was too well aware of the designs of Russia on Poland to accept the dangerous post without much hesitation. At length, in the month of April, 1792, the Elector gave his reluctant consent, but not without stipulating that they should give more power to the sovereign, and limit more that of the Diet; that the right of determining peace and war should belong to the king, as well as the authority over the army. He objected to a number of things, evidently borrowed from the revolutionary French, such as the oath taken to the nation, and the education of the heir by the Diet, just as the National Assembly had claimed the right to educate the Dauphin.The circumstance sank deeply into the mind of the king, and, resenting especially the conduct of Grenville—who had acted as though he held a monopoly of office,—he determined to be rid of him. He therefore consulted with his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. That prince, to whom age and infirmities seemed to have given a degree of wisdom, declared the offer of the Ministry to Pitt to be the necessary step, and willingly undertook to make it. But knowing that Pitt would not even listen to the proposal without Temple, he dispatched a summons to Stowe for that nobleman, and himself, infirm as he was, went to Hayes, to learn the will of the great commoner personally. Pitt showed himself disposed to accept the office, on condition that general warrants should be declared illegal; that the officers dismissed on account of their votes be restored; and that an alliance with Protestant powers, and especially with Prussia, should be formed, to counterbalance the compact between France and Spain. This was asking a great deal; but Pitt demanded more in the particulars of appointments,[187] namely, that Pratt, who had opposed the Court so decidedly as regarded Wilkes and general warrants, should be Lord Chancellor, and he opposed the Court desire that the Duke of Northumberland should be at the head of the Treasury. Pitt, moreover, designed the Treasury for Temple. But, when Temple arrived, he refused to take office at all. The fact was that just now he was making a reconciliation with his brother, Grenville, and was averse from throwing him overboard. So far from joining Pitt, he was on the verge of another breach with him. Pitt, disconcerted by this repulse, with a weakness to be deplored in so great a man, refused to accept the offer to form a ministry at all.Two more attempts were made. Mr. Crewe reproduced the Bill to disable revenue officers from voting at elections, which was at once rejected. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke then reintroduced his Bill to exclude contractors from the House of Commons, unless their contracts were obtained at a public bidding. This was suffered, for appearance' sake, to pass the House with little opposition; but it was arrested in the Peers by the law lords, at the head of whom were Mansfield and Thurlow, and thrown out.

The Irish Viceroy appointed by Lord Grey was the Marquis of Anglesey. The interval between his two viceroyalties extended over a period of nearly two years, during which the Duke of Northumberland was at the head of the Irish Government. The manner in which relief was granted to Roman Catholics, expressly as a concession to violence wrung from the fears of the legislature, confirmed the wildest notions of the people with respect to their own power. The offensive exclusion of O'Connell by the terms of the Emancipation Act deprived the concession of much of its grace and power of conciliation; and now negotiations for making him Master of the Rolls broke down. In consequence of the securities with which the Emancipation Act was associated, the latter part of the year 1829 and the whole of 1830 were miserably distinguished in Ireland by party conflicts and outrages. To the government of the country thus torn and convulsed Lord Anglesey was again called in December of the latter year, and, considering his antecedents, no appointment was likely to prove so popular. "Nevertheless," says Lord Cloncurry, "neither support nor forbearance were accorded to Lord Anglesey. From the moment when it was known that he was reappointed, he was treated by the demagogues as an enemy. And the extraordinary progress of Liberalism made during his lieutenancy must in candour be set down to the account of his courage and perseverance in fighting the cause of the people against both themselves and their enemies." On the eve of his departure for Ireland he wrote to Lord Cloncurry, saying, "O'Connell is my avant-courier. He starts to-day with more mischief in hand than I have yet seen him charged with. I saw him yesterday for an hour and a half. I made no impression upon him whatever; and I am now thoroughly convinced that he is bent upon desperate agitation. All this will produce no change in my course and conduct. For the love of Ireland I deprecate agitation. I know it is the only thing that can prevent her from prospering; for there[327] is in this country a growing spirit to take Ireland by the hand, and a determination not to neglect her and her interests; therefore, I pray for peace and repose. But if the sword is really to be drawn, and with it the scabbard is to be thrown away—if I, who have suffered so much for her, am to become a suspected character, and to be treated as an enemy—if, for the protection of the State, I am driven to the dire necessity of again turning soldier—why, then, I must endeavour to get back into old habits, and to live amongst a people I love in a state of misery and distress."

During the year 1796 strong forces were sent to the West Indies, and the Island of Grenada was recovered by General Nichols; St. Lucia, by General Abercromby, whilst General Whyte conquered the Dutch settlements of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo; but some of these possessions were dearly purchased by the number of the troops who perished from the unhealthiness of their climate. The Dutch made an effort to recover the Cape of Good Hope. They were to have been assisted by the French in this enterprise, but their allies not keeping their engagement, they sailed alone, and reached Saldanha Bay on the 3rd of August, when Rear-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone surprised and captured the whole of their vessels, consisting of two sixty-four-gun ships, one fifty-four, five frigates and sloops, and a store-ship. A squadron then proceeded from the Cape to Madagascar, and destroyed a French settlement there, seizing five merchant vessels.Amongst the prose writers of this period a lady stands prominent, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (b. 1690; d. 1762), the daughter of the Duke of Kingston, and mother of Lady Bute, the wife of the Earl of Bute, the celebrated Minister of George III. Lady Mary derives her chief fame from her Letters, which were not published till after her death. They are as remarkable for their wit, brilliancy, and clear, thorough sense, as any of the writings of the age. In these we have a most graphic picture of life in the East, as she had lived some years at Constantinople with her husband. She thence conferred one of the greatest boons on her country, by the introduction of inoculation for the smallpox. Lady Mary translated the "Enchiridion of Epictetus," and wrote many verses, including satirical ones, called "Town Eclogues;" but her fame must always rest upon her clear and sparkling letters. She was celebrated for her wit and beauty, and was a leading figure in the fashionable as well as the literary world. Pope and she were long great friends, but quarrelled irreconcilably.



The clergy, Protestant and Roman Catholic, almost the only resident gentry in several of the destitute districts, worked together on the committees with commendable zeal, diligence, and unanimity. Among the Roman Catholic clergy, Father Mathew was at that time by far the most influential and popular. The masses of the peasantry regarded him as almost an inspired apostle. During the famine months he exerted himself with wonderful energy and prudence, first, in his correspondence with different members of the Government, earnestly recommending and urging the speedy adoption of measures of relief; and next in commending those measures to the people, dissuading the hungry from acts of violence, and preaching submission and resignation under the heavy dispensation of Providence. If the temperance organisation established by Father Mathew had been perverted to political purposes by the Repeal agitation, there is no doubt that it contributed in a very large degree to the preservation of life and property during the two awfully trying years of famine. "It is a fact," said Father Mathew—"and you are not to attribute my alluding to it to vanity—that the late provision riots have occurred in the districts where the temperance movement has not been encouraged. Our people are as harmless in their meetings as flocks of sheep, unless when inflamed and maddened by intoxicating drink. Were it not for the temperate[547] habits of the greater portion of the people of Ireland, our unhappy country would be before now one wide scene of tumult and bloodshed."

Whilst the war of parties had been raging in England, matters abroad had been rapidly assuming a shape which threatened the tranquillity of all Europe. In France the elements of revolution had been fermenting, and had already burst into open fury with a character which, to observant eyes, appeared to bode inevitably their spread into every surrounding country. At the same time, the sovereigns of these countries, instead of discerning the signs of the times, and taking measures to guard their people from the contagious influence, were some of them acting so as certainly to invite the specious anarchy. In others, they were wasting their strength on schemes of conquest which only too much enfeebled them for opposition to the dangers thus preparing. Some of these warlike movements seem, at first sight, to have little connection with the history of England, but, more or less, they all are necessary to our comprehension of our own position in the time of those marvellous subversions which were at hand.[See larger version]



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