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By permission of the Corporation of Liverpool. Reproduced by Andre & Sleigh, La., Bushey. Herts.
On the 27th of January Colonel Wardle, a militia officer, rose in his place in the House of Commons and made some startling charges against the Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief of the army. Wardle had been a zealous Conservative, but had now changed his politics, and was acting with the party of extreme Reformers headed by Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Folkestone, and others. His charge was that the Duke of York was keeping a mistress, named Mary Ann Clarke, a married woman, to the great scandal of the nation, and was allowing her to traffic in commissions and promotions in the army. Nor was this all; he asserted that, not in the army alone, but in the Church, this public adulteress was conferring promotions, through her influence with the Duke, and that she had quite a levee of clergy, who were soliciting and bribing her to procure livings and even bishoprics. These were sufficiently exciting statements, and the Colonel demanded a Committee of Inquiry to enable him to prove his assertions. Sir Francis Burdett seconded the motion; and the proposal was not met—as it should have been by Ministers or the Duke's friends—by a denial, but, in general, by a eulogium on the Duke's excellent discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief. The House determined that, wherever the infamy was to fall, it should have the full airing of a committee of the whole House, which was appointed to commence its inquiries on Wednesday, the 1st of February, the Duke intimating, through his friends, that he was, on his part, desirous of the fullest investigation of the matter. From the evidence of Mrs. Clarke it appeared very clear that the Duke had permitted her to traffic in the sale of commissions, and both Mrs. Clarke and Mary Ann Taylor, whose brother was married to Mrs. Clarke's sister, asserted that the Duke had received part of the money for some of these bargains. Sums of one thousand pounds, of five hundred pounds, and two hundred pounds had been paid to her for such services.On the other hand, the kings whom he had set up amongst his brothers and brothers-in-law added nothing to his power. Joseph proved a mere lay figure of a king in Spain; Louis had rejected his domination in Holland, and abdicated; Lucien had refused to be kinged at all; Murat managed to control Naples, but not to conciliate the brave mountaineers of the country to French rule. The many outrages that Buonaparte had committed on the brave defenders of their countries and their rights were still remembered to be avenged. Prussia brooded resentfully over the injuries of its queen; the Tyrol over the murder of Hofer and his compatriots. Contemptible as was the royal family of Spain—the head of which, the old King Charles, with his queen, made a long journey to offer his felicitations on the birth of the king of Rome,—the Spaniards did not forget the kidnapping of their royal race, nor the monstrous treatment of the Queen of Etruria, the daughter of Charles IX. and the sister of Ferdinand. Buonaparte first conferred on her the kingdom of Etruria, and then took it away again, to settle Ferdinand in it instead of in Spain; but as he reduced Ferdinand to a prisoner, he reserved Etruria to himself, and kept the Queen of Etruria in durance at Nice. Indignant at her restraint, she endeavoured to fly to England, as her oppressor's brother, Lucien, had done. But her two agents were betrayed, and one of them was shot on the plain of Grenelle, and the other only reprieved when the fear of death had done its work on him, and he only survived a few days. She herself was then shut up, with her daughter, in a convent.
Various causes, in fact, were operating to produce a great schism in the Ministry of George I. Townshend, as we have seen, had very unguardedly expressed his disgust with the measures of the king at and concerning Hanover. George's dislike was, of course, fomented by his courtiers and mistresses, and they found a powerful ally in Sunderland, who, tired of his subordinate position in the Ministry, had joined the king in Hanover. A letter from Townshend, in which, in order to allow the longer absence of the king, he recommended that additional powers should be conferred on the Prince of Wales, brought George's indignation to a head. This letter, which arrived about the middle of December, seemed to cause his anger to burst all bounds, and he vowed that he would dismiss Townshend at once from his service.[See larger version]
On the 20th of January a Bill was introduced to the House of Lords for the naturalisation of the Prince. By this Act, which passed the next day through the House of Commons, the Prince was declared already exempt, by an Act passed in the sixth year of George IV., from the obligations that had previously bound all persons to receive the Lord's Supper within one month before exhibition of a Bill for their naturalisation. And the Bill was permitted to be read the second time without his having taken the oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, as required by an Act passed in the first year of George I. But on the second reading in the House of Lords the Duke of Wellington objected that it was not merely a Bill for naturalising the Prince, but that it also contained a clause which would enable him, "during the term of his natural life, to take precedence in rank after her Majesty in Parliament, and elsewhere as her Majesty might think fit and proper," any law, statute, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. The Duke of Wellington stated that as the title of the Bill said nothing about precedence, the House had not received due notice of its contents; he therefore moved the adjournment of the debate. Lord Melbourne remarked that the omission was purely accidental and, in his opinion, of no importance; at the same time he admitted that this Bill did differ in form from other similar Bills, as it gave the Queen power to bestow on Prince Albert a higher rank than was assigned to Prince George of Denmark, or to Prince Leopold. But the reason for the difference was to be found in the relative situation of the parties. Lord Brougham, however, pointed out a practical difficulty that might possibly arise. According to the proposed arrangement, if the Queen should die before there was any issue from the marriage, the King of Hanover would reign in this country, and his son would be Prince of Wales. Prince Albert would thus be placed in the anomalous position of a foreign naturalised Prince, the husband of a deceased Queen, with a higher rank than the Prince of Wales. Lord Londonderry decidedly objected to giving a foreign Prince precedence over the Blood Royal. In consequence of this difference of opinion the debate was adjourned till the following week, when the Lord Chancellor stated that he would propose that power should be given to the Crown to allow the Prince to take precedence next after any Heir Apparent to the Throne. Subsequently, however, Lord Melbourne expressed himself so anxious that it should pass with all possible expedition, that he would leave out everything about precedence, and make it a simple Naturalisation Bill, in which shape it immediately passed.[See larger version]
EARL GREY STREET, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. (From a Photograph by Poulton & Son, Lee.)We may satisfy ourselves as to William's appreciation of poetry by the fact that Shadwell was his first poet-laureate and Nahum Tate the next. Dr. Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate made the version of the Psalms which long disgraced the Church Service. Sir William Temple, Baxter, Sir George Mackenzie, Stillingfleet, and Evelyn, as well as some others flourishing at the end of the last period, still remained.
But De Tolly was only remaining to defend the town whilst the inhabitants carried off with them their movable property. Whilst on the side of Smolensk, when Buonaparte arrived, all was silent, and the fields were empty, on the other side it was one vast crowd of people moving away with their effects. Buonaparte hoped that the Russians would deploy before the gates, and give him battle; but they did nothing of the sort, and he determined to storm the place. Its walls were old but very thick, and it might hold out some time, and the assault must cost many lives; but Buonaparte determined to make it. The French, however, learned that the Russians were already in retreat; and Murat observed that to waste these lives was worse than useless, as the city would be theirs without a blow immediately. Buonaparte replied in an insulting manner to Murat, and ordered the assault the next morning. On this, Murat, driven to fury, spurred his horse to the banks of the Dnieper, in the face of the enemy, between batteries, and stood there as voluntarily courting death. Belliard called out to him not to sacrifice himself—he only pushed on still nearer to the fire of the Russian guns, and was forced from the scene by the soldiers. The storming commenced, and Tolly defended the place vigorously, killing four or five thousand of the French as they advanced to the attack.The Austrians and Russians by this time were in full march for Italy. Leaving the Archduke Charles to cope with Jourdain, who had made himself master of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein in January, and menaced a march on the Danube, an army of Austrians, under Generals Bellegarde and Hotze, entered Switzerland, re-occupied the Grisons country, drove the French from the St. Gothard, and menaced Massena at Zurich. Another army of Austrians, under old General Mélas, issued from the Tyrol and drove the French General, Scherer, from post to post in Upper Italy, till he took refuge behind the Mincio. Moreau was then sent to supersede Scherer, but found himself in April confronted not only by Mélas, but by Suvaroff, with an addition of fifty thousand men. On the 27th of that month he was attacked by this combined force and beaten. Brescia and Peschiera surrendered, Mantua was invested, and Suvaroff entered Milan. Moreau was compelled to retreat upon Genoa, and await the arrival of Macdonald, who was rapidly marching from Naples to his aid. But Macdonald was confronted on the banks of the Trebia, and after a fierce battle of three days he was routed, and escaped only to Moreau with the remnant of his army. Moreau now stationed himself in the entrance of the Bochetta Pass, in the Apennines, behind the town of Novi; but there he was superseded by General Joubert, the Directory having lost faith in him. Joubert, however, had no better success than Moreau. Suvaroff attacked him on the 16th of August, routed his army and killed him; the French abandoning nearly all their artillery on the field, and flying in disorder towards Genoa.详情
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