Yet, in that blind and defiant spirit, which he continued to show till he had lost the colonies, George created Bernard a baronet on his reaching home, for having, in effect, brought Massachusetts to the verge of rebellion; and, to show his emphatic sense of these services, he himself paid all the expenses of the patent.It was not, however, till the 12th of August that they were ready with their batteries. The effect of the bombardment was almost instantaneous. Within six hours nearly all the enemy's guns were silenced, and the next day the Spaniards capitulated, agreeing to yield not only the place, and the vessels in the harbour, but the country for a hundred and eighty miles to the westward; in fact, all the best part of Cuba. The booty taken was valued at nearly three million pounds.
The Duke of Richmond read a paragraph from a newspaper in which the report was stated, naming Lord Temple without any disguise. On this Temple rose, and admitted that he had given certain advice to the king, but would neither admit nor deny that it was of the kind intimated in the report. That the rumour was founded on truth, however, was immediately shown by the division. Numbers of lords who had promised Ministers to vote for the Bill withdrew their support; the Prince of Wales declined voting; and the Opposition carried a resolution for adjournment till the next day, in order to hear evidence in defence of the East India Company. It was clear that the Bill had received its death-blow, and would never pass the Lords after this expression of the royal will, and on the 17th of December it was lost by nineteen votes.
General Montgomery reached the St. Lawrence, and detached six hundred men to invest Fort Chambly, situated on the river Sorel, about five miles above Fort St. John. The menaced condition of Quebec compelled General Carleton to abandon Montreal to its fate, and to hasten to the capital, and Montgomery immediately took possession of it. So far all succeeded with the American expedition. Carleton, to reach Quebec, had to pass through the American forces on the St. Lawrence. He went in disguise, and dropped down the river by night, with muffled oars, threading the American craft on the river, and so reached Quebec alone, but in safety. Montgomery was determined to fall down the St. Lawrence too, to support Arnold; but his position was anything but enviable. He had been obliged to garrison Forts Chambly and St. John's, and he was now compelled to leave another garrison at Montreal. This done, he had only four hundred and fifty men left, and they were in the most discontented and insubordinate condition. As he proceeded, therefore, he found them fast melting away by desertion; and, had he not soon fallen in with Arnold and his band at Point aux Trembles, he would have found himself alone.
MURAT (KING OF NAPLES). (After the Portrait by Gerard.)H. D. Massey, ￡4,000 in cash.
Before another attempt was made to open the portals of the Legislature the question was brought to a practical issue by an event similar to the Clare election, by which O'Connell forced on the decision with regard to Catholic Emancipation. The City of London had returned Baron Rothschild as one of its members; and at the morning sitting on the 26th of July, 1850, he presented himself at the table to take the oaths. When the clerk presented the New Testament, he said, "I desire to be sworn on the Old Testament." Sir Robert Inglis, in a voice tremulous with emotion, exclaimed—"I protest against that." The Speaker then ordered Baron Rothschild to withdraw. An animated debate followed as to whether the Baron could be sworn in that way, although he declared that that was the form of oath most binding upon his conscience. He presented himself a second time, when there was another long debate. Ultimately, on the 6th of August, to which the matter was adjourned, the Attorney-General moved two resolutions—first, that Baron Rothschild was not entitled to vote in the House till he took the oath in the form prescribed by law; and, second, that the House would take the earliest opportunity in the next Session to consider the oath of abjuration, with a view to the relief of the Jews. These resolutions were carried—the first, by a majority of 92 to 66; the second, by 142 to 106.
Thus the Cabinet was evidently fast breaking up, when Mr. Littleton introduced his Tithe Bill. Its object was much the same as Mr. Stanley's Act of 1832 for the Compulsory Commutation of Tithe. This last Act had been a failure, and Mr. Littleton was compelled to ask Parliament to grant the sum of ￡1,000,000 to pay the arrears. He hoped to remedy its defects by reducing the number of people who were liable to tithe, and then, after the 1st of November, to commute the tithe into a land tax, payable to the State, to reduce its amount by one-fifth, and to allow any person having a substantial interest in the estate to redeem the residue of it, after five years had expired, on easy terms. After a number of stormy debates the progress of the measure seemed assured, when Lord John Russell went out of his way to express his views in favour of the appropriation of the surplus revenues of the Irish Church to secular purposes. Stanley wrote to Graham the laconic note, "Johnny has upset the coach." Indeed, the declaration was the more indiscreet because the Cabinet was hopelessly divided on the point.
The spirits of the Americans had been raised by the success of attempts against the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. Early in the spring, some of the leading men of Connecticut, and chief amongst them Wooster and Silas Deane, projected this expedition, as securing the passes into Canada. The volunteers who offered for this enterprise were to march across the frontiers of New York, and come suddenly on these forts. The wretched condition of carelessness existing in these important outposts, notwithstanding the alarming state of the colonies, may be known by the result. Phelps, disguised as a countryman, entered the fort on pretence of seeking a barber; and, whilst roaming about in feigned search of him, noted well the ruinous condition of the fort, and the utter negligence of the guard. The next day, Ethan Allen went alone to the fortress, ostensibly on a visit to his friend the commander, leaving his troops concealed in the wood. He represented that he wanted to conduct some goods across the lake, and borrowed twenty of his soldiers to help him. These men he made dead-drunk; and then, rushing suddenly to the fort, where there were only twenty-two soldiers more, he compelled them in their surprise to lay down their arms, set a guard over them, and entered his friend's bed-room and pronounced him a prisoner. He then advanced against the fort of Crown Point, where he found only a garrison of twelve men, and immediately afterwards secured Skenesborough, the fortified house of Major Skene, and took his son and his negroes.But we come now to a new phase in the Poor-Law system, rather a complete revolution, by which the flood-gates of pauperism were opened, and all those barriers that had restrained the increase of population were swept away. The old system had been somewhat relaxed in 1782 by Mr. Gilbert's Act, which, by incorporating parishes into unions, prevented grasping landlords and tenants from feeling that intense interest in the extinction of population and pauperism which they did when the sphere was limited to a single parish. But in the year 1795 the price of corn rising from 54s. to 74s., and wages continuing stationary, the distress of the poor was very great and many of the able-bodied were obliged to become claimants for parish relief. But instead of meeting this emergency by temporary expedients and extra grants suited to the occasion, the magistrates of Berks and some other southern counties issued tables showing the wages which they affirmed every labouring man ought to receive, not according to the value of his labour to his employer, but according to the variations in the number of his family and the price of bread; and they accompanied these tables with an order directing the parish officers to make up the deficit to the labourer, in the event of the wages paid him by his employer falling short of the tabulated allowance. This was the small beginning of a gigantic evil. The practice originating in a passing emergency grew into a custom, and ultimately assumed the force of an established right, which prevailed almost universally, and was productive of an amount of evil beyond anything that could have been conceived possible. The allowance scales issued from time to time were framed on the principle that every labourer should have a gallon loaf of standard wheaten bread weekly for every member of his family, and one over. The effect of this was, that a man with six children, who got 9s. a week wages, required nine gallon loaves, or 13s. 6d. a week, so that he had a pension of 4s. 6d. over his wages. Another man with a wife and five children, so idle and disorderly that no one would employ him, was entitled to eight gallon loaves for their maintenance, so that he had 12s. a week to support him. The increase of allowance according to the number of children acted as a direct bounty upon early marriage.
At the time that Tippoo heard of the death of his father, he was, assisted by the French, eagerly pressing on the most inferior force of Colonel Mackenzie, not very far from Seringapatam. Mackenzie being obliged to retire, was suddenly set upon, before daylight, near Paniany, about thirty-five miles from Calicut, by the whole force; but he repulsed them with great slaughter. Tippoo then fell back and made the best of his way to his capital to secure his throne and the treasures of Hyder Ali. He found himself at the age of thirty master of the throne, of an army of nearly one hundred thousand men, and of immense wealth. With these advantages, and the alliance of the French, Tippoo did not doubt of being able to drive the British out of all the south of India. Yet, with his vast army, accompanied by nine hundred French, two thousand Sepoys, and nearly three hundred Kafirs, Tippoo retreated, or appeared to be retreating, before General Stuart, with a force of only fourteen thousand men, of whom three thousand alone were British. He was, in fact, however, hastening to defend the north-west districts of Mysore from another British force on the coast of Canara. This force was that of Colonel Mackenzie, joined by another from Bombay, under General Matthews, who took the chief command in that quarter.
Thus was the man who had been put down by all the assembled armies of Europe not twelve months before, who had quitted Paris weeping like a woman, and threatened, in his exile southward, with being torn limb from limb—thus was he as it were miraculously borne back again on men's shoulders, and seated on the throne of the twice-expelled Bourbons! It was far more like a wild romance than any serious history. The peace of the world had again to be achieved. The Bourbons had been worsted everywhere, even in loyal Vendée, and in Marseilles, which had so recently set a price on Buonaparte's head. The Duke of Angoulême was surrounded in Marseilles, and surrendered on condition of quitting France. The Duke of Bourbon found La Vendée so permeated by Buonapartism that he was obliged to escape by sea from Nantes; and the Duchess of Angoulême, who had thrown herself into Bordeaux, found the troops there infected by the Buonaparte mania, and, quitting the place in indignation, went on board an English frigate.The events that followed form part of the general history of that time. The Government well knew that they were more popular in the country than their opponents. In the few days that succeeded, during which men were doubtful if they would resign, the Minister had had time to feel the power of that popularity, and the value of the support of the Free Trade party. To satisfy the selfish expectations of the more bigoted of his own supporters must have seemed to him more and more helpless. To break with them, and to look elsewhere for the support which their vindictiveness would inevitably render necessary—to become less a leader of a class, and more a statesman seeking the true foundations of power in a steady regard to the welfare of the great bulk of the community—were ideas naturally present to the Minister's mind. When he met Parliament again to announce the determination of the Government to ask the House to reconsider its decision, his tone was observed to be more bitter than before. His allusions to the defections of his own followers were significant; but they plainly indicated that his course was taken. "We cannot conceal from ourselves," he said, "that in respect to some of the measures we have proposed, and which have been supported, they have not met with that cordial assent and agreement from those for whose character and opinions we entertain the highest and sincerest respect. But I am bound to say, speaking here of them with perfect respect, that we cannot invite their co-operation and support upon the present occasion by holding out expectations that we shall take a middle or other course with regard to those measures which we believe to be best for the interests of the country, and consistent with justice." This modest but firm defiance of the ultra-Protectionist party was not lost upon the Free Traders in the House; neither were the Minister's further remarks—"We have thought it desirable to relax the system of Protection, and admit into competition with articles of the domestic produce of this country articles from foreign lands. We have attempted to counsel the enforcement of principles which we believe to be founded in truth, and with every regard for existing institutions, and with every precaution to prevent embarrassment and undue alarm."详情
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