On the 23rd of March the Allied sovereigns, including that of the United Kingdom, signed, by their plenipotentiaries, a new treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, on the same principles as the Treaty of Chaumont, entered into in March, 1814. The Duke of Wellington then hastened away to Belgium to muster his forces there—for Belgium, as it had been so often before, was sure to become the battle-ground on this occasion. So early as the 5th of April he announced that he had placed thirteen thousand four hundred men in the fortresses of Belgium, and had besides twenty-three thousand British and Hanoverian troops, twenty thousand Dutch and Belgian, and sixty pieces of artillery. Unfortunately, the bulk of his victorious army of the Peninsula had been sent to the inglorious contest with America, where a good naval blockade would have been the most effectual kind of warfare. But he observed that Buonaparte would require some time to assemble a strong force, and this time must be employed by Britain to collect a correspondingly powerful army. The Duke, with accustomed energy, not only applied himself with all his strength to this object, but to stimulating, by letters, the Allied sovereigns to hasten up their quotas, some of them notoriously the slowest nations in the world.
Now followed a period in which many works were produced which were extremely popular in their day, but of which few now retain public appreciation. Amongst these none reached the same estimation as "Henry, Earl of Moreland: or, The Fool of Quality," by Henry Brooke. It was designed to show the folly and the artificial morale of the age, by presenting Henry as the model of direct and natural sentiments, for the indulgence of which he was thought a fool by the fashionable world. The early part of the work is admirable, and the boyhood of Henry is the obvious prototype of Day's "History of Sandford and Merton;" but as it advances it becomes utterly extravagant. Miss Frances Brooke, too, was the author of "Julia Mandeville" and other novels. Mrs. Charlotte Smith, long remembered for her harmonious sonnets, was the author of numerous novels, as "The Old Manor House," "Celestina," "Marchmont," etc.; there were also Mrs. Hannah More with her "C?lebs in Search of a Wife;" Mrs. Hamilton with her "Agrippina;" Bage with his "Hermstrong: or, Man as he is Not;" "Monk" Lewis with his "Tales of Wonder" and his "Monk;" and Horace Walpole with his melodramatic romance of "The Castle of Otranto." But far beyond Walpole rose Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, the very queen of horror and wonder, in her strange, exciting tales of "The Sicilian Romance," "The Romance of the Forest," "The Mysteries of Udolpho," "The Italian," etc. No writer ever carried the powers of mystery, wonder, and suspense, to the same height, or so bewitched her age by them.
The Irish delegates described the condition of Ireland as most deplorable. They said that the Government interest, through the landed aristocracy, was omnipotent; that the manufacturers were unemployed; that an infamous coalition had taken place between the Irish Opposition and Ministry; that the Catholics had been bought up so that all parties might combine to crush Reform; that the United Irishmen were everywhere persecuted, and that one of them had only just escaped from a six months' imprisonment.Amongst the most distinguished of this series of architects is James Gibbs, who, after studying in Italy, returned to England in time to secure the erection of some of the fifty churches ordered to be built in the metropolis and its vicinity in the tenth year of Queen Anne. The first which he built is his finest—St. Martin's, at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square. Besides St. Martin's, Gibbs was the architect of St. Mary's, in the Strand; of Marylebone Chapel; of the body of All Saints', Derby—an incongruous addition to a fine old Gothic tower; of the Radcliffe Library, at Oxford; of the west side of the quadrangle of King's College, and of the Senate House, Cambridge, left incomplete. In these latter works Sir James Burrows, the designer of the beautiful chapel of Clare Hall, in the same university, was also concerned. Gibbs was, moreover, the architect of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
The British public, thrilled by the news of his heroic achievements, fully sympathised with the victorious general. The thanks of both Houses of Parliament were voted to him and the army, and the Duke of Wellington expressed in the House of Lords the highest admiration of his generalship. Sir Charles Napier became the civil governor of the province which his sword had won for his Sovereign; and he showed by the excellence of his administration that his capacity as a statesman was equal to his genius as a general. He encouraged trade; he carried on extensive public works; he erected a pier at Kurrachee, extending two miles into the water, and forming a secure harbour; he organised a most efficient police; he raised a revenue sufficient to pay the whole expenses of the administration, giving a surplus of ￡90,000, which, added to the prize-money, brought half a million sterling into the Company's treasury in one year. The cultivators of the soil were protected in the enjoyment of the fruits of their industry; artisans, no longer liable to be mutilated for demanding their wages, came back from the countries to which they had fled; beautiful girls were no longer torn from their families to fill the zenanas of Mohammedan lords, or to be sold into slavery. The Hindoo merchant and the Parsee trader pursued their business with confidence, and commerce added to the wealth of the new province. The effect of these reforms was conspicuous in the loyalty of the Scindians during the revolt of 1857.As a rumour of the approaching visit of Lord Howe had reached the Spanish camp, all was in haste to anticipate his arrival, and take the huge fortress before he could succour it. Accordingly the great united fleet of Spain and France, which so lately had paraded in the English Channel, sailed into Algeciras Bay, and on the 13th of September the floating batteries were hauled out by a number of the ships, and anchored at regular distances, within six hundred yards of the English works. Whilst this extraordinary armada was approaching and disposing itself, tremendous fire was kept up from the land, with three hundred long guns and mortars, to divert the attention of the garrison; but old General Elliot was ready with his red-hot balls, and, the moment the floating batteries came within gunshot distance, he poured into them a most destructive fire-hail. The Spaniards, notwithstanding, placed and secured their monster machines in a very short time, and then four hundred cannon from land and sea played on the old rock simultaneously and incessantly. For some time the hot balls appeared to do no damage. The timbers, being of green wood, closed up after the balls, and so prevented their immediate ignition. In other cases, where smoke appeared, the water-engines dashed in deluges, and extinguished the nascent fire. But presently the fire from the batteries slackened; it was discovered that the balls—which had many of them pierced into the timbers three feet deep—were doing their work. The floating battery commanded by the Prince of Nassau, on board of which was also the engineer, D'Arcon, himself, was found smoking on the side facing the rock, at two o'clock in the day. No water could reach the seat of mischief, and by seven o'clock it had become so extensive as to cause the firing to cease, and to turn the thoughts of all to endeavours for escape. Rockets were thrown up as signals for the vessels to come up and take off the crews. But this was found impracticable. The garrison actually rained deluges of fire, and all approach to the monster machines was cut off. No vessel could draw near, except at the penalty of instant destruction. For four more hours the vaunted floating batteries remained exposed to the pitiless pelting of the garrison. Before midnight, the Talla Piedra, the greatest of the monster machines, and the flagship, Pastora, at her side, were in full flame, and by their light the indefatigable Elliot could see, with the more precision, to point his guns. Seven of the ten floating machines were now on fire; the guns aboard them had entirely ceased, and those on land, as if struck with wonder and despair, had become silent too.
On the 2nd of May, two days only before Buonaparte entered his little capital of Elba, Louis made his public entry into Paris amid quite a gay and joyous-seeming crowd; for the Parisians are always ready for a parade and a sensation; and none are said to have worn gloomy looks on the occasion except the Imperial Guard, now, as they deemed themselves, degraded into the Royal Guard—from the service of the most brilliant of conquerors to that of the most pacific and unsoldierlike of monarchs, who was too unwieldy even to mount a horse. For a time all appeared agreeable enough; but there were too many hostile interests at work for it to remain long so. In the new constitution, by which the Senate had acknowledged Louis, they had declared him recalled on the condition that he accepted the constitution framed for him; and at the same time they declared the Senate hereditary, and possessed of the rank, honours, and emoluments which Buonaparte had conferred on the members. Louis refused to acknowledge the right of the Senate to dictate a constitution to him. He assumed the throne as by his own proper hereditary descent; and he then gave of his free will a free constitution. This was the first cause of difference between the king and the people. The Royalists condemned the new constitution as making too much concession, and the Republicans resented his giving a charter of freedom, because it made them the slaves of his will. The Royalists soon began to monopolise offices and honours, and to clamour for the recovery of their estates, now in the hands of the people, and these were naturally jealous of their prevailing on the king and his family to favour such reclamations. The clergy, who, like the Noblesse, had been stripped of their property, and had now to subsist on annuities of five hundred livres, or about twenty-six pounds sixteen shillings and eightpence a-year, looked with resentment on those who were in possession of the spoil; and the well-known disposition of the king and his family to restore the status and the substance of the Catholic Church, made those who had this property, and those—the greater part of the nation—who had no religion whatever, readily believe that ere long they would attempt to recall what the Revolution had distributed. These suspicions were greatly augmented by the folly and bigotry of the clergy. They refused to bury with the rites of the Church a Mademoiselle Raucour, simply because she was an actress. Great tumults arose on the occasion, and the Government was compelled to interfere and ensure the burial in due form. The more regular observance of the Sabbath was treated as bringing back the ancient superstitions; and the taking up of the remains of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette and conveying them to the royal place of sepulture in the Abbey of St. Denis was regarded as a direct censure of the Revolution. It was quite natural that Louis XVIII. should do this, and equally so that he should show some favour to the surviving chiefs of La Vendée; but these things had the worst effect on the public mind, as tending to inspire fears of vengeance for the past, or of restoration of all that the past had thrown down. In these circumstances, the Royalists were discontented, because they thought Louis did too little for them, and the rest of the community because he did too much. The Jacobins, who had been suppressed, but not exterminated, by Buonaparte, now again raised their heads, under so mild and easy a monarch, with all their old audacity. They soon, however, despaired of reviving the Republic, and turned to the son of their old partisan, Philip égalité, the Duke of Orleans, and solicited him to become their leader, promising to make him king. But the present duke—afterwards King Louis Philippe—was too honourable a man for their purpose; he placed the invitation given him in the hands of Louis, and the Jacobins, then enraged, were determined to bring back Napoleon rather than tolerate the much easier yoke of the Bourbons. Carnot and Fouché soon offered themselves as their instruments. Carnot, who had been one of the foremost men of the Reign of Terror, had refused to acknowledge the rule of Buonaparte, who suppressed the Revolution, for a long time, but, so late as the present year, he had given in his adhesion, and was appointed engineer for carrying on the fortifications of Antwerp. He had now the hardihood to address a memorial to Louis XVIII., which, under the form of an apology for the Jacobins during the Revolution, was in truth a direct attack on the Royalists, describing them as a contemptible and small body, who had allowed Louis XVI. to be destroyed by their cowardice, and now had brought back the king by the hands of Englishmen and Cossacks to endeavour to undo all that had been done for the people. He represented kings as naturally prone to despotism, and priests and nobles as inciting them to slaughter and rapine. The pretence was to lead the monarch to rely only on the people; the object was to exasperate the people against kings, nobles, and the Church.
Sir Henry Clinton had for some time been aware of the real destination of the united forces of Washington and Rochambeau. He must have seen that there was a determined resolve to crush, by the most powerful combination of American and French forces, the army in the south, and every exertion should have been made by him, with fleet and army, to release Cornwallis from his peril. But, instead of sending direct reinforcements to Cornwallis, and ordering the fleet to engage the enemy's attention, and, if possible, defeat De Grasse in the Chesapeake, he concocted a diversion in Connecticut with Arnold, which he fondly hoped would recall Washington. Sir Henry Clinton contemplated further expeditions—first against the Rhode Island fleet, and next against Philadelphia; but these never came off, and matters were now every day assuming such an aspect as should have stimulated him to some direct assistance to Cornwallis.During this period a vast empire was beginning to unfold itself in the East Indies, destined to produce a vast trade, and pour a perfect mine of wealth into Great Britain. The victories of Clive, Eyre Coote, and others, were telling on our commerce. During the early part of this period this effect was slow, and our exports to India and China up to 1741 did not average more than ￡148,000 per annum in value. Bullion, however, was exported to pay expenses and to purchase tea to an annual amount of upwards of half a million. Towards the end of this period, however, our exports to India and China amounted annually to more than half a million; and the necessity for the export of bullion had sunk to an annual demand for less than ￡100,000. The amount of tea imported from China during this period rose from about 140,000 pounds annually to nearly 3,000,000 pounds annually—an enormous increase.
Fox and his party still maintained a vigorous and persevering endeavour to remain at peace; but he weakened his efforts by professing to believe that we might yet enter into substantial engagements with the French, who had at this moment no permanent settled Government at all, but a set of puppet Ministers, ruled by a Convention, and the Convention ruled by a mob flaming with the ideas of universal conquest and universal plunder. If Fox had advocated the wisdom of maintaining the defensive as much as possible, and confining ourselves to defending our Dutch allies, as we were bound, his words would have had more weight; but his assurance that we might maintain a full and friendly connection with a people that were butchering each other at home, and belying all their most solemn professions of equity and fraternity towards their dupes abroad, only enabled Pitt to ask him with whom he would negotiate—Was it with Robespierre, or the monster Marat, then in the ascendant? "But," added Pitt, "it is not merely to the character of Marat, with whom we would now have to treat, that I object; it is not to the horror of those crimes which have stained their legislators—crimes in every stage rising above one another in enormity,—but I object to the consequences of that character, and to the effect of those crimes. They are such as render a negotiation useless, and must entirely deprive of stability any peace which could be concluded in such circumstances. The moment that the mob of Paris comes under a new leader, mature deliberations are reversed, the most solemn engagements are retracted, or free will is altogether controlled by force. All the crimes which disgrace history have occurred in one country, in a space so short, and with circumstances so aggravated, as to outrun thought and exceed imagination." In fact, to have made an alliance with France at that moment, and for long afterwards, would have been to sanction her crimes, and to share the infamy of her violence and lawlessness abroad.The Duke withdrew much dissatisfied with the turn affairs had taken, and distrustful of the issue. In a parting interview with the Emperor of Russia, the latter spoke at length in strong disapprobation of the refusal of England to co-operate in putting down revolution, and said, in conclusion, that Russia was prepared for every eventuality. "She was able, with the support of Austria and Prussia, to crush revolution both in France and Spain; and, if the necessity should arise, she was determined to do so." The Duke heard his Imperial Majesty to an end, and then ventured to assure him that the only thing for which Great Britain pleaded was the right of nations to set up whatever form of government they thought best, and to manage their own affairs, so long as they allowed other nations to manage theirs. Neither he nor the Government which he represented was blind to the many defects which disfigured the Spanish Constitution; but they were satisfied that they would be remedied in time. The Emperor could not gainsay the justice of these remarks, but neither was he willing to be persuaded by them; so, after expressing himself well pleased with the settlement of the Turkish question which had been effected, he embraced the Duke, and they parted.
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So strongly did the latter feel the urgency of the case that Parliament was called together again on the 6th of December. It was opened by the king in person, who, in his Speech, recommended the speedy settlement of the Reform question; referred to the opposition made to the payment of tithes in Ireland; announced the conclusion of a convention with France for the suppression of the African slave trade; deplored the outrages at Bristol; and recommended improvements in the municipal police of the kingdom. On the 12th Lord John Russell introduced the Reform Bill the third time. It is said that his manner, like his proposal, had undergone a striking alteration. His opening speech was not now a song of triumph, inspired by the joyous enthusiasm of the people. He no longer treated the Opposition in a tone of almost contemptuous defiance. The spirit which had dictated the celebrated reply to the Birmingham Political union about the voice of the nation and the whisper of a faction seemed to have died within him. Lord John Russell proceeded to explain the changes and modifications that had been made in the Bill since it was last before the House. As the census of 1831 was now available, the census of 1821 was abandoned. But a new element was introduced in order to test the claim of a borough to be represented in Parliament. Numbers alone were no longer relied upon. There might be a very populous town consisting of mean houses inhabited by poor people. With numbers therefore, the Government took property, ascertained by the amount of assessed taxes; and upon the combination of these two elements the franchise was based. The calculations needed to determine the standard were worked out by Lieutenant Drummond, afterwards Under Secretary for Ireland. Upon the information obtained by the Government as to the limits of each borough, its population, and the amount of assessed taxes it paid, he made out a series of a hundred boroughs, beginning with the lowest, and taking the number of houses and the amount of their assessed taxes together, as the basis of their relative importance. Thus Schedule A was framed. In the original Bill this schedule contained sixty boroughs; in the present Bill it contained only fifty-six. The consequence of taking Mr. Drummond's report as a basis of disfranchisement was, that some boroughs, which formerly escaped as populous and large, were now placed in Schedule A; while others, which were better towns, were taken out of that schedule and placed in Schedule B, which now contained only thirty instead of forty boroughs, as in the former Bill. The diminution in this schedule, consisting of boroughs whose members were to be reduced from two to one, was owing to the fact that the Government had given up the point about reducing the number of members in the House of Commons, which was to remain as before, 658. Thus a number of small boroughs escaped which ought to have but one member each—so small that every one of them ought to have been in Schedule A, that their members might be given to new, prosperous, and progressive communities. Twenty-three members were now to be distributed. Ten were given to the largest towns placed in the original Schedule B, one to Chatham, one to the county of Monmouth, and the rest to the large towns, which, by the former Bill, obtained power to return one member only. The new Bill retained the ￡10 qualification. Every man who occupied a house of the value of ￡10 a year was to have a vote, provided he was rated for the poor. It was not the rating, however, that determined the value; it did not matter to what amount he was rated, if only at ￡5 or ￡1, if the holding was really worth ￡10 a year.详情
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