ASSASSINATION OF COUNT LAMBERG. (See p. 579.)
The butcheries were not terminated till late at night; but the shouts of victory had, so early as eleven o'clock in the morning, informed the Assembly that the people were masters of the Tuileries. Numbers of the insurrectionists had appeared at the Assembly from time to time, crying, "Vive la Nation!" and the members replied with the same cry. A deputation appeared from the H?tel de Ville, demanding that a decree of dethronement should be immediately passed, and the Assembly so far complied as to pass a decree, drawn up by that very Vergniaud who had assured the king that the Assembly was prepared to stand to the death for the defence of the constituted authorities. This decree suspended the royal authority, appointed a governor for the Dauphin, stopped the payment of the Civil List, but agreed to a certain allowance to the royal family during the suspension, and set apart the Luxembourg for their residence. The Luxembourg Palace being reported full of cellars and subterranean vaults and difficult of defence, the Temple, a miserable dilapidated old abbey, was substituted, and the royal family were conveyed thither.
"Mourir pour la patrie,"It was always," said Mr. Brougham, "the queen's sad fate to lose her best stay, her strongest and surest protection, when danger threatened her; and by a coincidence most miraculous in her eventful history, not one of her intrepid defenders was ever withdrawn from her without that loss being the immediate signal for the renewal of momentous attacks upon her honour and her life. Mr. Pitt, who had been her constant friend and protector, died in 1806. A few weeks after that event took place, the first attack was levelled at her. Mr. Pitt left her as a legacy to Mr. Perceval, who became her best, her most undaunted, her firmest protector. But no sooner had the hand of an assassin laid prostrate that Minister, than her Royal Highness felt the force of the blow by the commencement of a renewed attack, though she had but just been borne through the last by Mr. Perceval's skilful and powerful defence of her character. Mr. Whitbread then undertook her protection; but soon that melancholy catastrophe happened which all good men of every political party in the State, he believed, sincerely and universally lamented. Then came with Mr. Whitbread's dreadful loss the murmuring of that storm which was so soon to burst with all its tempestuous fury upon her hapless and devoted head. Her child still lived, and was her friend; her enemies were afraid to strike, for they, in the wisdom of the world, worshipped the rising sun. But when she lost that amiable and beloved daughter, she had no protector; her enemies had nothing to dread; innocent or guilty, there was no hope, and she yielded to the entreaty of those who advised her residence out of this country. Who, indeed, could love persecution so steadfastly as to stay and brave its renewal and continuance, and harass the feelings of the only one she loved so dearly by combating such repeated attacks, which were still reiterated after the echo of the fullest acquittal? It was, however, reserved for the Milan Commission to concentrate and condense all the threatening clouds which were prepared to burst over her ill-fated head; and as if it were utterly impossible that the queen could lose a single protector without the loss being instantaneously followed by the commencement of some important step against her, the same day which saw the remains of her venerable Sovereign entombed—of that beloved Sovereign who was, from the outset, her constant father and friend—that same sun which shone upon the monarch's tomb ushered into the palace of his illustrious son and successor one of the perjured witnesses who were brought over to depose against her Majesty's life.
Previous to this, however, Chatham had thought over several decisive measures, and sketched out a scheme of foreign and domestic policy, which marked how far above the intellectual grasp of most of his contemporaries was that of his mind. He determined, if possible, to form an alliance of European states against the Family Compact of the Bourbons in France and Spain; to reform the Government of Ireland, which greatly needed it, and that of India.On the 1st of March Mr. Villiers, adhering to his principle, brought forward the last of those annual motions for immediate repeal which had contributed so powerfully to undermine the Corn Laws. After a spirited debate of two evenings, in the course of which Mr. Cobden warned the monopolist party that a protracted resistance would compel the Anti-Corn-Law League to maintain its agitation and concentrate its energies, the House rejected the motion by a majority of 267 to 78.Sir Arthur Wellesley, brilliantly seconded by General Lake, Stevenson, and others, had thus worked out the plans of the Governor-General, Lord Wellesley. With small forces, and those principally native ones, but admirably disciplined, they had beaten two hundred and fifty thousand men in four pitched battles and eight sieges. They had taken from them upwards of one thousand pieces of cannon, besides an enormous amount of ammunition, baggage, and other spoil. They had made themselves masters of all the Mahratta territory between the Jumna and the Ganges; of Delhi, Agra, Calpee, the greater part of the province of Bundelcund, the whole of Cuttack, and a territory in Gujerat, which secured us all the ports by which France could have entered, so that we enjoyed the whole navigation of the coast from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus. They had added most important acquisitions to the territories of our allies, the Peishwa and the Nizam of the Deccan, and to the Company itself a stronger frontier in the latter region; and all this had been achieved in the short space of four months. The French influence was completely annihilated, and every part of India placed in greater strength and security than it had ever known before.
GENERAL ELECTION OF 1784: THE HUSTINGS, COVENT GARDEN: THE WESTMINSTER DESERTER DRUMMED OUT OF THE REGIMENT—DEFEAT OF SIR CECIL WRAY. (Reduced facsimile of the Caricature by T. Rowlandson.)Mr. William Johnson, ditto 3,300
Louis Philippe, King of the French, had been the subject of constant eulogy for the consummate ability and exquisite tact with which he had governed France for seventeen years. It was supposed that the "Citizen King" had at length taught his restless and impulsive subjects the blessings of constitutional government, and that they were perfectly contented with the free institutions under which it was now their happiness to live. Guizot, regarded as one of the greatest statesmen on the Continent, was at the head of affairs in 1847, and it was hoped that his profound wisdom and keen sagacity would enable him to guard the state against any dangers with which it might be threatened by the Legitimists on one side or the Democrats on the other. But the whole aspect of public affairs in France was deceptive, and the unconscious monarch occupied a throne which rested on a volcano. The representative government of which he boasted was nothing but a sham—a gross fraud upon the nation. The basis of the electoral constituency was extremely narrow, and majorities were secured in the Chambers by the gross abuse of enormous government patronage. The people, however, saw through the delusion, and were indignant at the artifices by which they were deceived. The king, who interfered with his Ministers in everything, and really directed the Government, was proud of his skill in "managing" his Ministry, his Parliament, and the nation. But the conviction gained ground everywhere, and with it arose a feeling of deep resentment, that he had broken faith with the nation, that he had utterly failed to fulfil his pledges to the people, who had erected the barricades, and placed him upon the throne in 1830. The friends of the monarchy were convinced that it could only be saved by speedy and effectual reform. But the very name of Reform was hateful to the king, and his aide-de-camp took care to make known to the members of the Chambers his opinions and feelings upon the subject. M. Odillon Barrot, however, originated a series of Reform banquets, which commenced in Paris, and were held in the principal provincial cities, at which the most eminent men in the country delivered strong speeches against political corruption and corrupters, and especially against the Minister who was regarded as their chief defender—Guizot.The Congress at Vienna—Napoleon's Escape from Elba—Military Preparations—England supplies the Money—Wellington organises his Army—Napoleon's Journey through France—His Entry into Paris—The Enemy gathers round him—Napoleon's Preparations—The New Constitution—Positions of Wellington and Blucher—The Duchess of Richmond's Ball—Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras—Blucher's Retreat—The Field of Waterloo—The Battle—Charge of the Old Guard—Arrival of the Prussians—The Retreat—French Assertions about the Battle refuted—Napoleon's Abdication—The Allies march on Paris—End of the Hundred Days—The Emperor is sent to St. Helena—The War in America—Events on the Canadian Frontier—Repeated Incapacity of Sir George Prevost—His Recall—Failure of American Designs on Canada—Capture of Washington by the British—Other Expeditions—Failure of the Expedition to New Orleans—Anxiety of the United States for Peace—Mediation of the Czar—Treaty of Ghent—Execution of Ney and Labédoyère—Inability of Wellington to interfere—Murat's Attempt on Naples—His Execution—The Second Treaty of Paris—Final Conditions between France and the Allies—Remainder of the Third George's Reign—Corn Law of 1815—General Distress—Riots and Political Meetings—The Storming of Algiers—Repressive Measures in Parliament—Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act—Secret Meetings in Lancashire—The Spy Oliver—The Derbyshire Insurrection—Refusal of Juries to convict—Suppression of seditious Writings—Circular to Lords-Lieutenant—The Flight of Cobbett—First Trial of Hone—The Trials before Lord Ellenborough—Bill for the Abolition of Sinecures—Death of the Princess Charlotte—Opening of the Session of 1818—Repeal of the Suspension Act—Operation of the Corn Law—The Indemnity Bill—Its Passage through Parliament—Attempts at Reform—Marriages of the Dukes of Clarence, Cambridge, and Kent—Renewal of the Alien Act—Dissolution of Parliament and General Election—Strike in Manchester—Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle—Raids of the Pindarrees—Lord Hastings determines to suppress them—Malcolm's Campaign—Outbreak of Cholera—Campaign against the Peishwa—Pacification of the Mahratta District—Apparent Prosperity of Great Britain in 1819—Opening of Parliament—Debates on the Royal Expenditure—Resumption of Cash Payments—The Budget—Social Reforms—The Scottish Burghs—Roman Catholic Emancipation rejected—Weakness of the Government—Meeting at Manchester—The Peterloo Massacre—The Six Acts—The Cato Street Conspiracy—Attempted Insurrection in Scotland—Trials of Hunt and his Associates—Death of George III.
The complaints of agricultural distress prevalent in England, with the sudden reaction from war prices at the establishment of peace, had become so loud and general this year that Parliament undertook to find a remedy. An agricultural committee had been appointed to inquire into the subject, and had produced a report which was far from satisfactory. On the 29th of April the House of Commons resolved itself into a committee to consider the report. Three different schemes were proposed for the relief of the farmers and landlords—the first by the Marquis of Londonderry, the second by Mr. Ricardo, and the third by Mr. Huskisson. There was no scarcity of produce in England; on the contrary, it was very abundant, and the evil that oppressed the farmers was excessive cheapness, by which they were disabled from paying the high rents and heavy taxation entailed by the war. Some of the remedies proposed were sufficiently radical in their character. The most natural was the reduction of taxation by means of retrenchment in the public expenditure. Some proposed that the tithes should be alienated from the Church, and used for the purpose of reducing the national burdens. The largest party insisted upon the reduction of the interest of the National Debt, which was defended as an equitable measure on the ground of the increased value of the currency since the passing of Peel's Bill for the resumption of cash payments. The plan of relief proposed by Lord Londonderry consisted of the repeal of the annual malt tax, and the loan of a million by Exchequer Bills to the landed interest upon the security of warehoused corn.Lord Grey moved that it should be referred to the judges to determine whether adultery committed out of the country with a foreigner amounted to high treason. The motion was carried. The judges retired, and, after an absence of twenty minutes, returned, with their decision announced by Chief Justice Abbott, which was, that the crime in question was not punishable as high treason, under the Statute of Edward III. Counsel on both sides were admitted; Brougham and Denman, for the queen, sitting on the right of the bar, and the Attorney- and Solicitor-General on the left. Mr. Brougham prayed to be heard against the principle of the Bill. Permission was granted, and he addressed their lordships in a strain of impressive eloquence, demonstrating that the mode of proceeding now adopted was in the highest degree unjust to his illustrious client. He concluded by imploring their lordships to retrace their steps, and thus become the saviours of their country.
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The House of Lords did not sit on that day; but on the following day the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Stanley, Lord Brougham, and the Duke of Wellington gave earnest expression to the feelings of their lordships upon the subject of this national bereavement. The Duke of Wellington in particular, as might be expected, was deeply moved while expressing his great gratification at what had been said as to the character of Sir Robert Peel. He added his testimony as to what he believed to be its strongest feature—his truthfulness. "In all the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel," said the Duke, "I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence; or in whom I saw a more invariable desire to promote the public service. In the whole course of my communication with him, I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth; and I never saw in the whole course of my life the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact." Lord John Russell, who had been absent on the previous day, spoke in the warmest terms of admiration of the late statesman, and avowed his conviction that the harmony which had prevailed for the last two years, and the safety which Great Britain had enjoyed during a period when other nations were visited by the calamity of revolution, had been owing to the course which Sir Robert Peel had thought it his duty to adopt. He concluded by offering, in the name of the Crown, funeral honours similar to those accorded on the death of Pitt or Grattan. But Mr. Goulburn stated that Sir Robert had recorded his desire to be interred in a vault in the parish church of Drayton Bassett without funeral pomp. On the 12th of July, pursuant to a motion made by the Prime Minister, the House of Commons went into committee for the purpose of adopting an address to the Queen, praying her Majesty to order the erection of a monument in Westminster Abbey to the memory of Sir Robert Peel, which was unanimously voted. He stated that the Queen, anxious to show the sense which she entertained of the services rendered to the Crown, had directed him to inform Lady Peel that she desired to bestow upon her the same rank that was bestowed upon the widow of Mr. Canning. Lady Peel answered that her wish was to bear no other name than that by which her husband was known to the world.CHAPTER V. REIGN OF GEORGE II.—(concluded).详情
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