类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-25 09:48:47


Having put Prussia under his feet, Buonaparte proceeded to settle the fate of her allies, Saxony and Hesse-Cassel. Saxony, which had been forced into hostilities against France by Prussia, was at once admitted by Buonaparte to his alliance. He raised the prince to the dignity of king, and introduced him as a member of the Confederacy of the Rhine. The small states of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Gotha were admitted to his alliance on the same terms of vassalage; but Hesse-Cassel was wanted to make part of the new kingdom of Westphalia, and, though it had not taken up arms at all, Buonaparte declared that it had been secretly hostile to France, and that the house of Hesse-Cassel had ceased to reign. Louis Buonaparte had seized it, made it over to the keeping of General Mortier, and then marched back to Holland. Mortier then proceeded to re-occupy Hanover, which he did in the middle of November, and then marched to Hamburg. He was in hopes of seizing a large quantity of British goods, as he had done at Leipzic, but in this he was disappointed, for the Hamburg merchants, being warned by the fate of Leipzic, had made haste, disposed of all their British articles, and ordered no fresh ones. Buonaparte, in his vexation, ordered Mortier to seize the money in the banks; but Bourrienne wrote to him, showing him the folly of such a step, and he refrained.Before the conclusion of this treaty Pitt had made another effort to obtain peace with France. The fact that one ally, Austria, was engaged in separate negotiations gave him a fair excuse, and Lord Malmesbury was once more sent to negotiate. He went to Lille, presented his plan of a treaty, and at first all went well. Britain promised to restore all her conquests with the exception of Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, and Trinidad. But the Directory suffered the negotiations to drag on, and when intestine struggles in France had been terminated in the triumph of the Republican party on the 18th Fructidor (September 4), the negotiations were suddenly broken off on the ground that Malmesbury had not full authority. Once more the war party in France had gained the day, and the weary contest was resumed.[See larger version]

Napoleon's saying about French revolutions was verified in 1830. The shock of the political earthquake was felt throughout the Continent, and severed Belgium from Holland. The inhabitants of Brussels began their revolt by resistance to local taxes, and ended by driving the[320] Dutch garrison out of the city, and proclaiming the independence of Belgium. The Duke of Wellington had no difficulty about the prompt recognition of the de facto Government of France. The change of dynasty had not been officially communicated to him many hours when he sent instructions to the British ambassador to enter into friendly relations with the new Government. He had not, however, the same facility in recognising the independence of Belgium. He had been instrumental in establishing the kingdom of the Netherlands; and he regarded the union as being a portion of the great European settlement of 1815, which ought not to be disturbed without the concurrence of the Great Powers by which it was effected. This hesitation on his part to hail the results of successful revolution added to his unpopularity. In the meantime a dangerous spirit of disaffection and disorder began to manifest itself in the south of England. Incendiary fires had preceded the Revolution in France, especially in Normandy, and they were supposed to have had a political object. Similar preludes of menaced revolution occurred during the autumn in some of the English counties nearest the French coast, in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire. Night after night, in the most fertile districts, the sky was reddened with the blaze of burning stack-yards. Crowds of the working classes, complaining of want of employment, went about throughout the country, breaking the threshing-machines, which had then come into extensive use. The Government were compelled to employ force to put down these disturbances—a fact which supplied inflammatory arguments to agitators, who denounced the Duke of Wellington as the chief cause of the distress of the working classes. Such was the state of things when the new Parliament met on the 26th of October.The suggestions of Murat had failed to induce Ferdinand to leave his capital and go to meet Napoleon; but a more adroit agent now presented himself in the person of Savary, the delegated murderer of the Duke d'Enghien. Savary paid decided court to Ferdinand. He listened to all his statements of the revolution of Aranjuez and the abdication of the king. He told him that he felt sure Napoleon would see these circumstances in the same favourable light as he did, and persuaded him to go and meet the Emperor at Burgos, and hear him salute him Ferdinand VII., King of Spain and of the Indies.

During these proceedings, the National Assembly was sitting at Versailles in the utmost agitation. On the morning of the 13th, Mounier had risen and censured the dismissal of the Ministers, and had been seconded by Lally Tollendal, who had pronounced a splendid panegyric on Necker, and recommended an address to the king for his recall. M. de Virieu, a deputy of the noblesse, proposed to confirm by oath the proceedings of the 17th of June; but Clermont Tonnerre declared that unnecessary, as the Assembly had sworn to establish a constitution, and he exclaimed, "The Constitution we will have, or we will perish!" In the midst of this discussion came the news of the rising of the people of Paris, on the morning of the 13th, and an address was immediately voted to the king, beseeching him to withdraw the foreign troops, and authorise the organisation of the Civic Guards. The Duke de la Rochefoucauld said, the foreign troops in the hands of despotism were most perilous to the people, who were not in any one's hands. The address was sent, and the king returned a curt answer, that Paris was not in a condition to take care of itself. The Assembly then assumed a higher tone, asserted that the present counsellors of the king would be responsible for all the calamities which might take place, and declared itself in permanent session, that is, that it would sit day and night till the crisis was over. It appointed M. de Lafayette vice-president, in the place of the aged Bishop of Vienne, who was not capable of much exertion.To these, in 1785, the Rev. Dr. Edmund Cartwright introduced a loom for weaving by water or steam power, which soon superseded hand-loom weaving. In 1803 Mr. H. Horrocks greatly improved this, and from this germ has grown up the system of weaving cottons, silks, and woollens by machinery. Add to this the application of similar machinery to calico-printing, and the like to weaving of lace, invented by Robert Frost, of Nottingham, or by a working mechanic of that town named Holmes, which afterwards received many improvements, and we have the varied means by which the manufacturing power of England was raised far above that of all the world; and which, reaching other countries in spite of legislative impediments, soon established similar manufactures in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and America. In Great Britain alone the importation of raw cotton was increased from 4,764,589 lbs. in 1771 to 151,000,000 lbs. in 1818; and such was the spread of trade of all kinds from the use of machinery, that our exports of manufactured goods in 1800, when the European nations were incapacitated for manufacturing by Napoleon's general embargo, amounted to £116,000,000.

Nothing could exceed the indignation of the public at the attempt that was being made by the Court, in league with an intriguing faction, to resist the national will. All classes, high and low, rich and poor, nobles and commoners, Churchmen and Dissenters, were roused into a state of wild excitement and fierce determination. Indignation meetings were everywhere held and threatening resolutions passed. The House of Commons was called upon to stop the supplies; placards were put up in the windows of shops expressing the determination of the inhabitants to pay no taxes. This determination was not confined to the middle classes; men of the highest rank and largest property, such as Lord Milton, told the tax-collector not to call again. A complete and active organisation existed in London for the purpose of stimulating and directing public[351] feeling in the provinces, and obtaining from the people vehement petitions, which poured in to both Houses rapidly, especially to the House of Commons. The political unions were everywhere preparing for actual insurrection. In London meetings were held by day and by night, at which the most violent language was used even by persons of property and rank. The Common Council of London met, and passed resolutions denouncing those who had advised the king not to create peers as enemies of their Sovereign, who had put to imminent hazard the stability of the Throne and the security of the country. A standing committee was appointed to watch the course of events. The feeling excited by these extraordinary proceedings proved, beyond the possibility of doubt, that the whole mercantile and trading classes in the metropolis were prepared to adopt revolutionary measures, if such were necessary, for the attainment of the Reform Bill. Immense numbers of persons who had hitherto considered the proceedings of the National Political union in London too violent, were now, says the Times of the 11th of May, at their own solicitation, admitted members. Similar excitement prevailed throughout the provinces.Ministers carried their indemnity in the Commons by one hundred and sixty-two against sixty-nine; but this did not prevent a prolongation of the demands of the Reformers for a searching inquiry into their employment of the spies. Many petitions were presented to the House of Commons for this inquiry—one of them from Samuel Bamford, who had been a sufferer by imprisonment. On the 3rd of February Hone's case was brought forward by William Smith, of Norwich; on the 10th, Lord Archibald Hamilton made a motion for inquiry into similar prosecutions of persons in Scotland, and especially of Andrew M'Kinley, and this was supported by Sir Samuel Romilly and others, but rejected; yet the next day Mr. Fazakerley made a demand for a rigid inquiry into the employment of the spies, and for ascertaining whether they really had exceeded their instructions. Here was an opportunity for Ministers to clear themselves, were they really innocent of sending them out to excite as well as to discover conspirators. There was a violent debate, but the motion was rejected by one hundred and eleven against fifty-two. The discussion left no doubt of the employment of Oliver and others, and this fact being put beyond dispute, Ministers should, in self-vindication, have cleared themselves, if they were guiltless, as their friends pretended; but they did not do so. On the 17th Lord Folkestone moved for inquiry into the treatment in prison of Mr. Ogden and others, and a similar motion was made on the 19th, in the Lords, by the Earl of Carnarvon. In both cases Ministers, instead of courting inquiry, resented it, and closed the door of investigation by large majorities. Lords Sidmouth, Bathurst, and Liverpool were prominent in staving off these inquiries; and Lords Grosvenor, King, and Holland were earnest in urging the necessity of such inquiry for their own good fame. Lord Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby, put this in the strongest light. He said that he thought Ministers "had been much calumniated, but they would be most so by themselves if they refused to inquire into those acts, when inquiry, according to their own statements, would fully[135] acquit them of the charges laid against them." This was so self-evident that the fact that they would not admit this inquiry might, were there no other grounds for decision, be taken as positive proof of their guilt. But it is not likely that Oliver and his comrades, who were for months in daily communication with Ministers whilst on their detestable missions, would have dared so far to exceed their orders, or, had they done so, that they would have been protected at the expense of the reputations of Ministers themselves, and rewarded into the bargain. The instructions to these men were undoubtedly of too dark a character to be produced in open daylight.

The history of this question of Jewish Emancipation gives proof, as striking as any upon record, of the obstinacy and tenacity of prejudice established by law, although no possible danger could arise to the British Constitution from the admission of the Jews; although Mr. Salomons had been elected Sheriff of London in 1835, and a Bill was passed to enable him to act; although the year after, Mr. Moses Montefiore was likewise elected Sheriff of London, and knighted by the Queen; although in 1846 Jews elected to municipal offices were relieved by Parliament from taking the oaths;[605] although Baron Rothschild and Alderman Salomons had been repeatedly elected by immense majorities; although Bills for emancipating the Jews, the only class of her Majesty's subjects still labouring under political disabilities on account of their religion, were passed year after year by the House of Commons, but were indignantly rejected by the House of Lords. At length, in 1858, the Commons were obliged to admit the Jews by a resolution of their own House, but it was not till 1860 that an Act was passed permitting Jewish members of Parliament to omit from the oath the words "on the true faith of a Christian."With the reign of George III. began the real era of civil engineering. With respect to our highways there had been various Parliamentary enactments since the Revolution of 1688; but still, at the commencement of George III.'s reign, the condition of the greater part of our public roads was so dreadful as now to be almost incredible. Acts of Parliament continued to be passed for their amendment, but what was their general state we learn from the invaluable "Tours" of Arthur Young. He describes one leading from Billericay to Tilbury, in Essex, as so narrow that a mouse could not pass by any carriage, and so deep in mud that chalk-waggons were continually sticking fast in them, till so many were in that predicament that the waggoners put twenty or thirty of their horses together to pull them out. He describes the same state of things in almost every part of the country—in Norfolk, Suffolk, Wiltshire, and Lancashire. Some of them had ruts four feet deep by measure, and into these ruts huge stones were dropped to enable waggons to pass at all; and these, in their turn, broke their axles by the horrible jolting, so that within eighteen miles he saw three waggons lying in this condition. Notwithstanding, from 1785 to 1800 no fewer than six hundred and forty-three Acts of Parliament regarding roads were passed. But scarcely a penny of the money collected at the toll-bars went to the repair of the roads, but only to pay the interest of the debt on their original construction. Whatever was raised was divided amongst the members of the body known as the trustees for the original fund; and though many Acts of Parliament limited this interest, means were found for evading the restriction.

The new year of 1815 was commenced by a heavy fire along the whole of this defence from thirty-six pieces of cannon, the immediate effect of which was to drive the Americans, in a terrible panic, from their guns, and walls composed of cotton bales and earth. Why an immediate advance was not made at this moment does not appear. It would probably have placed the whole of the American defences in the hands of the British troops, and driven the Americans into the city. But even then little advantage would have been gained, for the news of the contest was bringing down riflemen in legions from the country all round, and the British, struggling in bogs, and exposed at every fresh advance, must be mowed down without a chance of retaliating.

But there was one subject of general and permanent interest brought under the notice of the House of Commons. Mr. Henry Brougham made an important speech on the great and difficult subject of Popular Education, which he continued to advocate, with so much power and success, throughout the whole of his lengthened and brilliant career. He stated that there were then twelve thousand parishes or chapelries in England; of these three thousand five hundred had not a vestige of a school, and the people had no more means of education than the Hottentots or Kaffirs. Of the remainder, there were five thousand five hundred unendowed, depending entirely on the casual and fleeting support of the parents of the children attending them. The number of children receiving education at all the schools, week-day and Sunday, was seven hundred thousand. Estimating the number educated at home at fifty thousand, the whole number then under instruction would be seven hundred and fifty thousand—about one-fifteenth of the entire population. In Scotland the proportion at that time was about one-tenth; in Holland and Prussia the same; in Switzerland one-eighth. France was then at the bottom of the scale, only one-twenty-eighth of the population being under instruction. Mr. Brougham proposed a school-rate for England, according to the American plan.The following statement of the numbers receiving rations, and the total expenditure under the Act in each of the four provinces, compared with the amount of population, and the annual value assessed for poor-rate, may serve to illustrate the[546] comparative means and destitution of each province:—



Thus this mighty armada—of which such high things were expected—was dispersed; Rodney, sending part of his fleet to Jamaica, proceeded to join Arbuthnot at New York, with eleven ships of the line and four frigates. The news of his approach reached the French and Americans there, at the same time as that of the return of De Guichen to Europe, and spread the greatest consternation. To consider what was best to do in the circumstances, a meeting was proposed at Hartford, in Connecticut, between Washington and Rochambeau, which took place on the 21st of September. At this moment a discovery took place which had a startling effect on the Americans, and was calculated to inspire the most gloomy views of their condition. General Arnold, who had fought his way up from the humble station of a horse-dealer to that which he now held, had, on all occasions, shown himself an officer of the most daring and enterprising character. Having been appointed military governor of Philadelphia, after its evacuation by General Clinton in 1778, as a post where he might recover from the severe wounds which he had received in the recent campaign, he began a style of living much too magnificent for his finances, for, with all his abilities, Arnold was a vain and extravagant man. He married a beautiful young lady of that city of Royalist origin. Rumours to his disadvantage were soon afloat, originating in this cause, for whatever he did was regarded by the staunch Whigs with an unfavourable eye. Congress was the more ready to listen to charges against him, because, involved himself in debts incurred by his extravagance, he pressed them for large claims upon them, which they had no means to satisfy. Commissioners were selected by them to examine his claims, and these men, appointed for their hard, mean natures, reduced his demands extremely. Arnold uttered his indignation at such treatment in no measured terms, and the consequence was that he was arrested, tried by a court-martial, on various charges of peculation in his different commands, and for extortion on the citizens of Philadelphia. Some of these were declared groundless, but others were pronounced to be proved, and Arnold was condemned to be reprimanded by the Commander-in-Chief. This put the climax to his wrath. Washington, who had, in Arnold's opinion, been as unjustly exalted and favoured for his defeats and delays, as he himself had been envied and repressed for his brilliant exploits, was of all men the one from whom he could not receive with patience a formal condemnation. This sentence was carried into effect in January, 1779, and Arnold, stung to the quick, was prepared to perpetrate some desperate design. The opportunity came when he was placed in command of West Point, on the Hudson, which was the key to all intercourse between the Northern and Southern States.There were rumours of negotiations going on for a return of Pitt to power; but as Mr. Addington showed no disposition to resign altogether in favour of Pitt, these came to nothing. Already in the previous November Canning and Lord Malmesbury, two of Pitt's most zealous supporters, had set on foot an address to Addington begging him to resign. But this plan was abruptly stopped by Pitt himself, who felt that he was to a certain extent the creator of the Ministry. Now Addington made overtures to Pitt through Dundas, become Lord Melville. But his propositions were absurd. He stipulated that Greville and Windham, who had opposed the Peace of Amiens, should be excluded from the arrangements. He also wished that Pitt's brother, Lord Chatham, should be the nominal Prime Minister, while he and Pitt should be equal secretaries. At this, Pitt put a stop to the envoy's conversation. "Upon my word," he said afterwards, "I had not the curiosity to ask what I was to be." So England engaged in war, with her greatest statesman excluded from office.



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