Charles landed in Lochnanuagh on the 25th of July, and was conducted to a farm-house belonging to Clanranald. He then despatched letters to the Highland chiefs who were in his interest. Principal amongst these were Cameron of Lochiel, Sir Alexander Macdonald, and Macleod. Lochiel was as much confounded at the proposal to commence a rebellion without foreign support as the Macdonalds. For a long time Lochiel stood out, and gave the strongest reasons for his decision; but Charles exclaimed, "I am resolved to put all to the hazard. I will erect the Royal Standard, and tell the people of Britain that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, or to perish in the attempt. Lochiel, who, my father has always told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home, and learn from the newspapers the fate of his prince." "Not so!" instantly replied the impulsive Highlander. "I will share the fate of my prince, whatever it may be, and so shall every man over whom nature or fortune has given me any power." The decision of Lochiel determined the whole Highlands. The Macdonalds of Skye held back when sent for, but numbers of others were immediately influenced by the example of Lochiel. Macdonald of Keppoch, Macdonald of Glengarry, and numbers of others, sent in their adhesion. Charles then removed to Kinloch Moidart, the residence of the chief of that name, where he was joined by Murray of Broughton, who brought with him from the south the manifestoes of Charles ready printed. Charles appointed him his secretary, which post he continued to hold during the expedition.
The benevolent exertions of Lord Stanhope on behalf of the Society of Friends were, in 1796—that is, six years later—revived in the House of Commons by Mr. Serjeant Adair. He stated that seven of the people called Quakers were prisoners in the gaol at York for not paying tithes, and unless some alteration in the laws on that subject took place, they might lie there till they died. In fact, one of these Friends, named Joseph Brown, did die in the prison, and his death is the subject of a poem by James Montgomery. Mr. Serjeant Adair moved, on the 26th of April, for leave to bring in a Bill to extend the provisions of the Act 7 and 8 William III., by which tithes could be recovered by distraint when amounting to ten pounds, to tithes of any amount. Wilberforce, Pitt, Dolben, and others, usually opposed to concessions, spoke in favour of the Bill. Sir Philip Francis only opposed it on the ground that the petitioners probably did not entertain any serious objection to paying tithes, but only wanted to look like martyrs. The Bill went on swimmingly till it was about going into committee, on the 10th of May, when Francis rose again. A new light had burst upon him. He said that he had learnt that the Bill did not proceed from the suffering individuals, but from the yearly meeting of the Society itself—as if that were any solid objection, and as if a measure ought not to come with more weight from a whole suffering community than from a few individuals! The Bill readily passed the Commons, but no sooner did it appear in the Lords than the Bishops fell foul of it. The Archbishop of Canterbury saw danger to the Church in it, and moved that it be read that day three months, and this was carried. Thus the Bill was lost for that Session. Adair brought in a fresh Bill for the same object, into the new Parliament, in October, but this was thrown out.
This was not the only bitter pill that poor Lord Eldon was compelled to swallow. Without one word of intimation from the king or the Prime Minister, he learnt for the first time from the Courier that Mr. Huskisson had been introduced into the Cabinet. Mr. Huskisson was made President of the Board of Trade, and in his stead Mr. Arbuthnot became First Commissioner of the Land Revenues. Mr. Vansittart, who had proved a very inefficient Chancellor of the Exchequer, was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Bexley, and got the quiet office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was succeeded in the more important office by a much abler financier, Mr. Robinson.When he entered Portugal Massena issued a proclamation, informing the Portuguese that the British were the troublers and mischief-makers of Europe, and that they were there only for their own objects of ambition, and calling on the inhabitants to receive the French as their friends and saviours. Lord Wellington issued a counter-proclamation, remarking that the Portuguese had had too much occasion to learn what sort of friends the French were; that they had learned it by the robbery of their property, their brutality towards the women, and oppression of all classes. He called on them, as the sole means of rescue, to resist to the death; and he ordered them, as the British army retired from Lisbon, to withdraw from their towns and villages, carrying whatever they could with them, so that the enemy might find no means of support. This was part of his great plan; and he assured the Portuguese that those who stayed behind after their magistrates had ordered them to withdraw should receive no assistance from him; and that whoever was found holding any communication with the enemy should be deemed a traitor, and treated accordingly.Lord Redesdale in a letter to Lord Eldon, written in 1821, soon after the king's visit, gave expression to some important truths about the Government of Ireland. "Ministers," he said, "have fancied that Ireland would do better without a Lord-Lieutenant, and some of them have called his office a useless pageant, but under the present circumstances they would govern the colonies as well without governors as they can govern Ireland without that pageant. If the pageant is useless, it is because they make it useless, because they give him a Secretary to thwart him, or to be a viceroy over him. The office of Lord-Lieutenant requires, in my opinion, a considerable portion of ability, sound judgment, discretion, firmness, good temper, and conciliating manners. Such a Lord-Lieutenant ought to be supreme. If Ministers think fit to appoint to such an office a man wholly unqualified for it, they must put him in leading-strings, and give him a Secretary with all the qualities the Lord-Lieutenant ought to have; and, moreover, with a disposition to conceal rather than display his power over his superior—to lead, and not to command, the Lord-Lieutenant. In England the machine goes on almost of itself, and therefore a bad driver may manage it tolerably well. It is not so in Ireland. The country requires great exertion to bring it into a state of order and submission to law. The whole population—high and low, rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant—must all be brought to obedience to law; all must be taught to look up to the law for protection. The gentry are ready enough to attend grand juries, to obtain presentments for their own benefit, but they desert the quarter-sessions of the peace. The first act of a constable in arrest must not be to knock down the prisoner; and many, many reforms must be made, which only can be effected by a judicious and able Government on the spot. Ireland, in its present state, cannot be governed in England. If insubordination compels you to give, how are you to retain by law what you propose to maintain while insubordination remains? It can only be by establishing completely the empire of the law."
It was apprehended that the enemy would return next day in greater force to renew the contest; but as they did not, the Commander-in-Chief seized the opportunity to summon the troops to join him in public thanksgiving to God for the victory. The year 1846 dawned upon the still undecided contest. The British gained most by the delay. The Governor-General had ordered up fresh troops from Meerut, Cawnpore, Delhi, and Agra. By the end of January Sir Hugh Gough had under his command 30,000 men of all arms. On every road leading to the scene of action, from Britain's Indian possessions, convoys were seen bearing provisions and stores of all sorts to the army; while reinforcements were pressing onward rapidly that they might share the glory by confronting the greatest danger. That danger was still grave. The Sikhs also were bringing up reinforcements, and strengthening their entrenched camp at the British side of the Sutlej, having constructed a bridge of boats for the conveyance of their troops and stores across the river. The enemy had established a considerable magazine at a fortified village some miles from the camp, and Sir Harry Smith proceeded at the head of a detachment to attack it. But Sirdar Runjeet Singh intercepted him, cut off and captured all his baggage; but being reinforced, he met the enemy again at a place on the Sutlej, called Aliwal. The Sikh army, which seemed in the best possible order and discipline, were drawn up in imposing array, 20,000 strong with 70 guns, while the British were 9,000 with 32. After a series of splendid charges the enemy were driven successively from every position, and fled in confusion across the river. Several of the British horsemen followed the guns into the river, and spiked them there. The loss of the Sikhs is said to have been 3,000, while that of the British was only 673 killed and wounded. The moral effect of this victory over such unequal forces was of the utmost advantage to the rest of the army (January 28th, 1846).The gulf between the Minister and the landowners was widening. The debates on the Budget, and on Mr. Cobden's motion for inquiry into the alleged agricultural distress, had drawn out more bitter speeches from Mr. Disraeli, and served still further to mark the distinction between the Minister and a large section of his old followers. But one of the most significant signs of the time was the increasing tendency to recognise the talents and singleness of purpose of the Anti-Corn-Law Leaguers. It became almost fashionable to compliment the ability of Mr. Cobden. It was almost forgotten that the Minister had once carried with him the whole House in making an excited charge against that gentleman of marking him out for assassination. The bitterness of the ultra-Protectionists was certainly unabated; but neither the Quarterly nor any other review now classed the Manchester men with rick-burners and assassins, or called upon the Government to indict them for sedition.
Mr. St. John Daly, ditto 3,300
[See larger version]The Bill was suffered to pass the second reading, but was thrown out, on the motion of its being committed, by two hundred and twenty-two against two hundred and fourteen. Fox then gave notice of his intention of bringing in a new Bill of his own on India, and demanded to know from the Ministers whether he might expect to proceed in security with it, or whether the House would be dissolved. Pitt did not answer; the question was repeated by other members, but Pitt continued silent, till General Conway said it was a new thing to see a Minister sitting in sulky silence, and refusing to satisfy the reasonable desires of the House. This brought out Pitt with an indignant denial; but he preserved silence as to the probability of a dissolution.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.
Before Buonaparte, therefore, could proceed to Spain, he determined to meet the Czar at Erfurth, in Germany, by their open union to overawe that country, and to bind Alexander more firmly to his interest by granting him ampler consent to his designs on Turkey and on Finland. The meeting took place on the 27th of September, and terminated on the 17th of October. Both Emperors returned in appearance more friendly and united than ever, but each in secret distrusting his ally. Buonaparte, who was now intending in earnest to divorce Josephine, and marry a daughter of a royal house, by whom he might have issue, and thus league himself with the old dynasties, made a proposal for one of the Russian archduchesses, which was evaded by Alexander, on the plea of the difference of religion. Such a plea did not deceive the keen sagacity of Buonaparte; he felt it to result from a contempt of his plebeian origin, and a belief in the instability of his giddy elevation; and he did not forget it. To impress on Europe, however, the idea of the intimate union of the Czar and Buonaparte, they addressed, before leaving Erfurth, a joint letter to the King of Great Britain, proposing a general peace. To this letter Canning answered to the Ministers of Russia and France, that Sweden—against whom the Czar had commenced his war of usurpation—Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, must be included in any negotiations. The French and Russian Ministers, on the contrary, proposed a peace on the principle of every one retaining what they had got. This, Canning replied, would never be consented to; and the two emperors knew that very well, but the letter had served Buonaparte's purpose. It enabled him to tell France and the world how much he was disposed to peace, and how obstinate was Britain; it served to make the world believe in the close intimacy of the Czar and himself. He now hurried back to France, and, opening the session of the Corps Législatif, on the 25th of October, he announced that he was going to Spain to drive the "English leopards"—for such he always absurdly persisted in calling the lions in the royal arms of Great Britain—out of both Spain and Portugal. On the 27th he set out.The court then adjourned to the 15th of April. The case of the Begums was opened by Mr. Adams, and concluded the next day by Mr. Pelham. Then sixteen days were occupied by the evidence, and at length, on the 3rd of June, Sheridan began to sum up the evidence, and, in a speech which lasted three days, he kept the court in the highest state of excitement. The place was crowded to suffocation during the whole time, and as much as fifty guineas is said to have been paid for a single seat. Greatly as this speech of Sheridan's was admired, it was felt to be too ornate and dramatic: there was not the deep and genuine feeling of Burke in it, and the effect was so evidently studied, that, on concluding, Sheridan fell back into the arms of Burke, as if overcome by his own sensations. The prorogation of Parliament was now at hand, and only two out of the twenty charges had been gone through: neither of them had yet been replied to, and yet other causes of engrossing interest arising, the trial was entirely suspended till the 20th of April of the following year! Then it was taken up languidly and at uncertain intervals, and rapidly became a mere exhibition of rhetoric. Further, Burke's unlawyer-like style and intemperance of language drew upon him the censure of the Lord Chancellor, and even of the House of Commons. A revulsion of public feeling took place, and was seen in the acquittal of Stockdale who was tried for libelling the promoters of the trial. Three years afterwards Burke himself renounced sixteen of his charges, and all popular interest in the trial gradually disappeared.
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