Numbers of persons fled from the different towns to the frontiers of Holland, trade became stagnant, manufactories stood empty; the whole country began to assume a melancholy and ruinous aspect. Many of the refugees, formed into revolutionary clubs by French emissaries, were prepared not merely to oppose Joseph's despotism, but all monarchical government whatever. A powerful body of these placed themselves under the leadership of Van der Noot, a lawyer, who assumed the title of plenipotentiary agent of the people of Brabant; and of Van der Mersch, an officer who had served in the Seven Years' War, who was made their commander-in-chief. These two men were in league with the new Assembly of Breda, and issued their proclamations. These Trautmansdorff caused to be burnt by the executioner. The patriots in Brussels who sympathised with those in arms were, many of them, arrested; the citizens were disarmed, the fortifications strengthened by palisades, and every means of defence was resorted to.December 10th. January 11th.The Viceroy rejoined with unabated spirit, replying to all the fresh matter introduced by the Duke in a lofty tone of self-justification. There is caustic irony in the following allusion to the king, as an apology for his conciliatory policy:—"I have, in fact, been most anxious to imitate, as far as my humble faculties would permit, the example of his Majesty himself during his visit to Ireland, and have scrupulously attended to the king's benign and paternal admonition, when his Majesty quitted the kingdom, to inculcate good fellowship and cordiality among all classes, and to promote conciliation." It is dangerous to use the argumentum ad hominem with a king—still more so to make his conduct the object of sarcastic allusions; and it was evident that Lord Anglesey could not long remain in the position of a representative of his Majesty. There was certainly an animosity against him in the highest quarters, which appeared in the construction put upon the accidental dropping in of his son and some of his household, from curiosity, to witness, as they thought unnoticed, the debates of the Association—a circumstance which he had long ago explained, and with which he thought it particularly unfair that he should be now upbraided.
The days of Chatham were far nearer their close than was suspected. One more sudden blaze of his high intellect, and he was gone. Whilst the subject of America continued to be discussed in both Houses with much acrimony and little result, the Duke of Richmond, seeing that Chatham did not come forward, took a decided step. He gave notice, on the 7th of April, of an address to the king, entreating him to withdraw both his fleets and armies from the United States, and make peace with them on such terms as should secure their goodwill. Chatham was roused effectually by this notice. Wrapped in flannel, pale and emaciated, he was supported into the House by his son William, and his son-in-law, Lord Mahon. His large wig seemed to bury his worn, shrunken face, except the still piercing eye and the aquiline nose. When the Duke of Richmond had made his motion, and Lord Weymouth, one of the Secretaries of State, had replied to it, Chatham arose. Lord Camden says that in speaking "he was not like himself: his speech faltered, his sentences were broken, and his mind not master of itself. His words were shreds of unconnected eloquence; and flashes of the same fire, which he, Prometheus-like, had stolen from heaven, were then returning to the place whence they were taken." All was deep attention, and even in bosoms antagonistic in principle were profound interest and respect. His words, weak and halting at first, grew, as he warmed with his subject, into much of the power and harmony of former days, and battling with his feebleness of frame he put forth, in one last great effort, the power of his spirit.
On the 23rd Moore was obliged to halt for the coming of his supplies; and whilst doing so, he received the intelligence that no fewer than seventy thousand men were in full march after him, or taking a route so as to cut off his rear at Benevento, and that Buonaparte himself headed this latter division. There was no further thought of advancing, but of retreat, before the army was completely surrounded. By the 26th the whole army was beyond Astorga, but the French were now close behind them. Buonaparte, indeed, hoped to have rushed on by the Guadarama, and to have cut off his retreat at Tordesillas, but he was twelve hours too late. On the last day of December, 1808, Buonaparte was pressing close on the British rear in the vicinity of Astorga, and thus closed the year on the fortunes of the Spaniards and their British Allies. The boastful Spanish armies, too proud to think at first that they needed assistance, too unskilful, when they did see the need of it, to co-operate with it, and who had afforded nothing but indifference and false intelligence to their benefactors, were dispersed like so many clouds, and their Allies were flying from an overwhelming foe.
On the 20th of August the Appropriation Bill and other measures of routine having been carried through with great triumph by the Ministry, the king prorogued the Parliament, which did not meet again till the 25th of January following. Fox came into the new Parliament in a very remarkable and anomalous position. In the election for Westminster, the candidates had been, besides himself, Admiral Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray. The election was of the most violent kind, distinguished by drunkenness, riot, and gross abuses. It continued from April the 1st to the 16th of May, and the numbers on the poll-books, at its termination, stood as follows:—For Lord Hood, 6,694; for Fox, 6,233; for Sir Cecil Wray, 5,598. The Prince of Wales had shown himself one of the most ardent partisans of Fox, all the more, no doubt, because Fox was detested by the king. The prince had displayed from his carriage the "Fox favour and laurel," and, at the conclusion of the poll, had given a grand fête at Carlton House to more than six hundred Foxites, all wearing "blue and buff." The Duchess of Devonshire and other lady politicians also gave Fox substantial help. But Fox was not allowed to triumph so easily. The Tory candidate, Sir Cecil Wray, as was well understood, instigated and supported by the Government, demanded a scrutiny; and Corbett, the high bailiff, in the circumstances, could make no return of representatives for Westminster. As a scrutiny in so populous a district, and with the impediments which Government and its secret service money could throw in the way, might drag on for a long period, and thus, as Government intended, keep Fox out of Parliament, he got himself, for the time, returned for a small Scottish borough, to the no small amusement of his enemies.An unhappy difference in principle of the most fundamental character occurred between Kossuth and G?rgei at this time, which brought ruin on the Hungarian cause, now on the verge of complete success. Kossuth was for complete independence; his rival for the maintenance of the Hapsburg monarchy. Kossuth, however, had taken his course before consulting G?rgei—a fact that embittered the spirit of the latter. The Hungarian Assembly, at his suggestion, had voted the independence of Hungary (April 19, 1849), with the deposition and banishment for ever of the House of Hapsburg Lorraine. After this declaration the Hungarian forces increased rapidly. The highest hopes still pervaded the nation. They gained several advantages over the enemy, having now in the field 150,000 men. Field-Marshal Welden, the Austrian Commander-in-Chief, dispirited and broken down in health, resigned the command, and was succeeded by the infamous Haynau—the "woman-flogger." But the fate of Hungary was decided by Russian intervention actuated by the fear of the Czar lest the movement should spread to Poland. Hungary would have successfully defended itself against Austria; but when the latter's beaten armies were aided by 120,000 Muscovites under Paskievitch, their most famous general, coming fresh into the field, success was no longer possible, and the cause was utterly hopeless. On the 31st of July, 1849, Luders, having effected a junction with Puchner, attacked Bem, and completely defeated him. On the 13th of August G?rgei was surrounded at Vilagos, and surrendered to the Russian general Rudiger. The war was over with the capitulation of Comorn.
This naturally roused the States, who made a very different statement; contending that, by the treaties, every ally was bound to do all in its power to bring the common enemy to terms; that England, being more powerful than Holland, ought to bear a larger share of the burden of the war; yet that the forces of Holland had been in the Netherlands often upwards of a hundred thousand, whilst those of England had not amounted to seventy thousand; that this had prevented the Dutch from sending more soldiers to Spain; and that, whilst England had been at peace in her own territory, they (the Dutch) had suffered severely in the struggle. To this a sharp answer was drawn up by St. John, and despatched on the 8th of March, of which the real gist was that, according to the Dutch, England could never give too much, or the United Provinces too little. Nothing could exceed the bitterness of tone which existed between England and the Allies, with whom it had so long manfully contended against encroaching France; for the whole world felt how unworthily the English generally were acting under the Tory Ministry, and this did not tend to forward the negotiations, which had been going on at Utrecht since the 29th of January. To this conference had been appointed as the British plenipotentiaries, the new Earl of Strafford—whom Swift, a great partisan of the Tory Ministry, pronounced a poor creature—and Robinson, Bishop of Bristol, Lord Privy Seal. On the part of France appeared the Marshal d'Uxelles, the Abbé de Polignac, and Mesnager, who had lately been in England settling the preliminaries. On the part of the Dutch were Buys and Vanderdussen; and, besides these, the Emperor, the Duke of Savoy, and the lesser German princes had their representatives.of rations[See larger version]
Napoleon reached Warsaw on the 10th of December, after a narrow escape of being taken at a village named Youpranoui. On the 14th of December he was in Dresden, and had a long conversation with his satrap king there; and, after escaping some endeavours of the Prussians to seize him, he arrived safely in Paris at midnight of the 18th, where the Parisians, who had with some indifference suppressed the conspiracy got up by the Republicans under General Mallet, hastened to overwhelm him with the most fulsome flatteries. The story of his rubbing his hands over the fire on his arrival at the Tuileries, and saying, "This is pleasanter than Moscow," shows an intensity of selfishness which no history on earth can equal. In this one campaign, that magnificent army, the very flower of French, German, and Polish soldiery—perhaps the finest army ever assembled—had perished to a mere fraction, and that amid the most unheard of, the most hitherto unconceived horrors. The remnant of these soldiers was still struggling on in their deserted march, through these horrors even still more intensified. Numbers were falling every day all along the frozen desert tracks, exhausted by famine and cold, and the snows immediately buried them. When they approached any place of rest or refreshment, they fought furiously for fragments of firewood or pieces of horse-flesh. When a horse fell under the burdens they had piled upon him, he was torn by them limb from limb, while yet palpitating with life, and devoured raw. Such was the weariness of these miserable fugitives over immeasurable deserts of frost and snow, through cutting, scythe-edged winds, that nothing but the sound of the Cossack drum, and the howls of the Cossack avengers could induce them to rise and pursue their desolate march. And the man who had brought all these terrible calamities upon nearly half a million of men—and more than half a million by far, including women, children, and other camp-followers, to say nothing of the invaded Russians—felt not a pang for these vast human sufferings, but only for his own detestable pride.
Nor did these terms contain anything like the extent of tyranny imposed on the conscience of the nation by these monarchs. By the 29 Elizabeth it was provided that what right or property any person might dispose of, or settle on any of his family, should still be liable to these penalties if the proprietor and disposer of them neglected to go to church. So that a son might be deprived of lands or other property settled upon him at his marriage, or at any other time, if his father ceased to attend church, though he himself went punctually; and by the 21 James I. the informers were stimulated by great rewards to lay complaints against all whom they could discover offending. And, moreover, any person was to be considered an absentee from church, and liable to all the penalties, who did not remain in church during the whole time of the service; and, also, not only on Sundays, "but upon all the other days ordained and used to be kept as holidays." All these odious enactments were left in force by the Toleration Act, except that they did not compel every one to go to church, but to some licensed place of worship.(After the Portrait by A. E. Challon, R.A.)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.
The result produced intense excitement, and led to rioting and outrage in the metropolis, and in some of the provincial towns. In London, the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Cumberland, and the Marquis of Londonderry, were assaulted in the street, and rescued with difficulty from the fury of the mob. Lord Londonderry, who had signalised himself during the debate by the violence of his opposition, was struck senseless from his horse by a shower of stones at the gate of the palace, amidst cries of "Murder him! Cut his throat!" Persons respectably dressed, and wearing ribbons round their arms, took the lead on these occasions, giving orders, and rushing from the crowd. The houses of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Bristol, and all other anti-Reform peers, had been visited by the mob, and left without glass in their windows. All the shops in town were shut. "The accounts from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and other places," wrote Lord Eldon, "are very uncomfortable. I heard last night that the king was frightened by the appearance of the people outside of St. James's."
The Archbishop of Canterbury moved the rejection of the Bill; and was supported by the Archbishops of York and Armagh, the Bishops of London, Durham, and Salisbury; Lords Winchilsea, Berkeley, Tenterden, and Eldon. The chief defenders of the measure were Lords Grey, Lansdowne, Plunket, Goderich, and Lyndhurst. On a division, the second reading was carried by 217 against 112. On the 10th of April the Bill was read a third time, by a majority of 104; the numbers being 213 for it, and 109 against it. The sweeping majorities in the Lords were still more astounding than those in the Commons; and they spread the utmost consternation through the ranks of the Conservatives, who felt as if the very foundations of society were giving way, and the pillars of the Constitution were falling. The Lords had hitherto thrown out the Emancipation Bills as fast as they came to them, by majorities varying from forty to fifty. Lord Eldon was their prophet, and the old Conservative peers had followed his guidance implicitly for a quarter of a century; but during that time a generation of hereditary legislators had grown up, who had as thorough a contempt for the ex-Chancellor's antiquated prejudices as he had for their youth and inexperience. Lord Eldon had, however, some compensation for being thus deserted in the House of Peers by many of his followers, and having his authority as a statesman disregarded, as well as for the marked neglect of him by the Ministry, in the sympathy and confidence of the distressed king, who was shocked beyond measure at the conduct of the House of Lords. When a reluctant consent was wrung from his Majesty to have the measure brought forward by the Cabinet, he felt, after all, that he was doing nothing very rash; he had the strongest assurance that the Bill would never pass the Lords. He told Lord Eldon that, after the Ministers had fatigued him by many hours' conversation on the painful subject, he simply said, "Go on." But he also produced copies of letters which he had written, in which he assented to their proceeding with the Bill, adding, certainly, very strong expressions of the pain and misery the consent cost him. In his perplexity he evidently wished to avail himself of Eldon's casuistry to get out of the difficulty by retracting; but the latter was constrained to tell him "it was impossible to maintain that his assent had not been expressed, or to cure the evils which were consequential."
On the 26th the Houses adjourned for a month, for the Christmas recess, and during this time the treaties with France and Spain made rapid progress. The fact of America being now withdrawn from the quarrel, coupled with the signs of returning vigour in England—Rodney's great victory and the astonishing defence of Gibraltar—acted as a wonderful stimulant to pacification. Spain still clung fondly to the hope of receiving back Gibraltar, and this hope was for some time encouraged by the apparent readiness of Lord Shelburne to comply with the desire, as Chatham and Lord Stanhope had done before. But no sooner was this question mooted in the House of Commons than the public voice denounced it so energetically, that it was at once abandoned. On the 20th of January, 1783, Mr. Fitzherbert signed, at Versailles, the preliminaries of peace with the Comte de Vergennes, on the part of France, and with D'Aranda, on the part of Spain. By the treaty with France, the right of fishing off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was restored, as granted by the Treaty of Utrecht; but the limits were more accurately defined. The islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, on the coast of Newfoundland, were ceded for drying of fish. In the West Indies, England ceded Tobago, which France had taken, and restored St. Lucia, but received back again Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Kitt's, Nevis, and Montserrat. In Africa, England gave up the river Senegal and the island of Goree, but retained Fort St. James and the river Gambia. In India, the French were allowed to recover Pondicherry and Chandernagore, with the right to fortify the latter, and to carry on their usual commerce. They regained also Mahé and the factory of Surat, with their former privileges. The articles in the Treaty of Utrecht, regarding the demolition of the fortifications of Dunkirk, were abrogated. Spain was allowed to retain Minorca and both the Floridas, but she agreed to restore Providence and the Bahamas. The latter, however, had already been retaken by us. She granted to England the right of cutting logwood in Honduras, but without the privilege of erecting forts or stock-houses, which rendered the concession worthless, for it had always been found that without these it was impossible to carry on the trade. With the Dutch a truce was made on the basis of mutual restoration, except as concerned the town of Negapatam, which Holland ceded. The preliminaries, however, were not settled till nearly eight months afterwards.详情
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