Thus surrounded by treason, Louis doubted the fidelity of Soult, who resigned his command; but he trusted Ney, and sent him to attack Buonaparte in the rear, whilst an army at Mélun, under Clarke, Duke of Feltre, was to attack him in front. Ney took leave of Louis on the 9th of March, declaring that he would bring Buonaparte to him in a cage; but at Lons-le-Saulnier, on the 14th, he received a letter from Napoleon, calling him "the bravest of the brave," and inviting him to resume his place in his army, and Ney went over at once. To abate the public opinion of his treason, he pretended that this expedition had been long arranged between himself and Buonaparte, but this Buonaparte at St. Helena denied.
On the 12th of February Sir James Graham moved for the reduction of the salaries of all persons holding offices under Government, in proportion to the enhanced value of money produced by the Bank Restriction Act, which added to the weight of all fixed payments while it lowered wages and the price of provisions. "Hence," he said, "the miserable state to which the people of this country were now reduced, and the necessity for rigid, unsparing economy; and in that system of economy one great source of retrenchment must be the reduction of the salaries of those who had their hands in the public purse. Justice requires, necessity demands it." Ministers did not dare to resist this motion openly. They evaded it by an amendment, which was unanimously adopted, for an Address to the king, requesting him to order an inquiry to be made into all the departments of the Civil Government, with a view of reducing the number of persons employed in the various Services, and the amount of their salaries. On the 15th Mr. Hume attempted to carry retrenchment into the Army and Navy, moving a resolution to the effect that the former should be reduced by 20,000 men, and the latter by the sum of a million and a half. All the reductions he proposed would have effected a saving of eight millions annually. But neither the Whigs nor the Canning party were disposed to go such lengths. The motion was, therefore, defeated, the minority consisting solely of Radical reformers, who mustered fifty-seven on the division. Another assault on the Government was led on by Mr. Poulett Thompson, who moved for the appointment of a Committee for a Revision of the system of Taxation with a view to saving expense in the mode of collecting the revenue. The motion was resisted by Mr Peel on the ground that such important duties should not be delegated to a fraction of the members of the House. The motion was rejected by a large majority. A few days later, however, Ministers sustained a damaging defeat in the Committee of Supply on the Navy estimates. Two young men, who had been public servants for a few months only, Mr. R. Dundas and Mr. W. S. Bathurst, Junior Commissioners of the Navy, had been pensioned off on the reduction of their offices, the one with ￡400 and the other with ￡500 a year. The arrangement was attacked as a gross job and defended upon principle, and Ministers after mustering all their strength were beaten by a majority of 139 to 121, on the motion that those pensions should be struck off. Several other motions, brought forward with a view of effecting retrenchments, were rejected by the House. This movement in the direction of financial reform, no doubt, received an impulse from the resentment of the leading Whigs, whose claims to take part in the Government were ignored by the Duke. But this remark does not apply to the efforts of Mr. Attwood and Mr. Baring, who moved that instead of a gold standard there should be a gold and silver standard, and that the Act for prohibiting the issue of small notes should be repealed. They strengthened their case by an appeal to the facts of the existing distress and commercial depression arising from a restricted currency. On the part of the Government, however, it was argued that a double standard of gold and silver would cause a loss of five per cent, to creditors if debtors were to pay in the silver standard—that the whole country would be a scene of confusion and ruin—that silver never was in practice the standard of the country, and that it never had been actually in a state to be used as a legal tender. Latterly the law had enacted that it should not be a legal tender beyond twenty-five pounds. By weight, indeed, it was a legal tender to any amount, but practically it had become so depreciated that there was no such thing as a standard by weight. Mr. Attwood's resolutions on the currency were negatived without a division.The Empress Maria Theresa, never reconciling herself to the seizure of Silesia by Frederick, and not finding England disposed to renew a war for the object of recovering it, applied to her old enemy, France. It required some ability to accomplish this object of detaching France from its ancient policy of hostility to Austria, pursued ever since the days of Henry IV., and in severing the alliance with Prussia; but her Minister, Kaunitz, who had been her ambassador in Paris, contrived to effect it. The temptation was thrown out of the surrender of Belgic provinces to augment France, in return for assistance in recovering German possessions from Prussia. To add fresh stimulus to this change, the vengeance of offended woman was brought into play. Madame Pompadour, Louis XV.'s all-powerful mistress, had sent flattering compliments to Frederick by Voltaire; but the Prussian king only repaid them with sneers. On the other hand, the virtuous Maria Theresa did not blush to write, with her own hand, the most flattering epistles to the Pompadour. By these means, the thirst of revenge raised in the heart of the French mistress worked successfully the breach with Prussia and the alliance with Austria. The same stimulus was tried, and with equal effect, on the Czarina Elizabeth, on whose amorous licence the cynical Prussian monarch had been equally jocose. Kaunitz knew how to make the sting of these ungallant sallies felt at both Paris and St. Petersburg, and the winter of 1755-6 saw the Russian alliance with Prussia and England renounced, the English subsidy, with far more than German probity, renounced too, and Russia pledged to support Austria and France. The Elector of Saxony, Augustus, King of Poland, who amused himself with low pot-house companions and tame bears, and left his affairs to his minister, Count Brühl, was also induced, by the promise of Prussian territory, to join the league; and even Sweden, whose queen, Ulrica, was sister to Frederick, was drawn over to take side against him, in the hope of recovering its ancient province of Pomerania. This confederation of ninety millions of people, leagued against five millions, was pronounced by Pitt "one of the most powerful and malignant ones that ever yet threatened the independence of mankind."
Still more inglorious were the proceedings of our fleet on the coasts of the Spanish-American colonies. Sir Chaloner Ogle joined Vernon in Jamaica on the 9th of January, 1741, and no time was to be lost, for the wet season set in at the end of April, which, besides the deluges of rain, is attended by a most unhealthy state of the climate. Vernon, however, did not move till towards the end of the month, and then, instead of directing his course towards the Havannah, which lay to the leeward, and could have been reached in three days, he beat up against the wind to Hispaniola, in order to watch the motions of the French fleet under D'Antin. It was the 15th of February before he learned distinctly that the French had sailed for Europe in great distress for men and provisions. Now was the time to make his way to Cuba; but, instead of that, he called a council of war—the resource of a weak commander,—which was followed by its almost invariable result, a contrariety of advice. It was at length concluded that, as Admiral Torres had now sailed for the Havannah, and thus closed the opportunity for its attack, the fleet should take in wood and water at Hispaniola, and make for the continent of New Spain. On the 4th of March the fleet came to anchor in Playa Grande, to the windward of Carthagena.
The great philosopher of this period was John Locke (b. 1632; d. 1704). Locke had much to do with the governments of his time, and especially with that extraordinary agitator and speculator, Ashley, Lord Shaftesbury, whom he attended in his banishment, and did not return till the Revolution. Yet, though so much connected with government, office, and the political schemers, Locke remained wonderfully unworldly in his nature. His philosophical bias, no doubt, preserved him from the corrupt influences around him. He was a staunch advocate of toleration, and wrote three letters on Toleration, and left another unfinished at his death. In these he defended both religious and civil liberty against Jonas Proast and Sir Robert Filmer, advocates of the divine right of kings. His "Thoughts on Education" and his "Treatises on Government" served as the foundations of Rousseau's "Emile" and his "Contrat Social." Besides these he wrote numerous works of a theological kind, as "The Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity;" and in his last years, "A Discourse upon Miracles," "Paraphrases of St. Paul," and "An Essay for the Understanding of St. Paul's Epistles;" a work "On the Conduct of the Understanding," and "An Examination of Father Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all Things in God." But his great work is his "Essay concerning the Human Understanding." This may be considered the first pure and systematic treatise on metaphysics in the English language; and though the pursuit of the science since his time has led to the rejection of many of his opinions, the work will always remain as an able and clearly-reasoned attempt to follow the method of Bacon in tracing the nature and operations of the understanding.With "The Battle of the Books" appeared "The Tale of a Tub;" and though these were anonymous, it was soon well known that they were from the hand of Jonathan Swift, a friend of Harley and Bolingbroke, who now assumed a position in the public eye destined to be rendered yet more remarkable. Swift was of English parentage, but born in Dublin in 1667. He was educated at Kilkenny and the University of Dublin. In early life he became private secretary to Sir William Temple, and at this time he wrote his "Tale of a Tub," which cut off all his hopes of a bishopric. He edited a selection from the papers of Temple, and then accompanied Lord Berkeley to Ireland as chaplain. Disappointed of the preferment which he had hoped for, he went over from the Whigs to the Tories in 1710, and thenceforward was an unscrupulous adherent of Harley and Bolingbroke, defending all their measures in the "Examiner," and pouring out his vengeance on all opponents with unflinching truculence. In his political character Swift has been styled the great blackguard of the age, and certainly with too much truth. In spite of rare intellectual power, wit, and sarcasm, no principle or tenderness of feeling restrained him in his attacks on his enemies. If Harley and Bolingbroke are guilty of inflicting the disgraceful peace of Utrecht on the nation, simply to avenge themselves on the Whigs, no man so thoroughly abetted them in that business as Swift. His "Conduct of the Allies," his "Public Spirit of the Whigs," and other political tracts and articles, bear testimony to his unscrupulous political rancour. His "Drapier's Letters," and his treatment of Wood in the affair of the Irish halfpence, show that no means, however base and false, came amiss to him in serving the objects of his ambition. The great work of Swift is his "Gulliver's Travels," a work characterised by a massive intellect and a fertile invention, but defiled by the grossness that was inseparable from his mind, and that equally pollutes his poems, in which there is much wit and humour, but not a trace of pathos or tenderness. There is none of that divine glow of love and human sympathy, mingled with the worship of beauty and truth, which courts our affections in the works of the greatest masters. When we are told that Swift's grossness is merely the grossness of the time, we point to "Robinson Crusoe," to "The Seasons" and "Castle of Indolence" of Thomson, and to the works of Addison, for the most admirable contrast. Swift—who died in the famous year of the '45—was one of the most vigorous writers of the age, but he was one of the most unamiable. He was the Mephistopheles of the eighteenth century.[See larger version]
In spite of Lord Melbourne's declaration that he would regard the success of the motion as a pure vote of censure, it was carried by a majority of five. In consequence of this result, Lord John Russell announced his intention, next day, of taking the opinion of the House of Commons on the recent government of Ireland, in the first week after the Easter recess. Accordingly, on the 15th of April, he moved—"That it is the opinion of this House that it is expedient to persevere in those principles which have guided the Executive Government of late years, and which have tended to the effectual administration of the laws, and the general improvement of that part of the United Kingdom." The debate emphasised the discontent of the Radicals. Mr. Leader was particularly severe on the Government. "In what position is the Government?" he asked. "Why, the right hon. member for Tamworth governs England, the hon. and learned member for Dublin governs Ireland—the Whigs govern nothing but Downing Street. Sir Robert Peel is content with power without place or patronage, and the Whigs are contented with place and patronage without power. Let any honourable man say which is the more honourable position." On a division, the numbers were—for Sir Robert Peel's amendment, 296; against it, 318. Majority for the Ministry, 22.
Astounded by these repeated defections, Louis tried to gather some notion of the state of other bodies and troops about him. He attended a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, and was received with acclamation; he reviewed twenty-five thousand of the National Guard, and there was the same display of loyalty; he inspected six thousand troops of the line, but there the reception was not encouraging. He finally summoned a council at the Tuileries, and there the generals declared frankly that he had no real means of resisting Buonaparte. This was on the 18th of March, and Louis felt that it was time for him to be making his retreat. At one o'clock in the morning of the 20th he was on his way towards Lille, escorted by a body of Household Troops. It was time, for that very day Buonaparte reached the camp of Mélun, where Macdonald had drawn up the troops to attack him; but Buonaparte threw himself amongst them, attended only by a slight escort of horse, and the soldiers all went over to him with a shout. Macdonald rode back to Paris, and, following the king, assumed the command of the Guard accompanying him. Louis hoped that the troops at Lille, under Mortier, would stand by him; but Mortier assured him of the contrary, and so, taking leave of Macdonald on the frontiers, Louis pursued his way to Ostend and thence to Ghent, where he established his Court. The Household Troops who had accompanied him were disbanded on the frontiers, and in attempting to regain their homes by different routes, most of them were killed, or plundered and abused.
Parliament met on the 15th of November, and the very first object which engaged the attention of both Houses was Wilkes. In such fiery haste were Ministers, that Lord Sandwich, in the Peers, started up, before the king's speech could be considered, and declared that he held in his hand a most filthy and atrocious libel, written by Wilkes, called "An Essay on Woman." Wilkes never had published the filth. He had written, as it appeared, by the assistance of a profligate and now deceased son of Archbishop Potter, this "Essay on Woman;" but he had never published it. It had lain in his desk, and had only been read to two persons—one of whom was Sandwich himself. When Wilkes, however, was driven to set up a printing press in his own house, he had printed a dozen copies of the "Essay on Woman," to give to his dissolute friends, whom he used to meet at the Dilettanti Club, in Palace Yard. Sandwich, aware of the existence of the essay, had bribed one of Wilkes's printers, named Curry, to lend him a copy of it, and had paid him five guineas as a guarantee for its safe return. The whole thing was a stupid parody of Pope's "Essay on Man;" in which, instead of the inscription to Bolingbroke, commencing "Awake, my St. John!" there appeared an invocation beginning, "Awake, my Sandwich!" and there were also ridiculous notes attributed to Warburton.But whatever may have been the prudence of the chiefs of the party in Britain, however quietly the suppression may have been effected on the English side of St. George's Channel, the society was very far from dying quietly, or dying at all in Ireland, its native land. It was stunned for the moment, but very soon recovered all its pristine vigour and became as troublesome as ever. Lord Mulgrave went to that country as Viceroy, determined to govern on the principle of strict impartiality between sects and parties, but the Orangemen and the Tories generally denounced him as the most partial and one-sided of Viceroys. It was enough for them that O'Connell declared him to be the best Englishman that ever came to Ireland. Eulogy from his lips was the strongest possible censure in the estimation of the opposite party. The violence of party feeling against the Government may be inferred from the fact that the Recorder of Dublin, Mr. Shaw, one of the ablest and most eloquent of the Protestant chiefs, denounced the Melbourne Administration as infidels in religion. Lord Mulgrave, imitating some of the Viceroys of old times, made a "progress" of conciliation through the country, first visiting the south and then the north. This progress was signalised by the pardon and liberation of a large number of prisoners, which produced much excitement and clamour against the Government. It subsequently appeared that he had during his viceroyalty liberated 822 prisoners, of whom 388 were liberated without advice, the number of memorials which he received being 1,631. Although he evinced his impartiality by setting free all the Orangemen who had been imprisoned in Ulster for taking part in processions on the previous 12th of July, the members of that body were not conciliated. The Dublin Grand Committee published a manifesto, declaring that the mere will of the king was not law, and that their watchword should still be "No Surrender." Sir Harcourt Lees, who had been long famous as an Orange agitator, issuing counter-blasts to O'Connell's letters and speeches, concluded one of his appeals on this occasion thus:—"Orangemen, increase and multiply; be tranquil, be vigilant. Put your trust in God, still revere your king, and keep your powder dry." In Ulster the organs of the Orange party called upon its members to resist the law against processions, since the provisions of the Emancipation Act against the Jesuits and other religious orders, who treated the law with defiance, were allowed to remain a dead letter. The Londonderry Sentinel warned off the Liberal Viceroy from that citadel of Protestant ascendency, and said, "If he should come among us, he shall see such a display of Orange banners as will put him into the horrors." The irritation was kept up by various incidents, such as setting aside the election of a mayor of Cork, because he was an Orangeman, setting aside two sheriffs, and the dismissal of constables for the same reason. In the meantime a tremendous outcry was raised on account of the alleged partiality of the Irish Government on the subject of patronage. It was said that every office was at the disposal of the Roman Catholics; that from the bench of justice down to the office of police-constable there was no chance for any one else. In the midst of a war of factions in the spring of 1836 a tremendous sensation was produced by the blowing up of the statue of King William on College Green. On the 8th of February, a little after midnight, this astounding event occurred. The statue stood on a pedestal eighteen feet in height, surrounded by an enclosure of iron railing, the head being about thirty feet from the level of the street. The figure consisted of lead, and though weighing several tons, it was blown up to a considerable height, and fell at some distance from the pedestal. The Government and the corporation offered rewards for the discovery of the authors of this outrage, but without success. It was a mystery how such a quantity of gunpowder could have been got into the statue, and how a train could have been laid without detection in so public a place, the police being always on duty on College Green at night. King William, however, was restored to his position.
The chief seats of the hosiery manufacture are in the counties of Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester. The number of stocking-frames in England in 1821 was under 30,000, showing an increase in thirty years of only 10,000. Mr. Felkin gives an estimate for 1833, which states that there were 33,000 frames in England, producing 3,510,000 dozen stockings a year, and consuming 8,137,000 lbs. of cotton yarn, worsted, and silk, valued at ￡814,000; the wages for making them amounting to ￡948,000, and for finishing, ￡229,000; the total value being little short of ￡2,000,000 sterling, and the total value of the materials ￡560,000. The total number of persons employed in the making of stockings was 73,000. The total of fixed capital engaged in the manufacture was ￡385,000, and of floating capital ￡1,050,000. The quantity of cotton hosiery goods made in 1833 was estimated by Mr. Felkin to have increased more than fifty per cent. in the preceding twenty years.[See larger version]
The session of Parliament closing on the 26th of May, George took his annual trip to Hanover, leaving, as usual, the queen to act as Regent. She found her duties this year by no means light. Everyone is acquainted with the Porteous Riots, as they are described by the inimitable pen of Sir Walter Scott in "The Heart of Midlothian." The simple historic facts are these:—Two noted smugglers from Fife, Wilson and Robertson, were condemned to death for a robbery, and were confined in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. They made a determined effort to effect their escape before the day of execution. Wilson, who would go first, being a man of a corpulent though very powerful build, wedged himself fast in the window, and could neither get out nor draw back again. He was found thus in the morning, and the two prisoners were again secured. Wilson lamented that by his own eagerness he had prevented Robertson from going first, who, from his slenderer person, could easily have escaped. Before execution it was the custom at that period in Scotland to conduct the prisoners about to suffer, under a strong guard, to church. This being done in the case of these two men, just as the service was concluded, Wilson suddenly laid hold of two of the four soldiers who guarded them, called out to Robertson to run for his life, and detained the third soldier by seizing him by the collar with his teeth. He escaped, and was never seen in Edinburgh again. This daring scheme, so cleverly executed, raised the admiration of the bravery and magnanimity of Wilson to the highest pitch. At his execution the soldiers were attacked with stones. Porteous, who commanded the guard, fired upon the mob. For this he was condemned to death, but was reprieved by Queen Caroline after full inquiry. The people in fury attacked the Tolbooth, the magistrates and the commander of the troops were afraid to act, the prison was broken open, and Porteous hanged on a barber's pole. All attempts to discover the perpetrators of the outrage failed.[See larger version]详情
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