The London Chartists contrived to hold their meetings and to march in procession; and as this sometimes occurred at night, accompanied by the firing of shots, it was a source of alarm to the public. There were confederate clubs established, consisting chiefly of Irishmen, who fraternised with the English Chartists. On the 31st of May they held a great meeting on Clerkenwell Green. There, after hearing some violent speeches, the men got the word of command to fall in and march, and the crowd formed rapidly into columns four abreast. In this order they marched to Finsbury Square, where they met another large body, with which they united, both forming into new columns twelve abreast, and thus they paced the square with measured military tread for about an hour. Thence they marched to Stepney, where they received further accessions, from that to Smithfield, up Holborn, Queen Street, and Long Acre, and on through Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square. Here the police interfered, and they were gradually dispersed. This occurred on Monday. On Tuesday night they assembled again at Clerkenwell Green, but were dispersed by a large body of horse and foot police. There was to be another great demonstration on Wednesday, but the police authorities issued a cautionary notice, and made effectual arrangements for the dispersion of the meeting. Squadrons of Horse Guards were posted in Clerkenwell and Finsbury, and precautions were taken to prevent the threatened breaking of the gas and water mains. The special constables were again partially put in requisition, and 5,000 of the police force were ready to be concentrated upon any point, while the whole of the fire brigade were placed on duty. These measures had the effect of preventing the assembly. Similar attempts were made in several of the manufacturing towns, but they were easily suppressed. In June, however, the disturbances were again renewed in London. On Whit Monday, the 4th, there was to be a great gathering of Chartists in Bonner's Fields, but the ground was occupied early in the morning by 1,600 policemen, 500 pensioners, and 100 constables mounted. There was also a body of Horse Guards in the neighbourhood. Up to the hour of two o'clock the leaders of the movement did not appear, and soon after a tremendous thunderstorm accompanied by drenching rain, caused the dispersion of all the idlers who came to witness the display. Ten persons were arrested on the ground, and tried and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
It was necessary that Roman Catholic electors should take an oath and obtain a certificate of their having done so from a magistrate. The friends of Mr. Fitzgerald insisted that this oath should be taken, which caused considerable delay; but a magistrate having been obtained, the freeholders were sworn en masse. Brought into a yard, enclosed within four walls, twenty-five voters were placed against each wall, and thus the oath was simultaneously taken. The effects of this machinery upon the poll soon became manifest. Mr. O'Connell ran ahead of his opponent, and on the second day the result was no longer doubtful. Mr. Fitzgerald would have abandoned the contest, but the landlords resolved that the last man whom they could command should be polled out. They exerted themselves to the utmost to prevent the defection of their tenantry. The most influential of them had their freeholders mustered in a body, and came forward to the hustings at their head, exhorting, promising, threatening, reminding them of past favours, and hinting at the consequences of forsaking their best friends and natural protectors; but the moment O'Connell or a priest appeared—shouting: "Vote for your country, boys!" "Vote for the old religion!" "Down with Vesey!" "Hurrah for O'Connell!"—they changed sides to a man, with a wild, responsive cheer. One priest, Father Coffey, adhered to Mr. Fitzgerald. "But," says Mr. Sheil, "the scorn and detestation with which he was treated by the mob clearly proved that a priest has no influence over them when he attempts to run counter to their political passions. He can hurry them on in the career in which their own feelings impel them, but he cannot turn them into another course." The generality of the orators were heard with loud and clamorous approbation; but at a late hour one evening, when it was growing rapidly dark, a priest came forward on the platform, who addressed the multitude in Irish. Ten thousand peasants were assembled before the speaker, and a profound stillness hung over the almost breathless mass. For some minutes they continued thus deeply attentive, and seemed to be struck with awe as he proceeded. Suddenly the priest and the whole multitude knelt down with the precision of a regimental evolution. Priest and people were both silent, but they were offering up a mental prayer for mercy on the soul of one of Vesey Fitzgerald's voters, who had died that day, and had been accused of taking a bribe. The polling, which lasted five days, at length closed. The court-house was again crowded, as on the first day. Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald appeared again at the head of the aristocracy, and Mr. O'Connell at the head of the priests and the "Forties." The moment the latter was declared by the sheriff duly elected, the first Roman Catholic M.P. since the Revolution, a friend presented him with a letter to be franked. Addressed to a member of the House of Commons, it was posted that night, and when it arrived at its destination it was handed about amongst the members, exciting curiosity and astonishment. It was said also to have found its way to the king, who probably felt thankful that his brother, the Duke of York, did not live to see "Daniel O'Connell, M.P." Mr. O'Connell made a speech, distinguished by just feeling and good taste, and begged that Mr. Fitzgerald would forgive him if he had on the first day given him any sort of offence. Mr. Fitzgerald came forward, and unaffectedly assured him that whatever was said should be forgotten. He was again hailed with universal acclamation, and delivered an admirable speech. During the progress of the election he could not refrain from repeatedly expressing his astonishment at what he saw, and from indulging in melancholy forebodings of events of which these incidents were perhaps but the heralds. "Where is all this to end?" was a question frequently put in his presence, and from which he seemed to shrink.Amongst the prose writers of this period a lady stands prominent, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (b. 1690; d. 1762), the daughter of the Duke of Kingston, and mother of Lady Bute, the wife of the Earl of Bute, the celebrated Minister of George III. Lady Mary derives her chief fame from her Letters, which were not published till after her death. They are as remarkable for their wit, brilliancy, and clear, thorough sense, as any of the writings of the age. In these we have a most graphic picture of life in the East, as she had lived some years at Constantinople with her husband. She thence conferred one of the greatest boons on her country, by the introduction of inoculation for the smallpox. Lady Mary translated the "Enchiridion of Epictetus," and wrote many verses, including satirical ones, called "Town Eclogues;" but her fame must always rest upon her clear and sparkling letters. She was celebrated for her wit and beauty, and was a leading figure in the fashionable as well as the literary world. Pope and she were long great friends, but quarrelled irreconcilably.Spain having now, most fatally for herself, been persuaded to join France in the war with England, turned her first attention to Gibraltar which she hoped France would enable her to conquer. But France showed no disposition to assist her to regain Gibraltar. At the same time, the great object was to accomplish the union of the French and Spanish fleets, which they deemed must then be invincible, and not only drive the English from the seas, but enable them to land in England itself. The French managed to muster fifty thousand men, whom they marched to the different ports on the Channel, from Havre to St. Malo. By this means, keeping England in fear of an invasion, their fleet slipped out of Brest on the 3rd of June, under the command of D'Orvilliers, and effected the desired junction with the Spaniards at Cadiz. The French fleet consisted of thirty sail of the line; the Spanish, of thirty-eight; making the united fleet sixty-eight sail, besides numerous frigates and smaller vessels. Never, since the days of the Armada, had such a mighty squadron threatened the shores of Great Britain.
MR. ALEXANDER'S LEVES IN KING'S BENCH PRISON. (See p. 310.)CHAPTER VIII. REIGN OF WILLIAM IV.
[See larger version]ARRIVAL OF DR. BRYDON AT JELALABAD. (See p. 496.)
Lord Castlereagh, in recounting the aid given by Great Britain to the sovereigns of the Continent in this grand effort to put down the intolerable military dominance of Buonaparte, drew a picture of expenditure such as no country had presented since the commencement of history. He said that the nations of the north of Europe were so exhausted by their former efforts, that not one of them could move without our aid; that this year alone we had sent to Russia two million pounds; to Prussia two million pounds; to Austria one million pounds in money, and one hundred thousand stand of arms; to Spain two million pounds; to Portugal one million pounds; to Sicily four hundred thousand pounds. By these aids Russia had been able to bring up men from the very extremities of the earth, and Prussia to put two hundred thousand men into the field. We had sent during the year five hundred thousand muskets to Spain and Portugal, and four hundred thousand to other parts of the Continent. There was something sublime in the contemplation of one nation, by the force of her wealth and her industry, calling together the armies of the whole world to crush the evil genius of the earth.A very different man was patriotic Daniel Defoe (b. 1663; d. 1731). Defoe, who was engaged in trade, and was the introducer of pantiles, was a thorough Whig, or, as we should now call him, a Radical in politics. He was one of those rare men who look only at the question before them, and who are, therefore, found almost as often calling to account the party to which they nominally belong, as rebuking the faction to which they are opposed. His principle was essentially "measures, not men," and thus he was one of the zealous supporters of Godolphin and his ministry in accomplishing the union with Scotland; and equally so of Harley and Bolingbroke, for establishing a commercial treaty with France. He was much more useful to reform than liked by so-called reformers, and was continually getting into trouble for his honest speaking. From the age of twenty-three to that of fifty-eight, his pen had scarcely a moment's rest from advocating important political and social subjects, and there was a force of reason, a feeling of reality, a keenness of wit and satire, in his compositions that gave them interest and extensive attention.Our next great move was against the French in the Carnatic. After various actions between the French and English in India during the Seven Years' War, General Count de Lally, an officer of Irish extraction, arrived at Pondicherry in April, 1758, with a force of one thousand two hundred men. Lally attacked and took Fort St. David, considered the strongest fort belonging to the East India Company, and then, mustering all his forces, made his appearance, in December of that year, before Madras. He had with him two thousand seven hundred French and four thousand natives, whilst the English had in the town four thousand troops only, of which more than half were sepoys. But Captain Caillaud had marched with a small force from Trichinopoly, which harassed the rear of the French. After making himself master of the Black Town, and threatening to burn it down, he found it impossible to compel Fort St. George to surrender, and, after a severe siege of two months, on the appearance of Admiral Pococke's squadron, which had sailed to Bombay for more troops, he decamped in the night of the 16th of February, 1759, for Arcot, leaving behind him all his ammunition and artillery, fifty-two pieces. Fresh combats took place between Pococke and D'Aché at sea, and the forces on land. Colonel Brereton attempted to take Wandewash, but failed; and it remained for Colonel Eyre Coote to defeat Lally. Coote arrived at Madras on the 27th of October, and, under his direction, Brereton succeeded in taking Wandewash on the last of November. To recover this place, Lally marched with all his force, supported by Bussy, but sustained a signal defeat on the 22nd of January, 1760. Arcot, Trincomalee, and other places fell rapidly into the hands of Colonel Coote. The French called in to their aid the Nabob of Mysore, Hyder Ali, but to little purpose. Pondicherry was invested on the 8th of December, and, on the 16th of January, 1761, it surrendered, Lally and his troops, amounting to two thousand, remaining prisoners. This was the termination of the real power of France in India; for though Pondicherry was restored by the treaty of 1763, the French never again recovered their ground there, and their East India Company soon after was broken up. The unfortunate Lally on his return to France was thrown into the Bastille, condemned for high treason, and beheaded in the Place de Grève on the 9th of May, 1766.
In the House of Lords several discussions took place on the dismissal of the Repeal magistrates. Lord Clanricarde, on the 14th of July, moved resolutions declaring that act of the Lord Chancellor "unconstitutional, unjust, and inexpedient." The Duke of Wellington met the motion by a direct negative. "These meetings," he said, "consisting of 10,000, 20,000, or 100,000 men—no matter the number of thousands—having been continued, I wish to know with what object they were continued? With a view to address Parliament to repeal the union? No, my lords; they were continued in order to obtain the desired repeal of the union by the terror of the people, and, if not by terror, by force and violence; and the persons calling these meetings were magistrates, the very men who must have been employed by the Government to resist such terror and violence, and to arrest those who were guilty of such breaches of the peace. That is the ground on which the Lord Chancellor of Ireland said to the magistrates, 'You must be dismissed if you attend, or invite attendance at such meetings.'" The Duke "regretted to learn there was poverty in Ireland; but," he asked, "was that poverty relieved by a march of twenty-five and thirty miles a day in spring and summer to hear seditious speeches? Was poverty relieved by subscribing to the Repeal rent?" The resolutions were negatived by a majority of 91 to 29. In a subsequent debate, arising out of a petition presented by Lord Roden from 5,000 Ulster Protestants, complaining that they had been prevented from celebrating the Orange anniversary, while the most flagrant breaches of the law were passed over in the case of those who wanted to overthrow the Constitution, which the Orangemen were sworn to defend, the Duke of Wellington, on that occasion, said that "nothing had been neglected by the Government that was necessary to preserve the peace of the country, and to meet all misfortunes and consequences which might result from the violence of the passions of those men who unfortunately guided the multitude in Ireland. He did not dispute the extent of the conspiracy or the dangers resulting from it; he did not deny the assistance received from foreigners of nearly all nations—disturbed and disturbing spirits, who were anxious to have an opportunity of injuring and deteriorating the great prosperity of this country—but he felt confident that the measures adopted by the Government would enable it to resist all, and preserve the peace."This being done, Mr. Vyner suggested that the physicians should rather be examined by the House itself, a proposal supported by Fox. Pitt replied that this was a matter requiring much delicacy, and that the opinions of the physicians before the Council being on oath, he imagined that they had greater force than any given before Parliament, where they would not be on oath. But, during the four days' adjournment, he had ascertained, to his satisfaction, that the majority of the physicians were of opinion that the king would pretty soon recover, and that especially Dr. Willis was of this opinion, under whose more immediate care he was; and no sooner did the Commons meet, than Pitt most judiciously acquiesced in the suggestions of Vyner and Fox; and the physicians were examined by a committee of twenty-one members, of which he himself was chairman. On the 16th of December Pitt brought up the report of the committee, in which a majority of the physicians had expressed the opinion that the malady of the king would not be of long duration; and he then moved for another committee to search for precedents as to the power to be exercised by a regent. Fox declared that Pitt knew very well that there were no precedents to be found while there existed an Heir Apparent, at the time, of full age and capacity; that he was seeking only the means of delaying what ought to be done at once; that the failure of the mind of the sovereign was a case of natural demise, and that the Heir Apparent succeeded to the exercise of the royal authority from the period of that failure, as a matter of course; that the Parliament had, indeed, the authority to decide that such failure had actually taken place, and to sanction the assumption of the powers of regency, as the other two Estates of the realm, but nothing more. When Fox made this astounding assertion, Pitt slapped his thigh and exclaimed to a colleague sitting near him, "I'll unwhig the gentleman for the rest of his life."
Earl Grey was not slow to avail himself of these exciting topics in order to point the lightning of popular discontent against the head of the Government. "We ought," he said, "to learn wisdom from what is passing before our eyes; and, when the spirit of liberty is breaking out all round, it is our first duty to secure our own institutions by introducing into them a temperate reform. I have been a Reformer all my life; and on no occasion have I been inclined to go farther than I am prepared to go now, if an opportunity were to offer. But I do not found the title to demand it on abstract right. We are told that every man who pays taxes—nay, that every man arrived at the years of discretion—has a right to vote for representatives. That right I utterly deny. The right of the people is to have a good Government, one that is calculated to secure their privileges and happiness; and if that is incompatible with universal, or very general suffrage, then the limitation, and not the extension, is the true right of the people."
Rancour of the Americans towards England—Their Admiration of Napoleon—The Right of Search and consequent Disputes—Madison's warlike Declaration—Opposition in Congress—Condition of Canada—Capture of Michilimachimac—An Armistice—Repulse of the Invasion of Canada—Naval Engagements—Napoleon and the Czar determine on War—Attempts to dissuade Napoleon—Unpreparedness of Russia—Bernadotte's Advice to Alexander—Rashness of Napoleon—Policy of Prussia, Austria and Turkey—Overtures to England and Russia—Napoleon goes to the Front—His extravagant Language—The War begins—Disillusion of the Poles—Difficulties of the Advance—Bagration and Barclay de Tolly—Napoleon pushes on—Capture of Smolensk—Battle of Borodino—The Russians evacuate Moscow—Buonaparte occupies the City—Conflagrations burst out—Desperate Position of Affairs—Murat and Kutusoff—Defeat of Murat—The Retreat begins—Its Horrors—Caution of Kutusoff—Passage of the Beresina—Napoleon leaves the Army—His Arrival in Paris—Results of the Campaign—England's Support of Russia—Close of 1812—Wellington's improved Prospects—He advances against Joseph Buonaparte—Battle of Vittoria—Retreat of the French—Soult is sent against Wellington—The Battle of the Pyrenees—The Storming of San Sebastian—Wellington forbids Plundering—He goes into Winter-quarters—Campaign in the south-east of Spain—Napoleon's Efforts to renew the Campaign—Desertion of Murat and Bernadotte—Alliance between Prussia and Russia—Austrian Mediation fails—Early Successes of the Allies—Battle of Lützen—Napoleon's false Account of the Battle—Occupation of Hamburg by Davoust—Battle of Bautzen—Armistice of Pleisswitz—Failure of the Negotiations—The Fortification of Dresden—Successive Defeats of the French by the Allies—The Aid of England—Battle of Leipsic—Retreat of the French across the Rhine—The French Yoke is thrown off—Castlereagh summons England to fresh Exertions—Liberation of the Pope—Failure of Buonaparte's Attempt to restore Ferdinand—Wellington's Remonstrance with the British Ministry—Battles of Orthez and Toulouse—Termination of the Campaign—Exhaustion of France—The Allies on the Frontier—Napoleon's final Efforts—The Congress of Chàtillon—The Allies advance on Paris—Surrender of the Capital—A Provisional Government appointed—Napoleon abdicates in favour of his Son—His unconditional Abdication—Return of the Bourbons—Insecurity of their Power—Treaty of Paris—Bad Terms to England—Visit of the Monarchs to London.The spring of 1810 witnessed one of the most important events of the reign of Napoleon, and one which, no doubt had a decided influence on his fate—his divorce from Josephine and his marriage with Maria Louisa, the archduchess of Austria. It had long been evident to those about Napoleon that a change of this kind would take place. Josephine had brought the Emperor no child, and, ambitious in every way, he was as much so of leaving lineal successors to the throne and empire which he had created, as he was of making that empire co-extensive with Europe. Josephine, strongly attached to him, as well as to the splendour of his position, had long feared such a catastrophe, and had done all in her power to divert his mind from it. She proposed to him that he should adopt an heir, and she recommended to him her own son, Eugene Beauharnais. But this did not satisfy Buonaparte. She then turned his attention to a child of her daughter, Hortense Beauharnais, by his brother Louis, the King of Holland. This would have united her own family to his, and to this scheme Buonaparte appeared to consent. He showed much affection for the child, and especially as the boy displayed great pleasure in looking at arms and military man?uvres; and on one occasion of this kind Buonaparte exclaimed, "There is a child fit to succeed, perhaps to surpass me!" But neither was this scheme destined to succeed. The child sickened and died, and with it almost the last hope of Josephine. Whilst at Erfurt with the Emperor Alexander, in 1808, Buonaparte had actually proposed for a Russian archduchess; nay, in 1807 he had made such overtures at the Treaty of Tilsit. Thus the idea had been settled in his mind three years, at least, before it was realised. The Russian match had on both occasions been evaded, on the plea of the difference of religion; but the truth was that the notion of such an alliance was by no means acceptable to the Imperial family of Russia. The Empress and the Empress-mother decidedly opposed it; and though the plea of difference of religion was put forward, Buonaparte could not but feel that the real reasons were very different—that he was looked on as a successful adventurer, whose greatness might some day dissolve as speedily as it had grown, and that, be this as it might, the Russian family were not disposed to receive him, a parvenu monarch, into their old regal status.
[See larger version]After a week's popular tumult in his capital, the King's eyes were opened, and he conceived the idea of putting himself at the head of the popular movement, with a view, no doubt, of directing and controlling it. On the 18th of March he issued an ordinance against convoking a meeting of the Diet which had closed its Session only a fortnight before. In this document he stated that he demanded that Germany should be transformed from a confederation of States to one Federal State, with constitutional representation, a general military system after the Prussian model, a single Federal banner, a common law of settlement for all Germany, and the right of all Germans to change their abode in every part of the Fatherland, with the abolition of all custom-house barriers to commercial intercourse, with uniformity of weights, measures, and coinage, and liberty of the press throughout Germany. Thereby he placed himself at the head of the United Germany movement.详情
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