"I have for several years endeavoured to obtain a compromise on this subject. The result of resistance to qualified concession must be the same in the present instance as in those I have mentioned. It is no longer worth while to contend for a fixed duty. In 1841 the Free Trade party would have agreed to a duty of 8s. a quarter on wheat, and after a lapse of years this duty might have been further reduced, and ultimately abolished. But the imposition of any duty, at present, without a provision for its extinction within a short period, would but prolong a contest already sufficiently fruitful of animosity and discontent. The struggle to make bread scarce and dear, when it is clear that part, at least, of the additional price goes to increase rent, is a struggle deeply injurious to an aristocracy which (this quarrel once removed) is strong in property, strong in the construction of our Legislature, strong in opinion, strong in ancient associations and the memory of immortal services."[See larger version]THE QUEEN OF PRUSSIA REVIEWING THE ARMY. (See p. 524.)
RICHARD COBDEN. (From a Photograph by Messrs. W. and D. Downey.)But all this was but preliminary to the great battle which commenced on the 30th of this month and decided the fate of the Ministry. Lord John Russell, after the House had been called over, moved, "That the House should resolve itself into a committee of the whole House, to consider the temporalities of the Church of Ireland, with a view of applying any surplus of the revenues not required for the spiritual care of its members to the general education of all classes of the people, without distinction of religious persuasion." This resolution was skilfully framed to secure the support of all the Liberal party, and of the English Dissenters as well as the Irish Catholics; all of them being able to agree upon it, and to act together without inconsistency, though each might act from different motives and with different objects. The discussion was particularly interesting, as it turned very much upon the great question of religious establishments. Lord John Russell, Lord Howick, and Mr. Sheil, while fully admitting that an establishment tends to promote religion and to preserve good order, contended that it ought not to be maintained where it fails to secure these objects, and that it must always fail when, as in Ireland, the members of the Established Church are only a minority of the nation, while the majority, constituting most of the poorer classes, are thrown upon the voluntary system for the support of their clergy. Concurring with Paley in his view of a Church establishment—that it should be founded upon utility, that it should communicate religious knowledge to the masses of the people, that it should not be debased into a State engine or an instrument of political power,—they demanded whether the Church of Ireland fulfilled these essential conditions of an establishment. They asked whether its immense revenues had been employed in preserving and extending the Protestant faith in Ireland. In the course of something more than a century it was stated that its revenues had increased sevenfold, and now amounted to ￡800,000 a year. Had its efficiency increased in the same proportion? Had it even succeeded in keeping its own small flocks within the fold? On the contrary, they adduced statistics to show a lamentable falling off in their numbers.
Mr. Canning had now attained the highest summit to which the ambition of a British subject can aspire. With the acclamation of the country and of the House of Commons, he had taken the first place in the Government of the empire, to which he had raised himself by his talents and his merit alone, surmounting as he rose the most formidable impediments, aristocratic antipathies, class interests, and royal dislike. He was the idol of the nation, and not only in Great Britain, but throughout the world, his fame shone brightest of all the public men of his age. His name was associated with the triumph of Liberal principles throughout Europe and America; he was at the head of a strong Government, and he had conciliated the good-will of his Sovereign. Such a combination of what are usually regarded as the elements of human happiness has rarely, if ever, been known in the history of England, where alone such a phenomenon could occur. As a man of genius, as an orator, as a political leader, he enjoyed a reputation and a degree of success which in any one of these capacities would be regarded by the majority of men as the acme of human felicity. But in addition to these he enjoyed a position and wielded a power with which many great men have been content, without the brilliant halo of glory with which, in Canning's case, they were surrounded. But it is a singular and humbling illustration of the vanity of human wishes and human glory, that this great man was, after all, unhappy, and that the political enemies he had vanquished had the power of bringing him to an early grave. The Whig and Tory lords studied in every way to wound the proud spirit, which they knew to be extremely sensitive. They scowled upon him with looks of resentment and vengeance. Old friends averted their eyes from the affectionate companion of earlier days; the cordial pressure of his hand was not returned; his associates and supporters in office and in Parliament were, for the most part, his former opponents in many a political battlefield. The odium of being a convert to Liberal principles settled upon his noble spirit like a fatal blight, the animosity with which intolerance pursues the honest and generous lover of truth and right pierced his susceptible nervous system like a keen, pitiless, persistent east wind. This was more than his delicate organism could long bear. The state of his mind affected his bodily health. The charm of his conversation made him the delight of his friends in private society, in which he found a solace and a welcome relaxation from the toils of office. It was natural, though to be regretted, that with such a susceptible, enjoying, and genial temperament, delighting in wit and humour, and diffusing pleasure around him by the coruscations of his own genius, he should have lingered longer in convivial parties than was prudent for his health. The consequence was an inflamed and irritable state of the system. Thus predisposed to disease, he caught cold by sitting under a tree, after being heated with walking, while on a visit with Lord Lyndhurst at Wimbledon. Attacked with inflammation of the kidneys, he went to Chiswick, on the advice of his doctors, and there, on the 8th of August, after a brief period of intense suffering, he died in the villa of the Duke of Devonshire, and in the same room in which a man of kindred genius, the illustrious Charles James Fox, breathed his last.It is scarcely worth while to attempt to expose the assertions due to Napoleon and the mortified vanity of the French, which have declared that Wellington made a bad choice of his battle-field, and that he would have been beaten had not the Prussians come up. These statements have been amply refuted by military authorities. The selection of the field may be supposed to be a good one when it is known that Marlborough had chosen the very same, and was only prevented from fighting on it by the Dutch Commissioners. But no one can examine the field without seeing its strength. Had Wellington been driven from his position, the long villages of Mont St. Jean and Waterloo behind him, succeeded by the beech wood of Soigne, would have enabled him to hold the French in check for days—much more for the time sufficient for the whole Prussian force to come up. When it is seen what resistance such a mere farm as La Haye Sainte, or the chateau of Hougomont, enabled the British to make, what would the houses, gardens, and orchards of Mont St. Jean and Waterloo have done, stretching for two miles, backed by the wood of Soigne—not a forest choked by underwood, but of clear ground, from which ascended the tall, smooth boles of the beech trees? As to the danger of being defeated had not the Prussians come up, there was none. No advantage through the whole day had been gained by the French, except making an entry into the court-yard of Hougomont, and in capturing La Haye Sainte, from both of which they had long been driven again. The cuirassiers had been completely cut up before the arrival of the Prussians; not a square of infantry had been broken; and when Buonaparte made his last effort—that of hurling his Guards on the British columns—they were, according to the positive evidence of Marshal Ney, who led them on, totally annihilated. It is true that the Prussians had been for some time engaged on the right of the French, and had stood their ground; but they had been terribly cut up at Planchenoit, and they do not appear to have made much advance till the total rout of the French by the last charge of the British. Wellington had advanced his whole line, and was leading on the pursuit in person when he and Blucher met on the high ground behind La Belle Alliance—that is, beyond the very ground on which Buonaparte had stood the whole day. The Prussians fought bravely, but they did not affect the question of victory or defeat as it regarded the British; they came in, however, to undertake the chase, for which the British were too tired after standing on the field twelve hours, and fighting desperately for eight; and they executed that chase most completely.On the 1st of December the army resumed its march. They immediately found the effect of Cumberland's presence at Lichfield: they had to ford the Mersey near Stockport, and to carry the baggage and artillery over a rude wooden bridge, consisting of the trunks of trees thrown across, at Chorlton. That evening they reached Macclesfield. Lord George pushed on with his division to Congleton, whence he sent on Colonel Kerr, who routed a small body of the Duke of Kingston's horse, and drove them towards Newcastle-under-Lyme. Kerr seized Captain Weir, well known as one of Cumberland's principal spies, and, by threatening him with the gallows, drew from him the particulars of the duke's numbers and position. It appeared that the duke was under the impression that the prince was directing his march towards Wales to join his partisans there, and having encouraged this notion by this advance, and led the duke to proceed as far as Stone, Lord George suddenly altered his route, and got to Ashbourne, and thence to Derby, thus throwing the road to London quite open, and being two or three days' march in advance of the duke. Charles entered Derby the same day, the 4th of December, and took up his quarters at a house belonging to the Earl of Exeter, at the bottom of Full Street.
Napoleon, however, called his Champ-de-Mai together for the electors to this anomalous document; but, to add to the incongruity, the assembly was held in the Champ-de-Mars, and not in May at all, but on the 1st of June. There he and his brothers, even Lucien, who had been wiled back to his assistance, figured in fantastic robes as emperor and princes of the blood, and the electors swore to the Constitution; but the whole was a dead and dreary fiasco. On the 4th the two Chambers, that of Peers and that of Representatives, met. The Peers, who were his own officers and picked men, readily agreed to the Constitution; but not so the Chamber of Representatives. They chose Lanjuinais president, who had been a zealous advocate of Louis XVI., and who had drawn up the list of crimes under which Buonaparte's forfeiture had been pronounced in 1814. They entered into a warm discussion on the propriety of abolishing all titles of honour in that Chamber. They rejected a proposition to bestow on Napoleon the title of Saviour of his Country, and they severely criticised the "additional Act," declaring that "the nation would entertain no plans of aggrandisement; that not even the will of a victorious prince should lead them beyond the boundaries of self-defence." In this state of things Buonaparte was compelled to depart, leaving the refractory chamber to discuss the articles of his new Constitution.But there was no time for festivities. The English army was approaching, and it was necessary for Charles to assert his right by hard blows as well as by proclamations. The citizens stood aloof from his standard; but Lord Nairn arrived most opportunely from the Highlands with five hundred of the clan Maclachlan, headed by their chief, and accompanied by a number of men from Athol. These swelled his little army to upwards of two thousand five hundred, and Charles declared that he would immediately lead them against Cope. The chiefs applauded this resolution, and on the morning of the 19th he marched out to Duddingston, where the troops lay upon their arms, and then he summoned a council of war. He proposed to continue the march the next morning, and meet Cope upon the way. In the highest spirits the clans marched on through Musselburgh and over the heights at Carberry, where Mary Queen of Scots made her last unfortunate fight, nor did they stop till they came in sight of the English army.In Ireland the effervescence assumed the shape of resistance to commercial injustice. It was, indeed, impossible to condemn too strongly the injustice which that country had endured for ages, and in nothing more than in the flagrant restrictions heaped upon its commerce and manufactures in favour of English interests. The Irish now seized on the opportunity while America was waging war against the very same treatment to imitate the American policy. They formed associations in Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, and other places, for the non-importation of British goods which could be manufactured in Ireland, till England and Ireland were placed on an equal footing in all that related to manufactures and commerce. Ministers, who had turned a deaf ear for years, and almost for ages, to such complaints, were now alarmed, especially as there was a rumour of French invasion, which might be so materially aided by disaffection in Ireland. They therefore made a pecuniary grant to relieve the commercial distress in Ireland, and passed two Acts for the encouragement of the growth of tobacco and hemp, and the manufacture of linen in that island. These concessions, however, were not deemed sufficient, and the people formed themselves into Volunteer Associations, appointing their own officers, and defraying the cost of their own equipments. This was done under the plea of the danger of invasion; but Government knew very well that American agents had been very busy sowing discontent in Ireland, and they saw too much resemblance in these things to the proceedings on the other side of the Atlantic not to view them with alarm. The Marquis of Rockingham, who had been well instructed in the real grievances of Ireland by Burke, moved in the House of Lords, on the 11th of May, for the production of all papers necessary to enable the House to come to a full understanding of the trade of Ireland and of mercantile restrictions on it with a view to doing impartial justice to that kingdom. Lord Gower promised that these should be ready for production next Session.
The Emigrants had continued to flock to Coblenz, and their number, with their families, now amounted to nearly one hundred thousand of the most wealthy and influential class in France. They continued to make preparations for war, and it is no wonder that the people of France beheld their menacing attitude with uneasiness. Though the king publicly wrote letters to the Emigrants, desiring them to return to their country, and employ themselves as good citizens under the Constitution, there was a strong suspicion that he privately gave them different advice. That the king did maintain a secret correspondence with some of the insurgents is certain; but it is neither proved, nor does it appear probable, that he sanctioned their intention of making war on the country. But their obstinate absence drove the Assembly now to such severe measures against them as compelled Louis to exercise his veto in their favour, and he thus destroyed his popularity with the public, and caused himself to be considered as really in league with the Emigrants. Nevertheless, it was the advice of all the king's Ministers, as well as it appears to have been his own feeling, that they should return, for they might have added immensely to the influence in favour of the throne. Louis, therefore, again exhorted the Emigrants to return; but they continued inflexible. He next wrote to the officers of the army and navy, deploring the information that he had received that they were quitting the service, and that he could not consider those his friends who did not, like himself, remain at their posts; but this was equally ineffectual, and the Minister of War reported to the Assembly that one thousand nine hundred officers had deserted. The Assembly was greatly incensed; the Girondists deemed it a good opportunity to force the king to deal a blow at the nobility and at his own brothers. On the 20th of October Brissot ascended the tribune, and demanded measures of severity against the Emigrants. At the close of the debate a decree was passed requiring the king's brothers to return to France within three months, on pain of forfeiting all their rights as citizens, and their claims as princes on the succession to the Crown. On the 9th of November a second decree was passed, declaring that all Frenchmen assembled on the frontiers were suspected of conspiracy against the country; that all such as should continue there till the 1st of January should be treated as traitors; that princes and public functionaries should become amenable to the same punishments; that the incomes of all such Emigrants, from lands, moneys, or offices, should from the present moment be sequestrated; that a court should be appointed in January to try them; and that any Frenchman, after this, crossing the frontiers, or found guilty of endeavouring to seduce the people from their allegiance, should be put to death.
The Viennese repeatedly sent petitions and deputations imploring him in vain to return; and it was not till the 8th of August that he consented to quit the safe asylum he had chosen. Personally he had nothing to apprehend. He was amiable and kind, and wanted both the ability and energy to make himself feared. It was not at Vienna alone, or in the Austrian province, that the imperial power was paralysed. Every limb of the vast empire quivered in the throes of revolution. Two days after the outbreak in Vienna a great meeting, convoked anonymously, was held at Prague, the capital of Bohemia, which passed resolutions demanding constitutional government; perfect equality in the two races—German and Czech; the union of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, with a common Diet to meet alternately at Prague and Brünn; that judicial proceedings should be public; that there should be a separate and responsible government at Prague, with security for personal liberty; free press, and religious equality. A deputation was sent with these demands to Vienna. They were all granted; Bohemia was recognised as having a distinct nationality; the Prince Francis Joseph, afterwards Emperor of Austria, having been appointed Viceroy. Even so Slav ambition was unsatisfied, and Prague had to be bombarded by the Austrian troops.
General Cartaux arrived and took up his position in the villages around Toulon. He was reinforced by General Doppet, from the Rhone, and General Dugommier, from the Var; and the latter had in his corps-d'armée a young lieutenant of artillery, who contained in his yet unknown person the very genius of war—namely, Napoleon Buonaparte. Cartaux was a man who had risen from the ranks; Doppet had been a physician in Savoy; and Dugommier was acting on a plan sent from the Convention. Buonaparte suggested what he thought a much superior plan. "All you need," he said, "is to send away the English; and to do that, you have only to sweep the harbour and the roadstead with your batteries. Drive away the ships, and the troops will not remain. Take the promontory of La Grasse, which commands both the inner and outer harbour, and Toulon will be yours in a couple of days." On this promontory stood two forts, Equilette and Balaquier, which had been much strengthened by the English. It was resolved to assault these forts, and batteries opposite to them were erected by the French under Buonaparte's direction. After much desperate fighting, vast numbers of troops being pressed against the forts, that of Balaquier was taken. This gave the French such command of the inner harbour, that Lord Hood called a council of war, and showed the necessity of retiring with the fleet, and thus enabling the Royalists to escape, who would otherwise be exterminated by their merciless countrymen. This was agreed to, and it was resolved to maintain the different forts till the ships had cleared out. The Neapolitans behaved very ill, showing no regard for anything but their own safety. They held two forts—one at Cape Lebrun, and the other at Cape Lesset; these, they said, they would surrender as soon as the enemy approached. They made haste to get their ships and men out of harbour, leaving all else to take care of themselves. The Spaniards and Piedmontese behaved in a much nobler manner. They assisted willingly all day in getting on board the Royalists—men, women, and children. All night the troops began to defile through a narrow sallyport to the boats under the guns of the fort La Malaga. This was happily effected; and then Sir Sidney Smith, who had recently arrived at Toulon, and had volunteered the perilous office of blowing up the powder-magazines, stores, arsenals, and the ships that could not be removed, began his operations. He succeeded in setting fire to the stores and about forty ships of war that were in the harbour.详情
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