The select committee of the Commons appointed at the instance of Lord Castlereagh, to inquire into the state of the national income and expenditure, now presented its report on the 3rd of June, and it was agreed to. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated on its authority that, since 1815, taxation had been reduced eighteen million pounds per annum; that in 1816 the revenue of Great Britain and Ireland had been consolidated, and that, at that time, the interest of the Debt of Ireland, including the Sinking Fund provided for its reduction, exceeded the entire revenue of that part of the United Kingdom by one million nine hundred thousand pounds. He then announced that supplies for the present year would be required to the amount of twenty million five hundred thousand pounds; that the existing revenue would only furnish seven million pounds towards this; and that it would be necessary to have recourse to the Sinking Fund to make up the deficiency of thirteen million five hundred thousand pounds. This Sinking Fund was fifteen million five hundred thousand pounds, so that it would leave only two million pounds; but as it was necessary to have a tolerable surplus in hand to meet exigencies, it was proposed to raise this reserve fund to five million pounds by fresh taxes to the amount of three million pounds.It was at this era of religious apathy that John Wesley (b. 1703; d. 1791), and Charles, his brother (b. 1708; d. 1788), and George Whitefield (b. 1714), came forward to preach a revival, and laid the foundation of Methodism. These young men, students at Oxford, all of them originally of clerical families but Whitefield—who was the son of an innkeeper—with Hervey, afterwards the author of the well-known "Meditations amongst the Tombs," and some others of their fellow-collegians, struck by the dearth of religious life of the time, met in their rooms for prayer and spiritual improvement. They were soon assailed with the nicknames of "Sacramentarians," "Bible Moths," and finally, "Methodists," a term current against the Puritans in those days, and suggested by the appellative Methodist?, given to a college of physicians in ancient Rome, in consequence of the strict regimen which they prescribed to their patients.ABBOTSFORD AND THE EILDON HILLS. (From a Photograph by Valentine & Sons, Dundee.)
At length the fated 1st of March arrived, when the Paymaster of the Forces arose amidst profound silence, to state the Bill. Lord John Russell's speech was remarkable for research, accuracy, and knowledge of constitutional law, but not for oratory. He showed that the grievances of which the people complained, in connection with the Parliamentary representation, were three—first, the nomination of members by individuals; secondly, elections by close corporations; and thirdly, the enormous expenses of elections. Sixty nomination boroughs, not having a population of 2,000 each, were to be totally disfranchised; 46 boroughs, having a population of not more than 4,000, and returning two members each, would be deprived of one. The seats thus obtained were to be given to large towns and populous counties. In boroughs, the elective franchise was to be extended to householders paying ￡10 rent; in counties, to copyholders of ￡10 a year, and leaseholders of ￡50. Persons already in possession of the right of voting were not to be deprived of it, if actually resident. Non-resident electors were to be disfranchised, and the duration of elections was to be shortened by increasing the facilities for taking the poll. No compensation was to be given to the proprietors of the disfranchised boroughs, which was justified under the precedent of the forty-shilling freeholders of Ireland, who had received no compensation for the loss of their votes. The question of the duration of Parliaments was reserved for future consideration.Sir Richard Quin, made a peer.
But Lord Castlereagh called on Parliament to maintain the same scale of expenditure and exertion till the great drama was completed. He estimated that there would still be wanted for 1814 four million pounds for the Peninsula, and six million pounds for Germany. He stated that our army in all quarters of the world amounted to two hundred and thirty thousand men, and that it was probable that we should have occasion to send from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand men to Holland, which, he recommended, should be raised by drafts from the militia. Of seamen, one hundred and forty thousand, and thirty-one thousand marines were voted, as it was resolved to chase the flag of the troublesome Americans from the seas. All these proposals were assented to without hesitation, and with the warmest encomiums on the achievements of Lord Wellington in Spain and the south of France, Parliament adjourned on the 26th of December till the 1st of March, 1814.The Hon. H. Skeffington, made clerk of Paper Office at the Castle, with ￡7,500 for his patronage.
FROM THE PAINTING BY F. X. WINTERHALTER IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY.1
LORD CLIVE. (After the Portrait by Gainsborough.)On the 18th of February, however, Fox moved a string of resolutions condemnatory of war with France. They declared that that country was only doing what every country had a right to do—reorganise its internal Constitution; that, as we had allowed Russia, Prussia, and Austria to dismember Poland, we had no right to check the aggressions of France on these countries; as we had remained quiescent in the one case, we were bound to do so in the other, and not to make ourselves confederates of the invasion of Poland; and his final resolution went to entreat his Majesty not to enter into any engagements with other Powers which should prevent us from making a separate peace with France. Burke did not lose the opportunity of rebuking Fox for his long advocacy of the Empress Catherine, whose unprincipled share in the partition of Poland he was now compelled to reprobate. The resolutions of Fox were negatived by two hundred and seventy votes against forty-four. Not daunted by this overwhelming majority, Fox again, on the 21st of February, brought forward his resolution in another form, declaring that there were no sufficient causes for war. The motion was negatived without a division.
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Pitt hastened up to town, and was graciously received by the king, who told him that he left the choice of his colleagues entirely to himself. Pitt, as twice before, immediately proposed that his brother-in-law, Lord Temple, should be placed at the head of the Treasury. Temple was summoned from Stowe, but was as haughty and unmanageable as ever. He demanded that all the old Ministers should be dismissed, that Lord Lyttelton should have the Privy Seal, Lord Gower be Secretary of State, etc. Pitt could not accede to these terms. This time he did not throw up the offer of the Premiership to oblige his wrong-headed brother-in-law, who had the overweening idea that he was as great a man as Pitt himself. He stood firm, and, after a long interview at North End, Hampstead, where Pitt had taken a house for the time, Temple set off to Stowe again in high dudgeon, declaring that Pitt had thrown off the mask, and never meant to accept his co-operation at all. Lord Camden advised Pitt to stand fast, throw off the Grenvilles, and save the nation without them. He acted on the advice.The Duke had little to console him in connection with the general election. In passing the Emancipation Act he had made great sacrifices, and had converted many of his most devoted friends into bitter enemies. The least that he could expect was that the great boon which it cost him so much to procure for the Roman Catholics of Ireland would have brought him some return of gratitude and some amount of political support in that country. But hitherto the Emancipation Act had failed in tranquillising the country. On the contrary, its distracted state pointed the arguments of the Tories on the hustings during the Irish elections. O'Connell, instead of returning to the quiet pursuit of his profession, was agitating for Repeal of the union, and reviling the British Government as bitterly as ever. He got up new associations with different names as fast as the Lord-Lieutenant could proclaim them, and he appealed to the example of the French and Belgian revolutions as encouraging Ireland to agitate for national independence. In consequence of his agitation many Ministerial seats in Ireland were transferred to the most violent of his followers. During these conflicts with the Government Mr. O'Connell was challenged by Sir Henry Hardinge, in consequence of offensive language used by him about that gentleman, who was then Chief Secretary for Ireland. Mr. O'Connell declined the combat, on the ground that he had a "vow registered in heaven" never again to fight a duel, in consequence of his having shot Mr. D'Esterre. This "affair of honour" drew upon him from some quarters very severe censure.
But these assumptions of new territories and new honours had, as we have seen, alarmed the Northern Powers and Austria. They saw that they could have no peace with such a man, except it were a peace of continual encroachment, humiliation, and slavery, and Russia went so far as to recall her Ambassador, though without a declaration of war. There was the utmost necessity for union, caution, and the exertion of every ability. But the folly and incapacity of those nations appeared to rise in intensity in proportion to the actual need of wisdom, and to the genius of their enemy. Britain, could give them money, but she could not give them talent and sagacity. Before Russia could march down to unite with Austria, Austria, which had so long hung back, and thus delayed the operations of Alexander, now showed as fatal a temerity, and commenced the campaign alone. She rushed into Bavaria, whose Elector, Maximilian Joseph, had entered into league with Buonaparte, in common with Würtemberg and other German States. The Emperor Francis had despatched Schwarzenberg to Munich, to endeavour to prevail on him to unite with Austria against the common enemy of Germany. Maximilian Joseph pleaded that he was quite resolved on doing that, but that his son was travelling in France, and he prayed time to recall him, or Buonaparte would wreak his vengeance upon him. This should have induced Francis of Austria to delay at least a sufficient time for this purpose, especially as it gave another chance for the decision of Prussia in their favour, when it saw the Russians already on the march. Whether the Elector of Bavaria would eventually have kept his promise is doubtful, for Napoleon was, on the other hand, pressing him close, through his Ambassador, M. Otto, to proclaim openly the secret alliance concluded with France.VIEW IN THE OLD TOWN, WARSAW.详情
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