The elections for the new Parliament were carried on with much vigour, and there were upwards of a hundred contested ones. In some cases the contest was extremely violent, considering the death of the king was almost daily expected, and that the term of the Parliament must necessarily be a short one. In Westminster there were no less than six candidates. Lord Cochrane was about to depart for Chili to take the command of the naval forces of that state, and therefore did not offer himself again. There were Sir Francis Burdett again, the Honourable Douglas Kinnaird, Sir Murray Maxwell, Sir Samuel Romilly, Major Cartwright, and Mr. Henry Hunt, commonly called Orator Hunt. Of these Sir Murray Maxwell was a Tory, and received severe treatment. Major Cartwright and Hunt obtained very little support, and soon withdrew from the contest. The members returned were Romilly and Burdett, a Whig and a Radical. For London were returned four new members, all Whigs, Wood, Wilson, Waithman, and Thorpe. Brougham patriotically stood for Westmoreland, to break, if possible, the influence of the Lowther family; but he was compelled to retire on the fourth day, and two of the Lowther family were returned. A hundred and ninety new members were returned, and the Opposition gained considerably by the election. An acute observer, well accustomed to party battles, remarked that Government did not appear much beloved, and that they had almost spent all their war popularity; and they were not destined to recover it in the coming year.The Ministry being complete, Parliament met on the 2nd of December. It was found that the new Administration had not that influence in the boroughs that Newcastle, who had cultivated it, had; and several members of the Cabinet, Pitt amongst them, had difficulty in getting returned, as was the case with Charles Townshend. In the king's speech, his Majesty was made to speak of the militia, which he was known by everybody to hold in sovereign contempt, as the best and most constitutional means of national defence. He announced also that he had ordered the return of the Hanoverian troops to their own country; and the Duke of Devonshire inserted in the Address from the Lords an expression of thanks for having brought these troops over. Pitt had declared that he would quit the Cabinet if such a vote was passed, and Temple came hurrying down to the House—Pitt being absent from the Commons with the gout—and declared that he had quitted a sick bed to protest against it. This was an unlucky beginning. It was clear that there was want of unity in the Cabinet at its very birth, and out-of-doors the people were loudly complaining of the scarcity of food, and bread riots were frequent. The king himself could not help ridiculing the speech his new Ministers had composed for him; and a poor printer being arrested for putting another speech into his mouth, George said he hoped the man might receive very lenient punishment, for, as far as he could understand either of the speeches, he thought the printer's the best. To abate the ferment out-of-doors, the Commons passed two Bills: one prohibiting the export of grain, flour, or biscuit; the other prohibiting, for several months, distillation from wheat or barley.
In pursuance of this plan of the campaign, Prideaux and Johnson arrived before the fort of Niagara in the middle of July, which they found very strong, and garrisoned by six hundred men. Prideaux was soon killed by the bursting of a shell, but Johnson continued the siege with great ability, having to invest the fort on one hand, whilst he was menaced on the other by a mixed body of French and Indians, one thousand seven hundred in number, who came to relieve the fort. The attack upon him commenced with a terrible war-whoop of the Indians, which, mingling with the roar of the great cataract near, made the most horrible din imaginable. But this did not disconcert the English and their savage allies, who received them with such steady courage, that in less than an hour they were put to the rout in sight of their own garrison, and pursued for five miles with dreadful slaughter. The garrison thereupon capitulated, remaining prisoners of war. There, however, Sir William Johnson's career stopped. From various causes, not foreseen, he was not able to advance beyond the Ontario to unite with Amherst. That general had fully succeeded in taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but he found the French so strongly posted on an island at the upper end of Lake Champlain, that he was compelled to stop and build boats to enable his army to reach and dislodge them; and it was not till October that he was ready to proceed, when he was driven back repeatedly by tempests, and compelled to go into winter quarters.
Whilst Prince Eugene had been labouring in vain to recall the English Government from its fatal determination to make a disgraceful peace, the Dutch envoy Van Buys had been equally active, and with as little success. The Ministers incited the House of Commons to pass some severe censures on the Dutch. They alleged that the States General had not furnished their stipulated number of troops both for the campaigns in the Netherlands and in Spain; that the queen had paid above three millions of crowns more than her contingent. They attacked the Barrier Treaty, concluded by Lord Townshend with them in 1709, and declared that it contained several Articles destructive to the trade and interests of Great Britain; that Lord Townshend was not authorised to make that treaty; and that both he and all those who advised it were enemies to the queen and kingdom. They addressed a memorial to the queen, averring that England, during the war, had been overcharged nineteen millions sterling—which was an awful charge of mismanagement or fraud on the part of the Whig Ministers. They further asserted that the Dutch had made great acquisitions; had extended their trade as well as their dominion, whilst England had only suffered loss. Anne gave her sanction to this address by telling the House that she regarded their address as an additional proof of their affection for her person and their attention to the interests of the nation; and she ordered her ambassador at the Hague, the new Earl of Strafford, to inform the States of these complaints of her Parliament, and to assure them that they must increase their forces in Flanders, or she must decrease hers.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (b. 1772; d. 1834) published his earliest poems in association with his friends, Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd, and Charles Lamb. But his contributions, especially of the "Ancient Mariner," soon pointed them out as belonging to a genius very different. In his compositions there is a wide variety, some of them being striking from their wild and mysterious nature, some for their elevation of both spirit and language, and others for their deep tone of feeling. His "Geneviève," his "Christabel," his "Ancient Mariner," and his "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni," are themselves the sufficient testimonies of a great master. In some of his blank verse compositions the tone is as independently bold as the sentiments are philosophical and humane. Besides his own poetry, Coleridge translated part of Schiller's "Wallenstein," and was the author of several prose works of a high philosophical character. Southey was as different from Coleridge in the nature of his poetical productions as Coleridge was from Wordsworth. In his earliest poems he displayed a strong resentment against the abuses of society; he condemned war in his poem on "Blenheim," and expressed himself unsparingly on the treatment of the poor. His "Botany Bay Eclogues" are particularly in this vein. But he changed all that, and became one of the most zealous defenders of things as they are. His smaller poems are, after all, the best things which he wrote; his great epics of "Madoc," "Roderick, the Last of the Goths," "The Curse of Kehama," and "Thalaba," now finding few readers. Yet there are parts of them that must always charm.
ROTTEN ROW IN 1830. (See p. 442.)THE QUEEN'S FIRST COUNCIL.
The prisoners were at once sent to Richmond Bridewell, on the South Circular Road, where the Governor did all in his power to make them comfortable. Good apartments were assigned to them. They dined together every day, and they were permitted to receive, without restriction, the visits of their friends and admirers. The Government was the less disposed to interfere with these indulgences, as their object was not so much punishment as prevention, and besides, the traversers had appealed against the sentence. A majority of the twelve English judges affirmed the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, while condemning the counts on which the Irish court relied. An appeal was then made to the House of Lords. The decision was left to the five law lords—Lyndhurst, Brougham, Cottenham, Denman, and Campbell. The first two were for a confirmation of the judgment, the last three for reversal. Lord Denman, in pronouncing judgment, said, referring to the tampering with the panel, "If such practices as had taken place in the present instance in Ireland should continue, the trial by jury would become a mockery, a delusion, and a snare," a sentence which was hackneyed by repetition for years afterwards. The news of the reversal reached Dublin on the afternoon of the 5th of September. Great crowds had assembled on the pier at Kingstown, and tremendous cheers broke forth from the multitude when the Holyhead packet approached, and they saw held up a white flag, with the inscription, "Judgment reversed by the House of Lords. O'Connell is free!" The news was everywhere received by the Roman Catholics with wild excitement.
O'Connell also wielded against the Government the fierce democracy of Roman Catholic Ireland. Sir Robert Peel had irritated him by some contemptuous remarks on his Repeal agitation, and he rose in his own defence, like a lion in his fury. He proceeded to give a description of the condition of Ireland, "which," said Mr. Brougham, "if not magnified in its proportions, if not painted in exaggerated colours, presents to my mind one of the most dismal, melancholy, and alarming conditions of society ever heard of or recorded in any State of the civilised world." Mr. O'Connell thus addressed the Treasury bench:—"Tell the people of Ireland that you have no sympathy with their sufferings, that their advocate is greeted with sneers and laughter, that he is an outlaw in the land, and that he is taunted with want of courage, because he is afraid of offending his God. Tell them this, and let them hear also in what language the Secretary of State, who issued the proclamation to prevent meetings in Ireland, has spoken of Polignac." A powerful defence of his system of peaceful agitation, and a fierce defiance and denunciation of the existing Administration, closed this remarkable speech, whose effect upon the House, Mr. Roebuck said, was great and unexpected. Its effect upon the Roman Catholics of Ireland, it need not be added, was immense.But the triumph of the insurgents was brief. From Radetzky, triumphant in Italy, from Windischgr?tz at Prague, and from Jellacic in Hungary, came assurances that they were making haste to rally round the emperor's flag, and to cause it to wave in triumph over the vanquished revolution. The last with his Croats moved up by forced marches, availing himself of the Southern Railway, and on the 9th of October he was within two hours' march of Vienna. On the news of the approach of this formidable enemy, consternation seized the Viennese. The reinforcements brought by Windischgr?tz swelled the Imperial forces at Vienna to 70,000 men. In the presence of this host, hanging like an immense thunder-cloud charged with death and ruin over the capital, the citizens relied chiefly upon the Hungarian army. But this was held in check by the Croatian army; and Kossuth, deeming it prudent not to enter into the contest, withdrew his troops within the bounds of Hungarian territory. On the 28th, Prince Windischgr?tz began to bombard the city, and the troops advanced to the assault. The Hungarians at last advanced in aid of the insurgents, but were beaten off, and on the night of the 31st of October the city surrendered, and was in possession of the Imperial troops.The English now began to contemplate taking the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch. General Johnstone was dispatched in April with five ships of the line, some frigates, and smaller vessels, having on board General Medows and three regiments for this purpose; but encountering Admiral Suffren in the way, after an indecisive action, Johnstone fell in with and took a Dutch East Indiaman of great value, and learned through it that Suffren had managed to reach the Cape and give the alarm, and that the Cape was put into strong defence. Johnstone, therefore, made for Saldanha Bay, where he learned that a number of other Dutch East Indiamen were lying. Four of these he secured; the rest were run ashore by their commanders and burnt. During the autumn both Dutch and French suffered much from the British on the coasts of Coromandel and the island of Sumatra. They also took from the Dutch Negapatam, Penang, and other places.
With the same want of sagacity which was driving Ministers and Parliament to the loss of America, they were still persecuting Wilkes into popularity. On the 14th of November, 1768, Sir Joseph Mawby, member for Southwark, presented a petition from Wilkes, reciting all the proceedings of Government against him, and praying for his being heard at the bar of the House. Wilkes appeared before the House on the 31st of January, where he took exception to the word "blasphemous" as applied to the "Essay on Woman." Thurlow, afterwards Lord Chancellor, a most swearing, blaspheming man, protested that if the House did not declare it blasphemous, it would be a disgrace to it. However, the words "impious" and "obscene" were substituted. On the 1st of February the House determined that his petition was frivolous. The next day the House went into another charge against Wilkes. In the preceding April Lord Weymouth, previous to the riots in St. George's Fields, had issued a letter, as Secretary of State, to the magistrates of Lambeth, warning them of the danger of riots taking place in the endeavour to free Wilkes from prison, and offering them the aid of the military. Wilkes, while in the King's Bench, had obtained a copy of this letter, and sent it to the St. James's Chronicle with his own comments, styling it a "hellish project," and as the direct cause of that "horrid massacre." Weymouth complained to the House of Lords that this was a breach of privilege. A conference was had with the Commons; Wilkes was brought to the Bar, where Baldwin, the printer, had acknowledged the letter to be his, and then, so far from denying it, claimed the thanks of the country for having exposed that "bloody scroll." The Commons decided that he was guilty of an insolent and seditious libel, and on the following day, February 3rd, on the motion of Lord Barrington, he was expelled the House, by a majority of two hundred and nineteen to one hundred and thirty-seven. The king had directly asked for such a verdict by a letter to Lord North, declaring that Wilkes's expulsion was "highly expedient and must be effected."Before quitting Germany, however, George had signed a treaty between himself, Austria, and Sardinia, in which Italian affairs were determined. The Spaniards, under Count Gages and the Infant Don Philip, had made some attempts against the Austrians in Italy, but with little effect. By the present treaty, signed at Worms on the 13th of September, the King of Sardinia engaged to assist the Allies with forty-five thousand men, and to renounce his pretensions to the Milanese, on condition that he should command the Allied army in Italy in person, should receive the cession of Vigevenasco and the other districts from Austria, and a yearly subsidy of two hundred thousand pounds from England. This was also negotiated by Lord Carteret on the part of King George, and without much reference to the Ministers in England, who, on receiving the treaty, expressed much dissatisfaction; but, as it was signed, they let it pass. But there was another and separate convention, by which George agreed to grant the Queen of Hungary a subsidy of three hundred thousand pounds per annum, not only during the war, but as long as the necessity of her affairs required it. This not being signed, the British Ministers refused to assent to it, and it remained unratified.On hearing this, Burgoyne dispatched Colonel Baum with two pieces of artillery and eight hundred men—dismounted German dragoons and British marksmen. They were to surprise Bennington, a place about twenty miles to the east of the Hudson, where the Americans had collected their stores from New England, and, having secured these, to return and carry them to St. Leger. Baum, however, found himself surrounded by Generals Starke and Warner at St. Corick's Mill, on Walloon Creek, six miles from Bennington, before help came up. For two hours a fierce attack was kept up on Baum's entrenchments on all sides by the Americans with muskets and rifles. Baum made a most gallant defence, and three times drove them from some high ground which they occupied above his camp. At last he was picked off by a rifleman and fell mortally wounded. His German troops retreated into the woods, in the direction of Fort Edward, and were there met by Breyman, who was slowly advancing with reinforcements. He reorganised the fugitives, and commenced his retreat, hotly pursued by Starke and Warner; he made his way back to Burgoyne, but not until he had fired nearly his last cartridge.
But the chief source whence the means at their disposal were derived was the magnificent bounty of the citizens of the United States of America. The supplies sent from America to Ireland were on a scale unparalleled in history. Meetings were held in Philadelphia, Washington, New York, and other cities in quick succession, presided over by the first men in the country. All through the States the citizens evinced an intense interest, and a noble generosity, worthy of the great Republic. The railway companies carried free of charge all packages marked "Ireland." Public carriers undertook the gratuitous delivery of packages intended for the relief of Irish distress. Storage to any extent was offered on the same terms. Ships of war, without their guns, came to the Irish shores on a mission of peace and mercy, freighted with food for British subjects. Cargo after cargo followed in rapid succession, until nearly 100 separate shipments had arrived, our Government having consented to pay the freight of all donations of food forwarded from America, which amounted in the whole to ￡33,000. The quantity of American food consigned to the care of the Society of Friends was nearly ten thousand tons, the value of which was about ￡100,000. In addition to all this, the Americans remitted to the Friends' Committee ￡16,000 in money. They also sent 642 packages of clothing, the precise value of which could not be ascertained. There was a very large amount of remittances sent to Ireland during the famine by the Irish in the United States. Unfortunately, there are no records of those remittances prior to 1848; but after that time we are enabled to ascertain a large portion of them, though not the whole, and their amount is something astonishing. The following statement of sums remitted by emigrants in America to their families in Ireland was printed by order of Parliament:—During the years 1848, ￡460,180; 1849, ￡540,619; 1850, ￡957,087; 1851, ￡990,811.Parliament was prorogued on the 31st of May, 1826, and two days afterwards dissolved. It had nearly run its course. It was the sixth Session, which had been abridged with a view of getting through the general election at a convenient season. But though short, the Session had much work to show of one kind or another, including some useful legislation. The Parliamentary papers printed occupied twenty-nine folio volumes, exclusive of the journals and votes. The Parliament whose existence was now terminated had, indeed, effected the most important changes in the policy of Great Britain, foreign and domestic. Mr. Canning had severed the connection, unnatural as it was damaging, between England and the Holy Alliance. The Government of the freest country in the world, presenting almost the only example of a constitution in which the power of the people was represented, was no longer to be associated in the councils of a conclave of despots; and this change of direction in its foreign policy was cordially adopted by the House of Commons and by the nation. Another great and vital change in national policy was the partial admission of the principles of Free Trade, which the Tories regarded, not without reason, as effecting a complete revolution, which extended its influence to the whole legislation and government.
Nelson, having blockaded the port of Alexandria, sailed to Naples to repair. There he received the news of the intense rejoicing his victory had spread through England, and that he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile. He found Ferdinand of Naples already collecting an army to drive the French from Rome and Tuscany. Austria, Switzerland, and other countries were again in arms. The Treaty of Campo Formio was at an end by the French violation of it everywhere, and as it was supposed that Buonaparte would never be allowed to get back again, the spirit of Europe had revived. Nelson, allowing himself as little repose as possible, in November had made himself master of the Island of Gozo, separated only by a narrow channel from Malta. He had blockaded Malta itself, and it must soon surrender. Pitt, elated by Nelson's success, and in consequence of the death of the old czarina, Catherine, some two years earlier, now entered into a treaty with her successor, Paul, who was subsidised by a hundred and twelve thousand pounds a month, and great expectations were raised of the effect of his victorious general, Suvaroff, leading an army into Italy. The other members of the second grand coalition were Austria, the Princes of Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. Prussia weakly held aloof. When the British Parliament met on the 20th of November, the late victory and this new alliance with Russia were the themes of congratulation from the throne. Twenty-nine million two hundred and seventy-two thousand pounds were granted with alacrity for the ensuing year, and the nation willingly submitted to the imposition of a new impost—the income tax.详情
Copyright © 2020