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类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-09-21 13:17:22

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Every engine of the English Court was put in motion to prevent the Electoral Prince from coming. Oxford had an interview with Schutz, in which he repeated that it was his applying for the writ to the Lord Chancellor instead of to the queen that had done all the mischief; that her Majesty, had it not been for this untoward incident, would have invited the Prince to come over and spend the summer in Englandforgetting, as Schutz observed, that the minute before he had assured him that the queen was too much afraid of seeing any of that family here. He advised Schutzwho could not be convinced that he had done anything irregular in his application, quoting numerous proofs to show that it was the accustomed mode of applying for writsto avoid appearing again at Court; but Schutz, not seeming disposed to follow that advice, immediately received a positive order to the same effect from the queen through another channel. Schutz, therefore, lost no time in returning to Hanover to justify himself. At the same time, Lord Strafford was instructed to write from the Hague, blaming the conduct of Schutz in applying for the writ in the manner he did, as disrespectful to the queen; for, though strictly legal for an absent peer to make such application, the etiquette was that he should defer it till he could do it personally. Strafford ridiculed the idea of any movement being afoot in favour of the Pretender, and observed that, as to sending him out of the Duke of Lorraine's territory, it was not practicable, because the French king maintained that he had fulfilled the treaty, Lorraine not being any part of France. On the other hand, there were striking signs that the cause[17] of Hanover was in the ascendant. Men who watched the course of events decided accordingly. Marlborough, who so lately had been making court to the Pretender, now wrote from Antwerp, urging the House of Hanover to send over the prince without delay to England; that the state of the queen's health made prompt action necessary; and that the presence of the prince in London would secure the succession without risk, without expense, and without war, and was the likeliest measure of inducing France to abandon its design of assisting the Pretender.But far different was the issue of the troubles with his Flemish subjects, which, with an unaccountable folly and absence of good faith, he had excited. He sent into the Netherlands Count Trautmansdorff as Governor, and General Dalton, a brutal Irishman, as commander. The latter ordered the professors of theology at Louvain to give way to the Emperor's reforms, and, as they refused, Dalton turned them out by force, shut up the colleges, and Joseph sent back again the German professors, who had been before recalled, to appease the popular indignation. But the colleges remained empty; not a student would attend the classes of the Germans. As the volunteer corps had disbanded themselves, in reliance on the Emperor's wish, Trautmansdorff calculated on an easy compulsion of the people, and he called on the Grand Council at Brussels to enforce the decrees of the Emperor. The Council paid no regard to the order.

Grey followed, contending that we ought to avoid the calamities of war by all possible means. A long debate ensued, in the midst of which Mr. Jenkinson declared that on that very day, whilst they were discussing the propriety of sending an ambassador to France, the monarch himself was to be brought to trial, and probably by that hour was condemned to be murdered. All the topics regarding Holland and Belgium were again introduced. Fox was supported by Grey, Francis, Erskine, Whitbread, and Sheridan; but his motion was negatived without a division.True to the pole, by thee the pilot guidesAgrarian outrage had thus been effectually put down by the special commission; but a much more formidable difficulty was now to be encountered by the Government, which was called upon to suppress a rebellion. In order that its origin may be understood, it will be necessary to sketch briefly the rise and progress of the Young Ireland party. It had its origin in the establishment of the Nation newspaper in 1842, by Thomas Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy, and John Mitchel. Davis was a native of the county of Cork, a member of the Church of England, and a barrister who had devoted himself to literature. He was a man of genius and enthusiastic temperament, combined with habits of study and a love of system. As a member of the Repeal Association, and as a writer in the Nation, he constantly advocated national independence. He was a vigorous writer, and also a poet. He was much respected personally by all classes, and would have exerted a powerful influence, but he was cut off by fever in the midst of his career. His memory received the honour of a public funeral, which was one of the largest and most respectable that had for some time taken place in Dublin. Mr. Duffy, the proprietor and editor of the Nation, a Roman Catholic and a native of Monaghan, had been connected with the press in Dublin. Mr. Mitchel, also a northerner and a solicitor by profession, was the son of a Unitarian minister in Newry. These men were all animated by the same burning love of Ireland, and unmitigated hatred of English domination. The Nation soon attained a vast circulation; its leading articles were distinguished by an earnestness, a fire, a power, an originality and boldness, till then unknown in the Irish press. Its columns were filled with the most brilliant productions in literature and poetry, all designed to glorify Ireland at the expense of England, and all breathing the spirit of war and defiance against the Government. In addition to the Nation, they prepared a number of small books, which they issued in a cheap form as an Irish library, devoted chiefly to the history of their country, and its struggles for independence. By their exertions, reading-rooms were established throughout the country, and a native literature was extensively cultivated. The orator of the party was Thomas Meagher, at a later period general in the American army, son of a Waterford merchant, who was afterwards member of Parliament. He was a brilliant, fluent, ardent, daring speaker; his appearance and manners were those of a gay, reckless, dashing cavalier; and his warlike harangues had won for him the designation, "Meagher of the Sword." His speeches fired his audience with wild enthusiasm. Since 1844, as we have seen, Mr. William Smith O'Brien had become the leader of this party, which differed in spirit and purpose from the Old Ireland party, of which O'Connell had been so long the leader. O'Connell's agitation even for Repeal was essentially religious. Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church were indissolubly associated in his mind. His habits as a nisi prius barrister made him an advocate more than a statesman; and having pleaded the cause of his Church for forty years, having been rewarded and retained for so doing by an annual "tribute" collected in the chapels of the kingdom, and having won his unparalleled popularity and almost kingly power by his services in this cause, he could not help regarding himself as the special champion of the Irish priests and their people. For them he courted Whig alliances, for them he abused the Tories, for them he sought Repeal, and for their sakes he deprecated war. He knew that the Protestants of Ireland would never sufficiently trust him or his ecclesiastical clients, to join them in a war against English supremacy, which they disliked far less than Roman Catholic ascendency. He knew that a war for Repeal must be a civil and religious war; and he too well remembered the horrors of 1798, and was too well aware of the[564] power of England, seriously to encourage anything of the kind. He talked indeed about fighting at the monster meetings, but he did so merely to intimidate the Government, confident of his power to hold the masses in check, and to prevent breaches of the peace. The State prosecutions and the proceedings of the Young Ireland party worked in him the painful and almost heart-breaking conviction that he had gone too far. Another essential difference existed between the two parties regarding religion. The Young Irelanders wanted to ignore religion in the national struggle. Their object was to unite all Irishmen in the great cause, to exorcise the spirit of bigotry, and to cultivate the spirit of religious toleration. But neither the Protestants nor the Catholics were prepared for this. The peasantry of the South especially would not enter into a contest in which their priests refused to lead and bless them; and these would neither lead nor bless except in the interest of their Church. This truth was discovered too late by Mr. Smith O'Brien and Mr. Meagher. The latter gentleman is said to have remarked in his prison, "We made a fatal mistake in not conciliating the Catholic priesthood. The agitation must be baptised in the old Holy Well."

BRITISH LINE-OF-BATTLE SHIPS (1836).

The news of Wellington's defeat of Marmont, and his occupation of the capital, caused Soult to call Victor from the blockade of Cadiz; and uniting his forces, he retired into Granada. The French, after destroying their works,the creation of so much toil and expenditure,retreated with such precipitation from before Cadiz that they left behind a vast quantity of their stores, several hundred pieces of ordnancesome of which, of extraordinary length, had been cast for this very siegeand thirty gunboats. They were not allowed to retire unmolested. The British and Spanish troops pursued them from Tarifa, harassed them on the march, drove them out of San Lucar, and carried Seville by storm, notwithstanding eight battalions being still there to defend it. The peasantry rushed out from woods and mountains to attack the rear of Soult on his march by Carmona to Granada, and the sufferings of his soldiers were most severe from excessive fatigue, heat, want of food, and these perpetual attacks. General Hill meanwhile advanced from the Guadiana against King Joseph, who fell back to Toledo, hoping to keep up a communication with Soult and Suchet, the latter of whom lay on the borders of Valencia and Catalonia. But General Hill soon compelled him to retreat from Toledo, and the British general then occupied that city, Ypez, and Aranjuez, thus placing himself in connection with Lord Wellington, and cutting off the French in the south from all approach to Madrid.

Hastings next determined to experiment on the Nabob of Oude. This Nabob, Asaph-ul-Dowlah, was an infamously dissipated prince, spending his own money in licentious pleasures, and extorting what he could from the Begums, his mother and grandmother. The old ladies lived at the palace of Fyzabad, or the "Beautiful Residence," situated in a charming district, amid hills and streams, about eighty miles from Lucknow. The Nabob's father had left them large sums of money and extensive estates, so that they kept a handsome court, and yet had the reputation of having accumulated about three million pounds sterling. The Nabob had compelled them, by coercive means, to let him have, at different times, about six hundred thousand pounds, and he thirsted exceedingly for more. Hastings determined to anticipate him. He sent for the Nabob of Oude while he was still in the fortress of Chunar, and there reminding him of his debts to the British Government, which were considerable, coolly proposed to him the robbery of his mother and grandmother. The proposal was so barefaced that, when Hastings came to make it to the Nabob, he felt that he really required some pretended reason for thus arbitrarily laying hands on the property of these innocent women, and therefore unblushingly asserted that they had been concerned in stirring up the insurrection at Benaresa matter, besides that it was so notoriously the result of Hastings' own daring arrest of Cheyte Sing, the Begums had neither motive for meddling in nor time for doing it. Till now they had regarded the British as their only protectors. They were living quietly at Fyzabad, one hundred and fifteen miles from Benares, when the insurrection broke out from very obvious causes. This infamous bargain being concluded at Chunar, Hastings relying on his agent at Lucknow, Mr. Middleton, compelling the Nabob to carry it out, retreated to Benares, and thence to Calcutta. The Nabob returned to Lucknow to enforce the diabolical scheme; but he found his mother and grandmother determined to resist the iniquitous order, and so shameful was it that even the needy and debauched Nabob felt[335] compunctions in proceeding with it. He left it to Middleton to execute it, but Middleton, in his turn, recoiled from the odious business. Not so Hastings; cold and resolute, he wrote to Middleton, that if he could not rely upon his firmness he would free him from his charge, and himself proceed to Lucknow and enforce his own orders. To induce Middleton to abandon his scruples of conscience and honour, the ever-ready friend of Hastings, the Chief Justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey, it appears, wrote to Middleton, and inculcated the necessity of obedience. Middleton and the Nabob, therefore, seized on the estates of the Begums, and suddenly surrounded Fyzabad and the palace with troops, and made themselves masters of both. But the old ladies had not been so inattentive to the approaches of the storm as to neglect the hiding of their treasures; they could not be found. Thus cruelly disappointed of the expected hoard, and the Begums remaining firm in their refusal to produce any part of it, Middleton seized on their two chief ministers, the eunuchs, Jewar Ali Khan and Behar Ali Khan. They were now thrown into prison, put in irons, and orders were given to starve and torture them till they revealed the secret of the concealment of the treasure of their mistresses. At the same time, the two ladies were placed in rigorous confinement themselves. This system was continued till they had extorted upwards of a million sterling from the Begums, and found that they might kill both them and their aged ministers, but could get no more. When the Begums and the two old men were liberated, they were told by the Residentnot now Middleton, but Bristowthat they owed this favour to the Governor-General, who had determined to have them "restored to their dignity and honour." There was another name connected with these events, and with almost equal disadvantage, that of Sir Elijah Impey, the Chief Justice. Impey, who had no jurisdiction in Oude, was found up there in the midst of these transactions, volunteering his assistance in getting up charges against the Begums. These charges were supported by a host of venal witnesses, and affidavits of their evidence were made out, and sent down to Calcutta, to justify the dark doings of Hastings.

[See larger version]In fact the Ministry remained deplorably weak, despite the numerous changes in the Cabinet. The Marquis of Normanby, who had been a failure at the Home Office, changed places with Lord John Russell, who went to the Colonial Office. Mr. Francis Baring was made Chancellor of the Exchequer in the place of the most incompetent financier of modern times, Mr. Spring-Rice, who was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Monteagle, and soon afterwards appointed Comptroller of the Exchequer, with a salary of 2,000 a year; Sir John Newport having retired from that post on a pension. The Earl of Clarendon became Lord Privy Seal, and Mr. Macaulay Secretary at War, with a seat in the Cabinet in the room of Viscount Howick, who had quitted the Administration because he had disapproved of the political import of the changes, taken altogether, and they were unalterably fixed without seeking his concurrence. Mr. Charles Wood, the brother-in-law of Lord Howick, also resigned shortly afterwards, and Sir Charles Grey was refused promotion.

When the news of this distractedly hopeless condition of the Council in Calcutta reached London, Lord North called upon the Court of Directors to send up to the Crown an address for the recall of Hastings, without which, according to the new Indian Act, he could not be removed till the end of his five years. The Directors put the matter to the vote, and the address was negatived by a single vote. The minority then appealed to the Court of Proprietors, at the general election in the spring of 1776, but there it was negatived by ballot by a majority of one hundred, notwithstanding that all the Court party and Parliamentary Ministerialists who had votes attended to overthrow him. This defeat so enraged Lord North that he resolved to pass a special Bill for the removal of the Governor-General. This alarmed Colonel Maclean, a friend of Hastings, to whom he had written, on the 27th of March.[328] 1775, desiring him, in his disgust with the conduct of Francis, Clavering, and Monson, and the support of them by the Directors, to tender his resignation. Thinking better of it, however, he had, on the 18th of the following May, written to him, recalling the proposal of resignation. But Maclean, to save his friend from a Parliamentary dismissal, which he apprehended, now handed the letter containing the resignation to the Directors. Delighted to be thus liberated from their embarrassment, the Directors accepted the resignation at once, and elected Mr. Edward Wheler to the vacant place in the Council.[See larger version]

GEORGE CANNING.

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ON BOARD AN EMIGRANT SHIP AT THE TIME OF THE IRISH FAMINE. (See p. 542.)

WELFEN CASTLE, HANOVER.Thus the whole country was torn by religious animosity; the nobles were insolent to the Crown, and the people were nothing. Such was the divided condition of Poland which led to its dismemberment. All nobility of mind was destroyed; pride and oppression were the inseparable consequences of such a system. There was no middle class, no popular class; it was a country of lords and slavesof one class domineering over the other. The Greek Catholics were the Dissidents, and the Dissidents sought aid from Russiawhich was also Greek in religionand, to insure this aid, condescended to the lowest arts of solicitation, to the practice of fawning, stooping, and cringing to the great barbarous power of Russia on one side, and to the equally barbarous power of Turkey on the other. The nobles could bring large bodies of cavalry into the field, as many, at times, as a hundred thousand; but as they had no free people, and dreaded to arm their slaves, they had little or no infantry, except such as they hired, and even this was in no condition to withstand the heavy masses of Russian infantry, much less such armies as Prussia or Austria might be tempted to bring against them.

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