The king rejoiced too soon. The announcement to the public of the queen's death was the knell of the popularity which he had recently acquired. There was an immediate and powerful reaction in the public mind against the king, which was strengthened by the ungracious measures adopted in connection with her funeral. There was a clause in her will to this effect:—"I desire and direct that my body be not opened, and that three days after my death it be carried to Brunswick for interment; and that the inscription on my coffin be, 'Here lies Caroline of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England.'" The Government were very anxious to have the corpse sent out of the kingdom immediately, in order that its presence might not interfere with the festivities in Ireland; they therefore wished to have the remains dispatched at once to Harwich for embarkation. Lady Hood appealed in vain to Lord Liverpool for some delay on the ground that the queen's ladies were not prepared to depart so soon, at the same time protesting against any military escort. The military guard was an ostensible honour; but its real object was to prevent popular manifestations detrimental to the Government in connection with the funeral. The friends of the queen could not even learn by what route the body would be conveyed. It should have gone through the City, where the Lord Mayor and Corporation announced their intention of following the hearse; but to prevent that honour, it was ordered that the corpse should be sent round by the New Road to Romford. The funeral passed from Hammersmith to Kensington Church without obstruction; there the conductors were turning off from the way to the City, in order to get into the Bayswater Road, when they were met by a loud cry of wrath and execration from the multitude. In a few minutes the road was dug up, barricaded, and rendered impassable. The Life Guards and the chief magistrate of Bow Street appeared, and seeing the impossibility of forcing a passage, they ordered the cortège to proceed on the direct route through the City, amidst thundering shouts of victory that might have appalled the king had he heard them. In the meantime the multitude had been rushing through the parks in mighty surging masses, now in one direction and now in another, according to the varying reports as to the course the procession was to take. Orders had been issued from the Government that it should go through the Kensington gate of Hyde Park, but the people closed the gates, and assumed such a fierce and determined attitude of resistance that the authorities were again compelled to give way, and again the popular shouts of victory sounded far and wide. Peremptory orders were given by the Government to pass up the Park into the Edgware Road, either by the east side or through Park Lane. In the effort to do this the line of procession was broken, the hearse was got into the Park, and hurried onwards to Cumberland Gate; but the people had outrun the military, and again blocked up the way in a dense mass. Here a collision ensued: the populace had used missiles; the military were irritated, and having had peremptory orders, they fired on the people, wounding many and killing two. But the people, baffled for the moment, made another attempt. At Tottenham Court Road the Guards found every way closely blocked up, except the way to the City. In this way, therefore, they were compelled to move, amidst the exulting shouts of the multitude. Seeking an outlet to the suburbs at every turn in vain, the procession was forced down Drury Lane into the Strand. The passage under Temple Bar was accompanied by the wildest possible excitement and shouts of exultation. The Corporation functionaries assembled in haste and accompanied the funeral to Whitechapel. On the whole way to Romford, we read, that not only the direct, but the cross roads, were lined with anxious spectators. The shops were closed, the bells were tolling, mourning dresses were generally worn, and in every direction symptoms abounded of the deep feeling excited by the death of the queen. The funeral cortège rested for the night at Colchester, the remains being placed in St. Peter's Church. There the plate with the inscription "injured Queen" was taken off, and another substituted. At Harwich the coffin was unceremoniously conveyed to the Glasgow frigate. At length the remains arrived at their last resting-place in a vault beneath the cathedral at Brunswick.The declaration of war against Britain by the Convention was unanimous. The decree was drawn up by the Girondists, but it was enthusiastically supported by the Jacobins, including Robespierre and Danton. A vote creating assignats to the amount of eight hundred million livres was immediately passed, a levy of three hundred thousand men was ordered, and to aggravate the whole tone of the affair, an appeal to the people of Great Britain was issued, calling on them to act against and embarrass their own Government.
In preparing to meet the invasion of the Allies Napoleon had to encounter the most formidable difficulties. In Russia and in this German campaign he had seen the bulk of his veteran army dissipated—nay, destroyed. After all his years of incessant drafts on the life-blood of France, six hundred thousand men could not be readily replaced. To replace a fourth of that number with well-disciplined troops was impossible. He could draw none from Germany, for his boasted Confederation of the Rhine had disappeared as a summer cloud, and the very princes on whom he had relied were marching against him in the vast army of the Allies. He could draw none from Italy; for there Eugene Beauharnais was contending, with only about forty-five thousand men, against the much more numerous Austrians; whilst his brother-in-law, Murat, his dashing cavalry general, was gone over to the enemy. Poland would send him no more gallant regiments, for he had grievously deceived the Poles; and his trusted ally of Denmark lay trodden under foot by his former companion-in-arms, Bernadotte. When he turned his eyes over France, which had so long sent forth her hordes to desolate Europe at his bidding, he beheld a prospect not much more cheering. The male population, almost to a man, was drained off, and their bones lay bleaching in the torrid sands of Egypt and Syria, the rugged sierras of Spain and Portugal, in the fens of Holland and the sandy flats of Belgium, on many a heath and plain in Germany, and far away amid the mocking snows of frozen Muscovy. The fields of "la belle France" were being cultivated by old men, by women, and mere boys. Those who had been so long buoyed up under the loss of husbands, fathers, and children, by the delusive mirage of the glory of the "grand nation," now cursed the tyrant whose insane ambition had led such millions of the sons of France to the great slaughter-house of war. The conscriptions, therefore, were very little attended to. Besides this, Buonaparte was well aware that there remained a strong leaven of Jacobinism in Paris and the large towns, and he was afraid of calling out city guards to set at liberty other soldiers, lest, in the hour of his absence and weakness, they should rise and renounce his authority.MURAT (KING OF NAPLES). (After the Portrait by Gerard.)
NIAGARA FALLS.Whilst all the countries which Buonaparte, at such an incalculable cost of life and human suffering, had compelled to the dominion of France were thus re-asserting their freedom, Buonaparte, in Paris, presented the miserable phantom of a vanished greatness. He called on the Senate to vote new conscriptions, telling them that theirs had been made by him the first throne of the universe, and they must maintain it as such; that without him they would become nothing. But the Allies were now entering France at one end, and Wellington was firmly fixed in the other; ere long the insulted nations would be at the gates of Paris, and the Senate and people demanded peace. Buonaparte refused to listen, and the Senate voted the conscription of three hundred thousand men, knowing that there was no longer any authority in the country to raise them. La Vendée, and all the Catholic South, were on the verge of insurrection; Murat, in Naples, was ready to throw off his last link of adhesion to Buonaparte; and the defeated usurper stood paralysed at the approach of his doom.
THE LANDING OF PRINCE CHARLIE. (See p. 92.)Sir Charles Barry was the architect of numerous buildings, but his greatest work was the New Palace of Westminster. When the old Houses of Parliament were burned down in 1834, amongst the numerous designs sent in Mr. Barry's was selected, and he had the honour of constructing the magnificent temple of legislation in which the most powerful body in the world debates and deliberates, upon the old, classic site, rendered sacred by so many events in our history. It has been disputed whether the style of the building is altogether worthy of the locality and the object, and whether grander and more appropriate effects might not have been produced by the vast sums expended. But it has been remarked in defence of the artist, that the design was made almost at the commencement of the revival of our national architecture, and that, this fact being considered, the impression will be one of admiration for the genius of the architect that conceived such a work; and the conviction will remain that by it Sir Charles Barry did real service to the progress of English art.
Great Britain bears a heavy burden of taxation, yet she does not seem to feel it. Many years ago Mr. Disraeli, in the House of Commons, called the National Debt a "flea-bite." It is not quite so light a matter as that; still, it does not seem to render her step less firm, nor retard her progress, nor give her much trouble. It is a matter of wonder to foreigners how the British people manage to have so much money after paying so smartly in the shape of taxes, and spending so much on food, clothing, and household accommodation. The secret lies in the wonderful industry and thrift in the masses of the people. They work hard, live well, and waste little. The number of people who live in Great Britain without labouring in any way for their support with head or hand is very small. Of 5,812,000 males twenty years of age and upwards, in 1831, no less than 5,466,000 were engaged in some calling or profession. The progressive well-being of the middle classes of England has been indicated very satisfactorily by the improved character of their dwellings. If the country is more healthful than the city, one cause may be found in the less crowded state of the habitations. In the country the proportion was about five and a half persons on an average in each house; in London about a third more. In Scotland the proportion was six to ten in 1831, and in Ireland it was six to twelve, taking the capital in each case as representing the urban population. The number of inhabited houses which England contained in 1821 was 1,952,000; in Ireland the number was 1,142,602; in Scotland it was 341,474. In 1841 the numbers were—England, 2,753,295; Ireland, 1,328,839; Scotland, 503,357. The large increase in Scotland is accounted for by the fact that in the returns of 1841 "flats" were set down as houses, which was not the case in the first return. The tax on inhabited houses rated in three classes from ￡10 to ￡20, from ￡20 to ￡40, and from ￡40 and upwards. From 1821 to 1833 the houses rated at ￡40 and upwards increased in England from 69,000 to 84,000. The other two classes of houses increased in about the same proportion. The house duty was repealed in 1834. There was a duty on bricks till 1850, by which means the quantity consumed was ascertained, and the increase between 1821 and 1847 was 130 per cent. Between the years 1821 and 1841 the use of carriages with four wheels increased 60 per cent.—double the ratio of the increase of the population. In the meantime hired carriages had increased from 20,000 to 33,000. Colonel Sykes, at a meeting of the Statistical Society, counted the cost of keeping a four-wheeled private carriage, including servants, at ￡250 a year. This may be too high an estimate; but taking four-wheeled and two-wheeled carriages together, Mr. Porter thought the average expense was not less than ￡100 a year for each, which would give more than ￡5,000,000 for this luxury in 1821, more than ￡9,000,000 for 1831, and more than ￡10,000,000 for 1841—a proof of wealth which no other country in Europe could show.
The French Revolution of 1830 exerted an influence so mighty upon public opinion and political events in England, that it becomes necessary to trace briefly its rise, progress, and rapid consummation. When Louis XVIII. was restored to the throne by the arms of the Allies, it was found that he had learnt little wisdom in his exile. He was, however, a man of moderation, and affected to pursue a middle course. His successor, Charles X., who ascended the throne in 1824, was violent and bigoted, a zealous Catholic, hating the Revolution and all its results, and making no secret of his feelings. From the moment he commenced his reign he pursued a course of unscrupulous reaction. At the general election the prefects so managed as to procure an overwhelming Ministerial majority, who immediately resolved to extend the duration of the Chamber of Deputies to seven years. They next passed a law to indemnify Emigrants, for which they voted an annual sum representing a capital of thirty millions sterling. In 1827 the Prime Minister, Villele, adopted the daring measure of disbanding the National Guard, because it had expressed its satisfaction at the defeat of a measure for the restriction of the liberty of the press. He next took the still more dangerous step of dissolving the Chamber of Deputies. This produced a combination of parties, which resulted in the defeat of the Ministerial candidates in every direction. The consequence was the resignation of Villele, on the 5th of January, 1828. He was succeeded by Martignac, whose Government abolished the discretionary power of re-establishing the censorship of the press, and adopted measures for securing the purity of the electoral lists against the frauds of the local authorities. They also issued an ordonnance on education, guarding society against the encroachments of the Jesuits, and the apprehension of clerical domination. The king, taking alarm at these Liberal tendencies, dismissed Martignac and his colleagues, and in August, 1829, he appointed a Ministry exclusively and devotedly Royalist, at the head of which he placed Prince de Polignac, a bigoted Catholic, who, during the Empire, had engaged in many wild schemes for the restoration of the Bourbons. This conduct on the part of the king was regarded by the people almost universally as indicating a design to suppress their constitutional liberties, which they resolved to counteract by having recourse to the constitutional remedy against arbitrary power—namely, refusal to pay the taxes. With this object an association was formed in Brittany, which established a fund to indemnify those who might suffer in resisting the levy of imposts. The press was most unanimous in condemning the new Ministry, and by spirited and impassioned appeals to the patriotism of the people and their love of freedom, roused them to a sense of their coming danger. Prince de Polignac was charged with the design of destroying the Charter; of creating a majority in the Chamber of Deputies by an unconstitutional addition of aristocratic members; of calling in foreign armies to overawe the French people; and of raising military forces by royal ordonnances. The Moniteur contained an authorised contradiction of all these imputations and rumours. Charles was assured, however, by the Royalists that surrounded him, that there always would be a majority against him in the Chamber, no matter who the Ministers might be, and that it was impossible to carry on the Government under the existing system. He was too ready to listen to such counsels, fondly attached as he was to the priesthood, the privileged orders, tithes, feudal services, and provincial administrations.
These events were a little diversified by the storming of Algiers on the 27th of August. In 1815 the Government of the United States of America had set the example of punishing the piratical depredations of the Algerines. They seized a frigate and a brig, and obtained a compensation of sixty thousand dollars. They do not appear to have troubled themselves to procure any release of Christian slaves, or to put an end to the practice of making such slaves; and, indeed, it would have been rather an awkward proposal on the part of North Americans, as the Dey might have demanded, as a condition of such a treaty, the liberation of some three millions of black slaves in return. But at the Congress of Vienna a strong feeling had been shown on the part of European Governments to interfere on this point. It was to the disgrace of Great Britain that, at the very time that she had been exerting herself so zealously to put an end to the negro slave trade, she had been under engagements of treaty with this nest of corsairs; and Lord Cochrane stated in Parliament this year that only three or four years before it had been his humiliating duty to carry rich presents from our Government to the Dey of Algiers. But in the spring of this year it was determined to make an effort to check the daring piracies of Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli. Lord Exmouth was sent to these predatory Powers, but rather to treat than to chastise; and he effected the release of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two Christian slaves. From Tunis and Tripoli he obtained a declaration that no more Christian slaves should be made. The Dey of Algiers refused to make such concession till he had obtained the permission of the Sultan. Lord Exmouth gave him three months to determine this point, and returned home. A clause in the treaty which he had made with Algiers ordered that Sicily and Sardinia should pay nearly four hundred thousand dollars for the ransom of their subjects; they accordingly paid it. This clause excited just condemnation in England, as actually acknowledging the right of the Algerines to make Christian slaves.
The Ministers and their supporters were complimentary, as a matter of course, to the new Sovereign, who had graciously continued them in their offices; and the Whigs, who had ascribed their exclusion from power to the personal dislike of the king, were resolved that there should not be again any obstacle of the kind, and that they would keep upon the best possible terms with the Court. During the previous part of the Session they had kept up a rapid fire of motions and questions upon the Government, especially with regard to the public expenditure, the distress of the operatives, and the necessity of rigid economy and large retrenchment. The attacks were led by Sir James Graham, who, though he was always left in a minority in the divisions on his motions, did much to weaken the Government by exciting public feeling against them on the ground of their alleged heartless extravagance, while many of the people were starving and the country was said to be going fast to destruction. The Duke of Wellington, however, moved an answer to the Royal Message, declaring that they would forward the measure necessary to provide for the temporary supply required. He suggested that as everybody would be occupied about the coming elections, the best mode of proceeding would be to dissolve at once. Lord Grey, in the name of the Opposition, complained of this precipitancy, and delivered a long speech full of solemn warnings of evil. He supposed that the king might die before the new Parliament was chosen; the Heir Apparent was a child in fact, though not in law. No regency existing, she would be legally in the possession of her full regal power, and this was a situation which he contended would be fraught with danger. A long, unprofitable wrangle ensued, dull repetitions dragged out the debate, when at length the Duke wisely refused to accede to the proposition for a useless interval of delay, and proved the numerical strength of the Administration. Lord Grey having moved for an adjournment to allow time for providing a regency, the motion was lost by a majority of 44, the numbers being 56 against 100.详情
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