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The following is the general result of the Reform Acts upon the constitution of the Imperial Parliament:In England the county constituencies, formerly 52, returning 94 members, were increased to 82, returning 159 members. The borough members were 341, giving a total of 500 for England. In Ireland the number of the constituencies remained the same, but five members were added, making the total number 105, representing 32 counties and 41 boroughs including the University of Dublin. A second member was given to each of the following:Limerick, Waterford, Belfast, Galway, and Dublin University. The proportion of counties and boroughs in Scotland was 30 and 23, giving a total of 53. All the counties of the United Kingdom returned 253 members, all the boroughs 405, the total number constituting the House of Commons being 658.Sir John F. W. Herschel, son of Sir William Herschel, conversant with almost every branch of science, also devoted himself with remarkable success to the cultivation of sidereal astronomy. He evinced very early a taste for mathematics, but did not devote himself to astronomy until after his father's death in 1822. He then gave himself up to it without reserve. At that period the Southern Hemisphere was to astronomers little more than an unknown region. For the purpose of exploring it, he visited the Cape of Good Hope in 1834, where, making use of his father's method, he continued his observations for more than four years, examining with great care, among other things, the nebul? and double stars. On his return to Europe, he gave the results of his labours to the world in a work of deep interest, and of the highest importance; and the value of the services he had rendered to science was recognised, not only by the scientific world, but by his Sovereign also, who created him a baronet. After he was appointed Master of the Mint, in 1850, he took no further part in practical astronomy, but he published many excellent works, not only on that subject, but on science generally; and he displayed a thorough acquaintance with natural history, the belles-lettres, and the fine arts, and translated a portion of the "Iliad." This great astronomer and mathematician died in May, 1871. Lord Rosse's labours to improve the telescope commenced about 1828, and continued unremittingly until 1844. His masterpiece was of six feet aperture and 54 feet in focal length.

This was a broad indication of the French seizing, under the pretence of propagating liberty, on what had been called the natural boundaries of France in the time of Louis XIV.,namely, the Rhine and the Alps, thus including Belgium, part of Holland, Nice, and Savoy. They dispatched emissaries to Victor Amadeus, the King of Sardinia, offering to drive the Austrians out of Italy, and give Italy to the Italians. As they had, however, previously sent numbers of their Jacobin propagandists to inoculate his people with Republicanism, the king refused their offers, and forbade General Semonville to enter the country. On this, the Convention proclaimed war against him, and ordered Montesquieu to invade Nice and Savoy. With an army of fifteen thousand men[408] and twenty pieces of artillery, Montesquieu entered Savoy, and the few Savoyard troops being unable to compete with him, the people, moreover, being already prepared by French Republicans, he overran the country, entered Chambry in triumph, and occupied the province to the foot of Mont Cenis. Elated by the successes of these campaigns, the French Convention passed a decree, declaring that it would grant succour and fraternity to all peoples desirous of recovering their liberty; it ordered its generals to give such aid to all citizens who were, or might be, harshly treated on account of their desire for liberty; and the generals were instructed to post this decree in all public places to which they should carry the arms of the Republic. Two days afterwards Savoy was formed into a new department as the Department of Mont Blanc.

All Europe was astonished by the news of the French Revolution. The successful insurrection of the working classes in Paristhe flight of the kingthe abolition of monarchythe establishment of a Republic, all the work of two or three days, were events so startling that the occupants of thrones might well stand aghast at their recital, and tremble for their own possessions. It would not have been surprising if the revolutionary spirit emanating from Paris had, to a large extent, invaded Great Britain and Ireland. The country had just passed through a fearful crisis; heavy sacrifices had been made by all classes to save the people from starvation; many families had been utterly ruined by gigantic failures, and there was still very general privation prevailing in all parts of the United Kingdom. In such circumstances the masses are peculiarly liable to be excited against the Government by ignorant or unprincipled agitators, who could easily persuade[555] them that their sufferings arose from misgovernment, and that matters could never go right till the people established their own sovereigntytill they abolished monarchy and aristocracy, and proclaimed a republic. The Chartist agitation, though not formally proposing any such issue of the movement, had, nevertheless, familiarised the minds of the working classes with the idea of such a revolution. The points of their charter comprised vote by ballot, universal suffrage, annual parliaments, payment of the members, and the abolition of the property qualification. Besides, the Chartist leaders had been in the habit of holding what was called a National Convention, which was a kind of parliament of their own, in which the leaders practised the art of government. The train was thus laid, and it seemed to require only a spark to ignite it; but a thick shower of sparks came from Paris, as if a furnace had been emptied by a hurricane. It would have been almost miraculous if there had been no explosions of disaffection in Great Britain in such circumstances as these.On the 12th of February Parliament was opened by a speech, not from the Prince Regent in person, but by commission, the commissioners being the[11] Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose, and the Earls Camden and Westmoreland. The speech was of the most belligerent character, recounting the success of our arms in the Indian seas, in repelling the attack of the Neapolitans on Sicily, and, above all, in the Peninsula. Lord Grenville opposed the address, considering the war as hopeless, and as mischievous to our interests. It was carried in both Houses without a division. Perceval, on the 21st, announced that the prince was desirous not to add any fresh burdens to the country in existing circumstances, and therefore declined any addition to his establishment as Regent.

In Italy nothing was done till late in the year. Towards the end of November, the French army, under Massena, commenced operations in earnest. The Austrians and Piedmontese being scattered over a wide extent of country, defending various passes, the French attacked and beat them from different points. The right and centre of the Allies were ere long routed; and the left, posted on the shores of the bay St. Pier d'Arena, near Genoa, was attacked, both from the land and from the water, by gunboats, which Nelson, who had been detached to co-operate with the Austrians, had no means of coping with, except by letting loose a far greater number of armed vessels, and was also compelled to flight. Nelson managed to keep open the Bochetta pass for them, or from eight thousand to ten thousand prisoners would have been made, including the Austrian General Devins himself, who was laid up at Novi, at the foot of the Apennines. The French were then in a position to open the campaign against Italy in the spring.On the 6th of November came down that fierce Russian winter of which Buonaparte had been so long vainly warned. A thick fog obscured everything, and snow falling in heavy flakes blinded and chilled the soldiers. Then commenced wild winds, driving the snow around their heads in whirls, and even dashing them to the earth in their fury. The hollows and ravines were speedily drifted full, and the soldiers by thousands disappeared in the deceitful depths, to reappear no more till the next summer revealed their corpses. Numbers of others fell exhausted by the way, and could only be discovered by their following comrades by the slight hillocks that their bodies made under the snow. Thus the wretched army struggled and stumbled to Smolensk, only to find famine and desolation, seeming to forget, in the mere name of a town, that it was now but a name, having been burnt by the Russians. On commencing this terrible march of the 6th of November Buonaparte received the ill news that there was insurrection in Paristhat produced by Mallet, but soon put down; and also that Wittgenstein had driven St. Cyr from Polotsk and Vitebsk, and reoccupied the whole course of the Düna. To clear his retreat of this obstruction, Buonaparte dispatched Victor to repulse Wittgenstein and support St. Cyr. But this was only part of the evil tidings which came in simultaneously with winter. Two thousand recruits from France, under Baraguay d'Hilliers, had been surprised and taken prisoners on the road to Kaluga, and other detachments in other quarters. On arriving at Smolensk Buonaparte's troops had acquired such a wild, haggard, and ragged appearance that the garrison at first refused to admit them; and many perished before they could be relieved from the stores. They had no shelter amid the terrible frost but wretched sheds, reared from half-burnt timber, against the fire-blackened walls.William IV. was welcomed to the Throne with great acclamation. Called "The Sailor King," he was endowed with many of the personal qualities which make the sailor's character popular with Englishmen. He had been Lord High Admiral, and in that capacity he had lately been moving about the coasts, making displays and enjoying ftes, although this was thought by some to be unseemly in the Heir Presumptive to the Throne, at a time when its occupant was known to be in a very infirm state of health. Heavy bills connected with these vainglorious displays were sent to the Treasury, which the Duke of Wellington endorsed with a statement that such expenses were not allowed. Although opinions differed about William very much, not only between the friends of Reform and the Conservatives, but between the leaders of the Liberal party themselves, he was esteemed the most popular king since the days of Alfred. William was certainly a more exemplary character than his brother. He had indeed formed an attachment to a celebrated actress, Mrs. Jordan, by whom he had a numerous family, one of whom was subsequently admitted to the ranks of the nobility with the title of Earl of Munster, and the others were raised to the dignity of younger sons of a marquis. He had, however, been married for several years to the Princess Adelaide, of Saxe-Meiningen, who became Queen of England, and adorned her exalted station by her virtues and her beneficence. They had two children, both of whom died in infancy; and as the king was in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the queen was not young, there was no longer any hope of a direct succession to the Throne. Altogether, Charles Greville's verdict on the king"something of a buffoon and more of a blackguard"is excessively severe. If eccentric and hot-tempered, William IV. was straightforward and upright. He had some knowledge of foreign affairs, and thoroughly understood his position as a constitutional king.

In the meantime the preparations for civil war went on steadily on both sides in Dublin, neither party venturing to interfere with the other. Lest the Government should not be able to subdue the rebellion with 10,000 troops in the strong points of the city, and artillery commanding the great thoroughfares, with loopholes for sharpshooters in every public building, an association was formed to provide loyal citizens with arms and combine them in self-defence. The committee of this body ordered six hundred stand of arms from the manufacturer, and also some thousands of knots of blue ribbon to be worn by the loyal on the night of the barricades. It was intimated that the Government would pay for those things, but as it did not, an action for the cost of the muskets was brought against a gentleman who went to inspect them. Circulars were sent round to the principal inhabitants, with directions as to the best means of defending their houses when attacked by the insurgents. There were instances in which the lower parts of houses were furnished with ball-proof shutters, and a month's provisions of salted meat and biscuits actually laid in. The Orange-menregarded with so much coldness by the Government in quiet timeswere now courted; their leaders were confidentially consulted by the Lord-Lieutenant; their addresses were gratefully acknowledged; they were supplied with muskets, and the certificate of the master of an Orange lodge was recognised by the police authorities as a passport for the importation of arms.Brazilian 0 10 0 66 0 0

Thus shamefully deserted on both hands, Cumberland still led forward his British and Hanoverians against the main body of the French army. The ruggedness of the ground in the[91] narrow valley between the wood of Barr and Fontenoy compelled them to leave the cavalry behind; but the infantry pushed on, dragging with them several pieces of artillery. Cumberland had the advantage of the advice and spirit of his military tutor, General Ligonier, and, in face of a most murderous fire, the young commander hastened on. The batteries right and left mowed them down, and before this comparative handful of men stood massed the vast French army, in a position pronounced by the French impregnable. The dense column of the English, compressed between the wood of Barr and Fontenoy, soon drove the French from their positions, and, still pushing on towards the rear of Fontenoy, threatened to cut off the bridge of Calonne, and with it the enemy's retreat across the river. Both French and English conceived that the battle was decided for the Allies. Marshal K?nigsegg congratulated Cumberland on their victory, and, on the other hand, Saxe warned Louis XV. that it was necessary to retreat. Louis, however, is said to have protested against giving way, and both French and English soon became aware that the Dutch had deserted their post, and that the right wing of the French army remained wholly unengaged. The British and Hanoverian conquerors on their right, when they mounted the French positions, looked out for their left wing, the Dutch, and, to their dismay, beheld them hanging with cowardly inactivity in the distance. The brave Marshal Saxe, at the same moment making the same discovery, called forward the Household Troops, which had been posted to receive the Dutch, and precipitated them on the flank of the British. Foremost in this charge was the Irish Brigade, in the pay of France, who fought like furies against their countrymen. Overwhelmed by numbers, and numbers perfectly fresh, and mowed down by additional artillery which the default of the Dutch had set at liberty, and unsupported by their own cavalry from the confined and rugged nature of the ground, the brave British and Hanoverians were compelled to give way. But they did it in such order and steadiness, disputing every inch of the ground, as excited the admiration of their opponents. The Duke of Cumberland was the last in the retreat, still regardless of his own danger, calling on his men to remember Blenheim and Ramillies; and seeing one of his officers turning to flee, he threatened to shoot him. Thus they gave way slowly, and still fighting, till they reached their horse, which then made a front to cover them, till they were out of the mle; their dastardly allies, the Dutch, then joined them, and they marched away in a body to Ath. Tournay, for which the battle was fought, might have detained the French a long time; but here, again, Dutch treachery did its work. Hertsall, the chief engineer in the Dutch service, betrayed the place to the French, fled to their camp, and then assisted them by his advice. Tournay surrendered in a fortnight, and the citadel the week after. Ghent, Bruges, Oudenarde, and Dendermond fell in rapid succession. Whilst the Allies were covering Antwerp and Brussels, the French attacked and took Ostend, again by the treachery of the governor, who refused to inundate the country.This put matters beyond all chance of mistake. The menace had such an effect on the aged Electress that she was taken ill and died suddenly in the arms of the Electoral Princess, afterwards Queen Caroline (May 28, 1714). Sophia was a very accomplished as well as amiable woman. She was perfect mistress of the German, Dutch, French, English, and Italian languages; and, notwithstanding the endeavours of the Jacobite party in England to render her ridiculous, had always maintained an elevated and honourable character. She was more of an Englishwoman than a German, and, had she lived a few weeks longer, would have hadaccording to her often avowed wish"Here lies Sophia, Queen of England," engraven on her coffin. The journey of the prince was wholly abandoned; not that the inclination of the prince for the journey was abated, nor that the Whigs ceased to urge it. Townshend, Sunderland, Halifax, and others pressed it as of the utmost importance; and both the Elector and his son wrote to the queen, assuring her that, had the prince been allowed to come, he would soon have convinced her Majesty of his desire to increase the peace and strength of her reign rather than to diminish them.The opening of the campaign on the Rhine in 1797 restored the positions of the French. On the lower part of the river, Hoche, who now commanded them, defeated General Kray; on the upper Rhine Moreau retook the fortress of Kehl,[459] opposite to Strasburg; and such was the alarm of Austria that she began to make overtures of peace. The fortunes of her army in Italy made these overtures more zealous; Alvinzi was defeated at Rivoli on the 14th of January, and Provera soon after surrendered with four thousand men, and Wurmser capitulated at Mantua. The Archduke Charles was now sent into Italy with another army, but it was an army composed of the ruins of those of Beaulieu, Alvinzi, Wurmser, and Davidowich, whilst it was opposed by the victorious troops of Buonaparte, now supported by a reinforcement of twenty thousand men under Bernadotte. The archduke, hampered by the orders of the Aulic Council in Vienna, suffered some severe defeats on the Tagliamento in March, and retreated into Styria, whither he was followed by Buonaparte. But the danger of a rising in his rear, where the Austrian General Laudon was again collecting numerous forces, induced Buonaparte to listen to the Austrian terms for peace. The preliminaries were signed on the 18th of April at Leoben, and Buonaparte, to bind the Emperor to the French cause, and completely to break his alliance with Britain, proposed to hand over to the Austrians the territory of Venice. This being effected, Buonaparte hurried back to seize and bind the promised victim. He took a severe vengeance on the people of Verona, who had risen against the French in his absence, and then marched to Genoa, where, under pretence of supporting the people in their demands for a Republic, he put down the Doge and Senate, set up a democratical provisional government, seized on all the ships, docks, arsenal, and storesin fact, took full possession. All further pretence of regard for the neutrality of Genoa was abandoned.

Thus baffled, he returned to Dublin, where he met with an enthusiastic reception. A meeting was held the next day to make arrangements for insuring his return for Clare. On the 1st of June O'Connell started for Ennis. All the towns he passed through turned out to cheer him on, with green boughs and banners suspended from the windows. He arrived at Nenagh in the night, and the town was quickly illuminated. Having travelled all night, he retired to rest at Limerick; and while he slept the streets were thronged with people anxious to get a glance at their "Liberator." A large tree of Liberty was planted before the hotel, with musicians perched on the branches playing national airs. The Limerick trades accompanied him in his progress towards Ennis, where his arrival was hailed with boundless enthusiasm, and where a triumphal car was prepared for him. Thus terminated a progress, during which he made twenty speeches, to nearly a million of persons. On the 30th of July O'Connell was a second time returned for Clare, on this occasion without opposition, and the event was celebrated with the usual demonstrations of joy and triumph."Rochefort, July 13th, 1815.So passed from a long possession of power a Minister who inaugurated a system of corruption, which was not so much abused by himself, as made a ready instrument of immeasurable mischief in the hands of his successors. Had Walpole used the power which he purchased with the country's money more arbitrarily and perniciously, the system must have come much sooner to an end. As it was, the evils which he introduced fell rather on posterity than on his own time.




Otherwise the prospect was dismal enough, and some of the greatest thinkers of the age were profoundly affected by the conviction that they were on the eve of a vast convulsionthat the end of the world was at hand, and that the globe was about to emerge into a new state of existence. The unsettled state of society accounts, in some measure, for the prevalence of the delusions of Edward Irvingthen in the height of his fame; delusions from which such minds as Dr. Arnold's did not wholly escape. In reply to inquiries about the gift of tongues, this great man wrote:"If the thing be real, I should take it merely as a sign of the coming day of the Lord. However, whether this be a real sign or no, I believe the day of the Lord is comingi.e. the termination of one of the great ages of the human race; whether the final one of all, or not, that, I believe, no created being knows, or can know.... My sense of the evils of the times, and to what purpose I am bringing up my children, is overwhelmingly bitter. All the moral and physical worlds appear so exactly to announce the coming of the great day of the Lordi.e. a period of fearful visitation, to terminate the existing state of thingswhether to terminate the whole existence of the human race, neither man nor angel knowsthat no entireness of private happiness can possibly close my mind against the sense of it."

But the Comprehension Bill was not so fortunate. Ten bishops, with twenty dignified clergymen, were appointed as a commission to make such alterations in the liturgy and canons, and such plans for the reformation of the ecclesiastical courts as, in their opinion, best suited the exigencies of the times, and were necessary to remove the abuses, and render more efficient the services of the Church. The list of these commissioners comprised such men as Tillotson, Stillingfleet, Sharp, Kidder, Hall, Tenison, and Fowler. They met in the Jerusalem Chamber, and began their labours preparatory to this great comprehensive bill. In order to sanction these changes, Convocation was summoned, and then the storm broke loose. The Jacobites and the discontented cried out they were going to pull the Church down; the High Churchmen declared it was a scheme to hand over the Church to the Presbyterians; the Universities cried that all the men engaged in the plan were traitors to the true faith, and the king himself was not spared. The High Churchmen who were included in the commission fled out of it amain, and Convocation threw out the whole reform as an abomination. Convocation having given this blow to all hopes of ecclesiastical reform, was prorogued to the 24th of January, 1690, and on the 6th of February was dissolved with the Parliament, nor was it suffered to meet again for business till the last year of the reign of William.



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