BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. (See p. 570.)
"The Minister might ask Parliament for power to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, and to place all Ireland under military law. To ask for less would be ridiculous; because the Act against unlawful assemblies had failed, and, on account of its helplessness, was suffered to expire. Now, would Parliament grant such extensive powers to any Government merely that the Government might be enabled to debar his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects a little longer from enjoying equal political privileges with Protestants? The issue was very doubtful—perhaps it was not doubtful at all. Parliament would never grant such powers. But, assuming that the powers were given, what must follow?—a general insurrection, to be put down after much bloodshed and suffering, and then a return to that state of sullen discontent which would render Ireland, ten times more than she had ever been, a millstone round the neck of Great Britain, and by-and-by, when military law ceased, and the same measure of personal liberty was granted to Irishmen which the natives of England and Scotland enjoyed, a renewal of agitation, only in a more hostile spirit, and the necessity of either reverting again and again to measures of coercion, or of yielding at last what, upon every principle of humanity and common sense, ought not to have been thus far withheld. But the Minister, if the existing Parliament refused to give him the powers which he asked, might dissolve, and go to the country with a strong Protestant cry; and this cry might serve his purpose in England and Scotland. Doubtless; but what would occur in Ireland?—the return of Roman Catholic members in the proportion of four to one over Protestants, and the virtual disfranchisement thereby of four-fifths of the Irish people. Would Ireland submit quietly to any law carried against herself in a House of Commons so constituted? Was it not much more probable that a dissolution would only lead to the same results which had been shown to be inevitable in the event of the existing Parliament acquiescing in the Ministers' views? And was there not, at all events, a chance that the electors, even, of England and Scotland, might refuse to abet a policy so pregnant with danger to themselves and to the commonwealth? But why move at all? Mr. O'Connell had been elected by the priests and rabble of Clare to represent them in Parliament. Let him retain this empty honour; or, better still, let him be summoned by a call of the House to the bar, and, on his refusal to take the oaths, issue a new writ, and go to a new election. In the first place, Mr. O'Connell could not be forced to attend to a call of the House, such call being obligatory only on members chosen at a general election; and in the next, if he did attend, what then? As soon as the new writ was issued, he would take the field again as a candidate, and again be elected; and so the game would continue to be played, till a dissolution occurred, when all those consequences of which we have elsewhere spoken would inevitably come to pass."An address, founded on this resolution, was carried to the king, who faithfully kept the word he had given nearly three years before. Chatham had then, through Lord North, sought to get his own pension continued to his second son, William Pitt, afterwards the celebrated Minister. On that occasion, George III. had declared that the conduct of Chatham of late had totally obliterated any sense of gratitude for his former merits; but that, when decrepitude or death should put an end to him as a trumpet of sedition, he would not punish the children for the father's sins, but would place the second son's name where Chatham's had been. He now consented to that; an annuity bill settled four thousand pounds a-year on the heirs of Chatham to whom the title should descend, which received the sanction of Parliament; and the Commons, moreover, voted twenty thousand pounds to pay the deceased Earl's debts. Both these motions passed the House of Commons unanimously; but, in the Upper House, the Duke of Chandos attacked the grants, and condemned severely the custom of loading the country with annuities in perpetuity. The bill was, however, carried by forty-two votes to eleven, though four noble Lords entered a protest against it, namely, Lord Chancellor Bathurst, the Duke of Chandos, Lord Paget, and Markham, Archbishop of York.
From the 11th of February to the 1st of March the struggle went on, many endeavours being made, but without effect, to come to an agreement between the parties. On the last day Fox moved that an Address be carried up to the king by the whole House, representing the violence done to the Constitution by a Minister retaining his place after a vote of want of confidence by the Commons, and insisting strongly on the right and duty of that House to advise his Majesty on the exercise of his prerogative. Pitt replied that, by attempting to force the king to decide contrary to his judgment, they were placing the sceptre under the mace; but the resolution was carried by a majority, though of twelve only, and on the 4th the Address was carried up, when the king repeated that his sentiments remained the same. Fox, on the return of the House, moved that this answer should not be taken into consideration before the 8th, and till then the Mutiny Bill should remain in abeyance. His object was to stave off a dissolution until the 25th, when the Mutiny Bill expired. By refusing to renew it, he hoped to force his rival to resign. The House on the 8th was excessively crowded, for a very warm debate was anticipated. When it came to divide about midnight, Fox was found to have carried his resolution, but only by a majority of one. This was the climax of defeat. The once triumphant Opposition saw that all was over with them, and they gave up the contest.One of the pioneers of the science of political economy at this time was Dr. Davenant, the son of Sir William Davenant, the poet. He had no genius for drawing principles and theories from accumulated facts, but he was a diligent collector of them, and his porings amongst State documents and accounts have served essentially the historians and political economists of our day.
Connaught 1,418,859 1,465,643 745,652 526,048
These occurrences in Ireland led to hostile demonstrations against the Government in Parliament. On the 7th of March Mr. Shaw, the Recorder of Dublin, as the representative of the Irish Protestants, commenced the campaign by moving for returns of the number of committals, convictions, inquests, rewards, and advertisements for the discovery of offenders in Ireland from 1835 to 1839, in order to enable the House to form a judgment with regard to the actual amount and increase of crime in that country. The debate was adjourned till the following Monday, when it was resumed by Mr. Lefroy, after which the House was counted out, and the question dropped; but it was taken up in the Lords on the 21st of March, when Lord Roden moved for a select Committee of inquiry on the state of Ireland since 1835, with respect to the commission of crime. His speech was a repetition of the usual charges, and the debate is chiefly worthy of notice on account of the elaborate defence by Lord Normanby of his Irish administration. "I am fully aware," said the noble marquis, "of the awful responsibility that would lie upon my head if these charges rested upon evidence at all commensurate with the vehemence of language and earnestness of manner with which they have been brought forward; but they rest upon no such foundation. I am ready, with natural indignation, to prove now, on the floor of this House, that I have grappled with crime wherever I have found it, firmly and unremittingly, and have yielded to none of my predecessors in the successful vindication of the laws." Among the mass of proofs adduced by Lord Normanby, he quoted a vast number of judges' charges, delivered from time to time between 1816 and 1835, which presented only one continuously gloomy picture of the prevailing practice of violence and atrocious outrage. Passing from this melancholy record, he proceeded to refer to numerous addresses of judges delivered on similar occasions since 1835. All of these contained one common topic of congratulation—the comparative lightness of the calendar—a circumstance, the noble marquis argued, which went far to establish his position, however it might fail to prove the extinction of exceptional cases of heinous crime. With regard to the wholesale liberation of prisoners, Lord Normanby distinctly denied that he had set free any persons detained for serious offences without due inquiry; or that any persons were liberated, merely because he happened to pass through the town, who would not have met with the same indulgence upon facts stated in memorials. "No; this measure," he insisted, "had been adopted upon the conviction that, in the peculiar case of Ireland, after severity had been so often tried, mercy was well worth the experiment. It was one which was not lightly to be repeated; but while he had received satisfactory evidence of the success of the measure, it was in his power to produce the testimony of judges with whom he had no political relations, to the pains taken in the examination of each case, and the deference shown to their reports."That very day General Smith reached Corregaum in force, and at this apparition the Peishwa fled back towards the sources of the Kistnah, whence he had descended. Not only General Smith, but Brigadier-General Pritzler and Colonel Boles kept up the pursuit, advancing from different quarters, as the slippery Mahratta chief turned and man?uvred. At length weary of the chase, they determined to reduce Satara, his capital, and then each of his strong forts and towns one after another, thus depriving him of supplies, and leaving him no place of refuge or subsistence. Satara surrendered to General Smith on the 10th of February, the same day that he appeared before it. As one place after another fell, Gokla, the Peishwa's general, made an effort to arrest this process of reduction, and this enabled General Smith to attack him on the 20th of February, at Ashtee, where he completely routed him. Gokla himself was killed, and the Peishwa only escaped by abandoning his palanquin and mounting a horse. General Smith and Lieutenant Warrand were wounded, but not a man was killed on the British side. Great booty was taken, including twelve elephants and fifty-seven camels.
Napier, in his "History of the Peninsular War," describes the scene with the enthusiasm of a soldier:—"Such a gallant line issuing from the smoke, and rapidly separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the enemy's heavy masses, which were increasing and pressing onwards as to an assured victory. They wavered, hesitated, and then, vomiting forth a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through the British ranks. Sir William Myers was killed; Cole, and three colonels—Ellis, Blakeney, and Hawkshawe—fell wounded; and the Fusilier battalions, struck by the iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships. Suddenly and sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights. In vain did Soult, by voice and gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans, extricating themselves from the crowded columns, sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open out on such a fair field; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and, fiercely arising, fire indiscriminately on friends and foes, while the horsemen, hovering on the flank, threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm, weakened the stability of their order. Their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their front; their measured step shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away the head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd, as foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the French reserves, joining with the struggling multitudes, endeavour to sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable confusion, and the mighty mass, giving way like a loosened cliff, went headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured with blood, and one thousand five hundred unwounded men—the remnant of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers—stood triumphant on the fatal hill." The loss on both sides was fearful, for no battle had ever been more furiously contested. The French are said to have lost nine thousand men; the allies, in killed and wounded, seven thousand, of whom two-thirds were British. The French had two generals killed and three wounded. Some persons were inclined to blame Marshal Beresford for risking a battle in the circumstances; but Wellington gave him the highest praise, and declared that the frightful loss was owing to the utter failure of the Spaniards; that their discipline was so bad that it was found impossible to move them without throwing them into inextricable confusion; that at both Talavera and Albuera the enemy would have been destroyed if the Spaniards could have been moved; and that the same course had prevented Lape?a from supporting Graham at Barrosa. Beresford maintained his position for two days in expectation of a fresh attack by Soult; but, no doubt, that general had heard that Lord Wellington was rapidly advancing to support Beresford; and on the morning of the 18th Soult commenced his retreat to Seville. With his small handful of cavalry Beresford pursued him, and cut off a considerable number of his rear, and, amongst them, some of the cavalry itself at Usagnè, taking about a hundred and fifty of them prisoners. Had we had a proper body of horse, the slaughter of the flying army would have been awful. Soult did but quit the ground in time; for, the very day after, Wellington arrived at Albuera with two fresh divisions.On the 3rd of December Buonaparte announced to his officers his intention to leave them and make the best of his way to Paris. He pleaded the state of affairs there, and especially the conspiracy of Mallet; but he was now approaching the frontiers of Prussia, and as he knew that he had declared that, if he returned successful, he would deprive Frederick William altogether of his crown, he was as apprehensive of that monarch as of the Russians themselves.
But the smoothness was only on the surface—beneath were working the strongest political animosities and the most selfish desires. The little knot of aristocratic families which had so long monopolised all the sweets of office, now saw with indignation tribes of aspirants crowding in for a share of the good things. The aspirants filled the ante-chamber of Bute, the angry and disappointed resorted to Newcastle, who was in a continual state of agitation by seeing appointments given to new men without his knowledge; members rushing in to offer their support to Government at the next election, who had hitherto stood aloof, and were now received and encouraged.When Parliament met on the 20th of February, this conspiracy was laid before it and excited great indignation. The two Houses voted cordial addresses to his Majesty, and for a while there was an air of harmony. But the fires of discontent were smouldering beneath the surface, and, on a motion being made in April, in consequence of a royal message, to grant the king an extraordinary Supply in order to enable his Majesty to contract alliances with foreign powers, that he might be prepared to meet any attempts at invasion which the Swedes might, after all, be disposed to make, the heat broke forth. The Supply moved for was fixed at two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. It was expected that Walpole, having had his name suspiciously mentioned in Gyllenborg's correspondence, would take this opportunity to wipe off all doubt by his zeal and co-operation. On the contrary, he never appeared so lukewarm. Both he and his brother Horace, indeed, spoke in favour of the Supply, but coldly; and Townshend and all their common friends openly joined the Tories and Jacobites in voting against it; so that it was carried only by a majority of four. This could not pass; and the same evening Stanhope, by the king's order, wrote to Townshend, acknowledging his past services, but informing him that he was no longer Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.By these endeavours Walpole managed to array a considerable body of the Commons against it. It was introduced on the 8th of December, and Sir John Pakington, Sir Richard Steele, Smith, Methuen, and others joined him in attacking it. Steele made a very powerful speech against it, but the grand assault was that of Walpole. He put out all his strength, and delivered a harangue such as he had never achieved till that day. He did not spare the motives of the king, though handling them with much tact, and was unsparingly severe on the Scottish clauses, and on the notorious subserviency of the Scottish representative peers. He declared that the sixteen elective Scottish peers were already a dead weight on the country; and he asked what they would be when made twenty-five, and hereditary? He declared that such a Bill would make the lords masters of the king, and shut up the door of honour to the rest of the nation. Amongst the Romans, he said, the way to the Temple of Fame was through the Temple of Virtue; but if this Bill passed, such would never be the case in this country. There would be no arriving at honours but through the winding-sheet of an old, decrepit lord, or the tomb of an extinct noble family. Craggs, Lechmere, Aislabie, Hampton, and other Ministerial Whigs supported the Bill; but, in the words of Speaker Onslow, the declamation of Walpole had borne down everything before it, and the measure was defeated by a majority of two hundred and sixty-nine to one hundred and seventy-seven.
Much opposition was excited by the part of Mr. Stanley's letter to the Duke of Leinster which spoke of "encouraging" the clergy to give religious instruction, and requiring the attendance of the scholars at their respective places of worship on Sunday to be registered by the schoolmaster. This was treading on religious ground, and committing both Protestants and Catholics to the actual support of what they mutually deemed false. But the Government were driven to this course by the cry of "infidelity" and "atheism" which the new plan encountered as soon as it was proposed in Parliament. Explanations were afterwards issued by authority, showing that the "encouragement" of religious instruction meant only granting "facility of access" to the children out of school hours, not "employing or remunerating" the teachers. The Commissioners very properly treated the Bible as a book for religious instruction; but so far from offering the sacred volume an "indignity," or "forbidding" its use, they said: "To the religious instructors of the children they cheerfully leave, in communicating instruction, the use of the sacred volume itself, as containing those doctrines and precepts a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion." To obviate every cavil, however, as far as possible, without departing from the fundamental principle of the Board, it was arranged that the Bible might be read at any hour of the day, provided the time was distinctly specified, so that there should be no suspicion of a desire to take advantage of the presence of Roman Catholics. This satisfied the Presbyterians, who nearly all placed their schools in connection with the Board. But the great body of the Established clergy continued for some time afterwards hostile, having put forward the Church Education Society as a rival candidate for Parliamentary recognition and support. Its committee declared that the national system was "essentially defective" in permitting the Catholic children to refuse the Bible. They said this permission "involves a practical indignity to the Word of God," and that it was "carrying into effect the discipline of the Church of Rome, in restricting the use of the inspired writings." This was the grand charge against the Board, the vital point in the controversy.
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, LONDON, AND LUDGATE HILL, AS IT WAS.During these disgraceful days the Church-and-King party took no measures to prevent the destruction of the property of Dissenters. Noblemen, gentlemen, and magistrates rode in from the country on pretence of doing their duty, but they did little but sit and drink their wine, and enjoy the mischief. They could have called out the militia at once, and the mob would have been scattered like leaves before the wind; but they preferred to report the outbreak to the Secretary-at-War, and, after the time thus lost, three troops of the 15th Light Dragoons, lying at Nottingham, were ordered to march thither. But the arrival of the Light Dragoons showed what might have been done at first if the magistrates had been so minded. The mob did not stay even to look at the soldiers; at their very name they vanished, and Birmingham, on Monday morning, was as quiet as a tomb. Government itself took a most indifferent leisure in the matter. It did not issue a proclamation from the Secretary of State's office till the 29th, when it offered one hundred pounds for the discovery and apprehension of one of the chief ringleaders.
At the very time that these measures were occupying the British Parliament, the Bostonians were driving affairs to a crisis. In nearly all the seaports committees were in active operation for examining all cargoes of ships, and reporting the result. These committees also kept a keen observation on each other, and visited publicly any that appeared lukewarm. Boston, as usual, distinguished itself most prominently in this business. Regular meetings were held in Faneuil Hall, and votes passed denouncing all who dared to import the prohibited goods. Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson exerted himself to form an association amongst the traders in opposition to these anti-importers, but he tried in vain. They insisted that the merchants who had imported goods in their shops and warehouses should be compelled to ship them back to those who had sent them. One merchant, more stubborn than the rest, was immediately waited on by a deputation, headed by an axeman and a carpenter, as if prepared to behead and bury him; and he was told that a thousand men awaited his decision, and they could not be answerable for his safety if he refused to comply.详情
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