During this long period Sir Christopher had been busily employed in raising many other buildings; amongst these, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; St. Bride's; St. Swithin's; the Gateway Tower, Christ Church, Oxford; St. Antholin's, Watling Street; the palace at Winchester, never completed; Ashmolean Museum, and Queen's College Chapel, Oxford; St. James's, Westminster; St. Clement's, Eastcheap; St. Martin's, Ludgate Hill; St. Andrew's, Holborn; Christ Church, Newgate Street; Hampton Court Palace, an addition; Morden College, Blackheath; Greenwich Hospital; St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, tower and spire; Buckingham House, since pulled down; and Marlborough House.The affair was now becoming serious, and Hastings demanded to be heard at the bar, where he appeared on the 1st of May, and read a long and wearisome defence, which did not go to a denial of the charges, but a justification of them, from the need of money to save India, and from the approbation awarded to these actions both in India and at the India House. On the 1st of June Burke brought forward his first charge—the Rohilla war. The debate was not finished till seven o'clock on the morning of the 3rd. The motion was rejected by one hundred and nineteen against sixty-seven, and it was fondly hoped that the proceedings against Hastings were altogether crushed. Lord Thurlow advised the king to carry out his intention to make Hastings Baron Daylesford, and the talk in the clubs and West End assemblies was the triumph of Hastings. But the rejoicing was premature. On the 13th of June Fox took up the second charge—the treatment of Cheyte Sing and Francis, with all the bitterness of his character, and of his hatred of Hastings, supported it. So black were the facts now produced that Pitt was compelled to give way. He defended the Governor-General for calling on Cheyte Sing to contribute men and money for the war against Mysore; he lauded the firmness, decision and ability of Hastings, but he was forced to admit that he had been excessive in his demands, and must support the charge.Lord Londonderry, wearied with the labours of the Session, had retired to his country seat at North Cray Farm, near Bexley, in Kent, to recruit his strength, and prepare to take his part as the representative of England at the forthcoming Congress of Verona, which was to be held in October. There, on the 12th of August, he committed suicide by cutting the carotid artery with a penknife. Lord Eldon, in a letter on the subject, says:—"I learn, upon the best authority, that for two or three days he was perfectly insane; and the medical men attribute that fact to the operation upon his head of the unceasing attention to business which the last harassing Session (to him) called for." The disease would appear to have been coming on some time before; he had got the idea that he was beset by secret enemies—that he was the object of conspiracies. He was full of apprehension of being waylaid in the Park, and he felt that his life was every hour in danger. His mind gave way under the pressure of these morbid fears, and he put an end to his existence in the fifty-third year of his age. Impartial history, we think, will come to the conclusion that, with intellectual abilities not much above mediocrity, he owed his success as a statesman, in a great measure, to his fixity of purpose, and to his audacity, courage, and perseverance in adhering to his line of action in the midst of the most formidable difficulties; while the strength of his will was aided by a commanding person, an imperturbable temper, extreme affability, and winning frankness of manner. Of the policy of the Government in which he bore so long a leading part, it must be said that it was narrow, exclusive, jealous of popular rights, favourable to despotism abroad and at home, devoted to the interests of the Throne and the aristocracy, at the expense of social order and national progress. Such, at all events, was the impression of the majority of the nation, and the detestation in which the London populace held his character as a statesman was painfully evinced by the shouts of exultation which followed his coffin into Westminster Abbey, where it was deposited between the remains of Fox and Pitt. This conduct greatly shocked Lord Eldon. "This morning," he writes, "I have been much affected by attending Lord Londonderry to his grave. The concourse of people between St. James's Square and the Abbey was very great; the great bulk of them behaving decorously, some behaving otherwise; but I protest I am almost sorry to have lived till I have seen in England a collection of persons so brutalised as, upon the taking the coffin at the Abbey door out of the hearse, to have received it with cheering for joy that L. was no more. Cobbett and the paper called the Statesman have, by the diabolical publications he and that paper have issued, thus demoralised these wretches."
Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1829. The state of Ireland was the chief topic of the Royal Speech. The existence of the Catholic Association was referred to as inimical to the public peace; and its suppression was recommended, as a necessary preliminary to the consideration of the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics. This part of the Speech excited much interest, as preluding the great contest of the Session. On the 4th Mr. Peel had written to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, resigning his seat for the University, which he had won from Canning on the strength of his anti-Catholic principles. He need not have resigned, but he acted the more honourable part. Having offered himself for re-election, he was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who, after a contest which lasted three days, during which 1,364 votes were polled, was elected by a majority of 146. As one of the most numerous convocations ever held in Oxford had, in the previous year, by a majority of three to one, voted against concession to the Roman Catholics, it was a matter of surprise that the Home Secretary was not defeated by a larger majority. He secured a seat with some difficulty at Westbury. On the 10th, Mr. Peel, while still member for Oxford, introduced the first of the three measures intended for the pacification of Ireland—a Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association. As it was known to be an essential condition of granting Emancipation, there was little opposition to it either in Parliament or in Ireland. By it the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered to disperse the meetings of any association he thought dangerous to the public peace. The Bill quickly passed both Houses, and in a few days received the Royal Assent. Anticipating the action of the executive, the Association, on the 12th of February, dissolved itself, with the unanimous concurrence of the bishops, Mr. Sheil stating at the meeting that he was authorised to throw twenty-two mitres into the scale.
The effect was immediately shown by a rapid rise of prices, wheat becoming one hundred and three shillings a quarter. But this did not satisfy the land-owners, and Mr. Western, in 1816, introduced no less than fourteen resolutions to make more stringent the exclusion of foreign corn. It was openly declared "that excessive taxation renders it necessary to give protection to all articles, the produce of our own soil, against similar articles, the growth of foreign countries." Mr. Barham declared that "the country must be forced to feed its own population. No partial advantage to be derived from commerce could compensate for any deficiency in this respect. The true principle of national prosperity was an absolute prohibition of the importations of foreign agricultural produce, except in extreme cases;" and on this ground it was proposed to exclude foreign rape-seed, linseed, tallow, butter, cheese, etc.While an impulse was thus given to the mathematical theory of light in the University of Cambridge, similar progress was being made in the sister University of Dublin, where three of her most eminent professors—Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Dr. Lloyd, and Mr. M'Cullagh—devoted themselves energetically to its improvement and verification. Sir William Hamilton, a geometer of the first order, having undertaken a more complete discussion of the wave surface of Fresnel, to the equation of which he gave a more elegant form, ascertained the exact nature of that surface, and consequently the exact direction of refracted rays in the neighbourhood of the optic axes. The beautiful and unexpected results he obtained were verified by his friend Dr. Lloyd. The names of Sir William R. Hamilton and Dr. Lloyd will be handed down to posterity in connection with this discovery. "But," says Professor Forbes, "they have other claims to our respect. The former has generalised the most complicated cases of common geometrical optics, by a peculiar analysis developed in his essays on 'Systems of Rays.' To Dr. Lloyd we are indebted for several interesting experimental papers on optics, for an impartial review of the progress of the science, and for an excellent elementary treatise on the wave theory."
Mr. Canning had been offered the Governor-Generalship of India. Before his departure, he was resolved, if possible, to make a breach in the system of Parliamentary exclusiveness. On the 29th of March he gave notice of a motion to bring in a Bill for the admission of Roman Catholic peers to seats in Parliament, and on the following day supported it by a speech of great power of argument and brilliant eloquence, illustrating his position very happily from the case of the Duke of Norfolk, and his official connection with the ceremonial of the coronation. He asked, "Did it ever occur to the representatives of Europe, when contemplating this animating spectacle—did it occur to the ambassadors of Catholic Austria, of Catholic France, or of states more bigoted in matters of religion—that the moment this ceremony was over the Duke of Norfolk would become disseized of the exercise of his privileges amongst his fellow peers?—that his robes of ceremony were to be laid aside and hung up until the distant (be it a very distant!) day when the coronation of a successor to his present most gracious Sovereign might again call him forth to assist at a similar solemnisation?—that, after being thus exhibited to the eyes of the peers and people of England, and to the representatives of the princes and nations of the world, the Duke of Norfolk—highest in rank amongst the peers—the Lord Clifford, and others like him, representing a long line of illustrious ancestry, as if called forth and furnished for the occasion, like the lustres and banners that flamed and glittered in the scene, were to be, like them, thrown by as useless and trumpery formalities?—that they might bend the knee and kiss the hand, that they might bear the train or rear the canopy, might discharge the offices assigned by Roman pride to their barbarian ancestors—Indeed, Mr. O'Connell's agitating tour in the North of England and in Scotland was in effect a crusade against the Lords. In a speech which he addressed to an immense assemblage of the working classes of Manchester, he said, if there were only one House of Parliament, a majority of that House, perhaps a faction, might become the rulers of the entire nation. He was, therefore, for two Houses, but they should be honest and competent. Why should a man be a legislator because his father was one? It was as reasonable to expect that a man would be a good tailor on the hereditary principle. The Lords had proved themselves to be arrant botchers in the work of legislation. Were they to have 170 masters of that class? He then proceeded in this strain:—"Will you endure that any gang or banditti, I care not by what name you call them, should treat you contemptuously? In one word, I call them rogues. We must put down the House of Lords. Ye are miserable minions of power. Ye have no choice for yourselves till that House be thoroughly reformed. Let the king retain his prerogative of raising men to that rank and station to which they may be eligible. Let every 200,000 men in Great Britain and Ireland select one lord from this list; that will give you 120 for the 24,000,000; let them be re-eligible every five years, and you will have a steady Chamber." Still, the outrageous attacks of Mr. O'Connell gave much offence, and when, on his return to Dublin after his crusade, he was invited to dinner by the Lord-Lieutenant, a violent storm was raised against the Government, and the king was greatly indignant.
The Chambers were opened by the king on the 2nd of March, 1830, with a speech which conveyed a threat to the French nation. "If culpable man?uvres," he said, "should raise up against my Government obstacles which I do not wish to foresee, I shall find the power of surmounting them in my resolution to maintain the public peace, in my just confidence in Frenchmen, and in the love which they have always borne to their kings." The Chambers did not hesitate to express their want of confidence in the Government. The king having declared that his intentions were immutable, no alternative remained but a dissolution, as he was resolved to try once more whether a majority could be obtained by fair means or foul. In this last appeal to public opinion he was bitterly disappointed. It scarcely required a prophet to foresee the near approach of some great change; nor could the result of the impending struggle appear doubtful. Nine-tenths of the community were favourable to a constitutional system. Not only the working classes, but the mercantile and trading classes, as well as the professional classes, and all the most intelligent part of the nation, were decidedly hostile to the Government. In Paris the majority against the Ministerial candidates was seven or eight to one. The press, with scarcely an exception, was vehement in its condemnation of the policy of the Government, which came to the conclusion that it was not enough to abolish the Constitution, but that, in order to insure the success of a purely despotic régime, it was absolutely necessary to destroy the liberty of the press, and to put down journalism by force. Accordingly, a report on this subject was addressed to the king, recommending its suppression. It was drawn up by M. Chantelauze, and signed by De Polignac and five other Ministers.THE BAYONET CHARGE AT TALAVERA. (See p. 577.)
CHAPTER XIII. REIGN OF GEORGE III.—(continued).It may be as well to dispose here of the Irish Church question; for although Lord Morpeth, on the part of the Melbourne Administration, brought in a Bill for settling the Tithe question, which passed the House of Commons by a majority of 26 votes, and contained the appropriation clause—in the House of Lords this clause was struck out, and the Bill was otherwise altered in committee so materially that, when sent back to the Commons, they scarcely knew their own offspring. The Bill was therefore disowned, and thrown out."NO POPERY" RIOTERS ASSAULTING LORD MANSFIELD. (See p. 266.)
In the latest period scarcely any acting dramas were produced. Amongst the unacted tragedies, or such as were acted with no great success—being better fitted for private study—were Coleridge's "Remorse" and "Zapolya;" Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound" and "The Cenci;" Byron's "Cain," "Manfred," "Sardanapalus," etc.; Maturin's "Bertram," "Manuel," and "Fredolpho;" Joanna Baillie's "Plays on the Passions," "The Family Legend"—the last acted with some success at Edinburgh, through the influence of Sir Walter Scott, in 1810—Charles Lamb's "John Woodvill," Milman's "Fazio," and Walter Savage Landor's "Count Julian," "Andrea of Hungary," "Giovanni of Naples," "Fra Rupert," "The Siege of Ancona," etc., all masterly dramas, constituting a blaze of dramatic genius which, had it been adapted to the stage, would have given it a new grandeur at the close of this reign.The 25th was a day of extreme agitation among the surging masses of the Paris population. The Communistic party were struggling for ascendency, and for the establishment of the Republic. An immense multitude thronged the square in front of the H?tel de Ville, in such a state of excitement that Lamartine was obliged to come out and address them from the windows five times. They were vociferous and imperative in their demand that the red flag should float over the hotel, instead of the tricolour, which they required to be pulled down. To this demand Lamartine offered a courageous resistance, and by the magic of his eloquence he succeeded in arresting the torrent of popular passion, and turning its course. The multitude unanimously expressed their enthusiasm in cheering and clapping of hands, and the orator was almost suffocated by the pressure of the crowd, and the efforts of the people to shake hands with him. On the 26th the Provisional Government sat again at the H?tel de Ville, and proclaimed the result of their deliberations. It decreed the abolition of royalty, the proclamation of a republic, the establishment of national workshops for all who needed employment, and the abolition of the punishment of death for political offences. On the next day, which was Sunday, an immense multitude assembled at the Place de la Bastille, and there, on the steps of the Column of July, M. Arago again proclaimed the Republic in presence of the whole of the National Guard. Although the rain descended in torrents and the weather was boisterous, the people remained out of doors, and made the day a great festival, in honour of their victory. It was agreed that a Constituent Assembly should be chosen on the 9th of April, and should meet on the 20th; that the suffrage should be universal, and voting by ballot; that all Frenchmen twenty-one years of age should be electors; that all Frenchmen twenty-five years of age should be eligible; that the representatives should be 900 in number, and that each should be paid twenty-five francs a day during the Session.
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In Canada the management of the war was more successful. To maintain the war in that quarter, Congress had ordered nine regiments to be raised. One of these was to be raised in Canada itself, and for this purpose a commission was given to Moses Hazen, who had formerly been a captain of rangers, under Wolfe. He was not, however, very successful. The Canadians were not to any extent disaffected to the British Government, and by no means well affected to the New Englanders, who were bitterly bigoted against Catholics, which the Canadians chiefly were. When Hazen and Arnold saw that the Canadians would neither enlist nor bring provisions to their camps, without cash payment, they commenced plundering for all that they wanted, and thus confirmed that people in their hatred of the Americans. They, moreover, insulted the Canadians by ridiculing their rites of worship.A strong party, not satisfied with having destroyed Lord Mansfield's town house, set off to burn that at Caen Wood, near Highgate. They were met and turned back by a detachment of cavalry. They were equally disappointed in their intended sack of the Bank of England. They found this mine of wealth guarded by infantry, who had here orders to fire, and did it without scruple, killing and wounding a great many. They were more successful against the prisons. They broke open the King's Bench, the Fleet, the Marshalsea, and all the other prisons except the Poultry Compter, and set at liberty all the prisoners. Before the day had dawned, the whole sky was glaring with the light of conflagrations. The number of separate fires burning at the same time was counted up to thirty-six. Had the weather been stormy, the whole of London must have been laid in ashes; but, providentially, the weather was perfectly calm. The scene of the greatest catastrophe was at the distillery of a Mr. Langdale, on Holborn Bridge. This gentleman was a Catholic, and his stores of spirits were a violent temptation. They broke open his premises in the evening, and destroyed everything. They staved in his hogsheads of spirits, and others collected them in pails and in their hats, and drank voraciously. The kennel ran a mingled river of gin, brandy, and pure alcohol, and men, women, and children were seen on their knees sucking up the stream as it flowed! Fire was set to the premises, and catching the spirits which flooded the floors, the flames shot up to the sky like a volcano. The unhappy wretches, who had stupefied themselves with the fiery fluid, perished like flies in the raging element. No such scene of horror had been seen in all these spectacles of violence and crime. The loss of Mr. Langdale alone was estimated at one hundred thousand pounds.详情
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