"London, December 28, 1828.
The very Dames des Halles, the market women, took up the word against them. They sang a song with much vivacity, "Donnez-nous notre paire de gants,"—equivalent in pronunciation to notre père de Ghent, that is, Louis, who was then residing at Ghent. None but the very lowest of the population retained the old illusions respecting him. In such circumstances, not even his new Constitution could satisfy anybody. It was very much the same as Louis XVIII. had sworn to in 1814. It granted free election of the House of Representatives, which was to be renewed every five years; the members were to be paid; land and other taxes were to be voted once a year; ministers were to be responsible; juries, right of petition, freedom of worship, inviolability of property, were all established. But Buonaparte destroyed the value of these concessions by publishing this, not as a new Constitution, but as "an additional Act" to his former Constitution. The word "additional" meant everything, for it proclaimed that all the despotic decrees preceding this fresh declaration were still in force, and thus it neutralised or reduced these concessions to a mere burlesque.
On the fifth night of the debate Sir Robert Peel rose to speak in defence of his policy against these attacks of his enemies. It was already ten o'clock, and the House listened to him for three hours. He spoke with remarkable warmth and energy, and overpowered his opponents with the unanswerable truths of political economy, and with humorous demonstrations of the fallacies in which the Protectionist speakers had indulged. In concluding he said, "This night is to decide between the policy of continued relaxation of restriction, or the return to restraint and prohibition. This night you will select the motto which is to indicate the commercial policy of England. Shall it be 'Advance!' or 'Recede'?" The division took place on the 27th (or rather on the 28th) of February, at twenty minutes to three in the morning, when the numbers for the motion were—337; against it, 240; leaving a majority for going into committee of 97.
(From a Drawing by Gravelot engraved by W. J. White.)
In 1732 the new colony of Georgia was founded by General Oglethorpe, and became a silk-growing country, exporting, by the end of this period, 10,000 pounds of raw silk annually.
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.Another attempt of the French to draw the attention of Wellington from Massena was made by Mortier, who marched from Badajoz, of which Soult had given him the command, entered Portugal, and invested Campo Mayor, a place of little strength, and with a very weak garrison. Marshal Beresford hastened to its relief at the head of twenty thousand men, and the Portuguese commandant did his best to hold out till he arrived; but he found this was not possible, and he surrendered on condition of marching out with all the honours of war. Scarcely, however, was this done when Beresford appeared, and Mortier abruptly quitted the town, and made all haste back again to Badajoz, pursued by the British cavalry. Mortier managed to get across the Guadiana, and Beresford found himself stopped there by a sudden rising of the water and want of boats. He had to construct a temporary bridge before he could cross, so that the French escaped into Badajoz. Mortier then resigned his command to Latour Maubourg, and the British employed themselves in reducing Oliven?a, and some other strong places on the Valverde river, in the month of April. Lord Wellington made a hasty visit to the headquarters of Marshal Beresford, to direct the operations against Badajoz, but he was quickly recalled by the news that Massena had received reinforcements, and was in full march again to relieve the garrison in Almeida. Wellington, on the other hand, had reduced his army by sending reinforcements to Beresford, so that while Massena entered Portugal with forty thousand foot and five thousand cavalry, Wellington had, of British and Portuguese, only thirty-two thousand foot and about one thousand two hundred horse. This force, too, he had been obliged to extend over a line of seven miles in length, so as to guard the avenues of access to Almeida. The country, too, about Almeida was particularly well adapted for cavalry, in which the French had greatly the superiority. Notwithstanding, Wellington determined to dispute his passage. He had no choice of ground; he must fight on a flat plain, and with the Coa flowing in his rear. His centre was opposite to Almeida, his right on the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, and his left on fort Concepcion.
After the flight from Ballingarry, and the desertion of his followers, Smith O'Brien abandoned the cause in despair, and concealed himself for several days among the peasantry in a miserable state of mind. He had none of the qualities of a rebel chief, and he had not at all calculated the exigencies of the position that he had so rashly and criminally assumed, involving the necessity of wholesale plunder and sanguinary civil strife, from which his nature shrank. Besides, he soon found that the people would not trust a Protestant leader, and that there was, after all, no magic in the name of O'Brien for a Roman Catholic community. But to the honour of the peasantry it should be spoken, that though many of them were then on the verge of starvation, not one of them yielded to the temptation of large rewards to betray him or his fugitive colleagues, and several of them ran the risk of transportation by giving them shelter. In these circumstances, on the 5th of August, Mr. O'Brien walked from his hiding-place in Keeper Mountain into Thurles, where he arrived about eight o'clock in the evening. He went immediately to the railway station to procure a ticket for Limerick. On the platform there were seventeen constables in plain clothes, who did not know him; but a railway guard named Hulme, an Englishman, recognised him, and tapping him on the shoulder, he presented a pistol at him and said, "You are the Queen's prisoner." A strong escort of police was immediately procured, and the prisoner was conveyed in a special train to Dublin, where he was lodged in Kilmainham gaol.BENJAMIN DISRAELI.On the 10th of February, 1797, the French made a descent on the Welsh coast, which created much alarm at the time, and no less speculation as to its meaning. Four armed vessels, containing about fourteen hundred men, had appeared in the Bristol Channel, off Ilfracombe, in north Devon. They did not attempt to land there, but stood over to the Welsh coast, and landed in a bay near Fishguard. They were commanded by General Tate, and commenced marching inland, and the whole country was in alarm. Lord Cawdor marched against them with three thousand men, including a considerable body of militia, and they at once laid down their arms and surrendered without a shot. Many were the conjectures as to the object of this descent, and historians have much puzzled themselves about a matter which appears plain enough. The men looked ragged and wild, more like felons than soldiers, and were apparently not unwilling to be made prisoners. They were, no doubt, a part of the great Brest fleet meant for Ireland, which had been driven about by the tempests ever since they quitted that port on the 17th of December, and were only too glad to set foot on any land at all, and probably were by this time so famished and bewildered that they did not know whether they were in England or Ireland. Many of their comrades of the same unfortunate expedition never did see land again.
"When corn is at 59s., and under 60s., the duty at present is 27s. 8d. When corn is between those prices, the duty I propose is 13s. When the price of corn is at 50s. the existing duty is 36s. 8d., increasing as the price falls; instead of which I propose, when corn is at 50s. that the duty shall only be 20s., and that that duty shall in no case be exceeded. At 56s. the existing duty is 30s. 8d.; the duty I propose at that price is 16s. At 60s. the existing duty is 26s. 8d.; the duty I propose at that price is 12s. At 63s. the existing duty is 23s. 8d.; the duty I propose is 9s. At 64s. the existing duty is 22s. 8d.; the duty I propose is 8s. At 70s. the existing duty is 10s. 8d.; the duty I propose is 5s. Therefore it is impossible to deny, on comparing the duty which I propose with that which exists at present, that it will cause a very considerable decrease of the protection which the present duty affords to the home grower, a decrease, however, which in my opinion can be made consistently with justice to all the interests concerned."
The Girondists were, at the opening of the year 1792, vehemently urging on war against the Emigrants and the Emperor of Germany. Just at this crisis, as we have seen, Leopold of Austria died, and was succeeded by his nephew, Francis II.; and war became more inevitable, for Francis had not the same pacific disposition as Leopold, and the Gironde was bent on war. The internal condition of France also seemed to indicate that there must soon be war abroad or civil war at home. The Ministers were at variance; the Jacobins and Girondists were coming to an open and desperate feud; the people, both in Paris and throughout the country, were excited by the Jacobin publications to the utmost pitch of fury against the Royalists and the priests.Whilst these things were happening, and but two days before the mail arrived bringing the news of the defeat at Closter-Campen, George II. died. He had, till within the last two years, enjoyed robust health. He had then a severe attack of gout, and from that time his eyes and hearing had failed. On the morning of the 25th of October he rose at his usual hour of six, drank his chocolate, inquired how the wind was, being anxious for the arrival of the mails, and then suddenly fell, uttered a groan, and expired. He was seventy-seven years of age.Thus ended the rebellion of 1848, which had so long kept the country in a state of alarm. It is true that some of the leaders headed small bodies of insurgents in the county of Waterford, and attacked several police barracks, but in none of the affrays were the insurgents successful. The police, who were not more than one to fifty of the rebels, routed them in every instance without any loss of life on their part. The constabulary were then 10,000 strong in Ireland, and Smith O'Brien confidently counted upon their desertion to his ranks; but though the majority of the force were Roman Catholics, they were loyal to a man. Dillon and O'Gorman had escaped to France, but Terence McManus, a fine young man, who had given up a prosperous business as a broker in Liverpool, to become an officer in the "Army of Liberation," was arrested in an American vessel proceeding from Cork to the United States. A special commission for the trial of the prisoners was opened on the 21st of September, at Clonmel, high treason having been committed in the county Tipperary.详情
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