The troops of Austria were already in Bavaria on the 21st of August. They amounted to eighty thousand men, under the nominal command of the Archduke Ferdinand—a prince of high courage and great hopes—but really under that of General Mack, whose utter incapacity had not been sufficiently manifested to Austria by his miserable failures in the Neapolitan campaign, and who was still regarded in Germany as a great military genius. His army had been posted behind the Inn, in the country between the Tyrol and the Danube, into which the Inn falls at Passau. This was a strong frontier, and had the Austrians waited there till the arrival of the Russians, they might have made a powerful stand. But Mack had already advanced them to the Lech, where again he had a strong position covering Munich. Meanwhile, the Archduke Charles, Austria's best general, was posted in the north of Italy, with another eighty thousand men, and the Archduke John in the Tyrol with an inferior force. Such were the positions of the Austrian armies when Mack was invading Bavaria, and Buonaparte was preparing to crush him.The fear of the Russians being removed, the king was impatient to get the Treaty with France ratified both by England and Holland. As there was some delay on the part of Holland, Stanhope proposed to comply with the king's desire, that the Treaty should be signed, without further waiting for the Dutch, but with the agreement on both sides that they should be admitted to sign as soon as they were ready. Dubois was to proceed to the Hague, and there sign the Treaty in form with our plenipotentiaries at that place, Lord Cadogan and Horace Walpole. But these ministers had repeatedly assured the States that England would never sign without them, and Horace Walpole now refused to consent to any such breach of faith. He declared he would rather starve, die, do anything than thus wound his honour and conscience; that he should regard it as declaring himself villain under his own hand. He said he would rather lay his patent of reversion in the West Indies, or even his life, at his Majesty's feet, than be guilty of such an action, and he begged leave to be allowed to return home. Townshend, for a moment, gave in to the proposition for not waiting for the Dutch, but immediately recalled that opinion; and he drew the powers of the plenipotentiaries for signing so loosely, that Dubois declined signing upon them. As we have said, the ratification did not take place till January, 1717, and after great causes of difference had arisen between Townshend and Stanhope. So greatly did Stanhope resent the difference of opinion in Townshend, that he offered his resignation to the king, who refused to accept it, being himself by this time much out of humour with both Townshend and Robert Walpole, the Paymaster of the Forces.
On the withdrawal of Melville, Whitbread moved for his impeachment, and Mr. Bond for his prosecution in the ordinary courts of law, and this amendment was carried. But Melville preferred impeachment to a trial at common law. Mr. Bond was induced to withhold any further procedure in consequence of his motion, and Mr. Leycester, one of Melville's friends, made a fresh motion for impeachment, which was carried, and on the 26th of June Whitbread, accompanied by a great number of members, impeached him at the bar of the House of Lords. A Bill was also passed through both Houses regulating the course of his impeachment. The impeachment itself, owing to very important events, including the death of Pitt, was not proceeded with till April, 1806. On the 10th of July Lord Sidmouth and the Earl of Buckinghamshire resigned. It was supposed that difference of opinion regarding Lord Melville's case was the cause, and the surmise was correct, Addington taking strong exception to the appointment of Sir Charles Middleton, a very old man, to succeed Melville. Lord Camden succeeded Sidmouth, and Lord Harrowby Lord Buckinghamshire. Castlereagh obtained Camden's post of Secretary of Colonial Affairs. This secession weakened Pitt's Ministry considerably. On the 12th of July Parliament was prorogued, but a message was sent down to the House to enable his Majesty to carry out some arrangements in the north of Europe, which were necessary for the security and independence of Britain, and a sum, in addition to the large supplies already granted, was voted, which was not to exceed three millions and a half.Far greater, however, as the wielder of human sympathies by the recital of wrongs and oppression, was William Godwin in his "Caleb Williams" and "St. Leon." "Caleb Williams" is a model for narrative: lively, clear, simple yet strong, moving in a rapid career—in fine contrast to the slow, wire-drawn progress of the later three-volume novel—till it winds up in an intensity of sensation. Then came Miss Burney, better known as Madame D'Arblay, with her "Evelina," "Cecilia," and "Camilla," returning again to the details of social life. Afterwards came Dr. John Moore with "Zeluco," etc.; Mrs. Inchbald with her charming "Simple Story;" Mrs. Opie with "The Father and Daughter" in 1801, followed by various other novels; and in the same year Miss Edgeworth commenced her splendid career with "Belinda," and in the next year "Castle Rackrent." To this period also belongs Lady Morgan with her "Wild Irish Girl," though she continued to live and write long after this reign.A new Ministry was appointed with Prince Schwarzenberg at its head, and on the 2nd of December the Emperor Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph, whose father Francis Charles, next in succession, renounced his claim to the throne. The retiring emperor stated that the pressure of events, and the immediate want of a comprehensive reformation in the forms of State, convinced him that more youthful powers were necessary to complete the grand work which he had commenced. The real reason was that Lord Palmerston, who in his private correspondence held the Emperor to be "next thing to an idiot," had been constantly advising him to resign his sceptre into firmer hands. The young Emperor, in his proclamation, expressed his conviction of the value of free institutions, and said that he entered with confidence on the path of a prosperous reformation of the monarchy.
On the 1st of February, 1831, the Birmingham Political union held its anniversary. It had been established some years, first to denounce the circulation of a metallic currency, and then for the purpose of agitating for Reform, organised somewhat on the principle of the Irish Catholic Association, and exerting a mighty influence on public opinion in the northern counties. Mr. Attwood stated that at this time it had on its books 9,000 members, paying from 4s. to ￡2 2s. a year each. Other unions of a similar kind were established in many cities and towns throughout the kingdom.Sheridan marked the opening of the year 1795 by moving, on the 5th of January, for the repeal of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. He showed that the very grounds on which this suspension had been based had miserably given way on the trials of Tooke, Hardy, and the rest; that the whole amount of arms and money on which the so-called "formidable" conspiracy had rested had been shown to be one pike, nine rusty muskets, and a fund of nine pounds and one bad shilling! He said that the great thing proved was the shameful conspiracy of the Government against the people, and their infamous employment of spies for that end; that eight thousand pounds had been spent on the Crown lawyers, and a hundred witnesses examined, only to expose the guilt of the Ministry. Windham defended the measures of Government, and charged the juries with ignorance and incapacity, for which Erskine severely reprimanded him. But the standing majorities of Pitt were inaccessible to argument, and the continuance of the suspension was voted by a majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against fifty-three. A like result attended the debate in the Lords, where, however, the Dukes of Norfolk and Bedford, the Marquis of Lansdowne, and the Earls of Lauderdale and Guildford strongly opposed the suspension.Imagining that the crowd would now disperse, the soldiers were dismissed, and the magistrates returned home. But this was premature. There were shoals of hot-headed fanatics, who were not willing to depart without some damage inflicted on the Catholics. One division of these attacked the Bavarian chapel in Warwick Lane, Golden Square, and another attacked the Sardinian chapel in Duke Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, destroyed their interiors, and set them on fire. The engines arrived only in time to see a huge bonfire before the Sardinian chapel made of its seats, and both chapels too far in flames to be stopped; indeed, the mob would not allow the engines to play. The soldiers, too, arrived when it was too late to do anything, but seized thirteen of the rioters.
Before the re-assembling of Parliament the new Ministers had done all in their power to arouse a "No Popery!" cry in the country, because they intended to advise a dissolution of Parliament—although this had only sat four months—in order to bring in a more anti-Catholic and anti-Reform body. On the 9th of April, the day following the meeting of Parliament, Mr. Brand moved a resolution, that it was contrary to the first duties of the confidential advisers of the Crown to bind themselves by any pledge to refrain from offering the king such counsel as might seem necessary to the welfare of the kingdom. The new Ministers, who had entered office without any such pledge being demanded, for their sentiments were too well known to the king, yet, seeing that this resolution was the first of a series intended to end in a vote of want of confidence in them, at once opposed it, and threw it out by two hundred and fifty-eight to two hundred and twenty-six. The Marquis of Stafford made a similar motion in the Lords, and Sidmouth now spoke and voted against his late colleagues, to whom he must have been throughout opposed on all points; but the strangest thing must have been to hear Erskine, whilst supporting the motion, avowing his great repugnance to the Catholics, as people holding a gross superstition, the result of the darkness of former ages, and declaring that he never thought of encouraging them, but rather that they might feel inconvenience, though suffering no injustice; as if this were possible; for if they suffer no injustice they could feel no inconvenience. And this, after assuring the king that he would never again enjoy peace if he dismissed his Ministers for desiring to encourage them! The Marquis of Stafford's motion was rejected by a hundred and seventy-one against ninety.
The Archduke John, whilst advancing victoriously into Italy, driving the viceroy, Eugene Beauharnais, before him, when he had reached almost to Venice was recalled by the news of the unfortunate battle of Eckmühl, and the orders of the Aulic Council. The Italians had received him with unconcealed joy; for, harsh as the rule of Austria in Italy had been, it was found to be easy in comparison with the yoke of Buonaparte. In common with other peoples, the Italians found that Buonaparte's domination, introduced with lofty pretences of restoring liberty and crushing all old tyrannies, was infinitely more intolerable than the worst of these old tyrannies. It was one enormous drain of military demand. The lifeblood of the nation was drawn as by some infernal and insatiable vampire, to be poured out in all the other lands of Europe for their oppression and curse. Trade vanished, agriculture declined under the baleful incubus; public robbery was added to private wrong; the works of art—the national pride—were stripped from their ancient places, without any regard to public or individual right, and there remained only an incessant pressure of taxation, enforced with insult, and often with violence.
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The agitation extended to England, where also the "No Popery" cry was effectually raised. The Duke of Newcastle, Lord Winchilsea, and Lord Kenyon led the way in the formation of Brunswick Clubs. A great demonstration was got up on Penenden Heath—a monster meeting of English Brunswickers. To counteract its effects, it was determined that some of the leading advocates of the Catholic cause, being freeholders of Kent, should go to the meeting. Among those who attended were Lord Darnley, Mr. Cobbett, Serjeant Shee, and Mr. Sheil; but none of them could obtain a hearing. Mr. Sheil had come prepared with a grand speech, carefully written out, as was his custom, and committed to memory, but not so strictly as to exclude such extemporaneous additions as might be necessary to adapt the oration to the actual circumstances. When he arrived at the meeting, the reporter from the Sun asked him for his manuscript, which he gave, with the understanding that he must make it correspond with his speech as delivered. The reporter, taking it for granted that it would be delivered all right, made all possible haste to get it into type. The speech appeared in extenso; but it unfortunately happened that, owing to the uproar and continued interruptions, it was not delivered. The circumstance became the subject of remark, eliciting comments by no means flattering to the Irish orator. The intended speech, however, was as able as any he had ever delivered. It consisted chiefly of an elaborate defence of the Roman Catholic Church from the charge of persecution. It admitted that it did persecute like every other church when in power; but that it was an incident of its establishment, not the natural result of its spirit and principles.On the 5th of June, the day after the king's birthday, Pitt introduced his plan of military defence. It was to leave the militia what it was, but to increase the regular army by making it compulsory on parishes to furnish each a certain number of men to what was called the Army of Reserve—a body called out for five years, and only to be employed within the United Kingdom. He desired to break down the distinctions between this and the regular army by attaching the Reserve to the Regulars as second battalions, and encouraging volunteering thence into the Regulars. This was known as the Additional Force Bill, which was denounced by the Opposition as veiled conscription. In other ways, notably by the erection of his martello towers, Pitt set himself to rouse the spirit of the nation, in face of the very real danger of invasion.
But the bullionists were still bent on forwarding their scheme, or on throwing the country into convulsions. Lord King announced to his tenants in a circular letter that he would receive his rents in specie or in bank-notes to an amount equalling the advanced value of gold. This raised a loud outcry against the injustice of the act, which would have raised the rents of his farms twenty or more per cent.; and Lord Stanhope brought in a Bill to prevent the passing of guineas at a higher value than twenty-one shillings, and one-pound banknotes at a less value than twenty shillings. There was a strenuous debate on the subject in both Houses. In the Lords, Lord Chancellor Eldon demonstrated the enormity of people demanding their rents in gold when it did not exist, and when, if the person who could pay in notes carried these notes to the Bank of England, he could not procure gold for them. He denominated such a demand from landlords as an attempt at robbery. Yet the Bill was strongly opposed in both Houses—in the Commons by Sir Francis Burdett, Sir Samuel Romilly, Brougham, and others. It underwent many modifications, but it passed, maintaining its fundamental principles, and landlords were obliged to go on taking their rents in paper.CHARLES JAMES FOX. (After the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds.)详情
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