Sir John Stuart did not long remain idle at Palermo. At the suggestion of Lord Collingwood, he sent out an expedition to seize on a number of the Ionian Isles, which had been taken possession of by the French, who were calculating on further conquests in that direction—namely, in continental Greece itself. The Warrior, commanded by Captain Spranger, attended by other vessels, carried over one thousand six hundred troops, under command of Brigadier-General Oswald. The troops were half of them British, and half Corsicans, Sicilians, Calabrians, and other foreigners in British pay. They carried with them Signor Foresti and an Ionian Greek as interpreters and agents with their countrymen, many of whom, they were aware, had an indignant hatred of the French domination. They arrived off Cephalonia on the 28th of September, and on the 1st of October, being joined by their transports and gunboats, they anchored in the bay of Zante, and the following morning commenced a landing, under the cover of a brisk fire from some of the ships and gunboats. The land-batteries were soon silenced, and before night the French commander had not only surrendered the castle, but the islands of Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo. Two of the seven islands remained for the time in the hands of the French—Santa Maura and Corfu. But Santa Maura, after a sharp contest, was carried, in the following April, by General Oswald, most brilliantly supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson Lowe, Major Church, and other officers. General Camus, the French commandant, surrendered with his garrison of one thousand men. There remained only Corfu, but this, the most important island of the group, would have required a much stronger force to reduce it; and as it was completely useless to the French, being cut off from all communication with France by our ships, it remained under France till 1814, when, at the Congress of Paris, it was made over by Louis XVIII., and the whole seven islands were declared a republic, under the protection of Great Britain. Such was the origin of our connection with the Ionian Islands, where we maintained a Commissioner and a body of troops, much to the discontent of a party in the islands, who desired to join the kingdom of Greece.The Government at once sent Dr. Lindley and Dr. Playfair, two men of science, to Ireland, in the hope that they might be able to suggest remedies for staying the progress of the disease, or preserve that portion of the crop which was still untainted; and the consular agents in different parts of Europe and of America were directed to make inquiries and endeavour to obtain a supply of sound potatoes for seed; indeed, the seed question was even more important than that more immediately pressing one, of how the people were to be fed. In addition to this, early in October, they secretly gave orders for the purchase abroad of ￡100,000 worth of Indian corn, to be conveyed to Irish ports for distribution among the people. These measures, however, proved of little avail, and meanwhile it grew evident that in a great portion of the United Kingdom a famine was inevitable, which could not fail to influence the price of provisions of all kinds elsewhere. During this time it became known that the harvest, about which opinions had fluctuated so much, would be everywhere deficient. The friends of Sir Robert Peel in the Cabinet who shared his Free Trade tendencies knew then how impossible it was that the already tottering system of the Corn Laws could be any longer maintained. The Ministers had scarcely reached the country seats in which they looked for repose after the labours of the Session, ere the cry of "Open the ports!" was raised throughout the kingdom; but except three, none of them took his view of the gravity of the crisis. All knew that the ports once open, public opinion would probably for ever prevent the reimposition of the duties, and the majority of the Cabinet for a time still adhered to their Protectionist principles.
JAMES EDWARD STUART, THE "OLD PRETENDER."
The measures of Church Reform that had been adopted in Ireland suggested the propriety of adopting similar measures in England, where the relations between the clergy and the people were not at all as satisfactory as they should be, and where the system of ecclesiastical finances stood greatly in need of improvement. Accordingly, a Royal Commission was appointed during the Administration of Sir Robert Peel, dated the 4th of February, 1835, on the ground that it was "expedient that the fullest and most attentive consideration should be forthwith given to ecclesiastical duties and revenues." The Commissioners were directed to consider the state of the several dioceses in England and Wales with reference to the amount of their revenues and the more equal distribution of episcopal duties, and the prevention of the necessity of attaching by commendam to bishoprics benefices with cure of souls. They were to consider also the state of the several cathedral and collegiate churches in England and Wales, with a view to the suggestion of such measures as might render them conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church; and to devise the best mode of providing for the cure of souls, with special reference to the residence of the clergy on their respective benefices. They were also expected to report their opinions as to what measures it would be expedient to adopt on the various matters submitted for their consideration. The Commissioners were the two Archbishops, the Bishops of London, Lincoln, and Gloucester, the Lord Chancellor, the First Lord of the Treasury, with other members of the Government and laymen not in office. When the change of Government occurred a few months afterwards, it was necessary to issue a new commission, which was dated the 6th of June, for the purpose of substituting the names of Lord Melbourne and his colleagues for those of Sir Robert Peel and the other members of the outgoing Administration. But before this change occurred the first report had been issued, dated the 17th of March, 1835. Three other reports were published in 1836, dated respectively March 4th, May 20th, and June 24th. A fifth had been prepared, but not signed, when the death of the king occurred. It was, however, presented as a Parliamentary paper in 1838.The safety of the prisoners diffused universal joy throughout the camps of the two generals; but there was one thing necessary, in their opinion, in which the Government concurred, in order to give the crowning proof of our complete triumph, and to restore the unquestionable supremacy of our power, and compel the respect and fidelity of the neighbouring provinces. This was the signal punishment of Cabul for the atrocities that had been perpetrated there. The hostile chiefs were now as eager to conciliate, as submissive in their tone as they had been cruel and arrogant. Even Akbar Khan professed the greatest friendship for the British, and repudiated the acts that had been done in his name, at the same time restoring to his friends Captain Bygrave, the last prisoner he had in his possession. The Afghans had a maiden fortress in the town of Istalif, which is built upon two ridges of the spur of Hindoo Koosh, which forms the western boundary of the beautiful valley of Kohistan. There, in its fortified streets and squares, as in a safe asylum, they had collected their treasures and their women. The sagacious Havelock suggested that the capture of this place, believed to be impregnable, would be a great stroke of policy. General M'Caskill, therefore, made a rapid march upon it, and after a desperate struggle, in which Havelock greatly distinguished himself, the place was stormed in gallant style, the Afghans in every direction giving way before our attacking columns.Leaving Mélas to complete the subjection of Italy, Suvaroff then turned his army towards Switzerland, where Massena had effectually opposed the Austrians under Bellegarde and Hotze, and defeated a Russian force under Korsakoff, sent to reinforce them. But Suvaroff found himself unable to unite with Korsakoff till after much fighting with Massena; and the two Russian generals retreated to Augsburg, leaving Massena master of Switzerland.
The Bedchamber Crisis—Peel's Explanation—The Whigs return to Office—Mr. Shaw Lefevre is elected Speaker—Education Scheme—It is carried in a modified form—Post Office Reform—Rowland Hill's Pamphlet—The Proposal scouted by the Authorities—select Committee appointed—The Scheme becomes Law—Cabinet Changes—Political Demonstrations—Announcement of the Queen's Marriage—Lady Flora Hastings—The Queen's Speech—Insertion of the word "Protestant"—Debate on the Prince's Precedence—His Income fixed by the Commons—Stockdale v. Hansard—Stockdale's second and third Actions—Stockdale and the Sheriffs committed—His fourth and fifth Actions—Russell's Bill settles the Question—Other Events of the Session—The Queen's Marriage—Oxford's Attempt on her Life—His Trial for High Treason—Foreign Affairs; the Opium Traffic—Commissioner Lin confiscates the Opium—Debates in Parliament—Elliot's Convention—It is Disapproved and he is Recalled—Renewal of the War—Capture of the Defences of Canton—Sir Henry Pottinger assumes Command—Conclusion of the War—The Syrian Crisis; Imminent Dissolution of the Turkish Empire—The Quadrilateral Treaty—Lord Palmerston's Difficulties—The Wrath of M. Thiers—Lord Palmerston's Success—Fall of Acre—Termination of the Crisis—Weakness of the Ministry—The Registration Bills—Lord Howick's Amendment—The Budget—Peel's Vote of Censure is carried—The Dissolution—Ministers are defeated in both Houses—Resignation of the Melbourne Ministry.Napoleon, who had every need of success to regain his former position in the opinion of France, sent off in all haste to Paris the most exaggerated account of the battle of Lützen, as one of the most decisive victories that he had ever won, and that it had totally scattered the Allies, and neutralised all the hopes and schemes of Great Britain. The Empress went in procession to Notre Dame, where Te Deum was celebrated by Cardinal Maury, who drew the most extravagant picture of Napoleon's invincible genius. The same false statements were sent also to every friendly Court in Europe, even to Constantinople. The stratagem had its effect. The wavering German princes, who were ready to go over to their own countrymen, still ranged their banners with the French. The King of Saxony had gone to Prague as a place whence he might negotiate his return to the ranks of his own fatherland; but he now hastened back again, and was in Dresden on the 12th of May with Napoleon, who conducted him in a kind of triumph through his capital, parading his adhesion before his subjects who had hailed the Allies just before with acclamations. The Saxon king, in fresh token of amity to Napoleon, ceded to him the fortress of Torgau, much to the disgust of his subjects.
KIDNAPPING OF THE DUKE D'ENGHIEN. (See p. 498.)The expedition against England was at this moment actually in motion. The squadrons of Brest and Rochefort were already united under the command of Admiral Roquefeuille, and sailing up the Channel to clear the way for the transports containing the soldiers. Sir John Norris had been appointed Admiral of our Channel fleet, consisting of twenty-one ships of the line. He had lain at Spithead, but had quitted that station and sailed into the Downs, where he was joined by other ships from Chatham; and thus was not only superior in number to the French, but had the advantage of being well acquainted with the coasts, he having long been Captain of Deal Castle. Roquefeuille sailed right up to the Isle of Wight, and, observing no vessels off Spithead, he, in his French egotism, concluded that the fleet had sought shelter in Portsmouth harbour. He therefore lost no time in despatching a small vessel to Dunkirk to hasten on his armament. Seven thousand men were instantly sent on board transports, and the prince and Marshal Saxe, who was to take command of the land force, accompanied them. Roquefeuille, meanwhile, proceeding on his voyage, came to anchor off Dungeness, which he had no sooner done than he beheld the British fleet bearing down upon him in much greater force than his own, for he had only fifteen ships of the line and five frigates. The destruction of the French fleet appeared inevitable, but Sir John Norris this time justly incurred the censure of lingering. He thought, from the state of the tide and the approach of night, it was better to defer the attack till morning; and, when morning came, no Frenchmen were to be seen. The French admiral, much more active than poor old Sir John, had slipped his cables and made the best of his way homewards.
An armistice was arranged with Piedmont, which lasted throughout the autumn and winter. The events at Rome and the flight of the Pope had meanwhile greatly altered the position of the Italian question; and the revolutionary spirit was so strong that Charles Albert found it impossible to resist the demand of his people for a renewal of hostilities. "I must restore war," he said, "or abdicate the crown and see a republic established." He opened his Parliament in person on the 1st of January, 1849, when he delivered a lengthy speech, in which he fully expounded his policy. He invited the nation to co-operate in the great struggle which was impending. In January, the Sardinian Prime Minister, M. Gioberti, addressed a protest to the foreign Powers, in which he stated that though the suspension of hostilities agreed to on the 5th of August, 1848, was productive of fatal political consequences, Sardinia had faithfully observed the agreement, while Austria had disregarded her promises, and exhibited nothing but bad faith. She had pursued an iniquitous system of spoliation. Under the name of extraordinary war contributions her fleet seized Italian vessels navigating the Adriatic. She had put to death persons whose safety was guaranteed by the law of nations. She had violated the most sacred compacts in a manner unparalleled in the annals of civilised nations. Gioberti, however, who was obnoxious to the republican party, was compelled to resign. On the 24th of February the new Ministry issued a programme of its policy, and on the 14th of March M. Ratazzi, Minister of the Interior, announced to the Chamber of Deputies the expiration of the armistice, declaring that no honourable peace with Austria could be expected unless won by arms. War would, of course, have its perils; but between those perils and the shame of an ignominious peace, which would not insure Italian independence, the king's Government could not hesitate. Consequently, he stated that, two days before, a special messenger had been sent to Radetzky, announcing the termination of the armistice. He was perhaps justified by the declaration of the Austrian envoy to London, Count Colloredo, that Austria would not enter into any sort of conference unless she was assured that no cession of territory would be required. The king, meanwhile, had joined the army as a general officer, commanding the brigade in Savoy. The nominal strength of his army at that time was 135,000 men; but the muster-roll on the 20th of March showed only about 84,000 effective troops, including 5,000 cavalry, with 150 guns. Radetzky had under his command an army equal in number, but far superior in equipment and discipline. He at once broke Charles Albert's lines; drove him to retreat upon Novara, where he utterly defeated him. Abdication only remained for the king, and his son, Victor Emmanuel, concluded peace on terms dictated by Austria. The King of Sardinia was to disband ten military corps composed of Hungarians, Poles, and Lombards. Twenty thousand Austrian troops were to occupy the territory between the Po, the Ticino, and the Sesia, and to form one half of the garrison of Alessandria, consisting of 6,000 men, a mixed military committee to provide for the maintenance of the Austrian troops. The Sardinians were to evacuate the duchies of Modena, Piacenza, and Tuscany. The Piedmontese in Venice were to return home, and the Sardinian fleet, with all the steamers, was to quit the Adriatic. In addition to these stipulations, Sardinia was to indemnify Austria for the whole cost of the war. These terms were accepted with great reluctance by the Piedmontese Government, and with even more reluctance by the Genoese, who revolted, and had to be suppressed by the royal troops.
"It was on foot," says Mounier, "in the mud, and under a violent storm of rain. The Paris women intermixed with a certain number of men, ragged and ferocious, and uttering frightful howlings. As we approached the palace, we were taken for a desperate mob. Some of the Gardes du Corps pricked their horses amongst us and dispersed us. It was with difficulty that I made myself known, and equally difficult it was to make our way into the palace. Instead of six women, I was compelled to admit twelve. The king received them graciously, but separated from their own raging and rioting class, the women were overcome by the presence of the king, and Louison Chabry, a handsome young girl of seventeen, could say nothing but the word 'Bread!' She would have fallen on the floor, but the king caught her in his arms, embraced and encouraged her; and this settled completely the rest of the women, who knelt and kissed his hand. Louis assured them that he was very sorry for them, and would do all in his power to have Paris well supplied with bread. They then went out blessing him and all his family, and declared to those outside that never was there so good a king. At this the furious mob exclaimed that they had been tampered with by the aristocrats, and were for tearing them to pieces; and, seizing Louison, they were proceeding to hang her on a lamp-post, when some of the Gardes du Corps, commanded by the Count de Guiche, "interfered and rescued her." One Brunout, an artisan of Paris, and a hero of the Bastille, having advanced so as to be separated from the women, some of the Guard struck him with the flat of their swords. There was an instant cry that the Guard were massacring the people; and the National Guard of Versailles being called on to protect them, one of them discharged a musket, and broke the arm of M. de Savonières, one of the Life Guard. The firing on the Life Guard by the National Guard then continued, and the Life Guard filed off, firing as they went. The mob, now triumphant, attempted to fire two pieces of cannon, which they turned upon the palace; but the powder was wet and would not explode. The king, having meanwhile heard the firing, sent the Duke of Luxembourg to order that the Guard should not fire, but retire to the back of the palace. The mob then retired into Versailles in search of bread, which Lecointre, a draper of the town, and commander of its National Guard, promised to procure them from the municipality. But the municipality had no bread to give, or took no pains to furnish it, and the crowds, drenched with rain, sought shelter wherever they could for the night. The women rushed again into the Hall of the Assembly, and took possession of it without any ceremony. Soon after midnight the roll of drums announced the arrival of Lafayette and his army. An aide-de-camp soon after formally communicated his arrival to the Assembly; that they had been delayed by the state of the roads; and that Lafayette had also stopped them to administer to them an oath of fidelity to the nation, the law, and the king; that all was orderly, and that they had nothing to fear. Lafayette soon after confirmed this by leading a column of the National Guard to the doors of the Assembly, and sending in this message. The Assembly being satisfied, adjourned till eleven o'clock the next day. Lafayette then proceeded to the palace, where he assured the king and the royal family of the loyalty of the Guard, and that every precaution should be taken for tranquillity during the night. On this the king appeared to be at ease and retired to rest. The mob attacked the palace in the night, but Lafayette prevented an assault on the royal family, though two of the Guard were butchered. The king during the night repeatedly sent to inform the deputies of his intention to go to Paris.The progress in the manufacture of hardware is strikingly exhibited by the increase of the population of Birmingham. According to the census of 1821, it was 106,722; in 1831 it was 146,986; in 1841 it was 181,116, showing an increase of 80 per cent. in twenty years. The number of houses during the same period was nearly doubled. Mr. Babbage has given a table, extracted from the books of a highly respectable house in Birmingham, showing the reduction in the price of various articles made of iron between 1812 and 1832, which varied from 40 to 80 per cent. The exportation of cutlery from England amounted in 1820 to about 7,000 tons; in 1839 it was 21,000 tons. Since 1820 the annual value of the exportations of hardware and cutlery increased about 50 per cent. The town of Sheffield is another remarkable instance of the growth of population in consequence of the manufacture of cutlery. In 1821 the population was 65,275; in 1841 it was 111,000. The various manufacturers of cutlery and plated goods, and the conversion of iron into steel, employed in 1835 upwards of 560 furnaces. The declared value of British-made plated ware, jewellery, and watches, exported from the United Kingdom in 1827 was ￡169,456; in 1839 it amounted to ￡258,076. The value of machinery shipped to foreign countries in 1831 was only ￡29,000; in 1836 it was ￡166,000; in 1837, ￡280,000; and in 1840, ￡374,000.The English Government, instead of treating Wilkes with a dignified indifference, was weak enough to show how deeply it was touched by him, dismissed him from his commission of Colonel of the Buckinghamshire Militia, and treated Lord Temple as an abettor of his, by depriving him of the Lord-Lieutenancy of the same county, and striking his name from the list of Privy Councillors, giving the Lord-Lieutenancy to Dashwood, now Lord Le Despencer.
In the House of Commons similar resolutions were moved on the 24th by Mr. Robert Peel, who, on this occasion, made the first of those candid admissions of new views which he afterwards repeated on the question of Catholic Emancipation, and finally on the abolition of the Corn Laws. This eminent statesman, though beginning his career in the ranks of Conservatism, had a mind capable of sacrificing prejudice to truth, though it was certain to procure him much obloquy and opposition from his former colleagues. He now frankly admitted that the evidence produced before the secret committee of the Commons, of which he had been a member, had greatly changed his views regarding the currency since in 1811 he opposed the resolutions of Mr. Horner, the chairman of the Bullion Committee. He now believed the doctrines of Mr. Horner to be mainly sound, and to represent the true nature of our monetary system; and, whilst making this confession, he had only to regret that he was compelled by his convictions to vote in opposition to the opinions of his venerated father. Several modifications were proposed during the debate, but there appeared so much unanimity in the House that no alterations were made, and the resolutions passed without a division. The resolutions were to this effect:—That the restrictions on cash payments should continue till the 1st of May, 1822; that, meanwhile, the House should make provision for the gradual payment of ten millions of the fourteen millions due from the Government to the Bank; that, from the 1st of February, 1820, the Bank should take up its notes in gold ingots, stamped and assayed in quantities of not less than sixty ounces, and at a rate of eighty-one shillings per ounce. After the 1st of October of the same year the rate of gold should be reduced to seventy-nine shillings and sixpence per ounce; and again on the 1st of May, 1821, the price should be reduced to seventy-seven shillings and tenpence halfpenny per ounce; and at this rate of gold, on the 1st of May, 1822, the Bank should finally commence paying in the gold coin of the realm. Bills to this effect were introduced into both Houses by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Peel, and were readily passed; and such was the flourishing condition of the Bank that it did not wait for the full operation of the Act, but commenced paying in coin to any amount on the 1st of May, 1821.[See larger version]详情
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