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天涯十大悬案

类型:奇幻地区:ñ һʮ发布:2020-10-31 14:53:43

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Sanguine though the Dissenters had been respecting the growth of the principles of civil and religious liberty, of which the seeds had been sown in tears by the early Puritan confessors, they did not anticipate that the harvest was at hand. As their claims were not embarrassed by any question of divided allegiance or party politics, many members of Parliament who had not supported the relief of the Roman Catholics found themselves at liberty to advocate the cause of the Protestant Nonconformists; while almost all who had supported the greater measure of Emancipation felt themselves bound by consistency to vote for the abolition of the sacramental test. Yet the victory was not achieved without a struggle. Lord John Russell said:"The Government took a clear, open, and decided part against us. They summoned their followers from every part of the empire. Nay, they issued a sort of 'hatti-sheriff' for the purpose; they called upon every one within their influence who possessed the faith of a true Mussulman to follow them in opposing the measure. But, notwithstanding their opposition in the debate, their arguments were found so weak, and in the division their numbers were found so deficient, that nothing could be more decided than our triumph."On the 24th of April, accordingly, the king proposed, in a speech from the throne, the measure to the Houses in these words. Both Houses sent addresses of affection, and the bill was introduced into the House of Lords; and it was there contended that it was too vague, no person being directly named, except the queen. To remedy this the king sent a new message, naming the five princes of the royal house, with the power of nominating others in the case of the deaths of any of them. Still, on the second reading, Lord Lyttelton declared that this left it perfectly uncertain who would become regent; and he moved an address to the king to name which one of the persons specified he would nominate as regent. But here the Duke of Richmond asked, whether the queen were naturalised; and if not, whether she were capable of acting as regent. He asked, also, who were, strictly speaking, the royal family? The Earl of Denbigh replied, "All who were prayed for;" but the Duke of Bedford contended that those only in the order of succession constituted the royal family. This went at once to exclude the Princess Dowager of Wales, the king's mother; and Halifax, Bedford's colleague, agreed with him. Amidst all this confusion, Lord Halifax hastened away to the king, and advised him to have the name of his mother omitted, lest the Lords should strike it out, and thus make it appear a public insult. The poor bewildered king, taken by surprise, said, "I will consent, if it will satisfy my people."

Rodney takes St. EustatiaDestruction of Dutch CommerceLoss of MinorcaNaval ActionsMeeting of ParliamentVehemence of the OppositionLosses in the West IndiesBreaking up of the MinistryTheir Defeat on Conway's MotionLord North's ResignationShelburne refuses the PremiershipNew Whig GovernmentAgitation in IrelandGrattan's Motion for Legislative IndependenceThe Volunteer Meeting at DungannonGrattan's Motion carriedDemands of the Irish Parliament concededFlood's AgitationEconomic ReformsPitt's Motion for Parliamentary ReformUnsuccessful Negotiations for PeaceRodney's Victory over De GrasseLord Howe's ExploitsThe Siege and Relief of GibraltarNegotiations for PeaceFolly of Oswald and Duplicity of ShelburneThe Negotiations continuedFranklin throws over VergennesConclusion of a Secret Treaty between England and AmericaFate of the American RoyalistsAnnouncement of the Peace in ParliamentTerms of Peace with France, Spain, and HollandOpposition to the PeaceCoalition of Fox and NorthFall of ShelburnePitt's Attempt to form a MinistryThe Coalition in OfficeReform and the Prince of WalesFox's India BillIts IntroductionProgress of the MeasureThe King's Letter to TempleReception of the News in the CommonsDismissal of the MinistryPitt forms a CabinetFactious Opposition of FoxPitt's India BillHe refuses to divulge his IntentionsThe Tide begins to TurnAttempt at a CoalitionIncreasing Popularity of PittFox's ResolutionThe Dissolution"Fox's Martyrs."Notwithstanding the constant wars of this time, British shipping, commerce, colonies, and manufactures made considerable progress. At the commencement of this period the amount of shipping employed in our commerce was altogether 244,788 tons, being 144,264 tons English, and 100,524 foreign; in 1701 the amount of shipping employed was 337,328 tons, of which alone 293,703 were English. In 1702, the end of William's reign, the number of English mercantile vessels was about 3,281, employing 27,196 seamen. The royal navy, at the end of William's reign, amounted to about 159,000 tons, employing some 50,000 sailors, so that the seamen of England must have amounted at that period to nearly 80,000.

NAPOLEON ON BOARD THE "BELLEROPHON." (From the Picture by W. Q. Orchardson, R. A.)PAMPELUNA.THE CLARE CONTEST: FATHER MURPHY LEADING HIS TENANTS TO THE POLL. (See p. 273.)

Such was the state of things with which the Duke of Wellington had to deal as British plenipotentiary when he left London on his mission early in September, taking Paris on his way. There he had some interesting conferences with the king and his Minister. The latter could hold out no hope that France would fulfil her engagements as to the slave trade. He spoke, indeed, of their African settlements as useless to the French people, and proposed to make them over to Britain in exchange for the Isle of France; but farther than this he declined to go, because there were too many interests, both public and private, engaged to thwart his efforts, should he be so unwise as to make any. His language with regard to South America was not less vague and unsatisfactory. He stated that France had not entered into relations with those provinces in any form, and did not intend to do so till they should have settled their differences with Spain one way or another. M. de Villele did not add, as he might have done, that France was feeling her way towards the severance of Spain from her colonies, and towards the establishment in the New World of one or two monarchies, with younger branches of the House of Bourbon at their head.At length, then, after all his marvellous doublings, O'Connell was hunted into the meshes of the law. He was convicted of sedition, having pleaded guilty, but was not called up for judgment. This was made a charge against the Government; with how little reason may be seen from the account of the matter given by Lord Cloncurry. The time at which he should have been called up for judgment did not arrive till within a month or two of the expiration of the statute under which he was convicted, and which he called the "Algerine Act." In these circumstances, Lord Cloncurry strongly urged upon the Viceroy the prudence of letting him escape altogether, as his incarceration for a few weeks, when he must be liberated with the expiring Act, "would only have the appearance of impotent malice, and, while it might have created dangerous popular excitement, would but have added to his exasperation, and have given him a triumph upon the event of his liberation that must so speedily follow."

But Hastings had scarcely terminated these proceedings, when the new members of Council, appointed under the Regulating Act, arrived. On the 19th of October, 1774, landed the three Councillors, Clavering, Monson, and Francis; Barwell had been some time in India. The presence of the three just arrived was eminently unwelcome to Hastings. He knew that they came with no friendly disposition towards him, and that Philip Francis, in particular, was most hostile. The letter of the Court of Directors recommended unanimity of counsels, but nothing was further from the views of the new members from Europe. As they were three, and Hastings and Barwell only two, they constituted a majority, and from the first moment commenced to undo almost everything that he had done, and carried their object. They denounced, and certainly with justice, the Rohilla war; they demanded that the whole correspondence of Middleton, the agent sent to the court of Oude by Hastings, should be laid before them. Hastings refused to produce much of it, as entirely of a private and personal nature; and they asserted that this was because these letters would not bear the light, and that the whole of Hastings' connection with Sujah Dowlah was the result of mercenary motives. In this they did the Governor-General injustice, for, though he drew money sternly and by every means from the India chiefs and people, it was rather for the Company than for himself. They ordered the recall of Middleton from Oude, deaf to the protests of Hastings that this was stamping his conduct with public odium, and weakening the hands of government in the eyes of the natives. Still, Middleton was recalled, and Mr. Bristow sent in his place. Hastings wrote home in the utmost alarm both to the Directors and to Lord North, prognosticating the greatest confusion and calamity from this state of anarchy; and Sujah Dowlah, regarding the proceedings of the new members of Council as directed against himself, and seeing in astonishment the authority of Hastings apparently at an end, was so greatly terrified that he sickened and died.About the same time Sir James Yeo, who had dared to attack the superior squadron of Commodore Chauncey on Lake Ontario, and took two of his schooners, now prevailed on the spiritless Sir George Prevost to join him in an attack on Sacketts Harbour. Here the Americans had a dockyard, where they built vessels for the lake fleet, and had now a frigate nearly ready for launching. Sir George consented, but, on reconnoitring the place, his heart failed him, and he returned across the water towards Kingston. Sir James was highly chagrined, but prevailed on this faint-hearted governor to make the attempt. Seven hundred and fifty men were landed, who drove the Americans at the point of the bayonet from the harbour, and set fire to the new frigate, to a gun-brig, and to the naval barracks and arsenal abounding with stores. Some of the Americans were in full flight into the woods, and others shut themselves up in log barracks, whence they could soon have been burnt out. In the midst of this success the miserable Sir George Prevost commanded a retreat. Men and officers, astonished at the order, and highly indignant at serving under so dastardly a commander, were, however, obliged to draw off. The Americans, equally amazed, turned back to endeavour to extinguish the flames. The arsenal, the brig, and the stores were too far gone; but the new frigate, being built of green wood, had refused to burn, and they recovered it but little injured. Thus, however, was lost the chance of crushing the American superiority on the lake, which must have been the case had Sacketts Harbour been completely destroyed.The National Assembly commenced its sittings on the 4th of May in a temporary wooden structure erected for the purpose. One of its first acts was to pass a resolutionthat the Provisional Government had deserved well of the country. But the revolutionary passions out of doors were far from being appeased. Secret societies and clubs were actively at work, and on the 11th of May a placard appeared, citing a proclamation of the Provisional Government dated the 25th of February, in which it unwisely undertook "to guarantee labour for all the citizens," and proceeding thus:"The promises made on the barricades not having been fulfilled, and the National Assembly having refused, in its sitting on the 10th of May, to constitute a Ministry of Labour, the delegates of the Luxembourg decline to assist at the fte called 'de la Concorde.'" On the 15th of May the Chamber was invaded by a body of men, carrying banners in their hands, and shouting for Poland. The President put on his hat, and the Assembly broke up. After a short time he returned. The National Guard appeared in force, and quickly cleared the hall. After these measures were taken to suppress the counter-revolution, the Assembly resumed its labours. A proclamation was issued, stating that the National Guard, the Garde Mobile, all the forces in Paris and the neighbourhood, had driven before them the insane conspirators, who concealed their plots against liberty under the pretence of zeal for Poland.

"GOD SAVE KING JAMES."

Not one of these monarchs, whose subjects had shed their blood and laid down their lives by hundreds of thousands to replace them in their power, had in return given these subjects a recompense by the institution of a more liberal form of government. The German kings and princes had openly promised such constitutions to induce them to expel Buonaparte; and, this accomplished, they shamefully broke their word. As Lord Byron well observed, we had put down one tyrant only to establish ten. In Spain, where we had made such stupendous exertions to restore Ferdinand, that monarch entered about the end of March; and his arrival was a signal for all the old royalists and priests to gather round him, and to insist on the annihilation of the Constitution made by the Cortes. He went to Gerona, where he was joined by General Elio and forty thousand men. Thence he marched to Saragossa and Valencia. At that city Te Deum was sung for his restoration, and, surrounded by soldiers and priests, he declared that the Cortes had never been legally convoked; that they had deprived him of the sovereignty, and the nobles and clergy of their status; and that he would not swear to the Constitution which they had prepared. On the 12th of May he entered his capital, amid the most frantic joy of the ignorant populace, and proceeded at once to seize all Liberal members of the Cortes, and throw them into prison. Wellington hastened to Madrid, and with his brother, Sir Henry Wellesley, the British Ambassador, and General Whittingham, in vain urged on Ferdinand to establish a liberal constitution, and govern on liberal principles. It was clear there was a time of terrible and bloody strife before Spain between the old tyrannies and superstitions and the new ideas.

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No sooner was this treaty signed than Junot was ordered to cross the Bidassoa with thirty thousand men, and march through Spain for the Portuguese frontier. Two additional armies, partly of French and partly of Spaniards, supported him, and another army of forty thousand was stationed at Bayonne, intended, it was said, to act as an army of reserve, in case the British should land and attempt to defend Portugal, but in reality it was intended for the subjugation of Spain itself. Junot, who had formerly been Buonaparte's ambassador at the Court of Lisbon, made rapid marches through Spain. The Prince Regent of Portugal, knowing that resistance was in vain, sent the Marquis of Marialva to state to the Courts of France and Spain that he had complied with the whole of their demands, as regarded the admission of British goods, and demanded the arrest of the march of the invading army. But no notice was taken of this, and Junot pushed on with such speed as to exhaust his troops with fatigue. He was anxious to seize the persons of the royal family, and therefore this haste, accompanied by the most solemn professions of his coming as the friend and ally of Portugalas the protector of the people from the yoke of the British, the maritime tyrants of Europe.In January of 1745 died Charles VII., King of Bavaria and Emperor of Germany. His life had been rendered miserable, and his kingdom made the prey of war, by his unpatriotic mania of supporting the French in their attacks on Germany. His son and successor showed himself a wiser and a better man. He at once renounced all claims to the Austrian succession, and to the Imperial crown. He agreed to vote for the Prince of Tuscany, Maria Theresa's husband, at the next Diet, and never to support the French or the Prussian arms. On these terms a treaty was concluded between Austria and Bavaria at Füssen, and Austria therefore restored to him his rightful inheritance of Bavaria.

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