类型:奇幻地区:周发布:2020-10-27 05:17:18


The same scenes, but on a still larger scale, were exhibiting in the capital. The Reign of Terror was fully inaugurated, and rapidly extending itself. At first, on the expulsion of the Girondists from the Conventionthat is, in Junethe guillotinings were only fourteen. In July the number was about the same; but in August Robespierre became a member of the Committee of Public Safety, which carried on the machinery of government, and then the work went on swimmingly. From the moment that Robespierre took his place on the Committee, the stream of blood flowed freely and steadily. His friendif such monsters can be said to have any friendsBarrre, who belonged to the timid Plain till the Girondists were[424] overthrown, now became his active agent. He proposed, on the 7th of August, that William Pitt should be proclaimed the enemy of the whole human race, and that a decree should be passed that every man had a right to assassinate him. On the 9th it was announced that the Republic was completed; that Hrault de Schelles had produced a new and perfect constitution, which was at once adopted by the Convention. It was a constitution containing all the doctrines of the Mountain, in the bombast of that truculent faction. As it was quickly set aside, we need not detail its principles. Then this constitution was celebrated on the 10th of August, the anniversary sacred to the downfall of monarchy. Next followed fresh executions, among the most notable victims being Marie Antoinette (October 16) and Madame Roland (November 9), while most of the prominent Girondists were hunted down and killed.

The British Government had done all in its power, except annuling the Orders in Council, to produce a better tone of feeling in America. It put up with many insults and violations of neutrality. It sent Mr. Foster as envoy to the United States to endeavour to adjust all differences; but in vain. This continued so till 1812, when, on the 20th of May, Mr. Russell, the American charg-d'affaires, presented Lord Castlereagh with a copy of an instrument by which France had, on the 28th of April, abrogated its Berlin and Milan Decrees so far as they related to American vessels. To show an equal liberality, Great Britain, on the 23rd of June, revoked its Orders in Council so far as concerned America, on condition that the United States also revoked its non-Intercourse Act. But this had no effect on the Government of America, which had already concluded a secret treaty with France, and was making every preparation for the invasion of our Canadian colonies. The Americans had the most profound idea of the stability of Buonaparte, and could not conceive that the expedition that he was now preparing against Russia would prove his overthrow. But they expected that Buonaparte would crush Russia altogether, and would rule unopposed over Europe; that the Government of Great Britain was bankrupt, and that they might assail her with impunity. Accordingly, all activity was used in getting ready all kinds of ships to send out as privateers, calculating on a plentiful spoil of British traders in the waters along the American coast and amongst the West Indian Isles, before they could be put upon their guard. At the same time, on the 14th of April they laid an embargo on all American vessels, so as to keep them at home; and on the 18th of June the President announced to Congress that the United States and Great Britain were in an actual state of war. There was a studied ambiguity in this declaration; it did not candidly take the initiative, and assert that the United States declared war against Great Britain, but said that the two countries were, somehow or other, already in a state of war.[See larger version]

As this excitement closed the old year, so it opened the new one. No sooner did Parliament meet, after the Christmas recess, than, on the 17th of January, 1764, the order for Wilkes's attendance at the bar was read. It was then found that he had thought it best to retire into France. Still he did not hesitate to send over a medical certificate, signed by one of the king's physicians and an army surgeon, affirming that his wound was in such a condition that it was not safe for him to leave Paris. The House of Commons paid no attention to the certificate, but proceeded to examine evidence, and the famous No. 45 of the North Briton; and after a violent debate, continuing till three o'clock in the morning, passed a resolution that the paper in question contained the grossest insults to his Majesty, to both Houses of Parliament, and tended to traitorous insurrection against the Government. Accordingly, the next day, he was formally expelled the House, and a new writ was issued for Aylesbury.Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Swedenwith all the military ardour of Charles XII., but without his military talent; with all the chivalry of an ancient knight, but at the head of a kingdom diminished and impoverishedhad resisted Buonaparte as proudly as if he were monarch of a nation of the first magnitude. He refused to fawn on Napoleon; he did not hesitate to denounce him as the curse of all Europe. He was the only king in Europe, except that of Great Britain, who withstood the marauder. He was at peace with Great Britain, but Alexander of Russia, who had for his own purposes made an alliance with Napoleon, called on him to shut out the British vessels from the Baltic. Gustavus indignantly refused, though he was at the same time threatened with invasion by France, whose troops, under Bernadotte, already occupied Denmark. At once he found Finland invaded by sixty thousand Russians, without any previous declaration of war. Finland was lost, and Alexander saw his treachery rewarded with the possession of a country larger than Great Britain, and with the whole eastern coast of the Baltic, from Tornea to Memel; the ?land Isles were also conquered and appropriated at this time. The unfortunate Gustavus, whose high honour and integrity of principle stood in noble contrast to those of most of the crowned heads of Europe, was not only deposed for his misfortunes, but his line deprived of the crown for ever. This took place in March, 1809. The unfortunate monarch was long confined in the castle of Gripsholm, where he was said to have been visited by the apparition of King Eric XIV. He was then permitted to retire into Germany, where, disdainfully refusing a pension, he divorced his wife, the sister of the Empress of Russia, assumed the name of Colonel Gustavson, and went, in proud poverty, to live in Switzerland. These events led to the last of Sweden's great transactions on the field of Europe, and by far the most extraordinary of all.

Those Highlanders commenced their march into England with no predilection for the adventure. The warfare of Scotland was familiar to them; in all ages they had been accustomed to descend from their mountains and make raids in the Lowlands. But England was to them an unknown region; they knew little of the dangers or the perils before them; they knew that in the Whiggish clans of the West they left powerful enemies behind them. No sooner did they lose sight of Edinburgh than they began to desert. Charles led his division of the army across the Tweed at Kelso, and sent on orders to Wooler to[100] prepare for his reception, thus keeping up the feint of marching eastward; instead of which, he took his way down Liddesdale, and on the 8th of November crossed the Esk, and encamped that night at a place called Reddings, on the Cumberland side.Meanwhile, Lafayette and Bailly, summoned by this strange news, had hurried to the H?tel de Ville, where they found the National Guard and the French Guard drawn up, and demanding to be led to Versailles. The French Guard declared that the nation had been insulted by the Flanders regimentthe national cockade trampled on; and that they would go and bring the king to Paris, and then all should be well. Bailly and Lafayette attempted to reason with them; but they, and thousands upon thousands of armed rabble again collected there, only cried, "Bread! bread! Lead us to Versailles!" There was nothing for it but to comply; and at length Lafayette declared that he would conduct them there. He mounted his white horse, and this second army, about three o'clock in the afternoon, marched in the track of the amazons who had already reached Versailles.FROM THE PAINTING BY F. GOODALL, R.A.

This base and disproportionate sentence startled the people of England. In Scotland then party spirit ran furiously high. As there were clubs for advocating thorough reform, so there were others for discouraging and crushing it. The Tory arbitrary principle was rampant, and Muir was the victim of it.Holland rose in exultation on the news of the overthrow of Buonaparte at Leipsic. His dominion over that country had been a bitter thraldom. Its sons had been dragged yearly, by conscription, to his great slaughter-houses called battle-fields in distant regions. Their trade had been crushed by his Continental system; their colonies seized by Great Britain; their mercantile sources thus dried upin fact, he had squeezed the wealth and the life out of Holland as out of a sponge, and hordes of French officials maintained an insolent dominance all over the country. At news of the Russian disasters, the Dutch had risen to throw off this hateful and ruinous yoke; but the French forces in Holland had then been sufficient to put them down, and to severely punish them for the attempt. But the necessities in Germany had nearly drained Holland of French troops, and they now rose once more joyfully at Amsterdam, on the 15th of November, and at the Hague on the 16th. They received the most prompt assurances of assistance from Great Britain. A man-of-war was immediately put at the service of the Prince of Orange, and after a nineteen years' exile he embarked on the 25th, and entered Amsterdam on the 1st of December as King of Holland, amid the most enthusiastic acclamations. An army of twenty-five thousand men was soon enrolled; the Allies were at hand; the French authorities fled, after laying hands on all the booty they could carry off; and with the exception of the fortress of[73] Bergen-op-Zoom, the country was speedily cleared of them.

Marlborough landed at Dover on the day of the queen's death, where he was received with the warmest acclamations and tokens of the highest popularity. He was met on his approach to London by a procession of two hundred gentlemen, headed by Sir Charles Coxe, member for Southwark. As he drew nearer this procession was joined by a long train of carriages. It was like a triumph; and Bothmar, the Hanoverian Minister, wrote home that it was as if he had gained another battle at H?chst?dt (Blenheim) that he would be of great service in case the Pretender should make any attempt, but that he was displeased that he was not in the regency, or that any man except the king should be higher in the country than he. He went straight to the House of Lords to take the oaths to the king; but at Temple Bar his carriage broke down, to the great delight of the people, because it compelled him to come out and enter another, by which they got a good view of him. Having taken the oaths, he retired into the country till the arrival of the king, disgusted at his not being in the regency.FLIGHT OF THE ROYAL FAMILY OF PORTUGAL. (See p. 547.)

[See larger version]


,,What If Love,,,,

Such being the facts of the case, the Liberals came to the conclusion that a reform was inevitable. In order to adapt the Establishment to the requirements of the Protestant population, there must be a large reduction, and the surplus funds that remained ought to be applied to some object by which the moral and religious instruction of the people would be promoted. The least objectionable mode in which the money could be applied was the general education of the poor under the National Board, by which children of all denominations could be educated in harmony together, as they had been ever since its establishment. The reformers denied that there was any analogy between the revenues of the Established Church and private property. The Acts of Parliament securing those revenues had all treated them as being held in trust for the benefit of the nation; and after leaving ample means for the due execution of the trust, so far as it was really practicable, the Legislature was competent to apply the balance in accomplishing by other agency than the Protestant clergy, to some extent at least, the objects originally contemplated by the founders of the religious endowments.Carnot pretended that this memorial had been published during his absence, and without his knowledge, but he did not deny the composition; and it was most industriously circulated throughout Paris from little carts, to avoid the penalties which would have fallen on the booksellers had they issued it. As for Fouch, he endeavoured to persuade Louis to declare himself attached to the Revolutionto assume the tricolour flag and cockade. For Louis to have ruled according to the more liberal ideas introduced by the Revolution would have been wise, without declaring himself formally the disciple of opinions which had sent so many of his family to the guillotine; but to have followed the invidious advice of Fouch would have let loose at once that terrible race of Jacobins which had never ceased to massacre all other parties and then their own so long as they had the power. The cannon of Buonaparte alone had arrested their career; the advice of Fouch would have recalled it in all its horrors. Not prevailing on Louis to do so foolish an act, he wrote to Napoleon, advising him to get away to America, or it would not be long before the Bourbons, in spite of the treaty, would seize and put him to death; and then Fouch entered heart and soul into the plots of the Jacobins for the restoration of Napoleon.FLIGHT OF KING JOSEPH BUONAPARTE FROM VITTORIA. (See p. 58.)

APSLEY HOUSE, HYDE PARK CORNER, LONDON.[See larger version]In the debate on this subject, George Canning, who on many occasions had shown himself capable of better things, breathed the very language of Toryism. He declared the representation of Parliament perfect, and treated the most moderate proposals for Reform as only emanations from the mad theories of the Spenceans. The message of the Prince Regent came down on the 3rd of February, ordering certain papers to be laid before the House, "concerning certain practices, meetings, and combinations in the metropolis, and in different parts of the kingdom, evidently calculated to endanger the public tranquillity, to alienate the affections of his Majesty's subjects from his Majesty's person and Government, and to bring into hatred and contempt the whole system of our laws and institutions." Lord Sidmouth endeavoured to guard the House of Peers against the belief that the insult to the Regent had any share in the origination of this message, but the House of Lords, in its Address, directly charged this event as an additional proof of the public disaffection. Unfortunately, the Regent had two Houses of Parliament only too much disposed to make themselves the instruments of such vengeance. The message was referred to a secret committee in each House, and on the 18th and 19th of February they respectively made their reports. Both went at great length into the affair of the Spa Fields meeting, and the proceedings and designs of the Spenceans were made to represent the designs of the working classes all over the kingdom; that such men as Thistlewood, who not long after suffered for his justly odious conduct, were conspicuous among the Spenceans, and that there had been an affray in Spa Fields, were circumstances to give ample colouring to the reports of these committees. The Lords' report stated"It appears clear that the object is, by means of societies, or clubs, established, or to be established, in all parts of Great Britain, under pretence of Parliamentary reform, to infect the minds of all classes of the community, and particularly of those whose[124] situation most exposes them to such impressions, with a spirit of discontent and disaffection, of insubordination, and contempt of all law, religion, and morality; and to hold out to them the plunder of all property as the main object of their efforts, and the restoration of their natural rights; and no endeavours are omitted to prepare them to take up arms, on the first signal, for accomplishing their designs."



Copyright © 2020