汤尤杯推迟到10月举行

The spring of 1720 was a period of remarkable national prosperity. But "the grand money schemes projected of late," which appeared to the Jacobite Atterbury and others calculated to cement the royal peace and strengthen the foundation[46] of the Government and nation, were destined to produce a very different effect. For the South Sea Bubble was about to burst. In 1711, Harley, being at his wits' end to maintain the public credit, established a fund to provide for the National Debt, which amounted to ten millions of pounds. To defray the interest he made permanent the duties on wine, vinegar, and tobacco, etc. To induce the purchase of the Government stock, he gave to the shareholders the exclusive privilege of trading to the Spanish settlements in South America, and procured them an Act of Parliament and a royal charter, under the name of the South Sea Company. The idea, hollow and groundless as it was, seized on the imagination of the most staid and experienced traders. All the dreams of boundless gold which haunted the heads of the followers of Drake and Raleigh were revived. The mania spread through the nation, and was industriously encouraged by the partisans of Harley. But this stupendous dream of wealth was based on the promises of Ministers, who at the Peace of Utrecht were to secure from the Government of Spain this right to trade to its colonies. The right was never granted by that haughty and jealous Power, further than for the settlement of some few factories, and the sending of one small ship annually of less than five hundred tons. This, and the Assiento, or privilege of supplying those colonies with African slaves, were the sole advantages obtained, and these were soon disturbed by the war with Spain, which broke out under Alberoni. The South Sea Company, however, from its general resources, remained a flourishing corporation, and was deemed the rival of the Bank of England.

The Duke arrived at Paris on the 9th of December, having spent more than two months at diplomacy with very unsatisfactory results. He found the king and his Minister, M. de Villele, much cooled in their feelings towards the Spanish Government, in consequence of the tone of moderation it had assumed after its defeat of the Royalist insurgents. The king was now disposed to recall his army of observation, if he could do so with honour, and all he pressed for now was that Spain should so modify her system as to make the Constitution emanate from the king, by resting it upon a royal charter and not upon the will of the people. If this were done, and done in time for him to explain the case to the Parliament, when they met on the 28th of January, everything else, every matter of arrangement and detail, would be left to the undisturbed management of the Spanish Cabinet and Cortes. This was truly very accommodating. If Spain would only recant her constitutionalism, and adopt the absolutist creed of Divine Right, the Allies would not send their armies into the country for the protection of the king against his people. The Duke having reported the altered state of feeling in the French Government, and all that had passed, to Mr. Canning, the Foreign Secretary instructed him to deliver an official note to M. de Villele, containing a direct offer from England to mediate. This offer was declined. On the 20th of December the Duke quitted Paris, and arrived in London early in January. Subsequently the diplomatic war was carried on between M. Chateaubriand and Mr. Canning, both men of genius, and masters of a brilliant style of rhetoric, to which the Duke of Wellington had no pretensions. Mr. Canning, alluding to the[236] proposed armed intervention in Spain, with a view to stamp out the revolution, said, "The spirit of revolutionwhich, shut up within the Pyrenees, might exhaust itself with struggles, trying indeed to Spain, but harmless to her neighbours, when restrictedif called forth from within these precincts by the provocation of foreign attack, might find, perhaps, in other countries fresh aliment for its fury, and might renew throughout Europe the misery of the five-and-twenty years which preceded the peace of 1815." [See larger version]

Sceptra tenens; mollitque animos et temperat iras; This coalition was considered a matter of great importance, not as giving strength to the Administration of Lord Liverpool, to which it brought only a few votes in the House of Commons, but as indicating a radical change of policy towards Ireland. Lord Eldon was by no means satisfied with the changes. "This coalition," he writes, "I think, will have consequences very different from those expected by the members of administration who have brought it about. I hate coalitions." No doubt they ill suited his uncompromising spirit; and any connection with Liberal opinions must have been in the highest degree repugnant to the feelings of one who believed that the granting of Catholic Emancipation would involve the ruin of the Constitution.

The Duke of Wellington's declaration against Reform had all the effect of an arbitrary prohibition thrown in the way of a violent passion. The effect was tremendous; a revolutionary flame was kindled everywhere at the same instant, as if the whole atmospherenorth, south, east, and westwas wrapt in a sheet of electric fire. No words from any statesman in English history ever produced such an impression. The transports became universal; all ranks were involved; all heads, save the strongest and most far-seeing, were swept away by the torrent of excitement. John Bull's patience was gone. Parliamentary Reform was right; the time was come when it should be granted; and no man, not even the Duke of Wellington, should be allowed to withstand the nation's will. The unpopularity of the Duke with his own party swelled for the moment the current of the movement. High Churchmen declared that Reform would raise a barrier against Papal aggression, which they felt to be necessary, as experience had shown that the existing Constitution afforded no security. The old Tories, in their resentment on account of the concession to the Catholic claims, appeared to be ready to support the popular demands, if by so doing they could mortify or overthrow the Government. The inhabitants of the towns, intelligent, active, progressive, longed for Parliamentary Reform, because they believed it would remove the impediments which retarded the advancement of society. There were only two classes of the community who were believed at the time to be opposed to the Reform movement: first, the aristocratic Whigs, because Parliamentary Reform would destroy the influence by which they had for a century after the Revolution governed the country, but their accidental position as popular leaders obliged them for the time to go with the current; second, the class to whom Mr. Cobbett applied the term "borough-mongers," including all those who had property in Parliamentary seats, and could sell them, or bestow them, as they thought proper. The former, it was argued, were obliged to conceal their attachment to the old system, which had secured to a few great families a monopoly of government and its emoluments. The latter had become so odious to the nation that their opposition availed little against the rapid tide of public feeling and the tremendous breakers of popular indignation. The crossing of the Beresina, in the circumstances, was a desperate design, but there was no alternative but surrender. Tchitchagoff was posted with his army on the opposite or left bank; Wittgenstein and Platoff were pressing down to join them; and Kutusoff, with the grand army of Russia, was in the rear, able, if he could have been induced to do it, to drive Buonaparte and his twelve thousand men into the Beresina, and destroy them. After reconnoitring the river Napoleon determined to deceive Tchitchagoff by a feint at passing at Borissov, but really to make the attempt at Studienka, above Borissov. He therefore kept up a show of preparations to cross at Borissov, but got ready two bridges at Studienka, one for the artillery and baggage, the other for the troops and miscellaneous multitude. At this juncture he was joined by Victor and Oudinot with their fifty thousand men well provided with everything. Thus he was now possessed of sixty-two thousand men besides stragglers; and his design of deceiving Tchitchagoff succeeding so completely that the latter withdrew his whole force from opposite to Studienka and concentrated it at Borissov, he began on the 26th of November to cross the river, and had a strong force already over before Tchitchagoff discovered his error and came back to attack him. So far all went so well that Buonaparte again boasted of his star.

[See larger version]

Amongst the followers of Whitefield became[170] conspicuous Rowland Hill, Matthew Wilks, and William Huntington. Of the followers of Whitefield, Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, became the patron, as she had been of Whitefield himself, whom she made her chaplain. This remarkable woman founded schools and colleges for the preachers; and so completely did she identify herself with this sect that it became styled "Lady Huntingdon's Society." Perhaps the most celebrated of these preachers, after Whitefield, was Rowland Hill, who was a younger son of Sir Rowland Hill, of Hawkstone, in Shropshire. He was educated at Cambridge for the Church of England, but preferred following Whitefield, and for many years went about preaching in the open air, like Whitefield, in different parts of the country, and particularly amongst the colliers of Kingswood. In 1783 his chapel, called the Surrey Chapel, being built, he settled in London, and continued his ministry in the metropolis till his death in 1833, at the age of eighty-eight. Rowland Hill was as much celebrated for his humour and eccentricity, which he carried into his preachings, as for his talents. He was also an author of various productions, the most popular of which were his "Village Dialogues."

On the 17th of February he introduced this plan in two Bills. He declared that his policy had always been pacific; that he had never proposed any tax on the Americanswhen he came into office he had found them taxed already; that he had tried conciliatory means before the sword was drawn, and would still gladly try them. He had thought the former propositions to the Americans very reasonable, and he thought so still. Forgetful of the hopes that he had held out, of assisting the revenues of Great Britain by the taxation of Americans, he now surprised his auditors by asserting that he had never expected to derive much revenue from America, and that, in reality, the taxes imposed had not paid the expenses of the attempt to collect them. The first of his Bills, therefore, he entitled one "For removing all doubts and apprehensions concerning taxation by the Parliament of Great Britain in any of the colonies." It repealed entirely the tea duty in America, and declared "that from and after the passing of this Act, the king and Parliament of Great Britain will not impose any duty, tax, or assessment whatever, in any of his Majesty's colonies, except only such duties as it may be expedient to impose for the regulation of commerce, the nett produce of such duty to be always paid and applied to and for the use of the colony in which the same shall be levied." The second Bill removed some otherwise insuperable obstacles to a treaty. The Commissionersfive in numberwere to raise no difficulties as to the legal ranks or titles of those with whom they would have to negotiate. They were empowered to proclaim a cessation of hostilities on the part of the king's forces by sea or land for any necessary term and on any necessary conditions. They might suspend all the Acts of Parliament respecting America passed since 1763, yet the Bill excepted the repeal of the Massachusetts Charter, and introduced that into a separate Actanother weak measure, for on such an occasion the only wisdom was to wipe away all Acts, or repeal of Acts, which had arisen out of these unhappy differences. The effect of this statement has been well described in the Annual Register of that year, in an article supposed to be from the hand of Burke:"A dull, melancholy silence for some time succeeded this speech. It had been heard with profound attention, but without a single mark of approbation of any part, from any description of men, or any particular man in the House. Astonishment, dejection, and fear overclouded the whole assembly. Although the Minister had declared that the sentiments he had expressed that day had been those which he always entertained, it is certain that few or none had understood him in that manner, and he had been represented to the nation at large as the person in it the most tenacious of those Parliamentary rights which he now proposed to resign, and the most adverse to the submissions which he now proposed to make."

Rt. Hon. Sir H. Langrishe, 15,000 for his patronage of Knocktopher, and a commissionership of revenue.

Out of these troubles arose a new state of things, a new era of peace and prosperity. Lord Durham saw that disaffection and disturbance had arisen from the animosity of race and religion, exasperated by favouritism in the Government, and the dispensation of patronage through "a family compact." He recommended a liberal, comprehensive, impartial, and unsectarian policy, with the union of the two provinces under one legislature, and this, after several failures, became law in 1840. It was a revolution quite unexpected by both parties. The disaffected French Catholics feared, as the consequence of their defeat, a rule of military repression; the British Protestants hoped for the firm establishment of their ascendency. Both were disappointedthe latter very painfully, when, notwithstanding their efforts and sacrifices for the maintenance of British power, they saw Papineau, the arch-traitor, whom they would have hanged, Attorney-General in the new Government. However, the wise government of Lord Sydenham soon reconciled them to the altered state of affairs. The new Constitution was proclaimed in Canada on the 10th of February, 1841; and the admirable manner in which it worked proved that Lord Durham, its author, was one of the greatest benefactors of the colony, though his want of tact had made his mission a failure.

Indeed, the perusal of the debates, in connection with the Royal Speech, threw the whole United Kingdom into a ferment of agitation. Public meetings were held to express indignation at the anti-Reform declaration of the Duke of Wellington. Petitions were presented, pamphlets were published, harangues were delivered, defiances were hurled from every part of the country. It was[323] in these circumstances that the king was invited to honour the City with his presence at the Lord Mayor's banquet, which was to be held on the 9th of November, the day on which the new Lord Mayor enters upon his office. It had been the custom for a new Sovereign to pay this compliment to the City, and William IV. was advised by his Ministers to accept the invitation. The Metropolitan Police force had been recently established. It was a vast improvement upon the old body of watchmen, in whose time thieves and vagabonds pursued their avocations with comparative impunity. The new force, as may be supposed, was the object of intense hatred to all the dangerous classes of society, who had organised a formidable demonstration against the police, and the Government by which the force was established, on Lord Mayor's Day. Inflammatory placards had been posted, and handbills circulated, of the most exciting and seditious character, of which the following is a specimen:"To arms! Liberty or death! London meets on Tuesday next an opportunity not to be lost for revenging the wrongs we have suffered so long. Come armed; be firm, and victory must be ours.... We assure you, from ocular demonstration, 6,000 cutlasses have been removed from the Tower for the immediate use of Peel's bloody gang. Remember the cursed Speech from the Thronethesepolice are to be armed. Englishmen! will you put up with this?" Appeals of this kind, and sinister rumours of all sorts, industriously circulated, created the greatest alarm throughout London. It was reported that a conspiracy of vast extent had been discoveredthat society was on the eve of a terrible convulsionthat the barricades would immediately be up in the Strand, and that there would be a bloody revolution in the streets. The inhabitants prepared as well as they could for self-defence. They put up iron blinds and shutters to their windows, got strong bolts to their doors, supplied themselves with arms, and resolutely waited for the attack. So great was the public consternation that the Funds fell three-and-a-half per cent. in two hours. This panic is not a matter of so much astonishment when we consider that the three days' fighting in the streets of Paris was fresh in the recollection of the people of London. The Lord Mayor Elect, Alderman Key, had received so many anonymous letters, warning him of confusion and riot if his Majesty's Ministers should appear in the procession, that he became alarmed, and wrote to the Duke of Wellington, pointing out the terrible consequences of a nocturnal attack by armed and organised desperadoes in such a crowded city as London. The Duke, thinking the danger not to be despised, advised the king to postpone his visit. Accordingly, a letter from Sir Robert Peel, as Home Secretary, appeared posted on the Exchange on the morning of the 9th. The multitude of sightseers, disappointed of their pageant, were excited beyond all precedent, and execrations against the Government were heard on every side. In fact, this incident, concerning which no blame whatever attached to the Ministers, exposed the Duke of Wellington and his colleagues to a hailstorm of popular fury. The two Houses of Parliament hastily met, in a state of anxiety, if not alarm. Unable to restrain their feelings until the arrival of Ministers to give explanations, they broke forth into vehement expressions of censure and regret. Lord Wellesley more justly described it as "the boldest act of cowardice of which he had ever heard."