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In 1792 a measure of relief was passed for the Episcopalians of Scotland. These had fallen into disgrace for their refusal to swear allegiance to the House of Hanover. The conduct of many of them during the rebellion of 1745 had increased the rigour of Government against them, and an Act was passed, the 19 George II., ordering the shutting up of all Episcopalian chapels where the minister had not taken the oath of allegiance, and where he did not pray for the king and royal family. Any clergyman of that church violating these regulations was liable to six months' imprisonment for the first offence, and transportation to one of the American plantations for the second, with perpetual imprisonment did he dare to return thence. No minister was to be held qualified to officiate except he had received letters of orders from an English or Irish bishop of the Protestant Episcopalian Church. All persons frequenting the chapels of such unqualified persons were liable to a penalty of five pounds for the first offence, and two years' imprisonment for the second. But now, the Pretender being dead, and his brother, Cardinal York, being held on account of[169] his clerical character to have forfeited his claim to the Crown, the Scottish Episcopalians came and took the necessary oaths; this Bill was passed removing their disabilities, and the aristocracy of Scotland soon, for the most part, became members of the church when it ceased to be in disgrace.

[See larger version] Rancour of the Americans towards EnglandTheir Admiration of NapoleonThe Right of Search and consequent DisputesMadison's warlike DeclarationOpposition in CongressCondition of CanadaCapture of MichilimachimacAn ArmisticeRepulse of the Invasion of CanadaNaval EngagementsNapoleon and the Czar determine on WarAttempts to dissuade NapoleonUnpreparedness of RussiaBernadotte's Advice to AlexanderRashness of NapoleonPolicy of Prussia, Austria and TurkeyOvertures to England and RussiaNapoleon goes to the FrontHis extravagant LanguageThe War beginsDisillusion of the PolesDifficulties of the AdvanceBagration and Barclay de TollyNapoleon pushes onCapture of SmolenskBattle of BorodinoThe Russians evacuate MoscowBuonaparte occupies the CityConflagrations burst outDesperate Position of AffairsMurat and KutusoffDefeat of MuratThe Retreat beginsIts HorrorsCaution of KutusoffPassage of the BeresinaNapoleon leaves the ArmyHis Arrival in ParisResults of the CampaignEngland's Support of RussiaClose of 1812Wellington's improved ProspectsHe advances against Joseph BuonaparteBattle of VittoriaRetreat of the FrenchSoult is sent against WellingtonThe Battle of the PyreneesThe Storming of San SebastianWellington forbids PlunderingHe goes into Winter-quartersCampaign in the south-east of SpainNapoleon's Efforts to renew the CampaignDesertion of Murat and BernadotteAlliance between Prussia and RussiaAustrian Mediation failsEarly Successes of the AlliesBattle of LützenNapoleon's false Account of the BattleOccupation of Hamburg by DavoustBattle of BautzenArmistice of PleisswitzFailure of the NegotiationsThe Fortification of DresdenSuccessive Defeats of the French by the AlliesThe Aid of EnglandBattle of LeipsicRetreat of the French across the RhineThe French Yoke is thrown offCastlereagh summons England to fresh ExertionsLiberation of the PopeFailure of Buonaparte's Attempt to restore FerdinandWellington's Remonstrance with the British MinistryBattles of Orthez and ToulouseTermination of the CampaignExhaustion of FranceThe Allies on the FrontierNapoleon's final EffortsThe Congress of ChtillonThe Allies advance on ParisSurrender of the CapitalA Provisional Government appointedNapoleon abdicates in favour of his SonHis unconditional AbdicationReturn of the BourbonsInsecurity of their PowerTreaty of ParisBad Terms to EnglandVisit of the Monarchs to London.

In fact, whilst these events had been proceeding on the frontiers of France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been dividing Poland amongst them. The King of Prussia, when contemplating his participation in this vile business, issued a proclamation assigning the most virtuous reasons for it. It was to check the spread of French principles in Poland, which had compelled himself and his amiable allies, the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of Germany, to invade Poland. But these pretences were merely a cloak for a shameless robbery. Poland abutted on Prussia with the desirable ports of Thorn and Dantzic, and therefore Great Poland was especially revolutionary in the eyes of Frederick William of Prussia. The Polish Diet exposed the hollowness of these pretences in a counter-manifesto. This produced a manifesto from Francis of Austria, who declared that the love of peace and good neighbourhood would not allow him to oppose the intentions of Prussia, or permit any other Power to interfere with the efforts of Russia and Prussia to pacify Poland; in fact, his love of peace would not allow him to discountenance an aggressive war, but his love of good neighbourhood would allow him to permit the most flagrant breach of good neighbourhood. As for the Empress of Russia, she had a long catalogue of ingratitude against the Poles, in addition to their Jacobinical principles, and for these very convenient reasons she had now taken possession of certain portions of that kingdom, and called on all the inhabitants of these districts to swear allegiance to her immediately. The Empress having thus broken the ice of her real motives, the King of Prussia no longer pretended to conceal his, but called on all the inhabitants of Great Poland to swear allegiance to him forthwith. The Russian Ambassador at Grodno commanded the Poles to carry these orders of Russia and Prussia into effect by a circular dated the 9th of April. The great Polish Confederation, which had invited the interference of Russia in order to carry out their own party views, were much confounded by these announcements of their friends. They reminded the marauders of the engagements entered into by Russia, Prussia, and Austria, at the time of the former partition, to guarantee the integrity of the remainder. But this was merely parleying with assassins with the knife at their throats. The aggressive Powers by force of arms compelled poor King Poniatowski and the nobles to assemble a Diet, and draw up and sign an instrument for the alienation of the required territories. By this forced cession a territory, containing a population of more than three millions and a half, was made over to Russia; and another territory to Prussia, containing a million and a half of inhabitants, together with the navigation of the Vistula, with the port of Thorn on that great river, and of Dantzic on the Baltic, so long coveted. As for the small remainder of what once had been Poland, which was left to that shadow-king, Poniatowski, it was bound down under all the old oppressive regulations, and had Russian garrisons at Warsaw and other towns. But all these Powers were compelled to maintain large garrisons in their several sections of the appropriated country.[420] But though Pitt ceased to be a Parliamentary reformerand by degrees became the most determined opponent of all reformhe yet made an immediate movement for administrative reform. He took up the plans of Burke, praying for a commission to inquire into the fees, gratuities, perquisites, and emoluments received in the public offices, with reference to existing abuses. He stated that, alreadyacting on the information of reports of the Board of Commissioners appointed in Lord North's timefixed salaries, instead of fees and poundages, had been introduced in the office of the land-tax, and the Post Office was so improved as to return weekly into the Treasury three thousand pounds sterling, instead of seven hundred sterling. Similar regulations he proposed to introduce into the Pay Office, the Navy and Ordnance Office. He stated, also, that he had, when out of office, asserted that no less than forty-four millions sterling was unaccounted for by men who had been in different offices. He was ridiculed for that statement, and it was treated as a chimera; but already twenty-seven millions of such defalcations had been traced, and a balance of two hundred and fifty-seven thousand pounds sterling was on the point of being paid in. In fact, the state of the Government offices was, at that time, as it had long been, such that it was next to impossible for any one to get any business transacted there without bribing heavily. As a matter of course, this motion was strongly opposed, but it was carried, and Mr. Francis Baring and the two other Comptrollers of army accounts were appointed the Commissioners.

The new British Parliament met on November 26, and Ministers were seen to have a powerful majority. The king announced, in his speech from the throne, that hostilities had broken out in India with Tippoo, and that a peace had been effected between Russia and Sweden, and he mentioned the endeavours that were in progress for restoring amity between the Emperor of Austria and his subjects in the Netherlands. In the debate on the Address in the Commons, Fox appeared inclined still to laud France, and to condemn our interference in the Netherlands. His eyes were not yet opened to the real danger from France, whose example was indeed exciting popular disturbances in the Netherlands and in Poland. Already the doctrines of Liberty and Equality had reached the ears of the negroes in St. Domingo, who had risen to claim the rights of man so amiably proclaimed by France, and the troops of France were on their way thither to endeavour to put them down, in direct contradiction of their own boasted political philosophy. In the Lords, Earl Greythe father of the Whig statesmanon the 13th of December, called for the production of papers relating to Nootka Sound. The motion was negatived by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-four votes. But the Marquis of Lansdowne contended that Spain had a right to the whole of the North American coast on which Nootka Sound is situated, and had had it since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He asserted that we had insulted the weakness of Spain; and that Mr. Mears and the other projectors of the trading settlement of Nootka Sound were a set of young men of letters, seeking for novelties. He completely overlooked the provocations which[376] Spain had lately given us, and her endeavours to enter into a conjunction with France against us. He condemned Ministers for having alienated France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, overlooking the fact that they had made alliances with Prussia, Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands. Pitt's cousin, Lord Grenville, replied to this one-sided view of things, and proudly contrasted the position of Britain at this moment to what it was at the conclusion of the American War, when Lord Lansdowne himself, as Lord Shelburne, had been in the Ministry. Pitt, on the 15th of December, stated that the expenses of the late armament, and the sums necessary to keep up the increased number of soldiers and sailors for another year, before which they could not be well disbanded, owing to certain aspects of things abroad, would amount to something more than three millions, which he proposed to raise by increasing the taxes on sugar, on British and foreign spirits, malt, and game licences, as well as raising the assessed taxes, except the commutation and land taxes. He stated that there was a standing balance of six hundred thousand pounds to the credit of the Government in the Bank of England, which he proposed to appropriate to the discharge of part of the amount. He, moreover, introduced a variety of regulations to check the frauds practised in the taxes upon receipts and bills of exchange, which he calculated at three hundred thousand pounds per annum. With this, Parliament adjourned for the Christmas recess, and thus closed the eventful year of 1790. [See larger version]

This was not the only bitter pill that poor Lord Eldon was compelled to swallow. Without one word of intimation from the king or the Prime Minister, he learnt for the first time from the Courier that Mr. Huskisson had been introduced into the Cabinet. Mr. Huskisson was made President of the Board of Trade, and in his stead Mr. Arbuthnot became First Commissioner of the Land Revenues. Mr. Vansittart, who had proved a very inefficient Chancellor of the Exchequer,[231] was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Bexley, and got the quiet office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was succeeded in the more important office by a much abler financier, Mr. Robinson.