文史大讲堂第十四讲预告

[81] Mack, who was advancing rashly out of reach of any supporting bodies of troops, expected to encounter the French in front. He therefore took possession of Ulm and Memmingen, and threw his advanced posts out along the line of the Iller and the Upper Danube, looking for the French advancing by way of the Black Forest. But Buonaparte's plan was very different. He divided his army into six grand divisions. That commanded by Bernadotte issued from Hanover, and, crossing Hesse, appeared to be aiming at a junction with the main army, which had already reached the Rhine. But at once he diverged to the left, ascended the Main, and joined the Elector of Bavaria at Würzburg. Had Mack had a hundredth part of the strategic talent attributed to him, he would have concentrated his forces into one powerful body, and cut through the cordon which Buonaparte was drawing around him, and, under good generalship, such soldiers as the Hungarians would have done wonders; but he suffered his different detachments to be attacked and beaten in detail, never being ready with fresh troops to support those which were engaged, whilst the French were always prepared for this object. Accordingly, Soult managed to surround and take one entire Austrian division at Memmingen, under General Spangenberg, and Dupont and Ney defeated the Archduke Ferdinand at Günzburg, who had advanced from Ulm to defend the bridges there. Ferdinand lost many guns and nearly three thousand men. This induced Mack to concentrate his forces in Ulm, where, however, he had taken no measures for supplying his troops with provisions during a siege. He was completely surrounded, and compelled to capitulate on the 19th of October, 1805.

Fox saw the growing change with alarm. He saw that all their resolutions and addresses produced no effect on the Ministerial party; and he did not dare to go further and pass a Bill, either legislative or declaratory, for he felt that the Lords would throw it out; and to stop the supplies, or delay the Mutiny Bill would probably disgust and annihilate the very majority on which he depended. In these circumstances, he probably saw with satisfaction an attempt at coalition. Mr. Grosvenor, the member for Chester, during the three days of the adjournment, called a meeting of members of both parties for the purpose of seeing whether a coalition could not be formed, and thus put an end to this violent contest. About seventy members met, and an address to the Duke of Portland and Mr. Pitt was signed by fifty-four. Pitt expressed his readiness to co-operate in such a plan, but the Duke of Portland declared that the first indispensable step towards such a measure must be the resignation of Ministers. This put an end to all hope of success.

But though Pitt protested against thanking the king for bringing over Hanoverian troops, he found it necessary to support the king's German treaties and alliances, which were avowedly for the defence of Hanover. Fox reminded him of his favourite phrase, that Hanover was a millstone round the neck of England; but it was not the first time that Pitt had had to stand the taunt of eating his own words, and he braved it out, especially voting two hundred thousand pounds to Frederick of Prussia. A wonderful revolution in Continental politics had now converted this long-hostile nephew of George II. into an ally, if not a friend. The approaching coronation of the Queen became, as the season advanced, the prevailing topic of conversation in all circles. The feeling excited by it was so strong, so deep, and so widespread, that a Radical journal pronounced the people to be "coronation mad." The enthusiasm was not confined to the United Kingdom. The contagion was carried to the Continent, and foreigners of various ranks, from all nations, flocked into the metropolis to behold the inauguration of the maiden monarch of the British Empire. There were, however, some dissentients, whose objections disturbed the current of public feeling. As soon as it was understood that, on the score of economy, the time-honoured custom of having the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall would not be observed, the Marquis of Londonderry and others zealously exerted themselves to avert the innovation, but their efforts were fruitless. The coronation took place on the 28th of June. The only novel feature of importance consisted in the substitution of a procession through the streets for a banquet in Westminster Hall. It was certainly an improvement, for it afforded the people an opportunity of enjoying the ceremony. Persons of all ages, ranks, and conditions, embodied visibly in one animated and exalted whole, exultant and joyful, came forth to greet the youthful Sovereign. All the houses in the line of march poured forth their occupants to the windows and balconies. The behaviour of the enormous multitude which lined the streets, and afterwards spread over the metropolis, was admirable. The utmost eagerness was shown to furnish all the accommodation for spectators that the space would allow, and there was scarcely a house or a vacant spot along the whole line, from Hyde Park Corner to the Abbey, that was not occupied with galleries or scaffolding. At dawn the population were astir, roused by a salvo of artillery from the Tower, and towards six o'clock chains of vehicles, of all sorts and sizes, stretched along the leading thoroughfares; while streams of pedestrians, in holiday attire, poured in continuously, so that the suburbs seemed to empty themselves of all their inhabitants at once. At ten o'clock the head of the procession moved from the palace. When the Queen stepped into the State coach a salute was fired from the guns ranged in the enclosure, the bands struck up the National Anthem, a new royal standard was hoisted on the Marble Arch, and the multitude broke forth in loud and hearty cheers. The foreign ambassadors extraordinary looked superb in their new carriages and splendid uniforms. Among them shone conspicuous the state coach of Marshal Soult, and the old hero was received with vast enthusiasm by the populace.

A third Bill yet remained to be carried, in order to complete the Ministerial scheme of Emancipation, and supply the security necessary for its satisfactory working. This was the Bill for disfranchising the forty-shilling freeholders, by whose instrumentality, it may be said, Emancipation was effected. It was they that returned Mr. O'Connell for Clare; it was they that would have returned the members for twenty-three other counties, pledged to support his policy. It is true that this class of voters was generally dependent upon the landlords, unless under the influence of violent excitement, when they were wrested like weapons from their hands by the priests, and used with a vengeance for the punishment of those by whom they had been created. In neither case did they exercise the franchise in fulfilment of the purpose for which it was given. In both cases those voters were the instruments of a power which availed itself of the forms of the Constitution, but was directly opposed to its spirit. Disfranchisement, however, in any circumstances, was distasteful to both Conservative and Liberal statesmen. Mr. Brougham said he consented to it in this case "as the pricealmost the extravagant price"of Emancipation; and Sir James Mackintosh remarked that it was one of those "tough morsels" which he had been scarcely able to swallow. The measure was opposed by Mr. Huskisson, Lord Palmerston, and Lord Duncannon, as not requisite, and not calculated to accomplish its object. But although Mr. O'Connell had repeatedly declared that he would not accept Emancipation if the faithful "forties" were to be sacrificed, that he would rather die on the scaffold than submit to any such measure, though Mr. Sheil had denounced it in language the most vehement, yet the measure was allowed to pass through both Houses of Parliament without any opposition worth naming; only seventeen members voting against the second reading in the Commons, and there being no division against it in the Lords. Ireland beheld the sacrifice in silence. Mr. O'Connell forgot his solemn vows, so recently registered, and, what was more strange, the priests did not remind him of his obligation. Perhaps they were not sorry to witness the annihilation of a power which landlords might use against them[302] and which agitators might wield in a way that they could not at all times control. There had been always an uneasy feeling among the prelates and the higher clergy at the influence which Mr. O'Connell and the other lay agitators had acquired, because it tended to raise in the people a spirit of independence which rendered them sometimes refractory as members of the Church, and suggested the idea of combination against their own pastors, if they declined to become their leaders in any popular movement. The popular leaders in Ireland, however, consoling themselves with the assurance that many of the class of "bold peasantry" which they had glorified would still enjoy the franchise as ten-pound freeholders, consented, reluctantly of course, to the extinction of 300,000 "forties." They considered the danger of delay, and the probability that if this opportunity were missed, another might not occur for years of striking off the shackles which the upper classes of Roman Catholics especially felt to be so galling.

William Cowper (b. 1731; d. 1800) combined in his verse the polish of Pope with the freedom and force of Churchill. He possessed the satirical strength of Churchill with a more gentle and Christian spirit. In Cowper broke forth the strongest, clearest sense that had distinguished any writer in prose or verse for generations. He painted nature like a lover, but with the truth of a great artist, and he flagellated the vices of society in the very highest quarters with unshrinking boldness; at the same time, with equal intrepidity, he advanced the assertions of a perfect faith in the religion of the Gospel, in the face of the hardest scepticism of the age. The second reading was moved on the 14th by Lord Althorp, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Porchester moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. His motion was supported by Sir Edward Sugden. Sir Robert Peel had taunted the Government with inconsistency in adopting alterations, every one of which they had resisted when proposed by the Opposition. Mr. Macaulay retaliated with powerful effect, with respect to the conduct of the Tories on the question of Catholic Emancipation. On a division the numbers were, for the second reading, 324; against it, 162majority, 162. The House of Commons having thus carried the Reform[347] measure a third time by an increased majority, which was now two to one, the House was adjourned to the 17th of January, when it resumed its sittings. On the 19th of that month the Irish Reform Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley, and the Scottish Bill by the Lord Advocate. On the 20th the House resolved itself into a committee on the English Bill, and continued to discuss it daily, clause by clause, and word by word, pertinaciously and bitterly wrangling over each, till the 10th of March, when the committee reported. The third reading was moved on the 19th, when the last, and not the least violent, of the debates took place. The Bill was passed on the 23rd by a majority of 116, the numbers being 355 and 239.

The plot thickened as it proceeded. It was suspected that the Conservative section of the Whigs wished for office, and that Sir Robert Peel wished to have them. Mr. Stanley (now Lord Stanley in consequence of the death of his grandfather, the Earl of Derby), Sir. J. Graham, and the Duke of Richmond had a meeting at the Duke of Sutherland's, to consider what they should do, in consequence of proposals made to them to join the Administration. But as they would not pledge themselves to forward Conservative measures to the extent required, Sir Robert Peel was obliged to form a Government of Tories exclusively. On the 10th of the month the arrangements were completed, and the following were announced as the members of the Cabinet:First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Robert Peel; Lord Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst; Privy Seal, Lord Wharncliffe; Secretary of the Home Department, Mr. Goulburn; Secretary of the Foreign Department, Duke of Wellington; Secretary of the Colonial Department, Lord Aberdeen; First Lord of the Admiralty, Earl Ripon; Secretary for Ireland, Sir H. Hardinge; President of the Board of Control, Lord Ellenborough; President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint, Mr. Baring; Paymaster of the Forces, Mr. E. Knatchbull; Secretary at War, Mr. Herries; Master-General of the Ordnance, Sir G. Murray.

The arrival of the news of Lord North's repeal of all the duties, except tea, produced little effect on the minds of the people of Boston. They declared that the unconstitutional principle was the real offence, and that it was still retained. The people of New York, however, had long inclined to gentler measures. They agreed to import all other articles except tea. Pennsylvania and other colonies followed their example; and they declared that they who wanted tea must smuggle it. The more fiery patriots declared against this lukewarmness; but the desire for the English goods was so great that, during the years 1770 and 1771, the importations were larger than they had ever been. Nevertheless, though the colonies appeared returning to order and obedience, the efforts of the Republican party never relaxed, and, especially in Massachusetts, there was a tone of sullen discontent. "Liberty poles" were still erected; exciting harangues were delivered on the anniversary of "the massacre," and the Assembly continued to manifest a stubborn resistance to the will of the Lieutenant-Governor.

FROM THE PAINTING BY CLARKSON STANFIELD, R.A., IN THE CORPORATION ART GALLERY, GUILDHALL.

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Peaceful Accession of George I.His ArrivalTriumph of the WhigsDissolution and General ElectionThe AddressDetermination to Impeach the late MinistersFlight of Bolingbroke and OrmondeImpeachment of OxfordThe Riot ActThe Rebellion of 1715Policy of the Regent OrleansSurrender of the Pretender's ShipsThe Adventures of Ormonde and MarThe Highlands declare for the PretenderMar and ArgyllAdvance of Mackintosh's DetachmentIts Surrender at PrestonBattle of SheriffmuirArrival of the PretenderMutual DisappointmentAdvance of ArgyllFlight of the Pretender to FrancePunishment of the RebelsImpeachment of the Rebel LordsThe Septennial ActThe King goes to HanoverImpossibility of Reconstructing the Grand AllianceNegotiations with FranceDanger of Hanover from Charles XII.And from RussiaAlarm from TownshendTermination of the DisputeFresh Differences between Stanhope and TownshendDismissal of the LatterThe Triple AllianceProject for the Invasion of ScotlandDetection of the PlotDismissal of Townshend and WalpoleThey go into OppositionWalpole's Financial SchemeAttack on CadoganTrial of OxfordCardinal AlberoniOutbreak of Hostilities between Austria and SpainOccupation of SardiniaAlberoni's DiplomacyThe Quadruple AllianceByng in the MediterraneanAlberoni deserted by SavoyDeath of Charles XII.Declaration of War with SpainRepeal of the Schism ActRejection of the Peerage BillAttempted Invasion of BritainDismissal of AlberoniSpain makes PeacePacification of Northern EuropeFinal Rejection of the Peerage BillThe South Sea CompanyThe South Sea BillOpposition of WalpoleRise of South Sea StockRival CompaniesDeath of StanhopePunishment of Ministry and DirectorsSupremacy of WalpoleAtterbury's PlotHis Banishment and the Return of BolingbrokeRejection of Bolingbroke's ServicesA Palace IntrigueFall of CarteretWood's HalfpenceDisturbances in ScotlandPunishment of the Lord Chancellor MacclesfieldThe Patriot PartyComplications AbroadTreaty of ViennaTreaty of HanoverActivity of the JacobitesFalls of Ripperda and of BourbonEnglish PreparationsFolly of the EmperorAttack on GibraltarPreliminaries of PeaceIntrigues against WalpoleDeath of George I.

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