“青春志愿行,奉献新时代”发布大会

"'Partes ubi se via findit in ambas.'"

The new arrangements for the care of the king's person came on first for discussion. On the 25th of January Lord Liverpool introduced a Bill to make the Duke of York guardian of his Majesty's person in place of the late queen. This question was decided with little debate. On the 4th of February a message was brought down from the Regent informing the House of Commons that, in consequence of the demise of her Majesty, fifty-eight thousand pounds became disposable for the general purposes of the Civil List; and recommending that the claims of her late Majesty's servants to the liberality of the House should be considered. Lord Castlereagh moved that the House should go into committee on this subject, as, besides the fifty-eight thousand pounds, there was another sum of one hundred thousand pounds, which had been appropriated to the maintenance of the establishment at Windsor. It was understood that Ministers would propose to reduce the sum for the establishment at Windsor to fifty thousand pounds, but that they would recommend that ten thousand pounds, which her Majesty had received in consideration of her charge of the king, should be transferred to the Duke of York. Mr. Tierney objected to the charge of fifty thousand pounds for the maintenance of the establishment at Windsor. He said he could not conceive how this money was to be spent, or on whom, for certainly it could not be on the king, who, he understood, was in that state of mental and bodily debility which made it necessary that as few persons as possible should be about him, and that his regimen was so very simple that it could cost next to nothing.

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When these arrangements became known, the Tory party grew dreadfully exasperated. But not the Tories onlythere were throngs of Whigs who had battled zealously for the same object, and with the same hope of personal benefit, and yet they were passed over, and Pulteney, Carteret, and their immediate coterie had quietly taken care of themselves, and thrown their coadjutors overboard. A meeting was appointed between Pulteney and the rest already in office, and the Duke of Argyll, Chesterfield, Cobham, Bathurst, and some others. The Prince of Wales was present, and the different claims were discussed. Argyll was satisfied by being made Master-General of the Ordnance, Colonel of His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, Field-Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of all the forces in South Britain. Chesterfield got nothing, professing to wait to see a more thorough change of men before he went amongst them; but Cobham was made a Field-Marshal, and restored to the command of the Grenadier Guards, but he could get nothing for his nephew, the fiery Oppositionist, Lyttelton. Lord Harrington was made an Earl and President of the Council. But what surprised the country most was that Pulteney, hitherto the head and soul of the party, should have been content to sacrifice himself for the sake of a title. He was made Earl of Bath and received a place in the Cabinet; but by this change, although he seemed to have a brilliant career before him, he forfeited the confidence of the country, which had always looked up to him as the most determined and disinterested of patriots. From this moment he sank into insignificance and contempt. Some others of the old officials remained in as well as Newcastle. Sir William Yonge and Pelham, brother of Newcastle, retained their posts, Yonge as Secretary of War, and Pelham as Paymaster of the Forces. A great raid of reform was made in the Opposition, and it fell first on the corruption of the boroughs, both in Scotland and England. The subject was brought on, as it were, incidentally. An Enclosure Bill, affecting some parts of the New Forest, Hampshire, was attacked, as a job intended to benefit Pitt's staunch supporter, George Rose, who had rapidly risen from an obscure origin to the post of Secretary to the Treasury. Rose had a house and small estate in the Forest, and there was a universal outcry, both in Parliament and in the public press, that, in addition to the many sinecures of the fortunate Rose, there was also a sop intended for him at the cost of the Crown lands. The reformers were successful in casting much blame on Ministers, and they followed it up by charging Rose with bribing one Thomas Smith, a publican in Westminster, to procure votes for the Ministerial candidate, Lord Hood. Though the motion for a committee of the House to inquire into the particulars of this case was defeated, yet the debates turned the attention of the country on the scandalous bribery going on in boroughs. The Scots, the countrymen of Rose, petitioned for an inquiry into the condition of their boroughs. Of the sixty-six boroughs, petitions for such inquiry came from fifty. They complained that the members and magistrates of those corporations were self-elected, and by these means the rights and property of the inhabitants were grievously invaded. Rt. Hon. J. Toler, a peerage and chief justiceship.

On the 1st of February the inquiry into the crimes of Warren Hastings was renewed. The third charge of the impeachment, the treatment of the Begums, was undertaken by Sheridan, as the first was by Burke, and the second by Fox. We have stated the facts of that great oppression, and they were brought out in a most powerful and dramatic light by Sheridan in a speech of nearly six hours. Sheridan had little knowledge of India; but he was well supplied with the facts from the records of the India House and the promptings of Francis, who was familiar with the country and the events. The effect of Sheridan's charge far exceeded all that had gone before it. When he sat down almost the whole House burst forth in a storm of clappings and hurrahs. Fox declared it the most astounding speech that he had ever heard, and Burke and Pitt gave similar evidence. The wit and pathos of it were equally amazing; but it was so badly reported as to be practically lost. The following remark, however, seems to be reported fairly accurately:"He remembered to have heard an honourable and learned gentleman [Dundas] remark that there was something in the first frame and constitution of the Company which extended the sordid principles of their origin over all their successive operations, connecting with their civil policy, and even with their boldest achievements, the meanness of a pedlar and the profligacy of pirates. Alike in the political and the military line could be observed auctioneering ambassadors and trading generals; and thus we saw a revolution brought about by affidavits; an army employed in executing an arrest; a town besieged on a note of hand; a prince dethroned for the balance of an account. Thus it was they exhibited a government which united the mock majesty of a bloody sceptre and the little traffic of a merchant's counting-housewielding a truncheon with one hand, and picking a pocket with the other." The debate was adjourned to the next day, for the House could not be brought to listen to any other person after this most intoxicating speech. The motion was carried by one hundred and seventy-five votes against sixty-eight.

The Duke of York did not long survive his vehement declaration against the concession of the Catholic claims. His vow that he would never permit the Emancipation to take place, whatever might be his future positionalluding to his[255] probable accession to the Throneembittered the feelings of the Irish Roman Catholics against him. His disease was dropsy, and Mr. Sheil, at a public dinner, jeeringly referred to the "rotundity of his configuration." Mr. O'Connell, with equally bad taste, exulted in the prospect of his dissolution, and said, "I wish no physical ill to the royal duke; but if he has thrown his oath in the way of our liberties, and that, as long as he lives, justice shall not be done to the people of Ireland, it is a mockery to tell me that the people of Ireland have not an interest in his ceasing to live. Death is the corrector of human errors; it is said to be man's hour for repentance, and God's opportunity. If the royal duke should not become converted from his political errors, I am perfectly resigned to the will of God, and shall abide the result with the most Christian resignation." The duke's bodily sufferings increased very much towards the end of 1826, and in December the disease manifested the most alarming symptoms. He continued to the last to discharge his duties as Commander-in-Chief. His professional zeal flashed out even on his death-bed. At a time when his breathing was so oppressed that it was necessary to support him with pillows in an upright position, he personally gave all the orders, and directed all the arrangements, for the expedition which left England in the middle of December, when the peace of Europe was in imminent danger from the threatened invasion of Portugal. Notwithstanding his dislike to Canning, in consequence of their difference on the Catholic question, he co-operated with him in this matter with an earnestness and vigour which the Duke of Wellington himself could not have surpassed. On the 5th of January, 1827, he died.

ABBOTSFORD AND THE EILDON HILLS. (From a Photograph by Valentine & Sons, Dundee.)

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Of all the expectants of office in the Wellington Administration, the most bitterly disappointed was the ex-Chancellor, Lord Eldon, to whom official life had from long habit become almost a necessity. He had enjoyed power long enough in reason to admit of his retirement with a contented mind; but the passion for it was never stronger than at the present moment. He hastened to London a few days after Christmas on account of rumours of a dissolution of the Cabinet. Having so often done this when there was a talk of a Ministerial crisis, he was called the "stormy petrel." Believing that he had mainly contributed to bring about the Ministerial catastrophe, he was dreadfully mortified when he saw in the newspapers the list of the new Ministers beginning thus: "Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst." He had not set his heart this time on the office of Lord Chancellor, he would have been content with the Presidentship of the Council or Privy Seal; but his name was not found in the list at all, nor had he been consulted in any way, or informed about what was going forward during the fortnight that passed before the Ministerial arrangements were completed. This utter neglect of his claims excited his anger and indignation to the utmost, and caused him to indulge in bitter revilings and threats against the new Cabinet. The great Tory lords shared in his resentment, and felt that they were all insulted in his person. Referring to the Ministerial arrangements, he wrote:"You will observe, Dudley, Huskisson, Grant, Palmerston, and Lyndhurst (five) were all Canningites, with whom the rest were three weeks ago in most violent contest and opposition; these things are to me quite marvellous. How they are all to deal with each other's conduct, as to the late treaty with Turkey and the Navarino battle, is impossible to conjecture. As the first-fruits of this arrangement, the Corporation of London have agreed to petition Parliament to repeal the laws which affect Dissenters."

At the ensuing assizes in August, those rioters who had been apprehended were tried; some at Worcester for participating in the outrages, but there only one prisoner was committed. Of those tried at Warwick, on the 25th of the month, four received sentence of death. Of these five rioters condemned, only three actually suffered, while two received his Majesty's gracious pardon. The victims of this riot thought the penalty much too trivial! Such, indeed, was the perverted state of public feeling in and around Birmingham, that[386] the sufferers were regarded as men seeking the lives of innocent men who had only shown their loyalty to Church and King. They were declared to be no better than selfish murderers. Whilst they attended at the assizes, their lives scarcely seemed safe. They were publicly abused in the streets, or menaced and cursed wherever they appeared. In the very assize-hall there were persons who, on seeing Priestley, cried, "Damn him! there is the cause of all the mischief!" He was followed in the streets, especially by an attorney, who cursed him furiously, and wished he had been burned with his house and books. The favourite toast of the Church-and-King party was, "May every Revolutionary dinner be followed by a hot supper!" The damages awarded to the sufferers were, in most cases, ludicrously inadequate. Hutton was a heavy loser; Priestley received three thousand and ninety-eight pounds, but he complained that this was two thousand pounds short of the extent of his loss. But this deficiency was made up by sympathising friends.

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The Catholic and Apostolic Church, founded by the Rev. Edward Irving, had at the time of the census of 1851 about 30 congregations, comprising nearly 6,000 communicants, and the number was said to be gradually increasing. Mr. Irving (who in 1819 assisted Dr. Chalmers at Glasgow) was the minister of the Scottish Church, Regent Square, London, very eloquent, and very eccentric; and towards the close of 1829 it was asserted that several miraculous gifts of healing and prophecy, and of speaking with strange tongues, were displayed in his congregation. Having been excluded from the Scottish Church, a chapel was erected for him, in 1832, in Newman Street. In the course of a few years other churches were erected in different places. The Apostolic Church was established on the model of the Jewish Tabernacle, with twelve apostles, a new order of prophets, etc. In 1836 they delivered their testimony to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to most of the bishops, and to many ministers in different denominations. They also resolved to deliver their testimony to the king in person, and "to as many Privy Councillors as could be found, or would receive it." In 1837 a "Catholic testimony" was addressed to the patriarchs, bishops, and sovereigns of Christendom, and was subsequently delivered to Cardinal Acton for the Pope, to Prince Metternich for the Emperor of Austria, and to other bishops and kings throughout Europe.

The Greeks had been struggling to emancipate themselves from the tyrannical dominion of the Turks, aided in their war of independence only by the voluntary contributions and personal services of enthusiastic friends of freedom, like Lord Byron. At length, however, the sanguinary nature of the contest, and the injury to commerce by piracy, induced the Great Powers of Europe to interfere in order to put an end to the war. Accordingly, on the 6th of July, 1827, a treaty was signed in London by the Ministers of Great Britain, France, and Russia, for the pacification of Greece. In pursuance of this treaty, a joint expedition, consisting of British, French, and Russian ships, entered the Bay of Navarino on the 20th of October, with the object of compelling the Sultan to concede an armistice, in order that there might be time for effecting an arrangement. The Sultan, Mahmoud, having declined the mediation of the combined Powers, and Ibrahim Pasha having received a large reinforcement of troops from Egypt, he was ordered to put down the insurrection at every cost by land and sea. He had accordingly recommenced the war with fanatical fury. All Greeks found in arms were to be put to the sword, and the Morea was to be laid waste. The combined fleet of the Allies had received orders to demand an armistice, and if this were refused by the Turkish admiral, they were to intercept the Turkish supplies, but not to commit hostilities. When the Turkish fleet met the Allies, the futility of these instructions became evident. They found it ranged at the bottom of the bay, in the form of a crescent. Instead of parleying, the Turks began to fire, and the battle commenced apparently without plan on either side. It soon became general. Admiral Codrington, in the Asia, opened a broadside upon the Egyptian admiral, and soon reduced his ship to a wreck; others in rapid succession shared the same fate. The conflict lasted with great fury for four hours. When the smoke cleared off, the enemy had disappeared, and the bay was strewn with the fragments of their ships. Among the Allies, the loss of the British was greatest, though not largeonly 75 men killed[263] and 197 wounded. The catastrophe produced immense excitement at Constantinople, and had the Janissaries (those fierce and bigoted defenders of Mohammedanism whom the Sultan had so recently extirpated) been still in existence, it would have fared ill with Christians in that part of the world. The Sultan demanded satisfaction, which would not be granted, and the European ambassadors left Constantinople. The battle of Navarino occurred at the time when the Duke of Wellington assumed the reins of office, our ambassador having then returned from Constantinople.