美国从中国采购的大批医疗物资,已经空运到纽约了 

Amongst these, for the most part working men, sat a number of gentlemen, and even one lord, Lord Dacre, who had lived in Paris and was a regular Revolutionist. The Convention sat unmolested till the 5th of December, arranging for a future meeting in England, and organising committees and correspondents in different towns. They also recommended to all Reform clubs and societies to invoke Divine aid on their endeavours for just reform. On meeting on the morning of the 5th, the president, Paterson, announced that himself, Margarot, and the delegates had been arrested, and were only out on bail. Immediately after this, the Lord Provost appeared with a force to disperse the meeting, and though Skirving informed him that the place of meeting was his own hired house, and that they had met for a purely constitutional purpose, the Lord Provost broke up the meeting and drove out the members. That evening they met again at another place, but only to be turned out again. Still they did not disperse before Gerald had offered up a fervent prayer for the success of Reform. Mr. Skirving then issued a circular inviting the delegates to meet in his private house, and for this he was arrested on the 6th of January, 1794, brought before the Court of Justiciary, and sentenced to fourteen years' transportation. On the 13th Margarot received the same sentence; and, in the month of March, Gerald likewise.

Alberoni now found himself in turn attacked by France. Whilst busying himself to repair a few of the shattered ships which had escaped from the tempest, in order to harass the coast of Brittany in conjunction with the malcontents there, he beheld an army of thirty thousand French menacing the Pyrenean frontier. War having begun, the Spaniards were utterly defeated by the French in Spain and by the Austrians in Sicily, thanks to the zealous co-operation of the British fleet under Admiral Byng. At length Philip was compelled to dismiss Alberoni.

In the meantime, General Gage landed at Boston on the 13th of May. The Port Bill had preceded him a few days, and the tone of the other colonies rendered the Bostonians firmer in their temper than ever. On the 25th of May General Gage announced to the Assembly at Boston the unpleasant fact, that he was bound to remove, on the 1st of June, the Assembly, the courts of justice, and all the public offices, to Salem, in conformity with the late Act. As they petitioned him to set apart a day for fasting, he declined that, and, to prevent further trouble, adjourned them to the 7th of June, to meet at Salem. When the subsidy to Hesse-Cassel was sent home to receive the signatures of the Cabinet, it was found to amount to an annual payment by England of one hundred and fifty thousand crowns, besides eighty crowns to every horseman, and thirty crowns to every foot soldier, when they were really called out to service. That to Russia was immensely greater; then came in prospective that to Saxony, to Bavaria, etc. These latter States had been fed all through the last few years for doing nothing, and now demanded vastly higher terms. Yet when the Hessian Treaty was laid on the Council table by the compliant Newcastle, Ministers signed it without reading it. Pitt and Fox, however, protested against it; and when the Treasury warrants for carrying the treaty into execution were sent down to Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he refused to sign them. Before the conclusion of the reign of George II. a new school of fiction had appeared. De Foe had, besides his "Robinson Crusoe," opened up the inexhaustible field of incident and character existing in actual life in his "Colonel Jack," "Moll Flanders," "Roxana," and other novels, and Fielding and Richardson extended it. Fielding, too, died six years before the beginning of this reign, and Richardson in the first year of it. But their works were in full circulation, and extended their influence far into this period. They have, therefore, been left to be noticed here in connection with the class of writers to whom they gave origin, and to whom they properly belong. Richardson (b. 1689; d. 1761) seems to have originated the true novel of real life in his "Pamela," which was the history of a servant, written with that verisimilitude that belongs to biography. This was commenced in 1740, and brought to a conclusion in 1741. The extra-ordinary sensation which it created was sufficient proof that the author had struck into the very heart of nature, and not only knew where the seat of human passion lay, but had the highest command over it. It was not, in fact, from books and education, but from native insight and acute observation, that he drew his power. He was born in Derbyshire, and received his education at a common day-school. He was then apprenticed as a printer in London, and established himself as a master in that business, which he continued to pursue with great success. His "Pamela" ran through five editions in the first year. In 1748[172] appeared his "Clarissa Harlowe," and wonderfully extended his reputation, which reached its full blaze in his "Sir Charles Grandison," in 1754. In all these works he showed himself a perfect analyst of the human heart, and detector of the greatest niceties of character. Though he could have known little or nothing of aristocratic life, yet, trusting to the sure guidance of nature, he drew ladies and gentlemen, and made them act and converse as the first ladies and gentlemen of the age would have been proud to act and speak. A more finished gentleman than Sir Charles Grandison, or correcter lady than Miss Byron, was never delineated. The only thing was, that, not being deeply versed in the debaucheries and vulgarisms of the so-called high life of the time, he drew it as much purer and better than it was. It is in the pages of Fielding and Smollett that we must seek for the darker and more real character of the age. The fault of Richardson was his prolixity. He develops his plot, and draws all his characters, and works out his narrative with the minutest strokes. It is this which prevents him from being read now. Who could wade through a novel of nine volumes? Yet these were devoured by the readers of that time with an avidity that not even the novels of Sir Walter Scott were waited for in the height of his popularity.

BENJAMIN DISRAELI.

But on the 29th of February, 1776, the treaties lately entered into by the British Government with a number of German princes to furnish troops to fight in America, were laid on the table of the Commons; and intense indignation was raised against this most odious and impolitic measure. There had been negotiations with Russia for the purpose of procuring her savages to put down our kinsmen in America; but this barbarous attempt had failed. It was more successful with the petty princes of Germany. The Duke of Brunswick, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, and other little despots, now greedily seized on the necessity of England, to drive the most extravagant terms with her. Under the name of levy-money, they were to receive seven pounds ten shillings for every man; and besides maintaining them, we were to pay to the Duke of Brunswick, who supplied four thousand and eighty-four men, a subsidy of fifteen thousand five hundred and nineteen pounds; the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who furnished twelve thousand men, did not get such good terms as Brunswickhe had ten thousand pounds; the hereditary Prince of Hesse received six thousand pounds a-year, for only six hundred and eighty-eight men. Besides this, the men were to begin to receive pay before they began to march. Brunswick was also to get double his sum, or thirty-one thousand and thirty-eight pounds a-year, for two years after they had ceased to serve; and the Landgrave of Hesse was to receive twelve months' notice of the discontinuance of the payment after his troops had returned to his dominions. The payment for 1776 was to be four hundred and fifty thousand crowns, or nearly one hundred thousand pounds. The Prince of Waldeck soon after engaged to furnish six hundred and seventy men on equally good terms. Beyond all these conditions, England was bound to defend the dominions of those princes in the absence of their troops. The independent members of both Houses nobly discharged their duty in condemnation of this engagement of German mercenaries, but without effect, and the king prorogued Parliament, under the pleasing delusion that his foreign troops would soon bring his rebellious subjects to reason; and the Ministers apparently as firmly shared in this fallacious idea. The impression among the Roman Catholics after the Clare election was that Emancipation was virtually won. So strong was the feeling of exultation that immediately after, the Catholic rent reached the sum of 2,704 in one week; the next week it was 1,427; and though it soon after sank to 500 a week, it showed the strength of the popular enthusiasm. Liberator Clubs were established in every part of the country. They were branches of the Association; but each had its own peculiar organisation, its internal management, and its working committees. By means of this machinery the whole population of the country could be moved at any moment, and in[287] any direction. This is a very remarkable fact, taken in connection with the theory of the impulsive and fickle character of the Celtic race, their averseness from order and method, and the difficulty of getting them to pursue any course systematically. O'Connell, a man of Celtic blood, was one of the greatest methodisers of his day; and there is scarcely an example in history of any popular leader having wrought an oppressed race, consisting of six millions of people, always prone to division, into an organisation so compact that he could wield the fierce democracy at his will, and bid defiance to the most powerful state in the world to suppress the voluntary system of government he had established. This is, perhaps, the most singular and instructive fact in the whole career of the great agitator.

In this uneasy state of things Austria very unnecessarily put the match to the political train, and threw the whole of the south of Europe again into war. Don Joseph Molina, the Spanish Ambassador at Rome, being appointed Inquisitor-General at Spain, commenced his journey homewards, furnished with a passport from the Pope, and an assurance of safety from the Imperial Minister. Yet, notwithstanding this, he was perfidiously arrested by the Austrian authorities and secured in the citadel of Milan. The gross insult to Spain, and equally gross breach of faith, so exasperated the King and Queen of Spain that they would listen to nothing but war. The earnest expostulations of Alberoni, delivered in the form of a powerful memorial, were rejected, and he was compelled to abandon the cherished hopes of peaceful improvement and make the most active preparations for war.

[See larger version]

Lord Goderich acted with great humility. In a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, shortly after his resignation, he expressed his willingness to serve under the Duke of Wellington, though it might certainly be a matter of doubt with him how far, in existing circumstances, he could with credit accept office. But as the Government was to rest upon a broad basis, and was not to oppose the principles he had always advocated, he was ready to consider favourably any offer that might be made to him. The task which Wellington had undertaken was a most[262] difficult one, considering the nature of the questions that agitated the public mind, and the course which he had adopted in reference to them. The new Government was announced on the 25th of January. It retained several members of the Goderich Ministrynamely, Lord Dudley, Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. Herries. The Duke of Wellington was Premier, Mr. Goulburn Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Aberdeen Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Lord Ellenborough Privy Seal. Mr. Canning's widow was created a viscountess, with a grant of 6,000 a year, to be enjoyed after her death by her eldest son, and, in case of his death, by her second son. The former was in the navy, and perished accidentally soon after his father's death. The second son, to whom the family honours descended, was the Governor-General of India during the most memorable crisis in the history of that empire. The grant was opposed by Lord Althorp, Mr. Hume, and Mr. Banks, but was carried by a majority of 161 to 54.

But the violent proceedings of Hastings and his Council, partly against each other, and still more against the natives, did not escape the authorities at home. Two committees were appointed in the House of Commons in 1781, to inquire into these matters. One of them was headed by General Richard Smith, and the other by Dundas, the Lord Advocate of Scotland. In both of these the conduct of Hastings, especially in the war against the Rohillas, was severely condemned, and the appointment of Impey to the new judicial office was greatly disapproved. In May, 1782, General Smith moved an address praying his Majesty to recall Sir Elijah Impey, which was carried unanimously, and he was recalled accordingly. Dundas also moved and carried a resolution declaring it to be the duty of the Court of Directors to recall Warren Hastings, on the charge of his "having, in sundry instances, acted in a manner repugnant to the honour and policy of the nation." The Court of Directors complied with this suggestion; but Lord Rockingham dying, his Ministry being dissolved, and Burke, the great opponent of Indian oppressions, being out of office, in October the Court of Directors, through the active exertions of the friends of Hastings, rescinded his recall. The succeeding changes of administration, and their weakness, first that of the Shelburne, and then that of the Coalition Ministry, enabled Hastings to keep his post in India, and finish the war in Madras. It was the India Bill of Pitt in 1784, which, by creating the Board of Control, and enabling the Government to take immediate cognisance of the proceedings of the Governors-General, and other chief officers in India, broke the power of Hastings, and led him to resign, without, however, enabling him to escape the just scrutiny which his administration needed.

The chiefs of the Tory party were at this time sanguine in their expectation of being speedily called to office. Their hopes were founded mainly upon the dissensions that were known to exist in the Cabinet. These dissensions were first revealed by O'Connell's motion for a committee to inquire into the conduct of Baron Smith, when presiding as a judge in criminal cases, and especially with reference to a charge addressed by him to the grand jury of Dublin, in which he said: "For the last two years I have seldom lost an opportunity for making some monitory observations from the Bench. When the critical and lawless situation of the country did not seem to be generally and fully understood, I sounded the tocsin and pointed out the ambuscade. Subsequent events deplorably proved that I had given no false alarm. The audacity of factious leaders increased from the seeming impunity which was allowed them; the progress of that sedition which they encouraged augmented in the same proportion, till on this state of things came, at length, the Coercion Bill at once to arrest the mischief, and consummate the proof of its existence and extent." As there was no doubt that these shafts were aimed at O'Connell, this last charge afforded him a fair opportunity of putting a stop to the abuse by bringing the conduct of the talented but eccentric judge before Parliament; for, as there was no political case in the calendar, there was no excuse for the attack. Mr. Littleton declared it impossible to refuse his consent to the motion. Mr. Stanley, Lord Althorp, and Lord John Russell expressed a similar view. Sir James Graham briefly but warmly dissented from his colleagues. He had come down to the House with the understanding that they meant to oppose the motion. He for one still retained his opinion, and had seen no reason to change it. As one who valued the independence of the judges and his own character, he must declare that if the motion were carried, and if, as its result, an Address was presented to the Crown for the removal of Baron Smith, it would be a highly inexpedientnay, more, a most unjust proceeding. The present would be the most painful vote he had ever given, since he felt it incumbent upon him to sever himself from those friends with whom during a public life of some duration he had had the honour of acting; but feeling as he did the proposition to be one dangerous in itself, he conceived he would be betraying the trust committed to him if he did not declare against it. Baron Smith was ably defended by Mr. Shaw, by Sir J. Scarlett, and Sir Robert Peel. On a division, the motion for a committee of inquiry was carried by 167 to 74, Sir James Graham and Mr. Spring-Rice voting in the minority. Next morning Sir James tendered his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty, which was declined, and in the following week the vote was rescinded by a majority of six.

The king, in the first instance, applied to Lord Shelburne to form a Ministry; but he was bound by engagements to Wentworth House, and honourably refused to take the lead. George then tried Lord Gower as ineffectually, and so was compelled to send for Lord Rockingham, who accepted office, on the condition that peace should be made with America, including the acknowledgment of its independence, if unavoidable; administrative reform, on the basis of Mr. Burke's three Bills; and the expulsion of contractors from Parliament, and revenue officers from the exercise of the elective franchise. The king stood strongly on the retention of Lord Chancellor Thurlow and Lord Stormont in their offices. Rockingham, with reluctance, conceded the retention of Thurlow, but refused that of Stormont. The choice of Lord Rockingham was such as could only have been made where family influence and party cliques had more weight than the proper object of a Ministerthe able management of national affairs. Rockingham, though a very honourable man, was never a man of any ability, and though now only[288] fifty-two, his health and faculties, such as they were, were fast failing. Besides this, there was a violent jealousy between him and Lord Shelburne, who became his colleague, and brought in half of the Cabinet. The shape which the Ministry eventually assumed was this:Lord Rockingham became First Lord of the Treasury and Premier; the Earl of Shelburne and Charles Fox, Secretaries of State; Thurlow, Lord Chancellor; Camden, notwithstanding his age, President of the Council; Duke of Grafton, Privy Seal; Lord John Cavendish, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Keppelmade a viscountFirst Lord of the Admiralty; General Conway, Commander of the Forces; the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of Ordnance; Dunningas Lord AshburtonChancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Burke was not admitted to the Cabinet, for the Whigs were too great sticklers for birth and family; but his indispensable ability insured him the Paymastership of the Forcesby far the most lucrative office in the hands of Government, but the salary of which he was pledged to reduce by his Bill. Pitt was offered a place as Lord of the Treasury; but he had already declared, on the 8th of March, on the debate on Lord John Cavendish's motion, that he would never accept a subordinate situation. Dundas remained in office, as Lord Advocate, and John Lee was made Solicitor-General. Such was the new Administration: it embraced, as leaders, five Rockinghamites and five Shelburnites. The eleventh member of the Cabinet, Thurlow, belonged to neither side, but was the king's man. Fox saw himself in office with him with great repugnance, and Burke felt the slight put upon him in excluding him from the Cabinet.