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类型:奇幻地区:ca7600j发布:2020-09-19 00:04:51

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While thus tottering on the verge of revolution the Orleanist monarchy had the misfortune to affront the British Court. The reason of the rupture is known to history as the affair of the Spanish marriages, of which it is enough to say here that Louis Philippe succeeded in marrying the young Queen of Spain to her cousin, the Duke of Cadiz, who was imbecile, while at the same time he secured the hand of her sister for his youngest son, the Duc de Montpensier. Thus he apparently acquired the reversion of the throne for his family, but the coup was effected in defiance of pledges made repeatedly to Lord Aberdeen and continued to his successor at the Foreign Office, Lord Palmerston. It was undoubtedly the advent of the latter to power which hurried on the conclusion of the intrigue. Louis Philippe and Guizot suspected him of trying to secure the hand of the Queen of Spain for a prince of the House of Coburg, and was justified to a certain extent by an imprudent despatch sent by the English Foreign Secretary to our Minister at Madrid. Thereupon the King of the French frightened the Queen-Mother of Spain into giving her consent to the marriages, which were celebrated simultaneously on the 10th of October, 1846. The calculating cunning displayed by Louis Philippe and the deliberate sacrifice of a young girl to sordid requirements of State aroused a feeling of universal disgust. From Queen Victoria the proceedings provoked a letter to Louis Philippe's queen, which[549] concluded with the scathing remark"I am glad that I can say for myself that I have always been sincere with you." It was in fact, as her Foreign Minister wrote to his brother, "a twister."

Napoleon, however, called his Champ-de-Mai together for the electors to this anomalous document; but, to add to the incongruity, the assembly was held in the Champ-de-Mars, and not in May at all, but on the 1st of June. There he and his brothers, even Lucien, who had been wiled back to his assistance, figured in fantastic robes as emperor and princes of the blood, and the electors swore to the Constitution; but the whole was a dead and dreary fiasco. On the 4th the two Chambers, that of Peers and that of Representatives, met. The Peers, who were his own officers and picked men, readily agreed to the Constitution; but not so the Chamber of Representatives. They chose Lanjuinais president, who had been a zealous advocate of Louis XVI., and who had drawn up the list of crimes under which Buonaparte's forfeiture had been pronounced in 1814. They entered into a warm discussion on the propriety of abolishing all titles of honour in that Chamber. They rejected a proposition to bestow on Napoleon the title of Saviour of his Country, and they severely criticised the "additional Act," declaring that "the nation would entertain no plans of aggrandisement; that not even the will of a victorious prince should lead them beyond the boundaries of self-defence." In this state of things Buonaparte was compelled to depart, leaving the refractory chamber to discuss the articles of his new Constitution.

SURRENDER OF BAILLIE TO HYDER ALI. (See p. 330.)

INTERIOR OF THE JERUSALEM CHAMBER, WESTMINSTER ABBEY.OLD NEWGATE.

The French Chambers were summoned for the 28th of December, and the king opened them in person, reading a Speech which was vague, vapid, and disappointing. It contained one passage, however, which was sufficiently intelligible. It was a denunciation and a defiance of Reform. He said:"In the midst of the agitation fomented by hostile and blind passions, one conviction sustains and animates meit is that in the Constitutional monarchy, in the union of the great powers of the State, we possess the most assured means of surmounting all obstacles, and of satisfying the moral and material interests of our dear country." Next day a meeting of the Opposition deputies was held in Paris at the Caf Durand, in the Place de la Madeleine, when it was proposed that they should all send in their resignations. This would cause 102 elections, at which the conduct of the Government would be fully discussed at the hustings in different parts of the country. This was objected to by the majority, who were for holding a banquet in defiance of the Government. A committee was appointed to make the arrangements, and the announcement caused the greatest excitement. On the 21st of February, 1848, the Government issued a proclamation forbidding the banquet, which was to take place on the following day. The prohibition was obeyed; the banquet was not held. In the meantime, great numbers of people arrived in Paris from the country, and immense multitudes from all the faubourgs assembled at the Madeleine, in the Champs Elyses, and at the Place de la Concorde, consisting for the most part of workmen and artisans. The people seemed violently agitated, as if prepared for the most desperate issues. The troops were under arms, however, and the king, who was in the gayest humour, laughed with his courtiers at the pretensions of Barrot and the reformers. The excitement, however, increased every moment. When the troops came near the crowd, they were received with hisses and assailed with stones. The Rue Royale, the Rue de Rivoli, and Rue St. Honor, were cleared and occupied by cavalry, and the populace were driven into the back streets, where some barricades were constructed, and some occasional shots exchanged between the military and the insurgents. The principal struggles, however, were between the people and the Municipal Guard, which they abhorred. Wherever they met through the city, the conflict became fierce, sanguinary, and ruthless. But the National Guard had no such animosity against the people; on the contrary, they sympathised with them thoroughly, raised with them the cry of "Vive la Rforme," and refused to act against them. The king could not be got to believe this fact till the last moment.There were various actions at sea, in one quarter or other. Sir Hyde Parker, convoying a merchant fleet from the Baltic, on the 5th of August fell in with Admiral Zouttman near the Dogger Bank, also convoying a fleet of Dutch traders. An engagement took place, Zouttman having a few men-of-war more than Parker. The engagement was terrible. The ships on both sides were severely damaged, and the Hollandiaa sixty-four-gun ship of Zouttman'swent down with all its crew. Many of the other ships were with difficulty kept afloat. On reaching the Nore, the king and the Prince of Wales went on board, where they highly complimented both Parker and the rest of the officers. On the 12th of December Admiral Kempenfeldt, with thirteen ships-of-the-line, discovered, off Ushant, the French fleet, under De Guichen, convoying a fleet of transports and merchantmen, bound, some for the East and others for the West Indies, with troops and stores. The fleet of De Guichen was far superior to that of Kempenfeldt, but, the convoy being at a considerable distance from the transports and traders, Kempenfeldt adroitly made himself master of twenty sail of these vessels, and sailed off with them; and within a few days afterwards he[286] captured five more of these ships. There were also other fights of minor importance.

At sea, Sir Edward Hawke attacked the French fleet under Admiral Conflans at the mouth of the Vilaine in Quibron Bay. The situation, amid rocks and shoals, and with a sea running high, so late in the year as the 20th of November, was most perilous, but Hawke scorned all danger, attacked the French fleet close under their own shores, took two men-of-war, sank four more, including the admiral's ship, the Soleil Royal, and caused the rest, more or less damaged, to take refuge up the river. Two of our own vessels were stranded in the night, but their crews and stores were saved. For this brilliant action, which crippled the French navy for the remainder of the war, Hawke was thanked by Parliament, received from the king a pension of one thousand five hundred pounds a-year for his own and his son's life, and, in the next reign, was raised to the peerage. Thurot, meanwhile, had escaped out of Dunkirk, but with only five ships, which kept out of the way by seeking shelter in the ports of Sweden and Norway.

Thus the entente cordiale was broken, and the two Powers were left isolated in Europe, for the efforts of Louis Philippe to form an alliance with the Austrian Court were without success. In the circumstances Lord Palmerston's foreign policy during these eventful years was inevitably somewhat unsatisfactory. When Austria, in defiance of pledges, annexed the Republic of Cracow, he could only issue a solitary protest, which was completely disregarded. In Portugal affairs were once more in complete confusion, the Conservative party, headed by the Queen, being in arms against the so-called Liberals led by Das Antas. Palmerston left them to fight it out until foreign intervention appeared inevitable from Spain, if not from France; then he made an offer of help to the Queen Donna Maria, on condition that she would grant a general amnesty and appoint a neutral Administration. The terms were accepted by the Conservatives. The Liberal Junta submitted on hearing that its fleet had been captured by the British, and the civil war came to an end. Meanwhile, in Switzerland Lord Palmerston was upholding the cause of the Diet against the secessionist cantons known as the Sonderbund, by refusing to countenance the intervention of the Powers in Swiss affairs, which was advocated by Prince Metternich and also by Guizot. For a moment his position was dangerous, as Guizot declared that the opportunity had come for France to take vengeance upon England by forming another Quadruple Treaty, from which Great Britain should be excluded. But the prompt victory of the Diet's general, Dufour, over the forces of the Sonderbund saved the situation, and owing to Palmerston's representations the victorious party abstained from vindictive measures. Thus revolution was postponed in Europe for another year, and Palmerston attempted similar results in Italy, whither he sent Lord Minto, the First Lord of the Admiralty, on a special mission to support constitutional reforms in Sardinia and at Rome, where the new Pope, Pius IX. by title, was supposed to be the friend of progress. But the blind hostility[550] of Metternich prevailed. The reforms granted by his puppet princes were wholly insufficient in extent, and events in Italy were evidently hastening towards an upheaval, when the train of the European explosion was fired in France.

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After the departure of Fitzwilliam an open rebellion began. But the measures of his successor, Lord Camden, were at once moderate and prompt. A vigilant eye was kept on the agents of sedition and the Democratic clubs, which swarmed all over Ireland, as much in the Presbyterian north as in the Catholic south. Wolfe Tone and Hamilton Rowan had escaped to the United States; but there they fell in with Dr. Reynolds, Napper Tandy, and other enthusiastic Irish revolutionists. Tone was supplied with money, and dispatched to France to stimulate the Directory to the Irish invasion. He arrived at Havre in February, 1796, and on reaching Paris he presented letters from M. Adet, the French Minister to the United States, and was warmly received by Carnot, General Clarke, acting as Minister of War, and the Duke de Feltre. He was assured that General Hoche should be sent over with a resistless army as soon as it could be got ready, but the Directory desired to see some other of the leading members of the United Irishmen before engaging in the enterprise. Tone promised General Clarke one thousand pounds a year for life, and similar acknowledgments to all the other officers, on the liberation of Ireland; and he solicited for himself the rank of Brigadier-General, with immediate pay, and obtained it.

Whilst Walpole was thus labouring to secure the peace of Europe, Bolingbroke was as industriously at work to undermine him. He had cultivated his intimacy with the Duchess of Kendal still more diligently, and by liberal bribes, and more liberal promises if he succeeded in once more regaining power, he had brought her to exert her influence with the king in his favour. This most sordid and rapacious of mistresses, who looked on England only as a country to be managed for her benefit, ventured at length to put into the king's hand a memorial drawn up for her by Bolingbroke, demonstrating that the country must be absolutely ruined if Walpole continued in office. The stratagem was too palpable. Whilst she talked only, her suggestions might pass for her own, but the style of the document must have at once caused the king's suspicion of its true source. He put the paper into Walpole's hand. Walpole, after interrogating the two Turks, who were always in attendance on the king, and on their denying all knowledge of the means by which the missive reached the royal person, went directly to the Duchess and charged her with the fact. She did not deny it. Walpole advised the king to admit Bolingbroke to the audience which he solicited in the memorial, trusting that the king's dislike of him would prevail in the interview. The result appeared to be of that kind; nevertheless, Walpole was far from being secure in his own mind. He knew that the mistress would be continually returning to the charge in favour of her friend and paymaster, though she enjoyed a pension from Government of seven thousand five hundred pounds; and he even contemplated retiring with a peerage, but was dissuaded from this by the Princess of Wales and the Duke of Devonshire. On the other hand, Bolingbroke was in the highest expectation of his speedy restoration not only to rank but to office.We come now to the rebellion of 1715. The succession of the House of Hanover had raised the Pretender and his Jacobite faction in England to a pitch of excitement which made them ready to rush upon the most desperate measures. In England the destruction of the Tory Ministry, the welcome given to the new Protestant king, and the vigour with which the Whigs and all the supporters of the principles of the Revolution had shown the majority which they were able to return to the new Parliament, were all indications that the spirit of the nation was more firmly than ever rooted in Protestantism and the love of constitutional liberty, and that any endeavours to overturn the new dynasty must be supported by an overwhelming power from without. Without such force the event was certain failure; yet, under existing auspices, it was determined to try the venture. Bolingbroke, on his arrival in France, saw that all was rashness, impatience, and want of preparation in the party on both sides of the Channel. The Highlanders were all eagerness for the Chevalier's arrival, lest he should land in England, and the English should snatch the glory of the restoration from them. From England came the letters of Ormonde, who was down in the West, and sent most glowing representations of the spirit of the people there; that out of every ten persons nine were against King George, and that he had distributed money amongst the disbanded officers, to engage them in the cause of King James. But all these fine words terminated with the damping intelligence that nobody would stir until they saw the Chevalier with a good army at his back. Such an army there was not the smallest hope of obtaining from France. All that Louis would or could do, without engaging in a new war with England, was to prevail on his grandson, Philip of Spain, to[28] advance four hundred thousand crowns for the expedition, and besides this, the Pretender had been able privately to borrow another hundred thousand, and purchase ten thousand stand of arms. At this juncture came two fatal eventsthe flight of Ormonde and the death of Louis XIV. on September 1st.

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