数说横琴自贸片区挂牌5周年

[35]

MEN OF WAR OFF PORTSMOUTH.

LONDON BRIDGE IN 1760. But this was only the lull before the storm. Burke and Francis were living, and the thunder-bolts were already forged which were to shatter his pleasing dream of approval. His agreeable delusion was, indeed, soon ended. On the 24th of January, 1787, Parliament met, and Major Scott, an officious friend of Hastings, unfortunately for the ex-Governor-General, relying on the manifestation of approbation of Hastings by the Court and fashionable circles, got up and asked where now was that menace of impeachment which Mr. Burke had so long and often held out? Burke, thus challenged, on the 17th of February rose and made a call for papers and correspondence deposited in the India House, relative to the proceedings of Hastings in India. He also reminded Pitt and Dundas of the motion of the latter on the 29th of May, 1782, in censure of the conduct of Hastings on the occasions in question. This was nailing the ministers to their opinions; but Dundas, now at the head of the Board of Control, repeated that he still condemned the conduct of Hastings, but taken with the services which he had rendered to the country in India, he did not conceive that this conduct demanded more than censure, certainly not impeachment. Fox supported Burke, and Pitt defended Hastings, and attacked Fox without mercy. There was a feeling abroad that the king was determined to support Hastings, and the proceedings of Pitt confirmed this. Burke's demand for papers was refused, but this did not deter Burke. On the 4th of April he rose again and presented nine articles of impeachment against Hastings, and in the course of the week twelve more articles. To these a twenty-second article was afterwards added. During that evening and night there were serious contentions between the mob and the soldiers still posted in front of Sir Francis's house, and one man was shot by the military. Scarcely had the sheriffs quitted the house of the besieged baronet on the Sunday morning, supposing no attempt at capture would take place that day, when the serjeant-at-arms presented himself with a party of police, and demanded entrance, but in vain. All that day, and late into the night, the mob continued to insult the soldiers who kept guard on the baronet's house, and an order being given at night to clear the streets around, the mob broke the lamps, and threw all into darkness. They then carried away the scaffolding from a house under repair, and made a barricade across[597] Piccadilly, which was, however, removed by the soldiers; and the rain falling in torrents, the mob dispersed.

Bolingbroke was now Prime Minister, and he hastened to arrange his Cabinet entirely on Jacobite principles. So far as he was concerned, the country was to be handed over to the Pretender and popery on the queen's death. He would not run the risk of a new antagonist in the shape of a Lord Treasurer, but put the Treasury in commission, with Sir William Wyndham at its head. The Privy Seal was given to Atterbury; Bromley was continued as the other Secretary of State; and the Earl of Mar, the rankest of Jacobites, was made Secretary of State for Scotland. Ormonde, long engaged in the Pretender's plot, was made Commander-in-Chiefa most significant appointment; Buckingham was made Lord President, and Harcourt Lord Chancellor. As for the inferior posts, he found great difficulty in filling them up. "The sterility of good men," wrote Erasmus Lewis to Swift, "is incredible." Good men, according to the unprincipled Bolingbroke's notions, were not to be found in a hurry. There were plenty of candidates ready, but it may give an impressive notion of the state of that party, that there was scarcely a man beyond those already appointed whom Bolingbroke could trust. The Cabinet never was completed. What his own notions of moral or political honesty were, may be imagined from the fact that he did not hesitate to attempt a coalition with the Whigs. He gave a dinner-party at his house in Golden Square to Stanhope, Walpole, Craggs, General Cadogan, and other leaders; but though Walpole, when Minister himself, boasted that every man had his price, Bolingbroke had not yet discovered Walpole's price nor that of his colleagues. They to a man demanded, as a sine qua non, that the Pretender should be compelled to remove to Rome, or to some place much farther off than Lorraine, and Bolingbroke assured them that the queen would never consent to such a banishment of her brother. Nothing but the lowest opinion of men's principles could have led Bolingbroke to expect any other result from these Whig leaders. Perhaps he only meant to sound their real views; perhaps only to divert public attention from his real designs, which the very names of his coadjutors in the Ministry must have made patent enough to all men of any penetration. The very same day that he thus gave this Whig dinner he assured Gualtier that his sentiments towards "the king" were just the same as ever, provided his Majesty took such measures as would suit the people of England. Time only was wanting for this traitor-Minister to betray the country to its old despotisms and troubles; but such time was not in the plans of Providence. The end of Anne was approaching faster than was visible to human eyes; but the shrewd and selfish Marlborough had a pretty strong instinct of it, and was drawing nearer and nearer to the scene of action, ready to secure himself whichever way[22] the balance inclined. He was at Ostend, prepared to pass over at an hour's notice, and to the last moment keeping up his correspondence with the two Courts of Hanover and Bar-le-duc. Both despised and suspected him, but feared him at the same time. Such was still his influence, especially with the army, that whichever party he adopted was considered pretty sure to succeed. That it was likely to succeed was equally certain before Marlborough did adopt it. Lockhart of Carnwath, one of the most active and sagacious Jacobites, and likely to be in the secrets of the Jacobite party, says that the Pretender, to test the sincerity of Marlborough, asked the loan of one hundred thousand pounds from him, as a proof of his fidelity. He did not abide the test, but soon afterwards offered twenty thousand pounds to the Electoral Prince, to enable him to come over to England. The moment that Marlborough was prepared, with his deep-rooted love of money, to do that, it might be certainly pronounced that he was confident of the success of the Hanoverians. It was seldom that his name was missed from the leaders of Conservative journals, and he was the great object of attack at the meetings of the Brunswick Clubs, which were called into existence to resist the Catholic Association. But of all his assailants, none dealt him more terrible blows than the venerable Henry Grattan, the hero of 1782. "Examine their leader," he exclaimed, "Mr. O'Connell. He assumes a right to direct the Catholics of Ireland. He advises, he harangues, and he excites; he does not attempt to allay the passions of a warm and jealous people. Full of inflammatory matter, his declamations breathe everything but harmony; venting against Great Britain the most disgusting calumny, falsehood, and treachery, equalled only by his impudence, describing her as the most stupid, the most dishonest nation that ever existed. A man that could make the speeches he has made, utter the sentiments he has uttered, abuse the characters he has abused, praise the characters he has praised, violate the promises he has violated, propose such votes and such censures as he has proposed, can have little regard for private honour or for public character; he cannot comprehend the spirit of liberty, and he is unfitted to receive it."

The measures of Church Reform that had been adopted in Ireland suggested the propriety of adopting similar measures in England, where the relations between the clergy and the people were not at all as satisfactory as they should be, and where the system of ecclesiastical finances stood greatly in need of improvement. Accordingly, a Royal Commission was appointed during the Administration of Sir Robert Peel, dated the 4th of February, 1835, on the ground that it was "expedient that the fullest and most attentive consideration should be forthwith given to ecclesiastical duties and revenues." The Commissioners were directed to consider the state of the several dioceses in England and Wales with reference to the amount of their revenues and the more equal distribution of episcopal duties, and the prevention of the necessity of attaching by commendam to bishoprics benefices with cure of souls. They were to consider also the state of the several cathedral and collegiate churches in England and Wales, with a view to the suggestion of such measures as might render them conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church; and to devise the best mode of providing for the cure of souls, with special reference to the residence of the clergy on their respective benefices. They were also expected to report their opinions as to what measures it would be expedient to adopt on the various matters submitted for their consideration. The Commissioners were the two Archbishops, the Bishops of London, Lincoln, and Gloucester, the Lord Chancellor, the First Lord of the Treasury, with other members of the Government and laymen not in office. When the change of Government occurred a few months afterwards, it was necessary to issue a new commission, which was dated the 6th of June, for the purpose of substituting the names of Lord Melbourne and his colleagues for those of Sir Robert Peel and the other members of the outgoing Administration. But before this change occurred the first report had been issued, dated the 17th of March, 1835. Three other reports were published in 1836, dated respectively March 4th, May 20th, and June 24th. A fifth had been prepared, but not signed, when the death of the king occurred. It was, however, presented as a Parliamentary paper in 1838.

At the very time that Washington was flying before the British army, Congress, putting a firm face on the matter, went on legislating as boldly as ever. It established Articles of Confederation and perpetual union between the several States. These Articles were a supplement to and extension of the Declaration of Independence, and were sixteen in number:1st. That the thirteen States thus confederating should take the title of the United States. 2nd. That each and all were engaged in a reciprocal treaty of alliance and friendship for their common defence, and for their general advantage; obliging themselves to assist each other against all violence that might threaten all or any of them on account of religion, sovereignty, commerce, or under any other pretext whatever. 3rd. That each State reserved to itself alone the exclusive right of regulating its internal government. 4th. That no State in particular should either send or receive embassies, begin any negotiations, contract any engagements, form any alliances, or conclude any treaties with any king, prince, or power whatsoever, without the consent of the United States assembled in Congress; that no person invested with any post in the United States should be allowed to accept any presents, emoluments, office, or title, from any king, prince, or foreign Power; and that neither the General Congress, nor any State in particular, should ever confer any title of nobility. 5th. That none of the said States should have power to form alliances, or confederations, even amongst themselves, without the consent of the General Congress. 6th. That no State should lay on any imposts, or establish any duties, which might affect treaties to be hereafter concluded by Congress with foreign Powers. 7th. That no State in particular should keep up ships of war, or land troops beyond the amount regulated by Congress. 8th. That when any of the States raised troops for the common defence, the officers of the rank of colonel and under should be appointed by the legislature of the State, and the superior officers by Congress. 9th. That all the expenses of the war, etc., should be paid out of a common treasury. Other clauses defined the functions and powers of Congress, and the 14th offered to Canada admission to all the privileges of the other States, should she desire it; but no other colony was to be admitted without the formal consent of nine of the States composing the union.