70年法治回眸——我们的自信在这里之民法篇

ANDREW HOFER APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF THE TYROL. (See p. 591.) The Assembly had, on this memorable night of the 4th of August, decreed nothing less thanthe abolition of all serfdom; the right of compounding for the seignorial dues, and the abolition of seignorial jurisdictions; the suppression of exclusive rights of hunting, shooting, keeping warrens, dovecotes, etc.; the abolition of tithes; the equality of taxes; the admission of all citizens to civil and military employments; the abolition of the sale of offices; the suppression of all the privileges of towns and provinces; the reformation of wardenships; and the suppression of pensions obtained without just claims. The Assembly then continued the work of the constitution.

In answer to some queries submitted to the Attorney-General, Mr. Joy, he stated that when the old Association was suppressed, the balance of Catholic rent in the treasury was 14,000. He showed how the existing Act had been evaded, and how useless it was to attempt to prevent the agitation by any coercive measure. They held "fourteen days' meetings," and it was amusing to read the notices convening those meetings, which always ran thus:"A fourteen days' meeting will be held, pursuant to Act of Parliament"as if the Act had enjoined and required such meetings. Then there were aggregate meetings, and other "separate meetings," which were manifestly a continuation of the Association. The same members attended, and the same routine was observed. They also held simultaneous parochial meetings, by which the people were gathered into a solid and perilous confederacy.

Whilst the rebellion was raging in Scotland there had been an attempt to change the ministry, and to place at the helm Lord Granville. That nobleman had so engrossed the favour of the king, that Pelham and his brother, Newcastle, found their measures greatly obstructed by Granville's influence, and suspected that they would soon be called on to give place to him. They determined, therefore, to bring matters to a crisis, confident that Granville would never be able to secure a majority in either House against them. To furnish a reason for their tendering their resignation, they demanded the place which they had promised to Pitt. It was towards the end of May before Marshal M?llendorf, the Prussian general, began the campaign. He then attacked the French, and drove them out of their entrenchments at Kaiserslautern with great slaughter. There, however, his activity seemed to cease; and on the 12th of July the French again fell upon him. He fought bravely for four whole days, supported by the Austrians; but both these Powers were compelled to retreat down the Rhine, the Prussians retiring on Mayence and the Austrians crossing the river for more safety. The French marched briskly after the Prussians, took Trves, and then sent strong detachments to help their countrymen to make a complete clearance of Belgium and to invade Holland. Clairfait, who was still hovering in Dutch Flanders, was attacked by overwhelming numbers, beaten repeatedly, and compelled to evacuate Juliers, Aix-la-Chapelle, and finally Cologne. The French were so close at his heels at Cologne that they shouted after him that "that was not the way to Paris." Coblenz, where the Royalist Emigrants had so long made their headquarters, though strongly fortified, soon after surrendered. The stout fortress of Venloo, on the Meuse, and Bois-le-Duc, as promptly surrendered, and the French marched on Nimeguen, near which the Duke of York lay, hoping in vain to cover the frontiers of Holland. The people of Holland, like those of Belgium, were extensively Jacobinised, the army was deeply infected by French principles, and to attempt to defend such a country with a mere handful of British was literally to throw away the lives of our men. Yet the duke stood stoutly in this hopeless defence, where half Holland ought to have been collected to defend itself.

"I confess that, on the general subject, my views have, in the course of twenty years, undergone a great alteration. I used to be of opinion that corn was an exception to the general rules of political economy; but observation and experience have convinced me that we ought to abstain from all interference with the supply of food. Neither a Government nor a Legislature can ever regulate the corn markets with the beneficial effects which the entire freedom of sale and purchase are sure of themselves to produce.

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