集中力量办大事的显著优势成就“中国之治”

In the midst of these cabals died the Regent, and Townshend, acting with Walpole, sent over Walpole's brother Horace to watch their interests at Paris. Carteret, on the other hand, ordered Sir Luke Schaub to make every exertion for the grant of the dukedom. On the arrival of Horace Walpole, Bolingbroke, obeying the impulses of the courtier and not of the man, immediately waited on him, and placed all his influence at the French Court at his service; but Walpole, who had an invincible repugnance to Bolingbroke, whilst he availed himself of the advantages offered by Bolingbroke, still kept him at a great and stately distance. Undeterred by this conduct, however, Bolingbroke swallowed his mortification, and continued to keep his eye and his hope on the Walpole Ministry. Unassisted by Bolingbroke, the dukedom could not be obtained; but George reconciled Madame Platen to the match by giving her daughter a portion of ten thousand pounds. Horace Walpole, at the same time, succeeded in getting Schaub recalled, and himself installed in his office of Ambassador at Parisa decided victory over Carteret; indeed, so decided, that Carteret was removed from the Secretaryship to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland. The direct consequence was that he was immediately nominated again by the freeholders of Middlesex. Mr. Dingley, a mercantile speculator of London, offered himself as the Government candidate, but withdrew in a fright, and Wilkes was returned, without opposition, on the 16th of February, only thirteen days after his expulsion. The next day Lord Strange moved in the Commons, that John Wilkes, after having been expelled, was incapable of serving again in the present Parliament, and the case of Sir Robert Walpole was quoted in justification. Wilkes was a second time declared incapable of sitting, the election was declared void, and the public indignation rose higher than ever. The freeholders of Middlesex instantly met at the "London" Tavern, and subscribed on the spot two thousand pounds towards defraying the expenses of Wilkes's election. They then formed themselves into a "Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights," and a third time proposed Wilkes as their candidate. He was immediately returned for Middlesex, Dingley not finding any one who dared to nominate him. The next day, the 17th of March, the Commons again voted the election void.

But the success of the capture only intensified the commotion on shore. The tumult continued the next day; the mob broke the windows of the houses of the commissioners and the custom-house officers; they dragged the collector's boat on shore, and made a bonfire of it. These officers fled for their livesfirst on board the Romney, and then to Castle William, a fortress at the mouth of the harbour. The third day was Sunday, and the Bostonians kept the day with the decorum customary with New Englanders; but on the Monday the riot was resumed with unabated vigour. Placards were carried round the town, calling on the Sons of Liberty to meet on Tuesday at ten o'clock. The Sons of Liberty were members of the non-importation associations, which had been established there, and in many parts of America. They had adopted that designation from a phrase in a speech of Colonel Barr, delivered in Parliament as early as 1765. Daughters of Liberty existed as well as Sons of Liberty, who mutually bound themselves to drink no tea, as well as to wear nothing imported after the passing of these duties. The Government retaliated by pouring troops into the town and summoning ships of war into the harbour. In fact, though the Allies still held out, it was useless. Bolingbrokefor St. John had been called in this year to the Upper House as Viscount Bolingbrokeaccompanied by Matthew Prior, had been in Paris since the beginning of August, where they were assisted also by the Abb Gualtier, determined to close the negotiations for England, whether the Allies objected or not. To make this result obvious to the whole world, the troops which Ormonde had brought home were disbanded with all practicable speed. The ostensible cause of Bolingbroke's and Prior's visit to Paris was to settle the interests of the Duke of Savoy and the Elector of Bavaria; but the real one was to remove any remaining impediment to the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace. France and England were quite agreed; Bolingbroke returned to London, and Prior remained as resident at the Court of France, as if the Articles of Peace were, in fact, already signed. A truce, indeed, for four months longer by land and sea was proclaimed in Paris. It was agreed that the Pretender should return to Lorraine; that all hostilities should cease in Italy in consequence of the arrangement of the affairs of the Duke of Savoy; and that the Austrian troops should be allowed to quit Spain and return to Naples.

Some faint endeavours were made to shake off the yoke. Encouraged by France, they summoned the Turks to their aid and cut to pieces several detachments of the Russians. They proclaimed Poniatowski deposed, and called on the people to aid them to drive out the invaders. But the people, long used to oppression from their own lords, did not answer to the call. In France, Choiseul had been hurled from power, and France left the Poles to their fate. It was now that Frederick of Prussia proposed to Austria to combine with Russia and share Poland between them. At this robber proposition, so in character with Frederick, who had all his life been creating a kingdom by plundering his neighbours, Maria Theresa at first exclaimed in horror. But she was now old and failing, and she gave way, declaring that, long after she was dead and gone, people would see what would happen from their having broken through everything which had, till then, been deemed just and holy. Frederick of Prussia took the surest way to compel the Austrians to come in for a share of the spoils of Poland. He marched a body of soldiers out of Silesiathe territory which he had rent from Austriainto Posen, and Austria, not to be behind, had marched another army into the Carpathian Mountains.

Besides these leading histories, this reign produced many others of great value. Amongst these[178] appeared, in 1763, a "History of England," by a lady, Catherine Macaulay, from James I. to the accession of the House of Hanover; which was followed by another series, from the Revolution to her own time. Mrs. Macaulay was a thorough-going Republican; had gone to America expressly to see and converse with Washington, and her history presented the very opposite opinions and phase of events to those of Hume. Lord Lyttelton wrote a "History of Henry II.," in by no means a popular style; and the book is now forgotten. In 1776 there was published the first volume of Lord Hailes's valuable "Annals of Scotland," of which Dr. Johnson entertained so high an opinion. Besides these may be named Macpherson's "History of Great Britain from the Restoration;" Stuart's "History of the Reformation in Scotland," and "History of Scotland from the Reformation to the Death of Queen Mary;" Whitaker's "History of Manchester;" Warner's "History of Ireland;" Leland's "History of Ireland;" Grainger's "Biographical History of England;" Ferguson's "History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic;" Watson's "History of Philip II. of Spain;" Orme's "History of the British Nation in Hindostan;" Anderson's "Annals of Commerce." In 1784 Mitford published his "History of Ancient Greece," and two years later Gillies published another "History of Greece." In 1789 Pinkerton published a "History of the House of Stuart down to Queen Mary." In 1790 Boswell published his "Life of Johnson," the most interesting biography ever written; in 1796 Roscoe his "Life of Lorenzo de' Medici," and, in 1805, the "Life and Pontificate of Leo X." Mr. Villiers's annual motion, brought forward on the 25th of June, was scarcely more successful than that of Mr. Cobden. Lord John Russell still harped upon his fixed idea of a fixed duty. In his view the country suffered not from the Corn Law, but only from the form in which it was administered. He said he was not prepared to say either that the Corn Law should be at once abolished, or that the existing law should be maintained. While such was the feeble policy of the leader of that Whig party which had set up a claim to a sort of monopoly of Free Trade principles, it was no wonder that the country began to look for relief to the Minister who had introduced the tariff of 1842; but Sir Robert Peel as yet moved too slowly to rouse the enthusiasm in his favour of the Anti-Corn-Law League. "There were not," he remarked, "ten reflecting men out of the Anti-Corn-Law League, who did not believe that a sudden withdrawal of protection, whether it were given to domestic or colonial produce, would cause great confusion and embarrassment. In the artificial state of society in which we lived we could not act on mere abstract philosophical maxims, which, isolated, he could not contest; they must look to the circumstances under which we have grown up, and the interests involved. Ireland, dependent on England for a market for her agricultural produce, was a case in point. He was not prepared to alter the Corn Law of 1842, and did not contemplate it. Seeing that Lord John Russell had avowed himself a consistent friend to Protection, and was opposed to total repeal, he thought he was somewhat squeamish in flying from his difficulty, and declining to vote against the motion. As to the Corn Law, the Government did not intend to alter it, or diminish the amount of protection afforded to agriculture." On the division the numbers for the motion were[512] 124, and against it, 330. On the whole, the cause of Free Trade made but small progress in Parliament in this year, though out of doors the agitation was carried on with ever-increasing vigour. As regards Mr. Villiers's motion, the progress made was shown principally in the decrease of the majority against it. In 1842, when he first put the question of total repeal on issue before the House, he had 92 votes, and 395 against him; in 1843 he had 125 votes, and 381 against him; in 1844, 124 votes, and 330 against him.

Whilst Cornwallis was pursuing Washington through the Jerseys, Clinton swept Rhode Island of the American troops, and drove Commodore Hopkins with some ships up Providence River, where he remained. Rhode Island, however, required a strong body of English soldiers constantly to defend it. Meanwhile Sir Guy Carleton, having destroyed the American flotilla on Lake Champlain, was daily expected to march from Crown Point and invest Ticonderoga, which was only fifteen miles distant, and where Schuyler lay prepared to abandon it on the approach of the English. But Carleton, who had displayed so much activity and energy, now, like the rest of our generals, seemed at once to abandon them at the decisive point. He descended the Champlain to Isle-aux-Noix, put his forces into winter quarters there, and proceeded himself to Quebec, to prepare for the next campaign. Thus ended the campaign of 1776.

Pitt, in a series of motions and violent debates on themwhich did not terminate till the 23rd of January, 1789not only carried his point, that Parliament should assert the whole right of appointing a regent, but he contrived to tie down the prince completely. On the 16th of December Pitt moved three resolutionsthe third and most material of which was, that it was necessary that both Houses should, for the maintenance of the constitutional authority of the king, determine the means by which the royal assent might be given to an Act of Parliament for delegating the royal authority during the king's indisposition. After most determined opposition by the Whigs, he carried the whole of these resolutions, and it was then moved that the proper mode of doing this was to employ the Great Seal just as if the king were in the full exercise of his faculties. To prepare the way for this doctrine, the lawyers in Pitt's party had declared that there was a broad distinction between the political and the natural capacity of the king; that, as the king could do no wrong, so he could not go politically, though he might go naturally, mad; that therefore the king, in his political capacity, was now as fully in[345] power and entity as ever, and therefore the Great Seal could be used for him as validly as at any other time. In vain did Burke exclaim that it was "a phantom," "a fiction of law," "a mere mummery, a piece of masquerade buffoonery, formed to burlesque every species of government." In the midst of the debate Mr. Rushworth, the young member for Newport, in Hampshire, standing on the floor of the House, exclaimed, in a loud and startling tone, "I desire that gentlemen of more age and experience than myself will refer to the glorious reign of George II. Let them recall to their memory the year 1745. Suppose that great and good king had lain under a similar affliction of madness at that period, where are the men, much less a Minister, that would have dared to come down to that House, and boldly, in the face of the world, say that the Prince of Wales had no more right to the regency than any other subject? The man or Minister who could have dared to utter such language must henceforward shelter in some other place than in the House of Commons, and in some other country than England!" The Prince of Wales, by letter, complained of the want of respect shown to him, but Pitt carried the resolution regarding the Great Seal, that it should be appended to a commission for opening Parliament, it now occupying the position of a convention, and that the commission should then affix the royal assent to the Bill for the regency. This done, he consented to the demand for the appearance of the physicians again before proceeding with the Bill, and the physicians having expressed hopes of the king's speedy recovery, on the 16th of January Pitt moved the following resolutions:That the Prince of Wales should be invested with the royal authority, subject, however, to these restrictions, namely, that he should create no peers; that he should grant no place or pension for life, or in reversion, except such place as in its nature must be held for life, or during good behaviour; that the prince should have no power over the personal property of the king, nor over the king's person or household; that these two latter powers should be entrusted to the queen, a council being appointed to assist her in these duties by their advice, but subject to her dismissal, and without any power of alienation of any part of the property. The bad character of the prince, combined with the rumours of his indecent jests at the expense of his unhappy parents, rendered the restrictions universally popular.

Whilst blood was thus flowing by the guillotine, not only in Paris, but, under the management of Jacobin Commissioners, in nearly all the large towns of France, especially Lyons, Bordeaux, and Nantes, a terrible work of extermination was going on against the royalists of La Vende. The simple people of that province, primitive in their habits and sincere in their faith, desired no Republic. Their aristocracy, for the most part of only moderate possessions, lived amongst them rather like a race of kindly country squires than great lords, and the people were accordingly cordially attached to them. In March of the year 1793 the Convention called for a conscription of three hundred thousand, and the Vendans, to a man, refused to serve under a Government that had persecuted both their priests and their seigneurs. This was the certain signal of civil war. Troops were ordered to march into La Vende, and compel obedience. Then the peasants flew to arms, and called on the nobles and priests to join them. At first they were entirely successful, but matters changed when Kleber was put in practical command.

The Allies now determined to close in on all sides, and compel the French to a surrender. But Buonaparte, after some man?uvres to bring Blucher to actionthat general and the Crown Prince of Sweden having crossed to the left bank of the Elbefound it at length necessary to retreat to Leipsic. He reached that city on the 15th of October, and learned, to his great satisfaction, that whilst his whole force would be under its walls within twenty-four hours, the Austrians were advancing considerably ahead of the Prussians; and he flattered himself that he should be able to beat the Austrians before the other Allies could reach them.

This branch of the rebel force was thus completely removed from the field, and on the same day a far more sanguinary conflict had taken place between the chief commanders on the two sides, Argyll and Mar, at Sheriffmuir.

The question of the Canadian boundary had been an open sore for more than half a century. Nominally settled by the treaty of 1783, it had remained in dispute, because that arrangement had been drawn up on defective knowledge. Thus the river St. Croix was fixed as the frontier on the Atlantic sea-board, but there were five or six rivers St. Croix, and at another point a ridge of hills that was not in existence was fixed upon as the dividing line. Numerous diplomatic efforts were made to settle the difficulty; finally it was referred to the King of the Netherlands, who made an award in 1831 which was rejected by the United States. The question became of increasing importance as the population grew thicker. Thus, in 1837, the State of Maine decided on including some of the inhabitants of the disputed territory in its census, but its officer, Mr. Greely, was promptly arrested by the authorities of New Brunswick and thrust into prison. Here was a serious matter, and a still greater source of irritation was the McLeod affair. McLeod was a Canadian who had been a participator in the destruction of the Caroline. Unfortunately his tongue got the better of his prudence during a visit to New York in 1840, and he openly boasted his share in the deed. He was arrested, put into prison, and charged with murder, nor could Lord Palmerston's strenuous representations obtain his release. At one time it seemed as if war was imminent between England and the United States, but, with the acquittal of McLeod, one reason for fighting disappeared.

During this year Buonaparte made another attempt to recover the mastery of St. Domingo. Dessalines was now emperor, having a court full of black nobles and marshals, an exact parody of Napoleon's. A French squadron, under Admiral Lessigues, consisting of five ships of the line, two frigates, and a corvette, managed to escape the British fleets, and, on the 20th of January, to anchor in the road of St. Domingo. They had just landed a body of troops, when Sir John Duckworth made his appearance with seven sail-of-the-line and four frigates. Lessigues slipped his cables, and endeavoured to get out to sea, but the wind did not favour him; Sir John Duckworth came up with him, and, on the 6th of February, attacked and defeated him. Though Sir John had the superiority in number of vessels, the French vessels were, some of them, much larger ones; and one, the Imperial, was reckoned the largest and finest ship of their navya huge three-decker, of three thousand three hundred tons, and a hundred and thirty guns. Yet, in three hours, Sir John had captured three of the French line of battle ships; the other two ran on the rocks, and were wrecked. One of these was the gigantic Imperial. Nearly the whole of her crew perished, five hundred being killed and wounded before she struck. One of these frigates which escaped was afterwards captured by a British sloop of war in a very battered condition from a storm, in addition to the fight.