专题:人民战“疫” 党旗在宁夏飘扬--宁夏频道--人民网

Charles Stanhope, though clearly guilty, escaped, after examination in the House, by a majority of three, out of respect for the memory of his deceased relative, the upright Lord Stanhope. Aislabie's case came next, and was so palpably bad that he was committed to the Tower and expelled the House, amid the ringing of bells, bonfires, and other signs of rejoicing in the City of London. The bulk of his property, moreover, was seized. This was some compensation to the public, which had murmured loudly at the acquittal of Stanhope. Sunderland's case was the next, and he escaped by the evidence against him being chiefly second-hand. He was acquitted by a majority of two hundred and thirty-three against one hundred and seventy-two. As to the king's mistresses, their sins were passed over out of a too conceding loyalty; but no favour was shown to the directors, though some of them were found to be much poorer when the scheme broke up than they were when it began. Amongst them was Mr. Gibbon, the grandfather of the historian, who afterwards exposed the injustice of many of these proceedings, though at the time they were considered as only too merited. The directors were disabled from ever again holding any place, or sitting in Parliament; and their estates, amounting to upwards of two millions, were confiscated for the relief of the sufferers by the scheme. [See larger version]


Admirable as was the character of Caroline, she has been accused of retaining her resentment against her son to the last. Pope and Chesterfield affirm that she died refusing to see or forgive her son; but Ford, though he says she would not see him, states that she "heartily forgave him"; and Horace Walpole says she not only forgave him, but would have seen him, but that she feared to irritate her husband. To Sir Robert Walpole she expressed her earnest hope that he would continue to serve the king as faithfully as he had done, and, curiously enough, recommended the king to him, not him to the king. She died on the 20th of November, perhaps more lamented by Walpole than by her own husband (though, as Lord Hervey tells us, George was bitterly affected), for Walpole well knew how much her strong sense and superior feeling had tended to keep the king right, which he could not hope for when she was gone. The king appeared to lament her loss considerably for a time, that is, till consoled by his mistress, the Countess of Walmoden, whom he had kept for a long time at Hanover, and now soon brought over to England. He sent for her picture when she was dead, shut himself up with it some hours, and declared, on reappearing, that he never knew the woman worthy to buckle her shoe. Towards the end of May Wellesley commenced his march over the Spanish frontiers; his force being about twenty thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry. He fell in with the old Spanish general, Cuesta, at Oropesa, on the 20th of July, who was at the head of thirty thousand men, but miserably equipped, discouraged by repeated defeats, and nearly famished. Sir Arthur was woefully disappointed by this first view of a Spanish army in the field, and here, indeed, all his difficulties began. The general was a regular Spanish hidalgoproud, ignorant, and pig-headed. He received Wellesley with immense stiffness and ceremony, as if somebody immeasurably his inferior; and though he knew no English, nor Sir Arthur any Spanish, he would not condescend to speak French with him. His army collected supplies from all the country round; and though the British were come to fight for them, the Spaniards expected them to provide for themselves, and there was the greatest difficulty in inducing the people to sell the British anything except for fabulous prices. Still worse, Sir Arthur found it impossible to get Cuesta to co-operate in anything. He fancied that he knew a great deal more about military affairs than the "Sepoy general," as Wellesley was termed, and that he ought to direct in everything, though he had done nothing but get well beaten on every occasion. And yet, if we take a glance at the French forces now in Spain, against whom they had to make head, the utmost harmony and co-operation was necessary.

Finding that there remained no other means of reinforcing his army, he drained the garrisons all over France, and drew what soldiers he could from Soult and Suchet in the south. He was busy daily drilling and reviewing, and nightly engaged in sending dispatches to urge on the provinces to send up their men. The Moniteur and other newspapers represented all France as flying to arms; but the truth was they looked with profound apathy on the progress of the Allies. These issued proclamation after proclamation, assuring the people that it was not against France that they made war, but solely against the man who would give no peace either to France or any of his neighbours; and the French had come to the conclusion that it was time that Buonaparte should be brought to submit to the dictation of force, as he was insensible to that of reason.

SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH. (After the Portrait by Sir T. Lawrence, P.R.A.) Parliament was prorogued on the 27th of April, for the avowed purpose of a dissolution; and in the speech by commission, Ministers stated that it was necessary the people should be appealed to as soon as possible, whilst the effect of "the late unfortunate and uncalled-for agitation was on their minds." Immediate preparations were made for a most determined contest. Money was spent on both sides most prodigally, but the new Ministers had the greater command of ittheir opponents said, out of the king's privy purse. But whether that were so or not, on the system then in vogue, of Ministers in different departments drawing even millions from the Treasury long before they were legitimately wanted, they could have no lack of means of corruption; and this corruption, in bribery and in purchasing of seats, never had been carried further than on this occasion. It was calculated that it would cost Wilberforce eighteen thousand pounds to get in again, and this sum was at once subscribed by his friends. Tierney offered ten thousand pounds for two seats, and could not get them. Romilly, who was utterly averse from this corruption, was compelled to give two thousand pounds for a seat for the borough of Horsham, and then only obtained it through favour of the Duke of Norfolk. Seats, Romilly says, might have been expected to be cheap after a Parliament of only four months' duration, but quite the contrary; never had they reached such a price before. Five and six thousand pounds was a common sum given, without any stipulation as to the chance of a short Parliament. The animus which was excited in the public mind against the Catholics by the incoming Ministers, for party purposes, was terrible. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge and other religious associations took the lead in the outcry. The Catholics of England, alarmed at the violence of the sensation stirred up against them, and fearing a repetition of the Gordon riots, published an address to their fellow-countrymen, protesting their entire loyalty to the Crown and Constitution. Henry Erskine, Lord Erskine's brother, wittily said, that if Lord George Gordon were but alive, instead of being in Newgate he would be in the Cabinet. The Ministers found that they had obtained a powerful majority by these means, and when Parliament met, on the 22nd of June, they were enabled to reject an amendment to the Address by a hundred and sixty against sixty-seven in the Lords, and by three hundred and fifty against a hundred and fifty-five in the Commons. One of the very first things which the Ministers did was to reverse the mild system of the late Cabinet in Ireland, and to restore the old rgime of coercion. A Bill was brought into the Commons by Sir Arthur Wellesley, now again Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, giving authority to the latter functionary to proclaim counties in a state of insurrection, and to prohibit any person from being out of his house between sunset and sunrise, under severe penalties. Then followed another Bill, compelling all persons to register what arms they had, and authorising, on the part of the magistracy, domiciliary visits in search of arms. Education of the people, both there and in England, was discouraged. A Bill for establishing a school in every parish in England, introduced by Whitbread, was allowed to pass the Commons, but was thrown out in the Lords. Parliament was then prorogued on the 14th of August.