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    《=热搜榜》深度解析:Fw主持人资料库――撒贝宁NGY

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    In January, 1812, Government made another attempt to punish the Catholic delegates, and they obtained a verdict against one of them, Thomas Kirwan; but such was the public feeling, that they did no more than fine him one mark, and discharge him. They also abandoned other contemplated prosecutions. The Catholic committee met, according to appointment, on the 28th of February, addressed the Prince Regent, and then separated. The usual motions for Catholic Emancipation were introduced into both Houses of Parliament, and by both were rejected. It was the settled policy of this Ministry not to listen to the subject, though the Marquis Wellesley, Canning, and others now admitted that the matter must be conceded. The assassination of Mr. Perceval, on the 11th of May, it was hoped, would break up that Ministry, but it was continued, with Lord Liverpool at its head. Though Lord Wellesley this year brought forward the motion in the Lords, and Canning in the Commons, both Houses rejected it, but the Lords by a majority of only one. The question continued to be annually agitated in Parliament during this reign, from the year 1814, with less apparent success than before, Ireland was in a very dislocated state with the Orangemen and Ribbonmen, and other illegal associations and contentions between Catholics and Protestants, and this acted very detrimentally on the question in England. Only one little victory was obtained in favour of the Catholics. This was, in 1813, the granting to Catholics in England of the benefit of the Act passed in Ireland, the 33 George III., repealing the 21 Charles II. And thus the Catholics were left, after all their exertions, at the death of the old king.Meanwhile Lord Ashley, a staunch upholder of the Corn Laws, in a letter to his constituents of Dorsetshire declared his opinion "that the destiny of the Corn Laws was fixed," and that it would be wise to consider "how best to break the force of an inevitable blow." Mr. Bickham and Captain Estcott, also strong defenders of the landlords' monopoly, published their conviction that the Corn Laws were no longer tenable; and on the 22nd of November Lord John Russell, who was at Edinburgh, addressed a letter to the electors of the City of London, which was duly circulated throughout the kingdom, and which contained the following remarkable passages:

    
     

    Hitherto the United Irishmen had obtained little support from the Catholics, who were entirely out of sympathy with the Protestantism of one section of the party, and the irreligion of Wolfe Tone and his immediate associates. They preferred to look to the British Government, and especially to Pitt who was known to be favourable to the Catholic claims. But the Protestants in the Irish Parliament were too strong for him, and only a few remedial measures were passed and those inconsiderable in extent. In 1792 Sir Hercules Langrishe, with the consent of the Government, succeeded in carrying a Bill which admitted Catholics to the profession of the law, removed restrictions on their education, and repealed the Intermarriage Act. In 1793 the Irish Secretary, Major Hobart, succeeded, after much Government pressure, in carrying a second Catholic Relief Bill, admitting Catholics to the grand juries, magistracy, and finally to the franchise, though not to Parliament. Further than that Pitt could not be induced to go. He would neither consent to the admission of Catholics to Parliament, nor would he consent to a measure of Parliamentary reform, though the state of the representation was about as rotten as could possibly be conceived. From an inquiry instituted some years earlier it appeared that out of a House of 300 members 124 were nominated by 53 peers, while 91 others were chosen by 52 commoners. The British ascendency was, in fact, maintained by a system of organised corruption and place-holding, which failed only when religious bigotry carried the day.

    【=热搜榜】On Newcastle's resignation Bute placed himself at the head of the Treasury, and named Grenville Secretary of Statea fatal nomination, for Grenville lost America. Lord Barrington, though an adherent of Newcastle, became Treasurer of the Navy, and Sir Francis Dashwood Chancellor of the Exchequer. Bute, who, like all weak favourites, had not the sense to perceive that it was necessary to be moderate to acquire permanent power, immediately obtained a vacant Garter, and thus parading the royal favours, augmented the rapidly growing unpopularity which his want of sagacity and honourable principle was fast creating. He was beset by legions of libels, which fully exposed his incapacity, and as freely dealt with the connection between himself and the mother of the king.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.A third Bill yet remained to be carried, in order to complete the Ministerial scheme of Emancipation, and supply the security necessary for its satisfactory working. This was the Bill for disfranchising the forty-shilling freeholders, by whose instrumentality, it may be said, Emancipation was effected. It was they that returned Mr. O'Connell for Clare; it was they that would have returned the members for twenty-three other counties, pledged to support his policy. It is true that this class of voters was generally dependent upon the landlords, unless under the influence of violent excitement, when they were wrested like weapons from their hands by the priests, and used with a vengeance for the punishment of those by whom they had been created. In neither case did they exercise the franchise in fulfilment of the purpose for which it was given. In both cases those voters were the instruments of a power which availed itself of the forms of the Constitution, but was directly opposed to its spirit. Disfranchisement, however, in any circumstances, was distasteful to both Conservative and Liberal statesmen. Mr. Brougham said he consented to it in this case "as the pricealmost the extravagant price"of Emancipation; and Sir James Mackintosh remarked that it was one of those "tough morsels" which he had been scarcely able to swallow. The measure was opposed by Mr. Huskisson, Lord Palmerston, and Lord Duncannon, as not requisite, and not calculated to accomplish its object. But although Mr. O'Connell had repeatedly declared that he would not accept Emancipation if the faithful "forties" were to be sacrificed, that he would rather die on the scaffold than submit to any such measure, though Mr. Sheil had denounced it in language the most vehement, yet the measure was allowed to pass through both Houses of Parliament without any opposition worth naming; only seventeen members voting against the second reading in the Commons, and there being no division against it in the Lords. Ireland beheld the sacrifice in silence. Mr. O'Connell forgot his solemn vows, so recently registered, and, what was more strange, the priests did not remind him of his obligation. Perhaps they were not sorry to witness the annihilation of a power which landlords might use against them[302] and which agitators might wield in a way that they could not at all times control. There had been always an uneasy feeling among the prelates and the higher clergy at the influence which Mr. O'Connell and the other lay agitators had acquired, because it tended to raise in the people a spirit of independence which rendered them sometimes refractory as members of the Church, and suggested the idea of combination against their own pastors, if they declined to become their leaders in any popular movement. The popular leaders in Ireland, however, consoling themselves with the assurance that many of the class of "bold peasantry" which they had glorified would still enjoy the franchise as ten-pound freeholders, consented, reluctantly of course, to the extinction of 300,000 "forties." They considered the danger of delay, and the probability that if this opportunity were missed, another might not occur for years of striking off the shackles which the upper classes of Roman Catholics especially felt to be so galling.

    During this debate, the state of Ireland had been repeatedly alluded to, and, on the 13th of December, Lord North brought forward his promised scheme of Irish relief, which consisted in extending the exportation of woollen cloths to wool, and wool-flocks, to all kinds of glass manufactures, and in free trade to the British coloniesprivileges that it seems wonderfully strange to us, at the present day, could ever have been withheld from any portion of the same empire. The critical state of America, no doubt, had much to do with the grant of these privileges, for all of them were conceded.EDMUND BURKE. (After the portrait by George Romney.)

    
     

    【=热搜榜】On the 30th of January, 1793, Dundas announced to the House of Commons a message from the throne, communicating the news of the execution of the French king. This was accompanied by copies of a correspondence with M. Chauvelin, the late plenipotentiary of Louis, and of an order for his quitting the kingdom, in consequence of this sanguinary act. The message made a deep impression on the House, though the circumstances were already well known. It was agreed to take these matters into consideration on the 2nd of February, when Pitt detailed the correspondence which had for some time taken place between the British Cabinet and the French Government. He said that Britain, notwithstanding many provocations, had carefully maintained an attitude of neutrality, even when, in the preceding summer, France was at war with Austria and Prussia, and was menacing our Dutch allies. The French, on their part, had, he said, made similar professions. They had publicly renounced all aggression, and yet they had annexed Saxony, overrun Belgium, and now contemplated the invasion of Holland. They had done more: they had plainly menaced this country with invasion. So recently as the last day of the year, their Minister of Marine had addressed a letter to the seaports of France, in which this was the language regarding England:"The King and his Parliament mean to make war against us. Will the English Republicans suffer it? Already these free men show their discontent, and the repugnance they have to bear arms against their brothers, the French. Well, we will fly to their succour; we will make a descent on the island; we will lodge there fifty thousand caps of liberty; we will plant there the sacred tree; we will stretch out our arms to our Republican brethren, and the tyranny of their Government shall soon be destroyed!" There was a strong war spirit manifest in the House. Fox and his diminished party combated it in vain. The same prevailing expression was exhibited in a similar debate in the House of Lords, in which Lord Loughboroughwho, on the 20th of January, succeeded Thurlow as Lord Chancellorsupported the views of Ministers. But there was little time allowed for the two Houses to discuss the question of peace or war, for on the 11th of February Dundas brought down a royal message, informing the Commons that the French had declared war on the 1st of February, against both Britain and Holland. On the following day Pitt moved an Address to his Majesty, expressing a resolve to support him in the contest against France. In the debate, Burke declared the necessity of war against a nation which had, in fact, proclaimed war against every throne and nation. At the same time, he declared that it would be a war in defence of every principle of order or religion. It would not be the less a most desperate war. France was turning almost every subject in the realm into a soldier. It meant to maintain its armies on the plunder of invaded nations. Trade being ruined at home by the violence of mob rule, the male population was eager to turn soldiers, and to live on the spoils of the neighbouring countries. Lyons alone, he said, had thirty thousand artisans destitute of employment; and they would find a substitute for their legitimate labour in ravaging the fields of Holland and Germany. He deemed war a stern necessity. A similar Address was moved and carried in the Peers.

    Though there had appeared a lull in American affairs for some time, any one who was observant might have seen that all the old enmities were still working in the colonial mind, and that it would require little irritation to call them forth in even an aggravated form. Lord Hillsborough was no longer Governor, but William Legge, Lord Dartmouth. He was a man of high reputation for uprightness and candour; Richardson said that he would be the perfect ideal of his Sir Charles Grandison, if he were not a Methodist; and the poet Cowper, not objecting to his Methodism, described him as "one who wears a coronet and prays." But Lord Dartmouth, with all his superiority of temper and his piety, could not prevent the then stone-blind Cabinet and infatuated king from accomplishing the independence of America.Amid this melancholy manifestation of a convicted, yet dogged, treason against the people on the part of their rulers, many motions for reform and improvements in our laws were brought forward. On the part of Mr. Sturges Bourne, a committee brought in a report recommending three Bills for the improvement of the Poor Law: one for the establishment of select vestries, one for a general reform of the Poor Law, and one for revising the Law of Settlement. On the part of Henry Brougham, a Bill was introduced for appointment of commissioners to inquire into the condition of the charities in England for the education of the poor. There were many attempts to reform the Criminal Law, in which Sir Samuel Romilly especially exerted himself. One of these was to take away the penalty of death from the offence of stealing from a shop to the value of five shillings, another was to prevent arrests for libel before indictment was found, and another, by Sir James Mackintosh, to inquire into the forgery of Bank of England notes. There was a Bill brought in by Mr. Wynn to amend the Election Laws; and one for alterations in the Law of Tithes, by Mr. Curwen; another by Sir Robert Peel, father of the great statesman, for limiting the hours of labour in cotton and other factories; a Bill to amend the Law of Bankruptcy, and a Bill to amend the Copyright Act, by Sir Egerton Brydges; and finally a Bill for Parliamentary Reform, introduced by Sir Francis Burdett, and supported by Lord Cochrane, subsequently the Earl of Dundonald. All of these were thrown out, except the select Vestries Bill, Brougham's Bill to inquire into the public charities, a Bill for rewarding apprehenders of highway robbers and other offenders, and a Bill granting a million of money to build new churches. The cause of Reform found little encouragement from the Parliamentary majorities of the Sidmouths, Liverpools, and Castlereaghs. This list of rejections of projects of reform was far from complete; a long succession followed. The Scots came with a vigorous demand, made on their behalf by Lord Archibald Hamilton, for a sweeping reform of their burghs. Municipal reform was equally needed, both in Scotland and England. The whole system was flagrantly corrupt. Many boroughs were sinking into bankruptcy; and the elections of their officers were conducted on the most arbitrary and exclusive principles. The Scots had agitated this question before the outbreak of the French Revolution, but that and the great war issuing out of it had swamped the agitation altogether. It was now revived, but only to meet with a defeat like a score of other measures quite as needful. Lord Archibald Hamilton asked for the abolition of the Scottish Commissary Courts in conformity with the recommendation of a commission of inquiry in 1808; General Thornton called for the repeal of certain religious declarations to be made on taking office; and Dr. Phillimore for amendment of the Marriage Act of 1753; and numerous demands for the repeal of taxes of one kind or another all met the same fate of refusal.

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