浙江省国资委党委委员、副主任朱恒福接受纪律审查和监察调查

Of all the expectants of office in the Wellington Administration, the most bitterly disappointed was the ex-Chancellor, Lord Eldon, to whom official life had from long habit become almost a necessity. He had enjoyed power long enough in reason to admit of his retirement with a contented mind; but the passion for it was never stronger than at the present moment. He hastened to London a few days after Christmas on account of rumours of a dissolution of the Cabinet. Having so often done this when there was a talk of a Ministerial crisis, he was called the "stormy petrel." Believing that he had mainly contributed to bring about the Ministerial catastrophe, he was dreadfully mortified when he saw in the newspapers the list of the new Ministers beginning thus: "Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst." He had not set his heart this time on the office of Lord Chancellor, he would have been content with the Presidentship of the Council or Privy Seal; but his name was not found in the list at all, nor had he been consulted in any way, or informed about what was going forward during the fortnight that passed before the Ministerial arrangements were completed. This utter neglect of his claims excited his anger and indignation to the utmost, and caused him to indulge in bitter revilings and threats against the new Cabinet. The great Tory lords shared in his resentment, and felt that they were all insulted in his person. Referring to the Ministerial arrangements, he wrote:"You will observe, Dudley, Huskisson, Grant, Palmerston, and Lyndhurst (five) were all Canningites, with whom the rest were three weeks ago in most violent contest and opposition; these things are to me quite marvellous. How they are all to deal with each other's conduct, as to the late treaty with Turkey and the Navarino battle, is impossible to conjecture. As the first-fruits of this arrangement, the Corporation of London have agreed to petition Parliament to repeal the laws which affect Dissenters." Newcastle, a man older than his brother Pelham, and of inferior abilities, instead of strengthening himself by the promotion of Pitt and Henry Fox, was only anxious to grasp all the power of the Cabinet, and retain these far abler men as his obedient subordinates. He at once got himself placed at the head of the Treasury, and selected as Chancellor of the Exchequer Henry Legge, a son of the Earl of Dartmouth, a quiet but ordinary man of business, by no means fitted to take the leadership of the House of Commons. The three men calculated for that post were Pitt, Fox, and Murray; but Pitt was still extremely disliked by the king, who did not forget his many years' thunderings against Hanoverian measures, and both George and Newcastle were no little[117] afraid of his towering ambition. Henry Fox was a man of amiable character in private life, but in politics an adventurer.

Father, with panting breast,

The memorable 17th of August arrived, and the curtain was raised on a new act in the great drama, on which the whole nation gazed with the deepest interest, and with feverish anxiety. The queen left her residence in St. James's Square, and proceeded to the House of Lords in her new state carriage, which the people were with difficulty dissuaded from unyoking, that they might draw it themselves. As she passed Carlton House, the crowd gave three cheers, and also at the Treasury. The soldiers on guard at the former place, and at the House of Lords, presented arms when she arrived. The queen's carriage was preceded by Alderman Wood's, and followed by one of her Majesty's travelling carriages, in which were the Hon. Keppel Craven and Sir William Gell, her chamberlains. The way from Charing Cross to Westminster Abbey was crowded, and all the windows of the houses on each side were filled with people, particularly with ladies. Such was the enthusiasm of the people, that the barrier erected at St. Margaret's Church was insufficient to keep them back, and the dense mass forced their way through, and reached Palace Yard shortly after the queen. Sir T. Tyrwhitt, as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, attended by the officers of the House, received the queen at the private entrance which had been prepared for her. She entered at the door near the throne, supported by Lord A. Hamilton, and attended by Lady A. Hamilton. She was dressed in white, but wore a black lace shawl. Her demeanour was in the highest degree dignified. On her entrance the peers all rose, and she was pleased to salute them in return. The subject of Church rates having created much ill-feeling in towns and districts where the Dissenters were most numerous, an attempt was made by the Government to abolish the impost. It was found that the sum which they produced was about 250,000 a year, and it was proposed to obtain that amount by a better management of the estates of bishops, deans, and chapters, by placing them under the control of eleven Commissioners, who should first pay the bishops and dignitaries' salaries out of the proceeds, and devote the rest of the fund thus realised to the objects for which Church rates were levied, namely, the repair of churches and the supply of the necessaries for public worship. But an outcry was raised against this plan as being based upon the principle of Church spoliation. The bishops and clergy resisted strenuously, and the friends of the Church were roused to such an extent that the majority in the House of Commons on the second reading of the Bill was only five. This majority was tantamount to defeat, and therefore the measure was abandoned.

In Wales, such was the neglect of religion by the Establishment, that, previous to 1804, there was scarcely a clergyman of the Church of England in the principality who was a native, or could preach in Welsh. The capability of a minister to make himself understood by his parishioners had been totally disregarded by those who had the presentation to livings; the exercise of patronage had alone been cared for; the souls of people went for nothing. About that time the Rev. Mr. Charles was engaged as curate in a Welsh parish. He found not a single Bible in the parish, and on extending his inquiries he scarcely found a Bible in Wales. He made this fact known to the public, in an appeal for Welsh Bibles, and for this appeal and the attendant exposure of the clerical neglect he was dismissed from his cure, and could find no bishop who would license him to preach in any other parish. But his truly Christian act had excited the attention of the religious public, and had the effect of establishing the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1804.

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News arrived that the king, by proclamation, had prohibited the export of arms and military stores to America. This news was received with a burst of rage. The people of Rhode Island, who had burnt the king's schooner, The Gaspee, seized forty pieces of cannon on the batteries defending the harbour, and carried them into the country. The people of New Hampshire surprised a small fort called William and Mary, garrisoned only by one officer and five men, and carried off the ordnance, arms, ammunition and military stores. Everywhere orders were issued for the purchase of arms and ammunition; for training the militia; for erecting powder mills, and manufactories of arms and shot, as well as for making saltpetre. So far as it depended on the people of Massachusetts, it was already rebellion. Still, however, the other colonies, except, perhaps, Virginia, were far from this bellicose temper. The colonies, in general, thought the measures of the late Congress too strong; and the State of New York, in spite of the impetuosity of such men as Jay, carried a vote rejecting the resolutions of the Congress.

Before passing to the momentous history of the Irish famine we must notice some isolated facts connected with the Peel Administration, which our connected view of the triumph of Free Trade has prevented our mentioning under their proper dates. Among the many measures of the time which were fiercely discussed, the most complicated were the Bank Charter Act of 1844, and the Act dealing with the Irish and Scottish Banks of 1845, whereby the Premier placed the whole banking system of the kingdom upon an entirely new basis, in particular by the separation of the issue and banking business of the Bank of England, and by the determination of the issues by the amount of bullion in reserve. Under the Act the Bank was at liberty to issue 14,000,000 of notes on the security of Exchequer Bills and the debt due to it from the Government, but all issues above this amount were to be based on bullion. Still hotter were the passions roused by the Maynooth Bill, by which 30,000 were devoted to the improvement of the college founded at Maynooth for the education of Roman Catholic priests. The language used during the debates by the Protestant party has few parallels in the history of the British Parliament, and Sir Robert Peel's difficulties were increased by the resignation of Mr. Gladstone, who found his present support of the Bill incompatible with the opinions expressed in his famous essay on Church and State. Lord Aberdeen's foreign policy was completely the reverse of the bold, if hazardous, line adopted by Lord Palmerston. We have seen how the Ashburton mission composed the critical questions at issue with the United States, and in similar fashion a dispute about the Oregon boundary, which had been pending for thirty years, was terminated on sound principles of give-and-take by fixing the line at the 49th parallel, while Vancouver Island was reserved for Britain, and the commerce of the Columbia was made free. With France our relations were of the most pacific character; so close, indeed, was the entente cordiale that it was a commonplace of Tory oratory that M. Guizot was Foreign Minister of England. This was certainly not the case; on the contrary, when the Society Islands, over which Pomare was queen, were forcibly annexed by a roving French admiral, Lord Aberdeen behaved with very proper spirit, and obtained an indemnity for the missionary Pritchard, who had been forcibly placed under arrest. In other respects the friendship of Great Britain with France continued unimpaired, and there was an interchange of visits between the Queen and King Louis Philippe. It was a sign of a harmony of views between the two nations. Unfortunately, owing to a variety of causes, it was not to be of long continuance.

The Irish delegates described the condition of Ireland as most deplorable. They said that the Government interest, through the landed aristocracy, was omnipotent; that the manufacturers were unemployed; that an infamous coalition had taken place between the Irish Opposition and Ministry; that the Catholics had been bought up so that all parties might combine to crush Reform; that the United Irishmen were everywhere persecuted, and that one of them had only just escaped from a six months' imprisonment.

During the years 1767, 1768, and 1769, Mr. Thomas Whatelyat one time private secretary to Grenville, and several years Under-Secretary of State to Lord Suffolk, but during these years out of office, and simply member of Parliamenthad maintained a private correspondence with Governor Hutchinson and his brother-in-law, Andrew Oliver, the Lieutenant-Governor. In these letters Hutchinson and Oliver had freely expressed to their old friend their views of the state of affairs in the colony; and, of course, said many things never intended to come to the public eye, or to operate officially. On the death of Whately, in 1772, some villain purloined these letters and conveyed them to Franklin, who was acting as agent for Massachusetts. Who this dishonest firebrand was, was never discovered. Franklin pledged himself to secrecy, both as to the letters and as to the name of the person who so basely obtained them. The name of this person he faithfully kept; but the contents of the letters were too well calculated to create irreconcilable rancour in the minds of the Americans, for him to resist the pleasure of communicating them to the Massachusetts Assembly. He accordingly forwarded them to Mr. Curling, the Speaker of the Assembly.

The Allies now advanced in rapid march. They put to flight the divisions of Mortier and Marmont, whom Buonaparte had posted to give them a check. These divisions lost eight thousand men, besides a vast quantity of guns, baggage, and ammunition. A similar fate awaited a body of[81] ten thousand National Guards. At Meaux Mortier and Marmont blew up a great powder-magazine as Blucher approached, and then retired beneath the walls of Paris. The Allies, in three days, had marched seventy miles. On the 28th of March they were in full view of Paris, and had driven Marmont and Mortier close under its walls. The north-east side of Paris, on which they were approaching, was the only one then fortified. A ridge of hills along that side, including the heights of Belleville, Romainville, and Montmartre, was defended by an old wall, and there the French authorities had placed the defenders of the citythe shattered forces of the two retreating marshals, bodies of the National Guard, and youths from the Polytechnic schools, many of them mere boys of from twelve to sixteen years old, some of whom served the guns on the batteries. The whole of the forces left to defend the great and wealthy city of Paris amounted to between thirty and forty thousand men.

John Gay, a contemporary of Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot, is now best known by his "Fables" and his "Beggar's Opera." His "Fables" have been extremely popular, and still make him a general name; but, in his own time, his "Beggar's Opera" was his great success. Its wit, its charming music, its popular characters, gave it a universal favour; and it is the only English opera that even to this time has become permanent. Gay's "Trivia; or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London," is still amusing, and some of his ballads have a lightness and buoyancy about them which justify the esteem in which he was held.