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The new Parliament reassembled on the 14th of November, and the king in his speech, whilst pretending the differences which had arisen between us, France, and Spain were by no means serious, yet called for enlarged supplies to defend our American territories against the designs of these Powers. In fact, matters were becoming very serious in our American colonies; but the Government withheld the real facts from the knowledge of the public, and it was not till the opening of Parliament, in March, 1755, that they candidly avowed that war was inevitable. The French and English were actually engaged in war both in the East Indies and in America. In the East Indies there was just now an apparent pause in hostilities, through an agreement between the two Companies; but in North America matters daily grew worse. There were, and had been ever since the Peace, violent disputes as to the boundary-lines both of Nova Scotiaor, as the French styled it, Acadiaand between Canada and our colony of New England. The French, becoming more and more daring, commenced the erection of forts in the valley of the Ohio, to connect the settlements on the St. Lawrence with those on the Mississippi. They had already erected one called Duquesne, greatly to the indignation of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia. In Nova Scotia, Major Lawrence, with one thousand men, defeated the French and their Indian allies; but, on the other hand, the French surprised and sacked Block's Town, on the Ohio, belonging to the Virginians, who sent forward Major George Washington to attack Fort Duquesne. Washington, destined to acquire the greatest name in the New World, marched with four hundred men, but was surprised at a place called Great Meadows, and was glad to capitulate on condition of retiring with military honours (1754).

AMERICAN PROVINCES in 1763 AFTER THE CONTEMPORARY MAP by Peter Bell

Immediately on the rising of Parliament O'Connell published a violent attack in the form of a letter to Lord Duncannon. This was taken up by Lord Brougham in the course of an oratorical tour which he was making through Scotland, and a mutual exchange of compliments ensued. Unfortunately the Chancellor's eccentricity did not stop there. Earl Grey was not permitted to retire into private life without some popular recognition of his great public services. On the 15th of September a grand banquet was given in Edinburgh in honour of this illustrious statesman. "Probably," says a contemporary chronicle, "no Minister in the zenith of his power ever before received so gratifying a tribute of national respect as was paid on this occasion to one who had not only retired from office, but retired from it for ever. The popular enthusiasm, both in the capital and other parts of Scotland, was extreme, which the noble earl sensibly felt, and gratefully acknowledged as among the proudest circumstances of his life. The dinner took place in a large pavilion, erected for the occasion in the area of the High School, and was provided for upwards of 1,500 persons, more than 600 having been admitted after the removal of the cloth. The principal speakers were Earl Grey, the Lord Chancellor, and the Earl of Durham. Earl Grey and the Lord Chancellor, in their speeches, said they considered that the Reform in Parliament afforded the means by which all useful improvements might be obtained without violence. Both advocated a deliberate and careful, but steady course of amelioration and reform, and both derided the idea of a reaction in favour of Tory principles of government. The Earl of Durham avowed his opinions in favour of the ballot and household suffrage, and declared that he should regret every hour which left ancient and recognised abuses unreformed." This involved the Lord Chancellor in a new controversy in which more personalities were exchanged.

Parliament met on the 15th of November, when Mr. Abercromby was unanimously re-elected Speaker. On the 20th the Queen opened the new Parliament in person. In the Royal Speech the serious attention of the Legislature was requested to the consideration of the state of the province of Lower Canada, which had now become a question that could not be any longer deferred. The demands of the inhabitants of that province were so extravagant that they were regarded by Sir Robert Peel as revolutionary. They demanded, not only that the Executive Council should be responsible to the House of Representatives, but also that the Senate, or Upper House, then nominated by the Crown, should be elected by the people. The Home Government, sustained by an overwhelming majority of the House of Commons, rejected the demand; and when the news reached Canada, the Lower Province was quickly in a flame of rebellion. Violent harangues were delivered to excited assemblies of armed men, who were called upon to imitate the glorious example of the United States, and break the yoke of British oppression. Fortunately, disaffection in the Upper Provinces was confined to a minority. The Loyalists held counter-demonstrations at Montreal; regiments of volunteers to support the Government and maintain the British connection were rapidly formed, and filled up by brave men determined to lay down their lives for the fair young Queen who now demanded their allegiance. Sir Francis Head had so much confidence in the inhabitants of the Upper Provinces that he sent all the regular troops into Lower Canada for the purpose of suppressing the insurrection. A small force, under the command of Colonel Gore, encountered 1,500 of the rebels so strongly posted in stone houses in the villages of St. Denis and St. Charles that they were obliged to retreat before the well directed fire from the windows, with the loss of six killed and ten wounded, leaving their only field-piece behind. Among the wounded was Lieutenant Weir, who was barbarously murdered by the insurgents. At St. Charles, Colonel Wetherall, at the head of another detachment, stormed the stronghold of the rebels, and completely routed them, after an obstinate resistance, with a loss of only three killed and eighteen wounded. The strength of the insurgents,[446] however, lay in the country of the Two Mountains, where they were pursued by Sir John Colborne in person, with a force of 13,000 men, including volunteers. Many of them took to flight at his approach, including their commander Girod, who, on being pursued and captured, shot himself. But 400 rebels, commanded by Dr. Chenier, took up a position in a church and some other buildings, around which they erected barricades, and there made a desperate resistance for two hours. Next day the British troops proceeded to another stronghold of the rebels, St. Benoit, which they found abandoned, and to which the exasperated loyalists set fire. Papineau, the leader of the insurrection, had escaped to New York.

"Child, is thy father dead?"

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But these assumptions of new territories and new honours had, as we have seen, alarmed the Northern Powers and Austria. They saw that they could have no peace with such a man, except it were a peace of continual encroachment, humiliation, and slavery, and Russia went so far as to recall her Ambassador, though without a declaration of war.[504] There was the utmost necessity for union, caution, and the exertion of every ability. But the folly and incapacity of those nations appeared to rise in intensity in proportion to the actual need of wisdom, and to the genius of their enemy. Britain, could give them money, but she could not give them talent and sagacity. Before Russia could march down to unite with Austria, Austria, which had so long hung back, and thus delayed the operations of Alexander, now showed as fatal a temerity, and commenced the campaign alone. She rushed into Bavaria, whose Elector, Maximilian Joseph, had entered into league with Buonaparte, in common with Würtemberg and other German States. The Emperor Francis had despatched Schwarzenberg to Munich, to endeavour to prevail on him to unite with Austria against the common enemy of Germany. Maximilian Joseph pleaded that he was quite resolved on doing that, but that his son was travelling in France, and he prayed time to recall him, or Buonaparte would wreak his vengeance upon him. This should have induced Francis of Austria to delay at least a sufficient time for this purpose, especially as it gave another chance for the decision of Prussia in their favour, when it saw the Russians already on the march. Whether the Elector of Bavaria would eventually have kept his promise is doubtful, for Napoleon was, on the other hand, pressing him close, through his Ambassador, M. Otto, to proclaim openly the secret alliance concluded with France.

The next day, the 8th of July, Louis a second time entered his capital, escorted by the National Guard. Fouch announced to the two Chambers that their functions were at an end; but they still declared themselves sitting in permanence. But General Desolles, commander of the National Guard, proceeded to close the Chambers. He found both of them deserted, and locked the doors, and put his seal upon them, setting also a guard. Soon afterwards the members of the Chamber of Representatives, who had only adjourned, began to arrive, but were received with jeers by the Guards, which were eagerly joined in by the populace, and they retreated in confusion. Fouch, in reward for his politic private correspondence with the Allies, was reinstated in his old office of Minister of Police, and the government of Louis recommenced in great quietaffording the French much more real liberty than they had enjoyed either under Buonaparte or the factions of the Revolution. And thus ended the celebrated Hundred Days from the landing of Napoleon to his second exclusion.