沙坪坝05月份天气沙坪坝05月份气温沙坪坝2020年05月份历史天气

On the 20th of May Fox moved for a Grand Committee on courts of justice, to inquire into some late decisions of the courts in cases of libel. Thomas Erskine, the eloquent advocate, had lately, in the case of the Dean of St. Asaph, delivered a most brilliant and effective speech on the right of juries to decide both on fact and on law in such cases, the duty of the judge being only to explain the law. Fox adopted this doctrine of Erskine, and framed his speech in the most glowing terms. He complained, however, that such was not the practice of the courts, and he particularly animadverted on the custom and the doctrine of Lord Mansfield on this subject. He observed that in murder, in felony, in high treason, and in every other criminal indictment, it was the admitted province of the jury to decide both on law and fact. The practice in the case of libel was an anomaly, and clearly ought not to be so. He said that the doctrine which he recommended was no innovation; it had been asserted by John Lilburne, who, when prosecuted for a libel under the Commonwealth, declared that the jury were the real judges, and the judges themselves mere cyphers, so far as the verdict was concerned; and Lilburne had been acquitted, in spite of the judge and of the influence of Cromwell. He reviewed the doctrines of the Stuarts regarding libel, and observed that these could not be wrong then and right now. He contended that the late practice had been a serious inroad on the liberty of the press, and noted the case of the printer of the Morning Herald, who had been tried for merely commenting strongly on the sending of an armament to Nootka Sound, and on the conduct of Parliament in granting supplies for this purpose. He had been condemned to a year's imprisonment and to stand in the pillory. Pitt observed that he had always, since he had had a place in the Ministry, condemned the use of the pillory, and that there could be no difficulty in remitting that part of the sentence in this particular case. He supported Fox's view of the law, and recommended him to bring in two short Bills, instead of going into committee on the subject. Fox followed this advice, and brought in two Billsone to remove doubts respecting the rights and functions of juries in criminal cases; and the other to amend the Act of the 9th of Queen Anne for rendering the proceedings upon writs of Mandamus and informations in the nature of a Quo Warranto more speedy and effectual. The first Bill passed the Commons on the 2nd of June, but was thrown out in the Lords, through the influence of Chancellor Thurlow, who had never forgiven Pitt his contempt of his conduct on the Regency question during the king's malady. This defeated the object of Fox during this Session, but it was carried in the next, and Lord Thurlow's opposition lost him his position. The Great Seal was put into commission. When Parliament reassembled, after the Christmas recess, the great question of economical reform took the first place in its deliberations. The great Yorkshire petition was introduced on the 8th of February by Sir George Savile, who, as the forms of the House then allowed, made a speech on its presentation. He was a small, weakly man, but of the most upright character, and was listened to with the highest respect. On the 11th Burke rose to bring forward his extensive scheme of retrenchment and reform. It was a scheme of reforms so vast and multiform as to require five Bills to include them. It dealt with the sale of the Crown lands; the abolition of the separate jurisdictions of the Principality of Wales, the Duchies of Cornwall, Chester, and Lancaster; of the Court offices of Treasurer, Comptroller, Cofferer, Keeper of the Stag, Buck, and Fox Hounds, of the Wardrobe, Robes, Jewels, etc.; of the recently-instituted office of Third Secretary of State; the reduction and simplification of offices in the Ordnance and Mint departments; the Patent Office of the Exchequer; the regulation of the pay offices of the army, navy, and of pensioners; and, finally, the Civil List. Such a host of corrupt interests was assailed by this wholesale scheme, that it was certain to receive a very determined opposition; and it might have been supposed that it would be encountered by the most rabid rage. But not so. The great tribe whose interests were affected were too adroit strategists for that; they were too well assured that, being legion, and all knit up together from the Crown downwards, embracing every branch of the aristocracy, they were safe, and might, therefore, listen to the fervid eloquence of the poetic Irishman, as they would to a tragedy that did not affect them further than their amusement was concerned. Lord North very soon managed to put the Principality and the Duchies out of the range of his inquiries. He declared that nobody was more zealous for a permanent system of economy than he was; but then, unfortunately, the king's[264] patrimonial revenue was concerned in these Duchies, and therefore he must be first consulted; and, what was still more embarrassing was, that these proposals affected the rights of the Prince of Wales, and therefore could not be mooted till he was of age; so that branch of the inquiry was lopped off, under the gentle phrase of postponement. When the discussion reached the reform of the king's household, Burke was compelled to admit that a former attempt to reform this lavish yet penurious household by Lord Talbot, had been suddenly stopped, because, forsooth, it would endanger the situation of an honourable member who was turnspit in the kitchen! The end of it was, that though all expressed themselves as delighted and as acquiescent, almost every detail was thrown out in committee. The only point carried was that which abolished the Board of Trade, by a majority, however, of only eight. The Board of Trade was ere long restored again. The other portions of Burke's great scheme occupied the House through March, April, and May, and then was got rid of by a man?uvre in the committee, Burke declaring that he would bring the measure forward again next session.

On the 20th of January a Bill was introduced to the House of Lords for the naturalisation of the Prince. By this Act, which passed the next day through the House of Commons, the Prince was declared already exempt, by an Act passed in the sixth year of George IV., from the obligations that had previously bound all persons to receive the Lord's Supper within one month before exhibition of a Bill for their naturalisation. And the Bill was permitted to be read the second time without his having taken the oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, as required by an Act passed in the first year of George I. But on the second reading in the House of Lords the Duke of Wellington objected that it was not merely a Bill[468] for naturalising the Prince, but that it also contained a clause which would enable him, "during the term of his natural life, to take precedence in rank after her Majesty in Parliament, and elsewhere as her Majesty might think fit and proper," any law, statute, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. The Duke of Wellington stated that as the title of the Bill said nothing about precedence, the House had not received due notice of its contents; he therefore moved the adjournment of the debate. Lord Melbourne remarked that the omission was purely accidental and, in his opinion, of no importance; at the same time he admitted that this Bill did differ in form from other similar Bills, as it gave the Queen power to bestow on Prince Albert a higher rank than was assigned to Prince George of Denmark, or to Prince Leopold. But the reason for the difference was to be found in the relative situation of the parties. Lord Brougham, however, pointed out a practical difficulty that might possibly arise. According to the proposed arrangement, if the Queen should die before there was any issue from the marriage, the King of Hanover would reign in this country, and his son would be Prince of Wales. Prince Albert would thus be placed in the anomalous position of a foreign naturalised Prince, the husband of a deceased Queen, with a higher rank than the Prince of Wales. Lord Londonderry decidedly objected to giving a foreign Prince precedence over the Blood Royal. In consequence of this difference of opinion the debate was adjourned till the following week, when the Lord Chancellor stated that he would propose that power should be given to the Crown to allow the Prince to take precedence next after any Heir Apparent to the Throne. Subsequently, however, Lord Melbourne expressed himself so anxious that it should pass with all possible expedition, that he would leave out everything about precedence, and make it a simple Naturalisation Bill, in which shape it immediately passed. Buonaparte endeavoured to man?uvre so as to get into Kutusoff's rear, and thus to have the way into the fertile provinces beyond him open. He sent forward Delzon to occupy Maloi-Jaroslavitz, a very strong position; but Kutusoff penetrated his design, made a rapid march, and encountered Delzon in the very streets of Maloi-Jaroslavitz. A severe battle took place, and the French finally recovered Maloi-Jaroslavitz, but only to find it, like Moscow, in flames, and to lose Delzon and his brother, as well as some thousands of men. Beyond the burning town they also saw Kutusoff and one hundred thousand men drawn up in a position which the French generals declared impregnable. Buonaparte received this information with expressions of consternation unusual to him. He determined the next morning to examine this position for himself, and in so doing was very nearly captured by a band of Cossack cavalry. A council of war was held in a wretched weaver's hut, and he reluctantly concluded to forego this route, and take that by Vereiva and Viasma, the same by which he had advanced on Moscow. This was, in fact, to doom his army to perdition; for all the way by Borodino, Smolensk, and Vitebsk, the country had been ravaged and desolated in coming; there was nothing in it to keep alive an army. Had he waited only a few hours, he would have found[50] Kutusoff himself retreating from his strong defiles from fear of being outflanked by the French, and their making their way beyond him to the fertile provinces. Thus the two armies were each in retreat at the same moment, but Buonaparte's was a retreat upon death and horror.

The king now thought of placing Fox at the head of a new administration; but when Fox asked Pitt to join, he refused, and the king was obliged to send for Pitt, much as he hated him. Pitt replied that he was laid up with the gouta complaint which troubled him, but which he frequently found it convenient to assume. George then prevailed upon the Duke of Devonshire, a man of no commanding ability, and averse from office, but of the highest integrity of character, to accept the post of First Lord of the Treasury, and to form a Cabinet. Though the friend of Fox, he felt that statesman to be too unpopular for a colleague, and offered Pitt the seals of Secretary of State, which he accepted; Legge was re-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer; Pitt's brother-in-law, Lord Temple, First Lord of the Admiralty; Temple's brother, George Grenville, Treasurer of the Navy; another brother, James Grenville, again was seated at the Treasury Board; Lord Holderness was the second Secretary of State, to oblige the king; Willes, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; the Duke of Bedford was made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, it was said by Fox's suggestion, as a thorn in the flesh to Pitt, and, as Horace Walpole sarcastically remarked, Pitt had not Grenville cousins enough to fill the whole Administration; Charles Townshend was made Treasurer of the Chamber, though his talents and eloquence, in which he excited Pitt's jealousy, deserved a much higher office. The Sovereigns of the Holy Alliance, however, acted on principles and with designs very different. Their general principle was not to tolerate any change in the European Governments that did not emanate from themselves. The Greek Revolution they denounced as a rebellion against the legitimate authority of the Sultan. The actual Government of Spain they regarded as incompatible with the safety of monarchical power, and France called upon the Sovereigns to re-establish the despotism of Ferdinand. Russia, Austria, and Prussia took the same view of the Spanish Revolution, but were unwilling to interfere by force of arms. France was not so scrupulous upon that point. Chateaubriand and other votaries of absolutism in Church and State were busy fomenting conspiracies in Spain, and secretly supplying arms and ammunition to the priest-ridden enemies of constitutional government in that country. An army which during the previous year had been assembled on the frontier, under the ridiculous pretence of preventing the fever at Barcelona from spreading into France, changed its name from that of a sanitary cordon to an army of observation. M. de Villele, the new French Prime Minister, threw off the mask, and in a circular note stated that unless Spain altered her political constitution, France would use force to convert her from her revolutionary theories.

The taste for Italian music was now every day increasing; singers of that nation appeared with great applause at most concerts. In 1703 Italian music was introduced into the theatres as intermezzi, or interludes, consisting of singing and dancing; then whole operas appeared, the music Italian, the words English; and, in 1707, Urbani, a male soprano, and two Italian women, sang their parts all in Italian, the other performers using English. Finally, in 1710, a complete Italian opera was performed at the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, and from that time the Italian opera was regularly established in London. This led to the arrival of the greatest composer whom the world had yet seen. George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, in Germany, in 1685. He had displayed wonderful genius for music as a mere child, and having, at the age of seven years, astonished the Duke of Saxe Weissenfelsat whose court his brother-in-law was a valetwho found him playing the organ in the chapel, he was, by the Duke's recommendation, regularly educated for the profession of music. At the age of ten, Handel composed the church service for voices and instruments; and after acquiring a great reputation in Hamburgwhere, in 1705, he brought out his "Almira"he proceeded to Florence, where he produced the opera of "Rodrigo," and thence to Venice, Rome, and Naples. After remaining in Italy four years, he was induced to come to England in 1710, at the pressing entreaties of many of the English nobility, to superintend the opera. But, though he was enthusiastically received, the party spirit which raged at that period soon made it impossible to conduct the opera with any degree of self-respect and independence. He therefore abandoned the attempt, having sunk nearly all his fortune in it, and commenced the composition of his noble oratorios. Racine's "Esther," abridged and altered by Humphreys, was set by him, in 1720, for the chapel of the Duke of Chandos at Cannons. It was, however, only by slow degrees that the wonderful genius of Handel was appreciated, yet it won its way against all prejudices and difficulties. In 1731 his "Esther" was performed by the children of the chapel-royal at the house of Bernard Gates, their master, and the following year, at the king's command, at the royal theatre in the Haymarket. It was fortunate for Handel that the monarch was German too, or he might have quitted the country in disgust before his fame had triumphed over faction and ignorance. So far did these operate, that in 1742, when he produced his glorious "Messiah," it was so coldly received that it was treated as a failure. Handel, in deep discouragement, however, gave it another trial in Dublin, where the warm imaginations of the Irish caught all its sublimity, and gave it an enthusiastic reception. On its next presentation in London his audience reversed the former judgment, and the delighted composer then presented the manuscript to the Foundling Hospital, where it was performed annually for the benefit of that excellent institution, and added to its funds ten thousand three hundred pounds. It became the custom, from 1737, to perform oratorios[156] on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Handel, whose genius has never been surpassed for vigour, spirit, invention, and sublimity, became blind in his latter years. He continued to perform in public, and to compose, till within a week of his death, which took place on April 13, 1759.

Our forces in Sicily had an encounter, in the autumn, with those of Murat, King of Naples. Murat was ambitious of driving us out of Sicily, and Ferdinand IV. and his court with us. From spring till September he had an army lying at Scylla, Reggio, and in the hills overlooking the Strait of Messina, but he did not attempt to put across till the 18th of September. Seizing then the opportunity, when our flotilla of gunboats and our cruisers were off the station, he pushed across a body of three thousand five hundred men, under General Cavaignac. These troops were chiefly Neapolitans, but there were two battalions of Corsicans, and they were furnished with an embroidered standard to present to the Corsicans in our service, whom they hoped to induce to desert to them. General Cavaignac managed to land about seven miles to the south of Messina, and attacked the British right wing. Sir John Stuart made haste to bring up other troops to the support of the right, but before he could arrive, Colonel C. Campbell defeated the invaders, taking prisoners a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, and forty other officers, with eight hundred men. There was a rapid retreat to their boats by the intruders, but the British pursued and cut to pieces great numbers of them, besides what were killed by the Sicilian peasantry. One boat full of soldiers was sunk as it went off, and the Neapolitans in another deserted to their old king.

Meanwhile the changes made in the Government offices betrayed the rising influence of Bolingbroke. The Duke of Shrewsbury was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; the Duke of Ormonde, a noted Jacobite, was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports and Governor of Dover Castle, as if for the avowed purpose of facilitating the landing of the Pretender; Lord Lansdowne was made Treasurer of the Household; Lord Dartmouth, Privy Seal; Mr. Bromley, the Tory leader of the Commons, joint secretary with Bolingbroke; Benson, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was created Lord Bingley, and sent as ambassador to Spain; and Sir William Wyndham, till now a friend of Bolingbroke's, succeeded Benson as Chancellor. Thus Bolingbroke was surrounded by his friends in office, and became more daring in his rivalry with Oxford, and in his schemes to supplant the[13] House of Hanover and introduce the Pretender to the British throne.

On the 10th of January the army came in sight of Corunna and the sea, but no transports could be seen in the bay. They were detained by contrary winds at Vigo, and the last hope of safety seemed cut off. Sir John, however, quartered his troops in Corunna, and determined to defend it manfully till the transports could get up. But great was his chagrin at the proofs of the miserable management of the Commissariat Department. On a hill above the town were four thousand barrels of gunpowder, which had been sent from England, and had been lying there many months, and the town was a great magazine of arms. Sir John replaced the weather-worn muskets of his troops with new ones, supplied them with fresh, good powder, and, after removing as many barrels of powder into the town as the time would allow, he blew up the rest, producing a concussion that shook the place like an earthquake.

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