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remained unaccomplished, and as don led the way, and, in a commonfar out of the reach of all reason. hall, the votes, for a petition, were able expectation, as at the first mo. four thousand, and only one hunmeat of its being attempted. All dred against it. parties seemed, at this period, to The terms in which it was conanite in the like strain of reasoning. ceived were extremely pointed. Numbers of those who had warmly “ None of the ends proposed by espoused the cause of the minister, the war, (to use the words of the thought that a sufficient trial had petition) bad either been, or apbeen made of the various schemes peared likely to be, obtained, ale be bad brought forward, in order though it had been carried on at an to compel the French to revert to unprecedented expence to this coun. ebeir former situation; and that, try, and had already produced an having failed, prudence enjoined alarming increase of the national bim to desist, and to leave the re. debt, augmented by subsidies, paid establishment of the French monas to allies, who had notoriously vio• chy to a future period, and more lated their solemn engagements, and auspicious opportunities.
rendered no adequate service for That party, which had opposed large sums actually received by the war from its very commence them, and wrung from the credument, were loud in their reproba- Jity of the generous and industrious tion of its continuauce, and re inhabitants of this island.” It conproached ministers with a total want cluded by expressing a firm and deof foresight, in not seeming to have cided conviction, that the principle apprehended. the difficulties they on which the war appeared to be would have to contend with, and, carried on, neither was, nor could with equal inability, to encounter be, essential to the liberty, the glory, them. As the events of the war or the prosperity, of the British encountenanced these reproaches, the pire. public joined in them, and the go Other addresses, in a similar style, vernment was thought very repre were resolved on in several of the hensible in persisting against reite- principal cities in the kingdom. rated experience, in a contest that The adherents to ministry endea. threatened to waste the strength of voured, on the other hand, to prothe nation ineffectually, and the aim cure counter petitions : but these of wbicb, were it aitained, would were faint and languid in compari. Dot prove an indemnification for its son to the former; those who framed cost.
them, did not venture to speak in Ideas of this nature were now justification of the war; they went generally predominant, and became, no farther than to leave to minisat last, so prevalent, not only among ters the choice of their own time for the multitude, which had long been pacific negociations. swayed by them, but among the A circumstance that had greatly more reputable classes, that a variety indisposed the mercantile and tradof associations were formed, and ing classes against ministry, was, the meeungs held, for the avowed pur refusal 10 permit the Dutch people pose of petitioning the legislature in of property to deposit their money favour of peace. The city of Lon- and effects in England, without pay
ing the customary duties. Had this ous accession of real property that permission been granted, upwards must have been the necessary conof twenty millions of specie, and sequence of the emigrai ons of rich other treasure, would, it was said, individuals from the United Probave been brought into this country. vinces. The reason alleged, for denying Another overnigh', no less real, the request of the Dutch merchants, though less noticed, was an was, that if they were allowed to ticle in a treaty which had been transport their effects into England, agreed on with the American States, it would operate as a discourage- by which their trade to the British ment to their countryinen, and pre- islands in the West Indies was revent them from acting with vigour stricied to ves-els of an inferior size. against the French, who, having sub- This, instead of diminishing their dued the Austrian Neiberlands, commerce ibilher, tended rather to were then preparing to carry their increase it, by adding to their numvictorious arms into the United ber of seamen : whether in large, or Provinces : but the reply to this al- in smail vessels, ibis commerce was legation was, that the French party so profitable to them, that whatever was so powerful in Holland, that it obstacles were thrown in their way, was easy to foresee that all resise would quickly be overcome by their tance would be vain. It would have indusi ry and activity: the profits of been good policy, therefore, to have irade would be more divided, but encouraged the monied-men, in that the number of hands employed in it country, to have lodged their pro- would produce the double conseperty in England ; as most of them quence, both of gradually extending were manifestly inclined to do, in it, and of augmenting the number of order to preserve it from the rapa- American seamen. city of the French, whose wants These various considerations conwere such as would infallibly induce tributed materially to displease the them to supercede all considerations, generality of people. The burthens in order to provide for them as soon of the war were so heavy, and such as they should find themselves in multitudes felt their weight, that possession of a country, the wealth discontents and murmurs abounded of which was competent to supply every · where. The different mo. them with what they needed. tives assigned, at different epochs
This refusal, on the part of the of tbe war, for its continuance, British administration, was generally were also highly prejudicial to mideemed a very unseasonable over nisters, as they led many to think sight. It threw into the hands of that the real motive was purposedly the French an immense quantity of kept out of sight, and was of too money and wealth of every denomi- invidious a nature to be frankly acnation, which might evidently bave knowledged. centered in England, together with Ideas of this nature were now its owners. This would, in a very universally current among the disconsiderable measure, have compen- approvers of the war, and were assated for the loss of Holland to the serted and circulated by them with confederacy, and amply indemni- considerable effect. But that cirfied Great Britain, by ihe prodigi- cumstance wbich was the most un
iordnate and alarming, in the midst against its liberty, and an abettor of this general dissatisfaction, was, of arbitrary power.
i that it had arisen, in many, to such In this unfortunate disposition of a degree of rancour at the authors mind the nation continued during and abettors of the war, that the the whole year 1795. The summer, attachment, which men naturally in particular, was marked by a vafeel for their country, and its con riety of tumults and riots. These ceras, bad given way to sentiments were occasioned by the methods of the most violent hatred and hos. practised in the enlisting of men for tility to government.
It was no the army : what with the general longer a simple disapprobation of averseness of the common people to the war; it was a fervent desire that the war; what with the iniquity of it might terminate to the disadvan- the practice itself, those who were tage of this country, and that the concerned in it became such objects French might prevail against the. of execration to the multitude, that English. So extraordinary and un their persons and dwellings were natural an antipathy arose, however, equally exposed to its resentment from otber causes besides the war and fury. Several houses, either with France : the persuasion that no tenanied, or made use of, by tho-e reforms would take place in the go. who are vulgarly known by the apvernment, while it was able to main. pellation of crimps were demotein its ground against France, lished, or stripped of their furniture, prompted the determined advocates and the owners put in danger of of these reforms to express, with their lives. So great was the rage of marked anxiety, their wishes for the the populace, that it was not wille success of this inveterate enemy to out some difficulty those riots were England. They seemed uncon- suppressed by the soldiery. Several scious, or heedless, of the conse of those who had been active in quences that must necessarily fol these disturbances were executed ; low, were the French to succeed in but the public highly disapproved their designs against this country, to the condemnation, to death, of indithat extent which they had projec. viduals, guilty of no other offence ted, and which the generality of than giving way to à sudulen imtheir well-wishers in England ap- pulse of indignation at the vietence peared to desire with no less ferveur offered to their fellow subjects. than themselves.
Such was the temper of the comBut the animosities, produced by monalty, previous to the meing internal divisions, had, in-truth, taken of parliament, about the chose of such unhappy possession of most Ociober, 1795. A fermentation of then, that ihose who sought to re the most alarming kind seenied to concile them to moderation, became pervade the whole mass of the pa). equally odious to both parties : no ple. The various associations of medium was allowed ; whoever de individuals, united for the purpo fez plored the war, as pregnant with ca of obtaining a parliamentary ritorm, lamities that might bave been avoid were, at this period, peculiarlı .0ed, was reputed & foe to his coun ticed for their buldness and activity. try; whoever pronounced it just, and That which was known by the name Decessary, was deemed a conspirator of the corresponding society, din
tinguished itself, by the resolute two objects being incompatible with speeches of its principal members, the views of ministry, the point at at the several meetings that took issue between these, and the various place in the course of the year. That associations that were increasing in which was beld, near Copenhagen- every part of the kingdom,was clear. house, in the neighbourhood of ly this, that either the latter would Islington, was the most remarkable. overturn administration, or ibat adThe numbers that attended, either ministration would overturn them, through zeal in the cause, or through Prompted by this consideration, curiosity, were computed at about the principal heads of government fifty thousand. Some very daring had, it was rumoured, come to a addresses were made to the multi- determination, to take the first plautude : the conduct of ministers was sible opportunity of putting an end arraigned in the most unqualified to the meetings of ibese societies, language, and a remonstrance to the which they represented as wholly king, on the necessity of peace, and made up of the lowest populace, of a reform in parliament, was uni- ready to imbibe every notion ofversally agreed on.
fered to them by evil-designing men, The proceedings, in these assem. and to break out into the most danblies, were highly offensive to mi- gerous excesses of sedition. Under nistry. As they consisted of indivi. the pretext of instructing them in duals void of all hopes of rising by their rights, the disaffected availed interest or favour; and who, to a themselves of their ignorance, to man, were inimical to the measures misrepresent the conduci of governof government, they condemned ment, and to excite them to hold it them with a freedom of speech that in hatred and contempt; but a cirknew no bounds. Often times too, cumstance, still more alarming, was, those meetings were attended by that among those who took such persons of parts, who seized those pains to infame the passions of obe opportunities of venting their dis- multitude, there were emissaries from content at the system of the times, France, who, thougla natives of Great and of representing administration Britain, or Ireland, had thrown off in the foulest colours, and imputing all attachment to their country, and to them the most flagitious designs. were become its most violent and Nor were there wanting, among the rancorous enemies. The danger acmembers of those societies, though cruing from such characters was obalmost entirely composed of the com- vious; the difficulty of detecting ininonest classes, individuals who, dividuals connected with our toes, though deficient in education, had enabled them to assume the appearreceived talents from nature, which ance of patriotism, and to delude, frequently shone through coarse and with facility, the majority of their vulgar language. The avowed aim bearers, into a persuasion that they of the divers jostitutions of this na spoke and acted from principle, and ture was to oppose government, and had no other intention than to exto bring about the two great ob pose abuses, and to induce the peo. jects, at this time, in general con- ple, at large, to assert their rights. templation; a peace with France, Such was the description, given and a reform in parliament. These by the adherents to government, of
the numerous assemblies, and associ. October, a day that will be long reations, that had been instituted in membered, on account of the events opposition to its measures. It was that attended it, and of the consenot, on the other band, denied, that quences that followed them, and the outrages, still adopted in most of of which they were the immediate the popular meetings, was an object cause. that called for suppression. The A report had been spread, that warmest friends to the principles in- an immense multitude, of disconculcated by them, did not deny the tented people, had agreed to take impropriety of attacking the ruling this opportunity of manifesting their powers with such acrimony of sentiments to the king in person. speech, and prognosticated, that, This, of course, excited the curiosity through want of moderation in their of the public, and the park was invectives, these meetings exposed crowded in a manner unprecedent. themselves to certain dissolution, as ed since the king's accession to the the powerful adversaries they were throne. In his way to the house of continually provoking, would cers lords, which lay through the park, cainly labour to silence them, and his coach was surrounded, on every probably find the means of doing it. side, by persons of all descriptions,
To the agitation occasioned by demanding peace, and the dismission political disputes, another was, at of Mr. Pitt. Some voices were even this period, superadded, of a still heard exclaiming no king, and stones more dangerous consequence. A were thrown at the state-coach as scarcity prevailed throughout the it drew near to the Horse-guards. kingdom, and was woefully felt by In passing through Palace-yard, one the poorer sort, several of whom of ihe windows was broken, it was perished for want. The means of said, by a bullet, discharged from procuring sustenance were narrowed an air-gun. These outrages were from various causes ; but the dis- repeated on the king's return from contented attributed this evil to the the house, and he narrowly escaped vat; and the sufferers, through de- the fury of the populace, in his way fect of employment, were ready back from St. James's Palace io enough to believe those who repre- Buckingham House. sented all the calamities that afflict. All reasonable people were deeply ed the nation, as proceeding chiefly, affected at this treatment of the if not solely, from that cause, This king. They were duly sensible that prepared them for the commission it would produce effects highly disof those excesses, to which men are agreeable to the public, and, instead so prone, when they find themselves of answering the purposes proposed, aggrieved, and imagine they are by those who were so misled as to appunishing the authors of their griev- prove of it, that, on the contrary, it
would tend to strengthen the hands The state of the nation, from these of ministers, by enabling them to various circumstances, appeared so bring forward such restrictive meacritical, that it was judged necessary sures, as would considerably abridge 10 call parliament together at an the freedom of speech and action, earlier period than usual. It mei, heherto enjoyed by the people at accordingly, on the twenty-ninth of large