- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
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Such are the elements which constituted the nucleus of that great nation which has been growing up under the British sceptre in North America. The French and Roman Catholic portions of the community could be most easily excited to disaffection against their Protestant governors, and in 1834 the irritation of the popular mind, supposed to be chiefly the work of the clergy, had risen to such a height that the Home Government thought it prudent to recall the Governor, Lord Aylmer, supposing his administration to be the cause of it. Sir Robert Peel appointed Lord Amherst as his successor. In one respect he was not the best that could be selected; for though his antecedents and experience were sufficient to warrant the appointment, the name must have been obnoxious to the priests and people of Lower Canada, as it was by the arms of his uncle, whose title he inherited, that the province had been wrested from France. He had been at one time ambassador to China, and subsequently Governor-General of India. He had, however, no opportunity of testing his administrative abilities in this new field, for after the fall of Peel the Melbourne Government determined on associating him with two Commissioners. Lord Melbourne thereupon sent out the Earl of Gosford as Governor, with a Board of Commissioners, of which he was chairman, to inquire into the grievances by which the colony was agitated. The Government having refused to sanction a Bill that had been brought into the Lower House of Assembly for the purpose of rendering the Upper House elective, the Lower House had recourse to the extreme proceeding of stopping the supplies. The salaries of all the public servants ceased to be paid, in consequence of which the Colonial Secretary authorised the Governor to advance 31,000 from the military chest to meet the emergency. The Governor having required time to consider the answer he should give in these circumstances, the Opposition members all withdrew; and they were so numerous that they did not leave a quorum to carry on the public business.Early in this year Admiral Sir John Jervis fell in with the great Spanish fleet, which was intended to co-operate with the French in the invasion of Ireland, and defeated it. Nelson had predicted that the Spanish fleet would not take much destroying. Admiral de Langara had had a fortunate escape in the Mediterranean, in venturing to Corsica. He had now been superseded by Don Juan de Cordova, and Jervis, on the 14th of February, met with him off Cape St. Vincent. Cordova had twenty-seven sail of the line, Jervis only fifteen; but he had Nelson in his fleet, which more than counterbalanced the inequality of numbers; and the discipline on board the Spanish ships was far below that of the British. Nelson broke through the Spanish line, and chiefly by his exertions and man?uvres four of the largest vessels were taken, including one of one hundred and twelve guns. The rest escaped into Cadiz, and there the British blockaded them. The news of this brilliant victory arrived in London when the public was greatly dispirited by the exhausted state of the Bank of England, and helped to revive confidence. Sir John Jervis was made Earl of St. Vincent, and Nelson, the real hero, a Knight of the Bath.
Now he is with the blest!
Great Britain, which had made some show of restoring the legitimate prince, soon became satisfied that Bernadotte would lean to its alliance. Meanwhile Alexander of Russia displayed more and more decided symptoms of an intention to break with France. He hastened to make peace with the Turks, and to pour his sentimental assurances into the ear of Count Stadingk, the Swedish ambassador. As he called God to witness, in 1807, that he had no wish to touch a single Swedish village, so now he professed to be greatly troubled that he had been obliged to seize all Finland. "Let us forget the past," said the Czar. "I find myself in terrible circumstances, and I swear, upon my honour, that I never wished evil to Sweden. But now that unhappy affair of Finland is over, and I wish to show my respect to your king, and my regard for the Crown Prince. Great misfortunes are frequently succeeded by great prosperities. A Gustavus Adolphus issued from Sweden for the salvation of Germany, and who knows what may happen again?" And he began to unveil his disgust at the encroachments of Buonaparte. "What does he mean," he said, "by his attempt to add the north of Germany to his empire, and all its mercantile towns? He might grasp a dozen cities of Germany, but Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen'our Holy Trinity,' as Romanoff saysI am weary of his perpetual vexations!" The result was the offer of Norway to Sweden as the price of Bernadotte's adhesion to the proposed alliance. Great Britain also offered to Sweden as a colony, Surinam, Demerara, or Porto Rico.So close were they upon King Joseph, that a party of the British, under Captain Wyndham, came upon him in his carriage, and fired through the window. Joseph had the good fortune to escape to horse, and gallop off, but his carriage fell into the hands of the British, and it was found crammed with the most precious spoil of the churches and palaces of Spain. Amongst his baggage, which also was taken, were found some of the finest paintings of the Spanish masters, rich plate, including a splendid dinner-service, a gorgeous wardrobe, and a number of his women, for he was a perfect Sybarite in luxury and voluptuousness. No such scene was witnessed, except on the defeat of some Eastern army. The officers had gorged themselves with the spoils of Spain, and here they were left, amid crowds of wives and mistresses, monkeys, poodles, parrots, silks, satins, and jewellery. The officers and soldiers had run for it, with nothing but their arms and their clothes on their backs, and all along the roads leading from the city was one vast crowding, jostling mass of waggons, loaded with all sorts of rich spoils, splendid dresses, and wines, and money, and fine ladies in the most terrible hurry and fright. Sheep, cattle, lambs, like a great fair, were left behind, and became the booty of the pursuers. There was a vigorous bursting open of packages, and rich wardrobes of both officers and ladies were soon fluttering in the windsgorgeous uniforms on the backs of common soldiers and Portuguese camp-followersfine silks and satins, and laces and gold chains, on the persons and necks of common women. The military chest was seized, and the soldiers freely helped themselves to its contents. Lord Wellington says that the troops got about a million of money. Planks were placed from waggon to waggon, and a great auction was going on everywhere, the lucky captors converting everything possibleeven the heavy Spanish dollarsinto gold, as more convenient for carriage. The inhabitants of the city made rich bargains, besides managing to help themselves plentifully in the scramble.
The conduct of the Government in reference to the Congress was the subject of an animated debate in the House of Commons, which began on April 28th and lasted three days. It was on a motion for a Vote of Censure for the feebleness of tone assumed by the Government in the negotiations with the Allies, an amendment having been proposed expressive of gratitude and approbation. In Mr. Canning's speech on the third day there was one remarkable passage, which clearly defined his foreign policy, and showed that it had a distinct purpose, and aimed at an object of the highest importance. He said:"I contend, sir, that whatever might grow out of a separate conflict between Spain and France (though matter for grave consideration) was less to be dreaded than that all the Great Powers of the Continent should have been arrayed together against Spain; and that although the first object, in point of importance, indeed, was to keep the peace altogether, to prevent any war against Spain, the first in point of time was to prevent a general war; to change the question from one affecting the Allies on the one side and Spain on the other, to a question between nation and nation. This, whatever the result might be, would reduce the quarrel to the size of ordinary events, and bring it within the scope of ordinary diplomacy. The immediate object of England, therefore, was to hinder the impress of a joint-character from being affixed to the war, if war there must be, with Spain; to take care that the war should not grow out of an assumed jurisdiction of the Congress; to keep within reasonable bounds that predominating areopagitical spirit which the memorandum of the British Cabinet of May, 1820, describes as beyond the sphere of the original conception and understood principles of the alliancean alliance never intended as a union for the government of the world, or for the superintendence of the internal affairs of other states; and this, I say, was accomplished."
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