辽宁康平:卧龙湖湿地迎来大批候鸟

Parliament met on the 10th of January, 1765. The resentment of the Americans had reached the ears of the Ministry and the king, yet both continued determined to proceed. In the interviews which Franklin and the other agents had with the Ministers, Grenville begged them to point to any other tax that would be more agreeable to the colonists than the stamp-duty; but they without any real legal grounds drew the line between levying custom and imposing an inland tax. Grenville paid no attention to these representations. Fifty-five resolutions, prepared by a committee of ways and means, were laid by him on the table of the House of Commons at an early day of the Session, imposing on America nearly the same stamp-duties as were already in practical operation in England. These resolutions being adopted, were embodied in a bill; and when it was introduced to the House, it was received with an apathy which betrayed on all hands the profoundest ignorance of its importance. Burke, who was a spectator of the debates in both Houses, in a speech some years afterwards, stated that he never heard a more languid debate than that in the Commons. Only two or three persons spoke against the measure and that with great composure. There was but one division in the whole progress of the Bill, and the minority did not reach to more than thirty-nine or forty. In the Lords, he said, there was, to the best of his recollection, neither division nor debate!

But Pitt was already doing his own work and paving his own way. He wrote to the king on the 25th of April, informing him of the determined opposition he felt himself called upon to make to Addington's mode of administration, but assuring him that he would never attempt to force Fox upon him. This was saying, as plainly as he could speak to the king, that he was ready to resume the helm himself, and that, with the opposition that he could exert, the Government of Addington could not go on. Accordingly, Pitt received a notice that his Majesty would soon call for him to attend on him. On the 30th of April the Marquis of Stafford, in the House of Lords, gave notice of a motion identical with that of Fox in the Commonsnamely, for inquiry into the national defences. Lord Hawkesbury immediately entreated the marquis to postpone his motion, for reasons which, he assured the House, it would deem fully satisfactory if he were at liberty to state them. It was at once understood that negotiations were on foot for a change of Administration. Lord Grenville, who was a relative of Pitt, but at the same time pledged to include Fox in any offers to himself of entering the Ministry, called upon Lord Hawkesbury to be more explicit; but he declined, and after some discussion the motion was postponed. Pitt, in fact, had received a message from the king, and on the 2nd of May, through Lord Chancellor Eldon, presented a letter sketching a plan of a new Cabinet, in which he included not only Lord Grenville but Fox also. On the 7th he had, for the first time, an interview with the king, which lasted three hours, and Pitt then more fully stated his views, and recommended a mixed Cabinet on the ground that there was every prospect of a long war, and that it was desirable that they should have a strong administration. Whether such a coalition would have been strong is more than doubtful, opposed as the views and tempers of Fox and Pitt were. But the king would not allow the name of Fox to be in the list. On the other hand, Lord Grenville refused to become part of an Administration from which Fox was excluded. He said he could not accept office in a Cabinet formed on the basis of exclusion, being convinced that an effective government could only be secured by uniting in it as large a proportion as possible of the weight, talents, and character to be found in public men of all descriptions. Pitt was thus forced to form a Government on a narrow Tory basis. On the 11th of May the Marquis of Stafford said, in the House of Lords, that he understood that a certain right honourable gentleman, who had turned his great abilities to the subject of the national defences, was about to take the management of public affairs, and that he therefore withdrew his motion. The next day the public announcement was made that Addington had resigned, and that Pitt had accepted the Chancellorship of the Exchequer. Of the Addington Ministry Pitt retainedLord[496] Chancellor Eldon; the Duke of Portland, President of the Council; the Earl of Westmoreland, Lord Privy Seal; his own brother, the Earl of Chatham, Master-General of the Ordnance; and Lord Castlereagh, President of the Board of Control. To these he added Dundas, now Lord Melville, as First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Harrowby as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, in place of Lord Hawkesbury; and Lord Camden as Secretary of the Colonies, in place of Lord Hobart. Lord Mulgrave became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in place of Lord Pelham. George Canning, now becoming a marked man, was made Treasurer of the Navy, in place of Tierney, but this gave him no seat in the Cabinet. Huskisson was Secretary to the Treasury, and Mr. Perceval remained Attorney-General.

In the meantime, coroners' inquests had been held on the two men who were shot by the military. In the one case the jury brought in a verdict of "justifiable homicide;" but, in the other, of "wilful murder" against the soldiers. On their part, the Government offered a reward of five hundred pounds for the discovery of any one who had been guilty of firing at the soldiers, and an additional one of five hundred pounds for the discovery of the person who had fired at and wounded Ensign Cowell, whilst on duty at the Tower, the night after the committal of Sir Francis. The Reform party in the Commons demanded whether the Government did not intend to offer a reward for the discovery of the soldiers who had fired at and wounded several of the people, and killed two of them. Whitbread moved that an inquiry should be instituted into the justice of the verdict of "wilful murder" against the soldiers, and in this he was seconded by William Smith of Norwich; but Captain Agar, who had been on duty, declared that the people had fired the first shot, and the Premier got rid of the question by asserting that an inquiry was already going on into the circumstances of the riot, and that it was not for Parliament to anticipate it.

In pursuance of this convention the garrison retired, and began their fatal march on the 6th of January, 1842. The army consisted of 4,500 fighting men, with 12,000 camp-followers, besides women and children. The snow lay deep upon the ground; they had scarcely commenced their march when they were attacked by the Afghans, the guns were captured, and they were obliged to fight their way, sword in hand, defending the women and children as well as they could. During the whole way through the snow the road was strewn with bodies and stained with blood. The dead and dying were immediately stripped naked by the enemy, and their corpses hacked to pieces with long knives. During all this time the perfidious Akbar Khan sent messages, professing his regret at not being able to restrain the Ghilzai tribe; and after they had got through the Pass, he made a proposal, which was accepted, to take the ladies under his protection. Accordingly, Lady Sale and Lady Macnaghten, with six others, accompanied by their husbands, were left under his charge. The British troops then halted for a day, bivouacking on the snow. The cold was so intense that the Sepoys became benumbed and paralysed, in which state the whole of them were next day attacked and cut to pieces. The Europeans managed to hold together, but when they arrived at Jugduluk, thirty-five miles distant from Cabul, only 300 out of 16,500 persons who left that city remained alive. At this place a halt was ordered, and through the interference of Akbar Khan the miserable remnant were permitted to occupy a ruined enclosure, where, worn out by fatigue and utterly helpless, they lay down to rest in the snow. General Elphinstone was detained a prisoner by Akbar Khan in a small fort, whence he dispatched a note to Brigadier Anketell, advising him to march that night, as there was treachery afoot. The wearied band, aroused from their slumbers, accordingly moved on in the dark; but their departure was noticed, they were attacked in the rear, they broke into disorder, threatened to shoot their officers, separated in small parties, and thus, scattered and confused, they were cut down almost to a man. Of the officers, however, a considerable number escaped on horseback; but they, too, were attacked wherever they appeared, until only one gentleman, Dr. Brydon, survived to tell the dreadful story, reaching Jelalabad on the 13th of January. It afterwards came out, however, that several other officers were detained in captivity.

The employment of children in factories also occupied the attention of Parliament at this time. A Bill had been framed in 1833 with the most benevolent intentions for the protection of factory children. The law excluded from factory labour all children under nine years of age, except in silk factories, and prohibited those under thirteen from working more than thirteen hours any one day; the maximum in silk mills alone being ten hours. The provisions of the law were, however, evaded by fraud. Children were represented as being much older than they really were, and abuses prevailed that induced Lord Ashley to bring in a Bill upon the subject. Accordingly, on the 22nd of June the noble lord moved, by way of amendment to the order of the day, the second reading of his Bill for the Better Regulation of Factories. The order of the day was carried by a majority of 119 to 111. The Bill was therefore lost by a majority of eight. On the 20th of July Lord Ashley again brought the whole matter under the consideration of the House in a speech full of painful details, and concluded by moving a resolution to the effect that the House deeply regretted that the imperfect and ineffective law for the regulation of labour in factories had been suffered to continue so long without any amendment. He was answered by the usual arguments of the Manchester school about the evils of interfering with free contract. Lord John Russell argued that, in the present condition of the manufacturing world, we could not, with restricted hours of labour, compete with other nations. A ten hours' Bill would drive the manufacturers abroad; and it would no longer be a question as to an hour or two more or less work to be performed by the children, but as to how their starvation was to be averted. On a division, the motion was lost by a majority of 121 to 106. On[455] the 16th of August the Queen proceeded to Westminster for the purpose of proroguing Parliament.

The continued resistance of the English Government meanwhile was rousing the quick blood of Ireland. The old Catholic Convention of 1793 was revived, and from year to year met and passed increasingly strong resolutions in Dublin. In 1810 its meetings, and the agitation it occasioned throughout the kingdom, became very conspicuous. A private letter was circulated all over the country, recommending the appointment of committees everywhere in order to the preparation of a monster petition. It was resolved that as soon as the Convention met, it should sit in permanence, so as to keep up an incessant action throughout the country. The Government took alarm, and Mr. Wellesley Pole, Secretary of State for Ireland, issued a letter to the sheriffs and chief magistrates throughout Ireland, ordering them to arrest all persons concerned in sending up delegates to this Convention. No sooner was this known in England than Lord Moira in the Lords, and Mr. Ponsonby in the Commons, adverted to the subject, and called for a copy of all correspondence by Government upon it. The demand was resisted in both Houses. On the 4th of April Lord Stanhope moved a resolution that the letter of Mr. Wellesley Pole was a violation of the law,[167] being, in fact, a prohibition of his Majesty's subjects to assemble for the purpose of petitioning Parliament. This was negatived by twenty-one votes against six.

A very instructive point of comparison is the relative increase of different classes of occupations in the decennial period from 1831 to 1841. A comparative return of the Commissioners includes males only, ages twenty years and upwards, and exhibits the following results. The number of occupiers and labourers in agriculture had decreased in that period from 1,251,751 to 1,215,264; but the Commissioners explained this result by supposing that numerous farm servants had been returned in 1841 as domestic servants instead of as agricultural labourers. Persons engaged in commerce, trade, and manufactures had increased from 1,572,292 to 2,039,409 (or 29?7 per cent.); capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, from 216,263 to 286,175 (or 32?3 per cent.); labourers employed in labour not agricultural had decreased from 611,744 to 610,157; other males, twenty years of age, except servants, had increased from 237,337 to 392,211; male servants, twenty years of age and upwards, had increased from 79,737 to 164,384; including, however, as already noticed, many farm servants. For the purpose of instituting a just comparison of the relative increase of particular employments, it must be understood that the total number of male persons, twenty years of age and upwards (exclusive of army, navy, and merchant seamen), had increased in this period of ten years from 3,969,124 to 4,707,600 (or 18?6 per cent.). These[417] people were better fed than their ancestors, and had more work to do. There are three kinds of raw material the consumption of which is particularly indicative of social advancement, as giving employment to the people, adding to their comforts, and increasing the national wealth. These are timber, cotton, and wool. Taking all the different kinds of imported timber, there was an increase during the ten years of 37 per cent.; in cotton there was an increase of 61 per cent.; and of sheep and lamb's wool, in addition to the home production, there was an increased importation of more than 78 per cent.