ARREST OF BRITISH SAILORS BY GREEK SOLDIERS. (See p. 606.)
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The Session of 1850 was creditably distinguished by the establishment of a policy of self-government for our colonies. They had become so numerous and so large as to be utterly unmanageable by the centralised system of the Colonial Office; while the liberal spirit that pervaded the Home Government, leading to the abolition of great monopolies, naturally reacted upon our fellow-subjects settled abroad, and made them discontented without constitutional rights. It was now felt that the time was come for a comprehensive measure of constitutional government for our American and Australian Colonies; and on the 8th of February, Lord John Russell, then Prime Minister, brought the subject before the House of Commons. It was very fully discussed, Sir William Molesworth, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Labouchere, and others who had taken an active part in colonial affairs, being the principal speakers. With regard to Canada, great progress had already been made in constitutional government. The same might be said of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in which the practice of administration approximated to that observed in Great Britain. It was determined to introduce representative institutions of a similar kind in Cape Colony. In Australia it was proposed that there should be but one Council, two-thirds elected by the people and one-third nominated by the Governor. Mr. Roebuck objected strongly to the Government measure, because it left the colonists free, to a great extent, to gratify the strong desire almost universally felt among them to have power to choose a Constitution for themselves, instead of having a Constitution sent out to them, cut and dry. He wanted the House to plant at once liberal institutions there, which would spare the colonists the agony of working out a scheme of government for themselves. He declared that “of all the abortions of an incompetent Administration, this was the greatest.” A ready-made Constitution had been sent out by the Government to South Africa; why, then, could not Parliament send out a ready-made Constitution to Australia? Lord John Russell replied to Mr. Roebuck’s arguments, and after a lengthened debate the Bill was read a second time. There was a strong division of opinion in committee as to whether there should be two Chambers or one. Sir William Molesworth moved an amendment to the effect that there should be two, which was rejected by a majority of 218 against 150. The Bill passed the House of Commons on the 18th of May, and on the 31st was brought into the Lords, where also it was subjected to lengthened discussions and various amendments, which caused it to be sent back to the Commons for consideration on the 1st of August. On the motion of Lord John Russell the amendments were agreed to, and the Bill was passed. This was the principal legislative work of the Session and possessed undoubted merits.
The most interesting of all the debates that occurred in the House of Commons during the Session of 1850 was that which took place on the foreign policy of Great Britain, particularly with reference to Greece. The House of Lords had passed a vote of censure upon the Government, by a majority of thirty-seven, on a motion brought forward by Lord Stanley, and folk were anxious to see how the House of Commons would deal with that fact. On the 20th of June Lord John Russell read the resolution, and said, “We are not going in any respect to alter the course of conduct we have thought it right to pursue in respect of foreign Powers, in consequence of that resolution.” He concluded his speech with the following bold defiance, which elicited general and protracted cheering:—”So long as we continue the Government of this country, I can answer for my noble friend [Lord Palmerston] that he will act not as a Minister of Austria, or of Russia, or of France, or of any other country, but as the Minister of England. The honour of England and the interests of England—such are the matters that are within our keeping; and it is to that honour and to those interests that our conduct will in future be, as it has hitherto been, directed.”
Mr. Roebuck, the next day, moved a counter-resolution in the following terms:—”That the principles which have hitherto regulated the foreign policy of her Majesty’s Government are such as were required to preserve untarnished the honour and dignity of this country, and, in times of unexampled difficulty, the best calculated to maintain peace between England and the various nations of the world.” He supported this position in an able and lengthened speech. The chief ground of dispute was the demand of Palmerston for compensation to a person named Don Pacifico, a Jew, and by birth a British subject, who resided at Athens, and whose house had been attacked on a Sunday, his property destroyed, and his family beaten by a mob headed by young noblemen. The Greek Government refused him reparation, and he sought protection from England. There was also the case of Mr. Finlay, whose land was seized in order that it might be converted into a garden for the King of Greece, the owner being refused payment; Lord Aberdeen, when Foreign Secretary, having applied in vain for redress. There was also the case of H.M.S. Fant?me, whose boat’s crew had been arrested by Greek soldiers; also other outrages equally serious. Lord Palmerston defended his policy with his wonted spirit and ability, and with triumphant success in a speech which, said Mr. Gladstone, lasted “from the dusk of one day to the dawn of another.” Mr. Gladstone arraigned the conduct of the first Minister in sitting down contentedly under the censure of the House of Lords, by sheltering himself under precedents which were in fact no precedents at all. He charged Lord Palmerston with violating international law, by making reprisals upon Greek property to the extent of ￡80,000 to satisfy the exorbitant demands of Don Pacifico; the fruit of this policy being humiliation, in regard to France, and a lesson received without reply from the autocrat of all the Russia’s. Mr. Cobden also assailed the policy of Lord Palmerston, and asked if there was no other way of settling such trifling matters than by sending fifteen ships of war into Greek waters, which had seized several gunboats, and more than forty merchantmen. Lord John Russell defended the policy of the Government, and concluded by declaring that by the verdict of that House and the people of England he was prepared to abide, fully convinced that the Government had preserved at the same time the honour of the country and the blessings of peace. Mr. Disraeli, on the other hand, maintained that the House of Lords had exercised a solemn duty in pronouncing a censure upon the policy which had led to such terrible results. This debate will be rendered for ever memorable in our annals by the speech of Sir Robert Peel. It was one of the best speeches he ever delivered in that House, and it was his last. He argued strongly against intermeddling with the affairs of foreign nations in order to procure for them free institutions, and concluded with the expression of his belief that the cause of constitutional liberty would only be encumbered by our help; whilst by intruding it we should involve Great Britain in incalculable difficulties. When the hour for the division came the House was very full—Ayes—310; Noes, 264; giving the Government a majority of 46.
On the day after this division a deputation of nearly ninety members of the House of Commons, headed by Lord James Stuart, waited upon Lady Palmerston, and presented her with a full-length portrait of her husband, representing him in evening dress and wearing the ribbon of the Order of the Bath. They requested her Ladyship to accept of that testimony of their high sense of Viscount Palmerston’s public and private character, and of the independent policy by which he maintained the honour and interests of the country. What made this presentation singularly opportune was the fact that on the same day a telegraphic despatch 长沙桑拿可以选 had been received from Paris, announcing the settlement of the Greek question. The Government was undoubtedly strengthened by Lord Palmerston’s display, at a moment when its fall seemed inevitable.
Only a week after Sir Robert Peel delivered his memorable speech on the foreign policy of the country, his career was suddenly terminated. On the 22nd of June her Majesty’s third son, Arthur William Patrick Albert, had been baptised with the usual ceremonial pomp at Buckingham Palace, and on the 29th Sir Robert Peel had called there and entered his name in her Majesty’s visiting-book. Proceeding thence up Constitution Hill, he had arrived nearly opposite the wicket gate leading into the Green Park, when he met Miss Ellis, one of Lady Dover’s daughters, on horseback, attended by a groom. Sir Robert had scarcely exchanged salutes 长沙夜网论坛注册 with this young lady when his horse became restive, swerved towards the railing of the Green Park, and threw him sideways on his left shoulder. He became unconscious, and remained so till he was placed in a carriage, when he revived and said, “I feel better.” On being lifted out of the carriage at Whitehall Gardens, he walked with assistance into the house. The effect of meeting his family, however, caused a reaction. He swooned in the arms of Dr. Foucart, and was placed upon a sofa in the nearest apartment, the dining-room, from which he was never removed till his death. Sir Benjamin Brodie, Mr. C?sar Hawkins, Dr. Seymour, and Mr. Hodgson held a consultation, and attempted to reduce the visible injury, but this caused such agony that, at the patient’s earnest request, the attempt was abandoned. He passed a restless night on 长沙桑拿 Saturday, and continued in a very precarious state on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday morning he fell into a sound sleep, after which he felt easier, his mind being quite composed. But at two o’clock on that day symptoms appeared which caused the physicians to abandon all hope. The last rites of the Church were administered by the Bishop of Gibraltar, Dr. Tomlinson, a very old friend. Lady Peel and the members of the family joined in this melancholy communion, Sir Robert being scarcely able to recognise them. Lord Hardinge and Sir James Graham also joined the group of mourners; but the painfully excited feelings of Lady Peel rendered it absolutely necessary to remove her from the apartment. He ceased to breathe about midnight, his great spirit departing peacefully from the earthly tabernacle that had been so suddenly crushed (长沙桑拿水疗会所July 2, 1850). A post-mortem examination showed that the cause of death was a broken rib on the left side pressing upon the lung.
The death of no English statesman had ever produced a deeper feeling of grief throughout the nation, or more general expressions of lamentation at the irreparable loss which the country had sustained. Mr. Hume had a motion on the paper for the day following his death; but instead of proceeding with it, he moved the adjournment of the House, which was agreed to unanimously. Mr. Gladstone paid an eloquent and touching tribute to his memory, concluding with the lines—
“Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon light is quenched in smoke,
The trumpet’s silvery sound is still,
The warder silent on the hill.”
The House of Lords did not sit on that day; but on the following
day the Marquis of 长沙桑拿水磨会所 Lansdowne, Lord Stanley, Lord Brougham, and the Duke of Wellington gave earnest expression to the feelings of their lordships upon the subject of this national bereavement. The Duke of Wellington in particular, as might be expected, was deeply moved while expressing his great gratification at what had been said as to the character of Sir Robert Peel. He added his testimony as to what he believed to be its strongest feature—his truthfulness. “In all the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel,” said the Duke, “I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence; or in whom I saw a more invariable desire to promote the public service. In the whole course of my communication with him, I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth; and I never saw in the whole 湖南长沙桑拿论坛 course of my life the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact.” Lord John Russell, who had been absent on the previous day, spoke in the warmest terms of admiration of the late statesman, and avowed his conviction that the harmony which had prevailed for the last two years, and the safety which Great Britain had enjoyed during a period when other nations were visited by the calamity of revolution, had been owing to the course which Sir Robert Peel had thought it his duty to adopt. He concluded by offering, in the name of the Crown, funeral honours similar to those accorded on the death of Pitt or Grattan. But Mr. Goulburn stated that Sir Robert had recorded his desire to be interred in a vault in the parish church of Drayton Bassett without funeral pomp. On the 12长沙桑拿洗浴中心哪里好th of July, pursuant to a motion made by the Prime Minister, the House of Commons went into committee for the purpose of adopting an address to the Queen, praying her Majesty to order the erection of a monument in Westminster Abbey to the memory of Sir Robert Peel, which was unanimously voted. He stated that the Queen, anxious to show the sense which she entertained of the services rendered to the Crown, had directed him to inform Lady Peel that she desired to bestow upon her the same rank that was bestowed upon the widow of Mr. Canning. Lady Peel answered that her wish was to bear no other name than that by which her husband was known to the world.
The contents of these volumes of ‘Celebrated Crimes’, as well as the motives which led to their inception, are unique. They are a series of stories based 长沙桑拿SPA upon historical records, from the pen of Alexandre Dumas, pere, when he was not “the elder,” nor yet the author of D’Artagnan or Monte Cristo, but was a rising young dramatist and a lion in the literary set and world of fashion.
Dumas, in fact, wrote his ‘Crimes Celebres’ just prior to launching upon his wonderful series of historical novels, and they may therefore be considered as source books, whence he was to draw so much of that far-reaching and intimate knowledge of inner history which has perennially astonished his readers. The Crimes were published in Paris, in 1839-40, in eight volumes, comprising eighteen titles—all of which now appear in the present carefully translated text. The success of the original work was instantaneous. Dumas laughingly said that he thought he had exhausted the subject of famous crimes, until the work was off the press, when he immediately became deluged with letters from every province in France, supplying him with material upon other deeds of violence! The subjects which he has chosen, however, are of both historic and dramatic importance, and they have the added value of giving the modern reader a clear picture of the state of semi-lawlessness which existed in Europe, during the middle ages. “The Borgias, the Cenci, Urbain Grandier, the Marchioness of Brinvilliers, the Marchioness of Ganges, and the rest—what subjects for the pen of Dumas!” exclaims Garnett.
Space does not permit us to consider in detail the material here collected, although each title will be found to present points of special interest. The first volume comprises the annals of the Borgias and the Cenci. The name of the noted and notorious Florentine family has become a synonym for intrigue and violence, and yet the Borgias have not been without stanch defenders in history.
Another famous Italian story is that of the Cenci. The beautiful Beatrice Cenci—celebrated in the painting of Guido, the sixteenth century romance of Guerrazi, and the poetic tragedy of Shelley, not to mention numerous succeeding works inspired by her hapless fate—will always remain a shadowy figure and one of infinite pathos.
The second volume chronicles the sanguinary deeds in the south of France, carried on in the name of religion, but drenching in blood the fair country round about Avignon, for a long period of years.