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In the early part of January, 1829, the Duke of Wellington had an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, and the Bishop of Durham, for the purpose of laying before them the state of affairs in Ireland, in the hope of convincing them that the interests of the Church required the settlement of the Catholic question. It was thought that a favourable opinion expressed by them would have had great influence on the mind of the king; but the Duke's arguments utterly failed to convince them. They informed him that they could not lend their sanction to the proposed course of proceeding, but must offer a decided opposition to the removal of Roman Catholic disabilities. On New Year's Day the Bishop of Oxford wrote to Mr. Peel, that he had just returned from Addington, and that he found the three bishops decidedly hostile to all concessions, refusing to consent to them in any form. He considered that matter, therefore, as settled. Mr. Peel now began to feel that the difficulties in the way of Emancipation were almost insuperable. There was the declared opinion of the king, of the House of Lords, and of the Church, all decidedly hostile to the proposed measure. What the Home Secretary chiefly apprehended at that moment was, that the king, hearing the result of the Duke's conference with the bishops, would make some public and formal declaration of his resolution to maintain, as a matter of conscience and religious obligation, the existing laws; and would then take a position in reference to the Catholic question similar to that in which his father had stood, and which it might be almost impossible for him, however urgent the necessity, afterwards to abandon. [See larger version]

Goldsmith was in his poetry, as in his prose, simple, genuine, and natural. His "Deserted Village" and "Traveller" were in the metre of Pope, but they were full of the most exquisite touches of pathos, of truth, and liberty; they were new in spirit, though old in form. Charles Churchill, the satirist, was full of flagellant power. He has been said to have formed himself on Dryden; but it is more probable that his models were Lucian and Juvenal. He was a bold and merciless chastiser of the follies of the times. He commenced, in the "Rosciad," with the players, by which he stirred a nest of hornets. Undauntedly he pursued his course, attacking, in "The Ghost," the then all-powerful Dr. Johnson, who ruled like a despot over both literary men and their opinions. These satires, strong and somewhat coarse, were followed by "The Prophecy of Famine," an "Epistle to Hogarth," "The Conference," "The Duellist," "The Author," "Gotham," "The Candidate," "The Times," etc. In these Churchill not only lashed the corruptions of the age, but the false principles of nations. He condemned the seizure of other countries by so-called Christian powers, on the plea of discovery. It was only to be lamented that Churchill, who was a clergyman, in censuring his neighbour's vices did not abandon his own.

Saxe followed up his advantage by despatching L?wendahl against Bergen-op-Zoom, the key of Holland, and the masterpiece of the celebrated engineer, Cohorn. This was not only amazingly strong in its fortifications, but had a powerful garrison, and was covered by an entrenched camp of twelve thousand men. The trenches were opened in the middle of July, and might have defied all the efforts of the French, had not Baron Cronstrom, the commander, a man of eighty, suffered them to take it by surprise on the 15th of September. The French had led a vast number of men before this place, and its surrender ended the campaign.

The first Session of the National Assembly was opened by the king in person on the 22nd of[577] May, but it did not conduct itself in a manner to recommend universal suffrage, or to make the friends of orderly government enamoured of revolution. Eventually it was dispersed by force. The new Chambers were opened on the 26th of February by the king in person, Count Brandenburg having led him to the throne. He stated that circumstances having obliged him to dissolve the National Assembly, he had granted to the nation a Constitution which by its provisions fulfilled all his promises made in the month of March. This Constitution was modelled after that of Belgium. The House was to consist of two Chambers, both electivethe former by persons paying 24s. a year of direct taxes, and the latter by a process of double election: that is, the deputies were chosen by delegates, who had themselves been elected by universal suffrage, there being one deputy for every 750 inhabitants. All Prussians were declared equal in the eye of the law, freedom of the press was established, and all exclusive class privileges were abolished. The judges were made independent of the Crown, and no ordinance was to have the force of law without the sanction of the Assembly.

[See larger version] These certainly were large concessions, but it was to be remembered that we had not received them for nothing; they had cost vast sums, and the national debt had been doubled by this war, and now amounted to one hundred and twenty-two million six hundred thousand pounds. These territories had, in fact, cost us upwards of sixty million pounds; and it is certain that Pitt would have exacted a more complete renunciation from France of the conquered countries. There was a clause inserted which Pitt would never have permittednamely, that any conquests that should be made after the signing of these articles, should be restored by all parties. Now, Bute and the Ministry knew that we had expeditions out against Cuba and the Philippines, and that the only conquests likely to be made were in those quarters. To throw away without equivalent the blood and money expended in these important enterprises was a most unpatriotic act. Still, there was opportunity for more rational terms, for Grimaldi, the Spanish ambassador at Paris, held back from signing, in hope that we should be defeated at Havana, and that then he could raise his terms. When the news of the loss of both Havana and Manila arrived, Grimaldi was in great haste to sign, and Mr. Grenville and Lord Egremont very properly insisted that we should demand an equivalent for the conquest in Cuba. Pitt would have stood firm for the retention of that conquest as by far the most important, and as justly secured to us by the refusal of the Spanish ambassador to sign at the proper time. But Bute would have signed without any equivalent at all. Fortunately, there was too strong an opposition to this in the Cabinet, and the Duke of Bedford was instructed to demand Florida or Porto Rico in lieu of Havana. Florida was yieldeda fatal, though at the moment it appeared a valuable concession, for it only added to the compactness of the American colonies, hastening the day of independence, whilst Cuba would have remained under the protection of the fleet, one of the most valuable possessions of the British empire.

J. Bingham, created Lord Clanmorris; 8,000 for two seats, and 15,000 compensation for Tuam. Had first offered himself for sale to the anti-unionists.