“云游博物馆”启示文保与传统文化“数字化”

While thus tottering on the verge of revolution the Orleanist monarchy had the misfortune to affront the British Court. The reason of the rupture is known to history as the affair of the Spanish marriages, of which it is enough to say here that Louis Philippe succeeded in marrying the young Queen of Spain to her cousin, the Duke of Cadiz, who was imbecile, while at the same time he secured the hand of her sister for his youngest son, the Duc de Montpensier. Thus he apparently acquired the reversion of the throne for his family, but the coup was effected in defiance of pledges made repeatedly to Lord Aberdeen and continued to his successor at the Foreign Office, Lord Palmerston. It was undoubtedly the advent of the latter to power which hurried on the conclusion of the intrigue. Louis Philippe and Guizot suspected him of trying to secure the hand of the Queen of Spain for a prince of the House of Coburg, and was justified to a certain extent by an imprudent despatch sent by the English Foreign Secretary to our Minister at Madrid. Thereupon the King of the French frightened the Queen-Mother of Spain into giving her consent to the marriages, which were celebrated simultaneously on the 10th of October, 1846. The calculating cunning displayed by Louis Philippe and the deliberate sacrifice of a young girl to sordid requirements of State aroused a feeling of universal disgust. From Queen Victoria the proceedings provoked a letter to Louis Philippe's queen, which[549] concluded with the scathing remark"I am glad that I can say for myself that I have always been sincere with you." It was in fact, as her Foreign Minister wrote to his brother, "a twister."

The French Chambers were summoned for the 28th of December, and the king opened them in person, reading a Speech which was vague, vapid, and disappointing. It contained one passage, however, which was sufficiently intelligible. It was a denunciation and a defiance of Reform. He said:"In the midst of the agitation fomented by hostile and blind passions, one conviction sustains and animates meit is that in the Constitutional monarchy, in the union of the great powers of the State, we possess the most assured means of surmounting all obstacles, and of satisfying the moral and material interests of our dear country." Next day a meeting of the Opposition deputies was held in Paris at the Caf Durand, in the Place de la Madeleine, when it was proposed that they should all send in their resignations. This would cause 102 elections, at which the conduct of the Government would be fully discussed at the hustings in different parts of the country. This was objected to by the majority, who were for holding a banquet in defiance of the Government. A committee was appointed to make the arrangements, and the announcement caused the greatest excitement. On the 21st of February, 1848, the Government issued a proclamation forbidding the banquet, which was to take place on the following day. The prohibition was obeyed; the banquet was not held. In the meantime, great numbers of people arrived in Paris from the country, and immense multitudes from all the faubourgs assembled at the Madeleine, in the Champs Elyses, and at the Place de la Concorde, consisting for the most part of workmen and artisans. The people seemed violently agitated, as if prepared for the most desperate issues. The troops were under arms, however, and the king, who was in the gayest humour, laughed with his courtiers at the pretensions of Barrot and the reformers. The excitement, however, increased every moment. When the troops came near the crowd, they were received with hisses and assailed with stones. The Rue Royale, the Rue de Rivoli, and Rue St. Honor, were cleared and occupied by cavalry, and the populace were driven into the back streets, where some barricades were constructed, and some occasional shots exchanged between the military and the insurgents. The principal struggles, however, were between the people and the Municipal Guard, which they abhorred. Wherever they met through the city, the conflict became fierce, sanguinary, and ruthless. But the National Guard had no such animosity against the people; on the contrary, they sympathised with them thoroughly, raised with them the cry of "Vive la Rforme," and refused to act against them. The king could not be got to believe this fact till the last moment. The changes in the manners and morals of the age since the reign of George III. have been sufficiently indicated in the preceding pages. Corresponding changes were gradually introduced in the world of fashion, though the conservative instinct of the aristocracy and the spirit of exclusiveness resisted innovation as long as possible. What was called "good society" was wonderfully select. The temple of fashion at the beginning of the reign of George IV. was Almack's; and the divinities that under the name of lady patronesses presided there were the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and Sefton, the Princess Esterhazy and the Countess Lieven. These and their associates gave the tone to the beau monde. We can scarcely now conceive the importance that was then attached to the privilege of getting admission to Almack's. Of the 300 officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half a dozen were honoured with vouchers. The most popular and influential amongst the grandes dames was Lady Cowper, afterwards Lady Palmerston. Lady Jersey was not popular, being inconceivably rude and insolent[440] in her manner. Many diplomatic arts, much finesse, and a host of intrigues were set in motion to get an invitation to Almack's. Very often persons whose rank and fortune entitled them to the entre anywhere were excluded by the cliquism of the lady patronesses. Trousers had come into general use. They had been first worn by children, then adopted in the army, and from the army they came into fashion with civilians. But they were rigidly excluded from Almack's, as well as the black tie, which also came into use about this time. The female oligarchy who ruled the world of fashion, or tried to do so, issued a solemn proclamation that no gentleman should appear at the assemblies without being dressed in knee-breeches, white cravat, and chapeau bras. On one occasion, we are told, the Duke of Wellington was about to ascend the staircase of the ball-room, dressed in black trousers, when the vigilant Mr. Willis, the guardian of the establishment, stepped forward, and said, "Your Grace cannot be admitted in trousers." Whereupon the great captain quietly retreated, without daring to storm the citadel of fashion. The principal dances at Almack's had been Scottish reels, and the old English country dance. In 1815 Lady Jersey introduced from Paris the quadrille which has so long remained popular. The mazy waltz was also imported about the same time. Among the first who ventured to whirl round the salons of Almack's was Lord Palmerston, his favourite partner being Madame Lieven. This new dance was so diligently cultivated in the houses of the nobility and gentry that the upper classes were affected with a waltzing mania. During his absence from the extreme south, General Graham, with about four thousand British and Portuguese, had quitted Cadiz by sea, and proceeded to Alge?iras, where he landed, intending to take Victor, who was blockading Cadiz, in the rear. His artillery, meanwhile, was landed at Tarifa; and on marching thither by land, over dreadful mountain roads, he was joined, on the 27th of February, by the Spanish General Lape?a, with seven thousand men. Graham consented to the Spaniard taking the chief commandan ominous concession; and the united forcesoon after joined by a fresh body of about one thousand men, making the whole force about twelve thousandthen marched forward towards Medina Sidonia, through the most execrable roads. Victor was fully informed of the movements of this army, and advanced to support General Cassagne, who held Medina Sidonia. No sooner did he quit his lines before Cadiz than the Spanish General De Zogas crossed from the Isle de Leon, and menaced the left of the French army. On this Victor halted at Chiclana, and ordered Cassagne to join him there. He expected nothing less than that Lape?a would manage to join De Zogas, and that fresh forces, marching out of Cadiz and the Isle of Leon, would co-operate with them, and compel him to raise the siege altogether. But nothing so vigorous was to be expected from a Spanish general. Lape?a was so slow and cautious in his movements that[15] Graham could not get him to make any determined advance; and on arriving at the heights of Barrosa, which a Spanish force had been sent forward to occupy, this body of men had quitted their post, and Victor was in possession of these important positions, which completely stopped the way to Cadiz and at the same time rendered retreat almost equally impossible. Lape?a was skirmishing, at about three miles' distance, with an inconsiderable force, and the cavalry was also occupied in another direction. Seeing, therefore, no prospect of receiving aid from the Spaniards, General Graham determined to attack Marshal Victor, and drive him from the heights, though the latter's force was twice as strong as the former's. This Graham did after a most desperate struggle. Had Lape?a shown any vigour or activity, Victor's retreating army might have been prevented from regaining its old lines; but it was in vain that Graham urged him to the pursuit. Lord Wellington eulogised the brilliant action of the heights of Barrosa, in a letter to Graham, in the warmest terms, declaring that, had the Spanish general done his duty, there would have been an end of the blockade of Cadiz. As it was, Victor returned to his lines and steadily resumed the siege. In the meantime, Admiral Keats, with a body of British sailors and marines, had attacked and destroyed all the French batteries and redoubts on the bay of Cadiz, except that of Catina, which was too strong for his few hundred men to take.

Argyll, who received the news of the retreat about four in the afternoon of that day, occupied Perth with Dutch and English troops by ten o'clock the next morning. They had quitted Stirling on the 29th, and that night they encamped on the snow amid the burnt remains of the village of Auchterarder. Argyll and Cadogan followed the advanced guard and entered Perth on[32] the evening of the 1st of February; but the remainder of the troops did not arrive till late at night, owing to the state of the roads and the weather. Some few of the rebels, who had got drunk and were left behind, were secured. The next day Argyll and Cadogan, with eight hundred light foot and six squadrons of dragoons, followed along the Carse of Gowrie to Dundee. Cadogan, in a letter to Marlborough, complained of the evident reluctance of Argyll to press on the rebels. When he arrived at Dundee on the 3rd, the rebel army was already gone. He and Cadogan then separated, taking different routes towards Montrose. Cadogan, whose heart was in the business, pushed on ahead, and on the 5th, at noon, reached Arbroath, where he received the news that the Pretender had embarked at Montrose and gone to France. In this manner did the descendant of a race of kings and the claimant of the Crown of Great Britain steal away and leave his unhappy followers to a sense of his perfidious and cruel desertion. His flight, no doubt, was necessary, but the manner of it was at once most humiliating and unfeeling. The consternation and wrath of the army on the discovery were indescribable. They were wholly broken up when Argyll reached Aberdeen on the 8th of February.

We left Wellington occupying his impregnable lines at Torres Vedras during the winter, and Massena occupying Santarem. Buonaparte thought he could suggest a mode of putting down the provoking English general which Massena did not seem able to conceive. After studying the relative situations of the belligerents, he sent word to Soult to make a junction with Massena by crossing the Tagus, and then, as he would be much superior in strength, to continually attack Wellington, and cause him, from time to time, to lose some of his men. He observed that the British army was small, and that the people at home were anxious about their army in Portugal, and were not likely to increase it much. Having thus weakened Wellington, as soon as the weather became favourable they were to make an attack from the south bank of the Tagus. But there were two difficulties to overcome of no trivial character in this plan. Wellington was not the man to be drawn into the repeated loss of his men, and the Tagus was too well guarded by our fleet and by batteries for any chance of taking him in the rear. However, Napoleon sent Massena a reinforcement, under General Drouet, who carried along with him a great supply of provisions: he assembled an army in the north of Spain, under Bessires, of seventy thousand men, and Soult moved from Cadiz, leaving Sebastiani to continue the blockade, and advanced to make the ordered junction with Massena. But he deemed it necessary, before crossing into southern Portugal, to take possession of Badajoz. In his advance, at the head of twenty thousand men, he defeated several Spanish corps, and sat down before Badajoz towards the end of February. Could Massena have maintained himself at Santarem, this junction might have been made; but, notwithstanding the provisions brought by Drouet, he found that he had no more than would serve him on a retreat into Spain. He had ten thousand of his army sick, and therefore, not waiting for Soult, he evacuated Santarem on the 5th of March, and commenced his march Spain-ward. Wellington was immediately after him, and the flight and pursuit continued for a fortnight. To prevent Massena from finding a temporary refuge in Coimbra, Wellington ordered Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Trant to destroy an arch of the bridge over the Mondego, and thus detain him on the left bank of that river[14] till he came up. But Massena did not wait; he proceeded along a very bad road on the left bank of the river to Miranda, on the river Coira. Along this track Massena's army was sharply and repeatedly attacked by the British van under Picton, and suffered severely. Ney commanded the rear-division of the enemy, and, to check the advance of the British, he set fire to the towns and villages as he proceeded, and, escaping over the bridge on the Coira, he blew it up. But before this could be effected, Picton was upon him, accompanied by Pack's brigade and a strong body of horse, and drove numbers of the French into the river, and took much baggage. Five hundred French were left on the ground, and to facilitate their flight from Miranda, which they also burnt, they destroyed a great deal more of their baggage and ammunition. Lord Wellington was detained at the Coira, both from want of means of crossing and from want of supplies; for the French had left the country a black and burning desert. The atrocities committed by the army of Massena on this retreat were never exceeded by any host of men or devils. The soldiers seemed inspired with an infernal spirit of vengeance towards the Portuguese, and committed every horror and outrage for which language has a name. The Portuguese, on the other hand, driven to madness, pursued them like so many demons, cutting off and destroying all stragglers, and shooting down the flying files as they hurried through the woods and hills. The whole way was scattered with the carcases of the fugitives. [See larger version] While stirring events were in progress on the Continent, public attention was naturally distracted from home politics; nor were these in themselves of a nature to command enthusiasm. The Russell Government was weak, but the Opposition was weaker. Sir Robert Peel with his little band gave, on the whole, his support to the Ministry, and Mr. Disraeli, on the retirement of Lord George Bentinck, had only just begun to rally the Conservatives, who had been utterly dispirited and crushed by the carrying of Free Trade. Finance was always a weak point with the Whigs, and that of 1848 was no exception to the rule. Urged by the Duke of Wellington's letter to Sir John Burgoyne on the state of the defences, the Chancellor of the Exchequer determined on increasing the naval and military establishments. The result was a deficit of three millions, and no less than three withdrawals and alterations of the Budget had to be made before his proposals could be so shaped as to be acceptable to the House. The next Session was mainly devoted to Irish affairs, the Rate in Aid producing a collision between the two Houses, which was decided in favour of the Lords. In the same year, however, the most important measure of the Russell Ministry became law; the repeal, namely, of the Navigation Act, by which the carrying monopoly was abolished after the retaliation of foreign nations had reduced the principle of reciprocity, upon which Mr. Huskisson's Act had been framed, to a dead letter. Supported by the Canadian demand for liberation from the restrictions of the Navigation Act, Ministers courageously faced the clamour raised by the Protectionists, and carried their Bill through the Commons by large majorities. In the Upper House, however, they snatched a bare majority of ten through the circumstance that they had more proxies than their opponents.

But our military achievements in the East Indies were on a scale to throw even these successes far into the shade. Lord Wellesley, the Governor-General, was entreated by the Peishwa of Poonah to assist him against the other Mahratta chiefs, Scindiah and Holkar. The Peishwa had been driven out of his territory by these chiefs, aided principally by the military talents of M. Perron, a Frenchman, who had for many years entered, with several other French officers, on the fall of the Mysore power, into the service of Scindiah. He had been extremely successful, and had been rewarded with a wide territory on the Jumna; and when, in 1793, Shah Allum, the Mogul, had been made prisoner, he had been consigned to the custody of M. Perron. The Frenchman had now given his aid to expel the Peishwa, and Lord Wellesley, in sending General Lake to restore the Peishwa, authorised him to attempt to win over M. Perron to the British interest by very brilliant offers of property and distinction, for Perron was deemed avaricious. The temptation, however, failed, both with Perron and his French officers. He took the field in support of Scindiah, with seventeen thousand infantry, from fifteen to twenty thousand Mahratta horse, and a numerous train of artillery.