《 林 苑 槐 香 》 作者 周 凰

THE GREAT MOGUL ENTERING THE ENGLISH CAMP. (See p. 317.)

During the year 1796 strong forces were sent to the West Indies, and the Island of Grenada was recovered by General Nichols; St. Lucia, by General Abercromby, whilst General Whyte conquered the Dutch settlements of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo; but some of these possessions were dearly purchased by the number of the troops who perished from the unhealthiness of their climate. The Dutch made an effort to recover the Cape of Good Hope. They were to have been assisted by the French in this enterprise, but their allies not keeping their engagement, they sailed alone, and reached Saldanha Bay on the 3rd of August, when Rear-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone surprised and captured the whole of their vessels, consisting of two sixty-four-gun ships, one fifty-four, five frigates and sloops, and a store-ship. A squadron then proceeded from the Cape to Madagascar, and destroyed a French settlement there, seizing five merchant vessels. [See larger version]

In fact, whilst these events had been proceeding on the frontiers of France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been dividing Poland amongst them. The King of Prussia, when contemplating his participation in this vile business, issued a proclamation assigning the most virtuous reasons for it. It was to check the spread of French principles in Poland, which had compelled himself and his amiable allies, the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of Germany, to invade Poland. But these pretences were merely a cloak for a shameless robbery. Poland abutted on Prussia with the desirable ports of Thorn and Dantzic, and therefore Great Poland was especially revolutionary in the eyes of Frederick William of Prussia. The Polish Diet exposed the hollowness of these pretences in a counter-manifesto. This produced a manifesto from Francis of Austria, who declared that the love of peace and good neighbourhood would not allow him to oppose the intentions of Prussia, or permit any other Power to interfere with the efforts of Russia and Prussia to pacify Poland; in fact, his love of peace would not allow him to discountenance an aggressive war, but his love of good neighbourhood would allow him to permit the most flagrant breach of good neighbourhood. As for the Empress of Russia, she had a long catalogue of ingratitude against the Poles, in addition to their Jacobinical principles, and for these very convenient reasons she had now taken possession of certain portions of that kingdom, and called on all the inhabitants of these districts to swear allegiance to her immediately. The Empress having thus broken the ice of her real motives, the King of Prussia no longer pretended to conceal his, but called on all the inhabitants of Great Poland to swear allegiance to him forthwith. The Russian Ambassador at Grodno commanded the Poles to carry these orders of Russia and Prussia into effect by a circular dated the 9th of April. The great Polish Confederation, which had invited the interference of Russia in order to carry out their own party views, were much confounded by these announcements of their friends. They reminded the marauders of the engagements entered into by Russia, Prussia, and Austria, at the time of the former partition, to guarantee the integrity of the remainder. But this was merely parleying with assassins with the knife at their throats. The aggressive Powers by force of arms compelled poor King Poniatowski and the nobles to assemble a Diet, and draw up and sign an instrument for the alienation of the required territories. By this forced cession a territory, containing a population of more than three millions and a half, was made over to Russia; and another territory to Prussia, containing a million and a half of inhabitants, together with the navigation of the Vistula, with the port of Thorn on that great river, and of Dantzic on the Baltic, so long coveted. As for the small remainder of what once had been Poland, which was left to that shadow-king, Poniatowski, it was bound down under all the old oppressive regulations, and had Russian garrisons at Warsaw and other towns. But all these Powers were compelled to maintain large garrisons in their several sections of the appropriated country.[420]

Long for work did he seek, Halifax, possessed of this authority, returned to the House of Lords, and announced that, by the king's permission, he proposed the re-commitment of the bill, with the names only of the queen and the sons of the late king now living. Thus, the Princess Dowager was publicly stigmatised, on the authority of her own son, as incapable of reigning. The amendment, as the royal pleasure, was agreed to. The country was struck with astonishment. The Duke of Bedford is represented by Horace Walpole as almost dancing about for joy; the consternation of Bute and his party was indescribable. To cover the disgrace, they represented it as the wish of the Princess Dowager herself. But when the king was left to his own reflections, it began to dawn upon him that he had, by his weak compliance, openly insulted his own parent in the grossest manner. He bitterly upbraided Halifax with having thus stolen his consent by a surprise. But Grenville, with his usual obstinacy, declined to replace the princess's name unless it were strongly pressed upon him in the House. He trusted, however, that the Opposition, who hated the princess, would relieve him of this necessity by voting against the reinsertion of the name. But he was mistaken. Mr Morton, the chief justice of Chester, one of the Bute party, moved for the insertion of the princess's name in the bill, and the Opposition made no objection; they only too much enjoyed Grenville's embarrassment. He was therefore compelled to insert the name, whichthus falsifying Halifax's assertion to the king, that, if left in, it would be struck out by Parliamentwas carried by an overwhelming majority.

Soon after the prorogation of Parliament in the autumn her Majesty resolved to pay her first visit to her Irish subjects. At Cowes a royal squadron was in readiness to convoy the Victoria and Albert across the Channel. The Queen was accompanied by Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, the Princess Royal, and the Princess Alice. The royal yacht anchored alongside the Ganges, her arrival off the Irish coast being announced by the booming of artillery on the 2nd of August, which was the signal for the lighting of bonfires upon the hills around the picturesque town of Cove. In the morning a deputation went on board, consisting of the Marquis of Thomond, head of the house of O'Brien, the Earl of Bandon and several of the nobility and gentry of the county, with the Mayor of Cork, and Mr. Fagan, M.P. for that city. They were introduced to her Majesty by Sir George Grey, the Secretary of State in attendance during the visit. Arrangements were then made for the landing, and about three o'clock the Queen first set foot upon Irish[572] ground, amidst the most enthusiastic demonstrations of loyalty from the multitudes assembled to bid their Sovereign welcome, mingling their cheers with the roar of cannon, which reverberated from the hills around. A pavilion had been erected for her Majesty's reception, and over it floated a banner, with the word "Cove" emblazoned upon it. The Queen had consented, at the request of the inhabitants, to change the name of the place and call it "Queenstown," and when she left the pavilion the first flag was pulled down and another erected in its stead, with the new name. Thus the old name of "Cove" was extinguished by the Queen's visit, just as the old name of "Dunleary" had been extinguished by the visit of George IV.