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Or to take a stronger case. A deserter from the ranks escapes to his home, breaks into it at night, robs an infirm father of all the savings he has provided for his old age, and in a struggle for their possession so injures him that he dies. Must the law disclaim all indignation, all resentment, in the punishment it inflicts, and say to such a ruffian that it only deals hard with him in order to warn others by his example, and with the pious hope of making a good man of him in the future? If resentment is ever just, is it wrong to give it public expression? If it is natural and right in private life, why should it be a matter of shame in public life? If there is such a thing as just anger for a single man, does it become unjust when distributed among a million?me for a companion for Sallie. We are planning to do a lot of
Monsieur and the Duke of Orleans hastened to Lyons, and the Duke of Angoulme to Nìmes. Corps of volunteers were called out, and an address to the people was composed by Benjamin Constant, calling on them to defend their liberties against Buonaparte; and a woman on the staircase of the Tuileries exclaimed, "If Louis has not men enough to fight, let him call out the widows and childless mothers who have been rendered such by Napoleon!" Meanwhile the conspiracy of General l'Allemand and his brother at Lille, to carry over the garrison of eight thousand men to Napoleon, was discovered by General Mortier, and defeated. Had this plot succeeded, Louis and his family must have been made prisoners. But that was the extent of the adhesion to the Bourbon cause.This was an attempt as constitutional as it was ignorantly and hopelessly planned by suffering people; but more criminal speculations were on foot. A second report of the Lords' secret committee, recommending the renewal of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, stated that a general insurrection was planned to take place at Manchester, on the 30th of Marchto seize the magistrates, to liberate the prisoners, burn the soldiers in their barracks, and set fire to a number of factories; and that such proposals were really in agitation is confirmed by Bamford and other of the Radical leaders. The report says that the design was discovered by the vigilance of the magistrates, a few days before its intended taking place; but it is far more probable that the magistrates had received some intimation of what was in progress from those who had misguided the ignorant multitude. Bamford tells us that both he and his friends had been applied to to engage in the design, but they had condemned it as the work of incendiaries, who had availed themselves of the resentment of the Blanketeers at their treatment, to instigate them to a dreadful revenge. The truth was, a number of spies in the pay of Government, with the notorious Oliver at their head, were traversing the manufacturing districts of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, to stimulate the suffering population into open insurrection, that they might be crushed by the military. Bamford and the more enlightened workmen at once saw through the snare, and not only repulsed the tempters, but warned their fellows against their arts. The failure of the first design, however, did not put an end to the diabolical attempt on the part of the spies. They recommended the most secret meetings for the purpose; that another night attack should be prepared for Manchester, and that Ministers should be assassinated. Such proposals were again made to Bamford and his friends, but they not only indignantly repelled them, but sought safety for their own persons in concealment, for continual seizures of leading Reformers were now made.
The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people, and consequently received very little regard in return. There was a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate, to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the 21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only for a treasonable conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer assizes for the county of Lancaster.
Meanwhile the war had continued, and with the commencement of 1841 fortune began to favour the British. The Chinese position at the mouth of the Canton river was forced, and the Emperor was compelled to send a Commissioner, Keshin by name, to treat with the "outer barbarians." Keshin cunningly transferred the scene of negotiations to Canton, in order to secure time to strengthen the forts and prepare for defence. He accordingly employed the interval busily in erecting new batteries at the Bogue, barricading the bars in the river by sinking boats laden with stones, throwing up breastworks near Canton, and levying troops. The British Commissioner, wearied and irritated by these proceedings, gave directions to Commodore Bremer to proceed at once to compulsory methods of bringing the Chinese to reason. On the 7th of January, therefore, he opened fire on the Bogue forts, on two of which the British flag very soon floated. Next morning, when everything was ready to attack the principal fort, Annughoy, a flag of truce was sent by the Chinese, and hostilities were suspended. Keshin offered to adjust matters immediately, and on the 20th a circular appeared, signed by Captain Elliot, and dated Macao, addressed to "Her Britannic Majesty's subjects," stating that her Majesty's plenipotentiary had to announce the conclusion of preliminary arrangements between the Imperial Commissioner and himself, involving the following conditions:1st. The cession of the harbour and island of Hong Kong to the British Crown. 2nd. An indemnity to the British Government of 6,000,000 dollars, to be paid in annual instalments in six years. 3rd. Direct official intercourse between the two countries upon equal footing. It was quite evident that her Majesty's plenipotentiary did not understand the sort of people he had to deal with; otherwise, he would not have arrested the operations of Commodore Bremer till he had all the principal forts in his possession. In fact he was completely duped by Keshin.
These truths were recognised by the Roman legislators, for they inflicted torture only upon slaves, who in law had no personality. They have been adopted by England, a nation, the glory of whose literature, the superiority of whose commerce and wealth, and consequently of whose power, and the examples of whose virtue and courage leave us no doubt as to the goodness of her laws. Torture has also been abolished in Sweden; it has been abolished by one of the wisest monarchs of Europe, who, taking philosophy with him to the throne, has made himself the friend and legislator of his subjects, rendering them equal and free in their dependence on the laws, the sole kind of equality and liberty that reasonable men can ask for in the present condition of things. Nor has torture been deemed necessary in the laws which regulate armies, composed though they are for the most part of the dregs of different countries, and for that reason more than any other class of men the more likely to require it. A strange thing, for whoever forgets the power of the tyranny exercised by custom, that pacific laws should be obliged to learn from minds hardened to massacre and bloodshed the most humane method of conducting trials.
NAPOLEON AT ROSSBACH. (See p. 527.)In the autumn of this year the British Admiralty tested a plan to blow up and destroy the French invasion flotilla in the harbour of Boulogne. It consisted of a chest, pitched outside and made waterproof, containing forty barrels of gunpowder, which was to be ignited by a certain contrivance when it struck smartly against a solid body. This machine was called a catamaran. The experiment was tried by Lord Keith on the 2nd of October. There were one hundred and fifty French gunboats, praams, and floating batteries anchored outside the pier of Boulogne. Lord Keith anchored opposite to them with three line-of-battle ships and several frigates, covering a number of bomb-ships and fire-ships and the catamarans. Four fire-ships were towed into the neighbourhood of the French flotilla and exploded with a terrific noise, but did no injury whatever to the flotilla or the French, beyond wounding some half-dozen men. The catamarans exploded, for the most part, with the same failure of effect.