贵州省黔东南州麻江县:“三到社区”激发城市基层党建新活力

[See larger version] The Sovereigns of the Holy Alliance, however, acted on principles and with designs very different. Their general principle was not to tolerate any change in the European Governments that did not emanate from themselves. The Greek Revolution they denounced as a rebellion against the legitimate authority of the Sultan. The actual Government of Spain they regarded as incompatible with the safety of monarchical power, and France called upon the Sovereigns to re-establish the despotism of Ferdinand. Russia, Austria, and Prussia took the same view of the Spanish Revolution, but were unwilling to interfere by force of arms. France was not so scrupulous upon that point. Chateaubriand and other votaries of absolutism in Church and State were busy fomenting conspiracies in Spain, and secretly supplying arms and ammunition to the priest-ridden enemies of constitutional government in that country. An army which during the previous year had been assembled on the frontier, under the ridiculous pretence of preventing the fever at Barcelona from spreading into France, changed its name from that of a sanitary cordon to an army of observation. M. de Villele, the new French Prime Minister, threw off the mask, and in a circular note stated that unless Spain altered her political constitution, France would use force to convert her from her revolutionary theories.

Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1829. The state of Ireland was the chief topic of the Royal Speech. The existence of the Catholic Association was referred to as inimical to the public peace; and its suppression was recommended, as a necessary preliminary to the consideration of the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics. This part of the Speech excited much interest, as preluding the great contest of the Session. On the 4th Mr. Peel had written to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, resigning his seat for the University, which he had won from Canning on the strength of his anti-Catholic principles. He need not have resigned, but he acted the more honourable part. Having offered himself for re-election, he was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who, after a contest which lasted three days, during which 1,364 votes were polled, was elected by a majority of 146. As one of the most numerous convocations ever held in Oxford had, in the previous year, by a majority of three to one, voted against concession to the Roman Catholics, it was a matter of surprise that the Home Secretary was not defeated by a larger majority. He secured a seat with some difficulty at Westbury. On the 10th, Mr. Peel, while still member for Oxford, introduced the first of the three measures intended for the pacification of Irelanda Bill for the suppression of the Catholic Association. As it was known to be an essential condition of granting Emancipation, there was little opposition to it either in Parliament or in Ireland. By it the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered to disperse the meetings of any association he thought dangerous to the public peace. The Bill quickly passed both Houses, and in a few days received the Royal Assent. Anticipating the action of the executive, the Association, on the 12th of February, dissolved itself, with the unanimous concurrence of the bishops, Mr. Sheil stating at the meeting that he was authorised to throw twenty-two mitres into the scale.

Indeed, Mr. O'Connell's agitating tour in the North of England and in Scotland was in effect a crusade against the Lords. In a speech which he addressed to an immense assemblage of the working classes of Manchester, he said, if there were only one House of Parliament, a majority of that House, perhaps a faction, might become the rulers of the entire nation. He was, therefore, for two Houses, but they should be honest and competent. Why should a man be a legislator because his father was one? It was as reasonable to expect that a man would be a good tailor on the hereditary principle. The Lords had proved themselves to be arrant botchers in the work of[393] legislation. Were they to have 170 masters of that class? He then proceeded in this strain:"Will you endure that any gang or banditti, I care not by what name you call them, should treat you contemptuously? In one word, I call them rogues. We must put down the House of Lords. Ye are miserable minions of power. Ye have no choice for yourselves till that House be thoroughly reformed. Let the king retain his prerogative of raising men to that rank and station to which they may be eligible. Let every 200,000 men in Great Britain and Ireland select one lord from this list; that will give you 120 for the 24,000,000; let them be re-eligible every five years, and you will have a steady Chamber." Still, the outrageous attacks of Mr. O'Connell gave much offence, and when, on his return to Dublin after his crusade, he was invited to dinner by the Lord-Lieutenant, a violent storm was raised against the Government, and the king was greatly indignant.

At this juncture, while daily desertions thinned Mar's army at Perth, arrived the Pretender. He landed at Peterhead on the 22nd of December. On the 6th of January, 1716, he made his public entry into Dundee, at the head of his cavalcade, the Earl of Mar riding on his right hand, and the Earl Marshal on his left, and about three hundred gentlemen following. His reception was enthusiastic. The people flocked round him to kiss his hands; and to gratify this loyal desire he remained an hour in the market-place. On the 8th he arrived at Scone, and took up his residence in the ancient palace of his ancestors. There he was only two miles from the army, and having established a council, and issued six proclamations, ordering a public thanksgiving for the "miraculous providence" of his safe arrival, for prayers in the church, for the currency of foreign coin, for a meeting of the Convention of Estates, for all fencible men from sixteen to sixty to repair to his standard, and for his coronation on the 23rd of January, he presented himself before the army. But here the scene was changed. Instead of enthusiasm there was disappointmentdisappointment on both sides. The soldiers, who expected to see a royal-looking, active-looking man, likely to encourage them and lead them on their career, beheld a tall, thin, pale, and dejected sort of person, who evidently took no great interest in them. That the Pretender should not exhibit much vivacity was no wonder. He had been assured by Mar that his army had swelled to sixteen thousand men; that the whole North was in his favour; and that he had only to appear to carry everything before him. On inquiring into the force, it turned out to be so miserably small, that the only desire was to keep it out of sight. The spirits of the Pretender fell, and though not destitute of ability, as is manifest by his letters, he had by no means that strength of resolution demanded by such an enterprise.

On the other hand, Barclay de Tolly, anxious to unite with Bagration and reach Smolensk, abandoned the strong encampment at Drissa, leaving Wittgenstein near there to watch the enemy and cover the road to St. Petersburg. The French pursued him with great rapidity, which, though it endangered his immediate union with Bagration at Vitebsk, yet served the Russian policy of drawing the enemy into the interior. Murat continually rushed forward with his cavalry to attack the rear-guard of De Tolly; but the Russian infantry maintained steady order, and continually withdrew before him. Every evening he was close upon them; every morning he found himself again distanced. The Russians appeared in full vigour, and well supplied with everything; the French were sinking with famine and fatigue. At Polotsk the Emperor Alexander left De Tolly, and hastened on to Moscow to prepare the inhabitants for that grand catastrophe which he already foresaw, and had resolved upon.

The British Parliament met on the 21st of January, 1794. The Opposition, on the question of the Address, made a strong remonstrance against the prosecution of the war. They urged the miserable conduct of it, and the failures of the Allies, as arguments for peace. They did not discourage the maintenance of a proper system of self-defence, and therefore acceded to the demands of Ministers for raising the navy to eighty-five thousand men. The production of the Budget by Pitt, on the 2nd of February, gave additional force to their appeals for peace. He stated that the military force of England, including fencibles and volunteers, amounted to a hundred and forty thousand men, and he called for nineteen million nine hundred and thirty-nine thousand pounds for the maintenance of this force, and for the payment of sixty thousand German troops. Besides this, he asked for a loan of eleven million pounds, as well as for the imposition of new taxes. This was an advance in annual expenditure of fifteen million pounds more than only two years ago; and when the manner in which the money was spent was inquired into, the objections became far more serious. It thus appeared that we were not only fighting for Holland and Belgium, but that we were subsidising German princes to fight their own battles. There had been a large subsidy to the King of Prussia, to assist him, in reality, to destroy Poland. We were, in fact, on the threshold of that system of Pitt's, by which Britain engaged to do battle all over Europe with money as well as with men. But remonstrance was in vain. Fox, Grey, and Sheridan, and their party in the Commons, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Bedford, and the Whigs in the Peers, made amendment after amendment on these points, but were overwhelmed by Pitt's majorities. Burke, in the Commons, was frantic in advocacy of war, because France was revolutionary and impious.

Britain had seen her Continental Allies fall away one by one. The time was now approaching when some good allies might have been very useful to herself, if such people were ever to be found. We have seen that, during the American Revolution, the rebellious colonists found admirable allies in the Irish. They had no difficulty in exciting disturbances amongst that ardent Celtic race, and thus greatly to augment our difficulties. No sooner did the French commence the work of revolution than the Irish became transported with admiration of their doings. Not all the bloodshed and horrors of that wild drama could abate their delight in them, and their desire to invite them over to liberate Ireland, as they had liberated Belgium. These views found expression in the north of Ireland, especially in Belfast and other places, where the population was Presbyterian and to a certain extent Republican. The Roman Catholics were inert, and disposed to wait patiently. Ever since the American revolt the necessity of conciliating the Irish had been impressed on the British Government, and many important concessions had been granted them. They had not yet obtained Catholic emancipation, but the public mind was ripening for it, and the chief difficulty was the opposition of the extreme Protestant party in the Irish Parliament. Whatever were the evils which England had inflicted on Ireland, they were nothing compared with those which French fraternity would have perpetrated. But the United Irishmen, as the revolutionaries called themselves, could see nothing of this, not even after all the world had witnessed the French mode of liberating Belgium, and French waggons, guarded by soldiers, were day after day, and month after month, bearing over the Alps the priceless chefs-d'?uvre of the arts from ravaged Italy. In the spring of 1798 the preparations of the French Directory for the invasion of Ireland were too open and notorious to be overlooked by anybody.

In 1734 the Wesleys commenced their career as preachers to the people, and were soon followed by Whitefield. This may, therefore, be considered the date of the foundation of Methodism. None of them had any the remotest idea of separating from the Church, or founding new sects. The Wesleys made a voyage to Georgia, in America, and, on their return, found their little party not only flourishing in Oxford but in London, where they had a meeting-house in Fetter Lane. Whitefield, however, was the first to commence the practice of field-preaching, amongst the colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol; but in this he was soon imitated by Wesley. As they began to attract attention by the ardour of their preaching and the wonderful effect on the people, this became necessary, for speedily all church doors were closed against them. John Wesley had a peculiar genius for the construction of a new religious community, and he was ready to collect hints for its organisation from any quarter. The most prolific source of his ordinances for his new society was the system of the Moravians, whose great settlement at Herrnhuth, in Germany, he visited, and had much consultation with its head, Count Zinzendorf. From it he drew his class-meetings, his love-feasts, and the like. In framing the constitution of his society, Wesley displayed a profound knowledge of human nature. He took care that every man and woman in his society counted for something more than a mere unit. The machinery of class-meetings and love-feasts brought members together in little groups, where every one was recognised and had a personal interest. Numbers of men, who had no higher ambition, could enjoy the distinction of class-leaders. It did not require a man to go to college and take orders to become a preacher. Thomas Maxwell with Wesley, and Howel Harris with Whitefield, led the way from the plane of the laity into the pulpits of Methodism, and have been followed by tens of thousands who have become able if not learned, and eloquent if not Greek-imbued, preachers. Wesley divided the whole country into districts, into which he sent one or more well-endowed preachers, who were called circuit preachers, or round preachers, from their going their rounds in particular circuits. Under the ministry of these men sprang up volunteer preachers, who first led prayer-meetings, and then ascended to the pulpit in the absence of the circuit preachers, and most of them soon discovered unexpected talents, and edifying their own local and often remote or obscure little auditories, became styled local preachers. Out of these local preachers ever and anon grew men of large minds and fertilising eloquence, who became the burning and shining lights of the whole firmament of Methodism. It was Wesley's object not to separate from the Church, and it was only after his death that the Wesleyans were reckoned as Nonconformists.

The American disasters had now to be criticised in Parliament. On the 20th of November the two Houses met, and Lord Chatham rose instantly to reply, and to move an amendment on the Address. He attacked the Ministry with a still more personal and sweeping censure than he had done once before. "Can Ministers," he asked, "presume to expect a continuance of support in their career of ruinous infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and its duty as to be deluded into the loss of the one and the violation of the other? Will they continue to give an unlimited credit and support to Government in measures which are reducing this flourishing empire to ruin and contempt? But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world; now, none so poor to do her reverence! I use the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it is no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not only the power and strength of this country are wasting away and expiring, but her well-earned glories, her true honour and substantial dignity, are sacrificed. France, my lords, has insulted you; she has encouraged and sustained America; and, whether America be wrong or right, the dignity of this country ought to spurn at the officious insult of French interference!" It is certain that Chatham would not have tolerated the presence of Franklin and Deane in Paris for a single day; they must have quitted France, or France would have been instantly compelled to throw off the mask. At this time, when the news neither of Howe's success in the south nor of Burgoyne's fall in the north had arrived, Chatham seemed to see in prophetic vision the disasters of the latter general. "The desperate state of our army," he said, "is, in part, known. No man thinks more highly of our troops than I do. I love and honour the English troops. I know that they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannotI venture to say ityou cannot conquer America! You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance that you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little, pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are for ever vain and impotentdoubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my armsnevernevernever!" On the subject of employing Indians in the war against the Americans, willing to forget that he had done the same thing in Canada, he burst forth most indignantly: "But, my lords, who is the man that, in addition to these disgraces[247] and mischiefs of our army, has dared to authorise and associate to our arms the scalping-knife and tomahawk of the savage? to call into civilised alliance the wild and inhuman savage of the woods? to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of this barbarous war against our brethren? My lord, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. Unless done away, it will be a stain on the national characterit is a violation of the Constitution; I believe it is against the law. It is not the least of our national misfortunes, that the strength and character of our army are thus impaired; infected with the mercenary spirit of robbery and rapinefamiliarised to the horrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer boast of the noble and generous principles which dignify a soldier!" He then proceeded to give the Americans credit still for a natural leaning towards England; believed that they might be drawn from their alliance with France; and recommended, by his amendment, an immediate cessation of arms, and a treaty between the countries, by which he hoped that America would yet be retained in affectionate dependence.

Whilst this extirpation of the Pindarrees had been going on, the cholera broke out at Jessore, in the low lands of the Delta of the Ganges. This fatal disease has been supposed by medical men to receive its force, if not its origin, from the want of salt in this unhealthy district. Salt being one of the monopolies of the East India Company, it was not permitted, though abundant in Madras, to be carried into Bengal except on payment of a duty of two hundred per cent. The natives, therefore, who subsisted on a rice diet, not being able to procure this necessary antiseptic, frequently fell victims to the terrible scourge of cholera. From this centre, where it may fairly be said to have raged in perpetuity, it now spread rapidly up the course of the Ganges, the Jumna, and their confluent rivers, and if the British impost on salt had anything to do with the prevalence of the epidemic, a severe retribution now fell upon those who profited by it. The Marquis of Hastings, the Governor-General, was posted in Bundelcund with his army, when it appeared there and swept away thousands. The very men attending on the Governor-General at dinner dropped down behind his chair and died. To seek a healthier region, he marched eastward, but all the way the pest pursued him, and when he reached the healthy station of Erich, on the right bank of the Betwah river, towards the end of November, one-tenth of the force had fallen under its ravages. The scourge did not stop there, but for a number of years continued to spread at an amazing speed, and eventually overspread Europe with its horrors.