- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 266MB
[See larger version]
These resolutions may be taken as expressing the feelings of the landed gentry as a body against the Melbourne Administration and the agitators. But the latter were not idle. O'Connell had then his "Precursor Association" in full operation. It received its name from the idea that it was to be the precursor of the repeal of the union. On the 22nd of January a public dinner was given in honour of the "Liberator" in a building then called the Circus, in Dublin, for which one thousand tickets were issued. Two days later a similar banquet was given to him in Drogheda, and there he made a significant allusion to the murder of Lord Norbury, insinuating that he had met his death at the hands of one who was bound to him by the nearest of natural ties, and had the strongest interest in his removal. Mr. O'Connell volunteered the assertion that the assassin of Lord Norbury had left on the soil where he had posted himself, "not the impress of a rustic brogue [a coarse rough shoe, usually made of half-dressed leather], but the impress of a well-made Dublin boot." There was no ground whatever for the malignant assertion, which was one of those errors of judgment and of taste that too often disfigured the great "Liberator's" leadership.
one horn, Mother of Lesbia) has done a disgraceful thing. She gotEarl Grey was not slow to avail himself of these exciting topics in order to point the lightning of popular discontent against the head of the Government. "We ought," he said, "to learn wisdom from what is passing before our eyes; and, when the spirit of liberty is breaking out all round, it is our first duty to secure our own institutions by introducing into them a temperate reform. I have been a Reformer all my life; and on no occasion have I been inclined to go farther than I am prepared to go now, if an opportunity were to offer. But I do not found the title to demand it on abstract right. We are told that every man who pays taxesnay, that every man arrived at the years of discretionhas a right to vote for representatives. That right I utterly deny. The right of the people is to have a good Government, one that is calculated to secure their privileges and happiness; and if that is incompatible with universal, or very general suffrage, then the limitation, and not the extension, is the true right of the people."
It was apprehended that the enemy would return next day in greater force to renew the contest; but as they did not, the Commander-in-Chief seized the opportunity to summon the troops to join him in public thanksgiving to God for the victory. The year 1846 dawned upon the still undecided contest. The British gained most by the delay. The Governor-General had ordered up fresh troops from Meerut, Cawnpore, Delhi, and Agra. By the end of January Sir Hugh Gough had under his command 30,000 men of all arms. On every road leading to the scene of action, from Britain's Indian possessions, convoys were seen bearing provisions and stores of all sorts to the army; while reinforcements were pressing onward rapidly that they might share the glory by confronting the greatest danger. That danger was still grave. The Sikhs also were bringing up reinforcements, and strengthening their entrenched camp at the British side of the Sutlej, having constructed a bridge of boats for the conveyance of their troops and stores across the river. The enemy had established a considerable magazine at a fortified village some miles from the camp, and Sir Harry Smith proceeded at the head of a detachment to attack it. But Sirdar Runjeet Singh intercepted him, cut off and captured all his baggage; but being reinforced, he met the enemy again at a place on the Sutlej, called Aliwal. The Sikh army, which seemed in the best possible order and discipline, were drawn up in imposing array, 20,000 strong with 70 guns, while the British were 9,000 with 32. After a series of splendid charges the enemy were driven successively from every position, and fled in confusion across the river. Several of the British horsemen followed the guns into the river, and spiked them there. The loss of the Sikhs is said to have been 3,000, while that of the British was only 673 killed and wounded. The moral effect of this victory over such unequal forces was of the utmost advantage to the rest of the army (January 28th, 1846).
On the 24th of June Lord John Russell proposed his second edition of the Reform Bill, which did not substantially differ from the first. His speech on this occasion was a perfect contrast to the one with which he had introduced the measure at first. There was no longer any hesitation or timidity. He was no longer feeling his way doubtfully on an untried path, or navigating without compass along a dangerous coast. He boldly launched out to sea, with his eye steadily fixed on the north star, certain of his course and confident of the issue. The discussions of the previous Session had thrown a flood of light upon the whole question. Sustained by the enthusiasm of the people, and animated by the sympathy of the majority around him on the Ministerial benches, he spoke as if a greater and more vigorous mind had taken possession of his frame. He was strong in argument, cutting in sarcasm, defiant in tone, powerful in declamation. Borne by the power of public opinion to a higher and more commanding position, and proudly conscious of the elevation, he seemed ashamed of the petty proposals of former years, and felt his heart as well as his intellect expanding to the greatness of the new position. The Bill was read a first time without opposition, the discussion being expressly reserved by Sir Robert Peel for the second reading, which was fixed for the 4th of July. In the meantime the Irish Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley on the 30th of June, Messrs. O'Connell and Sheil complaining bitterly of the difference existing, to the disadvantage of Ireland, between the proposed plans of Reform for the two countries. On the following day the Lord Advocate brought in the Bill relating to Scotland. On the 4th of July Lord John Russell moved the second reading of the English Reform Bill. A debate of three nights followed, containing little or no novelty in the argument, nothing but a wearisome repetition of points that had been discussed all over the country, hundreds of times, during the last few months. The most interesting feature was the attitude of Sir Robert Peel, who unfortunately placed himself in the front of the battle against Reform, in which he proved himself so able a general that all enlightened friends of the country lamented his false position. It was remarked, however, that he confined himself to a criticism of details.She's all right.