第十五届亚洲当代艺术展在港开幕

It might have been imagined that this magnificent and destructive repulse would have convinced the allies that the siege was hopeless, but they were pretty well informed that General Elliot had well nigh exhausted his ammunition in this prodigal death-shower, and they had still their great combined fleet, snug in the narrow bay, with scouts in the Strait to prevent the carrying in of supplies. But on the 24th of September news arrived at Madrid that the fleet of Lord Howe was under weigh for Gibraltar. Howe's fleet of thirty-four sail-of-the-line, six frigates, and three fire-ships, though in the neighbourhood of one of fifty sail-of-the-line, besides a number of frigates and smaller vessels, managed to get into the bay of Gibraltar all safe, amid the wildest acclamations of soldiers and inhabitants. By the 18th of October all the store-ships had discharged their cargoes, and had passed through the Strait, and on the 19th Lord Howe followed them with his fleet. The enemy's fleet then came out after him, and the next day they were in the open ocean, and Howe proceeded to their leeward to receive them. Some of their vessels had suffered[296] in the late gales, but they had still at least forty-four sail to Howe's thirty-four, and, having the weather-gauge, had every advantage. But after a partial firing, in which they received great damage from Howe, they hauled off and got into Cadiz bay. Howe, then dispatching part of his fleet to the West Indies and a second squadron to the Irish coast, returned home himself. The news of the grand defence of Gibraltar produced a wonderful rejoicing in England; thanks were voted by Parliament to the officers and privates of the brave garrison; General Elliot was invested with the Order of the Bath on the king's bastion in sight of the works which he had preserved, and on his return, in 1787, at the age of seventy, he was created a Peer as Lord Heathfield of Gibraltar.

Some of the offenders in this "Bottle Riot," as it was called, were prosecuted. Bills against them were sent up to the grand jury of the city of Dublin. But as this body had a strong Orange animus, the bills were thrown out. Mr. Plunket then proceeded by ex-officio informations, which raised a great outcry against the Government, as having violated the Constitution, and a resolution to that effect was moved by Mr. Brownlow in the House of Commons. It turned out, however, that his predecessor, Mr. Saurin, one of his most vehement accusers, who alleged that the course was altogether unprecedented, had himself established the precedent ten or twelve years before. Forgetting this fact, he denounced the conduct of Mr. Plunket as "the most flagrant violation of constitutional principle that had ever been attempted." The trial in the Court of Queen's Bench, which commenced on February 3rd, 1823, produced the greatest possible excitement. The ordinary occupations of life appeared to be laid aside in the agitating expectation of the event. As soon as the doors were opened, one tremendous rush of the waiting multitude filled in an instant the galleries, and every avenue of the court. The result of the trial was, that the jury disagreed, the traversers were let out on bail, the Attorney-General threatening to prosecute again; but the proceedings were never revived.

Sir Arthur was anxious to engage and defeat Victor before he was joined by the forces of Joseph from Madrid, and of Sebastiani from La Mancha. He therefore dispatched Sir Robert Wilson, at the head of a considerable body of Spanish and Portuguese troops, on the way towards Madrid; and Sir Robert executed this duty with so much promptitude and address that he threw himself into the rear of Victor at Escalona, only eight leagues from the capital. On the 22nd of July the united armies of Britain and Portugal attacked Victor's outposts at Talavera, and drove them in. The stupid old Cuesta was nowhere to be seen; and the next day, the 23rd, when the British were again in position, ready to attack the French, the day was lost, because Cuesta said he would not fight on a Sunday. This tried Sir Arthur's patience past endurance, for every moment was precious, and he wrote on the occasion"I find General Cuesta more and more impracticable every day. It is impossible to do business with him, and very uncertain that any operation will succeed in which he has any concern. He has quarrelled with some of his principal officers, and I understand they are all dissatisfied with him." The opportunity of beating Victor was thus lost. At midnight he quitted Talavera, and retreated to Santa Olalla, and thence towards Torrijos, to form a junction with Sebastiani. The next morning Wellesley took possession of Talavera, but he could not pursue the enemy, for he says, "he found it impossible to procure a single mule or a cart in Spain." Neither could he procure food for his army. He says his troops had actually been two days in want of provisions, though Cuesta's camp abounded with them. He declared that, under such treatment by those that he had come to save, he would return to Portugal before his army was ruined. On this, Cuesta became as wildly and madly active as he had been before stubbornly passive. He dashed forward after Victor alone, never stopping till he ran against the rear of the[576] united army of Victor and Sebastiani, at Torrijos. Wellesley was quite sure what the result would be, and in a few days Cuesta came flying back with a confused mass of men, bullocks, flocks of sheep, baggage waggons, and artillery, beaten and pursued by the enemy. The Jacobites were in ecstasies at this new phase of their old enterprise. By Charles's adhesion, their scheme was stripped of all those prejudices which had insured its ruin with the English. It had no longer the unpopular aspect of a French invasion; it was no longer headed by a Popish but a Protestant leader; it was no longer consigned to an untried or doubtful general, but to one of the most victorious monarchs living, who came as a Protestant to call on a Protestant nation to receive their rightful king. Money was not wanting. Spain remitted to Baron Spaar a million of livres for the expedition, and the Court of the Pretender offered sixty thousand pounds.

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The Remainder of the SessionThe Coercion Bill carriedRejection of the Tithes BillUniversity TestsProrogation of ParliamentBrougham's Tour in ScotlandBurning of the Houses of ParliamentFall of Melbourne's MinistryWellington sole MinisterPeel forms a MinistryThe Tamworth ManifestoDissolution and General ElectionMr. Abercromby elected SpeakerThe Lichfield House CompactPeel defeated on the AddressLord John Russell announces a Resolution on AppropriationLord Chandos's MotionLord Londonderry's AppointmentThe Dissenters and London UniversityHardinge's Tithe BillThe Appropriation ResolutionThe DebatePeel resignsMelbourne's second MinistryConservative SuccessesLord Alvanley and O'ConnellThe Duel between Alvanley and Morgan O'ConnellO'Connell and DisraeliCharacter of Lord MelbourneMunicipal ReformReport of the CommissionThe Municipal Corporations Act introducedIts Progress in the CommonsLyndhurst's Amendments-It becomes LawIrish CorporationsReport of the CommissionThe Bill is mutilated in the Upper House, and abandonedIt becomes Law in 1840Municipal Reform in Scotland. [See larger version]