伟大社会革命语境下党的自我革命

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On the 8th of October Murat landed near Pizzo, on the Calabrian coasta coast more than any other in Italy fraught with fierce recollections of the French. His army now consisted of only twenty-eight men; yet, in his utter madness, he advanced at the head of this miserable knot of men, crying, "I am your king, Joachim!" and waving the Neapolitan flag. But the people of Pizzo, headed by an old Bourbon partisan, pursued him, not to join, but to seize him. When they began firing on him, he fled back to his vessels; but the commander, a man who had received the greatest benefits from him, deaf to his cries,[117] pushed out to sea, and left him. His pursuers were instantly upon him, fired at him, and wounded him; then rushing on him, they knocked him down and treated him most cruelly. Women, more like furies than anything else, struck their nails into his face and tore off his hair, and he was only saved from being torn to pieces by the old Bourbon and his soldiers, who beat off these female savages and conveyed him to the prison at Pizzo. The news of his capture was a great delight to Ferdinand. He entertained none of the magnanimity of the Allies, but sent at once officers to try by court-martial and, of course, to condemn him. Some of these officers had been in Murat's service, and had received from him numerous favours, but not the less readily did they sentence him to death; and on the 13th of October, 1815, he was shot in the courtyard of the prison at Pizzowith characteristic bravery refusing to have his eyes bound, and with characteristic vanity bidding the soldiers "save his face, and aim at his heart!" Fortunately, Municipal Reform in Scotland did not give much trouble. It was accomplished almost without any discussion or party contention. It was based upon the provisions of the Scottish Reform Bill, which settled the whole matter by the simple rule that the Parliamentary electors of every burgh should be the municipal electors; also that the larger burghs should be divided into wards, each of which should send two representatives to the town council, chosen by the qualified electors within their respective bounds; and that the provost and bailies, corresponding to the English mayor and aldermen, should be chosen by the councillors, and invested with the powers of magistrates in the burgh. The functionaries were to be elected for three years, and then to make way for others elected in the same manner to succeed them. They were invested with the control and administration of all corporate property and patronage of every description.

But the fleet at Sheerness, which sympathised with that at Portsmouth, did not think fit to accept the terms which had satisfied the seamen of Portsmouth. They were incited by a sailor, named Richard Parker, to stand for fresh demands, which were not likely to meet with the sympathy of either sailors or landsmen, being of a political character and including a revision of the Articles of War. On the 20th of May, the ships at the Nore, and others belonging to the North Sea fleet, appointed delegates, and sent in their demands, in imitation of the Portsmouth men. The Admiralty flatly rejected their petition. On the 23rd of May the mutineers hoisted the red flag; and all the ships of war lying near Sheerness dropped down to the Nore. On the 29th, a committee from the Board of Admiralty went down to Sheerness, to try to bring them to reason, but failed. The mutineers then drew their ships in a line across the Thames, cutting off all traffic between the sea and London. On this, the Government proceeded to pull up the buoys at the mouth of the river, to erect batteries along the shores for firing red-hot balls; and a proclamation was issued declaring the fleet in a state of rebellion, and prohibiting all intercourse with it. This soon brought some of the mutineers to their senses. They knew that every class of people was against them. On the 4th of June, the king's birthday, a royal salute was fired from the whole fleet, as a token of loyalty; the red flag was pulled down on every ship but the Sandwich, on board of which was Parker, and all the gay flags usual on such occasions were displayed. Several of the ships now began to drop away from the rest, and put themselves under protection of the guns of Sheerness. On the 13th of June the crew of the Sandwich followed this example, and delivered up the great agitator, Richard Parker, who was tried, and hanged at the yard-arm of that ship on the 30th. Some others of the delegates were executed, and others imprisoned in the hulks; and thus terminated this mutiny, as disgraceful to the sailors as that at Portsmouth was reasonable and honourable.

The Georges conspiracy, as it is commonly[498] called, was followed by a still more startling act of violence. As the Bourbons still continued to watch for the overthrow of his power, Buonaparte determined to take a deep revenge on the persons of any of that family whom he could by any means get into his hands. Could he have inveigled the Count d'Artois and the Duke of Berry, as he attempted, to leave London and land in Brittany, he would have seized them and put them to death without ceremony or mercy. But there was another member of the family, though the farthest off from succession to the throne, who was living on the French frontiers, within a tempting reach of his soldiers in Alsace, and him he determined to kidnap and kill. This proposed victim of a most lawless and wicked vengeance was Antoine-Henri de Bourbon, Duke d'Enghien, the son of the Prince of Cond. The project was so odious, so certain to cover both Napoleon and France with inextinguishable infamy, that it startled the not very sensitive mind of Talleyrand, who, it is said, gave the duke secret warning of his danger, and advised him to remove farther from the Rhine. In consequence, the duke applied to Sir Charles Stuart to get him a passport from the Austrian Minister, to enable him to cross the Austrian territory to rejoin his grandfather, then at Warsaw with Louis XVIII. Sir Charles Stuart applied to M. de Cobenzl for this purpose, and had the Austrian Court been quicker in its movements, the duke would have been safe enough from the myrmidons of Buonaparte; but, whilst lingering at Ettenheim in Baden for the necessary passport, the duke had so little suspicion of the prompt and deadly nature of the usurper's design against him, that he took no means to conceal himself, or he might still have escaped. But in the middle of the night of the 14th of March he was aroused by the sound of horses' hoofs, and, looking out, saw that the chateau was surrounded by a troop of French cavalry. Buonaparte had despatched his aide-de-camp, Caulaincourt, to Strasburg to effect this capture, and he had sent on Colonel Ordenner to bring the duke away from the heart of a neutral territory. The duke was summarily tried by a military tribunal and shot (March 21, 1804) at Vincennes. The news of this most audacious crime soon transpired, and filled Europe with horror and execration against its perpetrators.

It is true that George II. was also a brave and staunch commander, prepared to die on the spot rather than yield, as he had shown at Dettingen. But the greater part of his forces at Finchley were raw levies, and might not have stood better than the troops had done in Scotland. There was a terror of the Highlanders, even in the army; and as for London itself, the panic, when it was heard that they had got between the duke's army and the capital, was, according to Fielding, who was then in London, incredible. There was a frantic rush upon the Bank of England, and it is said that it must have closed had it not gained time by paying in sixpences. The shops were shut, business was at a stand, the Ministers were in the utmost terror, and the Duke of Newcastle was said to have shut himself up for a day, pondering whether he should declare for the Pretender or not. The king himself was by no means confident of the result. He is said to have sent most of his precious effects on board a yacht at the Tower quay, ready to put off at a minute's warning. The day on which the news of the rebels being at Derby reached London was long renowned as Black Friday. In such a state of terror, and the army at Finchley inferior in numbers, and infinitely inferior in bravery, who can doubt that Charles would for a time have made himself master of the metropolis?

The British Cabinet having come to the conclusion that the Duke of Wellington ought not to abstain from attending the Congress because of its meeting in an Italian city, and thinking so himself, he set out for Verona, after a fortnight's sojourn in Vienna.