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ment had made up their minds to withdraw the bill. There was no alternative. Lord Palmerston had rendered to the bill exactly that sort of service which Kemble rendered to to the play of Vortigern and Rowena. Kemble laid a peculiar emphasis on the words, “And when this solemn mockery is o'er," and glanced at the pit in such a manner as to express only too clearly the contempt he had for the part which he was coerced to play; and the pit turned the piece into ridicule, and would have no more of it. It Kemble had approved of the play, they might have put up with it for his sake; but when he gave them leave, they simply made sport of it. Lord Palmerston conveyed to his pit his private idea on the subject of the Reform Bill which he had officially to recommend; and the pit took the hint, and there was an end of the bill.
Lord Palmerston became more unpopular than ever with the advanced Liberals. He had yielded so far to public alarm as to propose a vote of two millions, the first instal. ment of the sum of nine millions, to be laid out in fortifying our coast against the Emperor of the French. He was accused of gross inconsistency. The statesman who went out of his way to give premature recognition to Louis Napoleon after the coup d'état; the statesman of the Conspiracy Bill, was now clamoring for the means to resist a treacherous invasion from his favorite ally. Yet Lord Palmerston was not inconsistent. He had now brought himself seriously to believe that Louis Napoleon meditated evil to England, and with Palmerston, right or wrong, England was the one supreme consideration. To us he seems to have been wrong when he patronized Louis Napoleon, and wrong when he wasted money in measures of superfluous protection against Louis Napoleon, but we do not think the latter Palmerston was inconsistent with the former.
Thenceforward it was understood that Lord Palmerston vould have no more of Reform. This was accepted as a
political condition by most of Lord Palmerston's colleagues. Even Lord John Russell accepted the condition, and bowed to his leader's determination, as George III's ministers came to bend to his scruples with regard to Catholic Emancipation. There was to be no Reform Bill while Lord Palmersston lived.
HE Queen's Speech at the opening of Parliament on
January 24th, 1860, mentioned, among other things, the renewal of disturbances in China. The English and French plenipotentiaries, it stated, had proceeded to the mouth of the Peiho river in order to repair to Pekin and ex. change in that city the ratifications of the Treaty of Tientsin. They found their further progress opposed, and a con. flict took place between the Chinese forts at the mouth of the river and the naval force by which the plenipotentiaries were escorted. The allied forces were compelled to retire ; and the royal speech mentioned that an expedition had been dispatched to obtain redress.
The Treaty of Tien-tsin was that which, as was told in a former chapter, had been arranged by Lord Elgin and Baron Gros. The treaty contained a clause providing for the exchange of the ratifications at Pekin within a year from the date of the signature, which took place in June, 1858. Lord Elgin returned to England, and his brother, Mr. Frederick Bruce, was appointed in March, 1859, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China. Mr. Bruce was directed to proceed by way of the Peiho to Tien-tsin and thence to Pekin to exchange the ratifications of the treaty. In the instructions furnished to him, Lord Malmesbury, who was then Foreign Secretary, earnestly pressed upon the Envoy the necessity of insisting on having the ratifications
exchanged at Pekin. Lord Malmesbury pointed out that the Chinese authorities, having the strongest objection to the presence of an envoy in Pekin, would probably try to interpose all manner of delays and difficulties; and impressed upon Mr. Bruce that he was not to be put off from going to the capital. Mr. Bruce was distinctly directed to go to the mouth of the Peiho with “a sufficient naval force," and was told that unless some “unforeseen circumstances” should interpose to make another arrangement necessary, it would be desirably that he should go to Tien-tsin in a British manof-war. Instructions were sent out from England at the same time to Admiral Hope, the naval commander-in-chief in China, to provide a sufficient force to accompany Mr. Bruce to the mouth of the Peiho.
The Peiho river flows from the highlands on the west into the Gulf of Pecheli, at the north-east corner of the Chinese dominions. The capital of the empire is about one hundred miles inland from the mouth of the Peiho. It does not stand on that river, which flows past it at some distance westward, but it is connected with the river by means of a canal. The town of Tien-tsin stands on the Peiho near its junction with one of the many rivers that flow into it, and about forty miles from the mouth. The entrance to the Peiho was defended by the Taku forts. On June 20th, 1859, Mr. Bruce and the French envoy reached the mouth of the Peiho with Admiral Hope's fleet, some nineteen vessels in all, to escort them. Admiral Hope had sent a message two or three days before to Taku to announce that the English and French envoys were coming, and his boat had found the forts defended and the river staked by an armed crowd, who stated that they were militiamen, and said that they had no instructions as regarded the passage of the envoys, but offered to send any message to Tien-tsin and to bring back any answer which the authorities there might think fit to send. Admiral Hope again sent to them, and requested
them to remove the obstructions in the river and clear a passage for the envoys. They do not appear to have actual. ly refused the request, but they said that they had sent a messenger to Tien-tsin to announce the approach of the fleet. When, however, the envoys reached the mouth of the river they found the defences further increased. Some negotiations and intercommunications took place, and a Chinese official from Tien-tsin came to Mr. Bruce and endeavored to obtain some delay or compromise. Mr. Bruce became convinced that the condition of things predicted by Lord Mal. mesbury was coming about, and that the Chinese authorities were only trying to defeat his purpose. He also imagined, or discovered, that there was a want of proper respect for an English envoy shown in the terms of the letter and the rank of the official by whom it was conveyed. After a consultation with the French envoy, Mr. Bruce called on Admiral Hope to clear a passage for the vessels. On June 25th the admiral brought his gunboats close to the barriers, and began to attempt their removal. The forts opened fire, The Chinese artillerymen showed unexpected skill and precision. Four of the gunboats were almost immediately disabled. All the attacking vessels got aground. Admiral Hope attempted to storm the forts. The attempt was a complete failure. About 1000 Englishmen and 100 French went into action, of whom nearly 450 were killed or wounded. Admiral Hope himself was wounded ; so was the commander of the French vessel which had contributed a contingent to the storming party. An American naval captain rendered great service to the English and French in their distress. With “magnanimous indiscretion" he disregarded the strict principles of international law; declared that "blood was thicker than water," and that he could not look on and see Englismen destroyed by Chinese without trying to lend them a helping hand. The attempt to force a pas. sage of the river was given up, and the misson to Pekin was, over for the present.