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Chapter XXIX, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 9 page 2


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The good and gentle Longley, once Head-Master of Harrow, who since the death of Sumner had been Arch-.bishop of Canterbury, died this year, and was succeeded by Dr. Tait, the Bishop of London. A life brilliantly commenced, but clouded latterly by many disappointments, was also closed this year - that of Sir James Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak. The adventurous story of his early life - how, finding himself possessed of wealth, and with no special work to do, he fitted out a yacht, and sailed to the Eastern Archipelago; how he settled down at Sarawak in Borneo, and, as a beneficent friend and lawgiver, taught the simple Dyaks the benefits of law, and the arts and enjoyments of a higher life; how he warred upon the pirates of the -coast and the freebooters of the interior - all this is told, simply and well, in Captain Keppel's " Voyage of the Dido." Milman, the historian of the Jews and of Latin Christianity, also passed away; and Bishop Hampden, whose name recalls university controversies, and Bishop Jeune, whose name recalls university reform.

In France, the year passed over uneventfully, but there were many indications of growing discontent. Rochefort began to write in the Lanterne his withering satires against the Imperial Government; and at a public distribution of prizes at the Sorbonne, the sol of Marshal Cavaignac, encouraged by his mother and by the sympathy of his fellow-students, refused to receive his prize from the hands of the Prince Imperial.

During the session of the Prussian Diet, some characteristic remarks, sarcastic but profound, fell from Count Bismark, in a speech replying to a member who, while fiercely attacking Count Beust personally, had eulogised, as if by way of contrast to the Prussian system, the liberalism of Austria. After observing that he could not conveniently undertake the defence of Count Beust with out dilating upon the policy of Austria, which he did not feel called upon to do, Count Bismark proceeded: " Still I may observe that I am ignorant of the existence of personal hostility to myself or this Government in - if I may so call him - my Austrian colleague. In former years I was on a friendly footing with him, and have no reason to suppose that a change has occurred. I should therefore deem myself bound to vindicate his conduct against what has fallen from a preceding speaker, had I not reasons for wishing to steer clear of the quicksands of international policy in to-day's debate. As to Austria's liberalism, it consists in an army of eight hundred thou sand men, demanded and voted for a period of ten years, and some municipal arrangements which were introduced in Prussia fifty years ago. Even these Count Beust has taken care to render innocuous by a vigorous super vision on the part of the administrative authorities. Au reste, there is this similarity between Liberal Governments and the reigning beauties of the season - that the last out usually carries the day."

The continual progress of Russia in Central Asia, silent mostly and unmarked, like the rising tide, arrested this year the attention of all Europe, when the news arrived that Samarcand, the ancient capital of Turkestan, and the favourite residence of Timour, had fallen before the arms of Genoral Kaufmann. The Ameer of Bokhara was defeated in several engagements; and Bokhara itself was taken by the Russians, but not permanently occupied. Let any one open an atlas published forty years ago, and compare the limits of " Independent Tartary " as marked in it with those of Turkestan as shown in a correct map of the present day, and he will be in a position to form an estimate of the time that will probably elapse before the Russian and Anglo-Indian empires come into actual contact.

The Cretan insurrection - which broke out in the summer of 1866, and in which the insurgents, aided b^ the continual influx of volunteers and supplies from Greece, had resisted for two years and a half the utmost efforts of the Turkish monarchy for its suppression came to an end at the close of 1868, through the sheer exhaustion of the islanders. To Turkey also the situation of things had become intolerable, and the Turkish Minister at Athens delivered an ultimatum to the Greek Government on the 10th December, demanding the dispersion within five days of the volunteers enlisted for the Cretan insurgents, and a pledge that no more should be permitted to be enrolled; and requiring Greece to act for the future in conformity with existing treaties. Greece refused the ultimatum, and diplomatic relations were broken off between her and Turkey. The great Powers interposed, and it was arranged that a Conference should be held at Paris early in 1869, to treat of the relations between Turkey and Greece. At this Conference, which met on the 9th January, the discussion lasted over ten days. It was finally decided that Greece should abstain for the future from favouring or tolerating within its territory the formation of bands destined to act against Turkey; and should also take the necessary measures to prevent the equipment in its ports of vessels destined to aid or comfort, in whatever manner, insurrection within the dominions of the Sultan.

The dastardly spirit of the revolutionary assassin obtained this year one of its miserable triumphs in Canada, though it had failed to do so in Australia. Mr. Darcy M'Ghee, an eminent member of the Canadian Parliament, and an Irishman, was shot in the back at the door of his own house at Ottawa, and mortally wounded, just after he had delivered an eloquent speech in favour of loyalty and unity. A Fenian, named James Whelan, was convicted of the crime in September, and executed soon after. "Whelan was a journeyman tailor at Montreal, and had been for several months on the watch for an opportunity to murder his victim, whose eloquent advocacy of British policy and the British connection was extremely distasteful to the Fenians.

In America, the gradual reconstruction of the Union was marked this year by the admission of the late Con federate states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana to representation in Congress, on condition of their having ratified the constitutional amendments touching slavery and the basis of representation, and of never depriving of the suffrage those persons who were at that time entitled to vote. The bill admitting these states was called the "Omnibus" Bill. A separate Act of Congress admitted the state of Arkansas, under similar conditions. Each of these Acts was vetoed by the President, on the ground that the suffrage in each state was a matter of state concern, and that in other ways they involved an infringement of state rights; but both were passed over the President's veto by a two-thirds majority of Congress, and became law.

Mr. Reverdy Johnson was nominated by the President in June, with the approval of the Senate, to succeed Mr. Adams as the Minister of the United States in England. Mr. Johnson negotiated with Lord Stanley a settlement of the Alabama claims; but concerning that settlement, and the causes of its ultimate failure, it will be more convenient to speak when the subject again comes before us in connection with the Treaty of Washington and the Geneva Arbitration.

In Spain, the last Bourbon sovereign, driven from the throne this year by a successful revolution, was compelled to seek as an exile and a suppliant the land which had nursed her ancestors. For several years - with the exception of the brief interval during which O'Donnel was in power - the government of Spain had been in the hands of Marshal Narvaez, a coarse and violent soldier, who made it his business to repress all movement in the direction of political reform - to gag the Press - to play into the hands of the absolutist section among the clergy - in a word, to pursue a policy thoroughly reactionary. Narvaez died in April, 1868. Before his death he is said to have become convinced that the policy of repression was exhausted, and to have recommended a change. His successor, Gonzalez Bravo, a man without the rough vigour of Narvaez, and who, as a civilian, had no influence with the army, attempted, nevertheless, with the Queen's support, to govern in the same or a still more arbitrary way. The leading men of all parties, except that fraction of the nation which adhered to the Government, discussed with deep anxiety the alarming condition of affairs. The Progressistas, who answer to the Radicals or Advanced Liberals of this country, desired a revolution, and the dethronement of the dynasty; but the Moderate party, represented by the Generals Serrano and Dulce,. and Admiral Topete, hesitated long, and were indisposed to go so far. Prim was at this time an exile in England, Getting wind of the conferences that were being held, but ignorant of their real tenor, Gonzalez Bravo foolishly thought to stamp out the movement that seemed to be in preparation by an abusive stretch of power. He caused the leading Generals of the Moderate party, among whom were Serrano, Dulce, and Caballero di Roda, to be suddenly arrested, and then either sent into exile or " in terned " in Spain or some Spanish possession. Serrano and Dulce were interned in one of the Canary Islands, j By this monstrous act Bravo precipitated the very catastrophe which he was seeking to avert. The Generals had hesitated before; but, after such treatment, they had no longer any scruple about conspiring to overthrow the dynasty. Scarcely less arbitrary and ill-judged was the measure of expelling the Duke and Duchess de Montpensier from Spain (July 8), on the ground that they were engaged in stirring up disaffection against the Queen's1 government. As if this was not enough, the Spanish, navy, which had never till now joined in any revolutionary movement, was disgusted by learning that the Ministry - money being very scarce - proposed to effect sweeping reductions in the naval service. Discontent and anxious foreboding pervaded the country; it was felt to be impossible that such a state of things could long continue. In August, the Queen went to St. Sebastian, and remained there for some time. It seems that she was possessed by an importunate desire to obtain an interview with the French Emperor, and to consult him on the state of her country, and the means of dissipating the- perils which surrounded her. She went, therefore, to a place close to the French frontier, in order that, when the Emperor should pay his annual summer visit to Biarritz, she might, without exciting too much observation, visit him there. But weeks passed on, and still the Emperor's visit to Biarritz was delayed. Before the interview could take place, the dreaded insurrection had broken out. On the 18th September, the plan of action having been carefully concerted between the exiled Generals and Topete, the discontented sailors of the fleet at Cadiz, with Topete and his officers at their head, broke out into open revolt against the Madrid Government. On the same day Serrano and Dulce arrived in a vessel from the Canaries; Prim also, leaving Southampton, reached Cadiz about the same time. The conspirators immediately published a manifesto, declaring that the tyranny of the Government had become intolerable; that the Bourbon dynasty must be dethroned; and that, in recognition of the principle of popular sovereignty, a constituent assembly, elected by universal suffrage, should be convened as soon as possible. Prim issued a separate proclamation to the people of Cadiz, thoroughly revolutionary in tone, and full of that sanguine claptrap, the value of which is now pretty well understood in France and Germany.

Meantime the Queen, dismayed by the intelligence from Cadiz, remained for some days irresolute at St. Sebastian. Gonzalez Bravo, terrified at the consequences of his own folly, resigned office and disappeared. The Queen appointed General Concha as her Prime Minister, and sent him to Madrid with dictatorial power. Why did she not proceed thither herself? More than once! she entered the train with that intention but changed; her purpose after having gone a little way, and returned to St. Sebastian. Concha gave her to understand that her presence at Madrid could but be advantageous to her cause, if she came alone. But there was a certain M. Marfori, the steward of her household, with whose j name and that of the Queen public rumour had been; busy for some time past; and it was respectfully intimated to Her Majesty by the faithful advisers still left to her that she must on no account take M. Marfori with her; to Madrid. The Queen could not bring herself to assent to this condition; and in a short time, perceiving that her cause was desperate, she crossed the French frontier, and obtained at last her interview with the Emperor, but under widely different circumstances from any that had been in her original contemplation. The revolution in the south advanced almost without a check. At the bridge of Alcolea, near Cordova, General Pavia, Marquis of Novaliches, engaged, at the head of the troops that still remained faithful to their colours, the army under Marshal Serrano. But the troops of Novaliches had no heart in the cause; he himself was severely wounded, and his army dispersed. Serrano entered Madrid on the 3rd October. A Provisional Government, with the Marshal for President and Prim for Commander-in-Chief, was established. On the 20th October, the new Government issued a manifesto to the nation. "To legitimise the revolution," it said, " we have sought the sole criterion now considered infallible (!), namely, an appeal to universal suffrage." But the men in power did not conceal their own predilections, which were in favour of a constitutional monarchy. Spain was free to choose what government it liked; but they drew attention, approvingly, to the reserve with which the juntas (corporations) had treated monarchical institutions, meaning that they had abstained from attacking them. Nevertheless, if the popular decision should be against a monarchy, the Government would " respect the will of the national sovereignty." Except that they were not Republicans, the new rulers of Spain proceeded to adopt measures of the usual revolutionary hue. The absolute liberty of the press; was decreed; and universal toleration was proclaimed, except for the Jesuits, whose colleges and institutions were ordered to be closed within three days in Spain and the Spanish colonies, the Order itself being suppressed and its; property sequestrated to the State. The Republican party was dissatisfied, and rose in arms at Cadiz in December. General Caballero di Roda marched against them and; persuaded them to submit to the Government. The; disintegrating tendency was checked for the moment, only to re-appear afterwards in a more virulent form. The general sentiment of the Spanish people was in favour of monarchy, but no monarch could for a long time be found.

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