舌尖上的春节:湖北黄陂美味豆丝

The distinguished poets still thronging the close of this period would require voluminous space to particularise their works: the vigorous and classic Savage Landor; the graceful, genial Leigh Hunt; Charles Lamb, quaint and piquant; Rogers, lover equally of art and nature; John Wilson, tender, but somewhat diffuse; Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, linked in perpetual memory with his "Kilmeny" and the "Bird of the Wilderness;" Allan Cunningham; MacNeill; Grahame, author of "The Sabbath;" James Montgomery, amongst the very few successful poets of religion; Tennant, author of "Anster Fair;" Kirke White, Sotheby, Maturin, Procter (Barry Cornwall), Milman, Joanna Baillie, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Howitt, Richard Howitt, Elliott the Corn-Law Rhymer, whose most beautiful poems had been for twenty years steadily ignored by the whole English press, till they were accidentally discovered by Sir John Bowring. The discontents occasioned by the South Sea scheme and its issue had caused the Jacobites to conceive fresh hopes of success, and their spirits were still more elevated by the birth of a son to the Pretender. The business of this faction was conducted in England by a junto or council, amongst the chief members of which were the Earls of Arran and Orrery, Lords North and Gower, and the Bishop of Rochester. Lord Oxford had been invited to put himself at the head of this council of five, but everything of a decided nature was out of his character. He continued to correspond with the leaders of the faction, but he declined putting himself too forward. In fact, his habitual irresolution was now doubled by advancing[50] infirmities, and he died three years afterwards. Though several of the junto were men of parliamentary, and North of military experience, Atterbury was the undoubted head of it. The period of confusion created by the South Sea agitation was first pitched on for a new attempt, then that of the general election, which had taken place in March, and, finally, it was deferred till the king should have gone to Hanover, according to his custom, in the summer.

In the Parliamentary session of 1733 Walpole produced another scheme for increasing the revenue and lessening the burdens upon land, which was an extension of the Excise. The Excise duties were first levied under the Commonwealth; they had now reached three millions two hundred thousand pounds annually. It was whilst the public were feeling the gradual increase of this item of taxation very sensibly, that they were alarmed by the news, which the Opposition sounded abroad with all diligence, that Ministers were about immediately to bring fresh articles under the operation of this tax, which was levied on articles of popular consumption. "A general crisis is coming!" was the cry. "A tax on all articles of consumption! a burthen to grind the country to powder! a plot to overthrow the Constitution and establish in its place a baleful tyranny!" The Opposition had now got a most popular subject of attack on the Ministry, and it prosecuted it vigorously.

When Emancipation was carried, the Catholics did not forget the claims of Mr. O'Connell, who had laboured so hard during a quarter of a century for its accomplishment. A testimonial was soon afterwards got up to reward him for his services. Mr. C. O'Laughlin, of Dublin, subscribed 500; the Earl of Shrewsbury 1,000 guineas, and the less grateful Duke of Norfolk the sum of 100. The collection of the testimonial was organised in every district throughout Ireland, and a sum of 50,000 sterling was collected. Mr. O'Connell did not love money for its own sake. The immense sums that were poured into the coffers of the Catholic Association were spent freely in carrying on the agitation, and the large annuity which he himself received was mainly devoted to the same object. One means, which had no small effect in accomplishing the object, was the extremely liberal hospitality which was kept up, not only at Derrynane Abbey, but at his town residence in Merrion Square; and he had, besides, a host of retainers more or less dependent upon his bounty.

Walpole did not wait for a like humiliation.[38] The next morning he waited on the king, and tendered his resignation of his places as First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. The king, if he could be judged by his conduct, had formed no resolution of parting with Walpole. He handed again to him the seals, cordially entreating him to take them back, speaking to him in the kindest manner, and appearing as though he would take no refusal. But Walpole remained steady to his purpose, and, accordingly, his friends Methuen, Pulteney, Lord Orford, and the Duke of Devonshire, resigned a few days afterwards. Stanhope was then appointed First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer; Sunderland and Joseph Addison were made Secretaries of State; Craggs, Secretary at War; Lord Berkeley, First Lord of the Admiralty; the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Chamberlain; the Duke of Bolton, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; Lord Cowper and the Duke of Kingston retaining their old places.

Though there had appeared a lull in American affairs for some time, any one who was observant might have seen that all the old enmities were still working in the colonial mind, and that it would require little irritation to call them forth in even an aggravated form. Lord Hillsborough was no longer Governor, but William Legge, Lord Dartmouth. He was a man of high reputation for uprightness and candour; Richardson said that he would be the perfect ideal of his Sir Charles Grandison, if he were not a Methodist; and the poet Cowper, not objecting to his Methodism, described him as "one who wears a coronet and prays." But Lord Dartmouth, with all his superiority of temper and his piety, could not prevent the then stone-blind Cabinet and infatuated king from accomplishing the independence of America.

During this Session, also, an important Bill was passed for the relief of Roman Catholics. The Bill was introduced by Mr. Mitford and seconded by Mr. Windham. Mr. Mitford showed that the enactments still in force against them occupied, by mere recital of their penalties, seventy pages[382] of "Burn's Ecclesiastical Law." Priests were still guilty of high treason and liable to death for endeavouring to convert people to the tenets they deemed essential to salvation; and the laity were liable to heavy penalties for not going to church, and for hearing Mass at their own chapels. The Bill was supported by Pitt and Fox, by Lord Rawdon, by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Moore), and by Dr. Horsley, Bishop of St. David's. It passed. By this Act all the severe restrictions and penalties were removed from those Roman Catholics who would comply with its requisitions, to appear at one of the courts of Westminster, or at quarter sessions, and make and subscribe a declaration that they professed the Roman Catholic religion, and also an oath exactly similar to that required by the Statute of 1778. On this declaration and oath being duly made, they were enabled to profess and perform the offices of their religion, to keep schools, to exercise parochial or other offices in person or by deputy, and the ministers of that religion were exempt from serving on juries and from parochial offices. Their congregations were protected from disturbance; but their priests were restrained from officiating in places consecrated to the burial of Protestants, and from wearing their habits anywhere but in their own places of worship. They were also restrained from establishing religious orders; and the endowment of schools and colleges was still to be deemed unlawful. No person could in future be summoned to take the Oath of Supremacy and the declaration against Transubstantiation; nor were Roman Catholics who had qualified removable from London and Westminster, or punishable for coming into the presence or palace of the king or queen. They were no longer obliged to register their names and estates, or enrol their deeds and wills; and every Roman Catholic who had duly qualified might act as barrister, attorney, or notary.

Immediately on the rising of Parliament O'Connell published a violent attack in the form of a letter to Lord Duncannon. This was taken up by Lord Brougham in the course of an oratorical tour which he was making through Scotland, and a mutual exchange of compliments ensued. Unfortunately the Chancellor's eccentricity did not stop there. Earl Grey was not permitted to retire into private life without some popular recognition of his great public services. On the 15th of September a grand banquet was given in Edinburgh in honour of this illustrious statesman. "Probably," says a contemporary chronicle, "no Minister in the zenith of his power ever before received so gratifying a tribute of national respect as was paid on this occasion to one who had not only retired from office, but retired from it for ever. The popular enthusiasm, both in the capital and other parts of Scotland, was extreme, which the noble earl sensibly felt, and gratefully acknowledged as among the proudest circumstances of his life. The dinner took place in a large pavilion, erected for the occasion in the area of the High School, and was provided for upwards of 1,500 persons, more than 600 having been admitted after the removal of the cloth. The principal speakers were Earl Grey, the Lord Chancellor, and the Earl of Durham. Earl Grey and the Lord Chancellor, in their speeches, said they considered that the Reform in Parliament afforded the means by which all useful improvements might be obtained without violence. Both advocated a deliberate and careful, but steady course of amelioration and reform, and both derided the idea of a reaction in favour of Tory principles of government. The Earl of Durham avowed his opinions in favour of the ballot and household suffrage, and declared that he should regret every hour which left ancient and recognised abuses unreformed." This involved the Lord Chancellor in a new controversy in which more personalities were exchanged.

When Parliament opened on the 20th of January, 1778, the Opposition fell, as it were, in a mass upon the Ministry on this question. There was much dissatisfaction expressed at the Government allowing Liverpool, Manchester, and other places, to raise troops without consulting Parliament. It was declared to be a practice contrary to the Constitution and to the Coronation Oath. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke, on the 22nd of January, moved for an account of the numbers of troops so raised, with the names of the commanding officers. Lord North, whilst observing that this mode of raising troops showed the[249] popularity of the war, and that the country was by no means in that helpless condition which a jealous and impatient faction represented it to be, readily granted the return. In the House of Lords the Earl of Abingdon moved to consult the judges on the legality of raising troops without authority of Parliament; but this motion was not pressed to a division. But, on the 4th of February, Sir Philip Jennings Clerke returned to his charge in the Commons. Lord North replied that this now hotly-decried practice was one which had been not only adopted, but highly approved of, in 1745, and again in 1759, when Lord Chatham was Minister, and that he had then thanked publicly those who had raised the troops for the honour and glory of their country. A motion was negatived by the Lords on the same day, to declare this practice unconstitutional, and a similar one later in the Session, introduced by Wilkes and supported by Burke.

These unfortunate affairs precipitated the resignation of Lord George Germaine. His proud and impetuous temper had occasioned the resignation already of Sir Guy Carleton and of the two Howes. All complained that they could not obtain the necessary reinforcements and supplies from him as the Colonial Minister; and his tart and insolent replies to their complaints produced the retirement of these three commanders. He was already charged with having been the luckless projector of Burgoyne's disastrous expedition. Sir Henry Clinton was named the successor to the command of the forces in America, in the place of Sir William Howe. The punishment of North for the policy which had thus virtually lost America, was every day falling more crushingly upon him. On the 13th of March the Marquis de Noailles, the French Ambassador in London, and the uncle of Lafayette's wife, handed to Lord Weymouth a note formally announcing the treaty of friendship and commerce between France and America. On the 17th it was the bitter duty of Lord North to read this remarkable document to the House of Commons. The affected right to make such a treaty with the colonies of another nation, and the professions of goodwill, notwithstanding such an interference, amounted to the keenest irony, if not downright insult.