Изображения страниц



a complete flood of temperance literature, and “6. That the legislative suppression of the at the present time its income is said to have liquor traffic would be highly conducive to the reached £20,000 a year for the support of the development of a progressive civilization. effort to carry through parliament measures “7. That, rising above class, sectarian, or which it had in view nearly a quarter of a party considerations, all good citizens should century ago. One result of their contemplated combine to procure an enactment prohibiting work has partly been achieved, since the the sale of intoxicating beverages, as affording sale of liquor on Sundays has been greatly the most efficient aid in removing the appalrestricted; but we may have to touch on this ling evils of intemperance." subject later on. When Sir Wilfrid Lawson, The methods adopted by this body to prothe member for Carlisle, succeeded the late mulgate its principles and promote its objects Sir Walter Trevelyan as president of the were:-1. Lectures and public meetings. 2. Alliance, preparations were made for what is Essays, tracts, placards, hand-bills, and perisometimes called a parliamentary campaign; odical publications, including a weekly organ, , and the result was that in 1864 the so-called the Alliance News (price ld.). 3. Petitions and “Permissive Bill” was introduced to the House memorials to parliament, to government, to of Commons, its original provisions having to local authorities, and to religious bodies. 4. some extent been founded on the liquor law House-to-house canvasses to ascertain the which Neal Dow, Mayor of Portland, the opinions of heads of families and other adult capital of Maine, in the United States, had members. 5. Conference of electors, ministers introduced there in 1851. As early as 1853, of religion, Sunday-school teachers, the mediat a great meeting of the Alliance, the follow- cal profession, and other important bodies. ing propositions were adopted, and they be- At a meeting convened at Manchester by came the basis of the representations by which 400 clergymen and other ministers of religion the bill was afterwards supported :

—the circular convening the conference hav“1. That it is neither right nor politic for ing received the written sanction of 11,000 the state to afford legal protection and sanction such ministers - a declaration was adopted to any traffic or system that tends to increase saying: “We, the undersigned ministers of crime, to waste the national resources, to cor- the gospel, are convinced by personal obserrupt the social habits, and to destroy the vation, within our own sphere, and authentic health and lives of the people.

testimony from beyond it, that the traffic in “ 2. That the traffic in intoxicating liquors intoxicating liquors as drink for man is the as common beverages is inimical to the true immediate cause of most of the crime and interests of individuals, and destructive to the pauperism, and much of the disease and inorder and welfare of society, and ought there- sanity, that afflict the land; that everywhere, fore to be prohibited.

and in proportion to its prevalence, it deterior“3. That the history and results of all past ates the moral character of the people, and is legislation in regard to the liquor traffic abun- the chief outward obstruction to the progress dantly prove that it is impossible satisfactorily of the gospel; that these are not its accidental to limit or regulate a system so essentially attendants, but its natural fruits; that the mischievous in its tendencies.

benefit, if any, is very small in comparison “ 4. That no considerations of private gain with the bane; that all schemes of regulation or public revenue can justify the upholding and restriction, however good so far as they of a system so utterly wrong in principle, go, fall short of the nation's need and the suicidal in policy, and disastrous in results as nation's duty; and that, therefore, on the obthe traffic in intoxicating liquors.

vious principle of destroying the evil which 5. That the legislative prohibition of the cannot be controlled, the wisest course for liquor traffic is perfectly compatible with those who fear God and regard man is to rational liberty, and with all the claims of encourage legitimate efforts for the entire supjustice and legitimate commerce.

pression of the trade, by the power of the national will, and through the force of a legis- A large number of people, who were but lative enactment.” This declaration received prepared to go the full length of the Permis the adhesion in writing of upwards of 3000 sive Bill, felt that something needed to be ministers of religion.

done to reduce the immense amount of pauDuring the years 1858 and 1859 a system perism and crime which were distinctly traceof house-to-house canvass was adopted in able to drinking habits acquired by frequentnumerous localities in England, Ireland, Scot- ing public-houses. Others were of opinion that land, and Wales, the result of which was de- the principle of local control which the Perclared to be as follows :-Favourable to the missive Bill embodied was the only one calcupermissive prohibitory liquor law, 147,821; lated to contend with the gigantic evils which neutral, 32,140; opposed, 11,894.

the liquor traffic was producing, and were At the annual council meeting of the Alli- willing that the bill should be read a second ance in October, 1857, a draft of suggestions time, in the hope that amendments would be for a permissive prohibitory liquor law was introduced in committee which would modify adopted, and put into extensive circulation. its too extreme features. The only distinct At the council meeting in 1863 it was con- counter-plan suggested, however, was that vi firmed, and in the session that followed a bill Mr. Bright, who, while approving the bil, founded on it was submitted to the House of stated what he thought would be a wiser way Commons. The preamble of the bill set forth of dealing with the great distemper which it that,“Whereas the sale of intoxicating liquors sought to remedy. is a fruitful source of crime, immorality, pau- “ You can make no change,” he said, “ from perism, disease, insanity, and premature death, where you are, unless you intrust to the nuwhereby not only the individuals who give way nicipal council or some committee of the muto drinking habits are plunged into misery, nicipal council in the various borouglis the but grievous wrong is done to the persons and power of determining the number of licenses property of her majesty's subjects at large, for the sale of wine, spirits, or beer. . . . I and the public rates and taxes are greatly should not have brought such a question as augmented; and whereas it is right and ex- this before the house, and I am not so sanguine pedient to confer upon the ratepayers of cities, of the result of these changes as what I may boroughs, parishes, and townships the power call the temperance party in the house. I to prohibit such common sale as aforesaid, let have not that faith in any act of the legisit be therefore enacted,” &c.

lature. I believe in the effect of the instruction The bill went on to provide that, on appli- of the people, and of the improvement that is cation of any district, the votes of the rate-grailually taking place among them. I think payers shall be taken as to the propriety of that drunkenness not on the increase, lat adopting the provisions of the act; but that a rather is declining; and I hope, whether the majority of at least two-thirds of the votes law be altered or not, we shall find our workshall be necessary in order to decide that ques-ing-classes becoming more and more sober tion in the affirmative. The act itself would, than in past times. But as I have on mauy when once adopted in any district, prohibit occasions been before the public favouring the within that district all traffic in intoxicating efforts of the advocates of temperance, I have liquor for common purposes.

felt bound to state the reasons why I cannot The first reading of the bill, though strongly give my vote in favour of this bill, and to sugopposed, was carried by a large majority. The gest what the house might do by way of giving second reading was defeated by a large major- to the people, through their municipal council, ity, but forty members voted and paired off control over this question. By doing this you in favour of it, a much larger number than might promote temperance among the people, had been expected by its promoters. Petitions and at the same time avoid a great and maniin favour of the bill were sent in, bearing fest injustice to thousands of persons now enupwards of 482,000 signatures.

gaged in the trade, whose prop rty would lo



rendered uncertain, if not altogether destroyed, was to be extinguished, its people either exif the bill should receive the sanction of the terminated by slaughter or denationalized by house."

the slower processes of torture, imprisonment,

or exile. The plan adopted by Russia was, to Two measures very advantageous to the order a conscription among the Poles for the working-classes were adopted in the course of purpose of recruiting the Russian army, or, as 1864. The first, proposed by Lord Derby, pro- Lord Napier said, “ to make a clean sweep of vided that in every railway leading into the the revolutionary youth of Poland; to shut up metropolis provision should be made for the the most energetic and dangerous spirits in accommodation of the working-classes by cheap the restraints of the Russian army; to kidnap trains. This proposal was made mainly on the the opposition and carry it off to Siberia or ground that the railways to which it applied the Caucasus.” But the Russian attempt was had destroyed a large number of the habita- not confined to suppression or to the deportations of the labouring classes, compelling them tion of those persons who were known or even to reside at greater distances than before from suspected to be revolutionary. Warsaw was the places at which they worked. Lord Derby placed under the control of soldiers and police contended that it was only just that these agents. The houses, of which they had made railways should compensate the people thus a list, were surrounded, the men in them disturbed by affording them increased facili- seized and carried off for military service. For ties for going to and returning from their those who were absent the parents were taken work. The measure was accepted by the go- as guarantees for their return. On the first vernment, and was the first step in a system night of this inquisition 2500 men were taken which has been very useful to those for whose away, and insults and wanton cruelties were inbenefit it was adopted, and a source of profit flicted. It was evident to the unhappy Poles to the railway companies themselves, who have that a reign of terror was approaching, and since found it to their interest greatly to ex- next day thousands of persons took to flight tend the principle on which this important and prepared for resistance. In the previous enactment was based. The other boon granted year the Russian soldiers had fired on the to the working-classes was an act for applying people at Warsaw,and had committed ferocious to several other trades the regulations which cruelties. The Polish women, even ladies of already protected women and children work- high rank, had long worn mourning, had ening in factories.

tirely given up dancing, and attended few

public amusements, much to the mortification Though at the close of 1863 England was of the Russian military officers and civilians, not implicated in the disturbances which were who had ever found Warsaw a gay city, and brewing abroad, there was a feeling of uncer- Polish society brilliant and accomplished. The tainty on the part of the government, with Russians resented the silent demonstration, respect to the attitude that might be as- many of them may have deplored the causes sumed by other powers in relation to the of it, but there was no longer any hesitation struggle which the Poles were making to re- on the part of the government of the Grandgain their national liberty, and the hostilities duke Constantine. The barbarous ferocity which were threatened by Prussia against which was said to underlie the grand air Denmark on account of the Schleswig-Hol- of Nicholas and his progenitors seemed to stein question.

remain. In a short time out of 184,000 persons “The wrongs of Poland” was no new phrase. only 683 were left to carry on the trade of the Subscriptions for the distressed Poles-balls, country; 14,000 men and women had been concerts, conversaziones, for the purpose of crowded into one dungeon at Warsaw, Count relieving the sufferings of Polish exiles, bad Zamoyski, for presenting a petition couched been familiar announcements years before; in the most respectful language, had been but it now appeared as though Poland itself banished. Barracks and fortresses had been converted into political prisons-there seemed and hunted insurgents vanquished isolated to be no limit to Russian fury against those bodies of their foes, only wore out the “ liberwho dared even to whisper the words liberty ators” and reduced their numbers, without and justice. It was Mr. Pope Hennessey leading to any permanent achievement on the who brought the affairs of Poland before the side of freedom. House of Commons, that is to say he opened Earl Russell, however, wrote with comthe debate on the subject in a speech which mendable firmness to our minister at St. found an echo throughout England. Public Petersburg, saying, that as a party to the indignation was aroused, not here alone, but in treaty of 1815, Great Britain was entitled to France, and even in Austria, by the atrocities of express its opinions on the events then taking the Russians. Only Prussia appeared to follow place. He went on to ask“why the emperor, the policy of sticking to her former allegiance to whose benevolence was generally and cheerthe Russian autocracy, and expressed approval fully acknowledged, did not put an end to the by beginning to persecute the people of her bloody conflict, by proclaiming mercifully an own Polish provinces in a methodical manner. immediate and unconditional amnesty to his In our own parliament there were no uncertain revolted Polish subjects, and at the same time denunciations of the course pursued at Warsaw. announce his intention to replace without Prominent speakers on both sides of the house delay his kingdom of Poland in possession of joined in the condemnation; but, except for the political and civil privileges which were the moral effect these declarations might have granted to it by the Emperor Alexander I. upon Russia, no step could be taken by the in execution of the stipulation of that treaty? house itself, and it was left for the government If this were done, a national diet and a nato see what could be done in the way of remon- tional administration would in all probability strance. This was 11ot considered satisfactory content the Poles, and satisfy European by those people outside who were naturally opinion." burning with anger at the intelligence that What did Russia care about European continued to come from Poland, where all opinion, while Prussia supported her by the the provinces were roused to what, after all, stimulating flattery of imitation? It is true must be a hopeless insurrection, in which the that the Polish peasantry were relieved from nation might be exterminated, but could never some of the oppressions which the landed hope to secure ultimate victory against the proprietors had formerly exercised, but this overwhelming forces of Russia. A great relief, which had made part of the policy of meeting was called at the Guildhall in the the emperor on his coming to the throne, only city of London, where much earnest enthu- seemed to identify Poland with Russia, at a siasm was exhibited, but the question of en- time when ruthless tyranny was being exertering upon a war with Russia, even if we cised for the same object. again had France for an ally, could not be France had remonstrated with as little efiect, reasonably entertained even by the enthu- and in May (1863) so obvious was the intensiasts. In such an event Russia would have tion to force an amalgamation of the Poles had time to crush and utterly annihilate the with Russia, that the Polish central committee people on whose behalf we interfered, before conducting the insurrection rejected the amwe could reach the scene of strife. Already the nesty that was offered them, on conditions Poles were fighting desperately, and though evidently intended to promote this object. an organized resistance had been made in In Prussia Count Bismarck had begun a new various parts of Russian Poland, directed by career, and had made haste to assert that the a central committee sitting at Warsaw, Lan- Prussian government differed from that of giewicz, the general who had been fighting at England, inasmuch as the ministry was not the head of the national forces as “Dictator," that of the parliament but of the king. The was unable to maintain the unequal contest. corollary of this was soon apparent, for a The skirmishes, in which regiments of starving | month or so afterwards the king, replying to THE EXPEDITION TO MEXICO.


an address from the Chamber of Deputies, The Emperor of the French was no more stated that as the ministry had his entire con- inclined than the English government to go tidence, he intended to carry on the govern- to war with Russia for the problematic relief ment without a parliament. The assembly of of Poland. At that moment Napoleon III. deputies was then dissolved, a proceeding had his hands pretty well full of an enterwhich, it was said, called forth the remon- prise upon which he had entered with an strances of the crown prince.

almost reckless determination to achieve some The note sent to Lord Napier, our repre- startling effects and show how far the arms sentative at St. Petersburg, naming the points and influence of France might reach under which should be observed towards Poland, imperial guidance. in accordance with the treaty of 1815, was In 1861, after a long series of revolutions drawn up by our government, concurrently and disturbances, some sort of government had with France and Austria. To this Prince been temporarily established in Mexico by the Gortschakoff replied, in the usual Russian election of Juarez as president of the Mexican manner: first, that if Earl Russell knew what Republic. But Juarez was regarded as an was really taking place, he would know that usurper, the country was still in disorder, the the insurrection was crushed-that the pea- struggles of the various factions continued, santry and the trades'- people were opposed and the new government, like most of its preto it; that the insurgents were only endea- decessors, was uncertain, while the action vouring to raise a diplomatic intervention which it took to establish its authority conin the hope of armed interference; and fin- sisted rather of threats against personal safety ally, that nothing would be accepted by the and property than efforts to protect either. emperor, but for the insurgents to lay down At all events so little were the rights of Eurotheir arms unconditionally and submit to his peans respected that it was judged advisable majesty's clemency. They had had a long for a convention to be entered into between experience of what might be expected from Great Britain, France, and Spain, to demand Russian clemency, and the insurrection went from the authorities in Mexico more efficient on till it became hopeless, and then once more protection as well as a fulfilment of the obliPoland fainted, and the Russian clemency gations that had been contracted. The concame in by forbidding the women of Warsaw vention signed in London provided that a to wear mourning for those who had fallen in sufficient force should be sent to seize upon the struggle.

the Mexican fortresses on the coast and to The attitude of Austria in supporting remon- uphold the demands made, but that neither strances to the Russian government against power should make use of the expedition for the oppression of the Poles was, perhaps, acquiring territory or other advantage, that suggestive of the shadows that precede coming the people of Mexico should not be interfered events. It should be remembered that at the with in their right to elect what government time of the Crimean war Austria showed the they pleased, that each of the powers consame desire to secure an agreement with cerned should be represented by a commisEngland and France in view of the subservi- sioner, and that though any delay might preency of Prussia to the Czar Nicholas and the vent the accomplishment of the purpose of probable results of an alliance between the the convention, the claims of the United cousins. Assuredly Austria assumed a very States of America to be also represented on different policy in relation to the Polish ques- the convention should be regarded, and an tion to that which she adopted towards Italy. “identic” of the agreement should be deThe Poles in Galicia probably had to thank spatched to that government for its accepthe Austrian jealousy of Russia and distrust of tance. The United States government, howPrussia for the comparatively impartial con- ever, wisely refused to join the convention. duct of the power which had previously had The expedition consisted of 6000 men sent by so dark a reputation among oppressed nations. France and Spain, while our contribution was

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »