揭秘萧红与鲁迅的“绯闻”往事

The year 1816 was a most melancholy year. Both agricultural and manufacturing labourers rose in great masses to destroy machinery, to which, and not to the temporary poverty of the whole civilised world, exhausted by war, they attributed the glut of manufactured goods, and the surplus of all kinds of labour. In Suffolk and Norfolk, and on the Isle of Ely, the agricultural labourers and fen-men destroyed the threshing-machines, attacked mills and farms, pulled down the houses of butchers and bakers, and marched about in great bands, with flags inscribed "Bread or blood!" In Littleport and Ely shops and public-houses were ransacked, and the soldiers were called out to quell the rioters, and much blood was shed, and numbers were thrown into prison, of whom thirty-four were condemned to death, and five executed. The colliers and workers in the iron mines and furnaces of Staffordshire and Warwickshire, as well as in the populous districts of South Wales, were thrown out of work, and the distress was terrible. The sufferings and consequent ferments in Lancashire were equally great. In Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, the Luddites broke out again, as they had done in 1812, and by night demolished the stocking-frames and the machinery in the cotton-mills. Great alarm existed everywhere, and on the 29th of July a meeting was called at the "City of London" Tavern to consider the means of relieving the distress, the Duke of York taking the chair, the Dukes of Kent and Cambridge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others attending. Many palliatives were proposed, but Lord Cochrane and other reformers declared that the only effectual remedy would be the abolition of the Corn Law. Soup-kitchens were recommended, but in Scotland these were spurned at as only insults to the sufferers; at Glasgow the soup-kitchen was attacked, and its coppers and materials destroyed; and at Dundee the people helped themselves by clearing a hundred shops of their provisions. PARISHES.

The Minister still claimed the character of the landowner's friend; and in the House of Commons, out of 658 members, 125 was the utmost number that could be considered as Free Traders. But the progress of the League agitation this year was immense. Five years had elapsed since the Anti-Corn-Law Association in Manchester had put forth its humble appeal for five-shilling subscriptions, and now in one single year 50,000 had been given for the objects of the Association, and it was resolved to raise a further fund of 100,000. Mr. Bright had been returned for Durham in July, and already his touching appeals for justice for the people had struck the ear of the House. Like his fellow-labourers, Cobden, Colonel Thompson, George Wilson, W. J. Fox, M.P., and others, he had been busy in all parts of England, addressing audiences sometimes of 10,000 persons. The League speakers had also visited Scotland, and had been everywhere received enthusiastically. The great Free Trade Hall in Manchester was finished, and had been the scene of numerous gatherings and Free Trade banquets, at which 7,000 or 8,000 persons had sometimes sat down together. The metropolis, however, was still behind the great provincial cities in supporting the movement; and the League, therefore, resolved on holding a series of great meetings in Drury Lane Theatre, which was engaged for one night a week during Lent. The first of these important meetings was held on the 15th of March, and was attended by so large a number of persons that the pit, boxes, and even the higher gallery were filled immediately upon the opening of the doors. The succeeding meetings were no less crowded and enthusiastic. Attempts were made to obstruct these meetings, but without success. The use of Drury Lane Theatre had soon to be relinquished, the Earl of Glengall and the committee of shareholders having prohibited Mr. Macready, the lessee, from letting it for political purposes. The League were, in like manner, refused admittance to Exeter Hall; but they were soon enabled to obtain the use of Covent Garden Theatre, where they quickly prepared for a series of great meetings, which proved to be no less crowded and enthusiastic. The prisoners were at once sent to Richmond[532] Bridewell, on the South Circular Road, where the Governor did all in his power to make them comfortable. Good apartments were assigned to them. They dined together every day, and they were permitted to receive, without restriction, the visits of their friends and admirers. The Government was the less disposed to interfere with these indulgences, as their object was not so much punishment as prevention, and besides, the traversers had appealed against the sentence. A majority of the twelve English judges affirmed the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, while condemning the counts on which the Irish court relied. An appeal was then made to the House of Lords. The decision was left to the five law lordsLyndhurst, Brougham, Cottenham, Denman, and Campbell. The first two were for a confirmation of the judgment, the last three for reversal. Lord Denman, in pronouncing judgment, said, referring to the tampering with the panel, "If such practices as had taken place in the present instance in Ireland should continue, the trial by jury would become a mockery, a delusion, and a snare," a sentence which was hackneyed by repetition for years afterwards. The news of the reversal reached Dublin on the afternoon of the 5th of September. Great crowds had assembled on the pier at Kingstown, and tremendous cheers broke forth from the multitude when the Holyhead packet approached, and they saw held up a white flag, with the inscription, "Judgment reversed by the House of Lords. O'Connell is free!" The news was everywhere received by the Roman Catholics with wild excitement.

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[473] The continued resistance of the English Government meanwhile was rousing the quick blood of Ireland. The old Catholic Convention of 1793 was revived, and from year to year met and passed increasingly strong resolutions in Dublin. In 1810 its meetings, and the agitation it occasioned throughout the kingdom, became very conspicuous. A private letter was circulated all over the country, recommending the appointment of committees everywhere in order to the preparation of a monster petition. It was resolved that as soon as the Convention met, it should sit in permanence, so as to keep up an incessant action throughout the country. The Government took alarm, and Mr. Wellesley Pole, Secretary of State for Ireland, issued a letter to the sheriffs and chief magistrates throughout Ireland, ordering them to arrest all persons concerned in sending up delegates to this Convention. No sooner was this known in England than Lord Moira in the Lords, and Mr. Ponsonby in the Commons, adverted to the subject, and called for a copy of all correspondence by Government upon it. The demand was resisted in both Houses. On the 4th of April Lord Stanhope moved a resolution that the letter of Mr. Wellesley Pole was a violation of the law,[167] being, in fact, a prohibition of his Majesty's subjects to assemble for the purpose of petitioning Parliament. This was negatived by twenty-one votes against six.

THE DUKE OF BRUNSWICK AND HIS HUSSARS (THE BLACK BRUNSWICKERS). (See p. 590.)

The question of the regency was again brought forward, on the 6th of July, by Mr. Robert Grant, in pursuance of a notice he had previously given. The unbounded personal popularity of the kingwho, unlike his predecessor shut up in seclusion and resembling Tiberius, went about sailor-like through the streets, frank, talkative, familiar, good-humoured, delighting the Londoners with all the force of pleasant contrastrendered it increasingly difficult and delicate on the part of the Opposition to propose any measure disagreeable to a Sovereign who was the idol of the multitude, from whom no evil could be apprehended, and whose death, even in the ordinary course of Providence, it seemed something like treason to anticipate as likely to occur within a few months. They were, therefore, profuse in their declarations of respect, of admirationnay, almost of venerationfor a monarch whom a beneficent Providence had so happily placed upon the Throne of Great Britain. The division on Mr. Grant's motion was still more decidedly favourable to the Government, the numbers beingAyes, 93; noes, 247majority, 154.

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ARRIVAL OF THE MAIL COACH. (See p. 420.)