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She jumped to her feet. "I ain't going to do it."
Pitt dead, there remained a difficulty of no ordinary kind in the construction of a new Cabinet. Various persons were applied to to fill the arduous post of prime minister, who all declined, knowing the powerful opposition which would be arrayed against them by coalescing parties. Amongst these were Lord Hawkesbury, Sidmouth, and the Marquis Wellesley, who had just returned from India. There was nothing for it, then, but to endeavour to diminish the opposition of all parties by bringing in some of all parties, and hence the construction of the Ministry of "All the Talents." Grenville assumed the helm as First Lord of the Treasury, and, of course, brought in Fox, notwithstanding the repugnance of the king. Fox became Secretary for Foreign AffairsFox, who had so long and so vehemently condemned the whole of Pitt's foreign policy. Sidmouth, though refusing the responsibility of the Premiership, accepted the office of Privy Seal; Lord Fitzwilliam became Lord President of the Council; Grey, now Lord Howick, First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Moira, Master-General of the Ordnance; Lord Spencer, Secretary of State for the Home Department; Windham, Secretary for the Colonies; Lord Henry Petty, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Erskine, Lord Chancellor; and Sir Gilbert Elliot, now made Lord Minto, President of the Board of Control. Sheridan was not placed in the Cabinet, because he had not been found staunch to any party, and because, in his daily drunken fits, he was likely to disclose State secretsas if, said he, there were any secrets to be disclosed. Lord Auckland was made President of the Board of Trade, and Lord Temple Vice-President. Temple, also, was made joint Paymaster of the Forces with Lord John Townshend, and General Fitzpatrick Secretary at War. In the law departments, Lord Ellenborough, the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, had, though quite out of rule, a seat in the Cabinet; Pigott became Attorney-General, Sir Samuel Romilly Solicitor-General. The Duke of Bedford was enabled to gratify his dependents by being appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Such was the Ministry of "All the Talents," amongst whom, however, did not appear Canning, who had more talent than three-fourths of them. It was clear that such a Ministry could not long hold together. There were scarcely two of them who did not cherish the most irreconcilable views. Fox, at the instigation of Francis, was desirous to call in question the proceedings of Lord Wellesley in India, and Lord Grenville was as resolute against it. Windham, Grenville, Fox, and Sidmouth held, every one of them, different notions of foreign policy. Fox and some others were advocates of Catholic emancipation; Sidmouth was utterly averse from it. Then, how were so many heads to find comfortable berths for their followers?
The Treaty of Amiens did not for a moment, even in appearance, interrupt the unlimited plans of aggression which Buonaparte had formed. Whether these plans tended to alarm Britain or not gave him no concern whatever. The encroachments on Italy never paused. Before the signing of the Peace of Amiens, Buonaparte had made himself President of the Cisalpine Republic; and though he had pledged himself to Alexander of Russia that he would not interfere further with Piedmont, because Alexander would not entertain the scheme of co-operating with France in the march to India, as his father had done, Buonaparte seized on all Piedmont in September of this year, annexed it to France, and divided it into six Departments. Charles Emmanuel, the King of Piedmont, retired to his island of Sardinia, and then abdicated in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel. But Victor Emmanuel would not have been left long king, even of that small territory, had it not been for the protection of Britain. In October he annexed Parma and Placentia. He next made an agreement with the King of Naples for Elba, and took possession of it. Every movement of this restless being showed his intention to drive Britain out of the Mediterranean, and convert it into a French lake. But on the mainland he was equally active. There was no country on the Continent in which Buonaparte did not presume to dictate, as if he already were universal monarch. In the Diet of Germany his influence was prominently conspicuous, and he prevailed to have towns and districts transferred as he pleased. To have all the territory on the left bank of the Rhine secured to France, Prussia received valuable compensation at the expense of the German empire for the cession of the Duchy of Cleves and other provinces transferred to France. Bavaria and other minor States were benefited in the same way, because Napoleon already meant to use these States against Austria and Russia, as he afterwards did. Every endeavour was made, contrary to the articles of the Peace of Amiens, to shut out the trade of Britain, not only with Franceas he had a right to dobut with Holland, Belgium, and Germany. It was in vain that Britain remonstrated. Buonaparte, through his official organ, the Moniteur, declared that "England should have the Treaty of Amiens, the whole Treaty of Amiens, and nothing but the Treaty of Amiens"; but he interpreted this treaty to give every advantage to France to the exclusion of Britain. Half Europe was closed to British trade. It was a condition of the Treaty of Lunville that the independence of Switzerland should be respected, and this was guaranteed by the Batavian, Cisalpine, and Ligurian Republics, as well as by France and Austria. But Buonaparte had already absorbed all these republics into France, and Austria he set at defiance. He had never withdrawn the French troops from Switzerland, but whilst they remained French emissaries had continued to foment the feuds between the people and the nobles, between one canton and another. He now declared this state of things must end, and he assumed the office of umpire, to settle the affairs of the Swiss for them. He had no right to assume this officeif needed, it belonged to the other Powers of Europe as well as France; but he knew that he had the mightand he used it. At the end of September he sent General Rapp to issue a manifesto announcing that Napoleon was determined to put an end to all their differences. This manifesto was immediately followed by the appearance of General Ney at the head of forty thousand men, in addition to those already in the country. Thus Switzerland was invaded, and its constitution trodden out by an armed occupation. Buonaparte assumed the title of Mediator of the Helvetic League, and dictated his own terms to the deputies of the French party who were sent to Paris.
Grenville, being on the look-out for new taxes, had paid particular attention to the rapid growth of the American colonies, and was inspired with the design of drawing a revenue from them. The scheme had been suggested to Sir Robert Walpole, when his Excise Bill failed, by Sir William Keith, who had been governor of Pennsylvania; but Sir Robert had a far deeper insight into human nature than the shallow and obstinate Grenville. He replied, "I have already Old England set against me, and do you think I will have New England set against me too?"