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类型:奇幻地区:Сѧ发布:2020-10-23 17:07:24

《》剧情介绍

Buonaparte saw his opportunity, and, making a movement by a body of troops on Bar-sur-Seine, he alarmed Schwarzenberg, who thought he was intending to attack him in full force, and therefore changed his route, separating farther from Blucher. This point gained, Buonaparte marched after Blucher. That general had driven Macdonald from Chateau Thierry, and had established his headquarters at Vertus. Sacken was in advance as far as Fert-sous-Jouarre, and Yorck at Meaux, much nearer Paris than Buonaparte himself. Paris was in great alarm. But Napoleon, taking a cross-country road, and dragging his artillery by enormous exertions over hedges, ditches, and marshes, came upon Blucher's rear, to his astonishment, at Champaubert. Driving in the Russians, Napoleon defeated him, taking two thousand prisoners, and most of his artillery; and being thus posted between Sacken and Blucher, he first attacked and defeated Sacken, destroying or squandering five thousand menabout one-fourth of his divisionand then turned to attack Blucher himself, who was marching rapidly up to support Sacken. Blucher, finding himself suddenly in face of the whole army of Buonaparte, in an open country, fell back, but conducted his retreat so admirably that he cut his way through two strong bodies of French, who had posted themselves on the line of his march, and[79] brought off his troops and artillery safe to Chalons. Napoleon then turned against Schwarzenberg, and on the 17th of February he met and defeated him at Nangis. Such were the immediate consequences of the folly of dividing the Allied forces. In these movements Napoleon displayed a military ability equal to that of any part of his career.[349]

The next morning, the 6th of December, the retreat commenced; but the soldiers and the inferior officers little dreamed that it was a retreat. They imagined that they were going to fight the Duke of Cumberland, and marched out in high spirits. The morning was foggy, and for some time the delusion was kept up; but when the fog cleared away, and they perceived that they were retracing their former route, their disappointment and rage became excessive. The retreat was rapidly continued through Preston, and on to Lancaster, which they reached on the 13th. On the 18th Oglethorpe and Cumberland, accompanied by a mob of country squires and mounted farmers, attacked Lord George Murray's rear near Penrith; but the countrymen were speedily put to flight by a charge of the Glengarry clan, and Oglethorpe fell back to the main body. They came up again, however, in the evening near the village of Clifton, and Lord George perceived, by the fitful light of the moon, the enemy forming behind the stone walls, and lining every hedge, orchard, and outhouse. Just as the royal troops commenced their charge they were stopped by a cross-fire of the concealed Highlanders, and, whilst affected by this surprise, Lord George cried, "Claymore! claymore!" and rushing down upon them with the Macphersons of Cluny, attacked them sword in hand. Being supported by the Stuarts of Appin, they compelled the English to retreat.In balancing accounts at the Congress at Paris, there was a resignation on the part of Great Britain of the colonies which she had won with so much cost of money and men. Our statesmen never thought of placing some of the enormous sums we had bestowed on the Powers we helped against the islands we had conquered. We had dearly purchased them. But Great Britain gave back to France all the colonies possessed by her in 1792, except Tobago, St. Lucia, and the Isle of France. Still more absurdly, we returned Pondicherry, in the East Indies, as a focus for fresh annoyances there from the French, whom we had expelled at such cost for their meddling and exciting the natives against us. We restored to the French, under certain conditions, the right of fishing on the bank of Newfoundland, as they had enjoyed it in 1783; conditions which they boldly violated, and which the British Ministry did not venture to insist on being observed. We gave back also to Spain several islands and colonies; and the same to Hollandnamely, Demerara, Essequibo, Berbice, the immense island of Java, and the rich one of Sumatra, retaining only the Cape of Good Hope and the settlements in Ceylon.The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people, and consequently received very little regard in return. There was a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate, to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the 21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only for a treasonable[152] conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer assizes for the county of Lancaster.

Thus this mighty armadaof which such high things were expectedwas dispersed; Rodney, sending part of his fleet to Jamaica, proceeded to join Arbuthnot at New York, with eleven ships of the line and four frigates. The news of his approach reached the French and Americans there, at the same time as that of the return of De Guichen to Europe, and spread the greatest consternation. To consider what was best to do in the circumstances, a meeting was proposed at Hartford, in Connecticut, between Washington and Rochambeau, which took place on the 21st of September. At this moment a discovery took place which had a startling effect on the Americans, and was calculated to inspire the most gloomy views of their condition. General Arnold, who had fought his way up from the humble station of a horse-dealer to that which he now held, had, on all occasions, shown himself an officer of the most daring and enterprising character. Having been appointed military governor of Philadelphia, after its evacuation by General Clinton in 1778, as a post where he might recover from the severe wounds which he had received in the recent campaign, he began a style of living much too magnificent for his finances, for, with all his abilities, Arnold was a vain and extravagant man. He married a beautiful young lady of that city of Royalist origin. Rumours to his disadvantage were soon afloat, originating in this cause, for whatever he did was regarded by the staunch Whigs with an unfavourable eye. Congress was the more ready to listen to charges against him, because, involved himself in debts incurred by his extravagance, he pressed them for large claims upon them, which they had no means to satisfy. Commissioners were selected by them to examine his claims, and these men, appointed for their hard, mean natures, reduced his demands extremely. Arnold uttered his indignation at such treatment in no measured terms, and the consequence was that he was arrested, tried by a court-martial, on various charges of peculation in his different commands, and for extortion on the citizens of Philadelphia. Some of these were declared groundless, but others were pronounced to be proved, and Arnold was condemned to be reprimanded by the Commander-in-Chief. This put the climax to his wrath. Washington, who had, in Arnold's opinion, been as unjustly exalted and favoured for his defeats and delays, as he himself had been envied and repressed for his brilliant exploits, was of all men the one from whom he could not receive with patience a formal condemnation. This sentence was carried into effect in January, 1779, and Arnold, stung to the quick, was prepared to perpetrate some desperate design. The opportunity came when he was placed in command of West Point, on the Hudson, which was the key to all intercourse between the Northern and Southern States.

It was proposed also to form, in certain districts, relief committees, which should be empowered to receive subscriptions, levy rates, and take charge of donations from the Government; and that out of the fund thus raised they should establish soup kitchens, and deliver rations to the famishing inhabitants. Sir John Burgoyne, Inspector-General of Fortifications, was appointed to superintend the works. Lord John Russell referred to measures for draining and reclaiming waste land in Ireland, and to advances of money for this purpose to the proprietors, to be repaid in instalments spread over a number of years. On a subsequent day, in answer to questions from Mr. Roebuck, the noble lord gave a statement of the sums that had already been advanced. 2,000,000 had been issued on account of the Poor Employment Act of the last Session. He expected that not less than 500,000 or 600,000 a month would be spent from the present time until August, and he calculated the whole expenditure would not be less than 7,000,000. There was great difference of opinion on the subject of the Government plans. A counter-scheme for the establishment of reproductive works deserves to be noticed for the interest it excited and the attention it occupied for years afterwardsnamely, the railway plan of Lord George Bentinck. Acts of Parliament, he said, had been passed for 1,582 miles of railway in Ireland, of which only 123 miles had then been completed, while 2,600 miles had been completed in England. In order to encourage the formation of Irish railways, therefore, he proposed that for every 100 expended by the companies 200 should be lent by the Government at the same interest at which they borrowed the money, Mr. Hudson, who was "chairman of 1,700 miles of railroad," pledging his credit that the Government would not lose a shilling by the transaction. By adopting this plan they could give reproductive employment to 109,000 men in different parts of the country, for earth-works, fences, drains, and watercourses connected with the lines. This would give support of 550,000 souls on useful work, tend to develop the resources of the country, and produce such improvement that the railways constructed would add 23,000,000 to the value of landed property in twenty-five years, and would pay 22,500 a year to the poor rates. The purchase of land for the railways would moreover place 1,250,000 in the hands of Irish proprietors, for the employment of fresh labour, and 240,000 in the hands of the occupying tenants for their own purposes. The Government also would reap from the expenditure of 24,000,000 on railways in Ireland, an enormous increase of revenue in the augmented consumption of articles of excise and customs. The noble lord's speech, which lasted two hours and a half, was received with cheers from both sides of the House. Leave was given to bring in the Bill, though it was strongly objected to by Lord John Russell, Mr. Labouchere, and other members of the Government. It was also opposed by Sir Robert Peel, who exposed the unsoundness of the economic principles involved in it. The Bill was rejected by a majority of 204, the numbers being 118 for the second reading, and 322 against it. Notwithstanding this decision, loans were subsequently advanced to certain Irish railways, amounting to 620,000, so that the objection of the Government was more to the extent than to the principle of Lord George Bentinck's measure.To these, in 1785, the Rev. Dr. Edmund Cartwright introduced a loom for weaving by water or steam power, which soon superseded hand-loom weaving. In 1803 Mr. H. Horrocks greatly improved this, and from this germ has grown up the system of weaving cottons, silks, and woollens by machinery. Add to this the application of similar machinery to calico-printing, and the like to weaving of lace, invented by Robert Frost, of Nottingham, or by a working mechanic of that town named Holmes, which afterwards received many improvements, and we have the varied means by which the manufacturing power of England was raised far above that of all the world; and which, reaching other countries in spite of legislative impediments, soon established similar manufactures in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and America. In Great Britain alone the importation of raw cotton was increased from 4,764,589 lbs. in 1771 to 151,000,000 lbs. in 1818; and such was the spread of trade of all kinds from the use of machinery, that our exports of manufactured goods in 1800, when the European nations were incapacitated for manufacturing by Napoleon's general embargo, amounted to 116,000,000.

The Premier was at this time subjected to a great mortification in being compelled by the House of Commons, and public opinion out of doors, to cancel the appointment of the Marquis of Londonderry as ambassador to St. Petersburg. A deep sympathy with the oppressed Poles, and an abhorrence of the unrelenting despotism of Russia pervaded the public mind in the United Kingdom. The Marquis of Londonderry had distinguished himself by sympathies of an opposite kind, and had characterised the Poles as the Czar's rebellious subjects. It was generally felt that England could not be fairly represented at the Court of St. Petersburg by a man of such well-known sentiments. The press was loud in its condemnation of the appointment, and Mr. Sheil brought the subject before the House of Commons by moving that an Address be presented to his Majesty for a copy of the appointment. As Lord Stanley declared emphatically against the selection of the noble marquis for such a mission, it was evident that if Government had gone to a division they would have been defeated. Sir Robert Peel therefore gave way with a good grace, stating that the appointment had not been formally made out; and though the House seemed to be interfering unduly with the Royal Prerogative, he would not advise his Majesty to persist in it. The motion was then withdrawn, and when Lord Londonderry read the report of the debate in the papers next day, he immediately sent in his resignation. In announcing this in the House of Peers, he said: "Having but one object, and that to serve the king honestly and to the best of my ability, were I to depart from this country after what has passed in the House of Commons, I should feel myself, as a representative of his Majesty, placed in a new, false, and improper position. My efficiency would be impaired, and it would be impossible for me to fill the office to which I have been called with proper dignity or effect. Upon these grounds, I have now to announce that no consideration will induce me to accept the office which his Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer on me."

Besides the truths drawn by cross-examination from the witnesses for the slave-dealing merchants, who contended that even Sir William Dolben's Bill would nearly ruin Liverpool, Captain Parry, who had been sent by Pitt to Liverpool to examine some of the slave-ships, brought the directest proofs that the representations of these witnesses were false, and the accommodation for the slaves was most inhuman; Sir William Dolben himself had examined a slave-ship then fitting out in the Thames, and gave details which horrified the House. This Bill went to prohibit any ship carrying more than one slave to a ton of its register; the only matter in which the House gave way was that none should carry more than five slaves to every three tons, and a very few years proved that this restriction had been the greatest boon to the dealers as well as the slaves in the preservation of the living cargoes. The Bill met with some opposition in the Lords, and there Admiral Rodney and Lord Heathfield, both naturally humane men, were amongst its strongest opponents. The measure, however, passed, and received the Royal Assent on the 11th of July. Some well-meaning people thought that by legalising the freightage of slaves, England had acknowledged the lawfulness of the trade; but the advocates of the abolition made no secret of their determination to persevere, and this victory only quickened their exertions.The Allied sovereigns and their Ministers met at Vienna, in the opening of the year 1815, in congress, to settle the boundaries of all such States as had undergone disruptions and transformations through the will of Buonaparte. They were proceeding, with the utmost composure, to rearrange the map of Europe according to their several interests and ambitions. Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden had their sovereigns or their representatives there. Those for Great Britain were the Duke of Wellington, the Lords Cathcart and Clancarty, and Sir Charles Stewart. All at once a clap of political thunder shook the place, and made every astute diplomatist look aghast. It was announced that Buonaparte had escaped from Elba, and was rapidly traversing France on the way to Paris, and that his old soldiers were flocking with acclamation to his standard. It was what was certain to occurwhat every man not a cunning diplomatist must have foreseen from the first, as certainly as that a stone thrown up is sure to come down again. Yet no one seems to have foreseen it, except it were Lord Castlereagh, who, not arriving at Paris before this foolish scheme was adopted, had protested against it, and then yielded to it. On the 13th of March the ministers of the Allied Powers met, and signed a paper which, at length, was in earnest, and showed that they were now as well convinced of a simple fact as the dullest intellect had been ten years beforethat there was no use treating Buonaparte otherwise than as a wild beast. They now declared him an outlaw, a violator of treaties, and an incorrigible disturber of the peace of the world; and they delivered him over to public contempt and vengeance. Of course, the British ambassadors were immediately looked to for the means of moving the armies of these high and mighty Powers, and the Duke of Wellington to plan and to lead the military operations against the man who had once more developed himself from the Emperor of Elba into the Emperor of the French.

The number of places in which the inquiries under the commission were carried on was 237, having a population of 2,028,513. In twenty-five places the number of corporators was not ascertained; in the others (212) they amounted to 88,509. The governing body was self-elected in 186 boroughs. This body elected the mayor in 131 boroughs, appointed the recorder in 136, and the town-clerk in 135. The number of corporators exercising magisterial functions was 1,086, in 188 boroughs. In 112 boroughs the corporations had exclusive criminal jurisdiction, extending to the trial of various descriptions of offences, and in forty-two their jurisdiction was not exclusive. Seventeen boroughs did not enjoy any income whatever; in eight the precise amount could not be obtained. The total income of 212 boroughs amounted to 366,948; their expenditure to 377,027. 103 were involved in debts amounting to 1,855,371, and were besides burdened with annuities amounting to 4,463. In twenty-eight boroughs only were the accounts published; in fifteen the annual income was under 20; in eleven it was between 2,000 and 3,000; in five, 3,000, and under 4,000; in one, 4,000, and under 5,000; in four, 5,000, and under 7,500; in five, 10,000, and under 12,500; in one, 12,500, and under 15,000; in one, 15,000, and under 20,000; and in one, 91,000.GEORGE II.Lord Howe now prepared to attack New York, where Washington had about thirty thousand men. But the latter's troops were ill-equipped, and deficient in discipline. Washington expected that Howe would attack New York by the way of Long Island, and so he had posted nine thousand men at Brooklyn, nearly opposite to it, behind entrenchments thrown up by General Greene. Greene had been attacked by fever; and General Putnam, who had taken his post, was but indifferently acquainted with the position of the forces and the nature of the ground they would have to defend with a rabble of most insubordinate troops. In these circumstances General Howe, on the morning of the 22nd of August, threw over from Staten Island into Long Island four thousand men, under the command of General Clinton. They landed in Gravesend Bay, under cover of the artillery of three frigates and two bombs. The rest of the army followed with the artillery. Washington hastened over from New York to strengthen General Sullivan, who was in command on the island. He posted no less than fifteen thousand men along a peninsula at that end of the island facing New York.

[See larger version]To these, in 1785, the Rev. Dr. Edmund Cartwright introduced a loom for weaving by water or steam power, which soon superseded hand-loom weaving. In 1803 Mr. H. Horrocks greatly improved this, and from this germ has grown up the system of weaving cottons, silks, and woollens by machinery. Add to this the application of similar machinery to calico-printing, and the like to weaving of lace, invented by Robert Frost, of Nottingham, or by a working mechanic of that town named Holmes, which afterwards received many improvements, and we have the varied means by which the manufacturing power of England was raised far above that of all the world; and which, reaching other countries in spite of legislative impediments, soon established similar manufactures in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and America. In Great Britain alone the importation of raw cotton was increased from 4,764,589 lbs. in 1771 to 151,000,000 lbs. in 1818; and such was the spread of trade of all kinds from the use of machinery, that our exports of manufactured goods in 1800, when the European nations were incapacitated for manufacturing by Napoleon's general embargo, amounted to 116,000,000.The growth of material wealth during this reign had in no degree improved the condition of the working class in any proportion to that of other classes. Landlords had greatly raised their rents, and farmers, by the high price of corn and other provisions, had grown comparatively rich, many very rich. The merchants and master manufacturers had shared liberally in the benefits of a vastly increased commerce, and the wonderful spread of manufactures; but the working manufacturers, between the high price of corn and meat, and the lowness of their wages, were in a miserable condition, and frequently, as we have seen, were driven to riot and insurrection. The handloom weavers were swamped by machinery, and those working the machinery were living in wretched houses, and in a most neglected and insanitary condition. Before the first Sir Robert Peel introduced his Bill for reforming the hours and other regulations of cotton mills, many of these worked night and day, one gang, as it was called, succeeding another at the spinning-jenny, in hot, ill-ventilated rooms. Apprentices were purchased of parishes, either children of paupers, or orphans of such, and these were kept by mill-owners, and worked long hours, one gang having to quit their beds in the morning for another gang of these poor unfortunates to turn into them. The agricultural labourers were little better off. Their habitations were of the worst description, though squires' kennels on the same estates were equal, in all sanitary conditions, to tolerable mansions. Their wages remained only some eight or ten shillings a weekwhen the wheat which they had raised was one hundred and thirty shillings per quarter, and a stone of flour of fourteen pounds cost a gold seven-shilling piece. This drove them in shoals to the workhouse, and produced a state of things that is hardly credible. Their mental and moral condition was equally deplorable. Education, either in town or country, was scarcely known. There was not a school in all the swarming region[158] of Whitechapel, and many another equally poor and populous region of London, much less in country towns and agricultural parishes. It was a settled maxim amongst the landed gentry, that education, even of the most elementary kind, would totally destroy the supply of servants; and it was gravely stated in Parliament that the plot of Thistlewood was owing to the working classes being able to read.

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Rodney takes St. EustatiaDestruction of Dutch CommerceLoss of MinorcaNaval ActionsMeeting of ParliamentVehemence of the OppositionLosses in the West IndiesBreaking up of the MinistryTheir Defeat on Conway's MotionLord North's ResignationShelburne refuses the PremiershipNew Whig GovernmentAgitation in IrelandGrattan's Motion for Legislative IndependenceThe Volunteer Meeting at DungannonGrattan's Motion carriedDemands of the Irish Parliament concededFlood's AgitationEconomic ReformsPitt's Motion for Parliamentary ReformUnsuccessful Negotiations for PeaceRodney's Victory over De GrasseLord Howe's ExploitsThe Siege and Relief of GibraltarNegotiations for PeaceFolly of Oswald and Duplicity of ShelburneThe Negotiations continuedFranklin throws over VergennesConclusion of a Secret Treaty between England and AmericaFate of the American RoyalistsAnnouncement of the Peace in ParliamentTerms of Peace with France, Spain, and HollandOpposition to the PeaceCoalition of Fox and NorthFall of ShelburnePitt's Attempt to form a MinistryThe Coalition in OfficeReform and the Prince of WalesFox's India BillIts IntroductionProgress of the MeasureThe King's Letter to TempleReception of the News in the CommonsDismissal of the MinistryPitt forms a CabinetFactious Opposition of FoxPitt's India BillHe refuses to divulge his IntentionsThe Tide begins to TurnAttempt at a CoalitionIncreasing Popularity of PittFox's ResolutionThe Dissolution"Fox's Martyrs."

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