类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-01 09:14:34


From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. A scene followed the king's departure which seems almost incredible. After the service of the second course, the numerous attendants, singers, and even ladies and gentlemen began to press round the royal table, as if prepared for a scramble to possess its contents. The crowd of spectators pressed nearer and nearer. For a moment only covetous eyes were cast on the spoils, as if each were afraid to begin the plunder; but, at last, a rude hand having been thrust through the first ranks, and a golden fork having been seized, this operated as a signal to all, and was followed by a "general snatch." In a short time all the small portable articles were transferred to the pockets of the multitude. The Lord High Chamberlain, hearing of the attack, hastened to the rescue, and[216] with the greatest difficulty saved the more important articles of plate, and had them conveyed to Carlton Garden. Then followed a scene unparalleled in the annals of coronations. The crowds in the galleries had beheld with envy the operations at the banquet. They were very hungry, and very thirsty, and seeing now that Westminster Hall was "liberty hall," they rushed down different stairs and passages, and attacked the viands and the wine. A raging thirst was the first thing to be satisfied, and in a few minutes every bottle on the table was emptied. A fresh supply was soon obtained from the cellarettes. When the ravening selfishness of the hungry crowd was satisfied, the gentlemen recovered their politeness, and began to think of the ladies. Groups of beautiful women then found their way to the tables, and every effort was made to afford them the refreshment of which they stood so much in need. In the meantime, the plunderers took advantage of the confusion to enrich themselves with trophies, breaking and destroying the table ornaments to obtain fragments of things too cumbrous to carry away. Thus, baskets, flowerpots, vases, and figures were everywhere disappearing, and these were followed by glasses, knives, forks, salt-spoons, and, finally, the plates and dishes. The last were engraved with the royal arms and the letters "Geo. IV.," and were therefore specially coveted as memorials. The dirty state of the articles, however, was rather out of keeping with the costly dresses; but the ladies and gentlemen got over the difficulty by wrapping up the articles in their pocket-handkerchiefs. Having thus secured all the spoils they could, they made all possible haste to their carriages. At a subsequent period, it was with the greatest difficulty that the royal plate could be kept from being carried away by the multitude outside when the barriers were removed.Accordingly, on the morning of the 17th, he sent a flag of truce to Washington, proposing a cessation of hostilities for twenty-four hours, in order that commissioners might meet and settle the terms of surrender. They were soon arranged, and articles of surrender were signed by the respective generals on the morning of the 19th of October.Alberoni despatched Don Joseph Pati?o to Barcelona to hasten the military preparations. Twelve ships of war and eight thousand six hundred men were speedily assembled there, and an instant alarm was excited throughout Europe as to the destination of this not very formidable force. The Emperor, whose treacherous conduct justly rendered him suspicious, imagined the blow destined for his Italian territories; the English anticipated a fresh movement in favour of the Pretender; but Alberoni, an astute Italian, who was on the point of receiving the cardinal's hat from the Pope led Charles (VI.) to believe that the armament was directed against the Infidels in the Levant. The Pope, therefore, hastened the favour of the Roman purple, and then Alberoni no longer concealed the real destination of his troops. The Marquis de Lede was ordered to set out with the squadron for the Italian shores; but when Naples was trembling in apprehension of a visit, the fleet drew up, on the 20th of August, in the bay of Cagliari, the capital of the island of Sardinia. That a force which might have taken Naples should content itself with an attack on the barren, rocky, and swampy Sardinia, surprised many; but Alberoni knew very well that, though he could take, he had not yet an army sufficient to hold Naples, and he was satisfied to strike a blow which should alarm Europe, whilst it gratified the impatience of the Spanish monarch for revenge. There was, moreover, an ulterior object. It had lately been proposed by England and Holland to the Emperor, in order to induce him[40] to come into the Triple Alliance and convert it into a quadruple one, to obtain an exchange of this island for Sicily with the Duke of Savoy. It was, therefore, an object to prevent this arrangement by first seizing Sardinia. The Spanish general summoned the governor of Cagliari to surrender; but he stood out, and the Spaniards had to wait for the complete arrival of their ships before they could land and invest the place. The governor was ere long compelled to capitulate; but the Aragonese and the Catalans, who had followed the Austrians from the embittered contest in their own country, defended the island with furious tenacity, and it was not till November, and after severe losses through fighting and malaria, that the Spaniards made themselves masters of the island. The Powers of the Triple Alliance then intervened with the proposal that Austria should renounce all claim on the Spanish monarchy, and Spain all claim on Italy. Enraged at this proposal, Alberoni embarked on extensive military preparations, and put in practice the most extensive diplomatic schemes to paralyse his enemies abroad. He won the goodwill of Victor Amadeus by holding out the promise of the Milanese in exchange for Sicily; he encouraged the Turks to continue the war against the Emperor, and entered into negotiations with Ragotsky to renew the insurrection in Hungary; he adopted the views of Gortz for uniting the Czar and Charles of Sweden in peace, so that he might be able to turn their united power against the Emperor, and still more against the Electorate of Hanover, thus diverting the attention and the energies of George of England. Still further to occupy England, which he dreaded more than all the rest, he opened a direct correspondence with the Pretender, who was now driven across the Alps by the Triple Alliance, and promised him aid in a new expedition against Britain under the direction of the Duke of Ormonde, or of James himself. In France the same skilful pressure was directed against all the tender places of the body politic. He endeavoured to rouse anew the insurrection of the Cevennes and the discontents of Brittany. The Jesuits, the Protestants, the Duke and Duchess of Maine, were all called into action, and the demands for the assembling of the States-General, for the instant reformation of abuses, for reduction of the national debts, and for other reforms, were the cries by which the Government was attempted to be embarrassed.

Robespierre believed that there was a majority of the Republicans who thought they had gone too far in abolishing the Deity and setting up the Goddess of Reason. He declared that the people needed festivals, and immediately it was decreed that every decade should be celebrated as a festival. A festival in honour of the Supreme Being inaugurated this series of special holidays, and it was to be followed by festivals to the Human Race, the French People, the Love of Country, Agriculture, Necessity, Misfortune, Posterity, and various other qualities and sentiments, each having one decade in the year. The first festival to the Supreme Being was fixed for the 20th of Prairial, or 8th of June. The painter David was commissioned to prepare the scenes and ceremonies of the festival, which was enacted in the gardens of the Tuileries. Robespierre, in his sky-blue coat and most showy waistcoat, and carrying in his hand a grand bouquet of flowers mixed with ears of wheat, led the procession and officiated as high priest. But though Robespierre had proclaimed the reign of the Supreme Being, he had not the least intention that it should on that account be any the more a reign of mercy. In his speech at the festival of the Supreme Being, he declared that the Republic must be still further purged—that they must remain inexorable. On this point he and all his colleagues were agreed, but they were agreed in nothing else. They immediately broke into fresh schisms, as would necessarily be the case with such men, who must go on exterminating one another to the last. Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon still hung together; but Barrère, Collot d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and most of the other members of the Committees of Public Welfare and Public Safety, were in the very act of rushing into opposition, and beginning a struggle with the triumvirate—Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just—to the death. St. Just advised Robespierre to anticipate them, but he, relying on his authority with the Convention, remained inactive. It was a fatal mistake. Barrère and his faction determined to strike a decisive blow at Robespierre; and Tallien volunteered to commence the attack on Robespierre in the Convention. To Robespierre's utter astonishment, his friends were outnumbered, and decrees were immediately passed for the arrest of Couthon, Lebas, St. Just, Robespierre and his brother. He escaped and fled to the Commune. For a moment it seemed as if a revolution would have restored him to power. But the Parisians were weary of their tyrant, and on the following day Robespierre with twenty members of the Commune perished on the scaffold (July 28th, 1794).

Many improvements were made also in the glass manufacture during this reign, and more would undoubtedly have been made but for the very heavy duties upon it to help to support the ruinous wars of the period. In 1760, the first year of the reign, crown glass is said to have been introduced. In 1763 the first glass plates for looking-glasses and coach-windows were made at Lambeth. In 1779 flint-glass was first made; and about that time plate-glass. The duties on different kinds of glass at that date were about one hundred and forty thousand pounds per annum. So oppressive were those duties that, in 1785, the St. Helens Plate-glass Company petitioned Parliament, stating that, in consequence of the weight of taxation, notwithstanding an expenditure of one hundred thousand pounds, they had not been able to declare a dividend.What a totally different species of composition was the "Vicar" to the tale of "Rasselas," published by his friend Dr. Samuel Johnson (b. 1709; d. 1784), the great lexicographer, seven years before! This was conceived in the romantic and allegoric spirit of the time—"The Ten Days of Seged," "The Vision of Mirza," and the like. It was laid in the south, but amid Eastern manners, and didactic in spirit and ornate in style. It was measured, and graceful, and dull—too scholastic to seize on the heart and the imagination. On a nature like Goldsmith's it could make no impression, and therefore leave no trace. The one was like a scene amid palm trees, and fountains, and sporting gazelles; the other like a genuine English common, on which robust children were tumbling and shouting, amid blooming gorse, near the sunny brook, with the lark carolling above them. There is no country in Europe, scarcely in the world, where letters are known, which has not its translation of the "Vicar of Wakefield." Even in England, "Rasselas" is almost forgotten.

Parliament reassembled, according to the Minister's plan, at the unusually early date of the 22nd of January, 1846. The Queen's Speech, read by her Majesty in person, thus alluded to the topic most prominent in the public mind:—MEN OF WAR OFF PORTSMOUTH.

Food we had none;This great debate was interrupted by a motion[523] brought on by Mr. O'Connell, on the impending famine in Ireland, which is chiefly memorable for a speech of Mr. Bright, in which, alluding to Sir Robert Peel's last address to the House, he said, "I watched the right honourable baronet go home last night, and I confess I envied him the ennobling feelings which must have filled his breast after delivering that speech—a speech, I venture to say, more powerful and more to be admired than any speech ever heard in this House within the memory of any man in it." A further eloquent allusion to the Minister's newly acquired freedom from the enthralment of the bigoted among his party had a powerful effect upon the House, and it was observed by those who sat near Sir Robert Peel that the tears started to his eyes at this unexpected generosity from his old opponent.

[See larger version]

Jellacic, the Ban, or Governor, of Croatia, resolved to hold a Slavonic Diet at Agram on the 5th of June; but it was forbidden as illegal by the Austrian Government, and the Ban was summoned to Innsbruck to explain his conduct to the emperor. He disobeyed the summons. The Diet was held, and one of its principal acts was to confer upon Jellacic the title of Ban, which he had held under the now repudiated authority of the emperor. He was consequently denounced as a rebel, and divested of all his titles and offices. The emperor proceeded to restore his authority by force of arms. Carlowitz was bombarded, and converted into a heap of ruins; and other cities surrendered to escape a similar fate. It was not, however, from disloyalty to the imperial throne, but from hostility to the ascendency of Hungary, that the Ban had taken up arms. He therefore went to Innsbruck early in July, and having obtained an interview with the emperor, he declared his loyalty to the Sovereign, and made known the grievances which his nation endured under the Hungarian Government. His demands were security and equality of rights with the Hungarians, both in the Hungarian Diet and in[579] the administration. These conditions were profoundly resented by the Magyars, who, headed by Count Batthyány and Louis Kossuth, had in 1847 extorted a Constitution from the emperor. It was the unfortunate antipathy of races, excited by the Germanic and Pan-Slavonic movements, that enabled the emperor to divide and conquer. The Archduke Stephen in opening the Hungarian Diet indignantly repelled the insinuation that either the king or any of the royal family could give the slightest encouragement to the Ban of Croatia in his hostile proceedings against Hungary. Yet, on the 30th of September following, letters which had been intercepted by the Hungarians were published at Vienna, completely compromising the emperor, and revealing a disgraceful conspiracy which he appears to have entered into with Jellacic, when they met at Innsbruck. Not only were the barbarous Croatians, in their devastating aggression on Hungary, encouraged by the emperor while professing to deplore and condemn them, but the Imperial Government were secretly supplying the Ban with money for carrying on the war. Early in August the Croatian troops laid siege to several of the most important cities in Hungary, and laid waste some of the richest districts in that country. In these circumstances the Diet voted that a deputation of twenty-five members should proceed at once to Vienna, and make an appeal to the National Assembly for aid against the Croats, who were now rapidly overrunning the country under Jellacic, who proclaimed that he was about to rid Hungary "from the yoke of an incapable, odious, and rebel Government." The deputation went to Vienna, and the Assembly, by a majority of 186 to 108, resolved to refuse it a hearing. Deeply mortified at this insult, the Hungarians resolved to break completely with Austria. They invested Kossuth with full powers as Dictator, whereupon the Archduke resigned his vice-royalty on the 25th of September, and retired to Moravia.At the close of an admirable defence by his counsel Desèze, Louis rose and read the following few remarks, which he had prepared:—"My means of defence are now before you. I shall not repeat them. In addressing you—perhaps for the last time—I declare that my conscience reproaches me with nothing, and that my defenders have told you the truth. I was never afraid that my conduct should be publicly examined; but it wounds me to the heart to find, in the act of accusation, the imputation that I caused the blood of the people to be spilt; and, above all, that the calamitous events of the 10th of August are attributed to me.



FRANKFORT. (From a Photograph by Frith & Co., Reigate.)

In the lives of English painters the story of Benjamin Robert Haydon is perhaps the saddest. In youth he devoted himself with such zeal to the study of art that people wondered how he ever found time to eat. He was one of those men of genius who may be called "unlucky." He was always in pecuniary difficulties, though his father allowed him £200 per annum in the earlier part of his career. He applied for admission into the Academy, but did not obtain a single vote; and he got involved in controversies, which continued to embitter his life. He succeeded at last, however, by his energy, in commanding public attention and winning fame. For the "Judgment of Solomon" he received £700, with £100 voted to him by the directors of the British Institution, and the freedom of Plymouth. His pictures were, however, very unequal; here and there was a powerful piece of work, but the whole was generally rough and unfinished. He committed suicide in 1846. Sculpture, which was then at its lowest ebb, was relieved alone from vacuity by the works of Chantrey, Flaxman, and Gibson.The next step in the increase of means of traffic was the construction of canals. The rivers had previously been rendered more navigable by removing obstructions, deepening channels, and making good towing-paths along their banks; but now it was projected to make artificial rivers. In this scheme, Richard Brindley, under the patronage of the Duke of Bridgewater, was the great engineer; and his intrepid genius dictated to him to carry these canals over hills by locks, over rivers by aqueducts, and through the heart of hills by tunnels. These enterprises at that moment appeared, to the ordinary run of civil engineers, as rash experiments, which were sure to prove abortive. As all new ideas are, these ideas, now so commonplace, were ridiculed by the wise ones as little short of madness. Mr. Brindley's first great work was the formation of the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, from Worsley to Manchester. In this he at once proved all his plans of locks, tunnels, and aqueducts. He conducted his canal by an aqueduct over the river Irwell, at an elevation of thirty-nine feet; and those learned engineers who had laughed at the scheme as "a castle in the air," might now see boats passing over the river at that height with the greatest ease, while other boats were being drawn up the Irwell against the stream and under the aqueduct with five times the labour. At Worsley the canal was conducted into the very heart of the coal-mine by a tunnel, with branches, which conducted the boats up to the different parts of the[191] mine, so that the coal could be loaded on the spot where it was dug. The immediate effect of this canal was to reduce coals in Manchester to half the former price; and the canal being extended so as to connect it with the Mersey, at Runcorn, it reduced the freight of goods from Manchester to Liverpool to the same extent, from twelve shillings to six shillings per ton, the land carriage having been forty shillings. Brindley was next engaged to execute the Grand Trunk Canal, which united the Trent and Mersey, carrying it through Birmingham, Chesterfield, and to Nottingham. This was commenced in 1766, and exhibited further examples of his undaunted skill, and, as he had been laughed at by the pedants of the profession, he now in his turn laughed at their puny mediocrity. One of his tunnels, at Harecastle Hill, in Staffordshire, was two thousand eight hundred and eighty yards long, twelve feet wide, nine high, and in some parts seventy yards below the surface of the ground. This tunnel, after half a century's use, was found too confined for the traffic, and a new one, much wider, was made by Telford. By this time the art of tunnelling had made great progress, and whilst Brindley required eleven years to complete his tunnel, Telford made his much larger one in three. Many causes intervened to check for a time the progress of canals, so that from 1760 to 1774 only nineteen Acts were passed for them; but in the two years of 1793 and 1794 no fewer than thirty-six new Bills were introduced to Parliament, with others for extending and amending rivers, making altogether forty-seven Acts, the expenditure on the canals of these two years' projection amounting to five million three hundred thousand pounds. The work now went on rapidly, and investments in canal shares exhibited at that day, in miniature, the great fever of railway speculation at a later period. Lines of canals were made to connect the Thames, the Tweed, the Severn, and the Mersey; so that the great ports of London, Liverpool, Hull, and Bristol were connected by them, and put into communication with nearly all the great inland manufacturing towns. In 1779 a ship-canal was completed from the Forth to the Clyde—a work proposed as early as the reign of Charles II. This canal, thirty-five miles in length, had thirty-nine locks, which carried the canal to a height of one hundred and fifty-six feet above the sea, and it crossed the river Kelvin by an aqueduct eighty-three feet from the bed of the river to the top of the masonry. A few years later a much larger ship-canal united Gloucester to the Severn, and wonderfully increased the trade and growth of that city.



Copyright © 2020