On the 3rd of December Buonaparte announced to his officers his intention to leave them and make the best of his way to Paris. He pleaded the state of affairs there, and especially the conspiracy of Mallet; but he was now approaching the frontiers of Prussia, and as he knew that he had declared that, if he returned successful, he would deprive Frederick William altogether of his crown, he was as apprehensive of that monarch as of the Russians themselves.
Cope had landed his force at Dunbar on the very day that the prince entered Edinburgh. His disembarkation was not completed till the 18th. Lord Loudon had joined him at Inverness with two hundred men, and now he met the runaway dragoons, six hundred in number, so that his whole force amounted to two thousand two hundred men—some few hundreds less than the Highlanders. Sir John took the level road towards Edinburgh, marching out of Dunbar on the 19th of September. Next day Lord Loudon, who acted as adjutant-general, rode forward with a reconnoitring party, and soon came back at a smart trot to announce that the rebels were not approaching by the road and the open country to the west, but along the heights to the south. Sir John, therefore, altered his route, and pushed on to Prestonpans, where he formed his army in battle array. He placed his foot in the centre, with a regiment of dragoons and three pieces of artillery on each wing. His right was covered by Colonel Gardiner's park wall and the village of Preston; his left extended towards Seaton House, and in his rear lay the sea, with the villages of Prestonpans and Cockenzie. Between him and the Highlanders was a deep morass.Parliament was prorogued on the 31st of May, 1826, and two days afterwards dissolved. It had nearly run its course. It was the sixth Session, which had been abridged with a view of getting through the general election at a convenient season. But though short, the Session had much work to show of one kind or another, including some useful legislation. The Parliamentary papers printed occupied twenty-nine folio volumes, exclusive of the journals and votes. The Parliament whose existence was now terminated had, indeed, effected the most important changes in the policy of Great Britain, foreign and domestic. Mr. Canning had severed the connection, unnatural as it was damaging, between England and the Holy Alliance. The Government of the freest country in the world, presenting almost the only example of a constitution in which the power of the people was represented, was no longer to be associated in the councils of a conclave of despots; and this change of direction in its foreign policy was cordially adopted by the House of Commons and by the nation. Another great and vital change in national policy was the partial admission of the principles of Free Trade, which the Tories regarded, not without reason, as effecting a complete revolution, which extended its influence to the whole legislation and government.
The manner in which Hastings had executed the orders of the Directors in this business showed that he was prepared to go all lengths in maintaining their interests in India. He immediately proceeded to give an equally striking proof of this. We have seen that when the Mogul Shah Allum applied to the British to assist him in recovering his territories, they promised to conduct him in triumph to Delhi, and place him firmly on the grand throne of all India; but when, in consequence of this engagement, he had made over to them by a public grant, Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, they found it inconvenient to fulfil their contract, and made over to him Allahabad and Corah instead, with an annual payment of twenty-six lacs of rupees—two hundred and sixty thousand pounds. The payment of this large sum, too, was regarded by the Company, now in the deepest debt, as unnecessary, and Hastings had orders to reduce it. It appears that the money was at no time duly paid, and had now been withheld altogether for more than two years. The Mogul, thus disappointed in the promises of restoration by the English, and now again in the payment of this stipulated tribute, turned to the Mahrattas, and offered to make over the little provinces of Allahabad and Corah, on condition that they restored him to the sovereignty of Delhi. The Mahrattas gladly caught at this offer, and by the end of the year 1771 they had borne the Mogul in triumph into his ancient capital of Delhi. This was precisely such a case as the Directors were on the watch for. In their letter to Bengal of the 11th of November, 1768, they had said: "If the Emperor flings himself into the hands of the Mahrattas, or any other Power, we are disengaged from him, and it may open a fair opportunity of withholding the twenty-six lacs of rupees we now pay him." The opportunity had now come, and was immediately seized on by Hastings to rescind the payment of the money altogether, and he prepared to annex the two provinces of Allahabad and Corah. These were sold to the Nabob of Oude for fifty lacs of rupees. This bargain was settled between the vizier and Hastings at Benares, in September, 1773.
On the 15th of April, notwithstanding Luttrell's signal defeat, the House of Commons, on the motion of Onslow, son of the late Speaker, voted, after a violent debate, by a majority of fifty-four, that "Henry Lawes Luttrell, Esq., ought to have been returned for Middlesex." The debate was very obstinate. The whole of the Grenville interest, including Lord Temple, was employed against Government, and the decision was not made till three o'clock on Sunday morning.But for Newcastle to form a Cabinet was no such easy matter. Pitt refused to take office with him unless he had the whole management of the war and foreign affairs. The king then agreed to send for Henry Fox, who accepted the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer; but Newcastle was so sensible of Fox's unpopularity that he was terrified at undertaking an Administration with Fox and without Pitt, though he was equally reluctant to let a Cabinet be formed without the former. For three months the fruitless endeavours to accomplish a Ministry went on, Parliament sitting all the time, and a great war commencing. Finally, the king and Newcastle were compelled to submit to the terms of "the Great Commoner," as they called Pitt, who became Secretary of State, with the management of the war and foreign affairs. Newcastle became again First Lord of the Treasury, but without one of his old supporters, and Legge Chancellor of the Exchequer; Holderness, a mere cipher, was the other Secretary of State; Anson was placed at the head of the Admiralty; Lord Temple was made Lord Privy Seal; and Pratt, an able lawyer and friend of Pitt, Attorney-General. Fox condescended to take the office of Paymaster of the Forces; and thus, after a long and severe struggle, the feeble aristocrats, who had so long managed and disgraced the country, were compelled to admit fresh blood into the Government in the person of Pitt. But they still entertained the idea that they only were the men, and that wisdom would die with them. One and all, even the otherwise sagacious Chesterfield, prognosticated only dishonour and ruin for such a plebeian appointment. "We are no longer a nation," said Chesterfield; "I never yet saw so dreadful a prospect."
While this was going on, the town of San Sebastian was stormed by the British. Sir Thomas Graham conducted the assault, which was led on by the brigade of General Robinson, bravely supported by a detachment of Portuguese under Major Snodgrass. The place was captured; the French were driven through it to the castle standing on a height, in which they found refuge. Seven hundred prisoners were taken. The British lost two thousand men in the assault—a loss which would have been far greater had a mine, containing one thousand two hundred pounds of gunpowder, exploded, but which was fortunately prevented by the falling in of a saucisson. Many less would have fallen, however, had General Graham allowed shells to be thrown into the town, which he would not, on account of the inhabitants. But the French had not only prepared this great mine, but exploded various other appliances for setting the town on fire. In fact they showed no care for the people or the town. When driven to the castle, after a murderous street fight—in which they picked off our men from behind walls and windows, killing Sir Richard Fletcher, the commanding engineer, and wounding Generals Robinson, Leith, and Oswald, besides slaughtering heaps of our men—they continued to fire down the streets, killing great numbers of the inhabitants besides our soldiers. Yet, after all, they charged Lord Wellington with not only throwing shells into the town, but with setting it on fire, and plundering it. His lordship indignantly repelled these accusations in his letter to his brother, Sir Henry Wellesley. He declares that he himself had been obliged to hasten to his headquarters at Lezaco, on the morning of the 31st of August, but that he saw the town on fire in various places before our soldiers entered it; in fact, the French had set it on fire in six different places, and had their mine exploded scarcely a fragment of the town would have been left, or a single inhabitant alive. The lenity shown to the town by Wellington and Graham, who acted for him, was not used towards their calumniators in the castle. It was stoutly bombarded, and being soon almost battered to pieces about the ears of the defenders, the French surrendered on the 8th of September, two thousand five hundred in number; but the siege of both town and fort had cost the allies four thousand men in killed and wounded. Had the town been, as the French represented, bombarded like the castle, some thousands of English and Portuguese lives would have been spared, but at the expense of the inhabitants.[See larger version]DEPOSITION OF MEER JAFFIER. (See p. 316.)
Rt. Hon. Sir H. Langrishe, ￡15,000 for his patronage of Knocktopher, and a commissionership of revenue.Samuel Taylor Coleridge (b. 1772; d. 1834) published his earliest poems in association with his friends, Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd, and Charles Lamb. But his contributions, especially of the "Ancient Mariner," soon pointed them out as belonging to a genius very different. In his compositions there is a wide variety, some of them being striking from their wild and mysterious nature, some for their elevation of both spirit and language, and others for their deep tone of feeling. His "Geneviève," his "Christabel," his "Ancient Mariner," and his "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni," are themselves the sufficient testimonies of a great master. In some of his blank verse compositions the tone is as independently bold as the sentiments are philosophical and humane. Besides his own poetry, Coleridge translated part of Schiller's "Wallenstein," and was the author of several prose works of a high philosophical character. Southey was as different from Coleridge in the nature of his poetical productions as Coleridge was from Wordsworth. In his earliest poems he displayed a strong resentment against the abuses of society; he condemned war in his poem on "Blenheim," and expressed himself unsparingly on the treatment of the poor. His "Botany Bay Eclogues" are particularly in this vein. But he changed all that, and became one of the most zealous defenders of things as they are. His smaller poems are, after all, the best things which he wrote; his great epics of "Madoc," "Roderick, the Last of the Goths," "The Curse of Kehama," and "Thalaba," now finding few readers. Yet there are parts of them that must always charm.SIGNATURES TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
Meanwhile, the American emissaries were both busy and successful at the Court of France. Though the Government still professed most amicable relations towards Great Britain, it winked at the constant sale of the prizes taken by American privateers, or those who passed for such, in their ports. The Government had, as we have seen, supplied the insurgents with money and arms. It was now arranged between Silas Deane and the French Minister, Vergennes, that the supplies of arms and ammunition should be sent by way of the West Indies, and that Congress should remit payment in tobacco and other produce. The French Government supplied the American agents with money for their purchases of arms and necessary articles for the troops, also to be repaid in tobacco. Two of the ships sent off with such supplies were captured by the British men-of-war; but a third, loaded with arms, arrived safely. To procure the money which they could not draw from Europe, Congress made fresh issues of paper money, though what was already out was fearfully depreciated. They voted a loan also of five millions of dollars, at four per cent. interest. They authorised a lottery to raise a like sum, the prizes to be payable in loan-office certificates. These measures only precipitated the depreciation of the Government paper; people refused to take it; and Washington, to prevent the absolute starvation of the army, was endowed with the extraordinary power of compelling the acceptance of it, and of arresting and imprisoning all maligners of the credit of Congress. Congress went further, and passed a resolution that their bills ought to pass current in all payments, trade, and dealings, and be deemed equal in value to the same sum in Spanish dollars; and that all persons refusing to take them should be considered enemies to the United States; and the local authorities were called upon to inflict forfeitures and other penalties on all such persons. Still further: the New York convention having laid before Congress their scheme for regulating the price of labour, produce, manufactured articles, and imported goods, it was adopted. But these arbitrary and unscientific measures the traders set at defiance, and the attempts to enforce them only aggravated the public distress. Loans came in slowly, the treasury ran low, the loan offices were overdrawn, and the issue of bills of credit was reluctantly recommenced; ten additional millions were speedily authorised, and as the issue increased, the depreciation naturally kept pace with it. The Commissioners in France were instructed to borrow money there, but the instructions were more easily given than executed.The taste for Italian music was now every day increasing; singers of that nation appeared with great applause at most concerts. In 1703 Italian music was introduced into the theatres as intermezzi, or interludes, consisting of singing and dancing; then whole operas appeared, the music Italian, the words English; and, in 1707, Urbani, a male soprano, and two Italian women, sang their parts all in Italian, the other performers using English. Finally, in 1710, a complete Italian opera was performed at the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, and from that time the Italian opera was regularly established in London. This led to the arrival of the greatest composer whom the world had yet seen. George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, in Germany, in 1685. He had displayed wonderful genius for music as a mere child, and having, at the age of seven years, astonished the Duke of Saxe Weissenfels—at whose court his brother-in-law was a valet—who found him playing the organ in the chapel, he was, by the Duke's recommendation, regularly educated for the profession of music. At the age of ten, Handel composed the church service for voices and instruments; and after acquiring a great reputation in Hamburg—where, in 1705, he brought out his "Almira"—he proceeded to Florence, where he produced the opera of "Rodrigo," and thence to Venice, Rome, and Naples. After remaining in Italy four years, he was induced to come to England in 1710, at the pressing entreaties of many of the English nobility, to superintend the opera. But, though he was enthusiastically received, the party spirit which raged at that period soon made it impossible to conduct the opera with any degree of self-respect and independence. He therefore abandoned the attempt, having sunk nearly all his fortune in it, and commenced the composition of his noble oratorios. Racine's "Esther," abridged and altered by Humphreys, was set by him, in 1720, for the chapel of the Duke of Chandos at Cannons. It was, however, only by slow degrees that the wonderful genius of Handel was appreciated, yet it won its way against all prejudices and difficulties. In 1731 his "Esther" was performed by the children of the chapel-royal at the house of Bernard Gates, their master, and the following year, at the king's command, at the royal theatre in the Haymarket. It was fortunate for Handel that the monarch was German too, or he might have quitted the country in disgust before his fame had triumphed over faction and ignorance. So far did these operate, that in 1742, when he produced his glorious "Messiah," it was so coldly received that it was treated as a failure. Handel, in deep discouragement, however, gave it another trial in Dublin, where the warm imaginations of the Irish caught all its sublimity, and gave it an enthusiastic reception. On its next presentation in London his audience reversed the former judgment, and the delighted composer then presented the manuscript to the Foundling Hospital, where it was performed annually for the benefit of that excellent institution, and added to its funds ten thousand three hundred pounds. It became the custom, from 1737, to perform oratorios on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Handel, whose genius has never been surpassed for vigour, spirit, invention, and sublimity, became blind in his latter years. He continued to perform in public, and to compose, till within a week of his death, which took place on April 13, 1759.CADIZ.
PRESS-GANG AT WORK.NAPOLEON I. (From the Portrait by Paul Delaroche.)详情
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