类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-28 07:35:52


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There was a sort of understanding in those times that Hyde Park was the peculiar preserve of the aristocracy. Women of notoriously bad reputation would not then have dared to show themselves in Rotten Row, and the middle and lower classes of London did not think of intruding themselves as equestrians upon the pleasure-ground of the nobility. At that time it was every way more retired; the walks were fewer, and cows and deer were seen quietly grazing under clumps of trees. The frequenters of the park, who then congregated daily about five o'clock, were chiefly[442] composed of dandies and ladies in the best society; the former, well-mounted and dressed in a blue coat, with brass buttons, leather breeches and top-boots, with a tremendously deep, stiff, white cravat, and high shirt-collar, which rendered stooping impossible. Many of the ladies used to drive round the park in a carriage, called a vis-à-vis, which held only two persons, having a hammer-cloth rich in heraldic designs, powdered footmen in smart liveries, and a coachman who assumed all the airs and importance of a wigged archbishop.But, in the autumn of 1781, they resolved on a renewed attack of the most vigorous kind. Elliot received information of this, and determined to anticipate the plan. At midnight of the 26th of November he ordered out all his grenadiers and light infantry, including the two veteran regiments with which he had seen service in Germany so many years ago, the 12th, and the regiment of General Hardenberg. Three hundred sailors volunteered to accompany them, and the brave old general himself could not stay behind. The detachment marched silently through the soft sand, and entered the fourth line almost before the Spanish sentinel was aware of them. In a very few minutes the enemy was in full flight towards the village of Campo, and the English set to work, under direction of the engineer officers, to destroy the works which had cost the Spaniards such enormous labour to erect. The Spaniards for several days appeared so stupefied that they allowed their works to burn without any attempt to check the fire. In the following month of December, however, they slowly resumed their bombardment. Nevertheless, it was not till the spring of 1782 that the Spaniards were cheered by the news that the Duke of Crillon was on his way to join them with the army which had conquered Minorca.

[See larger version]CHAPTER XVIII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).

Encouraged by this unwonted success (for the words of the speaker, reminding them of the coming elections, had sunk deep into many hearts). Dunning immediately moved a second proposition, namely, that it was competent to that House to examine into and correct any abuses of the Civil List, as well as of any other branch of the public revenue. The resolution was carried without a division. Immediately on the heels of this, Thomas Pitt moved that it was the duty of the House to redress without delay the grievances enumerated in the petitions of the people. Lord North implored that they would not proceed any further that night; but this resolution was also put and carried, likewise without division. Immediately, though it was past one o'clock in the morning, Fox moved that all these motions should be reported. Lord North, in the utmost consternation, declared this procedure was "violent, arbitrary, and unusual;" but Fox pressed his motion, and it was carried, like the rest, without a division, and the Report was brought up.

[See larger version]The fate of Cabul was now to be decided. Some mark of just retribution should be left upon it, and General Pollock determined to destroy the great bazaar, where the mangled remains of our murdered envoy had been exposed to the insults of the inhabitants. The buildings were therefore blown up with gunpowder, the design being to allow the work of destruction to extend no further. But it was impossible to restrain the troops. "The cry went forth that Cabul was given up to plunder. Both camps," wrote Major Rawlinson, "rushed into the city, and the consequence has been the almost total destruction of most parts of the town, except the Gholom Khana quarter and the Bala Hissar. Numbers of people—about 4,000 or 5,000—had returned to Cabul, relying on our promises of protection, rendered confident by the comparative immunity they had enjoyed during the early part of our sojourn here, and by the appearance ostentatiously put forth of an Afghan Government. They had many of them re-opened their shops. These people have been now reduced to utter ruin; their goods have been plundered, and the houses burnt over their heads. The Hindoos in particular, whose numbers amount to some 500 families, have lost everything they possessed, and they will have to beg their way to India in the rear of our columns." Meanwhile General Nott had retaken Ghuznee.



This noble independence was in bright contrast to that of Scottish juries. In this very autumn, fresh trials of accused seditionists had taken place at Edinburgh, in which the conduct of Government and the servility of the Scottish juries were equally reprehensible. One Robert Watt, a ruined tradesman of that city, was put upon his trial, on the 14th of August, charged with eighteen overt acts of high treason—in exciting many individuals to arm themselves, and to meet in convention to concoct plans for the overthrow of the Government. But it appeared on the trial that Watt had long been a Government spy, employed to instigate people to these courses, by direct orders from Mr. Secretary Dundas and the Lord Advocate of Scotland. Letters from these gentlemen containing these orders, and proofs of Watt being in the pay of Government for these purposes, were produced by Mr. Henry Erskine, the prisoner's counsel. It was shown unanswerably that he had been encouraged to have arms made and distributed, and to tempt soldiers in Edinburgh. He had been thus employed to mislead and ensnare unsuspecting persons from August, 1792, to October, 1793—more than twelve months; and it was shown that after this the Government had abandoned him, and that he had then joined the Reformers in earnest. Notwithstanding this display of the infamous conduct of the Government, Watt was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.The next day the war against France was proclaimed, and for the righteous cause of restoring the independence of the nations. Prussia, and indeed all Germany, had now been trampled on sufficiently to crush the effeminacy out of all classes—to rouse the true soul of liberty in them. Men of every rank offered themselves as the defenders and avengers of their country; the students at this moment not only sung, but aided freedom. The volunteers were formed into Black Bands, and others assumed the dress and arms of the Cossacks, who had won much admiration. They were disciplined in the system of Scharnhorst, and soon became effective soldiers. A leader was found for them after their own heart—the brave and patriotic Blucher, who had been reserving himself for this day, and Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, better tacticians than himself, were appointed to assist him, and carry out all the strategic movements; whilst Blucher, never depressed by difficulties, never daunted by defeat, led them on with the cheer from which he derived his most common appellation of Marshal Forwards—"Forwards! my children, forwards!" All classes hastened to contribute the utmost amount possible to the necessary funds for this sacred war. The ladies gave in their gold chains and bracelets, their diamonds and rubies, and wore as ornaments chains and bracelets of beautifully wrought iron.



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