类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-26 07:19:08


On the evening of the 16th of July Casta?os appeared on the Argonilla, directly opposite to Andujar; the river was fordable in many places from the drought, and the different divisions of the Spaniards crossed in the night. Vedel, seeing the critical situation of the French army, made a rapid movement to regain and keep open the mountainous defile by which he had arrived, but Dupont remained at Andujar till the night of the 18th. Vedel remaining at the pass for Dupont, the latter found himself intercepted at Baylen by the Swiss General, Reding, and whilst engaging him his own Swiss troops went over to Reding. He sent expresses to Vedel to return to his aid, but before this could be accomplished he was defeated, and compelled to surrender. He was enormously encumbered by baggage; for the French, as usual, utterly regardless of the necessity of keeping on good terms with a people over whom they wished to rule, had been pillaging churches and houses of all plate and valuables that they could find. In endeavouring to defend the baggage, Dupont had weakened his front, and occasioned his repulse. Casta?os had not perceived the march of the French; but, by the time his van came up with Reding, he found the French army prisoners. The terms proposed by the French were that they should be allowed to retire upon Madrid with all their arms and baggage. But Casta?os was too well acquainted with the necessities of the French through the intercepted letter to Savary. He insisted that they should pile their arms, give up the greater part of their spoil, and be sent down to San Lucar and Rota, where they should be embarked for France. Whilst Dupont was hesitating on these conditions, he received a note from Vedel, proposing that they should make a simultaneous attack on the Spaniards, and thus have a fresh chance of turning the scale in their own favour. But Dupont saw that this was hopeless; and, moreover, it is said that Casta?os insisted that if Vedel himself did not immediately[556] lay down his arms, he would shoot Dupont. Vedel, who now saw little hope of cutting his way through the mountains, was compelled to obey. The French piled their arms on the 22nd of July, the prisoners amounting to between eighteen and nineteen thousand. They gave up also thirty pieces of cannon.Sir John marched out of Edinburgh for the north on the very day that the standard of the Stuarts was erected in Glenfinnan, the 19th of August. On the following day he continued his route from Stirling, accompanied by one thousand five hundred foot, leaving, very properly, the dragoons behind him, as of no service in the mountains, nor capable of finding forage there. He then continued his march towards Fort Augustus, which he hoped to make the centre of his operations, and then to strike a sudden and annihilating blow on the handful of rebels. At Dalwhinnie he heard that the rebels now mustered six thousand, and that they meant to dispute the pass of Corriarrick, lying directly in the line of his march towards Fort Augustus. This Corriarrick had been made passable by one of General Wade's roads, constructed after the rebellion of 1715, to lay open the Highlands. The road wound up the mountain by seventeen zig-zags or traverses, and down the other side by others, called by the Highlanders the Devil's Staircase. Three hundred men were capable, much more three thousand, of stopping an army in such a situation, and Cope called a council of war. At length it was agreed that they should take a side route, and endeavour to reach Inverness and Fort George. The resolve was a fatal one, for it gave the appearance of a flight to the army, and left the road open to Stirling and the Lowlands.

Pitt was not for a moment deceived, and in August the Family Compact was signed. He broke off the negotiation, recalled Stanley from Paris, dismissed Bussy from London, and advised an immediate declaration of war against Spain, whilst it was yet in our power to seize the treasure ships. But there was but one Pitt—one great mind capable of grasping the affairs of a nation, and of seizing on the deciding circumstances with the promptness essential to effect. The usually timid Newcastle became suddenly courageous with alarm. Bute pronounced Pitt's proposal as "rash and unadvisable;" the king, obstinate as was his tendency, declared that, if his Ministers had yielded to such a policy, he would not; and Pitt, having laboured in vain to move this stolid mass of ministerial imbecility through three Cabinet Councils, at last, in the beginning of October, declared that, as he was called to the Ministry by the people, and held himself responsible to them, he would no longer occupy a position the duties of which he was not able to discharge. On the 5th he resigned, and his great Ministry came to an end.This was followed by a memorial, signed by most of the chief officers, including Lord George Murray, Lochiel, Keppoch, Clanranald, and Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat. This was sent by Lord George to Charles, and represented that so many men were gone home, and more still going, in spite of all the endeavours of their chiefs, that if the siege were continued they saw nothing but absolute destruction to the whole army. The prince sent Sir Thomas Sheridan to remonstrate with the chiefs, but they would not give way, and Charles, it is said, sullenly acquiesced in the retreat.On the 22nd the Commons went into committee on this subject, and Mr. Tierney then proposed that both the establishment at Windsor and the salary to the Duke of York should be paid out of the Privy Purse or other private funds of the Crown. There was a private property belonging to the Crown of one hundred and forty thousand pounds a year, and surely this was sufficient to defray the charge of the necessary care of the king's person. He reminded the House also of the sums which had been voted for the royal family since 1811. Besides fifty thousand pounds a year set apart for the debts of the Prince Regent, he had a privy purse of sixty thousand pounds a year, besides an additional grant of ten thousand pounds a year made since. The king had also a privy purse of sixty thousand pounds a year, with an additional revenue of ten thousand pounds from the Duchy of Lancaster. Surely, out of all these sums, there must be ample means of taking care of the king's person. To all these second statements Mr. Peel—afterwards the Sir Robert who began his political career in the ranks of high Toryism—replied that the Duke of York would accept no salary which came from the Privy Purse, and he quoted Sheridan and Adam, old friends of the Prince Regent, and staunch Whigs, who had zealously advocated the sacredness of the Privy Purse. When the vote was taken for the disposal of the sum for the Windsor establishment, it was carried by two hundred and eighty against one hundred and eighty-six, a sufficient proof that in the new Parliament the Government possessed a strong majority. On the 25th the proposal to confer on the Duke of York ten thousand pounds per annum, for this charge of his own father's person, was also carried by a still larger majority—two hundred and forty-seven against one hundred and thirty-seven. In the debate, Denman and Brougham opposed the vote, and Canning supported it. In the House of Peers Lords Grey, Lansdowne, and other Whig peers opposed the vote of the ten thousand pounds to the Duke of York. And truly, in private life, it would not have seemed very filial conduct for a man, already possessing a large income, to require a great annual payment for discharging the simple duty of seeing that his aged father, a gentleman also of ample means, was well looked after.

Whilst our armies were barely holding their own in Spain, our fleets were the masters of all seas. In the north, though Sweden was nominally at war with us, in compliance with the arrogant demands of Buonaparte, Bernadotte, the elected Crown Prince, was too politic to carry out his embargo literally. The very existence of Sweden depended on its trade, and it was in the power of the British blockading fleet to prevent a single Swedish vessel from proceeding to sea. But in spite of the angry threats of Napoleon, who still thought that Bernadotte, though become the prince and monarch elect of an independent country, should remain a Frenchman, and, above all, the servile slave of his will, that able man soon let it be understood that he was inclined to amicable relations with Great Britain; and Sir James de Saumarez, admiral of our Baltic fleet, not only permitted the Swedish merchantmen to pass unmolested, but on various occasions gave them protection. Thus the embargo system was really at an end, both in Sweden and in Russia; for Alexander also refused to ruin Russia for the benefit of Buonaparte, and both of these princes, as we have seen, were in a secret league to support one another. Denmark, or, rather, its sovereign, though the nephew of the King of Great Britain, remained hostile to us, remembering not only the severe chastisements our fleets had given Copenhagen, but also the facility with which Napoleon could, from the north of Germany, overrun Denmark and add it to his now enormous empire. In March of this year the Danes endeavoured to recover the small island of Anholt, in the Cattegat, which we held; but they were beaten off with severe loss, leaving three or four hundred men prisoners of war.The business of the Regency was so important that Parliament—without adjourning, as usual, for the Christmas holidays—opened the year 1811, on the very first of January, by proceeding with it. An alteration in the fifth resolution, somewhat reducing the expense of the royal household, and also limiting more strictly the authority of the Queen, was proposed, and carried against Ministers, by two hundred and twenty-six votes against two hundred and thirteen. Perceval in the Commons, and Lord Liverpool in the Lords, moved amendments on this change but without effect. Another alteration was proposed by Lord Grenville, that the Regent should be allowed to elevate lawyers and other civilians to the peerage, as well as military men; and this was readily agreed to. The remaining restrictions were to terminate in February, 1812, if the House had been sitting then six weeks, or otherwise, after the sitting of the House for six weeks after its next assembling. Deputations were appointed by both Houses to announce these resolutions to the Regent and the Queen. The Regent complained of the restrictions, but the Queen expressed herself quite satisfied. The Great Seal was then affixed to a commission for opening Parliament under the Regent, after some opposition by Lord Grey. The House then adjourned till the 15th of January.

Parliament again met for a few days, but only to vote Addresses of condolence and congratulation, as a dissolution had been determined on. The Marquis of Lansdowne pointed out that there was not the usual reason for a dissolution which occurred upon a demise of the Crown; but Lord Eldon explained that, at common law, the Parliament died with the Sovereign in whose name it was called; and although, by the statute of William III., it could sit six months longer, it was liable to be dissolved sooner; and constitutionally it ought to be dissolved as soon as public business would allow; so that noble lords who started any business to delay the dissolution would be obstructing the due exercise of the Royal Prerogative. He, as Lord Commissioner, therefore, concluded the Session by delivering the Royal Speech, which deplored the loss of a Sovereign, the common father of all his people, and praised the prudence and firmness with which the Lords and Commons had counteracted the designs of the disaffected.The Fête de la Concorde took place on Sunday, the 21st of May, and passed off without any attempt at disturbance. On the contrary, the people were in excellent humour, and everything upon the surface of society seemed in keeping with the object of the festivity. On the 26th the Assembly decreed the perpetual banishment of Louis Philippe and his family, by a majority of 695 to 63. But the ex-king was not the only pretender who occupied the attention of the new Government; a far more dangerous one was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the Emperor and then an exile in London. He had gone over to Paris when the Republic was proclaimed, but acting on the advice of the Government, he quietly retired from the country. So potent, however, was still the charm that attached to the name of Napoleon, that his heir was elected a member of the National Assembly by no less than four constituencies. It was moreover discovered that money had been distributed in Paris by his partisans; that placards in his favour were posted upon the walls, and cries of "Vive Napoleon!" resounded through the city. Within four days, three journals had been established in Paris preparing the way for the candidature of Louis[553] Napoleon as President. After a violent debate, it was resolved by a large majority that he should be permitted to take his seat as a representative. On the Monday following Paris was excited by a rumour that Louis Napoleon had arrived, and while Lamartine was speaking in the Assembly several shots were fired, one at the Commandant of the National Guard, another at an officer of the army, and this was done to the cry of "Vive l'Empereur Napoleon!" "This," said Lamartine, "is the first drop of blood that has stained our revolution; and if blood has now been shed, it has not been for liberty, but by military fanaticism, and in the name of an ambition sadly, if not voluntarily, mixed up with guilty man?uvres. When conspiracy is taken in flagrante delicto, with its hand dyed in French blood, the law should be voted by acclamation." He then proposed a decree, causing the law of banishment of 1832 against Louis Napoleon to be executed. It was voted by acclamation, the Assembly rising in a body, and shouting, "Vive la République!"In the meantime the preparations for civil war went on steadily on both sides in Dublin, neither party venturing to interfere with the other. Lest the Government should not be able to subdue the rebellion with 10,000 troops in the strong points of the city, and artillery commanding the great thoroughfares, with loopholes for sharpshooters in every public building, an association was formed to provide loyal citizens with arms and combine them in self-defence. The committee of this body ordered six hundred stand of arms from the manufacturer, and also some thousands of knots of blue ribbon to be worn by the loyal on the night of the barricades. It was intimated that the Government would pay for those things, but as it did not, an action for the cost of the muskets was brought against a gentleman who went to inspect them. Circulars were sent round to the principal inhabitants, with directions as to the best means of defending their houses when attacked by the insurgents. There were instances in which the lower parts of houses were furnished with ball-proof shutters, and a month's provisions of salted meat and biscuits actually laid in. The Orange-men—regarded with so much coldness by the Government in quiet times—were now courted; their leaders were confidentially consulted by the Lord-Lieutenant; their addresses were gratefully acknowledged; they were supplied with muskets, and the certificate of the master of an Orange lodge was recognised by the police authorities as a passport for the importation of arms.

On the 12th of February Sir James Graham moved for the reduction of the salaries of all persons holding offices under Government, in proportion to the enhanced value of money produced by the Bank Restriction Act, which added to the weight of all fixed payments while it lowered wages and the price of provisions. "Hence," he said, "the miserable state to which the people of this country were now reduced, and the necessity for rigid, unsparing economy; and in that system of economy one great source of retrenchment must be the reduction of the salaries of those who had their hands in the public purse. Justice requires, necessity demands it." Ministers did not dare to resist this motion openly. They evaded it by an amendment, which was unanimously adopted, for an Address to the king, requesting him to order an inquiry to be made into all the departments of the Civil Government, with a view of reducing the number of persons employed in the various Services, and the amount of their salaries. On the 15th Mr. Hume attempted to carry retrenchment into the Army and Navy, moving a resolution to the effect that the former should be reduced by 20,000 men, and the latter by the sum of a million and a half. All the reductions he proposed would have effected a saving of eight millions annually. But neither the Whigs nor the Canning party were disposed to go such lengths. The motion was, therefore, defeated, the minority consisting solely of Radical reformers, who mustered fifty-seven on the division. Another assault on the Government was led on by Mr. Poulett Thompson, who moved for the appointment of a Committee for a Revision of the system of Taxation with a view to saving expense in the mode of collecting the revenue. The motion was resisted by Mr Peel on the ground that such important duties should not be delegated to a fraction of the members of the House. The motion was rejected by a large majority. A few days later, however, Ministers sustained a damaging defeat in the Committee of Supply on the Navy estimates. Two young men, who had been public servants for a few months only, Mr. R. Dundas and Mr. W. S. Bathurst, Junior Commissioners of the Navy, had been pensioned off on the reduction of their offices, the one with £400 and the other with £500 a year. The arrangement was attacked as a gross job and defended upon principle, and Ministers after[309] mustering all their strength were beaten by a majority of 139 to 121, on the motion that those pensions should be struck off. Several other motions, brought forward with a view of effecting retrenchments, were rejected by the House. This movement in the direction of financial reform, no doubt, received an impulse from the resentment of the leading Whigs, whose claims to take part in the Government were ignored by the Duke. But this remark does not apply to the efforts of Mr. Attwood and Mr. Baring, who moved that instead of a gold standard there should be a gold and silver standard, and that the Act for prohibiting the issue of small notes should be repealed. They strengthened their case by an appeal to the facts of the existing distress and commercial depression arising from a restricted currency. On the part of the Government, however, it was argued that a double standard of gold and silver would cause a loss of five per cent, to creditors if debtors were to pay in the silver standard—that the whole country would be a scene of confusion and ruin—that silver never was in practice the standard of the country, and that it never had been actually in a state to be used as a legal tender. Latterly the law had enacted that it should not be a legal tender beyond twenty-five pounds. By weight, indeed, it was a legal tender to any amount, but practically it had become so depreciated that there was no such thing as a standard by weight. Mr. Attwood's resolutions on the currency were negatived without a division.


Another attempt of the French to draw the attention of Wellington from Massena was made by Mortier, who marched from Badajoz, of which Soult had given him the command, entered Portugal, and invested Campo Mayor, a place of little strength, and with a very weak garrison. Marshal Beresford hastened to its relief at the head of twenty thousand men, and the Portuguese commandant did his best to hold out till he arrived; but he found this was not possible, and he surrendered on condition of marching out with all the honours of war. Scarcely, however, was this done when Beresford appeared, and Mortier abruptly quitted the town, and made all haste back again to Badajoz, pursued by the British cavalry. Mortier managed to get across the Guadiana, and Beresford found himself stopped there by a sudden rising of the water and want of boats. He had to construct a temporary bridge before he could cross, so that the French escaped into Badajoz. Mortier then resigned his command to Latour Maubourg, and the British employed themselves in reducing Oliven?a, and some other strong places on the Valverde river, in the month of April. Lord Wellington made a hasty visit to the headquarters of Marshal Beresford, to direct the operations against Badajoz, but he was quickly recalled by the news that Massena had received reinforcements, and was in full march again to relieve the garrison in Almeida. Wellington, on the other hand, had reduced his army by sending reinforcements to Beresford, so that while Massena entered Portugal with forty thousand foot and five thousand cavalry, Wellington had, of British and Portuguese, only thirty-two thousand foot and about one thousand two hundred horse. This force, too, he had been obliged to extend over a line of seven miles in length, so as to guard the avenues of access to Almeida. The country, too, about Almeida was particularly well adapted for cavalry, in which the French had greatly the superiority. Notwithstanding, Wellington determined to dispute his passage. He had no choice of ground; he must fight on a flat plain, and with the Coa flowing in his rear. His centre was opposite to Almeida, his right on the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, and his left on fort Concepcion.

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For a moment Walpole appeared about to fall from his altitude, and the Jacobite faction was in ecstasies. The dispatch of Townshend, announcing the king's death in Germany, arrived in London on the 14th of June, and was soon followed by himself. Walpole instantly hastened to the palace of Richmond, where the Prince of Wales resided, and was told that the prince was taking his usual afternoon siesta. He desired that he might be awoke, in consequence of important intelligence. George, suddenly aroused, rushed forth half dressed to learn the urgent business, when Walpole knelt down and kissed his hand, informing him of his father's decease, and that he was king. George was at first incredulous, but Walpole produced Townshend's dispatch, and inquired whom his majesty would be pleased to appoint to draw up the necessary declaration to the Privy Council, trusting that it would be himself. To his consternation and chagrin the king said abruptly, "Compton;" and Walpole withdrew in deep vexation, imagining his own reign was at an end.given out. Total

CHAPTER XVIII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).An active warfare had been going on at the same time in North Carolina. Lord Cornwallis had, however, no longer to compete with the inefficient Gates, but with General Greene, a much more vigorous man. On the 17th of January, Colonel Tarleton, who had been dispatched with a thousand men, horse and foot, to attack a body of Americans under General Morgan, came up with them at a place called Cowpens. Tarleton's troops were worn out by their long march, but that impetuous officer gave them no time to rest themselves, but fell on the enemy with loud shouts. The militia fled at once, and the advance of the English endangered the flanks of the Continentals, and it became necessary to make a retrograde movement. This Tarleton mistook for a retreat, so accustomed was he to carry all before him, and his men were rushing on without regard to order, when the Americans suddenly faced about, poured a deadly fire into the British at thirty yards' distance, and then,[280] briskly charging, broke their already disorderly line. Being closely pursued, they lost, in killed and wounded, upwards of five hundred men.



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