On the 8th of May, 1777, Ministers moved for more money for the insatiable Landgrave of Hesse, whose troops were at this very time exhibiting the most scandalous state of defiance of discipline, of consequent inefficiency, and of plunder of the inhabitants of America. This grant, though violently opposed, was carried, but only by a majority of eight. All parties now began to denounce the shameless rapacity of these German princes. Nor did Chatham, ill as he was, allow the Session to pass without making one more energetic protest against the continuance of the war with America. On the 30th of May he moved an address to his Majesty for the immediate cessation of hostilities. Notwithstanding all that had been said on our successes over the Americans, Chatham contended as positively as ever that we could never conquer them. "You have," he said, "ransacked every corner of Lower Saxony, but forty thousand German boors never can conquer ten times the number of British freemen. You may ravage, you cannot conquer—it is impossible—you cannot conquer America. You talk of your numerous funds to annihilate the Congress, and your powerful forces to disperse their army; I might as well talk of driving them before me with my crutch! But what would you conquer? The map of America? I am ready to meet any general officer on the subject" (looking at Lord Amherst)—"What will you do out of the protection of your fleet? In the winter, if together, they are starved; and if dispersed, they are taken off in detail. I am experienced in spring hopes and vernal promises. I know what Ministers throw out; but at last will come your equinoctial disappointment. You have got nothing in America but stations. You have been three years teaching them the art of war. They are apt scholars; and I will venture to tell your lordships that the American gentry will make officers enough fit to command the troops of all the European Powers." Chatham's motion was rejected by ninety-nine votes against twenty-eight. Parliament was prorogued by the king on the 6th of June, in a speech in which he indulged the fallacious hope that the American insurrection would be terminated in the present campaign. But Chatham's prophecies were at the very time realising themselves. Had the Howes had the necessary qualities of commanders in such an important cause—had they pursued and dispersed the American army, as they ought to have done on defeating it, and as they might readily have done; and had the British Government instantly, whilst in this favourable position, repealed all the obnoxious statutes, they would have thrown Congress and Washington so completely into the wrong, that it would have been impossible for them to have made head again. But neither the Generals nor the Government of that day had the capacity for such strategic and statesmanlike policy. The Generals went comfortably into winter quarters, leaving the embers of war to rekindle and spread; and Government, deaf to the warnings of Chatham, still stolidly refused justice whilst rigorously enforcing their injustice. And, indeed, when Chatham gave his last Cassandra-like remonstrance, it was already too late. We had indeed taught the Americans the art of war. Washington was no longer contented to stand on the defensive, happy if he could preserve his soldiers from running off without fighting at all. His circumstances were desperate, and the energy which springs from despair now urged him to measures of daring and wakefulness just as the English Generals, like northern bears, were entering on their winter's sleep. Benedict Arnold had paid him a visit in his wretched camp beyond the Delaware, and probably from their united counsels sprang a new style of movement, which confounded his unsuspecting enemies.By E. M. WARD, R.A.
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.
Yet, during this winter, while Massena's army was in a constant state of semi-starvation, badly clothed and badly lodged, and thus wasting away by sickness and desertion, that of Wellington increased in numbers, in physical condition, and in discipline. Whilst Massena's army, originally seventy-one thousand men, was ere long reduced by the battle of Busaco and the miserable quarters in the wet country near Torres Vedras to fifty-five thousand, the forces of Wellington had been augmented, by reinforcements from England, and by the addition of Portuguese and Spanish troops, to fifty-eight thousand. When Massena retreated to Santarem, Wellington followed him to Cartaxo, and there fixed his headquarters, and ordered General Hill to post his division opposite to Santarem, so as to check the enemy's foraging parties in that direction. At the same time, Colonel Trant, who had surprised the French rear as Massena's army was leaving Coimbra on his march after Wellington to Torres Vedras, and had secured the sick and wounded in the hospitals there to the amount of five thousand men, and who retained possession of Coimbra, now joined Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Millar, who commanded the Portuguese militia, and their united force appeared in Massena's rear, cutting off his communication with the north and also with the Spanish frontier.The End[See larger version]
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. (After the Portrait by G. Richmond.)In Germany, Frederick of Prussia was hard put to it. A fresh army of Russians, under General Soltikow, advanced to the Oder, and another army of Austrians, under Laudohn, advanced to form a junction with them. To prevent this, Frederick sent General Wedel to encounter the Russians, but he was defeated by them on the 23rd of July, with heavy loss. Frederick himself then hastened against them, but, before his arrival, the Austrians had joined Soltikow, making a united force of sixty thousand, which Frederick attacked, on the 12th of August, with forty-eight thousand, at the village of Kunersdorf, close to Frankfort-on-the-Oder. At first he was successful; but, attempting to push his advantages, he was completely beaten, the whole of his army being killed or scattered to three thousand men. So completely did his ruin now seem accomplished, that, expecting the Russians, Austrians, Poles, Swedes, and Saxons to come down on him on all sides, he once more contemplated taking the poison that he still carried about him; wrote a letter to that effect to his Prime Minister, and directed the oath of allegiance to be taken to his nephew, and that his brother, Prince Henry, should be regent; but finding that the Russians, who had lost twenty thousand men, were actually drawing off, he again took courage, was soon at the head of thirty thousand men, and with these was hastening to the relief of Dresden, when he was paralysed by the news that General Finck, with twelve thousand men, had suffered himself to be surrounded at Maxen, and compelled to surrender. Despairing of relieving Dresden during this campaign, Frederick eventually took up his winter quarters at Freiberg, in Saxony, and employed himself in raising and drilling fresh soldiers; compelled, however, to pay his way by debasing both the Prussian coin, and the English gold which he received in subsidy, by a very large alloy.Sir James Yeo, greatly disappointed, put Sir George Prevost and his troops over to Kingston again, and then proceeded to the head of the lake, to reinforce General Vincent. Dearborn, as soon as he heard of this junction, fled along the lake shore to Fort George, where he shut himself up in a strongly-entrenched camp with about five thousand men. There Vincent, however, determined to attack him, but once more he was met by the curse of an incompetent appointment. Major-General Rottenburg had been made Governor of Upper Canada, and assumed the command over the brave Vincent, only to do nothing.
Very strong hopes were entertained by the Liberal party from the Administration of Lord Wellesley, but it was his misfortune to be obliged to commence it with coercive measures, always the ready resource of the Irish Government. The new Viceroy would have removed, if possible, the causes of public disturbance; but, in the meantime, the peace must be preserved and sanguinary outrages must be repressed, and he did not shrink from the discharge of his duty in this respect on account of the popular odium which it was sure to bring upon his Government. Mr. Plunket, as Attorney-General, was as firm in the administration of justice as Mr. Saurin, his high Tory predecessor, could be. The measures of repression adopted by the legislature were certainly not wanting in severity. The disorders were agrarian, arising out of insecurity of land tenure, rack rents, and tithes levied by proctors upon tillage, and falling chiefly upon the Roman Catholic population, who disowned the ministrations of the Established Church. The remedies which the Government provided for disturbances thus originating were the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act and the renewal of the Insurrection Act. By the provisions of the latter the Lord-Lieutenant was empowered, on the representation of justices in session that a district was disturbed, to proclaim it in a state of insurrection, to interdict the inhabitants from leaving their homes between sunset and sunrise, and to subject them to visits by night, to ascertain their presence in their own dwellings. If absent, they were considered idle and disorderly, and liable to transportation for seven years! These measures encountered considerable opposition, but they were rapidly passed through both Houses, and received the Royal Assent a week after Parliament met. Under these Acts a number of Whiteboys and other offenders were tried and convicted, several hanged, and many transported. Lord Wellesley must have felt his position very disagreeable between the two excited parties. To be impartial and just was to incur the hostility of both. Possibly he became disgusted with the factions that surrounded him. Whether from this cause, or from an indolent temper, or from the feeling that he was hampered and restrained, and could not do for the country what he felt that its well-being required, or from ill health, it is certain that he became very inactive. A member of the Cabinet writes about him thus:—"I find the Orange party are loud in their abuse of Lord Wellesley, for shutting himself up at the Ph?nix Park, lying in bed all day, seeing nobody, and only communicating with Secretary Gregory by letter. Indeed, I believe that the latter is more than he often favours Secretaries Peel and Goulburn with." In another letter, the same Minister, Mr. Wynn, complains of his total neglect of his correspondence with England. This, he said, was inexcusable, because those on whom the chief responsibility rested had a right to know his views upon the state of Ireland, in order to be able to meet the Opposition during the sitting of Parliament. This was written towards the end of April, and at that time the Government had not for a month heard a syllable from him on the agitated questions of tithes, magistracy, and police. The state of Ireland, indeed, became every day more perplexing and alarming. A revolutionary spirit was abroad, and all other social evils were aggravated by famine, which prevailed in extensive districts in the south and west. The potato crop, always precarious, was then almost a total failure in many counties, and left the dense population, whose existence depended upon it, totally destitute. The cry of distress reached England, and was responded to in the most generous spirit. Half a million sterling was voted by Parliament, and placed at the disposal of Lord Wellesley, to be dispensed in charitable relief and expended on public works for the employment of the poor. In addition to this, the English people contributed from their private resources the sum of three hundred thousand pounds for the relief of Irish distress. On the 30th of May there was a ball given for the same object, in the King's Theatre, London, which produced three thousand five hundred pounds.
The Tory Ministry was now in a most shattered condition, and it was believed that it could not repair itself. On the 23rd of September official letters were addressed to Lords Grey and Grenville to endeavour to form a coalition with the Tories, but they declined. The Tory Ministry was therefore readjusted by the introduction of Lord Wellesley (who had been replaced in his embassy in Spain by his brother Henry, afterwards Lord Cowley), who took the post of Canning in the Foreign Office, Perceval taking the Premiership, which Portland had only nominally held, as well as the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, which he held before. Lord Palmerston also made his first appearance in this Cabinet as Under-Secretary of State for the War Department, in place of Sir James Pulteney. Lord Liverpool took Castlereagh's place as Secretary at War; and the Hon. R. Ryder succeeded Lord Liverpool as Secretary of State for the Home Department.We have the accounts of what took place from both sides—from the magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable, till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence, said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of yeomanry. They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued. "People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another, so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the level of the ground."
We need not follow the track of the deserted army with much minuteness. The moment Buonaparte was gone, all discipline and command ceased. The chief officers quarrelled vehemently; and Murat denounced his Imperial brother-in-law in the bitterest terms, and escaped away into Italy on the first opportunity. The Austrians and Prussians marched off, and the French, pursued by the Russians till they crossed the Niemen, were continually assailed, and dispersed or killed; so that Macdonald at length reached K?nigsberg with nine thousand men, the body of French presenting anything but the appearance of an army! In this fatal campaign, Boutourlin states that, of this splendid army, one hundred and twenty-five thousand were killed; one hundred and thirty-two thousand died from fatigue, hunger, and the severity of the climate; and one hundred and ninety-three thousand, including forty-eight generals and three thousand officers, were taken prisoners—an awful comment on the assertions of Buonaparte that he had beaten the Russians everywhere. The nine thousand soldiers who returned with Macdonald leave only eleven thousand to be accounted for of the whole four hundred and seventy thousand, besides women, children, and camp servitors, who entered Russia. These eleven thousand were, no doubt, dispersed fugitives, some of whom might eventually reach France. Such a destruction of human life in one campaign, so utterly unfelt for by the man who occasioned it, stands alone in the history of this world's miserable wars. The crime of it, as it rests on the head of that guilty soul, is beyond mortal calculation.of rations
Immediately after this, Fox encouraged the formation of a Society of Friends of the Liberty of the Press, of which Erskine and Horne Tooke were members. As several French emissaries were traversing the country disseminating their opinions, Lord Grenville, on the 19th of December, 1792, introduced a bill into the House of Lords, subjecting aliens to certain regulations not included in the ordinary Alien Bill. All foreigners were to announce themselves on their arrival, and surrender any arms brought with them; they were to take out passports, and to have them viséd on every fresh removal through the country, so that their movements might be known to the authorities; those who had arrived during the year 1792 to be particularly observed, and the motives for their coming ascertained; all such foreigners as received allowances from the British Government to be distributed into particular districts, under the eye of the authorities. With some opposition, this Bill was carried. The Marquis of Lansdowne forthwith moved that a negotiation should be immediately opened with the French Government, requiring it to receive back the numerous Frenchmen driven into exile, or to provide for their support, and at the same time to endeavour to save Louis XVI. from the terrible fate which threatened him. This was negatived on the declaration of other lords, who said that both propositions would be useless; the latter one would in all probability hasten, rather than avert, the fate of the French king. In the Commons, Fox and Sheridan strenuously resisted the new Alien Bill, and Burke as vehemently supported it. He declared that no measures of precaution could be too strict; that thousands of daggers had been manufactured in Birmingham for France, and intending to produce a startling effect he drew an actual dagger from his bosom, and flinging it on the floor of the House exclaimed, "That is what you are to obtain from an alliance with France. You must equally proscribe their tenets and their persons; you must keep their principles from your minds, and their daggers from your hearts!" In the French Convention such an action would have created a sensation, but in the matter-of-fact British Parliament it produced only surprise followed by laughter. Fox endeavoured as much as possible to weaken the sense of danger of French principles, though he expressed his abhorrence of the September massacres. The Bill was passed, and was succeeded by one prohibiting the circulation of French assignats, bonds, promissory notes, etc., and another, prohibiting the exportation of naval stores, saltpetre, arms, and ammunition.About this time two publications occurred, which produced long and violent controversies—those of the pretended "Poems of Rowley," by Chatterton, and "Ossian's Poems," by Macpherson. Chatterton, who was the articled clerk of an attorney at Bristol, a mere youth, pretended that he had discovered Rowley's poems in the muniment room of the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. These poems, written on yellow parchment, and in a most antiquated style, by a boy of sixteen, were palmed upon the world as the genuine productions of one Thomas Rowley, and took in many well-known authors and literary antiquaries, very wise in their own conceit. As the productions of a boy of that age these poems are marvellous, and nothing besides which Chatterton, in his short, neglected life, produced approached them in merit. This, too, was the case with Macpherson, who professed to have collected the poems of Ossian, an old bard of Morven, in the Highlands, and simply translated them into English. He was warmly accused of having written them himself; but as Chatterton, so Macpherson, steadily denied the authorship of the poems thus introduced, and as in Chatterton's case, so in Macpherson's, no other compositions of the professed collector ever bore any relation to these in merit. There can now be very little doubt that Macpherson founded his Ossianic poems on real originals to some extent; but that Chatterton, if he received Rowley's poems from Rowley, did so by inspiration.详情
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