类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-12-04 10:11:45


The condition of Washington was inconceivably depressing. The time for the serving of the greater part of the troops was fast expiring; and numbers of them, despite the circumstances of the country, went off. Whilst Washington was, therefore, exerting himself to prevail on them to continue, he was compelled to weaken his persuasions by enforcing the strictest restraint on both soldiers and officers, who would plunder the inhabitants around them on the plea that they were Tories. Sickness was in his camp; and his suffering men, for want of hospitals, were obliged to lie about in barns, stables, sheds, and even under the fences and bushes. He wrote again to Congress in a condition of despair. He called on them to place their army on a permanent footing; to give the officers such pay as should enable them to live as gentlemen, and not as mean plunderers. He recommended that not only a good bounty should be given to every non-commissioned officer and soldier, but also the reward of a hundred or a hundred and fifty acres of land, a suit of clothes, and a blanket. Though Congress was loth to comply with these terms, it soon found that it must do so, or soldiers would go over to the royal army.

The Parliamentary proceedings of 1839 were closed by an elaborate review of the Session by Lord Lyndhurst, which he continued annually for some time while the Liberals were in power. This display took place on the 24th of August, when the noble and learned lord moved for a return of all Bills that had arrived from the House of Commons since the commencement of the Session, with the dates at which they were brought up. He could point to the fact that Ministers had with difficulty carried a colourless Jamaica Bill, and had once more failed to pass the Irish Corporation Bill.

And, in fact, circumstances rendered it advisable to retreat. Joseph Buonaparte, with the reinforcements of Sebastiani, had joined Victor, and that general felt ready to advance. At the same time Wellesley learned that Soult had arrived in Palencia, in the British rear. He desired Cuesta to guard the pass of Puerto de Ba?os, but this he did so ineffectually that both Soult and Mortier marched through it. Ney also reached Palencia, and thus fifty-three thousand men were threatening to cut off Sir Arthur's route to Portugal. He determined to fall back on Oropesa, leaving Cuesta to defend Talavera, and protect the two thousand British wounded in the hospitals; but Cuesta speedily abandoned the place, leaving one thousand five hundred of the wounded behind, whom Victor, to his honour, treated in the most humane manner. With the road of the enemy thus left open in his rear in two directions, Sir Arthur, at the same time, learned that Soult's division had got between him and the bridge of Alvarez, in the direct line of his march into Portugal. His situation, thus hemmed in by overwhelming forces, was most critical, and he informed Cuesta that he must file off for Badajos. He reached Badajos safely on the 2nd of September, carrying the one thousand five hundred wounded with him. These he sent to the strongly fortified town of Elvas, in Portuguese territory, which now became the great hospital of the army. Sir Arthur, on the 7th of September, was informed of the arrival of Sir Robert Wilson at Castello Branco. He had conducted his little force almost to the gates of Madrid, and had made a powerful diversion in favour of the main army, by keeping King Joseph and the French General in constant fear of his joining Venegas and attacking the capital. On his return, by order of Wellesley, he had gallantly fought his way against vastly superior forces, always contriving to make the enemy believe that his strength was double what it was. His conduct of this expedition elicited the most cordial praises from the Commander-in-Chief. At this juncture Napoleon sent a dispatch, ordering the army in Spain to cease further offensive operations till the conclusion of the Austrian war enabled him to send fresh reinforcements into Spain. This was a proof that Buonaparte no longer hoped to beat the British army by any but the most preponderating masses. He had in Spain ten times the forces of the British, yet he could not hope for victory from this vast disproportion. Wellesley, at this very time, in one of his dispatches, had observed this great fact. "I conceive," he said, "that the French are dangerous only in large masses." The British army was therefore quartered on the line of the Guadarama, to protect Portugal from Soult, and remained undisturbed till the following May. Whilst the hostile forces were thus resting, the news reached Sir Arthur that he had been created Baron Douro of Wellesley, and Viscount Wellington of Talavera. This honour had been conferred upon him on the 4th of September, as soon as possible after the arrival of[579] the news of his brilliant and memorable victory at Talavera.The English army was now in full march against them. About eight o'clock in the morning of April 16 a man who had been left asleep in the wood of Kilravock hastened to Culloden House, where Charles and his chief officers were resting, to announce that Cumberland's troops were coming. There was then a hurried running and riding to get the army drawn up to receive them. Cumberland came on with his army, divided into three columns of five battalions each. The artillery and baggage followed the second column along the sea-coast on the right; the cavalry covered the left wing, which stretched towards the hills. The men were all in the highest spirits, and even the regiments of horse, which had hitherto behaved so ill, seemed as though they meant to retrieve their characters to-day. The Highlanders were drawn up about half a mile from the part of the moor where they stood the day before, forming a sad contrast to Cumberland's troops, looking thin, and dreadfully fatigued. In placing them, also, a fatal mistake was made. They were drawn up in two lines, with a body of reserve; but the Clan Macdonald, which had always been accustomed to take their stand on the right since Robert Bruce placed them there in the battle of Bannockburn, were disgusted to find themselves now occupying the left. Instead of the Macdonalds now stood the Athol Brigade. As the battle began, a snow-storm began to blow in the faces of the Highlanders, which greatly confounded them.The motion of Fox was negatived by a large majority, and on the 21st of June the king prorogued Parliament.

We have now to turn from the feeble and ill-directed efforts of Britain to counteract the plans of Napoleon on land to the successful ones on her really protecting element—the sea. All Napoleon's endeavours to cross the Channel with his Grand Army he had seen to be impossible. Nelson was riding there in his glory, and the French fleets were only safe while they were in port. The impatience of this restraint caused Napoleon to urge on his admirals a greater daring; and these incitements to a rash hazard brought, eventually, that which must have occurred sooner, had the admirals listened to his suggestions rather than their own knowledge of the truth—the utter destruction of the French navy. Under such stimulants from the Emperor, Villeneuve seized the opportunity, when the weather had driven back the blockading British fleet, to steal out of Toulon on the 18th of January, 1805, and another fleet of ten vessels escaped out of Rochefort on the 11th of the same month. These squadrons stood away for the West Indies, and managed to get home again without meeting with a British fleet. Thus encouraged, Villeneuve made another venture. Nelson, who was watching Villeneuve off Toulon, in order to tempt him out, bore away along the Spanish coast as far as Barcelona. Villeneuve put out to sea on the 31st of March, with ten ships of the line, seven frigates, and two brigs. Nelson had gone a little too far, and it was not till the 7th of April that he heard of their issue from port. Before he could prevent it, they had passed the Strait of Gibraltar, and struck once more across the Atlantic. He was joined by the Spanish admiral, Gravina, from Cadiz, with six Spanish ships of the line, and two other French ships of the line. This combined fleet now amounted to eighteen sail of the line, six forty-four gun ships, and a number of smaller craft. Nelson did not hesitate to pursue them with his ten ships of the line and three frigates; but contrary winds withheld him, and it was the 7th of May before he could get out of the Strait of Gibraltar. His ships were, most of them, in very bad condition, one of them, the Superb, not having been in a home port for four years. Villeneuve had upwards of a month's start of Nelson, and his orders were to bear away to Martinique with five thousand one hundred troops, which he had on board, to capture St. Lucia, and strengthen the garrisons of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Dominica. He was afterwards to wait and see if Gautheaume could get out of Brest and join him with twenty-one more sail of the line, when they were to do all possible mischief amongst our islands and merchantmen. But the chief scheme was, by this means, to draw the British fleet after them, and then, hurrying back, enable Buonaparte to cross the Channel for England. Villeneuve did nothing but take the Diamond Rock, a fortification of the British, lying opposite to Fort Royal Bay, into which he had entered. He then sailed to Guadeloupe, where he was joined by two seventy-four gun ships; and an American having apprised him of a homeward-bound British convoy, he went after it, and succeeded, off Antigua, in capturing fifteen merchantmen. His success was, however, spoiled in the possession of it, for one of the prisoners informed him that Nelson was already in the West Indies in quest of him. Terrified at this news, he burnt all his prizes, and made all sail homewards. Nelson, in the meantime, was misled by some of the Yankee skippers abounding in those seas, and sent on a false scent after Villeneuve towards Venezuela and the mouth of the Orinoco. Not finding him, he was satisfied that he had sailed for Europe, and he made after him. Nelson sighted Cape St. Vincent on the 17th of July, after a run of more than three thousand two hundred miles. The next day he fell in with Admiral Collingwood, who was watching Cadiz, but who had no news of Villeneuve, but informed him that Sir Robert Calder was blockading Ferrol. On the 19th he anchored in the Bay of Gibraltar, and went on shore for the first time for two years, short only of two days. Hearing that Villeneuve was still out in the Atlantic, he bore away westward again to intercept him, but in vain; and, on returning to Ushant, where Collingwood was cruising, he learned that Sir Robert Calder had met with and attacked him at the very time Nelson was off Gibraltar, namely, on the 22nd of July.[509]


The intelligence of this result was received by the public with transports of joy. London was illuminated for three successive nights; Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool, and all the great towns followed the example. "For several days," says Alison, "the populace in all the cities of the empire seemed to be delirious with joy. Nothing had been seen like it before since the battle of Waterloo; nothing approaching to it after since the Reform Bill was passed." Meetings were immediately called in every direction to present addresses both to the king and queen: to the former, to congratulate him on the escape of his illustrious consort, and to call upon him to dismiss his present Ministers; and to the latter, to congratulate her on the restoration of those dignities from which she had been so long excluded. Not only public meetings of citizens and civic bodies, but trades of all kinds assembled and adopted addresses expressing their exultation at her triumph, and tendering their homage.Besides the truths drawn by cross-examination from the witnesses for the slave-dealing merchants, who contended that even Sir William Dolben's Bill would nearly ruin Liverpool, Captain Parry, who had been sent by Pitt to Liverpool to examine some of the slave-ships, brought the directest proofs that the representations of these witnesses were false, and the accommodation for the slaves was most inhuman; Sir William Dolben himself had examined a slave-ship then fitting out in the Thames, and gave details which horrified the House. This Bill went to prohibit any ship carrying more than one slave to a ton of its register; the only matter in which the House gave way was that none should carry more than five slaves to every three tons, and a very few years proved that this restriction had been the greatest boon to the dealers as well as the slaves in the preservation of the living cargoes. The Bill met with some opposition in the Lords, and there Admiral Rodney and Lord Heathfield, both naturally humane men, were amongst its strongest opponents. The measure, however, passed, and received the Royal Assent on the 11th of July. Some well-meaning people thought that by legalising the freightage of slaves, England had acknowledged the lawfulness of the trade; but the advocates of the abolition made no secret of their determination to persevere, and this victory only quickened their exertions.

About a week before the king died the physician delicately announced to him the inevitable catastrophe, when he said, "God's will be done." His sufferings were very great, and during the paroxysms of pain his moans were heard even by the sentinels in the quadrangle. On the night of the 25th of June his difficulty of breathing was unusually painful, and he motioned to his page to alter his position on the couch. Towards three o'clock he felt a sudden attack of faintness, accompanied by a violent discharge of blood. At this moment he attempted to raise his hand to his breast, and ejaculated, "O God, I am dying!" Two or three seconds afterwards he said, "This is death." The physicians were instantly called, but before they arrived the breath of life was gone. A post mortem examination showed ossification of the heart, which was greatly enlarged, and adhering to the neighbouring parts. The liver was not diseased; but the lungs were ulcerated, and there were dropsical symptoms on the skin, on various parts of the body. The king was an unusually large and, at one time, well-proportioned man; but he afterwards became very corpulent. He died on the 26th of June, in the sixty-eighth year of his age and the eleventh of his reign, having been Prince Regent for ten years. During his last illness the bulletins had been unusually deceptive. The king was anxious to put away the idea of dissolution from his own mind, and unwilling that the public should know that his infirmities were so great; and it was said that he required to see the bulletins and to have them altered, so that he was continually announced as being better till the day of his death. His message to both Houses on the 24th of May, however, put an end to all delusion on the subject. He wished to be relieved from the pain and trouble of signing Bills and documents with his own hand. A Bill was therefore passed to enable him to give his assent verbally, but it was jealously guarded against being made a dangerous precedent. The stamp was to be affixed in the king's presence, by his immediate order given by word of mouth. A memorandum of the circumstances must accompany the stamp, and the document stamped must be previously endorsed by three members of the Privy Council; the operation of the Act was limited to the existing Session. The three Commissioners appointed for affixing his Majesty's signature were Lord Farnborough, General Sir W. Keppel, and Major-General A. F. Barnard.

[405]The mechanical invention, however, destined to produce the most extraordinary revolution in social life was that of railways, which during this reign were progressing towards the point where, combined with the steam-engine, they were to burst forth into an activity and strength astonishing to the whole world. Tram-roads—that is, roads with lines of smooth timber for the wheels of waggons to run upon—had been in use in the Newcastle collieries for a century before. In 1767, at the Coalbrook Dale Iron Works, iron plates were substituted for wood, and by this simple scheme one horse could, with ease, draw as much as ten on an ordinary road. In 1776 iron flanges, or upright edges, were used at the collieries of the Duke of Norfolk, near Sheffield, and after this time they became common at all collieries, both above and below ground. In 1801 an iron railway, by a joint-stock company, was opened from Wandsworth to Croydon. Three years before iron railways had been introduced to convey the slates from Lord Penrhyn's quarries, in Carnarvonshire, to the Menai Strait for shipment, and they were attached to canals for the conveyance of goods to and from them. At the end of this reign there were two hundred and twenty-five miles of iron railroads in the neighbourhood of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and upwards of three hundred miles in the single county of Glamorgan.



Austria stood in a hesitating position. On the one hand, she felt reluctant to join the Allies and assist in destroying the throne of the Emperor's son-in-law; but at the same time she was anxious to strengthen her own position by giving more strength to her neighbour, Prussia. For this purpose Austria offered her mediation for a peace on terms that would restore Prussia to a more becoming position, and such proposals of mediation were made by the Austrian Minister to Great Britain. But these entirely failed. On the one hand, Napoleon would concede nothing, but declared that he would entirely annihilate Prussia, and would give Silesia to Austria for her assistance in the war; on the other hand, Great Britain declared that there could be no peace unless France disgorged the bulk of her usurpations.Here, then, our history of the political transactions of the reign of George III. terminates. That reign really terminated in 1811, with the appointment of the Regency, which continued the ruling power during the remainder of his life. From that date it is really the history of the Regency that we have been prosecuting. But this was necessary to maintain the unity of the narrative of that most unexampled struggle which was involving the very existence of every nation in Europe. Of all this the poor old, blind, and deranged king knew nothing—had no concern with it. The reins of power had fallen from his hands for ever: his "kingdom was taken from him, and given to another." He had lived to witness the rending away of the great western branch of his empire, and the sun of his intellect went down in the midst of that tempest which threatened to lay in ruins every dynasty around him. We have watched and detailed that mighty shaking of the nations to its end. The events of the few remaining years during which George III. lived but did not rule, were of a totally different character and belong to a totally different story. They are occupied by the national distresses consequent on the war, and the efforts for reform, stimulated by these distresses, the first[119] chapter of which did not close till the achievement of the Reform Bill in 1832.[289]

The prisoners were at once sent to Richmond[532] Bridewell, on the South Circular Road, where the Governor did all in his power to make them comfortable. Good apartments were assigned to them. They dined together every day, and they were permitted to receive, without restriction, the visits of their friends and admirers. The Government was the less disposed to interfere with these indulgences, as their object was not so much punishment as prevention, and besides, the traversers had appealed against the sentence. A majority of the twelve English judges affirmed the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench, while condemning the counts on which the Irish court relied. An appeal was then made to the House of Lords. The decision was left to the five law lords—Lyndhurst, Brougham, Cottenham, Denman, and Campbell. The first two were for a confirmation of the judgment, the last three for reversal. Lord Denman, in pronouncing judgment, said, referring to the tampering with the panel, "If such practices as had taken place in the present instance in Ireland should continue, the trial by jury would become a mockery, a delusion, and a snare," a sentence which was hackneyed by repetition for years afterwards. The news of the reversal reached Dublin on the afternoon of the 5th of September. Great crowds had assembled on the pier at Kingstown, and tremendous cheers broke forth from the multitude when the Holyhead packet approached, and they saw held up a white flag, with the inscription, "Judgment reversed by the House of Lords. O'Connell is free!" The news was everywhere received by the Roman Catholics with wild excitement.Whilst these frightful horrors were taking place, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been completing the extinction of Poland. An ill-advised attempt by the Poles for the recovery of their country had precipitated this event. The Russian Minister in Poland had ordered the reduction of the little army of that country, under its now almost nominal king, Stanislaus Augustus, from thirty thousand to fifteen thousand. The Poles resented this, without considering that they were unable, at the moment, to resist it. Kosciusko was appointed Commander-in-Chief, and he issued an order for the rising of the people in every quarter of Poland, and for their hastening to his flag. At first, the enthusiasm of the call to liberty and to the rescue of the common country gave some brilliant successes. Kosciusko, on his march from Cracow to Warsaw, at the head of only four thousand men, encountered a Russian army of upwards of twelve thousand, and defeated it with a slaughter of three thousand of the enemy. On the 17th of March, 1794, the Polish troops in Warsaw attacked the Russian garrison, eight thousand strong, and slaughtering more than half of them, drove the rest out of the city, and Kosciusko marched in soon afterwards. A week later the population of Lithuania, Kosciusko's native province, rose, and drove the Russians with much slaughter from Wilna, its capital. But this could not save Poland: its three mighty oppressors were pouring down their multitudinous legions on every portion of the doomed country. The Emperor of Austria marched an army into Little Poland at the end of June, and an army of fifty thousand Russians and Prussians was in full march on Warsaw. For a time, Kosciusko repulsed them, and committed great havoc upon them on the 27th of July; again, on the 1st and 3rd of August. At the same time, Generals Dombrowski, Prince Joseph Poniatowski, and other Polish generals, were victorious in different quarters, and the King of Prussia was compelled to draw off his army, forty thousand strong, from Warsaw, in order to recover Great Poland. This gleam of success on the part of the Poles, however, was but momentary. Their army in Lithuania, commanded by corrupt, gambling, and gormandising nobles, was beaten at all points by the Russians, and driven out of Wilna on the 12th of August. At the same time, the savage Suvaroff, the man who had cried "Glory to God and the Empress!" over the ruthless massacre of Ismail, was marching down on Warsaw. Kosciusko had unwisely weakened his army by sending a strong detachment under Dombrowski into Great Poland, and, attacking a Russian force under Count Fersen, at Macziewice, about fifty miles from Warsaw, on the 17th of September, he was utterly routed. He had only about twenty thousand men, whilst Fersen had at least sixty thousand. But Kosciusko was anxious to prevent the arrival of Suvaroff before the engagement, and thus rushed into battle with this fatal inequality of strength. He was left for dead on the field, but was discovered to be alive, and was sent prisoner to St. Petersburg, where he was confined till the accession of the Emperor Paul, who set him at liberty. The fall of Kosciusko was the fall of Poland. Not even Kosciusko could have saved it; but this catastrophe made the fatal end obvious and speedy. Still the Poles struggled on bravely against such overwhelming forces for some months. The ultimate partition treaty was at length signed on the 24th of October, 1795; some particulars regarding Cracow, however, not being settled between Prussia and Austria till the 21st of October, 1796. Stanislaus Augustus was compelled to abdicate, and he retired, after the death of Catherine, to St. Petersburg, with a pension of two hundred thousand ducats a year. He died there in the month of February, 1798, only about fifteen months after his former mistress, the Czarina. And thus Poland was blotted out of the map of nations.Whilst these movements had been progressing, very different ones had been in development in the north. The British Government, with the fatality which distinguished nearly all its counsels in this war, had thought proper to take the command of the army destined to operate by way of Canada on the northern colonies, from Sir Guy Carleton, and to confer it on General Burgoyne. The campaign had been planned—not by experienced military men on the spot, capable of estimating the difficulties of the enterprise, but in the Cabinet at home, directed by defective maps, and still more defective information.



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