类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-22 10:46:42


Ni faciat, maria ac terras c?lumque profundum[65]

He was proceeding in all apparent safety when, approaching the village of Tarrytown, three militiamen suddenly sprang forward, and, seizing his bridle, demanded who he was. André, being on neutral ground, exceeded his former incaution, and instead of ascertaining whether the men were Americans, in which case Arnold's pass was his security, he asked the men who they were, and being answered "From below," which was the pass for New York, replied, "And so am I." By this, discovering that he was a British officer, the men began to search him, and soon made prize of his fatal papers. Warned in time, Arnold escaped on board a British man-of-war. But very different was the fate of Major André. General Clinton, the moment he was aware of his arrest, sent a letter to Washington, stating that André had gone on shore under a flag of truce, and, at the time of his arrest, was travelling under a pass from Arnold, the commander of the district. Clinton therefore requested Washington to liberate André immediately. To this letter Washington did not reply till after a lapse of four days, and after the board of officers appointed for the purpose had declared André a spy. He even rejected the last prayer of the gallant soldier that he might be spared the gibbet, and had him hanged.

At this moment the horse which George II. was riding, taking fright at the noise made by the French in their advance, became unmanageable, and plunged forward furiously, nearly carrying the king into the midst of the French lines. Being, however, stopped just in time, the king dismounted, and placing himself at the head of the British and Hanoverian infantry on the right, he flourished his sword and said, "Now, boys! now for the honour of England! Fire, and behave bravely, and the French will soon run!"This being done, Mr. Vyner suggested that the physicians should rather be examined by the House itself, a proposal supported by Fox. Pitt[344] replied that this was a matter requiring much delicacy, and that the opinions of the physicians before the Council being on oath, he imagined that they had greater force than any given before Parliament, where they would not be on oath. But, during the four days' adjournment, he had ascertained, to his satisfaction, that the majority of the physicians were of opinion that the king would pretty soon recover, and that especially Dr. Willis was of this opinion, under whose more immediate care he was; and no sooner did the Commons meet, than Pitt most judiciously acquiesced in the suggestions of Vyner and Fox; and the physicians were examined by a committee of twenty-one members, of which he himself was chairman. On the 16th of December Pitt brought up the report of the committee, in which a majority of the physicians had expressed the opinion that the malady of the king would not be of long duration; and he then moved for another committee to search for precedents as to the power to be exercised by a regent. Fox declared that Pitt knew very well that there were no precedents to be found while there existed an Heir Apparent, at the time, of full age and capacity; that he was seeking only the means of delaying what ought to be done at once; that the failure of the mind of the sovereign was a case of natural demise, and that the Heir Apparent succeeded to the exercise of the royal authority from the period of that failure, as a matter of course; that the Parliament had, indeed, the authority to decide that such failure had actually taken place, and to sanction the assumption of the powers of regency, as the other two Estates of the realm, but nothing more. When Fox made this astounding assertion, Pitt slapped his thigh and exclaimed to a colleague sitting near him, "I'll unwhig the gentleman for the rest of his life."


Amongst the most distinguished persons captured were Lords Kilmarnock, Cromarty, Balmerino, Mordington, and Lovat. Cromarty, Balmerino, and Kilmarnock were brought to trial before the peers in Westminster Hall on the 28th of July. "Cromarty," says Horace Walpole, "was a timid man, and shed tears; and Kilmarnock, though behaving with more dignity, pleaded guilty, both expressing remorse for their past conduct, and their fervent good wishes for the person and government of the king." But old Balmerino, the hero of the party, pleaded not guilty, and took exceptions to the indictment. "He is," writes Walpole, "the most natural, brave old fellow I ever saw; the highest intrepidity, even to indifference." All these noblemen were pronounced guilty. Cromarty pleaded piteously the condition of his wife and family: that he left his wife enceinte, and eight innocent children to suffer for his fault. His wife's entreaties and the interest of the Prince of Wales saved him; Kilmarnock and Balmerino were beheaded.

Although announced with the Budget, the proposed change in the sugar duties formed a separate and more momentous question. At that time, strictly foreign sugar was virtually prohibited by the excessive differential duties—British plantation sugar paying a duty of 25s. 3d. per cwt., foreign, of 66s. 2d. When the Whig Administration had proposed to diminish this enormous difference, the Tories had pleaded the injustice to the West India landlords of taking away their slaves, and then exposing them to competition with countries still possessing slave labour. The question had thus become one of party. The Whigs were pledged to consult the interests of the British consumer; the Tories to protect the West Indies; and beating the Whigs on this very point, the Tories had turned them out of office. The British consumer had, however, happily some voice in the elections, and the problem was now to conciliate him without a glaring breach of consistency. Accordingly, the tax on our colonial sugar was to be left untouched, as was the tax on foreign sugar, the growth of slave countries; but henceforth it was proposed that the duty on foreign sugar, the produce of free labour, should pay only 10s. more than colonial. Thus was the first great blow struck at the protective sugar duties, and at that West Indian party which had so long prevailed in Parliament over the interests of the people. But the battle had yet to be fought.




[See larger version]During this campaign Catherine had made great progress in her road to Constantinople. Suvaroff had reduced Ismail, a remarkably strong place, which was the key of the lower Danube and the only obstruction of any importance to the Russian advance to the Balkan mountains and to Constantinople. This city had been taken by storm, after a most desperate defence, on the 25th of December, and when, with a little more resistance, the Russians would have been compelled to quit the field by the severity of the season. The carnage on this occasion was of the most frightful kind. The Russians themselves lost nearly ten thousand men, and the Turks thirty thousand people—men, women, and children, who were indiscriminately butchered by the orders of Suvaroff, who said to his soldiers, "Brothers, no quarter to-day, for bread is scarce." Every horror possible[375] in war, especially between barbarians, was perpetrated by the Russian hordes in Ismail, who were guilty of the most diabolical atrocities, such as burning whole streets, mosques, and serais. Suvaroff sat down and wrote in Russian rhyme the words quoted by Lord Byron in "Don Juan," "Glory to God and the Empress, Ismail is ours." When Sir Charles Whitworth, the British ambassador, next saw Catherine, she said, in allusion to some strong remonstrances from Britain and Prussia, which took care not to go beyond remonstrances, which were cheap—"Since the king, your master, wishes to drive me out of Petersburg I hope he will permit me to retire to Constantinople." The Czarina Catherine still continued her war on the Ottoman empire. The Turks gained several advantages over the Russians on the shores of the Black Sea, and near the Danube, but they were severely repulsed in an attempt to drive the Russians from their conquests between the Black and Caspian Seas, and suffered a terrible slaughter on the banks of the River Kuban. Then Britain, Prussia, Holland, and Austria, from the Congress of Reichenbach, announced to Catherine that they were resolved not to permit further encroachments on Turkey, but Catherine paid not the slightest attention to their remonstrances.

Hail, adamantine steel! magnetic lord!



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