类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-10-23 02:21:16


Such was the battle of Dettingen, equally remarkable for the blunders of the generals and the valour of the men; still more so, as the last battle in which a King of England has commanded in[85] person. At Hanau, the army not only refreshed itself, but was joined by reinforcements, which rendered the Allies nearly equal in numbers to the French. Lord Stair, therefore, proposed to pass the Main, and make a second attack on the enemy. The king, however, would not consent. Stair, with all his bravery, had shown that he was very incautious. He was, moreover, of a most haughty temper, and had quarrelled violently with the Hanoverian officers, and displayed much contempt for the petty German princes. They were, therefore, by no means inclined to second his counsels, though they had fought gallantly at Dettingen. Stair complained loudly of the neglect to follow up the French, and resigned.That very day General Smith reached Corregaum in force, and at this apparition the Peishwa fled back towards the sources of the Kistnah, whence he had descended. Not only General Smith, but Brigadier-General Pritzler and Colonel Boles kept up the pursuit, advancing from different quarters, as the slippery Mahratta chief turned and man?uvred. At length weary of the chase, they determined to reduce Satara, his capital, and then each of his strong forts and towns one after another, thus depriving him of supplies, and leaving him no place of refuge or subsistence. Satara surrendered to General Smith on the 10th of February, the same day that he appeared before it. As one place after another fell, Gokla, the Peishwa's general, made an effort to arrest this process of reduction, and this enabled General Smith to attack him on the 20th of February, at Ashtee, where he completely routed him. Gokla himself was killed, and the Peishwa only escaped by abandoning his palanquin and mounting a horse. General Smith and Lieutenant Warrand were[141] wounded, but not a man was killed on the British side. Great booty was taken, including twelve elephants and fifty-seven camels.


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.At length the Sikhs moved on to meet the British on the 18th of December. When they came in sight, the British bugles sounded, and the wearied soldiers, who had been lying on the ground, started up and stood to their arms. The Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief rode from regiment to regiment, cheering the spirits of their men, and rousing them to the needful pitch of valour by encouraging exhortations. About two miles from Moodkee, Gough, at the head of the advanced guard, found the enemy encamped behind sandy hillocks and jungle, 20,000 strong, with forty guns, which immediately opened fire as he approached. The battlefield was a sandy plain, on which the view was obstructed by small hills, which prevented the belligerents from seeing one another till they were quite near. For some time the contest was maintained on both sides by the artillery. Then General Gough ordered the advance of a column of cavalrythe 3rd Light Dragoons, the 5th Light Cavalry, and the 4th Lancers. The column was launched like an immense thunderbolt against a mass of Sikh cavalry, and proved so irresistible in its terrific onset that it broke them up into fragments, scattered them about, and swept along the whole line of the enemy, cutting down the gunners, and suspending for a time the roar of their artillery. Soon afterwards the infantry came into action, led on by Sir Harry Smith, General Gilbert, and Sir John M'Caskill. The Sikhs fought bravely and obstinately at every point; but when the steady incessant fire of the artillery had done its work, a general charge was made, with loud, exultant cheers, and the enemy were driven from their ground with tremendous loss. The day had closed upon the battlefield, but the routed enemy were pursued for a mile and a half by the light of the stars.

The British, apprised of the views of France, determined to send a fleet and troops to protect[258] the West Indies; but, instead of sending the requisite force from home, the Ministers ordered Clinton to send five thousand men from New York. This was another example of the feeble and penurious manner in which they carried on this war. Clinton had recently sent three thousand five hundred men to Georgia, and now this detachment of five thousand diminished his already insufficient army by eight thousand five hundred men. It was, therefore, utterly impossible that he could take another decisive step in America during this year, and thus Congress was left to strengthen its army and to await fresh reinforcements from France.

[See larger version]In the meanwhile her Majesty was pleased to communicate to the members of the Privy Council assembled at Buckingham Palace on the 23rd of[467] November, her intention of contracting an alliance with a Prince of the family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The story of her affection for her cousin is well known through Sir Theodore Martin's admirable "Life of the Prince Consort." The declaration was made by her Majesty in the following terms:"I have caused you to be summoned at the present time in order that I may acquaint you with my resolution in a matter which deeply concerns the welfare of my people and the happiness of my future life. It is my intention to ally myself in marriage with the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Deeply impressed with the solemnity of the engagement which I am about to contract, I have not come to this decision without mature consideration, nor without feeling a strong assurance that, with the blessing of Almighty God, it will at once secure my domestic felicity, and serve the interests of my country. I have thought fit to make this resolution known to you at the earliest period, in order that you may be fully apprised of a matter so highly important to me and to my kingdom, and which, I persuade myself, will be most acceptable to all my loving subjects." Upon this announcement the Council humbly requested that her Majesty's most gracious declaration might be made public, which her Majesty was pleased to order accordingly.Buonaparte in Egypt, now cut off from all[471] communication with France, soon found himself threatened by the attack of two Turkish armies, one assembling at Rhodes, and one in Syria. To anticipate this combination, he determined to march into Syria, where he expected to startle the Turks by the progress that he should make there. He therefore commenced his march through the desert at the head of ten thousand men, easily routed a body of Mamelukes, and took the fort of El Arish, reckoned one of the keys of Egypt. He set out in February and, passing the desolate wilderness, not without experiencing some of the sufferings which might be expected, entered Gaza, where he found plenty of provisions. He then attacked Jaffa, the Joppa of the Gospels, carried it, and put three thousand Turks to the sword, giving up the town to licence and plunder and brutally massacring some two thousand prisoners.


The French army in Spain numbered more than two hundred thousand men, and of these more than one hundred and thirty thousand lay in the provinces bordering on Portugal, or between it and Madrid. Victor had thirty-five thousand in Estremadura; and close behind him, in La Mancha, Sebastiani had twenty thousand more. Northward, in Old Castile, Leon, and Asturias, Kellermann and Bonnet had ten thousand. Soult, in Galicia, was joined by Ney and Mortier, making his army again upwards of fifty thousand, with whom he contemplated returning into Portugal. General Dessolles had fifteen thousand men at Madrid to protect the intrusive King Joseph; and Suchet and Augereau, in Aragon and Catalonia, commanded fifty thousand. Almost all the strong fortresses in the country were in their hands. The only circumstances favourable to the Allies were that the French generals were at variance amongst themselves; that none of them paid any deference to the commands of King Joseph, who was nominally generalissimo; and that the Spaniards were, everywhere where woods and mountains favoured them, harassing the French in a manner that made them very sick of the country, and that often reduced them to a state of severe privation.

On the 2nd of May, two days only before Buonaparte entered his little capital of Elba, Louis made his public entry into Paris amid quite a gay and joyous-seeming crowd; for the Parisians are always ready for a parade and a sensation; and none are said to have worn gloomy looks on the occasion except the Imperial Guard, now, as they deemed themselves, degraded into the Royal Guardfrom the service of the most brilliant of conquerors to that of the most pacific and unsoldierlike of monarchs, who was too unwieldy even to mount a horse. For a time all appeared agreeable enough; but there were too many hostile interests at work for it to remain long so. In the new constitution, by which the Senate had acknowledged Louis, they had declared him recalled on the condition that he accepted the constitution framed for him; and at the same time they declared the Senate hereditary, and possessed of the rank, honours, and emoluments which Buonaparte had conferred on the members. Louis refused to acknowledge the right of the Senate to dictate a constitution to him. He assumed the throne as by his own proper hereditary descent; and he then gave of his free will a free constitution. This was the first cause of difference between the king and the people. The Royalists condemned the new constitution as making too much concession, and the Republicans resented his giving a charter of freedom, because it made them the slaves of his will. The Royalists soon began to monopolise offices and honours, and to clamour for the recovery of their estates, now in the hands of the people, and these were naturally jealous of their prevailing on the king and his family to favour such reclamations. The clergy, who, like the Noblesse, had been stripped of their property, and had now to subsist on annuities of five hundred livres, or about twenty-six pounds sixteen shillings and eightpence a-year, looked with resentment on those who were in possession of the spoil; and the well-known disposition of the king and his family to restore the status and the substance of the Catholic Church, made those who had this property, and thosethe greater part of the nationwho had no religion whatever, readily believe that ere long they would attempt to recall what the Revolution had distributed. These suspicions were greatly augmented by the folly and bigotry of the clergy. They refused to bury with the rites of the Church a Mademoiselle Raucour, simply because she was an actress. Great tumults arose on the occasion, and the Government was compelled to interfere and ensure the burial in due form. The more regular observance of the Sabbath was treated as bringing back the ancient superstitions; and the taking up of the remains of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette and conveying them to the royal place of sepulture in the Abbey of St. Denis was regarded as a direct censure of the Revolution. It was quite natural that Louis XVIII. should do this, and equally so that he should show some favour to the surviving chiefs of La Vende; but these things had the worst effect on the public mind, as tending to inspire fears of vengeance for the past, or of restoration of all that the past had thrown down. In these circumstances, the Royalists were discontented, because they thought Louis did too little for them, and the rest of the community because he did too much. The Jacobins, who had been suppressed, but not exterminated, by Buonaparte, now again raised their heads, under so mild and easy a monarch, with all their old audacity. They soon, however, despaired of reviving the Republic, and turned to the son of their old partisan, Philip galit, the Duke of Orleans, and solicited him to become their leader, promising to make him king. But the present dukeafterwards King Louis Philippewas too honourable a man for their purpose; he placed the invitation given him in the hands of Louis, and the Jacobins, then enraged, were determined to bring back Napoleon rather than tolerate the much easier yoke of the Bourbons. Carnot and Fouch soon offered themselves as their instruments. Carnot, who had been one of the foremost men of the Reign of Terror, had refused to acknowledge the rule of Buonaparte, who suppressed the Revolution, for a long time, but, so late as the present year, he had given in his adhesion, and was appointed engineer for carrying on the fortifications of Antwerp. He had now the hardihood to address a memorial to Louis XVIII., which, under the form of an apology for the Jacobins during the Revolution, was in truth a direct attack on the Royalists, describing them as a contemptible and small body, who had allowed Louis XVI. to be destroyed by[85] their cowardice, and now had brought back the king by the hands of Englishmen and Cossacks to endeavour to undo all that had been done for the people. He represented kings as naturally prone to despotism, and priests and nobles as inciting them to slaughter and rapine. The pretence was to lead the monarch to rely only on the people; the object was to exasperate the people against kings, nobles, and the Church.



During this period Richard Bentley, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and archdeacon of Ely, figures prominently as one of the most profound classical scholars that Great Britain has produced, and, at the same time, as one of the most quarrelsome, arrogant, and grasping of men. The circumstance which made the most noise in his career was his controversy with the Hon. Charles Boyle regarding the authenticity of the Epistles of Phalaris and the Fables of ?sop. In this dispute he had to contend with Drs. Atterbury, French, King, and Smallridge, who made the reply to him in their "Examination of Bentley's Dissertation on the Epistles," in the name of Boyle. Swift also attacked him in "The Battle of the Books." The controversy made an immense noise at the time, and Bentley completely proved his assertion, that both the Epistles of Phalaris and the Fables of ?sop, in their present form, are spurious. The services of Bentley in publishing corrected editions of various classical works are of no ordinary kind. Amongst the authors who have received the benefit of his critical touches are Aristophanes, Cicero, Menander, Philemon, Horace, Nicander, Ph?drus, and Homer. In his editions of Horace and Homer, however, he laid himself open to severe criticism by his rash and arbitrary emendations of the text, and still more so by his edition of Milton's "Paradise Lost," from the same cause. In this case he showed that he was as deficient in the Italian and romantic learning, which Milton had made himself master of, as he was great in his own classical field. Bentley displayed himself as a theologian of great distinction by his refutation of Collins's "Discourse of Freethinking," and his lectures at Oxford in defence of the Christian religion.[See larger version]



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