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牯岭街少年合唱团

类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-10-20 10:43:56

《》剧情介绍

The military transactions of the Continent this year had been of the most remarkable kind. Buonaparte, after his repulse at Pultusk, had retired to Warsaw, which he entered on the first day of the year 1807. He calculated on remaining there till the return of spring. But Benningsen, the Russian general, was determined to interrupt this pleasant sojourn. He had an army of eighty thousand or ninety thousand men, with a very bad commissariat, and equally badly defended from the severity of the winter. The King of Prussia was cooped up in K?nigsberg, with an army of a very few thousand men, and his situation was every day rendered more critical by the approach of the divisions of Ney and Bernadotte, whom the treacherous surrender of the Prussian fortresses by their commanders had set at liberty. But Benningsen hastened to relieve the King of Prussia at K?nigsberg; his Cossacks spread themselves over the country with great adroitness, surprising the French convoys of provisions. More Cossacks were streaming down to their support out of the wintry wilds of Russia, and the French were forced from their pleasant quarters[543] in Warsaw, to preserve the means of their existence. Buonaparte, alarmed at these advances, determined to turn out and force the Russians eastward, towards the Vistula, as he had forced the Prussians at Jena with their rear turned to the Rhine. To take the Russians thus in the rear, he ordered Bernadotte to engage the attention of Benningsen on the right whilst he made this man?uvre on the left. But Benningsen, fortunately, learned their stratagem, by the seizure of the young French officer who was carrying Buonaparte's dispatches to Bernadotte. Benningsen was therefore enabled to defeat Buonaparte's object. He concentrated his troops on Preuss-Eylau, where he determined to risk a battle. But he was not allowed to occupy this position without several brisk encounters, in which the Russians lost upwards of three thousand men. The battle of Eylau took place on the 7th of February. It was such a check as Buonaparte had never yet experienced. He had been beaten at every point; Augereau's division was nearly destroyed; that of Davoust, nearly twenty thousand in number, had been repulsed by a much inferior body of Prussians. Fifty thousand men are said to have been killed and wounded, of whom thirty thousand were French. Twelve eagles had been captured, and remained trophies in the hands of the Russians.

The conclusion of the Afghan war did not end the difficulties with the countries bordering on India. In the treaty with the Ameers of Scinde it was provided that Britain should have liberty to navigate the Indus for mercantile purposes, but that she should not bring into it any armed vessels or munitions of war, and that no British merchant should, on any account, settle in the country. Permission, however, was given to a British agent to reside at Kurrachee, and in 1836, when the country was threatened by Runjeet Singh, the British Government took advantage of the occasion to secure a footing in the country, one of the most fertile in the East. Kurrachee was only at the mouth of the river, but in 1838 a great step in advance was gained by getting a British agent to reside at Hyderabad, the capital, in order that he might be at hand to negotiate with Runjeet Singh. But the agent undertook to negotiate without consulting the Ameers, and awarded the payment of a large sum claimed by the Prince whom they dreaded, for which sum they produced a full discharge. This discharge was ignored by the British Government in India, acting in the interests of[590] Shah Sujah, its royal protg in Afghanistan. This was not all. A British army of 10,000 men, under Sir John Keane, marched, without permission, through Scinde, in order to support the same Prince against his competitors. Bolder encroachments were now made. The British Government determined on establishing a military force at Yatah, contrary to the wishes of the people, and compelled the Ameers to contribute to its support, in consideration of the advantages which it was alleged it would confer upon them. When the draft of a treaty to this effect was presented to the Ameers, one of them took the former treaties out of a box, and said, "What is to become of all these? Since the day that Scinde has been covenanted with the English there has been always something new. Your Government is never satisfied. We are anxious for your friendship; but we cannot be continually persecuted. We have given you and your troops a passage through our territories, and now you wish to remain." But remonstrance was in vain. The treaty must be signed; and the great Christian Power, which had its headquarters at Calcutta, insisted that the British force might be located anywhere in the country west of the Indus, and that the Ameers must pay for its support three lacs of rupees.

Lord Clanmorris " " 45,000CHAPTER XVII. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).

But during these transactions France and England had not been idle. A new alliance had been signed at Hanover between England, France, and Prussia, to which soon after were added Denmark and Holland. The real objects of this treaty were to counterbalance that between Spain, Austria, and Russia, to compel the dissolution of the Ostend Company, and to prevent the menaced assistance to the Pretender. This was the celebrated Treaty of Hanover."NO POPERY" RIOTERS ASSAULTING LORD MANSFIELD. (See p. 266.)

[425]Better to die than wed:

Meanwhile by the advice of Bute the king sent for Pitt. On the 27th of August he had an audience of the king at Buckingham House. Pitt, however, insisted on having in with him all, or nearly all, his old colleagues, and this was too much for the king; whilst not to have had them would have been too little for Pitt, who was too wise to take office without efficient and congenial colleagues. The king, nevertheless, did not openly object, but allowed Pitt to go away with the impression that he would assent to his demands. This was Saturday, and Pitt announced this belief to the Dukes of Devonshire and Newcastle, and the Marquis of Rockingham. But on Sunday Grenville had had an interview with the king, and finding that he considered Pitt's terms too hard, had laboured successfully to confirm him in that opinion. Accordingly, on Monday, at a second meeting, the king named the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Halifax, and George Grenville, for leading posts in the Cabinet, saying, "Poor George Grenville, he is your near relation, and you once loved him." Pitt said that it would not do, bowed and retired; the king saying, "My honour is concerned, and I must support it."

Scarcely had Lord Cornwallis commenced his march into the interior of North Carolina, and scarcely had he dispatched Major Ferguson with a corps of American Royalists, to advance through the country towards the frontiers of Virginia, when this corps received another proof of the wisdom of keeping out of the woods and hills. Major Ferguson was attacked near the pass of King's Mountain by swarms of riflemen, many of them mounted, from Virginia, Kentucky, and the Alleghanies who shot down and exterminated his followers almost to a man, the major falling amongst the rest. The victors gave a prompt proof of their apt adoption of Lord Cornwallis's teaching, by hanging ten of the prisoners. Lord Cornwallis was harassed by similar hordes of flying and creeping skirmishers. Hearing the news of the slaughter of Ferguson's force, he returned to Charlotte, retracing his march through most rainy weather, terrible roads, and almost totally destitute of provisions. Cornwallis fell ill on the road, and Lord Rawdon had to assume the command. It was not till the 29th of October that the army resumed its original position near Camden; and General Leslie, who had been also dispatched to co-operate with Cornwallis in Virginia, was recalled, but was obliged to return by sea.[226]

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THE CAPTURE OF THE "CAROLINE." (See p. 446.)

The system of Buonaparte, by which he endeavoured to prevent the knowledge of these events in Spain and Portugal from spreading through France, was one of unscrupulous lying. He took all sorts of false means to depress the spirits of the insurgents by mere inventions, which he had inserted in the Spanish and Portuguese Gazettes under his influence. At one time it was that George III. was dead, and that George IV. was intending to make peace with Napoleon. But whatever effect he might produce by such stories for a time in the Peninsula, the truth continued to grow and spread over France. It became known that Junot and his army were driven from Lisbon; that Dupont was defeated and had surrendered in the south of Spain; then that King Joseph had fled from Madrid; and that all the coasts of the Peninsula were in possession of the British, who were received by the Spaniards and Portuguese as friends and allies. Compelled to speak out at length, on the 4th of September a statement appeared in the Moniteur mentioning some of these events, but mentioning only to distort them. It could not be concealed that Britain was active in these countries, but it was declared that the Emperor would take ample vengeance on them. In order to silence the murmurs at the folly as well as the injustice of seizing on Spain, which was already producing its retributive fruits, he procured from his slavish Senate a declaration that the war with Spain was politic, just, and necessary. Buonaparte then determined to put forth all his strength and drive the British from the Peninsula; but there were causes of anxiety pressing on him in the North. Austria and Russia wore an ominous aspect, and a spirit of resistance showed itself more and more in the press of Germany, and these things painfully divided his attention. His burden was fast becoming more than he could bear.Robert Pollok was a young Scottish minister, who rose suddenly to popularity by the publication of a poem in blank verse, entitled "The Course of Time." It was long and discursive, extending to ten books. The style was very unequal, sometimes rising to a high level, and often sinking to tame prose. The author had a wonderful command of words for one so young, and time would, no doubt, have mellowed what was crude and refined what was coarse, if he had not been prematurely cut off, just when his genius and his goodness had gathered round him a host of warm friends. He died of consumption, on the 15th of September, 1827. His early death contributed to the popularity of the poem, which ran through many editions.Mr. Vansittart introduced some financial measures which effected a material saving. He proposed a plan for reducing the interest of the Navy Five per Cents. to four per cent. Holders not signifying their dissent were to have one hundred and five pounds in a New Four per Cent. stock, and persons dissenting were to be paid off in numerical order. By this scheme an annual saving to the public of one million one hundred and forty thousand pounds would be effected; besides a further saving of upwards of ninety thousand pounds of annual charge, which would be gained by similar reduction of the Irish Five per Cents. The high prices of the public funds obviated all difficulty in the execution of this financial operation, and the holders of the Five per Cent. stock found it expedient to acquiesce in the Minister's terms. The dissentients were in number only one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, and the stock held by them amounted to two million six hundred and fifteen thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight pounds, not a fifteenth part of the Five per Cent. capital. Another operation related to what was called "The Dead Weight Annuity." The amount of military and naval pensions and civil supernumeraries was about five millions annually. Accordingly Mr. Vansittart brought forward an amended scheme for relieving the immediate pressure of this dead weight by extending it over a longer term of years than the natural lives of the annuitants. For this purpose an annuity of two million eight hundred thousand pounds was appropriated out of the existing revenue for forty-five years, invested in trustees for the discharge of the then payments, which for that year were estimated at four million nine hundred thousand pounds, subject to a yearly diminution by deaths. It was computed that, according to the ordinary duration of human life, the annuities for the lives of the then holders would be equal to the annuity of two million eight hundred thousand pounds for forty-five years. The trustees were therefore empowered to sell from time to time such portions of this annuity as would provide the funds required for the payment of the dead weight, according to a computation made of the amount which would probably be due in each year. The Bank of England became the contractor for a portion of the annuity. There was no novelty of principle in the project; it was only the old one of anticipating distant resources by throwing the burden of the existing generation on the next. It had the further disadvantage of incurring a useless expense for management; whereas the Sinking Fund, amounting at the time to about five millions, might have been applied to existing exigencies, and a real saving effected.

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