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"O Richard! o mon Roi!The members of the Government were scarcely less rejoiced at getting rid of the matter than the nation was at their defeat. The most thinking men of their party became greatly alarmed at the state of public feeling, and were in constant dread of a revolution. The most violent language was used by the democratic leaders, and the press abounded with libels against the Government, whose chief members were hooted and pelted as they passed through the streets. This alarming state of things had arrived at its height towards the end of September. The Duke of York, who was then at Brighton, was violent against the queen. He felt confident that the troops must be called out, and he thought he could trust them. On them alone he depended for the preservation of the Throne. The king, at this time, rarely showed himself to any of his subjects. His conduct was an excitement to popular hatred. Mr. W. H. Freemantle, who was well informed as to all that was going forward in the highest quarters, describes the condition of things in letters to the Duke of Buckingham. "You have no idea," he says, "of the state of the town. The funds fell to-day. As to the king forming a Government, after the resignation of all his present servants, with the avowed object of persecuting the queen, it would be impossible; it would be making her the popular object and throwing the country in a flame. Be assured that the king on[213] this subject is no less than mad!" "In the months of October and November," observes the Duke of Buckingham, "it became evident that the frenzy outside the Houses of Parliament was exerting its influence within its walls. The aspect of affairs looked blacker every hour." "Matters here are in a critical state," writes Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Bathurst on the 27th of October. "Fear and faction are actively and not unsuccessfully at work; and it is possible that we may be in a minority, and that the fate of the Government may be decided." Plumer Ward, in his diary, has this entry under date of November 2nd:—"Called upon (Wellesley) Pole. He was at breakfast, and we had a long chat. He thought everything very bad—Ministers, Opposition, king, queen, country—and, what was more, no prospect of getting right. All ties were loosened. Insolence and insubordination out of doors; weakness and wickedness within. 'The Whigs,' he said, 'were already half Radicals, and would be entirely so if we did not give way.' I said his brother, the Duke of Wellington, felt this too, but would not give way nevertheless. Meantime, the king was as merry as a grig. At first he had been annoyed, but was now enjoying himself at Brighton."

On the 11th of February Lord Althorp brought forward the Budget. Basing his calculations on the revenue of the previous year, he estimated the national income at £50,000,000, and the expenditure at £46,850,000, leaving an anticipated surplus of more than £3,000,000; and it was proposed to take off taxes to the whole of that amount, and to replace it to some extent by other taxes, less burdensome to the people. The principal taxes to be taken off were those on tobacco, sea-borne coal, tallow candles, glass, printed calicoes, and newspapers. The new taxes consisted in an increase of the duties on wine, colonial timber, and raw cotton, a tax on steamboat passengers, and on the transfers of funded property. The proposed new taxes excited violent opposition, which obliged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to modify some of them, and abandon the last two; in fact, the financial scheme was a failure. Equally unsuccessful were his attempts to introduce retrenchments into the Civil and Pension Lists. But the Government was borne up by its great measure, the Reform Bill.

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Amongst these, or in the period immediately succeeding them, some individuals demand a particular notice. Benjamin Franklin, though an American citizen, ought perhaps to be mentioned, as so immensely influencing science by his discoveries in electricity; and Sir William Jones, for his great additions to our knowledge of Indian and Persian literature and theology. There was a large number of translations made by Pye, Twining, Gillies, Francis, Murphy, Parr, Tyrwhitt, Wakefield, etc. By one or other of these the works of Aristotle, Tacitus, Horace, C?sar, Virgil, Lucretius, etc., were wholly or partly introduced to us. Monboddo's "Origin and Progress of Language," and Horne Tooke's "Diversions of Purley" made a great sensation; Paine's "Rights of Man" and "Age of Reason" a still greater, and called out elaborate answers. Richard Porson was equally distinguished for his classical knowledge and his drunkenness. Mary Wollstonecraft published her "Rights of Woman," as a necessary addendum to Paine's "Rights of Man." There were also editions of Shakespeare issued by Dr. Johnson, Steevens, Capell, Hanmer, Malone, and Reed. Warton, Ritson, Pinkerton, Macpherson, and Ellis revived our older poetry by new editions. The controversy on the poetry of Ossian ran high during this period. In theology and morals, the works of Dr. Paley and Bishops Watson, Horsley, and Porteus, were most prominent. In speculative philosophy, Malthus, by his "Essay on the Principle of Population," carried to greater lengths the notions of Wallace on the numbers of mankind.Accordingly, Charles could do nothing but maintain his position for the present in Scotland, and send off a messenger to France to announce his wonderful success, and to urge that now was the moment to hasten over troops and supplies, and secure the Crown and friendship of England for ever. He sent over Mr. Kelly to the French Court and to his father, and for a moment there was a lively disposition at Versailles to strike the blow. The king immediately despatched some supplies of money and arms, some of which were seized by English cruisers, and some of which arrived safely. There was also a talk of sending over Charles's brother, Henry, Duke of York, at the head of the Irish regiments and of others, and active preparations were made for the purpose at Dunkirk. But again this flash of enthusiasm died out, and Charles, three weeks after Kelly, sent over Sir James Stewart to aid him in his solicitations. But all was in vain. The French again seemed to weigh the peril of the expedition, and on their part complained that the Jacobites showed no zeal in England, without which the invasion would be madness. Thus the time went by, till the Dutch and English troops landed in England, and the opportunity was lost.It was five o'clock—the House densely crowded; for Lord Surrey was going to make the great Opposition motion of want of confidence, and only waited for the arrival of the Minister. As North hurried up the House, there were loud cries of "Order! order! Places! places!" North no sooner reached the Treasury bench than he rose to make his important disclosure; but the Opposition called vociferously for Lord Surrey, while the Ministerial members called for Lord North. Fox then moved that "Lord Surrey do speak first," but North instantly exclaimed, "I rise to speak to that motion." Being now obliged to hear him, for he was perfectly in order, he observed, that, had they suffered him at once to proceed, he might have saved them much useless noise and confusion, for, without any disrespect to the noble lord, he was going to show that his motion was quite unnecessary, as the Ministers had resigned, and that that resignation was accepted by the king! He had only wanted to announce that fact, and to move an adjournment of a few days, in order to make the necessary arrangements for the new Administration. Never was there a more profound surprise. The House was adjourned for five days, and the members prepared to depart and spread the news. But it proved a wild, snowy evening; the carriages had not been ordered till midnight, and whilst the members were standing about in crowds waiting for their equipages, rather than walk home through the snow, Lord North, who had kept his carriage, put three or four of his friends into it, and, bowing to the other members, said, laughingly, "You see, gentlemen, the advantage of being in the secret. Good night!"

The conditions proposed by Lord Cornwallis were, that Tippoo should cede one-half of his territories; that he should pay three crores and thirty lacs of rupees; that he should restore all the prisoners taken since the time of his father, Hyder Ali; and that two of his eldest sons should be given up as hostages for the faithful fulfilment of the articles. On the 26th the boys, who were only eight and ten years old, were surrendered, and part of the money was sent in. Cornwallis received the little princes very kindly, and presented each of them with a gold watch, with which they were delighted. When, however, it came to the surrender of the territory, Tippoo refused and began to make preparations for resistance; but Lord Cornwallis's active firmness soon compelled him to submit. He ordered the captive children to be sent away to Bangalore, and prepared to storm the town, for which both our soldiers and those of the Nizam were impatient. Tippoo gave way; and the surrender of territory according to the treaty was completed.[See larger version]But though the 21st of January was to be the day of the grand attack on the Ministry, the battle was not deferred till then. Every day was a field-day, and the sinking Minister was dogged step by step, his influence weakened by repeated divisions, and his strength worn out by the display of the inevitable approach of the catastrophe. The first decided defeat that he suffered was in the election of the Chairman of Committees. The Ministerial candidate, Giles Earle, was thrown out by a majority of two hundred and forty-two to two hundred and thirty-eight, and the Opposition candidate, Dr. Lee, was hailed by a shout that rent the House. Other close divisions followed. The fall of Walpole was now certain, and he would have consulted both his dignity and comfort in resigning at once. This was the earnest advice of his friends, but he had been too long accustomed to power to yield willingly. He was oppressed with a sense of his defeats, and the insolence of enemies whom he had so long calmly looked down upon without fear. He was growing old and wanted repose, but he still clung convulsively to his authority, though he had ceased to enjoy it.

While the landed interest were thus showing their determination to maintain, at all hazards, the laws for preventing the importation of foreign corn, a spirit of opposition had been growing up in the large manufacturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, which, though only partially shared in by the working classes, was already significant of the approaching downfall of the system of monopoly. The first use made by Manchester of its constitution as a political borough by the Reform Act was to send to Parliament Mr. Poulett Thomson and Mr. Mark Philips, two members long conspicuous in the House for the zeal and ability with which they supported the principles of Free Trade. The Manchester newspapers generally advocated the same views; and Manchester became regarded as the centre of the Anti-Corn Law agitation. No organised movement, however, had yet been attempted. A series of good harvests from 1832 to 1835 rendered it extremely difficult to arouse public attention to the injustice which the bread law invariably inflicted in less favourable circumstances. Nevertheless, the effort was made. In January, 1834, a meeting of merchants and manufacturers was held in the Manchester Exchange Committee-room, to consider how the cause of Corn Law Repeal was to be forwarded, at which some powerful speeches were delivered by the members for the borough and other speakers of influence. A committee was appointed, which timidly endeavoured to avoid the appearance of a political agitation and finally ended by doing nothing. But soon the desultory opposition to the bread tax of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce—a body which had only presented one petition on the subject in seven years—was no longer sufficient to represent the feeling of that great centre of industry. Seven men united themselves in the month of October, 1838, to advocate the freedom of trade. The names of those seven members are now scarcely remembered out of Manchester, with the exception of Mr. Archibald Prentice, the historian of the League, whose newspaper, the Manchester Times, had fought with considerable talent, and with inexhaustible energy on the side of all the great reforms of this important period in our history. In that newspaper for the 13th of October a list of the Provisional Committee of a new Anti-Corn Law Association was for the first time published. It comprised thirty-seven names, chiefly of Manchester manufacturers, and ended with the modest[482] note that "Subscriptions, 5s. each, would be received by the members of that committee." Such was the simple origin of that vast movement which, a few years later, compelled the very chiefs of the landowners' party in Parliament to become the instruments for carrying out measures more sweeping than even the most ardent Free Traders had regarded as possible. But men of influence were beginning to join the movement. The list of the Provisional Committee contained at least one name which afterwards became famous—that of Mr. John Bright. Three of them became members of Parliament at a later date, and another, Mr. George Wilson, was afterwards known as the permanent chairman of the League.Bolingbroke, now restored to his estates, though the attainder still deprived him of his seat in the House of Lords, endeavoured to create a new species of opposition in Parliament. He retained his influence with the Duchess of Kendal, and cultivated that of the ultra-Tories. Still more, he soon discovered that William Pulteney, the most eloquent man in the House, had grown disgusted with Walpole, who could never bear any man of pre-eminent ability near the throne except himself. Pulteney had been one of the steadiest friends of the late queen's Government, and of the Protestant succession. Under George he had been made Secretary at War. He had adhered to Walpole when he was sent to the Tower for corruption, and in the great schism of 1717. Yet Walpole had carefully excluded him from any high post in the Cabinet, and had endeavoured to veil his jealousy of him by offering to procure him a peerage, by which he would have removed him from the active sphere of the House of Commons. Pulteney saw the object, and rejected the specious favour. Instead of conferring on Pulteney some[53] office worthy of his talents, Walpole then put him into that of Cofferer of the Household. In the state of indignation which this paltry appointment raised in him Bolingbroke soon induced Pulteney to put himself at the head of a large body of Oppositionists, under the title of "Patriots." In this character he made some smart attacks on Walpole and his heavy drafts on the Civil List for his friends, for which he was dismissed, and joined Bolingbroke in a bold attempt to write down the Minister. Between them the celebrated paper The Craftsman was planned and established, and they became the bitterest and most persevering assailants of Walpole.

Granville being got rid of, and the Opposition bought up with place, the only difference in the policy which had been pursued, and which had been so bitterly denounced by the noblemen and gentlemen now in office, was that it became more unequivocally Hanoverian and more extravagant. "Those abominably Courtly measures" of Granville were now the adopted measures of his denouncers. The king had expressed, just before his fall, a desire to grant a subsidy to Saxony; but Lord Chancellor Hardwicke had most seriously reminded his Majesty of the increased subsidy to the Queen of Hungary, which made it impracticable: now, both the increased subsidy to Maria Theresa and the subsidy to Saxony were passed without an objection. A quadruple alliance was entered into between Britain, Austria, Holland, and Saxony, by which Saxony was to furnish thirty thousand men for the defence of Bohemia, and to receive a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, two-thirds of which were to be paid by England, and one-third by Holland. The Elector of Cologne received twenty-four thousand pounds, the Elector of Mayence eight thousand pounds. Nay, soon discovering that, as there was no opposition, there was no clamour on the subject, Ministers the very next year took the Hanoverians into their direct pay again, and in 1747 increased the number of them from eighteen thousand to twenty thousand.All this time, too, the brave Tyrolese were in open revolt, so that the success of Austria would have instantly produced a universal rising of the country. But for six weeks the Austrians continued to allow Napoleon to keep open his communication with Vienna, whence he procured every material for building, not one bridge, but three; timber, cordage, iron, and forty engines to drive the piles, were procured from its ample magazines. Besides building the bridges, Buonaparte had quickly fortified the island, and placed batteries so as to prevent any successful attack upon him, whilst he was now furnished with the means of issuing from the island almost at pleasure. Since their being cooped up on Lobau, the French had received numerous reinforcements; and though the Archduke John was marching to join the Archduke Charles, Eugene Beauharnais was close at his heels, continually harassing him and compelling him to fight. On the frontiers of Hungary, the town of Raab ought to have enabled John to resist and retard Beauharnais, and have allowed the Archduke Regnier, who was organising another army in Hungary, to come up; but Raab only stood out eight days, and John was obliged to cross the Danube at Pressburg, to endeavour to advance and make a junction with the Archduke Charles. But Eugene Beauharnais managed to join Buonaparte still earlier, and the Emperor did not then allow John to unite with Charles; for, on the night of the 5th of July, he began to fire on the Austrians, on the left bank of the Danube, from gunboats; and whilst they were replying to this, he quietly put his forces across the river. At daylight the next morning the Archduke Charles was astonished to find the French army on the open land; they had turned his whole position, had taken the villages of Esslingen and Enzersdorf, and were already assailing him in flank and rear. The archduke retired upon Wagram, which was lost and taken several times during the day. Buonaparte attempted to break the centre of the Austrian line by a concentrated fire of grape-shot, but the Austrians replied vigorously with their artillery. The French were held in check, if not repulsed. The Saxons and other German troops displayed a disposition to break, and go over to the Austrians. Buonaparte spoke sharply to Bernadotte of the conduct of the Saxons, and the marshal replied that they had no longer such soldiers as they brought from the camp of Boulogne. When night closed the French were in confusion, and, in reality, worsted. The next morning, the 6th of July, the archduke renewed the attack on all the French lines, but is said to have left his centre too weak. Buonaparte again endeavoured to break it, but failed. Bernadotte, Massena, and Davoust were all in turn driven from their positions. Buonaparte, in a state of desperation, cried, "The Austrian centre must be battered with artillery like a fortress." He ordered Davoust to make a desperate charge on the left wing, and called on Drouet, the general of his artillery, to bring up all the artillery of the Guard, and support Davoust. Davoust directed the whole of his force on the left wing, which was broken, and then Buonaparte, forming a dense and deep column of all his best troops, old and new Guards, and his celebrated[591] Grenadiers à cheval, under Macdonald and Beauharnais, drove against the centre with a fury that shattered it, and the battle was decided. But at what a price! The Austrians had twenty-six or twenty-seven thousand killed and wounded, and the French upwards of thirty thousand. Buonaparte lost three generals, and had twenty-one wounded. The Austrians had thirteen generals killed or wounded; but they had taken many more prisoners than they had lost. Whilst the battle was raging, the Archduke John was approaching from Pressburg; but Austrian slowness, or, as it is said, conflicting orders from his brother and the Aulic Council, did not permit him to come up in time, or he would assuredly have turned the day.

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[366]

On the 6th of May, 1836, the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought forward the Budget, which placed in a strong light the long standing anomaly of distress among the agricultural classes, contrasting with general prosperity in the commercial classes. He was enabled to exhibit a more favourable state of the finances than he had anticipated in his estimate the previous year. The total income of the nation was £46,980,000, its total expenditure £45,205,807, which would give a surplus of £1,774,193. Of this surplus all but £662,000 would be absorbed by the interest on the West Indian Loan, which had now become a permanent charge. There was an addition of 5,000 seamen to the navy, for which the sum of £434,000 was required. This addition seemed to be quite necessary from the feeble condition of the navy as compared with the navies of other nations. On the 4th of March Mr. Charles Wood had stated that the French would have twelve sail of the line at sea during summer; that in 1834 the Russians had five sail of the line cruising in the Black Sea, and eighteen besides frigates in the Baltic. During this period there never were in the English Channel ports more than two frigates and a sloop, with crews perhaps amounting to 1,000 men, disposable for sea at any one time, and that only for a day or two. Moreover all the line-of-battle ships Great Britain had afloat in every part of the world did not exceed ten. The land forces voted for the year were 81,319 men, not counting the Indian army. Of these one-half were required in the colonies. France had 360,000 regular soldiers, and three times that number of National Guards. With the surplus at his disposal the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to reduce the duty on first-class paper from fivepence to threepence-halfpenny—a suitable accompaniment to the reduction of the stamp on newspapers, already noticed—and to abolish the duty on stained paper; to remit the South Sea duties, amounting to £10,000; to reduce the duties on insurances of farming-stock, on taxed carts, and on newspapers. He estimated the total amount of repeals for the present year at £351,000, which would be increased to £520,000 when they all came into operation. This was the best of Mr. Spring-Rice's indifferent Budgets.Nevertheless, the whole army was dead beat and in the most deplorable condition when they entered Carlisle on the morning of the 19th. As the enemy did not appear, they rested that day and the following night, when they set forward again, leaving a fresh garrison. Cumberland was soon up before the walls, and they fired vigorously at him; but he sent off to Whitehaven and brought up six eighteen-pounders, with which, to their dismay, he began to play on their crumbling walls on the 29th. Next morning they hung out a white flag, and offered to capitulate; but Cumberland would hear of no terms except their surrendering on condition that they should not be put to the sword. At three o'clock in the afternoon both town and castle were surrendered, the garrison being shut up in the cathedral, and a guard set upon them. On the 3rd of January the Duke of Cumberland left the command to General Hawley, and hastened back to London, being summoned to defend the southern coast from a menaced landing of the French.

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