In Calabria, the two sons of Ferdinand of Naples, Prince Francis and Prince Leopold, in conjunction with General Damas, held a force of fourteen thousand men, and endeavoured to arouse the mountaineers, and repel the advance of the French; but Regnier was dispatched against them, with a force of ten thousand, and soon defeated and dispersed the Neapolitans, making himself master of all the country, except the towns and fortresses of Maratea, Amantea, and Scylla. After three days of a bloody contest, Regnier took Maratea, and gave it up to the soldiery. These atrocities aroused the mountaineers to such fury, that they beset and harassed the French on their march to Amantea like so many demons. Their progress was arrested: Amantea stoutly resisted; Scylla, though taken, was invested by enraged Neapolitans and peasantry, and Reggio was again wrested from them. At this crisis arrived Sir John Stuart in Sicily, to reinforce and take the command of the British troops, and, at the earnest entreaty of the queen, Sir John crossed into Calabria.LORD ELDON. (After the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence.)Miserably as Arnold had passed the winter in his camp, as spring approached he again planted his batteries above Quebec, but produced so little effect that Carleton lay still in expectation of his reinforcements on the breaking up of the river. On the 1st of April General Wooster arrived, and took the command, much to the disgust of Arnold, who was sent to command a detachment at Montreal. On the 1st of May, General Thomas, who was to be supreme in command, arrived, and found the forces amounting to about two thousand men. The river was now opening; and on the 6th of May three English ships had made their way up to Quebec, full of troops. Two companies of the 29th Regiment and one hundred marines were immediately landed amid the rejoicings of the inhabitants; and General Carleton gave instant orders to issue forth and attack the American lines. But General Thomas, conscious that, so far from being able to take Quebec, he should be himself taken, unless he decamped with all haste, was already on the move. General Carleton pursued him vigorously, and the retreat of the Americans became a regular rout. They threw themselves into boats at the Three Rivers, leaving behind them all their artillery and stores, as well as the sick, who were numerous, the smallpox having broken out amongst them. Thomas managed to reach Fort Chambly and St. John's on the Sorel; but there he died, having taken the smallpox.
Bute made overtures to France through the neutral Court of Sardinia. Louis XV. and his Ministers caught at the very first whisper of such a thing with the eagerness of drowning men; a sufficient intimation to an able and cautious minister, that he might safely name his own terms. The ambassadors, however, soon found that the real business of the treaty was transacted between Bute, on the part of Britain, and the Duke de Choiseul, on that of France; and that not through ambassadors, but through Sardinian envoys.
On hearing this, Burgoyne dispatched Colonel Baum with two pieces of artillery and eight hundred men—dismounted German dragoons and British marksmen. They were to surprise Bennington, a place about twenty miles to the east of the Hudson, where the Americans had collected their stores from New England, and, having secured these, to return and carry them to St. Leger. Baum, however, found himself surrounded by Generals Starke and Warner at St. Corick's Mill, on Walloon Creek, six miles from Bennington, before help came up. For two hours a fierce attack was kept up on Baum's entrenchments on all sides by the Americans with muskets and rifles. Baum made a most gallant defence, and three times drove them from some high ground which they occupied above his camp. At last he was picked off by a rifleman and fell mortally wounded. His German troops retreated into the woods, in the direction of Fort Edward, and were there met by Breyman, who was slowly advancing with reinforcements. He reorganised the fugitives, and commenced his retreat, hotly pursued by Starke and Warner; he made his way back to Burgoyne, but not until he had fired nearly his last cartridge.
The Liberals seem to have been strongly inclined to the opinion that the Duke of Wellington, having won the great victory of Emancipation, should retire from the field—that he was not fit to lead the van of progress in Parliament. "The Prime Minister of England," exclaimed Sir Francis Burdett, "is shamefully insensible to the suffering and distress which are painfully apparent throughout the land. When, instead of meeting such an overwhelming pressure of necessity with some measure of relief, or some attempt at relief, he seeks to stifle every important inquiry—when he calls that a partial and temporary evil which is both long-lived and universal,—I cannot look on such a mournful crisis, in which the public misfortune is insulted by Ministerial apathy, without hailing any prospect of change in the system which has produced it. What shall we say to the ignorance which can attribute our distress to the introduction of machinery and the application of steam, that noble improvement in the inventions of man to which men of science and intelligence mainly ascribe our prosperity? I feel a high and unfeigned respect for that illustrious person's abilities in the field, but I cannot help thinking that he did himself no less than justice when he said, a few months before he accepted office, that he should be a fit inmate for an asylum of a peculiar nature if he ever were induced to take such a burden upon his shoulders." On the other hand the Opposition was nearly as disorganised as the Government, until Lord Althorp was selected to lead it in the Commons.Again, on the 22nd of March, Burke made another earnest effort to induce the infatuated Ministers and their adherents in Parliament to listen to reason. In one of the finest speeches that he ever made, he introduced a series of thirteen resolutions, which went to abolish the obnoxious Acts of Parliament, and admit the principle of the colonial Assemblies exercising the power of taxation. In the course of his speech he drew a striking picture of the rapid growth and the inevitable future importance of these colonies. He reminded the House that the people of New England and other colonies had quitted Great Britain because they would not submit to arbitrary measures; that in America they had cultivated this extreme independence of character, both in their religion and their daily life; that almost every man there studied law, and that nearly as many copies of Blackstone's "Commentaries" had been sold there as in England; that they were the Protestants of Protestants, the Dissenters of Dissenters; that the Church of England there was a mere sect; that the foreigners who had settled there, disgusted with tyranny at home, had adopted the extremest principles of liberty flourishing there; that all men there were accustomed to discuss the principles of law and government, and that almost every man sent to the Congress was a lawyer; that the very existence of slavery in the southern States made white inhabitants hate slavery the more in their own persons. "You cannot," he said, "content such men at such a distance—Nature fights against you. Who are you that you should fret, rage, and bite the chains of Nature? Nothing worse happens to you than does to all nations who have extensive empires. In all such extended empires authority grows feeble at the extremities. The Turk and the Spaniard find it so, and are compelled to comply with this condition of Nature, and derive vigour in the centre from the relaxation of authority on the borders." His resolutions were negatived by large majorities.
While these changes were being made in Italy, the British, with their new allies, the Russians, made an abortive attempt to drive the French from Holland. An army of seventeen thousand Russians and thirteen thousand British was assembled on the coast of Kent, and Sir Ralph Abercromby, who was destined to fall on a more memorable field, taking the command of a division of twelve thousand men, Admiral Mitchell put them across to the coast of Holland. Abercromby landed, and took the fort of the Helder, and our fleet, occupying the Texel, compelled the Dutch fleet to surrender and mount the Orange flag. So long as Abercromby commanded, he repelled all the attacks of the French general, Brune, with a force more than double in number; but on the 13th of September the Duke of York arrived with the remainder of the Anglo-Russian army and took the chief command. From that moment all went wrong. The old want of success followed the royal duke, who, whatever his courage, certainly possessed no abilities as a general. By the 17th of October, notwithstanding the bravery of his troops, he was glad to sign a convention by which he was allowed to withdraw his army, on condition of the liberation of eight thousand French and Dutch prisoners of war in England. In Switzerland, too, Massena defeated Korsakoff at Zurich, and Suvaroff, believing himself to have been betrayed by the Austrians, effected a brilliant retreat over the mountains.
The year 1810 opened with violent debates on the conduct of the late Ministry, and the miserable management of the Walcheren Expedition. The King's Speech, read by commission, passed over the disasters in Belgium entirely, and spoke only of Wellesley's glorious victory at Talavera. But the Opposition did not pass over Walcheren; in both Houses the whole business was strongly condemned by amendments which, however, the Ministry managed to get negatived by considerable majorities. Both Castlereagh and Canning defended their concern in the expedition. They declared that the orders were to push forward and secure Antwerp, and destroy the docks and shipping there, not to coop up the troops in an unhealthy island swamp; and that they were not responsible for the mismanagement of the affair. This threw the onus on Lord Chatham, the commander, but did not exonerate Ministers for choosing such a commander; and though they were able to defeat the amendments on the Address, they were not able to prevent the appointment of a secret committee to inquire into the conduct and policy of the expedition. The committee was secret, because Buonaparte carefully read the English newspapers, and Parliament was desirous of keeping from his knowledge the wretched blunders of our commanders. This object, however, was not achieved, for the evidence given before the committee oozed out and appeared in our newspapers, and was duly set forth in the Moniteur for the edification of France and the Continent. Notwithstanding the frightful details laid before the committee, and the gross proof of dilatoriness and neglect, Ministers succeeded in negativing every condemnatory motion; and though General Craufurd actually carried resolutions affirming the propriety of taking and keeping the island of Walcheren, awfully fatal as it was, still Lord Chatham, though exculpated by the Court and Parliament, was by no means acquitted by the country, and he found it necessary to surrender his post of Master-General of the Ordnance.
[See larger version]
Before Buonaparte, therefore, could proceed to Spain, he determined to meet the Czar at Erfurth, in Germany, by their open union to overawe that country, and to bind Alexander more firmly to his interest by granting him ampler consent to his designs on Turkey and on Finland. The meeting took place on the 27th of September, and terminated on the 17th of October. Both Emperors returned in appearance more friendly and united than ever, but each in secret distrusting his ally. Buonaparte, who was now intending in earnest to divorce Josephine, and marry a daughter of a royal house, by whom he might have issue, and thus league himself with the old dynasties, made a proposal for one of the Russian archduchesses, which was evaded by Alexander, on the plea of the difference of religion. Such a plea did not deceive the keen sagacity of Buonaparte; he felt it to result from a contempt of his plebeian origin, and a belief in the instability of his giddy elevation; and he did not forget it. To impress on Europe, however, the idea of the intimate union of the Czar and Buonaparte, they addressed, before leaving Erfurth, a joint letter to the King of Great Britain, proposing a general peace. To this letter Canning answered to the Ministers of Russia and France, that Sweden—against whom the Czar had commenced his war of usurpation—Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, must be included in any negotiations. The French and Russian Ministers, on the contrary, proposed a peace on the principle of every one retaining what they had got. This, Canning replied, would never be consented to; and the two emperors knew that very well, but the letter had served Buonaparte's purpose. It enabled him to tell France and the world how much he was disposed to peace, and how obstinate was Britain; it served to make the world believe in the close intimacy of the Czar and himself. He now hurried back to France, and, opening the session of the Corps Législatif, on the 25th of October, he announced that he was going to Spain to drive the "English leopards"—for such he always absurdly persisted in calling the lions in the royal arms of Great Britain—out of both Spain and Portugal. On the 27th he set out.The King of Spain hoped, by the dismissal of Alberoni, to obtain more advantageous terms of peace from France and England; but they still stood firmly to the conditions of the Quadruple Alliance. On the 19th of January, 1720, the plenipotentiaries of England, France, and Holland signed an engagement at Paris not to admit of any conditions of peace from Spain contrary to those of the alliance. Stanhope despatched his secretary, Schaub, to Madrid, to endeavour to bring over the queen to this agreement, and Dubois sent instructions to the Marquis Scotti, Father d'Aubenton, and others in the French interest to press the same point. She stood out firmly for some time, but eventually gave way, and the mind of the king was soon influenced by her. Some difficulties which could not be overcome were referred to a congress to be held at Cambray. On the 26th of January Philip announced his accession to the Quadruple Alliance, declaring that he gave up his rights and possessions to secure the peace of Europe. He renewed his renunciation of the French Crown, and promised to evacuate Sicily and Sardinia within six months, which he faithfully performed.
Anne prorogued Parliament on the 16th of July in a speech, in which she felicitated herself on having closed a long and bloody war, which she had inherited, and not occasioned. She trusted also that before the meeting of the next Parliament the commercial interests of France and England would be better understood, so that there would be no longer any obstacle to a good commercial treaty. She said not a word regarding the Pretender, so that it was felt by the Whigs that she had followed the dictates of nature rather than of party in regard to him. On the 8th of August she dissolved Parliament by proclamation, its triennial term having expired. Burnet says it had acquired the name of the Pacific Parliament; and he winds up his own history with the remark that "no assembly but one composed as this was could have sat quiet under such a peace." There was every effort made, however, to impress on the constituencies the high merit of the Parliament in making an advantageous and glorious peace, medals being cast for that purpose bearing the effigy of the queen and a Latin motto laudatory of peace.Hardly had they arrived, when a discharge of cannon was heard. The Assembly was horror-struck; and the king exclaimed, "I assure you I have forbidden the Swiss to fire!" But he was interrupted by fresh reports of cannon, showing that a fierce conflict was taking place at the Tuileries. No sooner was the royal family gone than the gensdarmes and the National Guard fraternised with the people, and breaking open the chief gate with hatchets rushed into the court. They then formed in column, and turning the guns which had been left in the court on the palace, they called out to the Swiss within to give up the place to them, and they would be friends. The Swiss, to show their amicable disposition, threw cartridges out of the windows, but remained firm to their duty. Some of the mob, with long poles and hooks at the end, then dragged some of the Swiss out of the vestibule and murdered them. They next fired three of the cannon right into the palace, and the Swiss thereupon returned a smart fire of musketry. Those of the servants and courtiers that still remained in the palace now made haste to escape, if possible. Cléry, one of the king's valets-de-chambre, who has left a vivid narrative of these events, escaped by dropping from a window upon the terrace. At the same moment the mob was breaking in at the grand entrance. They found a stout piece of timber placed as a barrier across the staircase, and the Swiss and some of the National Guard entrenched behind it; then commenced a fierce struggle; the barrier was forced, and the throng pushed back the Swiss up the staircase. These now fired a sharp volley, and the crowd fled, crying that they were betrayed. They were struck by another volley in their retreat, and the Swiss then descended into the court, made themselves masters of the cannon, and, firing, killed a great number. Had the Swiss followed their advantage and scoured the streets of the city, they would have completely trodden out this insurrection, releasing the royal family, and, had there been any one in command capable of it, he would have ended the Revolution as promptly as Buonaparte did afterwards. Buonaparte, then a poor lieutenant of artillery, was himself a spectator of the scene; and it was his opinion that the Swiss only wanted an adequate commander to crush the whole rebellion. But, by that fatality which attended all Louis XVI.'s affairs, at this moment arrived M. d'Hervilly from the Assembly with the king's order not to fire on the people, but to follow d'Hervilly to the Assembly. This was, in fact, to leave the palace at the mercy of the mob. Such as were in the court did follow d'Hervilly to the Assembly, where he promised them their lives and security under the protection of that body. At this sight the populace recovered their courage. The palace was attacked on both sides; the crowds every moment became greater, and the Swiss poured successive volleys upon them from the windows. Numbers fell dead before they forced an entrance; but this once effected, the crowd not only rushed in a dense mass up the great staircase, but dragged up cannon by main force to blow open the interior doors. For some time the Swiss made a stout stand against this raging mob; but being few against tens of thousands, and having exhausted their cartridges, they grounded their arms and called for quarter. They called in vain; the bloodthirsty sansculottes commenced a relentless massacre of them; women and children, armed with knives, assisted in their slaughter. The unhappy men, fixing their bayonets, drove the furious mass before them, resolving to cut their way through the Champs Elysées to Courbevoie, where was another detachment of their countrymen in barracks; but no sooner were they outside than they were surrounded and shot and cut down without mercy. Vainly did they cry for quarter; none was given. They then broke and fled in small parties, one of them seeking to gain the Assembly for protection; but they were butchered, nearly to a man, their heads stuck on pikes and paraded through the city.
Whilst Chatham was heading the Opposition in a determined onslaught on the Government, the latter were also compelled to face the awkward American question. Great hopes had been entertained that the people of Boston would be much calmer after the departure of Governor Bernard. Hutchinson, the Deputy-Governor, was not only an American, but a man of a mild temper. But the temper of the Bostonians was now so much excited, that the leaders of the non-importation Act were more vehement than ever. The English merchants presented a petition to Parliament showing that, in consequence of the import duties and the combinations of the colonists to resist them, the exports from England to these colonies had fallen off in 1769 by the amount of seven hundred and forty thousand pounds; that the revenue received from duties paid in America had fallen off from one hundred and ten thousand pounds per annum to thirty thousand pounds.详情
Copyright © 2020