类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-30 13:37:03


The foreign expeditions planned by the Grenville Ministry were, this year, attended by disgraceful results, and the news of their failure arrived in time to enable the new Ministry to throw additional odium upon their foes. The news of the seizure of Buenos Ayres by Sir Home Popham and General Beresford had induced the late Cabinet to overlook the irregular manner in which their enterprise had been undertaken. They sent out Admiral Sir C. Stirling to supersede Sir Home Popham, who was to be brought before a court-martial, but he took out with him a fresh body of troops, under General Auchmuty. These troops landed at Monte Video on the 18th of January, and, after a sharp contest against six thousand Spaniards, and the loss of five hundred and sixty British killed and wounded, the place was taken on the 2nd of February. Soon afterwards General Whitelocke arrived with orders to assume supreme command and to recapture Buenos Ayres, which the inhabitants had succeeded in recovering. Whitelocke reached Monte Video towards the end of May, and found the British army, with what he brought, amounting to nearly twelve thousand men, in fine condition. With such a force Buenos Ayres would have soon been reduced by a man of tolerable military ability. But Whitelocke seems to have taken no measures to enable his troops to carry the place by a sudden and brilliant assault. It was not till the 3rd of July that he managed to join Major-General Gore, who had taken possession of a commanding elevation[536] overlooking the city. The hope of success lay in the rapidity with which the assault was made: all this was now lost. The rain poured in torrents, and the men had no shelter, and were half starved. All this time the Spaniards had been putting the city into a state of defence. Still, on the morning of the 5th of July the order was issued to storm. The troops advanced in three columns from different sides of the town, headed severally by Generals Auchmuty, Lumley, and Craufurd. Whitelocke said that it could be of no use to delay the advance towards the centre of the town by attacking the enemy under cover of their houses; it could only occasion the greater slaughter. The command, therefore, was to dash forward with unloaded muskets, trusting alone to the bayonet. Much blame was cast on Whitelocke for this order, but there seems strong reason in it, considering the wholly uncovered condition of the troops against a covered enemy, and that the only chance was for each division to force its way as rapidly as possible to certain buildings where they could ensconce themselves, and from whence they could direct an attack of shot and shells on the Spaniards. General Auchmuty, accordingly, rushed on against every obstacle to the great square—Plaza de Toros, or Square of Bulls—took thirty-two cannon, a large quantity of ammunition, and six hundred prisoners. Other regiments of his division succeeded in getting possession of the church and convent of Santa Catalina, and of the residencia, a commanding post; Lumley and Craufurd were not so fortunate. The 88th was compelled to yield; and the 36th, greatly reduced, and joined by the 5th—which had taken the convent of Santa Catalina—made their way to Sir Samuel Auchmuty's position in the Plaza de Toros, dispersing a body of eight hundred Spaniards on their way and taking two guns. Craufurd's division capitulated at four o'clock in the afternoon. In the evening Whitelocke resolved to come to terms. The conditions of the treaty were—that General Whitelocke's army, with its arms, equipage, and stores, was to be conveyed across the La Plata to Monte Video; his troops were to be supplied with food; and that at the end of two months the British were to surrender Monte Video, and retire from the country. Such was the humiliating result of the attempt on Buenos Ayres. Nothing could exceed the fury of all classes at home against Whitelocke on the arrival of the news of this disgraceful defeat. It was reported that he had made the men take their flints out of their guns before sending them into the murderous streets of Buenos Ayres; and had he arrived with his despatches, his life would not have been safe for an hour. There was a general belief that the Court was protecting him from punishment; and, in truth, the delays interposed between him and a court-martial appeared to warrant this. It was not till the 28th of January, 1808, that he was brought before such a court at Chelsea Hospital, when he was condemned to be cashiered, as wholly unfit and unworthy to serve his Majesty in any military capacity whatever.

Lower Canada was inhabited chiefly by French Canadians, speaking the French language, retaining their ancient laws, manners, and religion, wedded to old customs in agriculture, and stationary in their habits. Of its population, amounting to 890,000 in 1852, nearly three-fourths were of French origin, the remainder being composed of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland and other countries, while in Upper Canada the number of French was under 27,000. Lower Canada, however, might have been expected to make much more rapid progress from its natural advantages in being much nearer to the seaboard of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and being enabled to monopolise much of the ocean navigation, which terminated at Montreal. Thus, the cities of Quebec and Montreal rose quickly into importance when the Upper Province began to be settled. In 1827 the cities had each a population of above 27,000; but by the census of 1852 it was found that Quebec had a population of 42,000, and Montreal 57,000. The growth of the towns of Upper Canada was still more rapid. In 1817 Toronto, then called Little York, had only 1,200 inhabitants; in 1826 it had scarcely 1,700; but in 1836 it had risen to 10,000. Among the other principal towns of Upper Canada were Hamilton, Kingston, London, and Bytown (now called Ottawa), which grew rapidly. Situated so near Europe, and offering inexhaustible supplies of fertile and cheap land, with light taxes and a liberal government, it was natural to expect in Upper Canada a mixed population, and an analysis of the census of 1852 showed that its inhabitants were composed of people from most of the countries of Europe. The largest single element was composed of Canadians, not of French origin, upwards of half a million; the next of Irish, 176,267; then English, 82,699; Scottish, 75,811; from the United States, 43,732; Germany and Holland, 10,000. Many of those settlers emigrated from the old countries to avoid the pressure of distress. They consisted, to a large extent, of the worst paid classes of workmen, such as hand-loom weavers, that had lost employment by the introduction of machinery. Those persons were now found to be in the enjoyment of independence, as the proprietors of well-cleared and well-cultivated farms, having all the necessaries of life in abundance.Thus it happened that the King of Prussia, with hands full of aggression, did not appear on the Rhine to chastise the aggressions of France, before the month of April. He brought with him about fifty thousand men, Prussians, Saxons, Hessians, and Bavarians. He was joined by fifteen or twenty thousand Austrians, under Wurmser, and five or six thousand French Emigrants under the Prince of Condé. But the French had on the Rhine one hundred and forty thousand men at least, of whom twenty thousand were within the walls of Mayence. The Prussians laid siege to that city, and the Austrians and British to Valenciennes. On the 21st of July the French engaged to give up Mayence on condition that they should be allowed to march out with the honours of war, and this the King of Prussia was weak enough to comply with. They must, of necessity, have soon surrendered at discretion; now they were at liberty to join the rest of the army and again resist the Allies. Valenciennes did not surrender until the 28th of July, and not till after a severe bombardment by the Duke of York. Thus three months of the summer had been wasted before these two towns, during which time the French had been employed in drawing forces from all quarters to the frontiers of Belgium, under the guidance of Carnot. The Duke of York was recalled from Valenciennes to Menin, to rescue the hereditary Prince of Orange from an overwhelming French force, against which his half-Jacobinised troops showed no disposition to act. Having effected his deliverance, the Duke of York marched on Dunkirk, and began, towards the end of August, to invest it; but he was left unsupported by the Prince of Orange, and being equally neglected by the Austrians, he was compelled to raise the siege on the 7th of September, and retreated with the loss of his artillery. The Prince of Orange was himself not long unassailed. Houchard drove him from Menin, and took Quesnoy from him, but was, in his turn, routed by the Austrian general Beaulieu, and chased to the very walls of Lille. According to the recent decree of the Convention, that any general surrendering a town or post should be put to death, Houchard was recalled to be guillotined. There continued a desultory sort of warfare on the Belgian frontiers for the remainder of the campaign. On the 15th and 16th of October Jourdain drove the Duke of Coburg from the neighbourhood of Maubeuge across the[421] Sambre, but the Duke of York coming up with fresh British forces, which had arrived at Ostend under Sir Charles Grey, the French were repulsed, and the Netherland frontiers maintained by the Allies for the rest of the year.

"To issue forthwith an Order in Council remitting the duty on grain in bond to one shilling, and opening the ports for the admission of all species of grain at a smaller rate of duty until a day named in the order.The struggle for ascendency proceeding, Walpole and his party secured the interest of the Duchess of Kendal, who always took care to side with that which she thought the stronger. Carteret and his party, on the other hand, secured the interest of the other mistress, the Countess of Darlington, and her sister, Madame de Platen. Whilst affairs were in this position, the two Secretaries of State, Townshend and Carteret, accompanied the king to Hanover. There came upon the tapis the question of a marriage between the Count St. Florentin, the son of La Vrillière, the Secretary of State for France, and a daughter of Madame de Platen. Madame de Platen, however, demanded that La Vrillière should be made a duke, so that in due course of time her daughter would be a duchess. George I. warmly seconded this demand; and, had Bolingbroke used his influence, there was little doubt that it would have been accomplished. But the French nobility raised a huge outcry against this honour being conferred on the family of La Vrillière, which they deemed too obscure for such a dignity. Bolingbroke, however, was seeking his own objects through the other mistress, the Duchess of Kendal; and, notwithstanding the repulse which he had received from Walpole, he still calculated that his power would prevail, and he therefore smothered his personal vexation, and remained on the side of the Duchess of Kendal and Walpole, leaving Carteret and his allies, the Platens, to fight their own battle.

The system of exclusive dealing thus recommended was a system of social corruption and social persecution, while the attempt to serve Ireland by the exclusive use of articles of Irish produce only showed Mr. O'Connell's ignorance of political economy. The system, however, was soon abandoned.[See larger version]

[See larger version][261]

One great cause of this progress was the growth of our colonies. They began now to demand a considerable quantity of our manufactures and other articles of domestic comfort and convenience, and to supply us with a number of items of raw material. Towards the end of the reign of George I. our American colonies, besides the number of convicts that we sent thither, especially to Virginia and Maryland, attracted[165] a considerable emigration of free persons, particularly to Pennsylvania, in consequence of the freedom of its constitution as founded by Penn, and the freedom for the exercise of religion.

PARIS UNDER THE REIGN OF TERROR: A VAIN APPEAL. (After the Picture by Paul Svedomsky)The Ministry being complete, Parliament met on the 2nd of December. It was found that the new Administration had not that influence in the boroughs that Newcastle, who had cultivated it, had; and several members of the Cabinet, Pitt amongst them, had difficulty in getting returned, as was the case with Charles Townshend. In the king's speech, his Majesty was made to speak of the militia, which he was known by everybody to hold in sovereign contempt, as the best and most constitutional means of national defence. He announced also that he had ordered the return of the Hanoverian troops to their own country; and the Duke of Devonshire inserted in the Address from the Lords an expression of thanks for having brought these troops over. Pitt had declared that he would quit the Cabinet if such a vote was passed, and Temple came hurrying down to the House—Pitt being absent from the Commons with the gout—and declared that he had quitted a sick bed to protest against it. This was an unlucky beginning. It was clear that there was want of unity in the Cabinet at its very birth, and out-of-doors the people were loudly complaining of the scarcity of food, and bread riots were frequent. The king himself could not help ridiculing the speech his new Ministers had composed for him; and a poor printer being arrested for putting another speech into his mouth, George said he hoped the man might receive very lenient punishment, for, as far as he could understand either of the speeches, he thought the printer's the best. To abate the ferment out-of-doors, the Commons passed two Bills: one prohibiting the export of grain, flour, or biscuit; the other prohibiting, for several months, distillation from wheat or barley.

Hon. J. Hutchinson, made Lord Hutchinson, and a general.TROOPS ESCORTING THE STAMPED PAPER TO THE CITY HALL, NEW YORK. (See p. 188.)

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Meantime Cambacérès and Fouché had dispatched couriers to Louis Buonaparte, in Holland, to march down troops to the defence of Antwerp; and he had not only done that, but had opened the sluices on the borders of the Scheldt, and laid the country under water, to prevent the march of the British. He also had ordered the erection of numerous batteries, and Bernadotte arrived in about a fortnight, by orders of Napoleon, to resist the advance of the British. From forty to fifty thousand troops were assembled in and around Antwerp, and hosts of Dutch and Belgian militia swarmed over the country. This was certain to be the case if any time was allowed, and it was now agreed, in a council of war, that it was not possible to proceed further. In fact, they were no longer allowed to remain where they were. Their provisions were rapidly being exhausted, sickness was spreading amongst the troops, and the fire of the enemy's batteries from both sides of the river compelled them to fall down the stream. That was the end of the campaign; the rest was a foolish and murderous delay in the island of Walcheren, without any conceivable purpose. There was no use in retaining the island, for we could at any time blockade the mouths of the Scheldt, and our men on board the ships were comparatively healthy; but in this swamp of death the soldiers continued dying like rotten sheep. The island of Walcheren, to which they were now confined, is a spongy swamp, below the level of the sea at high water. The wet oozes through the banks, and stagnates in the dykes, and is only capable of being pumped out by windmills. The ground is covered often with mud and slime, and the inhabitants are sickly and sallow in aspect, and of loose and flaccid muscles. Yet, in this den of fever and death, the commanders seemed determined to retain the army till it perished entirely. The Earl of Chatham himself returned to London on the 14th of September, with as many of the sick as he could take. At this time he left eleven thousand, out of the seventeen thousand quartered on the island of Walcheren, on the sick-list, and rapidly dying; yet neither he nor Sir Eyre Coote, who succeeded him, seems to have felt the necessity of saving the army by retiring from the place. They attributed the unhealthiness to the dykes being cut, and the surrounding country being flooded in the hot season. No matter what was the cause, the army was perishing, and ought to have been removed; but, so far from this, the Ministers seemed determined to keep possession of this useless and pestilential swamp at any cost. As it was imagined that the drinking of the water was the cause of the fever, Thames water was carried over for the troops, five hundred tons per week being required. But it was not the drinking it only that caused disease and death, but the standing and working in it, as many of them did, up to the middle for many hours together, and the malaria arising from the oozy soil. As the roofs in Flushing were knocked to pieces by the storming of the town, British workmen, with bricks, mortar, tiles, and tools, were sent over to repair them, so as to protect the sick in the hospitals, though plenty of workmen and materials might have been had in the country.

The animosity against the soldiers at Boston was actively kept up. The sentinel could not stand at his post without insult. Every day menaced a conflict. A fictitious account of an affray between the soldiers and the people of New York was circulated at Boston, in which the soldiers were represented as beaten. This gave impetus to the aggressive temper of the Bostonians. On the 2nd of March, a soldier, insulted by the men at Gray's rope-walk, resented it; they came to blows, and the soldier was overpowered. He fetched up some of his comrades, who, in their turn, beat and chased the rope-makers through the town. The passions of the mob were inflamed, and they began to arm themselves for an attack on the soldiery. In a few days the crowd assembled and assaulted a party of them in Dock Square. The officer prudently withdrew them to the barracks. As the evening advanced, the mob increased. They cried, "Turn out, and do for the soldiers!" They attacked and insulted a sentinel at the Custom House. A party of soldiers was sent by Captain Preston to the officers on duty to protect the man. The mob pelted them with pieces of wood, lumps of ice, etc., and denounced them as "cowards," "red-lobster rascals," and the like. The soldiers stood to defend the Custom House till they were fiercely attacked, and at length they fired in self-defence, killed three persons, and wounded several others—one mortally.



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