特战夫妻的强军约定(军旅微故事)

On the 23rd Moore was obliged to halt for the coming of his supplies; and whilst doing so, he received the intelligence that no fewer than seventy thousand men were in full march after him, or taking a route so as to cut off his rear at Benevento, and that Buonaparte himself headed this latter division. There was no further thought of advancing, but of retreat, before the army was completely surrounded. By the 26th the whole army was beyond Astorga, but the French were now close behind them. Buonaparte, indeed, hoped to have rushed on by the Guadarama, and to have cut off his retreat at Tordesillas, but he was twelve hours too late. On the last day of December, 1808, Buonaparte was pressing close on the British rear in the vicinity of Astorga, and thus closed the year on the fortunes of the Spaniards and their British Allies. The boastful Spanish armies, too proud to think at first that they needed assistance, too unskilful, when they did see the need of it, to co-operate with it, and who had afforded nothing but indifference and false intelligence to their benefactors, were dispersed like so many clouds, and their Allies were flying from an overwhelming foe.

These godless atrocities, these enormous murders, beyond all historic precedent, proclaimed a people which had renounced God as well as humanity; and they soon proceeded to avow this fact, and to establish it by formal decree. In their rage for destroying everything old, there was nothing that escaped them. They altered the mode of computing time, and no longer used the Gregorian calendar, but dated all deeds from the first year of Liberty, which they declared to have commenced on the 22nd of September, 1792. The next and greatest achievement was to dethrone the Almighty, and erect the Goddess of Reason in His place. Under the auspices of the Goddess of Reason they did a very unreasonable thing: they deprived all working people and all working animals of one rest-day in every month. Instead of having the four weeks and four Sundays in a month, they[426] decimalised the months, dividing them each into three decades, or terms of ten days each, so that there were only three rest-days, instead of four, in the month. The Hanoverian dynasty and the Walpole Ministry made rapid strides in popularity, and carried all before them. The new Parliament met in January, 1728, and Walpole's party had in the House four hundred and twenty-seven members, all staunch in his support. So strong was the party in power, that several measures were carried which at other times would have raised discontent. It was proposed by Horace Walpole that two hundred and thirty thousand pounds should be voted for maintaining twelve thousand Hessians in the king's service. The Duke of Brunswick was, by treaty, to be paid twenty-five thousand pounds a year for four years for the maintenance of five thousand more troops. Levis, who knew that his success depended on forestalling any English arrivals, lost no time in throwing up trenches and preparing batteries. Had the river continued closed, Quebec must soon have reverted to the French; but, on the 11th of May, the English were rejoiced to see a frigate approaching, and this, only four days after, was followed by another frigate and a ship of the line. These, commanded by Lord Colville, immediately attacked and destroyed or drove on shore the French flotilla, and at that sight Levis struck his tents and decamped as rapidly as he came, leaving behind him his baggage and artillery. Nor was the Marquis de Vaudreuil left long undisturbed at Montreal. The three expeditions, which had failed to meet the preceding summer, were now ordered to converge on MontrealAmherst from Lake Ontario, Haviland from Crown Point, and Murray from Quebec. Amherst had been detained at Oswego by an outbreak of the Cherokees against us. This native tribe had been friendly to us, and we had built a fort in their country, and called it Fort Loudon, after Lord Loudon; but in the autumn of 1759 they had been bought over by the French, and made a terrible raid on our back settlements, murdering and scalping the defenceless inhabitants. Mr. Lyttelton, the Governor of South Carolina, marched against them with a thousand men, and compelled them to submission; but no sooner had he retired than they recommenced their hostilities, and Amherst sent against them Colonel Montgomery, with one thousand two hundred men, who made a merciless retaliation, plundering and burning their villages, so as to impress a sufficient terror upon them.

Instead of Hamilton, the Duke of Shrewsbury was sent to Versailles, where Matthew Prior remained to lend his superior knowledge of French affairs and superior address to the negotiations. The weight of Tory vengeance now fell on the Duke of Marlborough, whom the ministers justly regarded as the most dangerous man amongst the Whigs by his abilities and the splendour of his renown. The Earl of Godolphin died in September of this year. He had always been a staunch friend of the Marlboroughs. His son, Lord Rialton, was married to Marlborough's eldest daughter, and during Godolphin's later years he was nearly a constant resident with the Marlboroughs, and died at their lodge in Windsor Park. Godolphin was one of the best of the Whigs; of a clear, strong judgment, and calm temper. He had rendered the most essential services during the conflict against France, by ably and faithfully conducting affairs at home, whilst Marlborough was winning his victories abroad; and that great general knew that he should be supported against all his enemies and detractors so long as Godolphin remained in power. The highest eulogium on Godolphin's honesty lies in the fact that he died poor. But at Godolphin's death Marlborough stood a more exposed object to the malice of his foes. They did not hesitate to assert that he had had a deep concern in the plot for Hamilton's death. He was also harassed by debt. He therefore resolved to retire to the Continent, where he continued to keep up a correspondence with the Elector of Hanover and the Pretender to the last, so that whichever came in he might stand well with him. He wrote to St. Germains, showing that though he had appeared to fight against the King of England, as he styled the Pretender, it was not so. He had fought to reduce the power of France, which would be as much to the advantage of the king when he came to the throne as it was to the present queen. He gave his advice to the Pretender for his security and success. "The French king and his ministers," he says, "will sacrifice everything to their own views of peace. The Earl of Oxford and his associates in office will[10] probably insist upon the king's retiring to Italy; but he must never consent. He must neither yield to the French king, nor to the fallacious insinuations of the British Ministry, on a point which must inevitably ruin his cause. To retire to Italy, by the living God! is the same thing as to stab himself to the heart. Let him take refuge in Germany, or in some country on this side of the Alps. He wants no security for his person; no one will touch a hair of his head. I perceive such a change in his favour, that I think it is impossible but that he must succeed. But when he shall succeed, let there be no retrospect towards the past. All that has been done since the Revolution must be confirmed." He added that Queen Anne had no real aversion from her brother's interests, but that she must not be alarmed, as she was very timid. Lord George Murray then said that, as they needs must go, he proposed that they should enter England on the Cumberland side, so as to harass Wade's troops, if he marched across to meet them. The idea was adopted as a great improvement; it was kept a profound secret. Still further to mislead the English, Lord George proposed another plan, which was also adoptedto divide the army into two columns, to march by two different routes, but to unite at Carlisle. One of these was to be led by the prince himself by Kelso, as if intending to march straight into Northumberland; the other to take the direct road through Moffat. It was resolved to leave Lord Strathallan to command in Scotland, to take up his headquarters at Perth, receive the expected succours from France, and all such reinforcements from the Highlands as should come in.

Lord Castlereagh, in recounting the aid given by Great Britain to the sovereigns of the Continent in this grand effort to put down the intolerable military dominance of Buonaparte, drew a picture of expenditure such as no country had presented since the commencement of history. He said that the nations of the north of Europe were so exhausted by their former efforts, that not one of them could move without our aid; that this year alone we had sent to Russia two million pounds; to Prussia two million pounds; to Austria one million pounds in money, and one hundred thousand stand of arms; to Spain two million pounds; to Portugal one million pounds; to Sicily four hundred thousand pounds. By these aids Russia had been able to bring up men from the very extremities of the earth, and Prussia to put two hundred thousand men into the field. We had sent during the year five hundred thousand muskets to Spain and Portugal, and four hundred thousand to other parts of the Continent. There was something sublime in the contemplation of one nation, by the force of her wealth and her industry, calling together the armies of the whole world to crush the evil genius of the earth.

The general election brought a large accession of strength to the Reform Party. The new Parliament met on the 21st of June, and Mr. Manners Sutton was again elected Speaker. In the Speech from the Throne the king said, "Having had recourse to the dissolution of Parliament, for the purpose of ascertaining the sense of my people on the expediency of a Reform in the Representation, I have now to recommend that important question to your earliest and most attentive consideration, confident that, in any measures which you may prepare for its adjustment, you will adhere to the acknowledged principles of the Constitution, by which the rights of the Crown, the authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people are equally secured." The usual assurances were then given of the friendly disposition of all foreign Powers; reference was made to the contest then going on in Poland, to the Belgian Revolution, and the right of its people to regulate their own affairs, so long as the exercise of it did not endanger the security of neighbouring States. A paragraph was devoted to Portugal, lamenting that diplomatic relations with its Government could not be re-established, though a fleet had been sent to enforce our demands of satisfaction. Strict economy was recommended, in the stereotype phraseology of Royal Speeches. Having referred to reduction of taxation, the state of the revenue, and to the desire to assist the industry of the country, by legislation on sound principles, the Speech described the appearance of Asiatic cholera, and the precautions that had been taken to prevent its introduction into England. The rest of the Speech was devoted to Ireland, where "local disturbances, unconnected with political causes," had taken place in various districts, especially in Clare, Galway, and Roscommon, for the repression of which the constitutional authority of the law had been vigorously and successfully applied; and thus the necessity of enacting new laws to strengthen the executive had been avoided, to avert which, the king said, would ever be his most earnest desire.

With Lord Eldon, however, he held different language, complaining bitterly of the difficulties in which the Ministers had involved him. He is represented as struggling desperately in meshes from which he found it impossible to extricate himself; and, as usual with weak minds, he threw all the blame of his misery on others. In reference to an interview, Lord Eldon remarks: "I was not sent for afterwards, but went on Thursday, the 9th of April, with more addresses. In the second interview, which began a little before two o'clock, the king repeatedlyand with some minutes intervening between his repeated declarations, musing in silence in the interimexpressed his anguish, pain, and misery that the measure had ever been thought of, and as often declared that he had been most harshly and cruelly treatedthat he had been treated as a man whose consent had been asked with a pistol pointed to his breast, or as obliged, if he did not give it, to leap down from a five-pair-of-stairs window. What could he do? What had he to fall back upon?" After relating much more in the same strain, Lord Eldon adds: "Little more passed, except occasional bursts of expression, 'What can I do? What can I now fall back upon? What can I fall back upon? I am miserable, wretched. My situation is dreadful; nobody about me to advise with. If I do give my consent, I will go to the baths after all, and from thence to Hanover. I'll return no more to England. I'll make no Roman Catholic peers; I will not do what this Bill will enable me to do. I'll return no more. Let them get a Catholic king in Clarence! [I think he also mentioned Sussex.] The people will see that I did not wish this.' There were the strongest appearances, certainly, of misery. He more than once stopped my leaving him. When the time came that I was to go, he threw his arms around my neck, and expressed great misery. I left him at about twenty minutes or a quarter before five. I certainly thought when I left him that he would express great difficulty, when the Bill was prepared for the Royal Assent, about giving it." The writer adds, sarcastically:"I fear that it seemed to be given as a matter of course." Next day, Lord Eldon wrote to his daughter: "The fatal Bill received the Royal Assent yesterday afternoon. After all I had heard in my visits, not a day's delay. God bless us and His Church." At Windsor, on the 13th of April, the king pronounced over the Bill that he so hated the words"Le Roy le veult."

Leaving Mlas to complete the subjection of Italy, Suvaroff then turned his army towards Switzerland, where Massena had effectually opposed the Austrians under Bellegarde and Hotze, and defeated a Russian force under Korsakoff, sent to reinforce them. But Suvaroff found himself unable to unite with Korsakoff till after much fighting with Massena; and the two Russian generals retreated to Augsburg, leaving Massena master of Switzerland.

At Calcutta, Francis, Clavering, and Monson were deeply engaged in what appeared to them a certain plan for the ruin of Hastings. The Maharajah Nuncomar, who styled himself the head of the Brahmins, came forward and laid before them papers containing the most awful charges against Hastings. These were that Hastings had encouraged him, at the command of the Secret Committee, to produce charges against Mohammed Rheza Khan and Shitab Roy, when they were in prison, in order to extort money from them; and that Hastings had accepted a heavy bribe to allow Mohammed to escape without punishment. Hastings broke up the Council, declaring that he would not sit to be judged by his own Council. If they had charges to prefer against him, they might form themselves into a committee, and transmit such evidence as they received to the Supreme Court of Justice at Calcutta, or to the Directors at home. But the three declared themselves a majority, voted their own competence to sit and try their own chief, and preferred another huge charge introduced by Nuncomarnamely, that Hastings had appropriated to[327] himself two-thirds of the salary of the Governor of Hooghly, a post formerly held by Nuncomar himself. They determined to introduce Nuncomar to confront Hastings at his own Council board. Hastings declared the Council not sitting; the three declared it sitting and valid, and called in Nuncomar, who proceeded to detail his charges, and ended by producing a letter from the Munny Begum, now Governor of Oude, expressing the gratitude which she felt to the Governor-General for her appointment as guardian of the Nabob, and that in token of this gratitude she had presented him with two lacs of rupees. Immediately on hearing that, Hastings declared the letter a forgery, and that he would prove it so; and he was not long in procuring an absolute denial of the letter from the Begum. Things being driven to this pass, Hastings commenced an action against Nuncomar, Mr. Fowke, one of the most active agents of the trio, and others, as guilty of a conspiracy against him. This was supported by native witnesses, and the Supreme Court of Justice, after a long and careful examination of the case, held Nuncomar and Fowke to bail, and bound the Governor-General to prosecute.

Sir W. G. Newcomen, a peerage for his wife, etc.

The 20th of November arrived; the two Houses met, and Lord Camden in the Peers, and Pitt in the Commons, were obliged to announce the incapacity of the king to open the Session, and to move for an adjournment till the 4th of December, in order that the necessary measures for transferring the royal authority, temporarily, might be taken. Fox, at this important crisis, was abroad, and had to hurry home with headlong speed, in order to join his party in their anxious deliberations preparatory to the great question of the regency. In the meantime, the king's physicians had been examined before the Privy Council, and had given their opinion that the royal malady would prove only temporary. This in particular was the opinion of Dr. Willis, a specialist who had the chief management of the case, and whose mild treatment, in contrast to the violent means previously employed, had already produced a marked improvement. From this moment Pitt appears to have taken his decisionnamely, to carry matters with a high hand, and to admit the Prince of Wales as regent only under such restrictions as should prevent him from either exercising much power himself, or conferring much benefit on his adherents. When, therefore, Parliament met, after the adjournment, and that in great strengthfor men of all parties had hurried up to town,Lord Camden moved in the Lords, and Pitt in the Commons, that, in consequence of the king's malady, the minutes of the Privy Council containing the opinions of the royal physicians should be read, and that this being done, these opinions should be taken into consideration on the 8th of December.

There was grave discontent and suffering in France, and Marshal Saxe, through General Ligonier, made proposals for peace. The news of these overtures gave great delight in England, but the king and Cumberland were bent on continuing the war. Pelham and Chesterfield advocated acceptance of the terms, but Newcastle sided with the king, to gain favour with him. As the terms, however, could not with decency be bluntly rejected, Cumberland solicited and obtained the post of negotiator in the matter for England; but the Ministers, desirous of peace, foreseeing that the wishes or the hasty temper of Cumberland would[114] soon ruin every chance of accomplishing a treaty, the Earl of Sandwich was sent over to act as assistant to the duke; this meant that he was to overrule, if possible, the mischief Cumberland would be sure to make. Sandwich accordingly hastened over to Holland, and had a secret interview with the Marquis de Puisieulx, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, and, after much dodging on the part of the marquis, he managed to have the discussion removed from military negotiators to a congress at Aix-la-Chapelle.

SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY.