陕西人事--陕西频道--人民网

The suggestions of Murat had failed to induce Ferdinand to leave his capital and go to meet Napoleon; but a more adroit agent now presented himself in the person of Savary, the delegated murderer of the Duke d'Enghien. Savary paid decided court to Ferdinand. He listened to all his statements of the revolution of Aranjuez and the abdication of the king. He told him that he felt sure Napoleon would see these circumstances in the same favourable light as he did, and persuaded him to go and meet the Emperor at Burgos, and hear him salute him Ferdinand VII., King of Spain and of the Indies.

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Wolfe then held a council with his two next in command, the Brigadiers Monckton and Townshend, and they resolved, as a desperate attempt, to move up the river, and thus endeavour to draw Montcalm from his unassailable position. Accordingly, leaving detachments to defend the Isle of Orleans and Point Levi, the rest of the army ascended the St. Lawrence for some miles, and pitched their camp on the right bank. To attract still more attention, Admiral Holmes was ordered to put his vessels in active motion for some days, as if seeking a landing-place higher up the river.[135] This stratagem, however, produced no other result than that of Montcalm sending a detachment of one thousand five hundred men to watch their proceedings. He himself maintained his old ground. On hearing of the defeat of Tarleton, Cornwallis advanced rapidly, in order, if possible, to intercept Morgan and his English prisoners at the fords of Catawba. A rise of the water from the rains prevented his crossing that river so soon as he expected, and Morgan joined Greene, both generals, however, retreating behind the Yadkin. The swollen state of the river and the want of boats also detained Lord Cornwallis at the Yadkin, but he finally succeeded in crossing and throwing himself between Greene and the frontiers of Virginia, from which Greene looked for his supplies and reinforcements. Greene continued to retreat till he had also placed the Dan between himself and Cornwallis; but his militia had deserted so rapidly on his flight, that, on reaching the Dan, he had not more than eighty of that body with him. Greene now had the way open to him for retreat into Virginia, and, Cornwallis giving up the chase, marched leisurely to Hillsborough, in North Carolina, where he invited the Royalists to join his standard. Such was his successnumbers of Royalists flocking in to serve with Tarleton's legionthat Greene, alarmed at the consequences of this movement, turned back for the purpose of cutting off all possible reinforcements of this kind, yet avoiding a general engagement. Once more Cornwallis advanced to chastise Greene, and once more Greene beat a retreat. This man?uvring continued till the 15th of March, when Greene having been joined by fresh troops, thought himself strong enough to encounter the English general. He drew up his army on very strong ground near Guildford Court House, where Cornwallis boldly attacked him, and, after a stout battle, completely routed him.

Mention must be made of the extraordinary calculating machines of Charles Babbage. A few years after leaving college he originated the plan of a machine for calculating tables, by means of successive orders of differences, and having received for it, in 1822 and the following year, the support of the Astronomical and Royal Societies, and a grant of money from Government, he proceeded to its execution. He also in 1834 contrived a machine called the "analytical engine," extending the plan so as to develop algebraic quantities, and to tabulate the numerical value of complicated functions, when one or more of the variables which they contain are made to alter their values; but the difficulties of carrying out this plan became insurmountable. In 1839 Babbage resigned the professorship of mathematics in the University of Cambridge. He died at the end of 1871, having devoted his life to the study and advancement of science. Addresses were agreed to in both Houses without a division. The only discussion of interest that took place in connection with them referred to the dissolution, and the circumstances in which it occurred. The Opposition denounced it as an impolitic proceeding, bearing the appearance of a revolutionary coup d'tat. They charged the Lord Chancellor with making a false statement, in alleging that the Commons had stopped the supplies, which, if true, was not the real cause of the dissolution, the Cabinet having previously resolved upon that measure. Some of the Ministers also, in their addresses to their constituenciesSir James Graham, for exampleconveyed the same injurious impression, stating that "the last division, which had the effect of delaying the supplies, left no alternative but that of abandoning the Bill or of appealing to the people." With this "factious" conduct the Tory candidates were taunted at the elections, and they complained that they suffered in consequence much unmerited odium. The Chancellor denied the imputation. Not only had the Ministers decided upon the measure of dissolution, but the requisite commission had been actually prepared; and Lord Brougham said, "Knowing this, I must have been the veriest dolt and idiot in the creation, if I had said what has been attributed to me. I stated a factthat the dissolution being resolved upon, if there were wanting any justification for the step, the conduct of the House of Commons the night before furnished ample justification for that proceeding." But the truth is, the Opposition were smarting under the sense of defeat; they had been out-man?uvred by Lord Grey, and defeated by the use of their own tactics.

CAPTURE OF WOLFE TONE. (See p. 464.)

Now, though in some obscure and ignorant parts of the country there were clubs which contemplated the foolish idea of seizing on neighbouring properties, the committees must have been very ill-informed to have drawn any such conclusion as to the Hampden Clubs, which were organised for Parliamentary reform under the auspices of Sir Francis Burdett, Major Cartwright, Lord Cochrane, Cobbett, and others. Most of these persons had large properties to be sacrificed by the propagation of any such principles, and the great topics of Cobbett's Register, the organ through which he communicated with the people, were the necessity of refraining from all violence, and of rising into influence by purely political co-operation. But these reports answered the purposes of the Government, and they proceeded to introduce, and succeeded in passing, four Acts for the suppression of popular opinion. The first was to provide severe punishment for all attempts to seduce the soldiers or sailors from their allegiance; the second to give safeguards to the person of the Sovereign, but which did not include the most effectual of allthat of making him beloved; the third was to prevent seditious meetings, and gave great power to the magistrates and police to interfere with any meeting for the mildest Reforms; the fourth was the old measure of suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, which armed the magistrates with the fearful authority to arrest and imprison at pleasure, without being compelled to bring the accused to trial. The last of these Acts was not passed till the 29th of March, and it was to continue in force only till the 1st of July. But in the meantime events took place which occasioned its renewal.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known as one of the most eminent female poets of her time, by the signature "L. E. L." which she appended to her numerous contributions in the magazines, was born at Hans Place, Chelsea, in 1802. Her "Poetical Sketches" were published first in the Literary Gazette. In 1824 appeared her "Improvisatrice." She was the author of two other volumes of poetry, and of a successful novel. A spirit of melancholy pervades her writings; but it is stated by Mr. L. Blanchard, in the "Life and Literary Remains," which he published, that she was remarkable for the vivacity and playfulness of her disposition. Her poetry ranked very high in public estimation for its lyric beauty and touching pathos; but the circumstances of her early death, which was the subject of much controversy, invested her name with a tragic and romantic interest. In 1838 she was married to Mr. George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, but the marriage was unhappy, and she died, shortly afterwards, from an overdose of laudanum.

The new Parliament reassembled on the 14th of November, and the king in his speech, whilst pretending the differences which had arisen between us, France, and Spain were by no means serious, yet called for enlarged supplies to defend our American territories against the designs of these Powers. In fact, matters were becoming very serious in our American colonies; but the Government withheld the real facts from the knowledge of the public, and it was not till the opening of Parliament, in March, 1755, that they candidly avowed that war was inevitable. The French and English were actually engaged in war both in the East Indies and in America. In the East Indies there was just now an apparent pause in hostilities, through an agreement between the two Companies; but in North America matters daily grew worse. There were, and had been ever since the Peace, violent disputes as to the boundary-lines both of Nova Scotiaor, as the French styled it, Acadiaand between Canada and our colony of New England. The French, becoming more and more daring, commenced the erection of forts in the valley of the Ohio, to connect the settlements on the St. Lawrence with those on the Mississippi. They had already erected one called Duquesne, greatly to the indignation of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia. In Nova Scotia, Major Lawrence, with one thousand men, defeated the French and their Indian allies; but, on the other hand, the French surprised and sacked Block's Town, on the Ohio, belonging to the Virginians, who sent forward Major George Washington to attack Fort Duquesne. Washington, destined to acquire the greatest name in the New World, marched with four hundred men, but was surprised at a place called Great Meadows, and was glad to capitulate on condition of retiring with military honours (1754).

Sir Richard Quin, made a peer.

On the 7th of July the British and Prussian forces entered Paris. The former encamped themselves in the Bois de Boulogne, and the Prussians bivouacked along the Seine. There they came into full view of the Bridge of Jena, so named to commemorate the victory of Buonaparte on that field, so fatal to the Prussians, and of the column in the Place Vend?me, erected with cannon taken from the Austrians, and bearing insulting mementoes of the defeats of Prussia. The Prussians had already lowered the statue of Napoleon from the top of the column, and were beginning to demolish the bridge, when the Duke of Wellington interfered. He represented that, although these objects were justly offensive to Prussia, they ought to be left to the decision of the King of France, in whose capital they were, and that the name of the bridge might be changed. Blucher was unwilling to give way, and also insisted on the levy of a military contribution on the city of Paris of one hundred million francs, as some reparation for the[104] spoliations of the French in Berlin. Wellington suggested that these matters should be left for the determination of the Allied sovereigns, and at length prevailed.

It is true that George II. was also a brave and staunch commander, prepared to die on the spot rather than yield, as he had shown at Dettingen. But the greater part of his forces at Finchley were raw levies, and might not have stood better than the troops had done in Scotland. There was a terror of the Highlanders, even in the army; and as for London itself, the panic, when it was heard that they had got between the duke's army and the capital, was, according to Fielding, who was then in London, incredible. There was a frantic rush upon the Bank of England, and it is said that it must have closed had it not gained time by paying in sixpences. The shops were shut, business was at a stand, the Ministers were in the utmost terror, and the Duke of Newcastle was said to have shut himself up for a day, pondering whether he should declare for the Pretender or not. The king himself was by no means confident of the result. He is said to have sent most of his precious effects on board a yacht at the Tower quay, ready to put off at a minute's warning. The day on which the news of the rebels being at Derby reached London was long renowned as Black Friday. In such a state of terror, and the army at Finchley inferior in numbers, and infinitely inferior in bravery, who can doubt that Charles would for a time have made himself master of the metropolis?