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The success of the revolt against the French in Spain was certain to become contagious in Portugal. Junot was holding the country with an army of thirty thousand men, amongst whom there was a considerable number of Spanish troops, who were sure to desert on the first opportunity after the news from Spain. What Buonaparte intended really to do with Portugal did not yet appear. The conditions of the Treaty of Fontainebleau remained a dead letter. He had established neither the Queen of Etruria nor the Prince of the Peace in their kingdoms there. The likelihood was that, as soon as Spain was secure, he would incorporate Portugal with it. This seemed very probably his intention, from words that he let fall at an Assembly of Portuguese Notables, whom he had summoned to meet him at Bayonne. The Count de Lima, the president of the Assembly, opened it with an address to Napoleon, who listened with great nonchalance, and then said, "I hardly know what to make of you, gentlemen; it must depend on the events in Spain. And, then, are you of consequence sufficient to constitute a separate people? Have you enough of size to do so? What is the population of Portugal? Two millions, is it?" "More than three, sire," replied the Count. "Ah, I did not know that. And Lisbonare there a hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants?" "More than double that number, sire." "Ah, I was not aware of that. Now, what do you wish to be, you Portuguese? Do you desire to become Spaniards?" "No!" said the Count de Lima, bluntly, and drawing himself up to his full height. Then Buonaparte broke up the conference.

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But the most discouraging feature of this war was the incurable pride of the Spaniards, which no reverses, and no example of the successes of their allies could abate sufficiently to show them that, unless they would condescend to be taught discipline, as the Portuguese had done, they must still suffer ignominy and annihilation. Blake, who had been so thoroughly routed on every occasion, was not content, like the British and Portuguese, to go into quarters, and prepare, by good drilling, for a more auspicious campaign. On the contrary, he led his rabble of an army away to the eastern borders of Spain, encountered Suchet in the open field on the 25th of October, was desperately beaten, and then took refuge in Valencia, where he was closely invested, and compelled to surrender in the early part of January next year, with eighteen thousand men, twenty-three officers, and nearly four hundred guns. Such, for the time, was the end of the generalship of this wrong-headed man. Suchet had, before his encounter with Blake, been making a most successful campaign in the difficult country of Catalonia, which had foiled so many French generals. He had captured one fortress after another, and in June he had taken Tarragona, after a siege of three months, and gave it up to the lust and plunder of his soldiery.

On the 24th of June Lord John Russell proposed his second edition of the Reform Bill, which did not substantially differ from the first. His speech on this occasion was a perfect contrast to the one with which he had introduced the measure at first. There was no longer any hesitation or timidity. He was no longer feeling his way doubtfully on an untried path, or navigating without compass along a dangerous coast. He boldly launched out to sea, with his eye steadily fixed on the north star, certain of his course and confident of the issue. The discussions of the previous Session had thrown a flood of light upon the whole question. Sustained by the enthusiasm of the people, and animated by the sympathy of the majority around him on the Ministerial benches, he spoke as if a greater and more vigorous mind had taken possession of his frame. He was strong in argument, cutting in sarcasm, defiant in tone, powerful in declamation. Borne by the power of[337] public opinion to a higher and more commanding position, and proudly conscious of the elevation, he seemed ashamed of the petty proposals of former years, and felt his heart as well as his intellect expanding to the greatness of the new position. The Bill was read a first time without opposition, the discussion being expressly reserved by Sir Robert Peel for the second reading, which was fixed for the 4th of July. In the meantime the Irish Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley on the 30th of June, Messrs. O'Connell and Sheil complaining bitterly of the difference existing, to the disadvantage of Ireland, between the proposed plans of Reform for the two countries. On the following day the Lord Advocate brought in the Bill relating to Scotland. On the 4th of July Lord John Russell moved the second reading of the English Reform Bill. A debate of three nights followed, containing little or no novelty in the argument, nothing but a wearisome repetition of points that had been discussed all over the country, hundreds of times, during the last few months. The most interesting feature was the attitude of Sir Robert Peel, who unfortunately placed himself in the front of the battle against Reform, in which he proved himself so able a general that all enlightened friends of the country lamented his false position. It was remarked, however, that he confined himself to a criticism of details.

The Fte de la Concorde took place on Sunday, the 21st of May, and passed off without any attempt at disturbance. On the contrary, the people were in excellent humour, and everything upon the surface of society seemed in keeping with the object of the festivity. On the 26th the Assembly decreed the perpetual banishment of Louis Philippe and his family, by a majority of 695 to 63. But the ex-king was not the only pretender who occupied the attention of the new Government; a far more dangerous one was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the Emperor and then an exile in London. He had gone over to Paris when the Republic was proclaimed, but acting on the advice of the Government, he quietly retired from the country. So potent, however, was still the charm that attached to the name of Napoleon, that his heir was elected a member of the National Assembly by no less than four constituencies. It was moreover discovered that money had been distributed in Paris by his partisans; that placards in his favour were posted upon the walls, and cries of "Vive Napoleon!" resounded through the city. Within four days, three journals had been established in Paris preparing the way for the candidature of Louis[553] Napoleon as President. After a violent debate, it was resolved by a large majority that he should be permitted to take his seat as a representative. On the Monday following Paris was excited by a rumour that Louis Napoleon had arrived, and while Lamartine was speaking in the Assembly several shots were fired, one at the Commandant of the National Guard, another at an officer of the army, and this was done to the cry of "Vive l'Empereur Napoleon!" "This," said Lamartine, "is the first drop of blood that has stained our revolution; and if blood has now been shed, it has not been for liberty, but by military fanaticism, and in the name of an ambition sadly, if not voluntarily, mixed up with guilty man?uvres. When conspiracy is taken in flagrante delicto, with its hand dyed in French blood, the law should be voted by acclamation." He then proposed a decree, causing the law of banishment of 1832 against Louis Napoleon to be executed. It was voted by acclamation, the Assembly rising in a body, and shouting, "Vive la Rpublique!" During the time that Malcolm, Keir, Hislop, and other officers were running down the Pindarrees, Major-General Smith, who had received reinforcements at Poonah, was performing the same service against Bajee Rao, the Peishwa who had furnished Cheetoo with funds. He marched from Poonah at the end of November, 1817, accompanied by Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone. They encountered the army of the Peishwa on the Kistnah, where his general, Gokla, had posted himself strongly in a ghaut. The pass was speedily cleared, and the army of the Peishwa made a rapid[140] retreat. The chase was continued from place to place, the Peishwa dodging about in an extraordinary manner, till, at length, he managed to get behind General Smith, and, passing between Poonah and Seroor, he was joined by his favourite Trimbukjee, whom he had long lost sight of, with strong reinforcements of both horse and infantry. General Smith, so soon as he could discover the route of the Peishwa, pursued it, but soon after the Mahrattas showed themselves again in the vicinity of Poonah. To secure that city from the Peishwa's arms, Captain F. F. Staunton was dispatched from Seroor on the last day of the year with six hundred sepoys, three hundred horse, and two six-pounders; but he was not able to reach Poonah. The very next day, the 1st of January, 1818, he found his way barred by the whole army of the Peishwa, consisting of twenty thousand horse and several thousand foot. Could they have remained a little longer, General Smith, who was on the track of the Peishwa, would have been up to support them. But in the night of the 2nd of January, having no provisions, Staunton fell back, carrying with him all his wounded and his guns, and reached Seroor by nine o'clock on the morning of the 3rd of January.

We have the accounts of what took place from both sidesfrom the magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable, till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence, said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of yeomanry.[151] They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued. "People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another, so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the level of the ground."

These were measures which must have greatly irritated the American colonists. They exhibited a disposition to curb and repress their growing energies between the interests of British merchants and British West Indian planters. The prospect was far from encouraging; whilst, at the same time, the English Ministers, crushing these energies with one hand, were contemplating drawing a revenue by taxation from them on the other. Britain argued that she sacrificed large amounts in building up colonies, and therefore had a right to expect a return for this expenditure. Such a return, had they had the sagacity to let them alone, was inevitable from the trade of the colonies in an ever-increasing ratio.

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CHAPTER XV. THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued).

The fire had soon become general, and a desperate struggle was raging along the whole line. Buonaparte threw column after column forward against the British squares; but they were met with deadly volleys of artillery and musketry, and reeled back amid horrible slaughter. A desperate push was made to carry La Haye Sainte and the farm of Mont St. Jean, on Wellington's left centre, by the cuirassiers, followed by four columns of French infantry. The cuirassiers charged furiously along the Genappe causeway, but were met and hurled back by the heavy British cavalry. The four columns of infantry reached La Haye Sainte and dispersed a body of Belgians; but Picton, advancing with Pack's brigade, forced them back, and the British cavalry, which had repulsed the cuirassiers, attacking them in flank, they were broken with heavy slaughter and left two thousand prisoners and a couple of eagles behind them. But the British, both cavalry and infantry, pursuing their advantage too far, were in turn repulsed with great loss, and Generals Picton and Ponsonby were killed. The French then again surrounded La Haye Sainte, where a detachment of the German legion, falling short of ammunition, and none being able to be conveyed to them, were literally massacred, refusing to surrender. In a little time the French were driven out of the farmhouses by shells.

Bolingbroke (b. 1678; d. 1751) must be named with the prose writers of the age. Amongst his writings there is little that will now interest the reader. He wrote in a brilliant and pretentious style, as he acted; and his writings, like his policy, are more showy than sound. As a cold sceptic in religion, and a Jacobite in politics, proud and essentially selfish in his nature, we are not likely to find anything from his pen which can strongly attract us, or is calculated to benefit us. In the Tory party, to which he belonged, he was one of those brilliant and self-complacent apparitions, which have all the[149] qualities of the meteordazzling, but speedily sinking into darkness, though his "Patriot King" had some temporary influence, and even furnishes the keynote to some of the earlier writings of Lord Beaconsfield.

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[216] 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 distanceNature 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.

The Jacobites were in ecstasies at this new phase of their old enterprise. By Charles's adhesion, their scheme was stripped of all those prejudices which had insured its ruin with the English. It had no longer the unpopular aspect of a French invasion; it was no longer headed by a Popish but a Protestant leader; it was no longer consigned to an untried or doubtful general, but to one of the most victorious monarchs living, who came as a Protestant to call on a Protestant nation to receive their rightful king. Money was not wanting. Spain remitted to Baron Spaar a million of livres for the expedition, and the Court of the Pretender offered sixty thousand pounds.