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When, therefore, Lord Wellington pondered over matters in Madrid, he looked in vain for anything like a regular Spanish army, after all the lessons which had been given to them. The army of Galicia, commanded by Santocildes, considered the best Spanish force, had been defeated by Clausel, himself in the act of escaping from Wellington. Ballasteros had a certain force under him, but his pride would not allow him to co-operate with Lord Wellington, and he was soon afterwards dismissed by the Cortes from his command. O'Donnel had had an army in Murcia, but he, imagining that he could cope with the veteran troops of Suchet, had been most utterly routed, his men flinging away ten thousand muskets[29] as they fled. Moreover, Wellington had been greatly disappointed in his hopes of a reinforcement from Sicily. He had urged on Ministers the great aid which an efficient detachment from the army maintained by us in Sicily might render by landing on the eastern coast of Spain, and clearing the French out of Catalonia, Valencia, and Murcia. This could now be readily complied with, because there was no longer any danger of invasion of Sicily from Naples, Murat being called away to assist in Buonaparte's campaign in Russia. But the plan found an unexpected opponent in our Commander-in-Chief in Sicily, Lord William Bentinck. Lord William at first appeared to coincide in the scheme, but soon changed his mind, having conceived an idea of making a descent on the continent of Italy during Murat's absence. Lord Wellington wrote earnestly to him, showing him that Suchet and Soult must be expelled from the south of Spain, which could be easily effected by a strong force under British command landing in the south-east and co-operating with him from the north, or he must himself again retire to Portugal, being exposed to superior forces from both north and south. The expedition was at length sent, under General Maitland, but such a force as was utterly useless. It did not exceed six thousand men; and such men! They were chiefly a rabble of Sicilian and other foreign vagabonds, who had been induced to enlist, and were, for the most part, undisciplined.

In the Commons, on the same day, Grenville delivered a message from the Crown, announcing to the House the imprisonment of one of their members during the recess. Wilkes immediately rose in his place, and complained of the breach of that House's privilege in his person; of the entry of his house, the breaking open of his desk, and the imprisonment of his personimprisonment pronounced by the highest legal authority to be illegal, and therefore tyrannical. He moved that the House should take the question of privilege into immediate consideration. On the other hand, Lord North, who was a member of the Treasury board, and Sir Fletcher Norton, Attorney-General, put in the depositions of the printer and publisher, proving the authorship of No. 45 of the North Briton on Wilkes, and pressing for rigorous measures against him. A warm debate ensued, in which Pitt opposed the proceedings to a certain extent, declaring that he could never understand exactly what a libel was.[181] Notwithstanding, the Commons voted, by a large majority, that No. 45 of the North Briton was "a false, scandalous, and malicious libel," tending to traitorous insurrection, and that it should be burnt by the common hangman. The growing importance of the middle classes, the rapid multiplication of men of wealth and high social position in the mercantile community; the marriage of their daughters into noble families rendered insolvent by extravagance, and the diffusion of knowledge among all classes of the community, gradually levelled or lowered the barriers of exclusiveness, increased the facilities of social intercourse, and rendered the fashions in the clothing of both sexes more accordant with good taste, more convenient, and more conducive to health. With the use of the trousers, and Hessian or Wellington boots, came the loose and easy surtout, and frock-coat; and instead of the deep stiff white cravat, black stocks or black ties were worn except in full dress at evening parties. The clergy, however, retained the white neckcloth, and, strange to say, it also became the necessary distinction of footmen, butlers, hotel-waiters, and shop-assistants. The old Court dress coat, with its bag-like skirt, was abandoned by gentlemen who attended dinner parties and balls, for the "swallow-tailed" dress coat.

Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car.

Grenville, chagrined as he was, still clung to the Government, and called in the Duke of Bedford as President of the Council, Lord Sandwich as Secretary of State. Lord Hillsborough succeeded Lord Shelburne at the Board of Trade. Such was the Government which was to supersede the necessity of Pitt; Lord Chesterfield declaring that they could not meet the Parliament, for that they had not a man in the Commons who had either abilities or words enough to call a coach.

We return now to the American campaign. Sir Henry Clinton, at the close of the year 1779, proceeded to carry into effect his plan of removing the war to the Southern States. The climate there favoured the project of a winter campaign, and, on the day after Christmas Day, Sir Henry embarked five thousand men on board the fleet of Admiral Arbuthnot. But the weather at sea at this season proved very tempestuous, and his ships were driven about for seven weeks. Many of his transports were lost, some of them were taken by the enemy; he lost nearly all the horses of the cavalry and artillery, and one vessel carrying the heavy ordnance foundered at sea. It was the 11th of February, 1780, when he landed on St. John's Island, about thirty miles from Charleston. He then planned the investment of Charleston with Admiral Arbuthnot; but he was not on good terms with that officer, and this threw great impediments in the way of prompt action. It was the 1st of April before they could break ground before the city. Once begun, however, the siege was prosecuted with vigour. Lord Cornwallis was sent to scour the country, and so completely did he effect this, that Lincoln was compelled to offer terms of surrender. These were considered too favourable to the Americans, and the siege continued till the 11th of May, when the English were doing such damage to the town, and the inhabitants suffering so much, that they threatened to throw open the gates if Lincoln did not surrender. In this dilemma, Lincoln offered to accept the terms proposed by Clinton before, and the British general assented to his proposal. On the 12th of May the Americans grounded their arms. The news of this blow, which laid the whole south open to the English, carried consternation throughout the States; and, arriving in England at the close of the Gordon riots, seemed to restore the spirits of the British.

The Bill was suffered to pass the second reading, but was thrown out, on the motion of its being committed, by two hundred and twenty-two against two hundred and fourteen. Fox then gave notice of his intention of bringing in a new Bill of his own on India, and demanded to know from the Ministers whether he might expect to proceed in security with it, or whether the House would be dissolved. Pitt did not answer; the question was repeated by other members, but Pitt continued silent, till General Conway said it was a new thing to see a Minister sitting in sulky silence, and refusing to satisfy the reasonable desires of the House. This brought out Pitt with an indignant denial; but he preserved silence as to the probability of a dissolution.

[570]

At this juncture, while daily desertions thinned Mar's army at Perth, arrived the Pretender. He landed at Peterhead on the 22nd of December. On the 6th of January, 1716, he made his public entry into Dundee, at the head of his cavalcade, the Earl of Mar riding on his right hand, and the Earl Marshal on his left, and about three hundred gentlemen following. His reception was enthusiastic. The people flocked round him to kiss his hands; and to gratify this loyal desire he remained an hour in the market-place. On the 8th he arrived at Scone, and took up his residence in the ancient palace of his ancestors. There he was only two miles from the army, and having established a council, and issued six proclamations, ordering a public thanksgiving for the "miraculous providence" of his safe arrival, for prayers in the church, for the currency of foreign coin, for a meeting of the Convention of Estates, for all fencible men from sixteen to sixty to repair to his standard, and for his coronation on the 23rd of January, he presented himself before the army. But here the scene was changed. Instead of enthusiasm there was disappointmentdisappointment on both sides. The soldiers, who expected to see a royal-looking, active-looking man, likely to encourage them and lead them on their career, beheld a tall, thin, pale, and dejected sort of person, who evidently took no great interest in them. That the Pretender should not exhibit much vivacity was no wonder. He had been assured by Mar that his army had swelled to sixteen thousand men; that the whole North was in his favour; and that he had only to appear to carry everything before him. On inquiring into the force, it turned out to be so miserably small, that the only desire was to keep it out of sight. The spirits of the Pretender fell, and though not destitute of ability, as is manifest by his letters, he had by no means that strength of resolution demanded by such an enterprise.

The state of opinion among the members of the Government from the early part of 1828 may be traced in the "Memoirs" of Sir Robert Peel, which comprise the confidential correspondence on the subject. The Marquis Wellesley had retired from the Government of Ireland, and was succeeded by the Marquis of Anglesey. The former nobleman would have given more satisfaction to the Irish Roman Catholics; but he was overruled, as they believed, by Mr. Goulburn, his Chief Secretary. His popularity and the confidence reposed in him were much increased by the fact that the marchioness was a Roman Catholic, which, however, proportionably rendered him an object of suspicion to the Orange party.

At the opening of the year 1814 Buonaparte was busy endeavouring to make good some of his false steps, so as to meet the approaching Allies with all possible strength. He made haste to liberate the captive Pope, and thus remove one of the causes of the hostility of the Italians to him, for in Italy the Austrians were bearing hard on his Viceroy, Eugene, who had but about forty-five thousand men there, whilst Murat, at Naples, so far from supporting the claims of Napoleon, was endeavouring to bargain with the Allies for the kingdom of Naples. Buonaparte, at the commencement of the year, sent Cardinal Maury and the Bishops of Evreux and Plaisance to Pius VII. at Fontainebleau. But even in such pressing circumstances Buonaparte could not make a generous offer. He endeavoured to bargain for the cession of a part of the Papal territories, on condition of the surrender of the rest. But Pius, who had always shown great spirit, replied that the estates of the Church were not his to give, and he would not give his consent to their alienation. Foiled on this point, Buonaparte then sent word that the Pope should be unconditionally liberated. "Then," said Pius, "so must all my cardinals." This was refused, but he was permitted to go alone, and a carriage and guard of honour were given him. Before departing, Pius called together the cardinals, seventeen in number, and commanded them to wear no decoration received from the French Government, and to assist at no festival to which they should be invited. He then took his leave, on the 24th of January, and reached Rome on the 18th of May. Thus ended the most foolish of all the arbitrary actions of Napoleon. The folly of it was so obvious that he disclaimed having ordered the seizure of the Pope, but he showed that this was false by keeping him prisoner more than five years.

The London Chartists contrived to hold their meetings and to march in procession; and as this sometimes occurred at night, accompanied by the firing of shots, it was a source of alarm to the public. There were confederate clubs established, consisting chiefly of Irishmen, who fraternised with the English Chartists. On the 31st of May they held a great meeting on Clerkenwell Green. There, after hearing some violent speeches, the men got the word of command to fall in and march, and the crowd formed rapidly into columns four abreast. In this order they marched to Finsbury Square, where they met another large body, with which they united, both forming into new columns twelve abreast, and thus they paced the square with measured military tread for about an hour. Thence they marched to Stepney, where they received further accessions, from that to Smithfield, up Holborn, Queen Street, and Long Acre, and on through Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square. Here the police interfered, and they were gradually dispersed. This occurred on Monday. On Tuesday night they assembled again at Clerkenwell Green, but were dispersed by a large body of horse and foot police. There was to be another great demonstration on Wednesday, but the police authorities issued a cautionary notice, and made effectual arrangements for the dispersion of the meeting. Squadrons of Horse Guards were posted in Clerkenwell and Finsbury, and precautions were taken to prevent the threatened breaking of the gas and water mains. The special constables were again partially put in requisition, and 5,000 of the police force were ready to be concentrated upon any point, while the whole of the fire brigade were placed on duty. These measures had the effect of preventing the assembly. Similar attempts were made in several of the manufacturing towns, but they were easily suppressed. In June, however, the disturbances were again renewed in London. On Whit Monday, the 4th, there was to be a great gathering of Chartists in Bonner's Fields, but the ground was occupied early in the morning by 1,600 policemen, 500 pensioners, and 100 constables mounted. There was also a body of Horse Guards in the neighbourhood. Up to the hour of two o'clock the leaders of the movement did not appear, and soon after a tremendous thunderstorm accompanied by drenching rain, caused the dispersion of all the idlers who came to witness the display. Ten persons were arrested on the ground, and tried and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.