用影像追寻真相,用微光点亮希望

In the midst of these deeply-planned man?uvres Buonaparte proceeded to make his last move in his great game. He had intimidated the Royalists by the seizure and fusilading of the Duke d'Enghien; he had deprived the Republicans of their leader in Moreau, who was exiled; the nation was passive; all its branching lines of authority were in his hands; and there remained only to erect a throne and seat himself upon it. It must not be a regal throne, because that would too much remind the world of the claims of the Bourbons: it should, therefore, be an imperial one, and mark a totally new era in France. It was one which was especially calculated to flatter the French vanity. Accordingly, on the 30th of April, Curea man of no particular note, and perhaps selected on that account for the occasion, as his proposal might be the more easily disavowed, if it were resistedrose in the tribunate, and proposed that Napoleon Buonaparte should be invested with the title of Emperor.

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ON BOARD AN EMIGRANT SHIP AT THE TIME OF THE IRISH FAMINE. (See p. 542.) In Calabria, the two sons of Ferdinand of Naples, Prince Francis and Prince Leopold, in conjunction with General Damas, held a force of fourteen thousand men, and endeavoured to arouse the mountaineers, and repel the advance of the French; but Regnier was dispatched against them, with a force of ten thousand, and soon defeated and dispersed the Neapolitans, making himself master of all the country, except the towns and fortresses of Maratea, Amantea, and Scylla. After three days of a bloody contest, Regnier took Maratea, and gave it up to the soldiery. These atrocities aroused the mountaineers to such fury, that they beset and harassed the French on their march to Amantea like so many demons. Their progress was arrested: Amantea stoutly resisted; Scylla, though taken, was invested by enraged Neapolitans and peasantry, and Reggio was again wrested from them. At this crisis arrived Sir John Stuart in Sicily, to reinforce and take the command of the British troops, and, at the earnest entreaty of the queen, Sir John crossed into Calabria.

The news of his liberation was carried that night by the mail coaches over all parts of the country, and produced extraordinary excitement throughout the south and west, particularly in Cork, which Mr. O'Connell then represented. There the whole population seems to have turned out, some of the streets being so packed that it was impossible to get along. Processions were soon formed, with bands of music, and green boughs. Even the little children were furnished with the emblems of victory. Along the country roads, too, as well as in the towns and villages, every little cabin had its green boughs stuck up, and its group of inhabitants shouting for "the Liberator." At night, in the towns, every house was illuminated, while bonfires blazed on the mountains, and the horizon seemed on fire in every direction. On the following Sunday the liberation of the prisoners was celebrated in the Metropolitan Church, Dublin. Archbishop Murray sat with his mitre on, and in his grandest robes, on an elevated throne, with crimson canopy. On the opposite side, beneath the pulpit, were chairs of state, on which sat O'Connell and the rest of the "Repeal martyrs." A Te Deum was sung for the deliverance of the liberator of his country; a sermon was preached by O'Connell's devoted friend and chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Miley, who ascribed the liberation, not to the law lords, but to the Virgin Mary. When Montcalm was informed of this wonderful feat, he thought it merely some new feint to draw him from his lines; but when he had ascertained with his own eyes the truth, he said, "I see them, indeed, where they ought not to be; but, as we must fight, I shall crush them." He immediately led his troops over the bridge of the St. Charles, and up to the eminence above the town. There he found the English already advanced in order of battle to within cannon-shot of Quebec. Wolfe had drawn them up with much judgment. His left wing was formed in what military men call en potencethat is, facing two ways, so as to guard against being outflanked. In this wing, too, he had placed a regiment of Highlanders, one of those which Pitt had formed, and which had already shown its bravery. His right, extending towards the St. Lawrence, had in the van the Grenadiers who had distinguished themselves at the taking of Louisburg, supported by a regiment of the line. Wolfe had taken his post on this wing. The sailors had managed to drag up one cannon, and they had seized four other small guns at the battery they had passed; that was all their artillery. But in this respect Montcalm was no better off, for in his haste he had only brought along with him two guns. He had ordered a cloud of Indians to hover on the left of the English, and had lined the thickets and copses with one thousand five hundred of his best marksmen. These concealed skirmishers fired on the advancing pickets of the English with such effect, that they fell back in confusion; but Wolfe hastened forward, encouraged them to dash on, and ordered the first line to reserve their fire till within forty yards of the enemy. The men well obeyed the order, and marched briskly on without firing a shot, whilst the French came hurrying forward, firing as they came. They killed many of the English, but, as soon as these came within the forty yards' distance, they poured a steady and well-directed a volley into the enemy that did dreadful execution. Wolfe, with characteristic enthusiasm, was in the front line, encouraging them by voice and action, and in less than half an hour the French ranks broke, and many began to fly. Meanwhile Wolfe, exposing himself to the very hottest fire, had been wounded in the wrist by nearly the first discharge; and he had scarcely wrapped his handkerchief around it, when another bullet hit him in the groin. Still appearing to[136] pay no attention to these serious wounds, he was in the act of inciting his men to fresh efforts, when a ball pierced his chest, and he fell. He was carried to the rear, and, whilst he seemed to be in the very agony of death, one of those around him cried, "See how they run!" "Who run?" exclaimed Wolfe, raising himself, with sudden energy, on his elbow. "The enemy," replied the officer; "they give way in all directions." "God be praised!" ejaculated Wolfe; "I die happy!" and, falling back, he expired. Nearly at the same moment Brigadier Monckton was severely wounded, and Brigadier Townshend took the command, and completed the victory. Montcalm, also, had fallen. He was struck by a musket-ball whilst endeavouring to rally his men, and was carried into the city, where he died the next day. When told that he could not live"So much the better," replied this brave and able man; "I shall not then live to see the surrender of Quebec." His second in command was also mortally wounded, and being taken on board the English ships, also died the next day. Of the French, one thousand five hundred had fallen, and six hundred and forty of the English. On the 18th September, five days after the battle, the city capitulated, the garrison marching out with the honours of war, and under engagement to be conveyed to the nearest French port. Other fragments of the defeated army retired to Montreal.

At first victory seemed to attend the French. Lefebvre defeated the Spaniards in Aragon, on the 9th of June, and General Bessires beat the insurgents, in several partial actions, in Navarre and Biscay. But his great success was over the united forces of Generals Cuesta and Blake, on the 14th of June, at Medina de Rio Seco, a few leagues from the city of Valladolid. Duchesne thought he should be able to send reinforcements to assist in reducing Valencia and Aragon; but he soon found that he had enough to do in his own district. Marshal Moncey, all this time expecting the co-operation of Duchesne, had advanced into Valencia. For a time the country seemed deserted; but as he advanced he found the hills and rocks swarming with armed people, and he had to force his march by continual fighting. There were Swiss troops mingled amongst the Spanish ones opposed to him, and whilst they attacked him in front, the Spaniards assaulted his flanks and rear. When he arrived before the city of Valencia, on the 27th of June, he found the place well defended. On the 29th Moncey retired from before the walls, despairing of the arrival of Duchesne. Moncey, like Bessires, now found himself called to Madrid to defend the new king, who, it was clear, could not long remain there; and already the British were landing on the shores of the Peninsula, to bring formidable aid to the exasperated inhabitants.

The party which, under the guidance of Mr. Disraeli, Lord Stanley, and Lord George Bentinck, was destined to present so formidable an opposition to the Minister's policy, and to render his labours in the interests of the people so full of pain and anxiety, as yet only marked its existence by murmurs along the Conservative benches. As usual, the somewhat revived prosperity of the country was the chief pretext for resisting change. People with this view did not see the danger of opposing reforms until a sudden storm compelled the Legislature to face them with mischievous haste. It had again and again been shown that the evils of the old system of restrictions lay chiefly in the fact that they led to violent fluctuations in the circumstances of the people. Nothing, therefore, could be more certain than that, even had the prosperity been tenfold greater, one of those alternations of depression which brought so much misery to the people would not be long in making its appearance. The monopolist party, however, seldom looked beyond the day or the hour. There had been rick-burning in the country, and an agricultural labourer, named Joseph Lankester, had declared that his object in committing this crime was to raise the price of wheat, and so bring about those high wages which the political farmers and landlords were always saying came from good prices in the corn market. The Protectionist lords declared, nevertheless, that the Anti-Corn-Law League, with their mischievous agitation, their models of the big and the little loaf, their lectures and meetings, their music and banners, their poisonous tracts and pamphlets, were at the bottom of these disturbances. In the towns, however, political agitation was comparatively silent. To some agriculturists it appeared a fair compromise to maintain the protective laws in consideration of their being content to put up with the low prices of the day. Any way, the dreaded League seemed to them to be checked.