All being ready, on the 6th of January Wellington suddenly pushed forward to Gallegos, and on the 8th invested Ciudad Rodrigo. Nothing could be more unexpected by Marshal Marmont, who had never suspected any attack in winter, and had placed his army in cantonments, and had, moreover, sent several divisions to distant points. On the very first evening Wellington stormed an external redoubt called the Great Teson, and established his first parallel. On the 13th he also carried the convent of Santa Cruz, and on the 14th that of San Francisco. He then established his second parallel, and planted fresh batteries. On the 19th he made two breaches, and, hearing that Marmont was advancing hastily to the relief of the place, he determined to storm at once, though it would be at a more serious exposure of life. The assault was rapid and successful, but the slaughter on both sides was very severe. A thousand killed and wounded were reckoned on each side, and one thousand seven hundred prisoners were taken by the British. What made the British loss the heavier was that General Mackinnon and many of his brigade were killed by the explosion of a powder magazine on the walls. General Craufurd of the Light Division, was killed, and General Vandeleur, Colonel Colborne, and Major Napier were wounded. Much ammunition and a battering train were found in Ciudad Rodrigo. Marmont was astounded at the fall of the place. The Spanish Cortes, who had been so continually hampering and criticising Wellington, now created him Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo. He was also, in England, advanced to the dignity of an earl, and an annuity of two thousand pounds was voted him by Parliament.From the Picture in the National Gallery of British Art.
Meanwhile the second and rear divisions of the army under Davoust and Ney were labouring hard to reach Smolensk, assailed by all the horrors of the season, and of the myriad Russians collected around them, who killed all who straggled or fell behind from fatigue and starvation. The rearguard of Ney suffered most of all, for it was not only more completely exposed to the raids of the Cossacks and of the enraged peasants, but they found every house on their way burnt, and nothing around them but treeless, naked plains, over which the freezing winds and the hurrahing Cossacks careered in deadly glee. At the passage of the Dnieper, it was only by stupendous exertions that Ney saved any part of his army. He lost many men, and much of his artillery. On the 13th of November, as he approached Smolensk, he was appalled by the apparition of the remains of the army of Italy pursued by a cloud of Cossacks, who were hewing them down by thousands. Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy, had been sent with this division on a northward route to support Oudinot, who was retreating before Wittgenstein; but he had found it impossible to reach Oudinot, and had again made for Smolensk. His passage of the river Vop had been no less destructive than the passage of the Dnieper by Ney. He had lost all his baggage and twenty-three pieces of cannon and was only saved by the fortunate arrival of Ney.
Mr. Lamb had retired with Mr. Huskisson, sending in his resignation to the Duke of Wellington, and was succeeded as Chief Secretary by Lord Francis Gower, afterwards Lord Ellesmere. Among the offices vacated in consequence of the recent schism in the Government, was that of President of the Board of Trade, which was accepted by Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, one of the members for the county Clare. He was consequently obliged to offer himself for re-election to his constituents, and this led to the memorable contest which decided the question of Catholic Emancipation.[See larger version]
Not at all dismayed by this unrighteous severity, the Scottish Friends of the People met in convention, in Edinburgh, on the 9th of October. At this Convention delegates appeared, not only from most of the large towns of Scotland, but also from London, Sheffield, and Dublin. Letters were also received from the Societies in England. Mr. William Skirving, a friend of Muir and Palmer, as secretary to the Convention, read these letters, and other papers, demanding annual parliaments and universal suffrage. As the British Parliament was considered, and truly, merely a corrupt clique of the representatives of boroughmongers, they proposed to apply directly to the king, that he might urge those necessary reforms on the Legislature. In Scottish fashion, the Reformers opened and closed their sittings with prayer, presenting a striking contrast to the French Revolutionists. On the 6th of November delegates appeared from the Society of United Irishmen, and Margarot and Gerald from the Society of the Friends of the People in London. Margarot stated that five hundred constables had beset the meeting in London, to prevent delegates from getting away to this Convention, but that the manufacturing towns of England were almost all in favour of Reform; that in Sheffield alone there were fifty thousand; that a general union of the Reformers of the United Kingdom would strike terror into their enemies, and compel them to grant annual parliaments and universal suffrage.
In the department of philosophy flourished also Bishop Berkeley (b. 1684; d. 1753), author of "The Principles of Human Knowledge," whostartled the world with the theory that matter has no existence in the universe, but is merely a fixed idea of the mind; Dr. Mandeville, a Dutchman by birth, who settled in London, and published various medical and metaphysical works of a freethinking character; Hutchinson, an opponent of Dr. Woodward in natural history, and Newton in natural philosophy; and David Hartley, author of "Observations on Man." Bishop Butler, Warburton, Hoadley, Middleton, author of "A Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Powers of the Church," and Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, were the leading theologians in the Church; but Dissent could also boast of its men of light and leading in Dr. Isaac Watts, author of a system of Logic and of the popular Hymns; Calamy, the opponent of Hoadley; Doddridge, and others.Lord North, however, was still sufficiently impressed by the solemn warnings of Chatham and others to attempt a conciliatory measure of his own. Accordingly, on the 20th of February, only ten days after his Bill restrictive of the American trade, and whilst it was progressing, he moved in a committee of the whole House, "That if the Legislature of any of the American provinces should propose to make some provision for the common defence, and also for the civil government of that province, and if such proposal shall be approved of by the king and Parliament, it would be proper to forbear, whilst such provision lasted, from levying or proposing any tax, duty, or assessment within the said province."
During this period—from 1769 to 1772—Warren Hastings had been second in the Council at Madras; but in the latter year he was promoted to the head of the Council in Bengal. During this period, too, the British had been brought into hostilities with the Rajah of Tanjore. The history of these proceedings is amongst the very blackest of the innumerable black proceedings of the East India Company. The Rajah of Tanjore was in alliance with the Company. In 1762 they had guaranteed to him the security of his throne; but now their great ally, Mohammed Ali, the Nabob of the Carnatic, called to the English for help against the Rajah. The conduct of honourable men would have been to offer themselves as mediators, and so settle the business; but not by such means was the whole of India to be won from the native princes. The Rajah of the Carnatic offered to purchase the territory of Tanjore from the British for a large sum. The latter, however, had guaranteed the defence of these territories to the Rajah of Tanjore by express treaty. No matter, they closed the bargain with the Rajah of the Carnatic; they agreed to seize Tanjore, and make it over to Mohammed Ali. An army assembled at Trichinopoly on the 12th of September, 1771, invaded Tanjore, seized the Rajah and his family, and invested the whole of Tanjore in the name of the Nabob of the Carnatic.During the year 1796 strong forces were sent to the West Indies, and the Island of Grenada was recovered by General Nichols; St. Lucia, by General Abercromby, whilst General Whyte conquered the Dutch settlements of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo; but some of these possessions were dearly purchased by the number of the troops who perished from the unhealthiness of their climate. The Dutch made an effort to recover the Cape of Good Hope. They were to have been assisted by the French in this enterprise, but their allies not keeping their engagement, they sailed alone, and reached Saldanha Bay on the 3rd of August, when Rear-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone surprised and captured the whole of their vessels, consisting of two sixty-four-gun ships, one fifty-four, five frigates and sloops, and a store-ship. A squadron then proceeded from the Cape to Madagascar, and destroyed a French settlement there, seizing five merchant vessels.
The conjuncture was most critical, for the incompetent and short-sighted Addington had, by the Peace of Amiens, restored the French possessions which had cost us so much to make ourselves masters of in India; and had Buonaparte conceived the idea of supporting Perron there with strong reinforcements, the consequences might have been serious. Fortunately, he seemed too much engrossed with his plans nearer home, and as fortunately also for us, we had now rising into prominence in India a military chief, destined not only to dissipate the hostile combination of the Mahrattas, but also to destroy the dominion of Buonaparte himself. Major-General Wellesley, the younger brother of the Governor-General, and afterwards Duke of Wellington, by a rapid march upon Poonah surprised and drove out the Mahratta chief, Holkar, and saved the city from a conflagration which Scindiah's troops endeavoured to effect. Holkar fled to join Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar, and the Peishwa entered his own capital in the month of May. General Wellesley, being put into full command of all the troops serving under the Peishwa and the Nizam of the Deccan, and being also director of the civil affairs of the British in those provinces, made arrangements for their security, and then marched after Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar. After various marchings and counter-marchings, in consequence of their movements to avoid him, he came up with them near the village of Assaye, or Assye. General Stevenson, who had repulsed them from the territory of the Nizam, was also encamped only eight miles off. On coming in sight of them, Wellesley found them fifty thousand strong, with a splendid body of Mahratta cavalry, whilst he had only four regiments of cavalry, three of them being native, and seven battalions of infantry, five of them Sepoys. He determined, however, to attack them at once, and, sending word to Stevenson to come up, he crossed the river at a ford in face of the artillery of the enemy, and, after a sharp encounter, routed them before Stevenson could arrive. The Mahrattas had ninety pieces of artillery, with which they did terrible execution till the cavalry could come to close quarters with them, and the infantry reach them with their bayonets; then they fled headlong, leaving behind all their cannon (September 23rd, 1803). The Mahrattas rallied in the village of Assaye, and it required a desperate effort to expel them. It was dark before it was accomplished. General Stevenson had been prevented from crossing the river, and did not come up till the next day, when Wellesley sent him in pursuit of the enemy's infantry, which had been abandoned by the cavalry, and was thus exposed to attack.
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In the latest period scarcely any acting dramas were produced. Amongst the unacted tragedies, or such as were acted with no great success—being better fitted for private study—were Coleridge's "Remorse" and "Zapolya;" Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound" and "The Cenci;" Byron's "Cain," "Manfred," "Sardanapalus," etc.; Maturin's "Bertram," "Manuel," and "Fredolpho;" Joanna Baillie's "Plays on the Passions," "The Family Legend"—the last acted with some success at Edinburgh, through the influence of Sir Walter Scott, in 1810—Charles Lamb's "John Woodvill," Milman's "Fazio," and Walter Savage Landor's "Count Julian," "Andrea of Hungary," "Giovanni of Naples," "Fra Rupert," "The Siege of Ancona," etc., all masterly dramas, constituting a blaze of dramatic genius which, had it been adapted to the stage, would have given it a new grandeur at the close of this reign.On the laws of heat and cold, and atmospheric changes under their influence, many interesting facts were ascertained by the aid of the thermometers of Fahrenheit and Réaumur. Dr. Martin, of St. Andrews, distinguished himself in these inquiries, and published his discoveries and deductions in 1739 and 1740. In 1750 Dr. Cullen drew attention to some curious facts connected with the production of cold by evaporation. Dr. Joseph Black discovered what he called latent heat, and continued his researches on this subject beyond the present period.[See larger version]详情
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