[星光唱响]0608期2号选手:刘麒

During these proceedings, the National Assembly was sitting at Versailles in the utmost agitation. On the morning of the 13th, Mounier had risen and censured the dismissal of the Ministers, and had been seconded by Lally Tollendal, who had pronounced a splendid panegyric on Necker, and recommended an address to the king for his recall. M. de Virieu, a deputy of the noblesse, proposed to confirm by oath the proceedings of the 17th of June; but Clermont Tonnerre declared that unnecessary, as the Assembly had sworn to establish a constitution, and he exclaimed, "The Constitution we will have, or we will perish!" In the midst of this discussion came the news of the rising of the people of Paris, on the morning of the 13th, and an address was immediately voted to the king, beseeching him to withdraw the foreign troops, and authorise the organisation of the Civic Guards. The Duke de la Rochefoucauld said, the foreign troops in the hands of despotism were most perilous to the people, who were not in any one's hands. The address was sent, and the king returned a curt answer, that Paris was not in a condition to take care of itself. The Assembly then assumed a higher tone, asserted that the present counsellors of the king would be responsible for all the calamities which might take place, and declared itself in permanent session, that is, that it would sit day and night till the crisis was over. It appointed M. de Lafayette vice-president, in the place of the aged Bishop of Vienne, who was not capable of much exertion.

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.

Such were the means employed by the British Government in 1817 to quiet the country under its distressa distress the inevitable result of the long and stupendous war. The only idea was to tighten the reins of Governmentto stimulate the sufferers into overt acts, and then crush them. Fortunately, with the exception of the Derby juries, the juries in general saw through the miserable farce of rebellion, and discharged the greater part of Oliver's and Lord Sidmouth's victims. Watson was acquitted of high treason in London on the 16th of June, less than a week after the Derbyshire insurrection. His son had eluded the pursuit of the police. Seventeen prisoners on the like charges were liberated in July in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and were paid seven shillings each to carry them home. On the 22nd of August, of the twenty-four persons that Oliver had entrapped in Yorkshire, twenty-two were dischargedagainst eleven of them no bills being found by the grand juryand the two left in prison were detained there because, under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, they were not brought up for trial. The Manchester Blanketeers were, in like manner, all discharged, though the Duke of Northumberland did his utmost to stimulate Lord Sidmouth to get them punished. On the country at large the impression was that the Government had propagated a most needless alarm, and that those who had fallen on the scaffold had been exalted by them from poor, ignorant labourers into burlesque traitors, through the execrable agency of their incendiaries, Oliver, Castles, Mitchell, and others. Civil war seems to have been averted only by the Duke's precipitate abandonment of the undertaking to form a Ministry. No one can for a moment imagine that the chief members of the Grey Administration ever intended to proceed to illegal extremities, but that the conduct of their friends led the Reforming world to think of and prepare for armed resistance admits of little doubt. Parliament and the country were kept in suspense and anxiety by varying rumours about the formation of a Government for several days, during which comments were freely made on the conduct of the Duke of Wellington and his friends. On the one hand, it was confidently stated that the king would keep his word as to Reform, which the Duke had agreed to carry. On the other hand, it was denied that the Duke could ever consent to tergiversation so base. On the former supposition, Mr. Macaulay said he was willing that others should have "infamy and place." But he added, "Let us have honour and Reform." Sir Robert Inglis was too honest to differ from this view of the matter, and too candid to conceal his sentiments. He declared that he could not but regard such a course on the part of his leader "with the greatest pain, as one of the most fatal violations of public confidence which could be inflicted."

At length the Duke of Cumberland arrived from Flanders, and foreign and English troops were assembled in the Midland counties; Marshal Wade had also ten thousand men collected at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The Duke of Cumberland was appointed Commander-in-Chief, and the brave soldiers who had fought under him at Fontenoy were ready to follow him, in the highest confidence of making short work with the Highlanders.

Britain was everywhere successful on the sea, and Lord Nelson, on the 1st of August, made an attempt on the French flotilla lying at Boulogne for the invasion of England. He was furnished with a flotilla of gunboats for the purpose, and he was able to destroy two floating batteries and a few gunboats, but found the fleet too strongly posted under the batteries of the harbour to make further impression. However, Napoleon saw that for the present an invasion was out of the question, and the autumn of this year was employed in endeavours to arrange a peace. Lord Cornwallis proceeded to Paris for this object, and went to Amiens, which was appointed as the place for the conference. The preliminaries were signed on the 1st of October, and General Lauriston, the schoolfellow and first aide-de-camp of Buonaparte, brought them over to London. The negotiations progressed slowly, being arrested now and then by the conduct of the First Consul. Without waiting for the ratification of peace, he sent off, on the 14th of December, 1801, only ten days after the signing of the preliminaries, a strong fleet and army to the West Indies to reduce the independent black Republic in St. Domingo. Britain was obliged to send reinforcements to her own West Indian fleet by Admiral Martinso that it looked much more like war than peace. Again, in January, 1802, came the news of the election of Buonaparte to the Presidency of the Cisalpine Republic, directly contrary to the Treaty of Lunville, and betraying the ambitious aims of Napoleon. Immediately followed the news that Buonaparte had exacted from Spain a treaty by which Parma and the island of Elba were made over to France on the death of the present, already aged, duke; that Spain had been compelled to cede part of the province of Louisiana in North America, by the same treaty; and that Portugal, though the integrity of her dominions had been carefully guaranteed by the preliminaries of peace, had by a secret article given up to France her province of Guiana. A Republican constitution was forced on Holland, and in Switzerland instructions were given to the French Minister to thwart all efforts at the formation of a stable constitution. These revelations startled the British Ministers, but did not deter them from concluding the peace, with the full approbation of Pitt. It was not that the First Consul, who every day betrayed some fresh symptom of an insatiable ambition, was disposed to offer them tempting terms; on the contrary,[485] though we were never more able to dictate measures at sea, and he never less so, he was as haughty and dictatorial in his demands as if Great Britain had been completely under his feet. Yet the treaty went on, and was concluded and signed on the 27th of March, 1802. It settled nothing, as Britain refused to acknowledge the newly organised Republics, and declined to entertain Napoleon's preposterous suggestion that Malta was to be occupied by Neapolitan troops, under a neutrality guaranteed by all the chief European Powers; since it was well known that Napoleon, when it suited him, would cease to respect the conditions, and would readily dispossess the troops of Naples. Though Pitt believed him to have been sincere, Grenville, Windham, and Spencer saw that the ambition of the "Little Corporal" was insatiable, and denounced the treaty.

Washington found no rest at Princeton. Cornwallis no sooner heard the cannonading near Princeton than he immediately comprehended Washington's ruse, and, alarmed for his magazines at New Brunswick, he hastened in that direction. Washington, aware of his approach, found it necessary to give up the attempt on New Brunswick. He therefore hastened across Millstone river, broke down the bridge behind him to stop pursuit, and posted himself on the high ground at Morristown, where there were very strong positions. Here he received additional troops, and entrenched himself. Cornwallis, not aware of the real weakness of Washington's army despite all its additions, again sat down quietly for the winter at New Brunswick. For six months the British army now lay still. Washington, however, lost no time in scouring all quarters of the Jerseys. He made himself master of the coast opposite Staten Island, and seized on Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Woodbridge. The inhabitants had been plundered by the Hessians and English, and now they were plundered again by their own countrymen for having received the English well. Washington exerted himself to suppress this rancorous conduct of the New England and Virginian troops, and issued a proclamation absolving the people of their oaths to the English, and promising them protection on their taking a new oath to Congress. The people of the Jerseys gladly accepted this offer.