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TALLEYRAND. (After the Portrait by Gerard.) Fran?aise, 22ed. 18nt-Vallier, Estat prsent de lEglise
The Bastille surrendered almost immediately after the governor had been seized with despair. The French Guard began to cannonade the fortress; the captain of the Swiss, who might undoubtedly have held out much longer, saw that no rescue came, and that prolonged resistance would only lead in the end to sanguinary vengeance, he therefore hoisted a white flag. The captain of the Swiss demanded to be allowed to capitulate, and to march out with the honours of war; but the furious mob cried out, "No capitulation! no quarter! The rascals have fired upon the People!" The Swiss captain then said that they would lay down their arms, on condition that their lives should be spared. Then the gates of the old prison were thrown open, and the furious and triumphant mob burst in. The news of the fall of the Bastille came as a thunder-clap. The king, who had not been so confident, was gone to bed. The Duke de Liancourt, Grand Master of the Wardrobe, by virtue of his office went to his bedside, awoke him, and told him the amazing fact. "What!" exclaimed Louis, "is it, then, really a revolt?" "Say, rather, sire," replied the Duke, "a revolution!"
Sir Robert Peel hoped that by earnestly promoting practical reforms, and improving the institutions of the country in the spirit of his manifesto, he would gradually conciliate a number of members of independent position and moderate views, so that he might be able to secure a working majority. He therefore did not resign when defeated in the first trial of strength on the election of a Speaker; and the same consideration induced him to hold his ground when he was defeated on the amendment to the Address. The House of Commons met for the despatch of business on the 24th of February. The Speech from the Throne, after lamenting the destruction of the Houses of Parliament, congratulated the country on the prevalent commercial prosperity, which, however, was accompanied by a general depression of the agricultural interest. The king, therefore, recommended to the consideration of Parliament whether it might not be in their power, after providing for the exigencies of the public service, and consistently with the steadfast maintenance of the public credit, to devise a method for mitigating the pressure of those local charges which bore heavily on the owners and occupiers of land, and for distributing the burden of them more equally over other descriptions of property. When the Address was moved, an amendment was proposed by Lord Morpeth, which was designed to strike at the very existence of the new Ministry. It was not a direct censure upon their policy, or a formal declaration of want of confidence; but it affirmed a policy materially differing from that which had been announced by Sir Robert Peel. It expressed a hope that municipal corporations would be placed under vigilant popular control; that the undoubted grievances of the Dissenters would be considered; that abuses in the Church of England and Ireland would be removed; and it lamented the dissolution of Parliament as an unnecessary measure, by which the progress of these and other reforms had been interrupted and endangered. This hostile motion gave rise to a debate of intense earnestness, which lasted four nights. It was not easy to predict, during the course of the conflict, which side would be victorious. Even the whippers-in were doubtful of the issue; but the contest ended in the triumph of the Liberals, who had a majority of seven, the numbers being 309 to 302. Of the English members, the Government had a majority of 32; and of the English and Scottish together, of 16; but in Ireland Sir Robert Peel's supporters were only 36, while the Liberals mustered 59.
This adventure, like the other, ended in a collision with the police. The priests, adds Nicole, were arrested, and are now waiting trial, and the rest were treated as mad, and sent back with shame and confusion to the places whence they had come.and willing line towards the dining-room to engage themselves
The whole army now crossed the river at leisure, and marched towards Lahore. Lord Hardinge issued a proclamation, in which he stated that the war was the result of the wanton and unprovoked incursion of the Sikhs; that the British Government wanted no acquisition of territory, but only security for the future, indemnity for the expenses of the war, and the establishment of a government at Lahore, which should afford a guarantee against such aggressions in the time to come. The Ranee and her durbar, or council, now saw the necessity of prompt submission, which was tendered by plenipotentiaries sent to the British camp, who threw the whole blame of the war on the uncontrollable troops. They were well received by the Governor-General, and a treaty was without difficulty concluded on the 15th of February at a place called Kussoor. By the terms of the treaty, all the territory lying between the river Beas and the Sutlej was ceded to the British Government. The sum of one million sterling was to be paid for the expenses of the war; but the sum was found too heavy, and instead Gholab Singh was rewarded for his fidelity to the British by the grant of a large tract of territory between the Beas and the Indus. Peace having been thus concluded, the young Maharajah, Dhuleep Singh, was received by the Governor-General at his camp with Oriental pomp; and on the 22nd of February Sir Henry Hardinge entered Lahore at the head of his victorious army, taking possession of the gates, the citadel, and the Royal palace.
Bernadotte took his time, and went. It was in March. At Abo, in a solitary hut, he and Alexander met, and there the final ruin of Napoleon was sketched out by a master's handthat of his old companion in arms. Bernadotte knew all the strength and weakness of Napoleon; he had long watched the causes which would ultimately break up the wonderful career of his victories. He listened to the fears of Alexander, and bade him dismiss them. He told him that it was the timidity of his opponents which had given to Napoleon the victories of Austerlitz and Wagram; that, as regarded the present war, nothing could equal his infatuated blindness; that, treating the wishes of Poland with contempt, neglecting the palpably necessary measures of securing his flanks by the alliance of Turkey and Sweden, east and west, he was only rushing on suicide in the vast deserts five hundred miles from his frontiers; that all that was necessary on the part of Russia was to commence a war of devastation; to destroy all his resources, in the manner of the ancient Scythians and Parthians; to pursue him everywhere with a war of fanaticism and desolation; to admit of no peace till he was driven to the left bank of the Rhine, where the oppressed and vengeful nationalities would arise and annihilate him; that Napoleon, so brilliant and bold in attack, would show himself incapable of conducting a retreat of eight hoursa retreat would be the certain signal of his ruin. If he approached St. Petersburg, he engaged for himself to make a descent on France with fifty thousand men, and to call on both the Republican and constitutional parties to arise and liberate their country from the tyrant. Meanwhile, they must close the passage of the Beresina against him, when they would inevitably secure his person. They must then proclaim everywhere his death, and his whole dynasty would go to pieces with far greater rapidity than it grew.By this dispersion of the Spaniards the British battalions were wholly exposed, and the whole might of Soult's force was thrown upon them. A tremendous fire from the hills, where the Spaniards ought to have stood, was opened on the British ranks, and several regiments were almost annihilated in a little time. But the 31st regiment, belonging to Colborne's brigade, supported by Horton's brigade, stood their ground under a murderous fire of artillery, and the fiery charge of both horse and foot. They must soon have fallen to a man, but Beresford quickly sent up a Portuguese brigade, under General Harvey, to round the hill on the right, and other troops, under Abercrombie, to compass it on the left; while, at the suggestion of Colonel (afterwards Lord) Hardinge, he pushed forward General Cole with his brigade of fusiliers up the face of the hill. These three divisions appeared on the summit simultaneously. The advance of these troops through the tempest of death has always been described as something actually sublime. Moving onward, unshaken, undisturbed, though opposed by the furious onslaught of Soult's densest centre, they cleared the hill-top with the most deadly and unerring fire; they swept away a troop of Polish lancers that were murderously riding about goring our wounded men, as they lay on the ground, with their long lances.