“鼓劲”“开方” !习近平陕西之行,这些理念一提再提

The retreat was made, and the men found themselves again in the morning on the bleak, black heath of Drummossie, hungry and worn out, yet in expectation of a battle. There was yet time to do the only wise thingretreat into the mountains, and depend upon a guerilla warfare, in which they would have the decided advantage. Lord George Murray now earnestly proposed this, but in vain. Sir Thomas Sheridan and other officers from France grew outrageous at that proposal, contending that they could easily beat the English, as they had done at Prestonpans and Falkirkforgetting that the Highlanders then were full of vigour and spirit. Unfortunately, Charles listened to this foolish reasoning, and the fatal die was cast.

In Europe war was about to break forth, in consequence of war in America. Yet the Court of France did not lack solemn warnings of the fatal path on which they were entering. The honest and far-sighted financier, Turgot, who had been employed by Louis XVI., as Comptroller-General, to endeavour to bring the terribly disordered revenue of France into order, said, "I must remind you, sire, of these three words'No bankruptcy, no augmentation of imposts, no loans.' To fulfil these three conditions there is but one meansto reduce the expenditure below the receipt, and sufficiently below it to be able to economise, every year, twenty millions, in order to clear off the old debts. Without that, the first cannon fired will force the State to bankruptcy." He assured the king that all colonies, on arriving at a condition of maturity, would as naturally abandon the control of the mother country as children, arriving at majority, do the control of their parents; that the independence of America would, therefore, come of itself, without France ruining herself to accelerate the event; that, as to France wishing Spain to join in this attempt, Spain must remember her own colonies, for, by assisting to free the British colonies, she would assuredly assist to liberate her own.

The session of Parliament closing on the 26th of May, George took his annual trip to Hanover, leaving, as usual, the queen to act as Regent. She found her duties this year by no means light. Everyone is acquainted with the Porteous Riots, as they are described by the inimitable pen of Sir Walter Scott in "The Heart of Midlothian." The simple historic facts are these:Two noted smugglers from Fife, Wilson and Robertson, were condemned to death for a robbery, and were confined in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. They made a determined effort to effect their escape before the day of execution. Wilson, who would go first, being a man of a corpulent though very powerful build, wedged himself fast in the window, and could neither get out nor draw back again. He was found thus in the morning, and the two prisoners were again secured. Wilson lamented that by his own eagerness he had prevented Robertson from going first, who, from his slenderer person, could easily have escaped. Before execution it was the custom at that period in Scotland to conduct the prisoners about to suffer, under a strong guard, to church. This being done in the case of these two men, just as the service was concluded, Wilson suddenly laid hold of two of the four soldiers who guarded them, called out to Robertson to run for his life, and detained the third soldier by seizing him by the collar with his teeth. He escaped, and was never seen in Edinburgh again. This daring scheme, so cleverly executed, raised the admiration of the bravery and magnanimity of Wilson to the highest pitch. At his execution the soldiers were attacked with stones. Porteous, who commanded the guard, fired upon the mob. For this he was condemned to death, but was reprieved by Queen Caroline after full inquiry. The people in fury attacked the Tolbooth, the magistrates and the[67] commander of the troops were afraid to act, the prison was broken open, and Porteous hanged on a barber's pole. All attempts to discover the perpetrators of the outrage failed.

SIR DAVID BAIRD. [See larger version]

All this time "the great Admiral Vernon," as the Opposition delighted to call him, in disparagement of all the commanders favourable to the Government, lay still with his ships and afforded no assistance to the land troops. When Wentworth bitterly complained of this, to show that it was impossible to operate on the town from the harbour, Vernon sent into the inner harbour the Galicia, a Spanish ship which had been taken. This ship kept up a cannonade on the town for several hours, producing little effect, and was fired on from the town with as little. The men were then brought off in boats, the Galicia's cable was cut, and she was suffered to run upon a shoal, where she soon filled. The troops were now hastily re-embarked; the unhealthy season was at its height, and the men were swept away by fever more rapidly than they had been mowed down on land. The heavy rains had set in, and the troops in a few days were reduced to one half their number. Admiral Vernon instead of undertaking any enterprise which might have retrieved the honour of the British arms, set sail from Jamaica with the forces in July, and anchored in the south part of Cuba in a bay, on which he bestowed the appellation of Cumberland Harbour. Here the remains of that fine fleet and army, capable of achieving the most brilliant conquests under able commanders, were suffered to corrode away under the influence of inactivity, the season, bad salted provisions, and excess of rum. At two o'clock the York Town troops marched out with their drums beating, their muskets shouldered, and their colours cased, and piled their arms. The number of those who remained effective now amounted only to four thousand; the rest, making up the total number to about six thousand, were lying sick or wounded. General Lincoln, who had been so lately a prisoner of the English, was appointed to receive them, and the British prisoners had to march through two lines of the allied army, upwards of a mile in length, the Americans on the right, and the French on the left. The different feelings with which the English regarded the French and Americans was remarked. The English officers, as they passed along the enemy's lines, courteously saluted every French officera compliment which they withheld from every American one, even the highest. The surrender of Cornwallis's army was the determining point of the war. The news of this decisive event reached London on the 25th of November. Lord North walked about the room, exclaiming, "Oh, God! it is all over!" The king received the communication with more firmness. In Paris great was the exultation. Franklin, who was there, and who, only three days before, had written to Governor Pownall that he never expected to see "this accursed war" finished in his time, now wrote to John Adams, at the Hague:"I congratulate you on this glorious news. The infant Hercules, in his cradle, has now strangled his second serpent;" and so delighted was he with his conceit of the serpent, that he afterwards had a medal cast embodying it. The Government at once sent Dr. Lindley and Dr. Playfair, two men of science, to Ireland, in the hope that they might be able to suggest remedies for staying the progress of the disease, or preserve that portion of the crop which was still untainted; and the consular agents in different parts of Europe and of America were directed to make inquiries and endeavour to obtain a supply of sound potatoes for seed; indeed, the seed question was even more important than that more immediately pressing one, of how the people were to be fed. In addition to this, early in October, they secretly gave orders for the purchase abroad of 100,000 worth of Indian corn, to be conveyed to Irish ports for distribution among the people. These measures, however, proved of little avail, and meanwhile it grew evident that in a great portion of the United Kingdom a famine was inevitable, which could not fail to influence the price of provisions of all kinds elsewhere. During this time it became known that the harvest, about which opinions had fluctuated so much, would be[518] everywhere deficient. The friends of Sir Robert Peel in the Cabinet who shared his Free Trade tendencies knew then how impossible it was that the already tottering system of the Corn Laws could be any longer maintained. The Ministers had scarcely reached the country seats in which they looked for repose after the labours of the Session, ere the cry of "Open the ports!" was raised throughout the kingdom; but except three, none of them took his view of the gravity of the crisis. All knew that the ports once open, public opinion would probably for ever prevent the reimposition of the duties, and the majority of the Cabinet for a time still adhered to their Protectionist principles.

The Ministers and the Prince Regent, indeed, fully approved of the conduct of these magistrates, and that was to be expected, for neither of these parties ever evinced much sympathy for the people, and consequently received very little regard in return. There was a disposition to rule by the high hand in both the Prince and the Cabinet, which eventually brought them into extreme odium, and warned them that very different times were approaching. On the reassembling of Parliament Lord Sidmouth made the most candid statement of the full and entire approbation of himself and his colleagues of this cruel and dastardly transaction. He said that the news of the event reached town on the Tuesday night; and that it was followed on the Wednesday by two gentlemen from Manchester, one of them a magistrate, to give the Government the most minute particulars regarding it; that a Cabinet Council was immediately summoned, at which the two Manchester gentlemen attended, and entered into the fullest details of all that had taken place; and that the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, then present, gave it as their opinion that the proceedings were perfectly justified by the necessity of the case. The statement of all particulars was then dispatched to the Prince Regent, who was yachting off Christchurch, and, on the 19th, the Prince replied, by the hand of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, expressing his "high approbation and commendation of the conduct of the magistrates and civil authorities at Manchester, as well as of the officers and troops, both regular and yeoman cavalry, whose firmness and effectual support of the civil power preserved the peace of the town on that most critical occasion." To most people this appeared to be giving commendation, not for preserving, but for disturbing the peace of the town; but Lord Sidmouth, having received this sanction, addressed letters, on the 21st, to the Lords-Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Earls of Derby and Stamford, requesting them to convey to the magistrates of the two counties, who were present at Manchester on the 16th, "the great satisfaction derived by his Royal Highness from their prompt, decisive, and efficient measures for the preservation of the public tranquillity." Hunt and his confederates were charged with high treason; but, on the circumstances being examined, they were found not to bear out this charge, and Hunt and his friends were indicted only for a treasonable[152] conspiracy; and true bills to the extent of this mitigated charge were proved against Hunt and nine others at the summer assizes for the county of Lancaster.