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With this debate terminated the friendship of Fox and Burke. Fox disclaimed any premeditated attack on Burke, but the severe things which he himself had said of his old friend, the contempt which he expressed for Burke's "Reflections on the French Revolution," and the private conversations which he invariably dragged into these public debates, give us less confidence in this assertion; whilst the co-operation of his party with him bore all the marks of a systematic assault. On the one side stood Fox, expressing much feeling and regret, but uttering the most cutting things, taunting Burke with his age and his enthusiastic temperament, and backed by a violent and insulting crew; on the other side stood Burke, deserted by those, and they were numerous, who thought entirely with him. Not a few expressed to Burke, in private, their agreement of opinion and admiration of his conduct; but to make this expression of any value it should have been open and bold. As it was, the great master who had taught the whole generation of politicians their principles, was left to stand alone in the conflict. He sustained his part nobly, and time was not long in justifying his accuracy of calculation and his prescience. All the results, however, which he declared inevitable, were already rushing into open day, and the enamoured lovers of the French Revolution were forced to hang their heads. In the meantime, the newspapers had poured on the head of Burke their vials of abuse. On the very day on which the Quebec debates terminated, the Morning Chronicle, the organ of the Whigs, published this paragraph:"The great and firm body of the Whigs of England, true to their principles, have decided on the dispute between Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke; and the former is declared to have maintained the pure doctrines by which they are bound together, and upon which they have invariably acted. The consequence is that Mr. Burke retires from Parliament." They were not contented with this premature announcement; they charged him with corruption and apostacy, and described his life, one of honour and generosity, as a long series of basenesses. Had the sovereigns of Europe been in earnest in behalf of the King of France, and had they at once marched into the country, they could scarcely have failed to make themselves masters of Paris; though they might have precipitated the deaths of the king and queen. But, in truth, the kings of Europe were in no such chivalrous mood; they were thinking more of their own interests, and actually, some of them, planning the most disgraceful robberies of their neighbours. Spain, seeing no sign of coalition[387] amongst the northern sovereigns, expressed its friendly disposition towards the French Government, and prevented an attempt on its southern provinces, in which the Knights of Malta were to assist with two frigates. The French Emigrants at Brussels and Coblenz were in a state of agitation, declaring that Monsieur, who had now joined them, was the Regent of the kingdom, seeing that the king was a prisoner and had no will of his own. The poor king was compelled by the Assembly to write to them, disavowing these proceedings. As to the Powers in general, Leopold of Austria, who had the most direct interest in the rescue of his sister and her family, was, notwithstanding his recent declarations, desirous rather of peace and by no means pleased with the Emigrants. A declaration of allied sovereigns was, indeed, made at Pillnitz, that Prussia and Austria and Russia would advance to the rescue of Louis XVI.; but the more immediate object of the agreement made there was the dismemberment of Poland, which was determined in secret articles. Any concerted action on the part of the Powers was, in fact, rendered impossible by the action of Pitt, who, true to his policy of neutrality and of holding aloof from any interference in the domestic concerns of France, declined to sanction any appeal to arms.

The Covent Garden meeting became thenceforth an annual feature in the political events of the metropolis, and the effects of this movement in the chief city of the kingdom were seen in the election of Mr. Pattison, the Free Trade candidate, for the City of London. Another sign of the times was the accession to the ranks of the Anti-Corn-Law League of Mr. Samuel Jones Loyd, the wealthy banker, a conspicuous City man, and a great[509] authority on financial matters. This gentleman addressed a letter to the council of the League in October, 1844, in which, after mentioning his reluctance to join a public body, for whose acts he could not be responsible, he said, "The time is now arrived when this must be overruled by other considerations of overwhelming importance. The great question of Free Trade is now fairly at issue, and the bold, manly, and effectual efforts which have been made by the League in its support command at once my admiration and my concurrence." Still more remarkable was the progress of the League in its scheme of converting the agriculturists themselves to their views. The truths which they had always maintainedthat the tenant farmer had no real interest in maintaining the Corn Laws, the agricultural labourer, if possible, less, and that even the landed proprietor, on a far-seeing view of his interest, would be on the same side as themselveswere based upon arguments easily understood by calm reasoners, and were even beginning to make way with these classes themselves. Not a few great landowners and noblemen had openly classed themselves among their supporters. Foremost among these was Earl Fitzwilliam, who was one of the most effective speakers at Anti-Corn-Law meetings by the side of Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright. Among the noblemen openly supporting their cause were the Marquis of Westminster, Lord Kinnaird, Earl Ducie, the Earl of Radnor, Lord Morpeth, and Earl Spencer.

JAMES EDWARD STUART, THE "OLD PRETENDER." But meanwhile in Italy the French had been completely successful. Buonaparte reached the French headquarters at Nice on the 26th of March, and immediately set himself to organise and inspirit the forces, which were in great disorder; he found the commissariat also in a deplorable condition. The troops amounted to fifty thousand; the Austrians, under the veteran General Beaulieu, to considerably more. The united army of the Sardinians and Austrians, Beaulieu on the left, d'Argenteau in the centre, and Colli with the Piedmontese division on the right, hastened to descend from the Apennines, to which they had retreated at the end of the last campaign. Beaulieu met the French advanced guard at Voltri, near Genoa, on the 11th of April, and drove it back. But d'Argenteau had been stopped in the mountains by the resistance of a body of French, who occupied the old redoubt of Montenotte. Buonaparte, apprised of this, hurried up additional forces to that point, and defeated d'Argenteau before Beaulieu or Colli could succour him. Having now divided the army of the Allies, Buonaparte defeated a strong body of Austrians under General Wukassowich; and having left Colli and the Piedmontese isolated from their Allies, debouched by the valley of Bormida into the plains of Piedmont. Beaulieu retreated to the Po, to stop the way to Milan; and Buonaparte, relieved of his presence, turned against Colli, who was compelled to retreat to Carignano, near Turin. Trembling for his capital, and with his means exhausted, Victor Amadeus made overtures for peace, which were accepted; the terms being the surrender of all the Piedmontese fortresses and the passes of the Alps into the hands of the French, and the perpetual alienation of Nice and Savoy. This humiliation broke the heart of the poor old king, who died on the 16th of October. Buonaparte, however, did not wait for the conclusion of this peace; the truce being signed, he hastened on after Beaulieu whom he defeated and drove across the Po. Beaulieu next posted himself at Lodi, on the Adda; but Buonaparte, after a fierce contest, drove him from the bridge over the Adda on the 10th of May, and with little further opposition pursued him to Milan. Beaulieu still retreated, and threw himself into the fastnesses of the Tyrol. On the 15th Buonaparte made a triumphal entry into Milan, and immediately sent troops to blockade Mantua. Buonaparte then advanced into the Papal States, rifling the Monti de Piet at Bologna and Ferrara. Everywhere contributions were demanded at the point of the bayonet, and French authorities superseded the native ones. Pius VI. made haste to sue for peace, and it was granted on the most exorbitant terms. Fifteen millions of francs must be paid down in cash, six millions in horses and other requisites for the army. A great number of paintings and statues were to be selected from the galleries of art, and five hundred manuscripts from the library of the Vatican. The provinces of Ferrara and Bologna must be ceded; the port and citadel of Ancona, and all the Papal ports, must be closed against the British. This most costly peace was signed on the 23rd of June, and Buonaparte hastened northward to stop the advance of the army of Wurmser, which had been sent through the Tyrol to compete with the rising Corsican.

Richard Hare, made Lord Ennismore, with patronage. In September Commodore Sir Samuel Hood captured five frigates, which issued from Rochefort, laden with troops, stores, arms, and ammunition for the French forts in the West Indies. But the most daring feats of bravery were performed by Captain Lord Cochrane, afterwards Lord Dundonald. Early in this year he sent a number of boats up the Gironde, not far from Bordeaux, to endeavour to seize two large brig corvettes, the nearest of which lay twenty miles up the river, protected by two heavy land batteries. The sailors successfully brought away the first vessel, having only three men wounded in the affair; the other corvette lay much higher up the river, but, hearing the firing, it fell down to the assistance of its companion vessel; but the British seamen beat it back, and carried away their prize in the face of crowds of armed militia, and greater crowds of people along the shores. Whilst this daring action was in progress Lord Cochrane was not idle. He attacked with his single frigate one sixteen-gun and two twenty-gun corvettes, and drove them on shore. He then proceeded to Aix, to reconnoitre a strong fleet anchored in the roads, under cover of strong batteries. His little frigate, the Pallas, a twelve-pounder of thirty-two guns, was attacked by a forty-four-gun frigate and three big corvettes, but they were compelled to retire without driving him from his station. He then landed part of the crew of the Pallas, who destroyed some signal-posts which gave notice of all the movements of the British cruisers. One of these signal-posts was defended, but in vain, by a hundred French militia. He next attacked a battery of three thirty-six pounders, and a garrison of fifty men, spiked the guns, blew up the magazine, and flung the shot and shells into the sea. The frigate Minerva, of forty-four guns, and three corvettes, then ran out of harbour with studding-sails and royals set, and commenced a simultaneous attack on the Pallas; but Cochrane soon reduced the Minerva almost to a wreck, and was on the point of boarding her when two other frigates hastened to her aid, and the Pallas, considerably damaged herself, was obliged to haul off. Such were the audacious doings of the British men-of-war in every quarter of the world, and in these Lord Cochrane stood always conspicuous for his unparalleled daring and adroitness.

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