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On the 20th of October, 1848, Chuttur Singh and his son, Shere Singh, raised the standard of revolt in the Punjab, and soon appeared at the head of 30,000 men. In November Lord Gough encountered them with 20,000. At Ramnuggur, in attacking the position of the enemy, his men were led into an ambuscade, and were repulsed with tremendous loss. The contest was again renewed on the 13th of January, 1849, when the Sikhs were also very strongly posted in a jungle with 40,000 men and sixty-two guns. Near the village of Chillianwallah a desperate battle was fought, and had lasted for some time when the 14th Light Dragoons, on being ordered to charge, turned and fled through our Horse Artillery, upsetting several guns, and causing such confusion that the Sikh cavalry, promptly availing themselves of the advantage, made a charge, and cut down seventy of our gunners, capturing six guns and five colours. The result was a drawn battle, but the loss on our side was fearfultwenty-seven officers and 731 men killed, and sixty-six officers and 1,446 men wounded. This terrible reverse produced a profound sensation at home. It was ascribed to bad generalship, and there were loud cries for the recall of Lord Gough. The Duke of[601] Wellington felt that the case was so desperate that he called upon Sir Charles Napier to go out and take the command, though suffering under a mortal disease, using the memorable expression, "If you don't go, I must." Sir Charles went immediately. But before he arrived, Lord Gough, on the 21st of February, had retrieved his reputation, and covered the British arms with fresh glory by winning, in magnificent style, the great battle of Goojerat, with the loss of only ninety-two killed and 682 wounded. Mooltan had been besieged again in December. During the bombardment the principal magazine was blown up. It contained 16,000 lbs. of powder: 800 persons were killed or wounded by the explosion, and many buildings destroyed. But Moolraj, though he saw ruined in a moment a work which it cost him five years to construct, still held out. On the 2nd of January the city was stormed, but the citadel remained. Though of immense strength, it yielded to artillery, and Moolraj, with his garrison of nearly 4,000 men, surrendered at discretion.

St. Clair had marched with such celerity that he reached, before the next night, Castleton, thirty miles from Ticonderoga. But the rear division under Colonel Warner halted at Hubberton, six miles short of Castleton. Early next morning, General Fraser found them on a hill. No sooner did they descry him, than one of the regiments turned and fled, leaving most of their officers to be taken prisoners. But the other two regiments, commanded by Warner and Francis, stood their ground stoutly. Fraser had with him only about eight hundred men, and the Americans were from one thousand two hundred to one thousand five hundred strong. But Fraser advanced up the hill and attacked them briskly. The Americans were protected by a sort of breastwork formed of logs and trees, and they gave Fraser a smart reception. But, calculating on the approach of Reisedel and the Germans, he fought on; and Reisedel soon after marching up with a full band of music, the Americans imagined that the whole body of the Germans was there, and fled on to Castleton as fast as they could. A new Ministry was appointed with Prince Schwarzenberg at its head, and on the 2nd of December the Emperor Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph, whose father Francis Charles, next in succession, renounced his claim to the throne. The retiring emperor stated that the pressure of events, and the immediate want of a comprehensive reformation[580] in the forms of State, convinced him that more youthful powers were necessary to complete the grand work which he had commenced. The real reason was that Lord Palmerston, who in his private correspondence held the Emperor to be "next thing to an idiot," had been constantly advising him to resign his sceptre into firmer hands. The young Emperor, in his proclamation, expressed his conviction of the value of free institutions, and said that he entered with confidence on the path of a prosperous reformation of the monarchy. The Empress Maria Theresa, never reconciling herself to the seizure of Silesia by Frederick, and not finding England disposed to renew a war for the object of recovering it, applied to her old enemy, France. It required some ability to accomplish this object of detaching France from its ancient policy of hostility to Austria, pursued ever since the days of Henry IV., and in severing the alliance with Prussia; but her Minister, Kaunitz, who had been her ambassador in Paris, contrived to effect it. The temptation was thrown out of the surrender of Belgic provinces to augment France, in return for assistance in recovering German possessions from Prussia. To add fresh stimulus to this change, the vengeance of offended woman was brought into play. Madame Pompadour, Louis XV.'s all-powerful mistress, had sent[124] flattering compliments to Frederick by Voltaire; but the Prussian king only repaid them with sneers. On the other hand, the virtuous Maria Theresa did not blush to write, with her own hand, the most flattering epistles to the Pompadour. By these means, the thirst of revenge raised in the heart of the French mistress worked successfully the breach with Prussia and the alliance with Austria. The same stimulus was tried, and with equal effect, on the Czarina Elizabeth, on whose amorous licence the cynical Prussian monarch had been equally jocose. Kaunitz knew how to make the sting of these ungallant sallies felt at both Paris and St. Petersburg, and the winter of 1755-6 saw the Russian alliance with Prussia and England renounced, the English subsidy, with far more than German probity, renounced too, and Russia pledged to support Austria and France. The Elector of Saxony, Augustus, King of Poland, who amused himself with low pot-house companions and tame bears, and left his affairs to his minister, Count Brühl, was also induced, by the promise of Prussian territory, to join the league; and even Sweden, whose queen, Ulrica, was sister to Frederick, was drawn over to take side against him, in the hope of recovering its ancient province of Pomerania. This confederation of ninety millions of people, leagued against five millions, was pronounced by Pitt "one of the most powerful and malignant ones that ever yet threatened the independence of mankind."

These were his first decrees:I. The British Isles were declared in a state of blockade. II. All commerce and correspondence with Britain was forbidden. All British letters were to be seized in the post-houses. III. Every Englishman, of whatever rank or quality, found in France, or the countries allied with her, was declared a prisoner of war. IV. All merchandise or property of any kind belonging to British subjects was declared lawful prize. V. All articles of British manufacture, and articles produced in her colonies, were, in like manner, declared contraband and lawful prize. VI. Half of the produce of the above confiscations was to be employed in the relief of those merchants whose vessels had been captured by British cruisers. VII. All vessels coming from Britain or British colonies were to be refused admission into any harbour in or connected with France. These decrees were to be binding wherever French power extended, but they had no effect in checking the commerce of Britain; the distress to Continental merchants, however, and the exasperation of the people deprived of British manufactures, grew immediately acute. Bourrienne says that the fiscal tyranny thus created became intolerable. At the same time, the desire of revenue induced Buonaparte to allow his decrees to be infringed by the payment of exorbitant licences for the import of British goods. French goods, also, were lauded with incredible impudence, though they were bought only to be thrown into the sea. Hamburg, Bordeaux, Nantes, and other Continental ports solicited, by petitions and deputations, some relaxation of the system, to prevent universal ruin. They declared that general bankruptcy must ensue if it were continued. "Be it so," replied Buonaparte, arrogantly; "the more insolvency on the Continent, the more ruin in England." As they could not bend Buonaparte, merchants, douaniers, magistrates, prefects, generals, all combined in one system of fraudulent papers, bills of lading or certificates, by which British goods were admitted and circulated under other names for sufficient bribes. The only mischief which his embargo did was to the nations of the Continent, especially Holland, Belgium, Germany, and to himself; for his rigour in this respect was one of the things which drove the whole of Europe to abominate his tyranny, and rejoice in his eventual fall. WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM.

[See larger version] The first Session of the National Assembly was opened by the king in person on the 22nd of[577] May, but it did not conduct itself in a manner to recommend universal suffrage, or to make the friends of orderly government enamoured of revolution. Eventually it was dispersed by force. The new Chambers were opened on the 26th of February by the king in person, Count Brandenburg having led him to the throne. He stated that circumstances having obliged him to dissolve the National Assembly, he had granted to the nation a Constitution which by its provisions fulfilled all his promises made in the month of March. This Constitution was modelled after that of Belgium. The House was to consist of two Chambers, both electivethe former by persons paying 24s. a year of direct taxes, and the latter by a process of double election: that is, the deputies were chosen by delegates, who had themselves been elected by universal suffrage, there being one deputy for every 750 inhabitants. All Prussians were declared equal in the eye of the law, freedom of the press was established, and all exclusive class privileges were abolished. The judges were made independent of the Crown, and no ordinance was to have the force of law without the sanction of the Assembly.

SURRENDER OF LORD CORNWALLIS, YORK TOWN. (See p. 283.)

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The Allies now determined to close in on all sides, and compel the French to a surrender. But Buonaparte, after some man?uvres to bring Blucher to actionthat general and the Crown Prince of Sweden having crossed to the left bank of the Elbefound it at length necessary to retreat to Leipsic. He reached that city on the 15th of October, and learned, to his great satisfaction, that whilst his whole force would be under its walls within twenty-four hours, the Austrians were advancing considerably ahead of the Prussians; and he flattered himself that he should be able to beat the Austrians before the other Allies could reach them.