学习宣传贯彻党的十九大精神

But the King of France did not share in the feeling of Choiseul. He wrote to the King of Spain about this time, "My Minister wishes for war, but I do not!" In fact, changes had taken place in the Court of France which were about to precipitate Choiseul from his long-enjoyed favour. Madame de Pompadour was dead, and the king had become deeply enamoured of Madame du Barry. Choiseul was impolitic enough to despise her influence, and treated her with undisguised hauteur. He soon felt the consequence in an order from the king to resign his office and retire[203] to his estate at Chanteloupe, in Touraine. The shock to the insolent Minister, who had so long ruled absolutely in the French Court, was the more unlooked for, because he thought himself now all the more safe from having secured the marriage of the king's heir, his eldest grandson, with the Austrian archduchess, Marie Antoinette. Choiseul was succeeded by the triumvirate d'Aiguillon, as Foreign Minister; Terray, as Minister of Finance; and Maupeou, as Minister of Jurisprudence; but all subject to the supreme influence of Madame du Barry. Louis XV. thenceforth became a cipher.

One of the first acts of the Parliament, which met on November 12th, was to punish the peculations and abuses of the Lord Chancellor, Parker, Earl of Macclesfield. The Court of Chancery, in former ages a sink of corruption, was at this time in its worst condition. The offices of Masters were regularly sold, and the Masters as regularly took care to recoup themselves by all manner of peculation. The estates of widows and orphans and the money of suitors were unscrupulously plundered. There was a loud outcry against these robberies, and especially against the Lord Chancellor, for his not only tolerating but partaking in them. He endeavoured to escape the storm of public indignation by resigning in January, but this did not avail him. He was impeached by Sir George Oxenden in the Commons, and tried in the Lords, and fined thirty thousand pounds. A motion for disabling him from ever again sitting in Parliament or holding any office was lost only by a very few votes. The king struck his name out of the list of Privy Councillors, and in 1725 Sir Peter King was made Chancellor in his stead, with the title of baron. From the Painting by Seymour Lucas, R.A. Simultaneously with these proceedings, the actions commenced by Wilkes, and the printer, publishers, and others arrested under the general warrant, were being tried in the Common Pleas. All the parties obtained verdicts for damages, and that of Wilkes was for a thousand pounds. Chief-Justice Pratt, strengthened by the verdicts, made a most decided declaration of the illegality and unconstitutional nature of general warrants.

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Whilst this extirpation of the Pindarrees had been going on, the cholera broke out at Jessore, in the low lands of the Delta of the Ganges. This fatal disease has been supposed by medical men to receive its force, if not its origin, from the want of salt in this unhealthy district. Salt being one of the monopolies of the East India Company, it was not permitted, though abundant in Madras, to be carried into Bengal except on payment of a duty of two hundred per cent. The natives, therefore, who subsisted on a rice diet, not being able to procure this necessary antiseptic, frequently fell victims to the terrible scourge of cholera. From this centre, where it may fairly be said to have raged in perpetuity, it now spread rapidly up the course of the Ganges, the Jumna, and their confluent rivers, and if the British impost on salt had anything to do with the prevalence of the epidemic, a severe retribution now fell upon those who profited by it. The Marquis of Hastings, the Governor-General, was posted in Bundelcund with his army, when it appeared there and swept away thousands. The very men attending on the Governor-General at dinner dropped down behind his chair and died. To seek a healthier region, he marched eastward, but all the way the pest pursued him, and when he reached the healthy station of Erich, on the right bank of the Betwah river, towards the end of November, one-tenth of the force had fallen under its ravages. The scourge did not stop there, but for a number of years continued to spread at an amazing speed, and eventually overspread Europe with its horrors. But the despondency of Wolfe was but for a moment. Suddenly a new ideaan inspiration, it seemedburst upon him: he would scale the Heights of Abrahamthe point where no mortal ascent was dreamed of, and which therefore was less defended, except by nature, than the rest of the vicinity of the city. The ships were immediately ordered to make a feint, under Admiral Saunders, opposite Montcalm's camp at Beauport, and those under Holmes, at a point higher up the river. Attention being thus drawn from himself, on the night of the 12th of September, when it was pitch dark and the tide flowing, he put across the river to a small inlet about two miles above Quebec, which ever since bears the name of Wolfe's Cove. But though Pitt protested against thanking the king for bringing over Hanoverian troops, he found it necessary to support the king's German treaties and alliances, which were avowedly for the defence of Hanover. Fox reminded him of his favourite phrase, that Hanover was a millstone round the neck of England; but it was not the first time that Pitt had had to stand the taunt of eating his own words, and he braved it out, especially voting two hundred thousand pounds to Frederick of Prussia. A wonderful revolution in Continental politics had now converted this long-hostile nephew of George II. into an ally, if not a friend.

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The spirit of gambling thus set going by Government itself soon surpassed all bounds, and burst forth in a thousand shapes. It was well known that the king, his mistresses, his courtiers, his son and heir apparent, were all dabbling busily in the muddy waters of this huge pool of trickery and corruption. A thousand other schemes were invented and made public to draw in fresh gudgeons, and the Prince of Wales allowed his name to stand as governor of a Welsh Copper Company. All ranks and classes rushed to Change Alleydukes, lords, country squires, bishops, clergy (both Established and Dissenting), were mixed up with stockjobbers and brokers in eager traffic. Ladies of all ranks mingled in the throng, struggling through the press and straining their voices to be heard amid the hubbub. There and all over the kingdom were advertised and hawked about the following and other schemes:Wrecks to be fished for on the Irish coast; plans for making of oil from sunflower seeds; for extracting of silver from lead; for the transmuting of quicksilver into a malleable and fine metal; for importing a number of large jackasses from Spain; for a wheel for perpetual motion; and, finally, for an undertaking which shall in due time be revealed!

The style of St. Paul's, and, indeed, of all Wren's churches, is neither Grecian nor Gothic, but Italian, influenced by the fashion which Bernini, the Italian architect of Louis XIV., had introduced into France. It is a class of architecture of which the Grecian is the basis, but which is so freely innovated upon as to leave little general resemblance. In its different parts we have columns and pilasters of every Grecian and, indeed, Roman order, pediments, peristyles, architraves, and friezes, mingled up with windows of all sorts, and all kinds of recesses and projections, the fa?ades and intercolumniations ornamented with festoons, and wreaths, and human masks, and the whole surmounted by a great Eastern dome, and by campaniles partaking of[159] all the compilations of the main buildings. St. Paul's itself is a noble building, notwithstanding the manifest gleanings from the antique and the medi?val, and their combination into a whole which has nothing original but their combination into one superb design. Besides St. Paul's, the rest of Wren's churches are disappointing, and we cannot avoid lamenting that he had lost the sense of the beauty of Gothic architecture, especially when we call to mind the exquisite churches of that style which adorn so many of the Continental cities. Whilst the exteriors of Wren's churches show heavily in their huddled-up situations in London streets, their interiors, in which much more of the Grecian and Roman styles is introduced, are equally heavy, and wanting in that pliant grace which distinguishes the interiors of Gothic cathedrals. Perhaps the noblest work of Wren next to St. Paul's is Greenwich Hospital, which is more purely Grecian, and therefore displays a more graceful and majestic aspect. The Palace of Hampton Court, attached to the fine old Tudor pile of Cardinal Wolsey, is a great square mass, in which the Dutch taste of William is said to have set aside Wren's original design. But surely William did not compel him to erect that (in such circumstances) ponderous barbarism of a Grecian colonnade in the second quadrangle of Hampton Court, attaching it to a Gothic building. In fact, neither Wren nor Inigo Jones appears to have had the slightest sense of the incongruity of such conjunctions. Jones actually erected a Grecian screen to the beautiful Gothic choir of Winchester Cathedral, and placed a Grecian bishop's throne in it, amid the glorious canopy-work of that choir. The return to a better taste swept these monstrosities away.

Sir Arthur was anxious to engage and defeat Victor before he was joined by the forces of Joseph from Madrid, and of Sebastiani from La Mancha. He therefore dispatched Sir Robert Wilson, at the head of a considerable body of Spanish and Portuguese troops, on the way towards Madrid; and Sir Robert executed this duty with so much promptitude and address that he threw himself into the rear of Victor at Escalona, only eight leagues from the capital. On the 22nd of July the united armies of Britain and Portugal attacked Victor's outposts at Talavera, and drove them in. The stupid old Cuesta was nowhere to be seen; and the next day, the 23rd, when the British were again in position, ready to attack the French, the day was lost, because Cuesta said he would not fight on a Sunday. This tried Sir Arthur's patience past endurance, for every moment was precious, and he wrote on the occasion"I find General Cuesta more and more impracticable every day. It is impossible to do business with him, and very uncertain that any operation will succeed in which he has any concern. He has quarrelled with some of his principal officers, and I understand they are all dissatisfied with him." The opportunity of beating Victor was thus lost. At midnight he quitted Talavera, and retreated to Santa Olalla, and thence towards Torrijos, to form a junction with Sebastiani. The next morning Wellesley took possession of Talavera, but he could not pursue the enemy, for he says, "he found it impossible to procure a single mule or a cart in Spain." Neither could he procure food for his army. He says his troops had actually been two days in want of provisions, though Cuesta's camp abounded with them. He declared that, under such treatment by those that he had come to save, he would return to Portugal before his army was ruined. On this, Cuesta became as wildly and madly active as he had been before stubbornly passive. He dashed forward after Victor alone, never stopping till he ran against the rear of the[576] united army of Victor and Sebastiani, at Torrijos. Wellesley was quite sure what the result would be, and in a few days Cuesta came flying back with a confused mass of men, bullocks, flocks of sheep, baggage waggons, and artillery, beaten and pursued by the enemy.

We have no place of rest."

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