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Nevertheless, the results actually attained in the first two years were briefly these: first, the[466] chargeable letters delivered in the United Kingdom, exclusive of that part of the Government's correspondence which formerly passed free, had already increased from the rate of about 75,000,000 a year to that of 208,000,000; secondly, the London district post letters had increased from about 13,000,000 to 23,000,000, or nearly in the ratio of the reduction of the rates; thirdly, the illicit conveyance of letters was substantially suppressed; fourthly, the gross revenue, exclusive of repayments, yielded about a million and a half per annum, which was sixty-three per cent. on the amount of the gross revenue of 1839, the largest income which the Post Office had ever afforded. These results, at so early a stage, and in the face of so many obstructions, amply vindicated the policy of the new system. But by its enemies that system was declared to be a failure, until the striking evidence of year after year silenced opposition by an exhaustive process. The Queen reached the western entrance of Westminster Abbey at half-past eleven o'clock, and was there met by the great officers of State, the noblemen bearing the regalia, and the bishops carrying the paten, the chalice, and the Bible. The arrangements in the interior of the Abbey were nearly the same as at the previous coronation, but the decorations were in better taste. Galleries had been erected for the accommodation of spectators, to which about 1,000 persons were admitted. There was also a gallery for the members of the House of Commons, and another for foreign ambassadors. Soon after twelve o'clock the grand procession began to enter the choir, in the order observed on former occasions. The Queen was received with the most hearty plaudits[452] from all parts of the building, and when she was proclaimed in the formula"Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Victoriathe undoubted Queen of this realm. Wherefore, all you who are come this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?"there was a loud and universal burst of cheering, with cries of "God save the Queen." When the crown was placed on her Majesty's head there was again an enthusiastic cry of "God save the Queen," accompanied by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At this moment the peers and peeresses put on their coronets, the bishops their caps, and the kings-of-arms their crowns, the trumpets sounding, the drums beating, the Tower and park guns firing by signal. The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex removing their coronets, did homage in these words:"I do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto you to live and die against all manner of folk, so help me God." They touched the crown on the Queen's head, kissed her left cheek, and then retired. It was observed that her Majesty's bearing towards her uncles was very affectionate. The dukes and other peers then performed their homage, the senior of each rank pronouncing the words. As they retired, each peer kissed her Majesty's hand. The Duke of Wellington, Earl Grey, and Lord Melbourne were loudly cheered as they ascended the steps to the throne. Lord Rolle, who was upwards of eighty, stumbled and fell on the steps. The Queen immediately stepped forward, and held out her hand to assist the aged peer. This touching incident called forth the loudly expressed admiration of the entire assembly. While the ceremony of doing homage was being performed, the Earl of Surrey, Treasurer of the Household, was scattering silver medals of the coronation about the choir and the lower galleries, which were scrambled for with great eagerness. The ceremonials did not conclude till past four o'clock.

THE PALACE OF THE TUILERIES, PARIS.

Quippe ferant rapidi secum verrantque per auras.'

The arrival of the news of Lord North's repeal of all the duties, except tea, produced little effect on the minds of the people of Boston. They declared that the unconstitutional principle was the real offence, and that it was still retained. The people of New York, however, had long inclined to gentler measures. They agreed to import all other articles except tea. Pennsylvania and other colonies followed their example; and they declared that they who wanted tea must smuggle it. The more fiery patriots declared against this lukewarmness; but the desire for the English goods was so great that, during the years 1770 and 1771, the importations were larger than they had ever been. Nevertheless, though the colonies appeared returning to order and obedience, the efforts of the Republican party never relaxed, and, especially in Massachusetts, there was a tone of sullen discontent. "Liberty poles" were still erected; exciting harangues were delivered on the anniversary of "the massacre," and the Assembly continued to manifest a stubborn resistance to the will of the Lieutenant-Governor.

Toryism had now lost two of its main pillars, the Marquis of Londonderry and the Duke of York. They had worked together for many years, one directing the foreign policy of the country while sustaining the chief burden of a great war against France, the other at the head of the British army, whose valour ultimately triumphed at Waterloo. A third of those pillars, Lord Liverpool, was now struck down; and the fourth, Lord Eldon, was not destined to survive very long. On the 17th of February a stroke of paralysis terminated the public life of the Prime Minister, though he survived till December 4th in the following year (1828). He was born in 1770, and as Mr. Jenkinson and Lord Hawkesbury had been a firm supporter of Mr. Pitt; his Premiership commenced on June 9th, 1812. He had acquired from his father an extensive knowledge of monetary and commercial affairs, and this, combined with the experience of a protracted official career, gave him a great advantage in Parliament, making him master of the leading principles and facts. Amiable, exemplary, frank, and disinterested in his private character, he secured the attachment of his friends, and conciliated the good-will of his political opponents. He was not distinguished for superior statesmanship, power in debate, or originality of mind; but as a political leader he was what is called a safe mancautious, moderate, plausible, and conciliatory. His Cabinet was weakened by division, the most agitating topic of the day being an open question with its membersEldon, Wellington, and Peel voting with him on one side, Canning and his friends on the other. His practical wisdom was shown in so far yielding to the spirit of the times as to admit Mr. Canning into the Cabinet on the death of Lord Londonderry, though he found great difficulty in overcoming the repugnance of the king to this arrangement. In the same spirit he had admitted the Grenvilles to a responsible share in the Administration. Had he been a man of more decision of character and more energetic will, he would have been more one-sided and straightforward, and that would not have suited a time of great transition and changes of political currents. During his long tenure of office new ideas were fermenting in the public mind. The people had become impatient of class legislation, and were loudly demanding greater influence in the legislation of the country, greater security for their rights, and freer scope for their industry. They had the most powerful advocates in the press and in Parliament, where Henry Brougham stood foremost among their champions, incessantly battling for their cause. The Conservatives were entrenched behind the bulwarks of monopoly, which were assailed with a frequency and determination that, it was foreseen by the wisest of their defenders, nothing could ultimately resist. Lord Liverpool, with great tact and prudence, managed to postpone the hour of surrender so long as he was in command of the fortress. He had yielded one outwork after another, when resistance was no longer possible, but the value of his services in retaining the rest was not fully appreciated till he was disabled and placed hors de combat. Without any far-reaching sagacity, he could estimate the relative value of existing social and political forces, and, weighing all the circumstances, determine what was the best thing to be done, the best of several courses to adopt here and now. He felt that Catholic Emancipation and Parliamentary Reform might be still safely resisted, and here he was loyal to his party; but on questions of currency, Free Trade, and navigation, he went readily with his Liberal supporters.

Whilst the French armies had been carrying bloodshed and misery into the countries around them, their brethren at home had been equally[436] busy in pushing forward those mutual hatreds which appeared likely to end in the extermination of the whole race of revolutionists. The Girondists being destroyed, new divisions showed themselves in those who had hitherto been alliesRobespierre and his coadjutors. Hbert, Chaumette, Clootz, Ronsin, and others, began to raise their heels against their chief, and their chief doomed every one of them to the guillotine. His most important victim was Danton, a man by no means contemptible (guillotined April 5th, 1794).

Windham, on the 3rd of April, proposed his plan for the improvement of the army. Till this time enlistments had been for life, which gave men a strong aversion to enter it, and made it the resort chiefly of such as were entrapped in drink, or were the offscouring of society, who became soldiers to enjoy an idle life and often to escape hanging for their desperate crimes. He said that we could not have recourse to conscription in this country, and to get men, and especially a better class of men, we must limit the term of service and increase the pay. To prepare the way for his contemplated regulations, he first moved for the repeal of Pitt's Additional Force Bill. This was strongly opposed by Castlereagh and Canning, who contended that nothing could be better or more flourishing than the condition of the army; and that the repeal of Pitt's Bill was only meant to cast a slur on his memory. Notwithstanding this,[519] the Bill was repealed by a majority, in the Commons, of two hundred and thirty-five against one hundred and nineteen, and in the Lords by a majority of ninety-seven against forty. Windham then moved for a clause in the annual Mutiny Bill, on the 30th of May, for limiting the terms of service. In the infantry, these terms were divided into three, of seven years each; and in the cavalry and artillery three also, the first of ten, the second of six, and the third of five years. At the end of any one of these terms, the soldier could demand his discharge, but his privileges and pensions were to be increased according to the length of his service. Notwithstanding active opposition, the clause was adopted and inserted. He then followed this success by a series of Bills: one for training a certain number of persons liable to be drawn from the militia, not exceeding two hundred thousand; a Bill suspending the ballot for the militia for England for two years, except so far as should be necessary to supply vacancies in any corps fallen below its quota; a Bill, called the Chelsea Hospital Bill, to secure to disabled or discharged soldiers their rightful pensions; a Bill for augmenting the pay of infantry officers of the regular line; and one for settling the relative rank of officers of troops of the line, militia, and yeomanry. To these Bills, which were all passed, was added a vote for the increased pay of sergeants, corporals, and privates of the line, and an augmentation of the Chelsea pensions, and the pensions of officers' widows. Lord Howick moved that the same benefits should be extended to the officers, petty officers, and seamen of the navy, and to the Greenwich pensioners, which was carried. These were, undoubtedly, most substantial measures of justice to the two services; and the results of them soon became apparent enough in their beneficial effects on the condition of the army and navy.

Colonel Gardiner endeavoured to charge the advancing enemy with his dragoons; but it was in vain that he attempted to animate their craven souls by word and exampleat the first volley of the Highlanders they wheeled and fled. The same disgraceful scene took place on the left, at nearly the same moment. Hamilton's regiment of horse dispersed at the first charge of the Macdonalds, leaving the centre exposed on both its flanks. The infantry made a better stand than the cavalry; it discharged a steady and well-directed volley on the advancing Highlanders, and killed some of their best men, amongst others, a son of the famous Rob Roy. But the Highlanders did not give them time for a second volley; they were up with them, dashed aside their bayonets with their targets, burst through their ranks in numerous places, so that the whole, not being able to give way on account of the park wall of Preston, were thrown into confusion, and at the mercy of the foe. Never was a battle so instantly decidedit is said not to have lasted more than five or six minutes; never was a defeat more absolute. Sir John Cope, or Johnnie Cope, as he will be styled in Scotland to the end of time, by the assistance of the Earls of Loudon and Home, collected about four hundred and fifty of the recreant dragoons, and fled to Coldstream that night. There not feeling secure, they continued their flight till they reached Berwick, where Sir Mark Kerr received Cope with the[97] sarcastic but cruelly true remark that he believed that he was the first general on record who had carried the news of his own defeat.

CAPT. THOMAS DRUMMOND, UNDER-SECRETARY FOR IRELAND.

But matters had greatly changed at Calcutta before this. Maclean did not present the letter of resignation till October, 1776; but, in September of that year, Colonel Monson had died, and, the members in the Council being now equal, the Governor-General's casting vote restored to him his lost majority. Hastings was not the man to defer for a moment the exercise of his authority. He began instantly to overturn, in spite of their most violent efforts, the measures of Francis and friends. He dismissed Goordas from the chief authority in Oude, and reinstated his "dear friend, Nat Middleton," as he familiarly termed him. He revived his land revenue system, and was planning new and powerful alliances with native princes, especially with the Nabob of Oude, and the Nizam of the Deccan, not omitting to cast a glance at the power of the Sikhs, whose dangerous ascendency he already foresaw. In the midst of these and other grand plans for the augmentation of British power in Indiaplans afterwards carried out by othershe was suddenly astounded by the arrival of a packet in June, 1777, containing the news of his resignation, and of its acceptance by the Directors. He at once protested that it was invalid, as he had countermanded the resignation before its presentation; but General Clavering, as next in succession, at once claimed the office of Governor-General, and Francis, in Council, administered the oath to him. Clavering immediately demanded the keys of the fort and the treasury from Hastings; but that gentleman refused to admit his own resignation, much less Clavering's election to his post. Here, then, were two would-be Governor-Generals, as Europe had formerly seen two conflicting Popes. To end the difficulty, Hastings proposed that the decision of the question should be referred to the Supreme Court. It is wonderful that Clavering and Francis should have consented to this, seeing that Impey, Hastings' friend, and the judge of Nuncomar, was at the head of that Court; but it was done, and the Court decided in Hastings' favour. No sooner was Hastings thus secured, than he charged Clavering with having forfeited both his place in the Council, and his post as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, by attempting to seize on the Governor-Generalship. Clavering and Francis were compelled to appeal once more to the Supreme Court, and this time, to his honour, Impey decided in favour of Clavering. Clavering, who had been deeply mortified by his defeat, died a few days after this occurred, in August, 1777. By this event the authority of Hastings in the government was sufficiently restored, notwithstanding that Wheler generally sided with Francis, for him to carry his own aims.

If the French had been by no means successful in Germany, they had been much less so in other quarters of the globe. In the East Indies we had taken Pondicherry, their chief settlement, from them, and thus remained masters of the whole coast of Coromandel, and of the entire trade with India. In the West Indies, the French had been fortifying Dominica, contrary to treaty, and Lord Rollo and Sir James Douglas were sent thither, and speedily reduced it. France, indeed, was now fast sinking in exhaustion. Louis XV. was a man of no mark or ability, inclined to peace, and leaving all affairs to his Ministers, and still more to his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Choiseul was a man of talent, but of immense vanity, and little persistent firmness. He was now anxious for peace, but, too proud to make the proposal directly, he induced the Courts of Russia and Austria to do it. It was suggested that a congress should be held at Augsburg for settling the peace of Europe. England and Prussia readily consented. But the Duke of Choiseul, anxious to have a clear understanding of the terms on which England and France were likely to treat, proposed a previous exchange of views, and dispatched M. Bussy to London, whilst Mr. Pitt sent to Paris Mr. Hans Stanley.