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      *** Mmoire de 1757, printed in Margry, Relations Indites.


      AFFRAY AT BOSTON BETWEEN THE SOLDIERS AND ROPE-MAKERS. (See p. 201.)On the 1st of June according to the arrangements of General Gage, as the clock struck twelve, all the public offices were closed, and the whole official business was transferred to Salem. But the wide discontent of the people met him there as much as at Boston. When the Assembly met, which was in the following week, such was its spirit that General Gage felt that he must dissolve it. General Gage, seeing the lowering aspect of affairs, took the precaution to throw more troops into the neighbourhood, so that he had some six regiments, with a train of artillery, when he encamped on the common near Boston. Active emissaries were immediately sent amongst these troops, who, by presents of ardent spirits and fine promises, seduced a considerable number from their duty. To prevent this, he stationed a strong guard at Boston Neck, a narrow isthmus connecting the town with the common and open country. On this a vehement cry was raised, that he was going to cut off all communication with the country, blockade the town, and reduce it to submission by famine. The inhabitants of the county of Worcester sent a deputation to inquire Gage's intentions, and they did not omit to hint that, if necessary, they would drive in the guard with arms; for, in fact, besides the arms which most Americans then had, others had been supplied to such as were too poor to purchase them. Gordon, their historian, tells us that the people were preparing to defend their rights by the sword; that they were supplying themselves from Boston with guns, knapsacks, etc. According to the Militia Law, most men were well furnished with muskets and powder, and were now busily employed in exercising themselves; thus all was bustle, casting of balls, and making ready for a struggle. Gage, seeing all this, removed the gunpowder and the military stores from Charlestown, Cambridge, and other localities, to his own quarters. This, again, excited a deep rage in the people, who threatened to attack his troops. To prevent this, he went on briskly with his defences on the Neck; but what he did by day the mob endeavoured to undo by night. They set fire to his supplies of straw; they sank the boats that were bringing bricks, and overturned his waggons conveying timber. Nothing but the greatest patience and forbearance prevented an instant collision.


      In the meantime, petitions, memorials, and remonstrances were presented from New York and other places, and from the British inhabitants of Canada, but all were rejected. On the 26th of May George III. prorogued Parliament, and expressed his perfect satisfaction in its proceedings; so utterly unconscious was this king that he was alienating a great empire, and which, indeed, was already virtually gone from him; for during the very time that Parliament had been protesting against even the contemptible crumbs of concession offered by Ministers, war had broken out, blood had flowed, and the Americans had triumphed!

      [1] "Mais le Printemps estant venu, les Iroquois nous furent encore plus cruels; et ce sont eux qui vrayement ont ruin toutes nos esperances, et qui ont fait vn lieu d'horreur, vne terre de sang et de carnage, vn theatre de cruaut et vn sepulchre de carcasses dcharnes par les langueurs d'vne longue famine, d'vn pa?s de benediction, d'vne terre de Saintet et d'vn lieu qui n'auoit plus rien de barbare, depuis que le sang respandu pour son amour auoit rendu tout son peuple Chrestien."Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 23.

      At Vereiva, where Buonaparte halted on the 27th of October, Mortier arrived from Moscow, having blown up the Kremlin with gunpowder, and with it a crowd of Russians who had rushed in at the moment of his evacuation. Mortier on his march had also surprised and captured General Winzengerode. From this place Buonaparte issued a bulletin, announcing that not only Moscow but the Kremlin was destroyed; that the two hundred thousand inhabitants of Moscow were wandering in the woods existing on roots; and that the French army was advancing towards St. Petersburg with every means of success. Such was the audacity of lying by which he hoped to conceal the truth from Paris. At this moment he was exasperated almost to frenzy by his prospects, and since the defeat of Maloi-Jaroslavitz he had been gloomy and unapproachable from the violence of his temper. On the march the army passed with horror the field of Borodino. "The ground," says Segur, "was covered with fragments of helmets and cuirasses, broken drums, gun-stocks, tatters of uniforms, and standards steeped in blood. On this desolate spot lay thirty thousand half devoured corpses. A number of skeletons, left on the summit of one of the hills, overlooked the whole. It seemed as if here death had fixed his empire. The cry, 'It is the field of the great battle!' found a long and doleful murmur. Napoleon passed quickly; no one stopped; cold, hunger, and the enemy urged us on. We merely turned our faces as we proceeded to take a last melancholy look at our late companions in arms."CHAPTER XV


      Among the burghers of Rouen was the old and rich family of the Caveliers. Though citizens and not nobles, some of their connections held high diplomatic posts and honorable employments at Court. They were destined to find a better claim to distinction. In 1643 was born at Rouen Robert Cavelier, better known by the designation of La Salle.[1] His father Jean and his uncle Henri were wealthy merchants, [Pg 8] living more like nobles than like burghers; and the boy received an education answering to the marked traits of intellect and character which he soon began to display. He showed an inclination for the exact sciences, and especially for the mathematics, in which he made great proficiency. At an early age, it is said, he became connected with the Jesuits; and, though doubt has been expressed of the statement, it is probably true.[2]

      dArgenson, and Extrait des Registres du Conseil dEtat, 15When the Mohawks brought home Poncet, they covertly gave wampum-belts to the Huron chiefs, and invited them to remove to their villages. It was the wolfs invitation to the lamb. The Hurons, aghast with terror, went secretly to the Jesuits, and told them that demons had whispered in their ears an invitation to destruction. So helpless were both the Hurons and their French supporters, that they saw no recourse but dissimulation. The Hurons promised to go, and only sought excuses to gain time.

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      Besides succeeding to the government of a country whose chief province was thus exhausted, the finances of the Company were equally drained, both in Calcutta and at home, and the Directors were continually crying to Hastings for money, money, money! As one means of raising this money, they sent him a secret order to break one of their most solemn engagements with the native princes. When they bribed Meer Jaffier to depose his master, by offering to set him in his seat, and received in return the enormous sums mentioned for this elevation, they settled on Meer Jaffier and his descendants an annual income of thirty-two lacs of rupees, or three hundred and sixty thousand pounds. But Meer Jaffier was now dead, and his eldest son died during the[324] famine. The second son was made Nabob, a weak youth in a weak government, and as the Company saw that he could not help himself, they ordered Hastings to reduce the income to one-half. This was easily done; but this was not enough, disgraceful as it was. Mohammed Reza Khan, who had been appointed by the Company the Nabob's Minister, on the ground that he was not only a very able but a very honest man, they ordered to be arrested on pretended pleas of maladministration. He and all his family and partisans must be secured, but not in an open and abrupt way, which might alarm the province; they were to be inveigled down from Moorshedabad to Calcutta, on pretence of affairs of government, and there detained. Nuncomar, the Hindoo, who had been displaced, in order to set up Mohammed, who was a Mussulman, and who had been removed on the ground of being one of the most consummate rogues in India, was to be employed as evidence against Mohammed. Hastings fully carried out the orders of the secret committee of the India House. He had Mohammed seized in his bed, at midnight, by a battalion of sepoys; Shitab Roy, the Minister of Bahar, who acted under Mohammed at Patna, was also secured; and these two great officers and their chief agents were sent down to Calcutta under guard, and there put into what Hastings called "an easy confinement." In this confinement they lay many months, all which time Nuncomar was in full activity preparing the charges against them. Shitab Roy, like Mohammed, stood high in the estimation of his countrymen of both faiths; he had fought on the British side with signal bravery, and appears to have been a man of high honour and feeling. But these things weighed for nothing with Hastings or his masters in Leadenhall Street. He hoped to draw large sums of money from these men; but he was disappointed. Though he himself arranged the court that tried them, and brought up upwards of a hundred witnesses against them, no malpractice whatever could be proved against them, and they were acquitted. They were therefore honourably restored, the reader will think. By no means. Such were not the intentions of the Company or of Hastings. Whilst Mohammed and Shitab Roy had been in prison, Hastings had been up at Moorshedabad, had abolished the office of Minister in both Patna and Moorshedabad, removed all the government business to Calcutta, cut down the income of the young Nabob, Muharek-al-Dowla, to one half, according to his instructions, and reduced the Nabob himself to a mere puppet. He had transferred the whole government to Calcutta, with all the courts of justice, so that, writes Hastings, "the authority of the Company is fixed in this country without any possibility of competition, and beyond the power of any but themselves to shake it."

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      (v) Commission de Lieutenant Gnral de lAmrique

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