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MEN OF WAR OFF PORTSMOUTH.

Undaunted by his defeat, he immediately offered himself for Middlesex, and there, though the mob could not vote, they could act for him. They assembled in vast numbers, shouting, "Wilkes and Liberty!" They accompanied him to the poll; they stopped all the roads that led to the hustings at Brentford, suffering no one to pass who was not for Wilkes and liberty. His zealous supporters wore blue cockades or paper in their hats, inscribed "Wilkes and Liberty," or "No. 45." At night they assembled in the streets, insisting on people illuminating their houses in honour of Wilkes; abused all Scotsmen they met; scribbled "No. 45" on the panels of carriages as they passed; made the parties in them shout their favourite cry; broke the windows of Lord Bute at the West End, and of Harley, the Lord Mayor, at the Mansion Housethe same Harley, a younger brother of the Earl of Oxford, who, as sheriff, had had to burn No. 45 of the North Briton in Cornhill. By such means the mob managed to return Wilkes at the very head of the poll. [See larger version] Meanwhile, Bute was sedulously at work to clear the way for his own assumption, not merely of office, but of the whole power of the Government. He acted as already the only medium of communication with the king, and the depositary of his secrets. He opened his views cautiously to Bubb Dodington, who was a confidant of the Lichfield House party, and still hungering after a title. Dodington advised him to induce Lord Holderness to resign and take his place, which, at first, Bute affected to disapprove of, but eventually acted upon. The first object was to get rid of Pitt, who, by his talents and haughty independence of manner, was not more acceptable to the king and his counsellor, Bute, than by his policy, which they desired to abandon. Pamphlets were therefore assiduously circulated, endeavouring to represent Pitt as insatiable for war, and war as having been already too burdensome for the nation.

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GREENWICH HOSPITAL We have the accounts of what took place from both sidesfrom the magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable, till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence, said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of yeomanry.[151] They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued. "People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another, so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the level of the ground."

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Another successful expedition this year was one against the Cape of Good Hope. This settlement, so desirable for Britain, with her Indian possessions, had been yielded up by the Addington Administration, at the Peace of Amiens, most[522] imprudently. A body of five thousand men was dispatched for its recovery, under Sir David Baird, in a fleet commanded by Sir Home Popham. They arrived in January, and the Dutch soldiers fled at the first attack. Retiring into the interior, General Beresford was dispatched after them, whereupon they surrendered, on condition that they should be sent to Holland without being deemed prisoners of war.

We have the accounts of what took place from both sidesfrom the magistrates and the people. Mr Hulton, the chairman of the bench of magistrates, made the following statements in evidence, on the trial of Hunt, at York. He said that the warrants for the apprehension of the leaders of this movement were not given to Nadin, the chief constable, till after the meeting had assembled, and that he immediately declared that it was impossible for him to execute them without the protection of the military; that orders were at once issued to the commander of the Manchester Yeomanry, and to Colonel L'Estrange, to come to the house where the magistrates sat. The yeomanry arrived first, coming at a quick trot, and so soon as the people saw them they set up a great shout. The yeomanry advanced with drawn swords, and drew up in line before the inn where the magistrates were. They were ordered to advance with the chief constable to the hustings, and support him in executing the warrants. They attempted to do this, but were soon separated one from another in the dense mob, and brought to a stand. In this condition, Sir William Jolliffe also giving evidence, said that he then, for the first time, saw the Manchester troop of yeomanry.[151] They were scattered, singly or in small groups, all over the field, literally hemmed in and wedged into the mob, so that they were powerless either to make an impression, or to escape; and it required only a glance to discover their helpless condition, and the necessity of the hussars being brought to their rescue. The hussars now coming up, were, accordingly, ordered to ride in and disperse the mob. The word "Forward" was given, and the charge was sounded, and the troop dashed in amongst the unarmed crowd. Such a crowd never yet stood a charge of horse. There was a general attempt to fly, but their own numbers prevented them, and a scene of terrible confusion ensued. "People, yeomen, constables," says Sir William Jolliffe, one of these hussars, "in their confused attempts to escape, ran one over another, so that by the time we had arrived at the midst of the field, the fugitives were literally piled up to a considerable elevation above the level of the ground."

But far more remarkable were the effects of the championship of French principles in the celebrated Dr. Joseph Priestley. Priestley was now nearly sixty years of agea time of life when men rarely become great enthusiasts in any cause. He was a Unitarian minister, and was now the pastor of a congregation at Birmingham. He was well known for various theological writings, in which he had announced his doubts of the immateriality of the sentient principle in man, especially in his "Disquisition on Matter and Spirit." He had been tutor to Lord Shelburne, first Lord Lansdowne; but had quitted that post, as supposed, in consequence of the objection of Lord Shelburne to these principles, retaining, however, an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds a-year. But Priestley was far more known and esteemed for his researches and discoveries in natural philosophy, especially in electricity, chemistry, and pneumatics. Orthodoxy and Toryism were extremely rampant in Birmingham, and Priestley was regarded as the very patriarch and champion of Socinianism and Republicanism. There wanted only a spark to fire trains of fierce intolerance against Priestley and his party, and, unfortunately, this was furnished by themselves. They resolved to celebrate, by a dinner, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, on the 14th of July. Before the dinner took place, such were the rumours of impending riots that the party proposed to defer the celebration to a future day; but the landlord had prepared the dinner, and declared his opinion that there would be no danger if the party dispersed early, without stopping to drink many toasts. Darbley, the innkeeper, curiously enough, was a Churchman, and in good odour with the Tory party. Satisfied by his representations, about eighty persons determined to hold the dinner on the appointed day, though a considerable number stayed away, and amongst those Priestley himself. The company were hooted as they entered the inn, but chiefly by a crowd of dirty lads, who cried "Church and King!" On the table were ranged three figures: a medallion of the king encircled with a glory, an emblematical figure of British Liberty, and another of French Slavery bursting its chains. In the evening a fierce riot broke out, instigatedaccording to Priestley's accountby some prominent magistrates, though the statement was never proved. The mob rushed to Darbley's hotel after the dinner was over and most of the people were gone. There they raised the cry of "Church and King!" and began to throw stones. Some one cried out, "Don't break Darbley's windows; he is a Churchman!" But the Church-and-King people and their set, now flushed with wine and loyalty, waved their handkerchiefs from the windows of the opposite inn, and hurrahed the mob on. With this encouragement, which seemed to the crowd to legalise their proceedings, the mob rushed into the house, declaring that they wanted to knock the powder out of Dr. Priestley's wig. They did not find the doctor, so they smashed most of the furniture in the house, and dashed in the windows, notwithstanding the host's orthodoxy. Some one then cried, "You have done mischief enough here; go to the meetings!" and the mob rolled away, first to the new meeting-house, where Priestley preached, which they soon demolished and set fire to. They then proceeded to the old meeting-house, and destroyed that too, being hounded on by people of decent station in the place, and made furious by the beer which was distributed among them.

Congress, alarmed at the progress of the English in South Carolina, had made extraordinary efforts to reinforce the Republican party in North Carolina. On the fall of Charleston, General Gates, who had acquired a high but spurious reputation upon the surrender of Burgoyne, was sent to take the chief command. In marching towards South Carolina, the American army suffered severely from the tropical heat of the climate and the scarcity of food. Gates led them through a country of alternating swamps and sandy deserts, called by the Americans pine-barrens. The troops lived chiefly on the lean cattle which they found scattered through the woods, on green Indian corn, and peaches, which were plentiful, being indigenous to the State of Louisiana. Lord Rawdon, who was lying at Camden, where he had halted his men to protect them from the heat, was joined there by Lord Cornwallis early in August. The entire force when united did not, however, exceed two thousand men, whilst the troops of Gates amounted to six thousand. The British general, notwithstanding, advanced briskly to meet the Americans, and on the evening of the 16th of August the two armies met rather unexpectedly, and some skirmishing took place, after which they halted in position till near daybreak.

General Schuyler was hastening to support Ticonderoga, when, on reaching Saratoga, he was met by the news of this succession of defeats. He had, when joined by St. Clair and Long, who had been left to defend St. John's in vain, about five thousand men, the whole now of the northern army; but many of these were militia hastily called togethermany of them without armsmore, destitute of ammunition, and still more, of discipline. But Schuyler depended much more on the nature of the country which the British would have to traverse from this point than on his men. The whole region between Skenesborough and the Hudson was an almost unbroken wilderness. Wood Creek was navigable as far as Fort Anne; from Fort Anne to the Hudson, over an exceedingly rough country, covered with thick woods, and intersected by numerous streams and morasses, extended a single military road. Whilst Burgoyne halted a few days at Skenesborough to bring up the necessary supplies, Schuyler seized the opportunity to destroy the navigation of Wood Creek, by sinking impediments in its channel, and breaking up the bridges and causeways, of which there were fifty or more on the road from Fort Anne to Fort Edward. Had[241] Burgoyne been well informed, he would have fallen back on Ticonderoga, have embarked on Lake George, and proceeded to Fort George, whence there was a waggon-road to Fort Edward, the place he was aiming at. Instead of this, he determined on separating himself from his baggage and artillery, sending these, under General Philips, to Fort George, and proceeding with the main portion of the army across the rugged country that lay between himself and Fort Edward. On this route they had not only to contend with swamps swarming with mosquitoes, deep gullies, ravines, and rivulets, but to make temporary bridges to supply the place of those destroyed by Schuyler, and remove the trees felled by him. The weather, to add to their stupendous labour, was intensely hot; yet, surmounting everything, on the 30th of July Burgoyne and his army hailed with enthusiasm the sight of the Hudson, which they had thus reached through a series of brilliant successes.