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    It was the 10th of November when Mar, aware that Argyll was advancing against him, at length marched out of Perth with all his baggage and provisions for twelve days. On the 12th, when they arrived at Ardoch, Argyll was posted at Dunblane, and he advanced to give them battle. The wild, uneven ground of Sheriffmuir lay between them, and it was on this spot that Argyll on quitting Stirling had hoped to meet them. He therefore drew up his men on this moorland in battle array, and did not wait long for the coming of the Highland army. It was on a Sunday morning, the 13th of November, that the battle of Sheriffmuir was fought. Argyll commanded the right wing of his army, General Whitham the left, and General Wightman the centre. He[31] calculated much on this open ground for the operations of his cavalry. On the other hand, Mar took the right wing of his army, and was thus opposed, not to Argyll, but to Whitham. The Highlanders, though called on to form in a moment, as it were, did so with a rapidity which astonished the enemy. They opened fire on Argyll so instantly and well, that it took the duke's forces by surprise. The left army retired on Stirling pursued by Mar. Argyll was compelled to be on the alert. He observed that Mar had drawn out his forces so as to outflank him; but, casting his eye on a morass on his right, he discovered that the frost had made it passable, and he ordered Major Cathcart to lead a squadron of horse across it, while with the rest of his cavalry he galloped round, and thus attacked the left wing of Mar both in front and flank. The Highlanders, thus taken by surprise, were thrown into confusion, but still fought with their wonted bravery. They were driven, however, by the momentum of the English horse, backwards; and between the spot whence the attack commenced and the river Allan, three miles distant, they rallied ten times, and fairly contested the field. Argyll, however, bore down upon them with all the force of his right wing, offering quarter to all who would surrender, and even parrying blows from his own dragoons which went to exterminate those already wounded. After an obstinate fight of three hours, he drove the Highlanders over the Allan, a great number of them being drowned in it. Mar at this crisis returned to learn the fate of the rest of his army. He found that he had been taking the office of a General of Division instead of that of the Commander-in-Chief, whose duty is to watch the movements of the whole field, and send aid to quarters which are giving way. Like Prince Rupert, in his ardour for victory over his enemies in front of him, he had totally forgotten the centre and left wing, and discovered now that the left wing was totally defeated. He was contented to draw off, and yet boast of victory. 更多 »
    The condition of the Prussian camp was daily growing worse; the troops were compelled to kill their horses for food; they were drenched with heavy rains and decimated by dysentery. The King of Prussia and the Duke of Brunswick were full of resentment at the false representations of the Emigrants, who had assured them that they would have little to do but to march to Paris, loaded with the welcomes and supplies of the people. Europe was surprised at the easy repulse of the Prussians; with their reputation, it was expected that they would march rapidly on Paris, and disperse the Republican troops with scarcely an effort. But they were no longer commanded by old Frederick; and even he would have found it difficult to make his way through a country which refused the barest food for an army, and which almost to a man was in arms to resist the foe. On the 24th of September overtures were made by the Prussians for an exchange of prisoners, to which Dumouriez agreed, refusing, however, to give up a single Emigrant captive. This led to discussions on the general question, and having bargained for a safe retreat, the Allies hurried homeward with all speed. Oppressed by famine and disease, and disgusted with the Emigrants, who had led them to suffering and disgrace, they made the best of their way to the Rhine, and, at the end of October, reached Coblenz, a sorry spectacle, reduced from eighty thousand, who had entered France three months before confident of victory and fame, to fifty thousand humbled and emaciated men. If Dumouriez had had unity and subordination amongst his generals he would have been able by a forced march to outstrip the Allies, cut them off from the Rhine, and scarcely a thousand of them would have escaped. The blame thrown upon him for not thus inflicting a terrible chastisement appears unmerited.
    The condition of the Prussian camp was daily growing worse; the troops were compelled to kill their horses for food; they were drenched with heavy rains and decimated by dysentery. The King of Prussia and the Duke of Brunswick were full of resentment at the false representations of the Emigrants, who had assured them that they would have little to do but to march to Paris, loaded with the welcomes and supplies of the people. Europe was surprised at the easy repulse of the Prussians; with their reputation, it was expected that they would march rapidly on Paris, and disperse the Republican troops with scarcely an effort. But they were no longer commanded by old Frederick; and even he would have found it difficult to make his way through a country which refused the barest food for an army, and which almost to a man was in arms to resist the foe. On the 24th of September overtures were made by the Prussians for an exchange of prisoners, to which Dumouriez agreed, refusing, however, to give up a single Emigrant captive. This led to discussions on the general question, and having bargained for a safe retreat, the Allies hurried homeward with all speed. Oppressed by famine and disease, and disgusted with the Emigrants, who had led them to suffering and disgrace, they made the best of their way to the Rhine, and, at the end of October, reached Coblenz, a sorry spectacle, reduced from eighty thousand, who had entered France three months before confident of victory and fame, to fifty thousand humbled and emaciated men. If Dumouriez had had unity and subordination amongst his generals he would have been able by a forced march to outstrip the Allies, cut them off from the Rhine, and scarcely a thousand of them would have escaped. The blame thrown upon him for not thus inflicting a terrible chastisement appears unmerited.
    The direct consequence was that he was immediately nominated again by the freeholders of Middlesex. Mr. Dingley, a mercantile speculator of London, offered himself as the Government candidate, but withdrew in a fright, and Wilkes was returned, without opposition, on the 16th of February, only thirteen days after his expulsion. The next day Lord Strange moved in the Commons, that John Wilkes, after having been expelled, was incapable of serving again in the present Parliament, and the case of Sir Robert Walpole was quoted in justification. Wilkes was a second time declared incapable of sitting, the election was declared void, and the public indignation rose higher than ever. The freeholders of Middlesex instantly met at the "London" Tavern, and subscribed on the spot two thousand pounds towards defraying the expenses of Wilkes's election. They then formed themselves into a "Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights," and a third time proposed Wilkes as their candidate. He was immediately returned for Middlesex, Dingley not finding any one who dared to nominate him. The next day, the 17th of March, the Commons again voted the election void.
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    But now Catherine of Russia had concluded her entanglements with Turkey. It was the August of 1791, and her eyes turned immediately on Poland, and she pretended to take great offence and alarm at the new Constitution, as full of French and Revolutionary principles, and therefore intolerable to any neighbouring state. She began to negotiate with Sweden, and Prussia, and Austria, to co-operate with her in her design against Poland. Prussia was easily led to adopt her ideas, for the king was like herself, greedy of his neighbour's dominions, and had been repulsed by the Poles in grasping at Thorn and Dantzic. Leopold of Austria was, by his connection with the royal party of France, through his sister, naturally ready to put down any influence from the French Revolution in a neighbouring country; but he was indisposed to war, and too just and moderate for aggression. His death, on the 1st of March, 1792, removed this obstacle, and Francis, his successor, was found to be more accessible to the Czarina's selfish arguments. Russia, Prussia, and Austria were all agreed on the plunder of Poland, whilst they still preserved the most hypocritical appearance of caring only for its unity and national interests. As for Gustavus III., of Sweden, brave and honest as he was, he was of such chivalrous and, to a certain degree, insane character, that he was easily led on by the artful Empress of Russia to lend himself to her designs, without being aware of them. He had declared himself the knight of Marie Antoinette, and had sworn to rescue her. He was avaricious of military glory, and, like his predecessor, Charles XII., he was desirous only of conducting some great and brilliant enterprise. He desired to lead an army against the French, now bursting out under the Revolutionary general, Custine, on Germany, and, joining with the army of the Emigrants, eighteen thousand in number, to beat back the Democratic general, to march into France, and restore the throne of Louis and Marie Antoinette. But he had no money; the Empress of Russia, who wished him employed at a distance, and especially in keeping back the French Democrats, whilst she carved up Poland, offered him both money and arms. But the Empress was relieved of the high-minded Gustavus in a manner which she had by no means contemplated. He fell, on the 16th of March, in his own capital, by the hand of an assassin called Ankarstr?m.
    BENJAMIN DISRAELI.
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