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"Thus," says Thiers, "was effected the first revolution. The Tiers tat had recovered the Legislature, and its adversaries had lost it by attempting to keep it entirely to themselves. In a few days this legislative revolution was completely consummated." But it was not consummated without a violent fermentation of the populace.Least of all did the ambitious designs of the Czarina Catherine against Turkey seem menacing to us; yet these designs speedily drew into their current the whole power of Austria, endangered our relations with the countries on the Baltic, and attracted the revolutionary torrent over the fertile plains of the Netherlands, opposite to our own shores, menacing the stability of our allies, the Dutch. Catherine had found the Turks not so easily to be overcome as she imagined, feeble and tottering as she considered their empire. The absorption of the Ottoman kingdom and the establishment of the Muscovite throne at Constantinople had been her confident dream. But the Turks, though in a condition of decline and disorganisation which promised an easy subjugation of them, had still their spirit of fanatic fatalism, which could rouse them to deeds of impetuous valour. The whole organisation and regulations of their army were in the worst condition. The janissaries, which had been amongst the finest infantry in the world, were now thoroughly demoralised and in insolent insubordination towards their own government. Their cavalry was numerous, but wretchedly disciplined. The commissariat was in the worst state conceivable, and their artillery, though it had received the energetic attentions of the French Baron De Toff, was contemptible. It might have appeared that nothing was necessary but to enter Turkey and drive the army, as a disorganised rabble, before the foe. But Catherine had not found it so. Her favourite, Potemkin, had been repeatedly defeated in his attempts to advance into Turkey from the Crimea, and Catherine had been glad to engage Joseph II. of Austria in the enterprise by a promise of an ample share of the spoil. In fact, the pair contemplated something like a partition of Europe. In their meeting at Cherson in 1787, Joseph had engaged to send one hundred thousand men to the campaign against Turkey. He had no quarrel with the Sultan, and though a zealous advocate for national reforms, he paid very little regard to national or international justice. In all his reforms, Joseph, with true Austrian spirit, showed the despot still. He did not attempt to carry such reforms as his subjects desired, but such as he thought proper for them; and he was always ready to force what he deemed liberalism and improvement upon them at the point of the bayonet. In attacking Turkey, he did not wait to proclaim war, much less to have a pretence for it, but he suddenly made a rush upon the neighbouring city and frontier fortress of Belgrade. The Turks, though taken by surprise, defended the place victoriously; and Joseph's subsequent assault on the fortress of Gradiska was equally unsuccessful and equally disgraceful.
* Lettre de Colbert a Terron, Rochelle, 8 Fev., 1664. Il aAt the point at which our former detail of Indian affairs ceased, Lord Clive had gone to England to recruit his health. He had found us possessing a footing in India, and had left us the masters of a great empire. He had conquered Arcot and other regions of the Carnatic; driven the French from Pondicherry, Chandernagore, and Chinsura; and though we had left titular princes in the Deccan and Bengal, we were, in truth, masters there; for Meer Jaffier, though seated on the throne of Bengal, was our mere instrument.
But no such easy rendering of the contract was contemplated by Buonaparte. He did not even adhere to the letter of it. French officers were to be placed in all the Dutch garrisons, and eighteen thousand troops were to be maintained, of whom six thousand were to be French. Instead of six thousand soldiers, General Oudinot appeared at the head of twenty thousand at Utrecht. These, Buonaparte informed Louis, were to occupy all the strong posts of the country, and to have their headquarters at Amsterdam, his capital. Louis determined to be no party to this utter subjugation of the country, nor any longer to play the part of a puppet sovereign. On the 1st of July he executed a deed of abdication in favour of his son, Napoleon Louis, expressing a hope that, though he had been so unfortunate as to offend the Emperor, he trusted he would not visit his displeasure on his innocent family. He then drew up a vindication of his conduct, saying that he was placed in an impossible situation, and that he had long foreseen this termination of it. He sent this to be published in England, the only place in which it could appear; and he then gave an entertainment to a number of his friends at his palace at Haarlem, and at midnight entered a private carriage and drove away. He proceeded to Graz, in Styria, where he devoted his leisure to the instruction of his children, and to literature, and wrote "Documens Hìstoriques et Rflexions sur le Gouvernement de la Holland"being an account of his administration of the government of that countryand also a novel, called "Marie, ou les Hollandaises." His wife, Hortense, went to Paris, where she became a great leader in the world of fashion. On the 9th of July, only eight days after the abdication of Louis, Buonaparte issued a decree declaring Holland "re-united to France!" Oudinot marched into Amsterdam, and took possession of it in the name of his master. It was declared the third city of the French empire. The French Ministers issued reports to vindicate this annexation, which was a disgraceful breach of Napoleon's pledge to the Senatethat the Rhine should be the boundary of Franceand also of his repeated assurances that Holland should remain an independent kingdom.
During the discussion of this question, Sir George Savile brought forward another. This was a Bill for relieving Catholics, by repealing the penalties and disabilities imposed by the 10th and 11th of King William III. The hardships sought to be removed were these:The prohibition of Catholic priests or Jesuits teaching their own doctrines in their own churches, such an act being high treason in natives and felony in foreigners; the forfeitures by Popish heirs of their property who received their education abroad, in such cases the estates going to the nearest Protestant heir; the power given to a Protestant to take the estate of his father, or next kinsman, who was a Catholic, during his lifetime; and the debarring all Catholics from acquiring legal property by any other means than descent. Dunning declared the restrictions a disgrace to humanity, and perfectly useless, as they were never enforced; but Sir George Savile said that was not really the fact, for that he himself knew Catholics who lived in daily terror of informers and of the infliction of the law. Thurlow, still Attorney-General, but about to ascend the woolsack, promptly supported the Bill; and Henry Dundas, the Lord Advocate of Scotland, lamented that it would afford no relief to his own country. These Acts did not affect Scotland, as they had been passed before the union; but Scotland had a similar Act passed by its own Parliament, and he promised to move for the repeal of this Scottish Act in the next Session. In the Commons there was an almost total unanimity on the subject; and in the Lords, the Bishop of Peterborough was nearly the only person who strongly opposed it. He asked that if, as it was argued, these Acts were a dead letter, why disturb the dead?