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"'Partes ubi se via findit in ambas.'" But whilst Gifford was thus demolishing an outbreak of bad taste, a much more remarkable evidence that those who lay claim to good taste frequently have it not was given by the appearance of several new plays and other documents attributed to Shakespeare. The chief of these was "Kynge Varrtygerne," a tragedy, edited by Samuel Ireland. Numbers of persons of high name and pretension, as Dr. Parr, Boswell, Pye, the laureate, Chalmers, the editor of an issue of "British Poets," Pinkerton, a writer of all sorts of things, etc., became enthusiastic believers and admirers of these pretended discoveries. They turned out to be impudent forgeries by the son of the editor, named William Henry Ireland, and are in reality such trash that they are a melancholy proof of how little value, from some learned persons, is the adoration of Shakespeare. Malone, in an "Inquiry" into the authenticity of these writings, in 1796, completely exposed their spuriousness. Pinkerton, one of their most zealous advocates, himself perpetrated a similar forgery of a volume of Scottish poems, issued as ancient ones. He enjoyed the particular patronage of Horace Walpole.

On the 12th of February, 1843, Outram persuaded the Ameers, who were in deadly fear of Napier, to sign the treaty. But the negotiator, who continued to place implicit confidence in the pacific professions of the Ameersthey being anxious to gain time till the hot weather should come, and give them an advantage against their enemieswas convinced of his mistake by a treacherous attack made on the British residency; the Ameers boasting that "every man, woman, and child belonging to the British army in Scinde should be collected on the field of battle, and have their throats cut, except the general, who should be led, chained, with a ring in his nose to the durbar." Outram's garrison consisted only of 100 soldiers, with forty rounds of ammunition each, with which he had to defend himself against 8,000 men with six guns. The British fired with effect from behind a wall till their ammunition was exhausted, when they slowly retired till they got safe on board the British steamers, protected by their guns, which swept the flank of the enemy. The war had now come in earnest, and so Sir Charles Napier resolved to show the Ameers what British troops could do. The odds were greatly against him, for he had but 8,600 men, of whom only 400 were Europeans, with which he was to engage an army 22,000 strong, with 5,000 horse, and fifteen guns, all well posted in a strong position at Meeanee. It required marvellous hardihood in the veteran warrior of the Peninsula to enter upon such an unequal contest. But it was the first time that the ambition of his life was realisedin being placed in a position of supreme commandand he longed to show the world how worthily he could have filled it long ago. The officers who fought under him in that memorable battle deserve to be mentioned. Major Lloyd commanded the Artillery, Captain Henderson the Sappers and Miners; next to them stood the 22nd, commanded by Colonel Pennefather; Colonel Teesdale led the 25th Sepoys; Colonel Read the 12th Native Infantry; Major Clibborne the Bengal Engineers; Colonel Pattle the 9th Bengal Horse; and Captain[592] Tait the Poonah Horse. The plain between the two armies was about 1,000 yards in breadth. The space was rapidly passed over. Napier's men rushed forward, and crossing the bed of a river which intervened, they ran up the slope, while the artillery of the Beloochees fired over their heads. Reaching the summit, they beheld, for the first time, the camp of the enemy, which was carried by the 22nd. The Native Infantry also behaved well, and while the little army was doing terrible execution upon the enemy, the artillery swept their ranks with shot and shell. Nevertheless, they fought bravely, and held their ground for three hours in a hand to hand encounter with their assailants. The chasms which were repeatedly made by the guns in the living mass were quickly filled up by those behind rushing forward to the conflict. The pressure of numbers bearing down the hill seemed more than once on the point of overwhelming the British, and obliterating their "thin red lines." Nearly all the officers were killed or wounded. Everything now depended upon the cavalry, which were commanded by Colonel Pattle, who was ordered to charge instantly. They went at full gallop through the jungle: fifty were thrown off their horses, but the rest pressed on, ascended the ridge of the hill, dashed into the thick of the enemy's ranks, fiercely cutting their way with their swords right and left, trampling down the men under their horses' feet, never ceasing till they had traversed the whole camp. The confusion and wavering thus occasioned gave courage to the infantry. The Irish and the Sepoys, raising the cry of victory, pressed on with fury, drove the enemy back down the hill, and compelled them to retreat, abandoning their guns, their ammunition, and their baggage, leaving their dead on the field, and marking their course by a long train of killed and wounded. Their loss was estimated at 5,0001,000 bodies being found in the bed of the river. The British loss was almost incredibly small: six officers and fifty-four privates killed, fourteen officers and 109 men wounded.

[45] In fact, whilst these events had been proceeding on the frontiers of France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been dividing Poland amongst them. The King of Prussia, when contemplating his participation in this vile business, issued a proclamation assigning the most virtuous reasons for it. It was to check the spread of French principles in Poland, which had compelled himself and his amiable allies, the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of Germany, to invade Poland. But these pretences were merely a cloak for a shameless robbery. Poland abutted on Prussia with the desirable ports of Thorn and Dantzic, and therefore Great Poland was especially revolutionary in the eyes of Frederick William of Prussia. The Polish Diet exposed the hollowness of these pretences in a counter-manifesto. This produced a manifesto from Francis of Austria, who declared that the love of peace and good neighbourhood would not allow him to oppose the intentions of Prussia, or permit any other Power to interfere with the efforts of Russia and Prussia to pacify Poland; in fact, his love of peace would not allow him to discountenance an aggressive war, but his love of good neighbourhood would allow him to permit the most flagrant breach of good neighbourhood. As for the Empress of Russia, she had a long catalogue of ingratitude against the Poles, in addition to their Jacobinical principles, and for these very convenient reasons she had now taken possession of certain portions of that kingdom, and called on all the inhabitants of these districts to swear allegiance to her immediately. The Empress having thus broken the ice of her real motives, the King of Prussia no longer pretended to conceal his, but called on all the inhabitants of Great Poland to swear allegiance to him forthwith. The Russian Ambassador at Grodno commanded the Poles to carry these orders of Russia and Prussia into effect by a circular dated the 9th of April. The great Polish Confederation, which had invited the interference of Russia in order to carry out their own party views, were much confounded by these announcements of their friends. They reminded the marauders of the engagements entered into by Russia, Prussia, and Austria, at the time of the former partition, to guarantee the integrity of the remainder. But this was merely parleying with assassins with the knife at their throats. The aggressive Powers by force of arms compelled poor King Poniatowski and the nobles to assemble a Diet, and draw up and sign an instrument for the alienation of the required territories. By this forced cession a territory, containing a population of more than three millions and a half, was made over to Russia; and another territory to Prussia, containing a million and a half of inhabitants, together with the navigation of the Vistula, with the port of Thorn on that great river, and of Dantzic on the Baltic, so long coveted. As for the small remainder of what once had been Poland, which was left to that shadow-king, Poniatowski, it was bound down under all the old oppressive regulations, and had Russian garrisons at Warsaw and other towns. But all these Powers were compelled to maintain large garrisons in their several sections of the appropriated country.[420]

Further correspondence on the subject did not heal the wound that had been inflicted on the pride of the Spanish Government, but rather inflamed it; and on the 19th of May the British ambassador received a peremptory order to quit the kingdom within forty-eight hours. In dismissing him, the Duke de Sotomayor administered to him a very sharp rebuke. "Your conduct," he said, "in the execution of your important mission has been reprobated by public opinion in England, censured by the British press, and condemned in the British Parliament. Her Catholic Majesty's Government cannot defend it when that of her Britannic Majesty has not done so." Sir Henry Bulwer accordingly departed, Mr. Otway, the principal attach, remaining to transact any necessary business connected with the embassy. Diplomatic relations were not renewed for some time, and, it must be admitted, that the insult that had been offered to England was in a great measure provoked.