青年融媒体作品大赛云启动

[See larger version] The question of the Canadian boundary had been an open sore for more than half a century. Nominally settled by the treaty of 1783, it had remained in dispute, because that arrangement had been drawn up on defective knowledge. Thus the river St. Croix was fixed as the frontier on the Atlantic sea-board, but there were five or six rivers St. Croix, and at another point a ridge of hills that was not in existence was fixed upon as the dividing line. Numerous diplomatic efforts were made to settle the difficulty; finally it was referred to the King of the Netherlands, who made an award in 1831 which was rejected by the United States. The question became of increasing importance as the population grew thicker. Thus, in 1837, the State of Maine decided on including some of the inhabitants of the disputed territory in its census, but its officer, Mr. Greely, was promptly arrested by the authorities of New Brunswick and thrust into prison. Here was a serious matter, and a still greater source of irritation was the McLeod affair. McLeod was a Canadian who had been a participator in the destruction of the Caroline. Unfortunately his tongue got the better of his prudence during a visit to New York in 1840, and he openly boasted his share in the deed. He was arrested, put into prison, and charged with murder, nor could Lord Palmerston's strenuous representations obtain his release. At one time it seemed as if war was imminent between England and the United States, but, with the acquittal of McLeod, one reason for fighting disappeared.

Those princes that did bring men into the field, such as the Hessians, Brunswickers, etc.the Menschen-Ver?ufer, or man-sellers, as they were styled by their own peoplewere rapacious beyond example. During the American war we had employed these Hessians, Brunswickers, and the like, at a cost that excited general indignation. Besides paying seven pounds ten shillings and a penny for every man, the Duke of Brunswick, who furnished only four thousand and eighty-four men, had had an annual subsidy of fifteen thousand five hundred and nineteen pounds. The Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who furnished twelve thousand men, had ten thousand two hundred and eighty-one pounds a year. [See larger version]

These arrangements having been made, the sovereigns of Russia and Prussia came over to London on a visit to the Prince Regent, and to take a look at that wonderful capital which had poured out such torrents of gold to bring up their armies to Paris. With them came the Duchess of Oldenburg, the sister of the Czar, the two sons of the King of Prussia, and a great number of the victorious field-marshals, generals, princes, dukes, barons, and the like. But the two grand favourites of the people were Platoff, whose Cossacks had charmed the British people so by their wild prowess, and the bluff old Marshal Blucher. This was a hero exactly after the British heartblunt, uncompromising, and, like the British, never knowing when he was beaten.

On the 11th of February Lord Althorp brought forward the Budget. Basing his calculations on the revenue of the previous year, he estimated the national income at 50,000,000, and the expenditure at 46,850,000, leaving an anticipated surplus of more than 3,000,000; and it was proposed to take off taxes to the whole of that amount, and to replace it to some extent by other taxes, less burdensome to the people. The principal taxes to be taken off were those on tobacco, sea-borne coal, tallow candles, glass, printed calicoes, and newspapers. The new taxes consisted in an increase of the duties on wine, colonial timber, and raw cotton, a tax on steamboat passengers, and on the transfers of funded property. The proposed new taxes excited violent opposition, which obliged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to modify some of them, and abandon the last two; in fact, the financial scheme was a failure. Equally unsuccessful were his attempts to introduce retrenchments into the Civil and Pension Lists. But the Government was borne up by its great measure, the Reform Bill. Napoleon, who had every need of success to regain his former position in the opinion of France, sent off in all haste to Paris the most exaggerated account of the battle of Lützen, as one of the most[66] decisive victories that he had ever won, and that it had totally scattered the Allies, and neutralised all the hopes and schemes of Great Britain. The Empress went in procession to Notre Dame, where Te Deum was celebrated by Cardinal Maury, who drew the most extravagant picture of Napoleon's invincible genius. The same false statements were sent also to every friendly Court in Europe, even to Constantinople. The stratagem had its effect. The wavering German princes, who were ready to go over to their own countrymen, still ranged their banners with the French. The King of Saxony had gone to Prague as a place whence he might negotiate his return to the ranks of his own fatherland; but he now hastened back again, and was in Dresden on the 12th of May with Napoleon, who conducted him in a kind of triumph through his capital, parading his adhesion before his subjects who had hailed the Allies just before with acclamations. The Saxon king, in fresh token of amity to Napoleon, ceded to him the fortress of Torgau, much to the disgust of his subjects.