审美力·艺术微课堂丨大提琴演奏家秦立巍讲述他和大提琴的故事

The terms which Junot required were that the French should not be considered as prisoners of war, but should be conveyed to France by sea, with all their baggage; that nothing should be detained. These would, in fact, have allowed[561] them to carry off all the plunder of churches and houses, and to this Sir Arthur objected. He said that some means must be found to make the French disgorge the church plate. But the Convention was signed, subject to the consent of the British admiral, Sir Charles Cotton, a condition of importance, seeing that Junot had stipulated that the Russian fleet in the Tagus, commanded by Admiral Siniavin, should not be molested or stopped when it wished to go away. Admiral Cotton objected to these terms, and it was agreed that the Russian fleet should be made over to Britain till six months after the conclusion of a general peace. Commissioners were appointed to examine the French spoil, who recovered the property of the Museum and Royal Library, and some of the church plate; but the French were allowed to carry off far too much of their booty. The definitive treaty was signed at Cintra on the 30th of August, much to the disgust of Sir Arthur Wellesley, who, however, signed it as a matter of form. He then wrote to Lord Castlereagh, to say that he desired to quit the army; that matters were not prospering, and that he had been too successful to allow him to serve in it in any subordinate situation. Indeed, he saw that, left to himself, he could carry victory with the British standard, but that it was impossible to do any good under incompetent men.

At sea, Sir Edward Hawke attacked the French fleet under Admiral Conflans at the mouth of the Vilaine in Quibron Bay. The situation, amid rocks and shoals, and with a sea running high, so late in the year as the 20th of November, was most perilous, but Hawke scorned all danger, attacked the French fleet close under their own shores, took two men-of-war, sank four more, including the admiral's ship, the Soleil Royal, and caused the rest, more or less damaged, to take refuge up the river. Two of our own vessels were stranded in the night, but their crews and stores were saved. For this brilliant action, which crippled the French navy for the remainder of the war, Hawke was thanked by Parliament, received from the king a pension of one thousand five hundred pounds a-year for his own and his son's life, and, in the next reign, was raised to the peerage. Thurot, meanwhile, had escaped out of Dunkirk, but with only five ships, which kept out of the way by seeking shelter in the ports of Sweden and Norway. Cornwallis now announced to the Royalists of[275] North Carolina that he would soon send a force for their defence, and advanced to Charlotte. He next took measures for punishing those who had pretended to re-accept the allegiance of England only to relapse into a double treachery. He declared that all such being captured should be treated as traitors, and hanged. These severe measures were carried into execution on some of the prisoners taken at Camden and Augusta, and others were shipped off to St. Augustine. This system was as impolitic as it was cruel, for the Americans were certain to adopt it in retaliation, as they did, with a frightful ferocity, when the Royalists were overthrown in South Carolina, and avowedly on this ground. Lord Rawdon, adopting the example, wrote to his officers that he would give ten guineas for the head of any deserter from the volunteers of Ireland, and five only if brought in alive.

LORD LIVERPOOL. (After the Portrait by Sir T. Lawrence, P.R.A.) Buonaparte continued the pursuit of the Allies as far as Pirna, whence, owing to indisposition, he returned to Dresden; but Vandamme, Murat, Marmont, and St. Cyr pushed forward by different ways to cut off the route of the fugitives into the mountains of Bohemia. Vandamme, however, having passed Peterswald, beyond which he had orders not to proceed, was tempted to try for T?plitz, where the Allied sovereigns lay, and take it. In doing this he was enclosed, in a deep valley near Kulm, by Ostermann and other bodies of the Allies, completely routed, and taken prisoner, with Generals Haxo and Guyot, the loss of two eagles, and seven thousand prisoners. This was on the 29th of August.

Warren Hastings was summoned to the bar, and there kneeling, the Lord Chancellor, Thurlow, intimated the charge against him, and assured him that, as a British subject, he would receive full justice from the highest British court. Hastings replied, in a clear and firm voice, that he had the highest confidence in the justice and integrity of that august court. The clerks of the court then commenced reading the charges against him, and the answers to them, and this reading occupied the whole of that day and the following one; and on the third, Burke rose to deliver his opening speech. This occupied the whole of four days, beginning on the 15th, and terminating on the 19th of February. The effect of that speech, notwithstanding its enormous length, was such as had scarcely ever been witnessed in a court of justice before. As he detailed the horrors practised by Hastings on the princes and people of India, both the orator and his audience were convulsed with terror and agitation. Ladies fainted away in the galleries; Mrs. Sheridan, amongst others, had to be carried out insensible: the faces of the strongest men, as well as of the more sensitive women, were flushed with emotion, or bathed in tears. In his peroration Burke far exceeded even himself. He appeared raised, enlarged into something ethereal by his subject, and his voice seemed to shake the very walls and roof of that ancient court. Finally, he exclaimed:"I impeach Warren Hastings, Esquire, of high crimes and misdemeanours. I impeach him in the name of all the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights, and liberties he has subverted, whose properties he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate. I impeach him in the name, and by virtue of those eternal laws of justice which he has violated. I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured, and oppressed, in both sexes, in every age, rank, situation, and condition of life. And I conjure this high and sacred court to let not these proceedings be heard in vain." Such was the effect of this wonderful torrent of eloquence that Hastings himself said, "For half an hour I looked up at the orator in a reverie of wonder; and during that space I actually felt myself the most culpable man on earth; but I recurred to my own bosom, and there found a consciousness that consoled me under all I heard and all I suffered."

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