广东广州市番禺区市桥街:党建引领共融共建 提升社区治理水平

[209] Mr. Torres, ditto 3,300

The English having deposed Suraja Dowlah, the nabob of Bengal, and set up their tool, the traitor Meer Jaffier, who had actually sold his master, the nabob, to them, the unfortunate Nabob was soon assassinated by the son of Meer Jaffier. But Meer Jaffier, freed thus from the fear of the restoration of the Nabob, soon began to cabal against his patrons, the English. Clive was absent, and the government conducted by Mr. Henry Vansittart, a man of little ability in his course of policy. All discipline ceased to exist amongst the English; their only thought was of enriching themselves by any possible means. Meer Jaffier was not blind to this. He saw how hateful the English were making themselves in the country, and was becoming as traitorous to them as he had been to his own master. Early, therefore, in the autumn of 1760, Vansittart and Colonel Caillaud marched to Cossimbazar, a suburb of Moorshedabad, where Meer Jaffier lived, at the head of a few hundred troops, and offered certain terms to him. Meer Jaffier appeared to shuffle in his answer; and, without more ceremony, the English surrounded his palace at the dead of night, and compelled him to resign, but allowed him to retire to Fort William, under the protection of the British flag; and they then set up in his stead Meer Cossim, his son-in-law.

Meanwhile an expedition against Canada had been projected by Colonel Arnold and Ethan Allen at the taking of the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. The recommendations of Allen were taken up, and on the 27th of June, although they had on the first of that month declared their determination not to invade or molest Canada, the Congress passed other resolutions, instructing Philip Schuyler, one of their newly-made generals, to proceed to Ticonderoga, and thence, if he saw it practicable, to go on and secure St. John's and Montreal, and adopt any other measures against Canada which might have a tendency to promote the security of the colonies. It was autumn, however, before the American force destined for this expedition, amounting to two thousand men, assembled on Lake Champlain; and Schuyler being taken ill, the command then devolved on General Montgomery. General Carleton, the Governor of Canada, to whom the Americans, when it suited their purpose, were always attributing designs of invasion of the colonies, had not, in fact, forces sufficient to defend himself properly. BOSTON "BOYS" DISGUISED AS INDIANS THROWING THE TEA CHESTS INTO THE HARBOUR. (See p. 210.) We have already noted the excitement in Scotland at the Act which was passed in 1778 for the repeal of some of the severest disabilities of the Catholics; and this had been greatly increased by the proposal to extend its operation by a second Act to Scotland. The fanatics of Scotland were promptly on the alert, and there were dangerous riots in Edinburgh and Glasgow. But the same unchristian spirit had now spread to England, and Protestant Associations, as they were called, linked together by corresponding committees, were established in various towns, and had elected as their president and Parliamentary head Lord George Gordon, a brother of the Duke of Gordon. During the spring of 1780 he presented several petitions from the people of Kent, and he then conceived his grand idea of a petition long enough to reach from the Speaker's chair to the centre window at Whitehall, out of which Charles walked to the scaffold. At a meeting of the Protestant Association, held towards the end of May in Coachmakers' Hall, in London, he announced that he would present this petition on the 2nd of June. Resolutions were passed that the Association and all their friends must go in procession on that day to present the petition. They were to assemble in St. George's Fields; every one must have a blue cockade in his hat, to distinguish him from the enemies of the cause; and Lord George, to stimulate them, told them that unless the gathering amounted to twenty thousand he would not present the petition. On the 26th of May he stated in the House of Commons that he should appear there with the petition at the head of all those who had signed it. Accordingly, on 2nd of June vast crowds assembled on the appointed spot, amounting to sixty thousand, or, as many asserted, one hundred thousand men. This formidable throng was arranged in four battalions, one consisting entirely of Scotsmen, who received Lord George with enthusiastic acclamations, and, after a vapouring speech from him, marched by different ways to Westminster.

The next person to attempt the impossible in the vain endeavour to keep the vessel of the old French monarchy afloat with all its leaks and rottenness, was the Archbishop of Toulouse, Lomnie de Brienne. He had vigorously opposed Calonne; but there was no way of raising the necessary revenue but to adopt some of the very proposals of Calonne, and tax the privileged classes, or to attempt to draw something still from the exhausted people. As the less difficult experiment of the two, he was compelled to cast his eyes towards the property of the nobles and the Church; but he found the nobles and the clergy as ready to sacrifice him as they had been to sacrifice Calonne. When one or two of the more pliant or more enlightened members of those classes ventured to remark on the vast amount of untaxed property, and particularly of tithes, there was an actual tempest of fury raised. Tithes were declared to be the voluntary offerings of the piety of the faithful, and therefore not to be touched. As further loans were out of the question, some one ventured to assert that the only means of solving the difficulty was to assemble the States General. "You would convoke the States General?" said the Minister in consternation. "Yes," replied Lafayette, who was bent on revolutionising France, as he had helped to revolutionise America"yes, and something more than that!" These words were taken down as most exceptionable and dangerous. All that the Assembly of Notables could be brought to do was to confirm the abolition of the corve, and to pass a stamp act. They would not move a step further, and they were dismissed by the king on the 25th of May, 1787. The Parliament, or Chief Court of Justice, adopted a similar course, and it also was dismissed. The king then promulgated a new constitution, but it fell hopelessly to the ground.

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