重庆天气:未来三天持续阴雨天气 局地最高气温仅10℃

Notwithstanding that Hyder had established his camp soon after in a strong position near the village of Pollilore, he was attacked on the 27th of August by Eyre Coote. On this occasion Sir Hector Munro warned Coote of the disadvantages of ground under which he was going to engage, and the inevitable sacrifice of life. Coote replied angrily, "You talk to me, sir, when you should be doing your duty!" His warning, however, was just. Coote did not succeed in driving Hyder from his post without severe loss. But again, on the 27th of September, another battle was fought between them in the pass of Sholinghur, near Bellore, in which Coote defeated Hyder with terrible loss. This battle relieved the English garrison in Bellore, and the rainy season put an end to operations, but the Carnatic was saved.


Charles, wrought up to the highest pitch of agony at the prospect of being compelled to abandon the splendid design of entering London in triumph, continued to expostulate and entreat the whole day. The Duke of Perth and some of the Irish officers, moved by his distress, gave way, and called on the other chiefs to yield; but they remained immovable, and the prince, seeing the case hopeless, at length gave up the contest, and, in deep dejection, assented to the retreat. But, as if he deemed the relinquishment of the march on the metropolis the ruin of the whole enterprise, he declared that henceforth he would summon no more councilsbeing accountable only to God and his father, he would not again either seek or accept their advice.

On the 5th of February General Pollock reached Peshawur, and found the troops under Brigadier Wild for the most part sick and disorganised. His first care was to restore the morale of the troops. Even the officers had yielded to an unworthy panic. Some of them openly declared against another attempt to force the Khyber Pass, and one said he would do his best to dissuade every sepoy of his corps from entering it again. Owing to this state of things, Pollock was compelled to remain inactive through the months of February and March, though the eyes of all India were turned upon him, and the most urgent letters reached him from Sale and M'Gregor to hasten to their relief. But the general was resolved not to risk another failure, and his duty was to wait patiently till the health, spirits, and discipline of the troops were restored, and until fresh regiments arrived.

Canning, now rising into note, and Windham, declared that there were no motives for peace, but everything to necessitate the active prosecution of the war; and Windham could not help severely condemning the acquittal of Horne Tooke, Hardy, Thelwall, and the rest of the accused Reformers. He was called to order for thus impugning the conduct of independent juries, and reminded that no legal proofs of the guilt of the prisoners had been producedon which he replied that they ought to have been condemned, then, on moral proofs. The distress was greatly aggravated, and spread over the whole country, by the extraordinary drought which prevailed in the summer of 1826. The richest meadows were burnt up. The stunted grain crops were only a few inches in height. The cattle, and even the deer in noblemen's parks, died from thirst. The people sat up all night to watch the springs, waiting for their turn to be[245] supplied. Water was retailed in small quantities, and sold like beer. Those who occupied the more favoured districts sent jars of fresh water to their friends in other places, as most acceptable presents. In the midst of all this scarcity and suffering the Corn Laws stopped the supplies of provisions from abroad, which were ready to be poured in in any quantities. Bills had been passed with great difficulty through Parliament, to enable Government to relax the restrictions of the Corn Laws, in order to meet the emergency. But so clogged were those enactments with conditions, that in autumn Ministers were obliged to anticipate their operation by opening the ports, trusting to the legislature for an indemnity. It is melancholy to reflect upon the perplexities and miseries in which the country was involved through the mistaken views of the landed interest, then predominant in Parliament. GEORGE II. AT DETTINGEN, 1743.

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When the news of this distractedly hopeless condition of the Council in Calcutta reached London, Lord North called upon the Court of Directors to send up to the Crown an address for the recall of Hastings, without which, according to the new Indian Act, he could not be removed till the end of his five years. The Directors put the matter to the vote, and the address was negatived by a single vote. The minority then appealed to the Court of Proprietors, at the general election in the spring of 1776, but there it was negatived by ballot by a majority of one hundred, notwithstanding that all the Court party and Parliamentary Ministerialists who had votes attended to overthrow him. This defeat so enraged Lord North that he resolved to pass a special Bill for the removal of the Governor-General. This alarmed Colonel Maclean, a friend of Hastings, to whom he had written, on the 27th of March.[328] 1775, desiring him, in his disgust with the conduct of Francis, Clavering, and Monson, and the support of them by the Directors, to tender his resignation. Thinking better of it, however, he had, on the 18th of the following May, written to him, recalling the proposal of resignation. But Maclean, to save his friend from a Parliamentary dismissal, which he apprehended, now handed the letter containing the resignation to the Directors. Delighted to be thus liberated from their embarrassment, the Directors accepted the resignation at once, and elected Mr. Edward Wheler to the vacant place in the Council.


Previous to this, however, Chatham had thought over several decisive measures, and sketched out a scheme of foreign and domestic policy, which marked how far above the intellectual grasp of most of his contemporaries was that of his mind. He determined, if possible, to form an alliance of European states against the Family Compact of the Bourbons in France and Spain; to reform the Government of Ireland, which greatly needed it, and that of India.

On the 9th of October the King of Prussia issued a manifesto from his headquarters at Erfurt, calling attention to the continual aggressions of Francethose aggressions which Prussia had so long watched in profound apathy, and which, by timely union with Austria and Russia, might have been checked. But Prussia had, by her mean conduct, now stripped herself of all sympathy and all co-operation. She would have been very glad indeed of the money of Great Britain, but she had so far favoured the very aggressions of Buonaparte of which she now complained as to receive Hanover from him, and could not even now find it in her heart to surrender it, and make a powerful friend by that act of justice. The Emperor of Russia was willing to co-operate, but Prussia had made her hostile manifestations before Alexander could approach with his army. In reply to the intimations of Prussia, that she would be glad of the support of Britain, Lord Morpeth was sent to Berlin; but the language of the Prussian Ministry was still of the most selfish and impolitic character, and Lucchesini told Lord Morpeth that the fate of[526] Hanover must depend on the event of the coming war. With such a Power no union could take place, and in this isolated and pitiable condition Prussia was left to try her strength with Napoleon. As for that ambitious soldier, he desired nothing so much as this encounter with Prussia; he saw in it the only obstacle to his complete dominion over Germany, and he was confident that he should scatter her armies at the first shock.