胡金木:“税眼”看广东 新技术等“三新”经济蓬勃发展

On the 30th of August they reached Blair Castle. The Duke of Athol, the proprietor, fled at their approach, and old Tullibardine resumed his ancestral mansion, and gave a splendid banquet there to Charles and his officers. On the third day they resumed their march, and reached Perth on the 4th of September, which the prince entered on horseback, amid loud acclamations. Whilst at Perth he received two valuable accessions to his partythe titular Duke of Perth, who brought with him two hundred men, and Lord George Murray, the brother of the Duke of Athol, and a man of considerable military experience.

Washington saw almost with despair the condition of the American army; any other man would have despaired of it altogether. He wrote to Congress that nothing could make soldiers trustworthy but longer terms of service; that, in fact, they ought to be engaged for the whole war, and subjected to a rigid and constant discipline. He complained that the soldiers were much bolder in plundering than fighting; and one of his officers observed that the Pennsylvanian and New England troops would as soon fight each other as the enemy. His Adjutant-General, Reed, declared that discipline was almost impossible amid such a levelling spirit as prevailed. These startling facts made Congress begin in earnest to look out for foreign aid. In the meantime, it voted that the army should be reorganised with eighty-eight[231] battalions, to be enlisted as soon as possible, and to serve during the war; each State to furnish its respective quota, and to name the officers as high as colonels. But Washington had soon to complain that they only voted, and did not carry the plan strenuously into action; that there was a mighty difference between voting battalions and raising men. But the Ministry of Pitt contained many elements of weakness and discord. Addington and Melville were violently opposed to each other. Wilberforce found this to his cost when he returned to his annual vote for the abolition of the Slave Trade. Addington and Melville, hostile to each other, were both hostile to him and to his project. Pitt warned him of this, and begged him to let his usual motion lie over this Session; but Wilberforce had been so fortunate in carrying it last Session through the Commons, that he was sanguine of succeeding now with both Commons and Lords. He introduced the Bill, obtained a first reading on the 10th of February, and had the second reading fixed for the 28th, but then it was thrown out by seventy-seven against seventy. The Scots members, who the preceding year were neutral, now, probably influenced by Melville, voted against him in a body; the Irish, who had been his warm supporters, now opposed him or held aloof, incensed by his having voted for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. It was a terrible blow to Wilberforce, but a worse blow was impending over one of his underminersMelville.

The last night's debate continued till between six and seven o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 8th of October. It was a night of intense anxiety, both in the House and out of doors. The space about the throne was crowded with foreigners and members of the other House. There was a number of ladies, peeresses, and their daughters, sitting there the whole night, manifesting their excitement in every way consistent with decorum. Palace Yard and the space all round the House was thronged with people waiting to hear the result of the division. The night was wet, however, and the debate was so protracted that the crowd had dispersed before morning. This was a matter of consolation to the Opposition peers, who dreaded a mobbing. It was now broad daylight, and no sound was heard outside except the rolling of the carriages of the peers, who passed up Parliament Street as quietly as if they had come from disposing of a road Bill. The fate of the Bill was that day decided, for it, 158; against it, 199leaving a majority of 41. "The night was made interesting," wrote Lord Eldon, "by the anxieties of all present. Perhaps, fortunately, the mob on the outside would not wait so long."

Meanwhile, Washington and Rochambeau were mustering for the march to the Chesapeake. On the 14th of September Washington reached the headquarters of Lafayette, and took the supreme command, Rochambeau being second, and the especial head of the French. The next day Washington and Rochambeau held a conference with the Comte de Grasse. De Grasse told them that what they did they must do quickly, for that he could not remain on that station longer than the 1st of November; and it was resolved to act accordingly. [529]