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Saxe followed up his advantage by despatching L?wendahl against Bergen-op-Zoom, the key of Holland, and the masterpiece of the celebrated engineer, Cohorn. This was not only amazingly strong in its fortifications, but had a powerful garrison, and was covered by an entrenched camp of twelve thousand men. The trenches were opened in the middle of July, and might have defied all the efforts of the French, had not Baron Cronstrom, the commander, a man of eighty, suffered them to take it by surprise on the 15th of September. The French had led a vast number of men before this place, and its surrender ended the campaign.

VIEW IN THE OLD TOWN, WARSAW.

The Parliament of England met on the 13th of October. Pitt, not without cause, assumed much merit from the successes of the year; and, in truth, so far as military matters went, rarely had this country reaped such fame. We had triumphed in every quarter of the world. In January came the news of the capture of Goree; in June, of Guadeloupe; in August, that of the victory of Minden; in September, of the victory off Lagos; in October, of the conquest of Quebec; in November, of Hawke's victory off Quiberon. Horace Walpole said, "victories came so thick, that every morning we were obliged to ask what victory there was, for fear of missing one." At the same time, the condition of our trade warranted the inscription afterwards placed on Chatham's monument in the Guildhall, that he caused commerce to flourish with war.

The Grenville Ministry was approaching its extinction. It had done a great work in the abolition of the Slave Trade, but there was another species of abolition which they were disposed to further which was not quite so acceptable. They had supported Wilberforce and his party in their measure for the negroes, but Wilberforce and his friends were by no means willing to support them in liberating the Catholics from their disabilities. Grenville and Fox had made no particular stipulation, on taking office, to prosecute the Catholic claims, but they were deeply pledged to this by their speeches of many years. It was, therefore, highly honourable of them, though very impolitic, to endeavour to do something, at least, to show their sincerity. Though the king was obstinately opposed to any relaxation of the restraints on this class of his subjects, yet the Fox and Grenville Ministry had introduced a milder and more generous treatment of the Catholics in Ireland. The Duke of Bedford, as Lord-Lieutenant, had discouraged the rampant spirit of Orangeism, and admitted Catholics to peace and patronage. He had abandoned the dragooning system, and had managed to settle some disturbances which broke out in the autumn of 1806, without even proclaiming martial law. These measures had won the cordial attachment of the Catholics both in Ireland and England, but, in the same proportion, had exasperated the Church and War party against them in both countries. Their adding another three-and-a-half per cent. to the income and property taxes had still further embittered these parties, and the antagonism to them was every day becoming stronger. Yet they resolved, in spite of all this, to make an attempt to do some justice to the Catholics. They managed to carry an additional grant to the College of Maynooth, and on the 4th of March, when this grant was debated, Wilberforce, though[533] wanting the support of Ministers for his Slave Trade Bill, made a violent speech against all concessions to the Catholics. He declared the Protestant Church the only true one, and, therefore, the only one which ought to be supported. "He did not profess," he said, "to entertain large and liberal views on religious subjects; he was not, like Buonaparte, an honorary member of all religions." Undeterred by these tokens of resistance, Lord Howick, the very next day, moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable Catholics to hold commissions in the army and navy on taking a particular oath. He said that it was a strange anomaly that Catholics in Ireland could hold such commissions since 1793, and attain to any rank except that of Commander-in-Chief, of Master-General of the Ordnance, or of General of the Staff, yet, should these regiments be ordered to this country, they were, by law, disqualified for service. A clause had already been added to the Mutiny Bill to remove the anomaly. He proposed to do away with this extraordinary state of things, and enable his Majesty, at his pleasurefor it only amounted to that, after allto open the ranks of the army and navy to all subjects, without distinction, in Great Britain as well as Ireland.

Wolfe then held a council with his two next in command, the Brigadiers Monckton and Townshend, and they resolved, as a desperate attempt, to move up the river, and thus endeavour to draw Montcalm from his unassailable position. Accordingly, leaving detachments to defend the Isle of Orleans and Point Levi, the rest of the army ascended the St. Lawrence for some miles, and pitched their camp on the right bank. To attract still more attention, Admiral Holmes was ordered to put his vessels in active motion for some days, as if seeking a landing-place higher up the river.[135] This stratagem, however, produced no other result than that of Montcalm sending a detachment of one thousand five hundred men to watch their proceedings. He himself maintained his old ground.

III., c. 83) { 2 single parishes 2

REVOLUTION IN PARIS: CAPTURE OF THE H?TEL DE VILLE. (See p. 316.)

We now arrive at the "Irish Crisis," the famine of 1846 and 1847one of the greatest calamities that ever afflicted the human race. In order to understand fully the events connected with this visitation, it is necessary to notice the social condition of the country which rendered its effects so destructive. Ireland had long been in a chronic state of misery, which has been ascribed by the most competent judges to the peculiar state of the land tenure in that country. It had often been predicted by writers on the state of Ireland, that, owing to this rottenness at the foundation of the social fabric, it would come down with a crash some day. The facts reported by the Census Commissioners of 1841 showed that this consummation could not be far off. Out of a population of 8,000,000, there were 3,700,000 above the age of five years who could neither read nor write; while nearly three millions and a half lived in mud cabins, badly thatched with straw, having each but one room, and often without either a window or a chimney. These figures indicate a mass of ignorance and poverty which could not be contemplated without alarm, and the subject was, therefore, constantly pressed upon the attention of Parliament. As usual in cases of difficulty, the Government, feeling that something should be done, and not knowing what to do, appointed, in 1845, a commission to inquire into the relations between landlord and tenant, and the condition of the working classes. At the head of this commission was the Earl of Devon, a benevolent nobleman, whose sympathies were on the side of the people. Captain Kennedy, the secretary to the Commissioners, published a digest of the report of the evidence, which presented the facts in a readable form, and was the means of diffusing a large amount of authentic information on the state of Ireland. The Commissioners travelled through the country, held courts of inquiry, and examined witnesses of all classes. As the result of their extensive intercourse with the farming classes and their own observations, they were enabled to state that in almost every part of Ireland unequivocal symptoms of improvement, in spite of many embarrassing and counteracting circumstances, continually presented themselves to the view, and that there existed a very general and increasing spirit and desire for the promotion of such improvement, from which the most beneficial results might fairly be expected. Indeed, speaking of the country generally, they add: "With some exceptions, which are unfortunately too notorious, we believe that at no former period did so active a spirit of improvement prevail; nor could well-directed measures for the attainment of that object have been proposed with a better prospect of success than at the present moment."

This was a thunderstroke to Hastings and his friends. Fifty of Pitt's followers immediately wheeled round with him; Dundas voted with Pitt, and the motion was carried by an exact inversion of the numbers which had negatived the former article on the Rohilla war, one hundred and nineteen against sixty-seven. The Session closed on the 11th of July with the rest of the charges hanging over the ex-Governor's head in ominous gloom.

Whilst these gigantic armies were drawing towards each other, in the early part of August, for what was afterwards called "the grand battle of the peoples," the weather seemed as though it would renew its Russian miseries on the French. They had to march in constantly deluging rains, up to the knees in mud, and to risk their lives by crossing flooded rivers. Amid these buffetings of the elements the conflict began, on the 21st of August, between Walmoden and Davoust, at Vellahn. A few days afterwards, in a skirmish with Walmoden's outposts at Gadebusch, Korner, the youthful Tyrt?us of Germany, fell.