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      [198] Nouvelle Dcouverte d'un trs grand Pays situ dans l'Amrique, Utrecht, 1697.


      Despite such petty triumphs, the Hurons felt themselves on the verge of ruin. Pestilence and war had wasted them away, and left but a skeleton of their former strength. In their distress, they cast about them for succor, and, remembering an ancient friendship with a kindred nation, the Andastes, they sent an embassy to ask of them aid in war or intervention to obtain peace. This powerful people dwelt, as has been shown, on the River Susquehanna. [5] The way was long, even in a direct line; but the Iroquois lay between, and a wide circuit was necessary to avoid them. A Christian chief, whom the Jesuits had named Charles, together with four Christian and four heathen Hurons, bearing wampum-belts and gifts from the council, departed on this embassy on the thirteenth of April, 1647, and reached the great town of the Andastes 342 early in June. It contained, as the Jesuits were told, no less than thirteen hundred warriors. The council assembled, and the chief ambassador addressed them: the story told by one of them to the Jesuit Chaumonot, and

      He administered the oath, and the assembly dissolved. He now applied himself to another work: that of giving a municipal government to Quebec, after the model of some of the cities of France. In place of the syndic, an official supposed to represent the interests of the citizens, he ordered the public election of three aldermen, of whom the senior should act as mayor. One of the number was to go out of office every year, his place being filled by a new election; and the governor, as representing the king, reserved the right of confirmation or rejection. He then, in concert with the chief inhabitants, proceeded to frame a body of regulations for the government of a town destined, as he again and again declares, to become the capital 20 of a mighty empire; and he farther ordained that the people should hold a meeting every six months to discuss questions involving the welfare of the colony. The boldness of these measures will scarcely be appreciated at the present day. The intendant Talon declined, on pretence of a slight illness, to be present at the meeting of the estates. He knew too well the temper of the king, whose constant policy it was to destroy or paralyze every institution or custom that stood in the way of his autocracy. The despatches in which Frontenac announced to his masters what he had done received in due time their answer. The minister Colbert wrote: "Your assembling of the inhabitants to take the oath of fidelity, and your division of them into three estates, may have had a good effect for the moment; but it is well for you to observe that you are always to follow, in the government of Canada, the forms in use here; and since our kings have long regarded it as good for their service not to convoke the states-general of the kingdom, in order, perhaps, to abolish insensibly this ancient usage, you, on your part, should very rarely, or, to speak more correctly, never, give a corporate form to the inhabitants of Canada. You should even, as the colony strengthens, suppress gradually the office of the syndic, who presents petitions in the name of the inhabitants; for it is well that each should speak for himself, and no one for all." [4]


      contemporary, Belmont, who heard the story from an Iroquois,

      colony, he declared his intention of building a brewery. The minister approved the plan, not only on economic grounds, but because the vice of drunkenness would thereafter cause no more scandal by reason of the cold nature of beer, the vapors whereof rarely deprive men of the use of judgment. * The brewery was accordingly built, to the great satisfaction of the poorer colonists.[See larger version]


      The British Ministry was at length becoming aware of the mischief of allowing the Empress of Russia to make continual inroads on the Turkish Empire. The British Ambassador, Mr. Fawkener, had been instructed to inform Catherine that Britain could not quietly acquiesce in these usurpations, which were seriously disturbing the balance of power in Europe. Catherine replied, haughtily, that she did not recognise the right of Britain to interfere, and that she should keep possession of Oczakoff, and all her conquests between the Bug and the Dniester. On the 28th of March Pitt communicated this answer to the House, in a message from his Majesty, and that he had deemed it necessary to come to an understanding with his allies, Prussia and Austria, on the subject, and to maintain the fleet in its augmented condition. He moved, the next day, an address to his Majesty, thanking him for his care in these respects. The Whigs, almost to a man, condemned this policy. Coke of Norfolk, Lord Wycombe, Mr. Lambton, afterwards Earl of Durham, and others, stoutly opposed it. Fox treated the idea of Russia having become a power formidable to the peace of Europe as ludicrous. Both he and Burke contended that there was nothing in the aggressions of Russia to occasion any alarm; that Turkey was a decaying nation, which it was useless to attempt to support; and that to bolster it up was only to maintain a barbarous people in domination over Christian populations. Fox upbraided the Government with their folly and inconsistency, if such were their fears of Russia, in having till recently encouraged her in her plan of aggressions in that direction. He reminded them that, twenty years ago, Great Britain, on war breaking out between Russia and the Porte, had aided Catherine in sending a fleet to the Mediterranean, and had thus enabled her to acquire a maritime force in the Black Sea. The truth, however, was that it was not the present Ministry that had committed this folly, but a Whig Ministry, of which Fox was one. He confessed to this, and also to the fact that in 1782, when Catherine seized more completely on the Crimea and Kuban Tartary, France and Spain had urged us to unite with them in preventing this, but that we had declined, and these countries had become permanently united to Russia. Now all this was, in truth, a simple confession of the incapacity of the Whigs, and of Fox himself included, to see the dangerous tendency of the Russian policy, and the only circumstance on which he could justly condemn the Ministry of Pitt was for not strenuously supporting Turkey and Sweden, the ally of Turkey against Russia, when they did see this tendency. By mean and parsimonious conduct they had allowed Sweden to be driven out of her territories on the eastern shore of the Baltic by Russia, when, had they given her but moderate support, that Power would have become a permanent check on the aggressive spirit of Russia. The motion of Pitt was carried by a large majority. A few days afterwards Mr. Grey renewed the subject in a series of resolutions, condemning all interference on behalf of Turkey, and contending that Russia was only weakening instead of strengthening herself by extending her dominions. But Pitt, in reply, showed the very obvious facts that the retention of Oczakoff opened the way to Constantinople, and that the possession of Constantinople prepared the way for the seizure of Egypt, and the supremacy of the Mediterranean, with the most formidable consequences to our commerce. The resolutions of Grey were negatived; but twice again during the session the Whigs returned to the chargeon the 15th of April and on the 25th of May,but with no better success. The armament was maintained, but the isolated threats of England had little effect on Catherine. Pitt was accordingly compelled to change his policy, and acquiesce in a peace by which she retained the territory between the Bug and the Dniester, and the fortress of Oczakoff.


      On the 18th of January, 1815, commenced the final retreat of the British to their ships. They were allowed to march away without molestation, taking all their guns and stores with them, except ten old ship guns of no value, which they rendered useless before they abandoned them. Andrew Jackson, afterwards President of the United States, commanded in this defence of New Orleans, and loud were the boastings of his prowess all over the States, when, in fact, he had not risked a man. His merit was to have shown what excellent shots his countrymen were, and how careful they were to keep out of the reach of shot themselves. So far as the British were concerned, they had shown not only their unparalleled bravery, but also, as on many such occasions, their great want of prudence. This sacrifice of life would have been spared by a single and much more effectual blockade, and the most lamentable part of the business was, that all the time peace had been made, though the news of it had not reached them.


      of 1661, see Mmoires de Madame de Motteville, Mmoires de nearly with Susanes statement.