上交所决定 ST保千终止上市

Whilst these frightful horrors were taking place, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been completing the extinction of Poland. An ill-advised attempt by the Poles for the recovery of their country had precipitated this event. The Russian Minister in Poland had ordered the reduction of the little army of that country, under its now almost nominal king, Stanislaus Augustus, from thirty thousand to fifteen thousand. The Poles resented this, without considering that they were unable, at the moment, to resist it. Kosciusko was appointed Commander-in-Chief, and he issued an order for the rising of the people in every quarter of Poland, and for their hastening to his flag. At first, the enthusiasm of the call to liberty and to the rescue of the common country gave some brilliant successes. Kosciusko, on his march from Cracow to Warsaw, at the head of only four thousand men, encountered a Russian army of upwards of twelve thousand, and defeated it with a slaughter of three thousand of the enemy. On the 17th of March, 1794, the Polish troops in Warsaw attacked the Russian garrison, eight thousand strong, and slaughtering more than half of them, drove the rest out of the city, and Kosciusko marched in soon afterwards. A week later the population of Lithuania, Kosciusko's native province, rose, and drove the Russians with much slaughter from Wilna, its capital. But this could not save Poland: its three mighty oppressors were pouring down their multitudinous legions on every portion of the doomed country. The Emperor of Austria marched an army into Little Poland at the end of June, and an army of fifty thousand Russians and Prussians was in full march on Warsaw. For a time, Kosciusko repulsed them, and committed great havoc upon them on the 27th of July; again, on the 1st and 3rd of August. At the same time, Generals Dombrowski, Prince Joseph Poniatowski, and other Polish generals, were victorious in different quarters, and the King of Prussia was compelled to draw off his army, forty thousand strong, from Warsaw, in order to recover Great Poland. This gleam of success on the part of the Poles, however, was but momentary. Their army in Lithuania, commanded by corrupt, gambling, and gormandising nobles, was beaten at all points by the Russians, and driven out of Wilna on the 12th of August. At the same time, the savage Suvaroff, the man who had cried "Glory to God and the Empress!" over the ruthless massacre of Ismail, was marching down on Warsaw. Kosciusko had unwisely weakened his army by sending a strong detachment under Dombrowski into Great Poland, and, attacking a Russian force under Count Fersen, at Macziewice, about fifty miles from Warsaw, on the 17th of September, he was utterly routed. He had only about twenty thousand men, whilst Fersen had at least sixty thousand. But Kosciusko was anxious to prevent the arrival of Suvaroff before the engagement, and thus rushed into battle with this fatal inequality of strength. He was left for dead on the field, but was discovered to be alive, and was sent prisoner to St. Petersburg, where he was confined till the accession of the Emperor Paul, who set him at liberty. The fall of Kosciusko was the fall of Poland. Not even Kosciusko could have saved it; but this catastrophe made the fatal end obvious and speedy. Still the Poles struggled on bravely against such overwhelming forces for some months. The ultimate partition treaty was at length signed on the 24th of October, 1795; some particulars regarding Cracow, however, not being settled between Prussia and Austria till the 21st of October, 1796. Stanislaus Augustus was compelled to abdicate, and he retired, after the death of Catherine, to St. Petersburg, with a pension of two hundred thousand ducats a year. He died there in the month of February, 1798, only about fifteen months after his former mistress, the Czarina. And thus Poland was blotted out of the map of nations. 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.

The tidings of this disaster roused the people of England to a pitch of desperation. The Ministers were condemned for their gross neglect and imbecile procrastination, and Byng was execrated as a coward and a traitor. Meanwhile, the most culpable man of all, Newcastle, was trembling with terror, and endeavouring to find a scapegoat somewhere. Fox was equally trembling, lest Newcastle should make that scapegoat of him. He declared to Dodington that he had urged Newcastle to send succour to Minorca as early as Christmas, and that Cumberland had joined him in urging this, to no purpose. He asserted that Newcastle ought to answer for it. "Yes," replied Dodington, "unless he can find some one to make a scapegoat of." This was the very fear that was haunting Fox, and he hastened, in October, to the king, and resigned the seals. This was a severe blow to Newcastle, and he immediately thought of Murray to succeed him; but, unfortunately, Sir Dudley Ryder, the Lord Chief Justice, just then having died, Murray had fixed his ambition on occupying his seat on the bench. They were obliged to give it to him, with the title[123] of Mansfield, or make a mortal enemy of him. Newcastle then thought of conciliating Pitt. Pitt refused to belong to any Ministry at all in which Newcastle remained. Newcastle, in his perplexity, next tried Lord Egmont, and even old Granville, but both declined the honour; and not a man being to be found who would serve under him, he was compelled most reluctantly to resign. He had certainly presided over the destinies of the nation far too long.

The Ministry being complete, Parliament met on the 2nd of December. It was found that the new Administration had not that influence in the boroughs that Newcastle, who had cultivated it, had; and several members of the Cabinet, Pitt amongst them, had difficulty in getting returned, as was the case with Charles Townshend. In the king's speech, his Majesty was made to speak of the militia, which he was known by everybody to hold in sovereign contempt, as the best and most constitutional means of national defence. He announced also that he had ordered the return of the Hanoverian troops to their own country; and the Duke of Devonshire inserted in the Address from the Lords an expression of thanks for having brought these troops over. Pitt had declared that he would quit the Cabinet if such a vote was passed, and Temple came hurrying down to the HousePitt being absent from the Commons with the goutand declared that he had quitted a sick bed to protest against it. This was an unlucky beginning. It was clear that there was want of unity in the Cabinet at its very birth, and out-of-doors the people were loudly complaining of the scarcity of food, and bread riots were frequent. The king himself could not help ridiculing the speech his new Ministers had composed for him; and a poor printer being arrested for putting another speech into his mouth, George said he hoped the man might receive very lenient punishment, for, as far as he could understand either of the speeches, he thought the printer's the best. To abate the ferment out-of-doors, the Commons passed two Bills: one prohibiting the export of grain, flour, or biscuit; the other prohibiting, for several months, distillation from wheat or barley.