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    Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Swedenwith all the military ardour of Charles XII., but without his military talent; with all the chivalry of an ancient knight, but at the head of a kingdom diminished and impoverishedhad resisted Buonaparte as proudly as if he were monarch of a nation of the first magnitude. He refused to fawn on Napoleon; he did not hesitate to denounce him as the curse of all Europe. He was the only king in Europe, except that of Great Britain, who withstood the marauder. He was at peace with Great Britain, but Alexander of Russia, who had for his own purposes made an alliance with Napoleon, called on him to shut out the British vessels from the Baltic. Gustavus indignantly refused, though he was at the same time threatened with invasion by France, whose troops, under Bernadotte, already occupied Denmark. At once he found Finland invaded by sixty thousand Russians, without any previous declaration of war. Finland was lost, and Alexander saw his treachery rewarded with the possession of a country larger than Great Britain, and with the whole eastern coast of the Baltic, from Tornea to Memel; the ?land Isles were also conquered and appropriated at this time. The unfortunate Gustavus, whose high honour and integrity of principle stood in noble contrast to those of most of the crowned heads of Europe, was not only deposed for his misfortunes, but his line deprived of the crown for ever. This took place in March, 1809. The unfortunate monarch was long confined in the castle of Gripsholm, where he was said to have been visited by the apparition of King Eric XIV. He was then permitted to retire into Germany, where, disdainfully refusing a pension, he divorced his wife, the sister of the Empress of Russia, assumed the name of Colonel Gustavson, and went, in proud poverty, to live in Switzerland. These events led to the last of Sweden's great transactions on the field of Europe, and by far the most extraordinary of all.

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    On the following evening Lord Melbourne, having explained why he resigned, said, "And now, my lords, I frankly declare that I resume office unequivocally and solely for this reason, that I will not abandon my Sovereign in a situation[463] of difficulty and distress, and especially when a demand is made upon her Majesty with which I think she ought not to complya demand, in my opinion, inconsistent with her personal honour, and which, if acquiesced in, would make her reign liable to all the changes and variations of political parties, and render her domestic life one constant scene of unhappiness and discomfort." The Whigs, therefore, returned to office, but not to power.

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    The formidable organisation of the Roman Catholics led to a counter organisation of the Protestants, in the form of Brunswick Clubs. This organisation embraced the whole of the Protestant peasantry, north and south, the Protestant farmers, and many of the gentry. They, too, held their regular meetings, had their exciting[284] oratory, and passed strong resolutions, condemnatory of the inaction of the Government, which was charged with neglecting its first and most imperative dutythe protection of society from lawless violence. The Brunswickers, as well as the Emancipators, had their "rent" to bear the expenses of the agitation. They alleged that they were obliged to organise in self-defence, and in defence of the Constitution. In Ulster the country was divided into two camps, Catholic and Protestant. Notwithstanding the difference in numbers, the Protestants of Ulster were eager to encounter their antagonists in the field, and had not the slightest doubt of being able to beat them. They had all the proud confidence of a dominant race, and regarded the military pretensions of their antagonists as scornfully as the Turks would have regarded similar pretensions on the part of the Greeks. The feeling on both sides was such, that an aggression upon the Protestants in the south would have called forth 100,000 armed men in the north; and an aggression upon the Catholics in Ulster would have produced a similar effect among the Catholics in Munster. The number of Protestants in favour of Emancipation constituted but a small minority. The great mass were against concession. They believed that an insurrection would be the most satisfactory solution of the difficulty. With the aid of the army they felt that they were able to crush the "Papists," as they had been crushed in 1798, and then they hoped they would be quiet for at least another generation, resuming what they considered their proper position as "sole-leather." They forgot, however, the increase in their numbers, their property, and their intelligence. They forgot the growth of a middle class amongst them; the increased power and influence of the hierarchy, and the formidable band of agitators supplied by the Roman Catholic bar, whose members, many of them men of commanding abilities and large practice, were excluded by their creed from the Bench; which exclusion filled the minds of the ambitious with a burning sense of wrong, and made it their interest to devise all possible modes of evading the law, while keeping the country on the verge of insurrection.

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