李国英:抢抓机遇加快推进项目建设 持续提升基础设施支撑能力

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Thus was another glorious chance for the utter dispersion of the American army thrown away by this most incompetent commander; and, as Washington saw that he had nothing to fear during the winter, except from the elements, he determined to encamp himself, so as to keep the British in constant anxiety about him. He selected a strong piece of ground at a place called Valley Forge, covered with wood. He set his soldiers to fell trees and make log-huts, the interstices of which they stopped with moss, and daubed up with clay. As they had plenty of fuel, they could thus pass the winter in some degree of comfort. A great number of his men were on the verge of the expiration of their term, and were impatient to return home; but he persuaded many to remain, and he employed them in throwing up entrenchments on the right of his camp, which was open towards the plain. His left was defended by the Schuylkill, and his rear by a steep precipice[240] descending to the Valley Creek. He began two redoubts, but he soon saw that there was no fear of Howe moving so long as the winter lasted, and he left them unfinished. And thus the winter went over, Howe lying snugly at Philadelphia, enjoying his wine and his cards, and apparently forgetful that there was any such place as Valley Forge within five-and-twenty miles of him.

THE COSSACK'S CHALLENGE. (See p. 42.)

But long before thisas early, indeed, as the 15th of Aprilnews had reached London of the death of the erratic Emperor Paul, and of the bombardment of Copenhagen by the British fleet. Paul had been won over by Buonaparte to his views, and had been flattered by him by being electedthough irregularly and illegallyGrand-Master of the Knights of Malta. He had been persuaded that the conquest of Malta by the British was an invasion of his rights, and by these and other flatteries Buonaparte had influenced his weak mind to become the agent of his plans in destroying the British ships in the Baltic, and in closing that sea to British commerce. Paul pretended that we had captured Danish convoys, these same convoys being engaged in guarding vessels loaded with materials of war for France, and that thus the independence of the North was menaced by us. On this ground, and on that of the invasion of Malta, he immediately laid an embargo on all British vessels in Russian ports, and as two vessels in the harbour of Narva resisted the attempts to seize them, in consequence of the embargo, he ordered all the British vessels in that port to be burned. In consequence of this sudden and unwarrantable order, contrary to all the laws of nations, about three hundred British vessels were seized, and the officers and crews dragged on shore, put into irons, and sent up the country under menaces of Siberia. Paul next ordered all property of Englishmen in Russia to be seized and sold. Denmarkwith whom we had various rencontres, on account of its men-of-war convoying vessels laden with stores for French portssoon joined Russia. We sent Lord Whitworth to Copenhagen to endeavour to come to some understanding on these matters in 1800, but though a convention was signed, it was not satisfactory. Sweden followed the example of Denmark, and the three Northern Powers entered into a treaty of armed neutrality to resist our search of their vessels in any circumstances. As the consequence of this policy would be to shut us out of all trade with the ports of the Baltic, it was resolved to send a fleet to chastise these Powers and break up their co-operation with France. Mr. Vansittart was despatched to Copenhagen, accompanied by a fleet of eighteen sail of the line, with several frigates and smaller vessels, under command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, with Vice-Admiral Nelson as second. The fleet left the Yarmouth Roads on the 12th of March, 1801, and arriving at the mouth of the Sound, Nelson recommended that they should sail directly up to Copenhagen, and be prepared, on the refusal of our proposals, to bombard the place, as this would not allow them time to get ready their batteries, and thus do all the more damage to our ships and men. But this was deemed too offensive before any attempt at negotiation, and accordingly Mr. Vansittart was sent forward in a frigate with a flag of truce, leaving the fleet at the Scaw. He returned without effecting anything more than what Nelson anticipated. Sir Hyde Parker wasted time in making[481] the needless inquiry by a flag of truce of the Governor of Elsinore, whether the passage of the Sound would be disputed, who replied that it would. It was then proposed to enter by the Belt. Nelson said:"Let it be by the Sound, or the Belt, or anyhowonly don't let us lose an hour."