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The secession of the Duke of Savoy only the more roused the indignation of the Allies. The Dutch breathed a hotter spirit of war just as their power of carrying it on failed; and even the experienced Heinsius made an energetic oration in the States General, declaring that all the fruits of the war would be lost if they consented to the peace proposed. But to avoid it was no longer possible. The English plenipotentiaries pressed the Allies more and more zealously to come in, so much so that they were scarcely safe from the fury of the Dutch populace, who insulted the Earl of Strafford and the Marquis del Borgo, the Minister of the Duke of Savoy, when the news came that the duke had consented to the peace. Every endeavour was made to detach the different Allies one by one. Mr. Thomas Harley was sent to the Elector of Hanover to persuade him to co-operate with her Majesty; but, notwithstanding all risk of injuring his succession to the English Crown, he declined. Similar attempts were made[8] on the King of Prussia and other princes, and with similar results. The English Ministers now began to see the obstacles they had created to the conclusion of a general peace by their base desertion of the Allies. The French, rendered more than ever haughty in their demands by the successes of Villars, raised their terms as fast as any of the Allies appeared disposed to close with those already offered. The Dutch, convinced at length that England would make peace without them, and was bending every energy to draw away their confederates, in October expressed themselves ready to treat, and to yield all pretensions to Douay, Valenciennes, and Mauberg, on condition that Cond茅 and Tournay were included in their barrier; that the commercial tariffs with France should be restored to what they were in 1664; that Sicily should be yielded to Austria, and Strasburg to the Empire. But the French treated these concessions with contempt, and Bolingbroke was forced to admit to Prior that they treated like pedlars, or, what was worse, like attorneys. He conjured Prior "to hide the nakedness of his country" in his intercourse with the French Ministers, and to make the best of the blunders of his countrymen, admitting that they were not much better politicians than the French were poets. But the fault of Bolingbroke and his colleagues was not want of talent, it was want of honesty; and, by their selfish desire to damage their political rivals, they had brought their country into this deplorable dilemma of sacrificing all faith with their allies, of encouraging the unprincipled disposition of the French, who were certain to profit by the division of the Allies, and of abandoning the glory and position of England, or confessing that the Whigs, however much they had erred in entering on such enormous wars, had in truth brought them to the near prospect of a far more satisfactory conclusion than what they were taking up with..
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On the 8th of March, 1801, General Sir Ralph Abercromby landed in Egypt, where Nelson had fought the battle of Aboukir. Menou brought down against the British twelve or fourteen thousand men, including a fine body of cavalry. Sir Ralph Abercromby landed only about ten thousand in effective order, but these were men full of ardour and disciplined to perfection. On the 8th of March they landed in face of the French, five thousand being put on shore at once, these returning no single shot whilst in the boats, though assailed by fifteen pieces of artillery from the opposite hill, and by grape-shot from Aboukir Castle. They were led on by General (afterwards Sir John) Moore; and running, or climbing on hands and knees, up the steep sand-hills, they drove the French from their cannon, and seized them. The French retreated, and posted themselves on some heights between Aboukir and Alexandria. On the 19th, having compelled Fort Aboukir to surrender, General Abercromby advanced, and found Menou had concentrated all his forces between them and Alexandria. On the 21st of March a general engagement took place. It commenced as early as three o'clock in the morning, whilst quite dark, by an attack on the British left, which was meant to draw all attention to that quarter, then a desperate charge was made on the right by the main body of the French cavalry, which hoped to get into the rear of the British infantry; but the attempted surprise failed: the French were driven back with great loss. As the day dawned the battle became general, and the French found themselves opposed not only by accustomed British doggedness, but by a precision of fire and an adroitness of man?uvre which astonished them. By ten o'clock the French were in full flight for Alexandria, leaving seventeen hundred men on the field. The loss of the British was stated at fourteen hundred killed and wounded; and, unfortunately, the brave Abercromby was killed. To complete the success, the Capitan Pacha's fleet in a few days brought a Turkish army of between five and six thousand men, and the Grand Vizier, posted at El Arish, began to march towards Cairo. General Hutchinson, now chief in command of the British army, hastened to join the Grand Vizier; but before he could accomplish this, he had to drive four thousand French from a fortified camp at Ramaneeh, and meanwhile five thousand French rushed out of Cairo and attacked the Grand Vizier. On the 27th of June Cairo capitulated, General Belliard obtaining the condition that his troops should be conveyed to the ports of France on the Mediterranean with their arms and baggage; yet they left behind them three hundred and thirteen heavy cannon and one hundred thousand pounds of gunpowder. On the 8th of June General Baird had landed at Cosseir on the Red Sea with his Indian army, and was marching through the burning desert for Cairo. Menou, cooped up at Alexandria, found it useless to contend further and, before Baird could join the main army, capitulated on the same terms as Belliard, and the Egyptian campaign was at an end. The news of the French expulsion reached France sooner than it did England, and created a strong sensation.[484].
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Here, then, our history of the political transactions of the reign of George III. terminates. That reign really terminated in 1811, with the appointment of the Regency, which continued the ruling power during the remainder of his life. From that date it is really the history of the Regency that we have been prosecuting. But this was necessary to maintain the unity of the narrative of that most unexampled struggle which was involving the very existence of every nation in Europe. Of all this the poor old, blind, and deranged king knew nothing鈥攈ad no concern with it. The reins of power had fallen from his hands for ever: his "kingdom was taken from him, and given to another." He had lived to witness the rending away of the great western branch of his empire, and the sun of his intellect went down in the midst of that tempest which threatened to lay in ruins every dynasty around him. We have watched and detailed that mighty shaking of the nations to its end. The events of the few remaining years during which George III. lived but did not rule, were of a totally different character and belong to a totally different story. They are occupied by the national distresses consequent on the war, and the efforts for reform, stimulated by these distresses, the first[119] chapter of which did not close till the achievement of the Reform Bill in 1832..
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One important result of this terrible distress was to force on emigration to a large extent, and thus to people the American States. Emigration at that time was without any guidance, and the result was a vast amount of disappointment and suffering among the emigrants. Consequently, Mr. Wilmot Horton moved for a select committee to inquire into the expediency of encouraging emigration from the United Kingdom. The committee was appointed, and presented its report and evidence before the dissolution of Parliament, with a recommendation that the subject should be pursued without loss of time.
The year 1773 opened with an inquiry in Parliament into the abuses of the administration of affairs in India. There were great complaints of the wholesale rapacity and oppression perpetrated on the natives by the Company's servants. Before the close of the preceding year, a secret committee had been appointed to inquire into these abuses, and to take the matter out of the hands of Government, the Company proposed to appoint a number of supervisors to go out to India and settle the causes of complaint. The secret committee proposed a Bill to prevent this, as a scheme for merely evading a thorough inquiry and continuing the atrocities. Burke, who was a holder of India stock, defended the Company, and declared that such a Bill would annihilate the Company, and make the House of Commons the Company itself and the Speaker its chairman. He reminded them that the Company paid to Government four hundred thousand pounds a year, and that Government had connived at the maladministration which had been carried on. This certainly was, so far from a reason against the Bill, a reason why they should connive no longer; and the Bill was carried by a large majority.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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