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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 518MB

    Lanuage:Englist

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      CHAPTER III. THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.


      Groaned to be gone.


      SIR THOMAS PICTON.


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      SIGNATURES TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.While these things had been passing in England, the Revolution in France had been making great strides. The Assembly, after its removal to Paris, passed completely under the influence of the violent Jacobin Club, and the work of destruction and reconstitution proceeded with startling rapidity. By the division of France into Departments all the old territorial arrangements and provincial Assemblies were abolished; the judicial system was re-established on a popular basis, and its dependence on the Crown swept away; the Church was made a department of the State, and its vast property sold, chiefly by means of bills payable in Church lands and called assignats. The position of the king became well-nigh intolerable. There was a chance, indeed, that Mirabeau might extricate him from the toils of his enemies. That great man, now reconciled to the Court, advised him to withdraw from the capital, and throw himself upon the conservatism of the country districts. But the death of Mirabeau in April, 1791, deprived Louis of his only wise adviser, and in June he adopted the ill-judged course of flying from Paris, with the object of making his way across the frontier and joining the enemies of his country. The flight was ill-managed, the royal family were arrested at Varennes and brought back as prisoners to Paris, where they were placed under the strictest surveillance.

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      Under Sir Joshua Reynolds a perfect revolution in the art of painting, as practised in England, was effected. He threw aside past traditional fashions, and returned to nature; and his portraits at once excited the consternation of the painters of the day, and placed him in the very first rank of artists. In 1768 was established the Royal Academy, and amongst its foreign members were Benjamin West and Angelica Kauffmann. West produced all his great works in England, and, however much they may now be criticised, they showed an advance on past art in England, and had the merit of introducing modern costume for modern heroes, as in the "Death of General Wolfe," contrary to the advice of even Reynolds himself. Barry made a spasmodic attempt to lead the public back to what he deemed the classical, but in vain; and the successive appearance of Wilson, Gainsborough, and Opie, in different styles, but all genuinely English, established the public in its attachment to the true English school. Wilson, during his lifetime, indeed, was neglected, and died in poverty; but the next generation made the amende to his fame, though too late for his own enjoyment of it. To[202] Paul Sandby we owe the origin of the water-colour school, which afterwards grew so extensive and so rich in production. Amongst eminent painters of this portion of the reign we must mention Wright of Derby, Mortimer, Stubbs and Sawrey, animal painters, and Copley, who, though an American by birth, produced most of his works in England.


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