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  • 周易八卦与彩票预测软件

    THE PETERLOO MASSACRE: HUSSARS CHARGING THE PEOPLE. (See p. 151.)As the wind was light, the British vessels set their studding-sails, and bore down steadily on the enemy. There were of the British twenty-seven sail of the line, four frigates, one schooner, and one cutter. Of the French and Spaniards there were thirty-three sail of the line, five frigates, and two brigs; but the French vessels were in far superior condition to the old weather-worn ones of Nelson. The French had two thousand six hundred and twenty-six guns, Nelson two thousand one hundred and forty-eight. Collingwood's line first came into contact with the enemy in the Royal Sovereign, and was speedily in the midst of a desperate conflict. It was some time before Nelson's line got up, and Collingwood, amid the din of cannon and the crash of spars, turned to his captain, and said, "Rotherham, what would not Nelson give to be here?" It was just past twelve o'clock at noon as Collingwood's vessel came to close quarters with the Spanish flagship, Santa Anna, and it was more than a quarter of an hour before Nelson's ship came close up to the stupendous four-decker Spaniard, the Santissima Trinidad. He was soon in a terrible contest not only with this great ship, but with the Bucentaure, of eighty guns, the Neptune, of eighty guns, and the Redoubtable, of seventy-four guns. The Victory and Redoubtable were fast entangled together by their hooks and boom-irons, and kept up the most destructive fire into each other with double-shotted cannon. Both ships took fire; that in the Victory was extinguished, but the Redoubtable finally went down. But it was from the mizen top-mast of this vessel that one of the riflemen marked out Nelson by his stars, and shot him down. He fell on the deck, on the spot where his secretary, John Scott, had fallen dead just before. Captain Hardy, to whom Nelson had shortly before said, "Hardy, this is too warm work to last long," stooped, and observed that he hoped that he was not severely wounded. He replied, "Yes, they have done for me at last, Hardy." Hardy said he hoped not. "Yes," he answered; "my back-bone is shot through." He was carried down to the cock-pit, amongst the wounded and the dying, and laid in a midshipman's berth. The ball was found to have entered the left shoulder and to have lodged in the spine; the wound was mortal. For an hour the battle went on in its terrible fury, as the dying hero lay amid those expiring or wounded around him. He often inquired for Captain Hardy, but Hardy found it impossible, in the midst of one of the fiercest and most mortal strifes that ever was wagedthe incessant cannonades sweeping away men, masts, tackle at every momentto go down. When he was able to do it, Nelson asked how the battle went. Hardy replied, "Well, fourteen or fifteen vessels had struck." "That is well," said Nelson; "but I bargained for twenty." He then told Hardy to anchor, foreseeing that a gale was coming on; and Hardy observed that Admiral Collingwood would now take the command. At this the old commander blazed forth in the dying man for a moment. He endeavoured to raise himself in the bed, saying, "Not while I live, Hardy! No, do you anchor!" And he bade Hardy signal to the fleet this order. His last words were again to recommend Lady Hamilton and his daughter to his country, and to repeat several times, "Thank God, I have done my duty!"
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    During this year little was done in America. General Bradstreet defeated a body of the enemy on the River Onondaga, and, on the other hand, the French took the two small forts of Ontario and Oswego.

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    The distress which had pressed so severely on the people, and which had set them thinking about the most perilous political changes, was intimately connected with the state of the country. Throughout the troubled period of almost incessant war and lavish expenditure between 1797 and 1815, the business of the nation was carried on with an inconvertible paper currency, the precious metals having nearly all departed from the country. Bank notes were issued in such quantities, to meet the exigencies of the Government, that the prices of all commodities were nearly doubled. The Bill which was passed in 1819 providing for the resumption of cash payments had reduced the currency from 48,278,070, which was its amount in 1819, to 26,588,000, in 1822. The consequence was the reduction of prices in the meantime, at the rate of fifty per cent., in all the articles of production and commerce. With this tremendous fall of prices, the amount of liabilities remained unchanged; rents, taxes, and encumbrances were to be paid according to the letter of the contract, while the produce and commoditiesthe sale of which was relied upon to pay themdid not produce more than half the amount that they would have brought at the time of the contracts. The evil of this sudden change was aggravated by the South American Revolution, in consequence of which the annual supply of the precious metals was reduced to a third of its former amount. It was peculiarly unfortunate that this stoppage in the supply of gold and silver occurred at the very time that the Legislature had adopted the principle that paper currency should be regarded as strictly representing gold, and should be at any moment convertible into sovereigns. A paper currency should never be allowed[238] to exceed the available property which it represents, but it is not necessary that its equivalent in gold should be lying idle in the coffers of the Bank, ready to be paid out at any moment the public should be seized with a foolish panic. It is enough that the credit of the State should be pledged for the value of the notes, and that credit should not be strained beyond the resources at its command. The close of 1822 formed the turning-point in the industrial condition of the country. The extreme cheapness of provisions, after three years of comparative privation, enabled those engaged in manufacturing pursuits to purchase many commodities which they had hitherto not been able to afford. This caused a gradual revival of trade, which was greatly stimulated by the opening of new markets for our goods, especially in South America, to which our exports were nearly trebled in value between 1818 and 1823, when the independence of the South American Republics had been established. The confidence of the commercial world was reassured by the conviction that South America would prove an unfailing Dorado for the supply of the precious metals. The bankers, therefore, became more accommodating; the spirit of enterprise again took possession of the national mind, and there was a general expansion of industry by means of a freer use of capital, which gave employment and contentment to the people. This effect was materially promoted by the Small Note Bill which was passed in July, 1822, extending for ten years longer the period during which small notes were to be issued; its termination having been fixed by Peel's Bill for 1823. The average of bank-notes in circulation in 1822 was 17,862,890. In November of the following year it had increased by nearly two millions. The effect of this extension of the small note circulation upon prices was remarkable. Wheat rose from 38s. to 52s., and in 1824 it mounted up to 64s. In the meantime the bullion in the Bank of England increased so much that whereas in 1819 it had been only 3,595,360, in January, 1824, it amounted to 14,200,000. The effect of all these causes combined was the commencement of a reign of national prosperity, which burst upon the country like a brilliant morning sun, chasing away the chilling fogs of despondency, and dissipating the gloom in the popular mind.
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    Many improvements were made also in the glass manufacture during this reign, and more would undoubtedly have been made but for the very heavy duties upon it to help to support the ruinous wars of the period. In 1760, the first year of the reign, crown glass is said to have been introduced. In 1763 the first glass plates for looking-glasses and coach-windows were made at Lambeth. In 1779 flint-glass was first made; and about that time plate-glass. The duties on different kinds of glass at that date were about one hundred and forty thousand pounds per annum. So oppressive were those duties that, in 1785, the St. Helens Plate-glass Company petitioned Parliament, stating that, in consequence of the weight of taxation, notwithstanding an expenditure of one hundred thousand pounds, they had not been able to declare a dividend.
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    Nelson, having blockaded the port of Alexandria, sailed to Naples to repair. There he received the news of the intense rejoicing his victory had spread through England, and that he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile. He found Ferdinand of Naples already collecting an army to drive the French from Rome and Tuscany. Austria, Switzerland, and other countries were again in arms. The Treaty of Campo Formio was at an end by the French violation of it everywhere, and as it was supposed that Buonaparte would never be allowed to get back again, the spirit of Europe had revived. Nelson, allowing himself as little repose as possible, in November had made himself master of the Island of Gozo, separated only by a narrow channel from Malta. He had blockaded Malta itself, and it must soon surrender. Pitt, elated by Nelson's success, and in consequence of the death of the old czarina, Catherine, some two years earlier, now entered into a treaty with her successor, Paul, who was subsidised by a hundred and twelve thousand pounds a month, and great expectations were raised of the effect of his victorious general, Suvaroff, leading an army into Italy. The other members of the second grand coalition were Austria, the Princes of Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. Prussia weakly held aloof. When the British Parliament met on the 20th of November, the late victory and this new alliance with Russia were the themes of congratulation from the throne. Twenty-nine million two hundred and seventy-two thousand pounds were granted with alacrity for the ensuing year, and the nation willingly submitted to the imposition of a new impostthe income tax.

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    Sir Henry Clinton had for some time been aware of the real destination of the united forces of Washington and Rochambeau. He must have seen that there was a determined resolve to crush, by the most powerful combination of American and French forces, the army in the south, and every exertion should have been made by him, with fleet and army, to release Cornwallis from his peril. But, instead of sending direct reinforcements to Cornwallis, and ordering the fleet to engage the enemy's attention, and, if possible, defeat De Grasse in the Chesapeake, he concocted a diversion in Connecticut with Arnold, which he fondly hoped would recall Washington. Sir Henry Clinton contemplated further expeditionsfirst against the Rhode Island fleet, and next against Philadelphia; but these never came off, and matters were now every day assuming such an aspect as should have stimulated him to some direct assistance to Cornwallis.
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    The art of coining received, like other things, a new facility and perfection from the application of the steam-engine. Messrs. Boulton and Watt, at the Soho Works, set up machinery, in 1788, which rolled out the metal, cut out the blanks, or circular pieces, shook them in bags to take off the rough edges, and stamped the coinsin higher perfection than ever before attainedat the rate of from thirty to forty thousand per hour.

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    Peel has been even more severely censured than the Duke of Wellington for the part he took on this memorable occasion. He wrote a long letter to the Duke, in which he earnestly[283] protested against taking charge of the Emancipation Bill in the House of Commons, offering, at the same time, to give it his earnest support. He also offered to resign, as a means of removing one obstacle to the adjustment which the interests of the country demanded. The letter concluded as follows: "I do not merely volunteer my retirement at whatever may be the most convenient time, I do not merely give you the promise that out of office (be the sacrifices that I foresee, private and public, what they may) I will cordially co-operate with you in the settlement of this question, and cordially support your Government; but I add to this my decided and deliberate opinion that it will tend to the satisfactory adjustment of the question if the originating of it in the House of Commons and the general superintendence of its progress be committed to other hands than mine." And in his "Memoirs" he remarks: "Twenty years have elapsed since the above letter was written. I read it now with the full testimony of my own heart and conscience to the perfect sincerity of the advice which I then gave, and the declarations which I then made; with the same testimony, also, to the fact that that letter was written with a clear foresight of the penalties to which the course I resolved to take would expose methe rage of party, the rejection by the University of Oxford, the alienation of private friends, the interruption of family affections. Other penalties, such as the loss of office and of royal favour, I would not condescend to notice if they were not the heaviest in the estimation of vulgar and low-minded men, incapable of appreciating higher motives of public conduct. My judgment may be erroneous. From the deep interest I have in the result (though now only so far as future fame is concerned), it cannot be impartial; yet, surely, I do not err in believing that when the various circumstances on which my decision was taken are calmly and dispassionately consideredthe state of political partiesthe recent discussions in Parliamentthe result of the Clare election, and the prospects which it openedthe earnest representations and emphatic warnings of the chief governor of Irelandthe evils, rapidly increasing, of divided counsels in the Cabinet, and of conflicting decisions in the two Houses of Parliamentthe necessity for some systematic and vigorous course of policy in respect to Irelandthe impossibility, even if it were wise, that that policy should be one of coercionsurely, I do not err in believing that I shall not hereafter be condemned for having heedlessly and precipitously, still less for having dishonestly and treacherously, counselled the attempt to adjust the long litigated question, that had for so many years precluded the cordial co-operation of public men, and had left Ireland the arena for fierce political conflicts, annually renewed, without the means of authoritative interposition on the part of the Crown."
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