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      ** See the act in Observations de Sir L. H. Lafontaine,Misery and privation in large masses of people naturally engender disaffection, and predispose to rebellion; and this was the state of things in Ireland at the beginning of the memorable year of 1848. O'Connell had passed away from the scene. On the 28th of January, 1847, he left Ireland, never to return. He went to London for the purpose of attending his Parliamentary duties, but shortly after his arrival there he went for benefit of his health to Hastings. But a still greater change of scene and climate was found necessary, and he embarked for France, and proceeding to Paris, he was received with great consideration by the Marquis of Normanby, and other distinguished persons. In reply to a complimentary address from the electoral committee, of which Montalembert was chairman, O'Connell said, "Sickness and emotion close my mouth. I would require the eloquence of your president to express to you all my gratitude. But it is impossible for me to say what I feel. Know, simply, that I regard this demonstration on your part as one of the most significant events of my life." He went from Paris to Lyons, where he[562] became much weaker. In all the French churches prayers were offered on behalf of "Le clbre Irlandais, et le grand librateur d'Irlande." At Marseilles he became rather better; but at Genoa death arrested his progress. He expired on the 15th of May (1847), apparently suffering little pain. He was on his way to Rome, intending to pay his homage in person to Pius IX., but finding this impossible, he ordered that his heart might be sent to Rome, and his body to Ireland. It has been remarked that O'Connell was the victim of the Irish famine, and that its progress might have been learnt from the study of his face. The buoyancy had gone out of his step; he had become a stooping and a broken-down man, shuffling along with difficulty, his features betraying despondency and misery. His memory was respected by Englishmen, because of the devotion of his life to the service of his country. Born of a conquered race and a persecuted religion, conscious of great energies and great talents, he resolved to make every Irishman the equal of every Englishman. After the labours of a quarter of a century he obtained Catholic Emancipation.

      The number of Railway Acts passed during the first half of the century was more than 1,000; and the sums which Parliament authorised the various companies to expend in the construction of railways from 1826 to 1849 amounted to the enormous total of 348,012,188, the yearly average being 14,500,508. The Liverpool and Manchester Company was the first that contemplated the conveyance of passengers, which, however, was regarded as a sort of subsidiary traffic, that might produce some 20,000 a year, the main reliance being on the conveyance of raw cotton, manufactured goods, coals, and cattle. It need not be remarked how widely the result differed from their anticipation. The receipts from passengers in 1840 amounted to 343,910, and it was estimated that the saving to the public on that line[421] alone was nearly a quarter of a million annually. But as yet the system was in its infancy, though the broad gauge had been introduced by Brunel in 1833.

      Britain had seen her Continental Allies fall away one by one. The time was now approaching when some good allies might have been very useful to herself, if such people were ever to be found. We have seen that, during the American Revolution, the rebellious colonists found admirable allies in the Irish. They had no difficulty in exciting disturbances amongst that ardent Celtic race, and thus greatly to augment our difficulties. No sooner did the French commence the work of revolution than the Irish became transported with admiration of their doings. Not all the bloodshed and horrors of that wild drama could abate their delight in them, and their desire to invite them over to liberate Ireland, as they had liberated Belgium. These views found expression in the north of Ireland, especially in Belfast and other places, where the population was Presbyterian and to a certain extent Republican. The Roman Catholics were inert, and disposed to wait patiently. Ever since the American revolt the necessity of conciliating the Irish had been impressed on the British Government, and many important concessions had been granted them. They had not yet obtained Catholic emancipation, but the public mind was ripening for it, and the chief difficulty was the opposition of the extreme Protestant party in the Irish Parliament. Whatever were the evils which England had inflicted on Ireland, they were nothing compared with those which French fraternity would have perpetrated. But the United Irishmen, as the revolutionaries called themselves, could see nothing of this, not even after all the world had witnessed the French mode of liberating Belgium, and French waggons, guarded by soldiers, were day after day, and month after month, bearing over the Alps the priceless chefs-d'?uvre of the arts from ravaged Italy. In the spring of 1798 the preparations of the French Directory for the invasion of Ireland were too open and notorious to be overlooked by anybody.The debate was fixed for the 9th of February, on which day it was moved that the House should resolve itself into a committee on the propositions of the Government. Mr. P. Miles moved, as an amendment, that the House should go into committee on that day twelvemonth. The debate occupied twelve nights, in the course of which every species of vituperation was hurled at the Minister by the monopolist party. Mr. Beresford Hope denounced him as an apostate. Major Fitzmaurice thought the farmers might as well die by the manly system of Mr. Cobden as by the mincemeal interference of the right hon. baronet. Another member compared the Minister to a counsel who, after taking a fee for advocating one side, took the other when the case came into court. Mr. Disraeli attacked with great vehemence and bitterness the Ministerial proposals, and pointed to the "sad spectacle" of the Minister surrounded by a majority who, while they gave him their votes, protested in their speeches against his policy. Lord George Bentinck, who, in the many years he had hitherto been in Parliament, had never before taken part in any debate of importance, surprised the House on the last night of the debate by delivering a long and elaborate speech against the measure, in which he charged the Minister with "swindling" and deceptiona speech which at once marked him out for one of the leaders of the new Opposition.


      By the terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussian Poland was taken away, but not to be incorporated with a restored Poland, as Buonaparte had delusively allowed the Poles to hope. No; a restored Poland was incompatible with a treaty of peace with Russia, or the continuance of it with Austria. It was handed over to the Duke of Saxony, now elevated to the title of the King of Saxony and Duke of the Grand Duchy of Warsawthe name which Prussian Poland assumed. The duped Polish patriots cursed Buonaparte bitterly in secret. Alexander, with all his assumed sympathy for his fallen cousins of Prussia, came in for a slice of the spoil, nominally to cover the expenses of the war. Dantzic, with a certain surrounding district, was recognised as a free city, under the protection of Prussia and Saxony; but Buonaparte took care to stipulate for the retention of a garrison there till the conclusion of a general peace, so as to stop out any British armament or influence. To oblige the Emperor of Russia, he allowed the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who were the Czar's relations, to retain possession of their territories; but he returned to Prussia only about one-half of the provinces which he had seized, reducing her very much to the limits in which Frederick the Great had found her before his usurpations. She surrendered her provinces between the Rhine and the Elbe, which, together with Hesse, Brunswick, and part of Hanover, were formed into the kingdom of Westphalia and given to Jerome Buonaparte. She was saddled by a crushing war indemnity, and had to leave Berlin and the chief fortresses in the hands of the French until the debt was paid. In the articles of the Treaty which were made public, Alexander paid a nominal courtesy to his ally, Great Britain, by offering to mediate between her and France, if the offer were accepted within a month; but amongst the secret articles of the Treaty was one binding the Czar to shut his ports against all British vessels, if this offer were rejected. This was a sacrifice demanded of Alexander, as Great Britain was Russia's best customer, taking nearly all her raw or exported produce. In return for this, and for Alexander's connivance at, or assistance in, Buonaparte's intention of seizing on Spain and Portugal, for the taking of Malta and Gibraltar, and the expulsion of the British from the Mediterranean, Alexander was to invade and[546] annex Finland, the territory of Sweden, and, giving up his designs on Moldavia and Wallachia, for which he was now waging an unprovoked war, he was to be allowed to conquer the rest of Turkey, the ally of Napoleon, and establish himself in the long-coveted Constantinople. Thus these two august robbers shared kingdoms at their own sweet will and pleasure. Turkey and Finland they regarded as properly Russian provinces, and Spain, Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, and, eventually, Britain, as provinces of France.

      The king had recently ordered that the intendant, though holding only the third rank in the 48 council, should act as its president. [8] The commission of Duchesneau, however, empowered him to preside only in the absence of the governor; [9] while Frontenac is styled "chief and president of the council" in several of the despatches addressed to him. Here was an inconsistency. Both parties claimed the right of presiding, and both could rest their claim on a clear expression of the royal will.

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      The two persons under the heaviest charges received the two most important appointments: Bourdon, attorney-general, and Villeray, keeper of

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      livres, besides blighting the colonies placed under its


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