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      We're very important persons now in `258.' Julia and I come inor husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or

      Connaught 1,418,859 1,465,643 745,652 526,048

      `Mr. Smith prefers that you remain at Lock Willow.The construction of public roads has been greatly improved in the United Kingdom by the general adoption of the plan of Mr. Macadam, who gave his name to the process of substituting stones broken small for the old rough pavement. We read with astonishment of the state of English roads a century ago, of carriages breaking down and sticking fast in deep ruts, and of days passed in a journey which now only occupies as many hours. Yet in early times England was better off in this respect than other countries. Of all the proofs of social progress which the country now exhibits to such a marvellous extent on every side, there is nothing more decisive or more wonderful than the rapidity with which we have improved and extended our internal communication. From 1818 to 1839 the length of turnpike roads in England and Wales was increased by more than 1,000 miles. In the former year England and Wales contained paved streets and turnpike roads to the extent of 19,725 miles. Scotland also made great progress in the construction of highways from the commencement of the century, and roads were thrown across the wildest districts in Ireland. By the improvement of the common roads, and in the construction of vehicles, stage coaches increased their speed from four to ten miles an hour. Upon the Stamp Office returns for 1834 a calculation was based which showed that the extent of travelling on licensed conveyances in that year would be equal to the conveyance of one person for a distance of 597,159,420 miles, or more than six times the distance between the earth and the sun. There were, in 1837, in England, fifty-four mail coaches drawn by four horses each, and forty-nine by two horses each, drawn at an average speed of nine miles an hour. Ireland had at the same time thirty four-horse mails, and Scotland ten.

      The Chartist trials took place at the September Sessions of the Central Criminal Court. The facts disclosed on the trial revealed, to a larger extent than is usual in such cases, how completely the men who are betrayed into such conspiracies are at the mercy of miscreants who incite them to crime for their own base purposes. The witnesses against Cuffey and others of the Chartists were all voluntary spiesthe chief of whom was a person named Powellwho joined the confederacy, aided in its organisation, and had themselves appointed "presidents" and "generals," with the sole purpose of betraying their dupes, in order that they might be rewarded as informers, or, at all events, well paid as witnesses. It was probably by those double traitors that the simultaneous meetings of the clubs were arranged, so that the police might seize them all at the same time. The trial lasted the entire week. On Saturday the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty" against all the prisoners. The sentence was transportation for life. Others were indicted for misdemeanour only, and were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, with fines. About a score of the minor offenders were allowed to plead not guilty, and let out on their own recognisances. And so ended Chartism.CHAPTER XII. TORTURE.

      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."

      years ago. You see I know you intimately, even if we haven'tdecorated with evergreens and holly. Jimmie McBride was dressed


      The fire had soon become general, and a desperate struggle was raging along the whole line. Buonaparte threw column after column forward against the British squares; but they were met with deadly volleys of artillery and musketry, and reeled back amid horrible slaughter. A desperate push was made to carry La Haye Sainte and the farm of Mont St. Jean, on Wellington's left centre, by the cuirassiers, followed by four columns of French infantry. The cuirassiers charged furiously along the Genappe causeway, but were met and hurled back by the heavy British cavalry. The four columns of infantry reached La Haye Sainte and dispersed a body of Belgians; but Picton, advancing with Pack's brigade, forced them back, and the British cavalry, which had repulsed the cuirassiers, attacking them in flank, they were broken with heavy slaughter and left two thousand prisoners and a couple of eagles behind them. But the British, both cavalry and infantry, pursuing their advantage too far, were in turn repulsed with great loss, and Generals Picton and Ponsonby were killed. The French then again surrounded La Haye Sainte, where a detachment of the German legion, falling short of ammunition, and none being able to be conveyed to them, were literally massacred, refusing to surrender. In a little time the French were driven out of the farmhouses by shells.


      In the course of 1810 the French were expelled completely from the East and West Indies, and the Indian Ocean. Guadeloupe, the last of their West India Islands, was captured in February, by an expedition conducted by General Beckford and Admiral Sir A. Cochrane. In July an armament, sent out by Lord Minto from India, and headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Keating, reduced the Isle of Bourbon; and, being reinforced by a body of troops from the Cape of Good Hope, under Major-General John Abercromby and Admiral Bertie, the Isle of France, much the more important, and generally called Mauritius, surrendered on the 3rd of December. Besides[608] a vast quantity of stores and merchandise, five frigates and about thirty merchantmen were taken; and Mauritius became a permanent British colony. From this place a squadron proceeded to destroy the French factories on the coast of Madagascar, and finished by completely expelling them from those seas.


      I can't imagine any joy in life greater than sitting down in frontIn the House of Commons similar resolutions were moved on the 24th by Mr. Robert Peel, who, on this occasion, made the first of those candid admissions of new views which he afterwards repeated on the question of Catholic Emancipation, and finally on the abolition of the Corn Laws. This eminent statesman, though beginning his career in the ranks of Conservatism, had a mind capable of sacrificing prejudice to truth, though it was certain to procure him much obloquy and opposition from his former colleagues. He now frankly admitted that the evidence produced before the secret committee of the Commons, of which he had been a member, had greatly changed his views regarding the currency since in 1811 he opposed the resolutions of Mr. Horner, the chairman of the Bullion Committee. He now believed the doctrines of Mr. Horner to be mainly sound, and to represent the true nature of our monetary system; and, whilst making this confession, he had only to regret that he was compelled by his convictions to vote in opposition to the opinions of his venerated father. Several modifications were proposed during the debate, but there appeared so much unanimity in the House that no alterations were made, and the resolutions passed without a division. The resolutions were to this effect:That the restrictions on cash payments should continue till the 1st of May, 1822; that, meanwhile, the House should make provision for the gradual payment of ten millions of the fourteen millions due from the Government to the Bank; that, from the 1st of February, 1820, the Bank should take up its notes in gold ingots, stamped and assayed in quantities of not less than sixty ounces, and at a rate of eighty-one shillings per ounce. After the 1st of October of the same year the rate of gold should be reduced to seventy-nine shillings and sixpence per ounce; and again on the 1st of May, 1821, the price should be reduced to seventy-seven shillings and tenpence halfpenny per ounce; and at this rate of gold, on the 1st of May, 1822, the Bank should finally commence paying in the gold coin of the realm. Bills to this effect were introduced into both Houses by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Peel, and were readily[144] passed; and such was the flourishing condition of the Bank that it did not wait for the full operation of the Act, but commenced paying in coin to any amount on the 1st of May, 1821.