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The new Parliament met on the 14th of November. Mr. Manners Sutton was re-elected Speaker. A week was spent in the swearing-in of members, and on the 21st the Session was opened by the king in person. In the Royal Speech allusion was made to the throwing open of the ports for the admission of foreign grain, and the distress that had visited the manufacturing districts. The Address was carried in the Upper House without a division, and in the Lower House an amendment, moved by Mr. Hume, found only twenty-four supporters. On the 5th of December Alderman Waithman moved for a committee of inquiry with reference to the part taken by members of Parliament in the Joint Stock mania of 1824-5-6. He stated that within the last three years six hundred joint-stock companies had been formed, most of them for dishonest purposes. The directors of these fraudulent schemes worked with the market as they pleased, forcing up the prices of shares to sell, and depressing them to buy, pocketing the difference. He dwelt particularly on the Arignon Mining Company, of which the late chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, Mr. Brogden, had been a director. The directors of this company, besides an allowance of three guineas per day for the use of their names, had divided between them a large surplus, arising from traffic in shares. Other members of the House, he alleged, had enriched themselves by bubble companies, particularly Sir William Congreve. At the suggestion of Mr. Canning, the inquiry was restricted to the Arignon Company. A vast amount of loss and suffering had been inflicted by these bubble companies. A check was given to the steady and wholesome progress of the country by the fever of excitement, followed by a sudden and terrible collapse. Healthful commerce was blighted, and one of the worst results of the revulsion was that it not only swept away the delusive projects of adventurers, but paralysed for a season the operations of legitimate enterprise. The commercial atmosphere, however, had been cleared by the monetary crisis of 1825-6. An extensive decomposition of commercial elements was effected. Masses of fictitious property were dispersed, and much of the real capital of the country was distributed in new and safe channels, which caused the year 1827 to open with more cheering prospects. On the 23rd, only four days after the abdication of the king, Murat entered Madrid with a numerous body of infantry and cuirassiers, attended by a splendid train of artillery. Ferdinand entered the city the same day. He had formed an administration wholly opposed to Godoy and his policy. The Ambassadors of the other Powers presented themselves to offer their congratulations; but Beauharnais, the French Ambassador, preserved a profound silence. Murat, also, though he professed himself friendly to Ferdinand, said not a word implying recognition of his title. Still more ominous, the news arrived that Buonaparte himself was on the way with another powerful army. Murat took up his residence in the Palace of the Prince of the Peace, and greatly alarmed Ferdinand and his courtiers by addressing him, not as "your Majesty," but merely as "your Royal Highness." He counselled him to wait, and do nothing till he could advise with Napoleon, and, in the meantime, to send his brother, Don Carlos, to greet the Emperor on his entrance into Spain. To this Ferdinand consented; but when Murat recommended him also to go, and show this mark of respect to his ally, Ferdinand demurred, and by the advice of Cevallos, one of his wisest counsellors, he declined the suggestion. To complicate matters, Murat opened communication with the king and queen, and, not content with that, with Godoy also, assuring him that his only hope of safety lay in the friendship of the Emperor. By this means Murat learned all the accusations that each party could make against the other, so that these things might serve Buonaparte to base his measures, or, at least, his pretences upon. Encouraged by this, Charles[552] wrote to Napoleon to declare his abdication entirely forced, and to leave everything to the decision of his good friend, the Emperor.

The measure, which was founded on the recommendations of the report, was advocated principally by Lord John Russell, Lord Melbourne, and Mr. C. Hobhouse. The plan was intended to provide for 183 corporations, extending to a population of at least 2,000,000. Many of these corporations governed large and important towns, of which they did not sufficiently represent the property, intelligence, and population. In Bedford the corporation composed only one in seventy of the people, and one-fortieth of the property. In Oxford there were only 1,400 electors, and seldom more than 500 voted at an election. In Norwich 315 of the electors were paupers. In Cambridge there were only 118 freemen, out of a population of 20,000; and while the annual rental was more than 25,000, the property of freemen amounted to little more than 2,000. These were only samples of the strange anomalies that everywhere prevailed. It was obvious to every one that corporations so constituted were altogether unfitted for the objects which they were originally designed to answer. On the contrary, they tended directly to frustrate those objects, and to render the proper government of towns impracticable. They engendered jealousy and distrust between the small governing power and the body of the people. A few persons carrying on the government for their own benefit were connected with a portion of the lower classes, whose votes they purchased and whose habits they demoralised. With such a monopoly the grossest abuses were inevitable. Charitable funds, often large in amount, which had been left for the benefit of the whole people, were either lavishly distributed among the venal dependents of the governing body, squandered on civic feasts, or spent in bribing the freemen in order to secure their votes. In short, the general if not the universal practice had been to use the powers of municipal corporations, not for the good government or benefit of the towns over which they presidednot in order that they might be well and quietly governed in the terms of the charters, but for the sole purpose of establishing an interest which might be useful in the election of members of Parliament. Meanwhile an expedition against Canada had been projected by Colonel Arnold and Ethan Allen at the taking of the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. The recommendations of Allen were taken up, and on the 27th of June, although they had on the first of that month declared their determination not to invade or molest Canada, the Congress passed other resolutions, instructing Philip Schuyler, one of their newly-made generals, to proceed to Ticonderoga, and thence, if he saw it practicable, to go on and secure St. John's and Montreal, and adopt any other measures against Canada which might have a tendency to promote the security of the colonies. It was autumn, however, before the American force destined for this expedition, amounting to two thousand men, assembled on Lake Champlain; and Schuyler being taken ill, the command then devolved on General Montgomery. General Carleton, the Governor of Canada, to whom the Americans, when it suited their purpose, were always attributing designs of invasion of the colonies, had not, in fact, forces sufficient to defend himself properly.

The Hon. H. Skeffington, made clerk of Paper Office at the Castle, with 7,500 for his patronage. Dr. Arbuthnot, a great friend of Pope and Swift, was also one of the ablest prose writers, "The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus," published in Pope's and Swift's works, and the political satire of "John Bull," a masterly performance, being attributed to him. SIR RALPH ABERCROMBY. (After the Portrait by J. Hoppner, R.A.)

I hatedI despisedand I destroy!"