Mention must be made of the extraordinary calculating machines of Charles Babbage. A few years after leaving college he originated the plan of a machine for calculating tables, by means of successive orders of differences, and having received for it, in 1822 and the following year, the support of the Astronomical and Royal Societies, and a grant of money from Government, he proceeded to its execution. He also in 1834 contrived a machine called the "analytical engine," extending the plan so as to develop algebraic quantities, and to tabulate the numerical value of complicated functions, when one or more of the variables which they contain are made to alter their values; but the difficulties of carrying out this plan became insurmountable. In 1839 Babbage resigned the professorship of mathematics in the University of Cambridge. He died at the end of 1871, having devoted his life to the study and advancement of science.
[See larger version]In 1710 was established the Academy of Ancient Music, the object of which was to promote the study of vocal and instrumental harmony. Drs. Pepusch, Greene, and other celebrated musicians were amongst its founders. They collected a very valuable musical library, and gave annual concerts till 1793, when more fashionable ones attracted the public, and the society was dissolved. In 1741 was established the Madrigal Society, the founder of which was John Immyns, an attorney. It embraced men of the working classes, and held meetings on Wednesday evenings for the singing of madrigals, glees, catches, etc. Immyns sometimes read them a lecture on a musical subject, and the society gradually grew rich. The composers of such pieces at this period were such men as Purcell, Eccles, Playford, Leveridge, Carey, Haydn, Arne, etc. Public gardens became very much the fashion, and in these, at first, oratorios, choruses, and grand musical pieces were performed, but, by degrees, gave way to songs and catches. Vauxhall, originally called Spring Garden, established before the Revolution, became all through this period the fashionable resort of the aristocracy, and to this was added Ranelagh, near Chelsea College, a vast rotunda, to which crowds used to flock from the upper classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, to hear the music and singing. These performances spread greatly the taste for music, and probably excited the alarm of the puritanically religious, for there arose a loud outcry against using music in churches, as something vain and unhallowed. Amongst the best publications on the science of music during this period were Dr. Holder's "Treatise on the Natural Grounds and Principles of Harmony," 1694; Malcolm's "Treatise on Music, Speculative, Practical, and Historical," 1721; Dr. Pepusch's "Treatise on Harmony," 1731; Dr. Smith's "Harmonics; or, the Philosophy of Musical Sounds;" Avison's "Essay on Musical Expression," 1752. Avison also published twenty-six concertos for a band, which were much admired.
While these events were occurring in London, renewed signs of that terrible Irish difficulty which, in the end, played so prominent a part in hastening the conversion of the party who had opposed Free Trade, began to be forced upon the attention of public men. On the 6th of June the Limerick Reporter stated that at Listowel the state of the poor was awful and deplorable, potatoes being sixteen pence a stone, and there being no employment. One morning a boat, containing 560 barrels of oats, while waiting for the steamer at Garry Kennedy harbour, on its way to Limerick, was boarded by a large body of the populace, who possessed themselves of part of the grain. The police were sent for, but did not arrive in time to save the property. The Dublin Pilot reported that the people of Limerick, prompted by the cravings of hunger, had broken out in violent attacks on the flour stores and provision shops throughout the city, sparing none in their devastation. Flour was openly seized and distributed by the ringleaders among the populace. The crowd was at length dispersed by the military, and the mayor called a meeting of the inhabitants, to provide some means of meeting the distress. In the meanwhile, ten tons of oatmeal had been distributed among the most wretched, which was stated for the present to have satisfied their cravings. These things, it was remarked, took place while corn and flour, to the amount of four or five millions sterling, might, in a few weeks, be had in exchange for our manufactured goods.
CHAPTER X. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).At the very time that these measures were occupying the British Parliament, the Bostonians were driving affairs to a crisis. In nearly all the seaports committees were in active operation for examining all cargoes of ships, and reporting the result. These committees also kept a keen observation on each other, and visited publicly any that appeared lukewarm. Boston, as usual, distinguished itself most prominently in this business. Regular meetings were held in Faneuil Hall, and votes passed denouncing all who dared to import the prohibited goods. Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson exerted himself to form an association amongst the traders in opposition to these anti-importers, but he tried in vain. They insisted that the merchants who had imported goods in their shops and warehouses should be compelled to ship them back to those who had sent them. One merchant, more stubborn than the rest, was immediately waited on by a deputation, headed by an axeman and a carpenter, as if prepared to behead and bury him; and he was told that a thousand men awaited his decision, and they could not be answerable for his safety if he refused to comply.
ELECTION MEETING IN IRELAND. (See p. 254.)
Wellington was therefore on the point of entering Paris when, on the same day, the 3rd, he received a flag of truce from the Provisional Government, asking for a military convention between the armies at St. Cloud. This was accepted, and one English and one Prussian officer met three French officers, and the convention was concluded by the agreement that the French army should retire behind the river Loire, and that the Allies should be put in peaceable possession of Paris, with all the defences on the Montmartre side of the city, as well as every other. This convention was signed the next day by Wellington, Blucher, and Davoust, and, according to its stipulation, the French troops evacuated Paris, and marched towards the Loire. Ney and Labédoyère made their exit from the city, knowing that they would be arrested by Louis XVIII., if possible.The Hon. H. Skeffington, made clerk of Paper Office at the Castle, with ￡7,500 for his patronage.
Lord Palmerston and Mr. Poulett Thompson treated the apprehensions of Lord Dudley Stuart as visionary, and expressed their conviction that there was nothing in the conduct of the Czar to excite either alarm or hostility in Great Britain. Their real opinions were very different. A few days later an event occurred which showed how little Russia was to be relied upon; and that it was impossible to restrain her aggressive propensities, even by the most solemn treaty obligations, undertaken in the face of Europe, and guaranteed by the Great Powers. Cracow, which comprised a small territory about 490 square miles in extent, with a population of about 123,000, including the city, was at the general settlement in 1815 formed into a free State, whose independence was guaranteed by the Treaty of Vienna in the following terms:—"The town of Cracow, with its territory, is declared to be for ever a free, independent, and strictly neutral city, under the protection of Russia, Austria, and Prussia." During the insurrection of Poland in 1830 the little State of Cracow could not repress its sympathies, and the news of the outbreak was received there with the greatest enthusiasm. After the destruction of the Polish army, persons who were compromised by the revolt sought an asylum in Cracow; and 2,000 political refugees were found settled there in 1836. This served as a pretext for the military occupation of the city in February of that year, notwithstanding the joint guarantee that it should never be entered by a foreign army. This was only a prelude to the ultimate extinction of its independence, which occurred ten years later. Lord Palmerston launched a vigorous protest, but it had no result.Periodical writing grew in this reign into a leading organ of opinion and intelligence. The two chief periodicals, according to our present idea of them, were the Gentleman's Magazine and the Monthly Review. These were both started prior to the accession of George III. The Gentleman's Magazine was started by Cave, the publisher, in 1731; and the Monthly Review commenced in 1749. The former was a depository of a great variety of matters, antiquarian, topographical, critical, and miscellaneous, and has retained that character to the present hour. The Monthly Review was exclusively devoted to criticism. But in the early portion of the reign a periodical literature of a totally different character prevailed—the periodical essayist—formed on the model of the Spectator, Guardian, and Tatler of a prior period. Chief amongst these figured Ambrose Philips's Freethinker; the Museum, supported by Walpole, the Wartons, Akenside, etc.; the Rambler, by Dr. Johnson; the Adventurer, by Hawkesworth; the World, in which wrote chiefly aristocrats, as Lords Lyttelton, Chesterfield, Bath, Cork, Horace Walpole, etc.; the Connoisseur, chiefly supplied by George Colman and Bonnel Thornton; the Old Maid, conducted by Mrs. Frances Brooke; the Idler, by Johnson; the Babbler, by Hugh Kelly; the Citizen of the World, by Goldsmith; the Mirror, chiefly written by Mackenzie, the author of the "Man of Feeling;" and the Lounger, also chiefly conducted by Mackenzie. This class of productions, appearing each once or twice a week, afforded the public the amusement and instruction now furnished by the daily newspapers, weekly reviews, and monthly magazines. Towards the end of the reign arose a new species of review, the object of which was, under the guise of literature, to serve opposing parties in politics. The first of these was the Edinburgh Review, the organ of the Whigs, started in 1802, in which Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith were the chief writers. This, professing to be liberal, launched forth the most illiberal criticisms imaginable. There was scarcely a great poet of the time—Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Byron, James Montgomery, Leigh Hunt, Shelley, Keats—whom it did not, but vainly, endeavour to crush. To combat the influence of this Whig organ, in 1809 came forth the Quarterly Review, the great organ of the Tories, to which Scott, Southey, Wilson Croker, Gifford, etc., were the chief contributors. In 1817 this was followed by another Conservative journal, not quarterly, but monthly in its issue, conducted chiefly by Professor Wilson and Lockhart, namely, Blackwood's Magazine, in which the monthly magazines of to-day find their prototype, but with a more decided political bias than these generally possess.Civil war seems to have been averted only by the Duke's precipitate abandonment of the undertaking to form a Ministry. No one can for a moment imagine that the chief members of the Grey Administration ever intended to proceed to illegal extremities, but that the conduct of their friends led the Reforming world to think of and prepare for armed resistance admits of little doubt. Parliament and the country were kept in suspense and anxiety by varying rumours about the formation of a Government for several days, during which comments were freely made on the conduct of the Duke of Wellington and his friends. On the one hand, it was confidently stated that the king would keep his word as to Reform, which the Duke had agreed to carry. On the other hand, it was denied that the Duke could ever consent to tergiversation so base. On the former supposition, Mr. Macaulay said he was willing that others should have "infamy and place." But he added, "Let us have honour and Reform." Sir Robert Inglis was too honest to differ from this view of the matter, and too candid to conceal his sentiments. He declared that he could not but regard such a course on the part of his leader "with the greatest pain, as one of the most fatal violations of public confidence which could be inflicted."
The spirit of Choiseul having departed from the French administration, and the king having so unequivocally expressed his intention not to go to war, the Spanish Court hastened to lower its tone and offer conciliatory terms. In December they had proposed, through Prince de Masserano, to disavow the expedition of Buccarelli, if the English Court would disown the menaces of Captain Hunt. This was promptly refused, and orders were sent to Mr. Harris to quit the capital of Spain. He set out in January, 1771, but was speedily recalled; the expedition of Buccarelli was disavowed; the settlement of Port Egmont was conceded, whilst the main question as to the right of either party to the Falklands at large was left to future discussion. So little value, however, did Britain attach to the Falkland Isles, that it abandoned them voluntarily two years afterwards. For many years they were forsaken by both nations; but in 1826 the Republic of Buenos Ayres adopted them as a penal colony, and in 1833 the British finally took possession of them.When Parliament opened on the 20th of January, 1778, the Opposition fell, as it were, in a mass upon the Ministry on this question. There was much dissatisfaction expressed at the Government allowing Liverpool, Manchester, and other places, to raise troops without consulting Parliament. It was declared to be a practice contrary to the Constitution and to the Coronation Oath. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke, on the 22nd of January, moved for an account of the numbers of troops so raised, with the names of the commanding officers. Lord North, whilst observing that this mode of raising troops showed the popularity of the war, and that the country was by no means in that helpless condition which a jealous and impatient faction represented it to be, readily granted the return. In the House of Lords the Earl of Abingdon moved to consult the judges on the legality of raising troops without authority of Parliament; but this motion was not pressed to a division. But, on the 4th of February, Sir Philip Jennings Clerke returned to his charge in the Commons. Lord North replied that this now hotly-decried practice was one which had been not only adopted, but highly approved of, in 1745, and again in 1759, when Lord Chatham was Minister, and that he had then thanked publicly those who had raised the troops for the honour and glory of their country. A motion was negatived by the Lords on the same day, to declare this practice unconstitutional, and a similar one later in the Session, introduced by Wilkes and supported by Burke.
The slave merchants of Liverpool and London demanded to be heard against even this degree of interference. On the 2nd of June counsel was heard on their behalf at the bar of the House of Commons. These gentlemen endeavoured to prove that the interest of the merchants was the best guarantee of the good treatment of the slaves; and they called witnesses to prove that nothing could be more delightful and salubrious than the condition of slaves on the voyage; and that the negroes passed their time most charmingly in dancing and singing on the deck. But, on cross-examination, these very witnesses were compelled to disclose one of the most revolting pictures of inhuman atrocity ever brought to the light of day. It was found that no slave, whatever his size, had more room during the whole voyage than five feet six inches in length, and sixteen inches in breadth; that the floor of every deck was thus densely packed with human beings; between the floor and the deck above were other platforms or broad shelves packed in the same manner! The height from the floor to the ceiling seldom exceeded five feet eight inches, and in some cases not four feet. The men were chained together two and two by their hands and feet, and were fastened by ringbolts to the deck or floor. In this position they were kept all the time they remained on the coast—often from six weeks to six months. Their allowance was a pint of water daily and two meals of yams and horse-beans. After eating they were ordered to jump in their irons to preserve their health, and were flogged if they refused. When the weather was wet they were often kept below for several days together. The horrors of what was called the "middle passage" were terrible and fatal beyond description. It was calculated that up to that time the Europeans had consumed ten millions of slaves, and that the British alone were then carrying over forty-two thousand Africans annually.In pursuance of this resolution, Lord John Russell, soon after the meeting of Parliament in 1851, introduced his Jewish Emancipation Bill once more. The usual arguments were reiterated on both sides, and the second reading was carried by the reduced majority of 25. In the House of Lords the second reading was moved by the Lord Chancellor, on the 17th of July, when it was thrown out by a majority of 36. In the meantime Alderman Salomons had been returned as member for Greenwich, and, following the example of Baron Rothschild, he appeared at the bar, and offered to take the oath on the Old Testament, omitting the phrase, "on the true faith of a Christian." The Speaker then desired him to withdraw; but he took a seat, notwithstanding. The order of the Speaker was repeated in a more peremptory tone, and the honourable member retired to a bench behind the bar. The question of his right to sit was then debated. Sir Benjamin Hall asked the Ministers whether they were disposed to prosecute Mr. Salomons, if he persisted in taking his seat, in order to test his legal right. Lord John Russell having answered in the negative, Mr. Salomons entered the House, amidst loud cries of "Order!" "Chair!" the Speaker's imperative command, "Withdraw!" ringing above all. The Speaker then appealed to the House to enforce his order. Lord John Russell then moved a resolution that Mr. Salomons should withdraw. Mr. Bernal Osborne moved an amendment. The House became a scene of confusion; and in the midst of a storm of angry cries and counter-cries, Mr. Anstey moved the adjournment of the debate. The House divided and Mr. Salomons voted with the minority. The House again divided on Mr. Bernal Osborne's amendment, that the honourable gentleman was entitled to take his seat, which was negatived by 229 against 81. In defiance of this decision, Mr. Salomons again entered and took his seat. He then addressed the House, stating that it was far from his desire to do anything that might appear contumacious or presumptuous. Returned by a large constituency, he appeared in defence of their rights and privileges as well as his own; but whatever might be the decision of the House, he would not abide by it, unless there was just sufficient force used to make him feel that he was acting under coercion. Lord John Russell called upon the House to support the authority of the Speaker and its own dignity. Two divisions followed—one on a motion for adjourning the debate, and another on the right of Mr. Salomons to sit, in both of which he voted. The latter was carried by a large majority; when the Speaker renewed his order to withdraw, and the honourable gentleman not complying, the Serjeant-at-Arms touched him lightly on the shoulder, and led him below the bar. Another long debate ensued on the legal question; and the House divided on two motions, which had no result. The discussion of the question was adjourned to the 28th of July, when petitions from London and Greenwich, demanding the admission of their excluded representatives, came under consideration. The Speaker announced that he had received a letter from Alderman Salomons, stating that several notices of actions for penalties had been served upon him in consequence of his having sat and voted in the House. A motion that the petitioners should be heard at the bar of the House was rejected; and Lord John Russell's resolution, denying the right of Mr. Salomons to sit without taking the oath in the usual form, was carried by a majority of 55. And so the vexed question was placed in abeyance for another year so far as Parliament was concerned. But an action was brought in the Court of Exchequer, against Alderman Salomons, to recover the penalty of ￡500, for sitting and voting without taking the oath. The question was elaborately argued by the ablest counsel. Judgment was given for the plaintiff. There was an appeal from this judgment, by a writ of error, when the Lord Chief Justice Campbell, with Justices Coleridge, Cresswell, Wightman, Williams, and Crompton, heard the case again argued at great length. The Court unanimously decided that the words, "on the true faith of a Christian," formed an essential part of the oath; and that, according to the existing law, the Jews were excluded from sitting in either House of Parliament. This judgment was given in the sittings after Hilary Term, in 1852.详情
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