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English cookery, even in the greatest houses, had not yet been much affected by French art. The dinners were remarkably solid, hot, and stimulating. Mulligatawny and turtle soups came first, then at one end of the table was uncovered the familiar salmon, and at the other the turbot surrounded by smelts. Next came a saddle of mutton, or a joint of roast beef, and for the fourth course came fowls, tongue, and ham. French dishes were placed on the sideboard, but for a long time such weak culinary preparations were treated with contemptuous neglect. The boiled potato was then very popular, and vegetables generally were unaccompanied with sauce. The dessert, which was ordered from the confectioner's, was often very costly. The wines used at dinner were chiefly port, sherry, and hock. "A perpetual thirst seemed to come over people, both men and women," says Captain Gronow, "as soon as they had tasted their soup, as from that moment everybody was taking wine with everybody else till the close of the dinner, and such wine as produced that class of cordiality which frequently wanders into stupefaction. How this sort of eating and drinking ended was obvious from the prevalence of gout; and the necessity of every one making the pill-box a constant bedroom companion." Joseph H. Blake, created Lord Wallscourt.

[See larger version] During this reign architecture was in a state of transition, or, rather, revolution, running through the Palladian, the Roman, the Greek, and into the Gothic, with a rapidity which denoted the unsettled ideas on the subject. At the commencement of the reign James Paine and John Carr were the prevailing architects. Worksop Manor, since pulled down, and Keddlestone, in Derbyshire, were the work of Paine; but Robert Adam, an advocate for a Roman style, completed Keddlestone. Carr built Harewood House, and others of a like character, chiefly remarkable for Grecian porticos attached to buildings of no style whatever. The Woods, of Bath, employed a spurious Grecian style in the Crescent in that city, Queen's Square, the Pounds, etc., which, however, acquired a certain splendour by their extent and tout ensemble. To these succeeded Robert Taylor, the architect of the Bank of England and other public buildings, in a manner half Italian, half Roman. Sir William Chambers, of more purely Italian taste, has left us Somerset House as a noble specimen of his talent. Robert and James Adam erected numerous works in the semi-Roman semi-Italian style, as Caenwood House, at Highgate, Portland Place, and the screen at the Admiralty. In Portland Place Robert Adam set the example of giving the space necessary for a great metropolis. James Wyatt, who succeeded Chambers as Surveyor-General in 1800, destined to leave extensive traces of his art, commenced his career by the erection of the Pantheon, London, in the classical style, and then took up the Gothic style, which had begun to have its admirers, and in which James Essex had already distinguished himself by his restoration of the lantern of Ely Cathedral, and in other works at Cambridge. Wyatt was employed to restore some[200] of the principal colleges at Oxford, and to do the same work for the cathedral of Salisbury and Windsor Castle. In these he showed that he had penetrated to a certain extent into the principles of that order of architecture, but was far from having completely mastered them. A greater failure was his erection of Fonthill Abbey, for Beckford, the author of "Vathek," where he made a medley of half an abbey, half a castle, with a huge central church tower, so little based on the knowledge of the Gothic architects that in a few years the tower fell. Wyatt, however, was a man of enterprising genius. Co-temporary with Wyatt, George Dance made a much less happy attempt in Gothic in the front of Guildhall, London; but he built Newgate and St. Luke's Hospital in a very appropriate style. One of the most elegant erections at this period was the Italian Opera House, by a foreigner, Novosielsky, in 1789. Nor must we omit here the publication of John Gwynn's "London and Westminster Improved," in 1766, by which he led the way to the extensive opening up of narrow streets, and throwing out of fresh bridges, areas, and thoroughfares, which have been since realised, or which are still in progress. The Budget did not retrieve the popularity of Ministers. Sir Francis Baring proposed to make up for an estimated deficit of 2,421,000 by an alteration of the timber duties producing 600,000 a year, and an alteration of the sugar duties producing 700,000. Both these changes were in the direction of free trade, and a still more significant proposal was the repeal of the existing corn law, and the substitution of a low fixed duty of 8s. a quarter on wheat. The House, however, would not accept such a budget from a Government whose Premier had in the previous year declared that "the responsible advisers of the Crown would not propose any change in the Corn Laws." After a debate of eight nights the Ministry were defeated on the sugar duties by 317 votes to 281. Still they did not resign, and the Opposition in consequence had recourse to a direct vote of censure.

CHAPTER XV. REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued). Bernadotte took his time, and went. It was in[39] March. At Abo, in a solitary hut, he and Alexander met, and there the final ruin of Napoleon was sketched out by a master's handthat of his old companion in arms. Bernadotte knew all the strength and weakness of Napoleon; he had long watched the causes which would ultimately break up the wonderful career of his victories. He listened to the fears of Alexander, and bade him dismiss them. He told him that it was the timidity of his opponents which had given to Napoleon the victories of Austerlitz and Wagram; that, as regarded the present war, nothing could equal his infatuated blindness; that, treating the wishes of Poland with contempt, neglecting the palpably necessary measures of securing his flanks by the alliance of Turkey and Sweden, east and west, he was only rushing on suicide in the vast deserts five hundred miles from his frontiers; that all that was necessary on the part of Russia was to commence a war of devastation; to destroy all his resources, in the manner of the ancient Scythians and Parthians; to pursue him everywhere with a war of fanaticism and desolation; to admit of no peace till he was driven to the left bank of the Rhine, where the oppressed and vengeful nationalities would arise and annihilate him; that Napoleon, so brilliant and bold in attack, would show himself incapable of conducting a retreat of eight hoursa retreat would be the certain signal of his ruin. If he approached St. Petersburg, he engaged for himself to make a descent on France with fifty thousand men, and to call on both the Republican and constitutional parties to arise and liberate their country from the tyrant. Meanwhile, they must close the passage of the Beresina against him, when they would inevitably secure his person. They must then proclaim everywhere his death, and his whole dynasty would go to pieces with far greater rapidity than it grew.


But this large infusion of Whiggery did not[439] render the Administration any the more liberal. It was determined to bring the politically accused, now out on bail, to trial. On the 6th of October true bills were found by the grand jury of Middlesex against Thomas Hardy, the secretary of the Corresponding Society, John Horne Tooke, John Augustus Bonney, Stewart Kyd, the Rev. Jeremiah Joyce, Thomas Wardle, Thomas Holcroft, John Richter, Matthew Moore, John Thelwall, Richard Hodgson, and John Baxter, for high treason. Hardy was put upon his trial first at the Old Bailey, October 29th, before Chief Justice Eyre, a judge of noted severity, Chief Baron Macdonald, Baron Hotham, Mr. Justice Buller, and Mr. Justice Grose, with other judges. Sir John Scott, afterwards Lord Eldon, as Attorney-General, opened the case against him in a speech of nine hours. In this he laboured to represent the Corresponding Society, and Hardy as its secretary, as guilty of a treasonable intercourse with the French revolutionists, and read numbers of documents expressing great admiration of the French institutions. But these were merely the documents which had long and openly been published by the Society, and were well known through insertion in the newspapers. There was nothing clandestine about them, nothing suggestive of a concealed and dangerous conspiracy. Their invariable burthen was the thorough reform of Parliament, and the utter disfranchisement of the rotten boroughs, by which the whole representation of the country was transferred to the aristocracy. Next a strong attempt was made to connect the secretary of the Society with the men lately condemned in Scotland, especially Margarot, with whom, as all undoubtedly engaged in the same object of Reform, Hardy, as secretary, had considerable correspondence. The whole failed to impress an English jury, and Hardy was acquitted after a trial of eight days.

Having now kidnapped and disposed of the whole dynasty of Spain, Buonaparte had to inaugurate the new one by the appointment of a king. For this purpose he pitched on his brother Lucien, who, next to himself, was the ablest of the family, and who had rendered him signal services in the expulsion of the Council of Five Hundred from St. Cloud. But Lucien was of too independent a character to become a mere puppet of the great man, like the rest of his brothers. As Napoleon grew haughty and imperious in the progress of his success, Lucien had dared to express disapprobation of his conduct. He declared that Napoleon's every word and action proceeded, not from principle, but from mere political considerations, and that the foundation of his whole system and career was egotism. He had married a private person to please himself, and would not abandon his wife to receive a princess and a crown, like Jerome. Lucien had, moreover, literary tastes, was fond of collecting works of art, and had a fortune ample enough for these purposes. When, therefore, Napoleon sent for him to assume the crown of Spain, he declined the honour. Napoleon then resolved to take Joseph from Naples, and confer on him the throne of Spain and the Indies. Joseph, who was indolent and self-indulgent, and who at Naples could not exempt himself from continual fears of daggers and assassination, received with consternation the summons to assume the crown of Spain, as ominous of no ordinary troubles. He declared that it was too weighty for his head, and showed no alacrity in setting out. Napoleon was obliged to summon him several times, and at length to dispatch one of his most active and trusted aides-de-camp to hasten his movements.

It was the tremendous exertions of O'Connell and his followers that secured the triumph of the Liberal party in this memorable struggle. The first trial of strength was on the election of a Speaker. Parliament met on the 19th of February, 1835, and Lord Francis Egerton, one of the members for Lancashire, moved that Sir C. Manners Sutton, who for eighteen years had filled the chair with the unanimous approbation of all parties in the House, should be re-elected. Mr. Denison, one of the members for Surrey, proposed Mr. Abercromby, a gentleman of high position at[380] the bar, and member for the city of Edinburgh. The division, it was felt on both sides, would be decisive as to the fate of the Government, by showing whether or not it was supported by a majority of the new Parliament which was the response given to the Prime Minister's appeal to the country. The house was the fullest on record, there being 626 members present. Mr. Abercromby was elected by a majority of ten, the numbers being 316 to 306. Sir Charles Sutton was supported by a majority of the English members23, but his opponent had a majority of ten of the Scottish. Still, had the decision been in the hands of the British representatives, Government would have had a majority of 13; but of the Irish members only 41 voted for Sutton, while 61 voted for Abercromby. From this memorable division two things were evident to the Tories, in which the future of England for the next half century was to them distinctly foreshadowed; the first was, that the Ministry was entirely, on party questions, at the mercy of the Irish Catholic members; the second, that the county members of the whole empire were outvoted by the borough members in the proportion of 35 to 20, and that a large majority of the former had declared for the Conservative side.