本山传媒刘双平:煎熬中挺过武汉封城的63天刘双平本山-大陆

The House then adjourned for the Easter holidays, till the 7th of May. The interval was one of the greatest possible public excitement. The narrowness of the majority made the Reformers tremble for the fate of the Bill in committee. The awful silence was now broken, and the voice of the nation was heard like peals of thunder. The political unions which had been resting on their arms, as if watching intently the movements of armies at a distance, now started to their feet, and prepared themselves for battle. At Leeds, at Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, meetings were held, strong resolutions passed, and imperative petitions adopted. At Birmingham an aggregate meeting of the political unions of the surrounding districts was held on the 7th of May at the foot of New Hall Hill. Of this vast and formidable assembly, the northern division alone was estimated at 100,000 men, who marched with 150 banners and eleven bands of music, their processions extending over four miles. The total number of bands in attendance at the meeting was 200, and the number of banners 700. The commencement of the proceedings was announced by sound of bugle. A number of energetic and determined speeches was delivered, and a petition to the Lords was adopted, imploring them not to drive to despair a high-minded, generous, and fearless people, nor to urge them on by a rejection of their claims to demands of a much more extensive nature; but rather to pass the Reform Bill into law, unimpaired in any of its great parts and provisions, more especially uninjured in the clauses relating to the ten-pound franchise. The council of the Birmingham union declared its sitting permanent, and the vast organisation throughout the United Kingdom assumed an attitude of resolution and menace truly alarming. [24]

The consumption of Indian corn during the famine caused a great deal of wild speculation in the corn trade. Splendid fortunes were rapidly made, and as rapidly lost. The price of Indian corn in the middle of February, 1847, was 19 per ton; at the end of March it was 13; and by the end of August it had fallen to 7 10s. The quantity of corn imported into Ireland in the first six months was 2,849,508 tons.

But meanwhile in Italy the French had been completely successful. Buonaparte reached the French headquarters at Nice on the 26th of March, and immediately set himself to organise and inspirit the forces, which were in great disorder; he found the commissariat also in a deplorable condition. The troops amounted to fifty thousand; the Austrians, under the veteran General Beaulieu, to considerably more. The united army of the Sardinians and Austrians, Beaulieu on the left, d'Argenteau in the centre, and Colli with the Piedmontese division on the right, hastened to descend from the Apennines, to which they had retreated at the end of the last campaign. Beaulieu met the French advanced guard at Voltri, near Genoa, on the 11th of April, and drove it back. But d'Argenteau had been stopped in the mountains by the resistance of a body of French, who occupied the old redoubt of Montenotte. Buonaparte, apprised of this, hurried up additional forces to that point, and defeated d'Argenteau before Beaulieu or Colli could succour him. Having now divided the army of the Allies, Buonaparte defeated a strong body of Austrians under General Wukassowich; and having left Colli and the Piedmontese isolated from their Allies, debouched by the valley of Bormida into the plains of Piedmont. Beaulieu retreated to the Po, to stop the way to Milan; and Buonaparte, relieved of his presence, turned against Colli, who was compelled to retreat to Carignano, near Turin. Trembling for his capital, and with his means exhausted, Victor Amadeus made overtures for peace, which were accepted; the terms being the surrender of all the Piedmontese fortresses and the passes of the Alps into the hands of the French, and the perpetual alienation of Nice and Savoy. This humiliation broke the heart of the poor old king, who died on the 16th of October. Buonaparte, however, did not wait for the conclusion of this peace; the truce being signed, he hastened on after Beaulieu whom he defeated and drove across the Po. Beaulieu next posted himself at Lodi, on the Adda; but Buonaparte, after a fierce contest, drove him from the bridge over the Adda on the 10th of May, and with little further opposition pursued him to Milan. Beaulieu still retreated, and threw himself into the fastnesses of the Tyrol. On the 15th Buonaparte made a triumphal entry into Milan, and immediately sent troops to blockade Mantua. Buonaparte then advanced into the Papal States, rifling the Monti de Piet at Bologna and Ferrara. Everywhere contributions were demanded at the point of the bayonet, and French authorities superseded the native ones. Pius VI. made haste to sue for peace, and it was granted on the most exorbitant terms. Fifteen millions of francs must be paid down in cash, six millions in horses and other requisites for the army. A great number of paintings and statues were to be selected from the galleries of art, and five hundred manuscripts from the library of the Vatican. The provinces of Ferrara and Bologna must be ceded; the port and citadel of Ancona, and all the Papal ports, must be closed against the British. This most costly peace was signed on the 23rd of June, and Buonaparte hastened northward to stop the advance of the army of Wurmser, which had been sent through the Tyrol to compete with the rising Corsican. But Hastings had scarcely terminated these proceedings, when the new members of Council, appointed under the Regulating Act, arrived. On the 19th of October, 1774, landed the three Councillors, Clavering, Monson, and Francis; Barwell had been some time in India. The presence of the three just arrived was eminently unwelcome to Hastings. He knew that they came with no friendly disposition towards him, and that Philip Francis, in particular, was most hostile. The letter of the Court of Directors recommended unanimity of counsels, but nothing was further from the views of the new members from Europe. As they were three, and Hastings and Barwell only two, they constituted a majority, and from the first moment commenced to undo almost everything that he had done, and carried their object. They denounced, and certainly with justice, the Rohilla war; they demanded that the whole correspondence of Middleton, the agent sent to the court of Oude by Hastings, should be laid before them. Hastings refused to produce much of it, as entirely of a private and personal nature; and they asserted that this was because these letters would not bear the light, and that the whole of Hastings' connection with Sujah Dowlah was the result of mercenary motives. In this they did the Governor-General injustice, for, though he drew money sternly and by every means from the India chiefs and people, it was rather for the Company than for himself. They ordered the recall of Middleton from Oude, deaf to the protests of Hastings that this was stamping his conduct with public odium, and weakening the hands of government in the eyes of the natives. Still, Middleton was recalled, and Mr. Bristow sent in his place. Hastings wrote home in the utmost alarm both to the Directors and to Lord North, prognosticating the greatest confusion and calamity from this state of anarchy; and Sujah Dowlah, regarding the proceedings of the new members of Council as directed against himself, and seeing in astonishment the authority of Hastings apparently at an end, was so greatly terrified that he sickened and died.

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The case against the queen closed on the 7th of September. An adjournment took place to allow time for the preparation of her defence, which was opened on the 3rd of October by Mr. Brougham, in a magnificent oration, justly celebrated as one of the finest specimens of British forensic eloquence. It concluded as follows: