- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 720MB
On the 9th of August, 1834, a fire broke out in part of the Dublin Custom House, one of the finest buildings in the United Kingdom. Owing to the immense quantity of combustible materials, the fierceness of the conflagration was something terrific. By great exertion the building was saved. This fire naturally produced a great sensation throughout the United Kingdom, but it was nothing in comparison to the interest excited by the burning of the two Houses of Parliament, which occurred on the 16th of October, 1834. According to the report of the Lords of the Privy Council, who inquired into the cause of the fire, the tally-room of the exchequer had been required for the temporary accommodation of the Court of Bankruptcy, and it was necessary to get rid of a quantity of the old exchequer tallies, which had accumulated till they would have made about two cartloads. These tallies had been used for kindling the fires. On one occasion a quantity of them was burned in Tothill Fields. There had been a question as to the best mode of getting rid of them, and it was ultimately resolved that they should be carefully and gradually consumed in the stoves of the House of Lords. But the work had been committed to workmen who were the reverse of careful. They heaped on the fuel, nearly filling the furnaces, and causing a blaze which overheated the flues. The housekeeper of the Lords' chamber sent to them several times during the day, complaining of the smoke and heat, but they assured her there was no danger. About four o'clock in the afternoon two strangers were admitted to see the House of Lords, and found the heat and smoke so stifling, that they were led to examine the floor, when they perceived that the floor-cloth was "sweating." At six o'clock the pent-up flames broke forth through the windows, and immediately the alarm was spread in all directions. The Ministers, the king's sons, Mr. Hume, and others, were presently on the spot, and did all they could in the consternation and confusion. The law courts were saved by having their roofs stripped off, and causing the engines to play on the interior. The greatest efforts were made to save Westminster Hall, which was happily preserved; but the two Houses of Parliament were completely destroyed, together with the Commons' library, the Lords' painted chamber, many of the committee rooms, part of the Speaker's house, the rooms of the Lord Chancellor and other law officers, as well as the kitchen and eating-rooms. The king promptly offered Parliament the use of Buckingham Palace; but it was thought best to fit up temporary rooms on the old site, and to have them ready for next Session. The committee of the Privy Council sat for several days, and during the whole of that time the fire continued to smoulder among the dbris, and in the coal vaults, while the engines were heard to play from day to day within the boarded avenues. As soon as possible the temporary halls were prepared. The House of Lords was fitted up for the Commons, and the painted chamber for the Lords, at an expense of 30,000.
The Assembly had, on this memorable night of the 4th of August, decreed nothing less thanthe abolition of all serfdom; the right of compounding for the seignorial dues, and the abolition of seignorial jurisdictions; the suppression of exclusive rights of hunting, shooting, keeping warrens, dovecotes, etc.; the abolition of tithes; the equality of taxes; the admission of all citizens to civil and military employments; the abolition of the sale of offices; the suppression of all the privileges of towns and provinces; the reformation of wardenships; and the suppression of pensions obtained without just claims. The Assembly then continued the work of the constitution.
Cairness said "yes" rather half heartedly. That fresh, sweet type was insipid to him now, when there was still so fresh in his memory the beauty of a [Pg 40]black-haired girl, with eagle eyes that did not flinch before the sun's rays at evening or at dawn.Before the termination of the reign there were active preparations for putting steam-engines on all iron railroads. So early as 1758, Watt, who afterwards did so much in the construction of steam-engines, had an idea that locomotive engines might be put on such roads. In 1770 such an engine was actually made and worked by John Theophilus Cugnot, in Paris, but he had not discovered sufficient means of controlling it. In 1802 Messrs. Trevethick and Vivian exhibited such an engine running along the streets in London. In 1805 the same gentlemen again exhibited one of their engines working on a tram-road at Merthyr Tydvil, drawing ten tons of iron at the rate of five miles an hour; and in 1811 Mr. Blenkinsop was running an engine on the Middleton Colliery, near Leeds, drawing a hundred tons on a dead level at the rate of three and a half miles an hour, and going at the rate of ten miles when only lightly loaded. Blenkinsop had made the wheels of his engines to act by cogs on indented rails; for there was a strong persuasion at that period that the friction of plain wheels on plain rails would not be sufficient to enable the engine to progress with its load. The folly of this idea had already been shown on all the colliery lines in the kingdom, and by the engine of Trevethick and Vivian at Merthyr. The fallacy, however, long prevailed. But during this time Thomas Gray was labouring to convince the public of the immense advantages to be derived from steam trains on railways. In five editions of his work, and by numerous memorials to Ministers, Parliament, lord mayors, etc., he showed that railroads must supersede coaches for passengers, and waggons and canals for goods. He was the first projector of a general system of railroads, laid down maps for comprehensive general lines for both England and Ireland, invented turn-tables, and very accurately calculated the cost of constructing lines. For these services he was termed a madman, and the Edinburgh Review recommended that he should be secured in a strait jacket. In his "Life of George Stephenson" Dr. Smiles takes exception to the statement that Thomas Gray was the originator of railways, and transfers that term to Stephenson. Let us be correct; Gray was the projector, Stephenson the constructor of railways. But it is not to be supposed that Gray had sold five editions of his work without Stephenson, and perhaps every engineer, having read and profited by it. Yet, so little had Stephenson any idea of the real scope and capacity of railways, that it was not till five years after the running of his engines on such lines, by Dr. Smiles's own showing, that he ever imagined such a thing as their becoming the general medium of human transit. He tells us Mr. Edward Pease suggested to him to put an old long coach on the Darlington and Stockton line, attached to the luggage trucks, and see if people might not wish to travel by it. Gray had demonstrated all this long before. He stood in the place of the architect, Stephenson only of the builder who carries out the architect's design. Seven years only after the death of George III. the railway line between Manchester and Liverpool was commenced, and from its successful opening, on the 15th of September, 1830, dates the amazing development of the present railway system.
Washington saw almost with despair the condition of the American army; any other man would have despaired of it altogether. He wrote to Congress that nothing could make soldiers trustworthy but longer terms of service; that, in fact, they ought to be engaged for the whole war, and subjected to a rigid and constant discipline. He complained that the soldiers were much bolder in plundering than fighting; and one of his officers observed that the Pennsylvanian and New England troops would as soon fight each other as the enemy. His Adjutant-General, Reed, declared that discipline was almost impossible amid such a levelling spirit as prevailed. These startling facts made Congress begin in earnest to look out for foreign aid. In the meantime, it voted that the army should be reorganised with eighty-eight battalions, to be enlisted as soon as possible, and to serve during the war; each State to furnish its respective quota, and to name the officers as high as colonels. But Washington had soon to complain that they only voted, and did not carry the plan strenuously into action; that there was a mighty difference between voting battalions and raising men.The Canadas at that period contained only about sixty thousand souls, Quebec about seven thousand. But the city occupies a most formidable site. It stands on a steep and rocky promontory running into the left bank of the St. Lawrence, about a hundred leagues from its mouth, and where the river, from a breadth of from twelve to twenty miles, rapidly narrows to about one mile. The city is built part on the rocky heights, part on the slopes below. Up the river from the city rose still higher and almost inaccessible steeps, called the Heights of Abraham, and, on the other hand, the side of the city down the stream was bounded by the river St. Charles, which there runs into the St. Lawrence. The stretch of ground between the St. Charles and the stream of Montmorency, some miles lower, called Beauport, was connected by a bridge with Quebec. On this ground, as the most accessible side of the city, Montcalm had encamped his army, consisting altogether of ten thousand French, Canadians, and Indians.