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[See larger version] On the afternoon of this day, Monday, the 11th of May, as the Minister was entering the House, about five o'clock, a man of gentlemanly appearance presented a pistol, and shot him deadat least, he did not survive two minutes. In the confusion and consternation the man might have escaped, but he made no such attempt; he walked up to the fireplace, laid down his pistol on a bench, and said, in answer to those inquiring after the murderer, that he was the person. He gave his name as Bellingham, expressed satisfaction at the deed, but said that he should have been more pleased had it been Lord Leveson Gower. In fact, his prime intention was to shoot Lord Gower, but he had also his resentment against Perceval, and therefore took the opportunity of securing one of his victims. It appeared that he had been a Liverpool merchant, trading to Russia, and that, during the embassy of Lord Leveson Gower at St. Petersburg he had suffered severe and, as he deemed, unjust losses, for assistance in the redress of which with the Russian Government he had in vain sought the good offices of the ambassador. On his return to England he had applied to Perceval; but that Minister did not deem it a case in which Government could interfere, and hence the exasperation of the unhappy man against both diplomatists. The trial of the murderer came on at the Old Bailey, before Chief Justice Mansfield, on the Friday of the same week. A plea of insanity was put in by Bellingham's counsel, and it was demanded that the trial should be postponed till inquiries could be made at Liverpool as to his antecedents. But this plea was overruled. Bellingham himself indignantly rejected the idea of his being insane. He declared that the act was the consequence of a cool determination to punish the Minister for the refusal of justice to him, and he again repeated, in the presence of Lord Leveson Gower, that his chief object had been himself for his cruel disregard of his wrongs. Both Lord Mansfield and the rest of the judges would hear of no delay; a verdict of "Wilful Murder" was brought in by the jury, and they condemned him to be hanged, and he was duly hanged on the following Monday at nine o'clock, exactly the day week of the perpetration of the act.

In January, 1812, Government made another attempt to punish the Catholic delegates, and they obtained a verdict against one of them, Thomas Kirwan; but such was the public feeling, that they did no more than fine him one mark, and discharge him. They also abandoned other contemplated prosecutions. The Catholic committee met, according to appointment, on the 28th of February, addressed the Prince Regent, and then separated. The usual motions for Catholic Emancipation were introduced into both Houses of Parliament, and by both were rejected. It was the settled policy of this Ministry not to listen to the subject, though the Marquis Wellesley, Canning, and others now admitted that the matter must be conceded. The assassination of Mr. Perceval, on the 11th of May, it was hoped, would break up that Ministry, but it was continued, with Lord Liverpool at its head. Though Lord Wellesley this year brought forward the motion in the Lords, and Canning in the Commons, both Houses rejected it, but the Lords by a majority of only one. The question continued to be annually agitated in Parliament during this reign, from the year 1814, with less apparent success than before, Ireland was in a very dislocated state with the Orangemen and Ribbonmen, and other illegal associations and contentions between Catholics and Protestants, and this acted very detrimentally on the question in England. Only one little victory was obtained in favour of the Catholics. This was, in 1813, the granting to Catholics in England of the benefit of the Act passed in Ireland, the 33 George III., repealing the 21 Charles II. And thus the Catholics were left, after all their exertions, at the death of the old king.

The English lay all night on their arms, and, as day dawned, began to entrench their position. If ever a general needed to push on his advantage it was now. Every day was consuming Burgoyne's stores; every day was augmenting the forces of the enemy. The country was closed to Burgoyne; it was open with all its resources to the Americans. Yet he lay there, as if paralysed, from the 20th of September to the 7th of October. The reason of this fatal delay is said to have been that Burgoyne had received a letter from General Sir Henry Clinton at New York, informing him that he must expect no co-operation from General Howe, but that he himself would take the responsibility of making a diversion in his favour by attacking the Forts Montgomery and Clinton, on the lower part of the Hudson. Burgoyne, on receiving this intelligence, sent Clinton word that he would remain where he was till the 12th of Octobera fatal resolve, as a calculation of his stores should have shown him, which the acts of the Americans were certain to render calamitous. Elated at being able to stand their ground in some degree, this novel and almost sole success in the war had raised the spirits of the Colonials as by a miracle. They poured in on all sides, and Arnold, ever ready in resource, suggested to Gates an enterprise to be effected while Burgoyne was lying still and consuming his own victuals.

Buonaparte had arrived in Rochefort on the 3rd of Julyonly fifteen days after the battle of Waterloo. The two frigates provided by the Provisional Government to convey him to Americathe Saale and the Medusa, accompanied by the corvette Balladire and the large brig Epervierlay in the Aix roads; but Buonaparte was very sure that the British Government would not permit them to sail. That Government, anticipating such an event as the endeavour of Napoleon to make his escape to Americawhence he might watch his opportunity of once more renewing the troubles of the worldhad, immediately after the battle of Waterloo, placed no less than thirty vessels of different descriptions along the whole coast of France, from Ushant to Cape Finisterre, thus making it impossible for any vessel to pass out of a French port without undergoing the severest search. Napoleon thereupon embarking in a British frigate, the Bellerophon, wrote a theatrical letter, claiming the hospitality of the Prince Regent: A great raid of reform was made in the Opposition, and it fell first on the corruption of the boroughs, both in Scotland and England. The subject was brought on, as it were, incidentally. An Enclosure Bill, affecting some parts of the New Forest, Hampshire, was attacked, as a job intended to benefit Pitt's staunch supporter, George Rose, who had rapidly risen from an obscure origin to the post of Secretary to the Treasury. Rose had a house and small estate in the Forest, and there was a universal outcry, both in Parliament and in the public press, that, in addition to the many sinecures of the fortunate Rose, there was also a sop intended for him at the cost of the Crown lands. The reformers were successful in casting much blame on Ministers, and they followed it up by charging Rose with bribing one Thomas Smith, a publican in Westminster, to procure votes for the Ministerial candidate, Lord Hood. Though the motion for a committee of the House to inquire into the particulars of this case was defeated, yet the debates turned the attention of the country on the scandalous bribery going on in boroughs. The Scots, the countrymen of Rose, petitioned for an inquiry into the condition of their boroughs. Of the sixty-six boroughs, petitions for such inquiry came from fifty. They complained that the members and magistrates of those corporations were self-elected, and by these means the rights and property of the inhabitants were grievously invaded. December 10th. January 11th.

The whole company caught the royal infection. They vowed to die for the king, as if he were in imminent danger. Cockades, white or black, but all of one colour, were distributed; and it is said the tricolour was trodden under foot. In a word, the whole company was gone mad with champagne and French sentiment, and hugged and kissed each other in a wild frenzy. At this moment a door opened, and the king and queen, leading the dauphin by the hand, entered, and at the sight the tumult became boundless. Numbers flung themselves at the feet of the royal pair, and escorted them back to their apartments.

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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[201] 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.

AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AT THE PERIOD OF THE FIRST REFORM PARLIAMENT.

The garrison of Gibraltar was all this time hard pressed by the Spaniards. Florida Blanca had made a convention with the Emperor of Morocco to refuse the English any supplies; those thrown in by Rodney the year before were nearly exhausted, and they were reduced to grave straits. Admiral Darby was commissioned to convoy one hundred vessels laden with provisions, and to force a way for them into the garrison. Darby not only readily executed his commission, to the great joy of the poor soldiers, but he blockaded the huge Spanish fleet under Admiral Cordova, in the harbour of Cadiz, whilst the stores were landing.

On the 18th of June a public dinner, to commemorate the abolition of the Sacramental Test, was given at Freemasons' Hall, when the Duke of Sussex occupied the chair. The friends of the cause felt that to secure a meeting of the most opulent, talented, and influential Dissenters from all parts of the empire was a measure of no common policy, and it was evident that the illustrious and noble guests felt at once surprised and gratified to witness the high respectability and generous enthusiasm of that great company. Mr. William Smith, as deputy chairman, proposed, in an interesting and appropriate speech, "the health of the Duke of Sussex, and the universal prevalence of those principles which placed his family upon the throne." The health of the archbishops, bishops, and other members of the Established Church who had advocated the rights of the Dissenters was proposed by a Baptist minister, the Rev. Dr. Cox. The health of "the Protestant Dissenting ministers, the worthy successors of the ever memorable two thousand who sacrificed interest to conscience," having been proposed by the royal chairman, the Rev. Robert Aspland returned thanks. Another commemoration of the full admission of Nonconformists to the privileges of the Constitution was a medal struck by order of the united committee. The obverse side exhibits Britannia, seated on the right, presenting to a graceful figure of Liberty the Act of Repeal, while Religion in the centre raises her eyes to heaven with the expression of thankfulness for the boon. The inscription on this side is "Sacramental Test Abolished, May 9th, 1828." The reverse side presents an open wreath, enclosing the words, "Truth, Freedom, Peace, and Charity."

LOUIS BLANC.